THE BLOG
10/24/2014 03:13 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Sam Brownback vs. Paul Davis Nonpartisan Candidate Guide For Kansas Governor's Race 2014

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Are you looking for a nonpartisan voter guide to the Sam Brownback vs. Paul Davis Governor's race? One that will give you an unbiased, no-spin comparison of candidate positions on key issues? That's what our Campus Election Engagement Project guide will give you! We are a national nonpartisan initiative working with college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders to increase student participation in America's elections. For the 2014 elections we have created and distributed voter guides to campuses in more than 20 states so they can provide their communities with accurate information for informed voting. Because these guides have been so well received and are useful for all voting citizens who want to be better informed, we are also posting them here.

We developed our guides by analyzing information from trusted resources such as www.votesmart.org, www.ontheissues.org, www.ballotpedia.com, www.politifact.com, www.factcheck.org, www.vote411.org and from candidate websites, public debates and interviews, and statements in major media outlets. We also showed them to groups like campus Young Republicans and Young Democrats at the schools we work with to verify their fairness and lack of bias.

So here are the issue-by-issue stands for Sam Brownback and Paul Davis, with additional links at the bottom for each candidate if you'd like to dig deeper. (You can also find the Kansas Senate guide here.)

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Education: Do you support increasing funding for K-12 education?
Brownback: Contested (Publicly promotes K-12 funding and points to his record of increases. Opponents point out that increases have all been for pensions and capital expenditures while per-pupil funding has decreased dramatically. State is appealing Kansas Supreme Court ruling that recent cuts have been unconstitutional and requiring the state to increase per-pupil funding to the constitutionally required levels required by 2005 law.)
Davis: Yes (Actively engaged in efforts to return K-12 funding to constitutionally required levels. Negotiated a budget that protected schools from a 7th round of cuts.)

Education: Do you support the effort to standardize and increase school standards under the Common Core initiative?
Brownback: No
Davis: Yes

Education: Do you support providing vouchers to parents to send their children to private schools with public money?
Brownback: Yes (Also signed bill approving corporate vouchers, which offer corporate tax breaks in exchange for private school scholarships for low-income students. See Brownback signs HB2506 and Kansas Legislature Passes Education Tax Credits for more detail.)
Davis: Unknown

Education: Do you support increasing funding for higher education?
Brownback: Contested (Similar to contested K-12 funding position. Expresses support for higher education funding, but increased funding only after KS Supreme Court ruling which required state to increase higher education funding to legislated levels.)
Davis: Yes

Elections: Do you support requiring registered voters to present a photo-ID in order to vote?
Brownback: Yes. Signed law requiring photo-ID in 2011. Also signed a bill with additional and controversial voting requirements. (Signed bill that creates two-tiered voting system by preventing some residents from casting ballots in all but federal congressional races unless they can prove they are U.S. citizens.)
Davis: No

Elections: Do you support increasing restrictions on campaign donations?
Brownback: No
Davis: Yes. Also strongly opposes Citizens United ruling. (Change from 2008 position when he supported full disclosure of all expenditures made on behalf of state candidates, but did not support limits on donation amounts. )

Environment: Do you believe that human activity is a major factor contributing to climate change?
Brownback: Has called climate change research "driven more by a political agenda than a quest for truth."
Davis: Yes

Environment: Do you support taking government action to limit the levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere?
Brownback: No
Davis: Yes

Environment: Do you support government mandates and/or subsidies for renewable energy?
Brownback: Conditional support (Sees renewable energy support as a driver of the economy and jobs rather than as policy focused on the environment. Maintains strong support for state Renewable Portfolio Standards and believes all relevant legislation should be exclusively at the state level and that all federal involvement is overreach.)
Davis: Yes

Gay Marriage: Do you support gay marriage?
Brownback: No. Supports 2005 amendment to the Kansas constitution banning gay marriage.
Davis: Unknown--has historically supported civil unions but opposed gay marriage. (Opposed gay marriage in 2008 but supported civil unions and allowing state-level spousal rights to be granted to same-sex couples. Opposed Feb 2014 bill that allows individuals and groups to discriminate against the gay community, but was accused of mounting only a marginal and "tepid" opposition.

Gun Control: Do you support enacting more restrictive gun control legislation?
Brownback: No
Davis: Has historically opposed

Healthcare: Do you support the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare?
Brownback: No
Davis: Yes

Healthcare: Should your state accept federal funds so Medicaid will cover people earning up to 138% of the federal poverty line?
Brownback: No
Davis: Yes

Immigration: Do you support colleges and universities awarding in-state tuition rates to state residents who are not citizens?
Brownback: No
Davis: Yes

Marijuana: Do you support efforts to decriminalize and/or legalize marijuana?
Brownback: No
Davis: Supports medical marijuana

Minimum Wage: Do you support raising the minimum wage?
Brownback: No
Davis: Yes

Social Issues: Should abortion be highly restricted?
Brownback: Yes
Davis: No

Social Issues: Should employers be able to withhold contraceptive coverage from employees if they disagree with it morally?
Brownback: Yes
Davis: No

Taxes: Have you signed the Americans for Tax Reform Pledge to oppose any tax increases to raise revenue? (The answer to this question is taken from the database of signatories of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, created by Americans for Tax Reform. Signers to the pledge promise to oppose "any and all tax increases" meant to generate additional revenue.)
Brownback: Yes
Davis: No

Taxes: Would you increase taxes on corporations and/or high-income individuals to pay for public services?
Brownback: No
Davis: Yes

Learn more about the candidates:
Brownback: Sam Brownback Vote Smart pages and Sam Brownback On the Issues pages
Davis: Paul Davis Vote Smart pages

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Other gubernatorial candidates include Keen Umbehr (Libertarian). Due to limited space, we can't include his positions, but invite you to check out his website.