Commentary
5:00 am
Fri February 18, 2011

Richard Crowson: A New Suggestion For Governor Brownback

If Governor Sam Brownback is really serious about attacking our state’s 492 million dollar deficit, why is he messing around with teensy little amounts like the $600,000 that the state will “save” by obliterating the Kansas Arts Commission?

Come on, Guv. Let’s really get after it. If aesthetics are a luxury we can’t afford in these tight times, and that’s the implication of your Arts Commission abolition, what about the house you live in? I don’t know the true value of Cedar Crest, the Kansas Governor’s Mansion, but I suspect it’s considerably more than the 4.4 million dollars that was spent on renovating it in the 1990s. Let’s be conservative (we like being conservative!) and put a 6 million dollar price tag on it. And sell that sucker to the private sector.

What better way to send a signal to Kansans that you walk the talk, than by selling Cedar Crest and giving that money to the state? Then you can underscore your sincerity by moving into a double wide at Topeka’s Sunflower Acres Mobile Home Village. Heck, maybe the private sector will buy you one of those $29.95 sofa-sized paintings on sale in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Who needs all that pretentious NEA-influenced art made by Volvo-driving, pointy-headed, liberal-leaning so-called artists anyway?

By selling the Cedar Crest Mansion you can put a big ole 6 million dollar dent in the state deficit instead of pock-marking it with that measly $600,000 gained by abolishing the Kansas Arts Commission.

Never mind that the $600,000 actually brought 1.2 million dollars to Kansas each year.  Never mind all of those small arts entities in rural areas that will lose funding once there’s no Kansas Arts Commission. Let ‘em raise money by selling Elvis paintings at intersections. That’s the kind of thing that attracts businesses to Kansas. Not theatres, galleries and museums. And certainly not governor’s mansions.