Sam Brownback

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Sam Brownback is the governor of Kansas

Samuel Dale Brownback, a Republican, is the governor of Kansas since January 2011.[1] Previously, he was a Senator from Kansas since winning a 1996 special election until 2011. (map). He unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for the 2008 presidential election.[2]

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Sam Brownback voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

Brownback voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq in Oct. 2002.

For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Jack Abramoff money

Brownback accepted $42,000 from Jack Abramoff, a disgraced ex-lobbyist involved in a wide-reaching public corruption scandal. This prompted Wyandotte Nation Chief Leaford Bearskin to state in a press release that he was "outraged and so very disappointed to learn that Senator Brownback reportedly received large sums of dirty money from Jack Abramoff, a Washington D.C. lobbyist who abused the political system for financial gain at the expense of the Native American community."[1]

D.C. flat tax

In December 2005, Brownback advocated using Washington, DC as a "laboratory" for a flat tax. His advocated position on this issue was "that making D.C. a test case would, with limited potential for negative impact, provide valuable data about the effects of a flat tax that would prove helpful in determining whether it should be applied nationwide." [2] This has irked many residents of the District, as the idea of a Senator from Kansas forcing a system of taxation on them would seem to only further the District's taxation without representation. Indeed, DC mayor Anthony A. Williams said "Leaving aside the merits of this proposal, we continue to resist any efforts on the part of any member of Congress to impose rules and regulations on the people of the District." [3]

Same-sex unions

Brownback was recently criticized for comments he made during an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. In the interview, he is quoted as having criticized Sweden for allowing same-sex civil unions. "You'll know them by their fruits," Brownback said, quoting Matthew 7:20. [4] Rolling Stone writer Jeff Sharlet publicly stated that the term was a faux pas and informed Brownback's office that he would be glad to back Brownback up on this one specific point, but Brownback preferred to insist that Sharlet had misunderstood his scriptural reference. In fact, as Sharlet later wrote on The Revealer, the journal of NYU's Center for Religion and Media, Brownback's comment came in a conversation in which he defended his opposition to queer rights even though he did not know the Bible verses upon which he claimed to base it. [5] Wrote Sharlet:

"I ask the senator whether he’s aware of the contested interpretations of the Hebrew and Greek passages on which Christian conservatives base their opposition to homosexuality. I’m particularly interested in Leviticus 20:13, which some ultraconservatives believe mandates the death penalty for gay men, and Romans 1, both of which, I tell him, I’ve been discussing with some Bible scholars. He frowns. It turns out he’s not aware of the passages. This does not bother him. “It’s pretty clear,” he says, his fingers folded into a temple beneath his chin, “what we know in our hearts.” [6]
"Brownback calls this knowledge “natural law,” but the “evidence” produced by a heart that hates homosexuality is a far cry from the “natural law” St. Paul spoke of in Romans 1:19-20, which simply holds that gentiles as well as Jews could infer God from the world around them. Rather, Brownback has embraced a circular logic of self-observation: Homosexuality is wrong based on the evidence that he believes it is wrong. To legislate against it or any other practice his heart tells him is sin is not theocratic, it’s “natural.” " [7]

Support for General Pace's remarks on homosexuality

Brownback backed General Pace a few days after he came under fire for calling homosexual acts immoral. When asked if he agreed with Pace's comments, Brownback stated, "I do not believe being a homosexual is immoral, but I do believe homosexual acts are. I'm a Catholic and the church has clear teachings on this." [8]

Regulations on violent television programming

In mid-July of 2007, Brownback planned to introduce legislation to establish a new federal standard that would prevent some television shows from airing on broadcast networks before 10 p.m.. The bill would be an amendment to a financial services appropriations bill that would have the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopt measures to "protect children from excessively violent video programming."[3]

Critics of the legislation argue that the amendment's definition of excessively violent programming, which is violence that is "patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards," is simply too vague, giving the FCC too much control over what it would be able to restrict.[4]

Others pointed out that this bill would restrict shows like "Law and Order," which used to feature one of Brownback's rivals in the GOP presidential nomination, Fred Thompson.[5]



Born September 12, 1956, Brownback grew up on his family's farm near Parker, Kansas. He graduated from Kansas State University in 1979 and received a law degree from the University of Kansas in 1982. He was an attorney before becoming the Kansas secretary of agriculture in 1986. In 1990, he was selected to be a White House Fellow for the Class of '90-91, to serve in George H.W. Bush's Administration. After serving one year, Brownback returned to Kansas to resume his position as secretary of agriculture until 1993.

He was received into the Roman Catholic church in 2002, with the assistance of fellow Republican Senator Rick Santorum. Contrary to popular rumor, he is not a member of the Catholic Church's Opus Dei, although he was introduced to Catholicism by a member.

Congressional career

Brownback was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives in 1994, and served one term before he was elected Senator in a special election in November 1996 to replace Bob Dole. (Dole resigned his Senate seat during his presidential campaign). Brownback was elected to a full term in the Senate in 1998.

Brownback has announced that he will not run for reelection in 2010 in accordance with his support of term limits.

Views and positions

Brownback is a far-right, outspoken, socially conservative politician, joining staunch senate conservatives such as Rick Santorum, Pat Roberts and Tom Coburn in pushing for hard-line social reform. He opposes federal-funding of embryonic stem cell research and also favors capital punishment. He believes that homosexuality is an "abomination." He is averse to same-sex marriage, is "concerned" about pornography [9], and is pro-life, having compared abortion to the Holocaust or infanticide. [10].

He was one of the leading opponents of Bush Supreme Court nominee Harriet E. Miers, whom many regarded as not qualified enough and perhaps too moderate.

According to his web site, "Brownback has taken an active role in developing U.S. foreign policy concerning India, Pakistan, Central Asia and Iraq."[11]

Brownback has been active on attempting to increase U.S. involvement in the Darfur conflict [12] and is an endorser of the Genocide Intervention Network [13].

Presidential bid

Through 2006, Brownback had little name recognition outside of Washington, D.C. and his home state of Kansas. In 2006, however, he began making visits to early primary and caucus states such as New Hampshire and Iowa. In an appearance on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson voiced support of a Brownback presidential bid.

Brownback announced that he had formed a presidential exploratory committee on December 4, 2006, officially signaling his intention to pursue his party's nomination. [14]

Brownback officially announced his candidacy in the 2008 presidential election on January 20, 2007.[15] He was running on a "compassionate conservative" platform. His presidential campaign ended after he peaked in the polls with the support of 3 percent of Republicans.[1]

2010 election

In 2010, Sen. Brownback ran for governor of Kansas. He won the seat of former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) who left to become President Obama's health and human services secretary.[1]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00005244&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Sam Brownback
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and affiliations


  • Senate Committee on Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science
    • Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government
    • Subcommittee on Military Contruction and Veterans Affairs
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
    • Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
  • Senate Committee on the Judiciary
    • Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights
    • Subcommittee on the Constitution
    • Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law
    • Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security
  • Joint Economic Committee - Ranking Member

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

  • Joint Economic Committee
  • Senate Committee on Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Agriculture Rural Development and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Commerce Justice and Science
    • Subcommittee on the District of Columbia - Chair
    • Subcommittee on State Foreign Operations and Related Programs
    • Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs
    • Subcommittee on Transportation Treasury the Judiciary and Housing and Urban Development
  • Senate Committee on the Judiciary
    • Subcommittee on Antitrust Competition Policy and Consumer Rights
    • Subcommittee on the Constitution Civil Rights and Property Rights - Chair
    • Subcommittee on Corrections and Rehabilitations
    • Subcommittee on Immigration Border Security and Citizenship
    • Subcommittee on Intellectual Property

More background data

Wikipedia also has an article on Sam Brownback. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Sam Brownback profile, The Washington Post, accessed January 2011.
  2. James Carlson, "GOP hopes to pack punch in 2010", "The Capital-Journal", November 9, 2008
  3. Ian Swanson Brownback takes aim at "Law and Order" The Hill, July 12, 2007
  4. Ian Swanson Brownback takes aim at "Law and Order" The Hill, July 12, 2007
  5. Ian Swanson "Brownback takes aim at "Law and Order" The Hill July 12, 2007
  6. Advisory Committee, Susan B. Anthony List, accessed December 19, 2007
  7. Advisory Board, Institute on Religion and Public Policy, accessed June 29, 2008
  8. The growth of the Sudan Campaign, SudanReeves, accessed August 4, 2008
  9. About us, Servant's Heart, accessed August 4, 2008
  10. Jerusalem Summit Presidium, Jerusalem Summit, accessed August 4, 2008



Brownback blogs

Related SourceWatch articles


Articles about Sam Brownback

Articles by Sam Brownback

Local blogs and discussion sites

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. Senate
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: Joint Economic Committee, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senate Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Agriculture Rural Development Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies, Senate Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Commerce Justice and Science and Related Agencies, Senate Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on the Financial Services and General Government, Senate Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on State Foreign Operations and Related Programs, Senate Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies, Senate Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Transportation Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Senate Committee on the Judiciary/Subcommittee on Antitrust Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, Senate Committee on the Judiciary/Subcommittee on the Constitution Civil Rights and Property Rights, Senate Committee on the Judiciary/Subcommittee on Technology Terrorism and Homeland Security,
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 5, 1996
First Took Current Office:
November 7, 1996
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 811 North Main Street, Suite A, Garden City, KS 67846
Phone: 620-275-1124 / Fax: 620-275-1837
2. 11111 West 95th, Suite 245, Overland Park, KS 66214
Phone: 913-492-6378 / Fax: 918-492-7253
3. 1001-C North Broadway, Pittsburg, KS 66762
Phone: 620-231-6040 / Fax: 620-231-6347
4. 612 South Kansas Avenue, Topeka, KS 66603
Phone: 785-233-2503 / Fax: 785-233-2616
5. 245 North Waco Street, Suite 240, Wichita, KS 67202
Phone: 316-264-8066 / Fax: 316-264-9078

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: September 12, 1956