Links - Official Sites: Senate Office, Brownback for President
 Opposition Site: The Anti-Sam
Legislation: 109th, 108th, 107th, 106th, 105th  |  Project Vote Smart
Finances: Brownback for President, Restore America PAC (1)  |  Open Secrets
Patrick Ruffini's 2008 Presidential Wire: Stories on Sam Brownback
In Brief - Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 (in the Republican primary he defeated Shiela Frahm, who had been appointed to complete Bob Dole's term); elected to a full six year term in 1998; re-elected in 2004.  Elected to the U.S. House in 1994, representing Kansas' 2nd CD.  Selected as Kansas Secretary of Agriculture in 1986 and served in the position for seven years; one year as a White House fellow, 1990-91.  Co-author of Kansas Agricultural Law (Lone Tree Pub Co, 1994).  Law degree from the University of Kansas, 1982; B.S. in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University, 1979.   Born September 12, 1956 in KS.  [Timeline].

On Dec. 4, 2006 Sen. Sam Brownback announced formation of a presidential exploratory committee, stating that that he had decided "after much prayerful consideration, to consider a bid for the Republican nomination for the presidency."  A month and a half later, on Jan. 20, 2007, he formally declared his candidacy in Topeka.  Brownback's campaign literature describes him as "A conservative you can trust."

"Renew the Society and Renew the Culture"
In Dec. 2005, asked by C-SPAN's Brian Lamb on "Q&A" why he wants to be president someday, Brownback responded that "at its core I think we have to renew the society and renew the culture."  In his years in Congress Brownback has compiled an impeccable record on social conservative issues.  Since 2002 he has been chairman of the Values Action Team, which provides an important interface between Capitol Hill and organizations on the religious right.  He has been a leading voice against embryonic stem cell research ("taxpayer-subsidized destruction of human embryos).  Following the Janet Jackson Superbowl incident in 2004, he quickly introduced the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004 (S. 2056), a bill to "increase the penalties for violations by television and radio broadcasters of the prohibitions against transmission of obscene, indecent, and profane language."

Just in the 109th Congress, Brownback sponsored bills including the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act (S. 51) which would "require abortion providers to notify a woman who is seeking an abortion 20 weeks after fertilization of the growing medical evidence that the unborn child in her womb can feel severe and extreme pain during an abortion procedure;" the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005 (S. 193); the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2005 (S. 658); and a marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution ("Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman.") (S.J. Res. 13).  He used his position as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights to hold hearings on such issues as "whether federal and state marriage protection initiatives are vulnerable to judicial activism" (April 13, 2005) and "pornography’s effects on marriage, families, and children" (Nov. 10, 2005).  In October 2005, Brownback's skepticism about President Bush's Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers was a key factor that contributed to her withdrawing from consideration.

Fiscal Responsibility
Brownback has for several years advanced the idea of a Commission on the Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies (CARFA), modeled on the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, to eliminate outdated federal programs and agencies.  Under the proposal, which he first introduced in 2002, a 12-member commission would conduct a two-year review and then make recommendations on which agencies and programs should be eliminated or realigned.  On October 25, 2005 Brownback joined a group of seven Republican Senators, the Senate "Fiscal Watch Team," who announced a package of offsets to counter spending on Hurricane Katrina and Rita relief and recovery.  The package included a half dozen items including a two-year delay in implementation of the Medicare prescription drug benefit and a 5 percent cut in non-security federal spending programs.  He also advocates a flat tax.

International Concerns
In January 2005 Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist appointed Brownback chairman of the Helsinki Commission (formally know as the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe; this independent agency is the United States' interface with 55-member Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe).  Starting in the late 1990s, Brownback took an active interest in confronting the gross human rights violations in Sudan, including slavery and genocide, that grew out of that nation's civil war, and more recently, in December 2005, he and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) visited Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Kenya primarily to examine humanitarian conditions.

A Boost from Iowa?
Brownback faced significant challenges; he was not well known to most Americans, his fundraising ability was modest, and he needed show that he can broaden his appeal beyond social conservatives.  Chuck Hurley, a friend from law school days, stated that Brownback "comes across as reasonable and smart, not pugnacious or combative."  "He wears well on moderates," Hurley said.  Brownback's Kansas roots, his experience with agricultural issues, and his appeal to social conservatives offered a foundation to help him do well in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, which would be essential to a successful campaign.

Straw Poll Setback
Brownback placed a major emphasis on Iowa, making 36 visits and spending 57 days in Iowa from December 2004 through August 11, 2007, the date of the Straw Poll in Ames.  His campaign made a significant investment in the event, but when the results were tallied Romney had won with 4,516 votes (31.6 %), followed by Huckabee with 2,587 votes (18.1 %); Brownback finished third with 2,192 votes (15.3 %).  Huckabee had spent significantly less than Brownback and gained a boost from the event.  For the Brownback campaign it was a significant setback.  Although he did not leave the race immediately, as did former Gov. Tommy Thompson, contributions dropped off and on October 19 he announced his withdrawal from the race.

Announcement of End of Candidacy at the State Capitol, Room 514 South in Topeka, KS, October 19, 2007. [transcript]
Republican Party of Iowa's Lincoln Day Dinner in Des Moines, IA, April 14, 2007. [transcript]
Announcement Speech, Heritage Hall, Topeka, KS, January 20, 2007. [transcript]
Values Voter Summit 2006, Washington, DC, September 22, 2006. [transcript]

Noam Scheiber.  "The Apostle."  The New Republic.  December 18, 2006. (cover story)
Jeff Sharlet.  "God's Senator."  Rolling Stone.  January 25, 2006.
On C-SPAN's "Q&A," program date December 25, 2005.

Jan. 20, 2007-Declaring his candidacy in Topeka, KS.
Sept. 22, 2006-Washington Briefing: 2006 Values Voter Summit.
Sept. 21, 2006-Joining other Senators to urge quick action on Darfur.
Aug. 17, 2006-Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa.  [a Brownback aide]
June 16, 2006-GOParty Picnic in Des Moines, Iowa.  [Iowa Republican Party]
May 17, 2006-Joining other congressmen speaking in support of plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Oct. 11-12, 2005-At The New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH.  [The New Hampshire Institute of Politics]
Oct. 8, 2005-Addresses Iowans for Tax Relief's Iowa Taxpayers' Day in Des Moines, Iowa.  [Iowans for Tax Relief]

Total Receipts
Total Disbursements
Cash on Hand
YTD through Sep. 30
$  94,653.58
3rd Q 2007 (Jul. 1-Sep. 30)
$   817,285.86
$  925,745.22
$  94,653.58
2nd Q 2007 (Apr. 1-Jun. 30)
1st Q 2007 (Jan. 1-Mar. 31)


On the Web
Brownback for President
April 20, 2007 grab
Brownback for President
Jan. 23, 2007 grab
Exploratory Committee
Dec. 5, 2006 grab
old 2004 Re-elect Site
Nov. 15, 2005 grab
Opposition Site
Jan. 21, 2005 grab

Copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action