Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Voters in Wichita, Kansas, went to the polls, Tuesday, to smash a measure that would have forked over $2.25 million in tax rebates to a downtown hotel project. Those supporting the giveaway spent $300,000 to promote the deal, while opponents ponied up a scant $30,000 against it. The vote nevertheless strongly weighed against the big money, 62 to 38 percent.

The Wichita City Council had enacted this “economic development” deal with the hotel developers, and that would have been the end of it . . . but for some pesky Wichita taxpayers.

Kansans may lack a statewide initiative and referendum, but there is a local process, so citizens possessed a tool for effective resistance. They formed Tax Fairness for All Wichitans and, working with the Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity, they hit the streets to gather over 2,700 signatures to require Tuesday’s vote.Bob Weeks interviewed, YouTube

After the victory, Bob Weeks, the group’s chair, reminded fellow activists that the battle is far from over:

The Ambassador Hotel is receiving assistance from eight taxpayer-funded government programs with costs of $15.4 million up-front and several hundred thousand annually. None of these were affected by the election. Wichita city hall and its allies are ready, willing, and able to use these incentive programs in the future for other hotels and businesses.

Weeks summed up the election results this way: “The best way to create jobs is to get government out of the way. . . . That is what the voters said tonight.”

On behalf of the new Liberty Initiative Fund, I’m honored to have given two cents worth of advice to their effort. They changed public policy, saved tax dollars and threw a big monkey wrench into the machinery of crony capitalism.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Drik says:

    Could we send the Wichita-ians to DC?

  2. Rose Bogaert says:

    They keep saying AFP is not grass roots. Where were all those imaginary high rollers in this case. I know how difficult this task was for these taxpayers. I congratulate them and hope they will keep up the good fight. I hope it will continue to spread across this country.

  3. John Dill says:

    Good Job, we need more citizen action like this. Also, Paul, it would be nice if your site had a “Like” button so we could post your snippets to Facebook.


  4. Paul Jacob says:

    John — What browser do you use? There’s a “Like” and a “Share” above and below each script that will post it to your Facebook page. We love it when you post it, too.

  5. Brian Wright says:

    “Think globally, act locally.” The Wichita citizens group is a microcosm of what I’ve argued recently to mavens of the Libertarian Party. The history of the LP, the successful part, has been as taking part as a leading force in local government, generally without party designation. Bob Weeks is another in a natural line of local libertarian heroes.

  6. …. I’m honored to have given Two Cents worth of advice to their effort. They changed public policy, saved tax Dollars and threw a big monkey wrench into the machinery of crony “capitalism ….”

    Congratulations to al;l involved.

    But please do not associate the word “capitalism,” with cronyism.

    Capitalism is to cronyism what Michael Jackson was to the sexual safety of small boys.

  7. tim_lebsack says:

    too bad this didn’t happen for the Dallas hotel paid for by the taxpayers of Dallas.

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