Talk:Sam Brownback

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Former good article nominee Sam Brownback was a Social sciences and society good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
July 16, 2009 Good article nominee Not listed
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Biography / Politics and Government (Rated B-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the politics and government work group.
 
WikiProject Conservatism (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Conservatism, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of conservatism on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject U.S. Congress (Rated B-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject U.S. Congress, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the United States Congress on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
 
This article has not yet been assigned a subject.
The options are: "Person", "People", "Place", "Thing", and "Events."
WikiProject United States / Government / Presidential elections (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject United States, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics relating to the United States of America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the ongoing discussions.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject U.S. Government (marked as Low-importance).
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject U.S. presidential elections (marked as Low-importance).
 
WikiProject Kansas (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Kansas, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the U.S. state of Kansas on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Creationism / Intelligent design  (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Creationism, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Creationism on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by Intelligent design task force (marked as Low-importance).
 

Loaded/biased phrases[edit]

The goal of all people editing Wikipedia entries should be to maintain neutrality while presenting facts in the most objective light possible. Certain phrases are being regularly added and removed from this entry, such as that involves the cloning and destruction of human embryos, research that millions of American tax payers believe is morally wrong from the views section. Yes, millions of Americans *do* view stem-cell research as morally wrong, but what relevance does that have to do with an entry about a single man? Absolutely none. What does it have to do with attempting to push forward a certain political agenda? A whole lot. If you look at the user profiles of some of the people editing to include these phrases, you quickly see a pattern forming. Likewise, if you wish to include something like Because of the latter belief, he condemned the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas and believes that sodomy laws are "legitimate tools" and favors prison sentences for homosexuals, please reference or otherwise provide source materials. Otherwise, you are just pushing through that much more propaganda. Neutrality, objectivity, factuality. Come on, people. 71.252.108.85 12:33, 8 April 2006

Non-notable statements in lede[edit]

The following statements don't seem particularly noteworthy for the lede. They are all purely statements of his political positions:

Brownback supported the 2007 Iraq War troop surge and has also voiced his support for Israel.[4] He supports marriage as the union of a man and a woman. He has described himself as pro-life.[5]CFredkin (talk) 04:25, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Are you serious? Why is it not relevant may I ask? - Cwobeel (talk) 04:31, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
I've already stated why I don't think they're noteworthy. Perhaps you can state why you think they are. Not everything that appears in a source (even if it's reliable) necessarily should be included in an article, much less the lede.CFredkin (talk) 05:10, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Neutral language[edit]

In this edit I've attempted to provide neutral language regarding the impact of the tax cut. The bit about "leading even some Republicans to criticize his leadership" is subjective commentary that doesn't belong in the lede.CFredkin (talk) 05:18, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

What's subjective about it? More than 100 leading members of Brownback's own party went so far as to endorse his opponent because they think Brownback is mismanaging the state ([1], [2]). That's a well-sourced fact, so I'm unclear what aspect of the language you believe is subjective. I think the quoted text actually understates that reality, which is pretty striking. Could you clarify? MastCell Talk 15:35, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
It's no more appropriate to include the above statement than it would be to include a statement in the lede to Obama's bio to the effect that Obama's low approval ratings are leading Democratic Senate candidates to denounce him and avoid appearing with him during the 2014 campaign. That's a fact too, as well as being more neutrally worded than the statement above.[3]CFredkin (talk) 16:46, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
There is a big difference in endorsing en masse the candidate of the opposing party. - Cwobeel (talk) 16:59, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Please define "en masse" in this context.CFredkin (talk) 18:27, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
A moderate GOP uprising is in full swing against Gov. Sam Brownback, the fierce fiscal and social conservative whose policies led to a purge of middle-of-the-road Republicans from the Legislature early in his tenure. In a rare and surprising act of political defiance on Tuesday, more than 100 Republicans, including current and former officeholders, endorsed Brownback’s opponent, statehouse Democratic leader Paul Davis.[4]]. A bombshell that may cost Brownback his reelection. - Cwobeel (talk) 19:08, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
@CFredkin: Wait a minute. You initially objected that the text was "subjective commentary". When I asked you to clarify, you immediately changed tactics with a misguided comparison about the Barack Obama article. Why do I feel like you're Lucy and I'm Charlie Brown trying to kick the football? The comparison to Obama's article is faulty (and a bit hypocritical, since you first claimed that political bios shouldn't include positions when Obama's article does exactly that). Plenty of candidates distance themselves from unpopular figures (that's why you don't see George W. Bush anywhere near a Republican convention); it's par for the course. On the other hand, it's "unprecedented" (in the exact words of reliable sources) for a large portion of a state's party establishment to publicly endorse the other party's gubernatorial candidate. Unprecedented. So maybe it belongs in the lead? What is your objection again - that it's "subjective commentary"? That Obama's article is different from this one? MastCell Talk 20:59, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
My initial edit removed an entire paragraph from the lede. My edit commentary mentioned not including political positions in the lede of a bio. In hindsight, I think I used the term "political positions" too broadly. There are political positions indicated only by statements from the politician, and there those indicated by actions. I made that distinction by creating 2 different sections in the article Talk. The section above this one deals with the former. For the latter, I agree that actions are fair game for inclusion. This section deals only with the phrase I mentioned above. For that, the comparison with Obama seems applicable, especially since you introduced the Obama comparison in your edit commentary. I agree that the endorsement of his opponent by some former Republican officials is a fact. However, I don't believe that the existence of hyperbolic language in an article by the Times is sufficient criteria for inclusion in the lede. (I should probably have said "hyperbolic language" instead of "subjective commentary".)CFredkin (talk) 21:56, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
OK. I have to say I'm still not entirely clear, though. Just so I understand: your objection is that the material is based on "hyperbolic language" from "an article by the Times"? If so, then (as you probably already know) the material is covered in many sources besides the Times, and you are free to propose language you find less "hyperbolic". MastCell Talk 21:53, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
My point is that, since it appears to be a fact with multiple reliable sources, it could certainly be included in the article (with neutral wording). But it's not clear to me why it's worthy of inclusion in the lede. So far the argument for adding it to the lede seems to be based on the "hyperbolic language" from the Times that was pasted above.CFredkin (talk) 01:42, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This aspect is significant enough for the lede. Look at it this way: Brownback ran and applied an ideologically pure conservative economic policy that seems to have been a disaster, so much so, that a large group of current and former GOP officials endorsed his opponent in the race. Regardless if he loses or wins reelection in November, this will remain significant for obvious reasons. - Cwobeel (talk) 03:17, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

I appreciate the commentary, but it doesn't sounds like a reasonable argument for inclusion of the above statement in the lede.CFredkin (talk) 03:52, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
It is not only reasonable, but accurate. I want to understand why do you think this is not a significant issue on the bio of this politician. Make your argument. - Cwobeel (talk) 04:08, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I've already made my argument. Whereas you've not made a single argument to justify it's inclusion beyond the fact that the Times has published an article which mentions the fact in grandiose terms.CFredkin (talk) 04:51, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
MastCell has already responded to that argument. here is my question again: Why do you think this is not a significant issue on the bio of this politician? - Cwobeel (talk) 16:10, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Content being considered for inclusion in the lede of a biography should be evaluated in the context of the person's entire career. The fact that over 100 current and former Republicans endorsed Brownback's opponent when running for state-wide office doesn't seem that significant when viewed in terms of his entire career.CFredkin (talk) 04:32, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
This is so unusual, that it has been reported in numerous sources, and per WP:LEDE, we have to include significant controversies in the lead. - Cwobeel (talk) 23:20, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Significant enough for lead?[edit]

The consensus seems to be that inclusion is warranted but material must be rewritten (at the time this RfC was run...). Editors are pointed to the BLP requirements of UNDUE, NPOV, BLAHBLAH--please y'all, be careful and do this neutrally. Drmies (talk) 03:50, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Is the following statement significant enough in the context of Sam Brownback's career to warrant inclusion in the lead of his bio, as described in the MOS?

Brownback's aggressive tax cuts created a substantial budget deficit, leading former and current Republicans officials to criticize his leadership in the run-up to the 2014 gubernatorial election by endorsing his opponent.[1]CFredkin (talk) 04:19, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

References
  1. ^ Eligon, John (September 14, 2014). "Conservative Experiment Faces Revolt in Reliably Red Kansas". New York Times. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 

Additional sources, in the interest of establishing due weight:

... among others. MastCell Talk 04:50, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

  • Summoned by bot. I have to say I'm somewhat on the fence on this one. My instinct is to say "no" but it's a weak no. If mentioned in the lead, it should be more balanced. Coretheapple (talk) 02:01, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Include. It is factual, and neutral in its presentation. The tax cuts were aggressive, the deficit was substantial, officials of his own party endorsed his opponent. Why is important in the lede? Because ledes need to include any significant controversies (per WP:LEDE) and this is significant. - Cwobeel (talk) 16:02, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
    • I'm not sure we can characterize it as a controversy.CFredkin (talk) 16:40, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I believe the reference to "...leading former and current Republicans officials to criticize his leadership in the run-up to the 2014 gubernatorial election by endorsing his opponent" is not significant in the context of his entire career, and that it should be removed.CFredkin (talk) 02:51, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
    • I'm not sure I follow the logic here - if Brownback's massive tax-cut agenda is notable enough for mention in the lead, it seems arbitrary to exclude a half-sentence on its political impact. MastCell Talk 16:03, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
      • The fact that he drove the largest tax cut in state history (and its impact on the budget) seem significant in the context of his entire career. The fact that some current and former Republican officials endorsed his opponent doesn't.CFredkin (talk) 16:40, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
        • It actually does. His cuts were based on the GOP's ideology that tax cuts have a positive impact on the economy, but when taken to extremes as he did, and the fact that GOP officials endorsed his opponent attest to this notable event in his career. - Cwobeel (talk) 16:44, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
          • I see. So you're making an ideological point.CFredkin (talk) 16:47, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
          • No, not me but maybe you are. The sources. It is always about the sources. - Cwobeel (talk) 16:58, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Re-write. Summoned by bot. Read the NYT Article and a similar Washington Post articles. NYT, specifically, says; "Mr. Brownback’s proudly conservative policies have turned out to be so divisive and his tax cuts have generated such a drop in state revenue that they have caused even many Republicans to revolt." Parking the Republican abandonment strictly at the tax cuts doesn't precisely represent the source. Since this is controversial B:LP heading into a high-profile election, I would counsel that we have complete transparency to the source materials without the filter of editor bias (real or imagined).EBY (talk) 00:19, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The bot sent me. I'd Include but only if you rewrite to remove the words 'aggressive tax cuts' (which seem to be an editorial choice and POVish), and put in what the article says, "Largest income tax cuts." Afterall, the reader should be told what kind of tax cuts. There are so many taxes, which ones? And as EBY says, the Republicans are not just bailing on this fellow because of the tax cuts. I can't speak to this being a high-profile election as I'm more familiar with British politics, but as EBY says, this being a high-profile election in America, I agree with him that care is to be taken in writing this. SW3 5DL (talk) 00:27, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
  • The biggest problem is the way it is written. It is editorial and an opinion, no matter how close to truth it may or may not be. Wikipedia doesn't have opinions on anything; it just presents facts and presents the opinions of people who's opinions are notable. It should say somthing like "XYZ politician introduced tax cuts of X% in XYZ areas. In the following X quarters, deficits rose by X%. XYZ politicians criticized his policies and suggested they contributed to these deficits."--Esprit15d • talkcontribs 19:12, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Include. It might be worded a little more neutrally, but it's still an important aspect of his career, his reception in political circles, and his resulting popularity. If this were a video game or film, I doubt there would be this much resistance. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 00:50, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
This isn't a video game or film, it's a BLP, which means it requires strict adherence to WP:NPV. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:45, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Exclude: Per WP:BALASPS, WP:RECENTISM, and WP:NPV generally. It's too early to say whether Brownback's tax cut problems will be such a major part of his biography so as to merit inclusion in the lead. I suspect it will, but that's pure speculation. And even if it does, the significance won't be that Republicans criticized him; the significance will be that it leads to his ouster from office (and perhaps to a paradigm shift in fiscal policy). --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:42, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Sullivan's comment on delayed job growth[edit]

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sam_Brownback&oldid=630555218&diff=prev

How is excluding Sullivan's comment that the job growth will eventually return not balancing WRT current observations? Hcobb (talk) 20:17, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Apples don't balance with oranges. We have factual content about past job growth, supported by an unreliable opinion source. Your proposed solution is to add an additional unbalanced, crystal ball opinion source predicting future job growth. (The cited source has opposing predictions by at least a couple of other people.) So now we have two problems instead of one, as we now have both factual content that's unreliably sourced, plus unbalanced WP:CBALL opinion content (that's only of tangential relevance in a biography about Sam Brownback).
The proper solution is to remove the sentence about predicted growth and fix the source for the sentence about current growth. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 21:59, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
My new source makes it clear that the Gov's man is responding to factual poor job numbers. Hcobb (talk) 01:23, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
What does "facual poor job numbers" mean? They're either verifiable, or they're not. Assuming they're verifiable, we can't "balance" them with a prediction (from an obviously biased viewpoint) about how the numbers might change in the future. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 06:44, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

It's faith based economics, right? You do the cargo cult dance of Reaganomics long enough and the jobs return. To deny their religion would make their actions seem arbitrarily evil. Hcobb (talk) 12:35, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

No, just wrong (at least to date, and in this case). But, I see your point: for all we know job growth may pick up. In that sense the sentence including "the state has lagged national rates since" is misleading/non-neutral as hides the short timespan between the date when the cuts went into effect and the date when the job data was generated. I'm adding a POV-inline tag to reflect that. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:26, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Better sources are available, and suggest that the revenue shortfall created by Brownback's tax cuts is likely to worsen rather than improve with time. See New York Times, etc. MastCell Talk 20:25, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Inline tags in "Taxes" subsection[edit]

I added inline {{better source}} and {{pov-inline}} tags to the sentence "Brownback's tax consultant and supply-side economist Arthur Laffer said the cuts would support job growth, but the state has lagged national rates since." The better source tag is there because the cited source is a biased opinion source. There are more neutral news sources reporting the same thing, so we should use those instead. The POV-inline tag is there because the sentence is misleading as it suggests that the lagging job growth has run from May 2012 to the present, which is inaccurate. The sentence needs to be time-delimited to explain that the cuts went into effect in 2013 and the sources on job growth run through a particular month in 2014.

These issues were identified in the "Sullivan's comment on delayed job growth" discussion above. Please don't remove the tags until they are resolved. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 16:56, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

I have added another source, the WSJ. Left the POV tag, for now until we can find a better way to summarize the purported economic disaster in Kansas. - Cwobeel (talk) 17:02, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
That's better, thanks, but the WSJ source doesn't say Kansas has lagged national rates, it says job growth has been about the same as neighboring states. We still need a better (more recent?) source, or the language needs to be softened. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:07, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
LA Times is a reliable source, so why did you delete it? As for a more recent source, why should we concerned about that? if there is a new source, then we can add it, but unless there is one we should use what we have. In any case, I think that the sentence is poorly written and does not encompass neither the "experiment" nor the criticism it has attracted from both parties. We need to expand based on the sources available. - Cwobeel (talk) 18:32, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
As I'm writing on this talk page now for the third time, the LA Times article is a biased opinion source, not an edited news source. The fact that LA Times is a reputable newspaper doesn't change that fact. As for the latter portion of your comment, feel free to expand, but please remember that this is an article about Brownback, not about the tax controversy. I'm opposed to the inclusion of material that's not related to him enough for mention in his biography. If you want to create comprehensive coverage of the larger political story then I'd say it should be forked to a new standalone article. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:22, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
I understand your argument about the LA Times, but opinion pieces are also RS if properly attributed. For example, Michael Hiltzik is a senior contributor to the LA Times and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and most definitely quotable, (albeit for his opinion and not for facts), see also WP:NEWSORG and WP:BIASED, for more information about why this source is definitively a reliable source for Wikipedia. As for expanding coverage is that an article can be split once there is too much material about a sub-topic. So the way to proceed would be to expand here, and if it becomes too big, it can then be split. I will begin that process. - Cwobeel (talk) 20:35, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
Opinion pieces can be used when properly attributed for their opinions -- and even then, they must be balanced against opposing opinions. At least as currently worded the sentence in question is about objective facts (Kansas's lack of job growth), not about Hiltzik's opinions. As for forking, article length (WP:SPINOFF) isn't the only reason to move material into a new article; article subject (WP:RELART) is as well. Think about it, there's no inherent reason why Sam Brownback should own this content exclusively over, say, Kansas gubernatorial election, 2014, Arthur Laffer, Kansas#Taxes, Tax cut#Tax cuts in the United States, etc. Ideally all of those pages should have summary-style portions that point to a single article about the controversy. See WP:ROC, WP:BALASPS. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 21:03, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
We are in violent agreement about attributing opinions :). Now regarding which article should "own" this material, that would be an article on the Governorship of Sam Brownback (same as we have Governorship of Chris Christie and others). But until there is enough material for such a spinnoff article, the material belongs here at Sam_Brownback#Governor. Now, would you want to work on this with me? Because this conversation so far has generated no useful content whatsoever, and it is time we do so. - Cwobeel (talk) 21:13, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

I am trying to find material that is supportive of Brownback's tax cuts legislation, but so far I am drawing a blank. - Cwobeel (talk) 22:25, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

CFredkin deleted all the material added yesterday about Brownback's tax cuts legislation, under claims of WP:UNDUE. We have two options: (1) restoring the content here, or (2) as discussed above creating a new article Sam Brownback tax cuts (or a similar name) in which we can expand on this, and then summarize here. - Cwobeel (talk) 16:40, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

At this point, I don't have an opinion about creating a new article on this topic, but it's undue here.CFredkin (talk) 17:55, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
What would it be UNDUE? If you look at the sources about Brownback, this is his signature legislation, so not really UNDUE. - Cwobeel (talk) 17:59, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
It is when it's just subjective commentary.CFredkin (talk) 18:02, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Everything is "subjective", so I am not sure I follow. In Wikipedia we reports significant opinions and facts (the core of WP:NPOV). I tried to look for other sources that may have a more positive outlook, but found none. Maybe you would be interested in researching this and add other opinions as well. - Cwobeel (talk) 18:35, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
There's definitely a difference between facts and subjective, opinion-based commentary. If there are elements that are factual and not repetitive, I'm open to discussion regarding inclusion.CFredkin (talk) 18:42, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
No, there is not, at least not in Wikipedia. Per WP:NPOV (my highlight) means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic. "Views" are subjective by nature. - Cwobeel (talk) 18:45, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
The statement from NPOV that you refer to above does not support the notion that facts and commentary are indistinguishable. It merely states that views/commentary may be included in articles, which I agree with. I'm saying that the commentary I deleted is WP:Undue.CFredkin (talk) 20:09, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The alternative would be to start Kansas Senate Bill Substitute HB 2117, in which we can describe the legislation in detail, and include the super-abundant commentary published since it was passed. As we develop that article, the summary of that article can be included here. Would you like to join me in developing that article? - Cwobeel (talk) 18:53, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the offer, but it's not something I'm interested in spending time on.CFredkin (talk) 20:09, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Cwobeel, I think that's the right approach. Thanks for taking a stab at it. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:14, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Sure. Can you join me in improving that article? I just found a defense from Grover Norquist, that I added. We also need now to start summarizing the article here. - Cwobeel (talk) 20:17, 29 October 2014 (UTC)