Sam Brownback is perplexed. The U.S. Senator from Kansas and Presidential candidate is a Republican Catholic whose politics--he is against marriage for gay people, he is against abortion, and he has a clean image in a party tainted by scandal--should speak favorably to the party's base. But it has not. "I'm baffled by that myself," Senator Brownback told David Shankbone. "We haven't been able to raise money."
A recent poll in Iowa has put him in eighth place, with 2% supporting his campaign. "If we don't finish fourth or better in Iowa...we'll pull out."
Senator Brownback's relationship with God infuses almost every answer you find below. Although he doesn't feel "competent" to explain why God would dislike gays, he does feel strongly that allowing two men or two women to enter into the union of marriage will destroy it for heterosexuals. Pointing to the research of Stanley Kurtz at The Hoover Institute, Brownback asserts that Northern Europeans have "taken the sacredness out of the institution."
In the interview, Senator Brownback discusses the tug-and-pull that befalls him when his constituents show up at his office and say, "Look, I'm a conservative, but we need this bridge, we need this subsidy, we need this hospital.” Brownback feels this spending system needs to be changed; however, when it comes to energy policy, Brownback is there for his constituents. David Shankbone asked the Kansas Senator, a supporter of cellulosic ethanol, why he doesn't support the lowering of tariffs on sugar since sugar ethanol delivers 8 times the energy output of cellulosic ethanol. Brazil, in particular, has become energy independent because of its sugar ethanol program. It's cheaper to produce, and there is vastly more bang for the buck in sugar fuel than in corn fuel; an entire country no longer needs to import oil because of it. Federal tariffs currently make sugar ethanol too expensive in the United States. "You're going to kill the ethanol industry here just as it gets going," was Senator Brownback's response. However, there is a debate over whether the process to make corn ethanol uses more energy than the ethanol itself produces.