Erotic Merchandise Sale to Boost Kansas Treasury
Policy + Politics

Erotic Merchandise Sale to Boost Kansas Treasury

REUTERS/Jeff Tuttle

Sam Brownback, the former conservative Republican congressman from Kansas, returned to his state as Governor in 2010 with the aim of turning it into a bastion of socially and fiscally conservative policy. He largely failed on the fiscal front, not because he didn’t slash taxes and spending – he did – but because the result has been a fiscal disaster of plummeting tax receipts and emergency spending cuts.

Now, you might argue, his legacy as a social conservative may be about to take a minor dent as well. On Tuesday of next week, the state will find out just how much money it has earned from an online auction of thousands of sex toys, adult DVDs and other erotic merchandise from a string of sex shops shut down by the state’s Department of Revenue.

Related: Brownback Feeling Big Political Backlash to Tax Cuts in Kansas

State officials claim that they are not auctioning off the items at all – that they returned them to the owner who contracted with an online auction house to sell them. But there’s no doubt that when the “Fifty Shades of Grey You Are Mine Metal Handcuffs,” the “Guido Inflatable Love Doll,” the “Fetish Fantasy Doggie Hood and Leash,” and numerous other items not suitable for a family website go on sale, the proceeds are headed straight into the Kansas state treasury. 

In a statement, Kansas State Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley blasted the sale. “Brownback is so desperate to fill the massive hole in the state budget caused by his reckless income tax cuts that the state of Kansas is now in the porn business,” he said. 

Related: Why State Tax Cuts Aren’t Driving Job Growth

The business in question, United Outlets LLC, operated five sex toy shops in the state, and had racked up some $164,000 in unpaid tax bills. There was no estimate available indicating how much the government expects to recoup through the online auction.

Top Reads from The Fiscal Times