Kansas' budget woes are so dire that the state government has resorted to selling off furry handcuffs and vibrators seized by its revenue department.
The Topeka Capital-Journal first reported on the sale Wednesday, explaining that the new bounty, numbering in the thousands of items, resulted from a five-shop, four-city raid on a company that owed more than $163,000 in state taxes.
Kansas negotiated with the owner, returning the merchandise under the condition that he auction off the toys and use the money towards paying back the state.
Democrats noted the irony of the sale, given that Republicans allied with Gov. Sam Brownback (R) had criticized Brownback's Democratic challenger Paul Davis for being at a strip club during a drug raid in 1998.
“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,” state Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley (D) said in a statement. “This is the same governor whose supporters spent this past week attacking his opponent for a strip club incident.”
Kansas is expected to face a $238 million budget shortfall by the summer of 2016. Brownback remains supportive of the income tax cuts passed into law in 2012, despite the fact that the state brought in $282 million less in personal income tax revenue than it expected in fiscal 2014.
Brownback's administration responded to Hensley by arguing that the auction resembled similar moves made by previous administrations.
“While we do not agree with the type of business involved here, it was nonetheless a legal business that was closed due to failure to pay taxes," his administration's statement read.