October 19, 2014

Finance reports indicate four donors tied to bulk of negative campaign attacks

TOPEKA—Today, a group of over 50 former traditional Republican legislators from across the state released an analysis of recent campaign finance reports that reveal that the majority of money behind negative campaign tactics by the Kansas Chamber PAC is tied to just four donors. An analysis shows more than $1.57 million in disclosed campaign contributions has fueled the onslaught of negative and inaccurate mailings by the Kansas Chamber PAC in recent years in their quest to unseat eight to 10 Republican Senators. Groups, like the Koch’s Americans for Prosperity, are expected to match the Chamber’s investment in this Primary Election, but they are not required to disclose their donors or expenditures.
“It’s unfortunate that a handful of people can cause so much damage to our state in such a short amount of time,” said Rochelle Chronister, former Kansas House Assistant Majority Leader and former Chair of the Kansas Republican Party. “The smear campaigns and outright lies that have been used in this election are shameful. We think Kansans deserve to know the truth about who is behind these efforts before they go to the polls on Tuesday.”
A review of campaign finance reports indicates contributions behind the Kansas Chamber PAC’s efforts are tied to four key donors:
1. Crossland Construction – the company and its affiliated entities gave $38,690 to Chamber PACs in 2011-2012 alone, and gave $164,423 in direct campaign contributions to favored candidates over the past decade.
2. Koch Industries – the company and its affiliated entities gave $181,150 combined to the Chamber PAC and Wichita Metro Chamber PAC in 2011-2012 alone, and gave $641,650 in direct campaign contributions to its favored candidates over the past decade.
3. Murfin Drilling – the company and its affiliated entities gave $90,000 to the Chamber PAC in 2011-2012 alone, and gave $65,420.99 in direct contributions to favored candidates over the past decade.
4. John and Dana Lewis – the couple gave $28,000, the majority of which went to a new start-up PAC called KAN-PAC. The couple also gave $106,596.20 in direct contributions to favored candidates over the past decade.
Of the tracked money flowing in and out of the Kansas Chamber PAC and its favored candidates’ campaign accounts:
• 52% of contributions came from Koch Industries and its subsidiaries
• Another 32% were tied to the three other donors, Crossland, Murfin and Lewis
“There is certainly a lot of money going into postcards and robocalls that are designed to deceive voters about the Obamacare issue, but I think Kansans know better than that,” said Chronister. “President Reagan once said: ‘No arsenal … is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.’ The only way Kansans can combat the fear tactics that are being brought to our state is to make their voices heard at the polls.”
The Kansas Chamber’s decision to focus on political campaigns in recent years has led several local chambers to cancel their memberships with the State Chamber. In a story published just yesterday in The Wichita Eagle, Todd Tangeman, chairman of the Newton Chamber of Commerce said their local chamber withdrew three months ago because the state group should be a chamber of commerce, not a chamber of politics.
Based on media comments by the Kansas Chamber’s own CEO, an estimated 60 percent of local chambers do not belong to the State Chamber. Among the communities that have withdrawn or considered withdrawal from the State Chamber are: Arkansas City, Dodge City, Emporia, Grant County,
Hays, Hutchinson, Greater Kansas City, KCK, Lawrence, Manhattan, Newton, Northeast Johnson County, Olathe, Overland Park, Salina, Shawnee, Topeka and Winfield.
“The Chamber’s political actions over the past few years make it clear they no longer seek to represent Kansas businesses and communities, but instead to represent the interests of three or four people,” said Chronister.

Comments

  1. Judith Rogers says:

    In my opinion NO Chamber of Commerce has ever done anything or worked for the best interests of the average citizen but you still see your dear ole Gardner city government giving them a handout with your tax dollars every year so they may put the knife in your back.

    Speaking of smear campaigns, we have to look no further than the ole Beasley Bunch here locally who certainly was involved in those activities and to this day have still not met the requirements of the campaign finance reporting requirements as those dear ole “anonymous” donors are still to this day unidentified.

    Global stench is a big problem too and you should know by now who creates it.

  2. Judith Rogers says:

    Go to http://ethics.ks.gov/CFAScanned/House/2012ElecCycle/201201/H043SK_201201.pdf to see who Kiegerl’s No. 1 contributor has been. Just love those Koch Brothers.

    For Sutton’s reports go to http://ethics.ks.gov/CFAScanned/House/2012ElecCycle/201201/H043SK_201201.pdf. Kansas Chamber of Commerce behind this candidate. I like how he paid Jim Sullinger Strategies, LLC (another LLC entity Brownback taking care of) for services – wonder if this is the Jim Sullinger who used to work or may still work for the Star and who worked the legislative wheelings and dealings every year.

    Not much posted for Kevin King, the Democrat candidate for Representative, on these sites but you can check for yourself.

    Thompson’s report at this site shows that Kiegerl was his biggest donor.

    Citizens don’t have all of the info but this information may be helpful to you. More reports are required at the end of the year or around Jan. but then the election will be long over. Think long and hard about your choices and just not on these candidates. More info is shown on this site for other candidates and remember your local Election Office at 913-782-3441 and Kansas Ethics Dept. at 785-216-4219 are there to serve all citizens or at least they should be. Your choices will have consequences.

  3. Tomorrow we vote. I can’t bring myself to voting for Dan Thompson after he resigned from his position on the Gardner city council. He had a chance to lead and represent and he didn’t. How are we supposed to have confidence that he’ll represent us in Topeka. Thanks for the reminder Judith.

  4. Judith Rogers says:

    Pick your poison. I know I could never back any candidate you are for, Beasley, considering your track record. You never were with Thompson and you made it well known you would have recalled him too if it was possible but you could only smear two who were elected into office. You have Kiegerl, Sutton and Thompson – since I am an Independent, they won’t be getting a vote from me at this time and more than likely not in the future. Shameful government entities with shameful politicians and bureaucrats is what I am seeing for the most part.

  5. Judith Rogers says:

    Here is a list of some of the contributors for Mr. Apple. You can determine for yourself whether he will be a healthy apple for you.

    http://ethics.ks.gov/CFAScanned/Senate/2012ElecCycle/201207/S37PA_201207.pdf

  6. Judith Rogers says:

    The contributors to the Kansas Republican Party for 2011 can be found at http://ethics.ks.gov/CFAscanned/PartyComm/2012ElecCycle/201201/Par1R_201201.pdf and for 2012 go to http://ethics.ks.gov/CFAscanned/PartyComm/2012ElecCycle/201207/Par1R_201207.pdf

    So many bloodsuckers and special interests it would gag a maggot.

  7. Judith Rogers says:

    It is all about money, power and greed and the people are dying on the vine. It is a wonder we can walk down the streets of Kansas because of all of the slime and it definitely is right here in your own front and back yards.

    http://www.kansascity.com/2012/08/06/3747214/kansas-chamber-of-commerce-pac.html

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