Money flows to Kansas elections


Kansas Watchdog, in its article Tracking the PACs — big money flowing into crucial Senate contests, lays out the action of political action committees seeking to influence Kansas voters in the August primary election.

The issue of third-party money involvement has been a concern to many, with Democrats and moderate Republicans railing against “special interest” money, frequently referring to the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity. The claim is that these organizations are attempting to buy an election.

Thanks to Earl Glynn’s reporting in Kansas Watchdog, we see that both sides have PACs that funnel money to, or advocate in favor of, candidates. In the case of moderate Republicans, we see that the Senate Leadership Committee PAC has received contributions from special interest groups, and then funneled that money in favor of moderate Republicans. Senate President Steve Morris controls this PAC.

A large contributor to Morris’ PAC is Kansas National Education Association (KNEA), the teachers union. This is a special interest groups that advocates for the interests of teachers, not students and taxpayers.

Another contributor is Kansas Contractors PAC. Its job is to get the state to spend as much as possible on roads and highways, without regard to whether these are needed or wanted.

Casino money makes its way to the PAC, too. The existing casinos in Kansas would like to see competition prohibited.

There are more special interest groups contributing in favor of moderate candidates, including labor unions, perhaps the most highly specialized interest group of all.

Contrast these special interests with groups like Americans for Prosperity. I have supported AFP for many years because AFP promotes economic freedom, which is good for everyone, not just for certain groups. While the Kansas Chamber is more focused on business, a thriving business climate in Kansas is good for everyone — consumers, workers, taxpayers, and government coffers. We don’t have this now in Kansas. Instead, we have low private sector job creation at the expense of government jobs.

Some are concerned about the influence of PAC spending, and also that of third parties that spend in favor of, or in opposition to, candidates. These are independent expenditures. They’re not supposed to be coordinated with the candidate or campaigns. Some of the most misleading and harshly negative ads come from these groups, instead of from the candidates’ campaigns.

This level of separation allows candidates to disavow or distance themselves from these ads. A solution is to allow larger donations to be made directly to the candidates. In this way, the campaign is responsible for the advertisements and can’t shift blame to someone else.


2 responses to “Money flows to Kansas elections”

  1. I think this will balance out the slant printed above.

    Below an edited version of a comment posted 01 August 2012, at the Wichita Eagle web site to “Why pick on Cowtown?” by Phillip Brownlee, who writes for the Editorial Board. It was inexplicably censored by the evening of the same day and remains so.

    The same “comment” was reprinted by two large web sites headlined, “Bible Belt Report: Culled, Kept Pols Picking on Cowpokes’ Museum” at This Can’t Be Happening, and “How the Koch Bros. Bought Kansas” at Counterpunch.


    “Poverty is the parent of Revolution and Crime.” – Aristotle

    One of four Wichita museums are to suffer a $100,000 cutback in funding which may force closure. It is called “Cowtown” a tribute to the glory days of white settler expansion and cattle. A distant cry is heard from the editorial board of the city’s single daily newspaper, the Wichita Eagle, with the recent piece by Peter Brownlee, “Why pick on Cowtown?”

    The money cut from the museum is less than that used this election cycle as seed money by the Koch billionaires to the state Chamber of Commerce in legally buying the state government.

    Those little $500 to $1000 checks to Kansas lawmakers’ campaigns, tossed to PACs and lobbyists, sown each year as brome seed across the tiny Topeka state house, make a better “deal.”.

    A common thought among many Kansans, after 50 years, if the museum cannot “make a profit” – the motivation for human culture and history according to many today – then the Cowtown museum must close, history be damned.

    A substantial number of elites in Wichita would prefer all to forget the old “wild west” days, better to keep fluoride out of the water, and as many legally armed as possible against each other. Better to keep Wichita’s teeming humanity befuddled, as a herd.. Easier to ride as Roustabout, pointing the state politicians’ noses toward the limitless horizon of individual wealth each election year.

    No, the Cowtown museum must go, lest the Wichita majority of “minorities” learn of the early days of democratic “mob justice” and the elites’ ancestral days when whore houses, cattle herds, railroad spurs, whiskey rivers and gunplay was normal.

    The public relation firms have determined contemporary Wichita fares better in the “profit at all cost” as a white middle class Jesus armed with an assault rifle proclaiming control over the “free markets.” Kansans of the herd mentality are best dull witted and ignorant of ethereal matters like off shore tax havens, armies of tax shelter lawyers, tax deductible political “charities” and secretive annual government oil subsidy checks.

    Whatever political Roustabout leads Kansans matter not to the 1% so long as their Judas goat leads reliably from prairie to the fattening feedlot, ever onward to the environmental slaughter house.

    I’d say the “profit at all cost” crowd is dispensing a particular cultural message, favoring the sound of the bullwhip crack over the taxpayers to spoiling them with universal health care, food stamps or art filled niceties like the Cowtown museum.

    It is fashionable today among the Big Thinkers in Wichita and Topeka, Kansas to not spoil the herd, but drive them quickly to “market.”

    The deficit at the Cowtown museum pales in comparison to the figure of tens of millions donated by David Koch to build a wing at the distant New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. I surmise the family has tens of thousands of acres sublet from the Flint Hills south to Texas, just in case the Kansas herds of humanity stampede.

  2. Michael, I won’t censor your comment. It’s useful to let people know that there are anti-capitalists among us, and how warped is their mindset.

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