Wichita campaign finance reform

Actions of the Wichita City Council have shown that campaign finance reform is needed. Citizen groups are investigating how to accomplish this needed reform, since the council has not shown interest in reforming itself.

Campaign contributions show need for reform in Wichita

Candidates for Wichita City Council have filed campaign finance reports, and the filings illustrate the need for campaign finance reform in Wichita and Kansas. Two incumbents, both who have indicated their intent to run in the spring elections, received campaign contributions in 2012 from two sources: A group of principals and executives of Key Construction, and another group associated with theater owner Bill Warren. The incumbent candidates receiving these contributions are Wichita City Council Member James Clendenin (district 3, southeast and south Wichita) and Wichita City Council Member Lavonta Williams (district 1, northeast Wichita). Except for $1.57 in unitemized contributions…
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O’Donnell critics should look inward first

Wichita City Council Member Michael O'Donnell (district 4, south and southwest Wichita) made a mistake when he recently offered his opinion to the Sedgwick County Commission. The mistake was noted and corrected before the commissioners voted, so it had no influence on how the commissioners voted. Yet, all members of the Wichita City Council have "expressed varying degrees of anger" over O'Donnell's statement, according to Wichita Eagle reporting. (O’Donnell won’t be censured for remarks to County Commission) Before these council members and the mayor express much more angst, they should take a look at their own actions, and how O'Donnell…
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In Wichita, a quest for campaign finance reform

Actions of the Wichita City Council have shown that campaign finance reform is needed. Citizen groups are investigating how to accomplish this needed reform, since the council has not shown interest in reforming itself. Consider recent actions by the council and its members: The council voted to give a movie theater operator a no-interest and low-interest loan, after having already received the benefit of tax increment financing. A minister dabbling in real estate development made a large contribution to his council representative just before he asked the city council for tax increment financing. The council voted to give a construction…
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Pay-to-play laws are needed in Wichita and Kansas

In the wake of scandals, some states and cities have passed "pay-to-play" laws. These laws often prohibit political campaign contributions by those who seek government contracts, or the laws may impose special disclosure requirements. Many people make campaign contributions to candidates whose ideals and goals they share. This is an important part of our political process. But when reading campaign finance reports for members of the Wichita City Council, one sees the same names appearing over and over, often making the maximum allowed contribution to candidates. Their spouses also contribute. And when one looks at the candidates these people contribute…
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