October 4, 2014

Sam Brownback has some pretty shady characters surrounding him, starting with the Kochs, and now it appears that his former chief of staff and current campaign manager is under investigation by the FBI for influence peddling in relation to the state's privatized Medicaid program.

Perish the thought! Profiting from healthcare for poor people? What self-respecting Republican would do such a thing?

Topeka Capital-Journal:

Former Sen. Dick Kelsey, who was defeated in a 2012 bid for re-election, said during a news conference in Topeka that he spoke multiple times with the Federal Bureau of Investigation about former Brownback chief of staff David Kensinger, who works as a lobbyist and adviser to the GOP governor's re-election campaign.

“The FBI called me. The investigation is very real,” Kelsey said. “It's not a political thing with them at all. They do not want government that is corrupt. I am confident it’s not finished.”

So, is this just a political thing because Kelsey is one of those "moderate" Republicans who objects to Brownback razing the state with his "experiment?" Maybe.

The governor’s reform program, branded KanCare, handed contracts to three for-profit insurance companies charged with responsibility to provide Medicaid services to 380,000 disabled and poor Kansans. Kensinger was the governor’s chief of staff during formative stages of KanCare, but quit two months before contracts were signed with AmeriGroup Kansas, United Healthcare of the Midwest and Sunflower State Health Plan.

Kelsey, who had been a vocal critic of the KanCare reform, said Kensinger received financial compensation from all three contractors. He said the FBI was aware of that “fact,” but offered no documentary proof of the allegation.

Maybe, but where there's smoke, there's usually fire. It would be entirely within character for a Republican politico to expect full compensation for access, and it certainly wouldn't be the first time. Two words: Robert McDonnell.

The fact that Kelsey is highlighting it now is almost certainly political, but that doesn't mean there isn't a there, there.

What's the score now with these corrupt, craven Republican governors? Robert McDonnell is on his way to prison. Rick Scott is under investigation. Scott Walker, another Koch devotee who is unafraid to exploit non-profit loopholes and collect big donations, but swears he's not corrupt. Sure he's not. And how could we forget Paul LePage of Maine, who entertains sovereign citizens like they're his brother?

Watch for the fire to erupt.

[h/t Talking Points Memo]

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