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Kansas Governor Under Investigation For Campaign Finance Irregularities

Governor Sam Brownback may have a bankrupt state, but his campaign didn't want for money.
Kansas Governor Under Investigation For Campaign Finance Irregularities
Image from: The Daily Beast

Governor Sam Brownback is on the top of my Most Corrupt Politicians list for a number of reasons, and now there's one more.

A federal grand jury is looking into loans made to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s re-election campaign and has ordered the state’s ethics chief to testify next week as part of its investigation, according to a subpoena obtained by The Associated Press.

Carol Williams, the executive director of the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, was summoned to appear before the grand jury Wednesday in Topeka, according to documents the AP obtained through an open records request. She also was ordered to provide documents pertaining to loans Brownback’s campaign received in 2013 and 2014.

The subpoena doesn’t say which specific loans are being investigated, but the only loans listed on campaign disclosure reports for those years are one from Brownback himself and others from Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer. Colyer loaned Brownback’s campaign $500,000 in August — the third such loan the governor’s running mate made to their re-election bid — according to the last disclosure report, filed days before the November general election.

Such large loans by candidates to campaigns are uncommon in Kansas, and the pattern of repaying one within days is a highly unusual move that has generated unanswered questions about where Colyer obtained such a large amount of cash.

Here's more on the loans, via the Wichita Eagle:

Colyer, a plastic surgeon, has loaned Brownback’s campaign a total of $500,000 this election cycle. But he’s given that amount at three different times.

Colyer first loaned the campaign the money on Dec. 31, right before a campaign finance filing deadline, and was repaid by Jan. 2.

The quick repayment was discovered when Colyer again loaned the campaign the same amount on July 23, the day before the July filing deadline. Democrats accused Colyer of artificially increasing Brownback’s finance totals with a floating loan and pondered whether Colyer had already been repaid.

It turns out Colyer was repaid the loan on July 25, two days after making it.


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That contradicts what Brownback said Aug. 5, the day of the primary. Asked whether the loan had already been repaid, he told the Associated Press, “Nothing further’s happened on that.”

Colyer loaned $500,000 to the campaign a third time on Aug. 13. He has not yet been repaid, according to the finance report the Brownback campaign filed with the Secretary of State’s Office on Monday.

“As Dr. Colyer previously stated, the movement of the loan was simply an issue of cash management,” John Milburn, the campaign’s spokesman, said when asked why the lieutenant governor had made the same loan three times.

Regarding the governor’s claim that the loan had not been repaid before the primary, Milburn replied, “When the governor made this statement to the AP, he was unaware of the transaction.”

How are you unaware of a $500,000 transaction? That seems to be pretty out of touch for a self-proclaimed good money manager?

It looks like this is a revolving line of credit that Brownback used, but it does beg the question of where the funds came to repay it. I think we could all make an educated guess on that one, but some actual evidence would be nice.

Meanwhile, Kansas is sinking farther and farther into the hole. We will likely hear the Kochs weeping across the nation if they have to roll back those promised tax cuts.

[h/t FreakOutNation]

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