AP NEWS

Kansas elections to see more third-party donors

May 6, 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Races for the Kansas Legislature and other state offices this year will be flooded with campaign spending from third-party organizations that can spend unlimited amounts of money without having to disclose their donor lists.

Four former governors, including two Democrats and two Republicans, are supporting the Save Kansas Coalition, a network of 11 separate groups dedicated to electing more Democrats and moderate Republicans to the Legislature, The Lawrence Journal-World reported .

Some of the groups include the MainStream Coalition, Stand Up Blue Valley, Game On for Kansas Schools, Women for Kansas, and Reroute the Roadmap.

“We got involved — we, the former governors — by joining in and being supportive of what they were doing. We didn’t put it together,” said former Gov. John Carlin, a Democrat who served from 1978 to 1987. “These groups put it together.”

Carlin said one of the coalition’s main goals is to counter the large amounts of third-party money that is already being spent by conservative groups, including the Kansas Chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

He said the coalition was established out of frustration over the 2014 election, when a large number of moderate Republicans had united behind Democrat Paul Davis of Lawrence, hoping to unseat incumbent Gov. Sam Brownback.

Both the Save Kansas Coalition and AFP are organized as nonprofit, tax-exempt “social welfare” organizations under a federal tax code that allows them to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, as long as they don’t spend more than half their funds on political activity.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com