Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Moderate and Conservative PACs Square Off in Kansas Primary

No doubt the Kansas City Star is busy combing over campaign finance reports looking to tie the Koch brothers to any Johnson County conservative candidate they can.  So, while they're doing that we'll take a look at the two biggest political action committees squaring off in the area.

On the side of the "moderate" Republicans is the Kansas Jobs PAC, funded by the Senate Republican Leadership Committee, which is lead by Senate President Steve Morris.  On the other side, sits the Kansas Chamber PAC who is throwing their support behind conservative candidates.

According to filings that were due yesterday, the Kansas Chamber PAC raised $228,000.  Approximately half of that amount, $125,000, was contributed by Koch Industries.

During that same time period, the Kansas Jobs PAC raised $181,000.  It's big donors included the Kansas NEA, the Teamsters union, and the carpenter's union.

The KNEA also raised $279,000 during the first half of 2012.  The vast majority of which came from unreported donations.

The Kansas Jobs PAC spent $156,035 to support "moderate" candidates like Sen. Tim Owens, Joe Beveridge, and Tom Wertz.  The KNEA spent over $237,000 providing contributions and mailers for "moderate" candidates in the state like those previously mentioned.  The Kansas Chamber PAC spent $54,000 supporting conservatives like Jim Denning, Greg Smith, Jeff Melcher, David Harvey, and Pat Apple.

The Kansas Jobs PAC also donated $40,000 to the Kansas Values PAC, which was created by Ryan Wright, executive director of the Kansas Values Institute.  The Kansas Values Institute has run an ad campaign portraying conservative candidate Greg Smith as anti-education despite the fact he makes his living as a public school teacher in the Shawnee Mission School District.

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