Thursday, May 8, 2014

KS US Senate Candidates' Support of Other KS Republican Candidates

Recently someone asked which of the current US Senate candidates running in Kansas has supported fellow Republicans in past elections.  It's an excellent question that I don't think all but a few politicos really consider and investigate.

Normally there are clear enough distinctions in principles and policies between primary candidates that one might not have to worry about whether one candidate or the other goes out and works hard to get like minded candidates elected.  But, with Pat Roberts and Milton Wolf having very similar stances, voters need to look beyond those issues and things like their past support for other Republicans. KS GOP primary voters should think long and hard and consider whether their chosen candidate will not just represent their values in Washington, but whether they will also be a force multiplier for the conservative movement as a whole.

When it comes to financial support provided by the candidates in question it is easy to follow the money, as all contributions over $50 are a matter of public record.

Let's look at that record with regards to their personal contributions.

Milton Wolf
  • 2012 - Donated $175 to Amanda Grosserode's KS House campaign.
Pat Roberts
  • 2012 - Donated $500 to Steve Fitzgerald's KS Senate campaign.

Surprisingly, that is it for either candidate when it comes to personal financial contributions to fellow Republican candidates in Kansas.  The surprise wears off a bit when you take into account the fact that Roberts hasn't lived in Kansas for over 50 years and Wolf was a complete unknown until thrust into the spotlight with the election of his distant cousin, Barack Obama, to the highest office in the land.

Moving beyond personal contributions, Senator Robert's campaign committee has made additional donations to other GOP candidates.

Pat Roberts For US Senate
  • 2012 - Donated a net $1,000 to 13 KS House and Senate candidates.  Strangely Roberts campaign donated $500 to each candidate, but 10 refunded the donation roughly one month later.

  • 2012 - Received a $500 refund from Steve Fitzgerald's campaign, seemingly negating Sen Robert personal $500 donation.

    The odd exchanges of these donations can be seen in the individual candidates campaign reports at the KS Secretary of State's office.
  • 2002 - Donated $4,050 to 3 candidates (including the infamous gerrymanderer and RINO Tim Owens) for office in KS and donated an additional $5,250 to the Kansas Republican Party.

  • 2000 - Donated $250 to the Kansas Republican Party.
In taking into consideration the donations made by Robert's senate campaign it is important to remember that the money they give likely came from other campaign donors and not from Senator Robert's personal finances, so they can largely be discounted as the spools of being an incumbent serving in national office.

Financially, at least as it appears, neither candidate can really claim they have provided financial support to their fellow Kansas Republicans.  Yet, both can routinely be found asking their supporters to part with their own hard earned money to help them get elected.  I can't help but find that somewhat hypocritical considering one is a wealthy US Senator and the other a well off radiologist.

What can't be found in any public record is how much help either candidate was intangibly to other candidates.  Did Milton Wolf or Pat Roberts spend hours donating their time to walk precincts, make phone calls, or stuff envelopes for other candidates in the years they weren't up for election?  Did either host fundraisers or help with fundraising in general for other campaigns?

It's safe to say having a US Senator appear at one of your campaign events is likely to be a big draw and result in a high number of donations to a candidate they would not have received otherwise, but is that something you can credit to the man or the office he holds?  Is it not something their successor would also be able to do?

In the end, I think we find both candidates are similar in their support of other Republican candidates and one more area in which voters will have a tough time drawing distinction.

Update 5/8/2014 2:44 pm cst:

Pat Roberts also has his own leadership PAC known as the Preserving America's Traditions PAC or PATPAC.  But again we find very little funds being funneled to Kansas Republican state and local parties, who could use the money to help other Kansas Republicans.  The vast majority of donations being made by the PAC appear to be directed to more establishment class GOP candidates at the national level like Dick Luger, Susan Collins, Mitch McConnell, and Ted Stevens.  Again you have to wonder if a different Republican from KS held Sen Roberts seat if those finds my be directed more appropriately to further the cause of conservatism.

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