The Kansas Meadowlark

October 30, 2004


Dr. Tiller hijacks education issue:
Channels secret money to influence Kansas Senate Races in 2004.


Weak Kansas laws allow political money to flow secretly, especially in the week or so before an election.

In August the Kansans Meadowlark asked "who's behind the mysterious Kansans for a Moderate Government PAC"?  This mystery PAC, which surfaced in late July after the primary election reporting period, sent mailings in at least four state senate races, in the August primary.  But the group had only raised $250. which was all from one individual, Jack Ranson, a well-known political activist in Wichita.  

The Lawrence Journal-World  reported "Kansans left in dark about political donors" in late August and mentioned Kansans for a Moderate Government, but has not followed up on this story yet.

Unknown to the public -- until now -- was that the biggest political money story from 2002 was connected to this 2004 mystery PAC.  In 2002 Dr. George Tiller of Wichita spent nearly $300,000 to influence Kansas politics.  Few newspapers reported much about the story.  The Lawrence Journal-World broke the story, and a few newspapers, like the Wichita Eagle, reported the story.  The Eagle even opined in 2003 that better disclosure before elections was needed in Kansas.  The Kansas City Star barely reported the story and the Topeka Capital Journal refuses to print anything about the secret 2002 political money.  See this page for info about Tiller's attempt to buy the 2002 race for Kansas Attorney General. Why shouldn't Dr. Tiller try channeling secret money again in 2004, since many in the Kansas press refuse to print anything about this secret money, or comment about his influence in Kansas politics?

Dr. Tiller's ProKanDo PAC contributed $38,330 to Republicans for a Moderate Government with the first contribution made on July 23, 2004, which was the day after the end of the reporting period in July.  This undoubtedly was done intentionally to hide this money from voters in the August primary contests.

The ProKanDo modus operandi is to channel money from one PAC to another PAC in the days before an election.  This paralleled the way ProKanDo channeled money through the Kansans for Democratic Leadership PAC in 2002 to obfuscate its source.  Dr. Tiller and ProKanDO can easily get away with this because most of the Kansas press ignore his political money and influence.

Here is part of the report recently filed with the Kansas Secretary of State's Office:




Who is Jerry Busch, the single individual contributor during this reporting period to Kansans for a Moderate Government?  Mr. Busch is a 72-year-old Republican from Wichita, who has contributed $250 to the ProKanDO PAC.  According to Open Secrets Mr. Busch has made these political contributions in recent years:
$300 NARAL Pro-Choice America
$200 Democrat Howard Dean
$1200 Republicans for Choice

Jerry Busch was one of the underwriters for a ProKanDo PAC fund raising event held at the home of Rosie and Mark Cassell in Wichita on June 5, 2004.  Here is the complete list of underwriters for that event:

  • Rosie and Mark Cassell
  • Cheryl and John Carmichael
  • Tom and Jill Docking
  • Melodee Eby
  • Jan Chang
  • Barbara Bowman
  • Ivonne and Leonard Goldstein
  • Justus Fugate
  • Joan Cole
  • Jerry Busch
  • Emily Bonavia
  • Janet Miller

The ProKanDo flyer for this event said this about Dr. Tiller:

Dr. George Tiller, renowned for his extraordinary courage and commitment, has provided abortion services since 1973 and is one of only two providers in the Western Hemisphere who provide women in critical situations with medically necessary late trimester abortion care. Providing this care has often put him in harms way of violence and constant harassment by anti-choice individuals.

The Lawrence ProKanDo fundraiser, held on May 20 at the home of Tess Banion and George Wanke, had this group of Sunflower underwriters and host committee members:

A very special thanks to our underwriters & host committee:

Sunflower Underwriters Tess Banion, Lyn Shaw, Shirley Allen, Barbara Duke, Jean Rosenthal,Ceil Marshall, Steve& Beth Martino, Host Committee Sylvie Rueff, Kris Barlow, Anna Holcombe, Nancy Kelly, Tiffany Muller, Chearie Ralston, Kathy Greenlee, Megan Challender, Kelly Wilhite, Hon. Paul Davis, Iris Wilkinson

Political notables at this Lawrence fund-raiser included:

  • Kathy Greenlee , who was Kathleen Sebelius' chief of staff and chief of operations in 2003.  Sebelius recently appointed her to State Long-Term Ombudsman.
  • Tiffany Muller, Kansas Unity and Pride Alliance and recently appointed Topeka's first gay council member
  • Sylvia Rueff, Kansas National Association for Women
  • Megan Challender, Democrat Party convention delegate
  • State Representative Paul Davis, House District 46

At that time the ProKanDo invitation said exactly what it was planning to do, so perhaps none of this political money should be surprising:

Currently, ProKanDo is working to help elect new pro-choice candidates to the Kansas State Senate. These candidates will give the Senate a pro-choice majority.  The Senate willl be able to not only defeat anti-choice legislation and support the Governor's veto of anti-choice bills, but to help promote legislation that will enhance women's rights.

In August all known mailings by Kansans for a Moderate Governemnt were about the issues of education and the environment.  See this page for the mailings supporting Lisa Benlon against Nick Jordan from August in State Senate District 10.  The third mailing on that page from August is nearly identical to a recent mailing in support of Democrat Randy Brown in the State Senate District 31 race:

 

 

The issue of education explains why at a recent ProKanDo fundraiser in Mission Hills, Republican for Moore education leader John Martellaro was in attendance.  Mr. Martellaro, a Howard Dean supporter, leads a small group, Kansas Families United for Public Education, that gets considerable media exposure on the education issue.  Dr. Tiller, ProKanDo, and education groups now appear to be on the same page politically.

Is anything else known about Kansans for a Moderate Government?  Only in the last day has anything been reported by the press:

The Oct 30 Winfield Courier reported this about State Senate Distrct 32 race (incumbent Democrat, Greta Goodwin against Republican challenger Ray La Boeuf):

[Democrat Greta] Goodwin said Friday that a group called Kansans for a Moderate Government had mailed a flier telling voters Goodwin supports quality education in Kansas.

Its endorsing me, but Ive never heard of this, she said.

A state ethics commission official said Thursday that Kansans for a Moderate Government is a registered political action committee in Wichita formed this summer.

This was also reported by the Ark City Traveler.

The Leavenworth Times reports that Senate District 3 candidate, Democrat candidate Jan Justice received these related contributions:

The Republican challenger in the Senate District 3 race is Roger Pine.

So does Dr. Tiller have a new interest in supporting education and environment issues in Kansas?  Or, has Dr. Tiller hijacked the education issue for his personal agenda?

Since the Kansas press is unlikely to report this story, especially before the election, please E-mail these details to friends that may be interested.

The Kansas Meadowlark welcomes additional information from the public about other mailings by Kansans for a Moderate Government.


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