Tuesday, September 23, 2014

GOP links Davis to liberal backers; Dems claim bipartisan support

By The Herald Staff | 1/10/2014

TOPEKA — A Democratic state lawmaker hoping to unseat incumbent Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback already is indebted to special interest groups, a top Republican official said Friday.

Kansas House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, filed this week his first campaign finance report since announcing his bid for Kansas governor. The Davis ticket raised $1,002,839 in a little more than four months. Kelly Arnold, Republican State Party Chair, said Friday the financial disclosure shows Davis is “funded primarily by and indebted to lawyers and union bosses.”

TOPEKA — A Democratic state lawmaker hoping to unseat incumbent Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback already is indebted to special interest groups, a top Republican official said Friday.

Kansas House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, filed this week his first campaign finance report since announcing his bid for Kansas governor. The Davis ticket raised $1,002,839 in a little more than four months. Kelly Arnold, Republican State Party Chair, said Friday the financial disclosure shows Davis is “funded primarily by and indebted to lawyers and union bosses.”

More than a third of the major contributions to his campaign were lawyers or unions and at least one third of all his campaign contributions were from lawyers and unions, Arnold said.

“This report proves that the Davis campaign is underwritten by the same two liberal special interest groups — lawyers and union bosses — that backed Obama’s liberal coalition,” Arnold said.

The Davis campaign had a different take on the financial disclosure, saying the majority of Davis’ donors are individuals, with only 4 percent of contributions from PACs, corporations or labor.

“Kansans in every corner of the state are concerned about the direction we are headed under Sam Brownback,” Davis said. “I’m deeply humbled by this unprecedented outpouring of support for our campaign, and for Kansans’ commitment to getting the state we love back on the right track.”

Davis campaign treasurer William A. Kassebaum, a former Republican state representative, the son of former U.S. Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker, R-Kan., and grandson of former Kansas Gov. Alf Landon, said Brownback’s Democratic opponent is making history and bipartisan inroads.

“Paul Davis is beginning the election year with more money raised than any gubernatorial challenger in Kansas history,” said William A. Kassebaum, campaign treasurer. “The campaign’s donors are Democrats, Republicans and Independents from across the state, both urban and rural. Kansans are clearly motivated by Paul’s bipartisan, pro-education vision for the future.”

Brownback raised more than $1.6 million in cash contributions in 2013, according to media reports, ending the year with nearly $2 million for his 2014 re-election campaign.

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