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Aug. 7, 2012
TOPEKA Final spending reports for today’s primary elections showed that the Kansas Chamber spent $306,754 over the weekend as part of efforts to increase the number of conservative Republican state legislators.
Other groups also did major spending in the final days of a campaign that has highlighted the rivalry between conservative and moderate factions of the GOP. But none topped the last-minute money poured in by the Chamber, which paid for direct-mail pieces and radio and TV commercials.
The Chamber, Gov. Sam Brownback and Americans for Prosperity-Kansas targeted moderate senators who resisted successful efforts to cut individual income taxes and eliminate them for certain types of businesses. Several moderates also voted against a state constitutional amendment that conservative supporters said would have allowed Kansans to opt-out of the federal health reform law.
The Chamber’s weekend spending was on behalf of about 50 conservative House and Senate candidates. State Rep. Forrest Knox of Altoona, who is trying to take the 13th Senate District seat, received more than $21,000, the single largest contribution from the Chamber in the immediate run-up to today’s polling.
The Wichita Metro Chamber PAC and the Prairie Fire PAC, which is controlled by Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, made last-minute expenditures of $19,358 on behalf of conservative Senate candidates.
Several groups backing moderate Senate candidates spent a total of $238,054 in the final days of the campaign. Those groups include:
• Kansas Traditional Republican Majority PAC
• Kansas Values PAC
• Kansas Jobs PAC
• Kansas NEA PAC
• Kansas Wins PAC
More than $140,000 of the contributions to moderate Republican candidates came from the Kansas Wins PAC controlled by Phil Ruffin, the owner of two closed dog racing tracks, Wichita Greyhound Park and Camptown Greyhound Park outside of Pittsburg.
Campaign expenditure reports are available online at www.ethics.ks.gov
→ Related story: Campaign literature labeled 'misleading'
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