#1 Yes, Dems did funnel money to 'independent' in Kansas Senate race by ThirstyMan 09.12.2014 09:47


By Byron York | December 8, 2014

Anyone who followed this year's Senate race in Kansas — the one longtime GOP incumbent Pat Roberts appeared to be losing to Greg Orman, the businessman running as an independent — knows Orman and his supporters vigorously denied Roberts' allegation that Orman was really a Democrat running to further the Democratic agenda.

"By word, by deed, by campaign contribution, this man is a liberal Democrat," Roberts said of Orman during a debate in October. "A vote for Greg Orman is a vote to extend the Barack Obama/Harry Reid agenda."

Not true, Orman answered. "The senator can say that over and over again, but it doesn't make it so."

What voters did not know was at that very moment, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid's political action committee, the Senate Majority PAC, was preparing to pour more than a million dollars into the pro-Orman effort in Kansas. Reid was just waiting to make sure the donations came so late in the campaign that the public wouldn't find out about them until after the election.

The key day was Oct. 16. Election law stipulates that any contribution received before Oct. 16 had to be publicly disclosed to the Federal Elections Commission before election day. But anything received on Oct. 16 or later would not be disclosed until after voters went to the polls.

Stung by Roberts' criticism, Kansas Democrats were putting out the story that the party wasn't helping Orman, even though Reid and his colleagues had forced the actual Democratic candidate out of the race because they believed Orman had a better chance of beating Roberts. Word was that the outside groups supporting Orman, one called the Committee to Elect an Independent Senate and another called Kansans Support Problem Solvers PAC, weren't getting help from the big Democratic organizations.

"[Orman] has been hindered by a lack of support from outside groups," National Journal reported on Oct. 15. "The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Senate Majority PAC, wary of backing a candidate who has said he will caucus with whatever party holds the majority, have declined to help his campaign."

The very next day, Oct. 16 — at the very moment the pre-election disclosure blackout began — the first of Reid's Senate Majority PAC checks arrived at the pro-Orman Committee to Elect an Independent Senate.

That check was for $450,000. The next day, Oct. 17, another $250,000 arrived. There was $500,000 on Oct. 28. And $35,000 on Oct. 30. And $75,000 on Oct. 31.

Kansans Support Problem Solvers PAC received $123,000 from Reid's group on Nov. 3. On that same day came another check for $23,000. Then, on Nov. 4, election day, another $5,300.

Other liberal groups sent money, too, after the blackout began. On October 25, the League of Conservation Voters sent $250,000 to the Committee to Elect an Independent Senate. On October 29, the League sent another $200,000.


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