Politics & Government

July 29, 2014

Ethics commission: Brownback must return donation from congressman’s campaign

A donation from a U.S. congressman’s campaign to Gov. Sam Brownback’s re-election campaign violates Kansas statute, the Governmental Ethics Commission confirmed.

A donation from a U.S. congressman’s campaign to Gov. Sam Brownback’s re-election campaign violates Kansas statute, the Governmental Ethics Commission confirmed.

Brownback received a donation from Campbell for Congress Committee on June 26 for $2,000. He also received a personal donation from U.S. Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., on the same date for the same amount.

Campbell’s personal donation is allowed, but the transfer of his campaign funds to Brownback’s campaign is prohibited. Kansas statute says candidates cannot accept money from other campaigns for local, state or federal office.

“That will have to be returned,” said Carol Williams, executive director of the Governmental Ethics Commission, about the Campbell campaign’s donation.

Williams said the commission would send the governor’s campaign a notification.

The Brownback campaign would then have 30 days to return the check.

John Milburn, Brownback’s campaign spokesman, said the money would be returned.

“We are aware of the contribution the campaign received from the Congressman’s campaign account and we will be returning the funds,” Milburn said in an e-mail. “We appreciate all that the Congressman has done for public service and the United States.”

The Kansas Republican Party filed an ethics complaint against Democrat Kelly Kultala, who is running against U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, in April for transferring money from her state Senate campaign to her congressional campaign.

The Ethics Commission held a hearing this month and Kultala was fined $100 for the violation.

Brownback’s acceptance of Campbell’s campaign funds violates the same statute, Williams said, and could result in a fine if someone files a complaint against Brownback.

Campbell has served in Congress since 2005 but is not seeking re-election, according to the Associated Press.

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