News Columns & Blogs

Groups don't have to disclose spending to oust Kansas justices

The Kansas Ethics Commission issued an opinion last month that the retention elections for Kansas Supreme Court justices are not governed by the Kansas Campaign Finance Act, because the Kansas statute defining state offices doesn't specifically list Kansas Supreme Court justices (though it does list district judges). That means corporations and special interest groups — such as the anti-abortion organization Kansans for Life — can spend whatever amounts of money they want to support or try to oust Kansas justices, and they don't have to disclose to voters who they are or report where they got their money, as they have to do for other state elections. How is that good for democracy or an independent judiciary?