Special Reports

Kline fundraising mailer mentions Tiller

A spokesman for former state Attorney General Phill Kline called it unfortunate that a solicitation that arrived Thursday in thousands of Kansas mailboxes mentioned slain Wichita abortion provider George Tiller.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported on its Web site that the five-page brochure asked Kline's supporters for donations to help him eliminate $200,000 in personal legal debt and to fight abortion.

Kline focused much attention on the issue, including an investigation of Tiller, while serving as attorney general from 2003 through 2006.

Kline spokesman Brian Burgess told the Capital-Journal that the brochures were mailed May 27, four days before Tiller was shot and killed.

"There was no way to foresee what was going to happen," Burgess said. "I think it's fair to say the timing is unfortunate."

Kline began investigating Tiller's clinic as well as a Planned Parenthood clinic in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park in 2003. The investigation led to criminal charges against Tiller, alleging he performed illegal abortions.

Those charges were dropped after Kline lost a re-election bid and left office in 2007.

Kline was appointed Johnson County district attorney after leaving the attorney general's office and continued to pursue a case against the Planned Parenthood clinic. That case has not come to trial, and Kline lost a Republican primary for district attorney in 2008.

He is now a visiting professor of law at Liberty University in Virginia.

Kline is seeking help from political supporters with $200,000 in personal legal debt that accumulated during the past six years.

Money raised also would help the Life Issues Institute in Cincinnati "launch more aggressive battles on the national front."

"I need your support," Kline said in the brochure. "Your contributions will help us continue this fight and defray our legal expenses."

"I have acted in faith consistent with my duty and oath of office," Kline wrote. "When you think about it, the battle is understandable. They must silence the truth by silencing the messenger; and to date, I am the only one who has been willing to speak the truth."

Kline did not comment Thursday on the brochure.