Opinion Columns & Blogs

Campaign loans not illegal but also not right

Colyer, Brownback
Colyer, Brownback

It always seemed a stretch to suggest federal prosecutors would file criminal charges regarding loans Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer made to Gov. Sam Brownback’s re-election campaign. But Colyer’s explanation of the loans never made sense either. He loaned $500,000 to the campaign on Dec. 31, 2013, right before a campaign-finance filing deadline. The loan was repaid by Jan. 2, 2014. He then loaned the same amount on July 23, also right before a reporting deadline, and it was repaid on July 25. He then made one more loan on Aug. 13. Colyer claimed the back-and-forth transactions were about cash management, as he could invest the money. But why make the loans on Dec. 31 or July 23 if the campaign didn’t need the money then? The loans and their timing seemed aimed at inflating Brownback’s campaign-finance reports, making it appear that he had more support than he did. The U.S. Attorney’s Office apparently has decided that wasn’t illegal, but that doesn’t make it right. – Phillip Brownlee

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