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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Kansas Legislature to Consider Disclosure Rules

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As Scott Rothschild reports in the Lawrence Journal World, the Kansas Legislature plans to deal with a series of proposals recently released by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission in order to improve the state's disclosure rules for campaign spending.

The proposals, moved by one legislator to be drawn up as legislation, include requiring:
-political action and party committees to disclose which candidates they supported or opposed and the amount spent doing so;
-the reporting within 24 hours of contributions greater than $50 in the last eleven days before an election;
-recorded telephone campaign messages to identify who is paying for or sponsoring the communication; and
-disclosure of contributions of $100 or more for so-called issue ads that identify a candidate.

As we reported earlier, this is a great start. Kansans should be able to tell who is ponying up bucks to influence their elections. However, as long as wealthy Kansans (and out-of-staters) can give $2,000 to candidates and make unlimited donations to political action committees, all the disclosure rules in the world still won't provide regular Kansans with a level playing field on which to raise their political voice.

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