Republican Bob Skahan contributed $14,000 to his own campaign for a seat in the statehouse, according to a report filed by the candidate, prompting accusations of "buying the election" from his opponent.
Skahan has spent $15,289, most of it his own money, on his campaign against Democrat Forrest Swall for the 45th District seat of the Kansas House. Swall spent $5,342, according to reports.
The receipts and expenditures reports filed with Secretary of State Bill Graves cover the period from July 24 to Oct. 22. The reports list contributions of $200 or more from any source and all contributions from political action committees.
Skahan loaned himself $14,000 between July 24 and Oct. 22, filling out his total contributions in that period of $16,959.
Swall accused Skahan this morning of trying to purchase a victory.
"I definitely see him spending his money in an attempt to buy his way into the state Legislature," Swall said. "He has spent more than twice the money that I have raised."
Skahan said this morning he always intended to fund his own campaign, in part because he refused to accept money from political action committees. Swall said he didn't accept campaign funds from some PACs.
"I SAID from the beginning that I'd rather use my own money instead of PAC money for the race," Skahan said. "He's throwing this back as a defense aganst his contributions from PACs."
Skahan reported $16,959 in total contributions. There was $2,158 left in the campaign fund at the time of the filing.
Swall reported $6,405 in total contributions. There was $1,837 left in the fund at the time of the filing.
Swall said that he considered most PAC contributions to be from individuals looking to make an impact on the political process, such as the teachers in the Kansas-National Education Assn.
"He (Skahan) on the one hand is railing about PAC contributions," Swall said. But by bankrolling his own campaign, "he is his own self-interest PAC in effect," Swall said.
Swall received $1,000 from the K-NEA. Janet Kimbrell, a Lawrence school psychologist, gave Swall $500, as did the Kansas Trial Lawyers Assn. PAC.
Skahan said that the amount he spent on his campaign was not unreasonable compared with other races in the state. He said he spent most of his money on direct mailings and other forms of advertising.
THE HIGHEST spender was Republican Sandy Praeger, who spent $17,528 on her race against Joyce Wolf for the 2nd District seat in the Kansas Senate. Wolf spent $4,780.
Campaign contributions to Praeger totaled $18,360. She defended her acceptance of PAC funds, echoing Swall's statement that most PACs are simply organizations of individuals banding together to support a cause.
"Also, I don't take all the PAC money that is given to me," she said. For example, she said she accepts no funds from pro-tobacco organizations.
Among Praeger's top contributors was the Kansas Medical PAC, which gave $1,500. She received $800 each from the Boeing Defense and Space Group PAC, Seattle; the Kansas Association of Realtors and Kansans for Victory, a fund-raiser at which tickets were sold for $33 each.
She received $750 each from the K-NEA PAC, and the Kansas Optometric PAC. The Kansas Contractors Assn. political action committee gave her $600.
WOLF RECEIVED $4,985 in total contributions. There was $1,247 left in her campaign fund at the time of the filing.
Douglas County Democrats gave Wolf $500. She received $191 in in-kind contributions. She reported no contributions from political action committees.
Barbara Ballard, Democratic candidate for the 44th District seat of the Kansas House received $6,860 in total contributions. She loaned herself $75, and had $2,441 left in the fund at the end of the filing period.
Contributions to her campaign included $500 each from the K-NEA PAC and the Kansas Trial Lawyers Assn. PAC.
Brian Kubota, Republican candidate for the 44th seat of the Kansas House received $7,505 in total contributions. There was $1,063 left in the fund at the end of the filing period. Kubota reported no contributions from political action committees.
Betty Jo Charlton, Democratic candidate for the 46th District seat of the Kansas House received $5,280 in total contributions.
THE CONTRIBUTIONS included: $500 each from Richard B. Charlton, a Prairie Village physical therapist; the K-NEA PAC and the Kansas Trial Lawyers Assn. PAC.
Neva Entrikin, Republican candidate for the 46th District seat of the Kansas House, collected $7,105 in total contributions. At the time of the filing period, there was $1,987 left in the campaign fund. Entrikin loaned the fund $2,150.
Contributions included $812 from the Kansans for Victory fund-raiser.
Campaign America, a Republican candidate political action committee based in Washington, D.C.; and the Kansas Contractors Assn. PAC each gave Entrikin $500.