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Archive for Monday, February 5, 2001

GRAVES WANTS TO USE CAMPAIGN FUNDS FOR WIFE

February 5, 2001

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Currently, when Linda Graves travels on behalf of the state of Kansas, she is reimbursed by the state. But, if she travels to a partisan event, the expenses are out of pocket.

Now, Graves would like to be able to pay for his wife's travel to partisan events with his campaign contributions.

Campaign funds can only be used to pay for campaigning and the expenses of holding political office.

Graves says the expense of holding political office should be broadened to include the costs of spouse appearing on behalf of or with the governor "to promote the governor's legislative or political agenda."

The issue came up last spring when Graves and his wife attended a Republican governor's conference.

The Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission told Graves that he could not use his campaign funds to pay for Linda Graves' travel expenses.

So, Graves has proposed a change in Kansas law. The measure is being considered by the Senate Elections and Local Government Committee.

Natalie Haag, chief legal counsel to Graves, told the committee that "the Republican governor's events are excellent avenues to coordinate the multistate work of first spouses."

-- Staff writer Scott Rothschild can be reached at 832-7221.

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