Archive for Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Ethics issue at center of race

October 22, 2002


— David Haley faces a state ethics complaint because he filed a campaign finance document late, and it has become an issue as he campaigns for secretary of state.

Haley, a state senator from Kansas City, missed the deadline for designating a campaign treasurer. He was supposed to file a form with the Secretary of State's Office by June 24 but did not until Aug. 15.

The Democrat was fined $300 by the state Governmental Ethics Commission and is considering a complaint from its staff that his failure was intentional.

"Mine is not an intentional evasion. It's basically a lifestyle of procrastination," said Haley, who faces incumbent Republican Ron Thornburgh in the Nov. 5 general election.

The commission could impose another fine of up to $5,000 and could push for prosecution, but it hasn't given any indication that it would. Intentionally failing to file is a misdemeanor.

Haley compared his offense to getting a parking ticket and said the commission's staff "maliciously" filed a new complaint over an old offense. He also suggested Thornburgh was behind the complaint, but he offered no specifics.

Thornburgh said Haley's allegation was "preposterous."

Haley also filed his last campaign finance report late, on Aug. 23 instead of by the July 29 deadline.

The secretary of state is Kansas' chief election officer and the custodian of campaign finance records.

"To run for secretary of state and not file your disclosure reports doesn't make sense," GOP State Chairman Mark Parkinson said. "It's just bizarre."

In a news release issued last week, Parkinson also noted that Haley has received five notices for failing to file campaign finance reports on time during the past six years.

Haley said he's had a lifelong problem with tardiness, adding that he would have a staff member in the secretary of state's office monitor such requirements if elected.

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