Archive for Wednesday, October 23, 2002

TV ad has false claim about Sebelius donations

October 23, 2002


— Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Shallenburger incorrectly has cited contributions from former Lawrence legislator Betty Jo Charlton as evidence that Democrat Kathleen Sebelius has broken her vow not to take contributions from insurance companies.

A recent Shallenburger campaign ad accused Sebelius of "double talk" for refusing political contributions from insurers but accepting money from insurance lobbyists, board members and the spouses of insurance executives.

In the backup material to the ad, Shallenburger's camp refers to $500 that Charlton has given Sebelius since 1994. Charlton is referred to as "wife of an agent."

The only problem with Shallenburger's claim is that Charlton's husband, Robert Charlton, who was in the insurance business, died in 1984. Charlton said her family has had no association with the insurance business since then, although there is an agency in Lawrence that still carries the Charlton name

"He's pretty hard up if he's using that," Charlton said of Shallenburger's claim.

Shallenburger said he was not familiar with the list on his Web site. When told of the discrepancy, he said, "We'll sure check it out."

Charlton, a Democrat, served in the Kansas House from 1980 to 1994. Her tenure there overlapped with Shallenburger's, a conservative Republican, who served in the House from 1986-98, and Sebelius,' who served in the House from 1986-94.

When Sebelius ran for state insurance commissioner in 1994, Charlton contributed $150 to the campaign. In 1998, when Sebelius ran for re-election, Charlton gave $50. And in 2001-02, Charlton has given $300.

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