Topeka — A weekly newspaper in southeast Kansas says Jana Shaver, one of the moderate State Board of Education candidates who won in the Republican Party primary, illegally stuffed her political fliers in the newspaper after it left out her information in a question-and-answer segment for the candidates in the race.
The Yates Center News, in a column by owner and publisher Stewart Braden, said Shaver's actions "were unethical as well as illegal." Braden wrote that he reserved the right to press charges against her, but in an interview Thursday said he wouldn't.
Shaver, of Independence, said she was "heartsick" about the whole incident, which she said started because the newspaper omitted her answers to questions that were posed to the candidates in the District 9 education board race.
"I thought I was righting a wrong when I did it," she said.
The newspaper said it made a regrettable mistake omitting Shaver's information in last week's issue and apologized.
When Shaver found out about the omission, she asked the paper for help distributing her fliers since the edition was the last one before Tuesday's primary.
The paper told her to distribute her fliers at businesses that sell the paper. At one business she started to put her fliers in the paper. Her flier had the same content that had been omitted from the newspaper article on the race, and a political disclaimer at the bottom saying it was paid for by Shaver's campaign.
But Braden said such action is trespassing, copyright infringement and misrepresentation of the publication.
The paper called Shaver to complain. Shaver said she didn't know it was wrong to put her fliers in the paper, since the information should have been in there anyway, and apologized and even offered to drive back to Yates Center to remove the fliers.
But Braden said by that time it would have been too late because the 2,000-circulation paper is usually bought up by late Wednesday.
"What I did was an honest mistake," said Shaver, who went on to defeat Brad Patzer in the GOP primary.
When she heard about the follow-up column published Wednesday criticizing her actions, she said, "I'm almost speechless. I'm just appalled that an incident like this has been blown so out of proportion."
For his part, Braden said he wished Shaver the best of luck in the November general election when she faces Democrat Charles Kent Runyan of Pittsburg.
"I don't wish her ill. What I wanted to make perfectly clear is no one has the right to stuff what they want to in the newspaper and expect to get away with it," he said.
Election 2006 - Kansas races
More on the 2006 Elections in Kansas
- 6News video: Low turnout may result in new primary election date (08-30-06)
- 6News video: Candidate speaks at university forum (08-30-06)
- 6News video: Evolution supporters will hold board majority (08-02-06)
- 6News video: Snag-free night for primaries (08-02-06)
- 6News video: County puts new voting machines to test (08-01-06)
- 6News video: Praeger holds up over opponent (08-01-06)
- Low turnout prompts call for new primary date (08-31-06)
- Publisher blasts candidate for illegally stuffing newspapers (08-04-06)
- Election hailed as pro-evolution (08-03-06)
- New voting machines perform well on first test (08-03-06)
- Barnett wins GOP bid to take on Sebelius (08-02-06)
- Voter turnout among lowest in memory (08-02-06)
- Eudora takes plunge on pool (08-02-06)
- Praeger prevails in 'negative' contest (08-02-06)
- Primary election results
- See how the voting went in select races
- Campaign finance reports
- Statewide office
- Board of Education
- Election 2006 - Kansas races