In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.
Kathleen Sebelius is the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services in Obama's Cabinet. She has served as Kansas' governor since 2002 and before that was insurance commissioner and a state representative.
Statement from Project Vote Smart ( .PDF )
Ad from the Bluestem Fund ( .PDF )
Topeka — The Bluestem Fund -- Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' political action committee -- came under fire Thursday from a non-partisan voter education group for a campaign mailer that slams state Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence.
The mailer says Sloan, who faces Democrat John Wilson in Tuesday's election, is under the political influence of "Big Oil" and cites information from a questionnaire done for Project Vote Smart.
Project Vote Smart said the Bluestem Fund attacked Sloan with information the fund knows is false.
The group added: "By using the Project's name to give credibility to these attacks, the Bluestem Fund is cheating the public out of their need for trusted, abundant, accurate, factual information." Project Vote Smart also said it prohibits the use of its name and information in partisan ads.
The Bluestem Fund is chaired by Sebelius and has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent months to help Democrats in legislative races.
Sloan has been one of the top targets of the Bluestem Fund.
The mailer says Sloan had been a paid lobbyist for Getty Oil and voted to give tax breaks to oil companies. It cites Sloan's response to questions from Project Vote Smart.
Sloan said he worked for Getty Oil in the 1980s. The mailer refers to a bill Sloan supported in 2007. According to a bill summary by the Kansas Legislative Research Department, the measure would have established tax deductions for crude oil reserve, natural gas reserve and natural gas liquid reserve property.
Sloan said the legislation would have provided incentives for three small refineries in Kansas, expansion of a fertilizer plant in Coffeyville and extension of a crude pipeline. "There was nothing in the bill for big oil," he said.
In an e-mail to the Lawrence Journal-World, Sloan said, "I believe that campaigns should be about the exchange of ideas and factual analysis of each candidate's full record. That my be naive today, but that is how I am conducting the campaign."
Nicole Corcoran, a spokeswoman for Sebelius, defended the mailer.
She said citing Project Vote Smart was done to show the source of the information, not to imply that Project Vote Smart supported the mailer.
As far as Sloan's work for Getty Oil in the 1980s, she said, "The fact is he was a lobbyist for Getty Oil."
The rebuke from Project Vote Smart is the second one this week delivered to Democrats in Lawrence races.
The group criticized state Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, saying she improperly used information from its website in an ad against her Republican opponent, Scott Morgan, and took that information out of context. After hearing the criticism, Francisco said she would change the ad.