Topeka Republican secretary of state candidate Kris Kobach on Thursday said a federally funded ad by his Democratic opponent, incumbent Chris Biggs, was "crass-politicking at taxpayer expense." Biggs' spokesman defended the spot, describing it as a voter education effort.
The problem, Kobach said, is that at the end of the 30-second spot, Biggs is identified and there is a shot of him sitting at a desk.
Naming and showing Biggs adds nothing to the voter information of the ad, he said. "This is naked politicking," Kobach said.
And he criticized Biggs for falsely claiming that the ads were "public service announcements."
Public service announcements run for free and usually at odd hours, Kobach said. This ad is paid for and being placed with taxpayer dollars and is running during expensive time slots, like the 5 p.m. news hour, he said.
Tyler Longpine, a spokesman for Biggs, said there was nothing wrong with the ad. The total cost of the effort was $159,000 and was paid for with a federal Help America Vote Act grant, he said.
He said mentioning Biggs' name in the ad was necessary to let voters know who was providing the information. He said there was nothing wrong with using the photo of Biggs at the end of the ad.
Kobach said a similar ad was run by Biggs during the primaries in August, but that Biggs' photo did not appear.
The ad can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/user/KSSecOfState