The departure of Gov. Sam Brownback’s chief of staff David Kensinger during a bruising legislative session has raised questions throughout the Kansas political world.
Last week, Brownback, a Republican, announced that his longtime assistant and strategist left to take on two jobs: work on Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Pence’s campaign for governor of Indiana and serve as chairman of Road Map Solutions.
But Pence has no opposition in the May 8 Republican Party primary in Indiana.
Pence’s campaign spokesman did not return a phone call or email for comment on what Kensinger is doing for the campaign. Kensinger also declined to comment for this story.
Some Republicans have said Kensinger will work this spring and summer to try to oust moderate Republican state senators during the Aug. 7 GOP primary and deliver control of the Senate to conservatives who are more in line with Brownback’s agenda.
Road Map Solutions, which will now be led by Kensinger, was described by the governor’s office as “Brownback’s policy organization.”
Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said “The plan is for him (Kensinger) to basically run those conservative Senate campaigns.”
As chairman of Road Map Solutions, Kensinger said in a prepared statement: “In this role, I will be free to advocate in the public square for policies which will fulfill the goals described in Gov. Brownback’s Road Map for Kansas: private sector job growth, increased personal income, improved 4th grade reading scores, expanded opportunities for college age Kansans and a reduction in childhood poverty.”
Road Map for Kansas was Brownback’s political platform that he ran on and won in 2010.
Road Map Solutions Inc. is registered with the Kansas secretary of state’s office as a not-for-profit corporation that was formed last December.
T.C. Anderson is the resident agent. Anderson serves as treasurer of several of Brownback’s campaign finance committees, including the Road Map Political Action Committee, which is Brownback’s leadership committee.
Road Map Solutions is an issue advocacy organization that can raise unlimited amounts of money and does not have to disclose its donors. Its funds can be used to educate or inform constituents. The Road Map PAC will be available to fund specific candidates.
According to documents filed with the state, Road Map PAC Inc. is affiliated with Road Map Solutions, Brownback for Governor and Restore America PAC, which was Brownback’s PAC when he was a U.S. senator.
In a January filing, there was no money in the Road Map PAC. The next time the public will be able to see what is in that PAC won’t be until July 30, just eight days before the Republican Party primary.