The campaign for Rep. Tim Huelskamp again railed against a letter written by the Douglas County district attorney, calling it “trial by press release.”
Huelskamp’s campaign released a second statement Wednesday in response to a letter sent by District Attorney Charles Branson on Tuesday that expressed concern over a contest promoting a chance to win NCAA men’s basketball tournament tickets in exchange for a campaign contribution of at least $10.
According to the statement, Huelskamp’s campaign is exploring “all legal avenues per prosecutorial misconduct” by Branson and claimed that Branson was “misusing his office for political (and) partisan purposes.”
On Tuesday, Branson made public a copy of the letter he sent to Huelskamp, a Hutchinson Republican, and to the Kansas attorney general. Branson said Tuesday a Douglas County resident inquired about an email invitation sent by Huelskamp’s campaign that said an online contribution of at least $10 would enter the recipient into a contest to win tickets to the first weekend of NCAA Tournament games in St. Louis.
Branson said such contests were illegal lotteries under Kansas law and asked Huelskamp to provide proof of who in Douglas County received the invitation and whether they received their money back upon request by March 26. Later Tuesday, Huelskamp’s campaign released another email stating donation’s to the campaign were voluntary.
On Wednesday, Branson said he had yet to receive a response to his letter.
"In light of the press release from his campaign, it is clearly within the obligation of this office to investigate and prosecute crimes committed within our jurisdiction," Branson said. "Notifying Rep. Huelskamp that he was implicated with this suspected criminal conduct was also appropriate."