Branson's letter to Huelskamp ( .PDF )
In a response to an inquiry by the Douglas County district attorney into an email contest thought to have violated a state lottery law, Rep. Tim Huelskamp’s campaign backed away from suggestions of prosecutorial misconduct.
Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announced Thursday that Huelskamp’s campaign wrote him and said the “inexact nature” of the terms of an email asking for campaign contributions in exchange for a chance to win a set of NCAA men’s basketball tournament tickets resulted in a violation of Kansas law.
As soon as the campaign realized the issue, the response said, it corrected the email’s language and sent follow-up emails offering refunds to anyone who believed they had to pay to participate. And in a shift in tone from a news release last week suggesting Branson misused his office, Huelskamp’s response acknowledged that Branson’s office acted appropriately when it wrote Huelskamp’s campaign on March 18 after a Douglas County resident notified Branson of the contest.
“This is the first time the issue has arisen in connection with an elected official but that did not change the fact that we believed it was appropriate to respond as we have in the past,” Branson said in a news release.
According to Huelskamp’s response, only one Douglas County resident donated in response to the contest. The campaign told Branson in its response that the resident was contacted and told a refund would be offered if desired. Huelskamp also issued a statement Thursday, saying he was "glad that my campaign has been absolved of these charges, and I applaud the District Attorney for allowing cooler heads to prevail."