Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Silly Season Is Upon Us

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Silly Season Is Upon Us

Congressman Tim Huelskamp is a short king in cowboy boots among men. I am a fan.

But I can live without what's about to occur during this, the silliest season of all silly seasons. It's officially primary season when I begin receiving dirt about candidates. So, take what I am about to report with a heaping serving of salt. (And don't shoot the messenger.)

It appears that someone --probably someone from the Huelskamp campaign-- has filed an ethics violation with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission against Dr. Roger Mashall. The information alleges that Marshall, who is attempting (and will likely fail) to unseat Huelskamp, failed to file a Statement of Substantial Interest(SSI).

This form requires candidates to list corporations, trusts, businesses, land for income, etc., in which the candidate or candidate's spouse has more equitable interest worth $5,000 or 5 percent of the company, whichever is less. 

Basically, this reader alleges that Marshall's April 8, 2015 SSI did not disclose ownership 24 disclosable items in mutual funds and in ownership of NCM Bioscience Partners, MV Purchasing, and the Club at Stoneridge.

The SSI also requires candidates to disclose compensation from businesses of $2,000 or more. The complaint alleges that Marshall omitted compensation from Farmers Bank & Trust and that he was an officer or director of Farmers Bank & Trust, Great Bend Regional Hospital, Heartland Regional OBGYN, Rattlesnake Ranch, Quivira Ranch, Rotary International, and First Christian Church.

Intentionally filing a false SSI is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. 

This is political fodder and nothing more for a few reasons: 

1. It's nearly impossible to prove "intentional" unless the candidate confesses. So there's exactly zero chance that Marshall will receive a misdemeanor. Period.

2. He may be fined, but even that is unlikely. The Kansas Ethics Commission is a joke, and a politicized one at that. This strong arm of the bureaucracy is used primarily to punish conservatives for things liberals get away with and to frighten potential challengers of either political stripe away from running for office. The ethics commission essentially acts as state-funded incumbent protection. I am not a fan.

Consider me #TeamHuelskamp in this race. There are plenty of Establishment-types (and by Establishment types, I mean those folks who are extremely squeamish and uncomfortable with people who rock the boat) who aren't fans of Huelskamp. I think he's very Big First in the best way. 

That said, I don't particularly care for these kinds of campaign tactics. These political disclosures aren't as black and white as they seem, and it's very easy for newcomers, even well-financed ones like Marshall, to mess them up. You shouldn't need a finance degree and a law degree to run for public office without accidentally committing a class B misdemeanor, but that's where we find ourselves.


  1. Federal Candidates don't file SSIs with the Kansas SOS, it's the FEC.

  2. So the KGEC isn't involved at all, they only have jurisdiction over state and local candidates.

  3. Yes. This is one of many reasons this filing, if it actually exists, is kind of silly.