> “Netroots Nation used to “buy” Kansas State Rep District 15 in Olathe?” by Kansas Meadowlark
> KRA follow up: “Tevis: For special interest money before he was against it”
> “Tevis opens up his warchest” from PrimeBuzz
Sean Tevis, husband of Michelle Tevis, former editor for the Kansas City Star, and a candidate for Kansas House District 15, issued a press release October 12th criticizing his opponent, Republican Arlen Siegfreid, of holding an out of district fundraiser at a country club.
Tevis has raised over $96,000 in July and over $13,000 since August 1st with nearly all of it from out-of-state internet contributions. Over $69,000 was listed as un-itemized contributions on his July 2008 campaign finance report, with another $8,000 plus listed as un-itemized in his October 2008 report. Over 70% of all donations received by Tevis thus far have been listed as ‘unitemized’ with no information about the donors at all.
Both his July 2008 and most recent October 2008 reports show Tevis has yet to raise even $1 from the House District he wants to represent.
We’ve created a google map listing all of Tevis’ Kansas Contributors to date, and as you can see, not one is from House District 15 (represented in blue on the map below.)
Tevis has raised only $2,475.88 from Kansas donors, all of which live outside of House District 15. That means over 97.5% of all donations came from outside of Kansas.
Also in the press release, Tevis’ staff says:
…spokesperson Andrew Blobaum questions any event held outside the district that is restricted from public access. “Mr. Siegfreid has once again made a decision that Topeka lobbyists’ interests come before his constituents’ interests,” Blobaum said. “His lobbyist-first agenda has only hurt the people of the 15th District, and his first major public event of the campaign is a fundraiser that excludes his constituents from attendance without a large contribution.”
Tevis takes Seigfreid to task for holding a fundraiser down the road from House District 15 while he continues to raise cash from not only out of district and out of state, but in many cases, out of the country.
July and October filings show Tevis accepted:
> $120 from Christian Hansen of London, England on 7/18/08
> $100 from Miller Matthew of Kasumigoaka, Japan on 7/16/08
> $100 from Matt Curzon of Brighton, England on 7/29/08
The July ’08 report shows a refund of the $120 contribution from Christian Hansen of England, but the other $100 donations show no refunds. Are these US Citizens living abroad? If so, how was US citizenship established? What about the tens of thousands of dollars that was raised that Tevis listed as unitemized. How were those contributions vetted for citizenship?
Take a look at the second international donor. Who names their kid Miller Matthew? If a name isn’t listed correctly, were these donors vetted for citizenship before their cash was put in the bank?
Tevis’ press release continues:
“We are not afraid to talk with voters and hear their concerns because we have taken no special interest money.“
And yet Tevis’ July 2008 filing shows that his very first contribution was $500 from the KNEA on 7/2/08. The $500 was later returned to the KNEA on 9/23/08, over 2 months later. Tevis’ claim that his campaign had “taken no special interest money” is apparently a lie.
Tevis continued to criticize his opponent for accepting donations from Political Action Committee’s
“Mr. Siegfreid has once again made a decision that Topeka lobbyists’ interests come before his constituents’ interests,” Blobaum said. “His lobbyist-first agenda has only hurt the people of the 15th District…”
And yet Tevis was singing a very different tune on June 17th when he took time out to write a blog post about filling out PAC Surveys.
To fill out all of these would be a full-time job that would take weeks, so you quickly learn to pick and choose. Groups that you disagree with? Groups that are unlikely to impact your voters? Throw them away.
In fact, Tevis elaborated even more about his feelings towards PAC’s with his June 30th post regarding his KNEA endorsement. This post was written 3 days before he accepted $500 in special interest money.
Endorsements are a pretty big part of any political campaign for two reasons. They recommend to all of their members who to vote for and they sometimes give you money to help you along. With the KNEA (Kansas National Education Association) it plays an even bigger role because…I wanted them on my side as partners. Thankfully, it appears that they are.
And remember all the time and energy Tevis would have had to spend filling out forms letting people know what his views were? Well, he’s got time for the right people apparently:
They send out a monstrous survey to all the candidates asking them what their opinions are on a wide variety of issues that affect schools and education. You fill it out and then bring it with you to an interview.
I went to the KNEA headquarters and sat at a big table with eight representatives from their group, all of whom are teachers. My 15 minute interview became an hour-long brainstorming and strategy session. Afterward, I emailed them my answers to their questions. A week later I got an answer: I’m endorsed!
You see? He does have time, it just depends on who’s asking for it!
And in case you were worried it was only the KNEA PAC Tevis wanted to publicize, think again. Tevis also highlights endorsements from the MainStream Coalition PAC, Kansas Families for Education PAC and Educating All Children in Kansas PAC.
Tevis also claims to be an advocate for open government.
The openness, or transparency, of government is a vital function of democracy. Democracy only works if we have a well-informed public and to be well-informed we need transparency in government.
And yet Tevis refuses to reveal who donated over $77,000 to his campaign to date. How can one be an advocate for open government when they refuse to reveal over 70% of their contributors? How can a candidate be for open government when he refuses to let the citizens know who is funding his campaign?
Now, Tevis obviously got a lot of small donations. How can a reasonable person expect him to list everyone?
First of all, all donations went through PayPal, so all of his records should already be in place.
Second, let’s take a look at the original appeal.
There’s two things to note about this.
First, there’s no evidence here that he appealed to internet contributors so he wouldn’t have to take special interest money, as he claims in his October 12th press release. Further, his acceptance of $500 from KNEA and belated refund show that Tevis has no problem taking PAC money.
Second, note the promise of a thank you note. If a guy can go to the trouble of writing a thank you note to a donor, shouldn’t he also have the courtesy to the voters to disclose his donors, especially after claiming he’s for ‘open government?’
Sean Tevis apparently not only lies about taking special interest money, but has trouble practicing what he preaches as well.
Sebelius’ Bluestem PAC took in over $400,000 in donation with only $30,000 of it from Kansas. Tevis raised over $100,000 with just over 2% from Kansas to fund his machine of deception and lies.
When will this flood of out-of-state money end? When the citizens stand up and say, “NO MORE!”, that’s when!
It will only end when the citizens reject the big money in favor of the truth. And that can only happen if we start to stand up for what’s right with not only our mouths, but our pocketbook as well.
Click the button below to donate online now!
We’ll even take $8.34!