Thursday, March 10, 2005

What a Tangled We Weave

Red State Rabble took the time to follow the money. There's a complicated web of PACs which funnel money around campaign finance laws and into the pockets of ideological extremists. Money far in excess of the $500 limits went from the same office to several conservative campaigns, skirting if not breaking campaign finance laws.

This is more from the same line of evidence that may be show as John Calvert buying himself a seat on the subcommittee, and the conservatives buying the Attorney General's support.

“But Josh,” you may say, “didn't people do the same for the sensible, pro-science candidates?”

The four sitting sensibles are Bill Wagnon, Sue Gamble, Janet Waugh, and Carol Rupe.

Most, if not all, of this group gave at least once to Governor Sebelius' campaign in 2002. That does not seem to have bought them much vocal support. (Correction: Several of the minority members gave small amounts to David Adkins, Phill Kline's opponent. I was stupid and misremembered the race. Thanks to a commenter for the tip).

Over many years, Bill Wagnon has received money from these prominent groups or people: Kathleen Sebelius, the Social Workers' Union, the Kansas branch of the National Education Association, and the Mainstream Coalition. Sebelius gave $100 in 2003.

The only contribution to a school board race from the Mainstream Coalition in 2004 was $500 to Timothy Aiken, who lost.

Kansas Citizens for Science is a 501(c)3, so it does not endorse or finance candidates.

KCFS President Harry McDonald gave $100 to Forrest Weddle in 2002. Vice-president (and science standards committee member) Jack Krebs gave $100 to Wayne Holt in 2000. Neither is a sitting Board member. Embattled science standards committee chair Steve Case never gave to any candidate.

Kathy Martin, a woman who can't spell “scandal”, and can't recognize one that's in front of her face, raised $23,462.

She beat sitting candidate Bruce Wyatt in the primary. He raised $15,606. How much would he have needed to win? How hard would it have been to raise $8,000? How much effort would we have saved ourselves?

Carol Rupe raised $6946, all but $200 from individuals. United Teachers of Wichita gave $100 in the primaries and $100 in the general election.

Bill Wagnon raised $18164.99, almost enough to take on Kathy Martin. Aside from contributions by Janet Waugh, Governor Sebelius, and David Wittig (!), that all seems to have come from private citizens.
In short, the science community not only hasn't abused the system, they've barely participated. Could a couple hundred dollars have beaten one of the conservatives? Hard to say.