Media in Kansas Bashed for Ignoring Abortionist’s Campaign Contributions
by Steven Ertelt
August 4, 2003
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — Kansas media outlets are drawing criticism from pro-life groups for ignoring a last-minute six-figure campaign contribution made by infamous late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller to a pro-abortion candidate for attorney general.
Pro-life groups say Tiller wanted to prevent a pro-life candidate from being elected who would have more aggressively monitored malpractice at abortion facilities.
According to campaign finance records, Tiller spent more than $150,000 to prevent the election of pro-life candidate Phil Kline (R), who won anyway. However, the public knew nothing about it until news reports surfaced only a few days ago.
Tiller’s contributions did not have to be reported until the end of the election, and they were difficult to track because he funneled them through two different political action committees in an apparent attempt to hide the source of the contribution.
Kansas law limits individuals to giving $2,000 for statewide candidates, but there is no limit on the amount of money that can be spent by groups in independent expenditures.
According to the Lawrence Journal World, Tiller donated $153,000 on November 1 to Pro Kan Do, a pro-abortion PAC operated by Tiller. The same day, Pro Kan Do sent a check for $153,000 to a political action committee called Kansans for Democratic Leadership. Then, on November 3 and 4, Kansans for Democratic Leadership spent $153,000 on radio ads promoting Kline’s opponent, who hadn’t raised that much for his campaign during the entire election.
Another funneled donation of $93,000 from Tiller through the same channels for went towards polling and research that benefited Kline’s opponent.
Kline says he knew money was being spent from somewhere, but he wasn’t sure of the source.
"I knew there was an extensive influx of cash somewhere because I heard the radio ads virtually everywhere I went," Kline said.
But why didn’t the media in Kansas pick up the story then and report it? That’s what Kansans for Life, a statewide pro-life group wants to know.
Mary Kay Culp, Executive Director of Kansans for Life, told LifeNews.com that her organization provided media with information on the connection between Tiller and candidates in the 2002 election, including pro-abortion Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
Culp says Tiller had donated more than $35,000 to Sebelius’ PACs and campaigns over the last decade and Sebelius received significant financial support from EMILY’s List, a national pro-abortion group. Yet, Sebelius wrote to thousands of Catholics before the election claiming she was a practicing Catholic and not pro-abortion.
"Kansans for Life, along with half a dozen pro-life Kansas legislators held
press conferences in Wichita, Kansas City and Topeka the Friday before the election to refute her self-characterization, using campaign finance documents and personal testimony," Culp told LifeNews.com.
"The Wichita Eagle and the Topeka Capitol Journal gave it a passing mention the next day. The Kansas City Star ignored it all-together despite the fact that their reporter attended the press conference for over an hour."
"Even though 300 Kansas media outlets were provided nine pages of documentation, on the Tiller/Sebelius connections prior to the press conference, virtually nothing was reported," Culp added.
Culp says she hopes the media in Kansas will begin reporting on candidates and their supporters in a timely and accurate fashion. "Kansas pro-lifers, and Kansas pro-life Catholics in particular are incensed."