The Kansas Meadowlark

July 17, 2006


Greater Kansas City Missouri Chamber continues meddling in Kansas Politics in 2006?
GOP National Committeeman for Kansas, Steve Cloud, gets $25,000 election year stipend for his KTRM group?  Is this Missouri group only interested in politicians willing to send Kansas tax dollars to Missouri?


Summary:  For years the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce has been pushing for a "bistate tax" so that Kansas tax dollars, mostly from Johnson County, can fund projects in Missouri with little or no oversight from Kansas elected officials.  The Chamber's law firm, Lathrop and Gage, has been active in promoting the bistate tax, too.  Both groups are using education as a wedge issue to promote candidates who will vote for almost any tax increase, including higher taxes for education and a bistate tax.  Lathrop seems to have even encouraged one of their attorneys to move back to his home town to run for State Rep to stifle a state legislator pushing for responsible and fiscally sound government.  Both the Greater Kansas City Chamber and Lathrop and Gage will benefit enormously if they can persuade Kansans to send tax dollars to Missouri.  

Why has the mainstream press ignored the meddling of the Greater Kansas City Missouri Chamber of Commerce in Kansas politics for much of the last three three election cycles?  The mainstream Kansas press just will not research or report about how Missouri business interests are meddling in Kansas politics through their political contributions.  

As part of a very complicated scheme in 2002, the Greater Kansas City Missouri Chamber gave $20,000 to Steve Cloud, GOP National Committeeman for Kansas, who had just joined the KCMO Chamber in 2002.  Cloud used this money to maintain his control of the JoCo and Kansas Republican Party by using education as a wedge issue via his Johnson County Republicans for Education PAC, and his GOP Club of Johnson County. 

The KC Missouri Chamber was "buying" Kansas politicians who would support the bistate tax.  The Missouri group wanted Kansans to send tax dollars to Missouri with little oversight or control by Kansas elected officials.  The Chamber gave to many of the same candidates that Cloud's PAC gave to.  This was a clever way to give to the same set of candidates twice in a "legal" way.  Where's the Kansas City Star report about any of this, or any mention of the $54,407 the Star made from political mailings?

This 2002 complicated scheme also included a $50,000 contribution by the Greater Kansas City Chamber to Gold Bank president, Mike Gullion, who was the treasurer for a group, "Committee to Support Our Schools."  Not long after, this Gold Bank president was fined by the SEC and forced to resign, and later was convicted of embezzlement.  I still don't believe this $50,000 political transaction from the Greater Kansas City Chamber to Gullion was legal.

In 2004 the Greater Kansas City Missouri Chamber continued their interference in Kansas elections, and Steve Cloud received another $20,000 from Missouri sources for his control of the Kansas Republican Party.  Do "Country Club" Republicans really care that much about education, or do they just want the political power and control?

In 2006 the Missouri-to-Kansas political money flow continues.  Because of weak Kansas laws, Missouri money flowing into Kansas elections can be found on the Missouri Ethics Commission web site about a week ahead of the Kansas deadline for reporting, which is July 24.  Here is a link to the Missouri Ethics Commission web page with the Greater KC Chamber PAC Report, which was filed on July 14, 2006.

Click here to see PDF of complete report

Last year Cloud terminated his Johnson County Republicans for Education PAC (details of his secretive GOP Club of Johnson County are not known) and focused on being the leader of the new Kansas Traditional Republican Majority (KTRM).  On Dec 8, 2005, the Kansas Meadowlark reported about the Political Profile of Members of "Kansas Traditional Republican Majority  including Cloud's stealth leadership role.

So is the $25,000 contribution on June 12, 2006 by the Greater KCMO Chamber PAC to KTRM just Steve Cloud's election cycle "stipend" from his Missouri friends?

Cindy Neighbor changed party affiliation from Republican to Democrat in Dec 2005 to avoid a Republican primary, which she lost in 2004.  

 

Both "Democrat" Cindy Neighbor and "Republican" Jim Yonally received political contributions from the KCMO Chamber in 2002 and 2006.  Should Kansans in their districts trust them with their tax dollars?  Why is the Missouri Greater Kansas City Chamber so interested in having them elected, both in 2006 and in 2002?


"Republican" State Rep Jim Yonally (left),
with "Democrat" Cindy Neighbor (right)
attend recent KFUPE event with Dennis Moore.
KFUPE is a far-left organization.

Why does the KCMO Chamber care about other Kansas political races, like Secretary of State, Chair of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners, or the Kansas Board of Educaiton?  Does this group care about business development that will help Kansans, or are they more interested in novel ways to extract Kansas tax dollars for use in Missouri without any oversight by Kansas officials?


July 18, 2006 Update

Today's Kansas City Star kc buzz blog reported  about a list of Kansas legislators receiving  passing and failing grades in their support for public education.  The report, "56 Kansas Legislators Get Failing Grade on Higher Education Report Card,"  was available on the web site of the Citizens for Higher Education, Inc.

The Star failed to report anything about Citizens for Higher Education group, which is a Kansas non-profit according to the Kansas Secretary of State:

CITIZENS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION, INC.

JOHN S ECKELS
2345 GRAND BVD.
SUITE 2800
KANSAS CITY, MO 64108
Business Entity Type
DOM:NOT FOR PROFIT CORPORATION

This Missouri address happens to be the address of the law firm of Lathrop & Gage:

Lathrop & Gage
2345 Grand Blvd.
Suite 2800
Kansas City, MO 64108

What is this Missouri group's interest in Kansas education?  Is their interest in Kansas education related to their help for the Greater Kansas City Chamber to export Kansas tax dollars to Missouri? 

The Bistate Arts and Sports Corporation/Committee had a shady past both in 2002 and 2004 and was a product of Lathrop and Gage, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and Peter S. Levi, the Chamber's Chair.  

Did Lathrop & Gage "send" attorney Jeffrey King to Independence, KS in Montgomery County to run against Frank Miller so they would "own" that State Rep seat?

From the Hutchinson News:  

 "'I'm a strong conservative,' Miller said. 'My opponent has probably been following the agenda of the more liberal element of the Republican Party.'"

"However, King, 31, said the real differences in the race are ones of policy, not ideology."

King is "an attorney for Lathrop and Gage, which has offices in both Kansas City and Overland Park"

Why is "support for education" about power and control and has little to do with helping children?


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