The Kansas Meadowlark

August 20, 2007
(updated August 26, 2007)


Strange political money transfers between ProKanDo PAC and Young Democrats of America 527



Summary:  The ProKanDo PAC reported a $6250 contribution from the Young Democrats of America in their July 2006 contribution report to the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission.  However, that was the NOT the complete story and ProKanDo failed to report the three transaction that resulted in this net contribution.  Reports file by the Young Democrats of America with the Internal Revenue Service gave the details of all three transactions.  

The Kansas Governmental Ethics Office will likely only consider this an "omission" and not a deceptive practice by ProKanDo. In 2005 the Ethics Commission failed to fine ProKanDo for missing a $10,000 contribution, so ProKanDo may not  feel any pressure to be complete in their reporting even with large dollar transfers.

Details:  The ProKanDo Receipts and Expenditures Report for July 2006, shows a $6250 contribution from the Young Democrats of America:

Source:  Receipts and Expenditure Reports filed with Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission

Information about 527s, like the Young Democrats of America, is online at an Internal Revenue Service site.  A search for "Young Democrats of American" shows this:

The name Chris Gallaway as YDA contact brings backs memories from 2002 when he was the  Kansas Democratic Party Executive Director and likely the mastermind of ProKanDo's complicated money scheme in 2002 to try to defeat Phill Kline.  [Gallaway finally paid the $18,000 in parking tickets he owed to Topeka.]

On this IRS site, an IRS Form 8871 shows organization information, while an IRS Form 8872 shows political money.

The IRS shows a number of recent 8872 reports by the YDA.  Let's investigate BOTH the 6/30/2006 and 9/30/2006 YDA reports:

The 6/30/2006 8872 report shows this contribution from ProKanDo to YDA:

The 9/30/2006 8872 report shows these TWO transfers BACK to ProKanDo about two weeks later but a day apart:

Why were there TWO identical transfers only a day apart from YDA to ProKanDO?  What "Fundraising" was done for whom?

ProKanDo DID NOT report all three transaction, but rather only the net contribution in their July 2006 report.  Here's the math from ProKanDo's perspective:

-$25,000 + $15,625 + $15,625 = $6,250

The ProKanDo Receipts and Expenditures Report for July 2006, shows only a single $6250 contribution from the Young Democrats of America:

Kansas law requires ProKanDo to report ALL THREE transactions.  The Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission was asked a hypothetical question about such transfers (perhaps my description was not adequate for this situation).  The response I received seemed to indicate anything can be explained away as an omission: 

“…the Commission would not consider this to be ‘illegal’, but would consider this a reporting error.  If we were made aware of this scenario, the Commission would require the political action committee, through a “Notification of Material Error or Omission”, to correct the report to reflect each separate transaction.”

In 2005 the Ethics Commission failed to fine ProKanDo for missing a $10,000 contribution, so ProKanDo may not  feel any pressure to be complete in their reporting since anything can be explained away as a clerical error.  Regardless of how much planning was involved in the omission, or how big the dollars involved in the omission are, there seems to be little incentive to get political money reporting right the first time in Kansas.

Perhaps the Kansas Ethics Commission did not notice the irregularities present in ProKanDo's first report in 2002.


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