An IRS web site shows that a new 527 PAC was recently created, GPACE Action, with a connection to the Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy, Inc., a Kansas non-profit corporation according to the Kansas Secretary of State. Why is this a 527 PAC instead of a Kansas PAC?
The GPACE Action IRS 8871 shows that Scott Allegrucci is the only known director of this new 527. But with Allegrucci having so little political experience, who is really behind this 527 PAC?
Information about GPACE was in an opinion made by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission in January 2008:
Opinion No. 2008-02
Written January 16, 2008, to Scott Allegrucci, Director,
Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy, Topeka.
This opinion is in response to your letter of January 9,
2008, in which you request an opinion from the Kansas
Governmental Ethics Commission concerning the lobbying
provisions of the state level conflict of interest laws,
K.S.A. 46-215 et seq. We note at the outset that the Commission’s
jurisdiction is limited to the application of
K.S.A. 46-215 et seq., and whether some other statutory
system, common law theory or agency rule or regulation
applies to your inquiry is not covered by this opinion.
You request this opinion in your capacity as director of
the Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy (GPACE), a
501(c)(4) advocacy organization whose mission is to support
a clean, secure, profitable energy economy benefitting
Kansas businesses, farms, communities, and all future
Kansans. GPACE is an alliance of organizations and
individuals from Kansas and elsewhere. GPACE is planning
to conduct grassroots lobbying in Kansas. You seek
clarification on issues pertaining to Kansas lobbying laws
in order to assure members of your alliance that they are
in compliance with the laws.
1. Are contributors to GPACE, from Kansas or out of
state, required to register a lobbyist in the state of Kansas
when contributing to GPACE?
2. Is there a distinction under the Kansas lobbying laws
between individual, corporate, not-for-profit, or other
contributors from in state or out of state who contribute
to a 501(c)(4) organization operating and lobbying in the
state of Kansas?
3. Is advertising or messaging that does not explicitly
direct viewers to contact their legislator regarding a particular
initiative before the legislature considered lobbying,
and, therefore, required to be reported as a lobbying
In response to your first question, K.S.A. 46-222 defines
”lobbyist” in pertinent part as follows:
(a) ”Lobbyist” means: (1) Any person employed in considerable
degree for lobbying; (2) any person formally appointed
as the primary representative of an organization
or other person to lobby in person on state-owned or
leased property; or (3) any person who makes expenditures
in an aggregate amount of $100 or more, exclusive
of personal travel and subsistence expenses, in any calendar
year for lobbying. . . .
”Lobbying” is defined in K.S.A. 46-225 in pertinent part
(a) ”Lobbying” means: (1) Promoting or opposing in
any manner action or nonaction by the legislature on any
legislative matter or the adoption or nonadoption of any
rule and regulation by any state agency . . . .
”Expenditure” as used in the lobbying statutes is defined
in K.A.R. 19-60-3 as follows:
(b) ”Expenditure” means a payment or contract to pay
for any of the following:
(1) The provision of hospitality in the form of recreation,
food, and beverage to any state officers or employees
of the legislative branch . . . .
(2) the provision of any entertainment, gift, honoraria,
or payment to any state officers or employees of the legislative
branch . . . .
(3) the production and communication of lobbying information
to any state officer or employee of the legislative
branch . . . .
(4) the production and dissemination of mass media
communications, letter-writing campaigns, and similar
transactions that explicitly promote or oppose a clearly
identified legislative matter or regulation and that urge
or request the recipient to communicate directly with state
officers or employees of the legislative branch, candidates
for the legislature, or legislators-elect regarding that matter.
. . .
K.S.A. 46-265 (a) requires that ”every lobbyist shall register
with the secretary of state by completing and signing
a registration form . . .” K.A.R. 19-62-1 further explains
who must register as follows:
Who must register.
(a) Employed lobbyists. Each person whose employment
is, to a considerable degree, for the purpose of lobbying
shall register as a lobbyist. . . .
(b) Appointed lobbyists. Any person formally appointed
as the primary representative of an organization
or of another person to lobby on state-owned or leased
property shall register as a lobbyist regardless of whether
the person receives compensation for lobbying. . . .
(c) Persons making lobbying expenditures. Any person
who makes ”expenditures” for lobbying as defined in
K.A.R. 19-60-3(b), in an aggregate amount of $100 or more
in any calendar year shall register as a lobbyist. . . .
Applying the above statutes and regulations to your
first question, only persons who engage directly in ”lobbying”
as defined by K.S.A. 46-225 must register as a lobbyist.
There are no statutes or regulations that require a
person to register a lobbyist when the person makes a
contribution to an organization such as GPACE.
Turning to your second question, the Kansas lobbying
laws do not regulate or limit who may contribute to a
501(c)(4) organization that engages in lobbying. Further,
report their contributions. Therefore, there is no distinction
under Kansas lobbying laws between individual, corporate,
not-for-profit, or any other contributors from in state
or out of state who contribute to GPACE.
In response to your third question, according to the
definition of ”lobbying” in K.S.A. 46-225, advertising or
messaging that promotes or opposes action or nonaction
by the legislature on any legislative matter constitutes
lobbying. K.S.A. 46-219 defines ”legislative matter” as
”any bill, resolution, nomination, or other issue or proposal
pending before the legislature or any committee,
subcommittee, or council thereof.” K.A.R. 19-61-1 further
explains ”legislative matters” in pertinent part as follows:
(a) . . . An issue or proposal is pending before any such
body [the legislature or any committee, subcommittee, or
council thereof] if it is being directly considered by such
body, if it has been communicated to such body or amember
thereof even if not directly considered by it, or if it is
an issue subject to continuing review by any such body.
(1) Any communication which is intended to advocate
action or nonaction by the legislature on a legislative matter,
including communications with other persons with
the intent that such persons communicate with legislators
in regard thereto, constitutes lobbying. . . .
(b) Exceptions. The communication of factual material
which is not intended to promote or oppose action or nonaction
on a legislative matter and which is not accompanied
by active advocacy does not constitute lobbying.
If an advertisement or message promotes or opposes
action or nonaction by the legislature on any legislative
matter, it meets the definition of ”lobbying” and would
be required to be reported as a lobbying expense, even if
it does not direct viewers to contact their legislator.
Whether a particular advertisement or message falls
within the exceptions of K.A.R. 19-61-1(b), or whether it
constitutes lobbying, depends on the specific content of
that particular advertisement or message. Therefore,
without viewing a particular message or advertisement,
we cannot determine whether or not it constitutes lobbying
and would be required to be reported as a lobbying expense.
Remember the name Scott Allegrucci? In 2003 he was the 37-year old actor and screenwriter who Sebelius appointed to be Kansas tourism director with a salary of $60,000. In 2005 under Allegrucci’s leadership, Kansas revealed our new “Kansas: As big as you think” motto and a $1.7 million TV, radio and advertising campaign. Allegrucci left that post in 2005 with part of the reason being his wife still lived in Los Angeles.
Topeka Capital Journal, 4/6/2005
Allegrucci is leaving for personal reasons. Department spokesman Caleb Asher said Allegrucci’s wife has continued to live and work in the Los Angeles area, and Allegrucci has traveled there every four to six weeks. Allegrucci is the son of Kansas Supreme Court Justice Donald Allegrucci and Joyce Allegrucci, the governor’s chief of staff.
Now, Scott Allegrucci is re-appearing as an anti-coal, anti-global warming lobbyist. The group’s web site was put together by a member of Sebelius 2006 campaign team, Christopher Cardinal.
Scott Allegrucci’s mom, Joyce Allegrucci, was paid $25,000 in 2007 for work for the Democratic Governor’s Association, which was chaired by Kathleen Sebelius.
In April 2003 the Topeka Capital-Journal reported “Allegrucci son takes tourism post.” Mike Hendricks in the Kansas City Star that month said in “Imagine Kansas as tourist stop”:
I’ll grant you, it smells like patronage of the worst kind, last week’s appointment of a new Kansas tourism director by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
First, there’s the appointee’s thin resume.
Scott Allegrucci, a 37-year-old actor and screenwriter, is a tourism director with no experience in tourism.
Except as a tourist — including in his home state. After 16 years away, Allegrucci returned to Kansas last winter to help with Sebelius inauguration festivities. … The tourism post is a regular gig that pays $60,000 a year, plus benefits.
With Allegrucci having such little political experience (actor, inauguration committee, tourism director), who is really behind this 527 PAC?