Dr. George Tiller, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius

Friday’s Lawrence Journal-World reported Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ responses to written questions asked of her by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee as part of her nomination to be HHS Secretary. But, one of her responses is wrong by $26,000 and newspapers are not reporting the correct figures.

From p. 103 of the Finance Committee Questions for the Record, the following question from Arizona Senator Jon Kyl and response from Gov. Sebelius:

Kyl Question 2:  There has been a lot of attention concerning your relationship with George Tiller, a doctor who has performed late term abortions in Kansas. Can you describe your relationship with Mr. Tiller? Has he ever contributed to your campaign or has your PAC ever received money from Mr. Tiller or a PAC related to Mr. Tiller? …

Answer: I have been familiar with Dr. Tiller for many years because he lives and works in Kansas. Dr. Tiller, like many Kansans, contributed to my campaign for Insurance Commissioner. I received $12,450 over an eight-year period (1994-2001), which represented 1% of my total contributions during that time. Since that time, I have received no donations from Dr. Tiller or any PAC related to him.

But are these figures correct?

A recent Meadlowlark article gave many details about the connections between Kathleen Sebelius, Dr. George Tiller, and his ProKanDo PAC. That article includes a PowerPoint slide show, and two slides answer Senator Kyl’s question correctly.

Slide 11 in that PowerPoint shows that Dr. Tiller, his wife (Jeanne), or clinic (Women’s Health Care Services), or a related PAC, gave Kathleen Sebelius $15,450, which is $3000 less than Gov. Sebelius reported:

The figures can be verified from the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission search facility.

Another point is technically not correct in Gov. Sebelius statement.  Some of the contributions were technically to her gubernatorial campaign, not her insurance commissioner committee.

On March 20, 2009 in an E-mail I asked Carol Williams, Executive Director of the Kansas Gov. Ethics Commission, about 371 gubernatorial contributions to Sebelius in the Ethics’ online search:

The details below show a search for Statewide Race, “Governor” from Jan 1, 1999 to Aug 8, 2001 (the date the appointment of treasurer form from Kathleen Sebelius was received for her gubernatorial run). I’m seeing 371 contributions to Gov. Sebelius before she filed for governor. I’m guessing these are just tagged incorrectly in the database?

Ms. Williams explained how these contributions were correctly recorded in that online search:

The database is correct. Governor Sebelius transferred all monies in her Insurance Commissioner account to her gubernatorial campaign account. Therefore, once she filed her appointment form to run for Governor, she was required by law to consider all donations made to her since the first day of the primary election for Insurance Commissioner as Gubernatorial candidate contributions. The 371 contributions that would seem to be Insurance Commissioner campaign contributions were actually required to be transferred and shown on the first Sebelius for Governor report on January 10, 2002.

This means the last four contributions above (on 9/25/2000 and 9/10/2001) totaling $8000 from Dr. Tiller, his wife, and his clinic, were counted as being to Kathleen Sebelius’ gubernatorial campaign, and not her insurance commissioner committee as claimed by Gov. Sebelus.

What was the connection between the $1000 from the Pro Choice Action League PAC and Dr. Tiller?  Notes below the PowerPoint slides give details:

An April 29, 1998 article in the Wichita Eagle, “Meaning of Abortion Laws Causes Split in Supporters” said:

Peggy Bowman, director of the Kansas Pro Choice Action League and a spokeswomen for Tiller’s clinic …

An April 10, 1998 article in the Wichita Eagle, “Stricter abortion bill passes the Senate,” said:

Peggy Bowman, George Tiller’s spokeswoman and a lobbyist for the Pro-Choice Action League …

Another web site gives details about the Pro Choice Action League and its connection to Tiller:

Peggy Jarman was Tiller’s long-time spokeswoman and lobbyist until he fired her in 1998. She ran his previous political action committee called the “Pro-Choice Action League” (PCAL). Tiller later established ProKanDo to take the place of PCAL.  … She recently “reclaimed” her maiden name Peggy Bowman.

In her response Gov. Sebelius totally ignored this part of the question:

has your PAC ever received money from Mr. Tiller or a PAC related to Mr. Tiller? …

Slide 12 of the report mentioned above shows Kathleen Sebelius’ Blue Stem PAC received $23,000 from either Dr. Tiller or his clinic:

Because of weak Kansas transparency laws records for those payments are not online at the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission or the Kansas Secretary of State.

Another recent Meadowlark article, Happy 9th Birthday to Gov. Sebelius’ Bluestem Fund PAC; Almost $1 million raised, gives a summary of all Bluestem Fund PAC reports and gives details of $23,000 from Dr. Tiller missing from Gov. Sebelius’ response to Senator Kyl:

Dr. George Tiller, a Wichita abortion doctor, last contributed to Kathleen Sebelius through her Bluestem PAC. In total, Tiller gave Sebelius’ PAC $23,000.

In the PAC’s second reporting period of Oct 30, 2000, Dr. Tiller gave almost 50% of the $20,925 contributions when he wrote a check for $5000 on 9/1/2000 and another $5000 less than a week later on 9/7/2000.

In the Jan 10, 2002 report, Tiller’s clinic, Women’s Health Care Services, donated 100% of the $8000 raised in that reporting period.  …

In July 29, 2002 report, Tiller’s clinic donated $5000 on 3/19/2002, which was nearly 50% of all contributions during that reporting period.

Later in 2002, Tiller setup his ProKanDo PAC and used that for his political influence, which indirectly helped Gov. Sebelius and Kansas Democrats.

In summary, Gov. Sebelius’s response was:

  • short $3000 in contributions from Dr. Tiller, directly or indirectly, to her campaign committees.
  • short $23,000 in contributions from Dr. Tiller, directly or indirectly, to her Bluestem Fund PAC.

Gov. Sebelius’ response was wrong by a total of $26,000.

But, the $38,450 Gov. Sebelius or her Bluestem Fund PAC received from Dr. Tiller, his wife, his business, or his ProKanDo PAC is only a small part of the huge amount of money Dr. Tiller spent to elect Kathleen Sebelius Governor and control much of the government of the State of Kansas (see for details):

  • In a 2002 fundraising letter, Dr. Tiller admitted trying to use $450,000 to help elect Kathleen Sebelius for Governor:

“In my niavete, I thought my personal contribution of $200,000 to ProKanDo would be more than enough to alert voters to the anti-choice position of Mr. Shallenberger. I have been advised that to effectively reach voters … we need to raise another $250,00 in just eight short weeks.”

While Tiller spent $200,000 and was trying to raise another $250,000 to help Kathleen Sebelius, this money was diverted in an attempt to defeat Phill Kline for Kansas Attorney General.

  • In the 2004 election cycle Dr. Tiller or his clinic gave $228,000 to his ProKanDo PAC and $35,000 to Kansas Democrats to target Kansas Senate races.  That “investment” paid off in 2008 when an attempt to override Kathleen Sebelius’ veto of an abortion bill failed by two votes.  From a 2004 ProKanDo invitation:

“ProKanDo is working to help elect new pro-choice, candidates to the Kansas State Senate. These candidates will give the Senate a pro-choice majority. The Senate will be able to … suport the Governor’s veto of anti-choice bills …”.

  • In the 2006 election cycle Dr. Tiller’s ProKanDo PAC and a related non-profit, Kansans for Consumer Privacy Protection, spent a total of $1.2 million to knock out Phill Kline and help re-elect Kathleen Sebelius. From a 2006 ProKanDo fundraising letter:

“… there are 22 days until Election Day … We will be communicating with hundreds of thousands of voters across the state of Kansas … to help us re-elect Gov. Sebelius and defeat Attorney General Phill Kline”

In 2006 Gov. Sebelius recruited the candidate to run against Attorney General Phill Kline and likely knew that campaign would have Dr. Tiller’s monetary support.

  • Dr. Tiller or his clinic sent $120,000 to the Democratic Governors’ Association 527 PAC in 2002-2003 and much of those funds returned to Kansas and Kansas Democrats in 2005-2006 through a clever money transfer.
  • A 2007 ProKanDo fundraising letter summarized ProKanDo’s effect on Kansas politics:

“since … 2002, we have made a significant impact on the political landscape of Kansas …”

“We have become one of the top political players in the state”

“In 2006 … with the defeat of … Phill Kline, the re-election of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, and victories throughout the state House, we were overjoyed with the results of our work”

“In 2008, we will be focusing our energies on state-level candidates. It is a proven fact … that when we drive up voter turnout for progressive candidates at the state level, we push up the number of voters that will go to the pro-choice candidate for president and congress.”

While Gov. Sebelius only credited Dr. Tiller with $12,450 in contributions, and the actual figure was $38,450, Dr. Tiller and his PAC spent at least $1.85 million in support of Gov. Sebelius and Kansas Democrats since 2002.


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One Comment to “Gov. Sebelius’ $12,450 response to Senator Kyl only wrong by $26,000! Dr. Tiller or PAC gave $1.85 million since 2002.”

  1. bbi1of12 says:

    Good work. I hope you forwarded this to Sen Kyl, Roberts and Brownback’s offices/aides. Sebelius “obviously” isn’t too good with numbers– can’t pay correct taxes and now can’t be accurate with how much money she gets from campaign contributors– notorius or otherwise. She wants to “help” our healthcare insurance programs but can’t keep track of her own simple tax and campiagn contributions?