The Kansas Democratic Party will pay $19,000 in fines to the Federal Election Commission. The fines stem from an FEC audit of the party’s 2011 and 2012 finances. The party understated $122,000 worth of receipts while spending $160,000 more than it reported. Party officials also failed to maintain payrolls logs worth $320,000.
There’s no mention of who is responsible for the Democratic Party violations, but the Topeka Capital-Journal wastes no time in naming names for Kansas Republican Party fines in 2007.
The story concludes that FEC fined the Kansas Republican Party $6,500 for violations in 2007 and 2008 when Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was party chair, but the news report sidesteps mentioning who chaired the Kansas Democratic Party when the violations took place. It’s also worth noting that the chair typically isn’t responsible for daily operations of the party. That responsibility generally relies on the executive director. When the KS GOP was fined, Christian Morgan was the executive director. The Cap-J doesn’t mention the names of the 2011 Kansas Democratic Party Chair. Nor does the paper bother to report the name of the 2011 Kansas Democratic Party executive director.
The Topeka daily reports, “…none of the party’s current officers and employees were there when the violations occurred.”
Former state Rep. Joan Wagnon chaired the Kansas Democratic Party between 2011 and 2015. Jason Perkey served as executive director of the political party in 2012. Kenny Johnston served as the party’s executive director from 2008 to 2011.
The current executive director, Ethan Corson, told the Cap-J the party previously outsourced some compliance responsibilities.
“We did take the issues that were brought to our attention in the audit very seriously, so we’ve increased the amount of resources and training our staff receives in respect to compliance,” Corson said.