campaign finance

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Sedgwick County Commissioner and former state legislator Michael O’Donnell pleaded not guilty Tuesday in federal court to charges of wire fraud and money laundering.

Do you need a babysitter to watch your kids while you campaign for public office? That’s now considered a valid campaign expense in Kansas.

The Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission said in an 8-1 vote Wednesday that campaign funds, such as donations, may be used to pay for child care. However, that child care must be directly related to campaigning or serving in office.

It helps, the latest Kansas campaign money tallies show, to be rich or have wealthy friends.

Next best thing, run as an incumbent.

Campaign finance reports for the first half of this year show dollars spent nearly as quickly as candidates could corral them — filling airwaves, plastering billboards and stuffing mailboxes with flyers.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Kansas House members on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would have increased the amount they could get from campaign donors.

House Bill 2011 would have doubled the amount that individuals, political parties and political action committees could donate to candidates in races for everything from the House and Senate to the governor. But the House voted it down 22-101.

Tracy O, flickr Creative Commons

Wichita City Council members voted 4-3 on Tuesday morning to allow labor unions, corporations and political action committees to donate to future municipal campaigns.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File Photo

Kansas lawmakers want to boost their campaign contribution limits to keep pace with a boom in outside election ads.

The House Elections Committee unanimously endorsed a bill last week that would at least double contribution limits to campaigns for state offices. Lawmakers from both major parties said the move is necessary after an election cycle in which outside groups vastly outspent official campaigns.