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Biggs’ ad controversies now and in 2005

By   /   October 15, 2010  /   1 Comment


Secretary of State Chris Biggs (left) and opponent Kris Kobach (right) at candidate forum on Tuesday

The Lawrence Journal World reported on Thursday Kobach, Biggs in dispute over advance voting ad.

A press release from Secretary of State Chris Biggs on Wednesday gave reasons for the ad:

As part of the Vote! Kansas Initiative, Biggs revealed a public service announcement designed to educate Kansans about early voting options including in-person advance voting and mail-in ballots.

“A primary role of the Secretary of State is to ensure that all eligible Kansans are able to participate in accessible elections. Advance ballot and in-person advance voting are common-sense ways to provide improved accessibility and encourage greater participation in the democratic process,” said Secretary of State Chris Biggs.

Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh produced a “Vote Kansas” ad  in 2006 and sponsored Vote! Kansas initiatives in 2002 and 2004.

Vote! Kansas 2010 initiative in 2010 by Secretary of State Chris Biggs

VoteKansas  ad in 2006 by Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh

The Kris Kobach campaign objects to the $159,000 of federal Helping America Vote Act money being spent for the ads, but Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh spent HAVA dollars in 2008, 2006, and 2004 to promote voting in Kansas.

An Aug. 2005 Kansas Meadowlark blog posting questioned $400,000 spent by then Kansas Securities Commissioner Chris Biggs on ads to promote his office.

Chris Biggs held a first press conference as Kansas Securities Commissioner today to announce a $400,000 buy of radio and TV ads to feature — Chris Biggs!  Biggs issued a press release to “Investigate Before You Invest” in Sept 2003, but now wants to make sure everyone sees this message from media ads.

In a related matter, on Sept. 29 the Ron Estes for Treasurer campaign called on Kansas Treasurer Dennis McKinney to pull Learning Quest ads before the election.  The ads had run during much of September but were scheduled to stop at the end of last month and continue in November after the election.  Those ads featured Treasurer McKinney talking about 529 savings plans for education.

In 2008 House Minority Leader McKinney was criticized for using franking money to send mailings for several house candidates near the end of the legislative cycle.


Contact: Earl F Glynn, earl@kansaswatchdog.org, KansasWatchdog.org