Kansas Chamber Receives Subpoenas

A powerful Kansas business group says it has received subpoenas from the state ethics commission for information about campaign finance activities as Republican lawmakers pushed for – but then abruptly dropped – a plan to oust the commission’s top staffer.

A spokesperson for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce said that the Governmental Ethics Commission has launched “an extreme fishing expedition aimed at silencing political speech.”

The chamber declined to comment on the exact details of the subpoenas.

That statement came after GOP senators negotiating with House members over an elections bill proposed setting new qualifications for the ethics commission’s executive director.

The change would remove the current Executive Director.

Republican negotiators for both the House and the Senate initially said they were inclined to add the provision on the ethics commission to an elections bill.

But Senator Rob Olson,the Senate’s chief negotiator, said later that the proposal had been withdrawn, and would not be considered.