Let’s close the loop on a mystery that’s swirled around Kansas politics: Did the state Board of Healing Arts clear one-time U.S. Senate candidate Milton Wolf for his not-so-well-thought-out Facebook posts?
Answer: Yes, it did, and based on conditions that Wolf says he laid out months ago. This week, Wolf showed me a letter saying exactly that.
“This case is now closed,” wrote board attorney Jane Weiler in a July 28 missive.
Wolf’s gruesome 2010 Facebook posts involved images of gunshot victims and others with accompanying snarky captions from the Leawood radiologist. It was tacky stuff, and their existence may have cost Wolf an upset win in the 2014 GOP Senate primary. Some insiders say other damaging Facebook posts may exist, although none have been produced.
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Why write about this again? Because the board’s move might clear the way next year for Wolf to wage another gonzo campaign against a pillar of Kansas’ GOP establishment, Sen. Jerry Moran.
I say the latest development “might” clear the way because all Wolf will say is that he’s still considering the race.
But his actions suggest he’s got an itchy trigger finger. He made a well-publicized trip to Wamego, Kan., this month to confront Moran and ask whether the senator was involved in siccing the healing arts board on his tail. Moran said he didn’t, and there’s little reason to doubt him.
Wolf’s website contains some over-the-top hyperbole. One piece, “Weaponizing the Government: Laws violated, evidence destroyed, GOP insiders caught red-handed” is smack-full of allegations.
Still, he stirs some legitimate questions about the board’s conduct and whether it was used as a political tool in 2014. Board attorney Dan Riley, for instance, needlessly disclosed the existence of a formal board investigation to a newspaper just days before the 2014 primary.
And this month, a board paralegal contradicted Wolf to a reporter, saying the board had not sent Wolf a letter about its investigation when, in fact, it had.
Finally, the investigation into Wolf lingered into summer 2015 until a July column of mine apparently stirred some action. If the board is engaged in political chicanery, that’s a big concern.
Wolf continues to rev his engine. But will he engage the clutch to become perhaps the lone tea partier to challenge an incumbent next year?
“How do you deal with a bully?” he writes on his website. “You punch back twice as hard.”