The Buzz

Republican group sends $800,000 to help U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder in Kansas 3rd District contest

Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan.
Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan. Kansas City Star

The price of poker in the Kansas 3rd Congressional District is going up.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a so-called Super PAC, said Wednesday it will spend $800,000 defending Rep. Kevin Yoder’s seat. The group will spend the money on television and digital advertising in the next two weeks.

Jay Sidie is an extreme liberal who has been handpicked by Washington insiders to represent their interests, not those of Kansas’ third district,” spokeswoman Ruth Guerra said in a statement. The CLF called Sidie a “liberal rubberstamp.”

The decision comes just a few days after reports that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $1 million in airtime for Sidie, the Democrat in the race.

That would bring outside spending in the race to more than $1.8 million. In the last election, according to Federal Election Commission records, independent groups spent $0 in the Kansas 3rd District.

The DCCC spending dwarfs Sidie’s own expenditures. FEC records show Sidie raised just under $380,000 and spent $301,000 of that through the end of September. The campaign also has a $50,000 debt.

Yoder has raised almost $2.5 million during the last two years, according to the FEC.

The Sidie campaign released another poll Wednesday that shows the Democrat trailing Yoder by four points, 41 percent to 37 percent. The polling firm leans Democratic, but the number reflects what the campaigns are seeing privately.

And we know this, because the House leadership wouldn’t send $800,000 to the district unless it felt Yoder needed help. In the same way, a $1 million DCCC buy suggests Democrats think Sidie has a chance.

The Sidie campaign quickly jumped on the CLF announcement. “If it wasn't clear before it is now — panic is clearly setting in for Kevin Yoder who sees his lifelong political career slipping away,” campaign manager Shawn Borich said in an email.