The Buzz

Federal Election Commission dismisses Republican complaint in 2014 Orman-Roberts race

Independent Senate candidate Greg Orman, left, and Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., shake hands after concluding their second debate.
Independent Senate candidate Greg Orman, left, and Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., shake hands after concluding their second debate. AP Photo/The Topeka Capital Journal

The Federal Election Commission has dismissed a complaint from the Kansas Republican Party that Democrats improperly aided Greg Orman in the hotly-contested 2014 Senate race against Sen. Pat Roberts.

In October 2014, Kansas GOP executive director Clay Barker filed the complaint against Orman, the Kansas Democratic Party, and others, alleging Democrats were helping Orman, an independent, in “numerous and unreported ways.”

Orman, the complaint said, “may in fact be a stealth Democrat masquerading as an independent.” Barker asked the FEC to look into spending in the campaign and determine if money was improperly spent on Orman’s behalf.

In October of this year the FEC dismissed the complaint. It did not directly rule on the allegations, but said it was using “prosecutorial discretion” to dismiss the case and close it. The vote, involving Republicans and Democrats, was unanimous.

A report from the FEC’s general counsel said the complaint ranked as a “low priority” and would occupy too much of the agency’s time and effort.

Orman’s campaign spent $5.7 million in 2014 in an attempt to defeat Roberts. The Democratic nominee, Chad Taylor, withdrew from the campaign shortly after the primary. Roberts spent $7.5 million.

But independent groups spent $18.3 million, according to FEC records.

  Comments