The Buzz

Anthony Hensley returns to the issue of Jeff Colyer’s loans

Here we go again on the issue of Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer’s campaign loans.

Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, a frequent critic of Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration, has filed a formal complaint about the three, $500,000 loans with Chad Taylor, the Shawnee County district attorney. Taylor, for a brief time in 2014, was a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported the development Friday.

Hensley makes two charges:

First, Colyer relied on the campaign assets of the Brownback re-election campaign to secure a personal loan. Colyer then lent that money to the campaign.

Two, Colyer spent campaign funds on defense lawyers during an investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office.

Those actions violate Kansas campaign law, Hensley said.

The U.S. attorney’s office examined the three loans, but walked away without seeking any charges.

“I have reason to believe that Jeff Colyer used contributions in the Brownback campaign treasury as collateral to secure a personal loan of $500,000,” Hensley told the Cap-Journal. “Even if he loaned this money back to the campaign, that does not change the fact that he used the campaign’s contributions for a personal use, which is a clear violation of our state’s campaign finance law.”

A Brownback spokeswoman said no laws were broken.

In the past, the state ethics commission has allowed candidates to use political funds to hire attorneys for issues related to the campaign.