Government & Politics

Democrats secretly backed independent Greg Orman in race for U.S. Senate in Kansas

Campaign reports filed late last week revealed that key Democrats funneled money to Greg Orman’s campaign for the U.S. Senate in Kansas.

A political committee known as the Senate Majority PAC run by former advisers to Majority Leader Harry Reid sent about $1.5 million to two other campaign committees that were backing Orman’s campaign.

By law, Orman and his campaign could not have been involved in the transaction.

The money exchange was secret until last week’s reports because they were made on or after Oct. 16, meaning they didn’t have to be disclosed until last week. Political interests often exploit that loophole to keep some transactions secret until after the election.

In this case, Reid’s advisers wanted to keep the donations from public view because they didn’t want to fuel the idea that Democrats were backing Orman. That was one of incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts’ chief arguments against Orman in bright-red Kansas, which was that ideologically the independent was more closely aligned to the Democrats than to Republicans.

Orman had refused to say which party he would caucus with had he won.

Bloomberg reported that the Senate Majority PAC sent $1.31 million to the Committee to Elect an Independent Senate in five installments beginning on Oct. 16. The Reid-aligned PAC also sent $151,000 on Nov. 3-4 to Kansans Support Problem Solvers, which also backed Orman.

Meantime, HuffPost reported that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, gave $1 million to pro-Orman groups. Also, GOP donors, including Peter Ackerman, Greg Penner, Jeffrey Binder and John Burbank, donated as well.