Sunday, April 01, 2012

Press Release - Coalition For Better Cities To File Ethics Complaints

This afternoon the Coalition for Better Cities issued a press release regarding  the recent undocumented mailers sent out in Shawnee and Mission KS.  The press release speaks for itself and does not necessitate any editorializing on my part.
The text of the press release follows:


April 1, 2012
Contact: Jacob Swisher
Phone: (913) 575-2759

Coalition for Better Cities Files Campaign Ethics Charges Against Opponents

Local elections in the cities of Shawnee and Mission in Johnson County, Kansas, are upon us. But now the heat of these elections may have produced violations in Kansas election law.

In the races for Shawnee mayor and city council as well as for city council seats in Mission, there has been plenty of passion on the issues that matter most to voters. On Tuesday, April 3, citizens will have the opportunity to select their preference for mayor in Shawnee, and for city council seats there, while residents of Mission will vote on positions for their city council.

This week, certain election activities in both these cities very well may have crossed the line to possible violations of Kansas governmental ethics rules. Therefore, a formal filing of three separate complaints will be lodged with Carol Williams, Executive Director of the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission tomorrow, Monday, April 2, 2012, as well as with Brian Newby, Johnson County Election Commissioner.

Coalition for Better Cities (CBC) is filing these complaints of possible violations of Kansas election law, two from within the current city of Shawnee political establishment and one from the city of Mission.

These complaints are as follows: 1) the use of governmental resources going to campaigns of incumbents, using time during a Shawnee city council meeting to campaign, by current Councilman Jeff Vaught; 2) the improper distribution of electioneering materials via the U.S. mail to voters in the City of Shawnee; and 3) a similar mailing to voters in the City of Mission.

The mailings in question did not state the organization which sent the mailings, itself a clear violation of Kansas law. As for the allegations in these mailings, the issues which they reference were clearly stated in Shawnee city council minutes and are dully notated on the respective mailers. Evidently, these parties have enough finances to conduct mailings, but at no time have they utilized any of their mailings to respond on the actual issues CBC has publicly brought forward, but only to try and smear those who oppose them.

The group in favor of the status quo in Mission and Shawnee city governments blatantly lied. It falsely asserted that outside organizations were involved in the funding of previous CBC mailings and activities, basing these false accusations on what they admit in the Shawnee mailing were mere rumors.

CBC finds it ironic that the questionable mailings from our opponents bear a return address from a Kansas City, Missouri post office box. And therefore, we believe it is appropriate to ask the question of why the citizens of the cities of Shawnee and Mission should allow parties from across the state line to try to tell them how matters should be handled?

Coalition for Better Cities
Currie Myers – Chairman
Michael Swisher, CPA - Treasurer