A Wichita group’s effort to form a committee to “fix stupid” in Kansas politics has snagged the state’s top election official, Kris Kobach, who may be running a political action committee that is illegally named. Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, will be getting a letter from the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission questioning the legality of using the name “Prairie Fire PAC” for his political fundraising committee, said Carol Williams, executive director of the commission. State law requires PACs that are affiliated with a larger corporation or organization to note that in their name. Unaffiliated PACs must use names indicating who’s involved or the cause the PAC is advocating for, Williams said. Kobach said Wednesday his interpretation is the law doesn’t apply to a PAC like his.
The issue arose this week after political activists in Wichita tried to register a PAC they wanted to call “It’s Time to Fix Stupid.” They got a letter from the ethics commission saying: “The name of your political action committee, It’s time to fix stupid, must be changed or expanded upon to more clearly reflect your interest.”
The Eagle found four existing PACs whose names did not appear to have a connection to their sponsors or missions: Kobach’s committee, Prairie Fire; Gov. Sam Brownback’s Road Map PAC; Bluestem PAC, started by former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius; and D Wild Ones, a group of Pittsburg Democrats.