WICHITA, KAN. — The three candidates in the Kansas governor’s election shared the same stage Tuesday during the KSNT gubernatorial debate. During the debate, independent candidate Greg Orman called out what he sees as corruption in the Kansas government, saying politicians have “sold our government.”
The discussion came up after moderators played one of his TV ads:
The moderators asked Orman if he stood by his use of the word “corruption” to describe the Kansas government, and he said he did, mentioning a number of government policies and practices.
Republican nominee Kris Kobach said he was also willing to use the word “corrupt” to describe the Kansas government, and Democratic nominee Laura Kelly agreed with Orman on certain government practices like no-bid contracts, but said she would not go so far as to use the word “corrupt.”
Orman went further, making it clear that what distinguished his campaign from his rivals is that he has not taken money from PACs, corporations, parties, or special interests. He also believes it will take someone outside the two-party apparatus to fix the state’s government and provide real solutions.
Getting special interest money out of governance is among the many proposals Orman released in July under his good government plan.
“I will not accept one dime from corporations, lobbyists, or PACs. I’m not for sale,” says Orman.
His good government proposals also include:
- “We should prohibit registered lobbyists from making or bundling contributions for state campaigns.”
- “We should require full transparency of all political donations in Kansas, including money that is donated to independent expenditure organizations.”
- “Legislation to prohibit lawmakers, appointed officials and senior staff members from registering as a lobbyist for 3 years after leaving office.”
- “Major political parties that refuse to allow unaffiliated Kansans to vote in their primaries, should reimburse the state and the counties for the costs of supporting their closed primaries.”
- “My proposed budget will also provide grant funding for the counties to upgrade their elections systems, and further provide funding to audit and inspect voting machines. “
- “A constitutional amendment to establish a non-partisan redistricting commission to combat gerrymandering.”
You can read the full good government plan here.
The Kansas gubernatorial election is considered a toss-up between Kobach, Kelly, and Orman. As an independent, Orman faces a tough climb to victory, polling at around 10%. But one thing is for certain: there will be plenty of eyes on Kansas come Election Day.