Some lawmakers in Kansas aren’t happy Gov. Sam Brownback’s former chief of staff is the lobbyist for the company lined up to build a new state prison.
Top Democrats in the Kansas Legislature — along with the Republican Senate president, Susan Wagle — are calling for a law that would require people lobbying for state contracts to register that activity.
Just like they have to do when they’re lobbying for legislation. David Kensinger, Brownback’s former chief of staff, is registered as a lobbyist for prison contractor CoreCivic.
Sen. Anthony Hensley is seeking records of any contact between Brownback’s administration and Kensinger about the plan for CoreCivic to rebuild Lansing prison.
“I have great concerns about what kind of influence he had in bringing the project to the state,” Hensley says.
Brownback’s office says it will check for the records and that the governor would consider bills to promote transparency in lobbying.
Celia Llopis-Jepsen is a reporter for the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and KCUR covering health, education and politics. You can reach her on Twitter @Celia_LJ.
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