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State Republican Party files complaint against local candidate

John Richmeier
jrichmeier@leavenworthtimes.com

The Kansas Republican Party has made a complaint against a Leavenworth woman who is running for the Kansas House of Representatives.

The Kansas Republican Party announced in a news release that it had filed a complaint against Joana Scholtz with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission.

The complaint accuses Scholtz, who is a Democrat, of not including disclaimers in campaign materials as required by state law.

Scholtz is running for the 40th District seat of the Kansas House of Representatives. She is facing incumbent state Rep. David French, R-Lansing, in the Nov. 3 election.

The complaint apparently was lodged Sunday in an email sent from Shannon Golden, executive director of Kansas Republican Party, to Mark Skoglund, executive director of the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission.

A copy of the email was provided to the Times.

The email included attachments of images of what appears to be a fundraising letter sent by Scholtz as well as two emails.

While the letters and emails indicate Scholtz is a candidate for the Kansas House, the state Republican Party is alleging the materials do not contain disclaimers indicating who paid for them.

State law requires political ads, brochures, fliers and fact sheets to include information about who paid for or sponsored the materials.

The email from Golden also includes what appears to be a screenshot from a Facebook page for Scholtz’s campaign.

The screenshot does not show a “paid for” disclaimer in a section that provides information about the campaign.

While it is unclear when the screenshot was taken, Scholtz’s campaign Facebook page on Monday included the words, “Paid for by Joana Scholtz for KS | Joe Mooney, Treasurer.”

The email from Golden also includes a link to a Scholtz campaign video. The email argues the video does not include the necessary disclaimer. However, a check of the online video on Monday showed that it included a message at the end indicating the video was “approved and brought to you by Joana Scholtz for Kansas.”

Scholtz said Monday in an email that she had read the Kansas Republican Party press release regarding the complaint but had not received notification from the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission.

Representatives of the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission could verify that the complaint had been filed, citing a state law that requires complaints be kept confidential.

Brett Berry, general counsel for the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, said in an email to the Times that the complaints “only become public record after the commission determines sufficiency and probable cause to believe the allegations in the complaint are true. After which, the complaint is set for hearing and is a matter of public record.”

Skoglund stated in an email that no public hearing related to Scholtz has been scheduled.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR