If you've been asking yourself why the Kansas Ethics Commission would be investigating the financial report of a Congressional candidate, you're not alone.
Typically, the Federal Ethics Commission investigates these things. So a few weeks ago, when I received an email about a complaint filed with Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission about Roger Marshall, a doctor vying for Congressman Tim Huelskamp's seat in the Big First, I thought, well, whoever is filing that complaint is just trying to stir up some campaign shenanigans.
This story may be more than just campaign fodder. The Kansas ethics commission has now ruled that a Marshall Statement of Substantial Interest, or SSI, was missing several key pieces of financial information about the Great Bend doctor.
I don't put much faith in the Kansas ethics commission, as I know it's often used as a tool of the Left and of Establishment incumbents to punish those on the Right or those who think they should be able to just up and launch a campaign against an incumbent. However, Kansas state public officials must file campaign finance reports -- if they're running for office-- and/or SSIs for a variety of roles in Kansas government, and THAT is how Marshall (rightfully so, it appears) got caught in the snares of the Kansas ethics commission.
Marshall is kind of a public official. Who knew? Marshall is a commissioner, appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback, to the Kansas Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism Commission. Because if there's anyone who knows about Kansas wildlife and tourism, it's a medical doctor. (And… I am a little discouraged to learn that this “job” pays. Not well. But commissioners earn $35 per day. I don’t even…)
Because he is a state appointed employee (why yes, the gig of Kansas Wildlife, Parks, Tourism and Everything Under the Sink Commissioner pays! Not well --$35 per day – but still), he is required to submit an SSI showing all of his finances, including IRAs, company ownerships, etc.
When he decided to run against Huelskamp, Marshall had to file a similar form with the Federal Ethics Commission. And someone – probably opposition research for the Huelskamp campaign—compared Marshall’s federal form to the one he disclosed to the state of Kansas.
Doc left about $750,000 worth of assets on the cutting room floor when he turned the SSI form into the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. Rumor has it the Doctor has made some bank, and folks are suggesting he didn’t want to appear too wealthy in his search for a Kansas appointment. (He’s rumored to be worth about $10 million.)
So, what all does this tell us about Dr. Marshall?
He didn't reveal all of his assets to the state of Kansas as required. He definitely didn’t take that Kansas Wildlife Commissioner role for the money, and he probably doesn’t use his vacation time exploring Kansas tourism.