Update (7:33 a.m. May 17): Last week, Kansas state Sen. Chris Steineger refused to confirm whether he'd hired disgraced Missouri lawmaker Mike Sager as his campaign finance director.
Sager's history would have been an odd choice to oversee Steineger's money in his campaign to become Kansas' chief election official. In January 2007, Sager pleaded guilty to filing a false campaign report. He had been charged with writing $22,500 in checks from his campaign accounts to himself as well as making up a $50,000 personal loan.
Steineger did hire Sager. The KCK Democrat refused to speak with The Pitch last Thursday about Sager, dispatching a spokeswoman to dodge questions.
But in Steve Kraske's Kansas City Star Sunday column, Steineger admitted hiring ex-lawmaker Sager. Kraske wrote:
Steineger said he didn't know about Sager's past when he hired him, but dumped him a month ago when he found out.
Steineger's campaign is accused of breaking campaign finance rules for
soliciting campaign donations from lobbyists during the legislative
session and using money from his senate campaign to pay for polling for
his secretary of state run, a no-no.
"I stupidly paid for polling
out of that account," Steineger told Kraske.
That admission contradicted Steienger's
claim to the Topeka Capital-Journal in February that he had paid
for the polls out of his personal account.
"I have receipts," Steineger told the Cap-Journal. "I may or may
not choose to give them to you."
Steineger's hearing on those charges is scheduled for Tuesday
before the Kansas Governmental
Ethics Commission. capture via Forward Kansas shows Kansas state Sen. Chris Steineger consulting with his campaign fianance director, Mike Sager.
Original story (1:45 p.m. May 13): Kansas state Sen. Chris
capture via Forward Kansas
shows Kansas state Sen. Chris Steineger consulting with his campaign
fianance director, Mike Sager.
Steineger is having some campaign finance woes in his bid to become
Kansas Secretary of State.
Steineger, a Democrat from Kansas
City, Kansas, has admitted
that his campaign sent out e-mails to lobbyists during the legislative
session. Steineger has also been accused of spending money that had
been donated to his senate campaign to pay for polling for his secretary
of state campaign (a mixing of funds that's not allowed; Steineger has
denied the charge, telling the Topeka Capital-Journal that he
had personally paid for the polling from his checking account
although the newspaper reported that Steineger's Senate finance report
payment to an Oregon telephone survey company).
campaign might have experience in campaign finance problems. The screen
cap above is a February 26 Cap-Journal story showing Steineger
talking with Mike Sager, identified as Steineger's "campaign
Forward Kansas blog asked
today whether the Mike Sager in the photo is Mike Sager, the former
Democratic state representative from Lee's Summit who was accused
writing $22,500 in checks from his campaign accounts to
himself as well as making up a $50,000 personal loan.
Sager later pleaded guilty to intentionally
filing a false campaign report (he received a year of probation and had
to serve 10 hours of community service; the felony was dropped).
Rep. Sager was also fined
$9,000 by the Missouri Ethics Commission for spending campaign
contributions on personal items.
Steineger wouldn't speak
with The Pitch. His spokeswoman, Allison
Green, refused to confirm whether the Mike
Sager who worked for Steineger's campaign was the former Missouri
"I can't confirm that," Green said. "I didn't hire
Mike Sager. Chris Steineger did. So I can't confirm that it's the same
one. You're going to have to call and talk to Mike Sager himself on
Pressed on whether Steineger would confirm whether
it's the same Mike Sager, Green responded: "I can try and ask him."
no longer works for Steineger's campaign, Green said.
about a month now," Green said.
Green wouldn't explain why Sager
is no longer with the campaign.
"I'm not going to comment on
who or why anyone no
longer works for the campaign," Green said. "I don't want to get into
Phone numbers listed to Sager in Lee's Summit were
Steineger's hearing before the Kansas Governmental
Ethics Commission is scheduled for May 18.
"We will comply with
whatever they decide is the proper procedure," Green said.