Kansas state Sen. Chris Steineger wasn't talking about his former campaign finance director, Mike Sager, last week. But the Kansas City, Kansas, Democrat dropped Sager's name a lot during a Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission hearing on Tuesday.
Steineger blamed Sager for not purging lobbyists names from his campaign donor lists, leading to lobbyists getting hit up for donations during the legislative session, a campaign violation. You can see it all thanks to Kansas Watchdog reporter Earl Glynn, who put together a highlight
reel of the hearing.
The ethics commission ruled there was "insufficient evidence" that
Steineger had knowingly solicited lobbyists (because, to paraphrase
Steineger, it was all Mike Sager's fault), but they did ding him $5,000
for paying for polling for his secretary of state/gubernatorial campaign
with money in his senate campaign fund (another violation of ethics
rules). The Watchdog also points out that chairwoman Sabrina Standifer called out Steineger for his
"multiple explanations" for how he paid for the polling.
refused to speak with The Pitch last week about Sager. A
Steineger spokeswoman said Sager was no longer with Steineger's
campaign but wouldn't confirm that the Mike Sager working for the
Steineger campaign was the same Mike Sager who pleaded guilty in January
2007 to intentionally
filing a false campaign report after being accused
writing $22,500 in checks from his campaign accounts to
himself as well as making up a $50,000 personal loan.
ended up telling The Kansas City Star's Steve Kraske that
yep, it was the same guy. Great vetting, senator.