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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Huelskamp says Lawrence DA politicized office

  • A kerfuffle over a campaign donation raffle has Rep. Tim Huelskamp's campaign talking "legal options" against the democratic district attorney that publicized the infraction.
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  • Rep. Tim Huelskamp's campaign says it is "exploring legal options" against Charles Branson, the Douglas County district attorney that posted a letter to his office's website claiming a Kansans for Huelskamp fundraiser was a felony violation of state anti-raffle laws.
    Huelskamp's campaign claims Branson, a democrat, misused his office for political gain and subjected Huelskamp to a trial by public opinion by making the letter public before it was received by Huelskamp's campaign.
    "The Disciplinary Rules of the Kansas Supreme Court are very clear and visit a grave duty upon prosecutors to avoid trial by press release, the very thing that Democrat Branson undertook against Congressman Huelskamp this week," Huelskamp spokesperson Josh Bell wrote.
    "This kangaroo trial via the media conducted by Branson's statewide leak of the letter threatening Congressman Huelskamp before even investigating all the facts is appalling. It would appear that the letter was sent to the press before it was even received by the official Congressional office."
    In a release Wednesday afternoon, the campaign said it still has not received the letter which was addressed to Huelskamp's congressional office in Washington, not to the campaign.
    The Huelskamp campaign could not be reached for comment or clarification late Wednesday afternoon, but said in the release that under the advice of the campaign's lawyers would not make any further comments on the legal aspects or what complaint, if any, the campaign will file.
    The complaint originates with a fundraiser offering a chance to win four tickets to upcoming NCAA basketball tournament games in St. Louis to donors giving the campaign more than $10.
    On Tuesday, Branson's office posted a letter saying the raffle constituted an illegal lottery. The campaign has until March 26 to inform donors they are eligible to receive back their donations and to provide proof to the district attorney's office that the campaign has complied.
    If donors do not reply to the campaign, the campaign should send the money back anyway, Branson wrote.
    The letter was also forwarded to the Kansas Attorney General.
    Branson's office could not be reached for comment late Wednesday afternoon.
    Huelskamp's campaign modified the contest on Tuesday, saying no donation would be required to be eligible to win the tickets.
    In the announcement of the prize being awarded to a Shockers fan in Wichita, Huelskamp's campaign wrote that "Despite the efforts of a group of liberal Democrat attorneys in Lawrence, the Kansas Basketball Madness drawing did take place. And we have a winner. (And for the attorneys and reporters more interested in legalese than lay-ups — this drawing was strictly voluntary and required no contribution in order to participate!)"

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