Kansas politician hopes to stop the spread of false political ads

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It's not unusual during elections to get flooded with flyers of candidates. However, Representative Dennis Hedke says one organization's flyers aren't giving voters the right information. The organization in question is called Kansas Values Institute.
As Dennis Hedke ran for Kansas Legislature House District 99 he had to defend himself from a wave of attack flyers from an organization called Kansas Values Institute.
Hedke said,"we were concerned certainly with the potential to confuse voters."

One ad says Hedke took a $2,000 dollar bonus, another claims he is responsible for driving up property taxes. He pointed out another ad that includes names of officeholders without permission. He said, "I just think that the voters of our state deserve better than this kind of information being floated and assumed to be received without question."

So who is the Kansas Values Institute? According to their website: "The Kansas Values Institute is a policy and grassroots advocacy organization that is committed to educating, equipping and mobilizing Kansans to take action on a variety of topics that form the bedrock of the Kansas spirit.

While our spirit is strong, many of our fellow Kansans are hurting. In fact, not since the Great Depression has our state faced such difficult times. But, we believe in the strength of the Kansas character. It's a belief in faith, family and community. It's a belief in the same rights that our Founding Fathers believed in - the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And, it's a belief that our state's best days are yet to come.

By working together, we will keep the promise to our future generations. It's a promise to make our state the best place to live, work and raise a family. And, together, it's a promise we can fulfill."

However, Hedke believes KVI Chairman Dan Watkins, a Democratic activist who worked as a senior advisor for the Obama campaign, isn't informing Kansans but attacking conservative Republicans. Hedke contacted the Kansas Ethics Commission to see if there were any statutes to put a stop to this type of behavior. He said, "unfortunately there is nothing in our statutes that allows them to put out any kind of material pressure on misleading content being floated."

That's why Hedke says it's his mission to prevent groups like KVI from spreading misleading info. He said, "I guarantee you this next session I will present legislation that moves in a direction that attempts to put some sort of realistic clamps on this sort of activity."

Executive Director of KVI, Ryan Wright, says the organization stands behind all of the ads they ran.


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