Wichita, Kan. --- The campaign in the Fourth District Congressional Republican race is as hot as the weather.
Incumbent Rep. Mike Pompeo's camp is now accusing challenger Todd Tiahrt of profiting from congressional earmarks he made while in office.
Tiahrt is firing back telling KAKE news, "It's a false charge made by a desperate candidate who's trying to cover up his crony capitalism. Mr. Pompeo's GMO bill punishes the competitors that give him money. It's a classic example of 'crony capitalism.' The chemical companies get protected by the prohibition of labeling GMO's and then the 2nd part of his bill, title 2, punishes their competitors, the natural food producers and natural food stores. So he's trying to cover up his crony capitalism by trying to distract something I did for the local community."
Congressman Pompeo's campaign accuses Tiahrt of a lucrative Colorado earmark payout.
Congressional earmarks are defined as federal expenditures to the recipients through appropriations. Congress banned them in 2010.
Then Congressman Tiahrt secured an earmark, a $500,000 contract, for direct energy solutions in the 2006 defense appropriations bill.
Colorado businessman David Neuman was CEO of D.E.S. as well as Neumann Systems Group.
Campaign finance records show Neuman as a regular contributor to Tiahrt's campaigns while the Goddard Republican was in congress.
Records show Neumann remains a contributor to Tiahrt's current effort to unseat Pompeo.
Tiahrt defends the earmark saying it was tied to then Boeing-Wichita work on the Airborne Laser Program.
Tiahrt says, "In referring to something I did for the "Airborne Laser Program" where we tried to develop the next generation laser. The company in Colorado bid on that work and won it from the Air Force. So it wasn't something that I directly did. It was an agreed priority of research and development funds for the next generation laser program which is a Wichita program."
Tiahrt gave up his House seat to run for Senate but lost. In January of last year he was hired as Chief Executive of Neumann Systems Group and according to Pompeo's campaign was paid $380,000.
Tiahrt says, "What I did was run a company called Neuman System's Group which did energy pollution controls, totally different concept. And it was based on my skills as a CEO." "And if you talk to the owner you'll find out that I turned the company around and actually saved the company."
The primary vote is August 5th.