Western Kansas Legislator doubts independence of grassroots organization

May 13, 2014

Credit ljworld.com

Representative Don Hineman, R-Dighton, doubts the lack of connection between the Kansas Senior Consumer Alliance and Americans for Prosperity according to a recent article in the Wichita Eagle

KSCA recently sent postcards across the state warning that renewable energy standards would drive up electric rates for seniors.    

“That’s pretty impressive for a truly grassroots organization to pull that off in one week’s time,” he said. “I’m just very skeptical of that. And I’d be very interested to see a membership for that organization or a list of contributors.”

Jeff Glendening is the state director of AFP.  He recently denied any connection to the direct mail campaign.  The following day, Glendening admitted to connecting the founder of KSCA with attorney, W. Robert Alderson. 

Alderson, a Topeka attorney, told the Topeka Capital-Journal on Thursday that he was approached by AFP to form the group as an LLC.  Alderson, later said he misspoke.  Glendening had contacted him, but it was not on the behalf of AFP.

Virginia Crossland-Macha is the founder of KSCA.  She is the sister of Ivan Crossland, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce’s chair. The group’s registered lobbyist is Alan Cobb, the former Kansas director of Americans For Prosperity.

“Here’s the thing to look at,” Hineman said. “If it’s truly a grassroots organization of senior citizens, where’s the money coming from? It’s not a cheap deal to produce all of those postcards and mail them throughout the state. That’s a substantial undertaking.”

The western Kansas legislator supports the renewable energy standards.   

The postcards made an unsourced claim that renewable energy standards have increased electric rates by 27 percent in other states. The Kansas Corporation Commission has pegged the increase from renewable standards at around 2 percent.

Americans for Prosperity is the anti-tax, small-government group backed by Charles and David Koch.