Critics Turn Up Hear on Former Brownback Aide
October 3, 2014

(AP) – A former Kansas legislator says he was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation earlier this year about state government under Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

Ex-Republican state Sen. Dick Kelsey confirmed Thursday that he had multiple conversations with the FBI, ending in July. During a news conference, he and Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley called on Brownback to cut any ties with former chief of staff David Kensinger.

Brownback’s campaign called their comments “false smears.”

Kensinger left as Brownback’s chief of staff in April 2012 to form a lobbying firm. He remains an unpaid adviser to Brownback’s re-election campaign.

Kelsey said the FBI identified Kensinger as a subject of its inquiry. Kensinger did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

Federal authorities would not confirm or deny an investigation.

Brownback Says Investigation is a Smear Campaign
May 6, 2014

Wichita Eagle via KC Star:
TOPEKA — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday dismissed as a smear campaign reports of an FBI investigation into the activities of his former chief of staff.

In his first public comments on the topic, Gov. Sam Brownback said Monday “I’m seeing a lot of efforts to try to smear people” in reports that the FBI was investigating allegations of influence peddling by his former chief of staff, David Kensinger, and other advisers.

“I’m not seeing the allegations of criminal activity,” Brownback told The Wichita Eagle in his first public comments on the topic. “I’m seeing a lot of efforts to try to smear people.”

A report that the FBI was examining activities linked to David Kensinger, the governor’s former chief of staff and current chairman of his political organization, first appeared April 26 on the Topeka Capital-Journal’s website.

The Eagle and The Star have since spoken to three lobbyists and a former state official who said they were interviewed by federal investigators as early as 2012 and as recently as a month ago. They asked not to be identified.

The sources said they were interviewed about whether Kensinger and others have been involved in “pay-to-play” influence, in which political promises are made in exchange for money.

The governor specifically addressed a portion of the initial report that scrutinized former staffers who now represent KanCare providers as lobbyists.

“We bid everything out on KanCare. And you’ve got to be qualified, and you’ve got to get the lowest bid on it,” he said.

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AP: Kansas Probe Involves former Top Brownback Aide
April 29, 2014

(AP) – A person familiar with the inquiry says the Federal Bureau of Investigation is examining whether Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s former chief of staff and a firm he helped found are trading on ties to Brownback to benefit themselves and others.

The person said the FBI has been looking for several months into the activities of Brownback confidante David Kensinger and Parallel Strategies, formed last year. The person said the FBI had interviewed multiple people.

The person is not in law enforcement and insisted on anonymity because the person is not authorized to speak publicly about the FBI’s inquiry. The FBI declined comment.

The investigation was first reported by The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Kensinger declined comment Monday. Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said the administration has had no indication of an inquiry.

Brownback Offices Confirms Kraske Report, COS Kensinger Moving On
April 9, 2012

The political strategist who served as Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s first chief of staff has resigned, the governor’s office announced Friday.
David Kensinger is returning to his political roots, joining U.S. Rep. Mike Pence’s campaign for Indiana governor. Kensinger also will serve as chairman of Brownback’s policy organization, Road Map Solutions.
“His leadership kept our team on track and focused on our ‘road map for Kansas’ goals that we laid out during the campaign,” Brownback, a Republican, said in a statement.
Kensinger, 40, officially stepped down on March 31, the governor’s spokeswoman said.
He was not in the office this week, although a farewell reception was held for him Friday.
“This has been my most rewarding opportunity in public service,” Kensinger said.
Kensinger’s ties to the governor date to 1994, when he worked on Brownback’s first campaign for Congress.
In 2010, Kensinger was the architect of the Kansas GOP’s successful “clean sweep” strategy that focused on winning each of the statewide offices and gains in the House and Senate.
Some Republicans said they expect Kensinger to focus this summer on electing more conservatives to the state Senate, which is now controlled by party moderates.

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Brownback COS and Political Advisor Kensinger Leaving
April 7, 2012

KC Star:
David Kensinger, who was said last week to be heading out the door, is now definitely headed out that door.
A farewell reception was held today for Gov. Sam Brownback’s chief of staff with about two dozen attending in a room on the Statehouse’s second floor.
Brownback attended.
Exactly when Kensinger’s resignation is effective was unclear.
Kensinger, the architect of the Kansas GOP’s wildly successful “clean sweep” strategy of 2010, is said to be headed off to work on Mike Pence’s campaign for Indiana governor.
Some Republicans expect him to turn his attention this summer to those expected-to-be-brutal GOP primary races for the Kansas state Senate that will pit conservatives against moderates. At stake: control of the state Senate next year.
Expected to take Kensinger’s place was long-time aide Landon Fulmer.

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