Ex-Brownback aide lobbying against tobacco tax increase

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Gov. Sam Brownback’s former chief of staff is lobbying against a proposed tax increase on tobacco, one of the governor’s primary proposals to balance the state’s budget.

Kansas secretary of state’s records show David Kensinger registered as a lobbyist for Reynolds American on Feb. 6. That is six weeks after Kensinger was asked by Budget Director Shawn Sullivan to give feedback on a proposed state budget.

The Wichita Eagle reports Kensinger confirmed he was representing an opponent of the tax increase, but declined to say if he began talks with Reynolds before the budget was made public, or whether his knowledge that a tax increase would be proposed helped him land the contract.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley says Kensinger’s tobacco contract is a blatant conflict of interest.



Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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