Bloomberg, Spielberg among campaign contributors ahead of Kansas amendment vote

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WICHITA, Kansas (KWCH) – As some Kansas counties continue to recount ballots cast in the Aug. 2 primary, new campaign finance reports provide new information on donations and spending in the final weeks of the campaign leading up to Election Day.

The two main groups, supporting and opposing the ballot issue for a state constitutional amendment on abortion rights in Kansas, spent more than $17.5 million, with “Vote No” winner by almost 20%. As dozens of groups raised and spent money for the abortion constitutional amendment: “Value Them Both” for “Vote Yes” and “Kansans for Constitutional Freedom” for “Vote No” combined for increase this total.

The numbers in the title clearly show this. It was an expensive campaign. Value Them Both received approximately $6.75 million in contributions and spent $7.1 million. Kansans for Constitutional Freedom totaled approximately $10.8 million and spent nearly $10.7 million.

“Kansas was really a test case. This is the very first state to vote on abortion rights since the release of the Dobbs decision this summer,” said Dr. Michael Smith, professor of political science at Emporia State University.

The latest campaign finance reports showed a significant increase in contributions in the final two weeks of the campaign. The campaigns previously filed financial reports on July 18. Value Them Both had raised an additional $2 million in the final days of the campaign. Kansans for Constitutional Freedom added another $4 million.

Dr Smith said money has less impact.

“Not only does late publicity sometimes miss its mark because people have already made up their minds, which is true, but also because they have already voted,” he said.

But the Kansans for Constitutional Freedom report showed some of those end-of-campaign donations from Michael Bloomberg with $1.25 million and Steven Spielberg and his wife, Kate Capshaw, each donating $25,000.

“There was a lot of interest across the country to see how this vote would turn out, and those who are passionately pro-choice wanted to throw money at people who wanted a ‘no vote,'” the Dr Smith…

Both campaigns also garnered a large amount of contributions from people giving $100 or less.

“These big donors provide the kind of big for machines, while small donors are often an indication of grassroots support,” Dr. Smith said.

The report filed by Kansans For Constitutional Freedom lists more than 4,600 donations. The report doesn’t list every donor who gave less than $50, but the total of those small donations was $125,712.

Value Them Both lists nearly 6,300 donations from $5 and up.

On the Value Them Both side, the Archdiocese of Kansas City and the Catholic Diocese of Wichita made up a large portion of the donations for this campaign. For Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, Planned Parenthood groups were one of the largest segments of their giving.

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