Recent campaign finance reports filed by candidates for the board of USD 259, the Wichita public school district, show some contributions that may be of interest to Wichita voters.
I’ve compiled a table of some of the contributions. This table is not comprehensive. It includes only the three incumbent candidates that have challengers: Lanora Nolan, Lynn Rogers, and Connie Dietz.
Joe Johnson, head of Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture, the firm that the Wichita school district selected without any competitive bidding to manage the implementation of the bond issue and the largest contributor to the bond issue campaign from last year, says “thank you” to several candidates. But it’s rather tepid, to say the least, as he could have contributed $500. And what didn’t Lanora Nolan do to earn the gratitude of Johnson? She received just $149, with the other two incumbent candidates receiving $250 each.
Unions contributed. United Teachers of Wichita, the Wichita teachers union, contributed the same amount to all three incumbents. That union will be negotiating its contract with the board sometime soon.
Unions involved in construction trades — Plumbers and Pipefitters Union and Wichita-Hutchinson Labor Federation — contributed the maximum amount to some of the incumbent candidates. It’s not clear as to their motive: thank you for passing the big bond issue? Of the three incumbent candidates, it’s Lynn Rogers that seems to be most appreciated by the trade unions. Lanora Nolan received no contributions from these unions.
Rogers also received $300 from Kansas Families for Education PAC, a group from Johnson County that advocates — incessantly, and without regard to facts — for more funding for public schools.
Lanora Nolan and her husband made a large contribution to her campaign. It also received $500 contributions from companies her husband is associated with.