Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer vowed Monday to release his income tax returns by the end of the week and challenged other gubernatorial candidates to demonstrate a commitment to transparency by making public their personal tax filings.
He did so on the same day Gov. Jeff Colyer signed legislation at the Capitol intended to create more opportunity for the public to understand lobbying influences on financial affairs of state government.
Selzer, who trails Colyer and Secretary of State Kris Kobach in polling, said he would set an example of transparency and leadership by divulging his tax returns by Friday.
“I would expect all other candidates running for governor to do the same,” Selzer said. “Kansans deserve nothing less from those who would ask for their vote to be their governor. If governor candidates don’t trust Kansans enough to share their tax returns, Kansans shouldn’t trust them to lead their state.”
Colyer spokesman Kendall Marr said personal financial disclosures required of Colyer as a state representative, state senator, lieutenant governor and governor were sufficient.
“Kansas law already has stringent disclosure requirements regarding income statements for constitutional officers, which Governor Colyer has submitted annually for over a decade. Those filings are entirely accurate and current,” Marr said.
On Monday, Colyer joined Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, for signing of Senate Bill 394 to enhance disclosure rules for people lobbying the executive and judicial branches. The legislation was co-sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka.
Several Democrats and other Republicans in the 2018 gubernatorial candidate field declined to comment on Selzer’s proposition.
Selzer, elected insurance commissioner in 2014, said he had served long enough to prove government agencie could operate more efficiently but not long enough “to accept more politics as usual.”
“If we want transparency on the bottom line, it must be in every management decision above the line,” Selzer said.