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Donations from gambling interests rise in Kan.

Steve Painter and Brent D. Wistrom of The Wichita Eagle analyzed campaign reports and found gambling contributions to legislative campaigns over six years were up by more than 300 percent, while the same period saw no change in Kansas' gambling laws. Well-financed gambling interests are waging an increasingly expensive political war over where Kansans will spend their gambling dollars. "Collectively, major gambling interests have given more than $700,000 to House and Senate candidates since 2000 and $98,150 to candidates for statewide office, most of that to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius." Another $123,250 went to party committees that distribute money to candidates. The investigation found that the rapid rise in contributions could be fueled by increasing acceptance of legalized gambling, a supportive governor or close votes on expanded gambling in the Legislature in recent years.

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