When Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's top aide stepped down this spring, speculation swirled about what role he might play in this summer's GOP primaries pitting conservatives against moderates.
New campaign finance reports provide a clearer picture of the part he's playing today.
David Kensinger's consulting firm is financing the campaign activities of the Kansans for Life Political Action Committee, according to a finance report filed with the state Thursday.
Kensinger & Associates gave $15,000 to the PAC on July 31. The group has spent $2,500 on automated phone calls on behalf of 36 House and Senate candidates across Kansas, records show. Kensinger's donation was one of three totaling $22,500 made last Tuesday and Wednesday.
In Johnson County, Kansans for Life paid for calls on behalf of conservative Senate candidates David Harvey, Jim Denning, Jeff Melcher and Greg Smith. Calls were also made on behalf of conservative candidates in nine lower-profile House races in Johnson County.
In a brief exchange of e-mails tonight, Kensinger said his wife's last paying job was at the National Right to Life Committee.
"She has an August birthday. A man should show his bride some appreciation," Kensinger wrote.
Although Kensinger moved out of the Capitol in the spring, he still has been a behind-the-scenes advocate for Brownback, a staunch opponent of abortion who has signed several new restrictions into law since he was sworn in last year. A couple of those laws are being challenged in court.
Kensinger's involvement in the primaries doesn't stop with Kansans for Life. His firm also gave $500 to Smith's campaign for the Senate race against moderate Joe Beveridge of Lenexa.
He also contributed $500 to the Senate campaign of former Shawnee County Sheriff Dick Barta of Topeka. If Barta wins the Republican primary, he would face incumbent Democratic Sen. Laura Kelly of Topeka.