‘Independent’ Orman Has Hired Democratic Operatives

Field consultants with strong ties to Democrats on Orman campaign

Greg Orman
Greg Orman / AP
October 31, 2014

Greg Orman, the "independent" candidate for Senate in Kansas, employees a number of former Democratic operatives and associates.

Orman has hired two field consultants with strong links to the Kansas Democratic Party. He has paid $2,500 to James Ryan, a former official with the state party, as first reported by Sean Davis at The Federalist on Friday.

Ryan’s résumé reveals that he is a veteran Democratic staffer, having served as field director for both the Kansas and Iowa state Democratic Parties. He also worked as campaign manager for Johnson County district attorney candidate Rick Guinn, who lost to Republican Steve Howe.

Orman’s second field consultant is Joshua McGinn, who works as a legislative assistant for the Sandstone Group, a lobbying firm that represents the natural gas industry. Sandstone is run by former Democratic staffer R.J. Wilson and has also worked with labor powerbrokers AFSCME and AFL-CIO.

McGinn has earned $1,250 from the campaign. Those payments were sent to a house in Wichita previously occupied by Democratic operative Kate Davis.

Davis was heavily involved in the state Democratic Party. She earned $1,500 for serving as a "Party Building Consultant" for the Kansas Democrat and previously served as campaign manager for Kansans for a Democratic House in 2010. Kansas election records show that McGinn is a contributor to the state party. Photos of Davis and McGinn appear on McGinn’s Facebook page.

The Orman campaign declined to comment on the story.

Orman has said he plans to caucus with whichever party wins a majority in the Senate. Republicans claim he is a closet liberal, pointing to his aborted 2008 Senate run as a Democrat, as well as his support from abortion groups and fundraising events sponsored by wealthy liberals. Republican Sen. Pat Roberts dubbed Orman "Obama’s candidate" in an October campaign ad.

"A vote for Greg Orman is a vote for the Obama agenda," the ad says.

McGinn and Ryan are not the only Democrats who are pulling for Orman’s election. He has relied on a number of Democratic campaign firms for web development, fundraising, and polling.

The Washington Free Beacon reported on Thursday that Orman has paid tens of thousands of dollars to liberal consultants based in Washington, D.C. He paid about $25,000 to Hamilton Campaigns, which is run by veteran Democratic pollster James DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz once called Beattie the "under-the-radar secret weapon" for the Democratic Party. Orman has also turned to PCI Consulting to help develop his ground game. PCI’s clientele includes numerous liberal interests, such as the ACLU and Humane Society, several public sector unions, and gun control supporters. He also paid Democratic advertising giant Adelstein Liston about $170,000 to create campaign commercials in which he touts his independence.

The Federalist also found that the independent candidate had paid $10,000 to Veracity Media to build his campaign website and provide social media consulting. Veracity is the group behind the website for Hillary Clinton’s new memoir, as well as the abortion activist Sandra Fluke’s state Senate campaign site.

Orman and Roberts are statistically tied with four days left in the campaign, according to a Real Clear Politics poll average.

Published under: 2014 Election , Greg Orman