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Ex-Brownback Aide Lobbying Against Tobacco Tax Increase

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Sam Brownback's former chief of staff is lobbying against the governor's proposed tax hike on tobacco, which is one of the governor's primary proposals to balance the state's budget.  Kansas secretary of state's records show David Kensinger registered as a lobbyist for Reynolds American on February 6th. That is six weeks after Kensinger was asked by Budget Director Shawn Sullivan to give feedback on a proposed state budget.  The Wichita Eagle reports Kensinger confirmed he was representing an opponent of the tax increase, but declined to say if he began talks with Reynolds before the budget was made public, or whether his knowledge that a tax increase would be proposed helped him land the contract.  Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley says Kensinger's tobacco contract is a blatant conflict of interest.


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