THE LATEST: We are seeking calendar information and communications to and from State Senator J.R. Claeys in his capacities as a Senior Advisor to Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, and as a Senator in the Kansas State Legislature.
In January of 2023 fresh off his successful campaign for Kansas’ attorney general, Kris Kobach – the former Kansas secretary of state and the vice chair of former President Donald Trump’s Presidential Commission on Election Integrity – appointed a prominent sitting member of the Kansas Senate to serve as his senior adviser in the AG’s office. Sen. J.R. Claeys, R-Salina, also served as Kobach’s campaign manager during the 2022 election cycle. In addition to these two roles, Claeys is affiliated with Axiom Strategies – one of the largest political consulting firms in the country. Axiom Strategies played a key role in Kobach’s campaign for AG.
Claeys has rejected the notion that his positions create a conflict of interest and has said he doesn’t expect to recuse himself from votes on bills affecting the attorney general. He has also indicated he won’t recuse himself from matters related to the office’s budget given his role as vice chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
We requested and received documents from the Kansas Ethics Commission on guidance they provided Senator Claeys.
Claeys told the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission that in the Attorney General’s Office he would have “duties mainly focused on constituent services.”
Our latest requests seek to shed light on what Claeys’ job in the AG’s office actually is, what issues he is working on, and who he is meeting with.