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Kansas congressman scrutinized for basketball raffle

Associated Press - March 18, 2014 8:43 pm

The special election for the congressional seat formerly held by new CIA Director Mike Pompeo has added new urgency to pending court decisions in multiple federal lawsuits challenging restrictive voter registration requirements in Kansas.

Kansas congressman Tim Huelskamp has revised his plans for raffling off tickets to men’s college basketball games for small campaign contributions because of legal questions.

Huelskamp announced Tuesday he’s no longer requiring a donation of at least $10 for a chance to win four tickets to NCAA men’s tournament games this week in St. Louis. Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State will play.

The Republican congressman opened the raffle Monday in an email to supporters, saying they could make donations until Wednesday morning.

But Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson told Huelskamp’s re-election campaign that the contest was illegal. The Kansas Constitution bans even charity raffles as private lotteries.

Huelskamp is seeking a third term in the U.S. House from the 1st Congressional District.

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