Truth Test: Fact-checking a pro-Bollier political ad

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — As we approach the November general election, you will see a lot of political ads. To help you stay informed, KSNT is doing truth tests on some of the ads in the Kansas U.S. Senate race.

This truth test focuses on an ad supporting Barbara Bollier. The ad does not mention her Republican opponent Roger Marshall or Jason Buckley who is running as a Libertarian.

Who’s paying for the ad?

The ad was paid for by Bollier for Kansas, Barbara Bollier’s campaign. Donation money was likely used to produce it.

Ad claim: Bollier worked with both both political parties to balance the budget

The ad says, “In the state legislature, she [Bollier] worked with both parties to balance the budget.”

KSNT determined this claim was true.

While Bollier is a member of the Democratic Party, on her campaign website she identifies as a fiscal conservative. While there is no one definition for a fiscal conservative, it generally means someone who supports financial policy advocating for lower taxes, reduced government spending and minimal government debt.

In 2015, when Bollier was a state Representative and still a member of the Republican Party, she was pushing for higher taxes in order to cut down on state debt created by then Governor Sam Brownback’s major tax cuts. However, she joined 43 other representatives, both Republicans and Democrats, to vote against a bill that raised taxes. The bill narrowly passed, preventing the state from major budget cuts.

In 2020, as a Democratic State Senator, Bollier joined 28 Republicans and Democrats in approving the 2020 state budget, which included allocating money to fight the coronavirus in Kansas.

Ad claim: Bollier voted to establish a rainy day fund in Kansas

The ad states, “[Bollier] voted to establish a rainy day fund to help us manage moments like this.”

KSNT rates this claim true.

In 2016, both the Kansas House of Representatives and Senate voted unanimously to create a rainy day fund, becoming the 47th state in the country to do so. Under the bill, the state can set aside money during good financial years to be used in years when the state budget is in the negative, which under Kansas law is not permitted.

However, Kansas’ rainy day fund was not helpful in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, as the ad implies. The state began the year with zero dollars in the fund.

Ad claim: Bollier is a moderate

The ad says, “A sensible centrist. A leading moderate voice. That’s who Barbara has always been and that’s the kind of U.S. Senator she’ll be.”

KSNT determines this claim is questionable.

Both “A sensible centrist” and “A leading moderate voice” are quotes from Kansas City Star articles, written in 2018 and 2017 respectively. After leaving the Republican Party in 2018, Bollier has identified as a moderate.

She says she has received the support of more than 70 current and former Republican politicians. However she has been criticized by some Republicans as a liberal Democrat, pointing to her record of supporting increased taxes and abortions rights in Kansas. She is supported by multiple abortion rights organizations including Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

To view KSN’s previous Senate ad fact checks, click the links below:

You can view Bollier’s voting record in the Kansas legislature by clicking the links below (Voting records are not available for years 2010-2012):

You can view Rep. Roger Marshall’s voting record in the U.S. House by clicking the links below:

Jason Buckley has never been elected to state or federal office.

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