Former Kansas congressman Tim Huelskamp abruptly hung up on Wednesday when asked to comment on misleading text messages sent to voters in the state the day before a decisive vote on abortion rights .
The anonymous text messages told voters to vote “yes” on an August 2 abortion ballot question to “give women a choice.” A “yes” vote would have removed the right to abortion from the state constitution.
Huelskamp’s Do Right PAC paid $26,000 to Alliance Forge, a Nevada company that was linked to the posts in a Washington Post report.
On Wednesday afternoon, Huelskamp answered a call from a reporter, but immediately hung up when asked to comment on the lyrics and his band’s apparent involvement. Huelskamp did not pick up the phone when the reporter tried to call him back.
A hardline conservative, Huelskamp represented Kansas’ 1st congressional district from 2011 to 2017. He lost the 2016 Republican primary to Roger Marshall, who has since won the US Senate. .
Huelskamp’s PAC was the only major group campaigning to pass the amendment that said to pay Alliance Forge, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Kansas Government Ethics Commission.
The texts had received national attention and statewide criticism by the last day before the amendment was voted on. Even former Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius received one.
Twilio, the platform on which the messages were sent, suspended the user behind the texts for violating its misinformation policy, but refused to identify the anonymous sender.
This story was originally published August 3, 2022 5:08 p.m.