Kansas

Kobach: Immigration Advocates Like the KKK, 'Just Not Wearing White Cloaks'

Yesterday, Glenn Beck accused the immigration reform advocates who held a peaceful protest outside the home of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach of practicing “domestic terrorism” just like the Ku Klux Klan. Today, Kobach himself appeared on Beck’s radio show and agreed with this assessment. “They’re just not wearing white cloaks, but this is exactly KKK type of intimidation,” the Kobach said.

“The left is set up on revenge,” Beck responded, “and so they’re using the tactics of those who kept them down in the past that we all tried to defeat…So they’re just changing their hood or changing their language, but it is not changing who they really are or what they’re trying to do.”

Beck also compared the demonstrators to Greece’s Golden Dawn party, a neo-Nazi group with ties to anti-immigrant hate crimes.

Kobach previously threatened to use violence against the “mob” of protesters.

Beck: Immigration Reform Advocates Practicing KKK-Style 'Domestic Terrorism'

Whatever you think of the decision by Kansas immigration reform advocates to hold a peaceful protest outside of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s house this weekend, you could probably agree that there is a significant difference between the protesters – pictured here – and the Ku Klux Klan.

But not if you’re Glenn Beck. Beck was scheduled to interview Kobach on his program yesterday, but Kobach had to drop off the call due to technical difficulties. So Beck winged it, showing a video of the protest and asking, “What’s the difference between that and the Klan coming to Martin Luther King’s house?”

“This is not just domestic terrorism, this is civil rights stuff,” he added. “This isn’t America. This is old-style South kind of tactics.”

Responding to the protest yesterday, Kobach said the “mob” at his house is the “reason we have the Second Amendment” and worried that the protesters could have tried to break in.

UPDATE: Beck finally got on the phone with Kobach, who agreed with him about the demonstrators: “They’re just not wearing white cloaks, but this is exactly KKK type of intimidation."

Kobach Tells 'Mob' that Protested at His House: 'There's a Reason We Have a 2nd Amendment'

Yesterday, a group of about 100 supporters of comprehensive immigration reform staged a protest at the house of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has been a driving force behind anti-immigrant laws around the country. By all accounts, the protest was peaceful: a short video of the event shows protesters carefully staying off the grass as they repeat the chants of a man with a bullhorn.

But Kobach, who was not at home at the time, tells Fox News' Todd Starnes, “I shudder to think what would have happened if one of those members of the mob had tried to break into the house.”

He added that he would have considered using a firearm against the protestors: “It’s important we recognize there’s a reason we have the Second Amendment. There are situations like this where you have a mob and you do need to be able to protect yourself.”

Starnes reports that Kobach told him  “a large number of the protesters were believed to be illegal aliens."

“I was just appalled,” Kobach told Fox News. “They have a right to protect at my office or at public places – that’s fine. But they don’t have a right to enter someone’s private property and engage in this kind of intimidation.”

“I have four little girls and they would have been terrified to see 200 protesters shouting at their daddy on megaphones on the front lawn,” he said.

The secretary of state said a large number of the protesters were believed to be illegal aliens. They can be seen on video chanting in Spanish, standing on Kobach’s porch, front yard and driveway and demanding that he come outside.


Kobach said he was especially troubled to learn that it took police at least 15 minutes to respond to his house.

“You have a mob of 200 people gathering on someone’s property and it takes the police 15 minutes to get there,” he said. “That doesn’t give you a whole lot of confidence either. I shudder to think what would have happened if one of those members of the mob had tried to break into the house.”

He also feared what would have happened had he been home with his wife and four young daughters.

“On a typical Saturday, my four girls would have been riding their bikes and coloring chalk in the driveway,” he said. “That’s where they play. If four buses pulled up and the mob started marching down upon them, they would have been absolutely terrified.”

The secretary of state is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment – and he said the incident at his home is an example of why Americans should bear arms.

“If we had been in the home and not been armed, I would have felt very afraid – because it took the police 15 minutes to show up,” he said. “It’s important we recognize there’s a reason we have the Second Amendment. There are situations like this where you have a mob and you do need to be able to protect yourself.”

He said had they been home and the mob had gotten out of hand, his family would have been in “grave jeopardy.”

“The Second Amendment is the private property owner’s last resort,” he said.

Kobach said he’s asked local police and the county attorney to investigate the incident. He believes a number of laws were violated including terrorizing a public official.
 

Kansas' Kobach Pushes Plan that Would Disenfranchise Alaska Natives

Back in April, two Alaska House committees approved a bill that would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls – a particularly damaging measure in a state where many rural communities don’t even require photos on drivers’ licenses. Now, the Anchorage Daily News is reporting that there is a familiar face behind the measure. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the driving force behind voter suppression and anti-immigrant measures around the country, reportedly coordinated with Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell to push the bill in what looks like an effort to damage Democratic Sen. Mark Begich in his 2014 reelection bid. (Treadwell denies that he worked with Kobach on the bill, which he says he opposes.)

Alaska Natives say a photo ID rule would be a roadblock to voting in the Bush. A decline in turnout there, with its traditionally heavy Democratic vote, could affect the 2014 reelection hopes of U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat running in a Republican-leaning state. One of his potential rivals is Alaska's top election official, Republican Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.

Treadwell says he doesn't support the voter ID bill, but Kobach says Treadwell was instrumental in getting him involved in promoting the Alaska legislation.

In an April statement to reporters that didn't mention Kobach or Kansas, Treadwell touted the cross-checking as having found 14 people suspected of "actually voting in both Alaska and another state" in 2012. Treadwell threatened to prosecute the voters if the allegations were confirmed.

Alaska elections director Gail Fenumiai recently said 12 of the 14 voters cited in Treadwell's April statement were wrongly identified as duplicate voters and actually voted only in Alaska.



Kobach told the Daily News it was he who suggested to Treadwell that Alaska get involved in the Kansas project. "I personally talked to Mead Treadwell, your lieutenant governor, and encouraged him to join, and he did so," Kobach said.

And his testimony on the photo ID bill, Kobach said, was the result of a conversation with Treadwell.

"I spoke to Mead about it at one of our national conferences -- he mentioned that you guys were considering a photo ID law," Kobach said. "I said I'd be happy to share some of the experiences we've had in Kansas."

Treadwell, who said he doesn't support the Alaska bill because of the difficulty for Bush residents to get photo identification, said he didn't recall talking to Kobach about it.

As the Daily News explains, a photo ID bill would be especially damaging to Alaska Natives living in rural communities where DMVs are hard to access and where many towns don’t even require photographs on drivers’ licenses:

Photo ID measures are controversial across the country. Advocates say they help prevent fraud. Opponents say they make it more difficult for particular groups of people to vote: the elderly, students and the poor who don't own cars. In Alaska, the situation is compounded by the difficulty of getting to a Division of Motor Vehicles office in a regional hub like Nome or Bethel from a small village. Alaska doesn't even require a photograph on a driver's license in dozens of Bush communities.

Democratic activists say photo ID bills have the effect of disenfranchising more Democratic voters than Republicans. In his annual address to the Alaska Legislature this year, Begich criticized the bill as making it more difficult for Alaska Natives and Hispanics -- two traditional Democratic groups -- to vote.

The sponsor of Alaska’s bill, who has acknowledged that he drafted the measure using materials from the corporate-funded conservative group ALEC, had odd words of consolation for those concerned about the suppressive impact of the bill: at least it wouldn’t be as bad as Iraq!

Rep. Bob Lynn, an Anchorage Republican who is prime sponsor of the voter ID bill, said he wasn't trying to disenfranchise anyone. He dismissed opponents as complainers who should be happy they don't face the kind of obstacles voters do in places like Iraq.

"Terrorists have threatened to kill anyone who voted, but they voted anyway, and then these voters put ink in their finger to prove they had voted -- evidence that could have gotten them killed. Now that's a hassle, to say the least. Needing a photo ID to vote in Alaska wouldn't even come close to that," Lynn said when his State Affairs Committee first heard the bill in February.
 

Kobach Seeks to Expand Own Power Over 'Election Fraud' Cases

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the driving force behind draconian anti-immigrant laws in Arizona and Alabama and a rising national figure on the Right, is close to a major victory on one of his other pet projects – gaining attention for the mythical problem of “election fraud.”

Kansas’ legislature is poised to grant Kobach’s office the power to prosecute election fraud cases that it identifies, a responsibility previously reserved for county and federal prosecutors. Kobach claims that prosecutors and the state attorney general’s office are neglecting these cases because of “a very full plate.”

But a look at even a few of the cases Kobach claims that prosecutors are neglecting tells a very different story. In February, Kobach told The Topeka Capital-Journal that he had referred eleven “slam dunk” cases to prosecutors, none of which had ended in convictions. But one of the prosecutors responsible for following up on those cases found that most were isolated incidents involving people who were just confused about the voting laws:

Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe took exception to some of Kobach's characterizations in his testimony on behalf of the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association. Howe said Kobach's bird’s-eye view of widespread voter fraud crumbles when investigated by those on the ground.

For instance, Howe said one double-voter his office investigated was an elderly man showing "the early stages of dementia." Howe's office notified the man's family rather than prosecute him.

Another alleged double voter was a developmentally disabled man.

“Are we supposed to prosecute that case?" Howe asked. "I chose not to.”

This fits with the pattern. In 2011, Kobach claimed that there had been 221 incidents of voter fraud in Kansas between 1997 and 2010. Yet just seven of these resulted in convictions.

Kobach now claims that he has identified at least 30 cases of illegal double voting in the 2012 election by finding people with the same name and birthdate who voted in two separate states. Such matching tactics have in the past have resulted not in legitimate voter fraud convictions, but in embarrassing errors and mass wrongful disenfranchisement.

Kobach’s issue with the state’s prosecutors seems to be not that they haven’t properly investigated voter fraud – but that they have failed to promote the conspiracy theory about widespread voter fraud that, when it becomes popular, benefits people like Kris Kobach and the policies they pursue.
 

Brownback Declares Saturday to be a 'Day of Restoration'

In August of last year, Texas Governor Rick Perry organized and hosted a large public prayer rally featuring a host of Religious Right activists along with various self-proclaimed "prophets" of the New Apostolic Reformation.  For the most part, other elected leaders stayed away from the event, with the notable exception of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who spoke and delivered a prayer from the stage.

It was no surprise that Brownback would have no qualms about sharing the stage with these sorts of modern-day prophets, as he had a long history of working closely them and speaking at their events back when he was serving in the US Senate and even lived with Lou Engle for several months. In fact, Brownback's close ties to Engle became a bit of an issue when he was running for Governor in 2010.

And just as it was no surprise that Brownback would appear at "The Response," it is also not surprising that he has now publicly endorsed a similar prayer event that is taking place in Topeka, Kansas this weekend called Reign Down, organized by a group that began "in July of 2005, [when] God woke up a 31-year old stay-at-home mom to give her a vision" of then-President George W. Bush "repenting on behalf of the nation, culminating in a movement of God's hand across America to bring healing, restoration and unprecedented unity and prosperity."

When Reign Down organized a prayer event on the National Mall in 2008, severe thunderstorms threatened to cancel it ... until their prayers held them off: 

Leading up to the four-hour event, a massive storm with life-threatening tornadoes, heavy rain and winds, and lightning was heading straight towards the gathering at the National Mall in D.C. The National Park Service issued one warning, saying that after three warnings—or the first bolt of lightning—they were going to pull the plug and the event would not happen. Realizing it was beyond their control, with less than an hour until the event was to start, ReignDown USA's leaders and intercessors knelt behind the stage and cried out for God to divert the storm to the North and the South. They called upon the power of the Holy Spirit for the winds to shift from the West to the East and blow the storm away. As they cried out on their knees and begged God to move…He did! The wind shifted! The Park Service, watching the weather radar, said that somehow the storm cell was shifting its course and heading to the North.

And this weekend, Reign Down - which has partnerships with groups and leaders like Lou Engle, The Call, Cindy Jacobs, GodTV, the Congressional Prayer Caucus, and Rep. Trent Franks - will host a prayer rally in Kansas that will be simulcast across the country, and Gov. Brownback has not only filmed a video announcing his participation and support but issued a proclamation calling on citizens to "collectively repent of distancing ourselves from God and ask for His mercy on us" and declaring Saturday to be a "day of restoration":

TO THE PEOPLE OF KANSAS, GREETINGS:

WHEREAS, the State of Kansas will host the national simulcast of REIGNDOWN USA in Topeka on December 8, 2012, bringing thousands here from across the country; and

WHEREAS, people from across America will join the millions from around the world on TV simulcast live from MacLennan Park, in the heart of America; and

WHEREAS, the first REIGNDOWN celebration was held 2008 in Washington DC, on the Capitol Grounds, introduced by proclamation of the President of the United States of America, with millions participating on site, on TV, and by computer; and

WHEREAS, regional REIGNDOWN events continued until the need was seen for the gathering to be held in the heart of our Nation; and

WHEREAS, many of our families have slid into poverty, endangering out next generation of citizens, our lands are parched by drought, our quality jobs are scarce, business and industry are struggling to expand, and many of our people have fallen into despair; and

WHEREAS, our Nation’s greatest leaders have called on a merciful God for favor during troubled times, such as:

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.” - Abraham Lincoln, 1863.

“The propitious [favorable] smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” - George Washington, 1789.

“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” - Thomas Jefferson, 1787; and

WHEREAS, we collectively repent of distancing ourselves from God and ask for His mercy on us:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sam Brownback, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF KANSAS, do hereby proclaim December 8th 2012, as a

Day of Restoration

in Kansas and ask every citizen of our state to join in asking a Holy God to bring healing and restoration – help in mending broken lives, bringing peace to our families, our communities, and this land.

DONE: At the Capitol in Topeka
under the Great Seal of the
State this 23rd day of
November, A.D. 2012

BY THE GOVERNOR: Samuel Brownback

The Right to Vote Under Attack, 2012 Update

Here we detail, as of October 6, 2012, except where otherwise noted, the latest efforts across the country to suppress the vote, as well as some encouraging successes in expanding the franchise.

Birthers at Kansas State Board Could Keep Obama Off the Ballot

Top Republican officials in Kansas are considering removing President Obama from the ballot at the request of “birther” activists who believe that the president wasn’t born in the United States. Kansas’ Board of Objections, which includes Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Attorney General Derek Schmidt andLt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, haven’t made any decisions yet but they say they’re taking the challenge seriously.

This isn’t Kobach’s first brush with birtherism. It’s also not his first brush with extremism that targets people of color. Kobach, who once worked for the nativist anti-immigrant group FAIR, has been a leader in pushing extreme anti-immigrant laws throughout the country, including draconian measures in Arizona and Alabama.

Kobach is also an informal advisor to Mitt Romney.

TPM reports:

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an informal advisor to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said on Thursday he and his fellow members of a state board were considering removing President Barack Obama from the Kansas ballot this November.

Kobach is part of the State Objections Board along with Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, all Republicans. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that on Thursday the board agreed consider whether to take Obama off the ballot because they said they lacked sufficient evidence about his birth certificate.

“I don’t think it’s a frivolous objection,” Kobach said, according to the Capital-Journal. “I do think the factual record could be supplemented.”

The board is looking at a complaint filed by Joe Montgomery, of Manhattan, Kan., who claimed the Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen and so is ineligible to be president. The man appears to be part of a group of conspiracy theorists known as “birthers,” who deny Obama’s birth certificate is real.

PFAW

Kansas AFA Chapter Seeks to Have City Leaders Indicted over Nude Statue

In November of last year, the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in Overland Park, Kansas installed "11 life-size bronze sculptures that were created and donated to the arboretum by Chinese sculptors," among which was one of a "disjointed body of a young, bare-breasted woman, one thin arm extended to snap a photo of herself":

Some local residents were so outraged by the statue that they sought, without success, to have it removed.  So eventually the local chapter of the American Family Association stepped in, claiming that the statue encourages “sexting” and violates obscenity standards, and gathered some 4,700 signatures which have now been delivered to the county clerk in order to have city officials indicted by a grand jury:

Phillip Cosby regional head of the American Family Association delivered 4700 signatures to the county clerks office. He wants the artwork gone, and thinks Overland Park City officials could be indicted on obscenity charges.

"There's more in the message here with the presence of the camera, the obvious come hither posture and the aroused breasts and all the sexual components. The statue is sending a message to children," says Cosby.

UPDATE: “Gut and go” used to move up proof of citizenship in Kansas

A Kansas Senate committee put the brakes on efforts to move up proof of citizenship for voter registration – until a backdoor maneuver known as “gut and go” brought it back to life. As of May 8, it’s one step closer to Governor Brownback’s desk.
PFAW Foundation

“Gut and go” used to move up proof of citizenship in Kansas

A Kansas Senate committee put the brakes on efforts to move up proof of citizenship for voter registration – until a backdoor maneuver known as “gut and go” brought it back to life.
PFAW Foundation

Santorum Appears on Extremist Talk Show – Love Fest Ensues

Rick Santorum has demonstrated, yet again, his willingness to associate with people whose views are repugnant to most Americans. This afternoon he appeared on one of the most extreme Religious Right programs in the country – American Family Radio’s Focal Point with Bryan Fischer.

Fischer, the Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, has been accused of crossing the line against “decency and civility” and of using “poisonous language” – by none other than Mitt Romney at the Values Voters Summit, who was trying to cautiously distance himself from Fischer’s repeated attacks on his Mormon faith while still courting the Religious Right. Later in January, Fischer claimed that a electing a Mormon president would threaten the “spiritual health” of the country.
 
But Fischer isn’t only out to get Mormons. He has an extensive history of bigotry against groups like Muslims (who are stupid because of inbreeding), gays and lesbians (who are responsible for Holocaust), Native Americans (who are “morally disqualified” from controlling land) , low-income African Americans (who “rut like rabbits”), and basically anyone who isn’t a “real” Christian. Fischer has also likened President Obama to Adolf Hitler and called him a tyrant who has a “hatred for the United States” and a “hatred for the white man.”
 
That brings us to Rick Santorum, who is hoping today’s appearance on American Family Radio will help him reach right-wing voters in Alabama, Mississippi and Kansas – the next states to vote in the GOP primary. He even gave a shout-out to the Deep South at the top of the interview: “We spent yesterday in Mississippi and Kansas and today we’re in Alabama. I’ll tell ya, there’s just nothing friendlier than the Deep South. We’re just enjoying the heck out of it here.”
 
Santorum knew he would be warmly received, and the interview was nothing short of a lovefest. Fischer gushed that his wife was a Santorum supporter from back when “being a Rick Santorum fan wasn’t cool,” and Santorum responded in kind: “We appreciate all the help and support. We were in your home town there, Tupelo, yesterday, and had a great reception from folks.”
 
Listening to Fischer and Santorum talk, it was clear that both men have very similar world views. For instance, Santorum told Fischer that President Obama ignores the Constitution and “believes he is more of an emperor than a president.”
 
Their conversation reminded me of a compliment Fischer gave Santorum just two weeks ago on his show:
 
This ought to be a tremendous encouragement to all of us that the leading candidate for the GOP nomination sounds like he’s hosting a conservative talk radio program.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, where do you hear anybody on the campaign trail talk like Rick Santorum talks? He sounds much more like he’s hosting a program on AFR Talk.
 
On that point, I’m in full agreement with Fischer. Santorum does sound like a Religious Right talk show host, and while that may help him in the GOP Primary, it’s also why he’ll never be president of the United States.
 
You can watch the full Santorum interview on Focal Point here:
 

Attend a Rally to Save the American Dream this Saturday!

Events have been organized in cities and state capitols across the nation to show solidarity with workers in Wisconsin. Find the event or events nearest you.

People For the American Way Praises Governor Sebelius’ Veto of House Bill 2019

Today, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius vetoed House Bill 2019. If signed by the govenor, the bill would have instituted a burdensome proof of citizenship and identification requirement, potentially disenfranchising thousands of Kansas’ elderly, disabled, minority, and low-income voters. People For the American Way Senior Vice President and National Field Director Mary Jean Collins today praised Gov. Sebelius for standing up for the rights of Kansas voters, and hailed the veto as a victory for all voters.

Sabotaging Science: Creationist Strategies in the '90's

This report examines the increasingly sophisticated strategies that creationists use in an effort to inject their ideas into public school science curricula

Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious