Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Kansas Republican Lawyer Kris Kobach Advances Political Aspirations with Alabama Experiment

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, February 10, 2012

May God have mercy on your wretched soul, Kris Kobach. I hope you are relegated to a life wherein you can work out your penance by serving the immigrant and poor.

“The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:34

His Southern Poverty Law Center profile describes him as a “nativist.” In addition, most all of the laws he wrote or helped write have been overturned on Constitutional grounds. While advising former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, the program he crafted around his ideals also similarly failed amidst federal scrutiny and loss of federal cases brought on the basis of discrimination. His 2004 bid for U.S. Congress failed after his opponent accused him of having ties to White Supremacists. In 2007, fliers were circulated on the campus of University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law accusing him of inflating his credentials and crafting bad law. Mr. Kobach endorses Mitt Romney for President, and he was the 2008 Romney campaign’s illegal immigration policy advisor.

Mr. Kobach also “works for the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI). IRLI is the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), recently listed as a nativist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

Even the Kansas City Star noted the Mobile Press-Register editorial (below), and on February 9th, 2012 concluded that, “In place after place, laws drafted by Kobach have either been declared unconstitutional or proven disastrous. Yet he happily forges ahead, representing the state of Kansas as an elected official and acting as an adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. How many editorials will it take before people figure this guy out?

If you would like to contact Mr. Kobach, his email address is: SOS@SOS.KS.gov

Location, mailing address and phone number are:

Kris W. Kobach
Kansas Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
(785) 296-4564

Media contact is:
V. Kay Curtis
(785) 296-4580
fax(785) 296-8577
email: media@sos.ks.gov


Alabama paying for failed ‘experiment’

Published: Tuesday, February 07, 2012, 5:12 AM

By Press-Register Editorial Board

ALABAMA ALLOWED itself to be used as a guinea pig on illegal immigration so that a Kansas lawyer could build his political career.

The unintended consequences of the new law, proclaimed as the nation’s toughest, are legion: It has embarrassed the governor, discouraged industry, scared legal immigrants and, according to a recent report, been a drag on the state economy it was supposed to help.

Yet Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who wrote the law, defends its effect on the state’s image. “Alabama’s reputation has also increased around the country,” he told the public radio show “This American Life.” “There are many legislators in other states that are saying, you know, ‘They’ve really done something great.’”

[ed. note: You may hear and download the “This American Life” podcast, episode 456, “Reap What You Sow” which originally aired 1.27.2012, here: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/456/reap-what-you-sow?act=1]

Such comments could only come from someone who has no real ties to Alabama but who wants to use the state as a guinea pig for his own personal gain.

Call it his Alabama experiment.

Across the country, Mr. Kobach has been testing what lawmakers will approve and what laws will stand up to legal challenge. In Alabama, he found a willing participant in state Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, who pushed the bill through last year.

Mr. Kobach may not have heard, but some legislators in the state would vote against his law if they could do it over again. Too bad they won’t get the chance, though. The best they can do now is to tweak it to make it less damaging in the regular session, which starts today.

By any measure, the immigration law has been a colossal failure image-wise for Alabama. As a direct result of the legislation, a Mercedes-Benz executive was arrested in Tuscaloosa and a Honda official was detained in Leeds. And this in a state that worked tirelessly to befriend foreign automakers.

Mr. Kobach must not have read the editorial that ran in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after the arrest, calling for Mercedes to relocate to Missouri. “We are the show-me state, not the ‘show-me-your-papers’ state,” the newspaper smirked.

A rattled Gov. Robert Bentley, worried about the reactions of other companies, announced, “We are not anti foreign companies. We are very pro foreign companies,” and then urged, “People just need to calm down.

It doesn’t get much more embarrassing than that.

Meanwhile, the immigration law has been a serious distraction for a state that has too many problems to solve — a budget shortfall, low test scores and high poverty — to shoulder a national issue like immigration. And why Alabama, anyway, where immigrants make up a very small percent of the population?

Maybe because we said yes.

In return, what have we gotten for playing the guinea pig? Crops rotting in the field, a net loss to the economy, higher racial tensions and a PR black eye, to boot.

Does any of this matter to an up-and-coming politician in Kansas?

Sure doesn’t sound like it. Anyway, it’s just part of Mr. Kobach’s Alabama experiment.


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