To the editor:
It’s time we Republicans take a look at how we will vote in the attorney general election.
I served as Republican state representative from 2009 to 2012. As an attorney, I want to base my decisions on facts. For me, honesty and integrity are crucial when selecting who will be the face of Kansas in court. Appearing to be bright isn’t enough.
Candidate Kris Kobach, who is running against a former U.S. attorney Chris Mann, was Kansas Republican party chairman before his 2010 run for secretary of state.
What did the party get from his leadership? The IRS levied thousands of dollars of penalties against the party.
In 2010, he said at a forum in Strong City that about 3,000 “illegal aliens” voted in Kansas elections and he would clean things up.
Ron Thornburg, who was secretary of state at the time, asserted that Kansas usually had about three people voting contrary to state law in an election cycle and that none were “illegal aliens.”
How many did Kobach produce for the attorney general to prosecute? None. How many did he prosecute himself? Very few, if any, in eight years as secretary of state.
In 2018, Kobach was in federal court, where a judge ruled that a new law he supported only marginally impacted non-citizens but illegally prevented thousands of eligible Kansans from voting. He was held in contempt, fined for his behavior, and ordered to pay attorney fees to opposing attorneys. The court also directed him to attend legal education classes because of numerous disclosure violations.
I find any of these behaviors disturbing and unacceptable for any public official, not just for one wanting to be attorney general.
At the state fair a few years ago, Kobach falsely asserted that a Wichita high school had 12 assistant principals. He used this “fact” as evidence why schools needed their budgets cut. The truth? Not one high school in Wichita had even six assistants, much less 12.
On one of his websites several years ago, Kobach posted a white nationalist / supremacist’s column. That’s all I need to say about that.
Kansas needs trustworthy leaders, and Kobach is not one of them. He is promising to take on federal issues and litigate them in federal court. That takes money – our money. Keep Kansas money in Kansas. His opponent says he will focus on Kansas issues.
Will we support Kobach just because he has an R by his name? Will we not vote for his opponent because he isn’t “one of us”?
Mann served honorably as a US attorney. In my world, integrity and honesty still matter, possibly more now than ever.
Bob Brookens, Marion
Last modified Nov. 3, 2022