SALINA, Kan. - Alan Jilka, on these pages, has presented a sterling case for opposition to Kris Kobach. Wednesday, May 4th, at the state county clerks conference, some folks outside Salina's Ramada Inn created an outdoor 'free our voters,' anti-Kobach presence. Equally important, there was an indoor presence, up close and personal, for Kobach himself.
Besides a Kobachi presentation which gained applause only from one-third of the county clerks, his press conference found him face to face with Koch Bros. impersonators Gary Swartzendruber and Bob Homolka. Some pointed questions followed.
Kobach said they would be surprised at the grades he received at Harvard, but he did not indicate he would produce his Wisconsin birth certificate. When asked about E-Verifying cattle, immigrants, voters, and feral pigs, he demurred.
One person remarked during the day-long training event that the cost of implementing the new Kansas voter E-Verify ID legislation seemed like budget overkill. It would, after all, include statewide training meetings for every county elected official, a new statewide election committee of county clerks to be formed in the state, and numerous printed publications and local events to insure training -- all because there might have been 200 irregularities in the past 10 years.
Kobach took the position that the state of Kansas needed to be "safe." (The question is, for whom?) He suggested the slogan "Trust, but Verify" for voters, likening it to former president Reagan's "trust but verify" military policy for engagement with Russia's leaders. So, Kansas voters may be as dangerous as armed nukes at the polls?
In the past, Kobach has advised cities in other states on immigration policies including Fremont, Nebraska and Farmers Branch, Texas, not to mention the state of Arizona on SB 1070. Each piece of legislation generated by Kobach has resulted in significant court costs. Farmers Branch Texas has spent over 4 million defending their law with Kobach pocketing over $100,000 in defense of the legislation after he wrote it for the city of 27,000 residents. A sweet deal -- but not for Kansans.
Kansas is in the process of implementing a new much more restrictive voter ID program proposed by Kobach, called the "Secure and Fair [but not free] Elections Act."