Shorter Kris Kobach: “Kansas elections are rife with irregularities and fraud. I should know, I committed them!”
The gap between Gov. Jeff Colyer and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach narrowed to roughly 100 votes Thursday as the rival Republicans began to show signs that the election may ultimately be decided in a courthouse.
Colyer released a letter at 5 p.m. calling on Kobach to recuse himself from providing advice to local election officials. The letter comes after multiple counties reported that the election night totals on the secretary of state’s website were inaccurate, further clouding the results of a historically close election.
“It has come to my attention that your office is giving advice to county election officials — as recently as a conference call yesterday — and you are making public statements on national television which are inconsistent with Kansas law and may serve to suppress the vote in the ongoing primary election process,” Colyer said in a letter.
Of course, any remotely ethical person would no longer be presiding over this recount, but it’s Trump’s party now.
Relatedly, read Dylan Matthews on Kobach and Republicans with elite credentials advancing white nationalism:
Kris Kobach, who is currently holding on to a lead of fewer than 200 votes in Kansas’s Republican primary for governor, is one of America’s most effective advocates of racist policy. And that was clear even before he hired open white nationalists as part of his gubernatorial campaign.
In 2002, he helped the Bush Justice Department set up a registry for immigrants from 25 countries, 24 of which were majority-Muslim. Later, as a private attorney, Kobach crisscrossed the nation like the Monorail guy on The Simpsons, encouraging towns to adopt flagrantly unconstitutional laws targeting immigrants (earning millions in legal fees in the process). He helped craft Arizona’s SB 1070, a bill that was essentially an open invitation for racial profiling by instructing police to stop anyone they have a “reasonable suspicion” is an illegal immigrant.
As Kansas’s secretary of state, Kobach pushed through a voter ID law that lowered turnout by 122,000 votes, and adopted the Interstate Crosscheck System to purge voter rolls, moves that disproportionately affected nonwhite voters.
I don’t know what’s in Kobach’s soul. But I do know that one of the few constants in his career is an enthusiasm for policies that hurt racial minorities.
He’s not alone in that among elected officials. What stands out about Kobach is the pedigree. His résumé is the stuff of ambitious Ivy Leaguers’ dreams. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard, as the top student in the government department, and received a master’s and doctorate at Oxford as a Marshall Scholar. He attended Yale Law, was on the law review, and got an appellate clerkship. He worked for years as a law professor at the University of Missouri Kansas City, eventually getting tenure.
We have an unfortunate tendency in America to treat racism and racial resentment as a pathology of the white underclass. Takes about the need for Democrats to abandon woke “identity politics” typically cite a desire to win back the “white working class,” not white members of the Harvard Club.
It’s a terrific piece, but there’s one prominent group of well-credentialed Republicans advancing policies that hurt racial minorities, especially when it comes to the right to vote, that Matthews leaves out: John Roberts and his brethren . We will return to this point imminently.