Kansas, Like Only Kansas Can Do

In this May 3, 2010 photo, attorney Kris Kobach poses for a photo in Kansas City, Mo. When politicians and police across the county want to crack down on illegal immigration, they often reach out to Kobach, a little-known Kansas attorney with an Ivy League education who is the architect behind many of the nation's most controversial immigration laws. Kobach helps draft proposed laws and, after they are adopted, trains officers to enforce them. If the laws are challenged, he goes to court to defend them. His most recent project was advising Arizona officials on a new law that empowers police to question anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Do we really have to re-introduce the one and only Kris Kobach? You know, the Kansas Secretary of State who consults around the country on development of anti-immigration and vote-fraud laws? The Birther who threatened to keep President Obama off the 2012 ballot in the Sunflower State?

Right. That one.

During last year’s election, the Kansas Secretary of State chastised U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, complaining to the media that Kobach’s office had referred examples of voter fraud to the Kansas-based federal prosecutor, but Grissom has refused to prosecute. Worse, Kobach said the U.S. Attorney didn’t “know what he’s talking about” when Grissom said voter fraud doesn’t exist in Kansas.

The AP reports today that when Kobach made these claims, he appears to have been brazenly lying (thanks to my colleague Tricia McKinney for the heads-up).

[I]n a Nov. 6 letter sent from Grissom to Kobach and obtained by The Associated Press through an open records request, the prosecutor responded that his office received no such referrals from Kobach, and chided the secretary of state for his statements.

“Going forward, if your office determines there has been an act of voter fraud please forward the matter to me for investigation and prosecution,” Grissom wrote. “Until then, so we can avoid misstatements of facts for the future, for the record, we have received no voter fraud cases from your office in over four and a half years. And, I can assure you, I do know what I’m talking about.”

Wait, it gets worse.

Kobach now concedes that when he said he’d referred voter-fraud cases to the U.S. Attorney’s office, he had not, in reality, referred voter-fraud cases to the U.S. Attorney’s office. But, the right-wing official told the AP, Kobach’s predecessor had alerted the federal prosecutor to two relevant cases and Grissom ignored those referrals.

It turns out, that’s not true, either: federal investigators looked into those 2011 allegations and, as the AP report noted, they concluded they were not voter fraud.

Or so explains the inimitable Steve Benen, whose narrative is as compelling as always. It is drawn from an Associated Press article, which for its own part explains:

Grissom told the AP last week that Kobach never replied to his letter.

“We want to uphold the integrity of the voting system and people’s ability to exercise their right and have their voice heard as part of the process,” Grissom said. “And we have the ability, we have the resources, to prosecute any case in which someone believes there has been any voter fraud or voter misrepresentation.”

Kobach acknowledged in an email to the AP last week that his office never has sent suspected voter fraud cases to Grissom, citing instead what he said was inaction on cases referred by his predecessor.

Grissom said the FBI determined two cases referred before Kobach took office in January 2011 were not voter fraud.

Kobach said last week that his office “felt it would be more productive to refer cases first to Kansas county attorneys rather than sending them first to Mr. Grissom’s office.”

“That is the approach we have taken for the last few years,” he said.

Yes, really.

So after lying in order to complain that federal authorities don’t do enough, it emerges that when Kobach smells voter fraud he calls anyone but.

Kobach told lawmakers last month that in the 2010 and 2012 Kansas elections, for which there were 1.7 million registered voters, his office found 18 total cases where someone double-voted by voting in advance in one state and at the polls in another.

He said 15 cases were referred to county prosecutors, one was dropped because the voter had died, one was sent to the FBI and one was referred to the Texas attorney general, who Kobach said was more aggressive about pursuing voter fraud cases than some Kansas prosecutors.

Ready for the punch line? (It’s a hook.)

Kobach said action was taken in only seven cases, which is why he needs the power to press charges himself.

You know, the reportage doesn’t sound much better than the political narrative.

No, really, the guy who wants insane voting laws to combat fraud that isn’t there gets caught out lying in order to complain about federal officials and ends up admitting that the real problem is that prosecutors don’t know what they’re doing so he needs to have the power to press charges in order to show us all what the real vote fraud problem looks like so that we can all finally realize just how important it is to adopt his restrictive, regressive, counterproductive voting laws.

That guy wants the power to prosecute.

And Kansas voters, for some reason, love this stuff. They just re-elected him.

____________________

Benen, Steve. “Kobach voter-fraud allegations exposed as fraudulent”. msnbc. 10 February 2015.

Associated Press. “Prosecutors question Kobach claims of voter fraud in Kansas”. Lawrence Journal-World. 10 February 2015.

2 comments

  1. 9/2012 Did Kris Kobach commit perjury in the case brought by Orly Taitz trying to disprove ballot eligibility when his staff had searched for President Obama’s real birth certificate from Forbes Air force base Hospital back on 9/14/12 after I had filed an affidavit of my eyewitness account of the circumstances of his birth. Why has he continued the on going cover up of the birth that settles the eligibility issue.. Plus they searched for the death record of Jim T parks (sometimes known as Barry who is the one I and ‘everyone’ have always known to be the real dad) who along with two others was killed by the hands of others in the racist attack on a pregnant teenage couple happened to be of different skin color and Jim fought back and Ann ran for help and three died but the mother and unborn child survived to have an arranged marriage to Obama Sr in Topeka KS, also to give the baby a name. Then her mother got caught; midway getting the birth registered in Hawaii as in those days fear was real for many reasons and it was decided the baby would never now the truth. until one day that baby decided to run for the presidency and TRUTH WAS KEPT HIDDEN FROM THE WORLD BY EVEN THOSE WHO COLLECTED BIG MONEY to hide it and that includes the current and former Sec of state of Kansas and big money seems to be behind this as many good people get drawn in to non issues and not be focused on solving real problems we face and how to do it and who is best to elect. Since, most of our local , state and federal government is contracted out now to an international cabal of a ‘beast’ system that is no longer subject to either criminal arrest nor even audited for where our money is or if our rights are being upheld as we know many times they are not and blatant thievery is going on for over a decade or more now. as big money of ours has disappeared We, the people of our constitutional rights where big money is behind some real skullduggery going on that seems to have little to do about politics but who is to have power to continue the real overthrow of our government form the constitutional control of the citizens through our vote.. Register and vote in all elections and do not let anyone take that from us even if we do not agree on whom to elect or issues to be decided.. The best offense against any fraud is for one to know their neighbors and that statistical 95% to vote in all elections. Linda Joy Adams

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