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Kobach on Colbert? You Must be Kidding

Jill Garvey • Aug 04, 2009

I laughed so hard when Stephen Colbert had Sheriff Joe on his show I almost fell of my chair! Hahah-actually not really. Because there’s nothing funny about racists on TV kids. In fact I was a little creeped out.

Sorry Colbert, I’m usually a big fan, but that one didn’t really work for me (or most people who value human dignity). So I’m wondering why The Colbert Report’s producers think it’s a good idea to have Kris Kobach on the show tomorrow night. Kobach may be younger, prettier, and a smidgen more intelligent than “worst sheriff in America” Joe, but I can’t figure out how that makes him anything more than a polished bigot.

Kris Kobach keeps on saying he’s not racist, but can’t seem to shake those pesky associations to white nationalists. Where I come from we judge character by the company one keeps and Kobach is failing miserably in the good character department. So here are a few reasons Kris Kobach should give up and admit he is racist:

“It doesn’t help matters that Kobach was hired by FAIR, widely perceived as a racist, anti-immigrant group, DURING THE CAMPAIGN. Aligning yourself with groups most people perceive as racist is a bad idea any time, but an especially bad idea while you are running for Congress. ” (Kansas Republican leader Timothy Burger’s essay, “Why Kobach Lost,”)

Since 2004, Kobach has worked as legal counsel for two of the most powerful anti-immigrant organizations in the country, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and its legal arm Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI).

FAIR solicited and received over $1.2 million from the white supremacist Pioneer Fund, a foundation that has a history of promoting the genetic superiority of white, European-Americans. FAIR founder John Tanton works closely with Wayne Lutton to edit his monthly journal, The Social Contract. Lutton is also a board member and active with the Charles Martel Society, a white supremacist organization that publishes the Occidental Quarterly.

Back in 2007, Kobach sent out an email celebrating his party’s success at caging voters. He wrote,

“To date, the Kansas GOP has identified and caged more voters in the last 11 months than the previous two years!”

Blue Tide Rising wrote, “Caging is a particularly devious and underhanded method of purging likely Democratic voters from the pollbooks. It’s also illegal. Voters targeted by caging are often the most vulnerable: soldiers deployed overseas, those who are unfamiliar with their rights under the law, and those who cannot spare the time, effort, and expense of proving that their registration is valid…Slate.com has the best comprehensive write-up on how the Republican Party employs caging techniques…”

Just a few weeks ago Kobach was blasted when he asked attendees at a Republican event what Obama and God had in common, and told them neither had a birth certificate. Jumping on the “birther” bandwagon are we Kris? That’s just sad.

“While Kris Kobach has in the past associated himself with extremists who frequently show poor taste, his latest attempt at humor has gone too far,” said executive director of the Kansas Democratic Part, Kenny Johnston, “Kansans want elected officials who stand above the peddling of partisan lies and conspiracy theory. This is yet another example of why KrisKobach is unfit for elected office,” Ouch.

This is reminiscent of the time Kobach jumped on the tea party wagon with his vigilante friends by hosting a joint tea party/anti-immigrant rally with Billy Gilchrist, Topeka chapter leader for the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. It’s interesting that Kobach would choose to pal around with Minutemen Civil Defense Corps. folks considering their history. The latest controversy to hit the Minutemen was the murder of a nine-year-old girl and her father by former MCDC member, Shawna Forde. Forde had split from the mainstream Minutemen groups to start her own, but still had regular contact with high-ranking members of MCDC and the Minuteman Project.

In direct response to this heinous murder, Presente.org took aim at extremist groups and their leadership, including the Minutemen and FAIR, for inciting a rise in violence against immigrants and Latinos, “FAIR and the Minutemen groups are regularly quoted in the mainstream media—FAIR more than 500 times in 2008—giving them a megaphone to broadcast their hateful beliefs and rhetoric”.

Kris Kobach is a bonafide member of extremist leadership that specializes in anti-immigrant hate. Does Stephen Colbert really want to provide him a mainstream megaphone?

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