Who Kris Kobach Is Really Spending His Time With

Stephen Piggott • Apr 03, 2012

Last month, activists in Kansas received the Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s calendar documenting his meetings and other engagements during his first year in office.

As reported by Imagine2050 after it was released to the public, Kobach’s calendar was full of discrepancies, failing to document any examples of when he was working on writing or defending anti-immigrant ordinances around the country. What Kobach did document, however, was his meetings schedule, which reveals a long list of extremist characters that Kobach has spent time with.

In January of 2011, Kobach spoke at a 10th Amendment rally put on by Richard Fry. Fry has been listed as the Kansas advisor for the nativist Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR’s legal arm is the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) for which Kobach is Of Counsel.

Kobach has also attended more than one event featuring Kamal Saleem, a man who travels the country posing as an “ex-terrorist.” Saleem is a big proponent of anti-Sharia bills that have passed in Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arizona over the past few years. Kobach has also spent time with Dr. Phillip Roberts, former President of the Mid-Western Baptist Seminary. Roberts has led teachings on “the dangers of Islam.” He has also called for Muslims to convert to Christianity.

Another pastor that Kobach has scheduled meetings with is Mark Holick. Holick is well known in Kansas for his extremist views. After the election of President Obama in 2008, Holick’s church put up a sign which stated, “America We Have A Muslim President This Is A Sin Against The Lord!” Holick was arrested outside a mosque in 2010 for passing out literature warning that Sharia Law is “creeping” into American society.

Kobach also met with Judy Smith while in office last year. Smith is employed by Concerned Women for America, a notoriously homophobic group. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), “Today, CWA continues to make arguments against homosexuality on the basis of dubious claims. President Wendy Wright said this August that gay activists were using same-sex marriage “to indoctrinate children in schools to reject their parents’ values and to harass, sue, and punish people who disagree.”

Even though Kobach is quick to hide his nativist work, he clearly has no qualms about meeting with some of the major players within the far right in Kansas, with Islamophobes and anti-gay activists among them. The people of Kansas deserve to have a Secretary of State with honesty and integrity, two qualities that Kobach is clearly lacking.

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