Archive for Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top Democrat says he’ll pursue legislation to prevent Secretary of State-elect Kris Kobach from representing clients in immigration cases

Kris Kobach claims victory in the Republican primary for Kansas Secretary of State in Topeka in this file photo. Kobach said he wants to see an end to birthright citizenship.

Kris Kobach claims victory in the Republican primary for Kansas Secretary of State in Topeka in this file photo. Kobach said he wants to see an end to birthright citizenship.

December 29, 2010, 5:06 p.m. Updated December 30, 2010, 12:00 a.m.


— The Kansas House’s Democratic leader said Wednesday that he’ll push legislation to stop Republican Secretary of State-elect Kris Kobach from continuing outside legal work for city officials and legislators across the country who want to crack down on illegal immigration.

Kobach, a law professor now on leave, is nationally known for helping draft Arizona’s controversial new immigration law. Kobach has repeatedly said he would work at least 40 hours a week as secretary of state and handle outside legal work in his spare time once he takes office Jan. 10.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat, said that he plans to propose a bill that would prevent statewide elected leaders, Cabinet officials and other department heads from having any outside employment “of significance.”

Davis said the measure probably would apply to the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, insurance commissioner, state treasurer and about a dozen officials appointed by the governor. But he specifically cited Kobach as the reason the state needs such a law.

“When you’re hired to do a job by the people of Kansas, they expect you to be doing it on a full-time basis,” Davis said. “I don’t think there is room for people to have second jobs.”

Kobach promised to fight the proposal.

“It’s a brazen attempt to stop me from making the progress and reforms I’ve made in the illegal immigration area,” he said.

The most controversial parts of Arizona’s law are being challenged in court, including a section that would require police officers who are enforcing other laws to question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally.

Sherriene Jones-Sontag, a spokeswoman for Kansas Gov.-elect Sam Brownback, also a Republican, declined to comment on Davis’ proposal. The Legislature convenes its annual session on Jan. 10, with large GOP majorities in both the House and Senate.

A statement filed by Kobach in June with the secretary of state’s office, listing his substantial financial interests, shows he received at least $2,000 in fees during the previous year from Hazelton, Pa., and Valley Park, Mo. He advised those cities on regulations designed to crack down illegal immigration and has represented both in legal challenges.

Kansas law does not require a state official to list an exact amount of compensation, or to provide details other than the client paying it and its address.

Kobach’s statement also lists compensation from the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a Washington-based law firm that promotes federal, state and local legislation cracking down on illegal immigration.


frank mcguinness 7 years, 2 months ago

"a brazen attempt to stop immigration reforms"

Really? I'll rephrase.

"a brazen attempt to get you to focus on your job"

kansastruthteller 7 years, 2 months ago

Man, that is some petty legislation that will go nowhere, but will end up costing taxpayers for its introduction, printing and debate. Paul, give it up man. Lots of unintended consequences in your legislation. Didn't Biggs, the current SOS play in a band in his off hours? Should that be be prohibited as well? How about cabinet secretaries that also farm or ranch or serve on a board?

Why limit it to statewide offices - how about state legislators - make them quit their jobs while in session.

Petty legislation that reeks of sour grapes.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 2 months ago

You're funny. Your comparisons are laughable, you've offered nothing to compare to the time, energy, and effort that it takes to handle a lawsuit let alone the dozens Kobach gallivants across the country working on.

But it is nice to see you apparently support some sort of litmus test for the introduction of legislation, and perhaps a quota. Introducing bills is a waste of taxpayer money!

Thanks for a good laugh.

JackMcKee 7 years, 2 months ago

It seems like common sense that when you have a full time job like Secretary of State that you do not moonlight on the side. If Kris wants to work 50% at the job, maybe he should get paid 50% of the salary.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 2 months ago

"he'll work at least 40 hours a week as secretary of state"

And these are the folks that are always bad mouthing the work ethic of state employees. What a fine example he apparently intends to set.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 2 months ago

I would hate to see kobach's duties as an elected official get in the way of his ideological crusades.

somebodynew 7 years, 2 months ago

Heck, it didn't stop Philllll, so I am sure KKKoback can find someway to incorporate the two. If not, I am sure the ideological will win out over the minor task of doing what he was elected to do.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 2 months ago

This is a good idea.

Too many elected officials do not have the discipline to put their conflicts of interest behind them which takes away can we say quality performance.

One more issue that takes away quality performance:

Election funding is ONE the of the big issues and spending wayyyyyyyy too much money is ANOTHER issue and allowing the Chamber of Commerce to launder political donation money is ANOTHER issue!

Why are the corporate special interests not held accountable? They are not less guilty.

Follow the Money!

WE VOTERS need to say NO MORE special interest funding of any political elections!!! Local,state and national!

Let’s keep the costs down so many others can afford to run!

Not voting sends the wrong message and changes nothing.

Lets’s demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : Demand a change on the next ballot.

Incumbents say NO to the voters and YES to corrupt special interest money.

We need public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue.

Who would be against Public Funding? The special interest money providers plus their bought and paid for politicians!

When will the media get on the the band wagon for public financing of all elected political offices? Let’s keep the costs down so many others can afford to run!

overthemoon 7 years, 2 months ago

So how would this apply to the Senator who was representing clients suing the state? It would be nice if 'conflict of interest' would be applicable, but I don't think that could be stretched to fit.

As YourWorstNightmare put it "Kobach's duties as an elected official (might) get in the way of his ideological crusades". It would seem that a commitment to run for office should be a tacit agreement that one would not pursue legislation for other states. But we are entering a new age her in Kansas, much like Virginia where personal ideology above any concern for the realities of the people served is the new norm.

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 2 months ago

Do you want to know what is scarier than this??? If the parties were switched, then you would see Merrill & his people saying how stupid and a waste of money to bring the forth the legislation.

I my opinion, all public officials should work full time in their elected positions. They should not be allowed to campaign for another office while still serving another office. To me, you are not fulfilling your obligations to the people who you were elected to serve. Even though Bob Dole lost to President Clinton, he had the class to resign from the Senate to pursue a higher elected position.

BigAl 7 years, 2 months ago

Bob Dole had the "class to resign from the Senate to pursue a higher elected position". As opposed to how Sarah Palin retained her Governor status while running for Vice-President only to have the "class to resign so she could star in a reality tv show".

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

Dole's resigning had absolutely nothing to do with class. He had spent nearly thirty years in Congress, and was ready to leave regardless of the outcome of the presidential election.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

Correction-- it was nearly thirty years in the Senate, and over thirty years in Congress.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 2 months ago

Bob Dole was an old school Republican. There are people in Topeka (and Washington) right now he wouldn't even shake hands with and they aren't Democrats.

Ernest Barteldes 7 years, 2 months ago

I think 'conflict of interests' is a proper term here...

Scott Morgan 7 years, 2 months ago

Kobach actually has a small staff so far. Please somebody prove to me where the rest of the country is laughing at Kansas.

Get over it. Kobach was elected by a majority of informed voters.

foppa 7 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps there are not 10,000 news articles about how stupid Kansans are for voting for Kobach but don't you think its a bit silly to vote for a guy who runs for office on ONE main issue? Or a guy who help draft a law that would employ him? ) In case you don't like to read, this article says that Koback was earning $300/hr to train people on the law he help draft.

Or somebody who keeps loosing immigration battles all over the country because his arguments are not well formed (you can find many other losses on the web but i don't have time to post them all)? (

Or somebody who uses false STATS to win his argument?

Are you actually saying that people who voted for him knew this things? I highly doubt it.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 2 months ago

Does voting by the stupid and uneducated constitute voter fraud? If so, Kobach was right.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 2 months ago

Koback is simply grandstanding. He wants to run against Brownback to be President. Every insignificant Republican wonk in Kansas seems to think they can win against Barack Obama, but they forget that as soon as Palin finishes her Playboy centerfold that she will be throwing her bra in the ring for that office. Ought to be an interesting campaign!!

Scott Morgan 7 years, 2 months ago

Please show me where the rest of the nation is laughing at Kansas. I often read about NY, MA, CA, NJ, FL, IL, in humorous tones, but not Kansas. Well, I do read criticism from this forum, but credit this to libs wearing binding undies.

Defender are you suggesting citizens voting for Kobach are frauds?

A couple of opinions. One, Kobach will be in Washington long before Brownback returns if ever. Palin is beyond chicken feed paydays like Playboy. Not as wealthy a public servant as Hillary Clinton, but she's getting there. I did see where Hillary is selling signed DVDs on HSN.

Face it, you guys blew it. Had a chance in 08 and you blew it big time. Every government house from state to local has young newly mandated Republicans starting terms next month. Most reactionary libs never mention this. The next Dem candidate for POTUS will be beyond reproach. No longer will this nation take words over actual action again.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

The Democrats most certainly did fail, primarily because even they've bought into the Republican Koolaid that primarily started with Reagan.

The current economic system is probably beyond fixing. It'll be interesting to see how voters react as the Republicans resort to the same ole, same ole that broke it in the first place.

Liberty275 7 years, 2 months ago

Creating legislation blatantly aimed at one person is patently unAmerican. It also isn't unexpected from a leftist. Idiocy like this bit of garbage law is turning America into a toilet where our rights can be flushed by lawmakers at will.

Punishing the many because you disagree with the one is and always will be wrong.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

It isn't aimed at one person. It's just that Kobach has made clear the necessity to keep politically ambitious people like him from abusing their political offices, neglecting their rather high-paying jobs in the process.

BTW, I can guarantee you that almost no private employer would hesitate to fire an employee who takes on a second job that interferes with work for that employer. And I can also guarantee you that Kobach's primary focus will be on increasing his political notoriety, not doing the rather mundane tasks of Sec. of State.

Liberty275 7 years, 2 months ago

"It isn't aimed at one person. It's just that Kobach"


jayhawklawrence 7 years, 2 months ago

How can you separate the perception that Davis is doing this solely for political reasons rather than for the right reasons? You cannot.

This just looks like the kind of politics that most Americans find troubling.

Regarding the merit of this type of legislation, I think it is stupid because it will be hard to enforce and simply make government even more complicated than it already is. I vote no.

Let the voters answer the question in the next election. That is what elections are for.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

"How can you separate the perception that Davis is doing this solely for political reasons rather than for the right reasons? You cannot."

Why separate them? In this case, the "political" and the "right" reasons happen to be one and the same. Kobach ran for the job of Sec. of State, and if he doesn't want to do that job, he can resign. The same should apply to any officeholder, no matter the party affiliation.

George Lippencott 7 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Davis:

Do we not have better things to do with our time?? Just exactly how do you think you will get your bill passed in a Republican controlled legislature?? It costs money to play with bills.

Mr. Kobach:

Running for your next office on my dime is one sure way to not get there. Immigration is a federal matter. You are now a state employee. Earn your pay!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

"Do we not have better things to do with our time??"

Not in my opinion. Abuse of the state's major political offices should not be allowed.

"Just exactly how do you think you will get your bill passed in a Republican controlled legislature??"

What possible difference could that make? Legislators are elected to legislate as they see fit, in at least partial accordance with their constituents' wishes. Or do you just think that all Democrats should just resign, since they can't get anything passed, anyway?

"It costs money to play with bills."

Are you seriously complaining about this on the basis of cost? If so, why not just abolish the legislature, since it all costs money?

George Lippencott 7 years, 2 months ago

May not be a bad idea.

Pandering to your base is a waste, IMHO. What was it a bunch of you were peddling on here a couple of years ago? Oh yea - we won get used to it. Could that now be a reverse statement??

By the by, I am not a Kobach supporter as clear from my comment above and on other threads.

How come you find my comment about Mr. Davis a problem but not my comment about Mr. Kobach?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

Mr Davis is a legislator, doing his job attempting to legislate.

Mr Kobach has been elected to an important statewide office that requires his full-time attention, and he clearly has no intention of applying himself full-time to that job.

Mr. Davis has merely proposed that statewide officeholders getting paid to do a full-time job (unlike our part-time legislators) be required to do the job they sought out.

If you don't see the difference, that's your problem, not mine.

Scott Morgan 7 years, 2 months ago

My apologies Defender on the fraud charge. Was reading into the next post.

In the view of many our nation's foundation is crumbling. Forty + % don't pay taxes, yet can swing national elections. I enjoy our Hispanic fellow Americans and actually believe they are as deep rooted in our nation as any. Some as I, believe in the melting pot theory. Some as I, do not wish Ellis Island, or a sandy wind blown section of Arizona should allow a flood of illegal immigrants shortchanging our laws. Legal, yes with open armed welcomes.

Our educational system is broke, our military is off task, our public servants profit instead of serve.

Worse, I see millions living miserable lives in institutional generational poverty. Not only do these people not know much about the American dream, they don't know it exists.

I vote for people who try to stem this destiny our nation seems to be heading for.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

"Forty + % don't pay taxes,"

There is hardly anyone alive who doesn't pay taxes of one sort or another. As a matter of fact, the lower your income, the higher percentage of your income you pay in taxes.

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

Of course, this bill wouldn't keep Mr. Davis from engaging in any outside activities, just those who were elected state-wide - all of whom happen to be Republicans. And the whiny Kobach-haters of Lawrence, of course, think that isn't a political agenda.

verity 7 years, 2 months ago

I say keep Kobach occupied outside the state. The less time he spends on Kansas business, the less damage he will do here.

And, Nota, the state representatives and senators are not full-time employees of the state. But you knew that, didn't you?

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

"And, Nota, the state representatives and senators are not full-time employees of the state. But you knew that, didn't you?"

No kiddin', really? Golly gosh gee whiz, verity, where would we be without geniuses like you to tell us such things?

That would be a really good point, verity, if it had anything whatsoever to do with the legislation in question. You must have been really disappointed that Santa Claus didn't eat the cookies and milk you left out for him last week, if you really believe that the proposed legislation has anything to do with Kobach's full-time status, as opposed to his political agenda. Of course, you might have asked yourself why the proposed legislation didn't target all full-time state employees instead of just state-wide elected officials (again, all of whom happen to be Republicans). But why would you want to actually have to actually think?

Scott Morgan 7 years, 2 months ago

For the working poor many get all federal and state income taxes back in refunds. Every dime. In fact in 09, President Obama gave these folks who pay no taxes and extra kickback 250.00 or 500.00 can't remember the exact figure. If you earn no income except entitlements you don't pay taxes. If they do pay a tax it's our tax money anyway.

I believe the number for 2010 is 47% for federal. The percentage goes up every year. This is not a good thing. Not a good thing at all. Citizens voicing views on taxes who pay none. Nothing can be done about it, but it just doesn't pass the smell test. No wonder we want to tax the rich.

This is why I support a flat tax.

monkeyhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

According to boozo's Uncle Soros, Kobach's only job will be to certify elections.

"Someone of great wealth recognized the power of the Secretaries of State. The power to ultimately decide, perhaps by manipulating and interpreting state election law partisanly, to place their chosen candidate into office.

And the name of the person I am referring to is George Soros.

“I wanted Gore to win, and this will never happen again! So what can I do about it? I can create the Secretary of State Project. I can back monetarily and help propel Democratic Secretaries of States into office in the states where I feel they can help my candidate into office."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

Even if you don't like Soros (I think he's a hypocrite) he is right about how Republicans abused the position of Sec of State in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004, with blatant conflicts of interest and outright corruption.

"Kobach's only job will be to certify elections."

Of course, that isn't his only job. There are a good number of mundane tasks that the Sec of State deals with, and that's the whole point. Kobach didn't get himself elected to do any of that-- he ran because he saw it as a platform for self-promotion. He's certainly not the first politician to do that, but I think Davis is right for saying that should change-- for both Republicans and Democrats.

Randall Uhrich 7 years, 2 months ago

Kobach still hasn't produced his birth certificate. He has no right to do anything until he does.

foppa 7 years, 2 months ago

Dear people of the LJW: If you love or hate Kobach, please read this articles about him, please be informed about who you are electing: And please, ignore the ignorant way in which this writer uses stereotypes of people who are against illegal immigration and focus on where the statistics that Kobach uses are coming from on this one:

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 2 months ago

Kobach is disgraceful. He was elected to fulfill his duties as S of S. Instead, he still wants to spend his time grinding his ideological axes, and at the same time making lots of cash.

Maybe if he donated to the State of Kansas the money he makes in these other states, I would feel differently. At least he would be bringing in state revenue, instead of abusing state funds.

LawrenceBoy 7 years, 2 months ago

Regardless of your opinion on what privileges are to be granted to illegal aliens or their children, Paul Davis' proposal is as reactionary as it gets. His proposal epitomizes government intrusion. And he should be very careful. Does he want his private or personal time to be scrutinized, limited, and/or regulated? I suspect not. His proposal is purely political and gains NOTHING for his constituents. In the spirit of a non-affiliated voted, it's time for him to be voted out. I can't wait.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

"His proposal epitomizes government intrusion. "

WTF? Now you're complaining about government intrusion on government?

I bet you're one of those guys who complained about Obamacare being a government intrusion on your Medicare coverage.

wastewatcher 7 years, 2 months ago

AMEN, very well said. It is crap like this from the ULTRA LIBERALS like DAVIS that has made the Dems no longer relevant in Kansas. It will take decades for them to recover, but it could be quicker if DAVIS AND HENSLEY STEP ASIDE IMMEDIATELY.

Carol Bowen 7 years, 2 months ago

Ethics rules are not unusual in the public or the private sector. In some positions, an employee is not allowed to practice their professional skills outside of their job. What is surprising to me is that the state of Kansas does not have a more comprehensive coverage of ethical behavior for its employees and elected officials. What I could gather from the the state of Kansas website, ethics rules cover travel, gifts, and campaign funding. Usually, there is a procedure for requesting the option to carry on activity outside of a position - public or private.,Gifts,_Entertainment&_Travel/index.html

Carol Bowen 7 years, 2 months ago

Kansas ethics rules also cover voting processes.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 2 months ago

Instead of implementing more immigration laws why not enforce existing laws UNLESS the new legislation will address the illegal activity employers who hire immigrant workers without legal status. Such as busting them plus a mandatory fine of $10,000 per employee.

According to radio news on Wednesday the U.S. deported about 400,000 south of the border immigrants last year if my memory serves me well. So it seems it might be time to address the illegal activity of employers.

If Kobach gets away with implementing new laws that are not necessary will employers ignore new laws as well?

Flap Doodle 7 years, 2 months ago

Will we see Davis clamoring to issue letters of marque and reprisal? Would he try to push a bill of attainder through the legislature? Dumb and irresponsible!!!

Flap Doodle 7 years, 2 months ago

Another fail for you. Actually, I meant the libs consumed with vein-popping rage and Davis.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 2 months ago

Hmmm, I'm a "liberal loonie" ( a moniker I wear proudly) and I'm not consumed by "vein popping rage". More often than not I'm consumed by gut wrenching, breath taking laughter.

Joe Hyde 7 years, 2 months ago

What most confuses me about Mr. Kobach continuing to formulate immigration laws for other states -- efforts he will now expend while in the official employ of the state of Kansas -- is why those other states can't select from their own bar associations a lawyer capable of doing the same work.

somebodynew 7 years, 2 months ago

Because they can't find any as looney as KKKolbach. Why they pay him is an entirely different topic. (One that I don't understand.)

hedshrinker 7 years, 2 months ago

I didn't realize paying taxes was a requirement for voting status....if that is the case, perhaps we should disallow the corporations who pay virtually NO taxes due to all the loopholes from their newly granted "personhood" and massive influence peddling thru unlimited gifting to their political cronies. I know buying access isn't the same as voting, but probably at least as important. Yes, it occurs all sides of the political spectrum and is equally smelly wherever.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 2 months ago

Davis makes me suspect that the Democrats have become more than desparate about their situation in Kansas. They may not even be relevant anymore.

That is a problem in this state because we need a viable alternative to the crazy Republicans.

Maybe it is time to see some new and younger faces in politics. We need better educated and talented leadership in Kansas that inspires better governing and less BS.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

Why is it desperate? It likely won't go anywhere, as Republicans are generally gung-ho about any corruption or conflicts of interest that may benefit them, but at least he's making them acknowledge that they couldn't care less whether Kobach is reined in at least enough to do the job to which he was elected.

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