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Archive for Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kobach rally in Overland Park evacuated after suspicious package found unattended

July 13, 2010, 9:24 p.m. Updated July 13, 2010, 10:46 p.m.

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— As a rally featuring an Arizona sheriff and Kansas Secretary of State candidate Kris Kobach ended, Overland Park police evacuated the hotel where it was being held after a suspicious package was found at the scene, according to witnesses and local media reports.

Nearly 2,000 Kansas Republicans gathered in Overland Park to hear Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Tuesday night before the package was found around 8 p.m. The evacuation began about 9 p.m.

Authorities secured the package on scene about 9:15 p.m., according to emergency responders. Several area streets were shut down during the investigation and as Overland Park bomb squad technicians disabled the device with a water cannon.

Arpaio is known for his tough stance on illegal immigration. During the rally he told the crowd that Arizona needs its new immigration law because the federal government isn't doing its job.

"You can have all the laws on the book, but have to enforce the laws on the books," he said, adding that law enforcement in Arizona is under political pressure to look the other way when it comes to illegal immigrants.

"I want someone to say if you jump the fence, you go to jail. No one will say that," he added.

Arpaio said he was stumping for Kobach "to make sure a good guy is elected."

Kobach helped write the Arizona law that directs officers to question people who have been stopped for another crime about their immigration status if there's a reasonable suspicion they're in the U.S. illegally.

"This should send a very clear message, a message that people in Washington don't seem to get," Kobach said. "Illegal means illegal."

The law has sparked national debate and drawn numerous legal challenges. The U.S. Justice Department recently filed a lawsuit to block the law from taking effect July 29.

If elected, Kobach has promised to seek changes to Kansas law that he believes will keep illegal immigrants from voting. Critics fear Kobach's proposals would discourage minorities from voting. His remarks Tuesday, however, focused on immigration laws and the need for enforcement and little about his own campaign.

The rally attracted members of the tea party movement, as well as representatives of other conservative Republicans on the Kansas ballot in August.

It also drew several hundred protesters, including representatives of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which is holding its convention in Kansas City. Earlier Tuesday, the civil rights organization accused tea party activists of tolerating bigotry and approved a resolution condemning racism within the political movement.

"The saying is: first the Jews, then the Mexicans, what's next?" said Maureen Salz, a retired teacher from Overland Park. "I'm Jewish. I take this very personally when we single out a segment of society."

Those attending the rally said they're concerned crime along the U.S. border with Mexico will spill further north.

Jeannette Auerbach, an Olathe teacher, said criticism about potential racial profiling is outweighed by the need to protect public safety.

"It is a shouting match back and forth and pointing of fingers," she said. "If there is a problem, what is your solution? I see (the Arizona law) as being part of the solution. A huge part of it."

Kobach, a former state Republican Party chairman, is among three Republicans and two Democrats running for secretary of state, the top elections job in Kansas. He faces Shawnee County elections commissioner Elizabeth Ensley and Salina resident J.R. Claeys in the GOP primary Aug. 3. Incumbent Secretary of State Chris Biggs is being challenged by state Sen. Chris Steineger for the Democratic nomination.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments

pace 3 years, 9 months ago

teabaggers never take the high road. I am against crime but I am not planning to use that as an excuse for bigotry and prejudice. If you want immigration policy to fight crime against and by illegal immigrants, get Washington to develop working visa's. Not the wink and the nod at open borders that allow corporations to use slave labor as scabs against american workers. That would be real immigration reform.

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Mud_Flap 3 years, 9 months ago

The hatred of Kobach by far left zealots on this web site leaves me with thoughts of voting for him without looking at his record. He must be a very good candidate as measured by the huge amount of liberal hate mail generated in these forums anytime his name is mentioned.

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Bob Kraxner 3 years, 9 months ago

So....... what exactly was in the package ??? Why was the eye-grabbing headline about suspicious package, and most of the article about bs?

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Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 9 months ago

So last night at the rally the Kobach staff was playing pass the briefcase.

Today on ljworld.com, the Kobach staff is playing pass the buck.

I wonder what they'll be passing tomorrow...

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 3 years, 9 months ago

So, you're saying that Obama is keeping our country safe? Never thought I'd hear that from you.

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blindrabbit 3 years, 9 months ago

Rockchalk: No, a Vietnam veteran; returning as a 23 year old Freshman at KU in 1966. Your "right" correct that RR, 41 and 43 should have been on my post as well. Jimi was in the Army; how was your military service.

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BigDog 3 years, 9 months ago

citizen4honor

Kris Kobach was known for his loyalty committes while GOP Party Chair as well as spending more money than he brought in. He nearly left them broke when his term ended.

"According to reports, when Kobach left the group in 2009, it had less than $5,000 in its treasury. A recent audit reveals he and then executive director Christian Morgan spent $788,000 during their two years in charge, nearly $10,000 more than was contributed.

The audit also shows that, under Kobach and Morgan’s watch, “state and federal taxes weren’t paid, illegal contributions were accepted and questionable expenditures were made.”

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citizen4honor 3 years, 9 months ago

It's not the VOLUNTEER Chairman's job to balance the books. The Chair's job is to raise money and be a spokesperson - both of which Kobach excelled at raising more money for the KS GOP than any other Chair. The paid Executive Director's job is to balance the books, file the required forms, pay taxes, etc. If there was a problem that's who is responsible not the Chair.

I'll repeat: The GOP Chair position is a VOLUNTEER positon. They don't have the time to do the paperwork that's why the GOP has a PAID Executive Director and secretary for such tasks.

Fact not fiction.

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blindrabbit 3 years, 9 months ago

rockchalk: You a fan of Jim Ryun, Sam Brownback, Phill Klein, John Ashcroft, Steve Abrams, Lynn Jenkins, Sarah Palin??? If so, I understand your position. I'm a Rockchalk as well, 1969 vintage, during the time of "open , logical thinking".

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blindrabbit 3 years, 9 months ago

rockchalk- - - Poll----smoll. Since when are legal, correct, constitutional or moral decisions based on "a CBS poll of Americans", regardless of the issue, The media (especially that that has adopted the "Right") has driven most of the slant; as part of their "entertainment" role. The courts will ultimately sort this out; and hopefully, justice will be done, regardless of any polls.

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MyName 3 years, 9 months ago

Great, so this guy can't keep the books of his own party balanced as Chairman, and he can't tell the difference between a bomb and a briefcase... tell me again why we should vote for him, 'cause I'm not seeing it.

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rockchalk1977 3 years, 9 months ago

New CBS poll shows 74% of Americans agree with the Arizona immigration law. As usual you Obama lovers are in the minority.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20010460-503544.html

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tony88 3 years, 9 months ago

this is hilarious... these extremists think their little love-in was important enough to be the target of a terrorist attack! ha ha!

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citizen4honor 3 years, 9 months ago

Why do people comment with no facts? I was there working. Bob Keeshan said he has good authority it was a breifcase belonging to Kobach staff. LIE - not true. None of the VOLUNTEERS working in crowded registration owned it. Bomb squad was called in and THEY determined after x-raying that it was potentially dangerous. If you know anything about police unless it has a timing device or items hooked together they DO NOT call in an evacuate, task force, police chief, shut down a major roadway. The item was moved to a location and secured in the parking lot quite away from the crowd. People did not leave because they believe securing our borders is critical to our freedom. The police chief alerted people to the situation but NEVER said there was a BOMB. The crowd was well insulated from the suspicious package and the event was ENDED EARLY. This is when the evacuation occured. Many people could not leave because their cars were in the area with the package and the roads were closed. It was hot and muggy out. Everyone was calm, talking, waiting peacefully.
LIE - Kobach ran GOP into deep debt. Fact - Kobach raised more money for KS GOP than any other state chair.
It's not OK to alleged someone uses drugs without proof. The amount of misinformation and slander in these comments shows why our country is in such deep trouble. My question is why is anyone commenting here agaisnt securing our borders? That's what this rally was about. Securing our borders and following our laws.

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Machiavelli_mania 3 years, 9 months ago

Why on earth would anyone want to vote for a man who ran his state republican party into deep debt?

None of this makes sense. I would never trust him with our voting machines !!!!!! Why on earth is this loser Kobach running for another political office?

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overthemoon 3 years, 9 months ago

From the KC Star:

"Kobach’s address was briefly interrupted when authorities announced the discovery of the suspicious package. Arpaio and Kobach urged people to leave if they wanted to but most of the crowd stayed to listen."

So. Safety for Americans is paramount. The police say there's a bomb, Kobach and the Sheriff keep talking???

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Machiavelli_mania 3 years, 9 months ago

Kobach is crooked, But we knew that. Look what he did to the GOP money. Red, red, red.

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Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 9 months ago

It was a briefcase belonging to a member of Kobach's staff.

This isn't a joke, I have this on good authority.

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Jonathan Kealing 3 years, 9 months ago

It was a briefcase. "Suspicious, but not explosive," according to KMBC:

http://www.kmbc.com/news/24246364/detail.html

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Multidisciplinary 3 years, 9 months ago

Do they have their own bomb unit? I say it's them. How better to justify your unit and force than going active at a rally of this nature. 'We all going to die"..call in the professionals!!!!! (jk of course..why on one of the hottest days of the year?)

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rooster 3 years, 9 months ago

A Bean Burrito was found.

hahahahahahahaha

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grammaddy 3 years, 9 months ago

So what was actually in the package?

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Machiavelli_mania 3 years, 9 months ago

I think it is poetic justice. Whoever did it was brilliant. OR Kobach could have had it done to call attention to his political cause. He is certainly no one I trust to be on the up-and-up.

Anyway it happened, it is interesting that this happened to someone who helped pen the questionable and unconstitutional Patriot Act and the questionable and unconstitutional Arizona act.

This package just might have been one way to fight fire with fire.

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