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.


— 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.


Liberty275 7 years, 11 months ago

You have no fear because terrorists are held in check and aren't walking onto our busses or into our crowded restaurants with suicide vests. The first time that happened within 20 miles of you your cowardice would be the biggest part of you.

I don't like the patriot act any more than you, but you are just rattling off because other people have afforded you the right to think you are a coolio dude.

We see through you.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 7 years, 11 months ago

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

Liberty275 7 years, 11 months ago

It's nice to know who thinks terrorism is brilliant. Does the political philosophy of the American citizens that may be attending add to the brilliance?

If this is the sort of fire you want to fight with, don't whine down the road when your inverse does the same.

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 11 months ago

I agree with your statement that Kobach was probably responsible for it himself to call attention to his cause.Politicians play such stupid games.Your statement was my first thought. I'm curious about the package itself though. Much ado about nothing.

Liberty275 7 years, 11 months ago

Why is that people still believe obama's lies?

Katara 7 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Katara 7 years, 11 months ago

Seriously, Jonathan? My comment warranted removal?

It's okay to allege that Kobach uses drugs but it is not okay to link to a blurb about some idiot mistaking a bean burrito for a baby in a trash can.

Glad you are sticking to your high journalistic standards.

jaywalker 7 years, 11 months ago

EXACTLY! Because everyone knows that linking to a "bean burrito being mistaken for a baby in a trash can" is the epitome of "high journalistic standards".

Why, Katara, you should be an editor, for goodness sakes. I believe there might be a place for your sense of "news" in London.

Katara 7 years, 11 months ago

For goodness sakes... I got a scolding from jaywalker. Oh my!

jaywalker 7 years, 11 months ago

Post some more idiocy and it'll happen again.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 11 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.

overthemoon 7 years, 11 months ago

Oh, but it is a joke! And a darned good one. As is Kobach.

overthemoon 7 years, 11 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???

bigbrothercfg 7 years, 11 months ago

I was one of the 2500 plus people at that rallye. After the announcement that they had discovered a "suspicious package", about 3 people left. You can't make these colors run liberals. I will defend my country with my God and my guns. I am not afraid of BS tactics by the liberal left, bring it on.....Kobach knows the rule of law and Sheriff Joe should be in charge of ALL JAILS in the US!

jimmyjms 7 years, 11 months ago

"You can't make these colors run liberals. I will defend my country with my God and my guns."

Yee Haw!!!! I'ma real 'Merican, dagnabbit!


puddleglum 7 years, 11 months ago

then why did we 'run' out of korea? let's not even discuss Vietnam.

citizen4honor 7 years, 11 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.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 11 months ago

The briefcase was first noticed by a bomb sniffing dog.

Indications are the briefcase is the property of a Kobach staff member.

citizen4honor 7 years, 11 months ago

Where did you get your story? The briefcase with first noticed by a VOLUNTEER. It belonged to NO ONE Volunteering. Kobach's STAFF is mostly volunteer. It was removed by hotel staff and security to a secured location. I was there WORKING. Bob - No one should be blogging lies. What's your purpose for doing so?

staff04 7 years, 11 months ago

This ought to be interesting and entertaining as the details become public.

jimmyjms 7 years, 11 months ago

"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."

Uh huh. The GOP never makes those types of allegations, do they?

"Bomb squad was called in and THEY determined after x-raying that it was potentially dangerous. "

So they sprayed with a hose?

citizen4honor 7 years, 11 months ago

The Police were out in force because the NAACP, AILA, ACLU and over 10 other coalition organizations were preparing for the "perfect storm" and "ground zero" at the July 13 rally. Kobach promotes LEGAL IMMIGRIATION and following the laws. What's the problem? Who's causing a problem here? Kobach or those coalition groups profiting off of creating an incdient.

From AILA " the country’s debate over comprehensive immigration reform are reason enough to make July 13th in Kansas City ground zero for the country’s immigration debate. When you consider the upcoming implementation of SB 1070 in Arizona, the federal government’s lawsuit, and the impact of primary and mid-term elections, the members of my chapter are facing the perfect storm. "

Again - who is creating an incident here?

staff04 7 years, 11 months ago

I like the part about "following the laws." How many cases has constitutional law professor Kobach had thrown out of court on constitutional grounds again? Or laws drafted by him later thrown out by courts? Clearly someone who has a strong grasp of "the laws."

MyName 7 years, 11 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.

blindrabbit 7 years, 11 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.

blindrabbit 7 years, 11 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".

jimmyjms 7 years, 11 months ago

Ah, the musings of a 50-something white guy with entitlement issues.

So refreshing.

citizen4honor 7 years, 11 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.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 7 years, 11 months ago

But it is not the chair's responsibility to make sure staff are doing their jobs? Where does the buck stop?

BigDog 7 years, 11 months ago


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.”

citizen4honor 7 years, 11 months ago

Which audit where? Please cite where you got your info. I found your post all from blogs with no official article.
The office needs less than $100,000/year to run. Kobach was not responsible for for filing reports, paying bills, balancing the budget. That is Executive Director's job - Christain Morgan.
The only role of the VOLUNTEER Chair is to raise money by being a spokesperon. Again no GOP Chair has come close to matching the funds kobach raised. Again Chair is a VOLUNTEER role - they don't have time to file do paper work etc.

If state and federal taxes weren't paid, illegal contributions were accepted and questionalbe expenditures - that's was the PAID Executive Director's job. Kobach did not handle any of the money transactions - just created the income. ED's job is to record, file, etc. Not Kobach's job nor any Chair's job now or past.

blindrabbit 7 years, 11 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.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 7 years, 11 months ago

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

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 11 months ago

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

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

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

jimmyjms 7 years, 11 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. "

Spoken like a true republican.

pace 7 years, 11 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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