Letters to the Editor

Kobach smear

February 2, 2011


To the editor:

In its Jan. 30 issue, the Journal-World quotes Kris Kobach: “The Southern Poverty Law Center has been saying negative things about me for a long time …” and the group has “basically become a left-wing smear organization.” The first sentence is true, and those “negative things” are based on undisputed facts.

Kobach’s second sentence is blatantly false. Over the past 30 years the SPLC has won legal battles for the rights of minorities, children, prisoners and immigrants. It has successfully sued a virulent Ku Klux Klan branch and other hate groups for their violent acts, driving some out of business. It continues its legal and educational battle for otherwise powerless victims of illegal discrimination and violence.

Please read the online record to understand how Kobach’s statement makes him a one-man smear group.


Tom Shewmon 7 years, 4 months ago

SPLC leaves one hateful racist group alone: La Raza. Maybe that's one of the reasons Kobach is doing what he is doing. Democrats could care less who casts a vote, so long as it is cast for them.

Bananajoe 7 years, 4 months ago

Hey Tom, How is La Raza a hateful racist group? ......, I am just curious

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

It isn't, but because its name can be sloppily, and incorrectly, translated as "race," the wingnuts have chosen it as their latest idiotic mantra.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

No, I just had a minor in Spanish in college. And while my Spanish may be a bit rusty these days, it's good enough to spot a conveniently sloppy translation being used to support a slanderous mischaracterization of La Raza.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

It also has other meanings as well-- meanings that this organization intends in using it as the name of their organization. And if your wife is any less ignorant than you, she'll confirm that.

But one meaning it doesn't have is "racist," which is what the wingnuts want to apply to it.

Bananajoe 7 years, 4 months ago

I don't mean to be disrespecful to you or your wife BornAgainAmerican, but Bozo is right. In this case we are not looking for a literal translation."Raza" is just a slang word for group or community mainly used by Mexicans. As your wife can tell you, Hispanics or Latinos are not a race it's an ethnicity.

Kendall Simmons 7 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, but Bozo's point is valid.

"La Raza", while it literally translates as "the race" actually has numerous meanings, including "the people" (which is how La Raza uses it).

Indeed, in Spain 'raza' as regards people can mean something quite different from that use of 'raza' in Latin America and even between countries in Latin America.

So a literal translation of the word "raza"...which people seem to be arguing for...simply isn't sufficient.

Heck, the word 'race' itself has more than one meaning!

If I heard the phrase "the race", I'd think it refered to...gasp...a race, like a car race ('raza de coche') or 5K race ('raza 5K').

Bananajoe 7 years, 4 months ago

The question is still on the table Tom. Can you please explain how La Raza is a hateful racist group? Thanks

Bananajoe 7 years, 4 months ago

I do not beleive that the Tea Party is a racist group. I have friends that are part of the Tea Party movement and I respect them. And to be honest with you it is just like your postings, sometimes I agree with them and sometimes I don't. Now the question is still in there. How La Raza is a hateful racist group?

Bananajoe 7 years, 4 months ago

Once again...How is the NCLR a hateful racist oraganization Tom?

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 4 months ago

Blahblahblah "Democrats bad." Blahblahblah "Republicans good." I'm getting kind of tired of fixing these things for you. Tom.

Bill Getz 7 years, 4 months ago

It is unclear what you mean to say here. Please review the punctuation of the sentence, and look up the definition of the word "vaunted" and replace it with a more precise adjective. BG

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Koback does smear himself.

He should find a job that does not require tax dollars for his paycheck and medical insurance. Kobach is on a personal agenda....

Bill Getz 7 years, 4 months ago

Contributors on the right need to agree on the accepted spelling of one of their hero's first name. Here, Mr Shewmon has spelled it both ways (Glen and Glenn). One sees this confusion running through so many of their postings. Having seen Mr. Beck's by-line and confirmed it on Wikipedia, I believe the spelling he uses contains two n's, not one. To paraphrase Nabokov, those who cannot spell the name of their subject properly have no right to interpret their work.

gccs14r 7 years, 4 months ago

Which just goes to show that the lack of education funding in this state is having the intended effect.

Scott Morgan 7 years, 4 months ago

Fortunately the converse is true. LIbs do eventually grow up only not in two similar counties in Kansas. WYCO and Douglas.

Love to toss that one out every once in while.

notanota 7 years, 4 months ago

And that has to do with Kobach's delusional response to SLPC how?

Centerville 7 years, 4 months ago

The SPLC has become the SNL of victim groups. Really, it's a farce.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 4 months ago

I tell ya, this board is just overrun with liberals.

jonas_opines 7 years, 4 months ago

Absolutely, and the good, honest, hard-working conservatives just can't get a fair shake or a chance to speak their minds.

(though, on contemplation, that might actually be true, if only because they're being drowned out by the wing-nuts)

Ken Lassman 7 years, 4 months ago

Kobach vs SLPC: kinda like the Three Stooges vs. the Marx Brothers, no? Slapstick vs. puns is always a matter of personal taste in my book....

Scott Morgan 7 years, 4 months ago

Kobach before being elected was a constitutional law professor. As you know. I fear citizens who parallel him to the Three Stooges speaks volumes about where this nation is heading.

If you wish to change our society to another type, have candidates run for office. Constitutional Amendments are difficult to pass, but doable.

Be careful never ever run an Obama type who fools us with moderate speak. You witnessed what happens when our great nation realized a politician felt he knew a bit more than the rest of us. Good grief, he just got tripped up in court by his own testimony last week. Now that's Stooge material.

Not sure the Democrat party isn't doomed anyway after the Obama years.

Ken Lassman 7 years, 4 months ago

A constitutional law professor who is making the law into slapstick comedy, unfortunately. Just because he has an impressive title does not exempt him from embarrassing the profession, which he clearly is. His obsession with voter fraud in a state where there clearly has not been any significant problem in this area either is a sign of paranoid thinking or of someone who is using his position as a stepping stone for greater aspirations. In neither case is he serving the vast majority of Kansas citizens, who for some reason gave him the benefit of the doubt and elected him. I seriously doubt if he will be given the same opportunity again.

jonas_opines 7 years, 4 months ago

"Not sure the Democrat party isn't doomed anyway after the Obama years."

Nah, they said the same about Republicans in 2005-6. All it takes is a good 6-12 years of the opposite party in charge before the one that's not in charge looks good again.

Anne Tangeman 7 years, 4 months ago

Thank you Mr. Springer for writing this - SPLC is also a resource for education, when other folks want to ignore racism or pretend it does not exist anymore. There is something truly off about Kobach and his exclusionary vision.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

The problem I have with Kobach's response is that it is devoid of substance.

Instead of addressing the criticisms, he simply calls the organization names - this seems to be more and more common in our political discussions.

"Did you embezzle money"? "You're more liberal than Ted Kennedy".

Doesn't this seem absurd to anybody else?

Where's the substance?

booyalab 7 years, 4 months ago

Suggesting that someone committed a federal crime without evidence goes WAY beyond "criticism", and even if they had evidence why would they ask him whether he committed it, rather than going through the proper channels? It's obvious that they are just trying to destroy his reputation in any way they can.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

"Suggesting that someone committed a federal crime without evidence"

And yet that's precisely what Kobach is doing in campaigning for voter ID, despite the fact that there is no evidence that there is any voter fraud it could eliminate.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

Do I really have to be more precise?

Ok - if somebody accuses you of something, and instead of responding to the substance of the accusation, you simply call them a dismissive name, that's not a substantive response.

Why didn't he simply deny the accusation was true?

And, of course, if the accusations are knowingly false, there may be a possibility of suing them for slander or libel.

This game of calling those who criticize you names is clearly a tactic to deflect and avoid dealing with the substance of the criticism.

Or accusation. Or allegation. Or any other word you'd like to call it.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 4 months ago

This laughable in light of the "Constitutional erosion" being preached by our current SOS. Throw in the Patriot Act and we have a trifecta.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 4 months ago

The Fed judge who declared it "unConstitutional" was one of how many? Eight? I think? that are hearing the case. To date, two federal judges have passed it and one has nixed it. You're running 2 to 1 at this point, Tom. We all knew the healthcare act would go to SCOTUS. This is just the run up. Don't chortle too quickly.

camper 7 years, 4 months ago

Tom, I could not reply to your comment below about the who. But here is a song from 87' called good guys and bad guys. It's about not worrying about the next boss but just relaxing and being yourself. Peace Bro.

Scott Morgan 7 years, 4 months ago

He's just another Chicago thug politician fool me once shame on you, fool me twice same on me.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

Actually, if you watch the youtube clip, it's obviously intimidating, and meant to be so.

The guy is ranting and raving about how he hates white people, and that they need to be killed.

Whatever you think of conservatives, or liberals, this is not conduct anybody should defend.

somedude20 7 years, 4 months ago

I say, I say, I say is this like a pap smear or Pat Smear from Nirvana?

somedude20 7 years, 4 months ago

I have heard about the doc. I would have said Pat from the Germs but did not think many would get it, not that they do anyways as I am kinda weird

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