Remember this guy seen here smiling with the orange fire demon while being photographed carrying a document entitled “Department of Homeland Security, Kobach Strategic Plan for First 365 Days” into a meeting with trump? Well that is its author, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
Only yesterday, Kobach had lost his court appeal and has been ordered to turn over all documents from his meeting with president trump to the ACLU by Friday as part of an ongoing voting rights lawsuit against his office. That photograph had revealed a reference to voting rolls. The ACLU has been petitioning for access to the documents, contending that if Kobach lobbied Trump on changes to federal voting law, it would be relevant to their case.
Today, we see the announcement that the anti-immigration vote-suppression specialist will join the President’s new commission on election integrity and will be second to Vice President Mike Pence, the panel’s official chairman. He has been a staunch vocal defender of trump’s fever dream of three million fraudulent votes cast in the 2016 election. So we can be reassured that he comes to the table unbiased and with no agenda, can’t we?
In recent years Kobach has become the leading paladin in the voter suppression efforts sweeping the nation since SCOTUS struck down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Kobach has been racking up frequent flyer miles defending draconian voting requirements as they have been popping up in red states; making voting more difficult for key Democratic constituencies, such as young people and racial minorities.
With degrees from Harvard, Yale Law School and Oxford University and an arm-length résumé of public service positions, he is a well known mover and shaker within Republican Party politics, particularly on issues of immigration and voter caging tactics.
Kobach, who advised Mitt Romney on the idea of “self-deportation” for undocumented immigrants, also authored Arizona’s strict “show me your papers” immigration law and a more stringent 2010 law in Alabama.
Kobach regularly makes false or unsubstantiated claims about the extent of voter fraud in the United States, and is no stranger to defending against lawsuits by the ACLU and League of Women Voters; publicly calling both of them “communists.”
Kobach calls his own Kansas voting law’s burden on voters “so small as to be virtually nonexistent.” Yet last year over 33,000 Kansas citizens were barred from registration. So—no sir, that burden is quite existent indeed.
Thus far, I am only scratching the surface of this guy. And no one is tearing themselves away from the Comey firing story to notice something that I want to highlight here:
The reason that Kris Kobach will be so fucking dangerous in leading a voter fraud commission is his well-honed expertise in the psychology of both conflating and misrepresenting bogus statistics and common registration anomalies as threats to election integrity, lending nothing more than the cosmetic appearance of credibility and validity to his decade-old crusade to crush American institutions like the rights of all American citizens to cast their vote in democratic elections.
As the trump democracy-wrecking Juggernaut trundles on, o’er the ramparts we watch at the twilight’s last gleaming.