-- by Dave
Well, we've known for some time that Kris Kobach -- one of the co-authors of Arizona's Nativist immigration law, SB1070, and a frequent guest on Fox News whenever they need a reliably right-wing talking point on various immigration issues -- is something of a crook and a liar, since he rarely appears on TV without misleading the audience and presenting one fake "fact" or another that turns out to be utterly false.
Now the Southern Poverty Law Center has revealed that -- prior to his recent election as Kansas' Secretary of State -- Kobach basically made a living by scamming various municipalities into adopting outrageously unconstitutional anti-immigration statutes, and then leaving them holding the very large, expensive, dripping and fetid-smelling bag:
When Mr. Kobach Comes to Town
The towns that passed nativist laws in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Texas and Nebraska, along with the state of Arizona, have spent millions of dollars to defend them in court, and almost every judicial decision so far has gone against them. One community, faced with skyrocketing legal costs, had to raise property taxes, and another was forced to cut personnel and special events and even outsource its library.
That was just the beginning. The four towns and one state examined in this report all saw a crisis in race relations as conflicts between Latino immigrants and mostly white natives escalated. Latinos reported being threatened, shot at, subjected to racial taunts and more. Police are having trouble getting cooperation from any in their Latino communities. Pro-immigrant activists have been threatened with notes that promise to “shed blood” to “take back” communities. The mayor of one town had his house vandalized after opposing a proposed law and was warned by federal agents to be careful; he ended up retiring after four terms in office. Angry protests and counter-protests, along with dangerously rising tensions, have rocked one town after another. In some communities, business districts have largely collapsed.
Behind all of this stands one man: Kris Kobach, a former Kansas City law professor who was just elected Kansas secretary of state. For the better part of the last six years, Kobach has been chief legal counsel to the Immigration Reform Law Institute, which is the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). He helped to write and defend in court the laws in Hazleton, Valley Park, Farmers Branch, Fremont and Arizona, and he is seeking to do even more.
The report is quite complete, including a timeline for each of the four municipalities Kobach has "helped".
And in an important way, he's done the same thing for Arizona, where he convinced the electorate that a scapegoating strategy and installation of a police state for Latinos was the way to solve their immigration issues. The state is already suffering badly economically, and it's been made much worse by the economic boycott that resulted from SB1070 and the mass departure of Hispanics from the state. Kobach, of course, has had plenty of help in damaging Arizona's economy, including the state's governor. Meanwhile, as the state crumbles, the Arizona Senate president thinks the real imperative is to end birthright citizenship for the children of immigrants.
Of course, now that he's been elected Secretary of State in Kansas, Kobach can just walk away and smile. Meantime, as the SPLC observes, he gets to continue doing his work scamming communities eager to walk the bigot's path.
[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]