Kris Kobach, the Republican candidate for Kansas governor who has close ties to Donald Trump, has been accepting money from white nationalists for more than a decade, says a new report in The Guardian newspaper.
According to The Guardian, financial disclosure records show that Kobach has accepted large amounts of money from white supremacist groups ever since he began his political career over ten years ago.
In recent years Kobach has gained fame due to his nation-wide effort to suppress minority voting rights and restrict immigrant rights.
“The white supremacist guys, they love Kris Kobach because he can put on a suit, have the fancy degrees, and translate their ideas into something that is more palatable,” said Zachary Mueller, of the immigrant rights group America’s Voice.
Kobach is currently running in a close race against Democrat Laura Kelly in red-state Kansas. If he loses it would be a major blow to the Republican Party.
But Kobach has always been controversial. He began his career by receiving a $10,000 donation from the U.S. Immigration Reform PAC, which is closely associated with the founder of the modern anti-immigrant movement, John Tanton.
“I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that,” Tanton wrote in 1993. Tanton’s wife has donated $2,000 to Kobach’s gubernatorial campaign.
Kobach has also been endorsed by Peter Brimelow, the founder of the VDARE website, which has been described as “overtly racist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He has also received large donations from VDARE contributor Paul Nachman. And he has also accepted donations from K.C. McAlpin, who heads the Tanton-founded U.S. Inc. publishing company, which produces the racist and anti-immigrant Social Contract Press.
Other Kobach supporters are known to be anti-Semitic views and have ties to white supremacists.Three men identified as white nationalists have reportedly worked on Kobach’s campaign.
Kobach was in charge of the Trump administration’s election-fraud commission which was disbanded when they found no evidence of election fraud in the 2016 elections.
As Secretary of State in Kansas he has taken controversial steps designed to suppress the voting rights of minorities. His staunch support for voter ID laws have gotten him into trouble because courts have held that they unfairly and illegally target minority voters.
He is also loved by right-wingers for his zero-tolerance approach to undocumented migrants.
Kobach has avoided overt white nationalist language in his speeches but he has never refused the endorsement of white nationalists or refused to take their money.
Early in his career Kobach worked for more than a decade for a Tanton-founded group, the Federation For American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR has worked to deny immigrant rights, but Kobach defended the work, saying they just want to enforce strong rules against illegal immigration.
The longstanding ties that Kris Kobach has to white nationalists is more proof that Donald Trump keeps “the best people” around him. But to Trump “the best people” are those who fight to take away the rights of immigrants and minority voters. And Kris Kobach fits that description perfectly.
It is now up to the voters of Kansas to write his political obituary, and end a political career that should never have begun in the first place.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.