Ethics

Kris Kobach Will Use Taxpayer Money to Pay For His Contempt

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was recently held in contempt of federal court and ordered to pay the legal bills of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) because he did not follow a court order to inform residents that they may register to vote without proof of citizenship.

According to the Kansas City Star, state legislators were preparing to pass measure that would force Kobach to pay the ACLU's bills out of his own pocket, but that measure has been removed from the state budget because Kobach's office told them it would be illegal.

Rep. Troy Waymaster, a Bunker Hill Republican who chairs the House’s budget committee, said the provision was generating “a lot of communication with one particular executive office… you know who I’m talking about.” [...]

The letter from Kobach's office, from secretary of state senior counsel Sue Becker, said the prohibition in the budget was illegal and would have required the state to expend significant resources in “any futile attempt to defend it.” Becker also contends Kobach was sued in his official capacity, not personally, shielding him from liability.

In other words, Kobach extorted his own state government for money.

Legislators should have stood up to him, but I'm going to lay most of the blame here on Kobach himself. The idea that such a measure would be illegal doesn't pass the smell test, but I have no doubt that Kobach would force the state into another protracted and costly legal battle to save his own skin or, in this case, his pocketbook.

Kobach ostensibly wants to become the next governor of Kansas even though he appears to have contempt for the state as well as the court.