Daily Archives: April 23, 2013

Norquist on side of immigration reformers

Predictably, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was a star witness at Monday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill, fearmongering about its potential to lead to more attacks like the Boston Marathon bombings. But another witness, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist (in photo), surprised some with his testimony in favor of reform, arguing that “people are an asset, they’re not a liability,” and that those who would make the nation less immigrant-friendly “would also make us less successful, less prosperous and certainly less American.” Afterward, Norquist tweeted: “Anti-immigrant witnesses @ Senate Judiciary hearing were quite weak. The communities of faith, farmers and business guys are all with Reagan.” When Norquist visited Topeka in January with a similar message for conservative legislators, Kobach responded that Norquist “has no legal expertise in immigration law.”

Busch beer heir has had it with the NRA

The National Rifle Association won the legislative fight against new gun-control measures but lost one of its prominent members. Adolphus Busch IV, who has been an NRA member since 1975, asked that his name be removed from the NRA membership roles. “The NRA I see today has undermined the values upon which it was established,” he wrote in a letter to NRA president David Keene. “Your current strategic focus places a priority on the needs of gun and ammunition manufacturers while disregarding the opinions of your 4 million individual members” (74 percent of whom, he noted, support universal background checks).

State joins Wichita in cracking down on human trafficking

Law enforcement authorities in Wichita can take pride in having helped pass the state’s new anti-human trafficking law, which Gov. Sam Brownback signed Monday. Because of local officials’ good work investigating and prosecuting such cases in recent years, traffickers now will face tougher justice statewide, as vulnerable victims and survivors are handled with more care and compassion. “Kansas has made great strides forward in the fight against modern-day slavery with this new law,” said Brownback, who was a leader in the global fight during his time in the U.S. Senate. As the bill passed the Legislature unanimously, though, one concern got too little attention: its resulting costs to local governments. In February, Sedgwick County commissioners were told by county staff that such legislation would cost the county about $255,000 more a year.