Daily Archives: July 8, 2013

Challenging the facts of Kobach’s defense

Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s robust recent defense of his voting laws in The Eagle had factual problems, according to a Winfield Daily Courier article and a Kansas City Star columnist. In the course of his June 29 response to an Eagle editorial about his law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote, Kobach described a 1997 incident in which “a bus full of individuals believed to be aliens rolled up” to the Cowley County Clerk’s Office and registered to vote in a ballot election related to hog farming. On Saturday the Winfield Daily Courier reported that no such incident had happened, and that a call to Kobach’s office revealed “what Kobach meant to write was Seward County.” (Dee Leete, who was Seward County clerk in 1997, confirmed the story, saying “there were people claiming to live in Liberal but who were being bused in from an out-of-state workplace” and “we were dealing with serious voter fraud” – though no one was prosecuted.) As for Kobach’s claim that a 2010 Missouri House “election was stolen” by one vote when J.J. Rizzo “received about 50 votes illegally cast by citizens of Somalia”: Kansas City Star columnist Yael Abouhalkah, while noting there were lots of allegations about voting irregularities involving Somalis, quoted a Jackson County judge’s ruling in August 2010 that “credible evidence proves that there was no voter misconduct and there was no voter fraud with regard to this election.” Abouhalkah concluded that Kobach “needs to find a better case before he – an elected official – states publicly that an election was illegally stolen.”

California, Kansas waging ‘ideological battle’

Hoover Institution fellow David Davenport called California (his current home) and Kansas (where he grew up) “the blue and red point-counterpoint states of the nation” and the scenes of “a far more interesting and potentially important ideological battle than what we see in Washington, D.C., at the moment.” Writing for Forbes, Davenport said California has “become the model of blue-state governance (high taxes, high regulation)” while Kansas “is focused on shaping the mold for red-state governance (low taxes, high freedom). Even as California raised its tax rates, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is driving his state toward zero income tax, aiming to stimulate economic growth. It’s clearly a tale not only of two states but of two models of governance.”

More white voters not enough for GOP

GOP political strategist Karl Rove disagrees with those who argue that the Republican Party just needs to increase turnout among white voters in order to win elections. He noted that Mitt Romney still would have lost in 2012 even if the turnout among white voters had been the same as in 2008. “The nonwhite vote as a share of total voters has increased in every presidential election since 1996 by 2 percent (much of it Hispanic), while the share of the white vote has dropped by 2 percent each election,” he wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “If the GOP leaves nonwhite voters to the Democrats, then its margins in safe congressional districts and red states will dwindle – not overnight, but over years and decades.”