Daily Archives: July 15, 2013

Kobach isn’t backing down on immigration

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach mocked those who think that Republicans need to support comprehensive immigration reform in order to attract more support from Hispanics. “Any politician who thinks, ‘Oh, we just cast one vote, and then all of a sudden this demographic group comes flocking to us,’ they’re being superficial Washington idiots,” Kobach told the New York Times. He also dismissed the conventional wisdom that Mitt Romney’s endorsement of “self-deportation” policies is why he did so poorly among Hispanic voters during the 2012 presidential campaign. “I think his low share of the Hispanic vote probably would have been exactly the same, or very close to the same, regardless of whether he said ‘self-deportation’ or not,” Kobach said. Melinda Lewis of El Centro Inc., a social service organization in the Kansas City area, told the Times that Kobach “seems determined to ignore his growing irrelevance.”

ABA prefers merit selection of judges

After seeming to waffle last week, Gov. Sam Brownback affirmed his decision not to release the names of applicants to the Kansas Court of Appeals, which had always been made public under the former system involving a statewide nominating commission. That’s troubling, to say the least. It was especially remarkable that in announcing the nondisclosure, he claimed “the American Bar Association recommends this method of selection.” Actually, since 1937 the ABA has favored merit selection of judges involving a bipartisan nominating commission of lawyers and laypeople. A 2008 ABA “how-to” on judicial selection said: “Merit selection encourages community involvement in judicial selection, limits the role of political favoritism, and ensures that judges are well-qualified to occupy positions of public trust.” That’s the system the Legislature just trashed. At least for now, the change only applies to the Court of Appeals.

Long wait for ambitious pols in Kansas

When Roll Call peered into the future of Kansas congressional races, it found few opportunities for promotion, in part because the state saw so much turnover in 2010. Who might be ready to move whenever Gov. Sam Brownback and Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran exit their offices? Roll Call listed Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Secretary of State Kris Kobach and state Sens. Terry Bruce, Jeff King and Garrett Love as prime GOP choices. And Roll Call said “local Republicans have quietly speculated” that Reps. Mike Pompeo and Lynn Jenkins could draw primary challenges, with Wichita state Reps. Gene Suellentrop and Mark Hutton mentioned as possible candidates in Pompeo’s case. For the Democrats, Roll Call said, “operatives named state House Minority Leader Paul Davis, former Senate nominee Jill Docking, former Kansas City (Kan.) Mayor Joe Reardon and Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor as viable candidates for federal office,” adding that “Democrats do not expect an imminent resurgence in the state.” The average age of the four Kansas members of the House is a comparatively young 45.