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Wait, wait.  Hold up here!  Who do Jean Schodorf and Randy Rolston think they are?  Everyone likes me here!
You're doing fine Kris, just fine.  Isn't that right Ken?
Kris, you're doing just fine.  And Jon, you're doing well too!
Remember Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach?  Well, maybe not as much as Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who is practically former Ohio SoS Ken Blackwell's protégé for his continuous attempts to disenfranchise and limit minority voters in Ohio.

Well, Kris Kobach is much in the same vein as Husted in voter suppression efforts, even while Kansas isn't exactly the kind of state the Democratic Party has had much strides in as far as party building and winning races.

However, he's not without scrutiny and he's certainly had his share of whip lashing on Daily Kos, not to mention on MSNBC shows like Al Sharpton's Politics Nation.

Well the good news is that now Kobach will soon get a Democratic challenger and here's hoping the Democratic candidate will actually defeat him for re-election in 2014.  

Two Democratic candidates are running in next year's primary:  Jean Schodorf and Randy Rolston.

Based on what I'm seeing, both candidates are strongly against Kobach's voter suppression efforts.

Randy Rolston has this noted on his website, issuing a sharp rebuke to Kobach's breaking of democracy:

Kansas Voter ID . The sage words of President Johnson were spoken after he signed the Voter Rights Act of 1965. This landmark piece of legislation outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the United States. It guaranteed all Americans the right to vote without the restrictive barriers of the past. I believe that voter ID laws disenfranchise voter groups and suppress overall voter participation. As the Kansas Secretary of State, I will work within the framework of the law and ensure that no Kansan is ever denied their right to vote.

Voter Fraud. Voter fraud is a serious but extremely rare crime. A 2012 research report from the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice showed voter fraud occurs in merely one out of every 15 million prospective voters. In the November 2012 election, over a million Kansans went to the polls and cast 18 million votes for over 500 candidates statewide. At a fraud rate of 0.00002 percent and using National Weather Service data, a candidate has a better chance of being struck and killed by lighting on Election Day than lose his or her election by voter fraud. Any allegations of voter fraud will be investigated by my office, and should evidence warrant, these cases will be directed to the county prosecutor.

It's a Fulltime Job - Our current Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, claims to assist both state and local governments in an effort to write legislation aimed at curbing illegal immigration, but only during his “spare time”. In February 2012, the voter-registration group Kansans Count filed an open records request for Mr. Kobach’s calendar. It appears that he has ample spare time in his agenda, at the state’s expense. Records acquired through a Kansas Open Records Request denoted six unaccounted weeks in Mr. Kobach’s work schedule in 2011. Research conducted by the group KanVote also provided evidence that Mr. Kobach traveled out-of-state six times between the August primary and November 2012 election, primarily on immigration-related business. Possibly it is advantageous for Kansas taxpayers to allow this attorney the free time necessary for him to devote to his “spare time job”. When elected in 2014, I promise Kansans that I will dedicate myself to be a Full Time 24/7 Secretary of State.

As for Jean Schodorf, she's just entering the race and in an interesting situation, she isn't just a regular Democrat.

As a Former State Senator, Schodorf was a long-time Republican who represented the 25th District of Kansas from 2001-2013 and even served as Majority Whip until she was defeated in the Republican primary for her re-election campaign by Wichita City Council member Michael O'Donnell on August 7, 2012.

Schodorf has as of January 2013 changed party affiliation to the Democratic Party.  And she doesn't approve of Kris Kobach's voter suppression efforts in Kansas.

Expressing dismay that thousands of Kansans are suspended from voting for failure to file proof-of-citizenship documents, former Republican state Sen. Jean Schodorf said Wednesday that she will seek the Democratic Party nomination for secretary of state.

“Seventeen thousand voters are in limbo,” Schodorf said. “That’s the highest in any state. That’s terrible, knowing about it and not doing anything about it. That’s voter suppression.”

Schodorf’s announcement sets up a Democratic primary between her and Randy Rolston of Mission Hills, the co-founder of Victorian Trading Co., an Internet and mail-order catalog business based in Johnson County.

In addition, Schodorf points this out:

Schodorf said she made up her mind while greeting voters at the Democratic Party booth at the recent Kansas State Fair – including a handful who have had their voting privileges suspended.

“People were just livid about that, they were so mad,” she said. “I decided then and there that we could put our campaign together.

One thing to also note, Kris Kobach did defeat previous Kansas Secretary of State Chris Biggs, of the Democratic Party, by 59%-37%.  Prior to Kobach's tenure, Biggs was appointed by then-Governor in Kansas Mark Parkinson (also a Democrat but one, like Jean Schodorf, was previously a Republican).

My suspicion is that the GOP in Kansas has become more intolerant of diversity within its party so that's why Schodorf and Parkinson have become disillusioned with what's going on as far as politics within the State GOP.

Nevertheless, like Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris during the Bush/Gore '00 race, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell during the Bush/Kerry '04 race and like Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted who oversaw elections in Ohio during 2012, Kris Kobach is a certified voting suppression guy who clearly doesn't seem to understand what country he's in and what reason he has to deal with voting rights the way he does, knowing there have been voting irregularities in the past.

Are we ready to give Kobach a royal spanking in November 2014?

Originally posted to pipsorcle on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 01:38 PM PDT.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos, State & Local ACTION Group, and Knowledge Democrats.


Who would you prefer to challenge Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in 2014?

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