June 19, 2024

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AFP-Kansas presents Frederick Douglass Award to Rep. Marvin Robinson II

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A free-market group, the Americans for Prosperity Foundation-Kansas, has given its first ever Frederick Douglass Award “for standing on principle and working with anyone to do good” to a State Rep. Marvin Robinson II (D-Wyandotte).

AFP-Kansas Executive Director Elizabeth Patton said Robinson was the perfect choice.

“Frederick Douglass famously said, ‘I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong,'” Patton said. “Rep. Robinson exemplified that meaningful quote all session. He is an effective legislator who crosses party lines based on principles and core beliefs- not politics- and we are grateful for his partnership when we have common ground.” 

Americans for Prosperity-Kansas Deputy State Director Jon Lueth and Legislative Director Michael Austin present Rep. Marvin Robinson the inaugural AFP-Kansas Frederick Douglass Award for standing on principle and working with anyone to do good.

Robinson crossed party lines on two important occasions helping override Democrat Governor Laura Kelly’s veto of Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, as well as the Women’s Bill of Rights Act.

The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act was passed by the Kansas State Legislature three years running — only for it to fail of override in at least one house.

This year, Robinson provided the 84th vote, to allow the bill to become law.

Robinson also provided the 84th vote to override Kelly’s veto of Senate Bill 180, the Women’s Bill of Rights” which — among other things — established in state law that gender is defined by biology and also requires separate facilities for biological males and biological females in athletics, prisons and detention facilities, domestic violence centers, rape crisis centers, locker rooms, and restrooms. 

Robinson is taking a lot of abuse from Democrats for supporting school choice for disadvantaged kids and protecting biological women’s right to compete in the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.  He says one female Democrat in the Legislature told him he should die.

Just days before that bill was to become law, the Kansas chapter of the National Education Association and the American Civil Liberties Union sent a joint letter to districts across the state telling them to simply ignore the law.

“During the 2023 Kansas legislative session, the legislature passed SB 180 over Governor Kelly’s veto. SB 180 is a definition-based bill that provides ‘a meaning of biological sex for purposes of statutory construction,’” the letter reads. “This bill does not have any enforcement mechanisms and does not provide for any penalties, civil or otherwise, for agencies, businesses, school districts, or other entities that decline to change their policies to adopt the definitions contained in SB 180.”

Robinson enraged the Democratic establishment with his votes, some of whom have accused him of selling his vote in exchange for $250,000 to fund the restoration of the Quindaro Ruins in his district — an important stop on the Underground Railroad during the civil war.

“He’s a crusader and he’s willing to die on his sword,” KCUR reported Rep. Louis Ruiz, who also represents part of Kansas City said. “Well, his political career probably did die on his sword.”

Kelly ultimately vetoed the funding in what was likely political payback.

However, according to KCUR, Robinson was apparently unaware that the funding was even in the budget.

Democratic Sen. David Haley, whose district overlaps with Robinson’s and includes the Quindaro Ruins, told the station he has known Robinson for decades and believed him when he denied knowing about the funding.

Haley said it’s possible Robinson would have made the votes regardless of the circumstances.


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