With Brownback relegated to the sidelines, the Star has found a new target in Kris Kobach and has upped the smear-o-meter in the process.

On Thursday in Lenexa, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach announced that he is running for governor of the State of Kansas. Said Kobach on announcing, it’s time to “drain the swamp” in Topeka.

For the Kansas City Star editors the announcement could not have come at a better time. Just two days ago, the state legislature overrode Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto and erased Brownback’s ambitious tax-cutting program. With no the tax cuts to denounce on a daily basis, they needed a new Republican target, none more high profile than Kris Kobach.

In the first article about Kobach’s candidacy, reporter Shane Keyser showed he knows how to please his superiors. Kobach has championed “some of the strictest voting laws in the nation.” He is “the architect of controversial election and immigration laws.” He “advised President Donald Trump (a bad thing at 18th & Grand).

Kobach has made claims of widespread voter fraud “that election experts say are overblown.” The ACLU says his new law “makes it harder for rightful voters to participate in elections.” An ACLU guy called Kobach the “king of voter suppression.”

Kobach has associated “with groups considered extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Kobach has repeatedly rejected accusations of racial bias.” He helped craft an Arizona law “that critics say encouraged racial profiling.” On the Sentinel smear-o-meter, this article rates a 9.8 out of ten. The Star failed only to ask Kobach when was the last time he beat his wife.

Oh yeah, and by the way, Kobach “holds degrees from Harvard and Yale, worked in the U.S. Department of Justice under former Attorney General John Ashcroft in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack”–Oxford too by the way, typical white nationalist credentials.

This initial article on Kobach’s candidacy is so perversely partisan, in fact, that it may one day be used as a case study in journalism school. To quote the ACLU is bad enough. To quote the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) crosses the line from journalism into pure race baiting propaganda.

Two years ago, the Star and the Wichita Eagle headlined an article, “Kris Kobach rejects criticism for speaking at a ‘white nationalist’ conference.” The source for the accusation, of course, was the SPLC. At the time, Kobach accurately described the SPLC as “unethical smear artists.”

The reader does not have to take Kobach’s word for that. “Today,” observed Ken Silverstein in the left-of-center Harper’s magazine, “the SPLC spends most of its time—and money—on a relentless fund-raising campaign, peddling memberships in the church of tolerance with all the zeal of a circuit rider passing the collection plate.”

“Morris and I,” Silverstein quotes Millard Fuller, the partner of SPLC founder Morris Dees as saying, “shared the overriding purpose of making a pile of money. We were not particular about how we did it; we just wanted to be independently rich.”

It is time to drain the swamp at 18th & Grand. The Star can start by apologizing to Kris Kobach.

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