February 27, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Yoder Confounds Media, Invites Widow of Man Killed in Olathe Shooting to State of the Union

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Nearly a year ago, Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot to death in an Olathe bar by a deranged fellow named Adam Purinton who thought Kuchibhotla, an Indian national, was an Iranian.

No death in 2018 was exploited more aggressively by the media and the Democratic Party. The Kansas City Star ran more than fifty articles on the Olathe shooting, many of which tied the shooting to the election of Donald Trump as president. The Star was hardly alone in making this connection.

Kevin Yoder defies media expectations.

The Washington Post headlined a story, “An act of American terror in Trump’s heartland.” The Atlantic was more accusatory. Its article, “A murder in Trump’s America,” had the none too subtle subhead, “When a gunman shot Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, he acted alone—but such tragedies are abetted by politicians who fuel the resentments that produce them.” There were hundreds of such articles. TV news people even learned how to pronounce “Olathe.”

In a gesture that cynics will write off to clever politics, Republican Third District Congressman Kevin Yoder has invited Kuchibhotla’s widow, Sunayana Dumala, to attend President Trump’s inaugural state of the union address, and she has accepted.

Dumala rejects the cynics’ argument. “When I saw that email [invitation] I could sense that this was an invitation to an extension of that friendship, to the immigrant community and especially to the Indian community,” said Dumala.

Yoder had worked with Dumala to assure she was able to remain in the country after her husband’s murder. He has also sponsored a bill, H.R. 392, that would eliminate a 7 percent cap on the number of green cards issued each year for high-skilled workers.

“It addresses the green card backlog that immigrants from certain countries are facing like India and China,” said Dumala, “and focuses more on eliminating the country’s cap, making it a more fair-base system.”

Yoder, like other congressman, is able to select just one representative from his district. Whether out of shrewdness or compassion, or some combination of both, Dumala was a worthy pick.

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