By Stephanie Kirchgaessner
The Republican candidate for governor of Kansas, Kris Kobach, who has close ties to the Trump administration, has accepted financial donations from white nationalist sympathizers and has for more than a decade been affiliated with groups espousing white supremacist views.
Recent financial disclosures show that Kobach, a driving force behind dozens of proposals across the US designed to suppress minority voting and immigrant rights, has accepted thousands of dollars from white nationalists. Donors include a former official in the Trump administration who was forced to resign from the Department of Homeland Security this year after emails showed he had close ties to white supremacists and once engaged in an email exchange about a dinner party invitation that was described as “Judenfrei”, or free of Jews.
Currently the Kansas secretary of state, Kobach is running in a tight race against the Democrat Laura Kelly. The election has drawn the concern of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), after the single polling place located in Dodge City was moved outside the town, in what some claimed to be an attempt to suppress the Hispanic vote.
Kobach, who was vice-chairman of the Trump administration’s now disbanded election-fraud commission, is known for his zero-tolerance approach to undocumented migrants and his staunch support for voter ID laws, which critics say unfairly and illegally target minority voters.
But Kobach has gained less attention for his long history of associations with groups that espouse white nationalist views and the significant financial support they have given him since he launched his political career in 2004.
Public financial records show Kobach received political contributions from US Immigration Reform Pac, a political action committee closely affiliated with John Tanton, a retired ophthalmologist who is known as the founder of the modern American anti-immigrant movement.