“Appeals Court Bats Down Kobach Request To Overturn Contempt Finding”

TPM: An appeals court dismissed Tuesday a request by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to overturn a federal judge’s finding that he was in contempt of court. The three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in its dismissal that Kobach had appealed the contempt finding prematurely. “Although the district court stated that it was imposing sanctions, specific sanctions have not yet been imposed,” the judges wrote. “Here,…

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“ACLU seeks $51K for fight with Kobach that led to contempt finding”

…. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson ordered Kobach’s office to pay for attorney fees and expenses when she ruled last month that Kobach ignored her orders after she blocked enforcement of the state’s voter registration law. Kobach has filed a notice with the court saying he intends to appeal her decision. Kobach failed to follow through on a promise to Robinson that counties would send postcards notifying people they could vote, even if they…

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“Kobach can pay contempt costs with state money, after lawmakers drop ban”

KC Star: Kansas lawmakers have abandoned an effort to force Secretary of State Kris Kobach to pay out of his own pocket the costs of being held in contempt of court. The decision ended a looming showdown between Kobach and the Legislature over who is on the hook financially. Kobach was dressed down by a federal judge during a civil trial over voter rights and ordered to pay attorney fees for the plaintiffs in the case. The Legislature’s…

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“Federal judge finds Kris Kobach in contempt of court in voting rights case”

KC Star: A federal judge on Wednesday found Secretary of State Kris Kobach in contempt of court in a case involving Kansas voting laws, her latest rebuke of the Republican candidate for governor. Kobach is considered a GOP frontrunner despite his constant court battles involving voter fraud and strict voting requirements that he has pushed while in office as the state’s top election official. In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Julie…

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“NH Primary Source: Gardner using Interstate Crosscheck System to probe possible NH voter fraud”

…eck Program was created in 2005 by former Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburg and election officials in other states. In recent years, it has been administered by the current controversial Kansas secretary of state, Kris Kobach, ostensibly to track down voter fraud. But it has been criticized by researcherscharging that the system produces a huge number of false positives and as such is unreliable. In 2014, Kobach said that the system was…

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Trump to Revive Voter Fraud Commission, Naming Roseanne Barr as Chair

NYT: After the embarrassing collapse earlier this year of President Trump’s handpicked commission headed by Vice Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to investigate purported voter fraud in the 2016 elections, the President is trying again but with a new leader, comedian Rosanne Barr. Barr, whose reboot of the “Roseanne” television series about white working class voters drew record viewership last week,…

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“The bitter lie behind the census’s citizenship question”

…was in a pre-civil rights era when communities of color were systematically undercounted and underrepresented. The Trump-Sessions-Ross argument is a red herring. But these arguments should sound familiar. The notorious Kris Kobach and other advocates for voter suppression laws have pushed this question before — spurring legitimate suspicion from public officials and other stakeholders who wonder why the Trump administration would seek to…

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“That citizenship question on the 2020 Census? Kobach says he pitched it to Trump”

…Bryan Lowry: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach encouraged President Donald Trump to add a question about citizenship status to the U.S. Census during the early weeks of Trump’s presidency. More than a year later, Trump’s administration has moved to enact that exact policy for the 2020 census. “I won’t go into exact detail, but I raised the issue with the president shortly after he was inaugurated,” Kobach said Tuesday….

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“ACLU: No ‘lawyer trick’ needed to spurn Kobach claims of voter fraud”

…y with Robinson’s order to send postcards to suspended voters who were given a green light when the judge blocked enforcement of proof of citizenship requirements. Robinson’s fury intensified during the contempt hearing when Kobach’s election director, Bryan Caskey, admitted Kobach never instructed him to carry out the judge’s order. Kobach told Robinson postcards were being sent before November 2016 elections. “I honored and trusted what you…

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“Dunlap offers unflattering account of Trump’s voter fraud commission”

Ellsworth-American: The whole affair began when he received a call from Kobach asking if he’d join the commission. At first, he said, he had no intention to help. But friends and colleagues advised him that he could play a regulating role within the commission, helping to ensure it relied on sound research. He eventually agreed. Early on, he ran into trouble. He’d promised a CNN reporter that he’d let her know if there were any developments…

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“Federal judge scolds Kobach for violating her trust at contempt hearing”

…clear they’re fully registered voters,” she said, pounding her desk with her hand. Robinson told Kobach during a 2016 telephone conference that she would hold him responsible for directing counties to send out these postcards. He promised to do his best and narrowly dodged a contempt hearing in 2016 because of this agreement. “I honored and trusted what you told me, Mr. Kobach,” Robinson said Tuesday, reminding Kobach of his…

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“Kansas voting trial over. One more court day, a contempt hearing, ahead for Kobach”

…g back to 1999 and only five of them ever voted compared to millions of ballots cast in the county during that timeframe. “The iceberg on close inspection, your honor, it’s more of an ice cube,” Ho told U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson. “There’s no evidence that it’s in the thousands as Secretary Kobach has asserted.” Ho played for the second time during the course of the trial a Kansas City Star video in which Kobach asserted that millions of…

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Redacted Kobach Deposition Transcript and von Spakovsky Cross Examination Transcript Now Available, Includes Discussion of False Claim of Somali American Voter Fraud

…he history books. It is the first time the Fraudulent Fraud Squad’s spurious claims of massive voter fraud literally have been put to trial and cross examination. It is not going well for them. (Redacted) transcript of Kobach deposition. von Spakovsky examination and cross-examination.  Some excerpts from Dale Ho cross examination: Q. You have not published any peer-reviewed research as an historian. Correct? A. That’s correct. Q….

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“Kobach witness can’t support claim that illegal votes helped Hillary Clinton”

…lary Clinton won the popular vote because more than 3 million illegal ballots were cast in the 2016 presidential election. Richman, who teaches political science at Old Dominion University, testified as an expert witness for Kobach in a trial over the state’s voter registration law. Kobach, who is seeking the GOP nomination in this year’s governor’s race, has referred to the 18,000 figure as the best available estimate for showing proof of…

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Released Emails Show Coordination Between DOJ and Pence-Kobach Fraud Commission over Voter Fraud Allegations, with Communications Between John Gore and EAC’s Christy McCormick

TPM: The chair of the Republican Party in Chicago last year passed on allegations of voter fraud to a member of President Trump’s now-defunct voter fraud commission, using a top Justice Department official as intermediary, newly released emails reveal. The emails, which were obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center via a Freedom of Information Act request, suggest that Republican officials sought to use the commission as a…

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Dale Ho Examines Hans von Spakovsky Under Oath at Kansas Voter Suppression Trial

…m not an academic, so I don’t use the peer review process,” von Spakovsky replied. Now we know why von Spakovsky did not want to be my “research assistant.” Tierney Sneed: Earlier, Kansas Secretary of State Kobach had asked von Spakovsky what his definition of voter fraud was. Lorraine Minnite, an expert witness for the ACLU, had in previous testimony defined voter fraud as the “intentional corruption” of the electoral process…

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“Video of Kobach reveals details of private talks with Trump, members of Congress”

…endment” to change the Act to incentivize states to adopt proof of citizenship policies, and that he did not discuss that item with Trump during his meeting. “I think I may have discussed the general issue of aliens voting,” Kobach acknowledged during the deposition. Kobach said that he didn’t remember if he and Trump discussed the scope of non-citizen voting in the country. Roughly a week after his meeting with Kobach, Trump began claiming,…

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“Kris Kobach’s Spectacular Voter-Fraud Failure Is on Trial”

…, whatever — won’t undermine his good standing with the likes of “Jim from Iowa.” Because their joint cause runs on resentment and racial paranoia, not facts or evidence. “The 129 is just the tip of the iceberg,” Kobach said. “We know the iceberg is much larger.” Yes, much larger. Huge, even. In his eighth year in office, Kobach’s getting ready to buckle down, roll up his sleeves and get to work finding that iceberg. Just as…

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“ACLU: Report to Kris Kobach shows 5 illegal voters out of 1.3 million ballots”

…lie Robinson repeatedly refused to allow Kobach and his team to introduce new evidence during Thursday’s testimony. After a failed attempt to question Caskey about the latest number of suspended voters in the state database, Kobach and Robinson engaged in a fiery discussion about Kobach’s failure to provide updated figures for two years before trying to submit new numbers on the night before the trial began. If updated numbers were important,…

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“Kris Kobach Admits White House’s Idea For Identifying Voter Fraud Wasn’t A Good One”

…izens and duplicate voters. One of those databases was a Department of Homeland Security directory of noncitizens. Officials communicated with DHS while the panel was operational, and when the probe was disbanded in January, Kobach said DHS could run voter information against federal databases of noncitizens to try and identify noncitizens getting on the voter rolls. But on Tuesday, during his opening statement in a federal lawsuit challenging a…

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“Judge Keeps Correcting Kobach Lawyers On Trial Procedure”

…itions. Robinson, an appointee of President George W. Bush, has even instructed Kansas’ attorneys on the correct ways to phrase their questions. Rather than rely on the representation of the Kansas Attorney General’s office, Kobach has opted to represent himself, with the assistance of other attorneys in his office. They haven’t exactly given the impression of crack litigators. The first hang-up occurred even before the opening statements…

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“Video of Kobach’s testimony could give insight on conversations with Trump”

Bryan Lowry: A federal judge will allow the ACLU to show video of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach speaking about his advice to President Donald Trump as part of a trial that will determine whether thousands can vote in Kansas this November. The video of a 2017 deposition will serve as a piece of evidence in the American Civil Liberties Union’s challenge of a Kansas law that requires prospective voters to provide proof of…

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Kobach, Acting As Attorney, Asks Expert Mike McDonald About “Shit Sandwich” Tweet, Claims His Evidence Will Show Proof of Citizenship Law Prevented Up to 18,000 Noncitizens from Voting in Kansas

…ther witness was also biased. He read aloud tweets from Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida, that disparaged Kobach. One tweet referenced reports that a staffer for Vice President Mike Pence had called Kobach an “(expletive) sandwich.” McDonald said he didn’t have any bias against Kobach. “They’re tough, but they’re tweets,” McDonald said. The trial is expected to last several days. Robinson will deliver a verdict in the…

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“Kobach sits on board of veterans group that isn’t using money to help veterans”

…found only a small fraction of the group’s money actually goes toward veterans’ issues. “This is the first I’ve heard of any suggestion that the monies raised by the charity aren’t going to the various causes for veterans,” Kobach said Thursday…. The bureau, which reviews the integrity of charities and businesses, gave Veterans in Defense of Liberty an “F,” the lowest possible grade on its scale. A review of the group’s 2014 and 2015…

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“Kobach will represent himself in upcoming trial. Is it a smart move?”

…Wichita Eagle: When a federal lawsuit challenging Kansas’s proof of citizenship voter law goes to trial in March, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach plans to be in the courtroom. He’ll be the attorney defending the law he crafted. Rarely, if ever, do statewide elected officials represent themselves at trial.  …

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“Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Files New Lawsuit Against Trump Administration For Concealing Its Actions to Engage DOJ and DHS in Work of Commission on Election Integrity”

…(DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS) for blocking the public release of information related to their efforts to investigate unfounded claims of voter fraud, including by coordinating with the now-defunct Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.  The lawsuit was filed one day after news reports revealed that former Commission Vice Chair and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach exposed the personally identifiable information of…

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“Kris Kobach’s Office Leaks Last 4 Social Security Digits of Nearly Every Kansas Lawmaker and Thousands of State Employees, Including Kris Kobach”

…ion,” the unauthorized disclosure of which is unlawful under numerous state and federal laws. Putting these statements of substantial interest online without redacting the SSN4 information is beyond reckless; it’s stupid.,,, Kobach’s office has spent the past few weeks trying to convince the Kansas legislature that it is, in fact, equipped to handle voluminous amounts of sensitive voter records. The interstate Crosscheck program, which is…

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“Trump election fraud commission bought Texas election data flagging Hispanic voters”

…aunched the drive to collect data from every state, said “at no time did the commission request any state to flag surnames by ethnicity or race. It’s a complete surprise to me.”  Told of documents showing the Texas purchase, Kobach said, “Mr. Williams did not ask any member of the commission whether he should check that box or not, so it certainly wasn’t a committee decision.” Such “information does not, did not advance the commission’s inquiry…

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“Judge Knocks DOJ Claim That Kobach Can’t Speak For Voter Fraud Panel”

…e didn’t buy the Justice Department’s argument that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach couldn’t speak to what was being done with the data collected by the now-defunct voter fraud commission he led. The judge ordered that Kobach or another commission member file a declaration giving a full explanation. The declaration will state “what information was collected or created by the Commission and/or its members on behalf of the Commission, where…

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More Trouble for Kobach’s Crosscheck

McPherson Sentinel: Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office will postpone the initial uploading of voter registration data from other states to the Kansas-based Interstate Crosscheck System while it reviews the program’s cybersecurity, a state official said Wednesday. Bryan Caskey, director of elections in Kobach’s office, told members of the House Elections Committee the Kansas secretary of state’s office began reviewing security protocols for…

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“White House Official Says Voter Fraud Panel Found Nothing, Will Delete Voter Data”

…solved the commission Wednesday but said its work would be moved to DHS. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the agency would take up the panel’s “preliminary findings,” and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), the panel’s vice chair, said DHS would run voter information against databases of immigrants to try to find voters illegally on the rolls. But Charles Herndon, the director of White House Information Technology,…

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“Contrary to his claims, Kobach not part of new voter fraud investigation, DHS says”

…forward.” He said that the agency would be looking for non-citizens on the voter rolls, an issue that Kobach has heavily promoted during his seven years as Kansas secretary of state. However, a spokesman for DHS contradicted Kobach’s characterization of his role in that agency’s work. “Mr. Kobach is not advising DHS in a formal or informal manner,” said Tyler Q. Houlton, a spokesman for DHS. “Of course, if an issue were to arise, we would work…

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Jonah Goldberg: “The Voter-Fraud Commission Dies a Partisan Death” (and My Own Thoughts on Thielen’s Laughable Oped)

…21; I commented in a tweetstorm on Thielen’s incorrect statement that I opposed the earlier commissions (I believe I agreed with every recommendation of the Bauer-Ginsberg commission), and the idea that I opposed Pence-Kobach because I was afraid it would create recommendations which would end the voter fraud I love and crave. I opposed it because it was based on a dangerous lie aimed at disenfranchising people and stacked with the…

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“What the demise of Trump’s voter fraud commission teaches Kansans about Kris Kobach”

…Strong KC Star editorial: The election integrity group had all the hallmarks of a classic Kobach operation — headline-grabbing allegations, poor legal review, finger-pointing followed by inaction, contradictory claims, and eventually, collapse. Kansans will need to decide if that’s how they want the governor’s office to operate….

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“DHS election unit has no plans for probing voter fraud: sources”

…d whether the DHS has immediate plans to pursue voter fraud issues, agency spokesman Tyler Houlton said it “continues to work in support of state governments who are responsible for administering elections, with efforts focused on securing elections against those who seek to undermine the election system or its integrity.”… DHS spokesman Houlton added that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a former co-chairman of the White House’s…

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“Kobach is prosecuting this confused Republican cattle rancher with four felony counts of voter fraud”

Great reporting by Kira Lerner, showing what Kobach’s illusion of a voter fraud epidemic looks like up close: For the past few years, Que J. Fullmer has split his time between Kansas and Colorado. He owns a cattle company and roughly 1,000 acres in Syracuse, Kansas, and his wife lives in Brighton, Colorado, where the couple owns a home and 300 acres. In November 2016, Fullmer cast ballots in both states. He figured that because he pays…

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von Spakovsky, of the Now Defunct Pence-Kobach Fraudulent Fraud Squad, Suddenly Calls for a Greater Federal Role in Elections

Interesting turnabout: One of the most common arguments made by state officials in refusing to turn over voter registration lists is that the federal government has no business barging in and demanding states provide the information. Von Spakovsky says that argument rings hollow given what states constantly do with the same information. “The information we asked for is information that all of these states routinely sell to candidates and…

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