Kris Kobach just got busted: Leader of GOP's voter suppression crusade spoke before white nationalist group

Surprise! A man who wants to make it harder for minorities to vote keeps some pretty racist company

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published November 3, 2015 7:43PM (EST)

Kris Kobach       (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
Kris Kobach (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

Kansas Secretary of State and the right-wing's most prominent anti-immigration activist Kris Kobach was recently outed for speaking at the annual Writers’ Workshop of the The Social Contract Press (TSCP), a group classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a white nationalist publishing house.

According to SPLC, The Social Contract Press' publisher John Tanton is also the founder of the modern nativist movement. Kobach was spotted by the Center for New Community at the October 25 gathering in Washington, D.C. U.S. Rep. Brian Babin, a Republican freshman from Texas who recently proposed legislation to suspend refugee resettlement programs as the Syrian crisis finally made U.S. headlines, was also a featured speaker. From SPLC:

Given TSCP’s publisher, it’s not surprising that articles from their eponymous journal The Social Contract have propagated the myth that Latino activists want to occupy and "reclaim" the American Southwest, argued that no Muslim immigrants should be allowed into the United States and claimed that multiculturalists are trying to replace “successful Euro-American culture” with “dysfunctional Third World cultures.”

Kobach has helped several states, including Arizona with its notorious SB1070, craft their own anti-immigrant laws laws. He has also been a leader in the GOP's national crusade to enact voter suppression measures. After pushing the Kansas legislature to give him prosecutorial powers over election fraud cases, duplicating and complicating the existing jurisdiction of local prosecutors, he has so far failed to bring any evidence in the more than 100 cases of fraud he promised to prosecute back in June, only filing charges in three cases.

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By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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