Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach Launches, Chairs Prairie Fire PAC

Domenic Powell • Mar 07, 2012

Kris Kobach has referred to his work making immigrants’ lives miserable as something he does in his “spare time.” What “spare time” exactly does Kobach plan on using to run his new political action committee, Prairie Fire PAC?

In case you didn’t know, Kris Kobach is the Secretary of State in Kansas. We don’t blame you for not knowing—Kobach’s notoriety comes from authoring laws like Arizona’s SB1070, Alabama’s HB56, and laws for lots of other places other than Kansas. Kobach’s extra-Kansas work is done through the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), for whom he still is listed as Of Counsel. Kobach has claimed that this work carries over into the weekend; nonetheless, he has at least one more hour of his day to spare to run his new PAC.

On February 15, Kobach was already the target of a large protest over the amount of time he was spending outside of the state. That very same day Kobach formed Prairie Fire PAC and appointed himself the chairman. Organizers demanded the release of his calendar over the past year in order to quantify exactly how much work he was doing as “the Secretary of Every Other State but Kansas.”

Former Kansas Secretary of State Chris Biggs claims says that he never traveled out of the state during his time at the helm, supporting the suspicions of Kansans that they aren’t getting the full benefit of Kobach’s salary. Kobach has deflected criticism over forming the PAC by saying that it’s common for state-wide officials to continue to be involved in partisan politics, but Biggs believes that secretaries of state ought to be held to a higher standard:

“Essentially being the referee for elections, I think the more political the position is, the more it can potentially detract from that role,” Biggs told KWCH in Topeka.  Topeka. Where is that again?

By the way, Kobach is also acting as an adviser for the Romney campaign this year. As reported by Talking Points Memo, Kobach is “much more involved” in the Romney campaign this year, by his own standard, than he was in 2008. If the GOP nomination contest heats up any more, we’re sure Kobach will find the time to help Romney out.

The question of-“Just where does that leave the people of Kansas?”-it seems, will long remain a valid query.

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