A s Kansas lawmakers scrounged for funds to make ends meet, Secretary of State Kris Kobach was on his own mission.
The Republican extremist kept busy traveling on the taxpayer dime while pushing his political agenda.
He used the state’s executive aircraft to promote Voter ID, proof of citizenship and other voter suppression efforts outside Kansas, and speak at various Republican Party gatherings.
He booked the state-owned plane for a funeral in Virginia, and also took two commercial flights to Washington, D.C., at taxpayer expense to participate in a lawsuit related to national voter registration.
A recent Associated Press search of open records related to the state-owned plane’s use showed a number of flights Kobach scheduled from Jan. 1, 2015, through March 24 of this year had little connection to the secretary of state’s public duties.
While Kansas law requires the governor to reimburse the state when using the executive aircraft for personal or political travel, Kobach argued his travel paid for by taxpayers was justified.
The arrogance on his part was no surprise.
Known for his nationwide pursuit of anti-immigrant policies, Kobach has spent inordinate time away from his office in Kansas promoting Voter ID and proof-of-citizenship requirements designed to disenfranchise the young, poor, minorities, seniors and others unlikely to support far-right Republicans.
The proof-of-registration requirements he pushed in Kansas left tens of thousands of prospective voters suspended from casting ballots in the 2014 election.
Of course, he still hasn’t produced a single case of an immigrant voting illegally, even though he said such voter fraud was common and cause for the restrictive voting requirements.
With aspirations for higher office, Kobach also has publicly engaged in other matters outside his current duties, to include state sovereignty issues over gun rights, health-care reform and other issues.
And in a clear conflict of interest for the state’s chief elections officer, Kobach in 2014 engaged in campaigns against more mainstream Republican legislative hopefuls, and is doing the same this year.
Consider his abuse of the office and public resources business as usual for a self-serving politician — one who’s regularly run roughshod over the interests of the state and its people.