TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/WIBW) _ Democratic leaders say they will introduce two measures in January in an effort to limit Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's power and work outside the office on immigration and other issues.
Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley and House Minority Leader Paul Davis said Tuesday that they would submit a bill to limit the ability of statewide elected officials and their employees to work more than 10 hours a week outside their official duties and still receive compensation.
While the bill does not specifically mention the Secretary of State, Hensley and Davis made clear Kobach is the driving force behind it. Hensley said Kobach should be concentrating on the secretary of state's office and not working with other states on immigration issues.
"I think we have a huge problem with a part-time Secretary of State who does everything but what he's responsible for and we need to impose these restrictions on him and other state offices," Hensley said.
A second bill would require county commissions in the state's four largest counties to hire election commissioners, to address problems arising from the general election. It is aimed at preventing Kobach from appointing those commissioners. Hensley and Davis cited examples from the November election that they say illustrate bias by Kobach in whether or not votes should count.
In a written response Tuesday, Kobach said the bottom line is disagreement over his stance on immigration policy.
"Some office-holders spend their spare time playing golf. I spend mine trying to stop illegal immigration," Kobach said. "If I were golfing every Saturday and Sunday and in the evenings during the week, the Democrats wouldn’t care a bit. So what is really going on here is that they dislike what I am doing with my spare time—helping cities and states stop illegal immigration, and helping ICE agents sue to stop the Obama amnesty-through-executive order."