Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kris Kobach donors pay whopper legal bill

Posted By on Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge Lots of little checks paid Kris Kobach's big fee.
  • Lots of little checks paid Kris Kobach's big fee.

Say what you want about zealous anti-immigration folks, but they are nothing if not generous when it comes to funding their cause. Just ask Kansas Secretary of State candidate Kris Kobach, who's about to deposit a big check donated by strangers.

The UMKC professor and author of a Hazleton, Pennsylvania, law that aims to make life difficult for illegal immigrants by refusing permits to businesses that hire them and fining landlords who rent them homes, was paid $197,615 in legal fees for his work. And the town of around 22,000 didn't pay for a dime of it, city officials told the Hazleton Standard-Speaker.

The city, realizing defending the law called the Illegal Immigration

Relief Act could quickly empty its coffers, set up a defense fund in

2006, and it paid off big time, raking in $430,000 from online donations

and checks in the mail. The paper reports that donations from almost

4,500 donors in a handful of states have allowed the city to pay its

bills without tapping into tax payer money. That's a pretty sweet deal for

Hazleton, which admitted that with only $10,000 in its legal fund, couldn't afford fending off legal challenges

without the donations.

Still, scampering into the anti-immigration legislative battlefield

might not have been the best decision for Hazleton. Lawsuits over the IIRA have been successful, and now lawyers for the ACLU and other opponents of the law are

trying to get their mitts on $2.4 million in legal fees for going after

the law, which was passed in 2006 but has never been enforced.

Kobach, no doubt, must be pleased about his hefty payday, regardless of

where the cash came from. If he is elected Secretary of State in

November, he's in line for a major pay cut, and he'll have to leave

his teaching job. 

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