The Kansas Republican Party is sending out mailers in legislative races around the state depicting ISIS fighters and explosions from MUSLIM terrorist attacks. A mailer going to homes in east Wichita’s House District 88 shows an ISIS fighter holding a machine gun with a message that reads: “Have you met the new neighbors?”
Wichita Eagle The other side of the mailer touts Republican Rep. Joseph Scapa’s support for funding to train Kansas law enforcement officers to “recognize and deal with foreign and domestic threats to our state, from those who support ideologies that are in conflict with the U.S. Constitution and our Kansas values.”
Clay Barker, executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, said similar mailers are being sent out around the state.
“We did polling and focus groups, and the one issue that got overwhelming positive response and was associated with Republicans was safety,” Barker said. “You know, Gitmo, that article that came out back in August that ISIS had named soldiers for assassinations, police being shot and those knuckleheads in Garden City, it all kind of added up to a security issue … the whole feeling that’s there violence out there. And it’s a positive issue for Republicans.”
The Republican mailer specifically depicts ISIS, the Islamic terror group that controls parts of Syria and Iraq.
Robert McCraw, director of government affairs for the designated terrorist group CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) in Washington, D.C., called the mailers “a shameful example of scare mongering tactics that I hope the Republican Party can learn to move away from.” He said it was appalling for the state party “to falsely insinuate that the state’s Muslim population is linked to terror groups like ISIS.” “This flier verges on incitement of violence to Muslims.”
The Republican-controlled Legislature has passed resolutions opposing the possible transfer of Guantanamo detainees to Fort Leavenworth. Barker said there are several variations of the mailers. One depicts an explosion from a terrorist attack. “It’s one of the few (issues) that was a clear, like high 80 percent positive and associated with Republicans,” Barker said.
Barker also said the party is sending out mailers highlighting Republicans’ support for ousting four of the sitting Kansas Supreme Court justices, portraying Democrats who support retaining the justices as soft on crime.
Rep. Joseph Scapa, who said he saw the mailer before it was sent out, focused his comments about the mailer more on Muslim refugees, who he says pose a potential security threat.
“We have people coming into our state from parts of the world who believe in ideologies that are incompatible with the United States Constitution and our Kansas values and that poses a threat,” Scapa said. “We know for a fact that we cannot vet the people that are coming into our state from other parts of the world … where they believe in ideologies that we don’t.”
Scapa’s opponent, Democrat Elizabeth Bishop, criticized the mail campaign, saying the mailers could contribute to animosity toward Muslims in Wichita. (One can only hope)
Led by Republican Governor Sam Brownback the state of Kansas informed the Obama administration this week that it is defying its dictates for Kansas to cooperate in the resettlement of refugees from Syria. In a letter to Robert Carey, director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Brownback wrote, “The State of Kansas hereby withdraws its Refugee Resettlement Program State Plan and terminates its participation in all federal refugee resettlement grants and programs, effective at the earliest possible date.”
Brownback added that he was taking his action to “protect the safety and security interests of the State of Kansas.”