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Kobach's joke stoked a phony conspiracy

As the front-runner to succeed Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh next year, former Kansas Republican Party leader Kris Kobach should know that his words matter, even those spoken in fun among GOP friends. Yet he seemed surprised that Democrats went after him for joking Saturday at a Leavenworth County Republican Party barbecue that President Obama and God had something in common — the lack of a birth certificate. (He added that the difference between the two was that God only takes 10 percent of a person's income.)"Kansans want elected officials who stand above the peddling of partisan lies and conspiracy theory. This is yet another example of why Kris Kobach is unfit for elected office," declared Kansas Democratic Party executive director Kenny Johnston."Lighten up. It's just a joke," Kobach told the Lawrence Journal-World, adding, "Are they really suggesting it is forbidden to tell jokes about Barack Obama?"For the record: The director of Hawaii's Department of Health has confirmed that Obama was born in Honolulu, and nonpartisan observers have examined the birth certificate and verified its authenticity.Even Kobach said this week: "Until a court says otherwise, I believe Barack Obama is a natural-born citizen."