Political Correction

Kobach In Valley Park, MO

July 15, 2010 10:48 am ET

Like his work in other cities across the country, Kris Kobach injected himself into the immigration debate of the small town of Valley Park, MO.  After his legislation was written, challenged, and appealed, Kobach left the town of 6,300 with a legal bill of $270,000.

Valley Park, MO

Valley Park, MO Has A Population Of Nearly 6,300.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2009 population of Valley Park, MO was 6,282, a decrease from the 2000 figure of 6,518.  [U.S. Census Bureau, accessed 7/12/10]

Valley Park Mayor On Illegal Immigrants Living In City: "Before Long You Have Cousin Puerto Rico And Taco Whoever Moving In." According to the Riverfront Times: "Whenever Valley Park Mayor Jeffery Whitteaker begins thinking about illegal immigration - something he does quite often - his mind fills with unpleasant visions of Mexicans pouring into town. 'My main issue is overcrowding,' says Whitteaker ... 'You got one guy and his wife that settle down here, have a couple kids, and before long you have Cousin Puerto Rico and Taco Whoever moving in. They say it's their cousins, but I don't really think they're all related. You see fifteen cars in front of one house - that's pretty suspicious.'" [Riverfront Times, 2/28/07]

Kobach & Legislation

July 2006: Valley Park Ordinance Fined Landlords And Employers For Hiring Or Renting To Immigrants, Made English The City's Official Language. According to the Riverfront Times: "Last July the mayor orchestrated the Valley Park Board of Aldermen's unanimous passage of a controversial ordinance declaring that 'illegal immigration leads to higher crime rates contributes to overcrowded classrooms and failing schools, and destroys our neighborhoods, and diminishes our overall quality of life.' Without debate questions or research, the all-white, all-male board ceded to Whitteaker's demand to make English the city's official language. No one showed up to protest. The measure also imposes $500 fines on landlords and employers who dare to rent homes or offer jobs to illegal immigrants - all of this despite the fact that barely 2 percent of Valley Park's 6,518 residents are Hispanic." [Riverfront Times, 2/28/07]

January 2007: State Circuit Court Judge Put Temporary Restraining Order On Valley Park Law. According to the Associated Press: "In the Valley Park case, St. Louis County Circuit Judge Barbara Wallace issued a restraining order and said there were 'big holes' in the city's ordinance, which would target businesses and landlords." [Associated Press, 1/20/07, via WCBSTV.com]

February 2007: Valley Park Passed New Version Of Ordinance That Required "Landlords To Provide A Family Tree And Citizenship Status For All Their Tenants." According to the Riverfront Times: "Valley Park officials tried to get around the injunction by passing two new versions of the ordinance and placing the city's building inspector - rather than police - in charge of enforcing it. The most recent measure approved unanimously on February 5 requires landlords to provide a family tree and citizenship status for all their tenants." [Riverfront Times, 2/28/07]

Kobach Hired To Defend Valley Park's Illegal Immigration Ordinances In Court. According to the Kansas City Daily Record: "A Missouri city under attack for a controversial ordinance barring the hiring of or renting to illegal immigrants has begun its aggressive defense, including hiring big-name attorney in anti-illegal immigration circles from Kansas City...Kris Kobach, an attorney and law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City who has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor and other Fox News programs, joined the case last week." [Kansas City Daily Record, 10/27/06, via FindArticles.com]

Kobach Was "One Of The Architects" Of The New Version Of The Valley Park Ordinance. According to the Kansas City Daily Record, Kobach "said he was one of the architects of the longer, revised ordinance Valley Park adopted Sept. 26 after St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Barbara Wallace granted a restraining order against enforcement of the local law. At the defense's request, the matter has since been removed to the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Missouri." [Kansas City Daily Record, 10/27/06, via FindArticles.com]

The New Valley Park Ordinance Is Similar To The Hazleton Ordinance Kobach Defended. According to the Kansas City Daily Record: "At the second county court hearing on the matter, plaintiffs' attorney Kathy A. Wisniewski, of Bryan Cave, accused Valley Park of directly copying a similar immigration law passed in Hazelton, Pa. The similarity was no coincidence: Kobach also represents city officials in Hazelton in their defense of that immigration law." [Kansas City Daily Record, 10/27/06, via FindArticles.com]

State & Federal Rulings On Ordinance

State Circuit Court Judge Ruled That Original Valley Park Ordinance Violated State Law. According to the Associated Press: "Dozens of cities and towns around the country have followed Hazleton's lead. One of those cities was dealt a legal setback Monday when a Missouri judge ruled that two ordinances aimed at keeping illegal immigrants out of the St. Louis suburb of Valley Park violated state law. The ordinances, which would have punished businesses and landlords who hired or rented to illegal immigrants, were taken almost verbatim from Hazleton's measures." [Associated Press, 3/13/07, via Boston.com]

Federal Judge Upheld Ordinance Allowing Valley Park To Revoke Licenses Of Businesses Who Hire Illegal Immigrants. According to the Associated Press: "A federal judge has sided with a suburban St. Louis town in a drawn-out legal battle over an ordinance penalizing businesses that hire illegal immigrants. In a ruling handed down late Thursday, U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber upheld the city of Valley Park, Mo.'s right to deny business licenses to those who employ illegal immigrants." [Associated Press, 2/1/08, via Lexis Nexis]

8th Circuit Court Of Appeals Upheld Ordinance Allowing Valley Park To Revoke Licenses Of Businesses Who Hire Illegal Immigrants. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "After a lengthy and costly legal battle, the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an ordinance on Friday that allowed the city to suspend the permits of businesses that hire illegal immigrants. The attorney who represented the city said the ruling was significant because it put state law targeting illegal immigrants on firm legal ground." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 6/6/09, via STLToday.com]

Kobach Gave The Town A $270,000 Legal Bill

Kobach Charged Valley Park $270,000 In Legal Fees. According to the New York Times: "The recently elected mayor of Valley Park, Grant Young, was more guarded, noting that the town of 6,500 had paid some $270,000 in legal fees. 'Like most Americans, I do not support illegal immigration,' said Mr. Young, who has not met Mr. Kobach. 'But as a fiscal conservative, I'm going to scrutinize any bill of that size.'" [New York Times, 7/20/09]

Valley Park Hired GOP Fundraiser To Raise Money For The City's Legal Defense. According to the Riverfront Times: "The board of aldermen are fighting the lawsuit and recently hired Jim Gwinner a GOP fundraiser and Valley Park resident, to raise several hundred thousand dollars for the city's legal defense." [Riverfront Times, 2/28/07]

The Constitution Party of Missouri Sponsored Events Funding The Valley Park Legal Defense Fund. In a Press Release by the Constitution Party of Missouri, Donna Ivanovich, Chairman of the Constitution Party of Missouri, stated: "'I'm proud to say that the CPMO [Constitution Party of Missouri] stepped up to the plate. It was in the forefront of developing a legal defense fund for Valley Park ... The fundraising event that we sponsored brought in thousands of dollars. Our newsletters kept an interested public informed on the fight and the issues behind them. It was time and effort well spent." [Constitution Party of Missouri, 2/3/08]

Copyright © 2010 Media Matters Action Network. All rights reserved.