By Megan Strader
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
8:52 PM CDT, March 24, 2011
Kari Ann Rinker, Executive Director Sedgwick County Democrats, says it all started with wanting to have a little fun.
"Some of our members said we take everything too seriously. We need to have some fun every once in a while. So, that is the whole purpose of it. It's not, in anyway, meant to be vicious or vindictive."
She's talking about a birthday celebration the party has planned for republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Fliers show him wearing a sombrero and the organization's website even goes as far as calling him the "Secretary of Hate."
"We are not advocating any violence or anything. The one word you could latch onto, in all of our promotions, is hate. It's being used in a lighthearted manner and quite frankly I don't think it's far off base," explains Rinker.
Some democrats feel Kobach's policies encourage racial profiling and feel like his stance on requiring identification to vote is unnecessary. But Kobach says, it has nothing to do with race.
"This is about protecting the integrity of our elections. Every time an alien votes, I don't care if the alien comes from Norway or Nigeria or Nicaragua, that alien is canceling out the vote of a US citizen. For people to try and say there's some sort of ethnic bias, or some sort of hidden agenda here, I think that's absurd."
Rinker says the party will just be a chance for people to relax, have fun and listen to some speakers.
"It can be a very depressing time to be a democrat in Sedgwick County so we decided to alleviate that depression by sort of making light of it, having some fun with the situation and having an education event."
We contacted the Sedgwick County Republicans and they didn't want to comment on the party.
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