Democrat in secretary of state race releases personal income tax info, asks Kobach to do same

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Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach answers questions from reporters, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, in his office in Topeka, Kan. The Republican secretary of state is refusing to release copies of his income tax returns for recent years and says a request from Democratic challenger Jean Schodorf is "silly." (AP Photo/John Hanna)


FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2012 file photo is Jean Schodorf in Witchita, Kan. The Democratic candidate for secretary of state released the past three years of personal income tax information on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 and challenged current office occupant Kris Kobach to do the same. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Travis Heying, File) MAGS OUT; TV OUT


WICHITA, Kansas — The Democratic candidate for secretary of state released the past three years of personal income tax information on Wednesday and challenged current office occupant Kris Kobach to do the same.

The Republican incumbent has been criticized for spending too much time outside the state as the architect of anti-immigration laws across the nation, and Jean Schodorf released her returns in a bid to force Kobach to prove his claim that he spends only an average of 4.9 hours per week on his private law practice.

"There have been many questions about what he is doing, and how much effort he devotes to his personal agenda," Schodorf said in a news release. "If he wishes to prove that he has been doing the work of Kansas, in Kansas, for Kansas, then he should be more than willing to step forward and show us what he is up to."

Kobach said he spends about as much time in his law practice as it takes to play a round of golf.

"If a person chooses to fight illegal immigration with his spare time, rather than play a round of golf, that's fine," Kobach said, adding, "She is claiming that she needs to look through my income tax forms to try to figure out how much time I am spending when I have already given her an answer so clearly. It is just a political stunt."

Schodorf works as a speech and language pathologist with children and senior citizens in the Wichita area. She and her brother, television journalist Bill Kurtis, own and operate the Little House on the Prairie Museum located on their family farm, where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived from 1869 to 1871.

Her detailed tax returns listed total annual income ranging from $51,128 to $136,098 during the 2011 to 2013 tax years, with a big jump in 2013 mostly due to capital gains. Most of her income came from wages, along with some dividend and rental income. Her federal income taxes ranged between $2,374 and $18,234 during those three years.

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