Outrage Sparked as Biden Effigy Attacked at Kansas GOP Event

In a recent event that took place in the Kansas City suburbs, a Republican fundraiser has ignited a wave of bipartisan criticism and calls for the resignation of the GOP leaders involved. The event, held on a Friday night, saw attendees engaging in the act of beating and kicking an effigy of President Biden, an act that has not only drawn widespread condemnation but also sparked a significant controversy.

The fundraiser, dubbed the “Grand Ol’ Party” event, was hosted at the Overland Park Convention Center and was promoted by the Johnson County Republican Party on their Facebook page. Tickets for the event ranged from $100 to $300, and it featured a keynote speech by musician Ted Nugent. A particularly contentious attraction was a booth where participants used a foam bat to hit a mannequin adorned with a rubber mask resembling President Biden, as revealed by posts on social media.

Maria Holiday, the chairwoman of the Johnson County Republican Party, explained in an email to the Kansas City Star that the effigy was part of a booth set up by a local martial arts school to promote their self-defense classes. She later clarified to The Post that the event was marred by a regrettable incident involving the addition of a mask depicting President Biden to the self-defense display, which was subsequently removed. She emphasized that no funds or donations were collected for hitting the “training device.”

The incident, first reported by the nonprofit nonpartisan news website Kansas Reflector, has led to a strong backlash and demands for the resignation of Republican officials. The state GOP released a statement on Monday, regretting the occurrence of the events but attributing the incident to an external exhibitor and a former state party member who, according to them, sought to exploit the situation to further divide the party. It was noted that no state party officials were present at the event.

Overland Park lawyer Mike Kuckelman, a former chairman of the state Republican Party, expressed his dismay in a Facebook post, stating that guests were invited to beat the effigy of Biden in exchange for a donation. He condemned the behavior as shameful and wrong, stressing that silence equates to complicity in this matter.

The incident has also drawn criticism from Prasanth Reddy, a Johnson County oncologist and Republican candidate for Kansas’s 3rd Congressional District, and Dinah Sykes, a Democrat and State Senate Minority Leader from Johnson County. Both highlighted how such actions detract from meaningful political discourse and incite violence, which is unacceptable.

This event occurs amidst a highly charged political atmosphere as the 2024 campaign season approaches, with concerns about potential violence against public figures growing. The Justice Department has noted a disturbing increase in threats against government workers and public servants, emphasizing the need for vigilance and a united stand against such acts of violence and division.