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Kansas GOP Fundraiser Slammed For Letting Attendees Attack A Dummy Made To Look Like Biden

A fundraiser for the Johnson County GOP in Kansas is under fire after video showed attendees kicking and punching an effigy of President Biden.

Photo of the Biden dummy; screenshot from video of man kicking the Biden dummy
Mike Kuckelman/Facebook

A fundraiser for the Johnson County GOP in Kansas is under fire after a video showed attendees kicking and punching an effigy of President Joe Biden.

A video from the event shows people punching, kicking, and swinging a bat at a Biden mannequin adorned with a "Let's Go Brandon" shirt.

The booth responsible for the effigy was hosted by a local karate school promoting its self-defense classes, according to Maria Holiday, the chair of the Johnson County Republican Party. Video footage of people kicking the Biden dummy was initially uploaded to Rumble but was later deleted.

You can see the video below.

Kansas GOP officials, including former GOP chairman Mike Kuckelman, condemned the effigy attacks. Kuckelman called the conduct "shameful and wrong" and called for the resignations of Holiday, Kansas Republican Party chairman Mike Brown, and Johnson County Sheriff Calvin Hayden.

Kuckelman drew parallels between this event and the conservative outrage over comedian Kathy Griffin, who in 2017 posted a video of herself holding a prop meant to resemble former President Donald Trump's severed head:

"Fellow Republicans, let’s not forget our outrage when Kathy Griffin engaged in similar shameful conduct against President Trump. We rightfully demanded she be cancelled. Please, we must speak equally as loudly in our opposition now. I don’t agree with President Biden’s policies, but he is a fellow human being."
"No one should condone or defend this horrific and shameful conduct. Please join me in condemning last night’s baseball bat beating of the effigy of President Biden, and join me in calling for resignations of Mike Brown and Maria Holiday."

You can see his post below.

Mike Kuckelman Facebook

Dakotah Parshall, ED of the Kansas Republican Party, fired back at Kuckelman, blaming "an outside exhibitor" for the effigy.

He said the Biden effigy was the work of “an outside exhibitor in the karate/self-defense space” who rented a booth at the GOP fundraiser.

Parshall described Kuckelman as a disgruntled former member of the state party who didn’t attend the event but “saw an opportunity to capitalize on the poor judgement of the outside exhibitor.”

The comparison to Griffin is absurd, of course, considering Griffin never encouraged violence against Trump, whereas this booth, sanctioned by the Republican Party, encouraged the explicit acting out of violence against Biden.

While it's absurd to draw an equivalency between the two, it does point to hypocrisy at the heart of the Republican Party. But for a party that has embraced Trump and the political violence he incites and encourages, it should hardly be surprising.

Many have condemned the Kansas GOP's actions.

In a statement to Kansas Reflector on Monday, Alex Floyd, spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, expressed that the American people are weary of the "divisiveness and cruelty" exhibited by Trump.

Floyd emphasized President Biden's stance against political violence, contrasting it with what he described as the GOP's de facto leader's habit of "praising murderous dictators, cheering on a deadly mob, and promoting hateful, violent rhetoric."

Capitalizing on the controversy, the Kansas Democratic Party launched a fundraising effort. In a donation appeal sent via email, Executive Director Andy Bilyk denounced such extremism. Bilyk urged supporters to contribute any amount to convey to Kansas Republicans that such behavior is "unacceptable."