Kansas Republicans draw backlash for fundraiser where attendees assaulted effigy of Biden


‘Horrific and shameful’: Kansas GOP fundraiser attendees filmed beating up Biden mannequin with baseball bat

A event host blamed a Karate school's booth.


Katherine Huggins


Posted on Mar 11, 2024   Updated on Mar 11, 2024, 11:09 am CDT

The Johnson County Republican party in Kansas is drawing backlash after a fundraiser on Friday involved attendees beating up an effigy of President Joe Biden.

Video of the event showed people kicking, punching, and swinging a bat to strike a mannequin that donned a Biden mask and “Let’s Go Brandon” T-shirt.

The chairwoman of the county Republican party, Maria Holiday, told the Kansas City Star in an email that the “booth was hosted by a Karate school to promote their self defense class.”

According to the Star, the fundraiser featured former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline and musician Ted Nugent. Nugent is an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump who has opposed COVID-19 vaccines and has admitted to having affairs with underage girls (he says he “got the stamp of approval of their parents”).

The effigy kicking has drawn condemnation from liberals and conservatives alike.

“This was not the fringe. It was a booth at the GOP fundraiser,” wrote one self-described conservative on X. “This is the caliber of the GOP. Why would any serious person be part of this?”

Former Kansas Republican party chair Mike Kuckelman put the event on blast in a Facebook post on Saturday.

“This conduct is shameful, and it is WRONG,” he said before calling for the resignation of the current chair Mike Brown and Holiday.

“Fellow Republicans, let’s not forget our outrage when Kathy Griffin engaged in similar shameful conduct against President Trump,” Kuckelman said. “We rightfully demanded she be canceled. 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.”

One Democratic commentator who shared the video on X weighed in as well, describing the fundraiser as “a disgusting display designed to encourage political violence” and similarly calling for Brown’s resignation.

“The same republicans who destroyed Kathy Griffin’s career over her fake trump head photo are perfectly fine with this,” wrote another liberal X user, referencing the comedian’s decision to publish a photo of her holding what appeared to be Trump’s severed head covered in blood (she actually used ketchup).

“Aren’t these the people who cried and asked for an FBI Investigation on Kathy Griffin for holding up a mask full of ketchup?” quipped someone else.

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*First Published: Mar 11, 2024, 11:08 am CDT