‘Funding Drag Shows for Kids Not Middle of the Road’

Republican gubernatorial candidate and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt slammed incumbent Gov. Laura Kelly (D) for claiming to be a moderate Democrat while “supporting and funding drag shows for kids of all ages.”

“Governor Kelly has been telling Kansans for months now that she’s in the middle of the road. Well, supporting and funding drag shows for kids of all ages in not middle of the road. It’s extreme. It’s wrong, and it’s not Kansas,” Schmidt said during a press conference on Monday.

Response to Kelly’s Gov’t-Funded Drag Shows for Kids

I’m running for Governor to bring commonsense Kansas values to the Governor’s office.This sad episode shows once again how badly our state needs new leadership, and in just two weeks Kansans can hold the current administration accountable and bring about much-needed change at the ballot box.

Posted by Derek Schmidt on Monday, October 24, 2022

Schmidt was referencing a recent report from the DailyMail.com, which details how Kelly’s Department of Commerce used tax dollars to sponsor an all-ages Halloween drag show that took place over the weekend. The Wichita event was called the “DADA Ball,” advertised a “free, all-ages evening of music, fashion, drag & dancing,’ and had several sponsors including the Kansas Creative Arts & Industries Commission, which is a part of the Kansas Department of Commerce. Kelly’s Lt. Gov. David Toland leads the department.

The report notes that a similar event was “made possible by Kansas tax dollars in June of this year.”

“In just the past week, both the Joe Biden Administration and the Laura Kelly administration have been caught sanctioning and condoning activities that may expose children to sexually suggestive or explicit programming,” Schmidt said, adding:

In this case, the Kelly Administration has been caught lending the good name of the state of Kansas, through the Department of Commerce, to promote and perform drag shows to which Kansas children were invited and attended. And we already know this particular show is not an isolated case. The Kelly Administration is supporting other similar performances.

Schmidt contended that most Kansans do not support all-ages drag shows for children and that they deserve to know “to what extent the Kelly administration has used our state’s good name and even perhaps committee hard-earned, taxpayer dollars to support these sexualized performances to children.”

“As a lifelong Kansan, I never would have imagined our state government promoting this. As a candidate for governor, I never would have thought this would become an issue in this race. But because of the extreme liberal philosophy shared by Joe Biden and Laura Kelly, here we are,” he said.

Schmidt pledged to put a stop to using public funds “to sponsor or promote sexually suggestive or explicit programming to children” if elected governor.

“I call on the Kelly Administration to apologize to Kansans and to immediately remove support of the state of Kansas from all future performances of this sort. No more use of the state’s name or logos, no more state promotion, and certainly, no public funding,” he said.

Pat Lowry with the Kansas Department of Commerce told local media that the DailyMail.com story is “blatantly wrong.”

“Neither the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC) nor the Kansas Department of Commerce sponsored the DADA Ball event that took place October 22 or the Mall Monster Mash event scheduled for October 28,” Lowry said.

However, a posting for the event on the website for a Kansas NPR station states that the event received “support from the Kansas Creative Arts & Industries Commission.”

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