Republicans in Kansas are bashing Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly after they discovered several “all-ages” drag shows allegedly funded in part by taxpayer dollars.
The Daily Mail reported on an event over the weekend called the “Dada Ball,” advertised as a “free, all-ages evening of music, fashion, drag & dancing,” and which appears to have been funded in part by a grant through the Kansas Department of Commerce.
Images from the event reportedly show partially nude drag performers dancing for children and adults in attendance.
The event was hosted by Chainlink Gallery Place in Wichita, and allegedly included financial support from the Kansas Department of Commerce, led by Kelly’s Lt. Gov. David Toland.
Kelly, a Democrat governor in a traditionally conservative state, is locked in a virtual dead heat for re-election against her challenger, Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
Recent campaign ads have tried to paint her as a moderate, picturing her literally walking down the middle of a road while she describes herself as a leader who has been willing to work with both parties.
The Kansas Republican Party called the all-ages drag show “shocking” proof that Kelly isn’t as middle-of-the-road as her campaign ads claim.
“Laura Kelly’s state-funded ‘all-ages’ drag show proves that despite what her glossy campaign ads portray, she really is that liberal,” Kansas GOP Executive Director Shannon Pahls told the Daily Mail. “It is shocking to those of us in Kansas to discover that our taxpayer dollars funded the exposure of explicit sexual themes to children. Laura Kelly and her entire administration need to go.”
In a statement to the Daily Mail, the department’s spokesman Patrick Lowry denied that the state government was funding the event.
“This is blatantly wrong. Neither the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission nor the Kansas Department of Commerce sponsored the Dada Ball event that took place on October 22, nor did they give a relevant grant to any of the sponsoring organizations.”
Kelly’s office did not respond for comment, according to the report.
Last weekend’s event was not the only one to draw the ire of the state’s Republican party. Another event, which took place in June, was also made possible in part by taxpayer funds, according to the Daily Mail.
That event was dubbed as a “collaborative art program” and was advertised with the slogan, “We’ll have a gay old time!: Marrying drag & music in Lawrence, KS.” The event reportedly featured a photography exhibit and drag performance by a performer called Fally Afani.
Additionally, in a post on Truth Social, Libs of Tik Tok exposed yet another event that is reportedly being sponsored by the Kansas Department of Commerce called the “Mall Monster Mash,” scheduled for Friday at Towne West Mall in Wichita.
In the post, a flier for the event can be seen advertising the state’s sponsorship and billing the event as a “Drag Show – Halloween Party – Art Market” that is free for “all-ages.” Performers scheduled to appear include the likes of “Pseudocide, Suspicious Glaze, Monstrous Thighs” and “BadGayMom.”
During this election cycle, controversial issues such as all-ages drag shows have become a political lightening rod.
Earlier this week 33 Republicans in the House of Representatives, led by Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana, introduced legislation called the “Stop the Sexualization of Children Act,” which seeks to ban federal funding “to develop, implement, facilitate or fund any sexually-oriented program, event or literature for children under the age of 10.”
The bill also would ban the use of federal funds for any event that “exposes children under the age of 10 to nude adults, individuals who are stripping, or lewd or lascivious dancing,” and bans the use of federal facilities to “host or promote any sexually-oriented” events or materials to children under the age of 10.