Monday, July 02, 2007

Massive Effort by GOP to Supress Voter Turn-out from 2004 to 2006

Out of all the many Gooper sins and crimes, this one makes me the angriest.

After all we went through to assure the right to vote for every American, especially African Americans in the deep south in the 60s, now the GOP is trying everything in their power to re-create barriers to voting for minorities, ethnic groups and poor people, who are likely to vote Democractic.

I guess this really says about all that needs to be said about a political party, any political party, when they feel the need to attempt to supress the vote in order to win.

If a voter ID is going to be required for every voter, then the state or federal government government should supply one, free of charge, other wise, the cost of the ID is nothing but a poll tax and we have already had that fight. The state cannot make anyone pay to vote.

Furthermore, states should not be allowed to continue to punish someone who is convicted of a felony and who has completed his/her sentence in accordance with whatever the court has ordered him/her to do. Ex-felons should not be deprived of the right to vote in any state of the union. That, alone, will stop a lot of these voter roll scrubbing scams, like the one used in Florida in 2000.

Sorry, but I just can't believe that there is such a huge number of dead people voting that it would change the outcome of a national election. The very idea is ludicrous.

And why, pray tell, should any political party have access to official state ducuments, like voter registration rolls is the first place? What possible good can come of it? We don't have to try to imagine the bad that can come of it, as the Goopers have managed to make it pretty clear what election skulduggery can come of it.

I think my head might just explode!

GOP links to vote-fraud push

Two nonprofits had a major role in Republican electoral strategy that included lobbying U.S. attorneys over alleged fraud in voter rolls.


WASHINGTON -- A New Mexico lawyer who pushed to oust U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was an officer of a nonprofit group that aided Republican candidates in 2006 by pressing for tougher voter identification laws.

Iglesias, who was one of nine U.S. attorneys the administration fired last year, said that Albuquerque lawyer Patrick Rogers pressured him several times to bring voter fraud prosecutions where little evidence existed.

Iglesias believes that he was fired in part because he failed to pursue such cases.

He described Rogers, who declined to discuss the exchanges, as ``obsessed . . . convinced there was massive voter fraud going on in this state, and I needed to do something to stop it.''

Iglesias said he only recently learned of Rogers' involvement as secretary of the nonprofit American Center for Voting Rights Legislative Fund -- an activist group that defended tighter voter identification requirements in court against charges that they were designed to hamper voting by poor minorities.

Rogers, a former general counsel to the New Mexico Republican Party and a candidate to replace Iglesias, is among a number of well-connected GOP partisans whose work with the legislative fund and a sister group played a significant role in the party's effort to retain control of Congress in the 2006 election.

That strategy, which presidential advisor Karl Rove alluded to in an April 2006 speech to the Republican National Lawyers Association, sought to scrutinize voter registration records, win passage of tougher ID laws and challenge the legitimacy of voters considered likely to vote Democratic.


McClatchy has found that this election strategy was active on at least three fronts:

• Tax-exempt groups such as the American Center and the Lawyers Association were deployed in battleground states to press for restrictive ID laws and oversee balloting.
• The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division turned traditional voting rights enforcement upside down with legal policies that narrowed rather than protected the rights of minorities.
• The White House and the Justice Department encouraged selected U.S. attorneys to bring voter fraud prosecutions, despite studies showing that election fraud isn't a widespread problem.

Nowhere was the breadth of these actions more obvious than at the American Center for Voting Rights and its legislative fund.


Public records show that the two nonprofits were active in at least nine states. They hired high-priced lawyers to write court briefs, issued news releases declaring key cities ''hot spots'' for voter fraud and hired lobbyists in Missouri and Pennsylvania to win support for photo ID laws. In each of those states, the center released polls that it claimed found that minorities prefer tougher ID laws.

With $1.5 million in combined funding, the two nonprofits attracted some powerful volunteers and a cadre of GOP-allied attorneys.

Of the 15 individuals affiliated with the two groups, at least seven are members of the Republican National Lawyers Association, and half a dozen have worked for either one Bush election campaign or for the Republican National Committee.

Alex Vogel, a former RNC lawyer whose consulting firm was paid $75,000 for several months' service as the center's executive director, said the funding came from private donors, not from the Republican Party.

One target of the American Center was the liberal-leaning voter registration group called Project Vote, which registered 1.5 million voters in 2004 and 2006.

The center trumpeted allegations that Project Vote's main contractor, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), submitted phony registration forms to boost Democratic voting.

In a controversial move, the interim U.S. attorney in Kansas City announced indictments against four ACORN workers five days before the 2006 election, despite the fact that Justice Department policy discourages such actions close to an election.

Acorn officials had notified the federal officials when they noticed the doctored forms.

''Their job was to confuse the public about voter fraud and offer bogus solutions to the problem,'' said Michael Slater, the deputy director of Project Vote. ``And like the Tobacco Institute, they relied on deception and faulty research to advance the interests of their clients.''

Mark ''Thor'' Hearne, a St. Louis lawyer and former national counsel for President Bush's 2004 reelection campaign, is widely considered the driving force behind the organizations. Vogel described him as ``clearly the one in charge.''

Hearne, who also was a vice president and director of election operations for the Republican Lawyers Association, said he couldn't discuss the organizations because they are former clients.


But in an e-mail exchange, he defended the need for photo IDs.

''Requiring a government-issued photo ID in order to vote as a safeguard against vote fraud and as a measure to increase public confidence in the fairness and honesty of our elections is not some Republican voter suppression effort,'' Hearne said.

Hearne called photo IDs ``an important voice in election reform.''

Hearne and Rogers appeared at separate hearings before the House Administration Committee last year in Ohio and New Mexico. They cited reports of thousands of dead people on voter registration rolls, fraudulent registrations and other election fraud schemes.

As proof, Hearne, offered a 28-page ''investigative report'' on Ohio events in the 2004 election, and then publicly sent a copy to the Justice Department, citing ``substantial evidence to suggest potential criminal wrongdoing.''

So far, no charges have been filed.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

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