Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The story that should bring down the republican party

Front paged at Booman Tribune, ePluribus Media and My Left Wing. Recommended at Daily Kos

But only if it gets told, gets told loudly, clearly, simplistically and repetitively. It is still unfolding, even though it has been happening for years. It is pervasive, deep, goes against the very first and most basic premise of democracy and is a concerted effort by many individuals and organizations throughout the republican party, its affiliated “associations” as well as many levels of government whose primary purpose is to ensure that this most basic premise of democracy is not subverted.

The story, of course, is election fraud. Gaming the electoral system from the inside. To unfairly favor republicans. Favors and promotions for those who go along. Demotions, firings and blacklisting of those who don’t. Nonexistent charges of voter fraud and threats or coercion for these charges to be investigated. Illegal redistricting. Petty lawsuits against the Voting Rights Act. Voter ID laws that border on illegal, if not overtly illegal. Conflict of interest between party “reelection officials” and Secretary(ies) of State. Get accustomed to hearing about it, prepare yourself to say it. And not just things that can be dismissed such as exit poll discrepancies or hackable voting machines. The real deal. The whole enchilada.

It doesn’t get any lower than this. Using any means necessary to get and remain in power.

I first mentioned it a couple of weeks ago, and then again in much more detail last week. And even since last week, there has been a detailed piece from ePluribus Media on the DOJ’s Voting Rights Section’s Special Litigation Counsel Robert Popper and his major conflicts of interest with respect to voting rights, the Help America Vote Act and the Voting Rights Act.

There has been an article by McClatchy about Hans Von Spakovsky and his connection to voter ID laws, his attempts to influence the federal Election Assistance Commission's research into the dimensions of voter fraud nationally and the impact of restrictive voter ID laws - research that could undermine a vote-suppression agenda, as well as other actions and campaigns to suppress voter rights of minorities. Oh, by the way, Hans Von Spakovsky was a civil rights lawyer in the Justice Department and a recess appointment to the Federal Elections Commission.

And that is in just three days. Who knows what the rest of this week will bring in terms of surprises.

There is still talk about the US Attorney purge being “political”. And even though that is, on the most basic level, true – it goes way way beyond that. To describe it as mere politics is to justify it as sleazy but legal. However, to describe it as it is blatant and concerted actions to promote those who helped and punish those who hindered efforts to suppress minority votes or influence the election in favor of republicans is more powerful, more truthful – and more scary.

The evidence is mounting at a furious pace. We have someone (Von Spakovsky) who is linked to voter suppression efforts within the republican party not only put in a position as a civil rights lawyer at the Justice Department, but on the goddamn Federal Elections Commission.

You have Robert Popper – an attorney with a notorious and detailed history of bringing (many times baseless) lawsuits in order to target minority voters and districts as the Voting Rights Section’s Special Litigation Counsel. You have little to no cases or investigations into voter suppression since 2001, yet numerous suits and investigations into voter rolls that weren’t properly purged.

You have Tim Griffin, a man who was responsible at the Republican National Committee for “caging” activities that suppressed minority voters who were stationed in Iraq, which he is currently under investigation for, promoted (at Karl Rove’s request and hidden from Congressional investigations) to US Attorney.

You have not one, not two, not three but at least four US attorneys OTHER THAN GRIFFIN whose jobs depended on whether they brought charges of voter fraud or charges in general against Democrats close to Election Day 2006.

You have the White House itself - the Big Cheese, home of both “the Decider” AND “Commander Guy” – including Karl Rove’s office AND Alberto Gonzales’ office discussing the desire to pursue voter fraud cases against Democrats in New Mexico, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania a mere few weeks before the 2006 elections.

It goes back even further than this. Phone jamming in NH tied to Abramoff, the NH Republican Party and Tom DeLay. Redistricting in TX in between census periods and violations relating to the redistricting. Voting machines that were used even after they were decertified as unsafe. Willful acts to destroy and disqualify Democratic voter registration cards and applications – by the Secretary of State of the state that “swung” the 2004 election, by voter registration groups associated with the republican party. Thousands – tens of thousands purged from voter rolls in Georgia, Florida and other states.

None of this being investigated.

Who knows how many votes were cast but not counted. I have heard numbers that were in the millions, but I can’t vouch for the accuracy of these numbers. Who knows how many people did not get the chance to vote because of being purged, suppressed or illegally challenged by republican party operatives? Again, none of this investigated.

We do know one thing. A very strong pattern has emerged and continues to emerge. A pattern that touches state republican party officials, national republican party officials, the Justice Department, the White House, Congress, and the very groups whose purpose is the HELP voting rights and ensure that all votes are counted – the Voting Rights Section, the Civil Rights Section, the Federal Elections Commission.

All of this done by design. By the republican party. At all levels.

It is a simple story to tell, as ugly and complicated as it is to untangle. The republican party has used its power to undermine and suppress the votes of those most likely to vote Democratic in order to keep power. It should spell doom for the republican party for decades to come.

Is anyone brave enough to call a duck a duck, take this story and give it the exposure it deserves?

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