Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A kick-ass response - updated (3x)

And the asses of anyone frothing at the mouth over "voter fraud" deserves to be kicked. Soundly. Repeatedly. Often.

The periodical hand-wringing that Republican operatives go through over "voter fraud" every election year is a flimsy mask (and reprehensible excuse) for their own efforts to suppress the vote of eligible voters. No one seriously thinks that some pathetic registration of Mickey Mouse in order to pad stats or earn money in a registration drive will eventuate in a costumed mouse showing up to vote on election day. Get a grip. Almost every instance (and they were very few) were allegations were made of this have proven insubstantial. It is not a real threat and it is not a real issue. But it is a great tool for fear mongering and diversion.

The activities that confuse, irritate, dishearten, and intimidate people who are entitled to vote, however, is a very real threat to the democratic process. It is a longstanding Republican pattern. It is aimed at minorities and likely Democratic voters. Discouraging people from voting seems, IMHO, eminently contrary to democratic principles. If we are allegedly promoting democracy around the world, why the fuck aren't they promoting it right here at home?

I think I know why. Because the fewer people who vote the easier it is to manipulate and control power.

Well, the Obama campaign has no interest in rolling over for these asshats. Here is a response to their bullshit. Oh, by the way, Senator Danforth (a fellow Episcopal clergymen) should be ashamed of himself for being in the midst of this.

Obama Campaign's Response to McCain's ACORN Letter

September 23, 2008

Honorable John C. Danforth

Honorable Warren B. Rudman

McCain-Palin 2008

P.O. Box 16118

Arlington , VA 22215

Dear Senator Danforth and Senator Rudman:

We have received your letter of September 15, 2008, informing us of the formation of what you call the "Honest and Open Election Committee" by the McCain-Palin Campaign.

However attractively labeled, this seems a starkly political maneuver to deflect attention from the reality of the suppression strategies pursued by national,state and Republican party committees. This has been the shameful history of the party from the Goldwater "Operation Eagle Eye" program to the present day—a history replete with instances of systematically planned and executed programs to block access to the vote for targeted communities of voters.

In 2004, the Republican Party, on the eve of the general election, mounted challenges to tens of thousands of voters in Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin based on "caging lists," that is, lists of returned mailers or based on similar information providing no legitimate grounds whatsoever for such challenges. None of these challenges, to our knowledge, was upheld and accusations of voter fraud by national Republican Party leaders were proven utterly baseless.

Now,in 2008, the Republican Party again appears determined to engage in tactics and strategies to deny the right to vote to qualified citizens:

· In Michigan, the chairman of Macomb County Republican Party has threatened to use lists of persons whose homes have been foreclosed to challenge those persons at the polls. Only after public exposure, did he deny that this was the plan for Macomb County, and this matter is now before the federal district court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

· In Florida, the RNC has mailed non-forwardable letters to Democratic voters asking them to "confirm" their party affiliation as Republican—thereby raising doubts about their registration status and creating the basis for possible challenge lists. Even top Republican election officials in Florida, including the Secretary of State,have publicly condemned this tactic.

· In Wisconsin, the Republican Attorney General, who serves as co-chair of the McCain-Palin campaign in the state, has filed suit challenging the refusal of the state’s own election administration authorities to throw thousands of voters off the rolls based on dubious and impractical matches of identifying information.

· In Ohio, Republicans are challenging the decision of the Secretary of State to allow first-time voters to obtain an absentee ballot at the time they register even though the law clearly affords this right.

Manifestly, the confusion,uncertainty, deprivations of rights and interference with efficient election administration created by these tactics, and similar ones that the Republican Party has used in recent election cycles, cannot be effectively addressed by the creation late in the day of "committees" with gloriously self-serving names. Rather, the best way to address them is for responsible Republican leaders like both of you to speak out, loudly and forcefully, to condemn these tactics, to insist that they be shut down once and for all and then to make sure that they are.

This is what we would hope that you could accomplish. If your concern truly lies with 'Honest and Open Elections", then your work is properly and effectively begins at home--with the Republican operatives who are planning and running these suppressive programs and who are being directed in these activities by the same national McCain and party leadership that recruited you to this "Committee".

Sincerely yours,

David Plouffe,

Campaign Manager, Obama for America

Election fraud - not voter fraud - is the real threat. It is about vote suppression, ballot manipulation, and untraceable and unverifiable voting machine manipulation.

If you know anyone freaking out over ACORN, they are required BY LAW to turn in ALL registration forms. They cannot toss out ones they think are fraudulent. Does this mean they turn in bad registrations. Yes, it does, because they have to. They alert election authorities of all the forms they suspect of being invalid. There is simply no attempt to perpetrate fraud there. Don't be bamboozled by lies. Sheesh.

h/t to drational

Check out dday's article "What Actual Election Fraud Looks Like"

And Digby's post "Forgetting Yesterday" (with links to more information)

I hope she will forgive me borrowing 4 entire paragraphs:
Their full blown propaganda campaign of the moment is aimed at furthering several different related goals. The first is to freak out the local registration offices, many of which are run by small town bureaucrats who are either subject to the propaganda or are GOP partisans themselves. They want to create a feeling of chaos around the voting processes and call the absentee ballots into question.

The second is to intimidate voters into not participating and making it difficult for those who do. They want people to believe that they will be grilled and scrutinized when they try to vote and perhaps make lines long and the process so arduous that people will give up.

Third, if the election is close, they will challenge its validity in court. After all, that worked like a charm in 2000. But barring that --- and it looks like it won't be close enough to do that --- they are laying the ground work to delegitimize the victory. That is an essential tool for rebuilding their movement and crating justification for the kind of character assassination and obstructionism that is their specialty.

If Ann Kornblut on MSNBC a few minutes ago is any indication the press sees this as a "both sides do it" sort of thing. Democrats complained about Bush vs Gore and vote caging and phone jamming and the vote suppression program in Ohio over the past two very close elections. Therefore, it's equivalent that the Republicans would complain about voter fraud and ACORN. The difference, of course, is that vote suppression was so inculcated in to the republican governing apparatus that they fired the US Attorneys for failing do their bidding and bring false voter fraud cases. That should be just a little bit of a heads up about who's doing what here.
Emphasis mine

Update 3:
This morning Big Blue has a post with this headline:
BREAKING: GOP Attempts to Disenfranchise 600,000 Voters In Ohio

We need to promote this story and fight it tooth and nail. The GOP is intentionally undermining voter confidence in the electoral system despite having not a shred of evidence to prove any conspiracy to commit voter fraud. In fact, a five year investigation by the Bush Adminstration revealed only 120 prosecutable offenses of voter fraud in a nation where 100 million people turn out for presidential elections.

And now 600,000 people in Ohio could possibly lose their right to vote just so the GOP can "insure the integrity of the voting system." Just like the Clear Skies Act (which reduced air pollution controls) and the Patriot Act (which undermined the constitution), we can always be sure that whatever Republicans are claiming to do, they are really doing the exact opposite.

--the BB

1 comment:

FranIAm said...

McCain's desperation is obvious. This whole endless repeating of the A-word (ah from which mighty oaks grow!) is tiresome and inaccurate.

Living here among the many McCain supporters I know that this just adds to their self-satisfaction.

The truth is like an optional selection that might be made, but only if it were useful.

This is a great post- preach it my brother.