Do you ever get the feeling that Tea Party Republicans see the phrase “Ignorance Is Bliss” as a Mission Statement?


A Quarter Of McCain's "Clean Election" Committee Involved In Voter Fraud

Oxdown Gazette October 15, 2008 10:08 AM
John McCain’s Voter Suppression Committee

It’s no surprise that Republicans engage in voter fraud. Watch what happened last week when “Clean Election and Voter Fraud Committee,” member Tom Davis tells an audience of reporters at the National Press Club last week that Republicans don’t suppress votes. The reaction? They laughed! A lot! ~Mem

Nearly a quarter of John McCain’s “Clean Election and Voter Fraud Committee,” chaired by Warren Rudman and John Danforth, have been involved in GOP voter suppression efforts or unfounded partisan claims of voter fraud. Of the 21 members of the committee, five have been engaging in these shady efforts.

In addition to Davis, who has a history of openly discussing subtle voter suppression techniques, the committee includes

  • Cameron Quinn, who was a director of the Republican voter suppression front group, the American Center for Voting Rights.
  • California Secretary of State Bill Jones, who has long fought for ways to make it more difficult for people to vote.
  • Susan Molinari who cried wolf about voter fraud in 2004 and 2006, only to find her allegations proven false.
  • Larry D. Thompson ho hired Bradley Schlozman to work in the Justice Department where he approved Tom Delay’s redistricting plan, GA’s modern “Jim Crow Law” and pursued politicized indictments against ACORN in MO.
Details below the fold.

Tom Davis

Just last week Davis admitted to engaging in subtle voter suppression techniques 10/10/08:

I think it's fair to say, yeah, I think it's fair to say we're not going to spend any money educating them on what they need to do but that's what you do in these kinds of elections… I'm just saying in terms of vulnerability of our congressional candidates, you've got to look at these high African American voter urban style districts and recognize that it's not business as usual as a candidate, that you're going to deal with an electorate that is significantly different from what you see in off years. And I just think that's the fact.

It’s no surprise, Tom Davis has encouraged vote suppression before. The Native American newspaper, The Circle reported on November 30, 2004,

In 2004, after a Democratic candidate won a special Congressional election in South Dakota, the power of the Native American voting block was expressed by the former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), ‘If you take out the Indian reservation, we would have won.’… Unfortunately, as the Native voting population turns out in larger numbers, attention to their voting influence can also attract efforts to discourage them on Election Day. One of the most common tactics employed in recent elections has been the challenging of Natives’ voting status by poll watchers on Election Day.”

Cameron Quinn

Cameron Quinn, was a director of the American Center for Voting Rights that according to McClatchy, deployed resources “deployed in battleground states to press for restrictive ID laws and oversee balloting.”

In addition Slate reported,

ACVR's method of argument followed a familiar line, first set out by Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund in his book, Stealing Elections. First, ACVR argued extensively by anecdote, pointing to instances of illegal conduct, such as someone, somewhere registering Mary Poppins to vote. Anecdote would then be coupled with statistics showing problems with voter rolls not being purged to remove voters who had died or moved, leaving open the potential for fraudulent voting at the polls. Finally, the group would claim that the amount of such voter fraud is hard to quantify, because it is after all illegal conduct, hidden from the public. Given this great potential for mischief, and without evidence of actual mischief, allegedly reasonable initiatives such as purging voter rolls and requiring ID seemed the natural solution.

Sound familiar? The article also point out:

cachet would be used to support the passage of onerous voter-identification laws that depress turnout among the poor, minorities, and the elderly—groups more likely to vote Democratic. Where the Bush administration may have failed to nail illegal voters, the effort to suppress minority voting has borne more fruit, as more states pass these laws, and courts begin to uphold them in the name of beating back waves of largely imaginary voter fraud.” The article notes: “the group would claim that the amount of such voter fraud is hard to quantify, because it is after all illegal conduct, hidden from the public. Given this great potential for mischief, and without evidence of actual mischief, allegedly reasonable initiatives such as purging voter rolls and requiring ID seemed the natural solution.

Bill Jones

Jones according to the LA Times:

has advocated an anti-fraud program that includes calling for citizen naturalization numbers and Social Security numbers on registration documents, as well as requiring some form of identification at the time of voting. Reached later in the day, Jones said he supports changes in federal law to permit the monitoring of those who register and vote, but is concerned about the poll-watcher proposal. ‘There is nothing inherently wrong with poll watchers as long as it does not cross the fine line to intimidation as happened with the poll guards’ in 1988 in Orange County, Jones said.

In addition according to the San Francisco Chronicle on 11/1/99:

Jones wants to have people put the number of their driver's license or California identification card on their voter registration card and show some type of ID before they can vote…That proposal has gone nowhere in the state Legislature, which is reluctant to do anything that could discourage people from casting a ballot. ‘There's a need to strike a balance between accessibility and security,’ Charles said. ‘But right now, voting is extremely accessible, but with holes in its security that could lead to fraud.'

Susan Molinari

Molinari has a long history of crying wolf about voter fraud.

According to House Congressional testimony, Molinari, who chaired the Commission on Federal Election Reform, alleged the close victory for John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential race in Wisconsin was due to “illegal votes,” citing the joint task force led by U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic. However, according to the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal, the “nearly yearlong investigation into voter fraud in 2004 has yielded no evidence of a broad conspiracy to try to steal an election, U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic said.”

And according to House Congressional Testimony, as a Federal Election Reform Commissioner, Molinari argued “that states should adopt photo identification requirements because the Washington race was ‘decided by illegal votes’ and that ‘this fact was established by a lengthy trial and decision of the court.’”

However, a Superior Court decision in Washington State found no evidence of voter fraud, declaring,

While there is evidence of irregularity, as there appears to be in every election, based on the testimony of various county election officials, there is no substantial evidence by clear and convincing evidence that improper conduct or irregularity procured Ms. Gregoire's election to the Office of Governor.

Larry Thompson

Larry Thompson gave Bradley Schlozman his job at the Justice Department.

According to the New York Times, Bradley Schlozman

“made his name in the Bush administration by helping to turn the department away from its historic commitment to protecting the voting rights of minorities. Mr. Schlozman was one of the political appointees who approved Tom DeLay’s Texas redistricting plan and Georgia’s voter ID law, over the objection of career lawyers on the staff, who insisted that both violated the Voting Rights Act.”

Salon reported:

“Less than a week before the 2006 midterm election, in which Missouri was the scene of one of the year's tightest Senate contests, Schlozman announced the indictment of four people for voter fraud. […] The indictments were trumpeted by myriad conservative blogs and such national outlets as Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times. More than four months after he announced them -- and after incumbent Republican Sen. Jim Talent lost a close election to Democrat Claire McCaskill – Schlozman’s four indictments have produced one guilty plea.”

In addition the Washington Post reported

“Georgia voter ID program has been the subject of fierce partisan debate since it was approved by the state's Republican-controlled legislature in March. The plan was blocked on constitutional grounds in October by a U.S. District Court judge, who compared the measure to a Jim Crow-era poll tax.”

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