"0ne of those pathetic bloggers who tries to make a living out of attacking other bloggers and media folk in an effort to illicit a reaction and draw traffic to his site." -- Owen Robinson of Boots and Sabers
Hey, speaking of voter fraud, i keep getting mailings and phone calls from the Wisconsin GOP telling me that i need to register to vote and then vote. Even though I have not lived in Wisconsin since I graduated high school there in 1997. I have never had a residence there since then. But, according to the Wisconsin GOP, that didn’t matter. Of course, I implied to them I was thinking about voting McCain. Yet, if ACORN told me the same thing……….
I asked them on the phone call if I could register to vote there even though I have not lived in the state since 1997, and they said “no problem.” After telling them I was a likely mccain voter, which of course, I am not.
Now, obviously, an anonymous IM on a lefty blog is not conclusive evidence that the Republican Party of Wisconsin is committing registration voter fraud (hence the question marks). That said, California Republicans have been engaged in not dissimilar shenanigans.
No doubt the Journal Sentinel will be investigating!
Charlie Sykes no doubt will be hailing the conveniently leaked news that the FBI/DOJ are investigating Acorn to see if they're trying to steal the election by signing up Mickey Mouse to vote. And using it to knock the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board, which has, to its credit, steadfastly maintained Charlie and the RPW's cries of "voter fraud" are hype.
The Brawler doubts that Sykes will note that David Iglesias, a Republican US Attorney who was canned for failing to pursue bogus voter fraud charges, denounces the probe as political.
From Talking Points Memo:
"I'm astounded that this issue is being trotted out again. Based on what I saw in 2004 and 2006, it's a scare tactic." ...
That's fired US Attorney David Iglesias talking about the news leaked today that the DOJ and FBI are opening a nationwide investigation into allegations that the community organization ACORN is somehow working to undermine the November election through fraud. For more from Iglesias and his fellow fired US Attorney Bud Cummins, don't miss TPMMuckraker's Zack Roth's interview post from earlier this evening.
Iglesias got fired not long after the 2006 midterm election because he wouldn't get off the dime and bring bogus vote fraud indictments against Democrats or time other indictments of Democrats to sway the 2006 election. In other words, he got canned for not doing what a number of his former colleagues at the DOJ are happily doing this very day.
Nor was Iglesias simpy a respected attorney with solid enough connections to swing a US Attorney appointment. He was a rising star in the New Mexico Republican party. Iglesias was the Republican nominee for Attorney General in 1998. (Not that it's immediately relevant to this question, but Iglesias was the Navy JAG lawyer on whom Tom Cruise's character in A Few Good Men was based.) This was that reassuring case where a political person's partisan attachments butted up against his integrity and the latter won the day hands down. This is someone who knows this scam from the inside and whose testimony -- literal and figurative -- comes not in line with partisan attachments but in spite of them. Everyone should listen.
It's funny. As the Republican National Convention was in full swing, Charlie Sykes informed his listeners that Republicans were angry and disgusted about how the press was treating poor, petty tyrant Sarah Palin. Then he went on to call Barack Obama a snivelling, snot-nosed community organizer. Then he hailed Republicans at the McCain-Palin rally in Cedarburg for booing and flipping off the media bus (they also angrily berated protesters).
And now, of course, that there's an "emerging media template" (Charlie's term) that Republicans at McCain-Palin rallies are unhinged lunatics. "Yeah, one guy says something..." Sykes whines. Of course, it's not only "one guy" at any given rally. Yes, it was one guy who offered this unhinged rant at the McCain rally in Waukesha ... but the whole place cheered him on!
Meanwhile, Gavin M. at Sadly No! delves deep into the youtube heart of darkness to bring this disturbing footage of howling hate-filled Republican mobs.
My friends, the Brawler would never say these yahoos are representative of all Republicans. But it's not just "one guy."
In Nixonland, Rick Perlstein does a good job of portraying how many old-line Democrats looked in horror at the "freaks" who seemed to be taking over the party in1972 (a fracture encouraged by the consummate culture warrior Richard Nixon). But even though the sad folk on display here are hurling the sort of insults hurled at the hippies back in the day -- communist! faggots! get a job! -- the Republican base are now the freaks.
And Charlie, every time he pushes the canard that "We don't really know who Barack is!" or that "Barack has close ties to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers!" provides intellectual cover to the stone-like ignorance on display here.
It's interesting. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -- not inappropriately -- has been all over the story of how a handful of folks have turned in hundreds of fake voter registrations (though not all over it enough for Charlie Sykes). Turned them in, it should be said, for cash instead of swaying elections. (And did the Brawler mention that Republicans have been guilty of this crime as well?)
Yet when the Republican Party of Wisconsin sought to purge 5.619 alleged fictitious voters when many of them were valid, the Journal Sentinel's coverage was far less rigorous.
Yes, it revealed that many of the fictitious voters were guilty of nothing more than having their info mistyped on the rolls. But it never took the RPW to task for their obscene act of trying to purge voters without doing adequate due diligence.
From the 10/24/05 congressional testimony of Matt O'Neill, deputy state counsel for the Kerry-Edwards Wisconsin campaign:
the Republican Party attempted to potentially disenfranchise thousands of City of Milwaukee voters through an eleventh-hour challenge (filed literally minutes before the deadline for filing any such challenge) to a list of 5,619 addresses that the Republican; Party contended did not exist. As demonstrated during an October 28, 2004 hearing, the Republican Party did not bother to check the validity of 99% of the names and addresses on the list, many of which were the result of clerical errors that occurred when City employees entered information on the computer system. After that effort failed, just days before the election the GOP publicly threatened to challenge an additional 30,000 registered voters based upon unverified assertions that "apartment numbers" did not match up.
Did the Journal Sentinel chase this story -- how could the Republicans have sought to purge voters based on such flimsy pretenses? No! Instead, it chased the will-o-wisp of voter fraud -- only to have Steven Biskupic say that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Milwaukee. (A finding, by the way, that the Wisconsin right has wholly ignored.)
None of the RPW's leadership paid any price for this. Shoot, RPW Chairman Rick Graber was named ambassador to the Czech Republic.
It should be noted that the executive director of Montana's Republican Party has just resigned after trying to pull similar shenanigans. And he recently took a job at an equity consulting firm in Wisconsin, where, apparently the media is more tolerant of brazen efforts to purge voters.
Jonathan Waclawski, the party's election day operations, wrote in a Sept. 8 e-mail that he needed contact information for people "who would potentially be willing to volunteer ... at inner city (more intimidating) polling places. Particularly, I am interested in names of Milwaukee area veterans, policemen, security personnel, firefighters etc. ... If you have any connections with such organizations, please pass that information on."
What will they be doing? Well, if RPW dirty tricks during the 2004 election are any indication, we can expect them to help mount spurious charges against voters, offer misleading instructions to voters and generally do all they can to sow confusion and create long lines that may dissuade folks from casting their ballot.
From 10/24/05 congressional testimony of Matt O'Neill, deputy state counsel for the Kerry-Edwards campaign (previously mentioned by the Brawler, wholly ignored by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel):
The Republican Party had hundreds of attorneys deployed to targeted wards whose primary function appeared to be the intimidation and suppression of minority voters under the guise of monitoring for "fraud." In addition, the GOP paid hundreds of non-lawyers to "observe" at targeted polls while wearing orange T- shirts emblazoned with "HAVA Volunteer" on the front. Our volunteers also encountered law enforcement officials visiting various polls and challenging the propriety of efforts by the Voter Protection attorneys and Election Protection coalition volunteers to assist voters at the polls.
The primary aspects of the carefully planned GOP suppression effort included:
--Placing at least one person behind the election inspectors in targeted wards with a handheld electronic device (primarily Palm Pilots or Blackberries) to stare at each voter while entering their name and address in the device as they identified themselves to the pollworkers and received a ballot.
--Paying individuals $160 to wear orange "HAVA Volunteer" T- shirts and patrol polling places. In large part these individuals (who were not volunteers) knew nothing about the Help America Vote Act, and several wrongly suggested that HAVA required an alreadyregistered voter to produce identification in order to vote.
--Impersonating authorities at the polling places. The Reports reflect instances of orange-shirted observers stating that they were authorities, and instances of persons claiming to be "election officials" and giving out incorrect information about the registration process.
-- Walking up and down voting lines with printed lists in hand and suggesting that persons "not on the list" were not allowed to vote.
--Using attorneys to lodge challenges to voters pursuant to S 6.925, Wis. Stats. In many cases Republican attorneys would lodge a challenge, disrupt the voting process, and then abandon the challenge, after forcing a voter to answer questions under oath, by refusing to execute sworn statements supporting the claimed challenges.
-- Challenging the authority of election inspectors during every step of the election day process, including: (a) challenging the use of special deputy registrars for same day registration (despite an October 27, 2004 City of Milwaukee Elections Commission resolution authorizing the process); (b) challenging inspectors' attempts to continue to process votes during machine breakdowns; (e) asking an inspector to sign a form stating that a machine was not inspected; and (d) challenging the use of volunteers to help process same day registration cards.
-- Using law enforcement agents to harass Election Protection volunteers attempting to assist voters standing in line. For example, at about 5:30 p.m. at Holton School, four men, one with visible handcuffs, walked through the polling place and told Election Protection volunteers not to assist voters attempting to locate the correct polling place.
Threatening to "call the authorities" if election inspectors did not act as instructed by Republican attorneys.
--Challenging any absentee ballot that did not have a Wisconsin- return address in the certificate, despite the fact that an out- of--state return address is legal and appropriate for out-of- state absentee voters.
-- Challenging valid student registration with photo IDs matched to student directories, and thereafter challenging any student who corroborated another student's residence.
There were far fewer shenanigans of this type on 2006. Most of the Republican poll watchers the Brawler observed at various locations that day – in the inner city, mind you -- were mild-mannered folks and not at all threatening.
But he does recall a large, seemingly unhinged gentleman at one location getting in people’s faces, behaving in a loud and obnoxious manner and generally making a nuisance of himself. The Brawler suspects a Republican volunteer from Merton might have found this location “intimidating.” But the only one attempting to do any “intimidating” was the white Republican guy.
h/t Folkbum, who’s hosting a hilarious comment string in which people are trying to claim there's not a racial subtext to the term "inner city." Cory Liebmann also is on the case.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin and its running dogs in radio, the press and the interwebs are trying to whip up fears of voter fraud in Milwaukee, and, indeed nationwide. A conspiracy so great, Charlie Sykes fears, that it could tip the election.
Exhibit A in their effort to pull off this hoax are reports that some vote registrars hired by Acorn have turned in fake names. Left unmentioned is the fact that Acorn has flagged many of the fake registrations – which they are obligated to submit under law. Also unmentioned is the fact that there is no demonstrable link between voter registration fraud and voter fraud. Quite the contrary.
Also left unmentioned: Republicans have a history of voter registration fraud as well!
The California Republican Party ran into the same issues when it mounted a massive voter registration drive in 2006. One big difference between Acorn and California Repubs – Acorn actually flagged the dubious registratiosn.
Faked names on voter registration forms. Error rates as high as 60 percent. Firing the people responsible for these errors. Investigations launched by local and state police. Sound familiar? This is not ACORN in the 2008 election's final days.
This is the California Republican Party and its contractors in 2006, when the same problems that are now dogging ACORN and providing political fodder for GOP attacks plagued an effort by California Republicans to register 750,000 people.
The details were all spelled out in a series of Los Angeles Times stories, which quoted former California Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres saying these kinds of errors are inevitable "when you use private vendors." Even the state's top election official in 2006, Republican Bruce McPherson, was forced to investigate his own party's actions.
Charlie Sykes has been trying, desperately, to persuade his listeners that cases of voter registration fraud by Acorn volunteers -- people padding their registrations to get paid, basically -- is prelude to massive voter fraud in the November election.
Despite the fact that it's been demonstrated that there is no link between the two. "Mickey Mouse has been registered to vote!"Sykes whinges. But Mickey Mouse isn't going to show up to vote.
Still, that common sense -- and fact-based observation -- didn't stop Sykes from making wild-ass claims such as "How do you contort yourself into ... not seeing a massive concerted effort to defraud the polls?"
Quite easily, actually, In a Washington State court case, prosecutors of folks who turned in hundreds of bogus registrations pointed out, explicitly, that the false registrations did not result in fraudulent votes. A real life control!
But it didn't stop there. Sykes, absent any evidence, went on to say: "I think the fraud is going to be massive, I think it's going to be massive in some states."
And he went on to say he believes it could determine the presidency!
Ironically, shortly before Sykes went on this unhinged screed, Josh Marshall observed:
You can judge the magnitude of the smashing defeat Republicans believe they are approaching by the scale of lying and bogus charges of vote fraud. But organized lying from partisans should not surprise us.
And this is what it's all about, of course. Charlie Sykes doesn't really believe voter fraud is going to be massive. But he does realize the GOP is going to go down in flames. So he needs to come up with any excuse he can for the defeat to cast a pall of illegitimacy over Obama's likely victory. Just as RPW chair, absent any evidence, says he's tired of losing elections in Wisconsin due to voter fraud. Sykes and his running dogs want the herd to believe that they would win -- if only they weren't victims of fraud.
His ratings depend on it. His show is, after all, entertainment.