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Archive for the ‘bogus “voter fraud” claims’ Category

MN Ballot Security an ‘Issue’?

Posted by MEC on November 11, 2008

Petunias

So says the Associated Press: Somebody is concerned that the Minnesota ballots could have been tampered with, because there are no “uniform standards” for “safeguarding ballots”.

The AP report doesn’t mention who is raising the alarm, but I suspect it’s the candidate who tried to prevent the recount.

Call me cynical, but I suspect the reason the alarm has been raised is not because there are any lapses in security but because Somebody wants to be able to cry foul if he loses the recount. County officials do take the sanctity and security of the ballot seriously, and I won’t blame them one bit if they resent the aspersions cast upon their integrity, not to mention their intelligence.

(It’s probably too much to hope for that a county official, if pressed for how the ballots are kept safe from tampering, would reply that they’re stored in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.)

Posted in bogus "voter fraud" claims, Minnesota | 1 Comment »

Tales Of The GOP/Media Complex: The Attacks On ACORN

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 20, 2008

A friend of mine brings me this letter that was sent to the Minneapolis StarTribune, with the request that we wait a day before publishing just to make sure the Strib doesn’t actually do the right thing and run her letter. If you’re seeing this on MR, then you know that they didn’t.

Here it is:

Another election cycle, another set of partisan attacks by Republicans against voter-registration drives that target poor people and minorities and anyone else who might not vote for Republicans. It’s saddening but not surprising to see the StarTribune’s editorial staff fall for this baloney, even as the GOP-dominated Supreme Court has just rejected a Republican lawsuit that had also been rejected by a lower court — and even as the head of the Republican Party in Montana has had to resign after a judge rejected his naked attempt to challenge the voting rights of persons in Democratic areas of the state.

What the Republicans don’t want you to know is that their own signature drives are far more error-ridden than ACORN’s. Republican congressman Darrell Issa’s petition to recall Gray Davis — an act that paved the way for Republican takeover of the California governorship and the massive ballooning of California’s debt — had 300,000 invalid signatures, or 18% of the collected total. That’s 300,000 in one state. Meanwhile, the total number of invalid registrations collected and reported as suspicious by ACORN is around 2,300 nationwide, or about one percent of the 1.3 million registrations ACORN has collected.

Furthermore, none of the problem registrations flagged by ACORN led to a single invalid vote. Former top Justice Department official Gerry Hebert joins a growing number of experts condemning the Bush FBI’s actions against ACORN as politically motivated. Meanwhile, Republican dirty tricksters such as the group “Young Political Majors” have been tricking persons in California and Florida into signing what these persons believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters, but which were actually documents that registered them as Republican voters. But none of these actual instances of systemic fraud have got a fraction of the attention of the Republicans’ bogus attacks on ACORN. When the Republicans tell them to jump, the members of the press merely say “how high?”

Thanks to Obama’s challenge to Mukasey, the national media is slowly starting to show the reality behind McCain’s and the GOP’s attacks on groups that register poor and nonwhite voters. But of course the Republicans will never give this up — they want to create yet another Dolchstosslegende, yet another way to excuse their failed ideology of greed for its electoral tiredness and to deny Obama the mandate he needs to get things done, and yet another way to to hold onto the pose of victimhood they love so much.

Posted in 2008, abuse of power, anti-truth, Barack Obama, bogus "voter fraud" claims, BushCo malfeasance, John McCain, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, WTF? | 4 Comments »

Obama Responds to Republican ‘Voter Fraud’ Scam

Posted by MEC on October 17, 2008

Obama’s legal team is fighting back against the ‘voter fraud’ scam the Republicans are pushing as a cover for their own voter suppression.

Boy howdy, are they fighting back.

Bob Bauer, Obama’s chief lawyer … is asking U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey to to hand over to special prosecutor Nora Dannehy any probe into what Bauer called “bogus claims of vote fraud” that mirror concerns raised by Republicans two years ago.

[…]

Bauer said there appears to be an “unholy alliance” between law enforcement officials and Republican officials, including presidential nominee John McCain’s campaign. In his letter, Bauer said in a footnote that several of [McCain’s] supporters in Congress have written to the Justice Department “pressuring them to investigate ACORN.”

Also, word of the investigation was leaked within a day of McCain’s saying at Wednesday’s final presidential debate that the group “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of our democracy.”

Talking Points Memo has the letter from Obama’s legal counsel.

Keith Olbermann, in reporting on this story, reminded us how many of the purged U.S. Attorneys were fired because they resisted pressure to pursue bogus charges that Democrats committed voter fraud.

Meanwhile, McCain’s demagoguery about ACORN has inspired some “patriots” to make death threats against ACORN organizers and vandalize their offices.

Posted in Barack Obama, blowback, bogus "voter fraud" claims | 8 Comments »

GOP: Foreclosure = Disenfranchisement

Posted by MEC on September 11, 2008

The Republican Party is planning to use foreclosure lists to suppress the vote.

They will be challenging voters at the polls on the assumption that being on the foreclosure list means those voters are no longer living at the address and therefore are not eligible to vote in that precinct.

But it ain’t necessarily so, says J. Gerald Hebert, a former voting rights litigator for the U.S. Justice Department.

“I don’t think a foreclosure notice is sufficient basis for a challenge, because people often remain in their homes after foreclosure begins and sometimes are able to negotiate and refinance.”

The challenges will disenfranchise more than the people who are victims of Bush’s “you’re on your own-ership” society. They’ll slow down the voting process for everyone at the targeted precincts, effectively disenfranchising people who can’t afford to wait the extra time.

The mortgage-fraud crisis has affected all neighborhoods everywhere, but Michigan Republicans are specifically targeting Macomb County, which has a particularly high foreclosure rate — and a particularly high percentage of Democratic voters, isn’t that a coincidence.

Also by coincidence, the Republican majority in the Michigan Senate have stalled a bill to protect consumers from predatory lending practices. It’s almost as if they see only their own political benefits in perpetuating the financial crisis, not their constituents’ misery.

Posted in bogus "voter fraud" claims, Republicans acting badly, voting rights | 3 Comments »

Wingnut Slanders ACORN. The Poor Man Takes Him Down.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 3, 2008

Go read it here. A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

A quick note: I’m guessing that Special Ed was given his marching orders to regurgitate the long-debunked wingnut bullshit against ACORN as a tangential way of attacking Barack Obama, who has a longtime and honorable history of working with ACORN.

Posted in 2008, anti-truth, Barack Obama, blogger ethics, blogs and blogging, bogus "voter fraud" claims, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, conservativism, corruption, Flying Monkey Right, GOP bullying, half-vast rightwing conspiracy, mythmaking | Comments Off on Wingnut Slanders ACORN. The Poor Man Takes Him Down.

Weisbrot On Chavez

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 8, 2007

“He had faults, like other men; but it was for his virtues that he was hated and successfully calumniated.”   –Bertrand Russell, on the American revolutionary Thomas Paine.   

So opens Mark Weisbrot’s excellent The Nation article on Hugo Chavez, and sets the tone for what is to follow (emphases mine):

The defeat of the Venezuelan government’s proposed constitutional reforms last Sunday will probably not change very much in Venezuela. Most of what was in the reforms can be enacted through the legislature. This is especially true for the progressive reforms: social security pensions for informal sector workers, free university education, the prohibition of discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. The negative elements, such as expanding the government’s powers in a state of emergency, probably wouldn’t have changed much if they had passed. The Chávez government has never declared a state of emergency and did not invoke any special powers even when most democratic governments in the world would have done so, e.g., during the oil strike of 2002-2003, which crippled the economy and almost toppled the government for the second time in a year, or after the April 2002 military coup. (It is also worth noting that even if they had passed, the amendments wouldn’t have given the Venezuelan government the authority to commit the worst infringements on civil liberties that the Bush Administration has made in its “war on terror.”)

[…]

Most important, the character of the political battles in Venezuela has not changed. The popular presentation of this contest as between pro-Chávez and anti-Chávez forces is misleading. It is a struggle of left versus right, with the two sides divided and polarized along the lines of class, democracy, national sovereignty and race.

[…]

The referendum shifted these political dividing lines only very slightly and very likely temporarily. Some within the progovernment coalition opposed the reforms, and it appears that the amendments failed mainly because a great many of Chávez’s supporters didn’t vote. But there is no indication that these people have shifted to the opposition camp, and polls show that Chávez and the government remain highly popular. The opposition to the government is still a right-wing opposition, despite the addition of a mostly well-off student movement that is more ideologically mixed–including the student opposition leader Ivan Stalin Gonzalez, who recently defended his namesake in the Wall Street Journal.

With regard to democracy, there has always been a clear difference between the two sides. Chavez’s immediate acceptance of a razor-thin margin of defeat before all the votes were even counted should cut through all the media hype about a “strongman” and a “dictator.” Chávez congratulated his opponents on their victory. As in previous elections, he had publicly committed to accepting the results before the vote and had called on the opposition to do the same.

On the other side, the opposition tried several oil and business strikes and a military coup in April 2002 to win what it could not gain at the ballot box. The first act of the short-lived coup government was to abolish the Constitution and dissolve the Supreme Court and the elected National Assembly. The coup was reversed due to massive prodemocracy street demonstrations, but eight months later the opposition once again tried to topple the government with a devastating management-led oil shutdown. Unlike in the United States, where we have three sets of labor laws that would have put the leaders of such a strike in jail, the Chávez government allowed the strike to run its course, with the economy crippled in the process.

Only after all extralegal means failed to dislodge the government did the Venezuelan opposition resort to the ballot box, exercising its constitutional right to a recall referendum on the presidency in August 2004. The opposition lost by a margin of 59 to 41 and promptly refused to accept the result. Although vote-rigging was nearly impossible under the dual electronic-plus-paper-ballot voting system and the result was certified by the Carter Center and the OAS, the opposition–which has its own media and invents its own reality–to this day holds to conspiracy theories that the referendum was stolen by a fantastic electronic fraud. In December 2005, seeing that it would lose congressional elections, the opposition boycotted, despite the OAS and European Union observers’ condemnation of the boycott.

The opposition did finally accept its defeat in the December 2006 presidential elections, which Chávez won with 63 percent of the vote and the highest turnout ever. And now that it has finally won at the ballot box, there is a possibility of an opposition emerging that is more willing to play by the democratic rules of the game. The student movement seems to have more elements that favor democratic means of challenging the government, and may have played a role in persuading others in the opposition to vote in the referendum. But they have not transformed the opposition into a democratic movement.

Go read the whole thing. It’s a nice corrective to the US-financed garbage that passes for “news” about Venezuela and Chavez.

Charles adds:  The text of Chavez’s speech in English is here and a Flashpoints interview with Greg Wilpert is here. It positively amazes me that even relatively smart guys like Keith Olbermann and Barry Ritholtz start to foam when they talk about Chavez. If you read the mainstream press and then you actually listen to what Chavez says, the effect is something like walking out of a Leni Riefenstahl film and into The Daily Show. You will never trust American media again. Could someone tip Keith and Barry that they’re being used like garden shears?

Posted in bogus "voter fraud" claims, Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, The smear industry, Venezuela, voting rights | 4 Comments »

Waaaah! He Beat Us In A Fair Fight!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 28, 2007

crybaby-gop3.jpg

In an action that is eerily reminiscent in miniature of the neverending campaign the Republicans have been waging against Bill Clinton for the “crime” of winning the 1992 presidential election and depriving them of the presidency which they thought they owned by the divine right of kings, we see that Minnnesota Republican Party Chair Ron Carey and his favorite employee Michael Brodkorb are still not in a mood to forgive Mark Ritchie for dislodging the vote-suppressing, scandal-plagued, crony-pampering (on the taxpayer’s dime) and just plain nutty Mary Kiffmeyer from her position as Minnesota’s Secretary of State.

Brodkorb, unable to find any actual evidence of lawbreaking on Ritchie’s part, has now turned to whining about his attending a DFL function in his role as Secretary of State. Of course, what Brodkorb won’t tell you is that Kiffy didn’t exactly shy away from Republican shindigs during her time as Secretary of State. Oh, well.

Posted in bogus "voter fraud" claims, Clenis, Clinton Rules, cronies, Democrat-bashing, GOP/Media Complex, half-vast rightwing conspiracy, hypocrites, Minnesota, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, Silly Republicans | Comments Off on Waaaah! He Beat Us In A Fair Fight!

I Have a Bad Feeling About This

Posted by MEC on September 25, 2007

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to rule on whether voters can be required to show photo identification in order to cast a ballot.

I do not feel good about the prospect of this Supreme Court making a final decision on whether requiring a photo ID is de facto disenfranchisement of certain classes of voters.

I am already certain of how “Justice” Clarence Thomas will vote, because his voting record shows he purely hates anybody having any rights at all.

I can guess how the other three “Justices” who put Bush in the White House will feel about the importance of making it possible for all eligible voters to cast a ballot.

And it’s enough to know that Roberts and Alito were put on the court by the Commander in Thief.

I predict that it’ll be a 6-3 decision validating the principle that limiting the ability to vote is okay, because 9/11 changed everything and the new principle of democracy is that we are all guilty unless we can afford to prove our innocence.

Posted in bogus "voter fraud" claims, Supreme Court, voting rights | 1 Comment »

This dictatorship/911 media event/war brought to you by…

Posted by Charles II on June 20, 2007

Jim Wilkinson, Republican operative

Jim Wilkinson

From an interview of former USMC Lieutenant Josh Rushing, from Democracy Now. who appeared in Control Room:   

JOSH RUSHING: …[I]f someone were to ask me before the war, “Why are you going to invade Iraq?” — and reporters did — the only honest answer I could give is, “We’ll invade Iraq if the President orders us to. And we won’t if he doesn’t. We don’t get to pick and choose our battles.” That way, it’s left to a politician in a suit behind a podium at the White House to explain why they made that decision.

. 

But instead, what we did, we had a Republican operative who was put in charge of our office, displacing a colonel that had started doing media liaison when this Republican operative was about probably five years old. And what this guy knew how to do was run a campaign, and so we were run like a political campaign. And the first step in that political campaign was to sell the product, and that was sell the invasion. So they gave the reasons down to the young troops, guys like me, to go out to reporters and give the reasons we’re going to invade a sovereign nation.

AMY GOODMAN: Jim Wilkinson, who is he?

.

JOSH RUSHING: Jim Wilkinson is the Republican operative I was talking about. He’s a guy that — he’s about my age. …He worked in Dick Armey’s office. He is credited with coming up with a line about Gore having invented the internet. That was Jim’s work. .Then, in the 2000 elections, he was in charge of the media down in the Florida recount, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in abuse of power, anti-truth, bogus "voter fraud" claims, GOP/Media Complex, Iraq war | 14 Comments »

The Good Soldier Versus The Crazy Cat Lady

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 31, 2007

kiffie1.jpg

 

From http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/images/kiffie1.jpg

Actually, that’s a slander on crazy cat ladies. Most of them have far more sense than Mary Kiffmeyer, who up until she was voted out last November was Minnesota’s Secretary of State.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in abuse of power, bogus "voter fraud" claims, BushCo malfeasance, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, theocrats, US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | 6 Comments »

 
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