Could Fox's Gregg Jarrett have found a slimier couple of characters than Hans von Spakovsky and John Fund to throw around accusations that the White House is coordinating with Organizing for America and the DNC to organize the protests we're seeing in Wisconsin and other areas of the country?
Let the games begin with more distraction and drummed up controversies from Fox. Anything to keep us from talking about the real reasons there are thousands of Americans out there protesting.
Organizing for America and the DNC are working with the protesters and Eclectablog at Daily KOS wrote about here -- UPDATED x2 - OFA/DNC in Wisconsin working with protesting public employees. And as they noted, it's not just clips like the one above that Fox has been airing over and over today, but they also posted this at Fox Nation -- DNC Caught Organizing Wisconsin Protests:
The Democratic National Committee's Organizing for America arm -- the remnant of the 2008 Obama campaign -- is playing an active role in organizing protests against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's attempt to strip most public employees of collective bargaining rights.
OfA, as the campaign group is known, has been criticized at times for staying out of local issues like same-sex marraige, but it's riding to the aide of the public sector unions who hoping to persuade some Republican legislators to oppose Walker's plan. And while Obama may have his difference with teachers unions, OfA's engagement with the fight -- and Obama's own clear stance against Walker -- mean that he's remaining loyal to key Democratic Party allies at what is, for them, a very dangerous moment.
Even though von Spakovsky admitted that there is nothing wrong with OFC or the DNC being involved with these protests, he said if the White House or any of their staff is coordinating with them, they could be guilty of violating federal anti-lobbying act. He didn't offer any proof that they were, but that didn't stop him from throwing the accusation out there anyway. I'm assuming this will be next on Darrell Issa's hit list for subpoenas to issue.
And you've got to love this comment by Fox's Gregg Jarrett:
You know John, the subtitle of your terrific column today, I must say is always very good is, "Who's in charge of our democracy, voters or unions?" Do you think this is sort of an effort by the left to create their own liberal version of the tea party?
This stuff makes my head hurt. Fox is just shameless. Note to Gregg Jarrett, union members are voters you schmuck. I should know, I'm one of them. Here's more from Susan Gardner at KOS on what Garrett is doing here -- Conservatives use divide and conquer rhetoric in Wisconsin union protests.
I don't remember Fox going after the Bush White House when Lurita Doan was using the General Services Administration to help Republicans with reelection efforts, but they're going to go after the Obama White House with no proof they've broken any laws for potentially making phone calls to OFA and the DNC. I'm no lawyer but this looks like grasping at straws to me. Anything to try to delegitimize the union protesters and paint them as some evil pawns of the Obama administration.
And for a reminder of why no one should be taking either of these two hacks seriously, here's more on von Spakovsky from Think Progress. There's lots more like this out there. Just search for his name and voter suppression.
Spakovsky, a former political appointee in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division whom President Bush temporarily placed on the FEC using a recess appointment, is said to have “used every opportunity he had over four years in the Justice Department to make it difficult for voters — poor, minority and Democratic — to go to the polls.”
Here’s an overview of his record of disenfranchising voters:
Spakovsky stalled ruling on Mississippi redistricting, effecting electoral outcomes: In 2002, under Spakovsky’s leadership, the DoJ stalled making a determination under the Voting Rights Act on a conservative-drawn redistricting plan, approving it by default. The plan influenced the outcome of a key House race.
Spakovsky pushed through Texas re-districting that violated the Voting Rights Act: In 2003, “led the battle within [the] Civil Rights Division to approve the Texas redistricting.” In 2006, the Supreme Court held that parts of the plan violated provisions of Voting Rights Act by diluting minority voting strength.
Spakovsky urged Maryland officials to reject voter registration forms of lawful voters: In 2003, Spakovsky told a Maryland election official to deny voter registration applications if any of the information on the application failed to match what is in the DMV and Social Security databases. The move exceeded federal law and was found to needlessly reject thousands of applications to vote that were lawful.
Spakovsky blocked an investigation into voter discrimination against Native Americans: In 2004, then-Minnesota U.S. Attrorney Thomas Heffelfinger believed a state voter ID ruling would disenfranchise Indian voters, but when the DoJ’s voting rights section sought to open an investigation, Spakovsky directed attorneys not to contact county officials, which “effectively ended any department inquiry.”
Spakovsky approved “modern day poll tax” over objections of career staff: In 2005, a team of Justice Department lawyers and analysts who reviewed a Georgia voter-identification law recommended rejecting it because it was likely to discriminate against black voters. But the law was approved the next day by political appointees, including Spakovsky. When the law was eventually overturned, a federal judge compared it to a Jim Crow-era poll tax.
And here's more from Media Matters on John Fund -- John Fund's book on voter fraud is a fraud:
In his recent book Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Democracy (Encounter Books, September 2004), Wall Street Journal op-ed columnist and author John Fund uses distortions and half-truths to impugn Democrats who, he states in his introduction, "figure prominently in the vast majority of examples of election fraud described in this [Fund's] book."
Fund has made numerous media appearances to promote his book. In October alone, he appeared on FOX News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume, CNN Daybreak, twice on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, twice on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, and on National Public Radio's The Tavis Smiley Show. Numerous conservative columnists have promoted the book, including George F. Will, Michelle Malkin, Jonah Goldberg, and R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.
Following are some of the false or unfounded claims in their order of appearance in Stealing Elections.
CLAIM: "[E]very single recount of the votes in Florida determined that George W. Bush had won the state's twenty-five electoral votes and therefore the presidency." (p. 28)
FACT: A post-election study revealed several plausible scenarios in which then-Vice President Al Gore would have won Florida.
As Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted (here, here, and here), the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center (NORC) studied Florida's disputed ballots and concluded that Gore emerged the winner in at least four recount scenarios. The NORC study was sponsored by news organizations including The Associated Press, The New York Times, and CNN, as well as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post Co., and Tribune Publishing (which owns the Chicago Tribune, the Orlando Sentinel, and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel). According to a November 12, 2001, Washington Post article on the NORC's findings: "[I]f Gore had found a way to trigger a statewide recount of all disputed ballots, or if the courts had required it, the result likely would have been different. An examination of uncounted ballots throughout Florida found enough where voter intent was clear to give Gore the narrowest of margins."
CLAIM: The Palm Beach Post found "no more than 108 'law-abiding' citizens of all races who 'were purged from the voter rolls as suspected criminals, only to be cleared after the election." (p. 32)
FACT: The Palm Bach Post reported that "at least 1,100 eligible voters [were] wrongly purged from the rolls before last year's election."
In making this claim, Fund selectively quoted from a May 27, 2001, article in the Palm Beach Post. While the article did state that "[a]t least 108 law-abiding people were purged from the voter rolls as suspected criminals, only to be cleared after the election," it also stated that an additional 996 people who had been convicted of crimes in other states but were now eligible to vote were also cut from the rolls.
Fund then compared what he called the "trivial number" of 108 voters with the 1,420 military ballots that were rejected statewide, ignoring the other 996 who were eligible but were denied the right to vote.
Lots more at Media Matters in their post, so go read the rest.