One of the benefits of being a winger is that you get to access a huge, well-funded network of publishing resources. There's a reason, after all, that right wing baloney books go to the top of best-seller lists. They game the system by buying up a huge chunk and then giving them away as rewards for subscribing to stupid places like WorldNetDaily, where you can reinforce your conspiracy-theory-of-the-day with even more nuttery than any human mind should have to absorb.
So brace yourself, because the latest is written by one of our favorite lunatics ever, the Wall Street Journal's erstwhile John Fund. Fund, along with his little
dog friend Hans von Spakovsky (could we even make these names up?), Bushie DOJ attorney, has written a book about that rampant abuse of our democracy known as voter fraud.
Because you know, there must be voter fraud because if there were no voter fraud then conservatives would win and those demon libruls would be banished to the outer reaches of Texas. Or something.
Right-wingers are in a tizzy over excerpts from a new book by two of the GOP’s leading voter-fraud hucksters alleging that Minnesota’s Democratic Senator Al Franken would not have won a statewide recount in 2009 were it not for ex-felons voting illegally.
They are jumping to the false conclusion that illegal felon voting in November 2008 not only tipped a recount in which Franken won by 312 votes—out of 2.4 million cast between the two men—but that tougher state voter ID laws would have changed the result. Both claims are wrong.
Of course they're wrong. It wasn't like this recount wasn't the most closely contested battle of 2008, delaying Franken's swearing-in to the Senate until July, 2009 or anything like that. It's not like every election law attorney on the planet wasn't observing the recount with eagle eyes, or challenging every last ballot, right?
Nay, nay. The right wingers are in a huge huff because, well, felons handed Franken the election. Please, don't everyone roll your eyes at once.
The problem with this assertion—from a newbook by The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund and George W. Bush Justice Department attorney Hans von Spakovsky—is that it is not just factually wrong, according to Minnesota Supreme Court records, the Minnesota prosecutor who investigated most of the cases, and some of the country’s top election scholars, but it is intended to rile a segment of the Right that thinks it is patriotic to demonize voting by non-whites and disrupt voting for everyone else.
“They are talking in code to their base,” said Rutgers University’s Lori Minnite,co-author of Keeping Down The Black Vote: Race and the Demobilization of American Voters. “My guess is that von Spakovsky and Fund know exactly what they are doing.”
“There is no basis in fact, whatsoever, in these inaccuracies propagated by the Minnesota Majority here, none,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Wednesday. “After the most closely scrutinized election in Minnesota history in 2008, there were zero cases of fraud. Even the Republicans lawyers acknowledged that there was no systematic effort to defraud the election, none.”
Of course they are. It's the same thing they're doing with Voter ID laws, and efforts to disenfranchise poor voters, women, and other groups who typically don't vote Republican. In Ohio, they're limiting early voting in counties that favor Obama while expanding it in those that favor Romney. The Nation reports:
Now, in heavily Democratic cities like Cleveland, Columbus, Akron and Toledo, early voting hours will be limited to 8am until 5 pm on weekdays beginning on October 1, with no voting at night or during the weekend, when it’s most convenient for working people to vote. Republican election commissioners have blocked Democratic efforts to expand early voting hours in these counties, where the board of elections are split equally between Democratic and Republican members. Ohio Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has broken the tie by intervening on behalf of his fellow Republicans.
‘I cannot create unequal access from one county board to another, and I must also keep in mind resources available to each county,” Husted said in explaining his decision to deny expanded early voting hours in heavily Democratic counties. Yet in solidly Republican counties like Warren and Butler, GOP election commissioners have approved expanded early voting hours on nights and weekends. Noted the Cincinnati Enquirer: “The counties where Husted has joined other Republicans to deny expanded early voting strongly backed then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008, while most of those where the extra hours will stand heavily supported GOP nominee John McCain.” Moreover, budget constraints have not stopped Republican legislators from passing costly voter ID laws across the map since 2010.
This is, of course, the situation that Romney lied about, claiming that the Obama campaign was seeking to disenfranchise veterans and military voters. As is evident from The Nation's report, there is definitely disenfranchisement going on, but it's not against Republicans. No, it will be working people, poor people, and single moms who will really, really have to want to vote because there just isn't enough money to expand early voting hours in those counties. Because, well...poor people. Everyone knows they don't pay enough taxes to deserve to vote, after all.
Do I sound angry? Are you? Because we all should be. As Chris Hayes says in his "Lean Forward" spot, it is profane -- yes, PROFANE -- to suppress the vote in a democracy.
The closer we get to the election, the more weight these voter suppression efforts will carry, particularly with regard to local and state races. I will be attending a webinar today to learn about ways that each one of us can stand up for everyone's right to vote, and plan to work in my local precinct on November 6th. I'll report back to all of you on what I learn and what we can do to counter this insidious effort.
Oh, and here's a bonus: Scott Brown, attacking the voting rights of poor people in Massachusetts.
National campaign finance watchdog Public Campaign Action Fund released the following statement on Senator Scott Brown’s disgusting attack on efforts to get people on welfare to vote.
“Scott Brown doesn't want low income Massachusetts residents to register to vote and exercise their right to participate in elections—apparently because they are neither sources of votes or cash for his campaign,” said David Donnelly, executive director of Public Campaign Action Fund. “Massachusetts voters would be right to wonder if Scott Brown wants elections of, by, and for the funders or of, by, and for the voters.”
The only felons causing elections to be tilted are felons with a distinctive right-leaning tilt. If they can't win on their ideas, they think they'll steal the election. We've already had that happen twice.
Not this time.