February 7, 2014

Catherine Engelbrecht, head of the voter suppression group True the Vote, has cleaned up her act for television and learned well how to play the victim, hasn't she?

Viewers unfamiliar with Engelbrecht's history might see this segment with Megyn Kelly and come away shaking their heads at how horrible -- how utterly AWFUL -- the mean government is to 'ordinary citizens.'

Perhaps some historical points of reference would help. In 2010, when the Tea Party swept elections across the country, the King Street Patriots were actively involved in all kinds of voter suppression shenanigans. The content of the group's email campaign to intimidate voter registration group Houston Votes is too vile to reproduce here, but you can read it over on TPM.

Engelbrecht led the charge, accusing Houston Votes of being the long arm of the New Black Panthers. Death threats ensued, along with many racist threats to make sure black voters understood who was in charge when it came to voting in Houston.

Fast forward to 2013. Engelbrecht has changed the name of the group to KSP/True the Vote after all the controversy, gotten some high powered legal counsel in Washington, DC, and some great public relations help by none other than Cleta Mitchell, who is leading the current charge against the IRS.

By early 2013, Engelbrecht was part of a larger coalition of far-right nonprofit representatives led by Virginia Thomas, among others. At a March, 2013 planning meeting of their "messaging coalition" known as Groundswell at the time, Engelbrecht presented her plan to suppress the vote for 2014, which included plans to co-opt "Next Generation" and Hispanic voters to police polling places, challenge voter lists, and otherwise intimidate voters across the country. That document is unashamed about their goal to destroy the left, which they view as everyone who isn't hard, hard right wing.

Rep. Cummings opened an investigation in 2012 into whether TTV's activities were intimidation or legitimate activities for a non-profit to undertake, and whether they were actively suppressing voters in swing states.

A legitimate investigation into their activities is now being twisted around into trumped-up bellowing about how mean it was for the IRS to actually do their job before they approved TTV for non-profit status and how a black Congressman is intimidating them.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out the underlying motives of Engelbrecht and her ilk at all. Since President Obama slapped Fox News around a bit for pushing nonsense memes about non-existent conspiracy theories, Fox has turned up the amplifiers on the wingers' whines, as if somehow letting them go on and on will change what the facts are.

Then again, Fox viewers don't much care about facts.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We are currently migrating to Disqus

On May 14, 2022, we started migrating our comments from Insticator back to Disqus. During this transition period, some posts will have Insticator and some Disqus. For more information on the transition, as well as information regarding old C&L accounts, please see this post.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.