November 3, 2009

John Fund went on Glenn Beck's show last night to help Beck with his characterization of the Obama White House as a nest of fist-bumping terrorist radicals, mostly by underscoring its supposed connection to ACORN and the SEIU. (According to Beck, SEIU's Andy Stern is "really controlling our country.")

At the end of the segment, Fund began describing the ways ACORN's nefarious activists are supposedly engaged in voter fraud in the New Jersey election:

Fund: People are going door to door in parts of Camden with Hispanics that don't have very much knowledge of English, and they're saying, "We have a new way for you to vote, la nueva forma de votar; just fill out these papers."

But as Media Matters noticed, he's actually describing something that happened in 1993 in Philadelphia. Indeed, he accurately described it in his Wall Street Journal op-ed in which he tried to claim that fraud was occurring in New Jersey:

There are additional reports from Camden that Hispanic voters have been misled into voting absentee ballots. So-called bearers who are allowed to collect and carry absentee ballots are said to have encouraged voters to fill out applications for absentee ballots. A few days later, the bearers reportedly return with the actual ballots, which they offer "assistance" in filling out.

Authorities in nearby Philadelphia know about such scams. In one infamous case, a key 1993 race that determined which party would control the Pennsylvania state senate was thrown out by a federal judge after massive evidence that hundreds of voters had been pressured into casting improper absentee ballots. Voters were told by "bearers" that it was all part of "la nueva forma de votar" -- the new way to vote. Local politicos tell me Philly operatives associated in the past with Acorn may now be advising their Jersey cousins on how to perform such vote harvesting.

Notice that in this version of events, there's no mention of the "la nueva forma de votar" ruse being used in Camden -- just the use of absentee ballots. And despite Fund's claims, there is no evidence of actual fraud yet even in this absentee-ballot operation -- just the potential for it.

Conservatives like Fund have long pinned their electoral hopes on reducing voter turnout, because encouraging large numbers of voters is a certain recipe to right-wing defeat. The Right succeeds most when voter turnout is suppressed -- and absentee-ballot efforts are part of reversing that trend.

They also like having handy excuses when they lose. It's clear that Fund, Beck, and the rest of the Right is setting themselves up with a way to claim that an electoral loss in New Jersey was illegitimate. Because that's what they're best at -- tearing down liberals after they beat them at the polls.

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