It's absolutely uncanny. Absolutely every accusation or smear that the McCain campaign hurls at Barack Obama comes back worse for McCain. I'm halfway seriously expecting a registration card for McCain from the '50s to turn up with "Communist" marked as party affiliation.
And after solemnly announcing that we were possibly on the brink of 'destroying the fabric of democracy' due to ACORN and their ties to Obama at the final debate, it turns out that McCain has his own little acorns...or at least, nuts, perpetrating REAL fraud that has stolen votes from REAL Americans, by registering voters as Republicans without their consent or knowledge and tearing up Democratic registrations in several states.
Transcripts below the fold:
It was less than one week ago when Senator John McCain on national television warned the nation about a grave threat to democracy, maybe even quote “destroying the fabric of democracy.” So, in our third story tonight, why have McCain and Sarah Palin stopped sounding the trumpet on this grave threat over the last few days? No, he didn't just forget. McCain’s charge was that the national grassroots group, ACORN was committing widespread voter fraud, disenfranchising voters by registering fictional voters and Barack Obama had helped to fund ACORN. As we have explained previously, some part-time workers have been accused of ripping off ACORN because fictional voters do not vote.
But, there may be other reasons McCain has dropped the voter fraud rhetoric, namely new reports that McCain himself has funded not one, but two Republican owners of voter registration firms, both of whom are embroiled in very real charges of very real and concerted efforts to disenfranchise real voters.
First, meet Mark Jacoby. Yes, that would be a mug shot. He was arrested Saturday night in California on two counts of perjury and two counts of vote fraud. The charge that: Jacoby registered a fake address in California, so he would be legally eligible to register other voters in the state.
Mr. Jacoby’s company is YPM, Young Political Majors. And YPM was no stranger to vote fraud claims before even Jacoby’s arrest. Prosecutors in L.A., Ventura and San Bernardino counties are investigating Jacoby’s company after dozens of voters accused YPM of “slamming,” which is registering them as Republicans without their knowledge. The Los Angeles Times finding YPM registered more than 80% of its new Republicans without their knowledge or by misleading them.
So why does or what does YPM have to do with McCain? YPM makes money by registers not voters, but Republican voters specifically. Working not only as a subcontractor for the California Republican Party but also, according to the Ventura County Star, for the voter registration bounties offered by another man, Steve Poisner, a multimillionaire who offered YPM $5 for every new Republican registered. Like a bounty. He also happens to be the California co-chairman of the McCain campaign.
McCain cannot claim ignorance to YPM’s track record. Jacoby is based in Arizona where a number of ballot initiatives may not be on the ballot after YPM gathered signatures for them and some of those signatures failed to pass muster with local election officials. And YPM was publicly accused of vote slamming before. In 2004 in both Florida and Massachusetts.
And then there is Nathan Spruill, former head of the Arizona Republican Party. He, too, now in the vote registering business and a serial denial of whistleblowers, who not only accuse him of slamming voters into the Republican Party but also claim he has torn up Democratic registrations in Oregon, Nevada, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Real registrations of real voters. Real Americans who thought they were registered, and may very well have been denied their right to vote in the real elections of 2004.
McCain’s connection? This year Huffington Post reports a joint committee of the GOP and McCain campaign paid $175,000 for, quote, “registering voters” to the Lincoln Strategies Group, the voter registration company headed by Nathan Spruill.
So, why isn't anybody investigating Nathan Spruill? Since the days of John Ashcroft, Democratic members of Congress have asked the Justice Department to investigate real voter suppression, Congressman John Conyers specifically including Nathan Spruill in one of his responses last year. The stone walling in stark contrast to the Justice response-time on Republican claims of voter fraud. Last week, leaking word of its ACORN investigation the day after McCain pointed his finger at ACORN; previously pressuring prosecutors to pursue Republican claims about voter registration fraud; and firing some prosecutors who refused to do so, including most famously New Mexico’s David Iglasius, who later revealed the Justice Department knew those claims in 2004 were bogus.
Talking Points Memo reported some of the same Republican operatives pushing voter fraud claims this year were at the heart of some of those bogus claims. According to one Republican Party operative’s 2004 email, “I believe the voter ID issue should be used at all levels. You are not going to find a better wedge issue.”