Tuesday, August 14, 2007

the truth about the tribune's op-ed

Tom Spencer , vice chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association, got prime Op-Ed real estate on the Salt Lake Tribune even though he hails from Coral Gables, Florida (where the Enron execs built massive homes to shelter their assets from angry employees, shareholders, and prosecutors).

Not surprisingly, his Op-Ed is filled with lies.
Recent investigations should silence critics who say that election fraud is non-existent or a bogeyman for those intent on vote suppression.

Really? You mean the sham show-trials that Karl Rove demanded as part of the purging of US Attorneys? Ones that were overturned on appeal because they were so spurious, like the one in Wisconsin he alludes to?

What does Election law expert Prof. Richard L. Hasen think about all this?
the idea of massive polling-place fraud (through the use of inflated voter rolls) is inherently incredible. Suppose I want to swing the Missouri election for my preferred presidential candidate. I would have to figure out who the fake, dead, or missing people on the registration rolls are, and then pay a lot of other individuals to go to the polling place and claim to be Mary Poppins or Old Dead Bob, without any return guarantee—thanks to the secret ballot—that any of them will cast a vote for my preferred candidate. Those who do show up at the polls run the risk of being detected ("You're not my neighbor Bob who passed away last year!") and charged with a felony. And for what—$10? As someone who's thought about this a lot, if I really wanted to buy votes in an enforceable and safe way, I'd find eligible voters who would allow me to watch as they cast their absentee ballots for the candidate of my choice. Then, I would pay them. ... Or, I might find an election official to change the votes. Polling-place fraud, in short, makes no sense.

What about "John Fund['s]...carefully researched book "Stealing Elections," [in which he] documented the many methods used by groups to tilt elections unlawfully and rob the voters' franchise"?

Someone (Lorraine Minnite of Barnard College) actually looked into his "careful research" and found them to be anecdotes without any merit whatsoever.

Indeed, despite Rove and Alberto Gonzales' five-year hunt for election fraud, the Bush Administration's Justice Department found "virtually no evidence" of any real fraud taking place. This is why Mr. Spencer continues to trot out the same old discredited "evidence" of voter fraud.

But why do Republican hacks like Spencer, Rove, and Gonzales care about this non-existent problem? Josh Green of the Atlantic Monthly explains:
Voicing concerns about fraud often paves the way for intimidation tactics like poll watching that depress turnout, especially among minorities and less educated voters who tend to vote Democratic.

In other words, it is the same old story since the VRA passed. Scare blacks, the poor, non-Cuban Hispanics, etc. into not voting since they vote Democratic overwhelmingly.

The larger the percentage of whites that vote in elections, Rove Republicans figure, the greater the likelihood that their people will win. This is why the US Attorney purge is a big deal: the intent was to use the Justice Department to ensure Rove's permanent Republican majority. Not only does that speak very poorly in your ability to win fairly, it also speaks poorly on your ethics and legality.

1 comment:

KnowMore said...

Aha! You missed something. I've been checking Mr. Spencer out, too, since I read this fraudulent article, and I discovered he part of the legal team for George W. Bush in Florida in November/December 2000. Seems he's been playing with election fraud for quite a while. . .