Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

BREAKING: CA GOP Vote Registration Contractor Arrested for Registration Fraud, Perjury

Posted in Uncategorized by allisonkilkenny on October 20, 2008

Brad Blog

This just in as Brad is headed over to the FOX News studios. Yesterday the Los Angeles Times reported on the Republican voter registration outfit who had allegedly been illegally changing thousands of registrations from Democratic to Republican.

Last night the head of that GOP backed group, Mark Anthony Jacoby of Young Political Majors (YPM), was arrested by the California State Election Fraud Taskforce and Oxnard, CA Police.

According to CA SoS Debra Bowen’s press release, Jacoby himself had committed voter registration fraud and perjury by lying on his own voter registration form. (That’s similar to what Ann Coulter did, though she not only committed felony voter registration fraud, she also committed actual voter fraud, as well, even though such fraud is exceedingly rare.)

UPDATE FROM BRAD: It was my pleasure to break this story today on Fox “News” of all places! Thanks to John Gideon for getting it posted as I was on the roll towards the studio. I’ll have the video up of my appearance on Fox, and the “Fox News Alert” I was able to do, later tonight (it’s now posted here). Please note, this isn’t the first time there have been serious problems with GOP-gathered voter registrations in CA, as outlined recently at Alternet. Looks like the GOP’s voter registration record for errors far outpaced ACORN! Whaddaya know? (Our special coverage of the GOP’s ACORN “Voter Fraud” Hoax is right here.) More updates now at bottom of article.

Bowen’s press release, just out, on Jacoby’s arrest is posted in full below, along with a number of additional updates after it…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 19, 2008
CONTACT: Kate Folmar (916) 208-6521 Secretary of State Debra Bowen Announces Arrest
of Man Charged with Voter Registration Fraud
   

SACRAMENTO – The owner of a signature-gathering firm that works across California was arrested in Ontario today on suspicion of committing voter registration fraud, Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced.

Mark Anthony Jacoby, who owns the firm known as Young Political Majors (YPM), was arrested after allegedly registering himself to vote, once in 2006 and again in 2007, at an address where did not live. An investigation by the Secretary of State’s Election Fraud Investigation Unit revealed that Jacoby twice registered to vote at the address of a childhood home in Los Angeles although he no longer lived there.

The Secretary of State’s fraud unit and the Ontario Police Department arrested Jacoby near an Ontario hotel just before midnight Saturday. An arraignment date has not been scheduled yet.

“Voter registration fraud is a serious issue, which is why I vigorously investigate all allegations of elections fraud,” said Secretary Bowen, California’s chief elections officer. “Where there’s a case to be made, I will forward it to law enforcement for criminal prosecution.”

For his business, Jacoby traveled California and a number of other states collecting petition signatures and registering voters. Under state law, signature-gatherers must sign a declaration stating that they are either registered to vote in California or that they are eligible to do so. Jacoby allegedly registered to vote at his childhood address to meet this legal requirement.

Under California law, it is a felony punishable by up to three years in prison to register yourself when you are not entitled to vote and it is perjury to provide false information on a voter registration card.

On October 3, the Public Integrity Unit of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office charged Jacoby with four felonies: two counts of voter registration fraud and two counts of perjury. A warrant was issued for his arrest and bail was set at $50,000.

“This arrest wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of the Ontario Police Department and Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley’s office,” Secretary Bowen said. “I thank them both.”

The Secretary of State’s Election Fraud Investigation Unit helps maintain the integrity of the electoral process by investigating allegations of election and voter fraud in California. Potential Elections Code violations brought to the unit’s attention are thoroughly investigated and referred to law enforcement officials for prosecution when there is sufficient evidence of wrongdoing. The Secretary of State’s office does not disclose information about the status of ongoing criminal investigations, but the information from a case that results in a criminal complaint filed by a county or state prosecutor is a public record.

Anyone who has witnessed a violation of the California Elections Code is encouraged to contact the Secretary of State’s Election Fraud Investigation Unit at (800) 345-VOTE orhttp://www.sos.ca.gov/el…ions/elections_fraud.htm.

###

More updates from Brad…

UPDATE: Los Angeles Times covers the arrest here, and notes:

Jacoby’s arrest by state investigators and the Ontario Police Department comes after dozens of voters said they were duped into registering as Republicans by his firm, Young Political Majors, or YPM. The voters said YPM tricked them by saying they were signing a petition to toughen penalties against child molesters. The firm was paid $7 to $12 for every Californian it registered as a member of the GOP.

The YPM firm has been under investigation for similar unlawful activities in a number of states. Nobody who runs ACORN, despite the nonsense you’ve heard on Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc. has ever been arrested, to our knowledge.

UPDATE 10:24pm I’ve been able to learn from a source that Jacoby is free on bail tonight, and apparently staying at a La Quinta (instead of his “home”, which is actually his mother’s home, where he is alleged to have registered illegally to vote).

Also, “Mrs. Panstreppon” at dKos notes:

Mark A Jacoby got into hot water with Florida authorities almost immediately after registering YPM LLC in August 2004, according to a 10/04 St Petersburg Times story about him.    

Read the story here

An 8/21/2008 Phoenix New Times covered YPM’s nefarious activities in Arizona where charges were made that YPM tossed thousands of voter registration forms in the trash.

Read the story here.

I seem to recall another GOP outfit being accused of filing phony voter registration forms in Nevada in 2006 but I don’t have the name at the moment. Anyone recall the case?

She’s likely referring to Sproul & Associates, the GOP outfit led by Nathan Sproul, that was charged with shredding Democratic voter registration forms in a number of states. They were paid more than $8 million dollars by the RNC, who tried to hide the expenditures in 2004. Details here.

And here are a number of BRAD BLOG reports on Sproul & Associates.

UPDATE 10/20/08 2:28am: As I’ve been poking around, trying to learn a bit more about this Jacoby fellow, I came across a posting from someone who claims to be a friend of a friend of his at this websiteI cannot verify the authenticity of either the comment, or the video, but it seems to be well informed, and matches up with several descriptions of the way Jacoby’s outfit has reportedly operated in a number of states. The poster, “foadi” says his/her friend is owed money by Jacoby, and he’d recently sent the friend an email “calling him an idiot for not working on this republican registration drive, saying that this was the cleanest campaign he’s ever done with the GOP and denying that he is under investigation, despite being driven out of san bernardino county a few weeks ago.”

“foadi” also calls Jacoby a few more names than I feel comfortable posting here for the moment. Again, I can’t verify the authenticity of these comments, or the video, as I’ve not been able to find an photos of Jacoby yet. So proceed with the following at your own risk, and with those caveats.

Here’s the most notable details from “foadi’s” comments:

his strategy for getting republican registrations is genius, although i can see how it might be illegal. here’s what his guys do:    

* they make a fake petition, usually something involving tougher laws on sex offenders.
* they use these petitions to stop people, setting up in front of big box stores, on college campuses, etc
* once they have a person signing their petition, they start asking them questions on the voter registration form (what’s your date of birth, which state/country were you born in, what’s your drivers license/state ID number, etc).
* by the time they get done with these basic questions the person is usually done signing the petition. they then hand the voter registration form to the person, telling them to fill out their name and address and signature at the bottom.
* last step, they either ask them to mark ‘republican’ because it ensures future funding for their petition, or they don’t tell the person anything and mark in republican themselves once the signer leaves.

using this strategy you can easily get over 100 republican registrations in a day. pay ranges from $5 – 10 per registration, so the people doing it definitely have the incentive to get as many registrations as possible.

And here’s the video which “foadi” claims to be of Jacoby, threatening someone who says he owes him $5000…

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Update from MCM:
But YPM apparently also engaged in outright forgery of voter signatures, as confirmed by an August 20, 2008 letter from Registrar Dean Logan.

The cause of this is not CA Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s office (as alleged by some Republicans) but outraged voters, dozens of them in one county alone, who discovered their parties were switched, starting in February 2008. According to the complaint to election officials of Tiffany Hoffstetter voters like Hoffstetter are also upset with local election officials like Registrar Dean Logan for his lack of any timely action after the problem first surfaced during the February 2008 primary. Tiffany Hoffstetter has been actually disfranchised in 2 elections now, before getting action from local officials.

(LA Registrar Dean Logan is well known in Washington State, where I lived in 2004, for finding hundreds of ballots in the gubernatorial recount, some of them after the first machine recount, ultimately counted by court order and handing the governorship to Christine Gregoire during the hand recount.)

In an August 20, 2008 letter to student voter Tiffany Hoffstetter, LA County Registrar Dean Logan finally responded to Hofstetter’s repeated complaints:

“We share your concerns that someone falsified your information and signature on a voter registration formand changed your party affiliation. This registration was canceledŠ”

Registrar Dean Logan went on to say that YPM was not exactly, uh, forthcoming in response to telephone inquiries. It appears that YPM is ducking the investigation:

“our office has made numerous telephone calls to the political organization, Young Political Major (YPM) shown on our records as the organization that issued this form, but staff has been unsuccessful in receiving a response to requests to contact our office.”

Logan continued (and this shows that this is not a SOS Bowen-initiated deal per se):


“there have been a few instances in which political organizations appear to intentionally alter registration forms for payment, in our experience we have found this to be an exception.” {Š} “We will continue efforts {Š} to support referral of this case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney, Public Integrity Division.”

Based on the “dozens of other reports” referred to above, a warrant was subsequently issued by the Los Angeles DA for Mark Jacoby’s arrest, on the publicized charges, but nothing on this forgery, which is still under investigation, though it is confirmed as a Republican YPM forgery, according to Logan’s office’s letter.

The forged registration document and the person who is listed as the YPM who forged this document is yet another name besides Mark Jacoby. (or an alias of someone)

Under California law, according to a press release by SOS Bowen’s office, it is perjury to provide false information on a voter registration card. I’m sure forgery is illegal as well, somewhere in the California Codes.

There is a legitimate YPM organization in the LA area, called Young Progressive Majority, that does, inter alia,voter registration. See http://goypm.org/get-involved / No one should confuse that YPM organization with the Republican YPM whose members are under investigation or criminal charges in several states.

While the ACORN controversy primarily alleges only potential vote “dilution” if any “illegal votes” happened to be cast assuming any “Mickey Mouse” registrations were ever accepted, this case features actual vote disfranchisement/vote denial, where, for example, Tiffany Hoffstetter was unable to vote in 2 Democratic primaries and was uninterested in the Republican absentee ballot she was mailed, and unable to obtain a timely replacement or change in her party registration status.

That’s worth repeating:

TIFFANY HOFFSTETTER’S RIGHT TO VOTE WAS STOLEN, TWICE, BY THE REPUBLICAN YPM.

THIS IS NOT “VOTER FRAUD” WHERE NO VOTES WERE CAST, THIS IS TWO COUNTS OF OUTRIGHT THEFT ANDDISFRANCHISEMENT VIA FORGERY

Give a shout-out to DU Robinlynne’s persistent reporting and poll monitoring which helped lead to the first arrest, and it probably won’t be the last arrest in this developing multi-state GOP vote theft frauds.


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