Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Kucinich Hands Kashkari His Own Ass

Posted in politics by allisonkilkenny on November 15, 2008

neel_kashkari_1007Background on Kashkari, the most irronically named man in Washington and the evilest-looking Treasury employee since, well…Henry Paulson:

Time

The government’s $700 billion bailout plan is in the hands of this man. Neel Kashkari, a relatively green assistant secretary in the Treasury department, will be responsible for the government’s purchasing of billions of dollars of bad assets from banks and other financial agencies. His career has been a short one.

Personal Life

• Kashkari grew up in Stow, Ohio, an Akron suburb. As a high school student, he was a fan of heavy metal bands like AC/DC, whose lyrics dot his high school yearbook. He is 35 years old.

• He comes from a family of scientists. Father Chaman has a doctorate in engineering, and won a Presidential award for his work in getting water to African villages. Kashkari’s mother, Sheila, is a retired pathologist, and his sister Meera, specializes in infectious diseases.

• Accordingly, Kashkari also studied science, getting his masters in engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

• He and his wife Minal live in Silver Spring, Maryland, with their dog Winslow.

Career

• Neel’s first job was as an aerospace engineer at TRW, where he worked on technology for NASA projects such as the Webb Space Telescope, which is due to replace the Hubble.

• He decided to change careers and go to Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. After getting his MBA, Kashkari joined Goldman Sachs in San Francisco, specializing in IT security.

• He followed former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson to the Treasury Department, where he was hired as a senior adviser in 2006. In short order, he was assigned to work on the department’s response to the housing crisis, during which time he grew close to Paulson.

Notable Quotes

“Neel Kashkari is not going to be in Washington much longer if there’s a change in administrations. And that’ll cause some kind of turbulence.”—Madeline Brand, of National Public Radio, on the fact that Kashkari might have to leave after only a few months on the job, Oct. 6, 2008

“When he does anything, if you ask him to make an electric car or ask him to plan an outing to Niagara Falls, he is so meticulous.”—Chaman Kashkari, father, USA Today, October 6, 2008

“I’m a free-market Republican.”Kashkari, at an American Enterprise Institute conference, Sept. 19, 2008

 

Oh really? And yet he couldn’t wait for big daddy government to swoop in and stuff his pockets with taxpayer cash when the free market failed. In a rare display of testicles, Congress absolutely tore into Kashkari, but Dennis Kucinich positively MVPed it. Now, if only they would back-up the tough talk with some serious oversight.

Click here for video
(more…)

Mark Crispin Miller and Others Explain Voter Fraud

Posted in Barack Obama, politics, voter disenfranchisement by allisonkilkenny on November 3, 2008

Attorney Cliff Arnebeck, cyber-sleuth Steven Spoonamore and author Mark Crispin Miller explain the background the ‘Connell Anomaly,’ named for Mike Connell, allegedly Rove’s IT fixer, who, in a late-breaking story, has been ordered by District Judge Solomon Olive to testify on Monday.According to Arnebeck’s press release,”Connell was a key inside IT contractor for Ken Blackwell in the administration of the 2004 and 2006 elections, while managing the IT function for the Bush Presidential campaigns andother Republican partisan campaigns in 2000, 2004 and 2006. Plaintiffs’ counsel and Plaintiffs’ cyber security expert Stephen Spoonamore in the King Lincoln case before US District Judge Algenon in Columbus have identified Connell as a key witness to Karl Rove’s various maneuvers affecting elections during this decade.”

Remember: Mike Connell, Rove’s boy, is the guy who said he helped steal the election to “Save the babies.”

View the video here.

Katherine Harris, Ken Blackwell, and now…Mike Coffman?

Posted in voter disenfranchisement by allisonkilkenny on October 26, 2008

What’s going on in Colorado? Colorado may be our 2008 Ohio.

New York Times

 

Colorado Faces Suit on Voter Purges

By DAN FROSCH

Published: October 24, 2008

A national voter group filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Mike Coffmanalleging that as many as 30,000 voters had been purged from the rolls in Colorado. According to the Advancement Project, which filed the lawsuit in Federal District Court in Denver, Mr. Coffman, a Republican, illegally disqualified thousands of voters by removing them from voter rolls within 90 days of Election Day, which is prohibited by federal law. The lawsuit also alleges that a few thousand new voters were improperly disqualified because election officials did not follow federal guidelines in seeking to verify their home addresses. Instead, the new voters’ registration was canceled if a notice sent by election officials to their address was returned within 20 days, the Advancement Project says. The lawsuit seeks to reinstate those voters who have been illegally purged from the rolls. Richard Coolidge, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, would not comment on the lawsuit.

Politics West

Colo.’s Katherine Harris threatens ’08 election

Colorado, as anyone following the election campaign knows, is a major presidential battleground state. Both John McCain and Barack Obama have visited the state multiple times, including in recent/coming days. Though a new poll shows Obama taking a commanding 12-point lead, everyone expects both the presidential and U.S. Senate race here to be very close. That’s why the Secretary of State Mike Coffman’s (R) moves should worry everyone in Colorado and elsewhere. We’ve got our own Katherine Harris here – and a careful look at the news suggests he’s moving to game this election in a state that could be the Florida of 2008.

I say “careful look” because Coffman’s behavior – while outrageous and potentially election-throwing – has received coverage mostly in the back pages of local newspapers (and similarly little attention from the national media). But if you bother to dig down, you will see what I’m talking about – and it’s scary.

Here’s page 21 of Saturday’s Rocky Mountain News:

The story on the left describes Coffman’s efforts to invalidate roughly 5,000 registrations (depending on which source you ask). Here’s the crux of what’s going on:

“5,000 Coloradans whose voter status is in limbo because of [a] controversial check box…The registration form asks for a driver’s license or state ID number. If applicants don’t have that, they’re supposed to check a box and then put down at least the last four digits of their Social Security numbers. But thousands of people didn’t check the box. According to a policy adopted last year by Secretary of State Mike Coffman, these applications are supposed to be listed as incomplete…National and local voting-rights organizations criticize Coffman’s policy, saying it violates other federal laws. They say Coffman is unfairly putting up barriers for people who are eligible to vote and want him to change his policy.”

The check box is “controversial” because you are asked to check it on the form if you don’t “have” a driver’s license or ID card. Here’s what it looks like on the form (which you can download and see yourself here):

So, here’s the thing – what’s the definition of “have?” I may have one at my house or in my car, but not with me at the very moment I am filling out the registration form. In that case, it would be logical – and, in fact, honest – for me to not check that box, while also putting down the last four digits of my social security number as my selected method of verifying my registration. Alternately, for whatever reason (privacy, etc.), I may simply feel more comfortable listing the last 4 digits of my social security number, rather than my entire driver’s license number. So therefore, I might have listed my social security number and not checked the box.

And yet, if you made any of those logical choices – if you gave all the social security information required by law, but simply didn’t check the box – Coffman is attempting to use that choice to potentially invalidate your registration and prevent you from voting.

In case you think Coffman’s move isn’t extreme or motivated by partisanship, consider the fact that two big Republican counties are doing exactly the opposite of Coffman. As the Rocky Mountain News notes, “Election officials in Jefferson and Larimer counties also disagree with Coffman, saying they are weighing in on the side of the voter and won’t disqualify people because of what they call a technicality.” The Denver Post reports that Coffman reacted by sending a letter to other counties telling them they cannot follow suit, meaning two Republican counties are registering these voters, but others are not.

Thus, it isn’t surprising that the Rocky Mountain News notes that “the largest number [of registrations affected by Coffman’s edict] are Democrats, followed closely by unaffiliated voters,” and “hundreds live in predominately minority neighborhoods in Denver and Aurora” (ie. traditionally Democratic constituencies).

Remember, Coffman is an up-and-coming Republican “star” – he’s simultaneously Secretary of State and running to replace Colorado U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R). So he’s not some nonpartisan election observer – as I said before, he’s positioning himself to be Katherine Harris, who also went on to use her notoriety as an election thief to win a seat in Congress.

And Mike Coffman in particular understands that 5,000 Democratic votes is no small number in a place like Colorado. A 12,000 vote switch from Republican to Democrat in2006 would have cost him his election to the Secretary of State’s office. 

To be sure, there are going to be a lot of election-day shenanigans all over the country, much of it in the shadows. But what we’re seeing here in Colorado is a very public attempt to use Republican-controlled offices to potentially disenfranchise thousands and rig the election. Indeed, the Denver Post now reports that Coffman has asked his fellow Republican crony, state Attorney General John Suthers (R), to validate his moves with an official legal opinion so as to trip up potential pre- and post-election legal challenges to the disenfranchisement. This isn’t a conspiracy theory – it’s happening all right out in the open for everyone to see.

It all adds up to the kind of coordinated Republican scheme we’ve seen in the last two elections. And once again, that scheme could throw a national election.

And the Saga of Missing Ballots:

By John Gideon

In a stunning admission Sequoia Voting Systems has admitted to not printing and mailing over 11,000 absentee ballots to Denver, Colorado voters. Their spokeswoman claimed they “made an unfortunate mistake”. In fact, the company had failed to notify the city of this “mistake” and when originally asked they lied and told the city they had delivered all 21,450 ballots they were supposed to print and deliver  to the post office on Oct. 16. Sequoia claims they will have ballots printed and delivered to the post office by tomorrow, Monday. Voters have until election day to get those ballots marked and either back in the mail or delivered to any early polling site. Not mentioned by anyone is if any overseas voters or military are affected by this failure.

In Jefferson Co Arkansas voters will vote on ballots that don’t have some alderman races on them. The county discovered their error too late and they have now fixed it but all early voting has been done without those races being voted on by the voters. The county will just forget all of those voters and hope that none of the races are close which would open them up for potential lawsuits.

Bush Orders DOJ to Probe Ohio Voter Registrations

Posted in Barack Obama, politics by allisonkilkenny on October 25, 2008

 

By Jason Leopold
The Public Record
Friday, October 24, 2008
President George W. Bush late Friday asked Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate whether 200,000 newly registered voters in the battleground state of Ohio would have to reconfirm their voter registration information, an issue the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on last week.
The unprecedented intervention by the White House less than two weeks before the presidential election may result in at least 200,000 newly registered voters in Ohio not being able to vote on Election Day if they are forced to provide additional identification when they head to the polls.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, sent a letter to Bush Friday asking that he order the Department of Justice to probe the matter.

“I strongly urge you to direct Attorney General Mukasey and the Department of Justice to act.” Boehner said in his letter “Unless action is taken by the Department immediately, thousands, if not tens or hundreds of thousands of names whose information has not been verified through the [Help America Vote Act] procedures mandated by Congress will remain on the voter rolls during the November 4 election; and there is a significant risk if not a certainty, that unlawful votes will be cast and counted. Given the Election Day is less than two weeks away, immediate action by the Department is not only warranted, but also crucial.”
Independent studies also have shown that phony registrations rarely result in illegally cast ballots because there are so many other safeguards built into the system.

For instance, from October 2002 to September 2005, a total of 70 people were convicted for federal election related crimes, according to figures compiled by the New York Times last year. Only 18 of those were for ineligible voting.

In recent years, federal prosecutors reached similar conclusions despite pressure from the Bush administration to lodge “election fraud” charges against ACORN and other groups seen as bringing more Democratic voters into the democratic process.

Some of the Bush administration prosecutors who refused to seek these indictments were then fired in 2006 as part of a purge of nine U.S. Attorneys deemed not “loyal Bushies.”

This “prosecutor-gate” scandal led to the resignations of several senior White House and Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Alberto GonzalesPresident Bush then asserted broad executive privilege to block testimony by Karl Rove and other top White House officials.

In a statement on his website, Boehner said starting today, “Ohio elections officials will begin removing ballots cast during the state’s early voting period from their identifying envelopes, eliminating any possibility of catching fraudulently cast ballots.”

“Franklin County officials yesterday tossed out a dozen fraudulently cast absentee ballots, and the Hamilton County prosecutor has appointed an independent counsel to investigate more than 200 ballots on which the name or address does not match to state records,” Boehner said. “Prosecutor Joe Deters has asked that at least the questionable ballots remain in their identifying envelopes until voter registration information can be confirmed.”

President Bush contacted Mukasey late Friday, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said, and requested he investigate. A report released earlier this month by the Justice Department’s inspector general said Bush “spoke with Attorney General Gonzales in October 2006 about their concerns over voter fraud.”

Federal investigative guidelines strongly discourage election-related probes before ballots are cast because of the likelihood that the inquiries will become politicized and might influence the election outcomes.

“In most cases, voters should not be interviewed, or other voter-related investigation done, until after the election is over,” according to the Justice Department’s guidelines for election offenses as revised in May 2007 during Gonzales’s tenure as Attorney General.

Even though those May 2007 guidelines watered down even stricter language in previous editions, the Gonzales-era rules still cautioned:

“Overt investigative steps may chill legitimate voting activities. They are also likely to be perceived by voters and candidates as an intrusion into the election. Indeed, the fact of a federal criminal investigation may itself become an issue in the election.”

In 2004, Ohio was the state where tens of thousands of votes cast on electronic voting machines intended for Sen. John Kerry, the 2004Democratic presidential candidate, were handed to Bush. Additionally, tens of thousands of voters were purged from voter registration rolls. Exit polls on election night 2004 showed Kerry leading Bush in many Ohio counties. Bush carried Ohio by 119,000 votes.

The Nov. 4 presidential election may very well boil down to Ohio if Mukasey’s DOJ gets involved.

At issue is a federal law that requires states to verify the eligibility of voters.

federal appeals court recently upheld a lower court ruling and ordered Ohio election officials to help counties set up a computer system to ensure the veracity of voter registrations.  

That would have required a total overhaul of the computer system just weeks before election and would have jeopardized as many as 200,000 voters, forcing them to cast provisional ballots that may go uncounted, Brunner said.

She said it was impossible to set up a new system or reprogram the existing one before the Nov. 4 election.

The appeals court ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed last month against Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Bruner, a Democrat, by the Ohio Republican Party. The lawsuit claimed voter registration information for hundreds of thousands of new voters did not match up with official government data, such as social security records and driver’s licenses, and was evidence of voter registration fraud. More than 600,000 people registered to vote in the state in this election cycle.

But in court filings, GOP officials did not provide documentary evidence to back up their claims.

The Ohio Republican Party argued that the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA), a law that grew out of the disastrous 2000 election between Bush and Al Gore, required Brunner to share any voter registration discrepancies with county election boards so they can identify voter fraud prior to vote counts.

Republicans faulted Brunner for her “steadfast refusal to provide the HAVA “mismatch” data to the county boards of elections in a meaningful way.”

The Ohio GOP wanted Brunner to provide the lists of the newly registered voters whose voter registration information on did not match government records with 88 Ohio counties in an attempt to weed out voter registration fraud.

Republicans accused Brunner of violating federal election laws and that she was “actively working to conceal fraudulent activity.”

Brunner said the lawsuit was “politically motivated.” She said “misstated technical information or glitches in databases” was the explanation for some mismatched information on voter registration forms.

“Many of those discrepancies bear no relationship whatsoever to a voter’s eligibility to vote a regular, as opposed to a provisional, ballot,” Brunner said last week in a court filing. The mismatches “may well be used at the county level unnecessarily to challenge fully qualified voters and severely disrupt the voting process.”

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court took up the case and, in a two-page unanimous opinion, dismissed the lower court’s ruling on a technicality. The justices said lawsuits “brought by a private litigant” could not be used to enforce states to abide by federal laws.
“We express no opinion on the question whether HAVA is being properly implemented,” the unsigned opinion said.  

In a statement, Boehner said he wants Mukasey to intervene and enforce Brunner to comply with HAVA and verify votes.  

The Court ruled that the a private entity did not have the legal standing to enforce federal laws, leading Boehner to ask Attorney General Mukasey to compel Brunner to comply, which would mean providing access to a computerized statewide database, as required under HAVA,” Boehner’s statement says.   

Rick DavisSen. John McCain‘s campaign manager, said Brunner is seeking to “minimize the level of fairness and transparency in this election.”

Various polling data show McCain’s opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, leading in Ohio by five to seven percentage points.

But Republicans, perhaps fearing a Democratic victory, have called into question the integrity of hundreds of thousands new voter registrations.

One of the most notable targets is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a grassroots group that has registered hundreds of thousands of new voters this year. ACORN is reportedly under federal investigation for engaging in what Republicans believe is a nationwide voter registration fraud scheme.

Trying to salvage his campaign, John McCain has jumped into the ACORN case, too, citing it at the third presidential debate. He declared ACORN “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.”

However, the investigations launched against ACORN – now including the reported involvement of the FBI – have raised other concerns, especially that Republicans are flogging this issue in an effort to stir up anger, to revive McCain’s campaign, and to intimidate new voters.

For its part, ACORN has insisted that its own quality control flagged many of the suspicious registration forms before they were submitted to state officials and that state laws often require outside registration groups to submit all forms regardless of obvious problems.

Protest Against Machine, Other Shortages

Posted in voter disenfranchisement by allisonkilkenny on October 21, 2008
No More Stolen Elections! has been carefully monitoring the potential ballot and capacity shortages that voters will encounter when they arrive at the polls on November 4th.  TrueVote.us, one of our coalition partners, is working with us to allow you to simply go to their site and quickly send a message to the election officials of states where we already know this will be a problem.  
In 2004 tens of thousands of voters were denied their right to vote in Ohio when election officials provided inadequate voting machines in African American communities.  Some people waited in line to vote for longer than 12 hours.  Many thousands of others gave up and did not vote.  This alone may have been enough to change the outcome of the 2004 election.
 
Well, it’s happening again. A recent report indicated that college-age and African American precincts in Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia will not have sufficient numbers of voting machines or election staff to handle the number of voters expected on Election Day.
What you can do:
Help us to let these officials know that tens of thousands of people are watching their actions and documenting what occurs on Election Day. Some of us have already written to them (click here to read about it). Even if you do not live in these states it is important for these officials to hear from you. They need to know they will be held accountable for their actions.
 
Click and send a letter to the governor, congressional delegation (House and Senate), the secretary of state as well as election administrators where questions have been raised about the adequacy of the number of voting machines and staff. 

Click here to take action now.

Please donate now to No More Stolen Elections! Click here to donate.

Security Concerns Bring Down Ohio SoS Website

Posted in Uncategorized by allisonkilkenny on October 21, 2008

 

Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner

Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner

From Dorri Steinhoff:


There may be “denial of service” attacks aimed at the Ohio Secretary of State’s website and office. This type of operation was detailed by Republican operative and convicted felon Allen Raymond in his book, How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative.

October 20, 2008 
For Immediate Release 
Secretary of State Website Temporarily Taken Down for Security Purposes

Ohio State Highway Patrol will assist with investigation

Columbus, Ohio –  Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner announced on 
Monday afternoon
 that the state website has been set in a static mode with
limited functionality as a precaution.  The Ohio State Highway Patrol will 
assist with an investigation of one or more security breaches detected by 
the Secretary of State.

“Due to security concerns experienced by the Secretary of State’s website, 
full functionality of the website has been suspended to protect the 
integrity of state records and data.  Full functionality will be restored 
when we are assured that all data has been protected to acceptable levels of
security,” said Secretary of State Brunner.

“Our focus is and has always been to protect the vote of every eligible Ohio 
voter from any kind of fraud, be it voter registration fraud, illegal voting 
or vote suppression.  This action has been taken to detect and prosecute any 
illegal breach of our voting infrastructure to maintain voter confidence,” 
said Secretary Brunner.

Unfortunately, this is not the first instance of direct assault on the 
operations of the Secretary of State’s office.  In recent weeks, phone lines 
and e-mail channels have been barraged, even in the business filings section 
of the office, with menacing messages and even threats of harm or death.  
Last week, a suspicious package covered with threatening messages and 
containing an unidentified powder was mailed to the Secretary of State’s 
office
 via the previous location of the Client Services Center.  These 
incidents are also under investigation.

The Secretary of State’s office will continue to work in the best interest 
of Ohio voters and the boards of elections as we continue our preparation 
for a successful election.

-30-

Media Contacts:

Jeff Ortega, Assistant Director of Communications – Media, (614) 466-0473.
Kevin Kidder, Media Relations Coordinator, (614) 995-2168 

McCain Employing GOP Operative Accused Of Voter Registration Fraud

Posted in Uncategorized by allisonkilkenny on October 21, 2008

John McCain’s campaign has directed $175,000 to the firm of a Republican operative accused of massive voter registration fraud in several states.

Eating Your Votes Since 2004

Nathan Sproul: Eating Your Votes Since 2004

According to campaign finance records, a joint committee of the McCain-Palin campaign, the RNC and the the California Republican Party, made a $175,000 payment to the group Lincoln Strategy in June for purposes of “registering voters.” The managing partner of that firm is Nathan Sproul, a renowned GOP operative who has been investigated on multiple occasions for suppressing Democratic voter turnout, throwing away registration forms and even spearheading efforts to get Ralph Nader on ballots to hinder the Democratic ticket.

In a letter to the Justice Department last October, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers said that that Sproul’s alleged activities “clearly suppress votes and violate the law.”

That Sproul would come under the employment umbrella of the McCain campaign — the Republican National Committee has also separately paid Lincoln Strategy at least $37,000 for voter registration efforts this cycle — is not terribly surprising. Sproul, who has donated nearly $30,000 to McCain’s campaign, has been in the good graces of GOP officials for the past decade despite charges of ethical and potentially legal wrongdoing.

But his involvement with the Republican Party’s voter registration efforts has the potential to create a political and public relations headache at a time when McCain can ill-afford one. For weeks the Arizona Republican and his allies have been seeking to tie Barack Obama to the community organization ACORN, which they have accused of potentially committing massive voter registration fraud. Sproul’s contract with the GOP ticket — in addition to news of Republican officials attempting to suppress Democratic turnout in California — raises, for some, questions about McCain’s own efforts.

“It should certainly take away from McCain’s argument,” said Bob Grossfeld, a progressive political consultant based in Arizona who has followed Sproul’s career. “Without knowing anything of what is going on with ACORN, there is a clear history with Mr. Sproul either going over the line or sure as hell kicking dirt on it, and doing it for profit and usually fairly substantive profit.”

As Republican Congressman Chris Cannon summarized during a joint hearing for the subcommittee on commercial and administrative law back in May 2008: “The difference between ACORN and Sproul is that ACORN doesn’t throw away or change registration documents after they have been filled out.”

Indeed, Sproul’s history is filled with allegations of political misdeeds. During the 2004 election, Sproul & Associates (the former name of Lincoln Strategy) was accused of attempting to destroy forms collected by Democratic voters in Nevada. That same year in Oregon, Sproul & Associates allegedly instructed canvassers to only accept Republican registration forms in addition to destroying those turned in by Democrats.

In Minnesota, meanwhile, Sproul’s firm was accused of actually firing workers who brought back Democratic registration forms, while other canvassers were allegedly paid “$13 an hour, with the $3 bonus for every Bush, undecided or Ralph Nader voter registration.” Similar problems related to Sproul & Associates popped up in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

All of this was executed, it seems, through an elaborate web of deception. As Salon.com wrote back in 2004:

Canvassers were told to act as if they were nonpartisan, to hide that they were working for the RNC, especially if approached by the media… In letters the firm sent to the libraries, Sproul misrepresented itself as America Votes — a left-leaning national voter registration group not affiliated with Sproul — but said that it was interested in registering “all those who wish to register to vote.” Shortly after Sproul canvassers began working the libraries, though, patrons began complaining that the canvassers were being especially inquisitive about their political leanings, and some were pushing people to register as Republicans.

Sproul has denied those charges, claiming often that his registration efforts were bipartisan and that any suggestion otherwise was nothing more than the testimony of disgruntled former employees. He did not return a request for comment for this article.

But there has been a wide array of public complaint over the scope and nefariousness of his activities. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Ted Kennedy sent a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004 asking that the Justice Department “launch an immediate investigation into the activities of Mr. Sproul and his firm.” Three years later, members of Congress still weren’t satisfied. Rep. Conyers complained in an Oct. 2007 letter that the Justice Department was not closely scrutinizing Sproul’s efforts. “The alleged misconduct described by many witnesses,” he wrote, “clearly suppress[es] votes and violate[s] the law.”

Indeed, those who have followed Sproul’s rise in Republican circles argue that the pattern of behavior is too hard to dismiss as anything other than ethically-blurry, brass knuckle tactics.

“The biggest single thing is that he is a true believer,” said Grossfeld. “He might take this as a compliment, but he is as committed to the worldview and the neocon approach to life as any operative I have ever run across. He is absolutely devoted to whatever that ideology is and as a byproduct of that he will look for every opportunity he can, I believe to further his or his client’s agenda.”

Will Republicans Use Contested Voter Registration Lists to Scare New Voters?

Posted in voter disenfranchisement by allisonkilkenny on October 20, 2008

Alternet

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court told Ohio’s Republican Party it was not entitled to a list of 200,000-plus Ohioans whose voter registration information did not match Social Security and state drivers’ license databases. What did the Ohio party do? It went judge shopping, filing a closely related suit before Ohio’s Supreme Court. Pennsylvania’s GOP filed a similar suit on Friday. In Wisconsin, litigation on this issue is ongoing. Why are Republicans so intent on obtaining this information?

So far, most of the analysis by election law experts have focused on Election Day scenarios. They posit that Republicans could use the lists to legally challenge the credentials of new voters or a close vote count. Such challenges would cause delays at polling places. They could result in voters being given provisional ballots, which must be verified before they are counted. Fights over provisional ballots could be the 2008 version of the Florida presidential recount.

The Ohio Republican Party threw a curious wrench into this thinking on Wednesday when a spokesman said his party would not pursue voter challenges. But two days later, the state party went to Ohio’s Supreme Court seeking the same lists. (It already had asked all of Ohio’s 88 county election boards for the data.) This posturing would seem contradictory unless there were other plans for those lists before Election Day.

In recent weeks, the McCain-Palin campaign and Republican Party have embarked on a major media and litigation strategy to cast as much doubt as possible on the veracity of the 2008 vote. A look at the campaign’s recent messaging and GOP tactics from Ohio’s 2004 election suggest another use for the non-match lists: to target voters for mass phone calls, mailings, or other messaging to deter them from voting on Nov. 4.

The New York Times reported Saturday that as the Obama campaign was outspending McCain by a four-to-one ratio on television ads, the McCain campaign was making “hundreds of thousands of automated telephone calls — uniformly negative and sometimes misleading” to voters in 10 battleground states. In these calls, the GOP linked Obama to former 1960s radicals and wealthy Hollywood politicos.

There is no reason why GOP could not use the ‘no-match’ voter registration lists to make similar calls to hundreds of thousands of newly registered voters in Ohio — and other battleground states — that call into question the legality of those voter registrations.

During the final presidential debate, McCain signaled his campaign would continue to raise this issue. Speaking of ACORN, the low-income advocacy group, he accused it of perpetuating “one of the greatest frauds of voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy in this country” because some ACORN employees turned in fabricated registrations among the 1.3 million submitted by the group.

If the Ohio Republican Party obtains the lists of 200,000-plus Ohio voters where the information on registration forms did not match state and federal databases — even as Social Security officials have said their data could be wrong up to 28.5 percent of the time when used this way — it could program computers to call those voters and say their registrations potentially violate laws, a deliberate exaggeration to deter turnout.

There are precedents for this tactic from the 2008 campaign as well as from Ohio in 2004.

In Philadelphia, the Daily News reported earlier this month that flyers were distributed in minority neighborhoods telling prospective voters they could be arrested while voting for outstanding traffic tickets. In 2004, members of the “Texas Strike Force,” a group of GOP volunteers, used hotel pay phones in downtown Columbus, Ohio, to call likely Democratic voters and tell them that they could be arrested if they voted.

 

Moreover, in 2004 in Lake County, Ohio, a fabricated post card was sent to likely Democratic voters with the title “Urgent Advisory” from the “Lake County Board of Elections.” Dated October 22, 2004, it said:

“The voter registration deadline passed on October 4, 2004 and we registered a record number of new voters. The demand on our office has been great and we appreciate your cooperation. Unfortunately, independent efforts by the NAACP, Americans Coming Together, John Kerry for President and the Capri Cafaro for Congress campaigns have been illegally registering people to vote and to apply for absentee ballots. This is a terrible occurrence that will undermine the process of democracy. If you have been registered by any of these entities then you may run the risk of being illegally registered to vote. Please be advised that if you were registered in this capacity that you will not be able to vote until the next election. We apologize for these problems and we will pursue these entities to the fullest extent. Please notify the Lake County Sheriff’s office if you have any questions.”

It is not difficult to see how the GOP could substitute ACORN for the 2004 Democratic campaigns cited in this card.

On Friday, the Obama campaign formally asked the U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey to expand the Justice Department’s inquiry into the administration’s firing of federal prosecutors who did not pursue “voter
fraud” cases to include a leak by the FBI on Thursday revealing ACORN was under investigation. That disclosure violated the Justice Department’s rules prohibiting statements that could have political consequences in an election.

The McCain campaign’s response, apart from scoffing at the Obama campaign, was to reaffirm its commitment to raising “voter registration fraud” issues between now and Election Day.

“Rest assured that, despite these threats, the McCain-Palin campaign will continue to address the serious issue of voter registration fraud by ACORN and other partisan groups, and compliance by states with the Help America Vote Act’s requirement of matching new voter registrations with state data bases to prevent voter fraud,” Rick Davis, the McCain-Palin 2008 Campaign Manager, said in a media teleconference late Friday.

According to the Social Security Administration, between January and September 2008, there were 289,603 non-matches in Ohio, 72,137 non-matches in Pennsylvania, 4,546 non-matches in Wisconsin, and 716,252 non-matches in Nevada, 265,691 non-matches in Georgia, and 57,887 non-matches in Indiana.

Steven Rosenfeld is a senior fellow at Alternet.org and author of Count My Vote: A Citizen’s Guide to Voting (AlterNet Books, 2008).
© 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.

View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/103604/

Racist Obama Effigy Hung In Ohio

Posted in Barack Obama, racism by allisonkilkenny on October 19, 2008

Racist Ohioan Mike Lunsford Hangs Obama Effigy from Noose in Tree

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