Voter Fraud and Fired U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton
While political junkies and media everywhere have been fixated on "I don't Recall" Gonzales and his testimony last week, a late Friday (4-20-07) A.P. story, Court Rejects Blocking Ariz. Voter Law, reports interesting developments in fired U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton's Arizona District...and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Friday's ruling adds to ePluribus Media's earlier rumblings about the Politicization of the Civil Rights Division and the two engines of subverting its original agenda and mandate.
The ruling is one more in a growing body of circumstantial evidence that supports what 35-year veteran and once head of the Voting Rights Section Joe Rich alleges is a well-orchestrated partisan program to disenfranchise minority voters, who, as a general rule, tend to vote Democratic.
And indeed, A.P. reporter Paul Davenport tells us that, with the recent ruling, Arizona can now proceed with refusing voting rights to anyone who doesn't produce government-issued picture ID or two pieces of other non-photo identification as specified by the new law -- the very legislation recently struck down in Georgia. According to Davenport:
Critics said that the law would disenfranchise voters, particularly minorities and the elderly, and that requiring voters to acquire and produce identification would be burdensome in time, money and effort.
A three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based appeals court said the law doesn't appear at first blush to severely burden the right to vote, violate a federal law on voter registration, place a disproportionate burden on naturalized citizens or require what would be an unconstitutional poll tax.
But how do those voter ID laws actually play out in reality? Here's what happened to Roxy's elderly mother in the 2004 presidential election:
My mother ... bless her heart ... turns 98 years young today. To the best of my knowledge she has never missed voting in an election. I grew up with the mantra -- "if you don't vote, don't bitch." She has lived in the same district for the last 82 years, and in the 2004 election she ran afoul of the Montana's new voter ID law.
Mom has never had a driver's license -- or any state issued photo ID -- and when she got to the polls they asked her for ID. She didn't have ID, but determined to vote, she made the person that drove her to the polls take her home to get a piece of mail. (The elections folks would accept her social security card, but would not accept her medical insurance ID or her baptismal certificate). There are only 753 (maybe less now) people in the little town where she lives. The poll workers all knew her, her name was on the voting register ... yet, the "two men in suits" insisted she provide ID to vote.
Additionally, in Rich's Los Angeles Times opinion editorial, Bush's long history of tilting Justice, he writes that the Bush Administration's Department of Justice:
has notably shirked its legal responsibility to protect voting rights. From 2001 to 2006, no voting discrimination cases were brought on behalf of African American or Native American voters. U.S. attorneys were told instead to give priority to voter fraud cases, which, when coupled with the strong support for voter ID laws, indicated an intent to depress voter turnout in minority and poor communities.
It has been strongly suggested that two of the U.S. Attorneys who were fired (Mckay and Inglesias), were so in part because they refused to use their office to further the Bush/Rove/Gonzales policy of using the faux issue of voter fraud to politicize Justice investigations prior to national elections -- and we are not talking about the long lines, the too few machines, the lock down on voter recounts because of terrorist threats in Ohio. Instead, we are talking about a systematic, planned process of shutting out the poor and middleclass.
One place to start looking seems to be who in the Civil Rights Division are pushing for the Voter ID Laws...in Georgia, Alabama, Indiana, Missouri. We should become familar with names such as Robert Popper, the new Special Counsel in the Voting Section, acting/interim U.S. Attorney Brad Schlozman, and Hans von Spakovsky, of whom Digby says
He was hired by the Bush Justice Department's civil right's division shortly after his stint down in Florida during the recount. Anyway, Von Spakovsky is not just another Atlanta lawyer. He had for years been involved with a GOP front group called the "Voter Integrity Project" (VIP) which was run by none other than Helen Blackwell, wife of notorious conservative operative Morton Blackwell. (Many of you will remember him as the guy who handed out the "purple heart" bandages at the 2004 GOP convention but he's actually much better known for years of running the dirty tricks school "The Leadership Institute" and is even credited with coining the name "Moral Majority." Let's just say he's been a playah in GOP circles for a long time --- and the VIP is one of his projects.)
Wanderindiana provided a link to Real Nightmare.org for a map of the states where these Voter ID laws are in effect or winding their way through the courts.
Many in the blogs recognized a pattern of the fired U.S. Attorneys being predominantly in the western border states. This pattern led many to speculate that enforcement of immigration or perhaps control of the 8th and 9th Circuit of Appeals might be contributing reasons for the firings.
Perhaps the refusal to participate in faux Voter Fraud litigation should be added to the list.