voter suppression

Kansas' Kobach Pushes Plan that Would Disenfranchise Alaska Natives

Back in April, two Alaska House committees approved a bill that would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls – a particularly damaging measure in a state where many rural communities don’t even require photos on drivers’ licenses. Now, the Anchorage Daily News is reporting that there is a familiar face behind the measure. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the driving force behind voter suppression and anti-immigrant measures around the country, reportedly coordinated with Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell to push the bill in what looks like an effort to damage Democratic Sen. Mark Begich in his 2014 reelection bid. (Treadwell denies that he worked with Kobach on the bill, which he says he opposes.)

Alaska Natives say a photo ID rule would be a roadblock to voting in the Bush. A decline in turnout there, with its traditionally heavy Democratic vote, could affect the 2014 reelection hopes of U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat running in a Republican-leaning state. One of his potential rivals is Alaska's top election official, Republican Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.

Treadwell says he doesn't support the voter ID bill, but Kobach says Treadwell was instrumental in getting him involved in promoting the Alaska legislation.

In an April statement to reporters that didn't mention Kobach or Kansas, Treadwell touted the cross-checking as having found 14 people suspected of "actually voting in both Alaska and another state" in 2012. Treadwell threatened to prosecute the voters if the allegations were confirmed.

Alaska elections director Gail Fenumiai recently said 12 of the 14 voters cited in Treadwell's April statement were wrongly identified as duplicate voters and actually voted only in Alaska.



Kobach told the Daily News it was he who suggested to Treadwell that Alaska get involved in the Kansas project. "I personally talked to Mead Treadwell, your lieutenant governor, and encouraged him to join, and he did so," Kobach said.

And his testimony on the photo ID bill, Kobach said, was the result of a conversation with Treadwell.

"I spoke to Mead about it at one of our national conferences -- he mentioned that you guys were considering a photo ID law," Kobach said. "I said I'd be happy to share some of the experiences we've had in Kansas."

Treadwell, who said he doesn't support the Alaska bill because of the difficulty for Bush residents to get photo identification, said he didn't recall talking to Kobach about it.

As the Daily News explains, a photo ID bill would be especially damaging to Alaska Natives living in rural communities where DMVs are hard to access and where many towns don’t even require photographs on drivers’ licenses:

Photo ID measures are controversial across the country. Advocates say they help prevent fraud. Opponents say they make it more difficult for particular groups of people to vote: the elderly, students and the poor who don't own cars. In Alaska, the situation is compounded by the difficulty of getting to a Division of Motor Vehicles office in a regional hub like Nome or Bethel from a small village. Alaska doesn't even require a photograph on a driver's license in dozens of Bush communities.

Democratic activists say photo ID bills have the effect of disenfranchising more Democratic voters than Republicans. In his annual address to the Alaska Legislature this year, Begich criticized the bill as making it more difficult for Alaska Natives and Hispanics -- two traditional Democratic groups -- to vote.

The sponsor of Alaska’s bill, who has acknowledged that he drafted the measure using materials from the corporate-funded conservative group ALEC, had odd words of consolation for those concerned about the suppressive impact of the bill: at least it wouldn’t be as bad as Iraq!

Rep. Bob Lynn, an Anchorage Republican who is prime sponsor of the voter ID bill, said he wasn't trying to disenfranchise anyone. He dismissed opponents as complainers who should be happy they don't face the kind of obstacles voters do in places like Iraq.

"Terrorists have threatened to kill anyone who voted, but they voted anyway, and then these voters put ink in their finger to prove they had voted -- evidence that could have gotten them killed. Now that's a hassle, to say the least. Needing a photo ID to vote in Alaska wouldn't even come close to that," Lynn said when his State Affairs Committee first heard the bill in February.
 

Schlafly and Allies Prepare to Blame Election Loss on Voter Fraud

Leading up to what promises to be a very close presidential election, the Right has been working hard to lay the groundwork for blaming an Obama victory on “voter fraud.” The same strategy worked wonders last time around, when, one year after President Obama’s decisive victory a full half of Republicans believed that the community organizing group ACORN had stolen the election. In-person voter fraud, as John McCain strategist Steve Schmidt admitted today, is a convenient part of “the mythology now in the Republican Party,” one that as Josh noted earlier has helped to fuel decades of voter suppression measures.

At an Eagle Forum conference in September – attended by Todd Akin, among others – two speakers addressed the issue of voter fraud: Catherine Engelbrecht, whose group True the Vote has been challenging registered voters across the country, and John Fund, a conservative columnist and author of a recent book on the issue.

Fund claimed that President Obama wants the election to go to the Supreme Court, and that in a close election, the president would use the now-defunct ACORN to change the outcome: “The election is close, and he puts his thumb on the scale of democracy, and he sends his old ACORN friends the signal, you know what’s going to happen.”

 After Engelbrecht’s speech, Schlafly joined her on stage to share news she had heard from “somebody” that in Pennsylvania, “at two o’clock in the afternoon they have no Republican observer, the Democrats just vote [for] the rest of the people who haven’t voted.”

“I think it goes on,” Engelbrecht agreed.

'I Don't Want Everybody to Vote' – The Roots of GOP Voter Suppression

The lower the turnout tomorrow, the better Mitt Romney will do. It’s always been this way for Republicans. Anyone who doubts that needs to watch the video below. 

The media frequently reports on right-wing and GOP voter suppression efforts, but they rarely acknowledge the root cause – Republicans do better when fewer people vote. This is the driving force behind the GOP’s draconian voter ID laws and efforts to limit early voting, voter registration drives, and provisional voting.
 
The right wing and GOP have whipped up hysteria around voter fraud, which is virtually non-existent, in order to justify roadblocks to voting for millions of Americans. I’ll let Paul Weyrich explain why.
 
Weyrich is widely regarded as the “founding father of the conservative movement.” He founded ALEC and co-founded the Heritage Foundation, Moral Majority, Council for National Policy, and Free Congress Foundation, among others.
 
Speaking more than 30 years ago at a right-wing conference in Dallas, Weyrich set out the case for voter suppression. The right-wing and GOP are still acting on it to this day.
 
Watch:
"I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

 

Right Wing Leftovers

Danforth and Rudman Talk Up Vote Fraud, Meanwhile in America…

At press conference earlier today in Washington, two of the GOP’s elder statesmen – former senators John Danforth and Warren Rudman – tried to convince reporters that vote fraud is a serious problem and could call the election into question. What they failed to say is that there is no evidence of widespread vote fraud.

On the other hand, there is undeniable proof of countless acts of voter suppression and disenfranchisement. All you have to do is open a newspaper to know that.

Today in New Hampshire, the former head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for New England was indicted for lying to investigators about his role in a successful effort to jam the phones of the New Hampshire Democratic Party and its allies on election day in 2002.

And today in California, a former Republican congressional candidate pleaded not guilty after being indicted for obstructing an investigation into a letter sent by his campaign to 14,000 legally registered voters with Hispanic surnames informing them that “they could be deported for voting if they were in the country illegally or were an immigrant.”

We trust that Danforth and Rudman will hold another press conference tomorrow, this time to talk about the proven threat of voter suppression and disenfranchisement. But we’re not holding our breath.

Heavenly Voter Suppression

Fervent Huckabee supporter Janet Folger’s prayer at an event in Chillicothe, Ohio with Huckabee’s wife:

If it's a blizzard that would keep the people home who would not vote the right way, Father, I pray for a blizzard. Out of this prayer meeting in this little town in this great state we pray that you would move mountains.

Taking Lead from Religious Right, Justice Dept. Civil Rights Focused on Religion, Not Race

In February, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales unveiled what he called the First Freedom Project, to expand on the Justice Department’s “extensive record of achievement” in the area of “religious freedom laws.” Gonzales described the department’s work on religion as “a legacy of protection unequaled since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” Even more remarkable than that startling comparison, however, was Gonzales’s choice of venue: a meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. According to the Baptist Press, Gonzales requested to speak at the meeting “because he knew he would be speaking to a receptive audience.” Indeed, the famously right-wing SBC has been a strong supporter of the Bush administration, including its judicial nominees.

The Religious Right saw the Justice Department’s new focus as a validation of its world-view of Christians being persecuted in the U.S.: “The fact that the Justice Department finds it necessary to launch such a project further confirms what we’ve been aware of for years: our nation’s First Liberty--religious freedom--is in serious danger because of decades of sustained attacks by the ACLU and its allies,” said Alan Sears, president of the Alliance Defense Fund.

Now the New York Times is reporting that the department’s emphasis on religious liberty is part of its controversial reorganization under the Bush Administration that has led to a diminished role for traditional civil rights enforcement based on racial discrimination and voter suppression, and a more ideological and politicized staff, such as Monica Goodling, a graduate of Pat Robertson’s law school.

The shift at the Justice Department has significantly altered the government’s civil rights mission, said Brian K. Landsberg, a law professor at the University of the Pacific and a former Justice Department lawyer under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

“Not until recently has anyone in the department considered religious discrimination such a high priority,” Professor Landsberg said. “No one had ever considered it to be of the same magnitude as race or national origin.” …

Some critics say that many of the Justice Department’s religious-oriented initiatives are outside its mandate from Congress. While statutes prohibit religious discrimination in areas like employment and housing, no laws address some of the issues in which the department has become involved. … The department has … challenged so-called Blaine amendments, which are state constitutional provisions enforcing separation of church and state more rigidly than does the United States Constitution. The federal government sued because the amendments could impede Mr. Bush’s religion-based initiative, which provides money to religious groups for social programs.

Limbaugh Admits to Republican Voter Deception, Blames Democrats

On his radio show yesterday, comedian Rush Limbaugh encouraged Republican efforts to deliberately disenfranchise voters.
I mean, you take a look at the average Democrat voter registration drive, you can take for every hundred thousand voters they register, the cumulative IQ would probably be less than a pencil eraser. So when it comes time for the election, half of them can be fooled in saying, "No, it's not Election Day. It's tomorrow, Wednesday." And they show up on Wednesday to vote when the polls are closed, and the Democrats claim a trick has been played on them. That's how stupid some of their voters are.
Limbaugh then pointed out a specific example of a ‘successful’ campaign to deny registered Democrats the right to vote:
You think I'm lying? That happened. Republicans did a dirty trick and sent a flier out a week early and said due to unfortunate circumstances, certain precincts, Election Day will be held on Wednesday, blah, blah, blah, blah. Democrats heard about it, this is such a dirty trick. They were worried because they knew it would work, because half their voters are stupid idiots! They have to be when you look at the way they vote.
Right-wing voter suppression campaigns are nothing new. People For the American Way Foundation’s latest report, The New Face of Jim Crow: Voter Suppression in America, highlights methods of intimidation and deception such as this, plus budding legislative proposals that would keep eligible voters, many of them African- American, from the polls. Supporters of these proposals claim they are to bringing “integrity” to the process, but can the Right really be trusted to bring “integrity” to election reform while Mr. Limbaugh brags about the ease with which his friends work to suppress the vote? One would hope that Mr. Limbaugh would feel compelled to report such egregious violations of the law to the proper authorities. In the alternative, now that Mr. Limbaugh has indicated his knowledge of, or complicity in, voter fraud, perhaps the feds should pay him a visit.
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voter suppression Posts Archive

Miranda Blue, Wednesday 06/05/2013, 2:55pm
Back in April, two Alaska House committees approved a bill that would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls – a particularly damaging measure in a state where many rural communities don’t even require photos on drivers’ licenses. Now, the Anchorage Daily News is reporting that there is a familiar face behind the measure. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the driving force behind voter suppression and anti-immigrant measures around the country, reportedly coordinated with Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell to push the bill in what looks like an effort to damage Democratic... MORE
Miranda Blue, Monday 11/05/2012, 5:47pm
Leading up to what promises to be a very close presidential election, the Right has been working hard to lay the groundwork for blaming an Obama victory on “voter fraud.” The same strategy worked wonders last time around, when, one year after President Obama’s decisive victory a full half of Republicans believed that the community organizing group ACORN had stolen the election. In-person voter fraud, as John McCain strategist Steve Schmidt admitted today, is a convenient part of “the mythology now in the Republican Party,” one that as Josh noted earlier has... MORE
Josh Glasstetter, Monday 11/05/2012, 1:56pm
The lower the turnout tomorrow, the better Mitt Romney will do. It’s always been this way for Republicans. Anyone who doubts that needs to watch the video below.  The media frequently reports on right-wing and GOP voter suppression efforts, but they rarely acknowledge the root cause – Republicans do better when fewer people vote. This is the driving force behind the GOP’s draconian voter ID laws and efforts to limit early voting, voter registration drives, and provisional voting.   The right wing and GOP have whipped up hysteria around voter fraud, which is... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 10/17/2011, 5:33pm
Rush Limbaugh really ought to do some basic research before accusing President Obama of targeting Christians.   And WND, of course, gives Limbaugh a run for his money.   Mike Huckabee sure does like joking about voter suppression.   Harry Jackson continues his shameless shilling for energy interests.   Bryan Fischer credits Rick Perry for "not throwing Robert Jeffress under the bus" and predicts that he will be the GOP nominee.   Finally, imagine there's no pizza. MORE
, Tuesday 10/14/2008, 7:02pm
At press conference earlier today in Washington, two of the GOP’s elder statesmen – former senators John Danforth and Warren Rudman – tried to convince reporters that vote fraud is a serious problem and could call the election into question. What they failed to say is that there is no evidence of widespread vote fraud.On the other hand, there is undeniable proof of countless acts of voter suppression and disenfranchisement. All you have to do is open a newspaper to know that.Today in New Hampshire, the former head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for New... MORE
, Thursday 02/28/2008, 6:45pm
Fervent Huckabee supporter Janet Folger’s prayer at an event in Chillicothe, Ohio with Huckabee’s wife: If it's a blizzard that would keep the people home who would not vote the right way, Father, I pray for a blizzard. Out of this prayer meeting in this little town in this great state we pray that you would move mountains. MORE
, Thursday 06/14/2007, 11:43am
In February, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales unveiled what he called the First Freedom Project, to expand on the Justice Department’s “extensive record of achievement” in the area of “religious freedom laws.” Gonzales described the department’s work on religion as “a legacy of protection unequaled since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” Even more remarkable than that startling comparison, however, was Gonzales’s choice of venue: a meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. According to the... MORE