Monday, June 18, 2007


No, not a To-the-Death match between Ted Kennedy and Karl Rove (wouldn't that be a sight?), but deliberate voter suppression. New word, age old application. Use it knowledgeably, use it often along with the word Republican.

Part of the letter to Abu Gonzales from Ted Kennedy and Sheldon Whitehouse:

Caging is a voter suppression tactic whereby a political campaign sends mail marked “do not forward” to a targeted group of eligible voters. A more aggressive version involves sending mail to a targeted group of voters with instructions to sign and return an acknowledgment card. The campaign then creates a list of those whose mail was returned undelivered and challenges the right of those citizens to vote — on the ground that the voter does not live at the registered address. There are many reasons why registered mail might be “returned to sender” that have nothing to do with a voter’s eligibility. A voter might be an active member of the armed forces and stationed far from home, or a student registered at his parents’ address. Even a typographical error during entry of the voter’s registration information might result in an address that appears invalid.

The Republican Party has a long and ignominious record of caging — much of it focused on the African American community. For example, in 1981 the RNC sent a mass mailing into predominantly African American neighborhoods in New Jersey and used the resulting 45,000 letters marked “undeliverable” to challenge those voters’ eligibility. In 1986, the RNC used similar tactics in an effort to disenfranchise roughly 31,000 voters, most of them African American, in Louisiana. These tactics led to litigation and the RNC’s eventual signing of two consent decrees, still in effect, which bar the RNC from using “ballot security” programs ostensibly intended to prevent voter fraud as a tactic to target minority voters.

In 2004, however, allegations of caging by Republican officials arose again — this time over an effort to suppress votes in Florida. Emails sent in August 2004 by Tim Griffin, then Research Director and Deputy Communications Director of the RNC, demonstrate his knowledge and approval of a spreadsheet listing caged voters in predominantly African American neighborhoods in Jacksonville, Florida. (See attached.) Two years later, Mr. Griffin was appointed, without Senate confirmation, as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Such actions appear plainly to violate the consent decrees signed by the RNC in 1981 and 1986. We ask that you investigate whether in these circumstances Mr. Griffin or others may also have violated the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act, the mail fraud statute, or any other federal statute.

It also appears that high-ranking officials in the Department knew of Mr. Griffin’s involvement in caging. Monica Goodling recently testified to the House Judiciary Committee that she discussed concerns about Mr. Griffin’s involvement in caging with Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty during a session to prepare for Mr. McNulty’s Congressional testimony. It is very disturbing to think that Department officials may have approved the appointment of a United States Attorney knowing that he had engaged in racially targeted vote caging.

Moreover, it is very disturbing to think that senior officials were aware of this practice and did nothing to refer their information to relevant officials within the Department for investigation and a determination as to whether it was a violation of a consent decree or law within the Department’s jurisdiction to enforce.

Republicans do well when people don't vote. So the more they can keep from the polls the better. What an American thing to do.

P.S. Karl really shouldn't wear black....
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Steve Bates said...

"P.S. Karl really shouldn't wear black...." - ellroon

I noticed today that a woman won her case under a New York State law which, as a matter of gender equality, permits women to go topless in public. Could we please have instead a law that prevents Karl Rove from wearing anything less than a business suit outside his house? I mean, I'm not fat (except by California standards <g>), but I wouldn't go outdoors in a swimsuit, looking like Rove. He is grotesque.

Back to topic... caging is illegal, wrong, un-American, and as common as dirt among Republican operatives. I'm saying it more and more often these days, but considering the apparent violation of two previous consent decrees, somebody needs to go to jail this time: nothing less will stop these (expletive deleted)s.

There is irony in the fact that the late former Chief Justice Rehnquist's legacy lives on as much in GOP voter suppression tactics as in any rulings he may have authored. The GOP will not quit until voter suppression equals jail time. It is time we saw to it that that equation is implemented.

ellroon said...

"Could we please have instead a law that prevents Karl Rove from wearing anything less than a business suit outside his house? I mean, I'm not fat (except by California standards), but I wouldn't go outdoors in a swimsuit, looking like Rove. He is grotesque." Steve

I'll agree to a suit only for Karl, but it has to be a bright orange one with Inmate written in stencil on the back.

The weird thing is, even though their voter fraud fakery has been exposed to daylight, they are still trying to scream about fake ids and dead people voting in North Carolina right now. They don't, won't, or can't quit.

Sandy-LA 90034 said...

OT: Further to our discussion of possible phrases that capture the essence of the Republican craziness, I read a post about Ann Althouse's latest weirdness at FireDogLake, and this popped into my head:

"Republicans are the ultimate Alien Abductees"

or some variation on that theme.

ellroon said...

Ack! Have you seen what some of the 33% base looks like? Alien Abductees is excellent!