December 2011 - Posts

And the No. 1 Obomination of 2011 is...
Sat, Dec 31 2011 6:10 AM

Obomination: The Man Obama Picked To Be at the Helm of Justice

First Posted December 16, 2011

 

As news started to break about Fast and Furious, Obama said of Attorney General Eric Holder, "I have complete confidence in him."  Obama may now be the only one who does.  As we learn more about Holder’s role in the Department of Justice in matters such as voting rights, politicized hiring as well as Fast and Furious, concerned members of Congress as well as presidential candidates are concerned that the man Obama picked to be at the helm of the Justice Department is unfit.

This week, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) proposed a resolution declaring “that it is the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress has lost confidence in the Attorney General of the United States.”  The tally of members of the House of Representatives calling for the resignation of the current Attorney General is now at 65. 

On Tuesday, Louisiana Representative John Fleming said, “The nation’s chief law enforcement officer has created a highly politicized atmosphere at the Department of Justice, and the time has come for him to resign or be fired.”

On Thursday, two candidates for president agreed with Fleming.  Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, "If I'm the president of the United States and I find out there is an operation like Fast and Furious, and I found out my attorney general didn't know about it, I would have him resign immediately."  Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum also would have fired the Attorney General in such circumstances, saying, "This is something he should've been aware of, something that shouldn't have started in the first place."

Operation Fast and Furious is a program where the U.S. tried unsuccessfully to track guns as they were passed to elite drug traffickers in Mexico by selling thousands of guns to Mexican drug dealers.  These guns have surfaced in a number of crime scenes.

And it’s not only Republicans that are losing confidence in the Attorney General.  Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez said that if Holder knew of Fast and Furious, he “should leave.”

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Top 5 Obominations of 2011: No. 2
Fri, Dec 30 2011 8:04 AM

Obomination – Obama’s DOJ: Conservatives Need Not Apply

First Posted on August 26, 2011 

The FOIA request is in from Pajamas Media for the resumes of the attorneys hired by the Civil Rights Division since Obama took office, and the results are disturbing.  The Department of Justice has hired leftwing radicals to staff that Division’s career service attorney positions. 

Former DOJ attorneys J. Christian Adams and Hans von Spakovsky along with the Pajamas Media bureau chief Richard Pollock have been publishing a series of articles about politicized hiring in various sections of the DOJ: Voting SectionImmigration OfficeSpecial Litigation SectionEducation SectionEmployment Section and the Compliance Section.

The New York Times had previously reported that lawyers hired in the past two years are more likely to have experience with liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law.  Although the media has widely reported about the Bush DOJ investigation for politicized hiring, resumes reveal that 25% of the Bush hires conservative credentials and 7% percent had liberal ones, but 60% of Obama’s hires had liberal credentials while not a single one had conservative ties.

Packing the offices with certain personnel means that the cases pursued by the Department of Justice are directed to leftwing political objectives.   In June, Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution Chairman Lamar Smith held an oversight hearing to investigate allegations that: (1) voter intimidation cases against the New Black Panther Party would be dismissed; (2) the voting section will only bring cases for the benefit of racial minorities; (3) the voting list maintenance requirement of Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act would not be enforced; and (4) voting rights laws are not enforced in a race neutral manner during the redistricting cycle.

Attorney General Eric Holder had publicly pledged that political hiring “simply will not be tolerated - in this administration” and that the Civil Rights Division would “not [be] straying into some kind of liberal orthodoxy.”  But meanwhile, Eric Holder promised leftist organizations like the American Constitution Society that the DOJ is “going to be looking for people who share our values.” 

These Department of Justice jobs are career positions, not political appointments. They are supposed to be neutrally enforcers of the law, not hacks for an extreme political agenda.    Due to a hard-fought court battle at Pajamas Media, we know the real truth about politicized hiring.  Obama’s attorney general has built up his own Department of Injustice.

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A Fair and Balanced Look at Voter ID
Thu, Dec 29 2011 11:22 AM

Fox News took a fair and balanced look at Voter ID yesterday and not surprisingly they came to the RNLA to discuss the issue. In the story RNLA Chair David Norcross:

noted that a photo ID is required to enter any federal building and most office buildings, among other things. "You need it to get welfare, you need it to get on an airplane, take the SAT, buy liquor, buy cigarettes. It's sort of ubiquitous," he said. "And it's crazy to exclude voting from the list of things you need it for." 

 

There are so many things you need ID for it is as Chair Norcross said "ubiquitous" and it should not be something to fight over. Even if you do not have ID there are other means to vote and Republicans and government officials are literally bending over backwards to help people out.

 

A similar law in Georgia, also upheld by the courts, took great pains to avoid such problems.  Rep. Phil Gingrey said the state told people, "Look, we will literally send a van and a photographer to the home of anybody that can say they can't get a picture made and a photo ID and we will do it ... at the state's cost and the taxpayer cost and not at the individual cost." 

 

Of course some Democratic Party leaders and liberal outside groups argue that Vote Fraud does not exist. The irony of those making the claim is some of them have committed vote fraud, such as the leader of MSNBC propaganda segment "block the vote", Al Sharpton and NAACP officers, the leading outside group against ID.

 

While you should not take their word for the absence of fraud, you do not have to take the word of Republicans for the presence of fraud. As the Fox report concluded:

 

In Rhode Island, photo IDs were proposed and approved by Democrats and a Democratic legislature. 

 

Mississippi, with a large African American population, just held a referendum in which 62 percent voted in favor of photo IDs. 

 

And states that have been using them for some time boast an increase in turnout among all groups including minorities.


 

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Top 5 Obominations of 2011: No. 3
Thu, Dec 29 2011 6:20 AM

Obomination: President Does Not Change Stance on Voter ID, Unlike Colleague

First Posted October 21, 2011

 

One of the earliest supporters of Obama, former Alabama Congressman Artur Davis, changed his mind and now supports voter ID.   This reversal, unfortunately, hasn’t seemed to influence the stance of the 44thPresident.  Obama’s reluctance to change today on the issue of photo identification is an obomination.

This week, Davis wrote an op-ed in The Montgomery Advertiser saying, “I've changed my mind on voter ID laws -- I think Alabama did the right thing in passing one -- and I wish I had gotten it right when I was in political office.” He added, “demanding integrity in voting is neither racist, nor raw party politics.”   However, Obama recently said of voter ID laws, “I think that’s a big mistake, and I have made sure that our Justice Department is taking a look at [them].” 

Artur Davis, who represented Alabama’s 7th District (of which Selma is a part), was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.  Davis admits that he “took the path of least resistance on this subject for an African American politician.”   He explained that, “without any evidence to back it up, I lapsed into the rhetoric of various partisans and activists.”

The “path of least resistance” involved voting against photo ID requirements and challenging voter ID as discriminatory. When he served in Congress, Davis had voted no on the Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006, which would have required photo identification in federal elections. Like Davis, Obama was active in opposing voter ID in Congress.  Like Davis, then-Senator Obama proposed a concurrent resolution that “any effort to impose photo identification requirements for voting should be rejected.”  Moreover, the resolution stated that the DOJ should “challenge any State law that limits a citizen's ability to vote based on discriminatory photo identification requirements.”  

 Davis now laments the fact that votes are cancelled out by vote fraud, and that is the real way black votes are suppressed.  He said, “the most aggressive contemporary voter suppression in the African American community, at least in Alabama, is the wholesale manufacture of ballots, at the polls and absentee, in parts of the Black Belt.”

Davis wasn’t just a supporter on the sidelines of Obama. Davis issued a speech seconding the nomination Obama for president. News reports indicated that background checks were made on Davis for a possible appointment in the Obama administration.  This longstanding political friend’s change should have made an impact on Obama but unfortunately hasn’

Davis should be commended for breaking party ranks to admit he was wrong before to oppose voter ID and now taking a strong stance to support the common-sense electoral reform.  Now this is the type of change America can believe in.

 

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Top 5 Obominations of 2011: No. 4
Wed, Dec 28 2011 6:09 AM

Obomination: Obama Thinks Campaign Laws Don't Apply to Him

First Posted July 1, 2011

At the White House, the President filmed an announcement for "Dinner with Barack," a raffle where entrants are asked to donate to Obama’s election campaign.  But there’s one problem with all this--federal law provides that the President may not solicit donations for a federal election in any room which is used for official duties.  See 18 U.S.C.  607.

After National Review Online’s Jim Geraghty recognized the White House background and pointed out the relevant law, White House lawyers scrambled to come up with a series of reasons to excuse the campaign’s wrongdoing. 

First, there was the flat out denial.  One White House official claimed, "There’s nothing in there that asks for money."   Obviously, the aide hadn’t watched the ad, which prominently displayed a website used to accept donations.  Furthermore, the video was e-mailed out with a message from Obama’s campaign manager with instructions to: "Watch the President's video, and then donate $5 or more to be automatically entered for the chance to have dinner with him."

Next, the White House asserted that small donations for a raffle do not count as fundraising.  However, when the website used in the ad accepts donations up to $2500, these hardly constitute small donations.

After that, White House officials claimed that it was the residence, not a place of official White House business.  However, diligent reporters at RealClearPolitics found photos of Obama giving radio addresses—in other words, conducting official business—in the same location as where the video was filmed.

Then, officials pulled out the classic excuse--everyone else is doing it.  The White House tried to point to the practice of past presidents.  However, George W. Bush’s ads at the White House were not fundraising efforts.  Obama may claim Clinton did it, but citing the practice of an administration rife with scandals is hardly sufficient to excuse Obama.  Aside from the Lincoln bedroom mess, Gore made fundraising calls from his vice presidential office, claiming that he could do it because there was "no controlling legal authority."

RNLA Chairman David A. Norcross said:

This Administration basically does whatever it wants: appoints czars with no Congressional oversight, imposes by regulatory fiat what Congress has refused to do (such as EPA regulations on greenhouse gases, power plants and industrial boilers) and ignores the War Powers Act.  Obviously the use of the White House as a backdrop for fundraising does not pose a problem for “the Man Who Would Be King.”

A DNC-funded ad filmed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the purpose of acquiring donations for a re-election campaign is clearly prohibited.  When will Obama learn that the president is not above the law?

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Top 5 Obominations of 2011: No. 5
Tue, Dec 27 2011 1:05 PM

Obomination: How Obama’s Agencies Are Disenfranchising Military Voters

First Posted November 11, 2011

Today we celebrate Veterans Day, which was first proclaimed in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.   Yesterday was the 236th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.  Tuesday was Election Day.   This week, it’s important to ask: “How have we treated our military voters?”  The answer is not something to be happy about. According to the Federal Voting Assistance Program, over 112,000 military voters neverreceived their absentee ballot this year. 

U.S. Navy Commander Eric Eversole, an RNLA member and JAG officer who served on active duty from 1999 until 2001, spoke in Houston on Monday about the horrible way agencies have been treating military voters.  Eversole worked as an attorney in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and is now executive director of the Military Voter Protection Project.  His dedication to protecting military voting rights started when he first served as a unit voting assistance officer. 

In the 2010 elections, 14 states, including New York, Maryland and Illinois, failed to meet the deadline to have absentee ballots to military voters at least 45 days ahead of time.  Eversole noted, “The one provision that was supposed to increase was not implemented by Department of Defense until two weeks after the 2010 election and is still not implemented.”

Eversole called military voting a “second class issue” of the Department of Justice and criticized the Department of Defense for not implementing military voting rights laws consistently.   Unfortunately, Obama has not made military voting a priority for his administration, and thus his agencies do not follow through either.

President Obama issued a proclamation for Veterans Day “[w]ith respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service members have made.”  What better way to show our respect and recognition than by making protecting the rights of military voters a priority?  

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The DOJ’s Early Christmas Present to the Left
Mon, Dec 26 2011 6:39 AM

 

‘Twas two nights before Christmas, and all through D.C. 
not a politician was stirring, not even in the House.  
But leftists had given Justice scares, 
so that rejection of voter ID soon would be theirs.

Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a gift to the left on December 23 by issuing a letter denying preclearance of the South Carolina voter ID law.   The Department of Justice rushed out a politically motivated decision during a busy time in the hopes of sneaking it in without anyone noticing.

But as the Republican National Lawyers Association pointed out, Holder didn’t check his list twice this year. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles found that the numbers the Department of Justice relied upon were wrong.  Actually, those number of South Carolina voters who do not have photo IDs was 86% lower than initially reported.   The Department of Justice believed that 207,000 people did not have IDs and factored it into the analysis that the voter ID law is discriminatory. 

It’s no surprise that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called the Justice Department’s decision an “outrageous… terrible, clearly political decision.”

More and more members of Congress are distinguishing the Attorney General from the man in the red suit because Eric Holder’s no saint.  In the House, a resolution to declare no-confidence in the Attorney General has been proposed by Rep. Paul Gosar.  The tally of members of the House of Representatives calling for the resignation of the current Attorney General is now at 65. 

Gosar sprang to the floor, to Congress he gave a whistle,
Saying, "Away Holder should go like the down of a thistle.
“We should exclaim, as Holder is driven out of sight,
“’Fair elections for all, and voter ID’s alright!’”

 

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Obomination: The Scaremongering by the President’s Men
Fri, Dec 23 2011 12:41 PM

The title of this Obomination comes from an insightful op-ed by Jason Riley published this week.  Riley is a seasoned journalist on the editorial board of a major newspaper, not a politician.  His observations of the voter ID issue comes after hearing recent comments by an Obama administration official and a civil rights leader with close ties to Obama.  He identifies what is going on as “scaremongering.” 

As Riley notes, Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech where he said, “Are we willing to allow this era – our era – to be remembered as the age when our nation's proud tradition of expanding the franchise ended?”  Then, the NAACP’s Ben Jealous tries to make a historical argument about why to oppose voter ID laws by associating them with Reconstruction era poll taxes.  Jealous said, "You saw it after the Civil War. You see it now after the election of the first black president." Riley argues that these statements by Holder and Jealous are actually part of the left’s strategy of scaremongering. 

First off, he points out first that these statements are, first, not even historically correct as applies to voter ID laws.   Voter ID laws were passed by state legislatures prior to Barack Obama.  Even the author of an Obomination blog series must admit that not everything that happened in politics – in particular, in state legislatures – since January 20, 2009 (Obama’s inauguration) has to do with Obama.  The NAACP and others on the left have tried to make up a vast right-wing conspiracy theory that there is some secret political plot involving voter ID laws launched by the Republican Party.  If you think that, why did the Democratic legislature in Rhode Island pass a voter ID law?  Are they part of this conspiracy too?

Next, Riley supports his argument that voter ID laws actually don’t block access to the franchise by pointing to a 2007 study that shows that minority turnout increased after voter ID laws were passed in Georgia and Indiana.  It should be noted that this study, done by the Heritage Foundation, is not the only one looking at voter ID.  Check out what nonpartisan academics have found.  University of Missouri professor Jeffrey Milyo discovered that after voter ID, turnout increased in Democrat-majority districts.  A University of Delaware professor Jason Mycoff found that voter ID did not decrease turnout

Third, Riley quotes from a courageous Democrat, former Alabama Congressman Artur Davis, to show that there are reasonable people on the left who actually support voter ID, and those are the people that should be heard.  I encourage everyone to read what Rhode Island state senator Harold Metts has to say about this issue.  Harold Metts and Artur Davis take their stand in support of voter ID and don’t let fierce political pressure by Obama’s attorney general or the NAACP leader stop them from saying what is really good for our elections.  Metts said, “For me, it's not about red state-blue state, or who's on the left or who’s on the right.  It’s about strengthening the public’s faith in the system.” 

Finally, Riley writes, “the argument that showing identification to vote is too cumbersome is specious.”  This is common sense.  The left has been saying that getting a photo ID that would apply in a state voter ID law in the year 2011 is just too difficult.  They made this argument a few years ago and lost.  In court cases challenging the Georgia and Indiana laws, the plaintiffs could not find a single defendant who was prevented from voting based on the photo ID requirement of the voter ID laws. They are still searching for them, but they have yet to find one.  The current favorite story used by the left is a 96-year-old African American woman from Chattanooga.  But if you actually read carefully through the news reports, this woman is actually able to vote under the state voter ID law that passed.  They can’t find a real example to support their case.  So how should a judge evaluate the same legal argument posed by the Wisconsin lawsuits recently filed by the ACLU, NAACP and the League of Women Voters?   Legal arguments must be supported by facts.  If you can’t prove facts, your legal arguments should fail.

There’s Rhode Island State Democrat Representative Jon Brien who talked about the scaremongering in this way: “Those who are opposed to voter ID never let the facts get in the way of a really good emotional argument.”  Whether you call it “emotional arguments” or “scaremongering,” it’s not right. The discussion about voter ID laws should be about facts.

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Justice Department and Kagan Should Explain Why Kagan Is Not Recusing Herself
Thu, Dec 22 2011 2:13 PM

There are a lot of questions raised by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s silence on her decision whether to sit for the Obamacare decision.  An all-star panel convened this December to discuss the questions presented by having a member of the nation’s highest court have the experience of previously serving as Solicitor General.  Recusal is a serious issue that deserves careful evaluation.  But we don’t have all the information.  There is information that Kagan and the Department of Justice can offer and has not.  What are they hiding?  There’s reason for concern that they aren’t speaking out. 

 

Obamacare is an explosive case, which involves whether the federal government, under its power to regulate commerce, can force citizens to buy private insurance or face penalties.  Judicial Watch hosted a panel which invited Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network, Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Professor Ronald Rotunda of Chapman University and Russell Wheeler of the Brookings Institution.  

 

Ms. Severino outlined her case—which you can find in more detail in her white paper—for Kagan’s recusal. She highlighted three reasons why the former Solicitor General should not hear the Obamacare case.  First, Ms. Severino discussed Ms. Kagan’s decision to bring this case into her office at the district court level—an unusual move, but not unheard of. Next was Kagan’s decision to appoint her political deputy, Neal Katyal as the DOJ’s point person for Obamacare’s legal defense. And finally there was the fact that she received confidential information the DOJ later withheld under FOIA’s “b(5)” deliberative process exemption.  Ms. Severino forcefully argued all of these factors indicate she should recuse under 28 U.S.C. §455(b)(3), which covers recusal of former government employees. 

 

Professor Rotunda also asserts– as he later wrote in an op-ed—that Kagan should recuse herself.   Professor Rotunda discussed Ms. Kagan’s presumptive partiality by recalling her confirmation testimony on the Commerce Clause’s “activity/inactivity” distinction, central to the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Ms. Kagan stated the Court should not strike down laws such as the famous “broccoli” scenario—thereby presaging her stance on Obamacare. 

 

According to Ed Whelan (and explained further here on National Review Online), it was a myth that General Kagan had been “walled off” from Obamacare legal strategy from day one. This erroneous assertion arose from released e-mail correspondence between Katyal and a DOJ public affairs officer. Whelan argued that the e-mail chains would have looked differently had Ms. Kagan not personally participated.

 

Some, like Justice At Stake, have tried to equate Thomas and Kagan recusal decisions. As Wheeler argues, the media reporting has actually been a “fact free zone” because the legal standards for recusal have been misreported.  Each recusal situation should be decided on its own circumstances.  Ms. Severino notes that no stories on Justice Thomas actually reference a federal statute. Professor Rotunda explained that federal law actually does demarcate when a spouse’s involvement should trigger recusal, for instance when the spouse is an active attorney on the case before the judge.  Rotunda concludes that Thomas’ circumstances do not meet the federal standard.

 

Although Mr. Wheeler declined to express an opinion specifically on Ms. Kagan’s recusal, all the panelists agreed there are limited steps that can now be taken now in the face of Ms. Kagan’s apparent reticence. Attorney General Holder has unfulfilled the requests from Congress for documents and interviews with some of the prominent actors involved like Katyal. Those seeking to know the full truth are at the mercy of what has proved to be an intransigent Justice and an obstructionist and dilatory agency.  Kagan should take steps to at least explain her position, as Justice Scalia did in the energy task force case, instead of continuing silence.

 

 

 

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Public Support for Voter ID at 70%
Wed, Dec 21 2011 10:31 AM

What do Americans think about voter ID today?  Well, Rasmussen Reports asked this question, and here’s what they found:  70% believe voters should be required to show photo identification before being allowed to cast their ballot.  

This is not the first survey that demonstrates the widespread public support for voter ID this year.  In May of this year, a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll found that 80% favored a photo ID requirement.  Also, the numbers were comparable back in June in a similar Rasmussen Report poll.

So why support these laws?  We heard a lot of reasons from supporters this week.  Senator John Cornyn recently wrote, “I support voter-ID laws, which are reasonable, constitutional, and necessary.”  RNC Chair Reince Priebus stated, “Bipartisan efforts at the state level to require identification to cast a ballot are commonsense, widely supported and have been upheld in court.”

But Republicans are not the only ones who support these laws. In October, former Congressman Artur Davis (D-AL) wrote an opinion piece in The Montgomery Advertiser saying, “I've changed my mind on voter ID laws – I think Alabama did the right thing in passing one – and I wish I had gotten it right when I was in political office.” Rhode Island State Senator Harold Metts (D-Providence) said, “As a minority citizen and a senior citizen, I would not support anything that I thought would present obstacles or limit protections.” Texas State Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso) said, “If I really, truly thought that this would disenfranchise somebody, I would've voted against it. In these days and times, it's just not the case.”  

But if you asked the radical left why there is support for voter ID, you would hear a different story.  Some have said that voter ID laws are comparable to Jim Crow, a poll tax, the Ku Klux Klan, and torturing and killing children.  They assert that there is some ulterior motive to block access to the polls of certain voters.  Well, the American people don’t agree with this.  Rasmussen Reports found that 69% say that voter ID laws are not discriminatory. 

Such statements are a tactic of the left to generate support for unpopular initiatives.  These are emotional arguments that make Americans angry.  As Rhode Island State Representative Jon Brien (D-Woonsocket) explained, “Those who are opposed to voter ID never let the facts get in the way of a really good emotional argument.”  But with politics, we should be reasonable and practical.  We shouldn’t be swayed by the “emotional arguments” about voter ID laws.  When we step back and recognize what is going on here, there can be a serious discussion about what is good for our elections and our country. 

State legislatures across the country have asked the question this year whether they should pass voter ID laws.  Reasonable legislators talked to their constituents and found out what this week’s poll confirms:  most think there should be voter ID.  And that’s the reason voter ID laws were passed in so many state legislatures. 

The left should stop the name calling.  They should stop the political tactics.  And they should listen to what the people really want.

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The Philadelphian Perspective: What Goes On In the City Is Not ‘Small Potatoes’
Tue, Dec 20 2011 8:35 AM

 

RNLA member J. Christian Adams wrote an opinion piece that appeared in Sunday’s edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer about the Black Panthers case about voter intimidation that led to his ultimate resignation from the Department of Justice.  He makes his own case to “debunk a few of the myths.”

As Adams notes, there have been those who have claimed that the incident was “no big deal.”  Although some (interestingly someone who was actually born in Philadelphia) have revised their commentary to conclude after discussions with those involved in the matter that “there was ‘little’ evidence of actual voter intimidation, rather than ‘no evidence,’” there are others who don’t consider the whole picture.  Among them, Rick Hasen of the Election Law Blog concluded that it was “small potatoes.”

As someone who grew up in the Philadelphia area and volunteered for poll watching, I question whether these people are realistic about what really goes on in the City of Brotherly Love.  To be blunt: It isn’t brotherly.

Take some recent examples (and this is just the tip of the iceberg as there are probably more than this): 

In May 2011, according to the Philadelphia Weekly, “a representative of Democratic candidate Bobby Henon says that sample ballots are being distributed in the Sixth District that appear very similar to the Democratic City Committee ballots, but in fact are not. The individuals handing out the ballots are refusing to give their names. The judge issued an order to prohibit the distribution of these ballots.”

In November 2011, there was an allegation on Election Journal that polling officials were illegally handing out Democrat ballots.  There’s a photo.  Would you believe that this would be done by polling officials?  I mentioned it to someone who also is from the Philadelphia area, and his response is telling.  He replied with an honesty that only comes from living in the area.  He said, “Only in Philadelphia.” 

Also this year, the car of a Philadelphia mayoral candidate was vandalized at least ten times.  That candidate, Karen Brown, commented, “This is what happens in Philadelphia politics, you can’t even have a fair race.”

If you don’t believe me, listen to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who like me, was born and raised in the Philadelphia area.  He said:

 I know this goes on. It has gone on in old-time politics. It has gone on since the ‘50s that I know about. People call up, see if you voted or you‘re not going to vote. The [sic], all of a sudden, somebody does come and vote for you. This is an old strategy in big city politics… I know all about it in North Philly. It‘s what went on. And I believe it still goes on.

The RNLA aspires for elections to be open, fair and honest.  The first step to achieve that is recognition of what is the reality.  We need to learn what really goes on in elections day.  It’s not open, fair and honest.  And prosecution of election crimes is hard.  Some things that go on might not make it into the words of a report.

Rick Hasen still claims that what happened at the Philadelphia polling place was a “tiny incident.”  J. Christian Adams’ arguments can be found here, but it’s true that a picture (or in this case, a moving picture) tells a thousand words.  The video of the Black Panthers that Adams references can be viewed here.  Ask yourself if you were there, would you be intimidated?

Tiny incident?  Small potatoes?  I think not.

 

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DNC Distorts Story of Dorothy Cooper
Mon, Dec 19 2011 9:09 AM

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has issued an outrageous fundraising letter distorting the record on voter ID laws.  Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus has responded, “The DNC should repudiate their statements, admit their wrongdoing and side with the American people in protecting the integrity of our electoral process.”

According to the Weekly Standard, the Democratic National Committee’s latest fundraising letter mentions a voter named Dorothy Cooper, a 96-year-old voter in Chattanooga Tennessee whose story has been distorted by those on the left in an attempt oppose voter ID laws.  The DNC writes that Dorothy Cooper who “grew up in a Jim Crow-divided South…never had a problem voting – until this year.”

As the RNLA pointed out in a post in October, the Tennessee voter ID law (which the left doesn’t bother to read) allows Dorothy Cooper to vote… by absentee ballot.  If you are going to oppose voter ID laws claiming that they prevent eligible voters from voting, you should find an actual example of that.  The left has not.  Maybe the Democrats should be called the Distortion National Committee, because they are distorting the impact of voter ID laws on Americans.

In addition to distortion, the DNC is continuing to make the outrageous comparison of voter ID laws to Jim Crow.  Despite Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s half retraction for making the Jim Crow comparison back in June, the DNC knows that distorting the voter ID issue by making it about racially discriminatory laws of the past means they can rile up supporters and fundraise.

Why do Republicans support voter ID laws?  Ask Reince Priebus.   He says, “Bipartisan efforts at the state level to require identification to cast a ballot are commonsense, widely supported and have been upheld in court. Further, by putting an end to voter fraud, they uphold the constitutional values of equal protection and one person one vote.”

The arguments for voter ID are very reasonable.  The DNC makes outrageous comparisons in their fundraising letters, because they want a political issue.  It would be better instead if the DNC joined with their fellow Democrats in Rhode Island who voted to pass voter ID.

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Obomination: The Man Obama Picked To Be at the Helm of Justice
Fri, Dec 16 2011 7:43 AM

As news started to break about Fast and Furious, Obama said of Attorney General Eric Holder, "I have complete confidence in him."  Obama may now be the only one who does.  As we learn more about Holder’s role in the Department of Justice in matters such as voting rights, politicized hiring as well as Fast and Furious, concerned members of Congress as well as presidential candidates are concerned that the man Obama picked to be at the helm of the Justice Department is unfit.

This week, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) proposed a resolution declaring “that it is the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress has lost confidence in the Attorney General of the United States.”  The tally of members of the House of Representatives calling for the resignation of the current Attorney General is now at 65. 

On Tuesday, Louisiana Representative John Fleming said, “The nation’s chief law enforcement officer has created a highly politicized atmosphere at the Department of Justice, and the time has come for him to resign or be fired.”

On Thursday, two candidates for president agreed with Fleming.  Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, "If I'm the president of the United States and I find out there is an operation like Fast and Furious, and I found out my attorney general didn't know about it, I would have him resign immediately."  Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum also would have fired the Attorney General in such circumstances, saying, "This is something he should've been aware of, something that shouldn't have started in the first place."

Operation Fast and Furious is a program where the U.S. tried unsuccessfully to track guns as they were passed to elite drug traffickers in Mexico by selling thousands of guns to Mexican drug dealers.  These guns have surfaced in a number of crime scenes.

And it’s not only Republicans that are losing confidence in the Attorney General.  Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez said that if Holder knew of Fast and Furious, he “should leave.”

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Celebrate the Birthday of the Bill of Rights By Opposing Resurrection of Obama’s Deceptive Practices Act
Thu, Dec 15 2011 12:48 PM

 

On the eve of the birthday of the Bill of Rights, Senators Cardin (D-MD) and Schumer (D-NY) claimed to give “respect” to the Bill of Rights, but their proposed Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2011 will chill speech in violation of the First Amendment.

This bill has long been an item on Obama’s agenda.  Rick Hasen pointed out that Obama’s change.gov website long ago discussed resurrection of the act in 2008 when it said:

Obama will sign into law his legislation that establishes harsh penalties for those who have engaged in voter fraud and provides voters who have been misinformed with accurate and full information so they can vote.

Blogger Ed Morrissey identified the key problems with Obama’s 2007 bill:

A law like this eliminates all but the deepest-pocketed organizations from participating due to the sudden liabilities involved in political speech. It also sets up the government as the arbiter of acceptable and “truthful” political speech, rather than the American electorate – a dangerous position for everyone.

These problems continue to be at issue in the current bill proposed by Senators Cardin and Schumer. Senators Cardin and Schumer are trying to package this as a First-Amendment-friendly by merely limiting the time frame that communications can be challenged, but their claim still doesn’t address involving the government in deciding what speech is acceptable and giving punishments based on such decisions. 

On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder praised President Obama’s 2007 bill saying that “Senators Charles Schumer and Ben Cardin will re-introduce this legislation, in an even stronger form.” The Attorney General’s description of the bill is probably more accurate than the sponsor’s press release.  The Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2011 will be “stronger” at chilling speech. 

On this, the 220th birthday of the First Amendment, take a stand against such acts that chill free speech.

 

by Maya Noronha | with no comments
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Ignoring Fact that Noncitizens Already Vote Illegally Now, Mayor Proposes Noncitizen Voting Law
Thu, Dec 15 2011 5:07 AM

New Haven mayor John DeStefano proposed that noncitizens be permitted to be on equal par with citizens in casting ballots for municipal elections.  Getting noncitizens to vote has been a long-term goal of the Left.  But they are in denial that noncitizens already vote… illegally. 

Last week, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) issued a report entitled, “Defending Democracy: Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America,” which made the false claim that “there is no evidence whatsoever that any noncitizen has ever risked the considerable criminal sanctions associated with fraudulent voting, nor would a noncitizen risk the even greater sanction of being deported.” 

Unfortunately for the NAACP, there’s a guilty plea that throws a wrench in their “no evidence whatsoever” claim.  What about Christopher Mettin, a German national who pled guilty to falsely claiming U.S. citizenship to register to vote? After being sentenced by a federal judge, he was turned over to the immigration agents.  His name is listed on the vote fraud map along with other cases of non-citizen voting. 

But there’s far more than just one.

In 1998, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform examined a California race for a House seat and found "clear and convincing" evidence of 624 non-citizens voting and "circumstantial" evidence of another 196 non-citizens voting by comparing voter rolls with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) database.  (Note that this report does not even touch the question of illegal aliens who voted, because they are not in INS records.)

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler testified to the Committee on House Administration that he was “certain” that 106 individuals are improperly registered to vote and “potentially many of the remaining 11,805 individuals” are also improperly registered to vote.

How come the NAACP is in denial when there’s so much evidence out there?  Maybe if your leaders (Lessadolla Sowers, Al Sharpton) are committing vote fraud, maybe it’s best to claim there’s “no evidence whatsoever” of it. 

This is not the New Haven Mayor’s first time in the news.  If you remember, John DeStefano is the same mayor who may have been responsible for the sabotaging of promotional examinations in the firefighter discrimination Supreme Court case, Ricci v. DeStefano.  Justice Alito wrote in his concurring opinion that “a jury could rationally infer that city officials worked behind the scenes to sabotage the promotional examinations because they knew that, were the exams certified, the Mayor would incur the wrath of Kimber and other influential leaders of New Haven’s African-American community.”    First, he allegedly sabotages promotional examinations.  Now he ignores when noncitizens are sabotaging our elections.  What’s next, Mayor DeStefano?

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