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One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2007 3:04pm PT  

(On the imaginary premise that Paris doesn't matter...)

Schlozman may be revising his Senate testimony in which he blamed Craig Donsanto, of DoJ's Public Integrity Unit (responsible for Election Crimes), for giving him the "all clear" to bring indictments for "voter fraud" in Missouri just days before the '06 election. The move was in violation of written DoJ policy which specifies that such cases that may have a political effect on elections are not to be filed until after such elections. In his testimony, Schlozman admitted (great video here) that he could have waited, but didn't.

Background and video on his previous testimony here, with a follow-up including details from a BRAD BLOG DoJ source here.

In not necessarily unrelated news, Bush lawyers up with nine additional attorneys today. Must be gettin' hot in there.

(Hat-tip to TPM for both items!)

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While Aggressively Enforcing Minor Provision of Law to Rework Voter Rolls, Purge 'Ineligible' and 'Dead' Voters
400 'Dead' Voters in Michigan Alone Complained About Being Kicked off the Rolls...
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2007 6:21pm PT  

McClatchy's Greg Gordon today:

Representatives of three liberal-leaning groups came to the Justice Department in 2004, armed with evidence that hundreds of public-assistance agencies had illegally failed to offer voter registration to their mostly poor and minority clients.Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act, which imposed the requirement, in 1993. But after these agencies registered 2.6 million people to vote in 1995-1996, the total registered plunged to about 1 million in 2003-2004.

Michael Slater, the Oregon-based deputy director of the national registration group Project Vote, said officials of the Justice Department's civil rights division showed little interest in enforcing that part of the law.
...
He said the groups' representatives told the Justice Department officials: "Look, we have physical hard evidence that states aren't doing this. They're taking their eye off the ball. We want to see some enforcement."

Slater said [Bush-appointee to the DoJ Civil Rights division, Hans] von Spakovsky listened quietly and then made comments to the effect of "hmmm" and "that's interesting," but took no action.

Emails from Von Spakovsky recently revealed that he was also busy strong-arming and attempting "deals" with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) on a number of issues concerning disenfranchising Photo ID poll restrictions around that same time. For his efforts in all of the above, of course, von Spakovsky would later be recess-appointed by Bush to chair the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). We yelled about that appointment back in January of 2006 when nobody was listening.

A sampling of the extraordinary disparity in numbers of voter registrations taken by government agencies under the Clinton DoJ v. Bush DoJ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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None Bothered to Show Up for the Schlozman/Graves Testimony, We Tried to Find Out Why...
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2007 1:29pm PT  

Guest Blogged by BRAD BLOG's D.C. Correspondent Margie Burns

A quick post following up on that Senate Judiciary hearing on Tuesday with witnesses Schlozman and Graves. While I attended the hearing, not many Senators did. While at least half of the Democratic Senators on the committee showed up, no Republican Senators bothered to get there at all during the entire session. It seemed worthwhile to see if I could find out why.

The hearing, which has already been posted about by Brad (here and with a detailed follow up here), was headlined “Preserving Prosecutorial Independence: Is the Department of Justice Politicizing the Hiring and Firing of U.S. Attorneys? --- Part V." The matter under advisement was Missouri – easily the most torqued state in the union, elections-wise.

Witnesses: Bradley J. Schlozman, Associate Counsel to the Director, Executive Office for United States Attorneys, and former Interim U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, among other governmental offices he has held; and Todd Graves, former U.S. Attorney, Western District of Missouri before he got canned by the Bush administration (that appointed him in the first place).

As Brad has already blogged about the hearing and has posted video that adequately demonstrates some of the key witness’s peculiarities; no belaboring needed. Briefly, Graves – the USA yanked from his job, ostensibly to make room for someone else and then criticized in Monica Goodling’s sworn testimony – came off generally sounding more capable, and credible, than Mr. Schlozman. Brad Schlozman has a disconcerting way of speaking that makes it sound as though he honestly had, and has, no conception whatsoever that he could have been doing anything wrong by – for example – indicting members of the political opposition just a few days before a national election when the US Attorneys’ manual says don’t do that.

Perhaps all of the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee felt they knew what Schlozman would say, and didn't feel it necessary even to show up to float softballs to him in support of their home team, because none of them attended the hearing. This is a bit unusual. While the GOP quite often boycotts any hearing it wishes to, usually to quell public discovery, it generally designates one senatorial Republican to sit in, to keep an eye on things and sometimes to bring up extraneous matters. GOP SOP.

But Tuesday's hearing on Missouri elections fraud and DoJ Purge Gate issues had no GOP senators attending from start to finish. This was the first time that had happened to my knowledge during this series of hearings. So I telephoned the offices of the 9 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, to ask why they didn’t attend and to see what, if any, comments I could get from them...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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The Loyal Bushies at DoJ 'Wanted to Emasculate' the Voting Rights Act, Says Our Source...
By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2007 6:55pm PT  

Despite the spotlight being shone on the DoJ's politicization of the electoral system in Missouri and similar "swing" states all across the country, and despite a crushing defeat to their frivolous prosecution against the Show-Me State's Sec. of State Robin Carnahan, which was damn near laughed out of court last April, the DoJ has now signed the paperwork to file an appeal in the very same case.

We were tipped off to the appeal by one of our insider DoJ sources who yesterday had referred to Bradley Schlozman's Senate Judiciary Committee testimony as being "on the razor's edge of perjury." We've got some follow up details on that comment in a moment from the source we'll now call DoJ-Throat.

But as to the Missouri case --- in which Schlozman and the DoJ charged improper voters on the registration rolls, and "voter fraud" of all un-evidenced sorts --- rising yet again from the dead, there is little reported so far, other than a blog in Columbia, MO, quoting SoS Carnahan decrying the appeal.

"The judge who heard this case was clear and unequivocal that the Office of Secretary of State had done its job," says Carnahan, according to the Politics Blog at the Columbia Tribune.

Indeed, as we reported last April, after the case was dismissed, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey pulled few punches in her criticism of the case. "It is also telling that the United States has not shown that any Missouri resident was denied his or her right to vote as a result of deficiencies alleged by the United States," Laughrey decided. "Nor has the United States shown that any voter fraud has occurred."

But, as Republicans are wont to do, apparently, it's time to fire up the judicial system yet again for more partisan, frivolous litigation, we suppose. They refuse to go away. Like Jason, in yet another bad Friday the 13th movie. If they continue their forum shopping all the way up to the Supreme Court perhaps they'll find some Bush-appointed judges who are more friendly to the Bush-appointed US Attorneys bringing the action.

For clarity, this is not the "voter fraud" case that Schlozzie brought just days before the '06 election against several ACORN workers in Missouri. You know, the one which was brought in violation of the DoJ's own written rules mandating such cases not be brought when they might have a political impact on elections. The one which was made to look as if ACORN had done something wrong when, in fact, it was ACORN themselves who had alerted the state to concerns about registration forms submitted by their own workers, and with which nobody had ever actually cast a fraudulent vote. That's the case which Schlozzie admitted, in his testimony yesterday to Sen. Patrick Leahy, could have just as well been brought two weeks after the election instead of just days before it. (If you haven't seen the video of the Leahy/Schlozman exchange on this, we strongly recommend it.)

Rather, the case being appealed by DoJ is the one which former Missouri USA Todd Graves refused to bring in 2005, but which Schlozman insisted on bringing. The one alleging improper maintenance of the voter registration rolls by the state, no doubt, at the recommendation of the GOP's St. Louis "voter fraud" scammer in chief, Thor Hearne of the ACVR, as NPR finally reported on this morning.

As to the former "voter fraud" zealot/chipmunk Schlozman --- who moved from his inappropriate position overseeing the DoJ Voting Rights unit to his inappropriate position replacing Graves as US Attorney for Missouri's Western District in order to bring more frivolous and inappropriately timed "voter fraud" cases in to intimidate Democratic voters during a very close Senate election last year --- our DoJ source had some additional thoughts after yesterday's "razor's edge of perjury" testimony in the Senate...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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'Liberal Blogger Brad Friedman' Interviewed in Report on Disappearance of GOP 'Vote Fraud' Fraudsters and Their White House Connections
Nobody from ACVR Agrees to Speak to Them on the Record, But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Says Thor Hearne Has Some Complaints About The BRAD BLOG...
By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2007 12:06pm PT  

Much more rolling still as the story continues to build on Thor Hearne and the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) scam that we've been covering since March of 2005 here at The BRAD BLOG.

Today NPR finally jumped into the game on the heels of last week's superb and detailed exposé of Hearne by Murray Waas at National Journal. (We've yet to cover that report, and some other ACVR items of late in detail, but we hope to soon).

I was contacted last week by NPR's Peter Overby and spoke to him on the record for about 30 minutes. Part of that interview was used in a report today on NPR's Morning Edition.

"One of the administration's staunchest advocates in the voter-fraud debate has simply disappeared," begins the report that details the ACVR's "short but busy life" and includes an interview with "Liberal blogger Brad Friedman [who] has been following the center since March 2005."

Overby was unable to get any of ACVR's formerly media-friendly spokesmen to speak to them on the record, and they report how the group seems to have scurried back underground since the U.S. Attorney purge scandal began to shine a spotlight on their vote-suppression activities and direct connections to the White House. NPR also notes purged NM US Attotrney David Iglesias's claims that ACVR "worked with the White House to forward allegations of voter fraud" and quotes Loyola election law professor Rick Hasen, who picked up on much of our reporting for his own widely-noted recent article on "The incredible, disappearing American Center for Voting Rights" as published last month by Slate.

Click below to listen to the NPR report in full, which is just over 4 minutes...

And again, we'll have much more on ACVR and Thor soon, as I was contacted today by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which ran a story on them today with references to "Some of Hearne's most vocal critics also are Web-based liberal blog sites, which several months ago began pointing to his ties to Blunt and a link to one of the fired U.S. attorneys — Bud Cummins of Arkansas."

Can't imagine which "Web-based liberal blog sites" they may be referring to, but, oh, wait...yes, we can. Post reporter Jo Mannies says Hearne complained about us by name, and though she wasn't able to contact me for comment before today's report, she hopes to have more on all of this tomorrow. And, most likely, so will we.

Until then, here's one of our initial reports connecting Thor to the Bud Cummins slice of the U.S. Attorney purge. It hardly takes a "Web-based liberal blog site" to connect the dots. But whatever they need to say is fine by us, as long as they bother to report it. At least it hasn't taken two and a half years this time.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR "Voter Fraud" scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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DOJ SOURCE TO BRAD BLOG: Schlozman's Senate Judiciary Testimony 'On the Razor's Edge of Perjury,' Says Tanner Promoted at DoJ to 'Take Hit for Schlozzie' on Photo ID/'Voter Fraud' Cases...
CONFIRMED: No Republican Senators Bothered to Show Up For Hearings
By Brad Friedman on 6/5/2007 12:18pm PT  

Oh, my god. Brad Schlozman is testifying right now before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Former US Attorney Todd Graves, whom Schlozman replaced after Graves was pushed out, will testify later.)

I don't usually care to cast personal aspersions, but this guy sounds exactly like a chipmunk. Not kidding.

He's being questioned on his partisan 'Voter Fraud'/ACORN prosecutions right now, and Feingold is currently asking a line of questioning that could lead to Thor Hearne and the ACVR scam. We'll see...

Listen/watch for yourself at C-SPAN 3 online...

UPDATES/LIVE OBSERVATIONS...
[NOW UPDATED WITH COMMENTS FROM A DOJ SOURCE]

• Leahy: "Mr. Schlozman, you seem to have broken AG Gonzales's record for saying 'I do not recall' in your testimony so far."

• Schlozman says he spent "25 to 30 hours" preparing for this testimony today.

• ...Says he doesn't think 'Voter Fraud' indictment brought in Missouri just days before '06 election (in violation of DoJ written guidelines) influenced the election, despite MO RNC press release issued in wake of the indictments. A previous case Schlozman/DoJ brought against the Democratic Missouri SoS alleging problems with voter rolls was later dismissed as the judge found "that the United States has not shown that any Missouri resident was denied his or her right to vote as a result of deficiencies alleged by the United States...Nor has the United States shown that any voter fraud has occurred." - Video of the exchange, with an angry Leahy, now here...

12:41pm PT - Committee takes a recess...

1:10pm PT - Committee now back in session. Live observations continue below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Once Again Removes References to GOP Gaming of 2000 Voter Rolls, Discredited GOP Claims of Democratic Fraud...
By Howard Beale on 6/5/2007 10:11am PT  

Guest Blogged by Howard Beale of Fired Up! Missouri

The Kansas City Star just can't help itself. When it comes to high-level reporting on the issue of the national GOP's attempts to politicize justice and steal elections with its phony "voter fraud" project, it seems there's no story that the Star's editors can't make mushier and more GOP-friendly.

Today the Star again does with a piece by Greg Gordon of news syndicate McClatchy what it did to a Gordon story from some weeks ago, refusing to print some of the most important facts underlying the lack of factual basis for GOP allegations of voter fraud.

Most notable in the Kansas City Star version of today's Greg Gordon piece for McClatchy is the treatment of the disposition of the Department of Justice lawsuit against the state of Missouri regarding voter rolls. Of the suit, Gordon writes (emphasis added):

In late 2005, the department sued Missouri's Democratic secretary of state, Robin Carnahan, charging that her state had failed to eliminate ineligible voters from registration rolls. A federal judge threw out the suit this spring, noting that the registration lists were controlled by county registrars over whom Carnahan had little authority and the Justice Department had presented no evidence of fraud.

The KCStar's rewrite of that graf rips out its substantive guts. The McClatchy-owned Star goes with this GOP-friendlier construction instead...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Links to Slate Article in Media Release...
By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2007 4:55pm PT  

Even the DNC seems to finally have taken notice of the vote caging as mentioned in last week's testimony by Monica Goodling (and subsequently covered in some detail here --- most recently in this late-breaker last night --- if almost nowhere else, until yesterday's excellent Slate article by Dahlia Lithwick).

Describing her piece as a "MUST READ," the DNC issued an alert this morning linking to and quoting several excerpts from her piece. The alert begins this way...

MUST READ: Raging Caging

Washington, DC – Little attention has been paid to Monica Goodling’s revelation of Republican “vote caging” in her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last week. Goodling identified former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty and former interim US Attorney Tim Griffin, a former deputy to Karl Rove who was among the replacements for eight federal prosecutors fired by the Bush Administration and put in place without going through the Senate confirmation process, are believed to have been involved in the illegal practice of attempting to derail the voting rights of thousands of Americans. As Slate noted, “Vote caging is an illegal trick to suppress minority voters (who tend to vote Democrat) by getting them knocked off the voter rolls if they fail to answer registered mail sent to homes they aren't living at (because they are, say, at college or at war).”

No new information here really, other than the fact that the DNC itself is at least partially getting into the game. They have, of course, notoriously stayed far far away from aggressively contesting or questioning election fraud issues --- including even this vote caging business, which was first reported back in 2004 --- until (perhaps?) now. Even this much took them more than a week, since Goodling's bombshell admissions during her testimony occurred a week ago last Wednesday.

But now that a Republican has acknowledged it, we guess it's safe waters for the DNC to wade into.

What, us snarky? Anyway, we'll take what we can get, and are happy to see them finally on it. A little. Let's hope they continue...

UPDATE: Dems issue scathing release, 'Bush Administration Owes Apology Over Assault on Voting Rights." Good for them. Details here...

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House Judiciary Chair Tells Palast in Interview: 'We're Not Through With Griffin by Any Means'
Indicates Caging Operation Could Not Have Been Done Without Knowledge of Rove, According to Palast Team...
By Brad Friedman on 5/31/2007 9:58pm PT  

As reported previously, investigative journalist Greg Palast was scheduled to meet with John Conyers this evening for an on-camera interview for the BBC. His team, just out from the interview, sends this dispatch to The BRAD BLOG...

Rove Pick for US Attorney Resigns After Conyers Seeks Evidence from BBC

Tim Griffin, formerly right hand man to Karl Rove, resigned Thursday as US Attorney for Arkansas hours after BBC Television 'Newsnight' reported that Congressman John Conyers requested the network's evidence on Griffin's involvement in 'caging voters.' Greg Palast, reporting for both BBC Newsnight and Democracy Now, obtained a series of confidential emails dating from the 2004 presidential election in which the GOP operative transmitted so-called 'caging lists' of voters to state party leaders.

Experts have concluded the caging lists were designed for a mass challenge voters right to cast ballots. The caging lists were heavily weighted with minority voters including African-American homeless men, students and soldiers sent overseas.

Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee investigating the firing of US Attorneys, met Thursday evening in New York with Palast. After reviewing key documents, Conyers stated that, despite Griffin's resignation, "we're not through with him by any means."

Conyers indicated that he thought it unlikely that Griffin could carry out this massive 'caging' operation without the knowledge of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rove.

Griffin, who was chosen as US Attorney at Rove's request, has not responded to requests by BBC to explain the 'caging' memos.

For more on the caging lists, see Palast's BRAD BLOG Exclusive from last week, just after Monica Goodling's stunning admissions concerning vote caging allegations about Griffin in her House Judiciary Committee testimony.

Also see our coverage of Slate's article late this afternoon as they become the first MSM-ish outlet to give a serious look at Goodling's overlooked-by-the-MSM, yet bombshell statement.

Palast first reported on the emails from Griffin containing vote caging lists for BBC's Newsnight, prior to the 2004 Presidential Election.

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Admits MSM, Congress Inexcusably Clueless About 'Vote Caging', Draws Bead on White House, Gives Palast His Due
Says 'Last week was the first time most of us heard about vote caging. It shouldn't be the last.'
By Brad Friedman on 5/31/2007 7:07pm PT  

UPDATE: Late breaking news on Griffin's resignation from a Palast interview with Conyers Thursday night, now posted here...

As Tim Griffin, the former Karl Rove aide and "interim"-installed Arkansas U.S. Attorney replacement for Bud Cummins became the latest Loyal Bushie to take an indignant fall in announcing his resignation yesterday, the mainstream media --- well, Slate anyway --- finally stopped to take at look at what all this "vote caging" stuff is all about. You know, the stuff that we've been running around with our hair on fire about at least since Monica Goodling dropped her bomb in last week's House Judiciary testimony.

Slate's Dahlia Lithwick asks this afternoon, "What the heck is vote caging, and why should we care?" Actually, though that's the story's headline, the title bar in our browser when viewing the article indicates the original headline was likely the more apropos, "What the heck is vote caging, and why does nobody care?"

Following up on Greg Palast's Exclusive at BRAD BLOG, on the heels of Monica's otherwise-unreported bombshell, and the noise that Palast has otherwise been trying to make about Griffin's vote caging emails for at least three years, Lithwick's candid self and media appraisal is refreshing and appreciated.

Goodling was questioned about this almost not at all, nor did the media do much more than report the words of the former liaison between the White House and Alberto Gonzales...Meanwhile, liberal talk radio, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and the blogosphere went nuts. So, which is it: Is vote caging the most underreported part of this U.S. attorneys scandal or the most over-hyped?

One of the reasons the mainstream news reports (including mine) barely touched the vote-caging story was that nobody had any idea what Goodling was talking about. "Vote caging, what's that?" we e-mailed each other at Slate.

Sigh..."Nobody" may be an overstatement, as The BRAD BLOG scrambled to report the stunning revelation moments after Goodling's utterance. But perhaps we're still a "nobody" to Slate, even if we've been mentioned by name of late on their pages. And credit where it's due, that report was the first by an MSM-ish outlet to give the GOP's snake-oil front-group, the American Center for Voting Rights, its two-a-half-years-overdue due.

Still, given the rest of Lithwick's coverage today, we're happy to let bygones be bygones as slowly, but surely, the media begins to understand the import of so much that we've been reporting here --- with as much siren-worthy urgency as we could muster --- over these past many years...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 5/30/2007 4:05pm PT  

A letter sent today by the Department of Justice Inspector General's office to Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) informs the chair and ranking member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee that they are expanding their current probe into DoJ practices to including the politicization of hiring practices, as discussed during Monica Goodling's recent testimony before the committee.

The DoJ IG letter is posted in full at the end of this article.

Here's the statement in response to the letter today as sent to The BRAD BLOG earlier this afternoon:

"The Inspector General's decision to further expand its investigation into the politicization of the Justice Department demonstrates the clear need for oversight. Ms. Goodling's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee indicated that political litmus tests were administered to applicants for some career, nonpolitical positions within the Department. This gives me great concern and reinforces the need to continue with our investigation into the U.S. Attorney firings and related matters."

RAW STORY has more here. Washington Post has more here.

The single-page May 30, 2007 letter from Glenn A. Fine, Inspector General, and H. Marshall Jarrett, Counsel, Office of Professional Responsibility, follows in full below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 5/25/2007 6:13pm PT  

Takin' it easy today (at least as far as you know) after a brutally exhausting and often dispiriting week. Whether or not that led to a different mood today during my weekly guest appearance on the Peter B. Collins Show I can't tell you.

Either way, as Guest Hosted today by our friend Tony Trupiano, we covered a few things I haven't gotten to speak much about lately, and also received an important good news update from caller "Chris in Salinas." Turns out action taken by Chris over the past week, after finding something troubling in a recent special election in Monterey County, CA, has led to a happy conclusion that will effect all voters in Monterey, and perhaps across this entire state.

That story --- and much else of what we chatted about on the show --- again, underscores the need for citizens to take control of their democracy because it will not be either the media or the government who restores our country. It will be you.

Enjoy...


-- Brad on PBC (Guest Host Tony Trupiano), 5/25/07 [MP3, appx 50 mins]

UPDATE: "Chris from Salinas" writes in to comments below with more details on precisely what happened in Monterey County, the action he took, and the changes that were made because of. Useful if you haven't been able to listen to the audio above (which I still recommend, in any case).

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Sen. McConnell's Provision Would Amend Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to Include Attempt to Keep Legally Registered Voters from Voting!
GOP Prepared to Stop at Nothing to Undermine Most Basic American Values...Such as Democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 5/24/2007 2:53pm PT  

Un-believable. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has introduced an amendment to the proposed new Immigration Law that would require disenfranchising Photo ID restrictions on voters at the polling place, according to a press release just out from National League of Women Voters.

The provision tagged onto the immigration bill would amend the horrible Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 that McConnell co-sponsored and pushed through to passage along with his Republican counterpart and lead author in the House, the now-jailed Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) and Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

The key provision in the amendment is as follows:

SEC. 304. IDENTIFICATION OF VOTERS AT THE POLLS.

(a) In General.--Notwithstanding the requirements of section 303(b), each State shall require individuals casting ballots in an election for Federal office in person to present a current valid photo identification issued by a governmental entity before voting.

(b) Effective Date.--Each State shall be required to comply with the requirements of subsection (a) on and after January 1, 2008.

Apparently, it's not enough for the Republican White House operatives to create phony "grass roots" groups to create propaganda solely for the purpose of forwarding the fraudulent notion of a massive "Democratic Voter Fraud" epidemic (which doesn't exist).

It's not enough to toss legitimate voters from the voter rolls through purges and "caging" lists to remove legal, minority voters (many serving overseas in Iraq, nonetheless) so they are not allowed to exercise their legal franchise.

It's not enough to remake our entire Department of Justice into nothing more than a branch of the Republican party for the specific purpose of bringing trumped up "voter fraud" indictments in hopes of shaving votes in close elections and otherwise gutting the beloved 40 year old Voting Rights Act for purely partisan gain.

No. Come hell or highwater, these democracy hating Republican thugs are going to find a way to keep you from voting --- even if they have to amend every piece of legislation that comes before them to try and do it --- because, otherwise, they can't win elections.

If McConnell's provision is not defeated, fillibustered, or whatever it takes by every goddamned Democrat in that body, well....good luck voting them out of office either. But they'll sure as hell deserve it. Every. Single. One of them. (As if those who pushed through the Iraq funding bill capitulation don't already deserve to be removed from office.)

These Republicans are absolutely beyond contempt and, clearly, despise the most basic American values at the very core of our once-great Republic. They hate everything about it. They are loathesome. And the Dems damned well better stop them dead in their tracks.

Rick Hasen has the complete amendment and additional details on the latest insipid GOP/McConnell scam.

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By Rebecca Abrahams on 5/23/2007 10:07pm PT  

A Guest Blog Editorial by Rebecca Abrahams, Freelance Network News Producer

Poor Monica Goodling. Poor, poor Monica. Oh, the indignity of it all --- having to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and all. With Immunity.

She may have violated laws but she didn't mean to. I guess it's all better now. And clearly Committee members agreed --- practically falling all over her with apologies for having been brought forth to testify. Goodling, the former Department of Justice's liaison to the White House and senior counselor to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, was granted immunity from prosecution during testimony regarding the White House's role in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. And while she was the liaison to the White House, Goodling asserted that she did not "hold the keys to the kingdom" as some have suggested.

The first three hours of testimony shed little light on the plan to remove the USA's. Although Goodling did say she believed Deputy Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson and Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty had delivered inaccurate testimony before Congress. In particular, Goodling said, McNulty had not been forthcoming about newly appointed Arkansas US Attorney Tim Griffin's use of vote caging lists.

Goodling testified that there were "problems with her historic memory" and agreed that the firings should have been handled differently. She believed the USA's in question should have been given a chance to learn about their performance and given an opportunity to improve. Goodling believed the firings should have been done in person, noting "it was the right thing to do."

Goodling recounted a November 27, 2006 meeting she attended concerning the firing of Nevada US Attorney Daniel Bogden. She said the general consensus was that the Justice Department could do better than Bogden, noting, "good people needed to be put in those spots." Goodling said Gonzales agreed to use a provision within the Patriot Act to axe Bogden. Funny, Gonzales has sworn up and down he doesn't even remember attending the meeting. Regardless, Bogden, an Independent, was not the man for the job, despite the fact that he served the Department for more than sixteen years.

The Nevada US Attorney, testifying before a House Judiciary Subcommittee on March 6, 2007, recounted what Associate Deputy Attorney General William Mercer had told him the reason for his dismissal, was so that the United States Department of Justice could do it's job for the American people...by helping to build the resume of all of their close friends...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Says DAG Paul McNulty Withheld Knowledge of Tim Griffin's Involvement in Challenging Minority Voter Registration in 2004
Former Rove Aide Griffin Posted to U.S. Attorney Position in Arkansas...
By Brad Friedman on 5/23/2007 11:46am PT  

From Monica Goodling's opening statement to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee this morning [emphasis added]:

Despite my and others' best efforts, [Deputy Attorney General, Paul McNulty]'s public testimony was incomplete or inaccurate in a number of respects. As explained in more detail in my written remarks, I believe that the Deputy was not fully candid about his knowledge of White House involvement in the replacement decision, failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of the White House's interest in selecting Tim Griffin as Interim U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, inaccurately described the Department's internal assessment of the Parsky Commission, and failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in vote "caging" during his work on the President's 2004 campaign.

For the record, it's the practice of sending registered mail to minority voters, asking for a reply, and if one doesn't come back, the voter's right to vote is challenged either at the polls, or attempts are made to remove them from the voter rolls --- usually without their knowledge. Allegations have been made that this was done, based on race, in 2004, when registered letters were sent to the home addresses of African-Americans in Ohio, Florida and elsewhere. Most insidiously, letters were said to have been sent to U.S. troops who were away, serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, and thus did not (and could not) answer the registered mail. Their registrations were then reportedly challenged.

The RNC agreed to cease the practice in a 1986 consent decree in a court case brought after they had "tried to have 31,000 voters, most of them black, removed from the rolls in Louisiana when a party mailer was returned, " according to the Washington Post.

"The consent decrees that resulted prohibited the party from engaging in anti-fraud initiatives that target minorities or conduct mail campaigns to 'compile voter challenge lists.'"

Hopefully one of the Judiciary Committee Members will follow up on this, with either Goodling or in further interviews with McNulty or Griffin, who was Karl Rove's aide at the time, before he was later shoved into Bud Cummins' position as Arkansas U.S. Attorney.

UPDATE 2:45pm PT: The DoJ released a statement this afternoon from McNulty, in response to Goodling's testimony and her claims that his "public testimony was incomplete or inaccurate in a number of respects":

"I testified truthfully at the Feb. 6, 2007, hearing based on what I knew at that time. Ms. Goodling's characterization of my testimony is wrong and not supported by the extensive record of documents and testimony already provided to Congress."

More on Vote Caging Lists at Wikipedia. The key details follow below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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