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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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Equates GOP 'Voter Fraud' Scam with Watergate...
By Brad Friedman on 4/17/2007 9:05am PT  

Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild and a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, equates the GOP/Bush "Voter Fraud" scam/coverup at the heart of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal with Watergate. Writing at AlterNet she concludes...

Firing Gonzales may temporarily stanch the flood of accusations about the U.S. attorney matter. But the corruption, the lawbreaking, and the cover-up go deeper --- all the way up to the Oval Office. Hopefully, Nancy Pelosi and John Conyers will put impeachment back on the table.
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By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2007 10:13pm PT  

Robert Reich on today's This Week:

I think the question here is that once you start asking, 'Should the emails have been disclosed?' --- 'Which emails to disclose?' --- is that the public loses sight of what the big issue is in the background.
...
The issue at stake here has to do with what the White House was trying to do with the US attorneys. What the White House was trying to do in terms of, perhaps, creating a public image of voter fraud across this country that would entitle the White House to make it more difficult for people to vote. That seems to be to be a very large issue that needs to be discussed.

Thank you, Mr. Reich. Consider it done. (For the last three years and counting.)

RAW STORY has the video and transcript...

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Democratic Secretary of State Acted Properly, Voter Registration Database Meets Federal Standards, No 'Voter Fraud' Found...
By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2007 10:05pm PT  

Whaddaya know? A federal judge has found no "voter fraud" in Missouri, finding in favor of the Secretary of State, and against the Department of Justice in their continuing attempt to game the election system and keep voters from voting via bogus claims of "voter fraud".

Missouri’s chief election officer has fulfilled her legal obligations toward keeping local election authorities’ voter registration rolls up to date, a federal judge ruled yesterday in a defeat for the U.S. Department of Justice
...
"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," [U.S. District Judge Nanette] Laughrey wrote [in her ruling]. "Nor has the United States shown that any voter fraud has occurred."

Yesterday in a statement, Carnahan said the ruling "concluded that my office not only complied with federal law but also went beyond its requirements through our many efforts to assist the county clerks and election boards with their responsibilities. The ruling also confirmed that there is no evidence of voter fraud in Missouri.

"This is the culmination of 18 months of an unnecessary, unwise and costly lawsuit by the Department of Justice," Carnahan added, "and I am glad my office can now direct all of its attention on continuing to ensure fair and accurate elections in Missouri."

This is what your Dept. of Justice has been wasting their time on, at the behest of the most criminally politicized bunch who has ever occupied the White House.

As BRAD BLOG readers likely know, Missouri is "Thor" Hearne country. The St. Louisan Hearne was the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. and the cofounder of the currently-defunct "non-partisan" "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR). The ACVR was ground zero for entire GOP "voter fraud" scam and Hearne cut his teeth disenfranchising Missouri voters on behalf of Gov. Matt Blunt (and his father Roy, who once served as MO Sec. of State, and now serves as Minority Whip in the U.S. House).

See this page for more on the snakeoil salesemen of the ACVR --- who have, since the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal broke, slithered back underground. For now anyway...

The judge's full ruling in the trumped up MO "Voter Fraud" case is here [PDF].

(Hat-tip Victoria Parks!)

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David Iglesias Removed Shortly After Phonecall Between Sen. Domenici and 'President'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2007 7:18pm PT  

Just back in town, and catching up with much that we've been unable to keep up with. That process will likely continue for several days, even as we've got a "biggie" coming tomorrow.

In the meantime, today's "biggie" news comes out of The Albuquerque Journal indicating that the order to fire New Mexico's U.S. Attorney David Iglesias seems to have come directly from George W. Bush after Sen. Pete Domenici's (R-NM) attempts to get the prosecutor to either bring "voter fraud" cases or be removed had otherwise failed.

Domenici's attempts preceded the Nov. 2006 election between Rep. Heather Wilson (R) and NM's former Democratic Attorney General Patricia Madrid, who ended up being reported as the loser by fewer than 900 votes.

Talking Points Memo distills the Journal piece, we distill TPM's distillation...

[H]ere's what it amounts to.

It was Sen. Domenici's (R-NM) call to David Iglesias to get him to game the November election with an election-timed indictment that got this scandal really rolling. And it's always been the key question just how and whether Domenici's failed play to get Iglesias to tamper with the November election led to his firing on December 7th.
...
No one disputes that Domenici's call to Iglesias was at best inappropriate. But there's been a lack of direct evidence that Iglesias's refusal to bow to political pressure led directly to his firing. Now we have that evidence. And it's not Kyle Sampson or even Alberto Gonzales whom Domenici went to to get sign off for Iglesias's ouster. It was right to the president. And the available evidence now points strongly to the conclusion that the final decision to fire David Iglesias came from the President of the United States.

A TPM followup to the piece notes that it's "curious" the White House has yet to comment --- at all --- on the report...

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By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2007 4:49pm PT  

Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is doing some good digging into the Milwaukee connection to the phony "voter fraud" claims used to help push U.S. Attorneys out of their job in the Bush Administration's political purge/disassembly of the now-ironically named Department of Justice.

As well, a recent, and unusual, overturned case in Wisconsin's Seventh Court of Appeals is similarly adding fresh fuel to the insidious GOP "voter fraud" scam at the heart of the outrageous abuse of power by the current Executive Branch. And today, Senators on the hill are asking new questions about it to Alberto Gonzales.

We've covered various elements of the invidious and baseless GOP "voter fraud" scheme in New Mexico (see here, here, here and here, for just a few examples) and touched on Washington State as well. But Bice jumps in with new details on the same scam in Milwaukee, which has now led to an official Congressional letter of inquiry on the matter sent today to Gonzales from Senators Leahy, Schumer, Kohl, Feingold, Feinstein, and Whitehouse.

As Bice reported yesterday...

The mystery is solved.

For weeks, it was unclear who whined to the White House last year that not enough voter fraud cases were being prosecuted in Milwaukee.

Now we know.

The state Republican Party went straight to the top in its efforts to make voter fraud an issue in Wisconsin.

Sources tell No Quarter that Rick Wiley, then the executive director of the state GOP, directed a staffer in 2005 to prepare a 30-page report on election abuses in Wisconsin so Wiley could pass it along to a top White House official.

That document, entitled "Fraud in Wisconsin 2004: A Timeline/Summary," turned up last week in the horde of White House and U.S. Justice Department records released by the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the firing of eight U.S. attorneys
...
In late 2005, U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic, a Bush appointee, announced that his probe found no evidence of a conspiracy to steal the 2004 election here.

Was Wiley - or his boss at the time, then-Chairman Rick Graber - hoping the Bush team would ax Biskupic, as it did the other top federal prosecutors last year? .

Read on for more and see the letter from Leahy for more details on the heels of a surprise Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that issued an order immediately overturning a case brought by Biskupic against Georgia Thompson, an aide to Wisconsin's Democratic governor, Jim Doyle. Just in time for the '06 election we might add. (It didn't help; Doyle won anyway.)

The basis for the unusual appellate court decision was that the evidence used to convict Thompson on charges related to voting irregularities was virtually non-existent --- leading the senators to question what sort of pressure was brought on Biskupic to bring the charges in the first place.

This is your government. On steroids. In the form of the Bush Administration Gone Wild. And it's got to not only be stopped, it needs to be: Pushed. Back. Down.

If serious accountability is not brought (and we mean more than simply pushing out a pawn like Gonzales) the bar will have been forever lowered as far as what sort of outrageous, un-American Executive Branch overreach is tolerable in this country.

I hope to hell that somewhere in the bowels of Congress someone is preparing Articles of Impeachment.

(Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG Commenter "Dredd" for the Leahy letter.)

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NM's David Iglesias Pressured by Republicans to Bring 'Voter Fraud' Charges Against Voter Registration Group
But Prosecutor Found No Case Worth Bringing...
By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2007 9:05pm PT  

As reported by Democracy Now on Wednesday...

U.S. Attorney Fired After Failing to Indict ACORN for Voter Fraud

There are new developments in the scandal over the Bush administration's firing of eight U.S. Attorneys. One of the dismissed prosecutors has revealed that he was pressured by Republican officials to target the advocacy group ACORN for voter fraud. ACORN was working on a voter registration drive in low-income and largely minority neighborhoods in New Mexico. David Iglesias told Newsweek that he found no case worth bringing against ACORN. But that apparently did not please the White House. Last week Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's ex-chief of staff D. Kyle Sampson testified that during the run-up to the mid-term election White House adviser Karl Rove complained that Iglesias and two other U.S. Attorneys had not done enough to prosecute so-called voter fraud.

Ah yes, the always reliable GOP "vote fraud" scammers' "ACORN canard" rears it's ugly (and unsubstantiated) head again. The NEWSWEEK article referenced above is here.

ACORN is the "Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now", a group which has successfully run voter registration drives across the country in low-income and minority areas.

As we reported back in December of 2005 --- when high-level GOP operative James Tobin was actually found guilty of jamming Democratic 'Get out the Vote' phone lines in order to keep voters away from the polls in 2002 by "orchestrating an election day phone-jamming plot against New Hampshire Democrats" --- the ACORN nut had already fallen off the Republican's "vote fraud" tree.

ACORN had "been vindicated of the various bogus charges, as virtually all of the frivolous lawsuits and investigations the GOP liars made so much noise about had simply collapsed by then," as we reported at the time in linking to ProjectVote.org's coverage.

And yet, the scam, built deep in the heart of Texas (by Rove and his slimy, democracy-hating operative buddies at the phony ACVR), just kept rolling...

New Mexico attorney John Boyd, who was working with state Dems at the time, had a front-row seat to the bogus 2004 "voter fraud" charges in the state, and wrote about it, in some detail, for BRAD BLOG a few weeks ago.

It's always been about undermining democracy for these jerks. From 2000 on up to 2008, the quest for power trumps the people in the minds of the wretched GOP evil doers.

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Followed By Lying Politicians...
By Alan Breslauer on 4/2/2007 11:34am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

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DoJ Rated Prosecutor 'Very Strong' --- NOT 'Undistinguished' --- But WaPo Ran With Claims from 'Unnamed Adminstration Officials' Anyway
Who Fed the Poison Pill? And Why Did it Run Unchecked?
By Margie Burns on 3/29/2007 5:04pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by D.C. Correspondent Margie Burns

Has the Washington Post been fooled (again) by high-level ‘leakers’? It sure looks that way.

On Tuesday, March 20, the Post ran a front-page article on the DOJ-U.S. Attorneys scandal that led off:

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald was ranked among prosecutors who had ‘not distinguished themselves’ on a Justice Department chart sent to the White House in March 2005, when he was in the midst of leading the CIA leak investigation...

The item was sourced to unnamed “administration officials” who gave it to two WaPo reporters “yesterday.”

This juicy lede graf was followed up:

The ranking placed Fitzgerald below "strong U.S. attorneys..." but above "weak U.S. attorneys who...chafed against Administration initiatives, etc.," according to Justice documents.

The major problem with this story? It’s not true. The Department of Justice never 'ranked' U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald negatively or as 'undistinguished.' According to sworn testimony by D. Kyle Sampson, today in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Fitzgerald was rated 'very strong' internally in the DOJ.

So who fed the Post that story? And why did they run it without pinning it down first?...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/29/2007 3:59pm PT  

From attorneys Michael Waldman and Justin Levitt of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law in today's WaPo...


As Congress probes the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, attention is centering on who knew what, and when. It's just as important to focus on "why," such as the reason given for the firing of at least one of the U.S. attorneys, John McKay of Washington state: failure to prosecute the phantom of individual voter fraud.

Allegations of voter fraud --- someone sneaking into the polls to cast an illicit vote --- have been pushed in recent years by partisans seeking to justify proof-of-citizenship and other restrictive ID requirements as a condition of voting. Scare stories abound on the Internet and on editorial pages, and they quickly become accepted wisdom.

But the notion of widespread voter fraud, as these prosecutors found out, is itself a fraud. Firing a prosecutor for failing to find wide voter fraud is like firing a park ranger for failing to find Sasquatch.

And three more notable money quotes from the piece worth running here...


Proven voter fraud, statistically, happens about as often as death by lightning strike.
...
[T]hose chasing imaginary fraud are actually taking preventive steps that would disenfranchise millions of real live Americans.
...
Pressure on prosecutors to join a witch hunt for individual voter fraud is a scandal, not just for the Justice Department but for voters seeking to exercise their most basic right.
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By Brad Friedman on 3/27/2007 1:10pm PT  

Arlen Parsa of The Daily Background, and now BRAD BLOG Guest Blogger (see his story yesterday on the ties between the U.S. Attorney Purge and gaming the 2008 Election), files a story today at TruthOut destroying the DoJ claims that the reason for some of the purges was that the prosecutors were too lenient on immigration issues.

You'll be stunned to learn that the immigration claims were little more than a cover story hatched by the DoJ communications team as they initially prepared (and, apparently "misunderestimated" the need for) their public explanations for the politically-based firings. All exposed in new email docs dumped late last Friday, following the 3000+ pages dumped earlier in the week.

The skinny version of Parsa's TO report today...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/22/2007 11:40am PT  

(Hat-tip BRAD BLOG emailer "Jazzolog")

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Lists Many Clinton AND Bush Administration Officials Who Have Been Allowed to Testify Under Oath Before Congress
Cites Previous White House Disclosure of Information, Communications...
By Brad Friedman on 3/21/2007 2:58pm PT  

Just out from Waxman's office. A letter [PDF] to House and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairs Conyres and Leahy disputing Bush's contention yesterday that he is giving Congress "unprecedented" access to White House information and officials.

The letter begins this way...

Dear Chairman Leahy and Chairman Conyers:

Yesterday President Bush asserted that the White House would give Congress "unprecedented" access to information regarding the Administration's recent dismissal of U.S. Attorneys. This statement is misinformed. As you continue discussions with the White House regarding your investigation of the U.S. Attorneys matter, I wanted to bring to your attention relevant precedent.

The President said yesterday that he would not allow White House aides including Senior Advisor to the President Karl Rove, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, deputy counsel William Kelley, and political aide J. Scott Jennings testify under oath and on the record about the dismissal of the U.S. Attorneys. Contrary to the President's contention, there is extensive precedent for officials in these positions to appear before Congress.

When Republicans controlled Congress during the Clinton Administration, they routinely insisted that White House officials appear before Congress. During the prior Administration, a series of White House Counsels testified to congressional committees publicly and under oath:

Click here for the full letter [PDF], which outlines not only numerous White House officials who testified under oath before Congressional committees during the Clinton Administration, but even Bush Administration officials who were allowed to do so, as recently as last week!

This page at the House Oversight Committee has links to additional info and reports on the matter.

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Corrupt Congressman Joined Concerted GOP Effort to Criticize Prosecutor Who Would Soon Put Him Behind Bars...
By Brad Friedman on 3/20/2007 1:59pm PT  

Citizen journalist, Arlen Parsa spent some time pouring through last night's document dump from the DoJ, and sends us the following today, with a link to his exclusive...

The document dump released by the Department of Justice Monday night reveals that Republican Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham complained about Carol Lam to Attorney General Gonzales barely a month before he plead guilty in Lam's corruption investigation.

Cunningham, who by this point was acutely aware that Lam's investigation was breathing down his neck, was a co-author of a letter 19 House Republicans sent to the Attorney General complaining about Lam's record on prosecuting cases related to illegal immigration. However, at the same time, Department of Justice reports indicate that Lam's office was doing a good job prosecuting immigration related cases.

Also: after Lam notified the DoJ that more investigation was expected following the investigation that put Cunningham behind bars for more than eight years, the White House got a letter from the Department of Justice saying there was a "real problem" with Lam. A week after the White House was alerted to the "Lam problem," one Republican lawmaker Darryl Issa (R-CA) [from the Congressional district adjacent to Cunningham's] stepped up his efforts to smear Lam's record on immigration, leaking altered documents about Lam to the Associated Press and appearing on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight to complain about Lam's performance.

Read a report about this here

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Conyers Statement: House Judiciary Prepared to Use Subpoena Power if Necessary...
By Brad Friedman on 3/19/2007 8:46pm PT  

3,000 pages were just released to the House Judiciary Committee by the Dept. of Justice in re: the U.S. Attorney purge. Judiciary is getting 'em posted as quickly as they can, even as we type. Says Conyers in a statement just released:

"While I appreciate the Department's willingness to make these voluminous documents regarding the U.S. Attorney firings available to us for review, I am disappointed that they are denying other important information to Congress without any real authority to do so. This investigation has uncovered serious charges of misleading congress, obstructing justice, and abuse of power. I hope we can resolve the outstanding issues over redactions, but if necessary, we are prepared to press ahead to get to the bottom of this growing scandal, using subpoenas if necessary."

Looks like it'll be a long night for the folks at Judiciary, and likely much longer for Josh Marshall and friends at TPM. Happy reading, all!

Earlier from U.S. News & World Report:

Paralysis Sets In as DOJ Faces Crisis
...
"You have no idea," said one Justice official, "how bad it is here."

The fear that virtually any piece of communication will have to be turned over has paralyzed department officials' ability to communicate effectively and respond in unison to the crisis...

Accountability sucks, huh? Welcome to it. We believe your nightmare is just beginning.

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More Evidence that the Bush Administration Used the Dept. of Justice for Little More Than a Blunt Political Instrument
Even as Democrats Continue to Rubber Stamp Wildly Inappropriate White House Appointments to Oversee the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2007 1:47pm PT  

In an editorial today, the New York Times picks up on the phony 'voter fraud' scam at the heart of the U.S. Attorney purge that we discussed in detail yesterday...

Phony Fraud Charges

In its fumbling attempts to explain the purge of United States attorneys, the Bush administration has argued that the fired prosecutors were not aggressive enough about addressing voter fraud. It is a phony argument; there is no evidence that any of them ignored real instances of voter fraud. But more than that, it is a window on what may be a major reason for some of the firings.

In partisan Republican circles, the pursuit of voter fraud is code for suppressing the votes of minorities and poor people. By resisting pressure to crack down on “fraud,” the fired United States attorneys actually appear to have been standing up for the integrity of the election system.

John McKay, one of the fired attorneys, says he was pressured by Republicans to bring voter fraud charges after the 2004 Washington governor’s race, which a Democrat, Christine Gregoire, won after two recounts. Republicans were trying to overturn an election result they did not like, but Mr. McKay refused to go along. “There was no evidence,” he said, “and I am not going to drag innocent people in front of a grand jury.”

It's becoming clearer and clearer that the Bush Administration used their Dept. of Justice for little more than a blunt political bludgeon. If all of this isn't grounds for Impeachment, we don't know what is. But we've felt that way at least a dozen times over the past four years.

If that's how this bunch abused their power at the DoJ, one can only imagine the abuses they continue to wreak under the absurdly over-reaching powers of the PATRIOT Act.

One other point of note from the recommended Times editorial today, which leads, in turn, to a much larger point that everyone --- particularly Congress --- ought to be made aware of...

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

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