The parade of disenfranchised and/or soon-to-be-disenfranchised elderly, nuns, U.S. veterans (even those disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan), hurricane victims, and other Democratic-leaning voters continues this week, following the recent Supreme Court decision to allow the disenfranchisement of thousands of such (previously) legal voters in Indiana.
While much of the coverage --- such as today's report by Art Levine at HuffPo --- has been intelligent and serious, the New York Times took the lazy way out in a front page story today, lending credence to the discredited GOP "voter fraud" huckster, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, with quotes and reference to his defunct, sham organization, The American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR).
Writing about him and it, as if he were legit, and as if the ACVR were still in operation, the article's author, Ian Urbina --- who has written very good reports in the past --- didn't bother to mention the controversy surrounding Hearne and his group, that they had disappeared themselves under the glare of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal, that they had lied on federal tax forms claiming that the group had not "attempted to influence national, state, or local legislation, including any attempt to influence public opinion on a legislative matter or referendum" (fraudulent tax form here), that Hearne himself has been behind every step of the systematic and dishonest scheme to get laws of this sort on the books across the country, and finally, Urbina didn't even bother to note that Hearne had been the national general counsel to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. and remains the top election lawyer for the Republican National Lawyer's Association.
It's all easy to find, of course. We've even set up a Special Coverage page at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR so folks like Urbina --- and NPR who similarly quoted Hearne as if he were legit recently --- wouldn't have to look too far.
But darn that "liberal media" again. For the record, we sought comment from Urbina, who we've been a source for in the past, and who has done good work over the years, but he declined to comment on our criticism here.
In the days immediately following the horrible SCOTUS decision, we quickly turned to our old home state of Missouri, where the huckster Hearne has been basing his well-funded voter suppression operation on behalf of the White House and the RNC for years, going back at least as far as the moment we originally outed him in 2005 just after he had created the not "non-partisan," tax-exempt front group, ACVR, and testified just days later at a Congressional hearing, led by Ohio's felonious Rep. Bob Ney. Hearne told of fraud having been committed in Ohio in 2004, but by John Kerry's campaign, after Hearne described himself to legislatures only as a "longtime advocate of voter rights and an attorney experienced in election law."
We called on MO's Sec. of State Robin Carnahan for an exclusive interview, while we were hosting KPFK's "Special Election Year Coverage" last week (audio here), and took the opportunity to inform her, if she didn't already know, that Hearne's group lied on his federal tax form, and has, to this day, illegally failed to discose the source of his group's $1 million in start-up funding.
Our interview with Carnahan took place even as Missouri's Republican legislature was in mid-debate on the House floor about a new state Constitutional Amendment to require proof of citizenship in order to register to vote and for a similarly draconian Photo ID requirement as those approved by the SCOTUS for the polling places in the Hoosier State.
Kansas City Star reporter Dave Helling noticed our interview with Carnahan, and wrote a quick item about it, noting her characterization of these anti-voter efforts as "absurd," and alleging that she has not been quite as available to "reporters in the state"...
(Carnahan's discussion --- by telephone --- was rare. Her office usually refuses to make her available for questions from reporters in the state.)
...But whether the MO SoS has been available to Helling or not, she has been making quite a bit of noise ever since, concerning what a study by her office has found to be some 240,000 largely Democrati-leaning voters in the Show-Me State who would be disenfranchised by the Republican law as she explained to us on air.
Meanwhile, over in Arizona, a law that has already made it on to the books will similarly be keeping legal Americans from casting their legal votes this year.
Thor Hearne deserves a raise...