Guest blogged by Joseph Cannon
As most of you should know by now, the ACVR is crawling with Republican operatives, many of whom have strong links to indicted sleazoid Jack Abramoff.
AVCR chairman Brian Lunde has a particularly troubling history...
According to the CIA factbook on the Congo, at the time, President Joseph Kabila had just assumed power from his father, Laurent Kabila. The older Kabila was a committed Marxist who had ruled Congo since he took forcefully took power in 1997 in a rebellion backed by Uganda and Rwanda. As President, Laurent Kabila banned all political parties except his and failed to hold long-promised elections. He also blocked an investigation into the massacre of tens of thousands of Rwandan refugees that occurred during his takeover. Today, Joseph Kabila still rules as a dictator and no elections have been held in Congo since 1984.
In addition, by claiming he worked for Birnbaum and not Kabila directly, Lunde skirted disclosure laws that would have required him to register as a foreign agent with the Department of Justice.
A lobbyist for a democracy-phobic dictator dares to give the rest of the world a lecture on voting rights? Outrageous!
The Lunde/Kabila conection, like the Moon/North Korea linkage, proves that Republicans only pretend to hate Marxists. When a good business opportunity arises, ideology takes a back seat.
Here are lengthy excerpts from the official response of Donna Brazile, chair of the DNC's Voting Rights Institute:
"Additionally, in 2004 numerous news organizations reported that the RNC spent millions hiring a questionable company called Sproul & Associates to do voter registration. Election and law enforcement officials in multiple states opened investigations into this group upon published reports that that they hired temporary workers to register only Bush supporters, Pro-life supporters and Republicans. Thousands of voter registration applications collected from Democrats by registration workers paid for by Sproul & Associates were reported to have been destroyed in a number of states.
"The RNC also traveled to all the battleground states alleging fraud and dialing up wild stories in order to scare voters and keep them at home. We called them on it in 2004 and will do the same in 2005 and beyond.
The DNC press office had more to say on the ACVR. Much of this data may already be familiar to BradBlog readers, but it's terrific to see the information presented in such a concise fashion:
AMERICAN CENTER FOR VOTING RIGHTS IS A FRAUD
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Editorial: ACVR Is A Fraud. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review called the group a "fraud." The organization's new voter fraud study "indicated that Democrats were the instigators in every case from Alabama to Wisconsin --- except two. It also said that the two complaints regarding Republicans had no merit." It also mentioned that "the three public faces of the nonpartisan group are very partisan Republican operatives --- including one who claims to be a sounding board for senior White House adviser Karl Rove." [Editorial, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 8/8/05]
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Editorial: Hearne and Lunde Sounded Like Comedy Routine While Trying to Name Donors to Their Group. "When asked to name any contributors to his nonprofit, Hearne claimed he did not know but said Lunde did. When Lunde was asked, he claimed he did not know but said Hearne did." [Editorial, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 8/8/05]
Dyke Has History Of Working For Republicans, Including The RNC. "Veteran Republican communications strategist Jim Dyke left his position as communications director at the Republican National Committee (RNC) to start his own consulting firm, Jim Dyke & Associates. The firm will specialize in communications strategies and will have its headquarters in Charleston, S.C. Dyke, who served as press secretary for the RNC before he took over as communications director in April 2003, was previously press secretary to then-Commerce Secretary Don Evans." [Campaigns and Elections, 2/05]
Dyke Defended RNC Funded Group Accused of Election Tampering. "RNC comm dir Jim Dyke said Democratic "charges that thousands of Democratic voters were disenfranchised have proved 'baseless.' DNC chair Terry McAuliffe said last week that thousands of Democratic voters could lose their right to vote because of Voters Outreach of America, a group funded by the RNC. An ex-VOA employee accused the group of tearing up Democratic registration forms. Dyke: "We have a zero tolerance policy . We expressed that to any firm that helped . [Las Vegas Sun, 10/21; National Journal Hotline, 10/22/0].
Lunde Was One Of Bush's Key Operatives. "One of the key Bush-Cheney '04 operatives... was a former Democratic National Committee official who had originally volunteered back in 2000 to give the Texas governor a bridge to centrist Democrats. His name was Brian Lunde, and by 2004 he was exhibiting more practical talents. These had nothing to do with bringing in voters from his former party, and everything to do with mining for Republican votes in Democratic areas." [National Journal, 3/12/05]
Lunde Worked With Washington Megalobbyist Jack Abramoff on Indian Tribes. "Mr. Lunde? said [he] did not know it at the time; the tribe was working with Mr. Abramoff, one of the best-paid Republican lobbyists in Washington. The consultant said [he] had been given the contract by Mr. Abramoff's partner, Michael Scanlon, a former House Republican aide who is also under scrutiny by the grand jury." [New York Times, 5/13/05]
Lunde Ran Democrats For Bush In 2004. Brian Lunde was the National Executive Director of "Democrats for Bush." [Market Wire, 10/29/04]
Hearne Served As A Republican "Observer" In Bush-Gore Recount. St. Louis lawyer Mark "Thor" Hearne, served as a Republican observer in Broward County's manual recount. Republican lawyers supporting Texas Gov. Bush fought for standards that ban unsevered chad from counting as votes. And Democratic lawyers, believing most of that chad would swing Gore's way, asked the courts to include the unpunctured ballots - even in cases when the same voters properly punched out the chad for other races on their ballots. Hearne opposed counting dimples as votes saying it could further complicate the chaos. "If somebody says there is a dimple on Gore . . . and if there's a bigger dimple for Bush, who gets the vote?" The Florida Supreme Court's unanimous ruling seemed to nudge the conflicted counters toward accepting imperfectly punched ballots. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11/22/00]
Hearne Was Republican Lawyer In Missouri Redistricting Fight; Made Thousands Off Of Fight He Forced. In 2002, the St .Louis County Council was redistricted in light of the 2000 census figures. While the council attempted to resolve the fight without resorting to a lawsuit, Hearne was involved in the negotiations at the protest of the members of the council since he had already filed a suit to bring the redistricting to the courts. After the lawsuit was resolved Hearne submitted a bill to the county for $208,516.01 that included "travel expenses for an expert witness from Washington and $792 in meals - including a $214.21 dinner at Harry's Restaurant the night the trial ended." Later a judge forced Hearne to reduce his fees saying, "'It appears to me that the Corbett lawyers simply ran up the hours, expecting the taxpayers to foot their unreasonable bill,' the judge wrote. She said the bill from the lawyers for the Republicans included 'lengthy conferences with one another, and other items that were not necessary or reasonable for the case.'" [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1/3/02; 4/4/02; 11/22/02]
Hearne Advocated for Bush to Pick A Right Wing Justice for the Supreme Court. "A traditional, conservative nominee along the lines of Scalia and Thomas is probably the kind of justice who would be good for all Americans, and particularly those in the business community," says Mark F. Hearne II, a principle at Lathrop & Gage who served as national election counsel to the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. [Corporate Legal Times, 8/05]
Hearne's Brother Backed By Conservative Union PAC in State House Race. "Voters in the 82nd state House district can select a representative from a smorgasbord of ideological candidates - liberal, conservative and Libertarian. The main contest on Nov. 3 is between Republican Matt Hearne of west St. Louis County and Democrat Illene Ordower of Creve Coeur. Hearne is the brother of Mark F. ''Thor'' Hearne, a conservative who ran for U.S. representative from the 3rd District in 1988. Matt Hearne's campaign is largely underwritten by the Missouri Conservative Union political action committee. Hearne explains that the conservative union is a group of conservatives from varied walks of life that raises money for political candidates and conducts conferences on conservative issues. Hearne is a lawyer." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/12/92]