A Federal Judge Stripped Important Electoral Powers from the Democratic Secretary of State and Gave Them to the Republican Governor
Just Another Day At The Office For Those Who Want To Subvert Our Democracy
By Winter Patriot on 8/4/2006, 8:08am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Things have begun to stink so badly in Alabama that even the New York Times has noticed.

An unsigned editorial titled Strong-Arming The Vote ran on Thursday. And we have some excerpts from it here:

President Bush’s Justice Department has been criticized for letting partisanship guide its work on voting and elections. And party politics certainly appears to have been a driving force in a legal maneuver it just pulled off in Alabama, where it persuaded a federal judge to take important election powers away from the Democratic secretary of state and give them to a Republican governor.

Seems to have been a driving force, indeed!

The Justice Department’s request to shift Ms. Worley’s powers to Governor Riley is extraordinary. Normally, the government would seek an order telling a state official what to do, or it would ask to have a nonpartisan person appointed as a special master. And the Justice Department’s aggressive stance stands in stark contrast to the forgiving approach it has taken to Republican secretaries of state. After Katherine Harris removed eligible voters from the rolls in Florida in 2000, and Kenneth Blackwell tried to block eligible people from registering in Ohio in 2004, the Justice Department made no effort to limit their powers.

Did you notice this too? Pretty remarkable, no? I'm sure it's just a coincidence! NOT!!

It would not be the first time the Bush Justice Department seemed to play party politics with elections. Political appointees approved the pro-Republican Congressional redistricting plan in Texas and a voter ID law in Georgia, despite objections from staff lawyers that the plans violated the Voting Rights Act.

In other words it's shocking, and outrageous, but the precedent has already been established, so why should anyone be surprised?

The Justice Department has enormous power over state elections. It is important that this power be used in a way that appears — and is — nonpartisan. Undercutting a Democratic secretary of state, and taking the extraordinary step of handing her powers to a Republican governor, meets neither test. The Justice Department is giving the impression that it is less concerned that elections be lawful and fair than that they come out a particular way.

Well at least they're not giving anyone a false impression.