VIDEO BONUS: Maddow: 'You can't vote them out if you can't vote'...
By Brad Friedman on 3/26/2011, 2:52pm PT  

The GOP voter fraud epidemic continues unabated. The latest alleged felon? Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to China, former Utah Governor --- and potential 2012 GOP Presidential candidate --- Jon Huntsman Jr.

Teddy Partridge at FireDogLake charges (accurately) that Huntsman "Pulls a Coulter," as The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Jon Huntsman Jr. is still registered to vote as a resident of the Utah governor’s mansion even through he resigned his office some 19 months ago to become the U.S. ambassador to China.

In fact, Huntsman voted by absentee ballot for last year’s general election using the state-owned mansion on South Temple as his Utah residence — months after Gov. Gary Herbert settled into the historic building and Huntsman purchased a home in Washington, D.C.

Of course, Huntsman is a Republican, so different "voter fraud" laws apply to them, in general, than to other Americans.

"It is generally illegal for voters to cast ballots using a residential address where they no longer reside," the Tribune notes before giving Huntsman a pass. "But state and federal law seem to back Huntsman’s ability to still vote using the governor’s mansion as his home because that was his last address before he left for Beijing to serve as an employee of the U.S. government."

Despite that, as the very same article notes, "Last June, Huntsman purchased a $3.6 million home in a tony D.C. neighborhood." So while he may have had cause to specify his last U.S. address as Utah prior to last June, one wonders why officials are overlooking the fact that he owned a D.C. home well prior to last November's general election, when he voted using a registration at a residence where he hadn't lived for more than a year and a half.

One doesn't have to "wonder" for long, however...

As we've detailed on these pages many, many, many times over the years, different "voter fraud" rules are applied depending on the political party to which you belong and/or the color of your skin.

The poster girl for the difference in the way such laws are applied is, of course, GOP superstar and one-time, self-identified, constitutional attorney, Ann Coulter. As The BRAD BLOG has spent years documenting beyond a shadow of a doubt, Coulter committed felony voter fraud in Palm Beach, Florida, in 2005 when she voted in a precinct that wasn't her own, after registering to vote at an address at which she did not live. But she is a serial voter fraud criminal: Coulter also voted at least twice by absentee in Connecticut from her residence in New York in 2002 and 2004. In both cases, she pulled several strings, told a few fibs, and was allowed off the legal hook (You can read the full, sad, well-documented saga of her multi-state crime spree here:

More recently --- earlier this month in fact --- Indiana's new GOP Secretary of State, Charlie White, the chief election official in the state with the most draconian polling place Photo ID restrictions in the nation, was indicted on three felony voter fraud charges, also related to registering and voting from a residence that was not his own. Whether he'll get off the hook remains to be seen. He was also charged with four other felony counts, all just months after being sworn in. He has not yet had the decency to resign his post in the meantime.

Why does the hypocrisy at work here matter? Because the Republican Party has long been running a War Against Voting in this country. Specifically, a War on Democratic-leaning Voters Voting. That War, of course, is what the phony attacks on ACORN --- the 4-decade old community group who managed to legally register more low and middle-income (read: Democratic-leaning) voters than any other national organization --- was always about. Nothing more, nothing less.

That War has ramped up since last November's GOP sweep in the general election (the one in which Huntsman appears to have committed voter fraud), as more than 20 states with Republican-led legislatures are now working to institute new polling place Photo ID restrictions meant to disenfranchise those who most often don't own such IDs, such as minorities, new voters and students (read: Democratic-leaning voters). That, as they will tell you, is in order to stave off the imaginary "Democratic voter fraud epidemic," the one that, even by the Bush Administration's own documented numbers does not exist, other than on Fox "News" and in the minds of the gullible GOP rank and file that have been conned by their cynical --- and, apparently, frequently criminal --- party leaders.

While Huntsman's alleged crime appears to be fairly minor, given the appalling way that Republicans over the last decade or so have ferreted out anything that even resembles "voter fraud" in support of their attempts to institute voter suppression laws, and sought, often successfully, to bring the harshest penalties for such infractions when they could find them, Huntsman and Coulter and White deserve little mercy.

As we noted a few weeks ago, upon White's indictment, the GOP's campaign to crack down on supposed "voter fraud" even when no vote was actually cast by the perp, or when the person committing the crime had no idea that it even was a crime, has had heartbreaking consequences:

During the Bush Administration's unprecedented attempt to crack down on "voter fraud," little sympathy was given to those charged with the crime, as minor and accidental offenses drew strict punishment such as jail time and even deportation.

In one instance, as documented by the NYTimes, a Pakistani man who had lived in the U.S. for more than a decade with his American wife and child was deported after mistakenly filling out a voter registration form handed to him with several others by an employee at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Tallahassee, FL. Though he never cast a vote, he was forced to leave the country for crime.

In another instance, Kimberly Prude, an African-American Milwaukee, WI, grandmother, was sentenced to jail for voter fraud after she'd registered to vote during a Democratic rally at City Hall and then cast an absentee ballot for the 2004 election. Four years earlier, Prude had been convicted of cashing a counterfeit check, though she had never served time in jail and was placed on six years' probation. When she learned from her probation officer that she was not allowed to vote, she called the county to inform them in hopes of withdrawing her ballot. Instead, she would be charged by Bush's U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic, and sent to jail for the first time. She was forced to serve more than more than a year before finally being released.

But, as noted, Huntsman is a Republican. And a powerful one at that. So he should have little to worry about under the "Rule of Law" in the U.S. in 2011 --- unless he decides to run for President, as is rumored. If so, we'll do our best to remind the nation of this man's horrendously criminal past as frequently as we possibly can.

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We had hoped to run a specific article highlighting this 3/10/11 video, but it aired on the day just before the Japan earthquake struck, and has gotten lost since. So, just in case we're not able to get back to it, we'll run it quickly here. It's a must-watch from Rachel Maddow, on the epidemic of GOP legislatures around the country now working to legislate polling place Photo ID restrictions in hopes of, flat-out, suppressing the Democratic vote in advance of the 2012 President election...

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