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...

The claims of vote fraud used to promote these measures usually fall apart on close inspection, as Mr. McKay saw. Missouri Republicans have long charged that St. Louis voters, by which they mean black voters, registered as living on vacant lots. But when The St. Louis Post-Dispatch checked, it found that thousands of people lived in buildings on lots that the city had erroneously classified as vacant.

Please note that the claims of "voter fraud" emanating from St. Louis come directly from the assiduous efforts of the democracy-hating top-level GOP operative/slime-ball, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, of the now-disappeared "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR). He still resides in our old home town and works the state, city, and county Republicans big time to push his "voter fraud" and disenfranchising Photo ID garbage on an unsuspecting citizenry who deserve far better.

In a notable corollary to this, it should be pointed out that his St. Louis colleague, Paul DeGregorio, was appointed by George W. Bush to head the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC). During his tenure there, he oversaw the operation with the very same despicable partisan "standards", and propagandistic tactics employed by his buddy Thor.

Thankfully, DeGregorio is no longer on the commission. Whether the currently appointed crew is any better, however, is still an open question...and only because we're in a generous mood at the moment. By the time we find out, of course, it'll likely be too late. The Democratic Senate recently swore in the newest Bush-appointed commissioners just last month, by unanimous consent and without bothering to hold oversight hearings.

One of those two new commissioners, former White House employee Caroline Hunter --- in direct violation of the Help American Vote Act (HAVA), which mandates that commissioners "shall have experience with or expertise in election administration or the study of elections" --- has no experience whatsoever in election administration or study thereof. Unless you count helping to purge voters from voter rolls to be "election administration" experience.

As pointed out by VoteTrustUSA, Hunter had more than just WH experience on her resume before being appointed to the commission which now oversees all federal voting system certification and standards in United States...

In her role as Deputy Counsel to the Republican National Committee, Ms. Hunter assisted the RNC and State Parties in some way with HAVA implementation. She also defended the RNC's attempt to use a list of over 23,000 names for challenges in the 2004 presidential election in Ohio.

23,000 voter challenges in Ohio. That's the exact same issue that occurred in the phony "voter fraud" cases in both New Mexico and Washington state which led to the purges of the U.S. Attorneys by the White House, as we reported yesterday and as again mentioned in today's New York Times editorial.

Heckuva job, Democrats.

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