The GOP Fruit Doesn’t Fall Very Far From The Tree - [UPDATED]

Posted in Around The Nation, Around The State, Corruption, Elections at 3:19 pm by wcnews

Reading this article, Campaign against alleged voter fraud fuels political tempest:

For six years, the Bush administration, aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates.

The administration intensified its efforts last year as President Bush’s popularity and Republican support eroded heading into a midterm battle for control of Congress, which the Democrats won.

Facing nationwide voter registration drives by Democratic-leaning groups, the administration alleged widespread election fraud and endorsed proposals for tougher state and federal voter identification laws. Presidential political adviser Karl Rove alluded to the strategy in April 2006 when he railed about voter fraud in a speech to the Republican National Lawyers Association.

Made me think of the work the Lone Star Project did on this issue (scroll down to Defends Voting Rights):

To date, it appears that less than a dozen indictments have been handed down as a result of Abbott’s enforcement efforts. Over 4 million votes are normally cast in a Texas election. Of these, only about 40 actual ballots, less than .001 percent, are in question. Most disturbing, the individuals Abbott is prosecuting are mostly African American or Hispanic, senior citizens and Democrats. If voter fraud is in fact an “epidemic” in Texas, it is worth noting that Abbott, Perry and Williams have chosen to prosecute only a few violators, and virtually all of them are minority senior Democrats.

Now where in the world did Greg Abbott get that idea.

[UPDATE]: TDP Press Release below the fold (Click on “Read the rest of this entry”.)Â I swear it hit my inbox just as I pushed publish.


(Austin, TX)— Today, on the same day U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys who did not pursue Karl Rove’s political agenda, the Republican leadership of the Texas House scheduled two highly partisan Voter ID bills for Monday debate.

In Austin, Texas Republicans are attempting to use the legislative process to literally end voter registration as we know it and suppress turnout among senior citizens and groups of voters who traditionally vote Democratic. The Texas Voter ID push is part of the same partisan agenda that led Karl Rove to orchestrate the firing of U.S. Attorneys who would not pursue partisan “voter fraud” cases because of a lack of substantial evidence.

“From the Justice Department to the Texas House, Karl Rove and his Republican foot soldiers are willing to abuse our democracy to carry out a political mission that would deny selected Americans their constitutional right to vote,” said Texas Democratic Chair Boyd Richie. “Karl Rove has turned the Justice Department into his own personal political machine, and Texas Republican leaders are working in tandem with him to advance his partisan agenda at any cost.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing takes place as Texas House Republican leaders are plotting to pass legislation that would require a voter to present a voter registration card and a photo ID to vote, as well as a bill requiring anyone who wants to register to vote to present costly certified documentation showing proof of citizenship.

Studies conducted for the Federal Elections Assistance Commission and respected nonpartisan organizations indicate that these bills would have a devastating affect on voter participation by seniors, disabled, low-income and minority voters who traditionally vote Democratic.

Republicans claim they are pushing these bills in response to a voter fraud “epidemic,” claiming widespread voter impersonation is plaguing the polls. However, there have been no documented cases of voter impersonation in Texas. Even Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s voter fraud task force only prosecuted 13 cases, ten of which involved technicalities, not fraudulent ballots. None of the cases involved the “voter impersonation” that targeted by this legislation.

In fact, the Republican-dominated State House Elections Committee’s Interim Report did not recommend passage of a Voter ID bill, and instead stated that “allegations of such fraud in Texas are neither new nor uncommon. Unfortunately, the actual prevalence of these crimes, and the effectiveness of prosecution and prevention, are less apparent.”

“Voting is the most fundamental right in a democracy, and we should all be working to encourage more participation in fair elections free from fraud and intimidation instead of using tax dollars to promote a partisan agenda” Richie said.

“Apparently, had the fired U.S. Attorneys been willing to pursue a bogus ‘voter fraud’ agenda with the same zeal shown by Texas Republican leaders, they’d still have their jobs today,” added Richie. “After voters rejected their failed agenda at the polls last year, Republicans have resorted to an effort to keep voters away from the polls instead of actually working to earn their votes.”

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