Sep 16, 2008

GOP voter suppression efforts are full steam ahead

Republicans are pulling out all the stops in trying to pull out a victory for the ethically challenged McCain ticket here in Michigan, and that always includes their favorite tactic: voter suppression.

The Republicans know they are not the party of mainstream America or Main Street America, so the best way for them to win is to keep voter turnout low, unless they have a hot button issue like abortion or gay marriage on the ballot that brings out their base. Over the years, the GOP has become very good at voter suppression and intimidation.

The requirement to show an ID at the local polling place was a way to slow voter turnout among minority populations who tend to vote Democratic. It certainly wasn't in response to any voter fraud because there was none. But the latest GOP suppression tactic is one that is both dirty and clever.

The online newspaper/blog Michigan Messenger broke the story that the chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to challenge people and block them from voting in November as part of the state GOP’s effort to suppress the vote. That brought swift denials from the chair, the state party chair and even the official rightwing blog wrote some ridiculous parody.

The party spokesman put out a press release saying the chair was not only misquoted but the reporter, Eartha Jane Melzer, made up the quote. The press release demanded a retraction, but of course they never actually asked the MM for a retraction. The good news is publicity like that is the best antiseptic to dirty tricks like what the GOP was planning, and they are apparently backing off.

The publication and the story have received national recognition, and I even heard it mentioned on the Stephanie Miller Show last week.

The MM is standing by the story and their reporter, despite false attacks on both her and the publication's integrity. I even heard them described in a mainstream newspaper as the "liberal Michigan Messenger." Have you ever heard the Wall Street Journal described as the conservative WSJ? Me neither.

The MM is standing by the story and the reporter for good reason: she's right. I was a fellow for the MM when it started up last September and wrote for them for some nine months until my current job left me without enough time to turn out as much copy as was required.

Melzer was also there from the begining, and she has broken some big stories for the MM the mainstream media missed. Like this one. She broke the story on Sovereign Deed. The private security firm wanted to build a disaster response operation to look after rich people in northern Michigan, but Melzer broke the story that the founder lied about his military service. After that story, she received some of the same kinds of pressure then as she is now. She was right then, and she's right on the GOP suppression effort.

The Republican's answer to being caught with their hand in the cookie jar is to point out alleged voter fraud by ACORN, the nation’s largest grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people. This group is really hated by the Republicans. We know of the GOP's hatred of community organizers who dare to try and better their community and empower community members with their constitutionaly guaranteed right to vote, but they also registering voters, hurting the GOP voter suppression efforts.

ACORN is being accused of fraudulent voter registrations both nationally and in Michigan. First, is there any doubt knowing how political the U.S. Justice Department is that ACORN would not be a target? Second, ACORN's problem is hiring people to collect voter registrations and paying them for each one. We saw a similar situation with the fraudulent recall against Andy Dillon, but there was no intention to deceive by ACORN leadership. Plus, those fraudulent and forged signatures in the crooked effort by Leon Drolet were allowed to stand. Even without the voter ID law, a first-time voter has to show an ID to vote, so if ACORN was trying to commit voter fraud they would not get away with it at the polls.

The good news is the Department of Human Services (DHS) is stepping up ensure the people the GOP is trying to disenfranchise have the opportunity to vote. Local DHS offices in 57 counties across Michigan will host voter registration fairs to help register voters. Representatives of the League of Women Voters of Michigan, a city, township, or county clerk, or other community organizations will be at many locations to assist individuals attending the events.

Here in Livingston County, the local DHS office will hold their voter fair from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in their offices at the East Complex, 2300 E. Grand River in Genoa Township. DHS clients and local residents will receive information on all aspects of voting, including practice casting a ballot in addition to registering to vote. The deadline for registering to vote in the November 4 General Election is October 6.


Anonymous said...

I didn't have to even finish this article.

First, one of you sentences should correctly be written as "The Republicans know they are not the party of mainstream media".

Second, ACORN has been caught with their hands in the cookie jar once too often, so trying to make them look like some do good grassroots community organization is frankly a joke.

Also, a huge majority of Americans support the use of ID at the voter poll. How in the world does that keep minorities (like me) away from the polls? What... you think we're incapable fools?
How ignorant!

Should be

Communications guru said...

First, the sentence I wrote is correct, thank you. The Republican Party is not the party of Mainstream America or Main Street America. They may, however, be the party of mainstream media because it is conservative and big business.

Second, ACORN is "some do good grassroots community organization."

Your opinion that "a huge majority of Americans support the use of ID at the voter poll" is based on what? What the law is, is a form of a poll tax and part of an ongoing strategy by Michigan Republicans to disenfranchise minority and older voters. Where is the voter fraud this poll tax is addressing?

Anonymous said...

First... Republicans... the party of the mainstream media? You're delusional. What news do you watch?

Second, we'll simply agree to disagree on ACORN. They've been caught many times filing false voter registrations and forging thousands of signatures. Even the Clinton Administration found that ACORN was misspending government grants designed to help counsel the poor. The group seeks minimum wage increases in cities and states across the country, yet it sued the state of California to get out of paying its own employees the state minimum wage.

Third, explain to me how it's a poll tax? The very few people who go to the polls that don't have an ID (for whatever reason) can choose to sign the affidavit instead.

See, what this does is reduce the chance of voter fraud (which you obviously don't have a problem with).

Communications guru said...

I watch the mainstream, corporate media, like GE and Fox News Corporation. There are many older Americans who don't have an ID and don't see a need for one. With a voter turnout of 30 percent the average, why are we throwing up barriers to vote? There are no cases of voter fraud in Michigan this law addresses. What voter fraud are you talking about?

The fact is, the law is here, and I can live with it. But there is no way anyone can deny it was enacted just as a way to slow voter turnout and keep some people away from the polls. This is a pattern, and the worst, most despicable example is using foreclosure lists to do it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Fox News, is certainly to the right of mainstream media. But GE and NBC are the most left there is. Heck, even there own employees pushed to have Chris Matthews and Keith Oberman removed from Political coverage because their bias was WAY TOO obvious.

No voter fraud? Cheeze.. here's something from just this week... and hey.. look who's behind it.. ACORN:

Anonymous said...

I certainly am not in favor of voter intimidation. But I don't see the problem with making sure that a voter is who he says he is and is a legitimate resident of the location where he votes.

Question: Do you have a problem if someone votes in an area where they don't live?

ka_Dargo_Hussein said...

Where are the numbers regarding that, Nonny? Also, how do they compare to the vote suppression numbers?

Also, I'm going to be in that situation shortly. We just sold our house and must be out by The 2nd week of October. We're moving across country and I will not be able to vote in that state's elections.

Will my absentee ballot count in LivCo?

ka_Dargo_Hussein said...

Here's an informative site regarding your rights as a voter.

Jed said...

Now there's a non-partisan site for you.

"Election Protection" is code word for "They're watching us too closely and not letting us cheat".

If it wasn't for groups like ACORN, we wouldn't need all of these new laws to protect from fraud.