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Voter suppression, race-baiting and the GOP
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:29 pm    Post subject: Voter suppression, race-baiting and the GOP Reply with quote

Fresh from my stint raging on a street corner, I thought it was appropriate to issue a few rebuttals under a new and more precise subject. Mrgybe is offering to loan me a dime (presumably to buy a Sonoma zinfandel instead of a bottle of Petrus), and techno warns me that raising concerns about racism and the GOP threatens my credibility. Au contraire, the GOP doesn't merely tolerate racism, it uses it as a fundamental electoral strategy, and has for decades.

Let’s look at the underlying issue in what is the current GOP practice of trying to suppress minority votes throughout the country, but particularly in the key swing states. In 2008, over 132 million people voted, including 16 million black voters, a turnout of 65%. That was a turnout of 56.8% of those of voting age. In 2010, only 90 million people voted, and youth voters stayed home in droves—turnout dropped to 37.8%. The black vote was not substantially different, but the percentage of white vote increased from 74% of voters in 2008 to 78% in 2010. Looking a little deeper at the numbers, readily available on the census web site, we see that the turnout for 2008 was 60.8% for black voters, 59.6% for white voters, and 31.6% for Hispanic voters. Turnout of black voters stayed fairly high in 2010, 40.7% for black voters, 43.4% for white voters—but the Hispanic turnout dropped to 20%.

None of this is news to political junkies—success at the polls is primarily a matter of candidate name recognition and getting your voters out. There are ethical ways to do this—the GOP targeted anti-gay measures to major elections to galvanize the evangelical vote, but found that it was starting to backfire with the new generation. And then there are legal and not so legal ways of actually suppressing the votes of those who you don’t think will support your candidate. To argue that this is not racially based is simply nonsense.

Before we look at the systematic efforts to suppress minority voters, let’s look at race-baiting—which the poster of a race-baiting video denied was going on. Let’s start with Larry McCarthy and Floyd Brown, the creators of the Willie Horton ad which helped beat Dukakis in 1998. McCarthy is working for Romney, and is profiled in the February New Yorker as “Attack Dog.”

About that ad, which used a visual image of the African-American parolee Willie Horton, the article notes:

In 1993, McCarthy’s past caught up with him. Twenty-four hours after he joined the New Jersey gubernatorial campaign of Christine Todd Whitman, he was forced to resign; African-American groups had fiercely objected to the hiring of the man behind the Willie Horton ad. Whitman later wrote, “The ad was viewed, with reason, as being either visual shorthand to communicate solidarity with racists, or at least being so insensitive, it amounted to racism.”

Read more

Romney refused to use McCarthy in his 2008 campaign:

In 2008, McCarthy and the other members of Romney’s media team created an attack ad against Mike Huckabee, accusing him of granting parole to a criminal who then raped and murdered a young woman. The ad team interviewed the victim’s mother, and got her to tell her horrifying story on camera. Wes Enos, who was Huckabee’s Iowa political director, says, “They tried to turn it into the Willie Horton ad.” Ultimately, Romney, who would have had to say that he had “approved this message,” decided against airing it.

But thanks to Citizens United and Crossroads he won’t have to get his hands dirty directly. And so we get videos of African-Americans using free cell phones. Given the people behind these attack ads, and their rejection as race-baiting by the old GOP (you know, the RINO’s), it is pure sophistry to argue that the lack of images of white folks using free phones—as they do, representing the majority of the poor—is accidental.

Now let's turn to voter suppression, and whether it is consciously an effort to thwart turn out of blacks and Hispanics--and let's look at what the authors of these programs say:

In the debate over new laws meant to curb voter fraud in places like Florida, Democrats always charge that Republicans are trying to suppress the vote of liberal voting blocs like blacks and young people, while Republicans just laugh at such ludicrous and offensive accusations. That is, every Republican except for Florida’s former Republican Party chairman Jim Greer, who, scorned by his party and in deep legal trouble, blew the lid off what he claims was a systemic effort to suppress the black vote. In a 630-page deposition recorded over two days in late May, Greer, who is on trial for corruption charges, unloaded a litany of charges against the “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies” in his party, including the effort to suppress the black vote.

In the deposition, released to the press yesterday, Greer mentioned a December 2009 meeting with party officials. “I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting,” he said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He also said party officials discussed how “minority outreach programs were not fit for the Republican Party,” according to the AP. (Source:

According to the non-partisan Brennan Center, Updated March 04, 2012

New state laws dealing with the right to vote enacted since the 2008 election may cause more than 5 million eligible voters to find it significantly harder or even impossible to cast ballots in 2010, according to a new report from the non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice.

As is often the case with laws dealing with voter registration and qualifications, the 19 new laws and two executive actions enacted in 14 states this year will most affect minority, poor and young voters.

"This is the most significant cutback in voting rights in decades. More voters may be affected than the margin of victory in two out of the past three presidential elections," said Michael Waldman, the Center's executive director in a press release. "In 2012 we should make it easier for every eligible citizen to vote. Instead, we have made it far harder for too many. Partisans should not try to tilt the electoral playing field in this way."

Are there any protections from such tactics? Of course, although Ron Paul wants to repeal it, the Voting Act of 1965 has protections. Here is a description:

What federal law protects me from discrimination in voting?

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 protects every American against racial discrimination in voting. This law also protects the voting rights of many people who have limited English skills. It stands for the principle that everyone's vote is equal, and that neither race nor language should shut any of us out of the political process. You can find the Voting Rights Act in the United States Code at 42 U.S.C. 1973 to 1973aa-6.

Where did the Voting Rights Act come from?

Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965, at the height of the civil rights movement in the South, a movement committed to securing equal voting rights for African Americans. The action came immediately after one of the most important events of that movement, a clash between black civil rights marchers and white police in Selma, Alabama. The marchers were starting a 50-mile walk to the state capital, Montgomery, to demand equal rights in voting, when police used violence to disperse them. What happened that day in Selma shocked the nation, and led President Johnson to call for immediate passage of a strong federal voting rights law.

What does the Voting Rights Act do?

The Voting Rights Act bans all kinds of racial discrimination in voting. For years, many states had laws on their books that served only to prevent minority citizens from voting. Some of these laws required people to take a reading test or interpret some passage out of the Constitution in order to vote, or required people registering to vote to bring someone already registered who would vouch for their "good character." The Voting Rights Act made these and other discriminatory practices illegal, and gave private citizens the right to sue in federal court to stop them. In recent times, courts have applied the Act to end race discrimination in the method of electing state and local legislative bodies and in the choosing of poll officials.
What does the Justice Department do to enforce the Voting Rights Act?
Under Section 2 of the Act the Department may sue in federal court to challenge those practices that it has determined are racially discriminatory. Several lawsuits of this nature are filed every year. The Attorney General also has special administrative powers, under a part of the Act known as Section 5, to prevent the adoption of discriminatory voting practices in certain parts of the country. The Department also works with states and localities to help them understand the Voting Rights Act and avoid discrimination in voting, and may send federal observers to monitor elections to ensure their fairness to minorities when such monitoring is deemed necessary.

So now we see why the GOP attacks Holder—he is trying to enforce the Voting Rights Act and prevent actions that are in their impact racially discriminatory. In the current controversies, they have sued Florida (June 11, 2012) and Georgia (June 27, 2012). Then there is Texas, where the dirty deeds were done in re-districting:
Redistricting court battles to heat up this week
ByTim Eaton
Updated: 6:21 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, 2011
Published: 8:25 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011
The racially charged battle over newly drawn political districts in Texas will heat up this week, with scheduled court hearings in San Antonio and Washington.
But don't expect a resolution on redistricting anytime soon.
At stake: boundaries of districts across the state, including in Austin. According to the maps approved by the Legislature, Travis County would be split among five congressional districts, none with a majority of population in the county.
Today , in the first of two redistricting hearings, a three-person panel of federal judges in San Antonio will listen to groups suing the state for drawing what they describe as racially and ethnically discriminatory congressional and state House districts. Lawyers representing those groups will discuss their visions for what they think the maps should look like, at least for the short term.
And on Wednesday, another panel of three federal judges will convene in Washington for arguably a more important hearing. In determining whether the redistricting maps drawn by the Legislature earlier this year comply with the Voting Rights Act, the judges will decide on two issues: whether the maps were purposely created to discriminate against minorities and whether any part of the maps diminishes minority representation - a charge that will be argued by the U.S. Department of Justice. Lawyers representing the state attorney general will defend the maps.

And then, just to dip into the past and explain how the GOP’s resistance to voter rights is not something new, here is a Seattle PI article on Rehnquist’s role in the past:

The Voting Rights Act transformed this nation into one that put citizenship ahead of privilege in the voting booth.
And even before the ink of Lyndon Johnson's signature was dry, political forces were trying to roll back the clock.
They included, for instance, a man who would become the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, William Rehnquist.
As a Republican activist in Arizona in the '60s, Rehnquist would spend Election Day picking out, and picking off if possible, black voters by challenging their credentials.
In the South, the gritty civil rights activists of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee knew that, without the vote, every other hard-fought civil right was for naught.
As did the White Citizens Councils. They fought SNCC's voter registration drives with every fiber in their being.
Today the means to turn back the clock aren't torches, firebombs and night rides. They're computers and deftly named "ballot security" measures. The authors, like Rehnquist, know that the fewer poor people, or black people, or brown people voting, the better their chance of holding power -- old times not being forgotten

Read more:

Read more:

Those who would defend the GOP practices might have some credibility if they understood them. I can expect either an insult, silence, or return to message from mrgybe. Matty won't read it--but will do some name calling. Up to you techno to see if the right can cobble together a rational response.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Voter suppression, race-baiting and the GOP Reply with quote

mac wrote:
I can expect either an insult, silence, or return to message from mrgybe. Matty won't read it--but will do some name calling. Up to you techno to see if the right can cobble together a rational response.

You've just insulted Iso and Mr. B by ignoring them.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't even have to peek at this one to know how stupid, misinformed, and blind it is. The topic and byline say it all.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobras wrote:
I don't even have to peek at this one to know how stupid, misinformed, and blind it is. The topic and byline say it all.

Aww, go ahead, Mikey. Read it.

I was speaking up for you and Mr. Bard -- and you respond with an insult. How typical is that?

You guys sure provide an amazing amount of free entertainment. Laughing Laughing Laughing
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


There's enough here to choke on for awhile, but one thing you need to review a little closer is the issue of redistricting in Texas. This is and has been an issue for years. Whether it's city, county or state districts, Texas has been forced to draw meandering lines (districts) all over the place so that the vast majority of people in those districts are either black or Hispanic. This is the only way minorities can be voted into office, plus if you are white and live in one of these districts, it's impossible to get elected because so few whites live there. Actually, before all this happened, there were some black representatives since some districts did have a large number of minorities. Then the minorities (now with Hispanics on board) wanted more representation, but couldn't get the votes in the geographically drawn districts, so on to federal court for help.

If districts are created in any logical geographical way, there are so few minorities voting that if the population is 60% minority / 40% white, the white candidates will almost always get elected.

So to be "fair", districts are now drawn by race. It's much like affirmative action but it seems to be the only way minorities can get elected.

I am sure liberals will think this is a good thing, but is it? Minorities won't show up to vote in their own candidates, so the federal government steps in to help out. Is this really a democracy?

These days, no matter how districts are drawn (the census caused a lot of this), it always ends in court because someone is sure they are getting the sort end of the stick. And yes, someone always DOES get the short end of the stick.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just returned from L'Auberge Chez Francoise with my daughter and husband. Didn't sample the Petrus but we managed to struggle through with a cheeky Pouilly Fuisse and a robust, but not threatening Chambertin. Borrowed a well considered acronym from my son in law..........TLDR (too long, didn't read).
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac, your prejudice is appauling. Democrats portray their own constituents as being too dumb to get a free ID's, however assume that conservatives are smart enough to complete this task more often.

I assume, that each party has an equal number of stupid constituents and buffoons to muck up the deal.....EQUALLY.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevenbard wrote:
Mac, your prejudice is appauling. Democrats portray their own constituents as being too dumb to get a free ID's, however assume that conservatives are smart enough to complete this task more often.

I assume, that each party has an equal number of stupid constituents and buffoons to muck up the deal.....EQUALLY.
I think you have it way off base, first democrats do care about the poor. The poor generally do not vote in elections. what about 25-30 percent of americans do not vote. We do not care that they do not vote they are still people and humans that have human rights that we Americans have failed in many ways. You have to agree the better educated the poor get the better our society will be. We are only as strong as our weakest link.

We had a Pennsylvania republican about 3 weeks ago give a speech to the elected republicans on what they have accomplished, and one of his punch list was voter ID passed to deliver Penn to Romney.

Now just a week ago the head of the florida republican party in a court deposition admitted that the republican party was involved in stopping blacks from voting as a party. see citation below.

Picture IDs do nothing to prevent vote fraud. As a matter of fact there is so little actual in person vote fraud it is pathetic. Bush-Rove had it as a priority to prosecute by partisan federal prosecutors and in their 8 years found and got convictions of leas than 100 in 8 years when it was as high of a priority as finding terrorists. In fact 6-8 federal prosecutors testified to this that, were fired because they went after serious crime and would not prioritize this over politicians. Note Rove and Bush would not testify to say all these fired prosecutors were wrong. So under oath I will take their word than that of the right wing Rovian propaganda machine.

There is no state picture ID that means you are a american citizen. No state has the ability to verify anything in another state and no state has the money to try. What you need a copy of a birth certificate? Think about the right wing wacos have proved that even the secretary of state of Hawaii who has notified even Arizona directly that Obama is a citizen and the right wing wacos still say he is not an american. There is no friggen ID made in the USA with that level of evidence that can prove you are a american. The right wing wacos proved it.

There are many elderly that have no way to get an ID. Impossible for them to vote with new guidelines, what do you do when your house burns down and you lose you ID. and you have had a name change because you married. Do you realize how difficult it is? It is a poll tax no question, very expensive one.

BTW what forms of IDs were needed to vote when the country was founded? For the first 100 years or so? Why should we ask for more now?

again if Bush Rove could not convict more than 100 when it was a priority, why deny millions their constitutional right of a democracy/american? From what I remember we are innocent till proven guilty.
Greer is still facing charges that he diverted party donations to a personal account, and his acrimonious departure from the party gives him an axe to grind. In addition to saying the Florida Republican had come under the sway of "whack-a-do, right-wing crazies," he claimed that party leaders met and discussed ways to suppress the black vote.

"They talked about not letting blacks vote," Greer said during the deposition, adding that party officials believed that "minority outreach programs were not fit for the Republican Party."

Now in closing, I am for a national ID that is not mandatory and never expires and is free and can be applied for at any post office so convenient.. (do you realize in some large cities there are only 3-4 places to get the so called state ID, and the poor who work 2-3 minimum wage jobs do not have cars or the time to get them during working hours, or in rural areas in Nevada a 2-3 hour drive, to stand in line for 3-5 hours) So democrats, the democrats have tried to past such a bill but have been stopped by filibuster several times. This ID can be used for anything including including getting a job. Again not mandatory though.

It would remove the liability from employers if it is used as an ID for a job. If you do not use it the employer is legally liable if the employee is not an american. And the repugnats block it because the employers do not want a ID of that nature because they want to hire people who work for low wages.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The GOP is the White Man's Party.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doggie--one dark face in the weeper's crowd. Here's the results of the Bush era's search for voter fraud:

The Real Voter Fraud Scandal

Conservatives are trying to restrict and distort the will of the voters in an effort to win the next election before votes are even cast

By Robert Schlesinger
October 6, 2011 RSS Feed Print

In Ohio, where such a law is pending, roughly 940,000 citizens lack valid IDs, according to a study by a nonpartisan voters group. Or take Wisconsin: Less than half of Milwaukee County African-Americans and Hispanics have driver's licenses, according to a study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the figures are worse for younger voters. Indeed, the Wisconsin law is especially pernicious, specifically not accepting student IDs, even from state institutions. Texas's voter ID law is even more blatant in who it's aimed at. State gun permits are acceptable, but student IDs and government employment cards are not.

[Check out our editorial cartoons on the GOP.]

And these laws are a solution searching for a problem. Conservatives have long bemoaned the menace of voter impersonation, but the evidence for this threat is nonexistent. George W. Bush's Justice Department spent years ferreting out voter fraud and managed to prosecute not one voter for impersonating another. "Out of the 300 million votes cast [between 2002 and 2007] federal prosecutors convicted only 86 people for voter fraud," Rolling Stone reported. A 2007 study by the Brennan Center found the instances of voter fraud to be literally infinitesimal. "You're more likely to get killed by lightning than commit in-person voter fraud," says the Brennan Center's Michael Waldman. Which only makes sense: That thousands of people are casting illegal votes in others' names while evading determined detection (always managing to choose people who weren't going to vote anyway) doesn't pass the smell test.

Knock away the spurious reasons for the push to restrict voting and you're left with bare-knuckled partisanship. "There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today," former President Bill Clinton told a group of young political activists over the summer. He's right, and it must be fought at every level.

Too long, didn't read. Books and technical articles must be terrifying to the smug.
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