Day: July 28, 2012

Former FL GOP chair says ‘right-wing crazies’ want to suppress black vote

 

Former Republican Party Chair Jim Greer screenshot via YouTube

Just in case some folks may have thought the post below was merely a fluke…

The Raw Story

Former Florida Republican Party Chair Jim Greer testified in a lawsuit filed against his former party that “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies” wanted to suppress the black vote through Voter ID and tactics like current state Gov. Rick Scott’s efforts to purge voter rolls, according to reporting in the the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday.

“I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days,” he testified in the 630-page affidavit that spans two days of deposition about a fundraising meeting with party general counsel Jason Gonzalez, political consultant Jim Rimes and Eric Eikenberg, Crist’s chief of staff. Rimes denies the discussion concerned voter suppression to the Times, and Eikenberg did not return the paper’s phone calls.

Greer claimed that the 2010 criminal fraud charges filed against him and other Republicans were part of internal party power scheming designed to push out him and former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, among others.

Crist now classifies himself as a moderate, and criticized Gov. Rick Scott’s “shameless” tactics that suppress voting rights, including requiring photo IDs, preventing felons from voting and purging voter rolls “unconscionable” on Wednesday.

Greer also testified that the party’s budget committee was made up of “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies” who wanted to push Crist and Greer out over political disagreements. including outrage over Crist’s appointment of an African-American judge and anger at Crist hugging President Barack Obama in 2009. “My phone lit up with people wanting me to censure the governor,” Greer testified, according to the Times. “Legislative leaders were using their party credit cards like drunken sailors and they made it clear to me I was not to interfere with their spending.”

Greer resigned after pressure from the party in late 2009, signing a severance agreement that outlined a $130,000 payment. Party officials later denied making the agreement and refused to honor it.

“They took everything I worked for my whole life,” he said, admitting that his family is now on food stamps. “Any good thing I did at the Republican Party has been destroyed by these people. I want my life back. I want them to say they are sorry for what they did to me.”

Watch an interview with Greer, uploaded to YouTube on January 23.

 

South Carolina Attorney General Admits Voter ID Won’t Prevent “Voter Fraud”

No one believed the GOP line that there was rampant voter fraud, hence the ID laws in several states…

Think Progress

Taking a break from defending his state’s restrictive voter ID law in court, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson spoke at a Heritage Foundation panel on Thursday regarding the dire need to prevent the threat of voter fraud. To illustrate, he offered a hypothetical in which a man votes under a stolen identity…by using a fraudulent voter ID card:

WILSON: The ability for someone to come in and, through fraud, dilute the voting pool is very present. I want to be able to give our government the ability to combat that, to give them the tools. It is very difficult to prove a negative. If Alan Wilson goes in and uses a fraudulent voter ID card under the name of John Smith and I vote under John Smith’s name and then leave the polling place, you cannot go back in time and prove the negative. It is impossible. It is very difficult to catch somebody in the act. But I hear countless stories of people who witnessed that.

In Wilson’s imagined scenario, a voter uses a fake ID to cast an extra vote. But his own argument rests on the idea that the requirement to show ID at the polls is necessary to combat rampant voter fraud and identity theft. By this logic, voter ID laws would do nothing to prevent this threat.

Watch it:

In-person voter fraud like the type Wilson claims to prevent is extremely rare. It is so rare, in fact, that a person is more likely to be struck by lightning than commit voter fraud. Even the Supreme Court could only identify one example of in-person voter fraud in the past 143 yearsin their 2009 decision upholding a voter ID law.

By contrast, a recent Brennan Center report found that nearly 500,000 voters — mostly low-income and minority individuals — in the ten states with voter ID laws stand to be disenfranchised.

Wilson has sued the Department of Justice for blocking South Carolina’s voter ID law, arguing, “The changes have neither the purpose nor will they have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority.”

According to the ACLU’s estimate, 180,000 voters will be affected by the South Carolina law, with minority voters hit hardest by the new requirements.

This isn’t the first time Wilson’s hypotheticals have fallen flat. After he claimed over 900 dead voters cast ballots in South Carolina, an investigation by the State Election Commission found no evidence to back him up. Wilson has continued to insist that the threat of dead voters is real, and repeated the statistic at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday.

Politico’s: Week in one liners: Cain, FLOTUS

AP Photos

Politico

The top quotes in politics …

“Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.” — British Prime Minister David Cameron tweaking Mitt Romnney.

“I love the fact that the guy is rich.” — Former White House hopeful Herman Cain defending  Romney.

“I wish my kids would become wealthy.”  Vice President Joe Biden on making money.

“They were asking me to do the Dougie, there just wasn’t the beat.” — First lady Michelle Obama on getting asked to dance.

“My, my, my how carefully they read that bill.” — House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer ridiculing  Republicans for a typo.

“The inspiration for that is definitely Elle Woods.” — New York state Senate candidate Mindy Meyer linking her pink campaign site to “Legally Blonde.”

“They’re not watching ‘Real Housewives.’ I’m just saying.’” — President Barack Obama telling  young Americans about their global competition.

West Wing Week – 7-27-12 or “A Brighter Day Is Going To Come”

 

The White House

This week, the President addressed the nation on the tragedy in Colorado and made Aurora his first stop on a four day trip out West, then continued to Reno to address the VFW, and to New Orleans to speak at the National Urban League.

Back in Washington DC, Dr. Biden announced a major Joining Forces initiative for social workers, the President signed an Executive Order on Education, and hosted a reception at the White House to honor the International AIDS Conference taking place in Washington DC.