Wendy Davis with help from groups that support her is leading the way in the people’s fight against vote suppression.
While Greg Abbott dedicates his efforts to disenfranchises hundreds of thousands of eligible voters in Texas, Wendy Davis is encouraging voters to exercise their franchise and Davis’ efforts are paying off.
Monday was the first day of early voting in Texas and according to figures released by the Secretary of State, voter turnout in the six largest counties were higher than the first day of early voting in 2010.
This is a direct result of the hard work and dedication by groups who support Wendy Davis. Led by Battleground Texas voter registration groups rolled up their sleeves and got to work registering millions of voters, many of whom are minorities. While Greg Abbott decided it better served his interests to disenfranchise these voters, Texans with the help of voter registration groups had a different idea.
So far, there have been no reports of problems at the polls.
No doubt, supporters of vote suppression laws will argue this proves that the laws in question do not and never were intended to suppress the vote. The fact is, people will be disenfranchised be it under the strictest voter ID law in the United States for reasons I and others have stated on numerous occasions. While some states may offer “free voter ID” the costs involved in getting the documents needed to get that “free ID” still amount to an unaffordable poll tax. Often Republicans will say the ID is “free” for people who can’t afford it, but fail to mention the costs that go with getting the ID needed to get the “free voter ID.” Aside from the costs of those documents, it means taking time off work. That means aside from the costs, voters are hit with the additional financial penalty of losing income.
The fact is, Republicans know it and some, are saying it. Chris Christie said categorically that Republicans have to win gubernatorial elections so that they can control “voting mechanisms.”
Would you rather have Rick Scott in Florida overseeing the voting mechanism, or Charlie Crist? Would you rather have Scott Walker in Wisconsin overseeing the voting mechanism, or would you rather have Mary Burke? Who would you rather have in Ohio, John Kasich or Ed FitzGerald?
Rick Scott, Scott Walker and John Kasich have all been before the courts defending “laws” that amount to perpetrating a fraud on the public under the pretense that they care about stopping election fraud.
Republicans like to muddy the waters by suggesting that being a Republic and having honest, fair and open elections are mutually exclusive. The truth is that Republicans they are willing to throw free and fair elections under the bus because they can’t win by honest means.
It’s up to us to send Republicans a loud and clear message that rigging elections has consequences. Stealing people’s votes will not be tolerated.
The groups led by Battleground Texas are showing us how it’s done.
Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t this similar to KKK tactics of the 50’s?
A militia group in Wisconsin is planning to target African-American Democrats at polling places in order to suppress the vote and keep Republican governor Scott Walker in office.
Here is a Twitter exchange where the group details their plan:
A visit to the group’s Facebook page features makes it clear exactly who they are targeting. All of the pictures on the page feature African-Americans. The group is trying to get African-Americans who may have outstanding warrants arrested in order to keep them from voting. The group wants people to report those they suspect of having warrants out on them to the police on election day, “Do the community a favor and keep an eye out for people wanted on warrants and report them to the police on election day.”
The “poll watchers” also plan on harassing and following people who they suspect of being wanted on warrants to their homes. The plan seems to be to use the police to intimidate African-Americans into not voting in November’s election.
The group admits that they are targeting Democrats. They aren’t exactly subtle in making it clear that they are targeting African-American voters. The scheme is an attempt to intimidate African-American voters while getting around the Voting Rights Act. The point of this campaign isn’t to get felons off the streets. The “poll watchers” are trying to keep African-Americans away from the polls.
The fact that they are targeting a specific group of individuals based on race and perceived political affiliation means that their operation is a violation of the Voting Rights Act. According to the Justice Department, “The administration of elections is chiefly a function of state government. However, federal authorities may become involved where there are possible violations of federal law. In cases where intimidation, coercion, or threats are made or attempts to intimidate, threaten or coerce are made to any person for voting or attempting to vote, the Department of Justice can consider whether there is federal jurisdiction to bring civil claims or criminal charges under federal law. Depending on the nature of the allegations, they may fall into the jurisdiction of different parts of the Department. If you have information about allegations of intimidation, please contact us.”
Wisconsin Republicans are desperate to keep Scott Walker in office, Currently, Gov. Walker is tied with Democrat Mary Burke in the polls. A voter intimidation effort that could prevent African-Americans from voting might be enough to get Walker reelected. The right-wing Wisconsin poll watching group is planning on engaging in illegal activity. The group is just getting started, which is why it is a perfect time to send the message that these tactics will not be tolerated.
You can contact the Justice Department here, and request that the election be monitored.
The right to vote must be protected, and those who attempt to intimidate voters need to be held accountable.
When Gogebic Taconite LLC began moving in November 2010—the same month Scott Walker was elected governor of Wisconsin—to develop an open-pit iron mine in one of the most environmentally sensitive regions of northern Wisconsin, the Florida-based mining firm got a lot of pushback. Residents of the region objected, along with Native American tribes. So, too, did citizens from across Wisconsin, a state that has long treasured the wild beauty of the Penokee Range. Environmental and conservation groups voiced their concerns, as did local and state officials from across the political spectrum.
The outcry heightened as Gogebic Taconite and its allies promoted a radical rewrite of existing mining regulations in order to promote a project that could grow to be four miles long, more than a mile wide and 1,000 feet deep. Democratic and Republican legislators began to ask tough questions. Yet Governor Scott Walker remained “eager to advance a mining bill,” according to Wisconsin media that reported extensively on the governor’s determination to overrule objections to the grand schemes of an out-of-state corporation that newly released documents show secretly steered $700,000 to “independent” efforts to provide political cover for the embattled governor.
The documents, released as part of legal wrangling over a “John Doe” investigation into alleged fund-raising abuses during the recall elections of 2011 and 2012, have revealed both big contributions and the big concerns of a key investigator about “an appearance of corruption.”
Walker, of course, denies any wrongdoing, as does Gogebic and the group that managed the money.
Yet there is no question that the governor provided substantial support for the mining company. During a long, high-profile battle, he dismissed and denied a broad array of objections to Gogebic’s plans.
The Nature Conservancy argued that the proposed changes to Wisconsin mining regulations would “pose serious risks to the rivers, lakes, wetlands, groundwater and other natural resources.”
The Sierra Club announced that “the largest ever mine proposed in Wisconsin presents unacceptable risks to Lake Superior and the sensitive and exceptional Bad River Watershed which includes…the largest freshwater estuary on Lake Superior.”
“It’s devastating,” said Annie Maday, a member of the tribal council of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, which argued that the mine could destroy wild rice beds and pollute waters on its nearby reservation. “They’re going to destroy my home.”
When the state Senate took up the bill, it was opposed by Bob Jauch, the Poplar Democrat who represents northwest Wisconsin. “Our job is not to be Santa Claus to the mining company and Scrooge to the taxpayers,” Jauch said. “This is a bill that offers a sweetheart deal for the mining company and shortchanges the taxpayer.”
State Senator Dale Schultz, a Republican who broke with his party to oppose the mining legislation at several key points, said, “My conscience simply won’t allow me to surrender the existing environmental protections without a full and open debate.”
When the controversial rule changes were approved by the legislature in 2013, Walkerannounced that he was “thrilled” to sign the bill.
What went unmentioned at the time was the extent to which Gogebic Taconite was “thrilled” with Walker.
The documents that were briefly unsealed last week by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit—which is weighing whether to permit the continuation of the “John Doe” probe into alleged illegal coordination between Walker’s campaign and so-called “independent” groups that supported the governor—shined light on the shadowy political networks that developed to aid Walker. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted that the “hundreds of pages of documents that… showed Walker’s team sought to solicit funds for the Wisconsin Club for Growth from an array of nationally known donors to fend off his 2012 recall. Real estate developer Donald Trump, industrialist billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson were all targets.”
The documents reinforce the image of the governor, who is seeking re-election this fall and preparing a 2016 Republican presidential run, as a master political operative who worked every angle to secure record amounts of money for his own campaign and for “independent” groups that were supportive of it. In one of the unsealed documents, a fund-raising aide consulting with Walker before he met with wealthy donors advised: “Let them know that you can accept corporate contributions and it is not reported.”
The documents reveal details of a number of huge and previously unreported donations. Yet the one that raised the most eyebrows had to do with the mine project.
As the recall fights heated up, Gogebic Taconite moved $700,000 to the Wisconsin Club for Growth, which in turn steered resources to other groups that cheered on Walker and his Republican allies.
“Because Wisconsin Club for Growth’s fundraising and expenditures were being coordinated with Scott Walker’s agents at the time of Gogebic’s donation, there is certainly an appearance of corruption in light of the resulting legislation from which it benefited,” argued Dean Nickel, the former head of the state Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Unit who investigated the fund-raising scheme for the state Government Accountability Board.
Walker has admitted that he helped steer money to the Wisconsin Club for Growth, but when asked whether he knew of the Gogebic money, he answered vaguely, “Not to my knowledge.” Pressed by reporters on whether “the previously undisclosed funds and subsequent legislation were part of some pay-to-play scheme,” the governor replied, “That’s a ridiculous argument.”
The governor has every right to make that claim, as do his most ardent apologists.
But in Wisconsin, a state that historically took great pride in its clean elections and high ethical standards, voters have a right to ask, based on records and revelations, whether it really is all that ridiculous to find in them “an appearance of corruption.”
This is some important information for those on the fence trying to figure out who to choose as the next Republican Presidential candidate in 2016…
It’s hard to believe, surveying the GOP field of possible presidential nominees, but back in 2008 the parties were not that far apart on climate change. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee, backed cap-and-trade for carbon emissions. After joining his ticket, so did Sarah Palin. But back then, lots of Republicans and conservatives also supported an individual mandate to buy health insurance. The Republican Party of 2008 was a big enough tent to include people who admitted demonstrable problems existed and supported free-market-oriented solutions. Not anymore. The rise of the Tea Party movement and the rightward shift of the Republican base and the politicians who pander to it put an end to all that. Whoever is the Republican nominee for president in 2016, it’s a safe bet that he—and yes, it will be a he, as all the leading contenders are male—will oppose taking any action on climate change. Chances are that he won’t even admit it exists.
The Republicans basically fall into four categories: (1) Flat-Earthers, who deny the existence of manmade climate change; (2) Born-Again Flat-Earthers, who do the same, but who had admitted climate change exists back before President Obama took office; (3) Do-Nothings, who sort of admit the reality of climate change but oppose actually taking any steps to prevent it; and (4) Dodgers, who have avoided saying whether they believe climate change is happening, and who also don’t want to take any steps to alleviate it. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker fall into the latter category. The Do-Nothings are blue and purple state governors, Chris Christie of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio. In a sign of how far rightward Republicans have moved since 2008, these are actually the guys who are trying to position themselves as relatively moderate and pragmatic. The Born-Agains are Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Both are staunch conservatives but only partial wingnuts. Back when that meant believing in climate change, they did, but they have since followed their base into fantasyland. Everyone else is an outright denier and always has been.
Here’s our full breakdown of all 13 of the top potential hopefuls, including their lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters if they served in Congress. No, we did not include Donald Trump even though he would probably lead in the polls if he ran. And alas, we cannot predict who might be the next Herman Cain. MaybePapa John? If he, or any other pizza moguls, run, we’ll add an update.
Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida
While President George W. Bush never did anything about global warming, his brother goes further, by not even admitting it exists. In 2009, Jeb Bush toldEsquire, “I’m a skeptic. I’m not a scientist. I think the science has been politicized. I would be very wary of hollowing out our industrial base even further… It may be only partially man-made. It may not be warming by the way. The last six years we’ve actually had mean temperatures that are cooler. I think we need to be very cautious before we dramatically alter who we are as a nation because of it.” Last year, he talked about how generating power with natural gas instead of coal would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but he avoided actually saying the C-word or mentioning why reducing emissions would be a good thing.
Notable quote: “I think global warming may be real.… It is not unanimous among scientists that it is disproportionately manmade. What I get a little tired of on the left is this idea that somehow science has decided all this so you can’t have a view.” (2011)
Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey
Compared to all of his competitors, Christie’s position on climate change is refreshingly reality-based. In 2011, he said: “There’s undeniable data that CO2 levels and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are increasing. This decade, average temperatures have been rising. Temperature changes are affecting weather patterns and our climate…when you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role, it’s time to defer to the experts.” Other than the fact that he understated the scientific consensus—it’s more like 97 or 98 percent—there isn’t much to find fault with there. But if you think that means Christie will back action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, think again. On the same day he made those comments, he withdrew New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program for Northeastern energy utilities, complaining that it was “nothing more than a tax on electricity.” He also rolled back his state’s renewable energy goal, from 30 percent by 2021 to 22.5 percent. And the Christie administration conspicuously does not mention climate change in the context of Sandy recovery.
Notable quote: “I haven’t been shown any definitive proof yet that [climate change] is what caused [Sandy]. And this is just, listen, this is a distraction. I’ve got a place to rebuild here and people want to talk to me about esoteric theories.” (2013)
Ted Cruz, senator from Texas
Cruz—a high school valedictorian, Princeton alum, and editor of the Harvard Law Review—is supposed to be smart. His grasp of climate science, however, leaves much to be desired. In a February interview with CNN, Cruz deployed classic, bogus GOP talking points about climate change. “The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn’t happened,” said Cruz. “You know, back in the ’70s—I remember the ’70s, we were told there was global cooling. And everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem. And then that faded.” There has, in fact, been global warming in the last 15 years. And it is not true that in the 1970s “everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem.”
Notable quote: “Climate change, as they have defined it, can never be disproved, because whether it gets hotter or whether it gets colder, whatever happens, they’ll say, well, it’s changing, so it proves our theory.” (2014)
LCV score: 15 percent
Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas
Category: Born-Again Flat-Earther
In 2007, when all the cool kids were for cap-and-trade, so was Huckabee. He said, “One thing that all of us have a responsibility to do is recognize that climate change is here, it’s real.… I also support cap-and-trade of carbon emissions. And I was disappointed that the Senate rejected a carbon counting system to measure the sources of emissions, because that would have been the first and the most important step toward implementing true cap-and-trade.” But Huckabee totally flip-flopped after the rise of the Tea Party and anti-Obamaism reshaped the GOP. In 2010, he even denied that he ever had supported cap-and-trade. “This kind of mandatory energy policy would have a horrible impact on this nation’s job market,” he wrote in a blog post. “I never did support and never would support it—period.” By 2013, he was hosting climate-denier-in-chief Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) on his radio show to spread falsehoods. Among the ones Huck contributed himself: “When I was in college, all the literature at that time from the scientific community said that we were going to freeze to death.”
Notable quote: “The volcano that erupted over in Northern Europe [in 2010] actually poured more CO2 into the air in that single act of nature than all of humans have in something like the past 100 years.” (2013) Actually, no, it didn’t.)
Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana
Jindal was supposed to be the great hope of smart Republicans. He majored in biology at Brown, was a Rhodes scholar, and he famously declared, “We’ve got to stop being the stupid party.” But he’s done his fair share of dumbing down the GOP. As Brown biology professor Kenneth R. Miller wrote in Slate, “In [Jindal's] rise to prominence in Louisiana, he made a bargain with the religious right and compromised science and science education for the children of his state.” He signed into law the Louisiana Science Education Act, which “allows ‘supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials’ to be brought into classrooms to support the ‘open and objective discussion’ of certain ‘scientific theories,'” such as evolution and climate change. In other words, he’s promoting creationism and climate change denialism in public schools. Still, Jindal has never come out and stated whether he accepts climate science.
Notable quote, on EPA’s proposal to regulate CO2 from power plants: “This is such a dangerous overreach in terms of the potential threat to our economy and our ability to restore those manufacturing jobs, I absolutely do think litigation needs to be on the table.” (2014)
LCV score: 6 percent
John Kasich, governor of Ohio
In what passes for moderation in today’s GOP, Kasich actually acknowledges the existence of global warming. That doesn’t mean he wants to do much about it. “I happen to believe there is a problem with climate change. I don’t want to overreact to it, I can’t measure it all, but I respect the creation that the Lord has given us and I want to make sure we protect it,” Kasich said in 2012 at an energy conference hosted by The Hill. Ohio is rich in coal and heavily dependent on it for energy, and Kasich pledged to keep it that way, touting the promise of ever-elusive “clean coal.” In comments to reporters after that 2012 event, Kasich said he opposes EPA regulation of coal-fired power plants’ CO2 emissions: “I believe there is something to [climate change], but to be unilaterally doing everything here while China and India are belching and putting us in a noncompetitive position isn’t good.” Still, give him credit for evolving; in 2008, he claimed, “Global warming is cyclical, and the focus of a ferocious debate.”
Notable quote: “I am just saying that I am concerned about it, but I am not laying awake at night worrying the sky is falling.” (2012)
LCV score: 27 percent
Rand Paul, senator from Kentucky
What makes Paul so scary is that he actually believes the crazy things he says. When your average Republican talks about small government, you know it’s all just code for “protecting the currently wealthy and their businesses.” So, if you could convince most GOP politicians that it’s in their political interest to take action on climate change, they could be moved. Paul isn’t like that. He is actually committed to his far-right, small-government ideology. He doesn’t even think, for example, that the federal government has the power to force businesses to racially integrate. So of course he doesn’t support action to address climate change, and he never will. When he’s trying to sound more mainstream, he says climate science is “not conclusive“; at other times, he caricatures the science of climate change to try to discredit it.
Notable quote: “If you listen to the hysterics…,you would think that the Statue of Liberty will shortly be under water and the polar bears are all drowning, and that we’re dying from pollution. It’s absolutely and utterly untrue.” (2011)
LCV score: 11 percent
Mike Pence, governor of Indiana
Pence is an ultra-conservative who does not much care for environmental regulation. He also remains unconvinced that the Earth is warming. “In the mainstream media, there is a denial of the growing skepticism in the scientific community on global warming,” Pence claimed in a 2009 interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. It is not clear what “growing skepticism” he was referring to. In the same interview, Pence refused to say if he believes in evolution but implied that he does not.
Notable quote: “I think the science is very mixed on the subject of global warming.” (2009)
LCV score: 4 percent
Rick Perry, governor of Texas
Perry is no one’s idea of a man of science or an intellectual, not even his supporters’. Texas political insiders call him “Bush without the brains.” At Texas A&M, he got mostly Cs and Ds, even in gym, and an F in organic chemistry. When drought parched Texas in 2011, Perry’s solution was to call for three days of prayer for rain. Remarkably enough, that didn’t work. Perry, who is extremely close with polluters who donate to his campaigns, simply invents facts to suit his conviction that climate change isn’t happening. In 2011, he said, “I think we’re seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.” The Washington Post fact-checker debunked this claim. Perry’s 2012 presidential run was disastrous, in part because he proved himself too dumbeven for Republican primary voters, which is sort of like being too white for Iceland. And yet, he is making noises about running again. And since Republican primary voters seem to get dumber with each election cycle, he could be a contender this time.
Notable quote: “I don’t believe man-made global warming is settled in science enough.” (2011)
Marco Rubio, senator from Florida
Category: Born-Again Flat-Earther
Like a lot of ambitious Republicans, Rubio tacitly accepted the science of climate change back in 2007. He talked up renewable energy and referred to global warming as one of the reasons to embrace it. By 2009, he had seen the error of his ways, saying, “There’s a significant scientific dispute” about climate change. By 2010, he was using his Republican primary opponent Charlie Crist‘s belief in “man-made global warming” as an attack line. In May 2014, Rubio made an inept effort to deny climate science, saying, “Our climate is always changing. And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research and say that this is now evidence of a longer-term trend that’s directly and almost solely attributable to manmade activities.” Ah, merely “a handful of decades of research.” That’s nothing, right? After getting a lot of blowback for those comments, he tried to clarify and just dug himself in deeper.
Notable quote: “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.” (2014)
LCV score: 11 percent
Paul Ryan, U.S. rep from Wisconsin
Climate change can be a tough issue for someone who wants to present himself as a wonk, as Ryan so very badly does. To just ignore the science is to risk looking dumb. So, for Ryan, opposition to climate regulation is more about his intense opposition to economic regulation more generally. He constantly asserts that climate regulations, for example, would impose an enormous cost on our economy. Insofar as he discusses the underlying science of climate change, though, he tries to cast doubt on it, using a combination of phony concern for scientific accuracy and an even phonier regular-Midwestern-guy shtick. In a 2009op-ed, he devoted several paragraphs to the trumped-up scandal at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and suggested that climate change should be a low priority for Wisconsinites because it snows in their state in the winter, writing: “Unilateral economic restraint in the name of fighting global warming has been a tough sell in our communities, where much of the state is buried under snow.” In July, while refusing to discuss the science of climate change, Ryan asserted that the EPA’s proposed power plant regulations are “obnoxious.” “I think they’re exceeding their authority and I think they kill jobs,” he said.
Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania
As you might expect from a religious extremist who once compared homosexuality to “man on dog,” Santorum’s beliefs on climate change are unapologetically ignorant. At least he can boast of having been consistent. As Politico noted of Santorum in 2011, “Unlike Romney and some of the other GOP presidential candidates, the former senator has never backed cap-and-trade legislation or other mandatory policies to curb greenhouse gases.” Santorum attacked Romney for admitting that climate change was happening, calling it “junk science” that was invented by liberals to gain greater control over the economy. And his May 2014 book calls climate change a “hyped-up crisis.”
Notable quote: “I for one never bought the hoax. I for one understand just from science that there are one hundred factors that influence the climate. To suggest that one minor factor of which man’s contribution is a minor factor in the minor factor is the determining ingredient in the sauce that affects the entire global warming and cooling is just absurd on its face.” (2012)
LCV score: 10 percent
Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin
Walker is a favorite of the Koch brothers—he notoriously kissed ass during a call with a prankster pretending to be David Koch. The oil oligarchs like him because he opposes governmental regulations, except for when the regulation stymies clean energy. Walker imposed regulations to keep wind turbines further away from homes and signed a pledge never to pass a carbon tax. He has also raised money for the Heartland Institute, an organization that spreads climate misinformation. But he’s never actually said whether he accepts climate science.
Notable quote, criticizing his gubernatorial opponent for pushing climate legislation: “Governor [Jim] Doyle [D] has put his trust in international politicians, bureaucrats, celebrities and discredited scientists to replace the real manufacturing jobs Wisconsin is losing every day.” (2009)
It turns out that voter fraud is real. A Republican Scott Walker supporter in Wisconsin has been charged with 13 felony counts related to voter fraud.
According to WisPolitics.com:
Robert Monroe, a 50-year-old Shorewood health insurance executive, was charged Friday with 13 felonies related to his voting a dozen times in five elections between 2011 and 2012 using his own name as well as that of his son and his girlfriend’s son.
According to those records, Monroe was considered by investigators to be the most prolific multiple voter in memory. He was a supporter of Gov. Scott Walker and state Sen. Alberta Darling, both Republicans, and allegedly cast five ballots in the June 2012 election in which Walker survived a recall challenge.
According to the John Doe records, Monroe claimed to have a form of temporary amnesia and did not recall the election day events when confronted by investigators.
Hallelujah!!!! Republicans have found their voter fraud. Unfortunately for them, they are the ones committing it. The Monroe case is even worse, because he voted multiple times in the April 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court race that required a recount. This isn’t the first episode of Republican voter fraud in the state. In 2011, a Republican legislative aide was investigated for voting multiple times.
The greatest irony of all is that the Monroe case exposes why voter ID laws don’t do what Republicans claim they do. Since Republicans benefit most from absentee voting, they have refused to address the glaring potential for fraud by absentee ballot. The Republican in Wisconsin was able to commit multiple acts of state and federal voter fraud by using absentee ballots for state elections, and driving across state lines for federal elections.
Republican voter ID laws address none of these issues, and instead focus on suppressing the vote by requiring voters who are more likely to vote for Democrats to show identification. A person is least likely to have identification if they are living in the city, and don’t drive. Voter ID laws are being used to suppress the votes of women by making strict rules about acceptable names on the identification.
It turns out that voter fraud is real, and Republicans are guilty of doing it.
Rachel Maddow crossed the aisle Thursday night, pointing out that today was not a very good day for three governors — two Republicans, one a Democrat — who have their eyes on the White House prize in the very near future.
Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of New Jersey, and former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer all began the day with bad news and, as Maddow explained, “They kind of made the bad news themselves.”
Starting with Gov. Walker, who must first get re-elected in his state before making a run for the presidency, Maddow pointed ou that his day started off poorly when newly released data showed the state of Wisconsin 37th in job creation.
“Scott Walker, of course, ran as the guy who was going to create jobs in Wisconsin,” she explained. “When you make something the central point of why you’re running for office, being bad at that specific thing ends up being a really big political liability.”
Walker’s day grew worse when previously sealed documents revealed he is at the center of what prosecutors are calling a “sweeping criminal scheme.”
Maddow added that this is part of an investigation into political shenanigans that has been going on for sometime, but now the public knows about it.
“There it is all over the news today, all over Wisconsin, all over the country, in black and white: ‘Prosecutors say Gov. Scott Walker part of criminal scheme.’”
Maddow then moved onto New Jersey Gov Chris Christie, referring to a report in the Wall Street Journal last week stating that federal prosecutors had impaneled a new special grand jury just to handle Christie corruption cases.
Today Esquire revealed that sources say four staffers and appointees of Christie are likely looking at indictments being handed down.
“After what the Wall Street Journal said last week, and what Esquire magazine said today,” Maddow said. “Well, that made for bad day in the news for governor who wants to be president number two.”
Maddow then turned to Schweitzer who did the damage to himself in an interview with the National Journal titled, ‘The Gonzo Option.’
“The article was just posted today, Brian Schweitzer has already apologized for the things he said to the the reporter in this article,” Maddow explained. “But what he said to the reporter in this article is not the thing that an apology usually makes go away.”
Maddow pointed out that Schweitzer compared Sen. Dianne Feinstein to a streetwalker, said his ‘gaydar’ told him Coingressman Eric Cantor was gay, and added that southern men sound ‘effeminate.’
“Governor Brian Schweitzer, again, has apologized for these remarks. He called them ‘stupid and insensitive.’ He said he is deeply sorry he said these these things, but you know, even just the Dianne Feinstein comments alone,… is there really a deeply sorry, deep enough?”
Anyone surprised at this outcome? I’m not…
In the documents, prosecutors lay out what they call a “criminal scheme” to bypass state election laws by Walker, his campaign and two top deputies — R.J. Johnson (an advisor to both Walkers Campaign and Wisconsin Club for Growth) and Deborah Jordahl.
(information bolded is mine and information in italics is my addition)The documents allege that Walker and his associates raised money and controlled spending by conservative groups during the 2012 recall elections. In Wisconsin, there can’t be coordination between campaigns and outside spending groups.
In an email to Karl Rove, Scott Walker said:
“Bottom-line: R.J. helps keep in place a team that is wildly successful in Wisconsin. We are running 9 recall elections and it will be like 9 congressional markets in every market in the state (and Twin Cities),” Walker wrote to Rove on May 4, 2011.
OMG! Side order of Karl Rove to go along with this, too. Pinch me, I might be dreaming.
This case is currently being reviewed by the 7th Circuit Court after Federal Judge Rudolf Randa (a member of the Federalist Society whose wife donated often to Walkers campaign and whose Judicial Assistant is the wife of Scott Walkers lawyer) ordered the investigation shut down and evidence collected by the investigators destroyed (the 7th Circuit immediately intervened to prevent the destruction).
It is a judge reviewing the case that unsealed the documents today.
Seeing this, it’s small wonder they’ve been running to every court imaginable and writing editorials for RW newspapers to get this thing shut down.
This story is just breaking so stay tuned for further developments.
Here’s a link to the raw documents. (Warning: large pdf file)
So far, nobody is commenting on this, but I’ll bet Walkers hair is on fire trying to think of something to say.
UPDATE: Link to the John Doe II prosecutors appeal of the case. (Warning: pdf file)
They delineate the coordination and conference calls.
For those interested in how Walker gets to pull the wool over the eyes of so many voters in Wisconsin, The New Republic has an excellent article. I can’t recommend it more highly.
Politico has an article up. This is becoming national news.
And MSNBC posted an article as well.
So, near the end of the 10 minute video, Scott Walker refuses to answer Chris Wallace’s questions about the private emails scandals tainting his administration. It’s an interesting exchange…
Another Republican hope for 2016 crashed and burned today as Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker got agitated and defensive while refusing answer questions about incriminating emails on Fox News Sunday.
WALLACE: Thousands of emails were released this week that indicate that you knew that public workers were working on county time in political campaigns, which is against the law.
WALKER: That’s absolutely not true, and if you look at the facts out there. This is old news. This is about a case that was closed last March. A Democratic district attorney in Milwaukee County spent multiple years looking at all this information. The 27,000+ pages of documents that were just released this week. Looked by a team led by a Democrat in Milwaukee County, and last year in March, he announced the end of that case. Plain and simple. It’s old news.What we have political operatives at the DNC and the DGA. They desperately want to switch the subject…
WALLACE: In one email that was released this week, your then chief of staff Thomas Nardelli, let’s put this up on the screen, writes campaign and county workers that you wanted to hold daily conference calls, “to review events of the day or of a previous or future day so we can better coordinate sound timely responses,” and in another e-mail county administrative director Cynthia Archer suggests that colleagues should use a private e-mail account. “I use this private account quite a bit to communicate with SKW,” that’s you, “and Nardelli, the former chief of staff.”
Question: if county workers were doing nothing wrong, why should they be using a private e-mail account?
WALKER: Well, but that’s exactly to my point. you had a Democratic district attorney spend almost three years looking at every single one of those communications, interviewing people, talking to people and closed the case.
WALLACE: Did you have your own private e-mail account?
WALKER: It’s one of those where I point out district attorney has reviewed every single one of these issues.
WALLACE: But sir, you’re not answering my question.
WALKER: No, because I’m not going to get into 27,000 different pieces of information.
Earlier in the interview, Walker was rolling along, lying about his jobs record in Wisconsin. He was selling himself to Republicans as a potential 2016 nominee. Host Chris Wallace was playing his usual Fox News role. He asked a question that was open ended enough for Walker to explain the emails. The trouble started when Gov. Walker decided not to answer Wallace’s question about personal knowledge of illegal activities.
Scott Walker is guilty. He can hide behind the fact that he hasn’t been charged with a crime yet, but he knew that what his county workers were doing was illegal. He urged the usage of a private email system because he knew he was breaking the law.
A smart 2016 candidate would have offered some sort of pseudo apology for the whole scandal, and moved on.
Gov. Scott Walker has demonstrated time and again that he is not smart.
Walker got defensive, bunkered down, and added fuel to the scandal fire. Some in the conservative chattering class have been touting Scott Walker as an inside favorite to win the 2016 Republican nomination, but judging from his answers on Fox News, Walker could never be elected president.
An electable candidate would not have reacted the Walker did in this interview. They would have had a prepared answer that would have satisfied Chris Wallace’s low threshold for truth.
Walker became obviously agitated when he was pushed on the emails, and the country got to see that, just like Chris Christie, the myth of Scott Walker has been destroyed.
If Scott Walker can’t handle a little needling from Chris Wallace, he definitely can’t handle the scrutiny of a presidential campaign.
Back to the drawing board Republicans. Another one of your 2016 saviors has self destructed.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) slammed Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli in a campaign email Thursday, comparing the Republican to other “backward-looking ideologues.”
Warren said it’s “scary” that Cuccinelli could be governor if he wins the race against Democrat Terry McAuliffe in November. Warren cited Cuccinelli’s views on women’s rights, saying she’s “sick of debating these social issues like it’s 1913, not 2013.”
Read Warren’s full email below:
I was in a state of disbelief when House Republicans said they would shut down the government unless there were changes to the law so that employers could deny women access to birth control.But then I heard about what Ken Cuccinelli had done in Virginia and realized this wasn’t a new playbook – and that maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised.
Cuccinelli, the right-wing Attorney General of Virginia, almost derailed Virginia’s budget in 2008 in an attempt to defund Planned Parenthood. And he sponsored a bill that could have banned common forms of birth control. Even the pill.
Now here’s the scary thing: In just 12 days, Ken Cuccinelli could become governor of Virginia.
I don’t normally write to you about governor’s races, but I’m sick of debating these social issues like it’s 1913, not 2013.
And I’d rather write an email now – asking you to donate to Terry McAuliffe’s campaign for Governor to stop Ken Cuccinelli – than to have to send another email later about how to stop Ken Cuccinelli after he declares victory.
Over the past several years, the Republicans haven’t had control in Washington, but they’ve had more luck pushing their radical agenda in the states.
We’ve seen a slew of backward-looking ideologues – like Scott Walker in Wisconsin – chip away at our core values like collective bargaining and women’s rights.
The last thing we need is Ken Cuccinelli joining their ranks.
Terry McAuliffe’s election is just 12 days away. Stop Ken Cuccinelli and the anti-woman agenda by supporting Terry right now.
I can’t believe we are having conversations like this in 2013, but we are. So we need to fight back.