Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category
If this article is accurate, and I think it is, then HHS Secretary Sebelius is latest in a growing list of high-ranking Obama administration officials who don’t think this nation’s laws apply to them:
Ever wonder what Kathleen Sebelius does when she isn’t sentencing children to death, shaking down health care providers, or violating campaign finance laws? Well, it seems she spends her spare time, and a lot of taxpayer money, dabbling in illegal lobbying. The Anti-Lobbying Act forbids federal bureaucrats from using money appropriated by Congress to influence “an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose… any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation.” Sebelius evidently didn’t get the memo.
Specifically, it looks like Madam Commissar and her HHS minions have been using federal money to lobby state and local officials to “favor, adopt or oppose” countless initiatives involving everything from local zoning rules to ordinances concerning tobacco use to the imposition of new taxes on soft drinks. The cash they are thus spreading around comes from an obscure Obamacare trove called the “Prevention and Public Health Fund,” which provides Sebelius with what amounts to $12.5 billion in pin money.
It’s pretty clear that Sebelius is spending money in a way that violates the Anti-Lobbying Act. Even if spending money this way wasn’t illegal, which it is, there’s no question that cabinet officials shouldn’t be spending the taxpayers’ money to lobby Congress, legislatures, city councils and county commissioners to make laws the administration favors.
Democrats have consistently whined about how Big Business has too much influence in the political process. Why aren’t these same Democrats complaining that Big Government has too much political influence? After all, Congress, legislatures, city councils and county commissioners represent the people. Actually, US senators represent their state whereas representatives represent the people of their district.
Therefore, Secretary Sebelius’ acts are how she’s using the taxpayers’ money to drown out the taxpayers’ influence. Think about this a bit:
For any reader too young to recognize the term “pin money,” this refers to a regular allowance your grandfather might have given to your grandmother for various incidental household purchases that she wasn’t expected to report to him or account for later. And this, despite the truly gigantic amounts of money involved, is pretty much how the “Prevention and Public Health Fund” works. As Stuart Taylor reports in Forbes, “[HHS] can spend the money as it sees fit and without going through the congressional appropriations process.”
And if you have become so jaded by the government’s fiscal profligacy that you’re not impressed by the $12.5 billion figure, consider that this is only for the first decade. After that money is gone, this fund will be replenished to the tune of $2 billion per year — forever. Yes, forever. The statute doesn’t actually say “as long as the wind blows and the grass grows,” but it does clearly stipulate that the fund never expires. Yet, as the law is written, HHS doesn’t have to account for its outlays in any meaningful way.
Think of all the different ways this money might be used. It might be used to lobby Minnesota cities to enact soft drink size limits. It might be used to lobby for laws that enable cities to harass fast food restaurants. That fund might be used to enact, at a city level, all kinds of statutes that the Obama administration can’t get through Congress.
The Anti-Lobbying Act probably didn’t ponder the possibility of an administration using the taxpayers’ money to get around Congress. Still, it’s pretty clear the Anti-Lobbying Act might be a valuable tool to prevent this administration’s attempt to ignore Congress.
If we had a real attorney general, Secretary Sebelius might join a lengthy list of potential criminals. Jim Geraghty identified some others in his morning newsletter:
LIE ONE: White House press secretary Jay Carney’s November 28 explanation about changes made to talking points about the Benghazi attack:
The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two — of these two institutions were changing the word “consulate” to “diplomatic facility,” because “consulate” was inaccurate. Those talking points originated from the intelligence community. They reflect the IC’s best assessments of what they thought had happened.
You can see the twelve rounds of revisions here, well more than a single adjustment, and mostly in response to State Department objections.
After it became clear that Carney had put forth false information, he dug in deeper. Carney paid for his lie with two days of hostile questions from the White House Press Corps . . . and then the storm seemed to have blown over.
LIE TWO: Attorney General Eric Holder, testifying under oath before the House Judiciary Committee, May 15:
Well, I would say this. With regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something that I’ve ever been involved in, heard of or would think would be a wise policy.
Michael Isikoff later reported the precise opposite:
The Justice Department pledged Friday to review its policies relating to the seizure of information from journalists after acknowledging that a controversial search warrant for a Fox News reporter’s private emails was approved “at the highest levels” of the Justice Department, including “discussions” with Attorney General Eric Holder.
There is a claim from the usual, Media Matters, that Holder is in the clear because he was asked about prosecutions for publishing classified information, not solicitation for classified information; they assert that the two actions are totally different. A pretty thin reed for a perjury defense, and one that utterly fails the standard of the chief law-enforcement officer of the United States informing the public of his department’s operations.
For us to believe that, it would mean that during the entire Justice Department discussion of prosecuting Fox News’ James Rosen for soliciting the information, no one suggested or mentioned prosecuting Rosen for publishing it. Remember, Holder didn’t just say he didn’t agree with that idea; he said he never heard of the idea.
LIE THREE: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, testifying under oath before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on March 12, responding to questions from Wyden:
Wyden: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”
Clapper: “No, sir.”
Wyden: “It does not?”
Clapper: “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could, inadvertently perhaps, collect—but not wittingly.”
The subsequent explanation from Clapper, to National Journal: “What I said was, the NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens’ e-mails. I stand by that.”
Lying to Congress is a crime. This isn’t just a scandal. It’s a criminal act. When Eric Holder told Congress that he’d never even heard of digging into a reporter’s private emails, that was a criminal act. That’s why we shouldn’t trust Secretary Sebelius when she says this:
HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson raised concerns a year ago about some grants, warning Sebelius that they may violate anti-lobbying statutes. The response was a general assurance that her department was taking care to remain in compliance with all such laws.
When an administration is involved in multiple criminal acts, which were committed in plain sight, they forfeit the right to be trusted.
During the last 24 hours, the Democrats’ spin has changed. No longer are they beating up on Holder. Instead, a new response has started popping up. The first I heard of it was on Megyn Kelly’s show when Richard Socarides repeatedly said that “mistakes were made” with regard to the Rosen scandal.
That isn’t what happened. That’s smooth-sounding spin but it isn’t the truth. When Eric Holder signed the warrant application that said James Rosen might be a flight risk and that Rosen might be a criminal co-conspirator, Holder willfully told some whoppers. Holder also ignored long-standing DOJ guidelines on warrant applications for journalists.
Let’s remember that Holder isn’t a wet-behind-the-ears underling working in the DOJ. He’s been the AG for almost 5 years. He was Janet Reno’s top assistant for most of the Clinton administration. Let’s also remember that the journalist warrant guidelines were put together during the Nixon administration almost 40 years ago.
Here’s what we know. We know that Holder ignored those DOJ guidelines. We know that he understood that reading James Rosen’s private emails was a fishing expedition. Holder knew that this fishing expedition would have a chilling effect on whistleblowers. We’ve known that this administration loves the thought of whistleblowers not talking to reporters.
Thanks to the reporting of the IRS scandal, especially through Catherine Engelbrecht’s story, we know that this administration won’t hesitate in using the federal government as a weapon against their political opponents. We know that thanks to Peggy Noonan’s article about Catherine Engelbrecht’s nightmare. Here’s what Catherine Engelbrecht suffered through:
In July 2010 she sent applications to the IRS for tax-exempt status. What followed was not the harassment, intrusiveness and delay we’re now used to hearing of. The U.S. government came down on her with full force.
In December 2010 the FBI came to ask about a person who’d attended a King Street Patriots function. In January 2011 the FBI had more questions. The same month the IRS audited her business tax returns. In May 2011 the FBI called again for a general inquiry about King Street Patriots. In June 2011 Engelbrecht’s personal tax returns were audited and the FBI called again. In October 2011 a round of questions on True the Vote. In November 2011 another call from the FBI. The next month, more questions from the FBI. In February 2012 a third round of IRS questions on True the Vote. In February 2012 a first round of questions on King Street Patriots. The same month the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms did an unscheduled audit of her business. (It had a license to make firearms but didn’t make them.) In July 2012 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration did an unscheduled audit. In November 2012 more IRS questions on True the Vote. In March 2013, more questions. In April 2013 a second ATF audit.
That’s how other parts of the government tormented Engelbrecht. Why shouldn’t we think that Holder’s DOJ would use its power to intimidate whistleblowers?
Socarides’ repeated statements that “mistakes were made” were intended to make it sound like Eric Holder made an innocent mistake. It was also Socarides’ goal to paint the picture that this is Holder’s first brush with controversy. Considering Holder’s instigating Marc Rich’s pardon on tax evasion charges and Holder’s dropping the voter intimidation case against the National Black Panther Party, Holder isn’t exactly a stranger to being on the wrong side of controversy.
Talk show hosts should reject this latest spin on Holder’s blatant disregard for the Constitution and for whistleblowers to come forward to tell of this administration’s wrongdoing. Holder is a bad guy who’s done some nasty things throughout his career.
Columnist John Cass has written a column about a disturbing incident in Chicago. Here’s the video that’s going viral:
Kass’s column got my blood boiling. This is what got me started:
The video, posted by the Tribune’s Breaking News Center, shows in vivid and frightening detail how armed thugs robbed a gift and sports store Tuesday in the Logan Square neighborhood.
You can see the gunman demand the money. You see the store owner’s brother-in-law with a gun to his head. You see the shots being fired, and the bat wielded by a wounded and desperate Luis Quizhpe, the 62-year-old proprietor who fought for his life.
That’s what got me started but this is what’s got me seeing red:
On Wednesday we called Roderick Drew, spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Law Department, who told us that store owners are prohibited from carrying handguns.
“A business owner can register a long gun (rifle or shotgun) for their fixed place of business, but it has to stay on the premises,” Drew said. “The business owner cannot register or bring a handgun to his place of business. The only place a person can lawfully have a handgun is the home.”
Chicago’s and Illinois’ royalty are protected but shop owners are without protection. Rahm Emanuel is part of that royalty. He’s protected. Mr. Quizhpe isn’t part of that royalty. He was shot. Repeatedly. If Mr. Quizhpe had used a handgun to defend himself, there’s little doubt that Emanuel would’ve had him arrested and prosecuted.
During the Clinton administration, President Clinton talked about “people that work hard and played by the rules.” He suggested that he’d fight for them. In Emanuel’s Chicago, “people that work hard and play by the rules” get shot while the city turns a blind eye towards the victims:
Quizhpe said he’s considering selling the store his family has run for decades.
“I’ve been thinking about selling everything off and changing my business,” he said. “The reality is, with everything going on, it’s difficult to put myself and my family in danger.”
Democrats frequently talk about hunting when the conversation turns to the Second Amendment. That isn’t what the Second Amendment is about. It’s about the right of the citizenry to protect themselves from criminals and tyrant politicians like Emanuel. Chicago is doing everything possible to prevent people from protecting their families and businesses.
That’s clearly a violation of Mr. Quizhpe’s Second Amendment rights. Thankfully, Kass has written about this horrific event:
Anti-gun policy wonks talk in abstract terms. But it’s not abstract for victims. It’s not abstract for Quizhpe. And it wasn’t abstract for Michael Kozel, 57, who for 20 years owned a muffler shop in the Gage Park neighborhood. On Jan. 3 he was shot dead in the back by robbers, one of the 42 homicides that month. Chicago has already forgotten his name.
Politicians that won’t let citizens protect themselves from gun-toting thugs should be run out of office. There’s no chance that Emanuel will be run out of office. He’ll be praised by gun control activists across the nation. That’s the definition of being un-American. There’s nothing more un-American than acting like royalty while telling the citizenry that they can’t protect themselves.
When will Chicago take its city back? When will they admit that shopkeepers have the right to protect themselves against violent thugs?
Juan Williams and Mary Katherine Ham normally get along with each other. This morning, Juan Williams accused Mary Katherine Ham of not caring about victims of violent crime:
Here’s the spiciest exchange:
MKH: It’s fairly clear that this wouldn’t help in these situations, that very little gun crime comes from the things you’re trying to regulate. Those things only impact people who are already law abiding and that’s what we’re talking about. You can’t just pass laws…well, people do all the time, unfortunately, but federal laws shouldn’t be passed, saying “Well, it might work.”
JUAN WILLIAMS: I live in the District of Columbia and I can tell you theey have extremely strong gun control laws and yet we have a very high murder rate. And why is that? Because guns flow in from Virginia, which has lax gun laws.
MKH: We have lots of guns in Virginia and yet, we don’t have a high murder rate so maybe there’s a deeper social problem going on than lone gunmen and gangs and crime in big cities.
JUAN WILLIAMS: Oh so protecting my life and protecting my family means nothing to people in Virginia and I should….?
MKH: Oh, right. That’s what I said, Juan.
Here’s a hint to Juan Williams. Perhaps it’s better to live in cities where you can protect yourself. If you don’t want to move, then get DC to change their laws.
Saying that MKH doesn’t care about Juan Williams protecting his family is downright irresponsible. That’s as irresponsible as MKH saying that Juan Williams doesn’t care about the Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment. It wouldn’t be difficult to make a case that Juan Williams doesn’t put a high enough priority on protecting people’s Second Amendment rights. That wouldn’t make it easy to make the case that Juan Williams doesn’t care about the Bill of Rights.
In the end, Juan hinted that he planned on apologizing to MKH after the interview. To her credit, Mary Katherine Ham didn’t lose her cool despite Juan’s ill-advised accusations.
This has been an intense week of hearings on Rep. Paymar’s gun confiscation legislation. Tim Jazursky’s testimony was particularly riveting. Not all of the testimony was intense. This testimony wasn’t intense as much as it was educational:
After Rep. Hausman talked about how Second Amendment advocates don’t talk about the opening words of the Amendment, Hamline law Professor Joseph Olson explained why. Here’s what he told the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee:
I actually had one of my articles cited in Heller so I know Judge Scalia knows — is familiar with my work. I’ve read the opinion a number of times. I teach it in my seminar at Hamline Law School. The Supreme Court did 2 things in the Heller case that are relevant to the discussion as Rep. Hausman brought it up.
One, in Heller, the Supreme Court made clear that the introductory clause of the Amendment isn’t part of the normative statement. In other words, the introductory clause is not part of the rule of law. The rule of law is that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.”
The Paymar-Hausman gun confiscation hearings show why this issue is fraught with perils for the DFL. The DFL has been on the wrong side of this issue for most of my adult life. They’re wedded ideologically to a failed set of policies.
Stricter gun control laws aren’t the solution. Whether they’ve been implemented in Chicago, Washington, DC or elsewhere, they haven’t solved the problem. The DFL’s policy perscriptions are ideologically driven. Not only that but they’re constitutionally questionable.
If any of these bills are signed into law, the DFL will be bigtime losers. Rural DFL legislators might get defeated simply by being tied to the metro DFL anti-gun extremists. That might also hurt Gov. Dayton’s re-election chances. The DFL would be better off steering clear of this issue. They’d be better off figuring out solutions to the problem of violence in society.
It’s easy to picture Minnesota Republicans praying that the DFL pushes this legislation. The DFL is all but guaranteeing a GOP majority in the House of Representatives in 2015.
The FBI has started an investigation into a voting scam in Florida:
TAMPA, Fla. – The FBI is joining an investigation into bogus letters sent to many Florida residents, including the Republican Party of Florida chairman, that raise questions about their eligibility to vote.
FBI officials said Wednesday the FBI will focus on letters received by voters in 18 counties in central and southwest Florida.
According to the Republican Party of Florida, Chairman Lenny Curry received one of the fake letters on Tuesday.
“This type of activity is not only disgusting, it is criminal, and must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Curry said in a release. “I call on Florida Democrats to join me in condemning this false letter writing campaign that appears to target likely voters in Florida, and help RPOF get the word out about this false campaign.”
Local 6 first reported the bogus letter scam on Monday, which claim to be from county supervisors of elections but are postmarked from Seattle. They raise questions about the voter’s citizenship and appear intended to intimidate people.
The FBI says voters who get a letter should contact their supervisor of elections and then keep the letter for the FBI.
Patrick Moran, the son of Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, needs a lawyer:
At the time this video was taken, Patrick Moran served as the field director for his dad’s campaign. He’s since resigned. In the video, Patrick Moran explained to a Project Veritas investigator how to commit voter fraud in Virginia.
When I first read TheDC’s article about Sen. Klobuchar, I was curious to find out what they’d found. After reading the Klobuchar campaign’s explanation in this article, though, it’s apparent that they’re trying to shovel this past the election. This non-explanation explanation is finely parsed messaging:
“Senator Klobuchar did not ask her county attorney staff or law enforcement to refrain from investigating or prosecuting Tom Petters,” Klobuchar campaign spokesman Linden Zakula said in a prepared statement. “She was not presented with evidence for prosecution of charges against him.”
I don’t doubt that this statement is accurate. I’m equally certain that it’s exceptionally evasive. It’s quite possible Sen. Klobuchar didn’t tell her staff to not investigate or prosecute. That isn’t what I’m questioning. What I’m questioning, though, is why Sen. Klobuchar didn’t direct her staff to investigate Petters.
Sen. Klobuchar saw the evidence against Mr. Hettler and Ms. Kahn. Sen. Klobuchar went above and beyond her authority:
The documents also show that Klobuchar exceeded the bounds of her jurisdiction as County Attorney to intervene in federal bankruptcy and other legal proceedings whose results helped Petters erase the earliest indications of his criminal activity.
Why did Sen. Klobuchar take these extraordinary steps? It’s unthinkable to have a county attorney assist in erasing Petters’ previous criminal activities. At minimum, this shows she knew about Petters’ past criminal tendencies. At minimum, shouldn’t that be enough to start an investigation?
It’s one thing to investigate and find nothing for find out that potential crimes committed didn’t fall into local jurisdiction. If Klobuchar’s office investigated but found evidence of a federal crime, she could’ve referred it to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Sen. Klobuchar has often touted herself as a consumer watchdog. It appears as though she failed in that capacity at a critical time when she could’ve protected others from having their life savings stolen. One wonders whether she ignored the biggest case because of political considerations.
It’s beginning to look like that.
When the news broke of the affair between Michael Brodkorb and Sen. Amy Koch, the DFL punditocracy hyped it up, saying that Minnesotans would be repulsed by the scandal. At the time, I thought it probably wasn’t smart for the DFL to play things up like they did.
I thought that the DFL would overplay their hand with that scandal. That’s becoming reality with the news about Kelly Gauthier’s late night rednezvous with a 17-year-old boy:
State Patrol will confirm that one witness approached a trooper around 11 at night on July 22nd to report an incident.
The State Patrol turned the investigation over to the Duluth Police Department.
Well placed sources today told the Northland’s NewsCenter, the incident involved a 17 year old boy with whom Gauthier was reportedly engaged in a sexual act.
Because the age of consent in Minnesota is 16 it is not illegal to have sex with someone who is 17. However it can be a misdemeanor to engage in sex acts in a public place.
Our sources say Representative Gauthier met the young man on Craig’s List and that police are investigating the potential that money changed hands which could make it a criminal matter.
I won’t pretend that the GOP is pure as the driven snow. I’ll just suggest that, if it’s confirmed, paying a person for sexual acts is a crime in Minnesota. That elevates the situation considerably.
I’ll be honest. I never bought the thinking that the Brodkorb-Koch scandal was enough to tip the legislature from GOP to DFL. That’s why I don’t think this scandal will impact which party will be the majority party. That said, it’s pretty apparent that a potential case of child prostitution isn’t the type of thing that Ken Martin and Paul Thissen want to dealing with heading into the sprint to the finish line.
The only question left unanswered is whether Rep. Gauthier is forced to resign immediately or if the DFL leadership is willing to sit on their thumbs and say nothing. Then again, this DFL leadership team might pretend that this didn’t happen and pray that their media allies at the Strib and WCCO will protect them with a shroud of darkness.
Apparently, Rep. Gauthier is hiding from the press:
Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Pat Shortridge issued the following statement calling for transparency regarding this issue from the DFL House Caucus and Rep. Gauthier.
“Wednesday’s revelation that DFL State Representative Kerry Gauthier is under investigation for alleged misconduct at a Duluth area rest stop is deeply disturbing.
“Today, Gauthier’s constituents have legitimate reason to believe that what he terms a ‘private matter’ is preventing him from doing his job representing them.
“Gauthier’s absence from today’s legislative hearing on providing his district relief from the floods that devastated Duluth in June, raises serious doubts about his ability to continue holding public office. He attended a previous meeting on August 7, when the July 22 incident was still not publicly known. His failure to come to the Capitol today indicates that as other legislators are discussing helping his district, he can’t even serve his constituents for fear of having to face reporters.
This isn’t private conduct since it’s affecting his ability to serve his consistituents during a crisis. That’s anything but private conduct.
Finally, Rep. Thissen hasn’t spoken about this in almost 4 weeks. His silence indicates that his actions are purely politically motivated. There isn’t another justification for his silence.
I started writing this post last night because I was utterly disgusted with a) Bill Burton, b) Stephanie Cutter, c) Joe Soptic, d) David Axelrod and e) President Obama.
This morning, Michelle Malkin gave a devastatingly powerful interview to the hosts of Fox & Friends:
While Michelle was getting increasingly agitated, a thought popped into my mind. I’ve advocated Mitt putting on brass knuckles and beating President Obama, Bill Burton and Stephanie Cutter to a figurative pulp.
This isn’t a policy difference that surrogates are best used for. It’s a time when Mitt needs to take this personally. It’s a time he shows us that he’ll ‘get bloody’ when Team O resorts to personal attacks filled with outright lies and insinuations.
The reality is that fighting President Obama and his Nixonesque henchmen in the trenches will fire up conservatives while telling independents that the President and his team are the most despicable people in presidential history.
Showing people that President Obama’s trained henchmen tried tugging on America’s heartstrings will move voters. Most importantly, it’ll tell Team Obama that they’ll pay a price for playing dirty politics.
Michelle’s got a point, too, that this is illegal coordination between the Obama campaign and Priorities USA. The Obama campaign can’t host a conference call in May with Joe Soptic telling essentially the same story then as he told in the Priorities USA ad, then disavow any knowledge of Mr. Soptic’s story.
Mitt, this isn’t the time to ‘let surrogates handle it’. This isn’t the time to simply criticize the Obama campaign of lying.
It’s time to accuse the Obama campaign arsenal of being Nixonesque. It’s time to tell the nation that the ‘Chicago Way’ isn’t the American Way and that the nation rejects President Obama’s gutter politics and the politics of personal destruction.
It’s time to verbally punch President Obama’s windpipe. He’s a disgusting excuse for a human being. It’s time he got called for being that.
Tags: President Obama, Priorities USA, Bill Burton, Stephanie Cutter, Joe Soptic, David Axelrod, Chicago Way, Politics of Personal Destruction, Democrats, Mitt Romney, Lawsuits, Michelle Malkin, GOP, Election 2012
Yesterday, Mitt Romney’s campaign asked Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli to investigate the activities of the Voter Participation Center:
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign is asking Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to launch an investigation into voter-registration forms that are being sent to Virginia residents and addressed to deceased relatives, children, family pets and others ineligible to vote.
The errant mailings from the Washington-based nonprofit group Voter Participation Center have befuddled many Virginia residents, leading to hundreds of complaints.
The organization has been mass-mailing the forms, pre-populated with key information such as names and addresses, to primarily Democratic-leaning voting blocs such as young adults, unmarried women, African-Americans and Latinos.
VPC founder Page Gardner has responded to the Romney campaign’s request in this communication:
Attempts by the Romney for President Campaign to block voter registration efforts in Virginia “may rise to the level of interference with legitimate voter registration efforts contrary to applicable state and federal laws,” the Voter Participation Center (VPC) said today in a letter to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
The VPC today asked the Attorney General to refuse the Romney for President Campaign’s request to investigate completely lawful efforts by the VPC to register Virginians. The VPC also asked the Attorney General to deny the Campaign’s request that State Board of Elections officials direct registrars to refuse to accept official, state approved voter registration applications submitted by eligible voters in the Commonwealth.
“The Romney campaign’s request for a probe into over 15 thousand returned legal and state-approved registration application forms is part of a blatant and ongoing partisan effort to keep people from voting, “ explained VPC founder and president Page Gardner. “We see it everywhere –voter purges in Florida, Texas and Colorado; onerous voter ID laws, which Pennsylvania State GOP House Leader Mike Turzai recently admitted serve no purpose other than to elect Republicans. We will fight these efforts to disenfranchise voters in Virginia and in every other state.”
Seventy-three (73) million Americans are unregistered in American today. This is a national disgrace.
The Voter Participation Center is a non-partisan, non-profit that focuses on registering and turning out the Rising American Electorate, unmarried women, people of color and young voters, who account for 53 percent of voting eligible citizens but who represent 63 percent of all unregistered Americans.
The VPC has helped register more than 1.5 million voters since it began in 2004. Since September 2011, the VPC has mailed out almost 7 million voter registration applications in 30 states. Those applications were reviewed prior to mailing by elections officials, including in Virginia where they were reviewed by officials in the State Board of Elections office. More than 400,000 Americans returned those applications to elections officials. The VPC plans to add to these totals with another 5.3 million piece mailing in early September.
“The new majority in America frightens some political groups because these are the voters they want to keep from the polls on November 6. It’s no surprise that our organization, which is conducting the largest mail registration program in the country, is under attack. But we have no intention of backing down. At a time when states have limited programs or resources to educate and register voters, efforts like ours, the League of Women Voters and other civic engagement groups have never been more important.”
The Romney campaign doesn’t have a complaint with voter registration drives that register “unmarried women, people of color and young voters.” The Romney campaign has a problem with VPC attempting to register out-of-state family members and deceased children:
Justin Riemer, the State Board of Elections’ deputy secretary, said forms have been sent by the group to deceased infants, out-of-state family members, and non-U.S. citizens, among others.
The Virginia State Board of Elections appears to be leaning towards investigating the VPC:
In a letter this month, the State Board of Elections asked the group to cease pre-populating their forms and raised questions about how the group was obtaining lists of registered voters, citing the errant forms.
Riemer noted that pre-populating the forms violates rules set forth in the state code and the Virginia Constitution requiring that voters fill out their own forms.
VPC knows that this investigation doesn’t have a thing to do with registering legal voters. They’ve included that in their official statement to deflect attention from the fact that they’re a) breaking the law by partially filling in the voter registration forms and b) sending registration forms to infants that died.
Based on Justin Riemer’s statements that VPC was warned a) not to fill in parts of the voter registration form and b) that filling in parts of the voter registration form was illegal in Virginia, it sounds like VPC is in deep legal trouble.
VPC’s letter to the Romney campaign opens with a bunch of bluster:
I write on behalf of the Voter Participation Center (VPC) in response to your July 24, 2012 letter to the Virginia Office of the Attorney General and State Board of Elections. The Voter Participation Center is astounded that the Romney campaign would make such blatantly false allegations. It is also astounded that you would call for an investigation into completely lawful voter registration efforts and that you would ask the State Board of Elections to direct registrars to refuse to accept official, state approved voter registration applications submitted by eligible voters in the Commonwealth.
Again, VPC is pretending that they haven’t been warned not to break the law but that’s reality.
Tags: Voter Participation Center, Voter Registration Fraud, Page Gardner, Voter Fraud, Investigation, Justin Riemer, State Board of Elections, Kenneth Cuccinelli, Attorney General, Mitt Romney, GOP, Election 2012