Stealing Democracy: Florida Strategy Goes National

Does anyone really want to know how George W. Bush became president in 2000? It’s only important if you care about how the Republicans plan on stealing the election in 2012.

“In the months leading up to the November balloting, Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his Secretary of State Katherine Harris ordered local elections supervisors to purge 57,700 voters from registries on grounds they were felons not entitled to vote in Florida. As it turns out, these voters weren’t felons, at most a handful. However, the voters on this “scrub list” were notably, African-American (about 54 per cent) and most of the others wrongly barred from voting were white and Hispanic Democrats.

…I also freely offered up to CBS this information: the office of the Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, brother of the Republican presidential candidate, had illegally ordered the removal of the names of felons from voter rolls – real felons, but with the right to vote under Florida law. As a result, another 40,000 legal voters (in addition to the 57,700 on the purge list), almost all Democrats, could not vote”.

From the book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, by Greg Palast

Yep, Florida’s Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris illegally scrubbed some 97,000 LEGAL VOTERS from the voting roles which helped tilt the vote into Jeb’s bother’s favor. When the vote counting got close, 573 votes to be exact, the Republican controlled U.S. Supreme Court stepped in and against the U.S. Constitution ordered Florida to stop counting the votes. Thus handing George W. Bush the White House

That is how George W. Bush and the Republicans stole the election from the American people in 2000. Since it worked for the Republicans in 2000, why not try stealing the election again in 2012? The Republicans certainly know the supremely partisan U.S. Supreme Courts will once again step in and order states to stop counting votes if need be. The Rpugs can also just simply illegally deny millions of voters their right to vote.

Republicans know that they can’t honestly win. Therefore, dirty tricks on an unprecedented level will be employed in the upcoming elections. Florida’s new Governor, Rick Scott, with his cohort in crime Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, have already indicated that they plan on denying thousands of legal voters their Constitutionally protect right to vote.

This time it is under the guise of preventing illegal voters from voting. Regarding the problem of voter fraud, the Christian Right Republicans have been lying through their teeth for years. No government or academic study has ever shown a case of widespread voter fraud anywhere in the country over the last 50 years. Never has there been any attempt to overthrow a statewide, let alone a national election by mass illegal voting. Ballot box stuffing and organized efforts to get a mass group of people to vote under false names just don’t happen in the U.S. The real concern is when the President of Diebold, who owns the software of the voting machines, states in a private meeting that he plans on doing everything he can to help the Republicans win the election.

Remember, in the 2008 campaign, John McCain accused Obama of being connected to ACCORN, which the Republicans falsely asserted were engaged in voter fraud. The Right-wing has long hated organizations that lobby for the rights of the poor. The Christian Repugs created massive misinformation campaigns designed to spread fear, vicious LIES, cruel distortions, manufactured and irrelevant hate filled propaganda against ACCORN. This served the so called Christian Right in tying up their opponents by forcing them to defend themselves against the onslaught of false charges being leveled against them. But that’s just how the Christian Right-wing Republicans roll.

The truth is, as reported in 2008, after an exhaustive investigation into Republican allegations of voter fraud leveled against ACORN, the scholars at the Annenberg Foundation concluded, “Neither ACORN nor its employees have been found guilty of, or even charged with, casting fraudulent votes.” Those facts didn’t stop “ratface” James O’Keefe III from making his now famously edited pimp video which grossly distorted the facts and helped bring down the single most effective advocacy group for the poor in the nation. And the Christian Right rejoiced in destroying the careers of thousands of community organizers and further disenfranchising millions of poor, mostly people of color

In the case of voter fraud in the U.S., overwhelming research has shown that there is no evidence of any widespread problems. As U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has pointed out, voter fraud is virtually “nonexistent”. For example, The Brennen Center for Justice documented, in this study, widespread voter fraud in the U.S. just doesn’t exist. It’s an irrelevant problem. It’s a straw man argument used as an excuse to deny legal Americans, mostly people of color, their right to vote. The following is an extended excerpt from the study:

“Allegations of widespread voter fraud, however, often prove greatly exaggerated. It is easy to grab headlines with a lurid claim (“Tens of thousands may be voting illegally!”); the follow-up — when any exists — is not usually deemed newsworthy. Yet on closer examination, many of the claims of voter fraud amount to a great deal of smoke without much fire. The allegations simply do not pan out.

These inflated claims are not harmless. Crying “wolf ” when the allegations are unsubstantiated distracts attention from real problems that need real solutions. If we can move beyond the fixation on voter fraud, we will be able to focus on the real changes our elections need, from universal registration all the way down to sufficient parking at the poll site.

Moreover, these claims of voter fraud are frequently used to justify policies that do not solve the alleged wrongs, but that could well disenfranchise legitimate voters. Overly restrictive  identification requirements for voters at the polls — which address a sort of voter fraud more rare than death by lightning — is only the most prominent example.”

Across the country Republicans are attempting to install draconian voter laws designed to disenfranchise an estimated 3 million LEGAL VOTERS. The only thing holding back the “Christian Right” from stealing our election is the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the courts. In Florida, it has been estimated 87 % of the legal voters targeted to be scrubbed by this Republican dirty trick are people of color.  This should come as no surprise to anyone. And, of course, that vast majority of people of color vote for the Democratic ticket.

Florida Governor Rich Scott says he is going to ignore the Attorney General’s demands to end the illegal voter purging. Republicans plan to continue to steal legal votes until the courts step in, and maybe even go behind the backs of the courts. The  Repugs are determined to gain the keys to the White House by any means necessary. If that means breaking a few moral and legal laws, so be it. Similar efforts to purge legal voters of their rights are going on in Colorado and New Mexico. However the Justice Department has not yet commented on their actions.

You can take action by joining the Color of Change petition calling on AG Holder to push hard on Florida to end their illegal purge. Florida has currently around 180,000 names on their purge list.


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