Saturday, December 17, 2011

Kelly's title says it all...

Today Jack Kelly wants us to understand that the drunk on power but failed politicians the Democrats are will do anything to keep power, including stealing elections. This is especially true for Obama (who already stole the 2008 election), who "trails in all swing states" according to Mr Kelly.

Trails who? That's a good trick, to trail a nonexistent nominee. Especially considering the current crop of Republican hopefuls, each of who has his or her own particular baggage. It took Newt some four years to be chased out (by his fellow Republicans) of the Speaker's job, but chased out he was and someone is likely to remind voters why.

I have to pause and say that you just have to read the title and sub heading: "Voter fraud is real And voter ID laws are really needed; they are not racist" and it's like the desperation is almost palpable. Having to prove all three remarks essentially makes a strong prima facie case for the current racist and anti-democratic views of the Republican/Tea party.

Today's column is vintage Kelly, he raises an issue that is not entirely without merit but not really a crisis, and then discusses it entirely in terms of how the Democrats are both committing fraud and trying to block reforming legislation. And Kelly gets to mention ACORN once again.

Truth to tell, there is probably something in Kelly's quoting as accusation that LBJ stole his first Senate election (though I know no details). I've certainly heard the rumor/accusation that Illinois was stolen for JFK. Democrats, having the support of labor, have historically often been in a good position to control urban poling places.

But in terms of recent electoral theft, where the popular vote went one way and the election went another, I have two words for Jack Kelly: Al Gore. No one disputes that the popular vote went for Gore. Yet Kelly fails to mention Gore once in his column.

Kelly does make several assertions, and I internet-researched some of them. I found them to be classic cases of where Kelly either doesn't tell us all the facts or ties things together that are not related. Kelly's lead off statement, for example, mentions the impending resignation of the Indiana State Democratic Chair and a probe of signatures for to get candidates on the primary ballot in the 2008 election. The way the paragraph is written, one would naturally assume the two statements were linked, and Dan Parker's resignation would be a tacit admission of guilt.

Or the Indiana Democrat Party's decision to keep Parker as chair could have nothing to do with this probe, which may not deserve to be called vote fraud anyway. The fact that Republicans are in the Governor's and Secretary of State's offices makes this probe that much more suspicious.

Kelly also mentions this: "Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, who is black, said vote fraud is rampant in African-American districts like his in Alabama."

Newspapers in Alabama naturally wanted to hear names, yet Mr Davis refused to give even one. Davis may be telling the truth, but the way he has told it so far only serves a Republican agenda (having only vague and impossible to substantiate allegations).

The Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law has issued a report of a case by case analysis of vote fraud, finding them to be at best much ado about nothing. It looks like the report was dated 2007, but I find little reason to think its conclusions have since been invalidated.

As I said, Kelly again mentions ACORN: "Of 1.3 million new registrations ACORN turned in in 2008, election officials rejected 400,000." Once again, I will point out that ACORN itself had a quality control process, where it would examine each registration for completeness and call the phone number on each registration to make sure they were valid. If the form was incomplete or the registrant could not be reached by phone, ACORN would still turn in the form, but with a big red flag on it. Did ACORN red flag 400,000 new registrations? Thanks to the Republicans hounding ACORN out of existence, we may never know. Maybe it is not funny how Jack never mentions ACORN's quality control process, since (according to Jack) ACORN (I suppose by virtue of its mission to help the poor) must have been trying to steal elections for its Democratic co-conspirators.

I haven't said anything about whether voter ID laws might be racist or not. I believe it is accepted that historically after the Civil War that in the South poll taxes and ID requirements for former slaves who might not have such documents were considered racist. I ask you, is it possible that an African American living today might have been born not in a rural hospital but at home with his/her mother assisted by an illiterate midwife, who was unable to fill out a birth certificate? If it is possible, does this person deserve to be denied the right to vote?

I urge you to read this book (of which I myself only read a portion, I found it tough going). It does not have to do with voter registration per se, but it certainly bears on the relationship between African Americans and federal, state and local governments.

Before closing, I just want to note one more set of statements Kelly made about how voter ID requirements don't affect turnout: "In Georgia, black voter turnout for the midterm election in 2006 was 42.9 percent. After Georgia passed photo ID, black turnout in the 2010 midterm rose to 50.4 percent. Black turnout also rose in Indiana and Mississippi after photo IDs were required." In that statement, Kelly compares 2006 to 2010. In between was the 2008 election between Obama and McCain, which saw large voter registration efforts. For all three of Georgia, Indiana and Mississippi, that registration effort may have out weighed the disenfranchisement effect of those laws. Also for Mississippi and Indiana, these could be comparisons between a midterm and a Presidential election, which always sees a higher turnout.

But that's Jack Kelly; only some of the facts, some of the time.

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