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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Tomorrow I will be speaking at Tulane University Law School at 5 p.m. about Eric Holder’s selective enforcement of federal election laws.  The Voting Section at the Justice Department has brought a lawsuit against Louisiana under Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act, claiming the Jindal administration doesn’t do enough to get people in welfare offices, food stamp centers, cash assistance offices and drug treatment centers registered to vote.  The Department has deployed some very heavy handed tactics in the Louisiana case and, like in Rhode Island, will no doubt seek a remedy far beyond what Federal law requires.

So far the Jindal administration has refused to concede an inch.  They should continue to force DOJ to prove their case at trial, like states around the country are now doing when it comes to Civil Rights Division actions.  (Consider the tough position of Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange in the last few weeks.)

The  Section 7 lawsuit against the Jindal administration would be more credible if the same Voting Section at Justice enforced Section 8 of Motor Voter (NVRA), the provision requiring states to clean up dead people, ineligible felons, and people who have moved away from the voter rolls.  Unfortunately, the Voting Section these days isn’t in the credibility business.

In November of 2009, (as I discuss in my book Injustice), former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes told the entire Voting Section the Obama administration “wasn’t interested in enforcing Section 8.”  Former Voting Section Chief Chris Coates testified under oath that he recommended investigations into eight states with serious problems with the integrity of the voter rolls in 2009, but those investigations were spiked by Obama political appointees uninterested in enforcing all federal laws.

Obviously the Obama Justice Department is very interested in ensuring that people receiving welfare, drug treatment and cash assistance register to vote by suing Louisiana under Section 7.  But what about problems with the voter rolls in the same state?  What about enforcing Section 8 of NVRA?

Five parishes in Louisiana have more people on the voter rolls than they have citizens eligible to vote.  In Cameron Parish, the number is 118%, in Tensas Parish, 108%.  Others parishes with problems include St. Helena, St. Bernard, Orleans, St. Landry and Plaquemnes.  This means there are more people on the rolls than people alive old enough to vote. 

But no matter, this DOJ has priorities, and it isn’t election integrity.  As Julie Fernandes put it, “we are only interested in laws which increase turnout.”

DOJ could have added a simple additional Section 8 cause of action demanding these parishes clean up their voter rolls.

Enter Louisiana Senator David Vitter.  Today Vitter fired off a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding a course reversal.  The full text of the letter and press release is here.

From Vitter’s press release:

U.S. Sen. David Vitter today called on the U.S. Department of Justice to be consistent in their efforts to enforce the National Voter Registration Act. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Vitter highlights that DOJ has recently filed a lawsuit against Louisiana alleging the state has not complied with Section 7 of NVRA, yet has done nothing to enforce Section 8 in other states. . . .

 ”If the Department of Justice is going to come down to Louisiana with undercover investigators to check on one section of voter registration law – the other sections better get enforced too,” Vitter said. “They can’t just pick and choose which sections to enforce, but unfortunately that’s preciously what they’re doing. They’re allowing some states to keep felons, illegal aliens and dead people on their voter rolls, which is a clear violation of the law.”

From Senator Vitter’s letter to Eric Holder:

The Department later filed a lawsuit against Louisiana alleging that the state has violated its obligations under Section 7 of the NVRA.

However, at the same time, absolutely no effort is being made to enforce Section 8 of the same law.  Section 8 requires states to conduct voter roll cleaning to purge ineligible felons and dead voters from corrupting the election process.  The two provisions act together as counterparts, but it is evident that the Justice Department is not enforcing them equally.

Section 8 is a key component of the law, because the longer these fraudulent names remain on a registration list, the greater the chances that a fraudulent vote will be cast in their names.  As we approach an important presidential election in 2012, your dedication to enforcing both sections of the law to avoid fraud is paramount.

In recent years there have been reports that the administration is not interested in enforcing the Section 8 provision of the law.  Christopher Coates, former Chief of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division, testified before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission that Julie Fernandez, who was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in 2009, told the Voting Section that the Obama administration was not interested in issues related to Section 8 and list maintenance enforcement activity.

I hear that DOJ, facing so much heat on this issue, is considering a course reversal.  DOJ may start demanding that states clean up their voter rolls, but only because so much heat has been delivered in the media and from Congress.  Expect DOJ to wait until the last possible moment, when it will be hardest to enforce the law adequately ahead of the 2012 election.  Naturally, expect a timid approach to any DOJ action, nothing like the zeal and fury that accompanies a Section 7 welfare agency lawsuit.

Earlier this week, I provided a taste how the modern civil rights industry enables and supports criminal voter fraud.  I described a pattern in Alabama and Florida: after arrests for voter fraud, rallies are held at the courthouse complete with spirituals and claims that racism led to the arrests. Guilty pleas often quietly follow, but no matter, the convenient bloody shirt of the past is waved to defend the guilty - as was done in black belt Alabama as described in my book Injustice and as I described at PJ Media.

Today we find work product from the second member of the voter fraud denying trinity, the media. (Academia comprises the third part; more on them another day). Consider Simon van Zuylen-Wood, “Reporter-Researcher” at The New Republic.  Simon has this story about landslide passage of the Voter ID referendum in Mississippi last week.  It follows the Template used by the media when covering efforts to prevent or curtail election crimes:

1. Present dastardly efforts of the right or the GOP to implement election integrity procedures.

2. Sprinkle a dash of accusatory racism, amount to vary depending on reading audience and whether or not mainstream America will see your work. If the accusations are in Mother Jones or on the steps of a courthouse in Madison County Florida, or other places most Americans don’t venture, go all in. Leave no accusation of racism behind.

3. Quote the Brennan Center for Justice, who in turn quotes either a Department of Justice study or other academic study that found “hardly any voter fraud” (but of course failed even to cite the Ike Brown case in Mississippi.)  Assume nobody will question the inadequate methodology of the study, because nobody ever does.

4. Include ominous warnings about sinister plans to roll the clock back to 1954.  Provide no specifics, the charge alone flips the switch for the targeted audience.

5. Avoid any mention of case after case after case after case after case after case (some involving Obama campaign staff)  of verified proven-in-court voter fraud. (Especially the ones by the NAACP or Democrats).  If you do mention a single one, the whole scam unravels.  If such cases do get mentioned by opponents, reply they aren’t “widespread” or “rampant.”  Insist the frequency of the crimes is more important that the existence of the crimes when considering voter integrity measures.

This is the template used by the media to give a smokescreen to criminal election activity. Simon van Zuylen-Wood’s piece is just the latest example. He writes the piece about Mississippi Voter ID passage but makes no mention whatsoever about evidence and federal court findings in the Ike Brown case in Mississippi. They include rampant absentee ballot fraud, in-person voter impersonation, ballot forgery, ineligible voters voting, cooperation with illegalities by law enforcement officials in league with the defendants, forced assistance inside the polls of hundreds of black voters and on and on and on.  And yes Simon, Voter ID would have stopped some of the behavior I described.

But I can understand why you left the facts in the Ike Brown case out of your story. You were just following the Template.

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The civil rights industry madness is happening again, this time in Florida.  A voter fraud sweep in Madison County Florida caught widespread absentee ballot fraud, aided allegedly by the Madison County Supervisor of Elections to the benefit of an arrested school board member. (details and perp shots here.)  Instead of shame, the “civil rights” activists in the community held an obscene and disgusting rally in support of the accused.  Also appearing was the local president of the NAACP to support the accused.  He reports that the Florida state president of the NAACP “have their eyes on the situation.  That is a warning. They don’t like what has happened just like you don’t like what has happened.”  The video must be seen to be believed.  All the corrupt rot of the modern civil rights industry is on full display.

The rally begins by singing revered hymns such as “We Shall Overcome.”  The speakers claim the accused were arrested because of “racism.”  Like the German Army belt buckle, the speaker says the accused will be victorious “because God is on our side.”  The bloody shirt is waved – “they thought they forever would be in charge.”  The criminal accusations are “nothing but mud thrown on the wall,” followed by a disturbing call and response evidencing genuine lawlessness beyond just the speakers.

Madison County Florida isn’t the first time that voter fraud criminals have been arrested and a rally resembling a civil rights protest follows.  In my book Injustice, I describe how the modern civil rights industry has become an intellectual smokescreen for criminal activity, particularly voter fraud.  In one Alabama county, multiple people were arrested for voter fraud.  The reaction among the “civil rights” leadership in the community? Exactly like Madison County, Florida.  Behold from Injustice:

As the investigation wrapped up, Attorney General King described “a systemic  problem of corruption” in Hale. “It is a culture problem, an elite believing they have the right to decide who holds office,” he declared.  Eventually three women active in the all-black political faction would face justice. Two of them, Valada Paige Banks (who had previously been convicted of welfare fraud) and Rosie Lyles, were indicted on multiple felony voter fraud counts in August 2007. In a stunning display of racial solidarity, more than 200 people, almost all black, packed their arraignment hearing and loudly applauded when not guilty pleas were entered. In a corrupt appropriation of the moral authority of the civil rights movement, they wore t-shirts that said, “Greensboro 2: Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.”  Outside the courthouse, supporters held hands in a huge circle, sang songs from the civil rights movement, and prayed for the defendants’ legal deliverance.

See the pattern?  Bear in mind, the Justice Department turned a blind eye toward the illegal conduct for years because the DOJ attorney on the case explicitly refused to investigate wrong doing by black criminals in Alabama as I describe in my book. In Alabama, they called them the Greensboro 2, and they all eventually entered guilty pleas.  At the rally in Florida, they are the “Madison 10.”

Make sure you watch the whole video to where the crowd breaks out in “Go Tell it on the Mountain.”

So when voter fraud deniers like Justin Levitt, Tova Wang or Jon Greenbaum attack efforts to ensure the integrity of American elections, never forget the lengths that their ilk will attempt to appropriate the noble orgins of the civil rights movement to advance their rotted cause.

No Middle Ground: Exit Joe Paterno

November 10th, 2011 - 5:43 am

With a decision last night by the Penn State University board of trustees, Joe Paterno is gone.  In our modern disposable world, Joe Paterno has been a constant since 1966.   His sideline presence in State College was sure as the golden arrival of autumn.

Paterno won the 1982 and 1986 college football national championships.  He also had undefeated seasons in 1968, 1969 and 1973.  Under the screwy method for selecting the national champion back then, his teams were bypassed those three years.  In a just system, Paterno helmed five championships.  By any measure, Paterno occupied elite air shared only by the likes of Bear Bryant, Bernie Bierman and Frank Leahy.

Nothing elicits strong opinions like the facts which led to Paterno’s demise.  (Explicit and disturbing grand jury report here). I, for example, think the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Kennedy v. Louisiana was wrong. It would not trouble me greatly to see Jerry Sandusky face the same fate Patrick Kennedy faced in Louisiana before another Kennedy, this one wearing robes, was the deciding vote to convert his death sentence to a life sentence for raping his eight-year-old stepdaughter. Anyone who rapes a child, in my view, should face the same fate as a murderer.  The Eighth Amendment cannot contain the penalties worthy for such behavior. But alas, it does.

On the other hand, I believe Paterno is a good man, perhaps too attached to a slower American era. In that time, when Sandusky’s behavior was so alien, so unfamiliar and sickening, one might rationalize and minimize it rather than act on it. That’s what landed the Catholic Church in so much trouble, but more on that in a moment.

I confess a bias. A few weeks after earning my Eagle Scout award in 1984, a letter arrived from Penn State. It was a hand signed note from Coach Paterno congratulating me and giving me a pair of tickets to a Penn State game. He noted he was the “recruiting chairman” for the Boy Scouts of America for Pennsylvania in the year I joined — 1979. Any boy who earned his Eagle from that class got a note from Joe and tickets.

If you have any familiarity with Scouting you know that most of what now ails our nation has an answer in Scouting. It is a good and important program, and Coach Joe made me especially proud that day to be a part of it.

I don’t purport to argue Paterno should stay on as coach, or is free from blame. But there are a couple of errors surrounding this mess. First of all, Paterno did report details of the events in the shower to Senior Vice President Gary Schultz. Schultz oversaw the Penn State police department, a real police force with arrest powers. Sure, Sandusky was seen lurking around PSU facilities for the next decade, but what did Schultz tell Paterno the outcome of Paterno’s report to him was? That is something the media quick to crucify Paterno should consider.

On the other hand, I heard a “legal expert” on WMAL-AM in Washington defend Paterno by saying in America “we have no duty to report crimes.” Wrong. When it comes to child sexual abuse, many states have abandoned that notion and imposed a duty to report. But Paterno didn’t have any legal obligation under Pennsylvania’s duty to report for a variety of reasons. For starters, Paterno wasn’t a witness. Nor was the child under his care or custody.

Paterno also appears to be one of the few people who truthfully testified to the grand jury in this mess. In fact, he will be the lead witness against the indicted athletic director Curley and Schultz. He told them the sexual nature of the report, and under oath they denied he told them.

Most troubling is that the Penn State police department had received a separate report about Sandusky in the showers with young boys. They “investigated” in the same way the Justice Department went after the New Black Panther Party — that is to say, in name only.

It is the moral obligation, however, that has led to Paterno’s exit. Even if Paterno did everything right under the law, one wonders what he thought of the heinous sins of Sandusky in the ensuing decade when spotting him on PSU facilities after getting rid of him as a coach in 1999. Perhaps Paterno was told by Schultz the case was investigated thoroughly and there was no merit to it. If that happened, then the Penn State board may well have acted rashly in firing Paterno last night. But where was Paterno’s outrage?

Did Paterno ever confront Sandsusky? Would you have?

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Today PJ Media’s own Hans von Spakovsky appeared on CSPAN to debate Jon Greenbaum, a notorious voter fraud denier.  Hans has covered one of Greenbaum’s coworkers at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, Joe Rich.  Rich had multiple bad reviews and reprimands placed in his Justice Department file for various bad behavior covered by von Spakovsky in the PJ Media article and also in my book Injustice.

Leaving Rich back at the office, Greenbaum appeared on CSPAN to debate Voter ID with von Spakovsky.  Greenbaum trotted out the tired tropes opposing voter ID.  Then Greenbaum’s worst nightmare happened – an African-American caller from Maryland got through and dressed him down.  Minnesota Majority grabbed the video.

It wasn’t a good day for the voter fraud deniers.  Former Congressman Artur Davis has come out in favor of voter ID because of the rampant voter fraud in Hale, Perry and Greene Counties, Alabama. (I devote Chapter Six of Injustice to this voter fraud and how particular DOJ lawyers enabled it because they would not enforce voting laws against black offenders).  So has Rhode Island Senator Harold Metts.  The voter fraud deniers are on the run, and about to suffer another blow in Mississippi where voters will approve voter ID.  And today we learn that the voter fraud deniers have a new opponent – African-Americans sick and tired of being patronized.

 

The Guitars Gently Weep

November 8th, 2011 - 1:11 pm

In 1968, Eric Clapton played a Gibson Les Paul guitar on the White Album’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by the Beatles.  Other guitar greats like B.B. King, Slash, Alex Lifeson, Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend and Keith Richards have all used Gibson Guitars.  You would think the Department of Justice has higher priorities than investigating a guitar company, but you’d be wrong.

By now, nearly everyone knows that the Department of Justice raided Gibson Guitars regarding the use of certain wood that may have violated the Lacey Import Act.   At issue is Gibson’s import of unfinished, as opposed to finished, rosewood and ebony.  FBI raids effectively shut down the business and idled workers.  Gibson has since reopened, but the federal action raises issues of over-criminalization of business behavior.

Not surprisingly, the legislation to criminalize the use of ebony and rosewood in the Gibson guitars came from the usual suspects on the Left.  But it also had support among American forestry business interests seeking to erect barriers to competition from overseas wood.

The craziest part of the Lacey Act is that it allows Gibson to import finished guitar pieces made from the same wood.  But if Americans working in Tennessee cut, sand and varnish unfinished wood, then call in the FBI raiding parties.  The law was amended in 2008 to reach this state with the support of the Bush administration.

This is the sort of illogical madness, fueled by special interest meddling in the economy that has most Americans rightfully disgusted with Washington.

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Last month, a collection of groups funded by George Soros held a conference on election law and the upcoming 2012 election.  PJ Media has obtained details of the event from an attendee.  Our eyes and ears are extensive.  The meeting was one long attack on voter integrity efforts in the 2012 election.  The sponsor was the Fair Elections Legal Network, a group that has received $105,000 from the Soros-funded Tides Foundation since 2007.

The speakers were Deven Andersen of the “Black Youth Vote!”; Robert “Biko” Baker of the League of Young Voters Education Fund; and Eric Marshall of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Andersen was the recipient of a fellowship from the Soros funded radical organizing outfit Center for Community Change.  The panel was moderated by Megan Donavan of the sponsor organization, the Fair Elections Legal Network.  Donovan hails from the vote fraud denying Brennan Center for Justice by way of the Center for Reproductive Rights, proving that ideology may be more important than specialization.

These types of groups exist primarily to attack any effort to combat voter fraud or ensure the integrity of elections.  As I write in my book Injustice, there is “an enormous and well-funded industry of voter fraud deniers that provides an intellectual smokescreen for this lawlessness.”

Deven Andersen, obviously a top-shelf racialist, casts all Tea Partiers and election integrity proponents as racists: “The Tea Party is a reincarnation of the White Southern Democrats.   They want to turn the clock back to 1866 and make blacks second rate citizens again,” he told the crowd.  “Conservatives don’t like people of color.  They are stuck in 1866.”  Specifically, the nut Andersen named the King Street Patriots, a voter integrity effort in Houston, Texas.

Robert Baker took the nuttiness a step further, claiming there is a “conservative war on voting” and that “young blacks are being taken out of the electoral process.”  Baker said what few are willing to say publicly in their opposition to photo voter identification:  “Why don’t young people of color have the proper ID? . . . Why can’t they just go to the DMV and get one like everyone else?  Here’s a typical scenario explaining why:  I have a few unpaid speeding tickets.  If I go to the DMV, they will call the cops and I’ll be arrested, so it’s not worth trying to get an ID so I can vote.”

Eric Marshall of the Lawyers’ Committee bemoaned the fact that regular Tea Party citizens “were winning the debate.”  He said groups like “True the Vote want to suppress the vote.”  Perhaps Marshall and Andersen will be schooled in the finer points of defamation law shortly.  Marshall said True the Vote will “prevent anyone who looks different than them from voting,” an outright lie by Marshall.  Marshall, a top-shelf voter fraud denier, claimed that no dead people are voting.  Marshall obviously never heard of Lafayette Keaton, who voted for dead people in Oregon, including his own son.  Marshall singled out the Heritage Foundation, calling them the center of lies about voter fraud.

While this meeting of nuts might sound fanciful to most Americans, it is indicative of the lengths the voter fraud deniers go to stoke up their base, and scare law enforcement officials from enforcing laws to ensure electoral integrity next year.  But now, people are paying attention to their efforts to incite lawlessness.