On Tuesday night, I spoke in Austin, Texas, at a rally organized by True the Vote. It took place on the grounds of the LBJ Library on the campus of the University of Texas. The rally was in response to Eric Holder’s announcement at the same place two hours later of a concerted Justice Department effort to oppose virtually every electoral integrity measure promoted by Constitutional conservatives and Republicans.
Holder’s announcement will have profound partisan results in the 2012 election because of his professed unwillingness to enforce laws to prevent voter fraud. Indeed, tonight he made clear his opposition to these laws, such as voter ID and even the requirement to register to vote in advance of an election.
Holder announced broad opposition to voter identification requirements and a ramped up effort to enforce voting registration laws in welfare agencies. He didn’t make any announcements about enforcing Section 8 of Motor Voter to ensure dead people don’t populate the roles. He also said that voter fraud “isn’t a huge problem,” perhaps marking the first time the nation’s chief law enforcement downplayed criminal behavior. Of course that is in vogue in this administration, starting with the New Black Panther dismissal and now with Fast and Furious.
In opposition to Holder, I spoke, as did a group of inspiring patriots starting with Catherine Englebrecht of True the Vote. Anita Moncrief, Reverend C. L. Bryan, George Rodriguez (head of the San Antonio Tea Party) and Adryana Boyne, national director of VOCES Action followed. Boyne’s speech defending Texas voter ID may be the first time I heard the policy defended in Spanish. Moncrief, though, had the line of the night — that “Al Sharpton has a platinum race card.”
Holder laid down markers which will excite his base and disturb law abiding citizens. He supported restrictions on political speech which will criminalize campaign falsehoods. He vowed hyper-scrutiny of voter integrity laws such as voter ID and vowed to run states like Texas through a nasty gauntlet on redistricting. If this doesn’t send a signal to Texas and South Carolina to pull their voter ID laws out of Justice and go to court, nothing else will. Also in attendance was Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez, a starring character in my book Injustice.
Holder brought along his puppy, Charlie Savage of the New York Times, from whom we can expect glowing sycophantic coverage of Holder’s announcement at any minute at the New York Times website. Savage is the same reporter who covered purported politicization at the Bush Justice Department. For this he won a Pulitzer Prize.