Get PJ Media on your Apple

Rule of Law

Yes, the RNC Really DID Support Federal Oversight of State Elections

July 28th, 2013 - 4:33 pm

On a July day in 2006, the entire Republican caucus was invited to hear a private debate in a meeting room in the Capitol.  Scores of GOP members attended, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert.  At issue was whether the federal government should continue to have control over every election-law change in sixteen states, including Texas, California, Florida, and South Carolina.  Federal power over the states was set to expire.  On one side of the debate was lawyer Mike Carvin, who argued that federal oversight should end.

Carvin’s opponent arguing for continued federal power to review election changes like voter ID wasn’t a Democrat, or even a zealot from the NAACP.

Instead, opposing Carvin’s constitutionalist viewpoint and advocating for federal oversight of state elections was the former chief counsel to the Republican National Committee (RNC).  Also on that side was a group of RNC consultants and lawyers who remained active in RNC policy advancing this viewpoint in the following years.

Top Republicans in Congress listened to the two sides – Carvin arguing for an end to federal oversight of state elections, and the RNC side arguing for continued oversight with even tougher new burdens on states.  House Republicans eventually sided with the RNC point of view, and passed the 2006 reauthorization of federal preclearance power a few days after the debate.

In June 2013, the Supreme Court at last settled the issue in the Shelby County decision by striking down the triggers which placed fifteen states under federal receivership for election-law changes as an unconstitutionally outdated infringement of state sovereignty.

That the RNC continued to support federal oversight one way or another over the past few years was no surprise to me or anyone else who has closely followed the issue — or spoken with the parties involved in the 2006 debate.  As recently as last year, one of the RNC-affiliated lawyers remained bitter toward PJ Media contributor Hans von Spakovsky for helping to organize the 2006 debate on Capitol Hill.

This might explain the peculiar reaction of the RNC to the PJ Tatler posting of last Friday (see, “RNC Operatives Join Holder’s Campaign Against Texas, Several Other States“).

A frantic (and ungrammatical) response was posted in the comments to the PJ Tatler posting by an RNC official, and the same response was picked up by a handful of lesser read blogs. Oddly, the RNC response included my name, saying I was on the wrong side of the debate in 2006.  Factually, this was inaccurate as I was at the Justice Department at the time and had no role, pro or con.

Late Friday night, an RNC communications operative carpet-bombed conservative bloggers with this response and included an attack on PJ Media for good measure. Obviously I have extraordinary relations with many of the bloggers, so they alerted me and wondered whether the RNC had lost it.

Saturday, the RNC sent me an apology, noting they were in error to name me.  Given their stand-up retraction, the matter is now closed to me.

Whether the federal government continues to possess power to approve or reject state election-law changes is an issue that has exposed divisions within the Republican Party between partisan election lawyers and those who believe the Constitution is more important than racial gerrymandering.

Last week, PJ Tatler reported that RNC consultants and staff were searching for ways to reactivate and preserve this federal power over states like Texas despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, just as Attorney General Eric Holder has vowed to do.

To anyone following these issues for the last decade, the PJ Tatler post was neither surprising nor unexpected.  A small group of lawyers and consultants either working for the RNC or consulting with them has long advocated for federal preclearance power over state elections.

Whether this RNC activity ended after the PJ Tatler story was released on Friday, or when the Supreme Court ruled in June, or sometime before is unclear.

Yes, the RNC really did support federal preclearance oversight of state elections, just as Eric Holder does now.  When this support ended is an unanswered question after the RNC on Friday unequivocally stated it opposes any fix to Section 4 that would place states such as Texas, South Carolina, and Virginia back under a federal boot.  That’s good news.

But before the announcement last week, the self-serving RNC collusion with the racialist left was well-known and obvious. After all, the GOP used Section 5 federal oversight to racially gerrymander safe Republican districts and herd blacks into electoral enclaves for the last 23 years.

That this well-known collusion and support of federal oversight surprised anyone last Friday was the only surprise.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
"When this support ended is an unanswered question after the RNC on Friday unequivocally stated it opposes any fix to Section 4 that would place states such as Texas, South Carolina and Virginia back under a federal boot."

Having seen both the RNC and the Colorado Central Committee boldly lie their collective Equus africanus asinus off to the Republican base, I would modify Ronald Reagan's dictum. "Don't Trust, and verify to a fare-thee-well".

PJMedia, keep digging.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, this is all about an alliance of the powerful to make a deal with the devil so they could be assured of keeping their congressional seats as long as they wanted to keep them? And if that meant that they had to institutionalize turning a blind eye towards voter fraud that was just a small price to pay?

May these people rot in Hell. I would greatly appreciate a list of their names if anyone out there has one.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Racially gerrymandered districts have long been a favorite of both parties, because it provides incumbent protection. If you look at some of the folks who have been in a long time, including some of the black politicians, you see folks who would never get elected in a truly contested election.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (114)
All Comments   (114)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
It's time to repeal the "Motor Voter" act that provides the basis for this trash. Eliminate it and return to the Separate, SOVEREIGN States ALL responsibility for voter eligibility, registration, and ID requirements at the polling places, as intended in our Constitution.

Remember, the only reason the Arizona law was not upheld was the existence of this abomination of a law taking away Part of the State right to control elections.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Amen, Amen, and...
AMEN, BROTHER!
The Clintons did everything they could to set up the country for the Islamists, and turn voting into who cheats the most. They are the criminals who keep on giving.
And when idiot Bush formed a committee to look into 9/11, he appointed the very idiots who caused the thing, in the first place, Garelick, and Sandy-boy, he sock smuggler.
Now we have voting by mail, and voting for over two weeks in advance. This is just BS.
My Sainted Mother was very angry about Motor Voter. She said it would destroy the Nation. She was mostly angry with Republicans, for being so darn stupid!
Smart girl, Mom.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
my buddy's step-sister makes $67 hourly on the laptop. She has been fired for 8 months but last month her check was $15936 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site http://www.pick85.com
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So; When does "voter discrimination" only apply to blacks?
It looks evident to me that the actual discrimination is being applied to the white community BY THE BLACKS in power.
I offer several voting precincts that had ZERO VOTES FOR ROMNEY as evidence. I've seen no collective public disapproval of this phenomenon.
It's no secret that Holder wants to create more black constituencies, but, discrimination/voter suppression can, and does, occur to all races.
Transparency is absolutely necessary, and the more transparency the better.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, the evidence that the RNC is currently helping re-enable federal VRA control is that in 2006 an (already) former counsel of theirs argued the VRA was useful for the purpose of gerrymandering R seats?

I'm not sure why I expected more, but toss another failure of a scoop onto the fire here.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Unless you are just another RNC member/staffer just trying to distance the organization from this issue, you should read the article more carefully.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Furious. Defunding RNC may be more effective than defunding the ACA longterm.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As time goes by, I become more convinced that the true divide is not between Democrats and Republicans, but between Big Government junkies and the rest of us.

When Christie came out in favor bloating the NSA and damning civil libertarians, he lost any chance of getting my vote. Well, unless we screw up and he's the nominee in 2016. Then, I might have to hold my nose and vote for him anyway.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, at that time I will vote Third party.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I refuse to hold my nose to vote again. I just won't do it. If a democrat wins, so be it! Be continuing to vote for these people, we empower them to continue what they're doing, including thumbing their noses at us.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We already have one-party rule, might as well make it official.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The decades-long flirtation between the RNC and the racial left that ended last Friday..."

1. Do you actually believe that it's ended because the RNC says it has ended????

2. The federal oversight (meddling) is wrong, I don't care who benefits.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
too many lawyer types. not enough accountants, secretaries, pipe fitters, you know, everyday honest folk running for high offices. maybe there should be a limit to the number of lawyer degrees allowed in congress. its bad enough they fill up the rest of the branches of gov., and obvious they no longer stress ethics in their curriculum in law school, if ever.

trying to get a good bill the country needs out of this bunch is like herding cats - not pretty, bloody and enough to make a preacher cuss.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Perhaps we should just have a lottery for seats in Congress. We might get some decent representation once and awhile.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The RNC supports a lot of things that concientiuos American conservatives can no longer tolerate. It has for years, but especially starting with the Bush clan. That is why I after 40 years said good bye. You need not be led by the nose by RINOs to support conservatives even if they choose the Republican venue to office! I am free, call myself an independent and support conservatives, direct only. I vote for the candidate that makes the most sense and is most likely to be electable and therefore of service to my causes! I have not yet been led to support a Democrat for any office but if Lyndsey Gramnesty is the GOP Senatorial candidate this time that may change!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Whether this RNC activity ended after the PJ Tatler story was released on Friday, or when the Supreme Court ruled in June, or sometime before is unclear."

It wasn't unclear in your "news" story where you claimed to know exactly what was happening with no question. But it's now unclear?

'It’s not 2006 anymore. The once dominant GOP crowd that supported federal oversight in 2006 has dwindled. '

And oddly, we have a different RNC now than we had in 2006; different leaders, different people... but lets paint them all with the same brush, right?

I guess 7 years and 2 leadership changes are such a minor shift.

'After the story hit last Friday, Republican donors and grassroots activists around the country went nuts.'

But no worries; at least the facts of your story are "unclear"... good thing you at least got a plot of publicity for your story with unclear facts where you don't know if it was true.

That's the real goal of journalism right? Who cares if you get the facts right, so long as a lot of people get riled up by whatever crap you spread.

You'll be great competition for the Weekly World News with that attitude.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You are missing something important - the people haven't changed. The same people who supported federal oversight in 2006 remained. This isn't about the current chairman. My piece today wrote about the longstanding institutional support of federal oversight, support which continued well past 2006.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You're missing something important, you have no evidence for the claim you made on Friday. Laughable. And the half of your article you devoted to the sob story about being personally targetted (now the IRS and the RNC are after you!) didn't hide the fact that the beef ain't there.

It's a blog. Nobody expects rigorous standards of reporting here. But maybe the basics, like not making things up, would be nice?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sob story, targeted? Perhaps you mean the error about 2006. Welcome to PJ.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mr. Adams - did anything in this story provide evidence that the RNC is, TODAY, working to reinstate federal receivership over VRA preclearance States?

Or are we left to conclude that the original story was made up?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You sound very much "in the know." Maybe you can tell us WHEN RNC support ended - because it DID end. The question is when.

And if you read carefully, nothing I wrote about had anything to do with TODAY, that wasn't what I set out to do, attempted, or concluded. My piece was a historical piece. The only outstanding questions is when that history ENDED, because it did end at some point. Maybe you can ask around and find out and post here.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So the original story was made up.

See, that wasn't so hard. And no harm, no foul, on the made up story because that story was published under an anonymous name! Clever.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So you've got no beef with the story above, no errors or mistakes I see.

See, that wasn't so hard. And no harm, no foul on admitting the piece I posted was 100% accurate, because you like to post comments under an anonymous name! Clever.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The RNC is still paying the same people who are on the record as pushing for this unconstitutional law while it was in the process of being overturned. The ball is in the court of the RNC to demonstrate by words and deeds that their paid consultants have had a change of heart. It would be pretty easy for them to say that Hofeller is no longer working there.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 4 5 Next View All