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Bryan Preston


August 27, 2013 - 11:48 am

Earlier today, J. Christian Adams reported comments made by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) regarding the Voting Rights Act. Sharing the podium with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, Sensenbrenner told a Washington audience Monday that he wants to “fix” the part of the law that the Supreme Court recently struck down.

Sensenbrenner said he wants to fix the law so that it is immune to court challenges.

“The first thing we have to do is take the monkey wrench that the court threw in it, out of the Voting Rights Act, and then use that monkey wrench to be able to fix it so that it is alive, well, constitutional and impervious to another challenge that will be filed by the usual suspects.”

Sensenbrenner has not said publicly which section of the law he seeks to “fix” — Section 3 or Section 4. The latter would put many state election laws back under federal receivership, jeopardizing measures like Texas’ popular voter ID law. Sensenbrenner has also not said publicly who he believes the “usual suspects” are. Sensenbrenner has also not identified which states he believes are so racist that they warrant continued federal supervision with his “fix.”

He has publicly said, on August 22, that he opposes Attorney General Eric Holder’s lawsuit against Texas’ voter ID law under the Voting Rights Act’s Section 2, and that he wants Holder to wait until the law is “fixed.”

“I spoke with Attorney General Holder today and requested that he withdraw his Section 2 lawsuit until there can be a legislative fix of the Voting Rights Act.  The lawsuit would make it much more difficult to pass a bipartisan fix to restore the heart of the VRA that the Supreme Court struck down earlier this year.” 

That could be read as Sensenbrenner not opposing Holder’s lawsuit per se, but opposing it only until Congress can “fix” the VRA.

But what shape would that “fix” take? One clue may be found in who influences Rep. Sensenbrenner on the Voting Rights Act.

According to Open Secrets, Phillip Kiko worked in various capacities around the House Republican leadership until this year. Kiko has a long history working for and lobbying to Rep. Sensenbrenner going back decades. His posts include serving as deputy chief of staff to Rep. Sensenbrenner.


Kiko is currently vice chairman the Smith-Free Group, a Washington firm which bills itself as bi-partisan. His lobbying disclosure form tells an interesting story: He is working for the American Civil Liberties Union on the Voting Rights Act.


The ACLU characterized the June 2013 Supreme Court decision striking down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act as a “huge blow to democracy.” The ACLU says that it is “working with Congress to devise a new formula” for Section 5 pre-clearance.

Worse, Kiko’s lobbying activities are not limited to representing the ACLU. He also lobbies on behalf of the far-left Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.


The LCCHR is a collection of mostly far-left radical groups including the ACLU, People for the American Way, the SEIU and other Big Labor organizations, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Phillip Kiko, a self-described conservative, is working on behalf of these groups as their lobbyist at the same time his former boss, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, works toward a “fix” for the Voting Rights Act.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Some advantage did accrue to the Republicans as a party from imposition of the original Civil Rights act. By insisting on "minority/majority" districts to ensure the election of minorities, the Feds also ensured the creation of a number of "safe" electoral districts for Republicans. That has a lot to do with the fact that only 60-70 districts are really in play in any given election year.

Unfortunately, it also ensures maximum conflict in Congress as the reps from all those safe districts have no real reason to moderate their positions. And it is virulently abusive of the welfare of the people in the affected areas who have inferior election laws which prioritize benefit to minorities over good government. The case of the Voter ID law in Texas is highly instructive in that regard.

Texans are made to suffer rampant voter fraud in every election, whether minority rights are affected or not. A case might even be made that resisting the cleanup of the voter lists is as much a disservice to minorities as it is to anyone else, so it is not at all clear whether there is a benefit to them. It sure does ensure lots of black and brown faces in Congress, however, many with attitudes which contribute to gridlock.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Holder wants the Dead to have 3 votes & Illegals 2 min.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When the ACLU decides to sue a poor county over an issue that is clearly the responsibility of the county; is there any recourse?
I ask this because there has been a pattern of intimidation by the ACLU for years regarding entities like counties that really can't afford a lawsuit against them but can't afford the proposed "improvments" either. Can someone give be a quick and dirty answer.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
13 communists began the ACLU in 1930's- they have not woken up nor gone away and never will- cannot out breed stupid
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sensenbrenner fixed Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in 2006.

With representatives like this....who needs enemies?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, somebody remind us again why we need the Republican Party to "oppose" the Democrats?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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