What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 13, 2011

Scaife Funded Judicial Watch Spins On Voter "Fraud"

From today's Tribune-Review:
Documents obtained by Judicial Watch show the perniciously corrupt, leftist influence of ACORN and its Project Vote affiliate on voter registration in Colorado.

Alleging violation of a federal law requiring public-assistance offices to offer registration, the groups threatened litigation in 2009. The Democrat then-secretary of state, backed by leftist billionaire George Soros and liberal MoveOn.org, responded by, among other things, sharing registration data with Project Vote and ensuring its approval of changes to registration forms.

The result? In 2009-10, 8 percent of Colorado registration forms rejected as invalid or duplicate -- thus fraudulent -- came from public-assistance agencies. That was more than four times the national 1.9-percent average.
I guess they gotta do this once a month or so. Last month (July 17th to be exact) they wheel-barrowed out some horse crap that included James O'Keefe's "research" into ACORN. On that blog post we reported:
According to Media Matters, the Scaife controlled Carthage and Sarah Scaife foundations granted $8.74 million dollars between 1997 and 2009.

Far more than any other foundation. In fact, if my math and the numbers are correct, Scaife's given about 20 times more than all the other foundations combined.
So while Scaife's braintrust uses phrases like "backed by leftist billionaire George Soros" we should all try to remember that when the braintrust quotes Judicial Watch or The Heritage Foundation or The American Enterprise Institute or the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, each of those think tanks are "backed by rightwing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife."

But back to the Scaife-funded Judicial Watch spin. Beyond the absurdity of pointing out how Colorado's voting registration system rejecting invalid registration forms is evidence of how far:
ACORN, Project Vote and their successor organizations would not go to undermine voting's integrity.
But what of that 8 percentage rejection rate? Surely that's evidence of fraud, right? The editorial even says that invalid and duplicate registration forms are fraudulent. This takes a little digging. The Scaife braintrust's editorial points back to this page at the Scaife funded Judicial Watch. And here is the important paragraph:
As a result of this collaboration between ACORN, Project Vote and Colorado officials, the number of voter registrations at Colorado public assistance agencies rose from 3,340 in 2007 to almost 44,000 in 2010. (In a February 15, 2011, email to Project Vote, Christi Heppard, Special Projects Coordinator for the Elections Division of the Colorado Department of State, wrote, “…I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the numbers.”) However, the collaboration also led to a large number of invalid and duplicate voter registrations. A total of 8% of rejected registration forms came from public assistance agencies in Colorado in 2009-2010. This is more than four times the national average of 1.9% for that same time period.
Judicial Watch is usually meticulous with its linkage. But this time, not so much.

For instance, where do they get the "8 percent" data point anyway? That bit of information can be found via that last link - but it takes some hunting to get to - something the braintrust probably doesn't want you to do.

The link leads to this report by the US Election Assistance Commission. It's on page 52 where we find that 8 percent of the voter registration forms, 1681 in real numbers, were regarded as "Invalid or Rejected."

And how does this report define "Invalid or Rejected"? Oh, my friends, this is where the fun is. On the very next page we read:
Invalid registrations in Colorado include incomplete or pending applications where the elector has omitted a required piece of information.
No way to tell how much of what's left over is, as Scaife's braintrust so courageously declared, fraudulent.

See how it works? Scaife supports a think tank that spins and hides some very important details and then his newspaper's editorial board reports that spin as the truth.

How's that for fraudulent?

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

I have to say running a story about ACORN now is fairly bizarre. ACORN is gone, successfully killed by know-nothings inside Congress, as supported by know-nothings outside Congress. I glanced at the Trib's website just now, and I didn't see anything about the Republican candidates debate in Iowa. Maybe the Trib is only a Greensburg paper, but if they want to editorialize on ACORN's role in voter registration fraud, shouldn't they cover all the national news?

Admittedly, voter registration fraud that was not discovered until after one side or the other stole an election could be hugely serious. However, so far every single story I have ever read about voter registration fraud/issues fall into to one of two categories: Lots of registration forms are rejected because of duplication or bad information, or the current rolls contain names of people who have moved or are dead.

In first case, we know about this because the government tells us how many registration forms it has rejected (in other words, they have already fixed whatever problem). And ACORN's record on this is interesting. ACORN not only ran registration drives in poor neighborhoods, it also double checked all the forms for signatures and to see if the information looked correct. Apparently in some, maybe most states, ACORN is not allowed to destroy a registration form that has been signed, so I believe ACORN simply adopted this practice for all its registration drive. What they would do is flag questionable forms (say, registering Mickey Mouse) and send them along to the Elections Bureau. The Elections Bureau was supposed to determine if there is a Mr Mouse living at the address on the form, and if not, reject the registration form.

So the evidence we have of the evilness of ACORN's voter registration efforts comes from registration forms that were thrown out, and low level legal action taken against ACORN day laborers for making the election board work so hard. And by the way, apparently (possibly, prove me wrong) much, maybe most of the evidence of bad registration forms was provided by ACORN itself. These were the lengthes to which ACORN would go to "undermine voting's integrity" (what an awkward phrase).

Of course the real reason ACORN is evil is that they were trying to give a voice to the disenfranchised poor. They were trying to provide a counter to Scaife, the Koch Brothers and others like them by giving the huge number of the poor a chance to vote.

Thank God we have patriots like the anonymous editorial board at the Trib to point out how un-American it is for the poor (or blacks or women) to vote (that's why the founding fathers didn't allow it, and if it was good enough for them ...).