What Fresh Hell Is This?

June 8, 2012

The Trib and Judicial Watch and ALEC: Nefarious Nexus

From today's Trib:
The American Civil Liberties Union did the Obama Justice Department's bidding in challenging Arizona's law cracking down on illegal immigrants. Now, Judicial Watch is fighting to determine whether Justice and the ACLU also are in cahoots on an ACLU lawsuit seeking to keep Pennsylvania's voter ID law from taking effect before November's election.
Here's what Judicial Watch has on this:
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that on June 1, 2012, it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) to obtain records detailing the agency’s communications with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) regarding Pennsylvania House Bill 934, commonly referred to as Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. Case 1:12-cv-00884)). The ACLU and allied organizations have filed a lawsuit to prevent the law, signed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett on March 14, 2012, from taking effect before the November elections.
Ah, so we're talking about HB 934.  More on that later.  But let's read further down the page.  A paragraph or so later we find:
Pennsylvania House Bill 934 requires voters to produce a Pennsylvania driver’s license or another government-issued photo ID, such as a U.S. passport, military ID, or county/municipal employee ID. As reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, on May 1, 2012, so-called “civil rights” groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit to seek to prevent Pennsylvania’ voter ID law from taking effect before the November elections. The trial is scheduled to begin on July 25, 2012.
How nice of them to link back to Scaife's paper, isn't it? Especially since it's not a Trib article.  If you look, it's actually the AP's work.  But, as I said it's nice for Judicial Watch to give a such a subtle shout-out to Richard Mellon Scaife's newspaper.

Why do I mention that?

Glad you asked.  From the Phoenix New Times:
But [Judicial Watch has] never wanted for cash, in large part because of the deep pockets of crackpot Pennsylvania billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife.
Through his Carthage Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation, Scaife helps bankroll a number of far-right and nativist groups, such as the Heritage Foundation, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (which was behind writing SB 1070), NumbersUSA, the Center for Immigration Studies, and Judicial Watch (see "FAIR-y Tales," Terry Greene Sterling, December 2).

According to the progressive Media Matters Action Network, the Scaife family foundations mentioned above have given $8.7 million to Judicial Watch since 1997, making Scaife Judicial Watch's primary benefactor.
See? So how nice of them to give a shout out to their primary benefactor.  Isn't it funny, though, that that little bit of info never seems to make it onto the pages of the Trib?

But let's get back to HB 934, shall we?  We've written about it before.  In case you're just joining us, HB 934 is sponsored by our good friend Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler).  It's also an example of a piece of ALEC legislation.

ALEC?  What's ALEC, Mr. Dayvoe?  Again, for those just joining us, ALEC is the American Legislative Exchange Council.  We've written about them before, too.

And guess, just guess, who had a hand in ALEC's founding.  From the Washington Post in 1999:
Scaife has given ALEC more than $2 million since 1975, keeping the group alive in its early years.
So the Scaife-funded Judicial Watch is defending some legislation that came from the Scaife-supported ALEC while the Scaife-owned paper is both silent on those connections and yet still accuses the DOJ and the ACLU of being in "cohoots".

Another lesson on how the right wing noise machine works.

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