The Urban Dictionary defines it as:
Lies that just won't die, no matter what the facts are.This week in his column at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jack Kelly takes us, yet again, on a trip to the Republican zombie-lie reality, where Democrats commit rampant voter fraud - even though the evidence says otherwise.
Republicans and their zombie lies (voter fraud, climate change, Reagan was a great president) - 'twas ever thus.
This week, Jack starts, of course, with Nixon:
Richard Nixon believed vote fraud in Illinois and Texas determined the outcome of the 1960 election. But he refused to contest the results, because he didn’t want to undermine public confidence in the system.But is that true? Take a look at this easily found and more than a decade old piece from Slate:
Nixon always insisted that others, including President Eisenhower, encouraged him to dispute the outcome but that he refused. A challenge, he told others, would cause a "constitutional crisis," hurt America in the eyes of the world, and "tear the country apart." Besides, he added, pursuing the claims would mean "charges of 'sore loser' would follow me through history and remove any possibility of a further political career."And:
Classic Nixon: "Others" urge him to follow a less admirable course, but he spurns their advice for the high road. (William Safire once noted that he always used to tell Nixon to take the easy path so that Nixon could say in his speeches, "Others will say we should take the easy course, but …") Apart from the suspect neatness of this account, however, there are reasons to doubt its veracity.
First, Eisenhower quickly withdrew his support for a challenge, making it hard for Nixon to go forward. According to Nixon's friend Ralph De Toledano, a conservative journalist, Nixon knew Ike's position yet claimed anyway that he, not the president, was the one advocating restraint. "This was the first time I ever caught Nixon in a lie," Toledano recalled.
More to the point, while Nixon publicly pooh-poohed a challenge, his allies did dispute the results—aggressively. The New York Herald Tribune's Earl Mazo, a friend and biographer of Nixon's, recounted a dozen-odd fishy incidents alleged by Republicans in Illinois and Texas. Largely due to Mazo's reporting, the charges gained wide acceptance.[Italics in Original.]
Three days after the election, party Chairman Sen. Thruston Morton launched bids for recounts and investigations in 11 states—an action that Democratic Sen. Henry Jackson attacked as a "fishing expedition." Eight days later, close Nixon aides, including Bob Finch and Len Hall, sent agents to conduct "field checks" in eight of those states. Peter Flanigan, another aide, encouraged the creation of a Nixon Recount Committee in Chicago. All the while, everyone claimed that Nixon knew nothing of these efforts—an implausible assertion that could only have been designed to help Nixon dodge the dreaded "sore loser" label.Nixon knew what was going on, even as he was distancing himself from it. But the fact is, he was contesting - he was just doing it in a way to protect his future political credibility.
Interesting way to establish your bona fides on voter fraud - with a questionable story about Richard Milhous Nixon. Way to go, Jack!
But let's get on to Jack's "facts" that "prove" Democratic voter fraud. Let's start here:
Richard Allen Claybrook Sr., who died in 2014, was among 19 deceased people whose names were submitted for voter registration by a canvasser in Harrisonburg, Va., last month. Sara Sosa died in El Paso County, Colo., in 2009, and cast votes in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Ten Colorado counties have more registered voters than residents who are old enough to vote. Across the U.S., 141 counties in 21 states have more registered voters than living residents, according to the Public Interest Legal Foundation, an Indiana organization focused on election integrity.On Richard Claybrook, the Washington Post states the obvious:
House Minority Leader David J. Toscano (D-Charlottesville) said the case was not proof of voter fraud because no one had actually managed to cast a vote in the names of the dead.Let's skip Sara Sosa for a moment and move on to Jack's last two facts (which are really one fact, if you look closely). That there are more registered voters in a county is not (I repeat NOT) evidence for voter fraud, as much as the PILF wants us to believe. Take a look at this from the Omaha World-Herald:
“First of all, there was no voter fraud — they caught him,” Toscano said. “Nobody cast a vote. . . . " [Emphasis added.]
Seven counties in Nebraska and one in Iowa are being threatened with lawsuits over having more registered voters than voting-age residents.And the response:
Two national groups say the numbers are evidence that county officials are not cleaning up voter registration rolls, as federal law requires.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation, based in Plainfield, Indiana, and True the Vote, based in Houston, have both sent letters alerting county officials to the alleged violations.
The letters said that poorly maintained voter rolls threaten the integrity of elections.
But state and county officials said data quirks and requirements of federal election laws, not mismanagement or incompetence, account for the apparent discrepancies. They also say that they are complying with requirements concerning removing voters who have moved or died.And since Jack brought up the story of postmortem suffrage:
Kimball County Deputy County Clerk Josi Morgan said she may know that a voter has died or moved, but that person cannot be purged from voter lists without official confirmation.See Jack? Just because there are more people on a county's voter rolls than actual people in that county, it does not mean that there's the rampant voter fraud that you want to see there.
Officials look to obituaries in the local newspaper or information provided by the state vital statistics office to confirm deaths. Moves must be confirmed by the voters themselves. Officials send out confirmation mailings when they are alerted to a move, such as through a change-of-address notice from the U.S. Postal Service.
If the person returns the mailing, his or her name can be taken off the voter registration list immediately. But up to 50 percent of voters don’t respond. In those cases, federal law requires that they remain on the list for four years.
Facts are stubborn things.
It does look like Sara Sosa's case is real. But does anyone know for whom "she" voted for after she died? Without that specific knowledge, how can we be certain that this is Democratic voter fraud (as Jack presumably wishes us to think)?
Given that there will always be some people cheating (like this - hey wouldn't you know it - Trump supporter), are the levels of illegality high enough to sway an election?
No. And you'll find out at the bottom of this blog post.
Back to Jack. He also tries to slip this one past us:
Nationwide, about 6.4 percent of non-citizens (620,000) voted illegally in 2008, estimated professors at Old Dominion and George Mason universities in a 2014 study.We dealt with that when Jack first sited it. But let's not take my word on it. There's a peer-reviewed article (one that Jack Kelly either doesn't know about or does know about and chose not to tell you about) out there that says that there's less to the Old Dominion/George Mason study than meets the eye. Here's the abstract:
The advent of large sample surveys, such as the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES), has opened the possibility of measuring very low frequency events, characteristics, and behaviors in the population. This paper documents how low-level measurement error for survey questions generally agreed to be highly reliable can lead to large prediction errors in large sample surveys, such as the CCES. The example for this analysis is Richman et al. (2014), which presents a biased estimate of the rate at which non-citizens voted in recent elections. The results, we show, are completely accounted for by very low frequency measurement error; further, the likely percent of non-citizen voters in recent US elections is 0.Do we need to wonder why Jack didn't bother to tell you, his loyal readers, about that?
Jack keeps on with the zombification of his misleads. Heck he even sites Project Veritas as evidence. Given all the times O'Keefe et al have been found manipulating their videos, why would anyone trust anything they say about anything at all?
I'll leave this discussion with some actual facts. Justin Levitt is a professor of Law at Loyola University and he's been spending his time in a very interesting way, these past few years. From the Washington Post:
I’ve been tracking allegations of fraud for years now, including the fraud ID laws are designed to stop. In 2008, when the Supreme Court weighed in on voter ID, I looked at every single allegation put before the Court. And since then, I’ve been following reports wherever they crop up.31 out of a BILLION. 31 is a number. And it's the number of allegations of illegal voter fraud. So it certainly exists. But does it exist in large enough numbers to invalidate elections?
To be clear, I’m not just talking about prosecutions. I track any specific, credible allegation that someone may have pretended to be someone else at the polls, in any way that an ID law could fix.
So far, I’ve found about 31 different incidents (some of which involve multiple ballots) since 2000, anywhere in the country. If you want to check my work, you can read a comprehensive list of the incidents below.
To put this in perspective, the 31 incidents below come in the context of general, primary, special, and municipal elections from 2000 through 2014. In general and primary elections alone, more than 1 billion ballots were cast in that period.
No, Jack. No.
All ask it again: Doesn't anyone at the Post-Gazette fact-check Jack Kelly? Or at least try to point him in the direction of a more fact-based reality?