Category Archives: voter fraud

AFP’s Bag Of Dirty Tricks

Americans For Prosperity, the Koch Bros.-group supported by Nashville moneybags Lee Beaman which is bankrolling the anti-AMP movement, has been caught perpetrating a voter suppression campaign in North Carolina.

Showing it’s nothing more than a Lee Atwater-style band of dirty tricksters, AFP was busted sending confusing, error-riddled “official” voter application forms to hundreds of North Carolina voters … and a cat. They were busted when complaints started flooding into the State Board of Elections:

The form includes incorrect or conflicting information, as outlined below, according to the State Board of Elections.

• At the top, the form states voter registrations are due 30 days before an election to the State Board of Elections’ office. Below, in smaller type, it states the deadline is 25 days before the election.

The deadline to register to vote is actually 25 days before the general election, but people should send information to their county elections board, not the state board, Lawson said. If voters do send their information to the state board, it will be forwarded to the appropriate county board, Lawson said.

• The first page also states people should return the registration to the N.C. Secretary of State’s office, though the envelope is addressed to the State Board of Elections.

• It states the Secretary of State’s office has an elections division and can answer questions about registration.

The Secretary of State’s office does not handle elections, Lawson said, though other states do house their elections division within their secretary of state’s office. The form also gives the wrong phone number for the Secretary of State’s office – the number is actually for the State Board of Elections.

• The form states that after voters mail in their information, they will be notified of their precinct by their local county clerk.

“There’s no county clerk that would do these things,” said Lawson. “It would come from the county board of elections or the elections director, under their signature.”

• The registration form also includes the wrong ZIP code for the State Board of Elections. The ZIP code associated with the board’s post office box is 27611, and the board’s office ZIP code is 27603.

Alison Beal of Wake Forest received one of the forms at her home, but it was addressed to her brother-in-law, who lives in Caldwell County. Beal is not a member of Americans for Prosperity and says her brother-in-law would not be a member either.

Beal said she quickly noticed the inaccuracies because she has been involved in past voter registration drives. She knew there was no elections division within the Secretary of State’s office, Beal said.

“I went to the Board of Elections website so I could make sure about what my suspicions were,” she said. “I’ve always been a big proponent of voting. I was like, ‘You know, this is really irritating.’ ”

Honest mistakes? Doubtful. Seems like this was sent to likely Democrats, for one thing. The idea being to spread confusion and misinformation, so people are given the idea that it’s just easier not to bother to vote.

It’s a neat trick. It’s a felony to deliberately misinform voters. AFP has plausible deniability here, “oh our woopsies, sorry!” Meanwhile, they’ve confused hundreds of people in left-leaning Raleigh. Nice try, assholes. Does anyone think this works?

Here’s where groups like Americans For Prosperity always stumble. They assume voters are stupid. They assume people don’t know better. They assume people aren’t interested and don’t care. In other words, they believe their own bullshit. What they miss is that the more you try to prevent people from voting, the more those same people are going to go the extra mile to vote, just to prove you wrong.

And these are the dishonest players who Lee Beaman has brought to Nashville to fight against mass transit and take over our school board. Watch your mailboxes, Nashville. If they’re playing dirty in North Carolina you can be damn sure they’re going to play dirty here.

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Filed under Americans For Prosperity, conservatives, Lee Beaman, voter fraud, voter turnout, voting

Before I Go-Go

November hiatus starts tomorrow. I’m sure you’ll hear from me after the election though, and the occasional post — Good News Friday seems to be popular with people, so I might try to stay on top of that. We’ll see.

Before I head out I wanted to share a few thoughts. Via Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice comes this report from Florida’s early voting GOTV effort, “Souls To The Polls.” Some strange poll watching activity was reported:

There were a few hiccups Sunday, with strange poll watchers—some authorized, some not—showing up at the Souls’ Polls site trying to cause problems. One watcher tried to challenge a voter over her acceptance of fried fish. Stories vary on what happened, but according to Lewis, a poll watcher—a white woman in a sea of black voters—reported to poll judges that a woman headed to the voting line was bribed with a fish sandwich to vote for Obama.

Another poll watcher, described by Lewis as being a Republican Party-appointed watcher, asked poll judges if they “could stop or slow down” the number of voters entering the library because it was getting crowded. Then one poll watcher tried to interrogate an 11-year-old girl about what all the fish serving and gospel music playing was about.

[…]

Janee Murphy, the mother of the 11-year-old who one of the Republican poll watchers rolled up on, said media accounts about voter intimidation underestimated the resilience of black voters.

This is what I don’t get about all of these crazy voter-suppression tactics we’ve been hearing about: stuff like mailers which list the wrong day to vote and bogus letters and whatnot. Who thinks this works? Who thinks that African American voters, who have experienced these kinds of voter suppression tactics for generations, are that stupid? My guess: only a white Republican has the hubris required to think black voters would ever fall for their shit.

Back when I was working on the Kerry campaign, we ran into this kind of stuff a lot. Republicans: it doesn’t work! It never does. Just, stop it. It makes you look like assholes. No, scratch that. It’s another reason you are assholes.

When I was a precinct captain in 2004, we got called by the NAACP about some flyers that had been posted in a senior citizen tower in a predominantly African-American neighborhood in my district. They gave the wrong day to vote, and also said — incorrectly — that a precinct had been closed. Even worse, the flyer listed the county Democratic Party as the source — which was 100% wrong. We hadn’t posted those flyers, someone else had, and tried to make it look like they were ours. We never found out who posted those flyers, but three guesses who would try to keep African American voters from the polls in a presidential election.

That was just one of many voter suppression incidents we experienced in Nashville in 2004; boy, could I tell you guys some stories! Poll workers who claimed to not know the alphabet so they’d have to go through those massive poll books page by agonizing page, slowing precinct lines to a standstill. People asked their party affiliation by poll workers, as if the general were a primary. We had to have that poll worker removed, she wouldn’t stop asking people their party affiliation, even though we told her to stop. Oh, I could go on and on.

My point is, if you think a group of people who have had the most outrageous forms of discrimination inflicted on them since forever will be so easily discouraged from voting, you are dead wrong. People who have fought so hard to be able to exercise a right which white people seem to take for granted will not be deterred. And trust me, they are not stupid. When a flyer gets posted in the housing tower lobby, they know there’s a 90% chance that it’s bullshit.

So no, your little flyer telling people to vote on November 8 or your scary little billboard telling minority voters they can go to jail for voter fraud is nothing these folks haven’t seen before. You’re just wasting your money, Mr. & Mrs. Einhorn. Why not do something productive with that extra money, like donating it to a hospital or something. Cripes.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, voter fraud, voter turnout

Coulda Woulda Shoulda

Apparently the New York Times is still unclear on what its fucking job is. For example, after getting criticism about last week’s voter fraud story, which was short on facts and long on the “both sides have a point” crap, the paper went on the defensive:

The national editor, Sam Sifton, rejected the argument. “There’s a lot of reasonable disagreement on both sides,” he said. One side says there’s not significant voter fraud; the other side says there’s not significant voter suppression.

“It’s not our job to litigate it in the paper,” Mr. Sifton said. “We need to state what each side says.”

Mr. Bronner agreed. “Both sides have become very angry and very suspicious about the other,” he said. “The purpose of this story was to step back and look at both sides, to lay it out.” While he agreed that there was “no known evidence of in-person voter fraud,” and that could have been included in this story, “I don’t think that’s the core issue here.”

Oh, really? Would someone like to tell what the core issue is, then? One side says voter fraud is a big problem, and the facts say that it is not. Meanwhile, one side is passing laws that take the Constitutionally-protected right to vote away from millions of people. That isn’t the core issue?

But no, the Times’ reporter and national editor both think the core issue is “one side says this and the other side says that.” End of story.

Seriously, people? And since when did reporting facts become “litigating the issue”? No wonder you suck.

Yes, do keep telling me how the internet killed journalism. Please.

(h/t, Atrios)

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Filed under Media, New York Times, voter fraud

Fraud

Have you heard about former U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, Republican (of course!) of Michigan? Seems he’s been doctoring petitions for years, and therefore got on the ballot fraudulently:

A review of the nominating petitions turned in for McCotter’s elections from 2002 through 2012 shows he did not have enough signatures to qualify to run in at least the 2008, 2010 and 2012 elections. The skullduggery wasn’t detected until this year, when a part-time staffer for the Secretary of State found that of the more than 1,800 signatures turned in by the McCotter campaign for 2012, only 244 were valid.

[…]

The 2006 petitions were apparently the source for cut-and-paste jobs in 2008 and 2010. Some of the 2006 petitions, however, also were duplicates.

“It seems like at every election cycle, they expanded on what they had done and used some new tricks,” Daggy said. “They just got more and more emboldened.”

Well, of course they did. That’s what happens when there are no repercussions for your illegal behavior.

Of course, this has absolutely nothing to do with showing a photo ID to vote, which didn’t stop the dingbats over at “The Corner” from trying to draw a false parallel:

But Democrats have been vociferous opponents of Michigan’s photo-ID law and other measures to clean up the voter rolls. The McCotter scandal should remind all of us that voter fraud is serious business and can be bipartisan. The laws and safeguards against it protect all of us.

Umm… how exactly does showing a photo ID to vote have anything at all to do with forged signatures on a candidate’s petition to get on the ballot? Anyone? Buehler?

Dumbasses.

There is voter registration fraud — and a lot of Republican operatives have gone to jail for it. Mark Jacoby and Nathan Sproul ring any bells?

There is, to a far lesser degree, vote fraud of the kind perpetrated by poll workers. That’s what happened in the Ophelia Ford case in Memphis. But when the poll workers are the ones doing the fraudulent voting, rules about ID are completely ineffective.

So, in-person voter fraud? Of the kind that showing a photo ID would prevent? Non-existent. Doesn’t happen.

Sorry Republicans, but you lose.

But we’re not dumb. We all know what this is about. It’s about Republicans trying to steal another election.

Ed at Gin & Tacos had a good post up on the issue yesterday. While my e-mail in-box is filling with “fight the Voter ID” pleas from the Democrats, I feel like the wheels of justice are slow, and we need to be working on another front to prepare for election day. Ed makes a good point when he writes:

Having created a voter registration and turnout machine in 2008 unlike anything seen before in American politics, I see no reason why the Obama campaign can’t devote similar resources to acquiring valid ID for voters who currently lack it. It’s legal to drive a voter to the polls; surely it is also legal to drive someone to the courthouse to get an ID. That seems like a relatively obvious way to address this problem, albeit not one that will have a 100% success rate. The perfect is the enemy of the good in politics, and what might be a good way to minimize the effects of newly-legislated voter suppression should not be cast aside because it won’t help everyone.

Here in Tennessee the Republicans have said you can use a gun carry permit as an ID to vote. I say we round up all those strapping young bucks from the projects and get ’em gun carry permits. Let’s see how long it takes them to change their tune when they realize we’re arming the black folk.

Bwaaahaaaaa!

/sarcasm

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, voter fraud

First Draft Tuesdays

I talk about voter fraud over at First Draft today …

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Filed under voter fraud, voter turnout

TN Voter ID FAIL

Hat-tip to Pith In The Wind, which alerts us to this Chattanooga Times-Free Press article about 96-year-old Dorothy Cooper, who was denied a photo ID which under Tennessee’s new voter ID law she is required to have in order to vote:

The retired domestic worker was born in a small North Georgia town before women had the right to vote. She began casting ballots in her 20s after moving to Chattanooga for work. She missed voting for John F. Kennedy in 1960 because a move to Nashville prevented her from registering in time.

So when she learned last month at a community meeting that under a new state law she’d need a photo ID to vote next year, she talked with a volunteer about how to get to a state Driver Service Center to get her free ID. But when she got there Monday with an envelope full of documents, a clerk denied her request.

That morning, Cooper slipped a rent receipt, a copy of her lease, her voter registration card and her birth certificate into a Manila envelope. Typewritten on the birth certificate was her maiden name, Dorothy Alexander.

“But I didn’t have my marriage certificate,” Cooper said Tuesday afternoon, and that was the reason the clerk said she was denied a free voter ID at the Cherokee Boulevard Driver Service Center.

This woman was able to vote under Jim Crow, but not under the Tennessee Republican legislature. Let that one sink in for a minute.

Oh, and she has a photo ID! Just not one that meets the standards of the State of Tennessee because as I noted earlier, some forms of ID are more equal than others. She has a voter registration card. She has a Social Security card. She has all of her papers except the one thing the Tennessee Republican Party demands she have to exercise her right to vote:

“I’ve been banking at SunTrust for a long time,” she said. “Sometimes they’ll say, well, do you have a Social Security card?”

And she shows it to them. She also has a photo ID issued by the Chattanooga Police Department to all seniors who live in the Boynton Terrace public housing complex, but that won’t qualify for voting.

Shame on Tennessee’s Republican legislature for this blatant abuse of power. Shame on every one of you, crooks and liars to a man and to a woman. You people who can’t get elected unless you erect barriers to the democratic process and deny people their rights? You folks who claim you are “small government” conservatives but use government to erect a wall between senior citizens and the voting booth?

Two words: Fuck you.

[UPDATE]:

Legal question: I know this voter ID law is being challenged (as have others around the country) on a variety of grounds: de facto poll tax, etc. But I just wonder: voting is a right; driving is a privilege. Is there some legal mushiness here, requiring a person to have a form of ID needed to exercise a privilege to exercise a right?

Just wondering if anyone knows. It always annoys me when conservatives say, “You need a license to drive! Well what about that! Huh! HUH?!” But driving is not the same as voting.

[UPDATE] 2:

There has been lots of pushback from conservatives on this story, most of them along the lines of, “all she needs to do is get her marriage certificate! Problem solved!”

This rather glib and insulting comeback is I’m sure little comfort to a 96-year-old woman who no doubt was married long before most of us were even born, taking into account the vagaries of Tennessee record keeping over the years. Not to mention how offensive it is to millions of us women voters. But regardless, it’s not even factual! It just so happens the marriage certificate is the one document she didn’t have; she showed up to get her ID with

…a rent receipt, a copy of her lease, her voter registration card and her birth certificate…

So, what if she had her marriage certificate but no birth certificate?

Furthermore, saying people over age 60 can vote absentee without the required ID but no one else can just makes no sense. I thought this law was necessary to prevent voter fraud, that’s what all the Republicans kept telling us, at least. Do only people under age 60 commit voter fraud? We only need this law for people under a certain age? Is that even legal? Why don’t we just make the law apply only to black people, how about that? Or, let’s exempt all Christians from this law. How would that work? Of course both would be outrageous.

Here’s a thought: why don’t we enact a National ID law, and just make sure everyone has a picture ID. That would solve this problem. Think conservatives would go for that? Not likely. More likely they’d start fearmongering about black helicopters and other nonsense.

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Filed under rants, Tennessee, Tennessee politics, voter fraud

Some Photo IDs Are More Equal Than Others

[UPDATE]:

Tennessee apparently has the second-lowest voter turnout in the nation, right behind Texas. Thanks, Tennessee Republicans, for doing your part to make us Number One!

Well, it makes perfect sense. As Bill Clinton has often said, when people vote, Democrats win. And of course, we can’t have that.

—————————————

Tennessee has one of those heinous voter suppression ID laws that Republicans love these days, even though it apparently “solves” an entirely fictitious, manufactured “problem.” In fact, the one case of vote fraud which Republican bill sponsor State Senator Bill Ketron can point to would in no way have been prevented by showing the approved forms of ID which the new law requires. Funny, that.

Democratic State Senator Roy Herron wrote an excellent op-ed in Memphis’ Commercial Appeal pointing out some obvious issues with this law, chief among them being:

Only 43 of Tennessee’s 95 counties have driver’s license centers. Half the counties in West Tennessee, and two-thirds of the counties in my state Senate district, don’t have them.

Oh well, that’s what they get for living in a district represented by a Democrat. /snark

There’s just no rhyme or reason to this law’s ID requirements, which are:

Acceptable
» Driver’s license, including expired and out-of-state
» State ID card
» U.S. passport
» Government employee ID, state or federal
» Military ID
» Handgun carry permit
Unacceptable
» Student ID, even from a state college
» Credit card with picture
» Discount club card
» Medicare card

So an out of state or expired driver’s license is okay, but a student ID is not? A credit card with a picture on it is not, but a government employee ID is? What’s up with that? If the purpose is just to authenticate identification, not residency, then any photo ID should work: work IDs, credit cards, you name it. It’s just so obviously arbitrary.

Tennessee has a special problem on its hands because it doesn’t require senior citizens over age 60 to get a photo on their drivers’ licenses, thereby making it easier for them to renew online. So now we have a whole bunch of pissed off senior citizens suddenly faced with getting picture ID’s, courtesy of the Republican state legislature.

I just don’t get why the Republicans would disenfranchise so many of their core voters this way, unless they’re so drunk on ALEC Kool-Aid they didn’t really stop to think about what they’re doing.

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Filed under Tennessee, voter fraud, voter turnout

>Something’s Fishy In Wisconsin

>[UPDATE]:

Scout at First Draft has this quote from Gov. Walker on Wednesday:

“As long as the rules are clear, as long as there aren’t ballots somehow found out of the blue that weren’t counted before, things of that nature, as long as everything’s above board, I think that’s fair,” said Walker.

Yes, out of the blue. Out of the red is a different story, isn’t it? Because always, always, always IOKIYAR.

——————————

Nobody could have anticipated! Really!

In a stunning turnaround, the county clerk for Waukesha County, a heavily Republican district in southeast Wisconsin, announced on Thursday evening that she’d failed to count more than 14,000 votes cast in Tuesday’s state Supreme Court election. The error, disclosed by a former state GOP lawmaker who’s been criticized for her handling of local elections, handed conservative incumbent David Prosser a lead of 7,582 votes, flipping the result of the race after an initial tally put liberal JoAnne Kloppenburg ahead by a mere 204 votes.

The Waukesha clerk, Kathy Nickolaus, a Republican, said in a press conference that the new votes, all of which were cast in the city of Brookfield, were missed because of human error that’s “common in this process.” Nickolaus apologized for the mistake, saying, “The purpose of the canvas is to catch these kind of mistakes.”

This isn’t the first time Nickolaus’ role in overseeing elections in Waukesha has been engulfed in controversy. In 2010, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that she bucked the traditional election results system in Wisconsin and instead kept the county’s election results on “stand-alone personal computers accessible only in her office.” Nickolaus cited security reasons for her unorthodox method.

Well isn’t that convenient! Nothing to see here, folks … move along. But I’m sure there were hundreds of people named Mickey Mouse and Snow White voting on election day, right? RIGHT? Because we all know voter fraud is just something those dirty ACORN libs do.

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Filed under voter fraud, Wisconsin Protests

>Let’s Talk About ACORN Some More!

>Yes, let’s:

Orange County authorities are launching an investigation into possible voter registration fraud after a local newspaper reported over a hundred cases of voters being tricked into registering as Republicans by petitioners who asked them to sign petitions for, among other causes, legalizing pot.

The Orange County Register reported last week that the Orange County District Attorney’s office announced it would team up with the Secretary of State on the case, following a Register report that 99 written complaints were filed since March by voters who said they were registered as Republicans without their consent.

Another 74 voters reached by the Register said they, too, were unwillingly made members of the GOP.

In a lengthy investigation published earlier this month, the paper pointed to an $8 “bounty” offered by the California Republican Party for each new registration as a cause for the problems. It identified multiple petitioners who work for vendors “with ties to the California Republican Party.” Back in 2006, a similar scandal led to the convictions of several

Of course, the California GOP is a repeat offender where voter registration fraud is concerned. (And despite his guilty plea and conviction, it seems Mark Jacoby is up to his old tricks again.)

You know, the thing that was such bullshit about the whole fake ACORN brouhaha is that conservatives claimed liberal activists were enacting vote fraud by registering “Mickey Mouse” to vote. Thing is, Mickey Mouse can’t show up to the polls to vote, unless it’s someone whose actual legal name is Mickey Mouse.

But California is a closed-primary state. When you register someone to vote as a Republican, then they must vote in the California Republican primary. They cannot, as we do in Tennessee, show up at the polls on election day and say “Oops that’s a mistake, I want to vote in the Democratic primary instead.” Sorry. You have to vote in the primary for the party in which you are registered.

So it seems this piece of fraud perpetrated by the California GOP has actually disenfranchised voters.

I’m sure the California GOP will blame an “overzealous staffer” or “inexperienced people” at the unaffiliated organization hired to register voters.

But … um … ACORN!!!!!

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Filed under California, Republican Party, voter fraud

When Poor People Vote, Democrats Win

“Filmmaker” James O’Keefe, the guy who ambushed ACORN, has been asked why he went after the community organizing group.

He told the New York Times:

James O’Keefe, one of the two filmmakers, said he went after ACORN because it registers minorities likely to vote against Republicans.

Karl Rove must be so proud.

Here’s the entire O’Keefe quote from the Washington Post:

O’Keefe described himself as a progressive radical, not a conservative, he said he targeted ACORN for the same reasons that the political right does: its massive voter registration drives that turn out poor African Americans and Latinos against Republicans.

A “progressive radical, not a conservative”? Really? Umm, bullshit. In college he was the editor of Rutgers University’s conservative magazine and went after Planned Parenthood with the same “gotcha” tactics. Sorry, MSM: the guy is a Republican Party activist, not a “journalist.” He’s certainly not a “progressive radical.” It would be nice if someone in our glorious media were to notice who and what O’Keefe is, instead of disguise his coup as some sort of journalistic endeavor.

But hey, who’s into labels, anyway?

Meanwhile, as the MSM covers this story they might want to remember the many cases of Republican voter registration criminality. From the memory hole:

SACRAMENTO — Dozens of newly minted Republican voters say they were duped into joining the party by a GOP contractor with a trail of fraud complaints stretching across the country.

Voters contacted by The Times said they were tricked into switching parties while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters. Some said they were told that they had to become Republicans to sign the petition, contrary to California initiative law. Others had no idea their registration was being changed.

“I am not a Republican,” insisted Karen Ashcraft, 47, a pet-clinic manager and former Democrat from Ventura who said she was duped by a signature gatherer into joining the GOP. “I certainly . . . won’t sign anything in front of a grocery store ever again.”

Yes, that would be the handiwork of Republican Marc Jacoby, who ultimately pled guilty to voter registration fraud. He got probation.

Closer to home we had Nathan Sproul’s Liberty Consultants, kicked out of Wal-Mart parking lots in Middle Tennessee:

Sproul’s Tempe, Ariz.-based Sproul & Associates was paid about $7.9 million by the RNC for consulting and voter registration drives in the 2004 election cycle, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. Former Sproul canvassers came forward in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Oregon to say they were told to register only Republicans and to walk away from people who said they intended to vote for Democrat John Kerry. Some said completed Democratic registration forms were thrown out or ripped up.

That didn’t stop the McCain-Palin camp from hiring them in 2008:

That Sproul would come under the employment umbrella of the McCain campaign — the Republican National Committee has also separately paid Lincoln Strategy at least $37,000 for voter registration efforts this cycle — is not terribly surprising. Sproul, who has donated nearly $30,000 to McCain’s campaign, has been in the good graces of GOP officials for the past decade despite charges of ethical and potentially legal wrongdoing.

But let’s talk about ACORN some more!

Then we have this fraudulent exercise from 2002:

When voting began Nov. 5, McGee’s plan worked like a charm. For two crucial hours, an Idaho telecommunications firm tied up Democratic and union phone lines, bringing their get-out-the-vote plans to a halt. The effort helped John E. Sununu (R) win his Senate seat by 51 to 47 percent, a 19,151-vote margin.

The Republican operatives behind that scam were convicted.

These are actual cases of fraud and voter suppression. Real laws were broken. And yet, Lincoln Strategy Group continues to operate while ACORN’s isolated misdeeds have been non-stop news fodder for days. Remind me, who rules their world?

We know why ACORN was taken down: O’Keefe bluntly admitted what liberals have been alleging for years. When poor people vote, Democrats win. And lord knows, we can’t have that.

(h/t Attaturk).

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Filed under ACORN, Republican National Committee, voter fraud