Tuesday :: Mar 13, 2007

Voting Fraud? Really?


by Steve

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This may turn out to be just enough of a scandal to get: 1) Congress interested enough to issue subpoenas; and 2) someone canned inside the administration besides Gonzales' Chief of Staff. (Gonzales has already been caught lying to the Senate back in January.) The White House wanted to get rid of prosecutors who wouldn’t politicize their offices on behalf of the GOP. As Paul Krugman and others have pointed out, the real story isn’t that they canned eight of them, but that they coerced the rest of them to toe the partisan hatchet-wielding line as a condition of not making that same list. As a result, there are a lot of federal attorneys around the country who have now put politics and allegiance to Bush ahead of enforcing the laws in their districts. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that the White House and Gonzales have lied about their true involvement in the matter.

What is surprising is that the White House is putting out the spin that Bush and Harriet Miers raised the possibility of sacking all of the prosecutors after the 2004 election because appointees weren’t pursuing Democratic voting fraud enough, which clearly shows that Bush and Miers wanted to not only ignore the voting fraud that has benefited this administration and the GOP, but wanted to turn the Department of Justice into a partisan prosecutor against political opponents. If we are to believe this new story that Bush was seriously concerned about voting fraud, then perhaps Democrats should convene hearings on the full range of voting fraud that has taken place over the last six years, to the benefit of both parties. Such an effort would yield far more landmines for the GOP and specifically Bush from the 2000 and 2004 elections, so Democrats should take this new spin from the White House and test it out. If Bush is so concerned about voting fraud that he wanted to sack his own attorneys and replace them with partisan hacks around the country, then Democrats should prepare a 2007 Voting Rights Act and hold hearings to uncover everything that needs to be fixed in our elections, and document the problems in Florida and Ohio.

Yet we know that the voting fraud story is simply a cover for the fact that it wasn't the DOJ that initiated these sackings, but rather the White House, and for simple reasons: they wanted to shut off investigations that would harm the GOP. If voting fraud was the issue of concern, why is there no paper trail to this effect?

The documents did not provide a clear motive for the firings. Some suggested that department officials were dissatisfied with specific prosecutors, but none cited aggressive public corruption inquiries or failure to pursue voter fraud cases as an explicit reason to remove them.

But now that the White House has stuck its neck through this voting fraud noose, Democrats should close that noose. Mr. President, if you want to talk about voting fraud, Democrats are ready to have that conversation, but be careful what you wish for. A few subpoenas can go a long way, and John Conyers has been waiting for this chance.

Steve :: 8:01 AM :: Comments (16) :: Digg It!