Wednesday, October 22, 2008

McCain Aide Acknowledges Voter Suppression Strategy

Six days ago, I wrote about how a solid contact inside the McCain campaign explained to me what’s left for McCain (http://thepoliticalcurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2008/10/john-mccain-30-minute-man.html) in the remaining days of the election battle after his terrible performance in the third debate.

“Voter suppression and wonky Diebold machines,” my contact said then, adding “It’s our last hope.” He stuns me into a long silence. Breaking the awkward pause, he quickly added, “I’m just kidding.”

It turns out that, even though he did not know it at the time, my source was serious.

“There have been meetings and conference calls between people here (at McCain’s campaign headquarters), people at the RNC and groups out in Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania and maybe a few other states creating a strategy to harass voters and challenge ballots,” he tells me this morning in a call he makes to me on his cell phone from the safety of his car.

“This isn’t what I signed up for and I don’t want to be a part of it. I may resign in the next day or two.”

I sit in my office, dumbfounded. Here is a relatively important person inside a presidential campaign acknowledging that McCain and the Republican National Committee are conspiring secretly with outside groups to sabotage the presidential election.

Why, I ask, are they doing this?

“I think it’s because they know the election is lost in a fair fight so they want to cast doubts on the legitimacy of Obama’s victory,” he says. “Hell, we’re losing it in an unfair fight in spite of the bullshit about Ayers.

“Anyway, in the process they might just pull off a win if they can challenge enough voters or scare people away from voting,” my source adds. “With the polls against him, they need a distraction on election day.”

Just Like Zimbabwe

I reach a second contact in the McCain campaign, a woman I’ve known for decades who works in one of the dwindling number of swing states, to learn if she’s heard anything similar.

“Well, I don’t get a lot of the insider scuttlebutt ‘cause I’m not in McLean (Virginia, where McCain’s campaign office is located),” she reminds me. “But it fits with rumors I’ve heard and stuff floating around the office and on the web.”

I wonder whether she thinks it is a legitimate strategy for a presidential campaign to condone.

“Ask Steve Schmidt,” she shoots back with more than a tinge of bitterness in her voice. “It sounds like something straight from Rove’s playbook. If you can’t beat them, scare them. If you can’t scare them, make sure their votes don’t count.”

I hang up thinking this sounds like Zimbabwe. Or Haiti or some other backwater country ruled by a tin pot dictator. I wonder if the United States needs the Carter Center to monitor the US elections as it did in Gaza and some African nations.

Frightening Reality

The frightening reality is that GOP-backed groups are systematically looking for ways to prevent Democrats from casting a ballot Nov. 4.

As Robert F. Kennedy Jr., told Rachel Maddow on MSNBC Tuesday night, (www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27313887#27313887) Colorado has purged up to 12% of all voter registrations and, in a Rolling Stone article (www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/23638322/block_the_vote) Kennedy details how the tactic is spreading to other states.

Not coincidentally, Pres. Bush put former Colorado Republican Secretary of State Donna Davidson in charge of showing voting officials how to “clean up” their registration lists. For “clean up” you can substitute “get rid of Democrats, especially minorities in urban areas.”

Even if your name isn’t purged and you aren’t challenged at your voting place, Kennedy notes your vote may still not count. The US Commission on Civil Rights investigated some of the 2000 returns from Florida and found that African-Americans were 10 times more likely than whites to have their ballots rejected, a ratio that holds nationwide, Kennedy reports in his Rolling Stone article.

Fighting First

Unlike the Democrats in 2000 and 2004, Barack Obama’s legal team and the DNC are not sitting passively for the vote to be stolen out from under the country.

I speak with two sources inside the Obama election effort and neither is totally surprised, adding that legal teams are active in every state to help ensure that voters can actually vote. In fact, several thousand volunteer lawyers will be ready to move into counties and precincts on Election Day or during the counting process if trouble is reported.

While there have been some problems with early voting, my friend Pete in Palm Beach County, Florida voted yesterday and said things went smoothly.

“I waited in line an hour because the place was packed. Being curious, I asked an elections official how things were going. And they noted every early place in (the county) was just like this one: Open at 10AM to long lines and it doesn't stop until after 7 PM.

“Like a lot of people voting, the couple in front of me were wearing Obama T-shirts and the guy behind me had an Alaska hat on but was voting for Obama. Why, I asked him? He said it’s because Palin has brought great shame on the state by her actions, greed, and outright fraudulent behaviour. He predicts that Palin will have a primary fight for sure if she loses with McCain. Why he is voting in Florida? He tells me winters are too damn cold in Alaska so he comes to Florida in September, returning in May. His son runs the business in Juneau during the winter.”

Hopefully, things will run as smoothly straight through Election Day. But the McCain campaign, the Republican National Committee and groups they’re supporting are trying to ensure nothing goes smoothly.

10 comments:

Ms Mike said...

This is incredible! As the author himself says "this sounds like Zimbabwe. Or Haiti or some other backwater country ruled by a tin pot dictator. I wonder if the United States needs the Carter Center needs to monitor the US elections as they did in Gaza or some African nations." It needs to be followed up and if it is accurate the people responsible need to be prosecuted!

Georgia said...

I voted in Georgia 2 weeks ago for Obama. I had no problems, but I don't feel my vote was safe. It was on one of those 'wonky' Dieabolt cards. I left with absolutely no proof that I had even been there except for a paper sticker with a peach and "Georgia Voter" on it. They didn't even give me a new voter card, (I had re-registered because of a county move) Today on CNN I saw the exact same place where I voted and the lines were 2 hrs long with early voters. Even though I was an 'early' voter, I had to check off a box that said I was an absentee voter. I was told this was how they were handling early voting. It just doesn't seem right and I am not convinced that GA won't end up like FL and someone will manipulate the votes.

Anonymous said...

Pingback by McCain Aide Admits Campaign’s Dirty Politricks Plan « All Facts and Opinions
http://gratefuldread.wordpress.com/2008/10/22/mccain-aide-admits-campaigns-dirty-politricks-plan/

2008-10-22 14:44:04

Capricorn 1 said...

I would contact someone immediatly at the local Obama headquarters or the National Democratic Headquarters. I am not privy to voter options in GA but this reeks of something wrong.

Matt said...

This stuff is sick, but I trust Obama's crew to be smart and anticipate this. They've run a brilliant campaign and won't lose to the idiots who direct McShame's rollercoaster rantings.

Rick said...

Charley, your friend needs to take this story to the FEC, if not the FBI. Tell him that's the only way to rescue his own integrity. He should also go public. Take it to the media, including the few media outlets and personalities that will not automatically bury any story that tells the ugly truth about the GOP - the McClatchey papers, NPR, MSNBC's Olberman, Matthews, and Maddow, CNN's McCafferty... and of course, Democracy Now.

If your friend could wear a wire and catch some of these criminals red-handed, you could post it on YouTube.

Red said...

We know that there are voter shenanigans on the part of activist of both parties. It just seems to me that the liberals are much more organized and in-your-face about it.

We know that liberal groups like ACORN are collecting fraudulent voter registrations, including in the very states he lists above; whether this is by omission, comission, or simply by law, we do not know.

What Mr. James is likely describing here are GOP efforts to ensure that all who vote on Nov. 4 are legally allowed to vote; as we have seen in news stories about ACORN, certain percentages of the registrants would not be legally allowed to vote.

If one of Mr. James' sources heard rumors that McCain people were tying to vet out illegal registrations and make sure these registrants didn't vote illegally, it would certainly fit into the category of "challenging ballots."

As for the harassment, this can be a rather personal assessment. There were those in FLA in 2000 who merely seeing a police officer at the polling place as harassment and and effort to suppress voters. I have never voted where there was no officer present. Also, there are those who feel that asking for positive ID at the polls is harassing and suppressive. I can't even buy the cold medicine I want without a positive ID. Why should one feel harassed at the idea of proving who you are before voting for president.

Red

ps. Yeah, I am biased and opinionated, and I don't try to hide it. But, I try to support my claims and beliefs with solid references, especially actual documents when possible. And I don't claim to be a reporter, as other biased bloggers do.

Mad As Hell said...

Red:
Look elsewhere on line. Evidence of fraudulent election tinkering abound. This story is only another piece in the puzzle. Aside from which, if you want to talk about credibility, your handle and your past posts do not make you sound credible at all.

Red in a Blue State said...

This story is absolutely shocking!

Not because if the claims therein, but because of the shoddy, unreliable, and downright biased "sources" you use.

A "solid contact inside the McCain campaign;" nothing like an anonymous source with absolutely no context as to his/her standing "inside" the McCain campaign. For all we know, this person could be a week-end sign-holder.

A "second contact" inside the campaign, who bases her charges on "rumors I’ve heard and stuff floating around the office and on the web." Certainly no one has passed fallacious rumors at work, and no one could possibly post lies on the Internet.

Rock-solid reporting here.

Later, he quotes the uber-liberal Bobby Kennedy, Jr. I am from Massachusetts kids; the Kennedy's lie all the time.

And, not to mention the even-handed reporting in a bible of political strategy and knowledge, Rolling Stone. Was that right after the article on rock's new odd-couple Chris Cornell and Timbaland. I am sure RS carefully vetted Kennedy's claims before publishing.

Get me some real sources, and I might be inclined to listen.

To quote that teacher fellow from the movie The Wall: "Absolute Rubbish!!"

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*

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