michigan makes an international name for itself… for voter suppression

It, of course, isn’t something that our mainstream press would talk about here in the United States, but the BBC recently ran an investigative report by Greg Palast on the likelihood that our upcoming election here in the states is going to be stolen. The report includes the following quote from Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

“A lot of Europeans wonder: Why are Americans so crazy, they keep reelecting this guy?” Well the answer is, we don’t! They keep stealing these elections! And they stole it in 2000, they stole it in 2004, and they’re all set up to steal it again!”
– Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on BBC Television Newsnight.

In the report, Palast travels from swing state to swing state, looking into claims of citizens being illegally purged from voter rolls, voter intimidation, voter suppression, and voter registration fraud. And, as you might expect, his tour brought him to Michigan, where he looks into a claim made by the Michigan Messenger blog that Republicans are planning to challenge voters in likely Democratic districts who had lost their homes though foreclosure. Palast, doesn’t seem to say one way or the other what he believes to be the case, but he does point out the curious fact that a mortgage firm handling many Michigan foreclosures, called Trott and Trott, happens to share an address with a GOP office. The principal of the company, it seems, is an influential Republican donor by the name of David Trott…. The Michigan Republican Party, in their defense, denies the claim that they will be challenging based on foreclosure lists, and they have filed a defamation lawsuit against the Michigan Messenger blog.

Here’s a clip from the BBC report:

[Part 2 can be seen here… The section involving Trott and Trott begins at the end of Part 1 and continues at the beginning of Part 2.]

Palast, you might be interested to know, while finding much to be suspicious of on the Republican side of the equation, did not find much of concern on the Democratic side. He did, of course, look into recent allegations concerning voter registration fraud being perpetrated by Acorn, but determined that while some Acron employees may have falsified voter registrations (as they were compensated by the number of people they registered), it’s unlikely that any would translate into illegally cast votes… In the interest of evenhandedness, here are links to both the McCain campaign’s video on Acorn, and Acorn’s response.

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  1. designated republican
    Posted October 12, 2008 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    My prediction of a 20 electoral vote plurality for McCain/Palin still stands. Obama will win Washtenaw County, and may manage to eke out a win in Michigan (the margin will be less than 10,000 votes either way).

    As for voter fraud, people get a grip. If the republicans can swallow without screaming the remarkably brazen (and federally funded) scheming of ACORN, then surely the state democrats can let a few unsubstantiated rumors the other way fall back into the scum where they came from!

  2. mark
    Posted October 12, 2008 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think there’s evidence to suggest that any of the fake names put on registration rolls by employees of Acorn actually point toward any kind of criminal vote rigging. The young people going out and registering people may have padded their registration lists, but it’s doubtful that there was any real nefarious motive. I don’t think that, for instance, a man pretending to be Harry Wiener – or whatever the fake name might be – is going to walk into a polling place and try to vote. I had a friend that was paid to hand out flyers in New York. She’d throw them in the trash and goof off all day. I’m not defending it, but I think that’s pretty much what these Acorn people did. They goofed off, and then, to cover their tracks, and keep getting paid, they filled in some fake names. That’s a lot different than keeping American voters from voting, which is what’s happening on the other side of the aisle.

  3. Doug
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Acorn’s response was totally reasonable. They don’t seem to have really done anything wrong, except maybe hire some people who thought it wasn’t a big deal to turn in some falsified registrations.

    Do you think those (often wacky) false registrations were turned in with the intention of producing those fake voters somehow at the polls?

  4. Doug
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Oh, I see that I’ve just totally repeated what Mark said.

    Must remember to read all preceding posts before replying.

  5. Robert
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Designated republican, you don’t actually believe that. You’re so full of it. If you actually thought McCain was going to win, you’d condemn me to the 20+ hours of community service I’d have to do as a result of losing my challenge to you.

  6. Robert
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    HA HA! It is really starting to look like designated republican made the right choice chickening out of my challenge. He’d probably be looking at about 150+ hours of community service right now. That’s almost certainly more than anyone in the Bush administration is going to get for all the crimes they’ve been committing over the last eight years. I’m starting to get the impression that Obama has been cutting some secret deals with the Bushies not to open investigations into the details of all they’ve been doing. I guess that might be part of that whole forgive and forget attitude Obama is bringing into this thing. He’s a better man than I, and will probably win because of it.

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