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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Monday, October 27, 2008

If a lawyer is supposed to be watching for voter fraud but isn't, which presidential candidate did he contribute to?

In today's Wall Street Journal:

We've all read a lot about the "politicization" of the Justice Department in recent years, and that political pounding is having an ironic effect. The prosecutors who are supposed to guard against voter fraud don't seem very interested in running the political risk of doing their job.

…Justice recently decided to reverse a policy in place since 2002 to send criminal attorneys and other federal employees to monitor polling places. The decision came two weeks after a September meeting to which the Civil Rights Division invited dozens of left-wing activist groups to discuss voter "access" to the polls.
It’s incredible that a Republican-run Justice Department would give in to pressure from liberal groups, whose purpose clearly is to loosen the rules until there are, in effect, no rules at all.

Of course, it’s just as incredible that Democrats would want this, given that the Obamessiah is supposedly running away with this thing. Democrat tidal wave. Electoral blowout.

If the election is really in the bag, why don’t Democrats back off, score a big win with Republicans watching as closely as we want, and thereby decrease our credibility on the issue?


Anyway, the story speculates on the “why this happened:”

…attorneys charged with supervising voting issues are avowed Barack Obama supporters. According to Federal Election Commission data, James Walsh, an attorney in the Civil Rights Division, has donated at least $300 to Mr. Obama. His boss, Mark Kappelhoff, has given $2,250 -- nearly the maximum. John Russ, also in Civil Rights, gave at least $600 to Mr. Obama.
If that’s really the reason, even in part, it means the Bush administration has lost all control over the bureaucracy. It also means attorneys at Justice don’t give a rat’s patoot about the appearance of impropriety.

There’s no rule against them contributing, the story goes on to say. Well, good. There shouldn’t be a rule. Lawyers should be smart and honest enough to remove themselves from positions of authority when they’ve got such a clear conflict of interest without any rule.

But then, conflicts of interest don’t bother Democrats.

I’m done kvetching now, but thought these last paragraphs were interesting – I hadn’t heard of this before:

In 2001, the Palm Beach Post reported that more than 5,600 people who voted in Florida in the 2000 Presidential election had names and data that perfectly matched a statewide list of suspected felons who were barred from voting. Florida was decided by about 500 votes.

In 2003, the Indiana Supreme Court overturned the result of a mayor's race because of absentee ballot fraud -- a case that led to a stricter Indiana ID law recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. A 2005 Tennessee state Senate race was voided after evidence of voting by felons, nonresidents and the deceased. A Washington State Superior Court judge found that the state's 2004 gubernatorial race, which Democrat Christine Gregoire won by 133 votes, had included at least 1,678 illegal votes.