The Lists You Have

by digby

My reader JN from Wisconsin writes in with news of the latest vote suppression effort:

The state elections agency is investigating complaints about a massive campaign mailing Republican Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign has directed toward Wisconsin Democrats and other voters.

Each mailing includes at least one copy of the state application for an absentee ballot that has the address of a local clerk and a box for postage printed on the other side.

But in some cases, the incorrect clerk's address is printed on the application, leading some Democrats to wonder if the Arizona senator's campaign is deliberately trying to get them to apply for absentee ballots in places where they aren't eligible to vote.

"They're trying to knock me off the rolls," said Democrat Beverly Jambois, of Middleton. "I can't tell you how upsetting it is to me. This is how you win elections? By disenfranchising other voters?"

Her household received the flier this week addressed to her husband, Robert, a lawyer for the state Department of Transportation. The couple are registered to vote in Middleton, but the absentee ballot application was addressed to the city clerk's office in Madison.

A McCain campaign spokeswoman said in a statement the mailing mistakes are "certainly not intentional" but she wouldn't answer questions. The statement also said the mailing went to "potential supporters across the spectrum."

Mark Jefferson, executive director of the state GOP, said the mailing is not intended to keep people from the polls and that the wrong absentee ballot applications resulted from incorrect information in databases used for the mailing.

"You do the best with the lists you have, and no list is perfect," Jefferson said. "There is certainly no type of suppression effort going on."

Jefferson said the mailing was directed to hundreds of thousands of voters.

This is a form of caging and is part of the Republican vote suppression program. You'll recall that it was featured in the US Attorney scandal, not that anything came of it. Here's Greg Palast:

Goodling testified that Gonzales’ Chief of Staff, Kyle Sampson, perjured himself, lying to the committee in earlier testimony. The lie: Sampson denied Monica had told him about Tim Griffin’s “involvement in ‘caging’ voters” in 2004.

Huh?? Tim Griffin? “Caging”???

The perplexed committee members hadn’t a clue ­ and asked no substantive questions about it thereafter. Karl Rove is still smiling...

Here’s what you need to know ­ and the Committee would have discovered, if only they’d asked:

1. ‘Caging’ voters is a crime, a go-to-jail felony.

2. Griffin wasn’t “involved” in the caging, Ms. Goodling. Griffin, Rove’s right-hand man (right-hand claw), was directing the illegal purge and challenge campaign. How do I know? It’s in the email I got. Thanks. And it’s posted below.

3. On December 7, 2006, the ragin’, cagin’ Griffin was named, on Rove’s personal demand, US Attorney for Arkansas. Perpetrator became prosecutor.

The committee was perplexed about Monica’s panicked admission and accusations about the caging list because the US press never covered it. That’s because, as Griffin wrote to Goodling in yet another email (dated February 6 of this year, and also posted below), their caging operation only made the news on BBC London: busted open, Griffin bitched, by that “British reporter,” Greg Palast.

There’s no pride in this. Our BBC team broke the story at the top of the nightly news everywhere on the planet ­ except the USA ­ only because America’s news networks simply refused to cover this evidence of the electoral coup d’etat that chose our President in 2004.

And now, not bothering to understand the astonishing revelation in Goodling’s confessional, they are missing the real story behind the firing of the US attorneys. It’s not about removing prosecutors disloyal to Bush, it’s about replacing those who refused to aid the theft of the vote in 2004 with those prepared to burgle it again in 2008.

It's quite clear that these operations are still going on. Why wouldn't they be?

If any of you see news items in your local papers like that one above, please send it to me and I'll post it. It's tough to do anything about this stuff, but at least we can document it. As Palast notes above, they were thrilled that the US Networks refused to cover these stories and I doubt they will cover them this time. After all, they've got pigs and lipstick scandals on their plates and they just don't have the time to connect these dots.

Update: Here's more on Wisconsin. And my correspondent also notes that John Fund (who is peddling a book on "voter fraud") was on Maher last night and claimed that Republicans would be challenging a lot of provisional ballots in battleground states. So --- if the election is close it might not be decided immediately --- and could be decided by courts. Gosh, I wonder how that would turn out?