Archive for Sunday, June 10, 2012

Voter suppression

June 10, 2012


To the editor:

We should consider ourselves lucky that Gov. Brownback didn’t cause Secretary of State Kobach to do as Florida Gov. Rick Scott is doing. Scott recently directed election officials to purge their rolls of suspected fraudulent voters. They sent letters (list provided by Scott’s office) telling recipients they weren’t U.S. citizens and giving them 30 days to provide proof of citizenship. If they didn’t respond, they would be summarily removed from the rolls. Oddly enough, Scott’s list consisted primarily of voters either with a history of voting Democratic or Independent or having a last name ending in a vowel or sounding Hispanic, or both. Remember, Florida was the state of questionable election practices during the 2000 election.

With a history of voter suppression, Florida is covered by the 1965 Voting Rights Act. They violated the act by not getting approval for either the purge or the methods. Many county election officials in Florida are not purging their lists saying the purge is faulty if not illegal. The U.S. Department of Justice told Florida to cease and desist, but as of the writing of this letter Florida has essentially told the DOJ to stuff it. As a note, over 400 responded to date proving citizenship. Among them are two World War veterans.

Yes, Kansas, we should consider ourselves fortunate that our voter suppression is geared only towards voters registering here for the first time. I just hope the state doesn’t adopt any crazy ideas. However, we have borrowed failed ideas, policies and people from Florida during the past two years, haven’t we?

Ralph Reed,



Uhjh 5 years, 11 months ago

Brought to you by scared and cheating Republics!

Abdu Omar 5 years, 11 months ago

I believe we have. I am sick of the tactics of politicians, both Democratic and Republican. We are humans, we voters, and we want our say to matter to you and in congress. The concept of lobbyists running the government is the problem and the reason we are in the situation we are in. Too many people with too many special interests make our government follow the money and not their concience or the will of their constituents. This must stop immediately and let the people have their day.

Fossick 5 years, 11 months ago

"The concept of lobbyists running the government is the problem..."

Surely it is, but the main reason people buy lobbyists is that it's worth it, no? Do you know why used book dealers do not have lobbyists in Washington? Because there is nothing to be gained by hiring lobbyists: Washington does not harass used book dealers.

Now, why do energy companies, health care companies, Wall Street, unions, defense contractors, gun dealers and the like have lobbyists? For the very opposite reason: Washington is up to its earballs in those industries.

If you want lobbyists out of Washington, the easiest and cheapest way is to limit the reach of Washington. However, it seems that people want Washington to get its hands in more and more of the economy and then they express surprise that those who are already in that part of the economy hire lobbyists. O ye naifs! First remove the government from the economy, and the lobbyists will be lobbying for increased unemployment benefits on their own time.

As for the voting, the rolls ought to be purged any time someone does not vote in some purely arbitrary number, like 10 years. Names ought not enter into it, but it's crazy to assume a state ought not take measures to identify those who are no longer legal voters.

But I do remember that Florida was "the state of questionable election practices during the 2000 election." Seems that no matter how they counted, Democrats could not make the count come out for Gore. It's a shame, actually, but really, it's time to forgive them and move on, no?

Fossick 5 years, 11 months ago

You should definitely hire an expert to do that. Fairly common side effects of amateur brain stem severings include dry mouth, blurred vision, drowsiness, dizziness and tremors, sexual problems, blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, skin rash, and weight gain or loss.

Please see your doctor before severing your brainstem.

Fossick 5 years, 11 months ago

Never figured you for an adherent of dispensationalism. I follow it myself, but only from a safe distance.

Fossick 5 years, 11 months ago

But hamburgers on the floor? The two-second rule has saved many a kitchen manager's food cost budget, but it has never improved the dine-in experience, at least not in my experience.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

If you don't vote in the presidential campaign, you are taken off the roles. They are trying to get rid of voters who have "foreign" sounding names, who have been going in the same place for years. There is no reason to do this. And they owe the veterans they have targeted a huge apology. Of course, I'm sure they would have preferred that Hitler had won. I mean he was a good business man. He rebuilt the German economy. So what he killed a few million people. He was just an ambitious guy. Right, right-wingers?

Fossick 5 years, 11 months ago

All I'm hearing is blah, blah, blah Hitler. Never mind that Hitler was all for a healthy middle class (NSDAP point 16), support for old-age pensions (NSDAP point 15), and believed that the government was responsible for "elevating national health" (NSDAP, point 21). "Let's Move", anyone? If you want to play the Hitler game, I'm game.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

I wandered from the my main thought. These 2 veterans fought to keep facism from taking over the world. Then they are treated like second class citizens, at their age? It's disgraceful, just because their names sound "foreign". There was no reason in this world for their registrations to be questioned.

Fossick 5 years, 11 months ago

Apparently a lot of people fool you, so I'll type slowly:

Tomatogrower argues that X is wrong because Hitler believed (or would have believed) in it.

Fossick uses the NSDAP platform to illustrate that a) because Hitler believed in things that we can all agree on, therefore b) the argument that "X is wrong because Hitler believed (or would have believed) in it" is fallacious.

If Hitler believed that the sky was blue, it does not make the sky not-blue. QED.

And by the way, Hitler did not bomb out Dresden, we did. And unnecessarily at that.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 11 months ago

I disagree with this line of thinking.

I agree with the fact that lobbyists and special interests are controlling our politics but I think your solution is reckless.

The only way to solve the problem is to elect better people. The talent and skills needed to manage people and resources cannot be replaced by narrow and partisan ideology.

It is very obvious to me that we have a plague of dumb people in politics today who are able to regurgitate talking points automatically.

Recently we learned that Democratic and Republican leaders in Kansas are rushing to find candidates to run. I am afraid the candidates they choose will be taking loyalty oaths and at the end of the day, the talent level will not be any better than it is today.

People are ready to vote for somebody who is actually qualified. Our choices are the problem.

Fossick 5 years, 11 months ago

IKR. It's so disappointing. We are barely 10 comments in and already we have, "Yeah, well Hitler would have approved of counting only fully detached chads." What I can't figure out is how so many in Larrytown know so much about the inner workings of Hitler's brain. Do they all take spring break in Brazil or something?

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

Actually Scott, should go to these veterans and get on his knees and kiss their feet in apology. But he isn't even worthy to be in their presence.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 11 months ago

Your remarks are true. The thing is you are responding to the letter in a serious manner while others just want to joke around. Voter registration is vital. I remember when people in this country died for the right to vote. I remember when my grandparents had to make sure they had the money to pay the poll tax before they could vote. Yes, they had that in the United States. Now, for no reason that I can fathom, there are those who wish to reverse the progress made since 1969.

1southernjayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Ralph Reed, there is very little truth contained within your musings and is simply a rewrite of a Florida liberal journalistic hack. I would like to see an honest and fair effort to go through the voting registration lists to purge the names of, what is the politically correct term, illegal voters. I, for one, can find my name on the registered voter list in both Kansas and another southern state having recently moved. Why shouldn't this list be as accurate as possible?

John Hamm 5 years, 11 months ago

He wouldn't have to under the current state of disarray! Anyone could walk up and vote in his name in the "Southern" state. Now of course Liberals and the Attorney General say that just doesn't happen in America.... LOL

1southernjayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

I don't think you have any basis whatsoever for the above statements. Just a repeat from the same original source.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

Most people, southernjayhawk, who move aren't thinking about going back to a state and voting illegally. They have other things on their mind. When you don't show up to vote in that other southern state, they will take your name off the list. So if anyone is going to cheat they will only be able to do it during 1 election. You can also call the place from which you moved and ask them to take your name off the list. Simple phone call, but you might have to send in a photo id.

Quite frankly, computerized voting that doesn't print out how you voted, scares me more than a mass exodus of voters to another state, so they can vote in 2 places. The only computerized voting that should be allowed is one that prints out how you voted, which you then put into a box. Then the results need to be balanced. So what if a paper ballot takes longer to count.

John Hamm 5 years, 11 months ago

400 respondents against 50,000 purged. Something seems a little fishy there. Why, oh why, are Democrats so worried about keeping the vote for Illegal Aliens and dead people? It seems reasonable to me considering that Voting is one of the most important aspects of living in a Republic that one would want to ensure the voter is actually the individual they claim to be. But, Liberals do seem to have a habit of forgetting the Chicago voting theory - Vote early and often.....

verity 5 years, 11 months ago

I am really tired of people like you blatantly lying about what liberals want. Yes, I said it---lying.

Has anyone here written in favor of people voting illegally? Or complained about records being purged legally? The problem is with it being done illegally. Either you are purposely stating a lie or you aren't paying attention.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

Lying certainly is a strong word to use. And I would caution you against using it about this topic. Currently the State of Florida and the Federal Government (DOJ) are engaged in a legal battle as to the correct interpretation of laws. Florida believes that in order to correctly purge the voter roles, it needs information from the Homeland Security's database. The feds have refused to give them that information, so the state has gone ahead in it's periodic attempts to purge the rolls of people who have died, moved, etc. That is something that is done throughout the country. Ultimately, it's a battle that will be decided in the courts, perhaps being appealed to higher courts and then to the highest court. For you to say that it's being "done illegally" is an opinion, not fact. For you to present it as fact is, dare I say, a lie. (I immediately retract my statement of it being a lie. Simply because you are entitled to your opinion, just as everyone here is. And in the end, the courts may rule just as you state, and you may be proven 100% correct. Or not. So calling it a lie, either way, is a fact not yet in evidence).

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

I recall the President of the United States, an attorney himself, in a sworn deposition, in a legal proceeding, arguing what the meaning of the word "is" is.
Perhaps Florida and the DOJ are defining the word purge differently. Ultimately, what is happening in Florida will and should be decided by the courts. Until that happens, what you are presenting is a legal opinion. And as I stated above, it may be an opinion that the courts will rule exactly as you say. Or they may not. But if someone has a differing opinion, I would not call them a liar, as has been done.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

If a soldier kills another human being on the battlefield, then that killing is indeed defined using a word other than murder. On the other hand, it is possible for a soldier to misbehave on the battlefield and he may commit a murder. And sometimes a judge and jury must make the appropriate distinction.

verity 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes, lying is a strong word and I rarely use it. What I object to is the posters who keep saying (and you know that it happens very often) that liberals want this and that when that is not what people are saying. If we allow somebody else to define us, then we are at fault.

Do you object to my objecting to somebody putting words in my mouth---and the mouth of all other liberals? Will you say that this doesn't happen?

And if the DOJ orders something stopped and it continues---is that not illegal? Is it not illegal when it's being done during a period of time where it is against the law to do it? Even many Florida officials, including a lot of Republicans, are objecting and refusing to do it.

Call me a liar if you wish. I stand by what I said.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

"And if the DOJ orders something stopped and it continues--is that not illegal?" Maybe. What if the state goes to court and that court invalidates the law as an infringement of states rights? Or for some other reason, invalidates some part of the law? Or if the courts rules that the state was justified in this case only because their request for information from Homeland Security was valid and necessary? Again, your opinion may well prevail. Maybe. And I will not call you a liar as I have no proof whatsoever that you are lying.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Until that happens, if it happens, it's illegal.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

Again, I'm not an attorney, so I'll say this is just my opinion, but if the DOJ is interpreting federal law, and that law conflicts with state law, then a court needs to resolve the issue. And that even assumes that the DOJ is correctly interpreting federal law.
Imagine the following hypothetical. The state purges the voting roles for every statewide election, for governor, lt. gov., state senate, state house, etc. What business is it of the feds.? That by doing so, it just so happens that the voting rolls are purged for federal elections is just an unintended consequence. The state then argues that having two sets of voting lists is too burdensome, so for the sake of convenience and practicality, they will use the state lists, unless of course the feds. want to pay for the costs of keeping two lists.
The last article I read on the internet (From the Miami newspaper) said that 40 ineligible names were on the lists and that some of those had actually voted. Not a huge number, but given Florida's recent history, it could well have been a big deal.
As I understand my sixth grade civics lessons, the function of the executive branch is to enforce the laws. It is the function of the judicial branch to interpret the laws. If there is a dispute between two different governmental entities, then it's up to the courts to interpret the laws.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

If the executive branch is enforcing the law, as it understands it, then the state should stop doing what it's doing.

Then, the state can go to court and make their arguments, and we'll find out who's right about the interpretation of the law, if that's an issue. If the state is correct, then they can go back and continue what they were doing.

But, in the meantime, the state shouldn't just thumb it's nose at the branch of the government charged with enforcing laws.

verity 5 years, 11 months ago

jhawkinsf, you have avoided the real point of my post. Again, a quibble about words, but my initial post didn't say the purge was illegal, but that we objected to illegal purges.

My accusation of lying wasn't about the purge, but about posters throwing all sorts of false and blanket accusations at liberals.

You never answered my question about that.

I think (my opinion) that we who are on the liberal, progressive, left, are remiss in letting ourselves be defined by people who are self-described enemies. We are also remiss in allowing ourselves to all be put in the same box and generalized about. Usually I pay little attention to the people who do this, but there are times when I feel it is necessary to call them out and state the truth.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes, yes. It is quite common for liberals to be defined in broad terms, most of the time correctly, though sometimes not. The exact same can be said of conservatives.

verity 5 years, 11 months ago

"most of the time correctly"

Wow, just wow!

Well, don't try to define me with generalizations, because I am both liberal and conservative, pragmatic and principled. I am not a generalization.

I really don't think that most people are.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

If I said one person was pro-choice and one person was pro-life and then said one was liberal and one conservative, most times I would be correct in linking the liberal to pro-choice and the conservative to pro-life. I could likewise make broad generalizations about the environment. Likewise expanding the social safety net.
Of course, I'll be wrong some. But less than I'd be correct. Your initial post implied that you were liberal. Why else complain when liberals are pigeonholed and not conservatives. But now you're saying you're liberal, conservative, pragmatic and principled.
BTW - When you responded with your initial post, your condemnation of "people like you" might be interpreted as a generalization. Yes?

Mike Ford 5 years, 11 months ago

the gop campaign of blanket lies.....spread a blanket across the minorities disenfranchised by gop policies and also assail them to not vote for the incumbent dealing with irrational obstruction by playing the xenophobic nativist 19th century and below the mason dixon line....I grew up in LA and MS and did so in the mid 1970's when the crossover from out and out racism occurred to the code language wrapped in religion and patriotism xenophobia that occurs now. Let's play connect the dots between George Wallace, Bull Connor, and Kris Kobach..... it took fourty five years or my lifetime for the xenophobic nativist tone to evolve from the monolithic segregationist view to the white flight to the burbs and corn fields and the religion wrapped up in churches preaching hate cloaked in family values nonsense. Furthermore....why not try to disenfranchise the youth vote that supported Obama in 2008 by telling them they're not special like the dimwit in the graduation speech on yahoo news this last week.... leave it to the gop to go lee atwater and leave no dirty trick unused..... tell kids they're not special......ignore wall street abuses and make an issue of Cherokee ancestry when republicans don't care about Indians anyway......and run off the cheap help because no caucasian kid will do work below themselves socioeconomically....after all....who wants to pay as little as possible and be the party nominee who fires people....the gop nominee....who votes for these clowns.....and better yet who gives the architect of disaster from 2000-2008 a pass while the tea party pushes ideas even worse than what was experienced in that time and from 1980 to 1988? someone derail the dumb train.......

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 11 months ago

We should wish for Kris Kobach to have thed kind of intestinal fortitude that the Sec of State in Florida has. They refused. There has also been a "cease and desist' order from the DoJ.Scott may soon be occupying a different office. Let's hope. He should listen to his AG once in a while.

Mike Ford 5 years, 11 months ago

hey snap, if one asks the orchestrators of the lie to fabracate the justifications for the it us......just like north korea or syria coming up with truths to cover lies....ask the deceivers to bring the cover for their actions... so it other words bring me a legitimate news story not one amplifed with hate and lies....

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

The letter refers to what is happening in Florida, not voter id. Florida is taking names that sound "foreign" and sending them letters, asking them to prove their citizenship. Most will probably do that, but how many with busy lives will forget or how many letters will be lost in the mail or on the mail table. These people will go into vote, and be told they aren't registered. If they haven't voted in any of the major elections that occur every 2 years, then purge them. Otherwise, Florida has no right to purge these voters.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

In court arguments during the recounts, Gore argued that votes of those in the service that arrived past the legally prescribed time period, should not be counted. Even though there was no evidence that the voters themselves had done anything wrong, just that the mail service from distant lands was slow. How do you feel about someone arguing that the votes of those in active service should be disqualified?

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 11 months ago

Preliminary polling analysis of likely voters conducted by "The Week" magazine indicates this election is very likely to end with Obama winning the popular vote and losing the Electoral College. The article goes on to predict Obama's popular vote margin being larger than Gore's was over Bush. Just something to chew on....

tbaker 5 years, 11 months ago

Mr. Reed has provided us with a classic example of the "Begging the Question" intellectual fallacy.

Mike Ford 5 years, 11 months ago

let's see acorn was setup by that breaking and entering of mary landreau's office conservative activist james o'keefe who looks like a klan grit from 1950's mississippi or the sheriff who got worked by gene hackman in the mississippi burning movie.weiser you got free stuff from dubya with the tax bribery I mean cuts during both his terms so lay off fact dubya's tax cut bribery was sooo big I used it for my wedding. talk about sucking as a president and bribing people with tax cuts....any of you republicans remember that bad word Bush....I just thought I'd remind you.....the peter griffin tea partiers in the rented patriot suits didn't make me forget must be the guilty who don't remember bush and want to blame obama while omitting bush.

Richard Crank 5 years, 11 months ago

Good heavens! Seeing your name, I worried you were the other Ralph Reed, the one with the Christian Coalition. Now that I know you're not -- in the words of the Partridge Family classic, "I think I love you! ..."

-- I'm joking, of course, but you are right on target. Thanks for that and ignore the garbage thrown your way here. As much as I despise ad hominem attacks in rational discussion, it appears to me they're doing just that and, furthermore, regurgitating themselves (maybe these aren't supposed to be rational discussions, so I'm okay).

Mike Ford 5 years, 11 months ago

hey falsie don't talk that nonsense at me.....I've been at the same job for fifteen years paid taxes and will be a Democrat for life. Like that old statement used against the greedy eighties people....I'd be a Republican if could afford to be one......and no I'm not at a unionized job thanks to screw everyone else clowns like you who support jerking over workers in a right to work or screw over a worker state. I've made plenty but unlike greedy selfish people like you I understand that taxes pay for roads, schools, buildings, know society.....heaven help the rest of society when and if people like you get your wish and kids get a xenophobic home based education by people barely smart enough to understand issues themselves.

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