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View Diary: GOP tries to disenfranchise WA voters with false challenges (130 comments)

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  •  If she did all this "under penalty... (4.00)
    ...of perjury", can't we fine her or throw her ass in jail for this?

    Jumping on the politicalcompass.org bandwagon: (-3.63, -3.03) - Does that make me part of the right wing here?

    by someone else on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 10:48:08 AM PST

      •  They don't care (none)
        as long as some voters are denied....they'll be glad to argue or feign apologies AFTER the election!
        •  that old saying... (none)
          it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permissions.

          I always hated that saying.

          The GOP Love the soldiers like they love children: Seen but not heard.

          by DawnG on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 11:25:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Even if they're right about some of them... (none)
          ...the important question -- for each and every voter whose rights they challenged -- is whether they had a good faith basis for the challenge. If they didn't, it's perjury. I don't even care if they had a good faith basis for 1999 of the 2000 (or so) cases. If they didn't for even one, it's perjury. It's a crime. We can refer the Rethugs to their own statements regarding Clinton's impeachment if they question whether perjury is a serious crime or not.

          Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978.

          by wiscmass on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 02:22:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  If... (4.00)
        all the people on that list chip in $100, then you'll have plenty of money to hire a good lawyer and get her convicted of perjury.  That'll put a serious dent in the attitude of her, and her cronies.  I say kick her, and kick her hard.  The only way to convince a bully to knock it off.

        "Whatever they want the answer is no. Now is not the time to fold, now is the time to up the ante." -- Charles Pierce

        by baba durag on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 11:06:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They shouldn't have to chip in anything (4.00)
          At least some of the people whose voting rights were challenged by Sotelo (and likely every one of them) are legitimate residents. Without a good faith basis for a challenge (and it's clear there was none for at least some, if not all, of the residents in question), Sotelo is guilty of perjury. The local DA should file charges without the residents having to pay for anything. Now, filing a tort alleging a civil rights violation, that would be another matter altogether...

          Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978.

          by wiscmass on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 11:20:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So what's your point? (none)
            They should do nothing?  They should sit back and hope that someone else does it for them?  

            This is an attack by a bully.  If you don't want more, then you need to make it very clear that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.  If they engage in it, there will be painful consequences.  Passively hoping for help won't do that.

            That said, you're right.  The DA should prosecute these cretins.  But he probably won't.  And even if he does, a parallel effort by the injured parties would only increase the jeopardy that the bullies are in.

            "Whatever they want the answer is no. Now is not the time to fold, now is the time to up the ante." -- Charles Pierce

            by baba durag on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 11:38:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  All of the above. (4.00)
              Call the D.A.  File a Section 1983 civil rights action.  Hell, make it a class action Section 1983 against the Washington State Republican Party.

              If enough people call the D.A. and make a big stink, he will have to prosecute.

              I see another scandal coming here...we had New Hampshire; we had Ohio; here comes Washington.

              While you're at it, call Jim McDermott, Patty Murray, and Maria Cantwell.  Let them raise the stink here in Washington, where the Rethugs are already in such hot political water that it's made the temperature an unseasonable 74 degrees in early November.

              The Chimperor Has No Clothes

              by DC Pol Sci on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 11:44:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes (4.00)
                Excellent point DC.  Go at them tooth and nail.  Time to take these criminals to task.

                "Whatever they want the answer is no. Now is not the time to fold, now is the time to up the ante." -- Charles Pierce

                by baba durag on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 11:47:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Here comes Washington? (none)
                Unfortunately, Washington, and King County in particular, has been one giant elections scandal for the last year at least. You might not have heard as much about it since the only elections in question have been local or statewide races. Last years Governors race was just as crazy as the 2000 presidential race. Unlike in 2000, the real winner did make it into office in the end, despite the Repubs best efforts to overturn the election by any means necessary.

                FEMA under the Republicans: Faith Based Emergency Management

                by mpayson on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 02:26:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Quibbles. (none)
                  Vance took the usual electoral quibbles and successfully inflated them to scandalous proportions.  The irregularities in King County (and I'm a resident) are the same as you'll find anywhere.  Ohio had thousands of complaints, WA a handful.  Give Republicans high marks for media manipulation, but nothing more.

                  Power corrupts. Hey, let's learn it the hard way!

                  by Bob Love on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 07:20:42 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  The DA is involved (4.00)
              One of the challenged voters is an attorney, and he's contacted Norm Maleng, the King County prosecutor.  Norm's a Republican, but history has shown him to be non-partisan in his prosecution.  He's investigating, but it'll take more than a couple days for him to announce what he's doing.

              The fact that the state Chairman has stepped in to fix county Party issues and is returning Sotelo's calls - oh, and blaming all this on shoddy work by interns - tells me they're very aware they've got a legal issue on their hands.  

              It isn't just the folks who ARE legally registered.  She signed a document declaring under penalty of perjury that she had personal knowledge that these voters weren't legally registered.  She has to show up at the hearing and provide proof of her claims, or the challenge is thrown out.  We know she isn't planning on attending 1900 hearings, and the many mistakes show us that she had no personal knowledge of these situations.  She's potentially facing 1900 counts of perjury (and would face it, if switzer was a partisan prosecutor!).  Most likely, she will be hit with a blanket perjury charge.  I'm honestly not sure what statutes cover making false statements, etc etc, but there are likely other charges possible.

              •  If she declared personal knowledge (none)
                of each of these 1900 voters - under counts of perjury for each of them

                why sould she not be legally obligated to be present at each of these hearings??

                If she does not appear - could she not be charged with perjury?? -or obstruction of justice?

                I am obviously not a lawyer - but isn't perjury a serious claim??

                she should ask Scooter Libby his views on perjury.

                I would make sure that she gets her sorry Mercer Island Ass to each of these hearings -- and hopefully convicted for each count.

                Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

                by sara seattle on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 01:14:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's actually the point (none)
                  She is obligated to be at each hearing, but it's obvious she isn't planning to be there.  That isn't relevant to the perjury charge, however - the perjury relates to her knowledge that these registrations are illegal, knowledge that we now know she didn't have.  

                  If she doesn't show at the hearings, the challenges are just thrown out and that's the end of the issue from the voter's standpoint.

                  •  Yes - but we should be sure that she is charged (none)
                    with perjury for each and every count.

                    Because if we do not stop them - effectively stop them this time -- make them pay big time for each and every one of them.

                    What will stop them next time.

                    They should not be allowed to do this -- make people have to go to get this fixed at hearings and then this bitch just stay at home on Mercer Island laughing at these poor slobs.

                    She should get charged for each and every one of them.

                    Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

                    by sara seattle on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 03:22:20 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  No, I think her/his point (4.00)
              is that the District Attorney should be on this, pronto, with criminal perjury charges.  It is clear, particularly from the 50 challenges at the obvious apartment building, that this GOP operative did not have personal knowledge sufficient to challenge voters on the purge list.  Criminal charges are in order here without the victims of this fraud having to pay anything.
              •  And you missed mine (none)
                It isn't a "shouldn't have to" question.  I agree, they shouldn't "have to".  But if they do, so much the better.

                I'm thrilled that the DA is involved, as switzer pointed out.  But why not increase the heat, or up the ante as the saying goes :)

                "Whatever they want the answer is no. Now is not the time to fold, now is the time to up the ante." -- Charles Pierce

                by baba durag on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 11:56:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  A couple reasons (none)
                  I've talked to almost 50 of these people myself.  Some of them couldn't scratch together $100, and as has been noted, they should never, ever, be called on to do so.  

                  The other aspect is that a lot of these folks are really upset about their private information being made public, in the challenge lists and the list of corrections that Vance submitted.  They really just want to be left alone.  

                  If money needs to be spent pursuing this, I'm confident the Democratic Party will step up to the plate and make it happen.

                  •  thanks for the good work! (none)
                    you will be rewarded with many mules in heaven!

                    (-6.88, -8.31)-- "fuck your war... and your president."--Snake Plissken

                    by binFranklin on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 03:42:43 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Plenty of Daily Kos Contributors (none)
                    Would be happy to step up to contribute;  I know I would.  These Republicans in Washington State are effectively imposing a poll tax on duly registered voters and perjuring themselves to do it.  

                    I sincerely believe that a civil rights action under 1983 should be presented on behalf of the 60 people residing in that apartment building.

                •  And you missed mine, too (none)
                  I made two points:

                  1. They shouldn't have to pony up the $ because it's the DA's job to prosecute Soleto for committing an obvious felony.

                  2. If they're going to chip in to get an attorney for anything, it should be to file a civil suit against Soleto for violating their civil rights. By inappropriately invoking state action against the residents, Soleto violated their due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Since she did so with the inherent consent and aid of the state GOP, a civil suit could be a means to bankrupt the Rethugs in Washington. They're already morally bankrupt; they may as well be fiscally bankrupt as well.

                  Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978.

                  by wiscmass on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 12:27:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I got your points (none)
                    And, as I said earlier, I agree.

                    My point is, increase the heat.  Increase the level of jeopardy they face.

                    It isn't a matter of should.  If we lived in a perfect world...etc.

                    And a civil action is what I was recommending, since it's the only recourse they would have.  Any criminal actions have to be undertaken by the DA.

                    "Whatever they want the answer is no. Now is not the time to fold, now is the time to up the ante." -- Charles Pierce

                    by baba durag on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 12:44:02 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  In that case... (none)
                      ...there are two tasks that must be undertaken:

                      1. Convince the DA that failure to charge Soleto with multiple felony counts of perjury, conspiracy, fraud, etc., will result in a strong push to recall him from office. I think it's unlikely that this will be necessary; if you read upthread, someone with knowledge of the local DA says he tends to be non-partisan. If that's the case, we should be able to expect some charges.

                      2. Find a good civil rights attorney to take up the civil case pro bono. As another commenter noted upthread, many of the voters whose rights were challenged can't afford to chip in $100. I'd be shocked if there were no Seattle-area attorneys who would be willing to take the case for free, or at least on a contingency basis.

                      Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978.

                      by wiscmass on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 12:55:40 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Jeebus (none)
                        If people can't afford to kick in $100, then of course they shouldn't.  I wasn't offering any directives, I was offering an idea.  Frankly, I think it's a good one.  You seem to take issue with it, for reasons I find utopian ("they shouldn't have to").  Who cares if we shouldn't have to?  Why not fight back with all the weapons you can muster?  That's all I'm saying.  

                        I agree, the DA ought to be encouraged, supported, urged, even goosed to prosecute to the maximum extent possible.  If the injured parties also mount a civil action, so much the better.  Do you disagree with that?

                        When you put your own money on the line in a fight like this you carry much more credibility.  Pro bono is a fine idea, but it leaves you open to the smear that it's all about financial gain, rather than purely about righting a wrong.

                        What I'm suggesting is that the 2000 or so people on the list should band together and mount a group effort to make these bullies hurt.  I don't see what the objection to this idea is.

                        "Whatever they want the answer is no. Now is not the time to fold, now is the time to up the ante." -- Charles Pierce

                        by baba durag on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 01:10:41 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  i didn't read (none)
                          your reply.  and i feel better for it.

                          cheers to the people upthread who wrote insightful comments.

                          jeers to annoying bulldogs that can only attack or think (guess which action a certain bulldog is taking)

                          •  if you didn't read it (none)
                            then you can only speak from ignorance.  You can't possibly a) know my intent, or b) speak intelligently about it.

                            "Whatever they want the answer is no. Now is not the time to fold, now is the time to up the ante." -- Charles Pierce

                            by baba durag on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 09:05:42 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  fyi (none)
                        baba durag is not worth talking to (for reasons illustrated in this thread, namely, attributing "points" to a writer that the writer doesn't make).  i am sure you have realized it by now.  just a fair warning for everyone else ..
          •  One at a time (none)

            Perhaps the local Democratic Party can work with these 1,900 people and schedule their appeals one at a time starting say 10:00'ish and until the court closes.  Maybe with as many judges as are available.  Make sure she must be in attendance in each single case.  She must not be  allowed to drop the challenge after the election.  After all, she swore that she knows these people are voting illegally.

            In God we trust, All others we monitor -AFTAC

            by lcs on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 11:55:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's ok if and only if... (none)
              ...Soleto is also required to reimburse any and all voters whose rights she challenged for any expenses they incur in fighting her lies and for any wages they lose for being forced to be in court. She should also have to pay for any childcare, attorney fees, or other incidental costs.

              Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978.

              by wiscmass on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 12:43:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  One lawyer is ticked enough already (none)
        He has contacted K.C. Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng - so we might well be under way -- the whole comment from The Stranger via the horsesass.org

        http://www.horsesass.org/

        The Stranger continues to slog through this story:

        If you're going to falsely declare, "under penalty of perjury," that a person is an illegal voter, it's probably wise to check beforehand and make sure that person isn't a lawyer.

        Jeffrey Weber, an attorney with the downtown Seattle lawfirm Buck & Gordon, lives in a single-family house in West Seattle, nowhere near any storage units, with his wife, Lisa Christoffersen. Both are legally registered to vote, and when both received challenge letters from Sotelo, Weber quickly fired off an email to King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng, asking him to "prosecute Ms. Sotelo for perjury and to seek the maximum penalty allowed under law for this violation of our rights." Mr. Maleng's office, through a spokesman, said they were not involved in any legal action against Lori "Fibby" Sotelo, "at this point."

        Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

        by sara seattle on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 12:55:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Agree 400% (none)
      Not a simple case of suing her, she's lied on these forms, as she does NOT have personal knowledge of where these people live.

      In troubling times, it's good to read true stories about real people doing good things. HeroicStories, free

      by AllisonInSeattle on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 11:21:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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