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Update: See http://malcontends.blogspot.com/... Van Hollen's Voter Suppression Set to Fail

Voter suppression is a civil rights issue.

As the Wisconsin Republican Party continues its lies about its voter suppression program, the Democratic Party is setting the record straight.

Just released is a fact sheet and timeline demonstrating the ever-changing stories of the duplicitous JB Van Hollen, McCain co-chair and Wisconsin Attorney General, and the GOP as they attempt to prevent as many people as possible from voting this November.

The fact-sheet is worth reproducing in its entirety. We need the record online.

Fact Sheet: Van Hollen’s Web of Deceit, Cover Ups
and Collusion with Republicans on GAB Lawsuit

(Wednesday, September 24, 2008)

MEMO TO REPORTERS: Every time Attorney General JB Van Hollen or his top aides at the Department of Justice have been asked about their talks with GOP leaders regarding the AG’s politically-motivated lawsuit, their stories have changed.

Now Van Hollen’s deputies at the DOJ are scrambling to cover up the web of distortions they have spun to trick the public into thinking that this lawsuit was not brought for political reasons.

Someone needs to tell Van Hollen that the cover up is always worse than the crime.

To trace the web of distortions and cover-ups at Van Hollen’s DOJ, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin has compiled the following summary and timeline of deceit:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Deceit v Fact

"There was no discussion with anybody involved in leadership with the Republican Party (or the McCain Campaign) about this lawsuit before it was brought." - Attorney General JB Van Hollen (Source: MJS, 9.18.08)

The state Republican Party chairman said Monday he had multiple conversations with Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's top aide before Van Hollen filed a lawsuit against the state election agency to compel expanded voter registration checks. (Source: WSJ, 9.23.08)

(Van Hollen) said he had "no reason to believe" any of his aides discussed the case with the GOP or the McCain campaign. (Source: MJS, 9.19.08)

The lead Department of Justice attorney for Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s lawsuit against the state’s election authority met with Republican Party representatives about a week before filing the suit. (Source: MJS, 9.19.08)

"This is not a coordinated lawsuit. I can say that absolutely." - DOJ Spokesman Kevin St. John (Source: WSJ, 9.18.08)

"Of course we went to the attorney general. ...There may have been multiple contacts, different people to different people." - Republican Party of Wisconsin attorney Chris Mohrman (Source: MJS, 9.19.08)

(Kevin St. John) carefully denied the attorney general's lawsuit was brought after consulting with Republican Party or McCain officials. (Source: Channel 3000, 9.18.08)

A GOP attorney complained to the state Department of Justice about two weeks before Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen sued the state's elections authority (Source: MJS, 9.19.08)

FULL Timeline of Van Hollen’s Line of Deceit

September 10, 2008

Van Hollen filed suit against the Government Accountability Board, stating "The goal of this requirement is to protect the integrity of elections by ensuring that only those who are qualified and properly registered would be permitted to cast ballots." (Source: AG Van Hollen release, 9.10.08)

September 17, 2008

During an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio, Van Hollen said, "I can’t imagine what’s partisan about asking for fair elections ... this should be about as nonpartisan an issue as there is. ... Once again, I don’t know who is making this a partisan issue. Our decision to sue is non-partisan as well. (Source, WPR, Joy Cardin, 9.18.08)

During an interview with the Appleton-Post Crescent, Kevin St. John said the only motive fueling the complaint less than two months before the election is compliance with rules. (Source, APC 9.18.08)

September 18, 2008

Following a court hearing, St. John wouldn't confirm or deny whether Van Hollen consulted with the Republican Party or McCain's camp before launching the lawsuit. When pressed by reporters he responded by saying Van Hollen doesn't use any consultation with any party as a basis to decide whether to sue. (Source: AP, 9.18.08)

"This is not a coordinated lawsuit. I can say that absolutely," St. John added.  (Source: WSJ, 9.18.08)

Later in the day Van Hollen said "There was no discussion with anybody involved in leadership with the Republican Party (or the McCain campaign) about this lawsuit before it was brought."

Van Hollen said he did not believe any of his aides discussed the matter with the party or campaign either. "I can't say for certain what they have or haven't done with every minute of their day any more than they could speak about mine, but I have no reason to believe - none of them have reported to me - that anybody involved in the Republican Party or the McCain campaign about this lawsuit," Van Hollen said. (Source: MJS 9.18.08)

Van Hollen's attorneys defended his lawsuit as legal and appropriate, with no conflict of interest or consultation with any Republican Party official. (Source: WISC-TV, 9.18.08)

Later in the day, a GOP attorney said he complained to the state Department of Justice about two weeks before Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen sued the state's elections authority, but Van Hollen said he was unaware of that contact. He also said he had "no reason to believe" any of his aides discussed the case with the GOP or the McCain campaign.

Finally, St. John admitted, "at least one person" at the department had contact with someone from the party on the matter. (Source: MJS 9.18.08)

September 19, 2008

Contradicting earlier statements made by DOJ staff, news reports revealed that the lead Department of Justice attorney for Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s lawsuit against the state’s election authority met with Republican Party representatives about a week before filing the suit.

Justice attorney Steven Means said he met with Republican attorneys Chris Mohrman and Jim Troupis at their request to discuss the Government Accountability Board’s policy on checking voter information. Other Republicans participated in the meeting via conference call, but Means said he could not recall who they were. (MJS, 9.19.08)

"The elections board is violating the law, so of course we went to the attorney general," Mohrman said. "There may have been multiple contacts, different people to different people." (MJS, 9.19.08)

September 21, 2008

In an interview with the Green Bay Press Gazette, Van Hollen said, "Anything I do anything related to a campaign, that's on our own time and it's on our own dime."

"Once again, we're just flat out enforcing the law," Van Hollen added. "Whether that hurts McCain or helps McCain, I frankly don't know. The reality is the law says that we do this to make elections fairer, and no matter whom I support, I'm enforcing the law, so I don't see what the McCain campaign has to do with it at all, frankly. (Source: GBPG, 9.21.08)

September 23, 2008

RPW Chair, Reince Preibus, admitted to the Wisconsin State Journal that he discussed his frustration with the Government Accountability Board’s decision to not commence the voter checks demanded by the RPW several times at the Republican National Convention, including at a delegation breakfast attended by Van Hollen and in a small group setting also attended by Van Hollen.  

Preibus also admitted that he had multiple contacts with Van Hollen’s top aide, Deputy Attorney General Ray Taffora, regarding his belief that the Government Accountability Board should expand voter registration checks before Van Hollen filed the Lawsuit. (Source: WSJ, 9.23.08)

- 30 -
For more information, see:

Democratic Party asks to Intervene in Voter Suppression Lawsuit

Democratic Party Briefs

J.B. Van Hollen vs. Government Accountability Board et al
Dane County Case Number 2008CV004085

WI State Journal: State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen should be disqualified from a controversial lawsuit against state election officials because he ignored lawyers' ethics rules, according to a (GAB) filing expected to be made in the case.

Originally posted to MAL Contends on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:47 AM PDT.

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