As many of you know, Bradley Schlozman is set to testify tomorrow on Capitol Hill. [FYI...liveblogging tomorrow for 2:30 EDT testimony...
volunteer here...volunteers are ready!] He is a prime player in the DoJ's gutting of the Civil Rights Division. (You can read about some of his escapades here, here, and here.) At the core of his efforts (and those putting people like him in place) is the disenfranchisement of people of color through the purging of voter roles.
Tonight from McClatchy we learn more about how widespread the effort was/is:
Saying it was out to combat widespread voter fraud, the Justice Department in recent years has stepped up enforcement of election laws to ease the purging of ineligible voters from state registration rolls.
Since 2005, department civil rights lawyers have sued election officials in seven states - Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, New Jersey and New York - and sent threatening letters to others, in some cases demanding copies of voter registration data.
Right now Congress is in evidence gathering phase. This is the kind of case where you will not likely see a smoking gun piece of evidence where someone outright claims it was their goal. However, the evidence is mounting that the purpose of this "enforcement" was to take lessons learned from Florida in 2000 and take votes away from more Americans...Americans who were more likely to vote Democratic.
McClatchy's piece is intriguing because they do an interesting analysis of how the DoJ's Civil Rights Division is enforcing the 1993 National Voter Registration Act (passed by Democrats).
The National Voter Registration Act is commonly known as the 'motor voter' law. It is intended to make it easier to register to vote.
Joseph Rich, a former chief of the Justice Department's Voting Rights Section, said
the department changed priorities under the motor voter law "from expanding registration opportunities - the primary purpose of the statute - to unnecessarily forcing jurisdictions to remove voters from their voter rolls."
Now check out the anecdotal evidence McClatchy cites. If it wasn't over such a serious issue it would be funny:
The DoJ filed suit against Democrats Alabama Secretary of State Nancy Worley and Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap for not purging enough.
In Worley's case, the department took the extraordinary step of persuading a federal judge nominated by President Bush to relieve her of her authority to oversee the 2006 election and to give Republican Gov. Bob Riley that authority as a "special master" of the court.
Worley called the suit "incredibly political," noting that it was filed shortly before she was due to face Democratic primary voters in a re-election bid and blaming it for her defeat.
"Special master" just sounds creepy...and right on cue from the "strong father" Republicans running the operation.
As far as Dunlap is concerned he suffered the same problems with his database as the Sec. of State in Nevada, Dean Heller. Heller was not sued by the DoJ. Oh, and did I mention that Heller is a Republican? Are you surprised?
There were other problems in Georgia and New York (both with Democrats as Sec of State). The DoJ was quick to jump on them for not "enforcing" the law. Yet...
Former Justice Department officials noted that other states - such as Texas, Colorado and Utah - had similar or worse voter-registration problems, but the department didn't sue their Republican election officials.
How much evidence needs to build before there is a distinctive pattern. Hopefully they will go after Schlozman hard tomorrow and see we'll see if we can learn something definitive about the source of his marching orders.