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The Chair of the Kansas GOP, Kris Kobach, sent out an end-of-the-year email to update members on all of the Kansas GOP's accomplishments during 2007.  From that e-mail:

Fellow Republicans:

            2007 has been a busy year for the Kansas Republican Party. We have taken the last 11 months to rebuild our party operations, make technology updates, build our fundraising database, and identify voters.  We have also put operations in place to make the Party a more effective organization to support candidates, and better able to provide rapid campaign response in every county in the state.

Sounds like they have been busy.  Just what are some of the things that Kris Kobach and the Kansas GOP have been able to accomplish?  A few snippets:

We have instituted a wholesale technological change at Party headquarters. We have updated everything, from our website to our email system. Additionally, we are getting ready to launch the official Republican Party blog—to further help spread the positive actions of all of Republican elected officials.

Heh.  I guess us bloggers and Netroots activists aren't so crazy after all.  Even the Kansas GOP is trying to get in on the action - albeit belatedly.

We have revamped the party platform process to better represent the views of all Republicans across Kansas. Share your thoughts with us at

Translation:  Half of our members walked out in 2006 due to the wingnut takeover of our party and we'd like to have you back.  Please tell us how to get your money you back.

Our voter identification system is up and running giving us the capability to effectively mobilize voters and turn them out to vote on Election Day.  To date, the Kansas GOP has identified and caged more voters in the last 11 months than the previous two years!

Whoa....hold up.  Did the Chair of the Kansas GOP not only just admit that they have been actively caging voters, but actually have the gall to brag about it in an email to supporters?  Either Kris Kobach, GOP Chair and Professor of Constitutional Law, doesn't know what caging means, or he is brashly talking about illegal voter suppression.  What is voter caging?

Vote caging is a voter suppression tactic. The term is derived from a direct mail term. In the direct mail industry, when a third party runs a direct mailing campaign on behalf of a client organization, one of the activities undertaken is to compile all of the responses, handle contributions and to deposit received funds into the client's account, and also update the database of names and addresses that were mailed to with the responses or corrected addresses obtained. Since some of the activities were controlled carefully (donations and deposits) and conducted in a manner similar to the activities within a "teller's cage," the process is called "caging" and the end result of the data entry updates and address corrections is called a "caging list." This led to the term "voter caging" for voter registration analysis and challenges conducted via mass mailings.

Caging, as Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT) "helpfully pointed out, 'is a term of art in mailhouses' – it refers to the place where letters go when they have no address, all batched up in a separate room." [1]

As House Committee on the Judiciary chair John Conyers (D-MI) added, caging "in the context of elections 'is not an issue of the mail at all.' Voter caging, in the context of elections, means blocking voters out – choosing whole lists of voters whose vote will be challenged, chosen by whom and the criteria for challenge enunciated by whom, under this [the Bush] administration, still not fully explained." [2]

And Kris Kobach is openly admitting to violating a consent decree against such practices.  From an Oct 2004 Washington Post article:

The Republican challenges in Ohio, Wisconsin and other battleground states prompted civil rights and labor unions to sue in U.S. District Court in Newark, saying the GOP is violating a consent decree, issued in the 1980s by Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise and still in effect, that prevents the Republicans from starting "ballot security" programs to prevent voter fraud that target minorities.

According to that article, during the 2004 election, 35,000 voters from "urban and minority areas" were challenged in Cincinnati alone.  Crooks and Liars points to this article from September of this year which details current Republican caging efforts leading up to the 2008 elections:

Over the last three years, the Republican-controlled state legislatures in Indiana, Georgia, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have passed laws requiring every voter to produce a photo identification card — measures that civil rights groups contend were aimed at suppressing minority voting.

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to consider a constitutional challenge to Indiana's ID law on grounds that it unfairly affects poor and elderly voters. Gubernatorial vetoes or court rulings have nullified legislation in the other four states. A federal judge in Georgia, however, recently upheld a new photo ID law that imposes fewer obstacles to obtaining one.

In Ohio, which swung the 2004 election to Bush, new Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said in a phone interview that an election law passed last year and signed by former Republican Gov. Bob Taft effectively ``institutionalized'' vote caging.

The law requires that the state's 88 county election boards send non-forwardable, pre-election notices to all 7.8 million registered Ohio voters at least 60 days before the election. Undelivered letters are public record, she said, meaning that effectively, ``now the counties are paying for'' the data needed to compile challenge lists.

In addition, Brunner said, the law toughened voter ID requirements and ``took away rights of some voters to be heard about whether or not their registration was valid.''

In the past, Ohio voters were entitled to an official notice and a hearing before an election board could declare them ineligible, but the new law says that the board can make that decision without notice. A disqualified voter who shows up at the polls must demonstrate that he's fixed any eligibility problem or opt for filing a provisional ballot that may not count.

If these tactics are now being aggressively used by Kris Kobach and the Kansas GOP, you can bet they will be trying to use them in all 50 states come next November.

Let's hope that Kris Kobach will be explaining that email to a Grand Jury in the near future.  Let's also hope that the Democrats will be diligently working to fight these illegal tactics......before November 2008.  

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:24 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why not brag? (21+ / 0-)

    When you've got a Justice (sic) Department that doesn't enforce the law and a Congress that doesn't seem to care a whit about effectively exercising its duty to oversee the agencies/departments is funds, then why not brag about one's criminality?

    BenGoshi
    ____________________________________________________

    The distinction that goes with mere office runs far ahead of the distinction that goes with actual achievement. H.L. Mencken

    by BenGoshi on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:27:58 AM PST

    •  Or When Like Ohio You Mandate the Practice (11+ / 0-)

      in law!!

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:28:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "is" = "it" in last line of above comment ( nt ) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quotefiend, Lobsters

      The distinction that goes with mere office runs far ahead of the distinction that goes with actual achievement. H.L. Mencken

      by BenGoshi on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:29:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed, the actual chutzpah (6+ / 0-)

      of being able to wave it in the face of the public is proof that they are in control.

      "If you want to go quickly, go alone.
      If you want to go far, go together.
      We have to go far, quickly."

      by shpilk on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:40:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And hey hey! (9+ / 0-)

      This is Kansas!  You know, that place where we don't use science, where we have seriously deranged "Christian" people like Phred Felps, and like that.

      Of course they brag about it!  The only things the Kansas Republican party does well are illegal or crazy.

      Je suis inondé de déesses

      by Marc in KS on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:10:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't forget the "All New" FEC (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenGoshi

      "Eight ways from Sunday" is the correct expression to describe the Xcons rigging of the upcoming presidential vote.

      One, get someone, anyone still breathing and standing who can get 40% or more of the vote.  This may eliminate NearlyDead Fred from consideration.

      Two, try to fake the Dems into choosing the weakest possible general election candidate.  One that can be most easily smeared and used to generate FUD - fear, uncertainty, doubt - maybe a Black Muslim Manchurian candidate for example. The Dallas and Sioux Falls newspapers, the Weekly Standard and one of Satan's favorite sons, Karl Rove, are already working this angle.

      Three, set up the vote caging apparatus and all other voter suppression techniques - push polling, GOTV phone bank jamming, etc.

      Four, pack the supposedly toothless FEC with more Xcons and appoint a highly experienced vote suppressor as chairman (see FL 2000 and Von Bismark or whatever his name is).

      Five, promote and fund a third party, independent progressive-populist movement and attractive candidate to split the opposition vote thereby making <50% a winning percentage (see Nader, Ralph; 2000)</p>

      Six, spread every form of lies, smear, innuendo and rumor possible to tear down the oppo candidate (do you really think Karl retired or just left town to avoid subpoenas and to lower his profile for 2008?)

      Seven, plan a last minute national security disaster (WWIII, nuke an American city and blame Osama; Houston might do as a target to throw off suspicion, home town and all that for W and Dick and Halliburton has already moved its HQ to Qatar or some such place.) The disaster will allow imposition of martial law and "postponement" of the election.

      And eight, last but not least: have the Bobby Kennedy/Benazir Bhutto option in place and ready to roll.  It's been a time-tested and proven final solution when all else fails.  Doubt that it can happen here - again - at your own peril.

      Think.

  •  Grand Jury!! (13+ / 0-)

    --That's a good one. I'll be laughing about that all day.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:28:11 AM PST

  •  Disgusting (12+ / 0-)

    I still don't think it will be enough for them to win much in 2008.  Their illegal and appalling tactics will haunt them.  

    Once again, it will take decades to restore the toatlly wrecked trail of the bush administration.  This is just one of hundreds of items on the list.  

    Sigh.

    "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

    by Pennsylvanian on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:33:07 AM PST

  •  I Went to College with Kris Kobach (30+ / 0-)

    He was on the Parliamentary debate team with me. He was a perfectly nice guy, son of a car dealer, a Republican by birth, basically center-right in ideology.

    Then he emerged as a flaming wingnut congressional candidate.   I was so happy to see him lose.

    Now he's apparently running a typical GOP criminal conspiracy to deny people the right to vote. Why am I not surprised?

    There's actually an important lesson here. It's easy to look at moral monsters like the leaders of the GOP and conclude that they were just kinda born that way. Or maybe they came from dysfunctional families.  

    But some of them, including Kobach, start out ok, but slowly develop into political criminals.

    Our political establishment, and especially the Republican Party, are designed to create people like Kris Kobach, 2007 edition.  It's horrible to see a former friend (not a close friend mind you, but a friend nonetheless) turn out this way.  But it's truly horrifying to realize that his adult political persona is a feature, not a bug, of our contemporary political system.

    This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

    by GreenSooner on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:33:22 AM PST

    •  that is sad to see (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quotefiend, boofdah, Lobsters, luckylizard

      But some of them, including Kobach, start out ok, but slowly develop into political criminals.

      That is sad to see to this happen to a friend, an acquaintance, a classmate, and for some members of their family. This is happening more and more; we  are hearing about stories similar to yours.

      Impeachment is not a Constitutional Crisis. Impeachment is the Cure for a Constitutional Crisis.-John Nichols

      by wishingwell on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:40:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  For a time, the only way you could get a (6+ / 0-)

      nomination as a Republican in Kansas was to out-crazy all your rivals.

      After a while of acting crazy, though, it starts to stick and you really are crazy.

      Je suis inondé de déesses

      by Marc in KS on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:13:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He obviously doesn't know (2+ / 0-)

      what the term "caging" means in its pejorative form.  This diary is quite alarmist for a front page item...it actually devalues the outcry over all of the real voter suppression tactics that have been used over the past 8 years.  The US ATTy purge and the subsequent investigations revealed a lot of the disenfranchisment utilized by the GOP (see B. Schlozman).  However, this generic fundraising letter has nothing to do with IDing minority voters to get them off the rolls...this should be obvious to all (most of all the author).  

      I dont claim to be an expert on the issue...but just because someone used the term, "caging", given the surrounding context, does not mean it meant what the author said.

    •  Good point, Green... (0+ / 0-)

      ....not unlike how individuals in the WWII era Japanese Army became who they were, eh?

      Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's ass. - Barry Goldwater, 1981

      by Doug in SF on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 01:11:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's gotten so bad... (13+ / 0-)

    ...they don't even bother hiding their lawlessness anymore.  Whose going to prosecute them?  The Bush Justice Department??  HA!

  •  IOKIYAR (7+ / 0-)

    They are so self assured the system is broken, they feel perfectly free to taunt, and wave their criminal actions in our faces.  

    They are above the law.
    They are beyond reach.

    "If you want to go quickly, go alone.
    If you want to go far, go together.
    We have to go far, quickly."

    by shpilk on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:36:36 AM PST

  •  Kris Kobach's Kansas Klan (4+ / 0-)

    AKA the Kansas GOP. But with more K's.

  •  Kobach = royal turd (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quotefiend, Lobsters, RickMassimo

    One of the biggest douchebags on the planet, and it speaks volumes of the GOP in my state to have him as their party chair.  He'll no doubt back away from his little "oopsie" here with an upcoming "clarification".  And, of course, the idiot media in my state will likely not hold him to it at all (I will hope McClatchy via the KCStar might, but I won't hold my breath).

    And given the fact that our darling Democratic AG Morrison just got booted out as a result of an affair he had (and speculation of blackmailing her as well), which has former bastard child Kline's fingerprints all over it, I doubt you'll see Sebelius pursuing this too hard right now.

    Lawrence, KS - From ashes to immortality

    by MisterOpus1 on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:36:59 AM PST

  •  You're counting on the Democratic candidates to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MisterOpus1, Quotefiend, RickMassimo

    fight this?  Ha Ha. That's funny.  

    Maybe they'll issue some strongly worded letters, but that's about all I expect from this crop.  Or maybe a call for a Blue Ribbon commission.  But getting their hands dirty?  I won't hold my breath.

    Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live. Nobody ever changed the world by sitting on their butt & complaining.

    by LionelEHutz on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:38:40 AM PST

    •  You shouldn't need a commission. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gpclay, Quotefiend

      Really, if I wrote "I held up a liquor store yesterday," it should be on ME to explain that what I really meant was I got a great deal on Scotch (and see if anyone buys that).

      Someone just needs to ask him "Hey, you just said you committed a crime. Can you explain why you thought that was a good idea?" He's lost the benefit of the doubt that a blue-ribbon commission bestows.

    •  One has to lead the Democratic members of ....... (0+ / 0-)

      Congress by the nose to even recognize illegality has happened and then watch them drop the ball, time and time again.

      I don't have faith that even this sort of flaunting the illegality publicly will arouse a lazy/complicite Democratic Congress to do anything to get things corrected.

      Look at Kerry after the theft in Ohio. HE couldn't bring himself to contest the verasity of the vote for fear of being called out by the mocking hord of criminals. It is disgusting how little the Congress values their constituents rights.

      Greg Palast has more reguard for our Constitutional rights than our own Congress. It is disgusting/shameful and reason enough to understand why so few Americans do vote.

  •  Unfortunately, "caging" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gpclay, boofdah, InsultComicDog, gloryous1

    is not one of those unambiguous words like "torture." IF (and it's a big if) any of our media stars actually picks this up, all he has to do is turn to the camera and say "Hey, it's a voter-fraud prevention tactic. You LIKE voter fraud?" And the Russerts and Tweetys of the world will go whimpering away.

    Remember, this e-mail was meant for Kansas Republicans. It's a loud and proud acknowledgment of their main strategy for '08.

  •  I think he's just an idiot. (5+ / 0-)

    He thinks that "caging" a vote means locking it up for your party.  He doesn't understand the word and thinks it sounds like "trap" or "secure".

  •  Oh my gawd, not another whacked out (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigOkie, Scout Finch, Ken in MN

    diary about how the republicans are conspiring to steal elections . . . .

    When are we just going to learn to accept that we need 60% to win anything, that's just the way God intended it when she designed the Electoral College, Senate Rules, and the Republican Brain.

  •  It's much more widespead than you'd hope (17+ / 0-)

    In fact, the GOP is in hot water for dirty tricks that overturned the election results in  my hometown.

    I've been writing on this over at Blue Indiana. In the Muncie (IN) mayor's race, the GOP reacted to the news that they had lost the mayor's race with allegations that a black city councillor had engaged in absentee voter "fraud" (i.e. black people voted by absentee, and since we can't burn crosses in their yard like the "good old days" I guess we'll have to convince them that they might go to prision for voting absentee.) The former prosecutor went and presented himself as an election offical to elderly black folks in a precinct where there were a large number of abesntee ballots that voted Democratic.

       Both argued that Lewis and other voters in the predominantly black Precinct 18 were targeted because of their race, and that the questioning constituted harassment.

       "They made it seem like I did something wrong," Lewis said.

       The four people did not identify themselves, Lewis said, but represented themselves in a fashion that led him to believe they were election officials.

       Democrat attorney and County Commissioner John Brooke, who was in attendance at Friday's meeting, told the board he received 10 similar complaints from voters in Precinct 18.

       Some told Brooke that the people actually identified themselves as representatives of the election board, Brooke told The Star Press after the meeting.

    Turns out they've been using the same affadvit forms (which the Dem's attornet later should to have been forged by the GOP in at least one case in Muncie) in Souther Indiana suggesting that this is being orchestrated by either the state or federal party.

    In the end, after the votes were all counted, it was only by disenfranchsing voters in this case in the predominantly poor, white, and Democratic precinct 46 that the GOP was able to overturn the November election results and steal the mayor's race (and the right of a one legged veteran to vote.)

    "Why in the hell vote?" asked Gannon, a 76-year-old Korean War veteran. "What good is it going to do if they throw it away?"
    The recount commission voted Wednesday night to disqualify 19 absentee ballot cards from Precinct 46 because the cards were not properly endorsed.

    State law requires that a representative from each party endorse the cards with their initials before mailing them out to absentee voters.

    Those 19 absentee ballots, however, were missing Republican initials.

    Eighteen of those votes were for Democrat Jim Mansfield.

    The decision to disqualify the votes essentially handed the election to Republican Sharon McShurley.

    It wasn't a merry friggin' Christmas in Middletown.

  •  They may try to use them in Democratic (0+ / 0-)

    controlled States, but they will not get traction.

    Only in reprobate Red states will these racists and class based laws get through.

    With the pigs that are currently in the SCOTUS, it wouldn't surprise me to see them try to 'mandate uniformity' based upon the most restrictive of regulations promulgated.

    Try that hat on for size and think about it.

    "If you want to go quickly, go alone.
    If you want to go far, go together.
    We have to go far, quickly."

    by shpilk on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:45:49 AM PST

  •  Great article, Scout . . . (5+ / 0-)

    This story needs to gain, and keep, its legs.  As we know, the GOP is gearing up to unveil its dirty bag of tricks for '08.  

    The key word here is we KNOW this fact.  There is no excuse for the Dems to be taken by surprise again, and lose even one state's electoral votes because we couldn't stop this crap.

    We know they will try. We must stop it this time.

    Dogs have so many friends because they wag their tails instead of their tongues. -Anonymous

    by gloryous1 on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:46:39 AM PST

  •  The Kansas GOP is in a death spiral anyway. (11+ / 0-)

    Having been born and raised in the great state of Kansas, I can tell you that the one thing we like less than an overbearing government is being lied to.

    This is just another in a line of gasps by a dying institution.  Kobach and his cronies have destroyed the party in the state, not that state elections in Kansas were ever really the GOP wet dream that outsiders seem to think they should be.

    We're a state full of (truly, not this crazy faux freedom they're peddling in Washington) freedom-loving, truth-speaking socialist-libertarians.  The shift from voting Republican in Federal elections has been in motion for a while.  

    Veterans that rely on military retirement and VA hospitals.  Independent farmers who need subsidies just to be able to afford to farm.  A growing urban population that's feeling the pain of NCLB and a lack of healthcare.  Railroaders whose unions are getting busted by Bush & Co.  The Republican lock on Kansas is getting pretty rusty.

    Kobach is just the idiot to break it open.

    Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore. Time to pony up and do the right thing.

    by Capt America on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:48:36 AM PST

    •  I hope you are right about this, Capt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo, Ken in MN

      Your words are music to my ears.

      Dogs have so many friends because they wag their tails instead of their tongues. -Anonymous

      by gloryous1 on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:53:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As a Kansan, I agree (4+ / 0-)

        Many folks here are so fed up with wingnut crap, they're actually embracing Democratic candidates.

        "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." -- Albert Einstein

        by KnowVox on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:13:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's so odd to hear the two of you say this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AuntieM

          As an outsider, when I look at the political map, I have often thought that Kansas was quietly the reddest state in the Union.  

          It appears the red veneer is/was exceedingly thin?  

          I may have to stand up and do a happy dance now. Be right back.

          Dogs have so many friends because they wag their tails instead of their tongues. -Anonymous

          by gloryous1 on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:17:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nah, we're not that red. (6+ / 0-)

            We're a reddish purple.

            Lots of simple, god-fearin', do-it-yourself rural folks that have naturally gravitated to the Republicans in the past few decades because the Republicans we good at marketing themselves to that demographic.  But when you actually talk to the people here, they're not crazy at all and actually do understand and hate the hypocrisy.

            So we never were red like Utah.  Those people are crazy.  ;)

            Je suis inondé de déesses

            by Marc in KS on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:20:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Non-Kansans have a hard time (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Doug in SF, Marc in KS, AuntieM, gloryous1

              understanding why our Democratic Governor picked TWO former rethugs as her Lt. Governors in succesive terms -- including the guy who used to have Kris Kobach's job.  But she's a smart cookie, and has a lot of political savvy to get the job done.

              "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." -- Albert Einstein

              by KnowVox on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:26:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  When you describe it that way (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Scout Finch, Marc in KS

              KS makes more sense.  Put differently, Kansans are practical rather than ideological.  Is that the idea?

              I have spent time in both UT and ID, and the folks in those states tend more to the ideological rather than the practical.  In that connection, they cannot deviate from their Red Beliefs.

              Dogs have so many friends because they wag their tails instead of their tongues. -Anonymous

              by gloryous1 on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:33:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think that's a good way to think of it. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Doug in SF, AuntieM, gloryous1

                Sure, there's a certain amount of ideological fervor here, too, but at bottom they're going to vote for the person who stands to do them the most good, rather than one who simply spouts Republican cant.

                I mean, shit, we defeated Jim Ryun.  That's something for practical over ideological.  Ryun said all the right Republican bullshit, but he did nothing, and people saw through it (granted, it took a while...).

                Je suis inondé de déesses

                by Marc in KS on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:41:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  The real danger is going to come from a moderate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AuntieM

          Republican.  The Republican brand here has been tarnished by the truly-insane, so that the Brownbacks and Roberts cannot get re-elected.

          But a moderate Republican could still do well here.  This scares me: ordinarily I could tolerate a moderate Republican, but in time the moderates get turned crazy here.

          Je suis inondé de déesses

          by Marc in KS on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:18:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Brownback's choosing not to run... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Marc in KS, AuntieM

            and we'll see if Roberts can be beaten. I certainly think he's vulnerable this time around. A lot will depend on who Roberts is up against. I really wish Jim Slattery would officialy throw his hat into the ring.

            "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." -- Albert Einstein

            by KnowVox on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:28:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Brownback... (0+ / 0-)

              I thought I remembered that Brownback said he'd only serve the, what, 2 terms he was elected for (IIRC, and I may not, wasn't he appointed to finish someone else's term, and then was elected twice)? Like self-imposed term limits?

              I'd heard rumblings that he was going to run for governor once his last Senate term was up. Is that still looking likely?

              (Former western Kansan, now living in MO)

    •  Ditto That (0+ / 0-)

      Having been born and raised in the great state of Kansas, I can tell you that the one thing we like less than an overbearing government is being lied to.

      If a man claims to speak for god he will assure he is also gods' banker.

      by AuntieM on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 01:39:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice story. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scout Finch, gloryous1

    Scout,

    I enjoy your writing.

    PR

  •  Action? n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah, gloryous1

    "The Science of Propaganda" http://www.nypl.org/ and search NYPL website for "Lakoff"

    by LNK on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:55:24 AM PST

  •  You're thinking about those quaint times (0+ / 0-)

    when it was "bad" to disobey a court order.  Ever heard of the CIA tapes?  Get OUT of that reality based  existence you are in and get with the program!

    We Changed The Course! Now we must hold their feet to the fire.

    by hcc in VA on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:55:47 AM PST

  •  pretty thin.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    standingup, pooh74

    Seems like you're hanging the guy based on one word. The context makes it seem like he just doesn't know what the term means (or he is trying to move the frame and redefine the term).

    •  The guy is the state party chair, for chrissakes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philpm

      Do you think he is ignorant rather than conniving? Maybe.  

      Bush doesn't mean to call it the "Democrat" party. His ear just doesn't register the difference folks keep pointing out to him.

      Dogs have so many friends because they wag their tails instead of their tongues. -Anonymous

      by gloryous1 on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:09:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He is a former Congressional candidate, (9+ / 0-)

      a former high ranking member of Ashcroft's Justice Department, a Prof of Constitutional Law, and the head of the Kansas GOP.  If he doesn't know what "caging" means, the Kansas GOP is in big,big trouble.

      •  Well, the Kansas GOP (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boofdah, war is peace

        is in big trouble, but not only because they have a loser chair.  People are wising up to them and are pretty sick of it.

        Nice diary, Scout.

        Je suis inondé de déesses

        by Marc in KS on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:22:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  just doesn't make sense (0+ / 0-)

        If you assume that he knows what caging is, then why would he publicly trumpet it?

        That just doesn't make any sense.

        •  It's a win-win for us. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boofdah, Philpm

          Either he is openly bragging about illegal voter suppression tactics, or he is incompetent.

          •  Hold on just a minute (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wonmug, Scout Finch, Philpm

            Before we can assume anything, a little further information might be helpful.  The context in which Kobach is using the term can make all the difference in the world.  One of the best resources for information on voter caging, The Brennan Center for Justice, states the following in "A Guide to Voter Caging."  

            What Is Voter Caging?

            "Caging" is a generic term that describes the sorting of returned direct-mail pieces – sometimes to process contributions, and sometimes to weed out unprofitable addresses. The term is reportedly derived from the postal cubby holes, resembling cages, that are used for sorting mail.[2] In many of its applications, "caging" is both standard practice and benign.

            "Voter caging" is a distinct form of caging, and much more dangerous. Voter caging is the practice of sending mail to addresses on the voter rolls, compiling a list of the mail that is returned undelivered, and using that list to purge or challenge voters’ registrations on the grounds that the voters on the list do not legally reside at their registered addresses.

            Gerry Hebert, former career attorney with the DOJ Civil Rights Division, has written extensively on voter caging on the Campaign Legal Center Blog.  Inside the Vote Cage: Griffin, Goodling and McNulty (No, Not Another Lawfirm) provides a great explanation of voter caging as used to suppress voters.

            How Vote Caging Works

            "Caging" is a direct mail technique used to clean up a mailing list. A political organization sends first class mail to a list of voters (or donors) marked "do not forward." Sometimes, the mail is sent return receipt requested. Voters whose mail comes back undeliverable, or who do not return the receipt, are removed from the list – caged, in direct mail parlance.

            "Vote caging" is when a political organization, typically a political party, compiles a "caging list" of voters whose mail came back undeliverable or who did not return the receipt, and uses that list to challenge those voters as not being validly registered. The challenges can occur prior to Election Day or at the polls.

            The problem with using a caging list to challenge voters is simple.  First, the list is most often produced using criteria aimed at a particular racial group (picking out African-American precincts, for example).  Second, there are plenty of reasons why mail sent to a validly registered voter might be returned as undeliverable or without the signed return receipt requested. For instance, the voter may be serving abroad in the military or away at college. Address errors, especially in urban areas, are common.  A voter may have forgotten to put his or her apartment number on the voter registration form.  Typographical errors in preparing the list of voters to whom mail will be sent – Gonzalez becomes Gonzales – can also result in a piece of mail being returned as undeliverable when in fact the voter may live there.  Moreover, such typographical errors on registration rolls can also lead one to conclude, in error, that someone is not registered to vote when in fact that person is validly registered. (the entire post is full of useful info on understanding voter caging)

            Hebert's Vote Caging and the Attorney General provides a nice rundown of the higher profile cases and history of vote caging from the 1980's to the present.  Also,  Republican Ballot Security Programs:  Vote protection or minority vote suppression-or both? is another excellent report that covers Republican suppression efforts back to the 1960's.  

            I am posting this for two purposes.  First, I am concerned that there is not adequate information from the email to draw the conclusion that the Kansas GOP is admitting to voter caging or it is even describing voter caging.  Second, voter caging has been a widespread tactic used by the Republican party for years and the information I have linked to provides some good background to help us learn more about voter caging so we will be better informed to identify it if (when) it is used in the future.    

            •  Either way, Kris Kobach needs to answer (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Philpm

              the question - what exactly did he mean by "caging?"  It's hard to believe that somebody who has run for Congress, is a Prof of Constitutional Law, has worked at the highest levels of the Justice Dept, and is the GOP point person in Kansas responsible for "getting out the Republican vote".....it is hard to believe that he wouldn't know what the term means as it relates to voting.

              Either way I look forward to Kobach answering questions about it and I hope it helps to shine a light on these dirty tactics being used by the GOP nationwide.

            •  The job of keeping the voter rolls .... (0+ / 0-)

              lawful and correct is not the job of a political party, and caging is used to disqulify people from being able to vote.

              I don't get why you are gung ho on pointing out that there may be a thin line that the Republicans are free to cross, so that they can disqualify voters rights.

              In 1986 they were lawfully told they could not ingage in voter caging. It seems fairly clear that they are doing everything in their power to keep citizens from voting.

              •  I am (0+ / 0-)

                "gung ho" on facts and accuracy.  And there are too many problems with the assumptions in this post and your comment to let them go without noting them.  Critical thinking and challenging assumptions used to be something that was valued on dkos.  I have seen how the Republicans have accepted their party line about the rampant problem of voter fraud and now see it in every election with little to support it in many cases.  If we really want to effectively combat caging that suppresses minority voters, we need to be able understand what it is and how it is done.  Not all caging is illegal and if we begin tossing around allegations that have no basis, the people who can and should do something about it will stop listening because they will think we are not credible.  

                If you read what I wrote again, you will see I am well aware of and do not disagree that Republicans have used caging to suppress minority voters in the past.  I even suspect it will be used by them again.

                Allegations should be supported by facts.  The use of the term caging in an email from the KS GOP chairman is not sufficient to conclude anything much less suggest that the chair should explain himself before a grand jury.  If there is evidence the party has engaged in illegal voter caging, then they should be held accountable but we simply can't tell from the information provided.  It would be nice if we had a copy of the entire email instead of just the paragraphs that were cited.  

                Another point that seems to be overlooked is that caging is a term that applies to some very common and acceptable practices.  There are consultants, for both parties, who use the term frequently and accurately to describe the process of caging direct mail and donor lists.  Take a look at Mal Warwick Associates for example.  Here are some of their clients:  

                Al Franken for Senate
                Democracy for America
                Feingold Senate Committee
                People for the American Way
                Progressive Patriots Fund
                Wellstone Action Committee

                And Mal Warwick Associates is very open about the caging work they do as a part of their services.  They have this useful article, A Fundraiser's View of Caging and List Maintenance.  Or The Six Ugly Truths About Direct Mail provides this little bit:

                (3) Is the data on your donor file accurate and up-to-date? Really?

                Naturally, every organization and every caging service crows about the quality of its data entry. How is it, then, that so many donor lists available on the market through rental or exchange are so godawful inaccurate? Don’t believe me? Just try sending a donor acquisition mailing with first class postage sometime, and watch the nixies pile up! Having actually done this, I can attest to the fact that, if your donor list is truly accurate and up-to-date, you’re exceptional. Print out your list sometime, and subject it to the eyeball test: chances are, you’ll find missing ZIP codes, missing cities or states, and atrociously misspelled names or addresses, as well as lots of duplicates.

                Unfortunately, caging, cashiering, and data entry get short shrift in most direct mail fundraising programs. They’re the "back end" of the process. In reality, though, these steps constitute the "front end" as far as your donors are concerned. If you’re misspelling names or getting their addresses wrong, it’s a virtual certainty that your fundraising program will suffer. A little extra investment in keeping your donor file accurate and up-to-date could pay off in the long run.

                And from The 10 Most Important Things About Direct Mail:

                Caging and cashiering
                Once a mailing has "dropped" and (presumably) people start sending gifts in response, there's a ton of additional work to do. This consists largely of "caging" (processing the information that can be gleaned from the returns) and "cashiering" (processing the gifts themselves). It's rare for a direct mail fundraising agency to handle these tasks in-house (because charities regulators frown when the consultants who've helped prepare a mailing also control the funds it generates). Almost always, a nonprofit organization that farms out this work will seek a specialized computer service bureau – frequently the same place where its donor list is maintained.

                Now looking back at the email, we see:

                ...We have taken the last 11 months to rebuild our party operations, make technology updates, build our fundraising database, and identify voters.  We have also put operations in place to make the Party a more effective organization to support candidates, and better able to provide rapid campaign response in every county in the state.

                ...

                Our voter identification system is up and running giving us the capability to effectively mobilize voters and turn them out to vote on Election Day.  To date, the Kansas GOP has identified and caged more voters in the last 11 months than the previous two years!

                Most of what is noted has to do with the GOP's lists of voters and donors.  And make no mistake, the Republicans are masters at information management when it comes to voters.  If you aren't familiar with their database, try reading up on their "voter vault."  They also have getting out the vote down to a science with the "72 Hour Program".  There is every reason to consider, based on the brief statements provided from the email, that this caging is part of their management of information used for mailings, donations or get out the vote programs.  On the other hand, there is very little to support or suggest that this caging was of voters from the official rolls maintained by local election officials .      

                One last point on caging lists used to challenge registrations and voters at the polls;  the creation of a caging list is not illegal.  It is the act of targeting minorities in the creation or use of the lists which is illegal.  And the consent decree the RNC entered into in 1982, modified in 1987, applies  only to the RNC and not state parties.  This was very important in 2004 when the DNC was able to enjoin the RNC in the suit filed where the Ohio GOP had a list of 35,000 voters to challenge at the polls.  The stay from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals can be read here.    

                 

        •  Dog whistle to the racist wing of the Kansas GOP? (0+ / 0-)
  •  My dad is one of those Kansas Republicans... (6+ / 0-)

    and he's told me several stories over the last few months that ended with, "I told them if they don't stop calling me, I'm going to vote Democratic!" Seems the Republican Party of Kansas is making lots of phone calls, asking for money.

  •  Sorry, but it's a different use of "caging" (7+ / 0-)

    Nobody, not even a GOPer from Kansas, is stupid enough to put the activity you refer to in a widely distributed email.

    Caging-Wikipedia

    He's bragging about how good their own direct mail list of GOP voters is. He probably never heard of Greg Palast.

    Plus Kansas is one of the whitest states in the union.  The kind of voter caging that they did in Florida requires a high concentration of minority voters in a few zip codes to be useful.  

    What did you do with the cash Joe?

    by roguetrader2000 on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:17:59 AM PST

    •  You may well be right, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deadicated Marxist

      it's deserving of some questioning, at least.

      I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

      by beemerr90s on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:19:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Caging can (and does, unfortunately) work in KS (0+ / 0-)

      The urban centers are overwhelmingly Dem compared to the rest of the state.  Topeka, KC, Wichita, there's where you do your caging.  They're a healthy shade of purplish blue while the rest of the state (the vast majority geographically but a very slight majority in terms of population) is more of a maroon.

      Minority vote suppression is a perfectly viable (if despicable) tactic for Republican candidates and their campaigns in Kansas.  If you can convince the african-american and latino voters to stay home, the rest is gravy.

      Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore. Time to pony up and do the right thing.

      by Capt America on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 11:21:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is exactly right. (0+ / 0-)

      If people start getting all up on arms about BS like this, then we begin to look like the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" when we speak out about real "caging" efforts!!

      Lets keep both feet on earth peeps...

      peace

  •  Thanks for the diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah, Shakludanto

    I was hoping I would see one on this subject.

    Is there any speculation anywhere about whether anyone will follow up on this statement?  Any media scrutiny, any calls for investigations or questioning?  Op-eds, LTEs?  Bueller?

    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    by beemerr90s on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:18:36 AM PST

  •  I sent this to Conyers! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah

    I just sent a link to this article to the House Judiciary Committee.

    •  I think he has (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boofdah

      "plausible deniability."  He can claim the not-illegal sense of "caging."

      But Conyers will write it down and remember it, and that's a good thing.

      I'm going to work polls this coming election if I can (I don't know whether an elected person can work polls).  And if I can't, I'll just go hang around and sip coffee with the women who work my precinct.  I want to watch for this shit.

      Je suis inondé de déesses

      by Marc in KS on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:24:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Consent decrees (0+ / 0-)

    In what jurisdictions are consent decrees involving Republican voter suppression tactics in effect?

    What entities (state party, national party, local party) are parties to the consent decrees?

    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

    by Old Left Good Left on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:24:02 AM PST

    •  I'm not certain, but as I read it, (0+ / 0-)

      seems that the national GOP agreed they would stop using it altogether in the '80's.  I don't know why the state parties would be any different.  

      •  however, legal liability calls for a stricter... (0+ / 0-)

        ... standard.  As I understand it, the consent decree only applies to the RNC:

        [S]ince getting caught in a vote caging scheme in 1981 in New Jersey, the Republican National Committee has been under a federal consent decree not to engage in this practice. Democrats went to court in 1987 to enforce the consent decree and were successful. In 2004, the 1981 court order in the New Jersey case was again used by voters who argued that the vote challenge procedures being planned in Ohio in 2004 would be violative of the earlier consent decree. The district court in the New Jersey case agreed, finding that the vote caging scheme used to generate the challenge lists was targeted at minority voters, and enjoined the RNC. In upholding the trial court’s injunction and refusing to stay the district court’s order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit noted: "[T]here is ample support for the factual findings of the District Court. For example, the emails between the RNC and Michael Magan for the Ohio Republican Party, Exhibit 1, show collaboration and cooperation between the RNC and the ORP [Ohio Republican Party." DNC v. RNC, No.04-4186 (3rd Circuit, November 1, 2004) at 6.

        As such, it may not apply to state party organizations, and Kobach may not technically be in violation of it.  Only the Federal judge who issued it can say for certain.

  •  What is this, and HONEST Republican? (0+ / 0-)

    This must be some sort of fiendish trap.

    Be humble and respectable but above all just be flexible. -Gumby

    by SteamPunkX on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:26:25 AM PST

  •  It might be useful to point out that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonmug

    the privatized U.S. postal service no longer meets the standard of reliability for which it was historically known.  That mail is undelivered or not returned is proof of nothing.  Not long ago, a letter was delivered to our mailbox in New Hampshire that was addressed to someone in New Zealand.  The only bit of information on the envelope that had any relationship to our address was the house number.  
    When the postal delivery person was apprised of this mis-delivery, he asserted that "the computer" or the "GPS" had made the mistake.
    I don't know whether New Zealand has zip codes, but this piece of mail had, as I said, nothing on it but the house number that related to our address.
    Name
    Street Name
    Country
    Continent
    were all different.  I think the letter was mailed in New Jersey.

    About the same time, the tax bills sent out by the town to the residents of the town got lost.  Since they have to be sent to another town to be sorted for the carrier route, the first half of the batch seems to have been "accidentally" loaded on a truck going to some other part of the country.  It took more than a week for the mail to be "found."

    There doesn't seem to be any first class mail that gets delivered in a day.  It takes five days to get a letter from NH to GA.

    On the other hand, fully 75% of the direct mail we get from candidates is for people who don't live here and haven't lived here for half a decade, at least.

    Republicans are convinced that inequality is the natural condition of man.  It is this prejudice which leads them to engage in behavior to prove it.  Segregating populations isn't driven by racism or sexism or homophobia; it's driven by a firm conviction that equal is bad--i.e. unnatural--and unequal is good.  And they're going to do their best to prove it.

    •  Funny story about the USPS (0+ / 0-)

      Several years ago, with the summer off from my then-job teaching, I spent three months at my family's summer place in Maine.

      As some of you may know, Maine has several towns named after various foreign countries (Poland, Sweden, Denmark, China, and so on....).

      Well, after a couple weeks, I realized that my supposedly forwarded mail wasn't arriving. After several fruitless calls to the PO near my winter residence, I was getting pretty frustrated --- until a few days later, when I got a good-sized package from the capital of one of those non-US countries with the same name as our town with all my mail.............

      Ever since then, I've been reluctant to trust the USPS for anything important.

  •  I reported the suck (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925

    for fraud here:
    judiciary.house.gov/Reportfraud

    I'm sure they'll get right on it.

    Passenger on the long train of abuses.

    by OleHippieChick on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:39:38 AM PST

  •  Time for a sternly worded letter. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonmug, Scout Finch, gharlane

    I'm sure Congress is up to the task.

    Why does everybody think I'm paranoid?

    by kitebro on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:40:57 AM PST

    •  And another one after that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kitebro

      Yep.  And when that one is ignored, issue a few more, slightly more sternly-worded letters.  Then send a few more saying how mad they're gonna get if their sternly-worded letters get ignored.  Then send one saying this is really, truly, absolutely the last sternly-worded letter they are going to send, and after that really bad things will happen.  Like, they'll start thinking about subpoenas or something.  Not issuing them, you understand, but they'll start thinking about them.  Remember, according to Conyers, Congress and the Judiciary Committee are really, really, really busy right now, too busy, for example, to get round to Kucinich's Cheney impeachment resolution that got referred to them several weeks back.  

      That should take us to -- oh, about August 2008, or maybe December.

      I get all a-quiver when I think of those stern, stern Democrats in "power" in Congress.  I'm so glad we all busted our asses and emptied our wallets in 2006 to get them elected.  I just love all those sternly-worded letters.

      (Lest I be misunderstood, I do understand that kitebro is being sarcastic :)  )

  •  Can someone explain this to me a little better? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't quite get it. So they send letters to the addresses of voters that they have listed on their voter registrations and if the letter gets bounced back as undeliverable, they ask that this person be removed from the election rolls since their registration info is apparently incorrect and they may not actually be living in the district where they have registered to vote.

    Um, why is that evil? I mean, if the person has false information on their registration then shouldn't they be removed? I don't want people who don't live in my Congressional District casting votes for who gets to be my Congressman.

    It seems to me that the problem for us would be lopsidedness, where voters are only being targeted and challenged in districts that favor Democrats. So the solution would appear to be what Ohio has done, which is for the Board of Elections to do this with every single voter a few months before the election in order to ensure that the process is not selectively applied to only one party's favored districts.

    Am I missing something? It's entirely possible. Someone please spell this out for me.

    •  They send them to college students, military (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mayim

      personnel, the elderly, and others who've they've identified as probable Democratic voters who are not likely to be able to return the required envelope.  It isn't always just bounced back addresses.

    •  In Ohio, voter ID equals "address verification" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scout Finch

      That's the way that the county BOEs are explaining the repressive state voter ID law that was rammed through by Taft and Blackwell. Ever heard of somebody being prosecuted for voting for somebody else in Ohio?

      In practice, people who are poor and tend to move around a lot are effectively disenfranchised, since the notices go to the registration address and not their current rental address.  People can move within the same building or the same block and get kicked off the polls. The IDs that are accepted are also strictly limited, so that the IDs that this group of people tends to have (Benefits cards, student IDs, etc.) are NOT accepted as valid ID even if they do appear at the correct polling place to cast a ballot. Provisional ballots now have to be tabulated from paper ballots, not the machines, so processing them takes days.

      For students, college IDs are not allowed, so those living in dorm housing might have no other legal ID under state law for voting. You can't use a utility bill from a shared residence if your name isn't listed as primary holder, and passports aren't allowed either. Many students can't change their legal residency on drivers licenses without affecting their financial aid status.

      Get the picture?

      "I'm not a humanitarian. I'm a hell-raiser." Mother Jones

      by histopresto on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 11:14:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And this also assumes..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scout Finch

      And this also assumes that the USPS never makes a mistake........ See my comment elsewhere about a problem with forwarding when the name of a town (with a state name and US ZIP code) is shared with a European country.

      And I have otehr stories - like when I moved from in Philadelphia to a suburb but the USPS decided that I'd moved 2/3 of the way across the state and forwarded all my mail to that western PA address, despite my having filled out the forwarding form correctly (took 5 visits to the post office at the old address to get them to stop forwarding that far!).

      Or when I moved out of my parents' house in upstate New York to go to Philadelphia for graduate school (with no formal forwarding order filed.....) but the postal carrier (knowing I'd moved, despite the lack of forwarding order; my grandmotrher, also resident at that house at that time, was a bit of a chatterer.....) returned my mother's voter registration (same first & last name, different middle name) to the Board of Elections.......so she had to re-register. She did take the opportunity to change her party affilation from the no-longer-Republican-Party-of-her-New-England-Yankee-childhood to the Democratic party that was closer to her adult belief system (although she would have prefered NY's Liberal party, she knew the local races that mattered were the Democratic pirmaries).

      So, yeah, I'm skeptical of such maneuvers unless there is a huge big heap of evidence that there's major fraud going on......

  •  Why on earth shouldn't Kobach admit it? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonmug

    Why on earth should Kris Kobach be afraid to admit he violated the consent decree? There is no down side to the act.

    Crowing about this makes him look tough to the Kansas Republican base. It will also make the Democrats look weak and incompentent when they curl up in a trembling fetal position and wet themselves in protest.

    Laws are only as good as the enforcement - and if the enforcers are a pack of proven incompetent cowards unable to lift a finger in protest, then crime really does pay. Kobach is simply illustrating this tried a proven principle.

    If they survive, the Democratic Party will eventually come to understand this principle as well as Kobach does - it will be beaten into them one savage blow at a time.

  •  If there's one thing Karl Rove hates... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonmug, boofdah

    ...it's a solid Rethuglican state that unexpectedly tilts Democrat(ic).

    We all know the saga of Don Siegelman.  When he was honestly elected governor of Alabama, a solid red state, Karl Rove & Co. launched a mass destruction campaign that not only ousted Siegelman in a rigged election, but later ended up with Siegelman indicted, convicted and imprisoned.  All for the crime of being a successful Dem in a red state.

    So now we have Kansas.  A more solid red state there has seldom been.  Bob Dole, Alf Landon, etc etc.

    And along comes Kathy Sebelius...a Dem. woman...and she kicks Rethug ass to become a Dem. governor of Kansas.  And then we see dozens of Rethug state and local officials switching parties and becoming proud Dems.  

    What does this do to Karl Rove?  He becomes angry and vicious and decides it's time to turn Kansas red again.  But he and his cronies can't do it honestly, so they have to engage in voter suppression tactics like caging.  But the state guy is a moron and brags about it in his message to party apparatchiks.  

    Rove left the White House for one reason:  To work nonstop to f**k up the 2008 elections from coast to coast, not to mention the presidential race.  This is yet another tip of the proverbial iceberg.  That's what the California electoral vote scam was all about.  Coast to coast, my friends.  And if we're not ready to blow the whistle every time we see something like this, we deserve to be delivering concession speeches next November 4th...and preparing for 4 or 8 more years of right wing authoritarian christofascist rule.

  •  What was the title of that book? (0+ / 0-)

    Was it, "What's the Matter With Kansas?" Diary clears-up a few burning questions.

    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." --Blaise Pascal

    by lyvwyr101 on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 11:01:02 AM PST

  •  There has been a tremendous amount of caging (0+ / 0-)

    going on in all the previous elections and even more systematic caging will take place in 2008. Mark my words.

  •  Caging is neither illegal nor improper (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonK Seattle, standingup

    And Kris Kobach is openly admitting to violating a consent decree against such practices.  From an Oct 2004 Washington Post article:

    The Republican challenges in Ohio, Wisconsin and other battleground states prompted civil rights and labor unions to sue in U.S. District Court in Newark, saying the GOP is violating a consent decree, issued in the 1980s by Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise and still in effect, that prevents the Republicans from starting "ballot security" programs to prevent voter fraud that target minorities

    .
    And now for the rest of the story...

    Judge Debevoise indeed granted an injunction against the RNC based on this consent decree, which was upheld by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Third Circuit Court.  However, under a motion for reconsideration, the entire Third Circuit stayed the Debevoise injunction and allowed the RNC to challenge the suspected fraudulent Ohio registrations.  It appears that the Third Circuit was following the lead of the Sixth Circuit in permitting the Ohio challenges.

    Vote caging is a voter suppression tactic. The term is derived from a direct mail term. In the direct mail industry, when a third party runs a direct mailing campaign on behalf of a client organization, one of the activities undertaken is to compile all of the responses, handle contributions and to deposit received funds into the client's account, and also update the database of names and addresses that were mailed to with the responses or corrected addresses obtained. Since some of the activities were controlled carefully (donations and deposits) and conducted in a manner similar to the activities within a "teller's cage," the process is called "caging" and the end result of the data entry updates and address corrections is called a "caging list." This led to the term "voter caging" for voter registration analysis and challenges conducted via mass mailings.

    Caging does nothing to suppress legal voting, but is an effective way of identifying voter registration fraud or mistakes.  

    No voter on these caging lists is intimidated into not voting.  As described above, letters are sent to the addresses of suspect voter registrations and, if a letter is sent back with a notation "no such addressee," then the name is added to a list of registrations the party will challenge as being mistaken or fraudulent.

    Caging does not automatically remove the suspect name from the voting roll, but simply provides a basis for a challenge which the elections officials may or may not grant based on their own investigations.  Ohio both granted and denied 2004 GOP challenges based on caging lists.

    Caging is accurate.  As discussed above, the direct mail industry has long used this process to keep their own mailing lists up to date.  If there is a forwarding address, the caging list will be updated.  If the recipient is on vacation, their mail will be held for delivery and not returned to the sender to be added to a caging list.  However, if the letter is returned stating that the addressee does not live at the address, then it is very likely that the name, address or both are mistaken or fraudulent.

    The GOP caging lists appear to be entirely aimed at voters registered as Dems.  So what?  Nothing about this is improper or unlawful.  Does anyone expect the GOP to be wasting their money checking their own voters?  The GOP is not providing a non partisan public service.  Rather, they are working to identify fraudulent Dem voter registrations ginned up by organizations like ACORN.

    If the Dems want to check GOP voter registrations, they are free to do so.  However, Dems appear to be far more worried about keeping their own registrations from being investigated than ensuring that all voter registrations are investigated.  Why is that?

    •  Thanks for that, LW.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      standingup

      If the board of elections can't check registrations, why bust the Repubs (or Dems if they had thought of it) for doing it?

      I grew up in Chicago who's motto is: "Vote early and vote often".  People deceased for many years still miraculously make it to the polls each year thanks to the hard work of the Democratic precinct captains (bless their dear hearts!).

      This diary is much ado about nothing and should have been better researched.

  •  In Ohio, even under the new (0+ / 0-)

    voter id law, the county Board of Elections will have to decide to eliminate a voter from the rolls.  The Board of Elections consists of 4 members, 2 from each party.  The Secretary of State, Democrat Jennifer Brunner, breaks all ties.  So, it will take either 1 Democrat or Brunner herself, to vote to kick some off the rolls.

    So, it appears unlikely to become a major problem in Ohio.  

    Before this year's elections, the Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell, required that a huge poster about voter fraud be prominently displayed for each precinct.  So, if there were 4 precincts in a polling place, there would be 4 of these silly posters.  Under Brunner, these silly tree-killers were discontinued.

    "It's hip to be miserable when you're young and intellectual."--Carly Simon

    by Buckeye Terry on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 02:04:53 PM PST

  •  If you want to end caging... (0+ / 0-)

    Then go sign this petition, from the National Campaign for Fair Elections (the leading group on election reform and the legal leaders of the Election Protection coalition). I help them with their email outreach, and I can tell you that they have stellar contacts on the hill and make a difference on these issues.

    And consider donating to help them out:
    http://www.ncffe.org/...

  •  KKK - Kris Kobach of Kansas (0+ / 0-)

    Despite the guy having a following at UMKC, I believe his policies and beliefs make him a goose-stepper brown shirt.

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect -- Mark Twain.

    by dcrolg on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 04:36:28 PM PST

  •  So you approve of voter fraud? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    standingup

    What's the problem with questioning a voter's credentials if there is just cause?

  •  Qualifications (0+ / 0-)

    What I want to know is what qualifications does someone need to have in order to get a voter expunged off the rolls?

    Forgive me for being idealistic but that doesn't seem like a power just any desk jokey should have...  Is someone going to be held responsible?

  •  Sorry, but this diary is ridiculous. (0+ / 0-)

    You've simply misinterpreted his use of the word "caging." I have no great love for the GOP, I assure you, but this is one crime they did not commit.  In fact, it's one they could not have committed.  Hate to say it, but this -- from the local press -- is utterly credible:

    The Kansas Democratic Party, misunderstanding the word "caging," has accused the Kansas Republican Party of illegally engaging in vote suppression—eleven months before the election has even taken place! As Kansas GOP Executive Director Christian Morgan explained, "In the GOTV context, the term ‘caging’ refers to identifying the issues that are most important to a particular voter, so that when election time comes around, Republican candidates can send targeted literature to that voter that will encourage him to go out and vote, and even make campaign contributions to Republican candidates. When we say someone is ‘caged’ we mean that we are so confident that we can motivate that person to vote, he is effectively ‘locked in’ to vote for Republican candidates."

    The Kansas Republican Party is committed to getting as many Kansans to the polls in 2008 as possible – including people who are not registered Republican. Polls consistently show that Kansans overwhelmingly support traditional Republican values. Consequently, the higher the voter turnout, the better it is for Kansas Republican Party.

    Morgan explained the fallacies in the Kansas Democratic Party’s accusations: "The Democrats are claiming that we have sent tens of thousands of letters to registered Democrats in order to see which letters are returned for lack of a valid address. Then, according to the Democrats’ theory, we would challenge the right of these people to vote. There are three problems with their absurd theory:

    1st—Under Kansas law, only a poll worker can challenge a voter’s eligibility to vote; the Republican Party couldn’t challenge such a voter even if we wanted to.

    2nd—Under Kansas law, a voter with a non-current address still gets to vote anyway. Instead of casting a regular ballot, the voter just casts a provisional ballot. So the whole enterprise would be pointless.

    3rd—Why in the world would the Kansas Republican Party send out an email to thousands of people proclaiming that the Party had engaged in potentially criminal activity?"

    In short, this diary is predicated on a single transparent error.  

    As Rosanne Rosanna Danna would say: "Never mind..."

    •  Puh-leeze (0+ / 0-)

      That attempt to explain away "caging" is pathetic, much like trying to say "'fix' the facts around the policy" from the Downing St memo meant something else.

      The KDP doesn't have to claim the KRP "sent out tens of thousands of letters," the Kobach email said they did. It's not then a "theory" that challenges happen, that's what the dissent decree is based on.

      1st assertion shot down: the lawyer requests/demands a voter be challenged and the poll worker does it because he doesn't want to be sued. Else what is the point of the whole exercise?

      2nd assertion shot down: some people balk at a provisional ballot, get disgusted and walk away, maybe even get belligerent and tasered, many don't. A small advantage, but one nonetheless. Then, as proven in Ohio, provisional ballots are ignored en masse after the election is called, later destroyed.

      3rd assertion shot down: Kobach didn't think anyone but the party would see the email, and if they did, many (including current Congressmembers) still don't get what it means. And it's not "potential" criminal activity, it's a go-to-jail federal offense. At least it was, pre-9/11.

      But the final indictment is that all these shenanigans always, ALWAYS (ok, 99.9%) favor Republicans. Voter fraud is not rampant, election fraud is. Just reread Greg Palast.

  •  not that I wouldnt put it past them (0+ / 0-)

    but "caging" also refers to the perfectly legitimate practice of cleaning up ones mailing list.  From the context of the quote, I would say that is what he was talking about... updating their own database of doners.

  •  Great Post! Here's some more info... (0+ / 0-)

    You guys might also be interested in a couple of followup posts about the voter suppression at EverydayCitizen.com -

    Voter Caging: Reprehensible, Unethical, Unlawful

    and

    KS GOP Brags about Vote Caging

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