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Ok, so the latest blatantly false claim against the President by the GOPers, including Mitt Romney, is that the President (actually the DOJ) is suing in Ohio to keep members of the Military from Voting.

"The brave men and women of our military make tremendous sacrifices to protect and defend our freedoms, and we should do everything we can to protect their fundamental right to vote," it reads. "I stand with the fifteen military groups that are defending the rights of military voters."

Republicans say a lawsuit brought by Obama for America in July seeks to eliminate additional time for in-person early voting allotted to service members in the battleground state. Democrats, on the other hand, contend the presumptive GOP nominee is deliberately trying to distort the facts.

Once again the media, in this case ABC News, portrays this dispute as a "He Said" vs "He Said" draw.  

"I say the Sky is Green, you say I'm a Liar - who knows the truth?"

This is how Fox News Reported the Story.

“If President Obama gets his way, the special voting rights of some of America’s finest will be eliminated,” host Shannon Bream said. “The campaign is suing to keep members of the military from having extra time to cast their ballots in one key battlegound state.”
Oh, heaven forfend. Special Voting Rights for Veterans are being Threatened?  Why do Obama and the Democrats HATE. THE. TROOPS. SO?

Could it be because they might vote Republican?

Every BIT of that Story - IS. A. LIE.

It's not a difference of opinion, it's not a matter of artful political spin.  Just like Death Panels, FEMA Camps, sending in a Telegraph of your Birth Announcement in from Kenya, weird allegations about College Transcripts & Connecticut SSN's - it's all simply NOT. TRUE.

The DOJ Lawsuit does not threaten the voting rights of the military, it's an attempt to restore early voting for everyone else.  A voting option that Republicans in  Ohio already took Away and would disproportionate affect - Democrats.

Now the ABCNews Report, to it's credit, does actually include the facts.  Some of them anyway.

A series of laws passed in the past year by Ohio's Republican state legislature and Gov. John Kasich have waived the last three days of in-person early voting before Election Day for all but members of the military. Civilians now have until Friday, Nov. 2,to cast those ballots and must arrive at the booth before 6 p.m.

Republicans faulted the extra time for civilians as too costly for local governments and prone to fraud and abuse. Meanwhile, service members were exempt from the restrictions, allowing them to vote at any time before polls close, an extra three days without restrictions.

As previously reported by ABC News, the Obama campaign sued the Buckeye State last month to block those laws from taking effect, restoring weekend voting as it was in 2008. Democrats say those last days before Nov. 6give a crucial extra cushion for Americans who might not have had the opportunity to enter the voting booth in the days prior. If the challenge is successful, they say, military voters would not see any difference in their rights.

So this is simple right, Republicans cut off three days of voting for everyone, except the military - the Obama Administration has sued to restore those days for everyone - including the military.

That's all, that's it.  You can't get from there to ...

If President Obama gets his way, the special voting rights of some of America’s finest will be eliminated,
...Without Being a Liar.  Or Fracking Deluded. Or both.

First of all, Voting isn't a SPECIAL RIGHT for anyone.  It's the Equal Right of everyone eligible.  The only thing the Administration has, with this suit, done so far is eliminate the "special", and maintained the Right.

This isn't Rocket Surgery People.  It's a deliberate manipulation of the facts for partisan gain, and it should be an explosive story in and of itself that the GOP Candidate has openly and aggressively repeated this false attack.

Instead it would be "News" if Mitt Romney finally Said Something that was TRUE!

In the Fox Report they actually go even further, they go all the way back to Florida 2000 Gore V Bush battle, which briefly hinged on the question of the authenticity of Military absentee ballots.

Democratic tellers were advised to block ballots if there was no clearly legible postmark on the envelope, which is frequently the case when letters are posted from military bases. Normally, these ballots pass unchallenged.
This was a decision that was made by some of Gore's attorneys and when this news broke - they quickly rescinded the recommendation.  But Fox News doesn't mention that.  They also don't mention who else tried to block Military Votes in Florida in 2004 even though they were under a Court Order not to do it.

The GOP Did.

Here's the background.

In 1982, after caging in predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhoods, the Republican National Committee and New Jersey Republican State Committee entered into a consent decree with their Democratic party counterparts. Under that decree and its 1987 successor, the Republican party organizations agreed to allow a federal court to review proposed “ballot security” programs, including any proposed voter caging.
So what happened in 2004?
Independent researchers at TPMMuckraker and ePluribusmedia article (with whom I collaborated) confirmed racial bias in caging lists prepared by the Republican Party of Florida, ostensibly on behalf of the RNC.  One name has remained in the media as a principle architect of caging, Tim Griffin.

Tim Griffin and other RNC operatives, as well as Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign workers were the recipients of the Duval County caging list described in the links above.  Tim Griffin, RNC Research Director and Deputy Communications Director, responded to the email containing the caging list “thank you, perfect.”  Because the RNC sent the letters that generated the Duval County caging list, and Griffin and other RNC operatives are the recipients of that list, there is no question that the RNC was involved, and probably directing the acquisition and use of the Duval County caging operation.

Using the lists provided registered letters were sent to the addresses of prospective voters, if they did not respond to these letters their names were added to a "challenge list" and when their absentee ballots arrived - they would not e counted.  Those included on the lists used by the RNC including Members of the Military Currently Serving in Iraq and Afganistan.  Especially if those service members had a name that appeared to be black or latino, since they tend to vote Democratic.

So what happened to Mr. Griffin after he helped the RNC block the votes of minority service men and women in 2004?  He was appointed by the Bush Administration - without Senate Confirmation - as U.S. Attorney in Arkansas.

Just for context one of Tim's close associates and assistants at the RNC was Monica (I Pledged an Oath to President Bush) Goodling.  Remember her, the DOJ Staffer who was going to take the fifth before Congress, until she received limited immunity during the U.S. Attorney Firing Scandal?  Where some prosecutors lost their jobs because they wouldn't violate DOJ guidelines and persue spurious voter fraud claims against A.C.O.R.N. just before the election? The Same Scandal that got Tim his position as a replacement U.S. Attorney?

The GOP has been playing a Long Game of voter manipulation here people, don't kid yourselves.

Griffin is now, after exploiting his own Military Service in Iraq (as a JAG Officer) and convenient U.S. Attorney credentials, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives after being elected with the Tea Party wave of 2010. Monica is now married to the founder of and working at a Virginia Public Relations firm founded by a former John Ashcroft staffer.

It's like our outrage meter has been stuck on "TILT" for 10 years, people hardly noticed this guy and now he's a member of congress.

Fox attempts to portray Democrats as being anti-military voting with one anecdote from 2000, when in truth the GOP has a history of using caging that goes back decades and has forced the intervention of the Federal Courts.

The GOP and their Pravda Wing, Fox, don't have a leg to stand on with this debate. Period.

Yet, just this morning David Axelrod was on Fox News Sunday arguing with Chris Wallace on this subject.

Wallace: “Your campaign is suing the state of Ohio for giving members of the military extra time to vote early, to the Monday before the election while other voters are going to have only until Friday,” Wallace told Axelrod on Sunday. “You don’t think that members of the military who are serving this country deserve special consideration to vote?

Axelrod: "The way you stated it and the way frankly Gov. Romney stated it is completely false and misleading," Axelrod said in a heated exchange with Fox News's Chris Wallace, when he was asked why he thought the military shouldn't have a longer early-voting period than other citizens.

"What that lawsuit calls for is not to deprive the military of the right to vote on the final weekend of the campaign. Of course they should have that right. What the suit is about is whether the rest of Ohio should have the same right. And I think it's shameful that Gov. Romney would hide behind our servicemen and women to try and win a lawsuit to deprive other Ohioans of the right to vote."

Yes, it is shameful.  But it's not that surprising is it?

The only thing Axelrod could have added is "Why are you repeating this blatant Lie?  You know this isn't true, why are you perpetuating this clearly bogus claim?"

But then, that's just what Fuxed News Does isn't it? Keep Bullshit Alive to deceive Wingnut Voters into Hating Democrats and the President.

This isn't a close call. This isn't a photo finish.  We don't need Super Slo-Mo to capture what's going on here.  THIS IS A DELIBERATE POLITICAL LIE by the GOP.

The GOP knows they can only defeat President Obama by cheating by blocking and limiting the Vote of potential Democrats in critical swings states with Bogus Voter ID restrictions, and now, shortening the period for early voting in a state that has history of 10 Hour Long Waits on election day.  And they can only get away with this cheating by Lying About it - by trying to pretend the President is the one who wants to stop people - the military - from voting.

It's. Utter. Bullshit!

When do they start paying a price for these lies?

When exactly does anyone - everyone - stop giving them any credence when they can't even get something this simple and straight forward correct?  Consider the Source, Dag nabbit - Consider the Source!

I know damn well they won't stop lying, but the rest of us should just stop pretending they have any credulity at all - Fox and the GOP are a deluded cult of pathological liars and nothing more.

And we need to make that plain everyday so that they pay for it at the polls in November, and in 2014 and 2016 and so on.  

They pay for it painfully until they stop and return to reality, if they can.


9:24 AM PT: In his argument with Axelrod, Wallace responded to his call that the claim was "shameful" by saying that "15 Military Groups" are on Romney's side.  And they are.

“The Obama campaign’s and Democratic National Committee’s argument that it is arbitrary and unconstitutional to afford special consideration, flexibility, and accommodations to military voters to make it easier for them to vote in person is not only offensive, but flatly wrong as a matter of law,” the groups said.
The Motion to Intervene in this suit is being brought not by the Army or Marines, but by a group of outside "Associations" - many of them 501(c)(19) non-profits which proport to "represent" current and former military members. From what I can tell - they are a collection of PACs, not the Military itself.  Military members can join these associations for a fee and they then Lobby Congress and the Administration on their behalf.  Y'know like Unions do, or the AARP. Or the NRA. Or FreedomWorks.

They are arguing that the Military already has "Special Voting Rights" under Federal Law and that by enforcing the 14th Amendments Equal Protection clause - the Military is being "Harmed" by this suit. How that is supposed to work their motion to intervene doesn't really explain. When I look at the U.S. Codes which apply to Voting, I see more restrictions (Interference by Armed Forces, Use of Military Authority to Influence a Voter) than I see privileges or special rights, although I.Am.Not.A.Lawyer I do see this which is consistent with the Bush V Gore & Caging kerfuffles.

Search 18 U.S.C. § 608 : US Code - Section 608: Absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters

(a) Whoever knowingly deprives or attempts to deprive any person
of a right under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee
Voting Act
shall be fined in accordance with this title or
imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(b) Whoever knowingly gives false information for the purpose of
establishing the eligibility of any person to register or vote
under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, or
pays or offers to pay, or accepts payment for registering or voting
under such Act shall be fined in accordance with this title or
imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

This appears to only focus on Absentee Ballots by members of the Military, not Early Voting for those who are at home, off duty or registered at their post. (It also makes we wonder why Tim Griffin isn't in Federal Prison instead of being a Federal Legislator, but I digress)

The UAOCA Act is here.

Sense of Congress Regarding the Importance of Voting

"(a) Sense of Congress.-It is the sense of Congress that each person who is an administrator of a Federal, State, or local election-
(1) should be aware of the importance of the ability of each uniformed services voter to exercise the right to vote; and
(2) should perform that person’s duties as an election administrator with the intent to ensure that-
(A) each uniformed services voter receives the utmost consideration and cooperation when voting;
(B) each valid ballot cast by such a voter is duly counted; and
(C) all eligible American voters, regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, the language they speak, or the resources of the community in which they live, should have an equal opportunity to cast a vote and to have that vote counted.
(b) Uniformed Services Voter Defined.-In this section, the term ‘uniformed services voter’ means-
(1) a member of a uniformed service (as defined in section 101 (a)(5) of title 10 United States Code) in active service;
(2) a member of the merchant marine (as defined in section 107 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–6)); and
(3) a spouse or dependent of a member referred to in paragraph (1) or (2) who is qualified to vote." --Pub. L. 107–107

I'm not seeing a "Special Right" here, and Section "C" is especially hurtful to the Ohio case.  Add in the 14th Equal Protection clause and even though I don't see the Defendants getting very far with this.

11:17 AM PT: If this is such a hot button issue for Veteran and Military Voting - Why Isn't among the 15 "Associations" motion to intervene?  Just a thought.

Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 11:07 AM PT: Not only is VoteVets not among the Military Associations attempt to intercede in this lawsuit, they actually have a Petition Attacking Mitt Romney for his support of the Ohio Law that the suit is attempting to reverse.

At this point they have just over 7,500 signatures.

Governor Romney,

We will not stand for your latest attempt to restrict voting rights for over 900,000 Ohio veterans. By supporting the Ohio law that shortens the early voting period, you are restricting the ability to vote of those who wore the uniform, and swore their lives to uphold our Constitution, including the right to vote.

The law you have come out in support of would restrict the incredibly successful early-voting program in the state, and specifically do away with voting the weekend before election day, when many working Ohioans chose to vote early. For veterans, many of whom have jobs they cannot leave during a weekday, weekend voting has proved crucial. In 2008, almost a third of Ohio voters used the early voting program, including veterans.

Now this petition was probably written before that law was amended to give veterans only back the final weekend for early voting, but it certainly look like this organization - which exists to address difficulties veterans have with voting - is clearly not on Mitt Romney's side.
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