It's odd that the party that always pretends to be so concerned about voter faud - enough to actively disenfranchise millions of Democratic-leaning voters all around the nation - turns out to be the party that is engaging in actual fraudulent activity.
First there was the recent revelation of the shenanigans the Republicans are up to in Florida, and now comes evidence that they are doing the same thing in California.
According to an article in Sunday's Los Angeles Times:
Aggressive recruitment efforts in one of California's most hotly contested voting districts has created a surge of newly minted Republicans like Marleny Reyes. Except she had no intention of joining the GOP.The plan, apparently,was to make it appear as if there had been a sudden surge in registered Republicans in the district.
The Moreno Valley College student is among scores of voters in Riverside County who say they were duped.
Formal complaints filed with the state by at least 133 residents of a state Senate district there say they were added to GOP rolls without their knowledge, calling into question the party's boast that Republican membership has rocketed 23% in the battleground area.To no one's surprise at this point, we find that wealthy donors and corporations are working behind the scenes, providing funding for the drive.
More than 27,700 residents of the legislative district have become Republicans since January, according to the California secretary of state's office — erasing a registration edge long held by Democrats.
The complaints have also shined a light on the political committee behind the registration drive, Golden State Voter Participation Project, and its biggest donor, wealthy GOP activist Charles Munger Jr. Other donors include the California Apartment Assn., Farmers Group Inc. and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing of America.And just how duplicitous were those signing people up?
The problem has also raised anew the question of whether the state should ban firms that pay workers for each voter they register or signature they secure on a petition rather than paying them an hourly rate. Workers have an incentive to cut corners under such arrangements, according to Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Natomas), who has proposed barring the practice in a bill that is on the governor's desk.
Many of those who were registered said they signed documents they thought were petitions for ballot measures to legalize marijuana or create jobs in California. Reyes said she was told that for her signature to be counted she would also have to fill out a registration form.The good news is that the local Democrats are fighting back.
She did so, without checking a box for a political party because she was already registered as a Democrat. She was surprised to receive a notice in the mail later saying she had been registered as a Republican.
"It's really disturbing," said the 20-year-old criminal justice major, who has since re-registered as a Democrat.
Colleen Jacobs was surprised to find herself registered as a Republican shortly after she signed some petitions outside a Sam's Club in Riverside.
"I signed the petitions, and then the next thing I know, I got something in the mail saying I'm a Republican," said Jacobs, a Moreno Valley homemaker who had been a Democrat since 1997. "I thought it was a mistake. It's crazy." She has since re-registered as a Democrat.
Democrats say bogus registrations are more than just an issue of workers trying to make an extra buck — that they're a trick to prevent the Democratic party from getting supporters to the polls as well as to draw more money to the area's Republican races. A statewide Democratic group gathered the complaints and filed them with the secretary of state's investigators.I guess if the Republicans can't win elections based on their toxic ideas, they'll cheat their way to victory - all the while accusing the other side of engaging in voter fraud and working overtime to keep them from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right at the ballot box. George Orwell himself couldn't have done a better job illustrating a projection-based black-is-white mentality than these Republicans are doing.
A local Democratic group, the Riverside County Progressive Political Action Committee, alleged in a letter to county officials that the GOP registration drive there was "an overt and pervasive voter registration fraud effort."
At least the Democrats are shining a spotlight on their shameful skullduggery. It looks like they may not be able to get away with it this time.