Show Me the Money!
The title of this diary is a question I heard or read somewhere in the course of a lot of reading over the past few days, so apologizes to the source for not providing an appropriate hat tip. It's a question I meant to pose in my last few diaries on the subject of the voter registration fraud scandal that is growing from my state of Florida but with all the facts swimming around in my head, I kept forgetting.
Reading more stories about the scandal, it occurred to me that this is probably one of the most important questions that reporters should be asking the RNC and the state GOP organizations. Several state Republican Party organizations fired Strategic Allied Consulting before the national organization followed suit under pressure from the growing scandal. These organizations have paid Strategic Allied Consulting millions of dollars. In some states this amounts to more than half the entire budget.
Republicans hired a company called Strategic Allied Consulting to register voters for the November election. But now that company is under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for voter registration fraud.If you hired somebody to do a job, and then they broke the law in the commission of their duties on your behalf, wouldn't you be asking for your money back? If you're willing to go so far as to file a complaint with the state Division of Elections, wouldn't you also be demanding your money back at the same time?
The Florida Republican Party has fired the company and filed an elections complaint with the state Division of Elections.
Reporters should be asking the question, and citizen watchdog groups should be watching the financial reports filed by these organizations over the next few months to see if any money is deposited back into the GOP coffers. Yes, I know this is a rhetorical question. Of course, the RNC knew exactly what they were getting when they hired Nathan Sproul and asked him to run GOP voter registration operations in swing states. The RNC even asked Sproul to set up a shell company to avoid linking this year's efforts to past scandals that never materialized into prosecutions.
Another Scandal Emerging from California?
In my recap diary early this morning, I suggested that these GOP efforts aren't limited to just the swing states, and that Sproul has most likely set up other shell companies continuing these efforts in states where they haven't been exposed. For example, information is coming out about possible fraud in the very Blue state of California. Why would they be doing this? Patt Morrison at the Los Angeles Times explains while writing about another voter registration scandal emerging out of Riverside County, California. The efforts there have to do with preventing a Democratic supermajority in the state Senate and what targeted political mail voters receive.
Democrats have taken scores of formal complaints to the Secretary of State’s office from a Riverside County state Senate district where voters say someone registered them as Republicans without their knowledge or consent in a district that’s recently reported a surge of 27,000 new Republican voters, something that’s drawn attention to the Golden State Voter Participation Project and its chief donor, GOP activist Charles Munger Jr., as well as a number of business groups.The GOP is working to infect our democracy from the ground up in local and state races. This recent scandal is not limited to the swing states where Strategic Allied Consulting was hired to oversee voter registration drives for the RNC. The first hint of this is coming out of California, but is anybody digging deeper into other non-swing states?
That state Senate district election is a tussle between the Republican incumbent and a Democratic opponent over a district that could tip the Democrats into a supermajority in the state Senate. While voters of any party can vote any way they like in a general election, being registered to one party or another determines what kind of campaign mail and get-out-the-vote efforts you get, hence the battle over party-specific registrations.
Voting is a messy system, in part because almost every single jurisdiction in the U.S. has its own voting laws. The patchwork means that someone who’s eligible to vote in New Mexico may not be eligible to vote in Arizona. That’s fine for local elections – but what about federal? There’s a reason, for example, that states can’t impose term limits on Congress. That’s a federal power.
So then why should a voter in one state be disenfranchised from voting in a federal election when that same voter could cast a vote for president or U.S. Senate if he or she lived one state over? It seems to invite a voting rights lawsuit under federal voting rights laws.
Florida Voter Suppression Efforts Deeper Than Registrations
Since I live in Florida I am of course particularly interested in what's going on here. I posted another diary a few hours ago with links to a good article reviewing all the voter suppression efforts here in Florida going back to 2000. The money quote:
So remember this: Republican voter suppression efforts in Florida have been far more destructive than simply handing in a few hundred fraudulent voter registration forms.Also in the diary I republished a letter to Governor Rick Scott from Congressman Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, demanding an investigation.