I'm all for being gracious in victory even after a hard-fought campaign, but that graciousness does not extend to Republicans who try to muck with the voting process, violating the very core of our democracy. The GOP antics in Florida and Ohio especially made me really mad, and we should never forgive and forget. Instead, those thugs deserve criminal probes, public humiliation, special targeting for being ousted in the next elections and generally making their lives miserable, to become examples to discourage such shenanigans in the future. I'm listing just the bigger and better-known names, but the lower-level sycophants and minions should be a target too if they willingly and knowingly carried water for the GOP criminals- not to mention a great source of testimony once they turn on the Republican scum in charge.
As others have been stressing we should be imposing federal uniformity on the state-by-state voting anyway and combating gerrymandering at every opportunity, but some public thrashings of vote suppressors would be a nice start. This really is a matter of national urgency, since these Republican asshats have not only violated our most cherished democratic principles, they've humiliated us in the eyes of the world. How can media and officials in the USA lecture Iran or China or Syria on human rights and democracy when one of our two major parties is transparently violating those very principles in our own elections?
I'm not up on the details and most of the specific cases other than what my fellow volunteers in those states have passed on to me, so wanted to start off with the few names I do know and invite all of you to contribute. Whether for criminal probes or civil suits, targeting for electoral defeat or just withering criticism in regional and national media, let's gather the names of the crooks here under one roof. I'm using the "gallery" term somewhat metaphorically here as I don't have any pictures of these jerks up front (and I hesitate to link to their filthy, crooked mugs), but however we can identify and track down these criminals, it's worth every effort. They should have nowhere to hide.
1. Jon Husted, Doug Preisse and John Kasich in Ohio. The poster boys for Republican fraud and voter suppression. It was ugly, obvious to neutral observers and quite possibly illegal, since they deliberately gave orders to poll workers on early voting that violated the decrees of judges. That was perhaps their fatal mistake, a smoking gun that went brazenly against settled law. There's a good argument that Husted in particular broke not only the spirit but the letter of the law in other ways, shutting down other legally sanctioned periods for early voting and illegally dismissing Democratic members of the election board. (Also note Debra Lavelle from Ohio's comment in the powerful Andrew Cohen article in the Atlantic, pointing out that Republican-leaning suburban districts in Ohio had quick and convenient voting, while urban areas were severely handicapped in contrast- a direct violation of the Voting Rights Act.) Then of course, in a last-ditch effort, going directly against state law in issuing directives to disqualify provisional ballots, all supported by millions in dirty Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson money against Pres. Obama and Sherrod Brown.
It was sweet victory that thanks to their ground game, union mobilization, outrage by the intended disenfranchised groups (great article by Roland Martin) and Pres. Obama and Sen. Brown's far-seeing support of the auto bailout, that the they won Ohio anyway. But this is clearly not a place to consider the corruption water under the bridge. I want to see these GOP idiots, especially Husted in jail or fighting multiple indictments and civil suits, with the harsh glare of media attention bringing them national humiliation and serving as a warning against any other would-be vote suppressors. If there's any obscure corner of the law that can be used against them, then let 'em have it!
2. Florida: Rick Scott, State Sen. Mike Bennett, Nathan Sproul, Lenny Curry
Florida yet again has caused worldwide humiliation for the United States as a democratic nation able to run an election, and it's the GOP that's responsible. My expat friends were reporting harshly critical and often mocking articles throughout Asia, Europe and some South American countries regarding yet another round of Republican-driven electoral stupidity in Florida and Ohio, and it's hard to blame them. I doubt we need much introduction on here, but most shocking to me was the comment by Kate Trotter, a Floridian in the harshly critical Atlantic article by Andrew Cohen, who pointed out that absentee ballots in Miami-Dade required a signature update at least 15 days in advance of the election- except that the ballots and letters in many cases weren't even mailed out 15 days beforehand!
This is a clear indication of illegal disenfranchisement and fraud on the part of the Republican officials in charge, even after judges threw out similarly egregious Republican voter suppression attempts. (Comments are very much worth reading here, lots of shenanigans in Texas and Tennessee as well, apparently.) Sproul's company, Strategic Allied Consulting, has already been in legal trouble before. Note that even ex-Republican officials like Jim Greer have acknowledged this. Add this to the outrageous curbs on early voting, the complete lack of transparency (absentee ballots can be arbitrarily tossed out for vague problems with signatures, postage or minor issues with the forms), the hardships imposed on voting in college towns, minority-heavy districts and the cities, and there's a clear picture of not only severe corruption but violations all over of the Voting Rights Act and other both federal and state laws.
3. Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, Rep. Mike Turzai, all the jerks working for True the Vote (a GOP pro-disenfranchisement organization) and ALEC
Andrew Cohen nails it once in a powerful Atlantic article, as did Joan McCarter in a Sept. article on DKos and Ilyse Hogue on CNN. Even with all the crap pulled by Jon Husted and Rick Scott in other states, Daryl Metcalfe comes off as an especially loathsome prick among these GOP vote suppressors, a certifiable asshole who not only delights in his efforts to disenfranchise voters but who then blames the voters themselves as "lazy" when they run up against all the roadblocks that the idiot himself imposed. The thing is, like in Ohio and Florida, it looks like Metcalfe and his fellow GOP criminals got a little overzealous in their efforts, going beyond their filthy Voter ID laws to clearly excessive, differentially disenfranchising actions. Stated another way: Any dirt we can find to nail Metcalfe and the other arrogant, disenfranchising jerks in Pennsylvania, let's eagerly use it.
Any other names welcome for this list.