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Natalie Tennant campaign kickoff event.
If Democratic Senate candidate Natalie Tennant is such a guaranteed loser, why are the Kochs trying to suppress her support?
Conventional wisdom is that Republicans are guaranteed a Senate pickup in West Virginia, where Sen. Jay Rockafeller's retirement has created an open-seat race in this reddening state. While I wouldn't peg the GOP's chances at 100 percent, it's certainly hard to see a legit path to Democratic victory.

But if it's such a gimme, why are the Kochs working hard to suppress the vote?

West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant attacked Americans for Prosperity, a conservative nonprofit backed by billionaires Charles and David Koch, on Tuesday for distributing “misleading” and “confusing” voter registration mailings, according to the Associated Press.

The leaflets, sent out to at least eight different counties, warned residents that if they did not update their voter registration before April 22, they could become ineligible to vote in the upcoming May 13 election. The mailer also included a voter registration card and prepaid envelope.

Americans for Prosperity claims that it's just a generic non-partisan voter registration effort. Yet one of the counties mentioned, Marion, is among the more Democratic ones, giving Sen. Joe Manchin a 64-33 victory margin. And while President Barack Obama lost every county in the state in 2012, Marion's 42 percent was among his best showing.

There's also Berkeley and Jefferson Counties, both part of the DC metro area, among the fastest-growing in the state, and among the state's most Democratic. In fact, Jefferson gave Obama his best showing in the state with 47 percent.

So AFP is innocently trying to goose voter registration in the state's most Democratic regions? How helpful of them! And how full of shit, too.

For a group of people so confident of victory, their actions betray their words. Even in West Virginia, Republicans aren't a lock to pick up the seat. Democrats have a legit candidate in Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. And with the national winds turning against them on Obamacare and other issues, they now feel the need to resort to voter suppression efforts.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sadly, this is the new normal. (18+ / 0-)

    We just have to not let it get to us and work to GOTV!

    Listen to the chair leg of truth! It does not lie! What does it say?

    by mhanch on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:31:59 AM PDT

  •  Why? (14+ / 0-)

    My guess is they just don't like "common folk" voting.  Gives them notions.

    I will not vote for Hillary. What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:33:29 AM PDT

    •  You have it EXACTLY right! (7+ / 0-)

      Take this as a GIVEN - when we show up at the polls - WE WIN!

      So the intent of all the billionaire money in our political system is to make voting seem onerous, difficult, and completely unrewarding.  "They're all the same anyway ... neither party is any better than the other ... they're all a bunch of losers looking to screw you & me over... your one puny stinkin' little vote doesn't amount to a hill of beans..."

      But, if the vote is so meaningless, so trivial, so statistically insignificant ... WHY ARE THEY SO INTENT ON TAKING IT AWAY FROM US??!!

      Because it's the only power we have, and it truly is an AWESOME power.  Yes, there are about 400 people who have nearly ALL THE MONEY - but they only have 400 VOTES among them! OK ... they have families - so let's say 1600.  It's still a TINY number, compared to the total population of voters.  WE HAVE THE NUMBERS - and that's pretty much ALL we have, so we'd damn well better take advantage of it while we still can!

      OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

      by mstaggerlee on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:24:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The mailers don't make a distinction (6+ / 0-)

    between the primary and the general election. They suggest that if the recipient doesn't "update" his status (an unnecessary requirement) then that voter will be ineligible to vote in "the upcoming election."

    The possible target is Representative Rahall (D-WVA) in the general, not Tennant.

    See Diary here.

  •  These fu***rs just won't quit-will they? (6+ / 0-)

    Rose Schneiderman (1866-1972). "The life of men and women is so cheap and property is so sacred."

    by lyvwyr101 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:40:22 AM PDT

  •  If it's Coal country issue then Kentucky would (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    also be getting the Koch treatment. Since the Brothers are supposed to be MIT graduates you wouldn't expect them to be this dumb......

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:42:18 AM PDT

  •  They have to cheat to win (10+ / 0-)

    They know it. We know it.

    They can't gerrymander statewide races, so voter suppression is their strategy. They have nothing to run on.

    Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

    by bear83 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:43:42 AM PDT

    •  That's why we hear slow thunder in the glen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      rgarding having federal senators chosen by state legislatures and not by the state electorate at large.  But watch for it because they're working on it.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:54:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Just leave the Cokes alone....sniff sniff"...nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, JML9999, TDDVandy
  •  The Koch Suckers Just Can't Cheat Enough (0+ / 0-)

    or buy off enough right wing politicians.

  •  Since they can get away with it, why not? (0+ / 0-)

    Its not as if there will ever be any repercussions and the AFP is already swimming in billions. So why not do it?

  •  Don't write off WV (6+ / 0-)

    Tennant can win.  The Kochs know it.  

    Wasn't that long ago WV was among the most loyal Democratic states - EVs to Carter in 1980 and Dukakis in 1988.  Part of the drift here is the decline of coal, which means the decline of jobs, and the right's successful exploitation of it.  But economic diversification is possible.  WV's location between booming areas like D.C., Central Ohio, and Louisville make it prime real estate for development of new ways besides the pick and shovel to make a dollar.  If we were smart and had a good national passenger rail system like Europe and japan, it's where we could put the roundhouse.  

    Shelley Moore Capuito (spelling?) is a great candidate for the Republicans, but don't underestimate Tennant.  Often in woman versus woman contests in red states we lose, mostly because our nominees tend to be more like Jane Fonda and less like Michelle Bachmann.  While, Moore Capuito's father was a former Governor (1960s?) that may work against her given the economic distress of the region.  People tend to not want to vote for the grown up little girl who had the silver spoon.    

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Kangaroo on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:50:56 AM PDT

    •  Good passenger rail would bump up WV's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mconvente, bartcopfan

      tourism in a big way.  The state is beautiful and can remain so with a pumped up tourist industry that would allow more WVirginians to work above ground, especially important with the return of black lung disease.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 10:00:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

        Went once and it was wonderful.  Harper's Ferry is beautiful.

        Had one ex-son-in-law from hinterlands near Charleston.  He went AWOL from the Army to be with his pregnant wife.  Not a bad guy, just rough around the edges.  They got their tongues pierced together and he fell at the piercing place and broke his jaw so he had to come back and do it another day.  They called him "the broken jaw guy."  She went back to WV with him awhile but couldn't hack it.  She's too modernistic to step back in time that far.  

        Professor in my grad school was Tamil from Madras, India.  He came to UWV as Fullbright Scholar.  They wanted him to stay in Morganton but Fullbrights are supposed to go back, so Robert Byrd intervened to help him stay.  They said "Fullbrights are supposed to help underdevoped countries."  Byrd said, "West Virginia IS an undeveloped country."  He stayed.  He was a very dark-skinned "Untouchable" and his first day in Morgantown (around 1955) he was refused service in a local bakery.  He told 'em he was Indian and they said, "We don't care.  Get out anyway."  Great guy.  

        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

        by Kangaroo on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 12:57:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Where's the address to send her money? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hillbilly Dem, TDDVandy

    If the Koch's think she a bad idea, I am sending her a small donation, because it means they think she can win.  So, I'm in.

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:52:34 AM PDT

  •  Because they follow the Code of Conan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, DaddyO

    Mongol General: What is best in life?

    Conan: To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

    by Words In Action on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:53:24 AM PDT

  •  Some possible theories: (0+ / 0-)

    1.  They want to put this one in the bag, so they don't have to think about it when the real battles are being waged in October.

    2.  They have soooo much money, they can afford to throw a little into this race to make sure Tennant doesn't have a good enough showing to hurt them somewhere else, in the future.

    3.  This has nothing to do with Tennant, and is about some other WV race.

    4.  They learned the Martha Coakley lesson - NEVER take a race for granted, especially if the other guys have a credible candidate.  Don't ever lose a seat in one of your most reliable states.  When you've got them on the ropes, knock them out.

    Either way, why are we wasting breath inventing things to gloat about?  And, why are we gloating that the GOP may only win this race by 10-15 points instead of by 20-30?

    •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      They don't want Nat to get an edge on SMC, and trust me if we could GOTV, we could beat SMC!. Second they want to hurt Rahal, and THIRD, they want to hurt the Dems who are shooting for SMC's old congressional seat. One of which is the former Dem party chair of WV, and Manchin protégé.

      As a side note, I'm REALLY getting tired of the "Count WV gone to the Repuglicans meme", with that attitude, yes I guess we CAN count it gone!

      There would be a lot of strategies to win WV, but a strategy of "color it lost" is a sure loosing one!


      You have your right to your opinion, I will grant you that, but do not denigrate my right to mine!

      by MrQA on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:43:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Or maybe they just want the practice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And what they're really doing is building up a database of
    returned voter cards in those counties, so they'll know who their poll watchers should challenge in 2016. WV isn't likely to send a D to the Senate, but Hillary could dominate.

  •  Could it be that their (0+ / 0-)

    tea party minions are awakening to the fact they've been, along with the rest of us-totally fkd by them also?

  •  They may be hurting themselves. (0+ / 0-)

    The poor and uneducated in WV vote overwhelmingly republican.

    The most liberal parts of the state are the most wealthy and highly educated.

    The only part of the state where the wealthy and educated vote republican is the eastern panhandle.

    So by trying to keep poor voters from the polls they may be hurting themselves.

  •  the time has come. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For drives in each state to amend state constitutions by ballot initiative to have elections funded by the government.  

    Get such items on the November 2016 ballots and watch what happens. Each dollar spent to fight against such amendments  will actually enforce the idea on the public about the danger of  uncontrollable money on the election process.

    In Go, it would be referred to as a "sente" move; one which has the initiative.

    The Supreme Court has upheld a variety of state laws designed to ensure that elections – including federal elections – are fair and honest and orderly.

    See, e.g., Storer v. Brown, 415 U.S. 724 (1974) (restrictions on independent candidacies requiring early commitment prior to party primaries); Roudebush v. Hartke, 405 U.S. 15, 25 (1972) (recount for Senatorial election); and Munro v. Socialist Workers Party, 479 U.S. 189, 194 (1986) (requirement that minor party candidate demonstrate substantial support – 1% of votes cast in the primary election – before being placed on ballot for general election).

    Do not think for a moment that either print or electronic media will help. After all, these industries collect billions of dollars in campaign advertising funds from election campaigns, and government funding would cut off such revenue.

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:12:36 AM PDT

  •  Imagine if this was MoveOn or some other (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    Democratic organization that had done this. Imagine what the reaction would be.

    We've become so inured to voter suppression efforts by Republicans that we sometimes forget what a heinous thing it really is.

  •  Voter suppression (0+ / 0-)

    is almost being done for the hell of it at this point, though.  (See: states like fucking Alabama doing voter suppression.)

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:22:31 AM PDT

  •  I wonder where Jay Rockefeller is.... (0+ / 0-)

    Jay Rockefeller is not a poor man. One would think that resisting voter suppression would be something he would consider a personal cause. He really could do something to balance the Koch flood of money. Spending even $10M to educate voters on what is actually going on could radically change the direction of events.

    Is he using his wealth and influence in that regard? Not much time remains.  

  •  There's good reason why the DSCC didn't write this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    race off like they did with the SD-Sen race.  PPP showed a while back that WV voters tend to change their minds a lot so even though the GOP has a strong candidate with Capito, Tennant's still a strong opponent and the Kochs just confirmed that.

    Funny Stuff at

    by poopdogcomedy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 10:24:11 AM PDT

  •  Endless conspiracy to suppress the vote (0+ / 0-)

    is the ultimate evidence of cowardice and terror.

    The Kochs and Republicans wear it well.

  •  Because that's how they do. (0+ / 0-)

    Or, as Peter Ustinov put it in The Last Remake of Beau Geste, "Because we enjoy it."

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.” - state motto of Fitzwalkerstan

    by non acquiescer on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 11:38:23 AM PDT

  •  Sounds Familuar. (0+ / 0-)

    Ham Head Rove has been noted for pulling this exact same stunt.  So Rethugs cant win on merit, so they have to cheat.  Good Job Trolls.  You make 'Merica Proud spit.

  •  Why are the Kochs suppressing her support? (0+ / 0-)


    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:12:32 AM PDT

  •  What's the difference really? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry.... but as a life-long Democrat, having lived in several states, I can't tell the difference between the Dems and the Republicans here in West Virginia. They all pay homage to coal and try to blame DC for the industry's decline. They talk about jobs, but don't seem to understand that before you can talk about jobs you have to have good education - we do not and I don't see any of the candidates expressing that.  Therefore, I feel no remorse in voting for a third-party candidate.  Ed Rabel is running in the 2nd District for US Congress, and I'm voting for him.

  •  Why doesn't the JD prosecute? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cville townie

    Voter suppression is illegal, is it not?  Why doesn't Holder and the Justice Department prosecute?  

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