Catherine Engelbrecht is the president of True the Vote. Engelbrecht was apolitical until "something clicked" in 2008, when she "saw our country headed in a direction that, for whatever reason — it didn’t hit me until 2008 — this really threatens the future of our children." Given the race based targeting her group practices, guess it is just coincidence that President Obama was elected that same year.
The scary part is True the Vote is training thousands of people to disenfranchise voters based on racism, paranoia and fantasy. For example, the group is training people to use driving while black tactics to disenfranchise voters: Volunteers or "recruits" for their "poll watcher program" are instructed that their "job is chiefly to make voters feel like they’re 'driving and seeing the police following you." Thus, it was not a surprise that on a prior Election Day, there were reports in Black and Latino districts of "poll watchers tailing vans that were transporting voters to the polls, snapping photos of voters’ license plates, even directing voters to the wrong polling places."
Another scary part is that True the Vote is active in 35 states and networking across the U.S. with a goal of recruiting 1 million poll watchers for the November election in order to prevent people from voting:
A Tea Party group, with connections to Koch group, is openly engaging in intimidating voters, targeting minority precincts. This is not new. As a report on "Shadow of Jim Crow" and voter intimidation and suppression notes:
In every national American election since Reconstruction, every election since the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, voters – particularly African American voters and other minorities – have faced calculated and determined efforts at intimidation and suppression.
The GOP have no fear about publicly stating the need to suppress the vote of African Americans
in order to win elections at any cost, as shown in this statement in 2004:
Michigan state Rep. John Pappageorge (R-Troy) was quoted in the Detroit Free Press as saying, “If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election.” African Americans comprise 83% of Detroit’s population.
There is also no fear of violating state or federal laws:
In South Dakota’s June 2004 primary, Native American voters were prevented from voting after they were challenged to provide photo IDs, which they were not required to present under state or federal law.
In the secret fundraising tapes, Mitt Romney stated clearly to his rich buddies that he can't win the vote of the 47% irresponsible freeloaders. The message is that the "implicit rationale for the voter suppression" promoted by the GOP in laws and practices across our nation is please "block their path to the polls"
in order to defeat President Obama.
Another scary thing is that True the Vote and similar groups are building an army of volunteers to wage what they describe as war on Election Day based on fantasy built upon fantasy.
Mythical voter identity fraud is the fantasy used to rationalize the ballot bullying tactics to "reduce the political rights of minorities, the poor, students, older Americans and other groups that tend to vote Democratic."
The proof of the voter identity fraud is then based on a mythical bus that appears to be nothing more than a hallucination:
It might as well be Harry Potter’s invisible Knight Bus, because no one can prove it exists.
The bus has been repeatedly cited by True the Vote, a national group focused on voter fraud. Catherine Engelbrecht, the group’s leader, told a gathering in July about buses carrying dozens of voters showing up at polling places during the recent Wisconsin recall election.
…Weeks later, another True the Vote representative told a meeting of conservative women about a bus seen at a San Diego polling place in 2010 offloading people “who did not appear to be from this country.”
Officials in both San Diego and Wisconsin said they had no evidence that the buses were real. “It’s so stealthy that no one is ever able to get a picture and no one is able to get a license plate,” said Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Wisconsin agency that oversees elections. In some versions the bus is from an Indian reservation; in others it is full of voters from Chicago or Detroit. “Pick your minority group,” he said.
And, in other cases, the "sighting" is of a fantasy busload or convoy of Michigan union members trying to infiltrate Wisconsin to vote illegally.
Engelbrecht's group targeted Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee in 2010. For 5 months, volunteers "analyzed" 3,800 registrations in Lee's district, claiming 200 voters were registered at vacant lots. The magical bus would not work here because the focus was on vacant lots, so Engelbrecht whipped out another fantasy, stating that these 200 voters had a "Lord of the Rings Middle Earth sort of thing going on." Far from these registrations being proof of a fictional location in a fantasy book, the "reality was far less interesting," according to the Assistant County Attorney who worked the case. There was no building at one address used by 8-10 people when they registered because it was torn down and people had moved.
Their goal is not to win on their spurious claims filed with the local election officials but to create unnecessary hassles with voters who might not have the time to prove the claims are false. In this case, the group used fastasy to bully voters, causing 400-500 voters to be placed on "suspense" so that they had to provide additional information to verify their addresses.
True the Vote then hopped to Wisconsin in 2011 to nix the petitions demanding Gov. Walker's recall with 17,000 volunteers. The local accountability board investigated the bogus claims, criticizing the group's methods. One problem was True the Vote did not understand real world geography. Just like Mitt and his tax preparer did not realize that the USA is not a foreign country if he is "actually a citizen of the United States," True the Vote did not realize that
Milwaukee and Madison are not "out of state" addresses when the voters are registering in Wisconsin. Reliability and accuracy does not matter when the goal is to create unnecessary burdens and delay for government election officials and voters.
Delay, frustration, obstructionism is their strategy to cause some voters to walk away:
In an ostensible hunt for voter fraud, a Tea Party group, True the Vote, descends on a largely minority precinct and combs the registration records for the slightest misspelling or address error. It uses this information to challenge voters at the polls, and though almost every challenge is baseless, the arguments and delays frustrate those in line and reduce turnout.
True the Vote members engaged in disruptive behavior for Walker's recall election by using inaccurate lists to cause such delay at one University where students were trying to register and vote on the same day that some students "gave up and left."
Partnering with True the Vote is Code Red USA in an effort to flood swing states with election observers to reduce that mythical voter fraud. An unbelievable Code Red USA video "authorizes the defeat of President Barack Obama" that won't be easy because he has a "massive political machine" that has never been seen before in American history. Check out this video here.
The video ends with depicting President Obama in a superman costume. I guess they did not realize President Obama was joking when he stated:
Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jorel, to save the planet Earth.
Another scary thing is how True the Vote indoctrinates volunteers with fears of what others might do to them when they are poll observers to make them paranoid:
“I don’t want to scare you,” Zinn says, “but if you’ve got your own food, water, and medicine …”
“You do want to be self-sufficient,” D’Abbraccio adds. “I’m not saying anybody has ever been poisoned, but …”
“Even watch out for things like restrooms that lock from the outside,” interjects a True the Vote trainer from California. “We’ve had poll observers locked into the restroom.” One of the trainees gasps.
“This is shocking to you as well as us, because our minds don’t work this way,” Zinn says. “But they have all these little tricks up their sleeve.”
These groups also warn about the upcoming "war" for the November election
by the "evil forces" of President Obama and the Democrats who will use "dark powers" and "demonic deception" to steal this election:
Speaking at one Texas Tea Party gathering, Alan Vera, the Army ranger turned volunteer-trainer, cautioned that “evil” forces were about to launch “the greatest attack ever on election integrity,” and implored the crowd to prepare for a “ground war”: “In 2012, we need a patriot army to stand shoulder to shoulder on the wall of freedom and shout defiantly to those dark powers and principalities, ‘If you want to steal this election, you have to get past us. We will not yield another inch to your demonic deception … If you won’t enforce our laws, we’ll do it ourselves, so help us God.’ ”
Shaking his fist in the air, he cried, “Patriots, let’s roll!” The crowd cheered wildly.
While President Obama and the Democrats energize our base by talking policies, visions and values, the GOP is using hatred, fear and fantasies to whip their nutty base into a frenzy with talk of war. This is a creepy situation where a significant group of people who are highly organized and distributed across the U.S. want to disenfranchise people by any means. This organization could round up 17,000 volunteers for one recall alone and is seeking to get a million volunteers to act as poll watchers who may be viewing people and events that day through a prism of paranoia. I fear what could happen should one of these indoctrinated nuts think that someone means harm on Election Day due to training based on irrational distrust and fantasies. The groups are not only using fear to intimidate voters but also using fear to motivate their members as well. The goal here is not to prevail in terms of winning with local election boards on their claims that voters are not qualified. Rather, their goal is to obstruct voting by creating enough frustration, intimidation or hassles so that the voters decide to walk away.