voterrolls.jpgHans Von Spakovsky is up for a vote today in the Senate Rules Committee for a position on the Federal Election Commission in a hearing beginning at 10 am ET.  As McClatchy reported back in June:

Four days before the 2004 election, the Justice Department’s civil rights chief sent an unusual letter to a federal judge in Ohio who was weighing whether to let Republicans challenge the credentials of 23,000 mostly African-American voters.

The case was triggered by allegations that Republicans had sent a mass mailing to mostly Democratic-leaning minorities and used undeliverable letters to compile a list of voters potentially vulnerable to eligibility challenges.

In his letter to U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott of Cincinnati, Assistant Attorney General Alex Acosta argued that it would “undermine” the enforcement of state and federal election laws if citizens could not challenge voters’ credentials.

Former Justice Department civil rights officials and election watchdog groups charge that his letter sided with Republicans engaging in an illegal, racially motivated tactic known as “vote-caging” in a state that would be pivotal in delivering President Bush a second term in the White House….  (emphasis mine)

Now, let’s take a moment, shall we, and contemplate the Rovian focus on “the math” at that time. The politicization of the DOJ and the USAtty offices, the firing of those USAttys who weren’t playing adequate political ball on voter suppression initiatives, and Mr. Von Spakovsky’s long history of “vote fraud” research and issue advocacy as a masked effort to disenfranchise likely Democratic-leaning voters. And then let’s contemplate the gutting of the DOJ’s civil rights division by Mr. Von Spakovsky and Mr. Schlozman.  And a whole host of other issues.

The right to vote in a representative republic such as ours is a sacred trust between those who govern and those who are governed.  This issue is so crucial that the US Supreme Court will be taking up a voter ID case in the next term to ensure that an opinion is issued prior to the voting in 2008:  “As in many constitutional disputes, the choice of standard will drive the case. If strict scrutiny applies, the state will have to show not just that voter fraud is a valid reason for requiring identification, but that impersonating a registered voter is such a serious problem in Indiana that it justifies a remedy that will predictably deter members of identifiable groups from voting at all.”

Mr. Von Spakovsky has repeatedly attempted to skew that vote for political purposes — and for ginned-up, picayune reasons designed for the sole purpose of electing Republican candidates.

…von Spakovsky attempted to force widespread purging of voter rolls based on a very restrictive reading of election law (which von Spakovsky knew inside and out, since he helped draft the Help America Vote Act). “For example,” the lawyers write, “in one letter, he advocated for a policy keeping eligible citizens off the voter rolls for typos and other mistakes by election officials.” And as McClatchy detailed last month, he extended his activities to making sure the Election Assistance Commission, a tiny agency that serves as the government’s election information clearinghouse, published research that conformed to the voter-fraud orthodoxy. He was a busy man.

You either win honestly and fairly — or you are a lying cheat. I think it is clear in which category Mr. von Spakovsky belongs.

Please take time this morning to place some phone calls and urge a NO vote on his nomination to the FEC.  More here and here as to why a NO vote is required on him.

Here’s the Rules Committee membership list, direct dial numbers, and some toll free ones as well:

Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (202) 224-3841

Robert Bennett (R-UT) (202) 224-5444
Ranking Member

Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) (202) 224-3954
Ted Stevens (R-AK) (202) 224-3004
Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) (202) 224-3934
Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (202) 224-2541
Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) (202) 224-2823
Thad Cochran (R-MS) (202) 224-5054
Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) (202) 224-6542
Trent Lott (R-MS) (202) 224-6253
Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) (202) 224-2152
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) (202) 224-5922
E. Benjamin Nelson (D-NE) (202) 224-6551
C. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) (202) 224-3521
Harry Reid (D-NV) (202) 224-3542
Patty Murray (D-WA) (202) 224-2621
Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (202) 224-4944
Chuck Hagel (R-NE) (202) 224-4224
Mark L. Pryor (D-AR) (202) 224-2353

Toll-free numbers to the switchboard (via katymine):

1 (800) 828 – 0498
1 (800) 459 – 1887
1 (800) 614 – 2803
1 (866) 340 – 9281
1 (866) 338 – 1015
1 (877) 851 – 6437

(Photo via .Michael.Newman.)

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com