Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rolling Stone: Koch Brothers funding GOP war on Democratic voters

Rolling Stone has taken note of new obstacles to voting, which include requiring voters to prove citizenship before registering, making it harder for groups to register new voters, repealing Election day voter registration, cutting short early voting periods, barring all ex-felons, and in six states controlled by GOP governors and legislatures, requiring voters to produce government-issued IDs at the polls. More than 10 percent of U.S. citizens lack such ID and among groups more like to vote Democratic, like the young and blacks, the numbers are, respectively, 18 and 25 percent.

Karl Rove Karl has apparently told the Republican National Lawyers Association that illegal voting is "an enormous and growing problem." In parts of America, he said, "we are beginning to look like we have elections like those run in countries where the guys in charge are colonels in mirrored sunglasses."

The truth is that a major probe by the Justice Department between 2002 and 2007 failed to prosecute a single person for going to the polls and impersonating an eligible voter.. Out of the 300 million votes cast in that period, federal prosecutors convicted only 86 people for voter fraud – and many of the cases involved immigrants and former felons who were simply unaware of their ineligibility. A much-hyped investigation in Wisconsin, meanwhile, led to the prosecution of only 7/100 of one percent of the local electorate for alleged voter fraud.
Republicans have long tried to drive Democratic voters away from the polls. "I don't want everybody to vote," the influential conservative activist Paul Weyrich told a gathering of evangelical leaders in 1980. "As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down." But since the 2010 election, thanks to a conservative advocacy group founded by Weyrich, the GOP's effort to disrupt voting rights has been more widespread and effective than ever. In a systematic campaign orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council – and funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party – 38 states introduced legislation this year designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process.
 In an update, Rolling Stone reported on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights hearing on this issue, held 9/8/2011 and entitled “New State Voting Laws: Barriers to the Ballot?”

AKSARBENT readers may view the webcast here.

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