Oct 30 – DIRECT eZine for Democrats #860

ON THE RECORD ….

“I’ve had people say, ‘Hey, you know, there’s nothing wrong with gays in the military. Look at the Greeks.’ Well, you know, they did have people come along who they loved that was the same sex and would give them massages before they went into battle. But you know what, it’s a different kind of fighting, it’s a different kind of war and if you’re sitting around getting massages all day ready to go into the big, planned battle, then you’re not going to last very long.” — Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)10/24/14

“I will do everything it takes to do something about what’s going on here, because this is crazy. I’m 62 years old. I’ve been voting for a long time, and this is just bullshit.” — Lynne Messinger, a Texas woman, said she was threatened with jail time for having an out-of-state driver’s license when she went to apply for a voter identification card so she could vote under the state’s controversial ID law. 10/24/14

“Their dead-ender defenders need to accept that if you’re a public figure, a recent candidate for national office, and you crash a party drunk and the fists start flying and the police have to show up to sort everything out, people may end up hovering over the details and getting a chuckle out of it. That’s life.” — Josh Marshall about the Palins. 10/24/14

“We have to be guided by the science—we have to be guided by the facts, not fear. Yesterday, New Yorkers showed us the way. They did what they do every day—jumping on buses, riding the subway, crowding into elevators, heading into work, gathering in parks. That spirit—that determination to carry on—is part of what makes New York one of the great cities in the world. And that’s the spirit all of us can draw upon, as Americans, as we meet this challenge together.” — President Obama about defeating Ebola. 10/26/14

“I truly believe this policy is not scientifically nor constitutionally just, and so I’m not going to sit around and be bullied around by politicians and be forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public.” […] — Nurse Kaci Hickox, on her forced quarantine in Maine. 10/29/14

“Before Ted Cruz was born there had never been a single case of Aids on the planet. And before Ted Cruz entered the Senate there had never been a confirmed case of ebola in America either. The signs are all there, Ted Cruz is the anti-Christ.” — Hillary Kelly responding to a tweet by Nick Muzin, Senior Advisor and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Senator Ted Cruz, who asserted that “Before Obamacare, there had never been a confirmed case of Ebola in the US.” 10/24/14

“Unless voters can be convinced that they — more than wealthy special interests and self-interested politicians and campaign consultants and the media — are responsible for the ways elections are contested and the nation is governed, nothing much will change. Until voters actually decide to do more something more useful than complain to pollsters about their anger and frustration, politics and government will remain as irritating and unsatisfactory as ever.” — Mark Salter in Real Clear Politics. 10/29/14

 

IN THIS ISSUE

FYI 

1. The state of voting in 2014
2. GunFAILs LXXIX: 100 More GunFAILs
3. The DAILY GRILL
4. Borowitz Report: Study: Fear of Ebola Highest Among People Who Did Not Pay Attention During Math and Science Classes
5. Jon Stewart: South By South Mess – Malady On 34th Street
6. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don’t have to)
7. Late Night Jokes for Dems
9. A look back at the citizens conservative media have deemed unworthy of voting (video)
9. Mark FioreCartoon: Ebola Buddy
10. EbolaFAIL
11. White House Whiteboard Shorts: #RaiseTheWage

OPINION

1. Andrew Cohen: Shame on Texas and the U.S. Supreme Court
2. EJ Dionne: The politics of Ebola
3. Juan Williams: Republican games pose health risk
4. Cliff Schecter: The Fear About Things That Won’t Kill Us Is Killing Us
5. Joan Walsh: America’s modern political nightmare: Two electorates, separate and unequal
6. The Nation Editorial: Why GOP Control of the Senate Would Be a Disaster
7. LA Times Editorial: The new world of voter suppression
8. Greg Palast: Jim Crow returns

1. The state of voting in 2014

In advance of this crucial midterm election a Brennan Center for Justice report details the new voting restrictions put in place over the past few years, the laws that are in place for the first time in 2014, and the major lawsuits that could affect this year’s elections. Their key findings include:

Since the 2010 election, new voting restrictions are slated to be in place in 22 states. Unless these restrictions are blocked — and there are court challenges to laws in six of those states — voters in nearly half the country could find it harder to cast a ballot in the 2014 midterm election than they did in 2010. The new laws range from photo ID requirements to early voting cutbacks to voter registration restrictions. Partisanship and race were key factors in this movement. Most restrictions passed through GOP-controlled legislatures and in states with increases in minority turnout.

In 15 states, 2014 will be the first major federal election with these new restrictions in place. Ongoing court cases could affect laws in six of these states.

The courts will play a crucial role in 2014, with ongoing suits challenging laws in seven states. Voting advocates have filed suits in both federal and state courts challenging new restrictions, and those suits are ongoing in seven states — Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin. There is also an ongoing case in Iowa over administrative action that could restrict voting. More cases are possible as we get closer to the election. Read more at http://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/state-voting-2014

2. GunFAILs LXXIX: 100 More GunFAILs

A total of 268 guns were discovered by TSA agents at airports across the country since the last GunFAIL list was published in mid-September.

Among the last 100 GunFAILS were were those who accidentally shot themselves (33), those who accidentally shot a family member or significant other (11), and kids who were accidentally shot (29). Among all the carnage, 17 of the 100 incidents on the list resulted in fatalities.

Details about these 100 GunFAILS are at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/17/1331197/-100-More-GunFAILs-which-brings-us-to-GunFAIL-LXXIX-but-we-re-still-not-caught-up

3. The DAILY GRILL

“I believe that folks who want to take that step and are willing to volunteer also understand that it’s in their interest and the public health interest to have a 21-day period thereafter they’ve been directly exposed to people with the virus.” — Gov. Chris Christie defending his mandatory quarantines for all health workers who return from treating Ebola patients in West Africa.

VERSUS

“I sat alone in the isolation tent and thought of many colleagues who will return home to America and face the same ordeal. Will they be made to feel like criminals and prisoners?” … “Everyone keeps asking how I’m feeling physically and of course I’m fine physically, but I don’t think most people understand what it’s like to be alone in a tent and decisions are being made that don’t make sense and show no compassion.” — Kaci Hickox, a nurse who had volunteered with Doctors Without Borders to treat Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, quarantined in N.J. by Gov. Christi 10/26/14

 

“ISIS gaining ground. Terrorists committing mass murder. Ebola inside the U.S. Americans alarmed about national security. What’s President Obama doing? Making plans to bring terrorists from Guantanamo to our country…. November 4th, Obama’s policies are on the ballot. Vote to keep terrorists off U.S. soil. Vote Republican.” — Republican National Committee ad

VERSUS

“Republicans—and Fox News—sure do know what motivates their base. All they have to do is string together the words Obama, Ebola, ISIS, and terrorists. It doesn’t have to make sense. It just has to scare.” —
Joan McCarter in the Daily Kos 10/28/14

 

“After Bush was re-elected in 2004 he wanted us to try to fix Social Security. I spent a year trying to get any Democrat in the Senate — even those most reasonable Democrat of all, Joe Lieberman – to help us.” — Sen. Mitch McConnell about his effort to push President George W. Bush’s plans to reform Social Security in 2005, which would have set up private accounts for retirees.” 10/23/14

VERSUS

“That’s just one of the many fictions the Grimes campaign has been spinning. Obviously, preserving and protecting Social Security is the most important thing any of us can do,” — McConnell responding to the Grimes campaign’s claim that he supported privatizing social security. 10/28/14

4. Borowitz Report: Study: Fear of Ebola Highest Among People Who Did Not Pay Attention During Math and Science Classes

A new study, by the University of Minnesota, indicates that fear of contracting the Ebola virus is highest among Americans who did not pay attention during math and science classes.

According to the study, those whose minds were elsewhere while being taught certain concepts, like what a virus is and numbers, are at a significantly greater risk of being afraid of catching Ebola than people who were paying even scant attention.

Davis Logsdon, who conducted the study for the University of Minnesota, puts the number of Americans who did not pay attention during math and science classes at seventy-two per cent, but adds, “I seriously doubt most people will know what that means.”

In other news: Christie Sworn in as Doctor: Saying that he was “sick and tired of having my medical credentials questioned,” Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) had himself sworn in as a medical doctor on Sunday night.

The doctor said that before moving forward with his plan to quarantine scores of New Jersey citizens he suspects of having Ebola, he consulted with other prominent epidemiologists, including Dr. Rick Perry, of Texas. “He concurs,” he said.

Midterms Prediction: Billionaires to Retain Control of Government: A poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, shows that the proxy candidates of billionaires are likely to win ninety-eight per cent of next Tuesday’s races, with the remaining two per cent leaning billionaire.

Davis Logsdon, who supervised the poll for the University of Minnesota, said that next Tuesday should be “a big night for oligarchs” and that both houses of Congress can be expected to grovel at the feet of their money-gushing paymasters for at least the next two years.

Calling the billionaires’ upcoming electoral romp “historic,” Logsdon said, “We have not seen the super-rich maintain such a vise-like grip on the government since the days immediately preceding the French Revolution.” Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/poll-majority-americans-favor-quarantining-wolf-blitzer

5. Jon Stewart: South By South Mess – Malady On 34th Street

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/l5q42o/democalypse-2014—south-by-south-mess–malady-on-34th-street

6. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don’t have to)

Fox Host Attacks Chrissy Teigen For Calling Attention To Gun Violence: “This Is The Problem When Models Start To Talk” http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/10/23/fox-host-attacks-chrissy-teigen-for-calling-att/201286

Tucker Carlson: Alison Lundergan Grimes “Seems Like A Sweet Person But She’s Obviously Not Qualified To Be Room Mother” http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/10/24/tucker-carlson-alison-lundergan-grimes-seems-li/201307

NRA’s Election Message: “Vote Your Guns” Because ISIS Might Be Outside Your House http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/10/27/nras-election-message-vote-your-guns-because-is/201329

Not Just “Ordinary Street Thugs”: Limbaugh Accuses Clinton And Warren Of Forming “Marauding Bands” To Attack Business http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/10/27/not-just-ordinary-street-thugs-limbaugh-accuses/201324

Ingraham: Diseases Are Coming Into This Country “Because We Have Barack Obama As President” http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/10/27/ingraham-diseases-are-coming-into-this-country/201321

Weather Channel Co-Founder’s Climate Denial Finds Warm Welcome At Fox News http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/10/28/weather-channel-co-founders-climate-denial-find/201344

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Attorney Call Matthew Shepard’s Murder A Hate Crime Hoax http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/10/28/watch-this-adf-attorney-call-matthew-shepards-m/201334

Ingraham: Nurse Acted “A Little Bit Selfish” For Questioning Gov. Christie’s New Jersey Quarantine http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/10/28/ingraham-nurse-acted-a-little-bit-selfish-for-q/201333

As Gender Pay Inequality In The U.S. Persists, Fox News Still Thinks It’s A “Myth” http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/10/29/as-gender-pay-inequality-in-the-us-persists-fox/201357

Fox Guest Donald Trump Claims “Real” Unemployment Rate Is “18, 19, Maybe Even 20 Percent”http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/10/28/fox-guest-donald-trump-claims-real-unemployment/201355

Fox’s Keith Ablow Calls For An “American Jihad” To “Spread Around The World” Our System Of Governance http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/10/28/foxs-keith-ablow-calls-for-an-american-jihad-to/201354

O’Reilly: “It’s Not A Slam Dunk For Republicans” In Upcoming Election Because “Many American Citizens Are Simply Dumb” http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/10/28/oreilly-its-not-a-slam-drunk-for-republicans-in/201353

7. Late Night Jokes for Dems

“Politicians in Miami have passed a resolution to split Florida into two states. Yeah, the two states would be known as Geezerville and Methylvania.” –Jimmy Fallon

“The annual Wastebook report was released today. This is an annual report that lists what Senator Tom Coburn describes as wasteful government spending. I didn’t read it. I’m waiting for the movie to come out.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“It’s kind of ironic for a member of Congress to be complaining about government waste. I think we spend around $5 billion every year on Congress. We don’t seem to be getting anything out of that, right? What we got is a report on how much money they waste, so thank you.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“TSA Chief John Pistole announced that he is stepping down. So whoever takes his place is going to have some pretty big shoes to take off.” –Jimmy Fallon

“The Pentagon just announced that its fight against ISIS will be called ‘Operation Inherent Resolve.’ They came up with that name using ‘Operation Random Thesaurus.'” –Jimmy Fallon

“A Dutch motorcycle gang called ‘No Surrender’ has declared war on ISIS, and plans to ride their motorcycles through Syria and Iraq. When they heard the name ‘No Surrender,’ the Pentagon said, ‘Damn! That would have been a perfect name!'” –Jimmy Fallon

“Last night the governor of Florida refused to come out for a debate. He was upset that his opponent had a fan under the podium to keep cool. Now a governor and a fan are very different, of course. One oscillates back and forth, blowing hot air in everybody’s face. And the other one is a fan.” –Craig Ferguson

8. Mark FioreCartoon: Ebola Buddy

http://vimeo.com/109781840

9. A look back at the citizens conservative media have deemed unworthy of voting (video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PNHyWS9-7E#t=119

10. EbolaFAIL

Lung cancer deaths: In 2010, there were 87,740 deaths due to lung cancer in men and 70,578 in women.
Gun violence deaths: In 2010, guns took the lives of 31,076 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings.  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/20/1338029/-ebolaFAIL-XXVIII

11. White House Whiteboard Shorts: #RaiseTheWage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqtLQgkcUFM

 

1. Andrew Cohen: Shame on Texas and the U.S. Supreme Court

In allowing Texas’ voter identification law to go into effect, at least for the November election, the U.S. Supreme Court last week showed the nation precisely what it meant in 2013 when its conservatives struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County vs. Holder.

As Congress dithers over an amendment to the Voting Rights Act and state lawmakers continue to churn out legislation on voting that widens the nation’s divides, the high court’s ruling essentially endorses the following judicial construction — a capitulation, really, to vote suppressors everywhere — to be the law of the land in America: That even when a state with a long history of discrimination in voting practices is found to have intentionally discriminated against minority citizens by restricting their voting rights, even when a trial judge says so and even in the absence of a contradictory appellate finding on the scope and effect of that discrimination, the state still is entitled to implement those discriminatory practices in a national election.

Some stoic commentators have noted that the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the Texas law — that the justices may well strike it down next year, or the year after that, when it inevitably comes back to them following a ruling on the merits at the 5th Circuit. I don’t buy it. And even if this court ultimately does strike down this odious law, where precisely do the disenfranchised citizens of Texas in the November election go to get their votes back? Nowhere, which is the point of the Texas law and the ultimate effect of the judiciary’s shameful tolerance of it.10/23/14 Read more at  http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-1023-cohen-texas-voting-rights-20141023-story.html

2. EJ Dionne: The politics of Ebola

Voters are unhappy with both parties and there is no driving issue, so a play-all-the-angles approach takes whatever story is dominating the news cycle and tries to turn it into a wedge.

Nowhere has this pattern been clearer than in the rise of public worries about Ebola and the effort by Republicans to turn fear into a closing argument.

It is normal for the party that doesn’t control the White House to be critical of how the incumbent has handled a crisis. And President Obama himself, according to the New York Times, was frustrated with aspects of the government’s handling of the episode, one reason he called on Ron Klain, the Washington veteran, to coordinate the response.

But it’s something else again to stoke alarm and to set up an unrealistic policy demand as a test of “toughness.” (Yes, those quotation marks are intended to convey the cynicism involved.) Thus did many Republicans call for a travel ban from the countries affected by Ebola, even though there are no direct flights from them to the United States. This raised the prospect of grounding connecting flights from European cities, and the administration argued that the ban would encourage people to lie about their travel history, making screening for the disease much harder.

Now, Republicans have quietly conceded how problematic a travel ban would be. So they are rallying to a new tough-sounding backup position, calling for a suspension of visas for travelers from the affected countries. Trying to answer symbolic politics with practical measures, the administration announced Tuesday that travelers from Ebola-zone countries would be required to enter the United States through one of five airports equipped for screening. 10/22/14 Read more at http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ej-dionne-the-politics-of-ebola/2014/10/22/f1632192-5a1b-11e4-b812-38518ae74c67_story.html

3. Juan Williams: Republican games pose health risk

With all of the fear-mongering by Republican candidates over the administration’s response to Ebola — part of a broader approach to scare voters by undermining faith in government, the president and all Democrats — there is one screaming nomination still pending that reveals the corruption of the GOP strategy.

The nation has not had a surgeon general since November 2013 because the GOP is blocking the president’s nominee, Dr. Vivek Murthy. At a time of medical emergency, what is the Republicans’ problem with Murthy?

Dr. Murthy, a graduate of Harvard and the Yale School of Medicine, has impressive credentials for a 36-year-old. He created a breakthrough new company to lower the cost of drugs and bring new drugs to market more quickly.

But his big sin, for Senate Republicans, is that as a veteran of emergency rooms Dr. Murthy expressed his concern about the nation’s indisputable plague of gun violence.

The fact remains that Senate Republicans, in lockstep with the NRA, have left a worthy nominee dangling while this vital post remains vacant. 10/27/14 Read more at http://thehill.com/opinion/juan-williams/221856-juan-williams-republican-games-pose-health-risk

4. Cliff Schecter: The Fear About Things That Won’t Kill Us Is Killing Us

It really isn’t a tall order to scare Americans these days, and in particular our delicate representatives in Washington. Ebola, ISIS, 10-year old children on our southern border. This is the stuff of nightmares, and no amount of money is too big to spend on keeping them all far, far away, even though they’ve killed virtually no Americans.

Lindsey Graham can barely get ISIS out of his mouth before blowing his shpadoinkle and screeching “we may all get killed!” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., did him one better, imagining Ebola-infected members of ISIS entering the United States as human WMDS. Then there’s former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, who while remodeling himself after the Patriots as a generic New England product, has become convinced that kids with Ebola are about to come rushing across the southern border like Pancho Villa.

Meanwhile, returning from la-la land to our regularly scheduled program, 86 people died in the United States today from gunfire. Just like the day before. Much like the 86 who will die tomorrow. Nobody died from Ebola, or ISIS or Honduran children, unless it was in a goofball-induced, Louie Gohmert fever dream. Funny, then, that you won’t hear these very same tricorne-wearing town criers utter a word about this preventable sickness that is genuinely killing Americans.

The manipulation of fear about things that won’t kill us, is killing us. By ensuring we don’t pay attention to the real killers in America. 10/25/14 Read more at  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/25/the-fear-about-things-that-won-t-kill-us-is-killing-us.html

5. Joan Walsh: America’s modern political nightmare: Two electorates, separate and unequal

It’s the overlay of voter suppression that makes the GOP’s reliance on an anti-Obama strategy particularly disturbing. There are lots of differences between America’s two electorates, but one thing is clear: Only one electorate, that of the GOP, works to suppress the votes of the other electorate.

That’s why for the foreseeable future, we have gridlock: The larger, diverse electorate chooses the president, very likely a Democrat. Then the smaller, older, wealthier white electorate elects Republicans to Congress and state houses in the midterms, to thwart that president, to deny the policy agenda backed by the larger presidential electorate, and also to restrict its ability to vote. That’s a dismal feedback loop of dysfunction, and there’s little reason to expect it to change any time soon. 10/24/14 Read more at http://www.salon.com/2014/10/24/america’s_modern_political_nightmare_two_electorates_separate_and_unequal/

6. The Nation Editorial: Why GOP Control of the Senate Would Be a Disaster

The Nation usually argues for voting our hopes, not our fears. But this year, fear-based voting may be warranted—or at least understandable. With the midterms nearly upon us, and with polls suggesting that Republicans could take control of the Senate, the stakes are high—not just for the Obama administration and congressional Democrats, but for America. GOP control of the House and Senate could be catastrophic for the environment, for workers, for women and for minorities.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, has already promised the Koch brothers that “we’re not going to be debating all these gosh-darn proposals…like raising the minimum wage…extending unemployment…the student loan package.” And it won’t just be progressive proposals that are stymied. Consider the judges who will never make it to the bench, including the highest, if Chuck Grassley, not Pat Leahy, is in charge of the Judiciary Committee. Consider the destabilizing political circus Republicans will create if Darrell Issa’s hyperpartisan investigations into fake scandals spread from the House to the Senate.

Perhaps the most worrying consequence of a GOP-controlled Senate will be the extension of the damaging austerity agenda. Think, for example, about the next debt-ceiling fight. Republicans have repeatedly used the debt ceiling to hold the economy hostage, but they have relented each time because they knew that they would be blamed for the consequences—not the president. But if Republicans take control of the Senate, that calculus will change. What happens when they send Obama a bill to prevent default on our debt at the eleventh hour, attached to a bill that ravages Social Security? The Republicans will be able to force the president to choose between impossible options.

They will also be able to advance the Keystone XL pipeline, ban abortions after twenty weeks, decimate an already-weak Dodd-Frank Act and shred the torn social safety net.

In a democracy, there’s no such thing as an election without consequences. We are not satisfied with today’s Democratic Party; we wish it was more populist and more progressive. But it is absurd to argue that little will change if Republicans take the Senate. A lot will change—and it will be for the worse. A Republican Senate, working with a Republican House, will be a wrecking crew. There’s only one way to avert the devastation, and that is to vote with a vengeance on November 4! 10/22/14 Read more at http://m.thenation.com/article/184633-why-gop-control-senate-would-be-disaster

7. LA Times Editorial: The new world of voter suppression

Welcome to the new world of voter suppression, the culmination of a sustained effort by mostly Republican state legislators to make it harder for Americans to exercise the most basic right afforded to citizens in a democracy. It’s an effort whose effect, if not its intent, has been to reduce the participation at the ballot box by groups that historically have been the victims of discrimination. It has been abetted by a Supreme Court that blithely gutted an important section of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act and by a Congress that has been to slow to undo the damage caused by the court.

What is most galling about the wave of photo ID laws is that they have been justified by high-minded Republican arguments about the importance of rooting out voter fraud, which indeed would threaten the integrity of the electoral process — if it existed. But impersonation at the polling place is an exotic if not imaginary phenomenon. In her decision invalidating Texas’ photo ID law, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos noted that the record showed only four instances of impersonation in Texas.

Despite Ramos’ conclusion that Texas’ photo ID violated the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution, voters there on Nov. 4 will have to present a photo ID anyway. That’s because the U.S. Supreme Court refused to lift a stay placed on Ramos’ decision by a federal appeals court pending an appeal.

Meanwhile, voters are being inconvenienced — and worse — by other laws that make it harder to vote. And the Republican Party shows no sign of relenting in its campaign to make voting more difficult, especially for the low-income and minority voters who tend to support Democrats.

The 2016 presidential will be an election in which the GOP nominee may need a modicum of support from the very same minority voters the party has been trying to marginalize— support for easier access to the ballot box might be good politics as well as good government. 10/27/14 Read more at  http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-votingrights-20141027-story.html

8. Greg Palast: Jim Crow returns

Election officials in 27 states, most of them Republicans, have launched a program that threatens a massive purge of voters from the rolls. Millions, especially black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters, are at risk. Already, tens of thousands have been removed in at least one battleground state, and the numbers are expected to climb, according to a six-month-long, nationwide investigation by Al Jazeera America.

At the heart of this voter-roll scrub is the Interstate Crosscheck program, which has generated a master list of nearly 7 million names. Officials say that these names represent legions of fraudsters who are not only registered but have actually voted in two or more states in the same election — a felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison.

The Crosscheck list of suspected double voters has been compiled by matching names from roughly 110 million voter records from participating states. Interstate Crosscheck is the pet project of Kansas’ controversial Republican secretary of state, Kris Kobach, known for his crusade against voter fraud.

The three states’ lists are heavily weighted with names such as Jackson, Garcia, Patel and Kim — ones common among minorities, who vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Indeed, fully 1 in 7 African-Americans in those 27 states, plus the state of Washington (which enrolled in Crosscheck but has decided not to utilize the results), are listed as under suspicion of having voted twice. This also applies to 1 in 8 Asian-Americans and 1 in 8 Hispanic voters. White voters too — 1 in 11 — are at risk of having their names scrubbed from the voter rolls, though not as vulnerable as minorities.

If even a fraction of those names are blocked from voting or purged from voter rolls, it could alter the outcome of next week’s electoral battle for control of the U.S. Senate — and perhaps prove decisive in the 2016 presidential vote count.

“It’s Jim Crow all over again,” says the Rev. Joseph Lowery, who cofounded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King, Jr. Lowery, now 93, says he recognizes in the list of threatened voters a sophisticated new form of an old and tired tactic. “I think [the Republicans] would use anything they can find. Their desperation is rising.”

In practice, all it takes to become a suspect is sharing a first and last name with a voter in another state. Typical “matches” identifying those who may have voted in both Georgia and Virginia include:

Kevin Antonio Hayes of Durham, North Carolina, is a match for a man who voted in Alexandria, Virginia, as Kevin Thomas Hayes.

John Paul Williams of Alexandria is supposedly the same man as John R. Williams of Atlanta, Georgia.

Robert Dewey Cox of Marietta, Georgia is matched with Robert Glen Cox of Springfield, Virginia.

One of those suspected of voting twice lives a five-minute walk from the North Carolina Vigilante Integrity Project offices. When confronted with his name on the Crosscheck list as a voter in both Fairfax, Virginia and in Raleigh, North Carolina, Robert Blackman Finnel Jr. confesses that he indeed once lived and voted in Virginia. But, he protests, “I swear on a stack of Bibles” that he was not in, nor voted in, that state in the 2012 election. His oath is in doubt, however, as, from his wheelchair, the senior-home resident did not appear to be able to lift more than one Bible at a time. 10/29/14 Read more at http://projects.aljazeera.com/2014/double-voters/

 

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