Florida GOPer Admits to Voter Suppression
From the Palm Beach Post:
Former Florida GOP leaders say voter suppression was reason they pushed new election law
Former GOP chair, governor - both on outs with party - say voter fraud wasn’t a concern, but reducing Democratic votes was.
By Dara Kam, John Lantigua
Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau
A new Florida law that contributed to long voter lines and caused some to abandon voting altogether was intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters, former GOP officials and current GOP consultants have told The Palm Beach Post.
Republican leaders said in proposing the law that it was meant to save money and fight voter fraud. But a former GOP chairman and former Gov. Charlie Crist, both of whom have been ousted from the party, now say that fraud concerns were advanced only as subterfuge for the law’s main purpose: GOP victory.
Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer says he attended various meetings, beginning in 2009, at which party staffers and consultants pushed for reductions in early voting days and hours.
“The Republican Party, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates,” Greer told The Post. “It’s done for one reason and one reason only. … ‘We’ve got to cut down on early voting because early voting is not good for us,’ ” Greer said he was told by those staffers and consultants.
“They never came in to see me and tell me we had a (voter) fraud issue,” Greer said. “It’s all a marketing ploy.”
For days after the election, I read on several rightwing blogs how the only way that President Obama could have won was through voter fraud. This type of thinking, of course, disabuses the thinkers of the idea that perhaps women, young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans all voted for President Obama because he more fully represented their values and hopes than did Mitt Romney, who overwhelmingly appealed to older, whiter, male American voters.
Instead, these rightwingers continue to delude themselves with the idea that only people who wanted "free stuff" voted for Mr. Obama, and that even then, there was rampant and widespread voting fraud, and that was the explanation for Mr. Obama's victory over the GOP candidate, a victory that gave Mr. Obama over 64 million popular votes to Mr. Romney's 60 million.
That sort of thinking is what caused their confusion and disbelief on election night, when President Obama walked away with another victory under his belt--only the fourth president, since FDR, to win a majority of the popular vote, the others: Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan.
But back to the cries of voter fraud as the only explanation for Mr. Obama's win. I haven't seen any blog posts on what the former Florida GOP chair and governor has attested to: that Florida GOPers deliberately and with malice designed laws to slow down and discourage voting by certain segments of the voting public--segments that traditionally vote Democratic.
"Greer is now under indictment, accused of stealing $200,000 from the party through a phony campaign fundraising operation. He, in turn, has sued the party, saying GOP leaders knew what he was doing and voiced no objection.
“Jim Greer has been accused of criminal acts against this organization and anything he says has to be considered in that light,” says Brian Burgess, Florida GOP spokesman since September.
But Greer’s statements about the motivations for the party’s legislative efforts, implemented by a GOP-majority House and Senate in Tallahassee in 2011, are backed by Crist — also now on the outs with the party — and two veteran GOP campaign consultants.
Wayne Bertsch, who handles local and legislative races for Republicans, said he knew targeting Democrats was the goal.
'In the races I was involved in in 2008, when we started seeing the increase of turnout and the turnout operations that the Democrats were doing in early voting, it certainly sent a chill down our spines. And in 2008, it didn’t have the impact that we were afraid of. It got close, but it wasn’t the impact that they had this election cycle,' Bertsch said, referring to the fact that Democrats picked up seven legislative seats in Florida in 2012 despite the early voting limitations.
Another GOP consultant, who did not want to be named, also confirmed that influential consultants to the Republican Party of Florida were intent on beating back Democratic turnout in early voting after 2008."
But, say the rightwingers, Mr. Obama won because FRAUD!
Crist said he was asked to curb early voting
"Crist said party leaders approached him during his 2007-2011 gubernatorial term about changing early voting, in an effort to suppress Democrat turnout. Crist is now at odds with the GOP, since abandoning the party to run for U.S. Senate as an independent in 2010. He is rumored to be planning another run for governor, as a Democrat.
Crist said in a telephone interview this month that he did not recall conversations about early voting specifically targeting black voters 'but it looked to me like that was what was being suggested. And I didn’t want them to go there at all.'
About inhibiting minority voters, Greer said:
'The sad thing about that is yes, there is prejudice and racism in the party but the real prevailing thought is that they don’t think minorities will ever vote Republican,' he said. 'It’s not really a broad-based racist issue. It’s simply that the Republican Party gave up a long time ago ever believing that anything they did would get minorities to vote for them.'
But a GOP consultant who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution said black voters were a concern.
'I know that the cutting out of the Sunday before Election Day was one of their targets only because that’s a big day when the black churches organize themselves,' he said."
When a Democrat wins an election, the GOPers scream FRAUD! while they manipulate and scheme to make voting for Democratic candidates more and more difficult for minorities. This is never seen as a fraudulent way of winning elections, since most of the GOP pols who engage in this criminal activity believe only the Republican Party has the right to govern this country. Any other party--see Democratic--they see as interlopers who win only through millions and millions of people cheating at the polls.
However, we actually know where the real fraud is occuring and which party schemes to subvert democracy and suppress the vote.
Oops! Republicans Arrested for Voter Fraud!
Breaking: GOP Caught Red Handed, Election Fraud in Indiana