August 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
“I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine. Let’s be fair and reasonable.”
- Jon Husted, Republican Ohio Secretary of State
- Source: The Columbus Dispatch
- Context: The Republican Party in Ohio had been trying for months to suppress early voting in the state, which is popular amongst minorities. They went so far as to ban early voting in Democratic counties while extending them in Republican ones. After national outrage, Jon Husted, the Secretary of State, relented and enacted uniform voting hours for all counties. However, early voting on the weekends and two weeks prior to the election is still not allowed. During the last election, over 100,000 Ohioans voted in the 3 days prior to the election, something they will not be able to do under current circumstances. Husted, in an email, was responding to accusations of unfairness, which he calls “bullshit”. Republicans across the nation have been attempting to suppress voter turn out, especially amongst minorities, in order to help Mitt Romney win the presidential election. The higher voter turnout is, the less likely the Republican Party is to win the upcoming election.Polls also show that Obama would win a re-election easily if everyone who was eligible would vote. Most interestingly, Husted believes it is more fair and reasonable to deny people the ability to vote rather than encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote by making voting more accessible.
August 13, 2012 § 1 Comment
“There’s no doubt that what the Republican led legislature in Florida and Governor Scott are trying to do is make sure the Republican party has an advantage in this upcoming election by reducing early voting and putting roadblocks up for potential voters, Latinos, African Americans to register and then to exercise their right to vote. There’s no doubt. I was in the room. It’s part of the strategy. The one thing now that people don’t realize is that winning elections now has become a multi-million dollar business. There are political consultants that get hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses if they win elections. And if they’ve got to change a few voter laws and make it more difficult for minority voters to get to the polls, well they’re going to do it. Because the Republican Party has given up on minority voters.”
- Jim Greer, former Florida GOP Chairman, August 9, 2012
- Source: Politics Nation on MSNBC (transcript , video)
- Context: Greer was removed from office by the states Republican Party and charged with corruption. Greer has denied the allegations, claiming that the charges are politically motivated, and is counter-suing. He has since come out against the Party, and in court documents, Greer has claimed that there is a concerted effort by the Republican Party of Florida to disenfranchise voters, especially minorities, in order to win the state for Mitt Romney. During an interview with Al Sharpton, he doubled down on his claims and refutes accusations that he is simply trying to strike out against the Party. During the interview, Greer revealed a lot about the alleged Republican voter suppression agenda:
“I sat in on many meetings where it was discussed of how to make sure that what happened in 2008 when President Obama brought out the college age voters, the minority voters, never happened again. And, you know, the Republican Party believes that minority voters in general are not ever going to vote republican. So discussions centered around, how do we make sure that what happened in `08 never happens again. And part of those discussions dealt with changing the election laws in Florida. And how to ensure that the Republican Party doesn’t have to deal with what it dealt with in `08. And some of those changes dealt with reducing early voting.”
“So, you know, they talked about reducing early voting. Because that wasn’t helping us win the Republican Party win. They talked about making voter registration much more difficult for third party organizations. Organizations like the legal women voters who have been doing this for many, many years. There were a lot of discussions of what could the Republican Party do led by the political campaign strategists to ensure that Republicans win in 2012. And it`s very sad what`s going on in the Republican Party. It`s very sad that the Republican Party doesn’t want to win votes by talking about what it stands for. It wants to ensure that some people can`t get to the polls, can`t register to vote. You know, the political strategists of the GOP can’t control what voters do in the voting booth, but they can certainly try and control them ever getting to the voting booth. And that`s what`s happened in Florida.”
- Regarding the Republican Party’s case that it is simply trying to prevent voter fraud, Greer said voter fraud was never a problem and that it is simply a tool the Republican’s are using in order to suppress voter turnout:
And three and a half years as chairman of Florida, I never had one meeting where voter fraud was discussed as a real issue effecting elections. Never one time…Never one time did we have any discussions where voter fraud was a real issue. It’s simply been created as a marketing tool here in Florida for the right wing that is running state government now to convince voters that what they’re doing is right. It’s a marketing tool. That’s clearly what it is. There’s no validity to it. We never had issues with it. The main purpose behind it is to make sure that what happened in ’08 never happens again. And if that includes keeping voters from voting, keeping voters from registering. That’s what the GOP-led government here in Florida is going to do.
- The Republican Party has attempted to pass laws restricting voting in nine states, and has succeeding in five.
July 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
In a 630 page deposition, former Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer has recently come out and described a systematic effort by Republicans to suppress minority votes in Florida. Referring to a December 2009 meeting with party general counsel Jason Gonzalez, political consultant Jim Rimes, and Eric Eikenberg, Crist’s chief of staff, he said:
“I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days.”
He also stated that another discussion topic was about “how minority outreach programs were not fit for the Republican Party.” He also described a Republican Party in turmoil and embroiled in bitter infighting.
“The wing of the party that does not agree with Charlie Crist considered me a moderate chairman. As was commonly referred to them, the whack-a-dos, the crazies, the right wingers. As Dean Cannon said to me one time, the people that want to destroy our Party are trying to take it over.”
He is also not too fond of the Tea Party movement:
“The tea party came into existence. There was a feeling within the party that the tea party was just a bunch of whack-a-dos.”
Context: Jim Greer recently resigned from his position and is currently facing criminal fraud charges. He is currently suing the Florida Republican Party in an attempt to collect $130,000 he was promised in a written agreement shortly before he resigned. Jim Rimes denies Greers accusation of voter suppression. If true, Greers admissions may be very damaging to the Florida Republican Party.
July 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
“Including as many Americans as possible in our electoral process is the spirit of our country. It is why we have expanded rights to women and minorities but never legislated them away, and why we have lowered the voting age but never raised it. Cynical efforts at voter suppression are driven by an un-American desire to exclude as many people and silence as many voices as possible.
Our country has never solved anything with less democracy, and we’re far better off when more citizens can access the polls — no matter which party mobilizes the most voters to them. As governor of Florida, I extended voting hours and increased the number of days people could vote. I also restored registration rights for felons, years after starting that effort in the state Senate with a member of the opposite party.
I was a Republican at the time of those decisions, which didn’t make me many friends on my side. But when you do the right thing for the people, a political party’s concerns roll off your back quite easily.”
- Charlie Crist, Republican governor of Florida from 2007 until 2011, July 20, 2012. He left the Republican Party in 2010 and is now an Indepedent
- Source: The voter ID mess subverts an American birthright by Charlie Crist for the Washington Post
- Context: Florida Republicans, lead by Governor Rick Scott, have been pushing hard for laws which would strip many Floridians of their voting rights, specifically in minority communities. This has led the Department of Justice to file a lawsut against the state. In this piece, Charlie Crist argues against voter suppression, and states that his efforts to include more people in the voting process put him at odds with other Republicans. Republicans across the nation have been introducing laws aimed at reducing voter turnout on the basis of preventing “voter fraud”. Critics contend that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud and that such laws are aimed at manipulating election results in favor of the Republican Party by suppressing the votes of those who vote primarily Democrat.
June 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
“We are focused on making sure we meet our obligations that we’ve talked about for years. Pro Second Amendment…done. First pro life legislation, abortion facility regulations, in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
- Republican State Representative Mike Turzai Of Pennsylvania
- Source: HARDBALL With Chris Mathews (video)
- Context: Representative Turzai made this comment during a closed meeting of notable Republicans and their supporters. The crowd cheers after he declares that Voter ID, Republican legislation which will in effect disenfranchise many voters, will allow Governor Romney to win the state.