McCain Aide Acknowledges Voter Suppression Strategy

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Six days ago, I wrote about how a solid contact inside the McCain campaign explained to me what’s left for McCain (in the remaining days of the election battle after his terrible performance in the third debate).

“Voter suppression and wonky Dieboldt machines,” my contact said then, adding “It’s our last hope.” He stuns me into a long silence. Breaking the awkward pause, he quickly added, “I’m just kidding.”

It turns out that, even though he did not know it at the time, my source was serious.

“There have been meetings and conference calls between people here (at McCain’s campaign headquarters), people at the RNC and groups out in Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, and maybe a few other states creating a strategy to harass voters and challenge ballots,” he tells me this morning in a call he makes to me on his cell phone from the safety of his car.”

“This isn’t what I signed up for and I don’t want to be a part of it. I may resign in the next day or two because I want McCain to win but I don’t want to go to jail for helping.”

I sit in my office, dumbfounded. Here is a relatively important person inside a presidential campaign acknowledging that McCain and the Republican National Committee are conspiring secretly with outside groups to sabotage the presidential election.

Why, I ask, are they doing this?

“I think it’s because they know the election is lost in a fair fight so they want to cast doubts on the legitimacy of Obama’s victory,” he says. “Hell, we’re losing it in an unfair fight in spite of the bullshit about Ayers.”

“Anyway, in the process they might just pull off a win if they can challenge enough voters or scare people away from voting,” my source adds. “With the polls against him, they need a distraction on election day.”

Just Like Zimbabwe
I reach a second contact in the McCain campaign, a woman I’ve known for decades who works in one of the dwindling number of swing states, to learn if she’s heard anything similar.

“Well, I don’t get a lot of the insider scuttlebutt ‘cause I’m not in McLean (Virginia, where McCain’s campaign office is located),” she reminds me. “But it fits with rumors I’ve heard and stuff floating around the office and on the web.”

I wonder whether she thinks it is a legitimate strategy for a presidential campaign to condone.

“Ask Steve Schmidt,” she shoots back with more than a tinge of bitterness in her voice. “It sounds like something straight from Rove’s playbook. If you can’t beat them, scare them. If you can’t scare them, make sure their votes don’t count.”

I hang up thinking this sounds like Zimbabwe. Or Haiti or some other backwater country ruled by a tin pot dictator. I wonder if the United States needs the Carter Center needs to monitor the US elections as they did in Gaza or some African nations.

Frightening Reality
The frightening reality is that GOP-backed groups are systematically looking for ways to prevent Democrats from casting a ballot Nov. 4.

As Robert F. Kennedy Jr., told Rachel Maddow Tuesday night, Colorado has purged up to 12% of all voter registrations and, in a Rolling Stone article Kennedy details how the tactic is spreading to other states.

Not coincidentally, Pres. Bush put former Colorado Republican Secretary of State Donna Davidson in charge of showing voting officials how to “clean up” their registration lists. For “clean up” you can substitute “get rid of Democrats, especially minorities in urban areas.”

Even if your name isn’t purged and you aren’t challenged at your voting place, Kennedy notes your vote may still not count. The US Commission on Civil Rights investigated some of the 2000 returns from Florida and found that African-Americans were ten times more likely than whites to have their ballots rejected, a ratio that holds nationwide, Kennedy reports in his Rolling Stone article.

Fighting First
Unlike the Democrats in 2000 and 2004, Barack Obama’s legal team and the DNC are not sitting passively for the vote to be stolen out from under the country.

I speak with two sources inside the Obama election effort and neither is totally surprised, adding that legal teams are active in every state to help ensure that voters can actually vote. In fact, several thousand volunteer lawyers will be ready to move into counties and precincts on election day or during the counting process if trouble is reported.

While there have been some problems with early voting, my friend Pete in Palm Beach County, Florida, voted yesterday and said things went smoothly.

“I waited in line an hour because the place was packed. Being curious, I asked an elections official how things were going. And they noted every early place in (the county) was just like this one: Open at 10 a.m. to long lines and it doesn’t stop until after 7 p.m.

charley-james.jpg“Like a lot of people voting, the couple in front of me were wearing Obama T-shirts and the guy behind me had an Alaska hat on but was voting for Obama. Why, I asked him? He said it’s because Palin has brought great shame on the state by her actions, greed, and outright fraudulent behaviour. He predicts that Palin will have a primary fight for sure if she loses with McCain. Why he is voting in Florida? He tells me winters are too damn cold in Alaska so he comes to Florida in September, returning in May. His son runs the business in Juneau during the winter.”

Hopefully, things will run as smoothly straight through Election Day. But the McCain campaign, the Republican National Committee and groups they’re supporting are trying to ensure nothing goes smoothly.

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Charley James
The Progressive Curmudgeon

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If you’re born in Milwaukee, you are born a Democrat. And so I gravitated naturally to liberal politics, first as journalist and then an activist. I’ve been writing since I was eight years old and, after working in newsrooms for far too long, I have devoted much of the past decade as an independent investigtative journalist. When not writing about politics or George Bush, I scribble out essays on the peculiarites of modern times.

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Comments

  1. says

    Charley, your friend needs to take this story to the FEC, if not the FBI. Tell him that’s the only way to rescue his own integrity. He should also go public. Take it to the media, including the few media outlets and personalities that will not automatically bury any story that tells the ugly truth about the GOP – the McClatchey papers, NPR, MSNBC’s Olberman, Matthews, and Maddow, CNN’s McCafferty… and of course, Democracy Now.

    If your friend could wear a wire and catch some of these criminals red-handed, you could post it on YouTube.

  2. Matt says

    This stuff is sick, but I trust Obama’s crew to be smart and anticipate this. They’ve run a brilliant campaign and won’t lose to the idiots who direct McShame’s rollercoaster rantings.

  3. MsMike says

    “This is incredible! As the author himself says “this sounds like Zimbabwe. Or Haiti or some other backwater country ruled by a tin pot dictator. I wonder if the United States needs the Carter Center needs to monitor the US elections as they did in Gaza or some African nations.” It needs to be followed up and if it is accurate the people responsible need to be prosecuted!”

  4. Georgia says

    I voted in Georgia 2 weeks ago for Obama. I had no problems, but I don’t feel my vote was safe. It was on one of those ‘wonky’ Dieabolt cards. I left with absolutely no proof that I had even been there except for a paper sticker with a peach and “Georgia Voter” on it. They didn’t even give me a new voter card, (I had re-registered because of a county move) Today on CNN I saw the exact same place where I voted and the lines were 2 hrs long with early voters. Even though I was an ‘early’ voter, I had to check off a box that said I was an absentee voter. I was told this was how they were handling early voting. It just doesn’t seem right and I am not convinced that GA won’t end up like FL and someone will manipulate the votes.

    • Capricorn1 says

      I would contact someone immediatly at the local Obama headquarters or the National Democratic Headquarters. I am not privy to voter options in GA but this reeks of something wrong.

    • ALinSTL says

      VOTE & VOTER SUPPRESSION IS AN ACT OF TERRORISM. IN DEFINING “TERROR”, WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY LISTS AS #4:” VIOLENCE COMMITTED BY GROUPS TO INTIMIDATE A POPULATION OR GOVERNMENT INTO GRANTING THEIR DEMANDS”. VIOLATIONS AGAINST AMERICANS VOTING RIGHTS MUST BE STOPPED. McCAIN & HIS ILK CONTINUOUSLY TELL US HOW THEY WILL LEAD US TO VICTORY OVER TERRORISTS WHO TRY TO DESTROY THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE. ONE OF THE BEST ASPECTS TO BEING AN AMERICAN IS THE RIGHT TO VOTE & THERE ARE TRAITOROUS AMERICANS, LOCALLY & NATIONALLY, WHO ARE TRYING TO SUBORN THIS RIGHT. THESE SCUM ARE TERRORISTS, IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT. THEY ARE AS BAD AS THOSE KILLING AMERICANS IN OUR 2 WARS. THEY TAKE AWAY AMERICANS RIGHT TO VOTE THRU THEIR WORK AT LOCAL, STATE & NATIONAL GOVERNMENT OFFICES CONCERNED WITH VOTING . SERVICE PEOPLE DIE DAILY (& HAVE THROUGHOUT OUR HISTORY) TO PRESERVE & PROTECT OUR RIGHTS, BUT, THESE TRAITORS DEMEAN THOSE SACRIFICES, THOSE DEATHS, BY SUPRESSING AMERICANS RIGHT TO VOTE. PARENTS, SIBLINGS, & FRIENDS OF THESE DEAD SHOULD RISE UP IN EACH OF THEIR STATES WHERE VOTER SUPPRESSION IS RAMPANT & USE WHAT EVER MEANS TO PUBLICIZE WHO EXACTLY THEY ARE…PICKETS OF THEIR OFFICES, BUSINESSES & HOMES; USING LEGAL RECOURSES TO CHARGE THESE CRIMINALS; LAW SUITS AGAINST THEM & THE OFFICES/ORGANIZATIONS THEY WORK FOR; NEWSPAPER ADS NAMING NAMES & CRIMES THEY COMMITTED, ETC. “OUT” THESE TERRORISTS TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC,AND WORK TO GET THEM DISMISSED FROM THEIR JOBS, OSTRACIZED IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS, THEIR TOWNS. IF FOREIGN TERRORISTS TRIED TO SUPRESS ANY OF OUR RIGHTS HERE THEY WOULD BE DESTROYED TO THE LAST PERSON… SO WHY SHOULD WE ALLOW OTHER AMERICANS TO DO THE SAME HEINIOUS & MALICIOUS ACTS? IF THESE TRAITORS/TERRORISTS TRY TO STOP YOU FROM VOTING WHAT OTHER CONSTITUTIONALLY RIGHTS WILL THEY TRY TO SUPRESS IN THE FUTURE???? IF LAW ENFORCEMENT WON’T PROTECT OUR VOTING RIGHTS THEN THEY, TOO, ARE TERRORIST SCUM. IF McCAIN’S CAMP SUPPORTS THESE UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES THEN IT SHOWS EXACTLY HOW HE & THEY DISMISS THE DEATHS OF ALL AMERICANS WHO HAVE SACRIFICED THEMSELVES FOR OUR RIGHT TO VOTE. THEY ARE LAUGHING AT OUR DEAD…& GETTING AWAY WITH IT. SO, IT SEEMS, McCAIN SUPPORTS TERRORISM AGAINST AMERICANS & DOES IT AS HE LAUGHS AT THEM…BUT THEN, HE DID VOTE 19 TIMES AGAINST VETERANS, DAVs & VA FUNDING…TREATS OUR VETS LIKE THE ENEMY DOES.

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