Sunday, March 30, 2014

It's Viva Las Vegas For GOP Contenders & Ken Detzner Rides Again

Voter purge-obsessed Florida Sec of State Ken Detzner
March may be coming to a rain-soaked close here by the banks of the Delaware River but if you harbored any doubts about Republican focus on the upcoming fall mid-term elections, kiss 'em goodbye.

Between the Supreme Court challenge by Hobby Lobby to undermine the contraceptive portions of the Affordable Health Care Act, ongoing Republican efforts to prevent eligible US citizens from voting in the November Congressional elections and a massive fund-raising campaign, the GOP is in game mode and all bets are off.

They're trying to hold onto their majority in the House and six is the magic number for them to re-gain the Senate. According to the slew of e-mails from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee clogging my overburdened in-box, a single GOP fundraiser last week raised a staggering $15.1 million.

Not a bad take for one nights work. Evidently the fiery but frequently senseless right-wing rhetoric of the recent CPAC conference motivated Republicans to whip out their checkbooks.

Remember when presidential candidates used to actually court the approval of American voters?

Last week a steady stream of potential GOP presidential candidates made the pilgrimage out to Las Vegas to seek the blessing (and campaign contributions) of global casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

You remember Sheldon right? After pouring $19 million of his almost $37 billion fortune to prop up Newt Gingrich's hopeless snoozer of a 2012 presidential campaign, Adelson then backed Mitt Romney once Newt crapped out. (And Sheldon made his fortune in gambling?)

Even walking-political liability Chris Christie is out there trying to make his case. He's happy to get the hell out of New Jersey for a few days and is apparently undeterred by the fact that pricey attorney/fixer Randy Mastro's NJ tax payer-funded whitewash "investigation" (which exonerated hizzoner despite not interviewing Bridget Kelly or David Samson) is almost universally viewed as a total sham by both the public and press.

Governor Christie seems to be laboring under the delusion that convincing David Samson to "retire" from his post at the head of the monumentally corrupt Port Authority will quench the thirst of the restless hordes calling for the truth about Bridge-Gate.

But wooing the backing of big GOP donors in Vegas may be the least of Christie's host of problems.

He's also got some 'splainin' to do to the members of the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting out there in Vegas regarding those anti-Semitic comments made by the Gov's own staffers about the GW Bridge traffic snarl in front of Rabbi Mendy Carlebach's house. Adelson is RJC's largest financial backer as well as a board member. Oops.

Julie Bykowicz wrote an excellent summary of the GOP players out in the desert seeking Sheldon's blessing on; check it out.

Finally, based on the ongoing Republican obsession to prevent US citizens from voting in essential swing states, one might almost be led to believe the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has a Sith lord on their payroll who can use the dark side of The Force to manipulate the minds of Republican secretaries of state like Ohio's notorious vote suppressor Jon Husted and Florida's vote suppressing zealot Ken Detzner (pictured above), to believe in a mythical plot of wide-spread voter fraud.

Data from organizations like the Department of Justice demonstrates that actual cases of voter fraud in the United States are so numerically infrequent (.00000013 out of 197 million votes cast in 2006) as to make it make it almost nonexistent.

But that hasn't deterred groups like True the Vote from using fabricated statistics and rhetoric-filled fear-mongering to support arcane voter ID laws, limit polling stations in districts that skew Democratic, and curtailing voting hours that make it easier for people who work to vote.

Republicans simply haven't been able to sell a simple majority of Americans to back GOP their legislative initiatives or presidential candidates in years, so men like Husted and Detzner have taken on the dirty work; doing everything in their power to try and systematically purge Democratic voters from the election rolls.

The state of Florida recently put the halt on yet another voter purge list filled with thousands of names the Republican party wants to remove the voter rolls led by the voter suppression ideologue, Detzner; the same guy who in 2011 ordered local Florida election districts to send out letters to thousands of voters informing them they were "non-citizens" and did not have the right to vote.

It turned out the purge list was filled with errors and most of the people were actually citizens who were eligible to vote. According to a letter was even sent to a 91 year-old WWII veteran. The article by Josh Israel reports Detzner recently tried yet again to purge more voters but was once again shut down by the state because of inaccuracies and mistakes in the list.

It's a sad state of affairs when a political party simply stops trying to sway voters with new ideas and instead pours millions of dollars into widespread efforts to illegally strip people who won't vote for them of their most basic Constitutional right.

Or perhaps, Republicans are just terrified of what conservative author and pundit Ann Coulter recently termed the "browning of America"? Annie get your gun!!

And Republicans like John McCain are up in arms and outraged about Putin annexing Crimea?

Seems to me the GOP has it's own kind of Anschluss going on right here in America, only instead of guns and bogus diplomacy, they're using false voter fraud accusations to manipulate the electorate in a devious effort to assume further control over state legislatures, the House of Representatives and United States Senate.

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