by Scoobie Davis
Every American Should Read this Post on Voter SuppressionJosh Marshall
Republican party officials and elected officials use bogus claims of vote fraud to do three things: 1) to stymie voter registration drives and get-out-the-vote efforts in poor and minority neighborhoods, 2) purge voter rolls of legitimate voters and 3) institute voter ID laws aimed at making it harder for low-income and minority voters to vote.
This sounds like hyperbole but it is simply the truth. (A great example of this in microcosm was the 2002 senate election in South Dakota -- Johnson v. Thune -- in which Republicans spent the entire election ranting about a massive voter fraud conspiracy on the state's Indian reservations, charges which turned out to be completely bogus but had the aim of keeping voting down on the reservations. You can find much more on this in the TPM archives. Go to the search feature and type in some combinatin of 'fraud south dakota' etc. I'll try to write more recapping the story soon.)
The tie-in with the US Attorney story is that the White House and the Republican National Committee have used the power of the Department of Justice to accomplish those three goals that I outlined above. Only most of the relatively non-partisan and professional US Attorneys simply didn't find any actual fraud. Choosing not to indict people on bogus charges got at least two of the US Attorneys (Iglesias and McKay) fired. And we are seeing evidence that others may have been nudged out less directly for the same reasons. In turn they've been replaced by a new crop of highly-political party operative prosecutors who, in the gentle wording of the Times, "may not be so reticent" about issuing indictments against people who have committed technical voting infractions with no intent to cast a fraudulent ballot. Along the way, the fever to find someone, anyone guilty of committing even a technical infraction has landed folks like Ms. Prude in the slammer. They are what you might call the prosecutorial road kill in the Rove Republican party's effort to ride roughshod over American citizens' voting rights to entrench the GOP as the country's permanent electoral majority.
Who's running all this? Who's put it all in motion. Look at the documents that have already been released. It's been run out of Karl Rove's office at the White House.
UPDATE: Kevin Drum has more
Also, Joshua Green on how voter fraud allegations have been a goldmine for Karl Rove
Also, Sidney Blumenthal on what we should do about the Mayberry Machiavellis