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Monday, April 26, 2010

Arizona 2010 = Florida 2000?
Posted by Jill | 10:29 PM
Greg Palast seems to think so, as he makes the case for the new anti-immigrant law in Arizona being more about keeping LEGAL LATINO AMERICAN CITIZENS, who tend to vote Democratic by a two-to-one ratio, away from the polls:
What moved GOP Governor Jan Brewer to sign the Soviet-style show-me-your-papers law is the exploding number of legal Hispanics, US citizens all, who are daring to vote -- and daring to vote Democratic by more than two-to-one. Unless this demographic locomotive is halted, Arizona Republicans know their party will soon be electoral toast. Or, if you like, tortillas.

In 2008, working for Rolling Stone with civil rights attorney Bobby Kennedy, our team flew to Arizona to investigate what smelled like an electoral pogrom against Chicano voters ... directed by one Jan Brewer.

Brewer, then Secretary of State, had organized a racially loaded purge of the voter rolls that would have made Katherine Harris blush. Beginning after the 2004 election, under Brewer's command, no less than 100,000 voters, overwhelmingly Hispanics, were blocked from registering to vote. In 2005, the first year of the Great Brown-Out, one in three Phoenix residents found their registration applications rejected.

That statistic caught my attention. Voting or registering to vote if you're not a citizen is a felony, a big-time jail-time crime. And arresting such criminal voters is easy: after all, they give their names and addresses.

So I asked Brewer's office, had she busted a single one of these thousands of allegedly illegal voters? Did she turn over even one name to the feds for prosecution?

No, not one.

Which raises the question: were these disenfranchised voters the criminal, non-citizens Brewer tagged them, or just not-quite-white voters given the José Crow treatment, entrapped in document-chase trickery?

The answer was provided by a federal prosecutor who was sent on a crazy hunt all over the Western mesas looking for these illegal voters. "We took over 100 complaints, we investigated for almost 2 years, I didn’t find one prosecutable voter fraud case."

This prosecutor, David Iglesias, is a prosecutor no more. When he refused to fabricate charges of illegal voting among immigrants, his firing was personally ordered by the President of the United States, George W. Bush, under orders from his boss, Karl Rove.

Iglesias' jurisdiction was next door, in New Mexico, but he told me that Rove and the Republican chieftains were working nationwide to whip up anti-immigrant hysteria with public busts of illegal voters, even though there were none.

"They wanted some splashy pre-election indictments," Iglesias told me. The former prosecutor, himself a Republican, paid the price when he stood up to this vicious attack on citizenship.


It should be no surprise at this point; this is how Republicans operate. Whether it's voter roll purges in Florida, inadequate voting machines in black precincts in Ohio in 2004, or calls for literacy tests, it is now a FACT that Republican election tactics include, and rely heavily on, the disenfranchisement of Americans who don't vote Republican. For all the talk about ACORN, there has been NOT ONE INSTANCE of EVEN ONE PERSON who voted fraudulently as a result of anything ACORN did. And yet, we have two tainted presidential elections in 2000 and 2004 behind us, and now Virginia and Arizona essentially advocating Jim Crow-type tactics.

This is what Republicans are. It has always been thus.

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