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Thread: Voter Suppression in 2018 and before/after in USA Politics

  1. #1

    Default Voter Suppression in 2018 and before/after in USA Politics

    What We Must Do Now:
    Abrams, Georgia & Something Extraordinary

    By Greg Palast

    Days ago, I received a call from Stacey Abrams’ lead attorneys. Our investigative team had “gold,” as they put it, for litigating the election: Expert analysis proving 340,134 voters were wrongly purged. Plus, we had, on camera, victims of the purge, including the 92-year-old cousin of Martin Luther King.

    Stacey Abrams, Greg Palast review Georgia Purge list 2014 - Photo by Zach D Roberts
    But I’m a journalist, not a campaign operative. I could only offer my reports and my affidavit filed in federal court in Common Cause v. Brian Kemp.

    With Stacey Abrams no longer in the race for Governor, we are now free to open our files to her new voting rights group, Fair Fight Georgia.

    Did you note that Abrams cited our story of 92-year-old Christine Jordan purged from the voter rolls? That should give “Governor-elect” Kemp pause. Because that’s the signal that this heartbreaking story will become the hammer to smash the Kemp-created Jim Crow machine.

    (And Ms. Jordan is up to the task, telling me she’s willing to take the fight into federal court, “If somebody will help me walk there.”)

    The immediate weapon will be litigation against the State of Georgia to show that the election was hopelessly tainted, which, under Georgia statute, could result in a court throwing out the whole rotting dung-heap of an election. That is why Abrams technically did not concede, but rather dropped her claim to office. (Lawyers will understand that she has to maintain “standing.”)

    Abrams vocally took up the issue of the massive purge of voters – and intends to defend those purged. This is what’s really historic about her candidacy. Yes, Abrams is the first African-American woman nominated for governor by the Democratic Party. More revolutionary is that she is the first Democratic candidate to demand an end to racist ethnic cleansing of the voter rolls. (If Al Gore had taken that stance in 2000, maybe Stacey would be Governor today – and, hey Al, they’d be calling you Mr. President.)

    Our investigation produced the facts – and the names and addresses of the 340,134 voters wrongly purged for supposedly moving out of Georgia or out of their congressional districts – but never moved an inch.

    We are now free to hand over those lists to the Abrams litigation team, the NAACP, the SCLC, ACLU and others who are opening courtroom fronts. We are talking with them all.

    And my own suit against Kemp and his successors continues in Atlanta federal court with my co-plaintiff, Helen Butler, Executive Director of the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples Agenda. That group was founded by the Rev. Joseph Lowery, now 97. When I described to him the details of Brian Kemp’s voter-roll trickery, he said, “It’s Jim Crow all over again.”

    Co-Plaintiffs Palast and Helen Butler are suing Brian Kemp - Photo by Zach D Roberts
    There was no despair in Lowery’s voice about America’s new backsliding on civil rights. Rather, he and Helen are up for the fight.

    If Rev. Lowery and Christine Jordan are up for it, can we do anything but join?

    And the battlefront is wide. While we’re suing in Georgia, attorneys for the Palast Investigative Fund have also filed notices of suit in 25 other states that employ the Kemp-Kobach voter-erasing games. (Yes, Kris Kobach is the man in Kemp’s shadow. Kobach provided Kemp with 106,000 of the names Kemp wrongly purged. Surprised?)

    Kemp’s “Getaway” Scheme
    Why did Stacey Abrams have to end the fight over the count? Because Kemp not only planned his crime carefully – and make no mistake, knowingly preventing citizens from voting is a crime – Kemp also had a brilliant “getaway” scheme.

    I saw it firsthand in DeKalb County on Election Day. I knew that some portion of the 340,134 voters wrongly purged would attempt to vote anyway as is their right under federal law. Any American that signs a statement that he or she is a citizen and provides a local address has the right to vote “provisionally.”

    This was Abrams’ hope. If courts would order the counting of provisional ballots of those wrongly purged, she’d be governor. The GOP clearly thought of that. So, to being with, they simply refused to count the provisional ballots. But worse – and this is as brilliant as it is evil and illegal – officials simply refused to give voters provisional ballots.

    So, you have to hand it to the Kemp forces: you can’t have a court order the counting of ballots that were never cast: Like the ballot never cast by Yasmin Bakhtiari of Atlanta – illegally refused a provisional ballot though she wouldn’t leave the polling station for two hours – until her third plea for a ballot was rejected.

    And this is where our work is also helpful to rights litigants: we have gathered the names of victims and their stories. We even have an official caught on camera refusing a legitimate request for a provisional ballot.)

    I have been investigating Brian Kemp for five years. And I remember in 2014 shocking a Legislator, Stacey Abrams, with Kemp’s purge lists. She told my al Jazeera audience that she was furious that “our Secretary of State” was spending his time attacking the voter rolls.

    Little did I imagine they’d be squaring off years later, and Kemp’s voter-roll monkey business would be decisive in the ugliest way.

    Back in 2014, Abrams was most concerned that Kemp was operating vampire-style, “stealthily” purging voters in a secretive operation.

    And that’s where investigative reporting comes in – and I’m not talking about insider gossip and leaks – but the years of work to extract the secret purge files, and to analyze reams of data that can tell a story. And today is when it pays off… not whether it helps this candidate or that, but whether the facts – those brave bits of truth – can speak.

    I know a lot of my Democratic friends will be unhappy that their candidate lost. But don’t miss the power of this moment: you can say, you were here when the new rights movement was born.

    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  2. #2

    Default Voter Suppression and Other Issues For 2018

    I was working with a small team of volunteers trying to get voters out. We contacted around 5000 people through canvassing and phone calls. We succeeded beyond our wildest expectations. Voter turnout in our city was 77% but only 50+% in the county and the neighboring counties where we were not active.

    So I was educated on just how effective a team of only 5 or 6 core people can be in getting voter turnout.

    The next problem is 2020.

    I don't want to be a professional pessimist or doomsayer. But when you look at the recent electoral map and the newly "blue" areas, the places that stand out are Northeastern Iowa, Southern Wisconsin and Southern and Western Minnesota. Those areas have always been "blue" and the voters are still very available to Democrats.

    The problem is that most Democratically-oriented people are sitting back and allowing CNN and MSNBC to pick their "poster child" (or children?).

    If the Dems are to win in 2020 they will need to win Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. They just can't succeed in that effort by parroting the material put out there by the billionaire-dominated CNN, MSNBC and the "mainstream" media (not even to mention the jaded Fox News).

    Trump is clearly on the right side of the trade issue. Note that the MEDIA DARLINGS of the midterms were Andrew Gillum in Florida and Stacey Abrams in Georgia. But both of these two lost their races. And they both followed the Hillary playbook by seeming to see victory in defeat. This curse of identity politics (a losing strategy) is being pushed by the National Security State, the Mainstream Media, the Globalists and the Coastal Elites.

    Trump is basically a buffoon--I would argue that to this point he has been pretty much harmless based on his actions--clearly not harmless in his borderline racist-rhetoric. It's funny how many very smart people think that Trump's buffoonery is worse than the War Criminal, Bank-destroying, economically disastrous policies of the GW Bush-Cheney gang.

    Funny how Bill Clinton and Trump have had SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS of their sex life and other stuff, but the acknowledged WAR CRIMINAL G.W. Bush gets a complete pass.

    I'm afraid many people (especially Democrats) are drinking the Kool-Aid that the perfect Presidential candidate must be a SPECIMEN selected by the identity politics system. This system is just not delivering victories, at least not in the Upper Midwest.

    Definition: "Specimen--an example of something such as a product or piece of work, regarded as typical of its class or group".

    Trump is pretty much a "specimen" under the above definition. But you can't just fight a specimen with a specimen. Trump is a PRODUCT and always has been. But what Democratic voters are desperate for is an AUTHENTIC PERSON, NOT A SPECIMEN.

    I have to admit that I'm partial to Elizabeth Warren at this point. She is known entirely for her beliefs and policies, especially on dealing with banks and corporations. (She is not a hidden mole working on behalf of billionaires).

    Even states like Texas and Arizona could be won by the Dems in 2020. But they must make an appeal to the portion of Trump voters who are prioritizing MAJOR ISSUES LIKE HEALTHCARE, IMMIGRATION, AND TRADE (i.e. jobs).

    Identity politics are just poison injected into the media by the coastal elites in Silly-Cone Valley and the likes of Goldman-Sachs and the Council on Foreign Relations (the "Davos People")---which all add up to Globalism and low-wage policies.

    Please, folks. Don't pass along any ELITE KOOL-AID in the next campaign. We need to begin with real, important economic and healthcare issues and not rate people based on their skin color or exotic cultural or gender connections.

    James Lateer

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