USA Tim Griffin/"caging lists" redux

This thread got locked for too many ad hominems. Let us resume but remember the rules. Let us also avoid hijacks; Bush’s National Guard record and Dan Rather’s firing are not relevant. This is about an alleged Republican plot to block minority votes in the 2004 election; also about the fact that one of the key players was recently appointed a U.S. attorney.

In Ohio some newly registered voters received certified letters from the Republican party. I was one of them. If the voter wasn’t home the postal service left the traditional card for the letter to be picked up at the post office. If that letter wasn’t picked up, the letter’s refusal was used as a basis for challenging a voter’s residence.

Here is a link to a NPR article describing how, in one county, federal judges stepped in and put a stop to the challenges. I’ll grant you that the 976 voters challenged are a pretty small drop in the bucket of a county where 270,000 voters went to the polls in 2004.

Originally quoted by Ms. McCraney:

It may not have been an effort to stop blacks from voting, but it was an effort to stop newly registered voters. If those voters happened to skew black, it would have been de facto supression of black votes, if not de jure .

I don’t get it, from any side or political persuasion. This sort of individually targeted approach, as in the “registered letter” scam, seems unlikely to generate enough actual numbers, a few thousand here and there.

Now, the wholesale operation, like that conducted in Florida in 2000, that is a different kettle of piranha. But knocking off a couple hundred registered voters of the Disagreeable Party…why bother? Why break into a bank to steal $2?

Re-read posts #45-47 in the original thread. Apparently the use of registered mail was an exception; it was mostly done through regular first-class mail.

Recent interview with Palast in Dollars & Sense magazine.

You were asked more than once in the other thread to further discuss Ralph Neas’ view of the illegality of the racial composition of the caging list. Or at least to *cite * it or sumpin’.

So … Got any meat for us to chew on?

All such Dopers who are resolute in ignoring that straight line are to be commended.

Couldn’t think of anything, huh? :smiley:

I’m a lawyer but I’ve never been involved in a voting rights case. But I’ll take a stab at it. From wiki:

Discussed in greater detail, with relevant case law, at p. 12 et seq. of this pdf file.

From the Department of Justice website:

Here’s the relevant text of the Act, Title 42 U.S. Code, Chapter 20:

What the Pubs are accused of doing with the “caging lists” certainly had racially discriminatory effects. Proving that intention on their part would not be necessary (but nor would it be difficult).

Now, the problem here is that the statute applies only to officials, and it is concerned with determining the legality of state voting requirements, not with assigning criminal penalties. The misconduct alleged by Palast was on the part of RNC and Bush campaign operatives; therefore, while it stinks, it might not be a crime. There may be other applicable laws against private citizens interfering with others’ access to the polls; I’ll try to do some research on that and get back to you.

Another relevant passage from Armed Madhouse, p. 201:

(As Palast notes later in the chapter, the Pubs might argue nothing done in 2004 violated the consent decree because the decree was signed by the national party, not the state parties.)

Assuming Palast has got this story right, particularly the part about Pubs “facing prosecution” in 1981, there must be something that criminalizes the conduct in question; I’ll also try to find something about that story. I’ll also shoot Palast an e-mail, though he probably is too busy with his book tour to answer.

This might be useful. has a page with the emails they received, including the caging lists. Here’s a link to it.

Greg Palast in NYC in May 2007 discussing this.

This page has images of the e-mails in question.

Well, at least the print MSM didn’t ignore this story at the time. In this post-election article in Rolling Stone

– I found a link to this story in WaPo, 10/29/04:

Tangentially relevant news: Senator Mitch McConnell is proposing an amendment to the immigration bill that would require everybody to present government-issued ID before voting in any federal election.

Here’s a skeptical take on Palast’s story by a blogger called “DRATIONAL.”

And here’s Palast’s response. Most interesting is the last paragraph:

:confused: Oh, don’t tease us!

I already have to present a photo ID for both federal and local elections. Am I being repressed?

According to Greg Palast, the House Judiciary Committee stumbled big and missed an important part of Goodling’s testimony – where she said Kyle Sampson lied to Congress when he denied that he had spoken with Goodling about Tim Griffin’s involvement in “caging” voters in the 2004 elections.

The key point here is the caging, which according to Palast is a go-to-jail felony. And Palast says he has emails showing that Griffin was in charge of a GOP caging operations that attempted to deny the vote to hundreds of thousands of mostly voters.

So, right there, evidence of a felony, and Palast will be happy to provide it to the Dem House Judiciary members (Pubbies, too, I 'm sure, but they probably wouldn’t be interested) if they only have the wit to ask.

Here’s the link:

Read it and weep, PUbbie apologists.

Really? I don’t. The rules vary from place to place. Palast noted in his book that in 2004 many Latino and Native American voters in New Mexico were turned away at the polls because they had “the wrong ID” – not no ID, not false ID, not somebody else’s ID, but just the wrong kind. :confused:

It’s illegal but it might not be a crime. See post #9.

BTW, I have absolutely no objection to a national ID card – provided it’s provided to everyone for free. Charging the card-holder money for it would be a form of poll tax.

Such a card would necessarily specify whether the holder is a citizen or non-citizen – and undocumented aliens would not get the card at all. I have no problem with that, either.