Friday, January 11, 2008

Space Invaders: Five Million Aliens for Hillary

This is really amazing. Laws are getting passed in state legislatures that promise to limit the Latino vote, and people of color, generally. -Dra. Valenzuela


Space Invaders: Five Million Aliens for Hillary:
Will José Crow Voter ID Laws Pick Our President?

by Greg Palast
Thursday, January 10, 2008

State Representative Russell Pearce of Mesa Arizona has warned us:

"There is a massive effort under way to register illegal aliens in this
country."

How many? According to the Congressman's office, there are five million:
Democrats, he says, who are not good Americans - they're Mexicans!

Really?! Holy Cow! The Senator has uncovered a conspiracy to flood the voter
rolls with Brown Hordes who've swum the Rio Grande just for a chance to vote
for Hillary Clinton?!

Thank the Lord for vigilant citizens like Senator Pearce. His efforts, along
with the work of other patriotic (Republican) politicians, successfully
stopped 300,000 voters from obtaining ballots in 2004 - because these voters
had brought the wrong ID to the polls. New ID laws in Arizona and half a
dozen states blocked these voters at the polling-house door. Others with
"wrong" ID's were handed what are called 'provisional' ballots - which were
then not counted.

On Wednesday, the Republican majority on the US Supreme Court indicated it
would vote to uphold these new voter ID requirements.

And just in time. If not for these new ID laws, warns Senator Pearce and
other Republicans across the nation, a dark wave of illegal aliens would
vote again in our upcoming Presidential election.

Or maybe not. Maybe there aren't five million illegal voters for Hillary or
Obama or Edwards. Maybe there are just five hundred. Maybe there are none.

I called Senator Pearce's office to get a couple of the names of these
illegal voters. After all, it should be easy as pie to catch them: they have
to give their names and addresses to register and vote. Odd thing, out of
five million illegal registrants, the Senator, after a week of looking,
couldn't provide me the name of one. Not one.

Another Republican politician, this one in New Mexico, the sponsor of the
voter ID law there, said on the floor of the State Legislature that she had
the names of two illegal voters. Well, that's a start.

I called her, Representative Justine Fox-Young (yes, that's her name, and
she has the ID to prove it).

Q. Justine, you've uncovered felony criminals [illegal voting is a jail-time
crime in every state]. Do you have the names?

A. Oh, yes!

Q. Really? Wow! Did you turn these names over to the US Attorney?

A. Well, no ….

Q. You had evidence of a crime and you didn't have the bad guys arrested?

A. Not exactly ….

Fox-Young promised to send me the names of the illegal voters. The names
never arrived. But shortly thereafter, based on her claim, the Legislature
passed, and Governor Bill Richardson signed, a voter ID law certain to knock
out Hispanic citizens. (In fairness to Richardson, I should note that he
forced the Republicans to drastically alter their bill.)

Our investigations team talked to some of New Mexico's allegedly illegal
voters.

In 2004, the Catholic Church organized a bus and caravan to take newly
registered Chicano "low-riders" to a Roswell, New Mexico polling station.
The white officials turned away several of the young Hispanics for
presenting the wrong ID. Maybe the middle initial on the voter form was
missing from the driver's license, or "Jr." was added. No perfect match, no
vote: a gotcha! set of rules that seemed to apply only to voters of a darker
hue.

One of the rejected young Chicanas said she wouldn't return to try again to
vote; one round of humiliation was enough. "They don't want me to vote there
anyway," she said. And they don't.

But hey, what's wrong with requiring voter ID? I'll give you a million
reasons. Since 2004, when 300,000 citizens lost their right to vote because
of ID challenges, the number of states that have passed voter ID laws has
quadrupled. Expect the challenges to quadruple as well, to over a million in
the upcoming 2008 presidential election. Does ID challenges make a
difference? In New Mexico, George Bush's victory over John Kerry by 5,900
votes can be completely accounted for by minority provisional ballots
rejected. ID was the key.

In Louisiana, the law says voters may be asked to produce a photo ID. A
study conducted by the US Department of Justice discovered that Black voters
are only one-fifth as likely to have photo ID's as white voters. (That
figure may be optimistic - as Justice took the survey before Black voters'
ID washed away with Hurricane Katrina.)

In New Mexico, in Louisiana, in Georgia, in Alabama and in Florida, it's the
same story. It's not a random set of voters who lose out on ID challenges;
it's voters of color.

Four years ago, the Jim Crow era ended when biased impediments to voting
were struck down by the courts and Congress: poll taxes, "literacy" tests,
citizenship tests that blocked Blacks more than whites. From that time until
now, almost every state has accepted your signature matched to prior records
as proof you're a legal voter. Now we're going to change this system to
prevent the crime of folks voting more than once and the crime of aliens
voting. The odd thing about these crimes: they virtually don't exist. Yet to
prevent crimes[image: iglesiasandpalast.jpg] that aren't committed, we are
allowing elections officials to commit a greater crime: stopping
legalvoters - especially new, young, Hispanic voters - from having
their piece of
our democracy.

Who was behind these viciously undemocratic, racist José Crow attack on
brown-skinned voters? His initials are Karl Rove. In 2006, I smelled out the
link to Rove, then White House political chief, when I reached out to the US
Attorney for New Mexico.

That US Attorney, David Iglesias, had indeed investigated the "illegal"
voters identified by Fox-Young, working from a list of 150 sent to him by
Republican officials. After marching all over the mesas with the FBI,
Iglesias found exactly zero cases to prosecute.

So, finding folks innocent, Iglesias did not arrest them. That was a mistake
- at least for his career. Karl Rove, visiting New Mexico, heard from the
state's Republican Party chiefs that Iglesias was not bringing prosecutions
and would not continue the witchhunt for "illegal" voters. Iglesias contends
that Rove took the Republican complaint to the Oval Office. There, a man who
goes by the alias, "The Decider," decided to fire Iglesias and other US
Attorneys who wouldn't agree to phony prosecutions of innocent voters.


Iglesias told me, "This voter fraud thing is the bogeyman. It was designed
to scare up, rile the [Republican] base. I looked into [the fraud
allegations] ...We didn't find the evidence."

I met with Iglesias at the park overlooking the Statue of Liberty in New
York. The wistful ex-prosecutor, who has returned to his former post with
the Navy as a JAG lawyer, said, "Looking back, I mean I feel like I was set
up; that they really felt that I would go forward with some half-baked
prosecutions and hope for a guilty plea. That's not what a legitimate
federal prosecutor does."

(Rove won't respond to BBC's requests for his views - nor respond to a
subpoena from Congress to explain his involvement in the firings.)

Whatever Rove's political motives, I did have to ask if there's a legitimate
reason for these new ID laws. I challenged the leader of the New Mexico
Catholic Charities voter drive, Santiago Juarez, to answer Ms. Fox-Young's
charge that, without voter ID, his new citizens could steal elections by
voting more than once using someone else's name.

Santiago replied, "How do you organize thousands of people to vote twice?
Hell, it's hard enough organizing them to vote once!"

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