Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

RNC casts red herrings before Grand Jury investigating NH voting fraud allegations

RNC got caught and is now backpedaling in New Hampshire.

This isn't the first time this week that the RNC and campaign funding have surfaced in the news. Last week, they were looking at the RNC funding in Chicago.

Chicago is not only the location of the Fitzgerald Grand Jury, but the same place Turkish nationals allegedly bribed Speaker of the House, Congressman Hastert to not do an official act.

What you can do

Read their words carefully. Then read the statutes.

The RNC is focusing on one thing, but the standards for oversight are something else. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act specifically refers to effects of conduct. There is no requirement that the officials specifically intended a result; only that the effect of the actions were discriminatory.

Thus, it doesn't matter whether the RNC did or didn't do anything:
The Republican Party has repeatedly and pointedly disavowed any tactics aimed at keeping citizens from voting since allegations of voter suppression surfaced during the Florida recount in 2000 that tipped the presidential race to Bush.

What really matters is whether the net effect of the actions was discriminatory. RNC paid legal costs with the assertion they "got a promise" that there was no wrong doing.

Notice what the RNC is saying: They're focusing on actions, and completely distracting attention from the effects of the conduct:
  • We will not tolerate fraud;
  • we will not tolerate intimidation;
  • we will not tolerate suppression.
  • No employee, associate or any person representing the Republican Party who engages in these kinds of acts will remain in that position," Mehlman wrote Monday to a group that studied voter suppression tactics.

  • This sounds like more of the Bush-ism about the "White House leak." Bush said that anyone engaged in wrongdoing wouldn't be working the White House. Then, he changed his mind to "convicted of wrong doing."

    As it stands, the RNC statements of "what they will not tolerate" is just a list of red herrings. Even if no actions occurred, the real test is whether the net effect of that conduct created discrimination.

    Even if nobody can prove anything was deliberate, there can still be discrimination under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. However, the way the RNC has worded their statement:

  • A. They're only promising to act if there's something specific; however, no court is going to care about the specific actions, only the effect; and

  • B. They make it sound like they're going to care or do something; but the way the statute is written, there's no reason to expect anyone to be held accountable for actions, as the only requirement is that the actions, even if they appeared lawful, had the net effect of being discriminatory.

    The RNC is making up non-sense to justify doing something which needs to get looked into. Fortunately, when the Chicago Grand Jury finishes its work, the new Grand Juries around the country will pick up where they left off.