DOJ goes after tea partiers, leaves club-wielding Black Panthers alone

Obama’s Department of Justice has suddenly turned on a dime, becoming the great pro-active protector of voters’ rights:

Poll watchers in Harris County, Texas — where a Tea Party group launched an aggressive anti-voter fraud effort — were accused of “hovering over” voters, “getting into election workers’ faces” and blocking or disrupting lines of voters who were waiting to cast their ballots as early voting got underway yesterday.

Now, TPMMuckraker has learned, the Justice Department has interviewed witnesses about the alleged intimidation and is gathering information about the so-called anti-voter fraud effort….

Terry O’Rourke, the first assistant in the Harris County Attorney’s office, told TPMMuckraker that there have been allegations of poll watchers talking to voters, which they are not allowed to do, as well as hovering over voters as they are waiting to vote. He said the complaints came from Kashmere Gardens, Moody Park, Sunnyside and other predominantly minority neighborhoods of the county.

It may well be that these Tea Partiers (or other poll watchers, since it’s not clear who belongs to the group) are out of line in some of their behavior (not unlike Michelle Obama on her trip to the polls), and if so, they should be kicked out of the polling places and punished for whatever the problem is. But given that the case against them has been built and brought by the Texas Democratic Party, it’s at least worth considering what sort of collusion is going on and whether the problem is that there are poll watchers in certain locations, full stop.

Obama’s politicized Justice Department has already lost all credibility when it comes to even-handed administration of justice on this matter. They let the Black Panthers off with one wrist-slap and two complete dismissals after their flagrant voter intimidation was caught on tape. Now they’re worried about poll watchers “talking to voters,” at a time when local Texas officials are preventing people from voting if they are wearing Gadsden Flag pins?

Should we call this a “Yellow and Green Scare?”

Moreover, the voter registration fraud claims discovered by this group are credible enough to merit attention. The poll-watchers went where they did because it’s a district in Houston where there were an astounding 24,000 addresses with more than six registered voters — about ten to fifteen times the number of such houses in most districts. So they dug deeper and found multiple people registered from vacant lots, impossibly large numbers of people (more than 40) registered in a seven-bed halfway house, registrations by avowed non-citizens, and several other anomalies. They then found that tens of thousands of these fraudulent registrations had been cooked up by a single union-backed outfit called Houston Votes:

Most of the findings focused on a group called Houston Votes, a voter registration group headed by Sean Caddle, who also worked for the Service Employees International Union before coming to Houston. Among the findings were that only 1,793 of the 25,000 registrations the group submitted appeared to be valid.The other registrations included one of a woman who registered six times in the same day; registrations of non-citizens; so many applications from one Houston Voters collector in one day that it was deemed to be beyond human capability; and 1,597 registrations that named the same person multiple times, often with different signatures.

If it is bad to intimidate voters — no matter how ineffective such efforts are — it is also bad to cancel out real people’s votes with fake ones. Such activity would be almost undetectable, even on a mass scale. As long as the possibility exists of disenfranchising real voters this way, then there’s certainly no harm in having people mind the voter lists, as long as they behave appropriately.

Beltway Confidentialelection 2010txUS

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