Michigan Dems and the Obama Campaign Sue for Foreclosure-Related Vote-Caging

The Michigan Democratic Party and the Obama campaign just finished a conference call announcing that they will sue the Republican Party for its plans to conduct vote-caging operations this fall, based partly on using lists of people in foreclosure to challenge peoples’ right to vote (here is Time’s recording of the call). They are seeking an injunction to prevent the GOP from engaging in these activities this year.

The move arose out of a Michigan Messenger story last week which quoted a county party chair, on the record, as saying he planned to use foreclosure lists as a basis for vote-caging.

The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County, Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.

State election rules allow parties to assign “election challengers” to polls to monitor the election. In addition to observing the poll workers, these volunteers can challenge the eligibility of any voter provided they “have a good reason to believe” that the person is not eligible to vote. One allowable reason is that the person is not a “true resident of the city or township.”

The Michigan Republicans’ planned use of foreclosure lists is apparently an attempt to challenge ineligible voters as not being “true residents.”

When asked whether they had more evidence that the GOP planned to engage in this kind of voter-caging this year, MDP Chair Mark Brewer and Obama Campaign General Counsel Bob Bauer referred to the changing story among different members of the MI GOP–that stop short of real denials, of similar statements coming from an OH county chair, and of a former MI Republican Counsel, Eric Doster, admitting the party did plan on doing vote caging, though perhaps using returned mail.

The campaign explained the goals of their suit this way:

The complaint filed today seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to challenge the “lose your home, lose your vote” vote-suppression program adopted by the Macomb County Republican Party, in concert with the Michigan Republican Party and the Republican National Committee, as well as unnamed Defendants who will implement the scheme at polling places in Macomb County and throughout the State.  This “lose your home, lose your vote” program is part of a broader scheme – misnamed an “election integrity” program – to harass voters and suppress the vote throughout the State of Michigan in the upcoming election on November 4.

Here’s a copy of the complaint.

One more thing: Someone asked about the potential scope of this practice. Mark Brewer noted that in July there were 11,000 homes in MI alone that were considered to be in foreclosure. Brewer also pointed out that many of the people on these lists in MI were still in their homes. So when you consider the possibility they’ll use foreclosure lists going back some time, you see how many people in MI this could affect.

I’ll update this story with more details shortly.

For the moment, though, know that the MDP adn the Obama campaign are treating GOP plans for vote-caging as a “national and systematic program” that they will fight seriously.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

  1. PaminBB says:

    This is really good news, could be the basis for an interesting ad campaign. “First, the banks try to take away your home. Then, the Republican Party and the McCain campaign want to take away your rights as a citizen.”

    • dustbunny44 says:

      Just wondering….

      What would the reaction be if someone filed a suit to block voter registration from all people who had MORE THAN ONE residence or property?
      The argument, of course, would be that these people are voting more than once, in each of their residences, and are committing voter fraud. Except that in this case, most of these people would be upper-income Rethuglican-leaning McCain-backing greedheads.
      Uh, excuse the politically incorrect adjectives, I really didn’t mean that.

      Still, this would be a like-for-like rejoinder to those caging votes to foreclosed properties.
      It would enlighten the debate, no?

      • wavpeac says:

        Isn’t that exactly was coulter did? Holy crap!! batman I think you have a hell of a point!

        law folks…??? anything???

        • looseheadprop says:

          It’s a big issue here in NYS. People with summer homes on Fire Island, the Hamptons, etc want to be able to vote in the Village elections for those places so they can depress the taxes on their second homes, thereby starving the school systems and public servies for the year round “townies”

  2. Neil says:

    This is great news. The only way to effectively counteract voter caging is to identify and halt it before election day.

    Do we see this type of proactive response in other battleground states? What other voter caging strategies do we think will be employed and where? I thing the DNC must have a group following this and acting, no? To the extent they would make their research public, others (yes we can) could get involved and act before the damage is done.

  3. Oval12345678akaJamesKSayre says:

    There seems to be no bottom for the falling GOP values. They will stoop to anything to win. How vile can one political party get? Actually, the Republicans have been stealing elections electronically since 1996, when Chuck Hagel stole his Nebraska Senate seat by having his own voting machine company (ES&S) “count the votes” in the Republican primary election and the runoff election.

    Some of my comments published almost four years ago:

    Another stolen election: Bush stole the election again in 2004, by the rigging of right-wing corporate electronic vote-counting machines.

    To the Editor:

    The exit polls that showed a sweeping Senator Kerry Democratic election victory on November 2nd were right. Unfortunately, the 2004 Presidential election was cleanly stolen by Bush & Co. How, you say? With the help of Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and SAIC, four interlocked secretive right-wing electronic voting machine manufacturers. We have entrusted the most important election task, that of actually counting and tabulating the vote totals to extremist organizations with secret proprietary vote-counting computer software with no auditable paper trail for hand recounts. How very convenient, how very clean, how very slick and with all the evidence of election rigging is buried deep on their computer hard drives.

    Senator John F. Kerry won a landslide Democratic victory in the November 2, 2004 Presidential election by between two million and five million votes. The pre-election public opinion polls pointed to a large and growing Kerry election day majority and the election day exit polls also indicated a Kerry victory. Unfortunately, theocratic extremely right-wing computer election machine manufacturing corporations were in charge of “counting” the votes of millions and millions of Americans. Some how, a few million Kerry votes didn’t get counted and a few million bogus Bush votes showed up in the final election tallies and voile, a Bush “victory.”

    Democracy in 21st century America has been kidnapped and destroyed by extreme right-wing control of the new secret computerized electronic vote counting systems. Verifiable hand-counted paper ballots are the only way to restore legitimate elections in America.

    Just search the Internet for any terms such as “black box voting,” “Max Cleland,” “Diebold,” “Sequoia,” “SE&S,” “Greg Palest,” “election fraud” or “election theft” and you will find a wealth of information to help arm you in the coming fight to restore legitimate free elections and democracy in our country.

    In 2002, the Republican Party staged their test run of controlling the new Diebold computerized paper-trail-free electronic voting systems that were installed in every precinct in the State of Georgia. It worked like a charm. Two popular Democratic incumbents, the Governor Roy Barnes and Senator Max Cleland, were both “defeated” by Republican challengers. The Democrats were both ahead by several points in both the pre-election voter opinion polls and in the election day exit polls, yet the Diebold voting machines declared the two Republican challengers as winners. The local media claimed to be “amazed” by this election “upset.” They should have been horrified and outraged. These elections were stolen electronically. There was no paper trail, no recount was possible and for good measure, Diebold Corporation “accidentally erased” the disputed 2002 election returns data from their computer hard disk drives a few days after the election. How convenient, how clean, how slick and how crooked is Republican election theft in the 21st century.

    The 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections were both stolen by Bush & Company. The 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections will suffer the same fate unless we institute a complete and total return to traditional, verifiable hand-counted paper election ballots.

    The Republican Party will never lose another Presidential election as long as we allow their corporate buddies to “count” our votes in secret.

    Yours truly,

    James K. Sayre

    11 November 2004

  4. SmileySam says:

    The Director of the FBI promised Conyers he would look into the use of Foreclosures to cage votes today at the hearing. ( Not that that means much )

  5. puravida says:

    For those of us worried that Obama can’t play political hardball, we can stop worrying. Methinks the man learned a few things in southside Chicago, and is now putting those lessons to good use.

  6. alabama says:

    The logic of the problem is obvious, and the history arising from that logic is more obvious still.

    There have not been enough Republicans to win Presidential elections since 1988, or perhaps since 1984 (Reagan’s re-election). Since the Republicans can’t win, they must either lose the election or capture the office at stake by stealing it.

    And so we, the Democrats, need lawyers and detectives. How many lawyers and detectives? As many as it takes to fight and forestall the theft. But what kind of theft? There must be scores, if not hundreds, of ways to steal votes, each of them requiring detectives and lawyers who specialize in anticipating, witnessing, and prosecuting thefts of that particular kind. And they have to be sufficiently skilled, and sufficiently numerous, to confront those thefts in all fifty states (in principle, if not in practice), in the military, and even in the expatriate communities. Perhaps (why not?) this might require 100,000 lawyers and an equal number of detectives. Their work would have to be pro bono, of course, and it presupposes an equivalent number of Republican lawyers and detectives devoted to stealing those votes (mostly, I suppose, by blocking them).

    This is not a complicated issue: if McCain is installed as President, the general public will have accept the fact that either the nation’s detectives and lawyers are largely on McCain’s team (a sign of incredibly bad judgment), or that they really don’t care about elections (a sign, I suppose, of bad citizenship–and a conviction that the rule of law is no longer connected in any way with the pursuit of something once called “justice,” or “democracy”).

    This should be fun to watch….

    • looseheadprop says:

      lawyers who specialize in anticipating, witnessing, and prosecuting thefts of that particular kind.

      There are such lawyers. Here in NY it’s called New York Democratic Lawyer’s Council. There are Democratic Lawyer’s Councils in many states (ideally they should be in all 50, but this 50 state project thingy is taking time to build).

      If you can’t find one in your state–by calling your state party chair. You can signe up for Young Lawyers for Obama (regardless of age) and the campaign will siphon you into the appropriate lawyers group.

      I am part of a working group of lawyers putting together legal memoranda, sample litigation documents and evidence collection and preservation procedures.


      really, call your state party. sign up for YLfO or, if all else fails, call the DNC and ask for Anna Martinez.

  7. Funnydiva2002 says:

    Hey, EW
    Thanks for being right on top of this. Talk about insult to injury.
    Isn’t there some amendment to the Constitution that abolished the property ownership requirement for voting? Are they also going to go after people who are in the midst of being evicted because they can’t meet the rent?

    Disgusting. Boundlessly, overflowingly disgusting.


  8. ratfood says:

    Of course, the notion of Republicans cheating is no surprise. What I find interesting is the presumption that people in foreclosure would vote for Democrats. It amounts to an admission that GOP policies are responsible for the foreclosure crisis.

  9. jayt says:

    “lose your home, lose your vote”

    that’s a very nice distillation. Republican policies (de-regulation) largely behind the mortgage crisis being turned around to make sure *more* fucking Republicans are elected…

    • jayt says:

      and he just repeated the lie (hmm, need to be more specific here) about Alaska being responsible for 20% of the nation’s “energy”.

      proposed New Rule:

      When a Repub lies to an interviewer, the cameraman should be required to immediately smash a cream-pie in the interviewee’s face.

  10. dosido says:

    epu downstairs but belongs here esp. since i still feel this way:

    I can’t believe someone would have the gall to stake out the polls with foreclosure lists and confront someone who just lost their house, saying, now you can’t vote. Then again, I’m not a dickhead.

  11. Bluetoe2 says:

    Republicans need to be caged in state, federal and international prisons. The Republican Party is a 5th column that if allowed will destroy what is left of democracy in the U.S.. Republicans are a far greater threat to the nation’s security than any cave dwelling terrorist. They must be excised from the body politic just as a cancer must be excised from the body.

  12. Bluetoe2 says:

    “The fundamental business of the country, that is production and distribution of commodities, is on a sound and prosperous basis.”

    – President Herbert Hoover, in a press conference on October 30, 1929, the day following the Stock Market Crash, on the eve of the Great Depression

    Sound familiar?

  13. RoyalOak says:

    Thanks for this! I’ve been very concerned since I first read about this and then the media kept saying that it was denied, it was not true. I knew in my heart it was true and that it would happen. The Republicans will try every dirty trick in their arsenal to keep the power of the White House. It’s so reassuring to see that the Obama campaign is not only paying close attention but taking action as well.

  14. Ishmael says:

    EPUd from prior thread on Troopergate….

    CNN just reports that 5 Alaska legislators have sued to stop the Palin investigation, on the grounds of “bias”. Waiting for details…..

    (MUST….NOT….TYPE….. “BREAKING!!!”…..)

    • Ishmael says:

      The McCain campaign is clearly behind this attempt to spike the Troopergate investigation – how do I know? Well, Rick Sanchez tells me that Spiky Mikey Isikoff will be on CNN in the next hour, that no one knows more about the story than Mikey, and that he will explain it to us in the next hour!!!

  15. wigwam says:

    OT: Ladies’ choice:

    For reasons that this white woman cannot comprehend, John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin has resulted in a 53% to 37% lead for the GOP team among white female voters. Even more appalling, Newsweek reports that one in three white women is more likely to vote for McCain because he chose Palin as a running mate.

    Emphasis mine.

  16. dosido says:

    EW: I hope FDL will post about the need to register right now, and perhaps reregister if you have moved since the primaries. Also check your voter status.


    Everyone can go here as a starting point and click on your home state for more info. Generally, there is a link to your Secretary of State and/or voter registrar’s office.

  17. SouthernDragon says:

    A hypothetical:

    My name is on the foreclosure list. On election day I still reside in the home and have all the normal paper that shows I’m the resident, e.g., electric, water bills, bank statements, etc. If challenged at the polls how would I really prove that I was indeed living in the foreclosed home? The challenger could say that I was just picking up the mail or some such.

  18. Ishmael says:

    Excellent legal strategy to get this going now – it allows for the possibility of discovery before the election, gets affidavits on other undemocratic processes on the record, gets reporters briefed on the issues, allows the framing of the issues in the pleadings. Good stuff!!!

  19. RoyalOak says:

    May I tell you about left leaning voter disenfranchisement in Michigan? In 1999, U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (then a Republican state senator) sponsored a law that required people to have the same street address on their voter registration and on their Michigan drivers license. In 2000 Rogers won a hotly contested race for the US House by 111 votes, primarily because this law prevented many Michigan State University, located in Rodgers’ district, students from voting on campus. Second, Michigan is one of only 5 states that will not allow you to absentee vote if you have never voted before and did not register to vote in person at an appropriate government office. So if you’re a college student who has never voted before, like my youngest son, you can either pay train fare and miss an entire day of classes to vote (so your vote costs you not only your time but also nearly $100) OR you can register to vote where you attend college and be forced to change your drivers license to your college address. Imagine all the Michigan college students this affects – imagine how many would vote democratic.

  20. perris says:

    This “lose your home, lose your vote” program is part of a broader scheme – misnamed an “election integrity” program

    they have mastered this technique haven’t they;

    “the patriot act”, plagiarized from Hitler’s “enabling act” is treason in writing

    “the clean air act” allows corporations to dump their cancer in our air

    “no child left behind” destroys the public education system

    and the list goes on, they are very good at that “misnaming” stuff

  21. scribe says:

    Just for the record: a search of publicly available (i.e., without fee or password) databases indicates that Mr. James Carabelli of Michigan has two addresses, both in Utica, Michigan.

    I wonder (a) which of them he will vote from (or will it be both) and (b) whether his credentials, bona fides and residency will be challenged when he goes to the polls.

    It seems to me he would be a very suitable candidate for that treatment.

  22. leinie says:

    I’m driving to work yesterday, and the local npr station is running a local story about how the county is encouraging people to vote early and absentee:

    Official’s fear November’s General Election will shatter expectations of voter turnout and could cause needlessly long wait times at most precincts. If predictions stand true, the Ada County Clerk’s Office estimates more than 160,000 people will likely cast a ballot on November 4th. Another factor that may increase wait times at the polls is the ballot itself. The new optical scan ballot is full and will take longer to vote than compared to the old punch card system. Pair that with delays associated with same-day voter registrations at the polls, and election officials say you have the making of a perfect storm.

    “Based on the early enthusiasm we’ve seen building for the presidential election and several statewide candidates, we can already tell this year’s election will be huge,” said Ada County Deputy Clerk Christopher Rich. “We took a realistic look at our existing system and realized one of the ways we could reduce wait times is to remind voters about their ability to vote absentee. By requesting an absentee ballot, voters can vote in the privacy of their own home at a time that is most convenient for them. Aside from saving time, voting absentee will also help voters save gas money spent on driving to a polling location.”

    This is for little Blue enclave Boise in the midst of reddest of the red Idaho.

    I want to believe it’s to benefit voters – I mean, this is Idaho, those 3 electoral votes ain’t going the Dem way – but the cynic in me wonders if they are a little worried about the down ticket races?

  23. Frank33 says:

    The neo-cons are also doing vote caging in Kansas. The Kansas Democrats do not fight this (way to go Michigan Dems). Neo-con Kris Kobach worked under Gonzales at the Department of Injustice. This Professor of Law at the University of Missouri at KC, braggs about stealing votes.

    “To date, the Kansas GOP has identified and caged more voters in the last 11 months than the previous two years!” brags Kansas GOP chairman Kris Kobach in his end-of-year letter.

    Here is one way they do it.

    Here’s how the scheme worked: The RNC mailed these voters letters in envelopes marked, “Do not forward”, to be returned to the sender. These letters were mailed to servicemen and women, some stationed overseas, to their US home addresses. The letters then returned to the Bush-Cheney campaign as “undeliverable.”

    The lists of soldiers of “undeliverable” letters were transmitted from state headquarters, in this case Florida, to the RNC in Washington. The party could then challenge the voters’ registration and thereby prevent their absentee ballots being counted.”

  24. falasafa says:

    Gives a little more insight into the GOP mantra about an “ownership society”. Don’t own your home anymore? So sorry, but Freedom ain’t free. Maybe next election.

  25. i4u2bi says:

    Maybe this is just a misunderstanding on my part however it was reported on NPR on 9/15/08 that the Mi AG will prosecute anyone for voter fraud that has lost their home and tries to vote in Mi. This is more than voter caging, this is criminal.

  26. earlofhuntingdon says:

    It bears repeating: foreclosure actions can take quite some time and evictions, if necessary, come after them. Conceivably, residents might stay on longer for several reasons, including a likelihood in there be serious backlogs in foreclosing or evicting residents because of the reams of foreclosures in a given neighborhood (sometimes hundreds). When it comes time to vote, a voter could easily still “reside” at the address listed on some computerized list of foreclosed homes, making that list an unreliable and therefore legally flawed indicator of current address.

    Goopers want to use such lists as proving a negative — a voter couldn’t possibly still live there. Hence, s/he shouldn’t be allowed to vote until they can prove that they do. A valid goal the Goopers have hijacked, which results in delaying votes and vote counting, and causing considerable pain for already cash-strapped county election officials and voters.

    It’s tough enough for many voters just to get to the polls in normal times. America has resisted the European model of sensibly mandating national election day as a paid day off, nor do we hold elections on Sundays or another existing holiday. Imagine voting while looking for working, trying to make an interview, caring for a family stressed to the max because of financial and foreclosure problems, etc.

    Those concerns highlight a major purpose of these vote caging programs. (They have now been scaled up to full-fledged nationwide programs, so it’s no longer accurate to call them “schemes”.) That is to get those most likely to vote Democrat, those who have lost the most through eight years of Republican misrule, not to vote in the first place.

    Obama’s people would be smart to do this nationwide, not just in Michigan, because the GOP are geared up to cage votes nationwide. Not just vote caging programs, but legal challenges of all kinds in every Rove and RNC supercomputer-identified election hot spot. It may be appalling that the Goopers are so hell-bent to stop Americans voting, but unless Obama wants to go back to community organizing instead of running the country, he needs to challenge these disenfranchisement programs before the election, not after it.

    • looseheadprop says:

      Another thinng, by publicly announcing the basis of the intended challenges, the GOP has chilled the voters.

      Would YOU want to experience the humilation of having the fact that your house is in foreclosure publicaly announced at the polling place in front of your neighbors?

  27. Blub says:

    OK. dumb question. Limiting voting by economic advantage is constitutionally prohibited (can’t remember the case law for that, but I do believe that it exists). Wouldn’t the rethug caging measures amount to an attempt to achieve the same type of restriction?

    • perris says:

      even if so it would take an attorney general who cared to prosecute, this ag won’t prosecute adminstration operatives

  28. perris says:

    so we stop this particular voter caging in it’s tracks, the real problem is going to be electronic machines flipping votes

    and I don’t care what you might say about getting more votes out than they can flip, right now mccain is polling higher then obama, even here in democratic new york mccain is only 5 points behind, it doesn’t matter what the real figures are, all that matters is that the polls say it’s close, that means they can flip to their hearts content to insure a mccain win

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Not to trash the polling outfits, but I’ve actually watched polling outfits work and looked at their stats and I’m skeptical.

      This is Rovian crap about McCain doing so well.
      He may be in some spots, but I don’t for one instant believe the polls are accurately catching
      – New voters
      – Cell owners

      I’ve had several calls from what appear to be polling organizations; since I block most calls, they don’t inconvenience me. But that also means they have to find someone else in my demographic (female, boomer, suburban: the ‘key group’ that Palin is supposed to appeal to).

      It’s Rovian bullshit to alarm people.

      Whatever the Dem ‘internals’, we aren’t going to know them until well after the election.

      • perris says:

        but my point is that once the polls show a close race they can mega flip the machines and the results will be believeable

        I once thought these polls were being gamed, that they were fixing the polling data so they could flip the vote and nobody could make too big a stink

        I still believe that might be going on even though I have had a rude awakening from my democratic friends who are “waiting for the debates to decide”

        that’s rediculous, a democrat CANNOT be “waiting for the debates”, there is no debate, a democrat MUST take office for this country to survive yet there they are thinking about going to mccain



        but that doesn’t matter, even if these polls are being gamed, that will make a flip more believable and that is what we have to worry about

        • freepatriot says:

          Yo, perris and readeroftealeaves:

          cheer up

          the polls are indeed being gamed

          voter registration numbers have changed significantly since 2006, and even MORE since 2004

          the polling models based on 2004 numbers are oversampling repuglitards by 10 to 15 points, and undersampling democrats by 2 to 6 points

          and to make it EVEV worse, soggers and rasmussen had to adjust their traccking polls more toward the repuglitards THREE FUCKING TIMES, and then finally switch from “registered voters” to “likely voters” to keep this race close

          if you wanna know what’s really goin on, check the senate race polls, and cross check the registration numbers with the actual voter registration numbers from each state

          none of the Kerry-Gore states are really “In Play”

          mcsame is in trouble in North Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Colorado, Nevada and Arizona

          • perris says:

            that is my hope freepatriot but it dosn’t address my real point;

            they are gaming the polls for a reason, is it to keep it a race for ratings?


            but it might be to demonstrate a close race so the machines can be flipped and nobody will make to big a stink

            if they have to flip the machines 20 points to win and the polls show that, then the flip won’t work, if the polls show a close race they can easily flip the machines 20 points and the results will still look legit

  29. wavpeac says:

    All I can tell you is that these lenders and servicers CAUSE the foreclosures, by using illegal methods such as refusing to communicate with you, not applying payments properly, adding fees of which you have no knowlege. The sh#t needs to hit the fan. Maybe this will finally get this issue out of the dark. I am so tired of hearing that it’s these high risk clients that cause the problem. Had the servicer followed the federal laws I, and literally hundreds of thousands of others would not be on those foreclosure lists. http://www.msfraud.org/howtheysteal.html

  30. freepatriot says:

    if you were to come into my garage and challenge my neighbors’ right to vote, I just might not notice when my neighbors drag your sorry ass out into the street and beat the shit out of you …

    and TRUST ME, my neighbors are gonna beat the shit out of you

    it has happened before (ask the pedophile with the video camera who once lived down the street)

    it’s time to deal with these DICKWADS the good old fashioned way

    interfere with someone’s right to vote, and NOBODY is gonna interfere with the violation of your right to not have the shit beaten out of you

    • aardvarksmith says:

      It is all about voter suppression, stealing, and vote changing. I thought there was a democracy, but we are in Orwell-land.

      This piece by Marc Crispin Miller is chilling and should be read by all, especially the Obama leadership group, we are up against the end-times theocrat crowd:


      Mark Crispin Miller: Why They Chose Sarah Palin
      …And What to do About it…
      A Guest Editorial by author and NYU media professor, Mark Crispin Miller…

      “Strategists say that Mr. McCain can now count on a more motivated social conservative base to help him in areas like southern Ohio, where the 2004 race was settled.”
      –The New York Times, Sept. 7, 2008, A1

      “In investigating the 2004 election in Ohio–examining pollbooks, talking to pollworkers and election officials, as well as reading local newspaper accounts –we could find no data of a late surge to the polls by born-again Christians. What we did find is certified voting totals in areas favoring Bush that didn’t match the number of voters who officially signed-in on the poll sign-in sheets.”
      –Email from Bob Fitrakis of The Columbus Free Press, Sept. 7, 2008

      To understand how Team McCain intends to get away with stealing this election, we must recall how Team Bush got away with it four years ago. (Those aren’t two different teams.)

      The plan for stealing this contest has everything to do with the ostensibly surprising choice of Sarah Palin as McCain’s VP.

      Here’s why…

      1. Election Day, 2004: The Myth of Bush’s Christian “Surge”


      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Wow. I see where you’re going with this.
        And I think it’s accurate.
        The demographics the R’s claim are thinner than they want us all to believe.

        These ‘polls’ are in large part a pre-election disinformation campaign.
        Yeah, sounds like I have a tinfoil hat, but I’ve watched polling and even totaled some of the results. People think they’re ’scientific’, and they can be good sources of info for certain things, but not for the kind of election that has so many newly enrolled voters.

        Which is precisely why the Rovian GOP is aiming at vote caging and voter reg rolls. The new voters ought to scare the shit out of them. No one is registering specifically to vote for McCain.

        Palin is a feint and a Hail Mary.

  31. freepatriot says:

    Off topic, happening right now:

    wolfie is jumping on the “angry black man” meme

    I just saw a report about a Time article (didn’t catch the author) that said out of all the attacks against Obama, the only attack that works is the “Angry black man” attack featuring preacher wright

    15 minutes later, wolf blitzer told me that “OBAMA LASHES OUT at senator mcsame”

    does wolfie know that you ain’t supposed to tell the rubes the scam before you run it ???

    anybody else catch that ???

    • freepatriot says:

      ps: the report about the “Time” article was on chicken noodle network within the past hour

      just wanted to clear that up …

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Freep, I don’t have the link handy, but if you Google “Jim Wallis” + “Rev Wright” you should pull up one of the most insightful things that I’ve read regarding both religion in the US and Rev Wright.

      Evidently, Wallis has known Wright for years.
      The article was really enlightening to me, and Wallis totally pulled the veil off that ‘Angry Black Man’ meme.

  32. DeadLast says:

    Everyone in this country needs to go reregister to vote. Caging is real. Even if you have not had your home foreclosed, even if you are not in college, even if you do not live in an “urban” center, you need to reregister. Cuz the alternative is 4 more years!

    Unless the repugs can show they are not doing what they said they are going to do, you better get used to Johnny McC and Shotgun Sally – cuz they are riding into town in the dark of night.

  33. falasafa says:

    What happens to the residents of a rental property when it’s foreclosed? Are they planning to kick them off the rolls too?

  34. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    It’s enormously encouraging to see this pro-active move by the Dems.
    And this year, it’s not just those of us in the US watching; those affected by US policies will also be looking on.

    Of particular interest to those of us who have followed EW’s posts on Cheney and his role in screwing up the US/Pakistan relationships, this item from the Google Policy Blog may be of particular interest. (Note the phenomenal numbers of mobiles; not clear whether those mobiles are browser enabled.)

  35. noonan says:

    Now, we’re getting absentee ballots sent to us in WI courtesy of the RPW and McCain’s camp. I just received a robocall tonight asking me to call them back and request a ballot to be sent to me in order to vote for candidates that support a strong pro-life position and judges. If they are calling me
    a Democrat running for State Assembly, that means they are calling every fricking person in the state OR Since the ballots they are sending could disenfranchise you, are they calling strong Dems only, and hoping to tip the election that way? Someone needs to check into this as well.

  36. lllphd says:

    this is way off topic, except for the part where you see the republican pattern of inhumane incompetence….

    my apologies for submitting the whole post (from burntorangereport out of austin), but it’s chilling enough to merit our full attention. i’ve shared this with larisa at rawstory and with democracynow. if you can contact other news outlets or reporters who might be able to follow up on it, please share.

    and god help us all.


    The following is from an email sent to me by a good friend in Nacogdoches whose buddy has been over Galveston – names have been edited out to protect the folks those who relayed the report. Also relayed from this guy and others: persons going into the restricted area are apparently being patted down and cameras are being confiscated, by Army and Coast Guard personnel.
    Okay…I’ve got some news on this front. Take it for what it’s worth, but the guy I got it from is someone I trust to raise my children… He’s never once lied to me…ever. And we’re close.
    He’s in a pretty high-up supervisory position for a refinery down on the coast.
    His refinery has some equipment and lines in and around Galveston county, and before they were to bring them back on line he and his crew had to inspect the place for damage and potential hazards. So they were given permission….after a background check….to helicopter in and inspect, which meant coming in over Galveston.

    I kid you not when I say that he told me they saw AT LEAST 1500 bodies in trees scattered about Galveston. They also saw a lot in various ditches and marshes, esp. on the north side of East Galv. Bay, east side of Trinity Bay, and in the marshes between I-45 and Seabrook/Clear Lake/Deer Park.

    It explains why they’re not letting the media anywhere close to the Island except in limited sectors nd we’re not hearing anything from or about the people who survived and those who stayed behind. It’s like 20,000 people never
    existed….where are they? Where’d they go? What are their names? Nothing….

    Same thing in Orange county.

    Take it for what it’s worth….I believe him, though his count may be wrong given the shock of the sight. But like I said, I’d trust him to raise my kids.

    I’d be more surprised if he were wrong than if he were right.

    And from Rhiannon Myers of the Galveston Daily News comes this dispatch:

    GALVESTON – Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas on Monday ordered all city employees not to talk to news reporters. She did not say when that order would be lifted.
    Thomas and City Manager Steve LeBlanc will be the only officials allowed to talk to reporters. City spokeswoman Mary Jo Naschke vehemently denied the city was trying to clamp down on coverage.

    Reporters would be allowed on the island only if they had proper identification, Thomas said. She didn’t clarify what that meant.

    Reporters were also forbidden from visiting areas on the far West End, Thomas said. She did not explain why.

    I’m not normally one to be alarmist and I don’t want to upset people, but this has me very worried. I know some folks who stayed down there to ride it out, as does the guy who sent me the email above – he has yet to hear from one of his friends and fears the worst. His report of the damage in Nacogdoches was not pretty either, and if this storm tore apart towns that far inland it’s certainly not unreasonable to think that Galveston and the Triangle have experienced unprecedented devastation.
    There could be arguably sound reasons for media blackouts, and the specter of hundreds of bodies among the wreckage may be one of them. It’s not always easy in situations like this to know where to draw the line between respect for the deceased and their families, and the public’s right to know about what has happened.

    Perhaps the best thing we can all do now is pitch in and help:

    Donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief

    or jump in locally in Austin – see Matt’s post below to Donate to and Volunteer at the Capitol Area Food Bank

  37. masaccio says:

    AIG bailout announced. Key terms:

    The AIG facility has a 24-month term. Interest will accrue on the outstanding balance at a rate of three-month Libor plus 850 basis points. AIG will be permitted to draw up to $85 billion under the facility.

    The interests of taxpayers are protected by key terms of the loan. The loan is collateralized by all the assets of AIG, and of its primary non-regulated subsidiaries. These assets include the stock of substantially all of the regulated subsidiaries. The loan is expected to be repaid from the proceeds of the sale of the firm’s assets. The U.S. government will receive a 79.9 percent equity interest in AIG and has the right to veto the payment of dividends to common and preferred shareholders.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:


      I don’t know the meaning of any of this, really. Nevertheless, EW did some posts on Greenberg-Traurig (re: Abramoff and his pals there). And ‘Hank Greenberg’ + AIG were mentioned either in one of those posts, or something that I happened upon after reading EW.

      I assume that this is the same ‘Hank Greenberg’ who was the former head of AIG — evidently until Elliott Spitzer brought charges. Somehow, when Spitzer’s political career was derailed last Feb, I stumbled onto something in the NYT about how much ‘Hank Greenberg of AIG’ despised — absolutely loaths — Eliot Spitzer. Heck, I figured; Spitzer was on his way the day that he was ‘outed’ to testify before Congress about the impacts of mortgage fraud on the state of NY. (At least, IIRC that’s where he was headed before being derailed.)

      That suggested to me that someone(s) sure as hell wanted Eliot Spitzer out of the way — this was the same week of the Bear Stearns meltdown — so they could keep pulling money out of the subprime markets.

      I don’t track this kind of thing, but when I heard that AIG was sinking, it put me in mind of how some speculation that I read on the Toobz mentioned that Hank Greenberg must be popping champagne, b/c he hates Spitzer with a passion evidently.

      Beats me what any of this means, but there must be links between the ‘outing’ of Spitzer (maybe to forestall the meltdown of someone’s company? to stall investigations?), and AIG, and also the Abramoff scandal.

      No clue how it all fits together, but maybe someone else can figure it out.

      Top hits for ‘Spitzer + AIG + Greenberg’, in case this is relevant to your interests:

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Should read:

        AIG were mentioned either in one of those posts, or else in something that I happened upon after reading EW’s mention of a
        Hank Greenberg.

      • prostratedragon says:

        No doubt you’ve all heard by now:

        AIG Gets $85 Billion Fed Loan, Cedes Control to Avoid Collapse

        or, “DOCSCON Situation 4 averted; Docs Con’d successfully.” The next months will be full of lousy motherfucking necessary decisions like this, unfortunately.

        I seem to recall that part of the problem with AIG was the mixing of different types of business, a nice staid property/casualty and annuity type business with lots of steady cash inflow and relatively predictable outflow, mixed with a mosh pit plunge into credit default swaps written on Whatever You Desire.

        At least the relief of the governor of NY is possibly somewhat legitimate.

  38. Citizen92 says:

    The period of foreclosure to eviction can last a long time. As long as eighteen months.

    If a family is in a residence for eighteen months, between foreclosure and eviction, then that’s their home – and their voting address.

    But let’s look back to another voter fraud case. Karl Rove’s own voter fraud case. When he voted from Texas, but lived in DC. See, Texas allows
    people to vote in the state if they “intend to return.” Rove, a property owner in DC ($1.3M house), Florida (beachside property) and Texas (two room cottage) voted in Texas in the 2004 election. At the time, Rove was claiming a “homestead deduction” in DC. Yet, somehow Rove’s Texas absentee vote was allowed to stand.

  39. Citizen92 says:

    But what I really want to know here is what is the source of this “list of foreclosures?”

    Is it from the list of REO properties that one can search on the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac websites?

    Is it from some sort of public auction list that Macomb County may publish?

    Is it somehow derived from county property records?

    Is it coming from the local realtors?

    Just where is this targeting list coming from? I’m not familiar with a single source to find “foreclosures.”

  40. randiego says:

    OT alert – I read this and had to giggle a little bit:

    From today’s Think Progress

    Today, Rush Limbaugh declared the entire Troopergate investigation to be “sexism in Alaska on the part of these old boys trying to get rid of Sarah Palin.” He added, “She didn’t put up with it, and she didn’t bend over and let them have their way.”

    I must be a little tired…

  41. free4ever says:

    Are we sure this was done to suppress votes? Or to prevent fraudulent voting by people “Claiming” the address (it’s easy to find out the previous owner’s name from public records and to impersonate them). If they’re admitting it, it probably isn’t to suppress votes. It’s still a problem for both sides.

    • bmaz says:

      It’s still a problem for both sides.

      Except that you disingenuously equate one ill with the other, and there has been demonstrated to be a ton of inappropriately motivated partisan vote suppression, in the last few election cycles demonstrably by the GOP; yet not diddly squat has been exhibited nor confirmed in the way of real voter fraud. So, basically, you are concern trolling from an intentionally bogus set of presumptions.

  42. masaccio says:

    roTL, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg was forced out of AIG because of financial irregularities, basically cooking the books. I don’t understand quite how he got out of it.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      I interpret your comment to mean that you don’t know how Greenberg ‘got out of it’ by not going to prison? It’s not something that I’ve followed, but my offhand guess would be Friends In High Places + Having Dirt on People Who Can Make Decisions.

      Other than that, no clue.

      randiego… I had to wipe off my keyboard after I read that.

    • bmaz says:

      Daughter of a former Republican candidate for Governor of Alaska; he was beaten badly by Tony Knowles. More interesting is that she is Andy Card’s cousin.

  43. klynn says:

    OT (a little)

    A man in a tan chevy malibu with Texas plates wearing a TX AM ball cap and a white Longhorns golf shirt drove through our subdivision yesterday, slowly (while we were all out sawing up trees branches.) He had a quirky grin. As soon as I saw him, I could not believe how much he looked like a Rove protege. I figured he was from the McCain camp and was checking out yard sign ratios in our subdivision. I knew McCain-Palin were making a stop in Ohio the next day (today). I said to a neighbor (Repub), exactly who I thought the creep trolling our neighborhood was, she got quite nervous and said I was paranoid. I said, “I don’t think I’m wrong and probably could make some good money on a wager that I am spot on.” She avoided the conversation and had an interesting uneasiness with my insight.

    This AM many new signs were suddenly posted in the neighborhood…

    Oh, and word is out to put American flags on each side of your McCain yard sign.

    You should see what I put on each side of my Obama sign…Much more symbolic than “wrapping oneself in the flag”…Just some large posters of very important papers in US history…

    I am very concerned with what will be attempted this time in Ohio…

    I think the Ohio Dem party should sue as well.

    • Leen says:

      Way to stay alert, sounds creepy.

      Rep Maxine Waters asked F.B.I Mueller to start investigations NOW having to do with election problems that are being brought up. She said “I am sounding the alarm”

      Spread the word
      As Goes Ohio . . . Election Protection Conference
      September 26-28, 2008
      Conference Center, Center for Workforce Development
      315 Cleveland Avenue, 4th floor
      Columbus State Community College
      Columbus, Ohio

  44. Neil says:

    OT – John Kerry won the democratic primary against challenger O’Reilly today. The outcome was not a surprise but it occurred to me that primary Senate races around the country are having their primaries now. News on that front, especially Democrats challenging for Congressional and Senate seats, is of interest to me and other I’m sure.

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      Neil, I voted for Democrat Bob Feuer who challenged Olver (1st District)over the Impeachment Issue. I sent two letters to Olver saying we should
      impeach, and got back a “Thanks, but no thanks” response.
      Feuer got crushed.
      Dems have no balls.
      Obama should ask McCain about his proposal to put Social Security at
      risk in the market.
      Who will be his new economic spokesman, his first two are spending more
      time with their portfolios…
      McCain is deranged

  45. prostratedragon says:

    Hmmm. Why so few heist flicks where the designed escape looks like a malfunction of some kind? And why do the only 2 I can think of right now feature McQueen? (The Thomas Crown Affair and Bullitt, both 1968; quite a year for him, and for the art of the con.)