Our Common Good

The Michigan Democratic Party announced Monday that it planned to file a complaint against the Michigan Republican Party and state Supreme Court candidate Colleen O’Brien over a “fraudulent” robocall that allegedly violated federal law.

[…]

The O’Brien campaign later admitted that it was behind the robocall, but insisted the automated message complied with federal law. The robocall urged Democrats to vote for O’Brien.

“Hi, my name is Amanda and I’m calling today to ask our fellow Democrats to support Judge Colleen O’Brien for Michigan Supreme Court,” the automated message said. “Colleen O’Brien deserves our support. Remember the ‘O’ for O’Brien. Democrats should vote November 6 for Judge Colleen O’Brien for Michigan Supreme Court.”

Judicial positions in Michigan are non-partisan. However, O’Brien was nominated to the ballot by Republicans — not Democrats. Michigan Democrats nominated law professor Bridget McCormack, Southfield District Judge Shelia Johnson and Wayne County Judge Connie Kelley for the state’s Supreme Court.

Both parties have spent millions to support their state Supreme Court nominees this year.

Alvanitakis said another robocall targeting Democratic voters urged them to cast their ballot for all three Republican-backed Michigan Supreme Court candidates. The automated message, which claimed to be from a Democrat, also did not identify who was behind the call or provide a telephone number.

Calls from Arizona Republican Congressman Jeff Flake’s campaign for the U.S. Senate give wrong voting locations to Democratic voters (by ClearChoiceArizona)

From Wikipedia:

In February 2011, Flake announced that he is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl in 2012.[48] Flake easily won the Republican nomination against real estate businessman Wil Cardon.[49]

He is facing former surgeon general Richard Carmona who is seeking office for the first time in the general election. In May 2012, Flake led Carmona by 13 points in the polls. In an October 2012 poll by Public Policy Polling, Flake was trailing Carmona by two points.[50] After the race tightened, the Wall Street Journal criticized a controversial Flake ad that accused Carmona of having “issues with anger, with ethics, and with women.” [51]

Flake has been endorsed by the Casa Grande Dispatch[52] the United States Chamber of Commerce,[53] and the Club for Growth.[54]

About Flake’s opponent Richard Carmona:

Richard Henry Carmona (born November 22, 1949)[1] is an American physician, police officer, public health administrator, and politician. He was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and served as the seventeenth Surgeon General of the United States. Appointed by PresidentGeorge W. Bush in 2002, Carmona left office at the end of July 2006 upon the expiration of his term.

After leaving office, Carmona was highly critical of the Bush administration for suppressing scientific findings which conflicted with the Administration’s ideological agenda.

Vote for Carmona, Arizona.

Early this month, a federal judge partially overturned Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, ruling that the state couldn’t require voters to show photo identification at the polls until after the 2012 election. But the ruling has not stopped the state from running ads suggesting otherwise—ads that have disproportionately targeted urban and minority communities that tend to vote for Democrats.
In English, the billboard pictured above reads: “This election, if you’ve got it, show it.” It is one of 58 billboards erected by Pennsylvania’s Republican-led Department of State, mostly in Democratic-leaning Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Though Latinos make up only 6 percent of the state’s population, about 20 percent of the billboards are in Spanish. Similar Spanish-language ads appear on public buses.
[…]
Before the court overturned Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, the state had already publicized it with TV ads, thousands of mailers, and numerous billboards and bus advertisements. In the weeks since, the state has taken down some of those ads. But one Spanish-language billboard saying, “If you want to vote, show it,” remained up for many days. And the state has not sent out mailers to clarify the altered circumstances. Voting-rights advocates accuse state elections officials of sowing more confusion with the new billboards.
"What our groups are concerned about is that the billboards are not sending voters the message that the ID is not needed for this election," says Marcia Johnson-Blanco, codirector of the Voting Rights Project. Her group is fighting back with its own ads, which say that people without IDs can still vote this year.
(via Pennsylvania Officials Accused of Running Misleading Voter ID Ads | Mother Jones)

Early this month, a federal judge partially overturned Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, ruling that the state couldn’t require voters to show photo identification at the polls until after the 2012 election. But the ruling has not stopped the state from running ads suggesting otherwise—ads that have disproportionately targeted urban and minority communities that tend to vote for Democrats.

In English, the billboard pictured above reads: “This election, if you’ve got it, show it.” It is one of 58 billboards erected by Pennsylvania’s Republican-led Department of State, mostly in Democratic-leaning Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Though Latinos make up only 6 percent of the state’s population, about 20 percent of the billboards are in Spanish. Similar Spanish-language ads appear on public buses.

[…]

Before the court overturned Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, the state had already publicized it with TV ads, thousands of mailers, and numerous billboards and bus advertisements. In the weeks since, the state has taken down some of those ads. But one Spanish-language billboard saying, “If you want to vote, show it,” remained up for many days. And the state has not sent out mailers to clarify the altered circumstances. Voting-rights advocates accuse state elections officials of sowing more confusion with the new billboards.

"What our groups are concerned about is that the billboards are not sending voters the message that the ID is not needed for this election," says Marcia Johnson-Blanco, codirector of the Voting Rights Project. Her group is fighting back with its own ads, which say that people without IDs can still vote this year.

(via Pennsylvania Officials Accused of Running Misleading Voter ID Ads | Mother Jones)

The Obama “call tool” allows supporters to make cold calls from home, but a local Florida Tea Party leader is using the phone list to pitch Romney. “Think of what we could do if 100 of us did this for an hour each day.”
See now, THIS is voter fraud.

shiracoffee:

Black, Hispanic and Elderly Voters Hit With Deceptive Voter Suppression Calls

In an apparent effort to trick voters into not showing up at the polls, several Florida and Virginia voters received calls from unidentified individuals who read the voter’s name, address and party affiliation over the phone and then falsely informed the voter that they can vote by phone. The calls appear to target African-Americans, Spanish-speaking voters and the elderly.

Ten minutes before the filing deadline to run for the Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday, Rep. Roy Schmidt, a “Democrat” from the 76th District in Grand Rapids, switched parties and decided to run as a Republican. This gave the Democratic party no candidate in a very tough district for Democrats after last year’s redistricting.

[…]

There is actually more to this story. It turns out that an unknown named Matt Mojzak filed to run as a Democrat in the 76th District just eight minutes before Schmidt pulled his dick move. Who is Mojzak? A friend of Schmidt’s nephew.

Today, however, Mojzak withdrew as a candidate, confirming that this was nothing more than a scam being pulled by Michigan Republicans.

Given this clearly orchestrated fraud, the MDP is now pressing for an investigation.

While Roy Schmidt’s fake Democrat Matt Mojzak has withdrawn from the race, serious legal questions remain. Today, Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer sent letters to Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson calling for an immediate and thorough investigation of perjury and election fraud.

Mojzak’s withdrawal just proves that he was a fake Democrat and it’s obvious the cover-up of Roy Schmidt’s fake Democratic candidate has begun,” said Brewer. “It’s ironic that this cover-up is taking place on the anniversary of the beginning of the Watergate hearings. The voters deserve to know who exactly was involved in this plot, when it began, and why felonies were committed. These illegal conspirators must be brought to justice swiftly.”

Mojzak’s affidavit of three lies demonstrates that he was a Republican plant with the sole intention of clearing an easy path to reelection for Schmidt. The three lies in the affidavit include:

  • Mojzak claiming he’s a Democrat.
  • Mojzak claiming he’s registered to vote in the 76th district while his home and registration are in the 88th district.
  • Mojzak claiming he’s been a resident of Kent County for 22 years when he’s been living in Ottawa County.

More from the MDP:

Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer is calling for an immediate investigation into election fraud perpetrated by House Speaker Jase Bolger, Representative Pete Lund, and Representative Roy Schmidt. Yesterday, Schmidt changed his party affiliation to Republican and helped place his nephew’s friend, Matthew Mojzak, on the ballot as a fake Democrat. The only problem is, Mojzak doesn’t live in the district – a requirement to run for the seat.

Mojzak was registered to vote in Ottawa County and did not change his registration until late on Tuesday… In his attached candidate affidavit, Mr. Mojzak stated under penalty of perjury that he has been a resident of Kent County for 22 years – an obvious lie. He’s using his grandmother’s address in the 76th district in an attempt to qualify as a candidate there.

“It’s clear this was a plot weeks in the making,” Brewer said. “But Republicans made one critical mistake – Mr. Mojzak lied on his candidate affidavit because he has not been living in Kent County – that’s election fraud.” […]

“This is just another example of Republican hypocrisy,” Brewer continued. “They claim to be the party of transparency and values, yet they pull these sneaky, illegal tactics in order to hold onto their power in Lansing. Rather than face voters in November, they concocted this deceitful, fraudulent plan. Bolger, Lund, Schmidt, and Mojzak should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Sacramento County elections officials have turned over, what they say are, several suspicious voter registration cards that were collected by a for-profit company hired by local and state Republicans to state election fraud investigators

A string of suspicious incidents at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country has given the organization reason to believe that anti-abortion activists are targeting it in a new organized sting operation.

According to Planned Parenthood spokesperson Chloe Cooney, clinics in at least 11 states have reported two dozen or more “hoax visits” over the past several weeks, in which a woman walks into a clinic, claims to be pregnant and asks a particular pattern of provocative questions about sex-selective abortions, such as how soon she can find out the gender of the fetus, by what means and whether she can schedule an abortion if she’s having a girl.

While patient privacy laws prohibit Planned Parenthood from offering specific details about the visits and where they occurred, Cooney told The Huffington Post that the incidents are so unusual and so similar to each other that they have raised concerns among the organization’s executives that the visits are being recorded as part of a concerted anti-Planned Parenthood campaign.

Democrats in Wisconsin on Thursday demanded that election officials disqualify fake candidates running in recall primary elections this spring, according to the Associated Press.

The Democrats are being represented by attorney Jeremy Levinson, who claims the fake candidates are violating Wisconsin election laws.

“The fraudulent candidates and the RPW [Republican Party of Wisconsin] have explicitly acknowledged that, in fact, these fraudulent primary candidates are part of an effort to manipulate the electoral process in support of Republican incumbents facing recall,” Levinson wrote in a complaint to the Government Accountability Board.

Levinson claims that the candidates are required to state under oath that their candidacy is representing the political party for which the primary is to take place. But the fake Democratic candidates are running in the primary elections to help the Republican Party, and have publicly admitted that is their intention.

“The RPW’s scheme,” Levinson wrote, “involves serial election fraud and invalidates each of the six phony candidacies.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R) and four Wisconsin Republican state senators all face recall elections on May 8 or June 5.

This is why I wasn’t that happy to see Arthur Kohl-Riggs’ campaign.

Six fake Democrats running in upcoming recall primaries to push back the election date in Wisconsin are violating the law, according to an election attorney.

“Among the requirements for running as a candidate in a partisan primary, one is required to file with the [Government Accountability Board] a ‘Declaration of Candidacy,’ form GAB-162. That form specifically requires a candidate to state that their candidacy is ‘representing’ the political party for which the primary is to take place. This statement must be made under oath,” attorney Jeremy P. Levinson said in a memo (PDF) to We Are Wisconsin.

“Clearly, a candidate running in a Democratic primary for the purpose of disadvantaging that party and giving electoral advantage to the Republican Party and the Republican incumbent the Democrats seek to recall can do so only by falsifying his or her declaration of candidacy.”

The fake candidates are committing felony election fraud, according to Levinson, a crime punishable by up to three and half years in prison.

For several years, young conservatives have made a cottage industry of going undercover and trying to goad people working at perceived liberal institutions — like Acorn, NPR and Planned Parenthood — into saying something stupid. Trained by well-financed foundations, these dirty tricksters pose as pimps, sex traffickers and Muslim activists and record conversations surreptitiously. Then they release videos that have often been heavily edited.

Conservative Congressional representatives call for investigations and try to slash financing. In the case of Acorn, some workers did, in fact, give truly stupid advice to the fake prostitutes. That organization went belly up.

Planned Parenthood and NPR made far fewer mistakes and easily survived. But the disruptions were considerable.

Of late, conservatives have set their sights on the Industrial Areas Foundation, a national organizing group founded by a hard-bitten, inventive organizer named Saul Alinsky. He campaigned to clean up the slums around the Chicago meatpacking district and fought segregation and abuses by banks.

He has been dead and buried for 40 years, but mention of his name — Alinsky! Alinsky! Alinsky! — sets conservative Republican activists and presidential candidates to twitching.

If Republicans end up running fake Democratic candidates in the recall elections, it shows how incredibly hypocritical they are. They have no regard for taxpayer dollars when it comes to giving themselves a political advantage.
Wisconsin state Rep. Peter Barca, on Republicans’ hypocritical plan to run fake Democrats and force primary elections, while complaining about the cost of recalls. The last time they did this, they added more than $400,000 to the taxpayers’ bill, to pay for timewasters in which every fake dem lost. (via quickhits)

Jan Wisniewski believes the Democrats these days tend to lean toward socialism. In his mind, some of their ideas might even be considered Marxist.

And so the chairman of the Ravalli County planning board – who most would have sworn in the past to be a staunch Republican – is on this year’s ballot as Democrat in both a county and a state race.

“I am. I am a Democrat,” Wisniewski said in an interview last week. “It says so right there on the ballot. We want to get some balance in things and do some compromising with these hard-line leftists.”

Wisniewski’s candidacy, and that of seven others running for the seldom-contested position of Democratic precinct captain, has members of the Ravalli County Democratic Central Committee crying foul.

“Wisniewski is not a Democrat,” said Democratic Central Committee chair John Meakin. “He’s part of the extreme right. Six others from the same extreme right-wing Tea Party crowd have also filed as Democratic precinct captains.”

Ravalli County’s Democratic Central Committee will seek people to run as write-in candidates to challenge their candidacy.

That almost didn’t happen.

In an effort to cut down on labor, a new law allows a county clerk and recorder to forgo putting precinct candidate names on the ballot if they are running uncontested.

That’s exactly what Ravalli County Clerk and Recorder Regina Plettenberg had planned to do. The law required that she call both parties to let them know about her intentions.

“When I contacted the Democrats, they said, ‘What do you mean that we have people running?’ ” Plettenberg said. “When they started looking at the names, they didn’t recognize them as being Democrats.”

In the 14 years she has served as clerk and recorder, this was something new.

“This was kind of unique,” Plettenberg said. “It’s something I’ve never seen before in our community.”

She’d never heard of it happening anywhere else in Montana either.

mohandasgandhi:

Conservatives Plot to Burn, Shred, and Sabotage Scott Walker Recall Effort

A group of self-identified conservatives say they plan to sabotage the effort to recall Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker,  which begins on Tuesday, by burning and shredding recall petitions  they’ve collected and misleading Wisconsinites about the recall process.
These plans, discussed in Facebook posts that were first reported by the blog PolitiScoop, entail posing as recall supporters and  gathering signatures, only to later destroy the petitions. They also  include telling Wisconsinites that they can only sign one recall  petition (which is false—they can sign different petitions as long as  they each correspond to a different organization) and directing  signature collectors to the homes of registered sex offenders. (Requests  for comment were sent to each of the Facebook posters who allowed  messages from other users.)
In one post, Will R. Jenkins says, “I’ll be able to destroy 15-20K  signatures.” If things go well, he adds, he might even “be able to  destroy upwards of 15-20% of the entire collected ballots in the state  of Wisconsin”:

Click here to view the Facebook posts and even more here.

Michael Maistelman, a Wisconsin attorney and election law expert who   reviewed screenshots of the comments, says the postings could raise  serious legal issues if the plan is to tamper with official recall  petitions. “If a person fraudulently solicits recall petitions and then  destroys those petitions, they will probably go to jail,” Maistelman  says. “The law is very clear on this.”
[UDPATE]: Reid Magney, a spokesman from  Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board, says destroying or  defacing an official recall petition would violate state law. (Here’s the relevant statute.) Such a violation, he adds, would be a class I felony in Wisconsin, which carries a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to three-and-a-half years in jail.

Wisconsinites, be on the lookout for this sort of behavior come Tuesday. What’s been described above are premeditated felonies and these individuals were simply dumb enough to get caught. Familiarize yourself with how this recall is going to work and protect yourself against the inevitable GOP dirty tricks. Scott Walker is going down.

mohandasgandhi:

Conservatives Plot to Burn, Shred, and Sabotage Scott Walker Recall Effort

A group of self-identified conservatives say they plan to sabotage the effort to recall Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker, which begins on Tuesday, by burning and shredding recall petitions they’ve collected and misleading Wisconsinites about the recall process.

These plans, discussed in Facebook posts that were first reported by the blog PolitiScoop, entail posing as recall supporters and gathering signatures, only to later destroy the petitions. They also include telling Wisconsinites that they can only sign one recall petition (which is false—they can sign different petitions as long as they each correspond to a different organization) and directing signature collectors to the homes of registered sex offenders. (Requests for comment were sent to each of the Facebook posters who allowed messages from other users.)

In one post, Will R. Jenkins says, “I’ll be able to destroy 15-20K signatures.” If things go well, he adds, he might even “be able to destroy upwards of 15-20% of the entire collected ballots in the state of Wisconsin”:

Click here to view the Facebook posts and even more here.

Michael Maistelman, a Wisconsin attorney and election law expert who reviewed screenshots of the comments, says the postings could raise serious legal issues if the plan is to tamper with official recall petitions. “If a person fraudulently solicits recall petitions and then destroys those petitions, they will probably go to jail,” Maistelman says. “The law is very clear on this.”

[UDPATE]: Reid Magney, a spokesman from Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board, says destroying or defacing an official recall petition would violate state law. (Here’s the relevant statute.) Such a violation, he adds, would be a class I felony in Wisconsin, which carries a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to three-and-a-half years in jail.

Wisconsinites, be on the lookout for this sort of behavior come Tuesday. What’s been described above are premeditated felonies and these individuals were simply dumb enough to get caught. Familiarize yourself with how this recall is going to work and protect yourself against the inevitable GOP dirty tricks. Scott Walker is going down.