Archive for War on Voters

New court filing: Democrats say Wisconsin redistricting files deleted at "suspicious times"

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Doonesbury speaker boehner voter suppression gerrymandering

I've been covering the "alleged" corruption and attempts at voter suppression that have "allegedly" been occurring under Governor Scott Walker's alleged watch, the most recent being: Documents were deleted from WI GOP redistricting computers, per court filing. And before that, WI officials were subpoenaed over missing computers, docs involved in redistricting that benefited Republicans.

You know, the alleged usual. Here's the alleged latest, via WisPolitics:

According to a new court filing, a forensic investigation of computers GOP lawmakers, their aides and their lawyers used in the redistricting process found some files were deleted just after a federal court ordered three witnesses to turn over documents to the plaintiffs. Other files were deleted one week before the lawmakers’ firm, Michael Best & Friedrich, turned over its redistricting files to Dems after they took control of the state Senate following a recall election. [...]

Yesterday’s filing updated the court on a forensic examination of the computers and noted the cost of the review had now reached $100,000. The plaintiffs asked the court to require the Legislature, its employees and/or its attorneys to cover the costs of the forensics.

Ohhh Scotty, you've got some reinventing to do!

lucy you've got some reinventing to do

In other news, Walker won't push for gun background checks.

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Documents were deleted from WI GOP redistricting computers, per court filing

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tweet weigel gop redistricting gerrymander

Previously I posted WI officials subpoenaed over missing computers, docs involved in redistricting that benefited Republicans:

The subpoenas are being used to force GOP officials to reveal where the mystery computers, external hard drives, discs and documents are located, and the groups who are making these demands want the answers under oath.

It’s been months and months, but the state of Wisconsin never told the plaintiffs, who want to search said computers, where the computers were, and made every effort to block them from finding out, so now the Dems are playing hardball. They want those documents, and they want them now.

Republicans who control the Wisconsin legislature. Wisconsin's governor is the one and only GOP "rising star" Scott Walker. Of course, Walker, along with the legislature, approved redistricting maps that benefited their party

It isn't clear who deleted these documents, but-- call me crazy-- I'm guessing it wasn't a Democrat.

Via JSOnline:

Madison - Documents were deleted from state redistricting computers last year even after a lawyer for the Legislature told lawmakers' aides to preserve all records on the computers, according to documents filed Wednesday in federal court.

Nine hard drives were recently given to groups suing the state because of questions about whether legislators and their attorneys had turned over all the documents they had been ordered to provide. One of the nine hard drives was unreadable and the outside of it was dented and scratched, which suggested its metal housing had been removed, according to affidavits in the case.

In addition, some of the hard drives had a program installed on them that could remove electronic data and hide the fact that files had been deleted, according to the filing. So far, however, a computer expert has not been able to determine if the program was actually used.

JSOnline goes on to say that a "panel of federal judges ruled last year that two Assembly maps on Milwaukee's south side violated the voting rights of Latinos. The court put in place new maps for those districts but not others, meaning the Republican-friendly maps were largely preserved."

And the fun never ends under Scott Walker's watch. Stay tuned.

Doonesbury speaker boehner voter suppression gerrymandering

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GOP is unbalanced. But then, we already knew that

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election rigging scheme, GOP electoral college plan gerrymandering Via Think Progress

Per a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 52% of Americans have a favorable view of President Obama's policies that he's proposed for the next four years.

But 55% think that the plans the GOP will be brewing during the president's second term are not their cup o' tea. Gee, can't imagine why; their party is so, you know, inclusive and goes out of its way to embrace all Americans. And by all Americans I mean guns. And white people. And corporations. Hey, guns and people are corporations, too.

One of the things that inclusive, embrace-y Republican-led states has produced is redistricting, as I've posted about repeatedly. In fact, you can see all of those posts here.

As if we needed proof, that practice has resulted in those states becoming redder than ever. And by redder I mean cheating their way into future GOP election victories.

Taegan:

The New York Times notes that due to redistricting, seven states had a "severe imbalance" between their popular vote and the party makeup of their House delegations: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

All but Arizona were tilted in favor of the Republicans.

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Never thought I'd type these words: Thank you, Republican Virginia House Speaker

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gerrymandering states electoral college changes

WaPo:

In the vast majority of states, the presidential candidate who wins receives all of that state’s electoral votes. The proposed changes would instead apportion electoral votes by congressional district, a setup far more favorable to Republicans. Under such a system in Virginia, for instance, President Obama would have claimed four of the state’s 13 electoral votes in the 2012 election, rather than all of them.

Just yesterday Andy Marquis guest-blogged this: If new GOP laws pass, it will literally be easier to legally buy a firearm in Virginia than it will be to vote. Between Voter I.D. laws and gerrymandering, there has been one election-rigging scheme after another. But there were glimmers of hope in Virginia and Florida.

Too bad the same can't be said for Pennsylvania, where the GOP is pursuing their own election-rigging legislation.

But back to Virginia. Think Progress is reporting this:

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William Howell (R) killed the Inauguration Day sneak attack by Senate Republicans who hoped to pass a massive mid-decade gerrymander. Howell ruled that the Senate’s amendment to a House bill making minor technical corrections to the House legislative maps were not germane, as it was a “vast rewrite” and would “stray dramatically” from the legislation’s original purpose.

I never thought I'd type these words: Thank you Republican House Speaker, for killing the GOP Senate gerrymander scheme. You did the right thing.

think before speaking did I just say that

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If you can't win, cheat: Pennsylvania GOP to introduce election-rigging legislation

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election rigging scheme, GOP electoral college plan gerrymandering Via Think Progress

Via Think Progress

 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel Maddow:

So we started with six possible states where Republicans hoped to tilt the playing field, right? Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio, and then finally Michigan all said no. They're not gonna do it. But there is still one holdout-- not Michigan, I am surprised to say, I thought the holdout would be Michigan. But it turns out the holdout is Pennsylvania. The Republican Senate majority leader said he will introduce a bill this month, in February, even if it makes some folks in his party a little queasy. I've been thinking that Michigan was home to the do-not-give-a-bleep honey badgers of the Republican party in 2013. But maybe it is Pennsylvania, maybe it is actually Tom Corbett eating the cobra. Stay tuned.

I've been writing about the Republican election-rigging schemes a lot lately. To recap:

WaPo: Republicans in Virginia and a handful of other battleground states are pushing for far-reaching changes to the electoral college in an attempt to counter recent success by Democrats.

In the vast majority of states, the presidential candidate who wins receives all of that state’s electoral votes. The proposed changes would instead apportion electoral votes by congressional district, a setup far more favorable to Republicans. Under such a system in Virginia, for instance, President Obama would have claimed four of the state’s 13 electoral votes in the 2012 election, rather than all of them.

Again, the GOP knows the only way they can win is to lie, cheat, and steal elections, because America sure isn’t buying into their policy ideas. To make matters worse, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus supports these tactics.

The good news is, it's being reported that Paul Ryan has nixed any changes in Wisconsin, and several states have expressed their reluctance to go along with these schemes. At least for now. At least in their present form. This could change.

The bad news is, as Rachel Maddow suggested, Pennsylvania isn't one of them. Republicans there do, indeed, plan to introduce a new election-rigging plan, per Think Progress:

According to the New Castle News a local paper in western Pennsylvania, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R) will introduce legislation this month that will effectively give away a large chuck of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes to the Republican presidential candidate, regardless of who wins the state as a whole.

Unlike the plan Priebus backs, the New Republican Plan would not tie electoral votes to congressional districts. Instead, it would award the overwhelming majority of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes proportionally according to the popular vote, with two additional electoral votes going to the winner of the state as a whole. If the New Republican Plan had been in effect in 2012, Mitt Romney would have received 8 of Pennsylvania’ 20 electoral votes, despite losing the state by a substantial margin... The plan gives away Democratic votes to the Republican for free, while letting the Republican candidate keep all the votes they earn legitimately in other states [...]

The New Republican Plan, by contrast seems designed to allay this fear among Republican U.S. Representatives by keeping the presidential race entirely separate from congressional districts — thus allowing Republicans to steal away Democratic electoral votes without risking Republican U.S. House seats.

if you can't win, cheat

Here is the entire Rachel Maddow segment:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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MI Senate likely won't go for House plan to change electoral vote system; OH's Husted, other Republicans also say no

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good news happy hand

As you know by now, several GOP-run states were interested in circumventing our elections by creating their own version of the electoral college that would result in many more red states… despite the popular vote count. Republicans have failed to sell their policies to America, soso rather than rectify the outdated, mean-spirited ideas and messages that are losing them elections, they are resorting to their usual dirty tricks to cheat themselves into future victories.

Previously I posted Finally! WaPo front-pages election-rigging scheme. Plus, glimmers of hope in Virginia, Florida. Now we have more glimmers of hope.

You are about to be exposed to two encouraging news items. Can you stand it? The first is from the Detroit Free Press. Remember, Michigan's Speaker of the House and Gov. Rick Snyder were considering the election-rigging scheme:

The state House may be considering a new and controversial plan on how Michigan's electoral college votes are distributed, but the state Senate isn't interested, said Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville.

Richardville said that changing the system "is not on our agenda."

King Ricky will have to use his dictatorial powers then, which nobody would put past him.

UPDATE via TPM: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder ‘Very Skeptical’ Of Electoral Vote Rigging

On to Ohio, via Cleveland.com:

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Count Ohio's Republican leaders out of a GOP-backed effort to end the Electoral College's winner-take-all format in the Buckeye State and other presidential battlegrounds.

Spokesmen for Gov. John Kasich, State Senate President Keith Faber and House Speaker William G. Batchelder told The Plain Dealer this week that they are not pursuing plans to award electoral votes proportionally by congressional district.

Batchelder went a step further, saying through his communications director that he "is not supportive of such a move." And Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, the state's chief elections administrator, emphasized that he does not favor the plan either, despite Democratic suspicions based on reported comments that he said were taken out of context.

We'll see. This could be a stall, but hopefully, they realize the bad press they're getting is growing and that moving forward would be politically disastrous.

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WI officials subpoenaed over missing computers, docs involved in redistricting that benefited Republicans

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you've been served

Rev up your motors, Wisconsin, you've got missing computers, subpoenaed Republicans, and redistricting issues to contend with. The subpoenas are being used to force GOP officials to reveal where the mystery computers, external hard drives, discs and documents are located, and the groups who are making these demands want the answers under oath.

It's been months and months, but the state of Wisconsin never told the plaintiffs, who want to search said computers, where the computers were, and made every effort to block them from finding out, so now the Dems are playing hardball. They want those documents, and they want them now.

The fun never ends in Scott Walker's state...

Via JSOnline:

Groups involved in a long-simmering legal fight with Republicans have subpoenaed Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and other officials in an attempt to track down computers they want to search.

The move came a week after a panel of three federal judges ordered that two sides and the state quickly resolve their differences. The groups sued the state in 2011 over election maps drawn by Republicans, but for months the case has focused on documents that were improperly withheld from the plaintiffs.

For five months, the plaintiffs have been seeking to forensically search computers used for redistricting to find out why they did not receive documents that were supposed to be turned over to them and to learn if any other records were improperly withheld. So far, they have not been able to learn where the state computers are located, let alone search them.

The groups involved are asking why these records were withheld, and exactly how many records were there? Republican Governor Walker, along with the Republican-controlled legislature, approved redistricting maps that benefited their party in a big way. So what else is new, right? Especially in light of Scott Walker's fascination with the new RNC-backed plan to rig blue state electoral votes in favor of future GOP presidential candidates.

Democratic and immigrant rights groups sued, and in 2012 a three-(federal) judge panel ruled that the way two districts were drawn had violated Latinos' voting rights, so they made some changes.

But lawyers for the legislature did what they could to obstruct the release of documents and were fined. After that, more documents were discovered, and the plaintiffs asked for permission to search three state computers that were used to draw the maps. GOP anti-union Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, who survived a recall election, is one of those who could be subpoenaed.

Remember him?

Stay tuned.

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