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Saturday, October 16, 2004

And They're Complaining About Pennsylvania??

Press Release from America Votes October 13, 2004


REAL America Votes urges FAKE America Votes
to Stop All Misleading, Unethical and Illegal Activity

WASHINGTON DC - A group directly funded by the Republican National Committee has been accused of destroying thousands of Democratic registration forms, and participating in unethical activities in a number of states this cycle, while misrepresenting itself as America Votes.

According to a report by KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, NV, former employees of “Voters Outreach of America,” also calling itself “America Votes” have witnessed the firm “rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats.”

The group, run by longtime Republican operative Nathan Sproul, has been exposed for its unethical and potentially illegal tactics in Oregon, Nevada, and West Virginia. It also reportedly has been active in Missouri, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Florida, under the names “America Votes”, “Project America Votes” and “Voters Outreach of America.”

Here is an excerpt from the cease and desist letter:

Sproul & Associates, a Republican political consulting firm in Arizona, was trying to set up voter registration drives at Oregon libraries. Letters sent by your firm to libraries claimed, “Our firm has been contracted to help coordinate a national non-partisan voter registration drive, America Votes! in several states across the nation.” (Mail-Tribune, 9/21/04)
The toll-free number which librarians were given connects to an answering machine stating that if the caller is interested in canvassing neighborhoods in support of the GOP, he or she should leave a message with contact information. (Mail-Tribune, 9/21/04)
Despite your statement that your group had not heard of America Votes, your employee Sue Noel, told a local newspaper that your group was indeed aware that you were using our name, and that you had also set up operations in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Florida and Nevada. (Mail-Tribune, 9/21/04)

Your efforts in West Virginia relied on hiring temporary workers who were instructed to mislead potential voters – particularly Democrats. Workers were told to portray themselves as non-partisan, but to only register Republicans. One former worker called your efforts “unethical” and “sneaky.” (Charleston Gazette, 8/20/04).
In Nevada, former employees of Voters Outreach for America (AKA “America Votes”), have exposed the organization’s practice of destroying registration forms completed by Democrats. When called for comment by a reporter, your group’s local office had been vacated and unavailable to respond. The FBI is now investigating. And the Oregon Secretary of State is investigating similar allegations in that state.
Your organization has placed classified advertisements around the country looking for staff. These advertisements are paid for by the Republican National Committee. In fact, the Republican National Committee has paid Sproul & Associates close to half a million dollars this election cycle.

When it comes to voter disenfranchisement, the Republicans remain Kings of the Hill.

They can't be trusted to keep our democracy safe. On November 2nd, vote Kerry/Edwards.

. . . if your registration form hasn't been shredded . . .

*Note: Please follow the additional links on this page. Lots of folks have caught this. The link to the Charleston Gazette will only take you to the home page. If you want to read the article, type "misleading voter registration" in the search box, indicate "Library" and click "search." If you want to read the whole article you'll have to register and pay $2.25, but there's a summary there. All the rest of the links will take you directly to the resource.


Blogger Rob said...

Good lord....and people wonder why citizens have given up on voting and the resulting decline in registrations. If it isn't Florida fucking up the polls, there are organizations doing crap like this. We need to clean up the process, and kill the electoral college while we're at it. It's an antiquated process that is killing true democracy. Presidents have won elections in the popular vote by a huge margin, but still lost due to the electoral college. Tell me where the people's choice is being served in that mess?

10/16/2004 04:47:00 AM  

Blogger Gustav said...

Since disbandment of the Electoral College requires a Constitutional Amendment, meaning we would have to get 2/3 approval of the states (The majority of which are small and relatively rural-- just those who benefit from the Electoral College), getting rid of it is a political non-starter at the moment. I think it's been proposed nearly every year, and every year it's gone nowhere.

I prefer what Colorado is doing. They've got a really good idea in splitting their votes proportionally. Contrary to conservative claims that it would reduce the importance of the state (Colorado has received a lot of attention this year, and if proposal 36 had been in place in 2000, Gore would have won-- making Colorado pretty important), it actually increases the significance of a state. If New York and California had this system, you might see Bush campaigning there. If Texas and the South had it, Kerry might campaign there and address their issues. Right now, the focus is only on the "swing states"-- of which Colorado is a member now, but may not be in upcoming elections.

If prop 36 passes on Nov 2, it's a guaranteed 4 points at least for Kerry. If Kerry wins the state, he loses those 4 to Bush, but Bush needs all 9 of those EV's to win.

Either way, look for a Kerry surprise in Colorado on the 2nd. Colorado is Gustav's "Kerry darkhorse" prediction.

10/16/2004 11:42:00 PM  

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