Best Voting System In America!

They warned me that if I voted Republican, there’d be a wave of claims of voter fraud when ethnic minorities tried to vote.

And they were right!

GOP operative Heather Linville put it well on Twitter:

@H_Linville: Oh…. OK. So now voter fraud exists, because a democrat might lose her seat. Got it! http://t.co/CwKIYpMm3j #stribpol

From the Strib:

The attorney for Phyllis Kahn says he got word Thursday night; there might be hundreds of people who are registering and voting using an address that’s not their home.
Absentee voting kicked-off Friday morning in a hotly contested democratic primary race for the state house between incumbent Phyllis Kahn and Mohamud Noor.

Republican operator Heather Linville put it best on Twitter

@H_Linville: Oh…. OK. So now voter fraud exists, because a democrat might lose her seat. Got it! http://t.co/CwKIYpMm3j #stribpol

Stop me if you’ve heard this before (emphasis added):

Brian Rice, attorney for the Phyllis Kahn Volunteer Committee, claims there’s voter fraud.
“I think there is a coordinated effort to use this address to bring voters into the DFL primary election on August 12, that’s what I think is going on,” Rice said. “It’s wrong, it violates Minnesota Law, it’s a crime.”
According to voter registration records from the Secretary of State’s office and the DFL Voter Activation Network more than 140 people used 419 Cedar Avenue South in Minneapolis as their home address, when they registered to vote.
The address is for what’s called Cedar Mailbox Center. The building manager and mail center’s employees weren’t comfortable speaking on camera, but they said they were surprised by the allegations.

Of course, during the 2010 elections the Minnesota Majority noted scads of such irregularities – including nine people listing a laundromat as their “home” address.  The response?

“It can’t be!”

Why?

“We have the best election system in the country”. 

Until it’s Phyllis Kahn being defrauded, of course.

TANGENT:  Remember when the only reason to claim voter fraud was racism?  Why do Rep. Kahn and the DFL hate Somalis, anyway?

Inconvenient Inconsistency

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Judge Guthmann ruled that the Secretary of State had no authority to establish an on-line voter registration site. He ordered it taken down at once.

So . . . where’d the money come from? Misappropriation of funds should be an impeachable offense.

Also . . . to register on-line, you must enter a Minnesota Driver’s License, Minnesota State ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. I thought it was racist to demand that stuff? Shouldn’t racism be an impeachable offense, too?

Joe Doakes

Only the wrong racism.

Dayton Administration: “Rules Are For Peasants!”

The State Auditor confirmed what this blog pointed out a year and change ago; Governor Dayton’s use of a state plane to haul campaign staff on junkets that either mixed official and campaign business, or involved no state business whatsoever, violated the law:

At issue were three separate trips Dayton took using a Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) airplane. During the fall of 2012, in the run-up to that year’s election, Dayton flew out of St. Paul for appearances in Willmar, Brainerd and Bemidji. On each trip, Dayton combined official state business with political events; a subsequent flight from Bemidji to International Falls was made for purely political purposes. On that flight, Dayton’s travel companions on the plane included Julie Hottinger, a campaign staffer who is not employed by the state.

Using the plane to transport Dayton and Hottinger for a political event was determined to be a violation of both state statute and MnDOT policy. According to the code of ethics for executive branch employees, state funds, resources or property cannot be deployed for “any … use not in the interest of the state.” The audit report spells out certain exceptions to that law, including security detail personnel, who will travel with the governor regardless of the nature of an event.

In this instance, Dayton’s staff argued that the use of the official plane was a matter of security, telling OLA investigators that the MnDOT aircraft gives the administration staff greater control over equipment and choice of pilots.

The report recommendations find that the state-issued plane should not be used if the governor is traveling only for a political reason, or is bringing political staffers. But, for cases when a governor plans to attend both official and political functions, the current law lacks clarity, and the OLA recommends that the Legislature take up the issue to spell out its legality.

“In the meantime,” the report states, “we recommend that Governor Dayton encourage his office staff and campaign staff to schedule his travel in ways that strictly limit the use of a state airplane to attend political events.”

In an official response penned on behalf of Dayton, chief of staff Tina Smith said the state’s paying for Hottinger’s travel resulted from “an error and will not happen again.” Smith also points out that the Dayton campaign had intended all along to split costs for the trips that combined both public and political activities, and reimbursed the state fully for the trip from Bemidji to International Falls.

As always with the DFL – with the damage long done, Governor Dayton apologized. 

How many passes will the DFL get when it comes to cheating on state campaign laws?

“Trust Us: Smoke Never Means Fire!”

James O’Keefe and his merry band of prankersters are able to fraudulently obtain ballots 97 percent of the time:

New York City’s Department of Investigation (DOI) has just shown how easy it is to commit voter fraud that is almost undetectable. Its undercover agents were able to obtain ballots for city elections a total of 61 times — 39 times using the names of dead people, 14 times using the names of incarcerated felons, and eight times using the names of non-residents. On only two occasions, or about 3 percent of the time, were the agents stopped by polling-place officials. In one of the two cases, an investigator was stopped only because the felon he was trying to vote in the name of was the son of the election official he was dealing with.

Clearly, O’Keefe has overstepped the bounds of…

…wait.  I said O’Keefe, didn’t I?  What did the article actually say?

The New York Department of Investigation’s report doesn’t address the serious issue of absentee-ballot fraud, where at least a paper trail to catch fraud can be created. But it does highlight a troubling case indicating that voter impersonation Chicago-style is still with us.

Oh. 

Um…

Fox News!

The Media/Non-Profit Racket

In past months, I’ve showed you how not only big-media-alum group-blog MinnPost, but “No Rant, No Slant” Minnesota Public Radio are on the take from the Joyce Foundation – which funds “Protect MN”, the anti-rights group run by Rep. Heather Martens.  I speculated that it might be the reason that MPR has been so incurious about Martens’ astroturf group, and why the MinnPost - with all its pretenses to legitimate journalism – spent the past year giving Martens a public tongue bath.

I asked – does this involvement go any higher in the Twin Cities’ “progressive” political world?

I asked, and Bill Glahn answered – ten months ago.  Joyce is a huge financial backer of “Take Action MN”, a non-profit that verges on being a political party in its own right, a descendent of “Progressive Minnesota”, which had its own unseemly connections with “non-partisan” institutions.

Glahn:

The Joyce Foundation of Chicago, Illinois, was founded by Iowa lumber heiress Beatrice Joyce Kean.  This $760 million foundation has been involved with TakeAction since near the beginning of the Minnesota non-profit’s existence.  Joyce’s 2006 Annual Report (p. 25) shows a grant of $350,000 to be paid out to TakeAction over two years, “To develop and promote a political reform agenda focused on campaign finance, judicial, and voting rights reforms.”
Joyce’s 2009 IRS Form 990 reveals that the $350,000 grant to the 501(c)(3) TakeAction Minnesota Education Fund was renewed in 2008 for two additional years, “for ongoing efforts to reform and strengthen democracy in Minnesota.”[12]
Joyce’s 2011 IRS Form 990 reveals that, yet again, the $350,000 grant to the TakeAction Education Fund was renewed in 2010 for two additional years, “For advancing a political reform agenda that encompasses election administration, voting rights, campaign finance, redistricting, and judicial independence.”[13]

The Joyce Foundation’s website indicates that the TakeAction Education Fund received an additional $150,000 in 2012 for one year, “For advancing a democracy reform agenda using legislation, community organizing, movement building, coalition work, and unexpected alliances.”
Unexpected alliances?  In any event, the seven-year total of grants from the Joyce Foundation to TakeAction equals $1,200,000.

So let’s break this down:  The Joyce Foundation heavily sponsors “Progressive” non-profits, including “Take Action MN”, “Protect MN”, and (I strongly suspect) “Common Cause MN”.

And they pour money into at least two “non-profit” Minnesota media outlets that have pretensions to respectability; Minnesota Public Radio and the MinnPost.

I’ve sought comment from both organizations in the past, without success.  I’ll try again.

All of this carefully obfuscated money going to support “campaign finance…reforms” is one thing.

Going to buy friendly media coverage?

And finding willing takers, in an industry whose “code of ethics” tells journalists who avoid financial entanglements in their “journalism?”

Berg’s Seventh Law Is Everywhere

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

When the IRS scandal broke and Progressives were poo-pooing it, I said it wasn’t about mistakes or miscommunication but voter suppression.  The Obama Administration used the IRS to prevent conservatives from raising money to get their message out, so Romney lost the election.

Now there’s proof.

All that time Dog Gone was howling about voter suppression, she was engaging in one of your most famous laws.

I knew it.

Joe Doakes

Eventually everyone knows it.

The Real Question

Mark Ritchie, two-term Secretary of State and George Soros beneficiary, will be leaving the Secretary of State’s office after two terms.

His main accomplishments:  bringing electoral reform to three grossly-underserved communities: the Fictional-Americans, Duplicate-Americans and Deceased-Americans.

They will no doubt miss him.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong

Senator Dave Osmek (GOP SD33) writes – and I’ll add emphasis:

Here’s a really bad bill: SF271 (Champion). Its not the language in the bill…it’s the repealer. We’re repealing all residency requirements for drivers licenses. Its designed to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

Of course, we all know what else you can do with a driver’s license. Vote. Not to mention that a driver’s license is one of the primary forms of ID for an I9 form or getting a passport.

It passed Transportation/Public Safety on a DFL party-line vote. I complained hard about this thing. In talking with one of the more “reasonable” DFLers after the hearing, he said: You’re making too much out of this, Besides, they all vote for US (giggle…giggle).

Remember – it won’t be “election fraud” if it’s perfectly legal by the time of the next election.

The Unions Buy Minnesota

So how much money did Big Labor spend along with Big Lefty Plutocrat to buy the Governor’s Office and the Legislature?

If you believe the Strib, it’s “around $3 million.

If you believe the Strib is going to tell the truth about DFL perfidy – and especially the big money behind the DFL, I’ve got a 50% stake in the next Lindsay Lohan movie to sell you.

Bill Walsh, long-time Minnesota political operative, did a little digging into the story – and he’s got something the Twin Cities’ mainstream media doesn’t want to give you; the facts:

I’m publishing his piece as a guest writer at Shot In The Dark today.

———-

Unions Spent $11.1 Million in 2012 to Buy Friendly Legislature for Gov. Mark Dayton

Bill Walsh, Shot In The Dark Guest Writer

A few weeks ago the Star Tribune published an article about campaign spending in the 2012 election focusing on two big individual donors – Alida Messinger and Bob Cummins. The conclusion? Each party has a big donor that gave lots of money, it’s all a wash. I’m afraid this story is all we’re going to get from the Strib on campaign spending analysis. Today, in an otherwise well written article on union influence at the capitol this year, Rachel Stassen-Berger writes that unions “put at least $3 million into elections.” I guess $11.1 million is “at least” $3 million. She’s only off by $8.1 million.

I took the time to go through the campaign finance reports of 111 different union organizations in Minnesota and nationally for the 2012 election. Spending ranged from Education Minnesota at $1.8 million to the Bemidji Central Labor Body AFL-CIO Political Fund at $250. State and local unions accounted for $9.1 million in campaign spending with national unions kicking in the other $2 million.

Union Contributions 2012 by

It took some time to come to the right numbers because many unions give money to each other for joint spending initiatives. These numbers reflect the net spending after backing out contributions between unions. It goes without saying that over 99% of the money went to DFL candidates and causes.

I blame myself for not getting this research to the StarTribune before they published today’s article. It really would have added some punch to their story.

For example, when talking about the nurses union asking the legislature for new staffing ratios that will drive up health care costs, it would have been useful to point out to readers the nurses union spent over $500,000 helping DFL candidates win back the legislature last year. As a matter of fact, that probably should be mentioned every time the media covers the progress of this legislation.

Likewise, when discussing AFSCME’s attempt to force unionization on small private childcare businesses, it would inform the reader to mention that seven different AFSCME organizations gave a total of $1.6 million to DFL candidates and causes in 2012.

The list goes on – Education Minnesota is trying to resurrect their statewide insurance pool legislation, MAPE and AFSCME are getting new generous employment contracts, the minimum wage is being increased and Dayton is following through on his promise to raise taxes on the rich.

But business spends a lot too, right? Wrong. It’s hard to get anywhere near $11.1 million if you add up the business money spent in the 2012 election. A business friendly PAC called Minnesota’s Future spent $1.2 million while the Chamber of Commerce-supported Coalition for Minnesota Businesses spent just $283,000 on the 2012 election. We all know the MNGOP received little support from the business community and the two legislative caucuses combined to spend only $4.1 million, and not all of that can be attributed to business.

According to today’s Pioneer Press, however, business interests do spend a lot on lobbying. The Campaign Finance Board reported that business interests spent $17.4 million lobbying the legislature during the 2011 session.

This may be the key to understanding today’s political environment. Unions spend heavily getting sympathetic Democrats elected to office. Once they are in place, it doesn’t take much money to lobby –the jury is already selected.

Business on the other hand, spends relatively little on the nuts and bolts of campaigns and prefers to hire lobbyists to try to influence the debate after the legislature has been selected.

What’s next?

First, Republican legislators need to hammer away on the $11.1 million unions spent to buy this legislature for Gov. Mark Dayton. They need to remind the public and the press at every opportunity to follow the money. Pay to play has never been more obvious in Minnesota.

Second, the business community needs to shift some of its resources to where it matters: the 2014 general election. Business will never match the collective self interest and desperation of the unions, so we need to reach a higher level of cooperation if we hope to recapture the House and win back the governor’s office in 2014.

———-

MITCH ADDS:  More on this in coming weeks.

One Silver Lining

Mary Franson wins her recount in House District 8B.

Franson, a freshman Republican from Alexandria, picked up one extra vote Thursday when Otter Tail County recounted its ballots. In the end, Franson had 4,799 votes in Otter Tail to Cunniff’s 3,790 votes.

Cunniff’s attorneys are challenging four of the ballots in Otter Tail County, and the campaigns also challenged one vote each in Douglas. But the combined challenges wouldn’t be enough to hand Cunniff the win in the state’s closest election of 2012.

This close win by Franson in a bad year for the MNGOP, and against one of the DFL’s  sleaziest campaigns in a year where the DFL buried the sleaze-o-meter, is good news; there are at least some parts of the state with a little sanity.

And it’s fascinating how little the vote counts actually swung in a recount run mostly be Republicans, isn’t it?

By the way – even though DFL candidate Bob Cunniff conceded yesterday, as the Strib notes…:

The recount results are unofficial until the state canvassing board meets on Dec. 4 at 1:30 p.m. There is also always a possiblity of a court challenge to the election results.

And given that trial lawyers are among the DFL’s main constituencies, I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

But ’til then, congratulations Rep. Franson!

UPDATE:  John Gilmore echoes thoughts a lot of us agree with:

Last legislative session we didn’t have any leaders. In fact, we had anti-leaders. Morons. Incompetents.

Not even status quo: our new majority made things worse. They earned their minority status this election cycle but the better good of Minnesota did not.

Enter Mary Franson: new, naive, honest, sometimes bumbling. Extremely well spoken on the floor of the MN House of Representatives and off.

But wait! Can she navigate The Wedge? Tell the difference of quinoa from teff?

No and here’s hoping she never does. Would it be too post modern to take a field trip to Alexandria?

During the DFL-manufactured “Animals” fracas last spring, the GOP establishment couldn’t have shot Franson under the bus any faster if they’d loaded her into a wrist-rocket.

To paraphrase The Boss:  she’s still there, they’re all gone.  Well, some of them, anyway.

 

Know When To Hold ‘Em

Minnesota is plagued with voter fraud.  The evidence – both empirical (200 convictions in Ramsey County – the only county that the Minnesota Majority was able to browbeat into taking actual evidence seriously) and anecdotal (yet again, the stories from the U of M and many precincts in the Fourth and Fifth CDs demand an investigation that will never come) is everywhere.

Most Minnesotans that pay attention and aren’t bobbleheaded Fraud Denialists – the people who’ve grown adept at plugging their ears and chanting “nya nya nya best system in the country la la la” – know this.

So why did the Voter ID Amendment fail?

Not because it wasn’t needed, or because a majority of Minnesotans who actually pay attention voted “no”.

Dan McGrath – who led the effort from the beginning – has a long, detailed take that oozes the exhaustion and disappointment he no doubt feels, over at True North.   Go read the whole thing; it’ll be easier than copying and pasting the whole thing here.

A few takeaways, both McGrath’s and mine.

  • The anti-Amendment crowd outspent the proponents by a daunting margin.  Which is odd, considering that in every poll up to the very end, the measure was passing by a bare minimum of 3:2.  Now, polls are obviously a mess, in this state more than most.  But what could possibly cause a movement to spend that much money to thwart a measure so overwhelmingly supported by so many people, even – initially – DFL-identified voters?   Pure, simple love of the status quo?
  • The pro-Amendment forces were not only too small and too underfunded – they were fatally fractured, to the point that some pro-Amendment groups actually fought each other.  Precious time and money was wasted.  There was too little of both under even the right circumstances.
  • The movement started out with massive bipartisan support – and then turned the issue into a partisan one.  That might have worked in a year when the conservative/GOP brand was a big winner.  It was clearly not, this year – but the lesson remains; it was a huge mistake to make it a GOP vs. DFL issue; that did the DFL’s framing for them.  This should have been a “Justice versus Fraud” issue, repeated relentlessly and at every opportunity.
  • That failure made it easy for the DFL to tie it to the Marriage Amendment, and kill them both with their “Vote No Twice” campaign; it was elegant, and simple enough to drive into the heads of all the low-information voters that dominated this past election.

My prediction:  The DFL is going to build “safeguards” to fraud into the system in the next two years that it’d take a decade of conservative rule to untangle.  Look for voters to not be required to give names at the polls by 2014; by 2016, people will be picking up ballots at WalMart.  By 2018, they’ll come pre-filled from the DFL.

Facetious?  We’ll see.

Numbers, Part I: Lots Of Voters, Indeed

Minnesota’s official line is that we’re very, very proud of the fact that more of our people jam into the polls on election day than any other state.

OK, so far so good.

So I thought – why not take a look at some previous years?

The blue line shows the total turnout – the percentage of elegible voters that turn out for elections in (respectively) 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 (which is missing from the SOS website, and I didn’t want to extrapolate it, but you can assume it, like the other non-presidential years, is in the 50-70% range, for purposes of comparison), 2008, 2010 and last Tuesday.

The red line is the percentage of registered voters that vote.  It doesn’t seem counter intuitive; people who are registered to vote (and the numbers in every case are the “Registered as of 7AM on election day” numbers) are more likely to actually get down to the polls and pull the trigger.

Obvious pattern #1:  Presidential years are bigger for both figures.

But Monday, let’s look into where some of these numbers come from.

 

While Going About Your Business Tomorrow…

…bring a camera.  A smartphone works just fine.  Be on the lookout for irregularities.

Reports are already filtering in from the U of M – students are being encouraged to double-vote (in their home districts and at the U).  It is a fact that the Democrats will cheat; they believe their ends justify their means.

So be watchful.  And report irregularities to the poll-watchers and the Minnesota Majority – don’t go taking the rules into your own hands; you could be wrong, and that’d be embarassing.

But keep an eye peeled.

Tinker Toy History

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The cover story in the Minnesota Bar Association’s Bench and Bar magazine this month is “Felony Disenfranchisement, Why 5 Million Americans Can’t Vote This November.” The cover art is a Black man in a jail cell. The authors are two criminal defense lawyers. The article raises all the usual DFL points but with one jarring note. Note this claim:

“Many believe felony disenfranchisement became a popular idea when it was clear the Constitution granted the right to vote to all of its citizens, regardless of race, since this was a method of preventing many blacks from voting. There is strong evidence, arguable rock-solid proof, that the laws were in fact intended to target and ultimately eliminate the black vote.”

And compare it with this complaint:

“Minnesota is not among the states that have made felony disenfranchisement laws less oppressive. In fact, Minnesota has not changed its law since it began disenfranchising felons in 1857.”

Now wait one minute. Minnesota was a territory in 1857, it didn’t become a state until 1858. The 15th Amendment was adopted in 1870, AFTER the North won the War. But felons were disenfranchised in Minnesota 10 years earlier. Early legislators somehow knew that one day the state would send men to fight in a War to gain independence for Blacks and that eventually we would need to lock up those same Blacks to take away their voting rights, so our prescient ancestors quickly adopted this law first!

Since that piece of “rock-solid” proof is obviously false on its face, the rest of the arguments in the article are so suspect as to be unpersuasive. I’d need a lot more convincing before I’d vote to overturn 150 years of unbroken precedent to give convicted felons more rights.

Joe Doakes

Como Park

The anti-Voter-ID movement started by pulling ever-growing “cost impacts”, to put it in the classical Latin, de anus.  Why would wholesale manufacturing of history be a stretch?

Collateral Damage

Houston “Organizing For America” office closed and director fired after a James O’Keefe operative caught them actively abetting vote fraud disenfranchised the multiple-American community.

One down, many many many to go (including an episode in the video below where our friend Erin Haust visited the OFA office in Hopkins, MN):

And then maybe the Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State!

Just Remember: There’s No Problem Out There

Project Veritas is back with its own October Surprise:

In it, “Organizing For America” workers in Connecticut and New Jersey (and a director in Texas) directly abet voter fraud.

To evidence like this, the defenders of the status quo bleat “you have no convictions!” – ignoring the fact that we do, and it’s the wrong measure, as our system’s laws are design by people whose main goal is to (let’s be idealistic here) jam warm bodies into the polls on the assumption that “high voter turnout” is a good goal in and of itself.  (More cynically?  Well, you know where I’m going with that, don’t you?)

Chanting Points Memo: “It’ll Harm The Veterans!”

The Minnesota left has spent this entire year cycling through one rationalization after another to try to inveigle voters into spiking the Voter ID Amendment – which I’m predicting will pass by 60-40, if not 66-33, this fall.

The latest? “It’s going to harm veterans”.

Dave Thul – who’s served heaven only knows how many tours overseas – is back to blogging, and with style.  He’s back into the game with a flensing of this “issue” over at True North – Part One and Part Two.

In part one, Thul’s debunking of Secretary of State Ritchie is complete and comprehensive; I’m not going to try to pick and choose pull-quotes.  I’ll give you the conclusion…:

Secretary Ritchie’s outrageous claim that military voters will be prevented from voting is based on false propaganda (address required on the Photo ID), assumes the worst interpretation of ‘substantially equivalent’ even though that is not in line with the spirit or intent of the law, and then posits the concept that NCO’s and officers in uniform will be complicit in preventing military voters from casting their ballot by refusing to attest to their identity. The fact that Secretary Ritchie can repeat this claim with a straight face would be laughable if it wasn’t so insulting to the intelligence of Minnesota voters. But the fact that Sec Ritchie has singled out military families and veterans groups to make this claim to is over the top partisan political campaigning, and it has started a backlash.

…and charge you to go read the whole thing.

He promised a backlash; that comes in part two; Secretary Ritchie has been using state resources to campaign against Voter ID with Veterans and Gold Star groups:

Last week, the Gold Star Mothers of Minnesota brought to light a disturbing situation; Secretary of State Mark Ritchie using state resources to actively campaign against the Voter ID amendment. But it wasn’t just an isolated incident, Sec Ritchie also used his office to make false claims about military voters being prevented from voting to another group- The Minnesota Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The Minnesota VFW puts out a quarterly newsletter called the Gopher Oversea’r. Mailed out in a newspaper format, it includes messages from the state commander and ladies auxiliary president, news and events around the state of interest to veterans, and a short OpEd section with letters and commentary. The last issue included a commentary from SecState Ritchie that was so outrageous and over the top, it drew a firestorm of criticism from VFW members around the state. In response, the editor of the newsletter sent an email to all VFW post commanders and officers that included an apology as well as several letters representative of the angry response. This email was important because the next issue of the Gopher Oversea’r will not be published until after the election.

That the Secretary of State feels compelled to run roughshod over state law and ethics to try to fight against Voter ID is a tell to the disingenuity of their protests about how much the amendment will supposedly cost or who it’ll “disenfranchise”.  The DFL has never cared about squandering tax money, and they don’t care about rights.   But Voter ID will gut a key source of their votes – duplicate, fictional and illegal voters.

And when that’s at stake, the law and ethics take a back seat.

 

One Blowout, One Nailbiter

Survey USA polls show that the Voter ID Amendmennt appears to be cleared for landing – barring, naturally, a major change in the landscape – while the Marriage Amendment could be a squeaker.

Let’s start with the Marriage Amendment.

At first glance, the news is good; the amendment is up 50-43.  Now, in elections for Constitutional Amendments, blanks ballots are counted as “no” votes.  So if every single “Undeicded” in this poll either votes “no” or doesn’t vote on the amendment, it flails 51-48.  On the one hand, that seems unlikely; it’s a lot more likely that some of the undecideds will break for the amendment; if an eighth of the undecideds vote “yes”, the amendment passes in a 50-plus-one-vote to 50-minus-one-vote squeaker.

Of course, it’s unrealistic to expect that the landscape will stay the same.  Both sides are going to pour money into this state on this amendment in the next seven weeks.  Given the deep pockets behind the left’s “grassroots” efforts, I suspect they’ll deploy a lot more money.  I suspect, as I have all along, that his vote is going to be a tight one.

Voter ID, on the other hand?

The proposed Voter ID Amendment is unchanged since the last round of polling, over a month ago.  It’s ahead by a 2:1 margin, with only 7% undecided.  IF every single undecided vote is a “no” or an abstention, the measure will pass with a 3:2 margin.

The “yes”  vote crushes among all age groups – even moreso among young voters (which makes sense; they’re the ones that see their classmates being approached to take part in the scams); it wins among every party and ideological stripe except among Democrats and self-identified liberals, and across all regions, income brackets and levels of education.

This measure is going to pass resoundingly.

Your Secretary Of State In Action

Gary Gross, writing in the maddeningly inscrutable “Examiner”, recounts a trip to a Stearns County Commission (St. Cloud) meeting last May by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.

At that meeting, Ritchie handed out an op-ed whose chase was cut to with this money quote:

“Minnesota’s counties currently do an excellent job of administering fair and open elections across a state with significant geographic challenges. The lack of any significant voter irregularity for decades supports this assertion.”

Clearly, the purpose of the piece was to campaign against the Voter ID Amendment.

Which is great – provided that Ritchie was working on his campaign time. Not his SOS time.

But according to a Data Practices request on the subject, the trip was paid for as part of his SOS gig:

A Data Practices Act request was sent to Ritchie’s office asking whether Secretary Ritchie had been reimbursed by taxpayers for the trip. Bert Black gathered the information and responded to the Data Practices Act request. Here’s his response:

 

Thank you for your follow-up message. The staff person in our Fiscal Division who has these records was out yesterday, so I had to wait until today to get the information you requested.

 

Since the trip of May 15, 2012 to Waite Park, Minnesota was part of the Secretary’s official duties, Secretary Ritchie was reimbursed for mileage. The reimbursement was for 148 miles at the standard rate of $0.555 per mile, for a total of $82.14.

 

Best regards,

 

Bert Black

 

Office of the Secretary of State

 

And that is just plain unethical, if not illegal. (And when I say “if not illegal”, I’m really saying “I don’t know that it’s not illegal”).

Yes, We Have The Bananas

Apparently in Mexico “disenfranchising voters” is less an issue than “not being seen as a banana republic with an election system taht can be seized and manipulated by those in power”.

You might call our system “Third World,” but that would be an insult to the Third World. As Fund and von Spakovsky note, to register to vote in Mexico a voter must provide a photo, a signature and a thumbprint. The Mexican voter-registration card includes holographic security, a magnetic code and a serial number. Before voting, voters have to show the card and have the thumbprints matched by a scanner.

So – provided all this security works – every Mexican can at least hypothetically be assured their vote isn’t negated by some fraudulent or fictional voter.

But remember – we have the best election system in the world.

Because apparently relentlessly repeating “we have the best election system in the world” is all it takes to make it so.

 

Testimony

(SCENE:  A press conference on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol.  Gretel Anderson-Rage of the League of Women Voters, Mike Boing of Common Cause MN and Irving Blotnik of the ACLU-MN are hosting a group of speakers, as two reporters, a homeless guy, and Carrie Lucking (of Alliance for a Better Minnesota) look on.

BOING:  We are here to bring the voices of Minnesotans who will be disenfranchised by the Voter ID bill if it’s passed.  We have four speakers for you today.  I’d like to introduce the first; representing the Deceased-Minnesotan community, Elmer Torstengard.

TORSTENGARD:  (Looking a bit pale)  Hello dere.  I just want to make sure the rights of dead people are upheld  We worked long and hard for this country, and our voices deserve to be heard.  Why should the fact that I died in 1992 silence me?  (Shuffles back to seat)

ANDERSON-RAGE:  Thank you, Elmer.  We are here today to bear witness to the voter suppression inherent in this bill, which will disenfranchise 100,000… (LUCKING waves arms, points fingers upward) 200,000 (LUCKING frantically waves, points arms way up as she jumps) 500,000 (LUCKING frantically makes “go big” sign) Five Million Minnesotans.  One of them will be Jacob Hemmerling-Doltz, a student at Macalester and a representative of the Duplicate-American community.

HEMMERLING-DOLTZ:  Dude.  I’ve got candidates I support down at Mac, dude.  And back home in Madison, too, dude.  And in Uptown Minneapolis, where I stayed last summer when I was interning with MPIRG.  I’ve made my contributions in all three places, why should my voice not be heard in all of them, dude.  I mean, dude?  Hello?  And maybe Dinkytown  (Sits down)

BOING:  I regret to announce our third speaker, Ingrid Bloff, representing the Inattentive-American community, seems to have forgetten to attend today’s event.  So we’ll move right along to Mr. Mick Maus, who represents the Fictional-American community.

MAUS:  Yeah, like, who says I can’t be living in a laundromat with nine other characters….er, Minnesotans? Just because we don’t meet your antiquated Eurocentrist notion of “proof we exist” doesn’t mean our voices aren’t perfectly valid!   You can’t prove they’re not!  Where are the convictions, huh?  Where are the convictions?  You got nothing!  Suck it!  SUCK IT!

BLOTNIK: Thank you for your attendance.  Just a quick note, you may be breaking campaign finance law by being here, or reading about the event.  Or maybe not.  We haven’t decided.

BOING:  Thank you!

(Group leaves the steps as Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” plays on tinny loudspeaker)

(And SCENE)

The Koch Brothers Speak!

One of the Koch Brothers, speaking at a Breitbart meeting at Fox News headquarters while eating Chick-Fil-A and carrying an assault rifle:

“Some critics of voter IDs think the government cannot do this job, but Mexico and most poor countries in the world have been able to register and give IDs to almost all their citizens. Surely the United States can do it, too. Free photo IDs would also empower minorities, who are often charged exorbitant fees for cashing checks because they lack proper identification.”

That racist peckerwood!  Why, you can just feel the contempt for women, whom the Brennan Center said were too stupid to carry IDs with them and were more likely to have had them stolen by their abusive boyfriends and…

…and…

…well, no.  It was one of the men that liberals inexplicably admire the most; Jimmy Carter, back in 2005.  Carter, who up until 2008 was the worst president of my lifetime, finally got one right; recognizes that the virtue of an election system is measured in the integrity and legitimacy of the votes, not  in the amount of wood pulp consumed by making ballots to jam into boxes.

Of course, under pressure from fellow lefties, Carter had to expand on his comments in 2008, noting that it has to be easy and cheap for the poor to obtain IDs.  And the GOP has not only agreed with this, but acted on it.

Soros Cried

Democrats who a few months back were praising Chief Justice Roberts for his judicial restraint in respecting the intent of Congress are sniveling like stuck cats that the Supreme Court of Minnesota (SCOM) didn’t find a penumbra emanating from Alida Messinger’s visage forcing them to accept their masters’ complaints without question.

The lawsuits by the ACLU, the League of Women Voters and Alida’s Cause Common Cause  claimed on the one hand that the Voter ID law was just too complicated and not clear enough for public-educated Minnesotans to understand, and on the other than Mark Ritchie had the right to make both measures more complicated and less clear.

I may be a cynic, but I’m frankly amazed the judges disagreed.

And now, the pro-gay-marriage and pro-vote-corruption forces need to do something neither has been able to do:

  • The anti-Marriage-Amendment forces need to show the voters a case for changing the definition of traditional marriage a little more convincing than “vote no or you are teh bigot”.
  • The pro-fraud forces need to convince Minnesotans that while buying cigarettes or getting a job or buying ammunition or starting a bank account requires that we know someone is exactly who they say they are, exercising our supposedly-precious franchise does not.

It’s a good day.

I’ll await the usual logic-free liberal arguments on both.

UPDATE: Mir. D has an excellent piece on the subject at True North and over at the Neighborhood:

I’ll be honest with you — the Photo ID amendment matters a lot more to me. We’ve been round and round on gay marriage and as I’ve written before, this is a battle that ultimately conservatives are going to lose, mostly because young people are being taught that it is a civil rights issue, especially in the public schools. While I don’t agree with that, the view will prevail and most of the constitutional amendments that are passing in the various states will eventually go away, probably within 10-20 years. At that point we’ll begin the unwitting longitudinal study that will eventually reveal, years after most readers of this feature are pushing up daisies, whether or not gay marriage is a good idea or not. My future grandchildren and great-grandchildren (God willing) will get to suss that one out.

The Photo ID amendment is much more important, because it goes the integrity of elections. Voter suppression is the usual charge you hear, but as a practical matter the real issue is multiple votes and illegal votes. The challenge is getting local election officials and prosecutors, who are partisans, to take such things seriously. Minnesota Majority identified 1,099 cases of felons voting in the Franken/Coleman election and over 200 cases have been either adjudicated or are in the process of being investigated. The rest aren’t going to see the light of day because the local prosecutors can’t be bothered. Franken won the election by on 312 votes…Now the amendments go for a vote. I expect Photo ID to win easily. The marriage amendment will be close. Opponents of both amendments will have ample opportunity to state their case. They just can’t depend on Mark Ritchie to keep his thumb on the scale this time.

And there’s the victory for real justice.

And I never believed the SCOM or Minnesota law had it in ‘em.