Angle Files Voter Intimidation Complaint With DOJ Over Reid E-Mails

November 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In the final hours of Election Day, a lawyer for GOP Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle filed a complaint with the Justice Department alleging voter intimidation took place on behalf of the campaign of her opponent Sen. Harry Reid (D), Politico reports.

The complaint relates to an e-mail exchange between an unnamed Reid campaign staffer and the casino chain Harrah’s, which was reported in a story published by the National Review. The National Review reported that the e-mails showed that “Executives at the casino giant Harrah’s pushed company employees to vote early in an all-out effort to help the Harry Reid campaign.”

Angle lawyer Cleta Mitchell — co-chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association -said the e-mails showed “union intimidation tactics.” Reid’s campaign countered that the e-mails don’t show anything against the law and mentioned that the conservative blogger who wrote the story told Fox News that she didn’t think “anything either illegal or unethical was done here.”

“This ‘report’ by a right-wing blogger who’s literally been embedded within the Angle campaign has no credibility on its face,” Reid campaign spokesman Kelly Steele told Politico. “That being said, given Sen. Reid’s work to strengthen the state’s top industry, it should come as no surprise that casino employees support his reelection.”

The chain of e-mails, which can be read here, show that company vice president of public policy and communications Marybel Batjer wrote that another official received a message from the Reid campaign.

“She asked me to reach out to you to PLEASE do whatever we need to do to get the supervisors to know that there is NOTHING more important then (sic) to get employees out to vote,” Batjer wrote to a number of Harrah’s employees. “Waking up to a defeat of Harry Reid Nov 3rd will be devastating for our industry’s future. I know everyone is working hard, but somehow the effort is not getting through the ranks.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman told TPMMuckraker that DOJ was reviewing the letter but declined further comment.

This isn’t the first time that Angle has accused Reid of tinkering with the election, but the Nevada Secretary of State said one of her previous charges had no merit. Angle’s former PAC actually funded a group that later charged that Reid was benefiting from voter fraud.


NV Secretary Of State: GOP Voter Fraud Complaint Unfounded

November 1, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The Nevada secretary of state has declared that complaints made by Nevada Republicans alleging voter fraud are without merit.

Last Friday, Secretary of State Ross Miller, a Democrat, released a 20-page report responding to several complaints filed by a lawyer for the Nevada GOP Victory Committee. The complaints alleged that one- or two-ballot discrepancies in the number of early voters recorded and the number of ballots cast should be investigated for signs of voter fraud.

Miller checked out several of the complaints and ruled that they were simple clerical errors.

“My investigation reveals no evidence of voting machine tampering or voter fraud. It does reveal the presence of occasional human error int he election process, which cannot be avoided as long as humans are a part of the process,” he said. “No amount of procedures can prevent error if the procedures are not followed.”

“It is my opinion,” Miller wrote, “after a review of the procedures in place for poll workers, that the procedures attempt to balance the need to prevent voting fraud at the polls, with the need to assure that every qualified voter is permitted to vote, and that said balance is achieved in these procedures.”

The lawyer who filed the complaint, David O’Mara, filed it on behalf of the Nevada Republican Party. But O’Mara later admitted that he does not work for the NRP — instead, he works for an affiliate, the Nevada GOP Victory Committee. The NRP chairman told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he’s “aware” of O’Mara but does not work directly with him.

O’Mara has also filed a complaint claiming that unions intimidated members into voting for Democratic candidates, a charge the unions deny. Miller has not issued a response to that complaint.

Allegations of voter fraud have been flying from both sides in the too-close-to-call Nevada Senate race between Sen. Harry Reid and Sharron Angle. Angle’s campaign has accused Reid and unions of bribing voters; Reid’s has accused Angle of using “goons” to intimidate voters. (There’s been no evidence of either.)

Reid has also accused Angle’s campaign of trying to intimidate Latino voters after an ad from a GOP-linked PAC urged Latinos not to vote.


Robert de Posada Claims Univision Violated His First Amendment Rights, Plans On Filing FEC Complaint

October 20, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Yesterday, we encouraged Univision not to air ads put out by a GOP front group, Latinos for Reform, telling Latinos not to vote. According to Ben Smith at Politico, Latinos for Reform president Robert de Posada had already purchased an $ 80,000 ad spot from the network. Later, we reported that Univision informed us that it would “not be running any spots from Latinos for Reform related to voting.” However, it appears de Posada is not willing to go down quietly. The Associated Press reports:

Robert de Posada, the founder of Latinos for Reform, said he is trying to determine whether he can legally challenge Univision, which approved the commercials Friday.

“It is a very sad moment where you cannot have discourse in the Spanish market,” he said. “Obviously, my First Amendment rights have been violated.”

Obviously, de Posada is delusional. The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech.” It doesn’t take a constitutional lawyer to figure out that there’s a difference between the government regulating freedom of expression and Univision telling de Posada to take back his $ 80,000 ad spot and freely air his views somewhere else. If anything, the network is exercising its freedom of speech by not airing an ad that fundamentally compromises the best interests of its viewers.

Networks turn down ads all the time. Sometimes, we don’t like it. Other times, we do. But most of the time, the arguments for or against a decision not to run an ad don’t have anything to do with the First Amendment.

De Posada has also said he is filing an FEC complaint against Univision. “They had the script five days before, they read it,” he said. “They approved it. They ran it. For them to say that they didn’t know what the message was is completely absurd.” I happen to think it was absurd they even agreed to air it in the first place, but they certainly didn’t violate de Posada’s constitutional rights when they changed their minds.

Wonk Room

CT Board Throws Out Voter Fraud Complaint Against Ann Coulter

October 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Earlier this week, we told you that a voter fraud complaint against Ann Coulter, filed in early 2009, was finally being heard today by the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission.

The board dismissed the complaint, which had been filed by anti-Coulter blogger Daniel Borchers. Borchers charged that Coulter illegally voted absentee from her parents’ New Canaan, Conn., address while she lived in New York City in 2002 and 2004.

But the elections commission ruled that Connecticut was just as much Coulter’s home as anywhere else in the world.

From the Hartford Courant:

“Since graduating from high school and until she terminated her registration [in 2006], she lived in dozens of places in five states and the District of Columbia … as well as one foreign country,” the commission said Coulter had stated. “She asserts that she never intended to make any of these other states her permanent home and never did so.”

Citing legal precedents, the commission said that “where an individual truly maintains two residences to which [she] has legitimate, significant and continuing attachments, that individual can choose either one … to be their bona fide residence for the purposes of election law.”

The commission also noted that Borchers’ complaint was filed more than four years after the second of the two votes, “and in light of the significant passage of time since the alleged offenses, the Commission finds that it cannot make a full and fair determination, … [and] there is insufficient evidence … to substantiate the complainant’s claims.”


Conn. Elections Board To Hear Voter Fraud Complaint Against Ann Coulter

October 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Something not mentioned in this weekend’s Times profile of the far-right pundit Ann Coulter: She’s accused of committing voter fraud in the 2002 and 2004 elections, and her case is up before the Connecticut elections board this Thursday.

The complaint against Coulter, filed by anti-Coulter blogger Daniel Borchers in February 2009, alleges that she voted in Connecticut via absentee ballot in 2002 and 2004, using her parents’ Connecticut address but living in Manhattan.

The complaint is due up at Thursday’s meeting of the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission, according to the AP and the local NBC affiliate.

This is separate from another voter fraud complaint filed against Coulter in Florida, where she was alleged to have voted in the wrong precinct after registering to a false address. The state dropped the complaint after apparent intervention from the FBI.


Dems Drop Complaint Against Fox for Donating to GOP, Media Mum

October 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The Old Media went into a feeding frenzy when it was revealed that News Corp., the owner of Fox News, had donated $ 1 million to the Republican Governor’s Association to help GOP candidates this election cycle. The left immediately used this fact as a fundraising meme and the media was thrilled to play the news up when a few days later the Democratic Governors Association filed a complaint with the Ohio Election Commission against Fox over the donation.


But while the media loved the story of the DGA filing its complaint, that same Old Media establishment doesn’t seem nearly as interested in reporting that the Democrat’s quietly dropped their complaint, abandoning it without comment. As Mediaite reports, its sources have confirmed that the DGA has dropped its complaint. And not a peep from the Old Media.

There are hundreds of stories about the Democrat’s claims that the News Corp donation destroys the reputation of Fox News. Just to name a few, CNN reported on the donation giving Democrat bloviation top spot in its story. For its part, Politico said that the donation might have “crossed over an inappropriate line.” Amusingly, Huffington Post gives all sorts of space to detractors but only one short quote to Fox spokesmen to reply. Many others played up this story, too, and there are certainly too many to detail here. (A Google search for “Fox donates to GOP” gets over 11,000,000 hits.)

The story also made for fine material for the late night comedians. Comedian Jon Stewart, for instance, really gigged Fox over the donation. But he wasn’t so interested in the lopsided donations to Democrats that media conglomerate Viacom donated this year and in years previous.

Then, when the DGA announced a few days later that it was filing a complaint over News Corp’s donation, the news cycle was revived all over again. (A search for “DGA complaint over Fox donations” gets 139,000 hits.)

The Old Media milked the story for all it was worth, for sure. But now that the complaint has been dropped, will the media report this as widely as it did when the complaint was filed? Will the fact that the DGA realized that it could not justify its complaint in front of officials make news?

Big Journalism

Newsweek’s Adler Doubles Down on Complaint About GOP Pledge’s Constitutional Requirement

September 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In their "Pledge to America," House Republicans have promised to "require each bill moving through Congress to include a clause citing the specific constitutional authority upon which the bill is justified."

On September 22, Newsweek’s Ben Adler denounced that simple pledge as "dangerous even as a mere suggestion," complaining that it intrudes on the constitutional prerogative of the courts to decide the constitutionality of federal law.

Now that he’s been called out by NRO’s Ramesh Ponnuru on his ludicrous complaint, Adler doubled down on his argument in a Newsweek Gaggle blog post yesterday, suggesting that the policy could endanger national security after a devastating terrorist attack:

If the constitutional vetting team makes decisions through a partisan or overly reductionist lens, it might preemptively throw out bills that would have passed judicial review. Maybe this would not bother Ponnuru when the subject is legislation to ban pay discrimination, but how would he feel if the country is attacked and President Jeb Bush wants a host of new surveillance powers that his congressional constitution team rejects as a violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments? 

Of course the history of the presidency in this country is one replete with strong unilateral moves by the chief executive during national emergencies that initially ruffled congressional feathers but eventually passed court muster. In light of that, Adler’s hypothetical is highly unlikely.

What’s more, Adler is laboring under the presumption that the GOP is promising "to create some vaguely defined board in Congress with the power to prevent legislation from coming to a vote if this group of (political?) appointees deems it unconstitutional."

Adler is clearly reading that bureaucracy into the pledge’s language. It’s arguably more likely that the House Rules Committee, which writes the rules of debate for every piece of legislation to hit the House floor, would be tasked with ensuring that all legislation to be reported to the floor has the required constitutional justification language in the text.

The Rules Committee traditionally includes minority party representation, although the majority party comprises a super majority (9 out of 13 members) of the committee, befitting the role of the committee as an "arm of the leadership" of the House. - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Delaware GOP files FEC complaint against O’Donnell over tea-party money

September 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 


Really dumb, and I say that as someone who’s firmly in the “vote for the electable RINO” camp. The Republican Party of Delaware has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission, accusing one of its own Senate candidates of illegally collaborating with the Tea Party Express… The complaint alleges that the O’Donnell campaign [...]

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DGA files complaint against Fox

September 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The Democratic Governors Association, milking Fox’s $ 1 million donation to the RGA for all it’s worth, files a legal complaint in Ohio against the network.

It seems to hinge on a chyron and, to my eye, is more in the great tradition of thin, high-profile election-year litigation than about winning in court.

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Phil Hare Files FEC Complaint Against Veterans Group

September 1, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Uh, oh! Phil Hare, the incumbent Democrat running for re-election in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, is at it again, apparently sore at veterans like Medal of Honor recipient John F. Baker Jr. who are supporting his opponent, Republican Bobby Schilling.


With the help of James L. Moody, chairman of the Sangamon County (Ill.) Democratic Party, Hare — the same guy who said, “I don’t worry about the Constitution,” when asked about the Constitutionality of ObamaCare — filed a complaint Aug. 27 with the Federal Election Commission.

Hare’s target: Veterans for the Constitution, a group of military veterans whose stated mission is to seat Conservative leaders who truly represent the people and do not see the Constitution as an obstacle but as a document the founding fathers intended be upheld at all costs. The group, according to spokesperson Ken Moffett, is comprised of only a handful of active members who have managed to raise a whopping $ 6,000.

One has to wonder how a few thousand dollars raised by a small group of veterans could have such an impact on the re-election efforts of a sitting congressman who, as of July 15, reported having $ 855,863.18 cash on hand to spend on the general election Nov. 2.

Unlike Hare, the veterans he is attacking know how to work effectively and efficiently with other people’s money.

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