'Voter Fraud Is a Normal Political Tactic': Highlights of New York Voter Fraud Trial

While the city of Troy, New York, anxiously awaits the jury’s verdict in the upstate voter fraud case, we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at some of the more outrageous, if not flat-out criminal moments of the trial thus far.

The trial involves two Democrats - former City Councilman Michael LoPorto, and Rensselaer County Board of Elections Commissioner Edward McDonough.  The two have been accused of over 100 combined felonies in connection with the alleged defrauding of the 2009 Working Families Party primary.

Is this simply a microcosm of what is happening in small towns all across the country?  Is this what we will be fighting against in 2012?

We chose eight moments, in honor of the eight Democrats who have been indicted in the case.

8) Democrat Guilty of Forgery Testifies 'I Wasn't Involved In Any Criminal Procedures' (02/29/2012)

Anthony Renna, a long-time Democrat operative who has already been found guilty of second-degree forgery, actually had the fortitude to state the following with a straight face:When asked why he handed ballots to former City Councilman John Brown, Renna said that he didn't know what Brown's intentions were and that "I wasn't involved in any criminal procedures."

7)  Working Families Party Operatives Testify in Voter Fraud Case(02/06/2012)

The ballot fraud case in Troy, New York, shifted from a long parade of defrauded voter testimony, and focused on two operatives in the Working Families Party (WFP) Monday  - Thomas Aldrich and James Welch.

Aldrich testified about his volunteer efforts on behalf of the Democrat party, which included knocking on doors and handing out brochures.  McDonough's defense attorney, Brian Premo, pointed out that Aldrich's name is on 13 of the allegedly fraudulent ballots.  Aldrich however, said that "He was not involved in any wrongdoing, and had no reason to believe anything illegal was happening..."

Perhaps more intriguing was the testimony of James Welch, Chairman of the Rensselaer County WFP.  A 2009 report by the Times Union indicates that some of the absentee ballots were returnable either to Democrat or WFP operatives, including Welch and Aldrich.  In a statement at that time, Welch claimed that "my conduct was strictly proper".

However, on January 26th, State Police Investigator John Ogden testified that Welch was given a cooperation agreement to testify in the case.

The question is, why would Welch or any member of the WFP need a cooperation agreement to testify?  If they were truly simply ignorant of the process, naive pawns in the voter fraud being schemed by the Democrats, then why wouldn't their honest testimony be enough?

Worse, Welch seemingly isn't the only member of the WFP who was ignorant of the voter fraud being perpetrated upon innocent people using their ballot line.  Karen Scharff, co-chair of the Capital District WFP at the time, the branch which controlled Welch's Rensselaer County arm, had this to say:

"It's extremely troubling that local Democrats in Troy appear to have committed fraud in an attempt to win a primary fight with Troy Republicans for our ballot line."

The really troubling matter with Scharff's WFP is that they're a stone's throw away from the influence of the New York Communities for Change - formerly known as ACORN.

6)  Democrats Preyed On Immigrants in Ballot Fraud Scandal(02/02/2012)

Testimony also showed operatives may have targeted immigrants and other people not familiar with the English language or the U.S. election process.

Those witnesses needed a Spanish interpreter just to get through their testimony.

Maritza Berrios said she was not even registered to vote in 2009. Shown an absentee ballot with her signature, she said it was not hers.

Ana Berrios only said she signed something she was asked to sign. She said she really did not know what it was. When asked if she wrote in the required "where you will be on election day" box that she would be on vacation in Cape Cod, she replied — "I don't even know where that is."

Johanna Torres said she just did what she was told.

"He said sign here and I did and that was it," Torres said.

The first witness called to testify in the upstate New York ballot fraud case, Jermaine Joseph, provided the expected testimony - ballots were filled out on his behalf, votes were cast across a straight Democrat party line, etc.But an interesting caveat was also revealed, something Joseph did not provide in his grand jury testimony - He claims he was paid for his troubles.

Via the Times Union:

A former Hudson Valley Community College football player told jurors Wednesday that he was paid $10 to register to vote by a man from Troy City Hall.

Jermaine Joseph was the first witness called to testify at the trial of two Democrats accused of forging absentee ballots to hijack the 2009 Working Families Party primary.

Joseph said that he and his roommate were each given $10 by a man from Troy City Hall after they signed voter registration cards in 2009. He did not identify the man.

Is it possible that evidence against Democrats in Troy, New York, has finally hit rock bottom?  When they weren't paying off college kids with their vote, they were apparently tricking mentally impaired voters into signing absentee ballots, telling them "the city made it easier to vote this year."
A witness who testified in the upstate New York ballot fraud case explained that she would frequently visit two brothers, both of whom had 'mental disabilities'.

Three men allegedly paid a visit to the family home of Michele Ziglitt one day.  Two of the men were identified as Gary Galuski, and Anthony DeFiglio.  Galuski, a city council member who also works for the Board of Elections, was charged with four felony charges that he left blank spaces on absentee ballots so they could be fraudulently filled in at a later time.  DeFiglio is a Democratic Committeeman who pleaded guilty to falsifying business records, and claimed that such rampant forgery was actually a 'normal political tactic'.

Ziglitt testified that both of her brothers, Joseph Mammone, and Steven, who has since passed away, were asked to sign a ballot by Galuski.  Ziglitt thought that she was casting a vote for Galuski, even though he wasn't even on the ballot that year.  The brothers also signed.

Ziglitt then claimed that, "They told me all I had to do was sign that paper and that was it."  The statement continues the same pattern of the many voters who have already testified in the trial, in which they were tricked into signing the form while the rest of the information was filled in by the Democrats themselves.

Kevin McGrath, who currently sits on the Troy City Council, testified yesterday at the upstate New York voter fraud trial, that he was concerned about running for public office because of his history of substance abuse, and 'the fact that he is a convicted felon'.

These days it seems, McGrath is far less concerned about public perception, at one point cracking a joke about his lack of drug-peddling business savvy - a comment that forced him to apologize to the judge.

During his testimony, McGrath stated that he was not convicted of distributing 220 lbs. of pot, but rather, he was involved with less than 10 lbs, or 100 kg.  Which led him to deadpan this joke - "I wasn't too good. Didn't make much of a profit."  The comment prompted an apology for Judge Pulver.  Apparently, making light of a serious crime doesn't sit well in Pulver's courtroom.

2)  Former Dem City Clerk Admits to Forging Ballots, And Then Some(02/24/2012)

Yesterday brought testimony from the former city clerk who allegedly spearheaded the operation, William McInerney.  The Democrat admitted his own guilt in the forgery case, while implicating others as well. 

McInerney testified to preying on people living in public housing saying, "I went to the projects to see if voters would sign the applications and if not I'd forge them."  McInerney officially pled guilty to forgery back in August…

… Adding insult to injury, McInerney also testified about a drunk driving conviction, had to answer questions about a sexual harassment claim which led to his termination at a job with the New York State Legislature, and having an order of protection issued for stalking his ex-wife.

1) New York Democrats - Voter Fraud is 'A Normal Political Tactic'(01/17/2012)

According to a Fox News report, Anthony Renna, a Democrat guilty of second-degree forgery, and Anthony DeFiglio, a Democrat guilty of first-degree falsifying business records, are trying to drag all local politicians, regardless of party affiliation, down with the ship.

Thus far, eight people have been charged in connection with the ballot fraud investigation, four of which have pleaded guilty.

Reports emerging from the investigation indicate that the Democrats are trying to implicate Republicans of the same conduct they have been charged with.  According to the state police, Renna and DeFiglio both claimed that, "voter fraud is an accepted way of winning elections, and faking absentee ballots was commonplace."

Renna explained that the process of handing in forged ballots and fake votes ensures that "ballots are voted correctly."  He adds, "'Voted correctly' is a term used for a forged application or ballot."

DeFiglio added that such fraud is actually "an ongoing scheme and it occurs on both sides of the aisle.  What appears as a huge conspiracy to nonpolitical persons is really a normal political tactic."
Cross-posted at The Mental Recession

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