National Democrats and liberal activists are taking enormous legal and political risks with the lawless activities in Texas caught on the Project Veritas tapes. But they see Texas as such a strategic prize that they believe it’s worth that risk, and that victory must be achieved at any cost.
When registering voters, Texas law makes it illegal for a volunteer registrar to “transcribe, copy, or otherwise record a telephone number furnished on a registration application.”
Yet the latest video James O’Keefe has made public, focused primarily on a woman named Jennifer Longoria who is designated as Field Organizer for Battleground Texas, shows them openly saying that when they register voters they copy the phone number into their database, so that they can call those people at a later date.
Battleground Texas is an organization dedicated to turning Texas blue–that is, making it a Democratic state, as it was years ago when the Democratic Party was focused on other issues, and known for robust national defense and a respect for cultural issues such as gun rights. The same state that elected Rick Perry as governor and Ted Cruz as senator could be transformed into a place where someone like Wendy Davis, who is staunchly anti-gun, pro-abortion, and a devoted supporter of Obamacare seeking to expand government-run healthcare, is setting the agenda.
An essential part of building the apparatus to make this happen is the extension of no-holds-barred data collection. In elections, knowledge is power. Every person cares about many issues to one degree or another. If you have enough information on each potential voter, you can micro-target each person by sending direct communications that frame the election only on those matters where a voter might support one candidate, even if the opposing candidate better represents that person on most of the issues that are important to him or her.
As Longoria is quoted on the video, “That data collection is the key.” This information gives them a clear picture of who their voters are, and where they are. Once you know that, you can turn out those people to the polls. Elections are decided by a relatively small number of people. If you can target those people and motivate them, you can flip the outcome of an election and move Texas–or any state–in a completely different direction from what the majority of the citizens actually prefer.
If you look at the data dump that they’re getting through various sources, it can add up to a game-changer.
Texas is a big prize. It’s the second largest state. It has a ton of money. But it also has a huge non-white population. Democrats understand that if they can advance a racially-divisive agenda in Texas, and scuttle a conservative Republican-driven agenda that empowers minorities, then they hope over a period of years to turn Texas blue.
Texas also carries a block of electoral votes that no conservative can win the White House without. If Texas loses its grounding as a bastion of limited government and respect for the Constitution, no Republican could win the presidency unless and until there would be some major realignment of America’s political parties.
National Democrats also look at Wendy Davis as someone who can help move their brand nationally. Just as Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton billed themselves as centrists–then governed from the left while in office–Davis could obscure her committed devotion to liberal causes and cast herself as a cultural Southerner. She could be effective at peeling off blocks of various groups by feeding false narratives like the deceptive idea of a War on Women to help left-wing national candidates.
Look at what liberal activists and ultra-wealthy donors have done in Colorado. This was a state that was booming under policies that empowered individuals, focused on families, and respected individual rights. Now massive expansions of government, rapid legalizing of drugs, and an outright war on religious liberty and the Second Amendment right to bear arms is what you see imposed statewide, even though countless citizens across the state oppose such measures. The change happened in less than a decade, as a direct result of an extremely well-funded effort that gathered information and targeted small pockets of the population, just like we’re seeing in Texas.
This story also sees the resurrection of the disgraced and disgraceful organization once known as ACORN. Breitbart News’ original blockbuster story when this media outlet was launched was with stunning reports of lawless and corrupt activity with this organization, mobilized around the principles of Saul Alinsky. And now Wade Rathke–the founder of ACORN himself–shows up in this Project Veritas videotape, portrayed as allegedly being at the center of the effort to fundamentally change the Lone Star State.
Also consider the disturbing tie to Obamacare in this video. Operatives from ACORN are now found nationwide in these pseudo-voter-registration outfits and in Obamacare sign-up groups. It purports to quote Clarence Landry from Enroll America, which is a group dedicated to signing as many people as possible into the federal government takeover of healthcare called Obamacare. Landry adds, “Battleground Texas, we network with them, we work with them.” He concludes by saying, “this is the same brainchild with Enroll America.”
This is deeply disturbing. Personal health information is among the most sensitive and potentially-embarrassing information that exists about a person. It can be terribly damaging and open a person up to extortion. You want healthcare to be as far removed from electoral politics as possible; you do not want those signing people into a national healthcare apparatus to be networking and working with an outfit of nothing-off-limits political operators whose admitted goal is to change the outcome of elections.
You saw this overall approach with the Obama campaign two years ago. As one of countless examples, they did it with Obamaphones, they targeted low-information voters who were likely to be dependent on government to turn them out, and used the information they gained from the phone registration to target those voters. And–like with Obamacare–the Obamaphone program was not a supporter-funded organizational effort, it was a taxpayer-funded government program, one designed and run by Obama political operatives.
Barack Obama’s strategy in 2012 was not a major turnout of voters. It was instead to target different issues in different states to change the composition of the electorate that actually shows up at the polls on Election Day. And it worked.
That’s why these leftist organizers are willing to push the limits in Texas, and some will even cross the line if they think they can get away with it. They see it as a state that has such strategic value for the national Democratic Party liberal agenda that they will win it at any cost. If they do, all Americans may pay a price.
Ken Blackwell formerly served as Ohio Secretary of State and a senior fellow at the American Civil Rights Union. Ken Klukowski is senior legal analyst for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.