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