“You know, comrades,” says Stalin, “that I think in regard to this: I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how.– Boris Bazhanov, Memoirs of Stalin’s Former Secretary
First the video, courtesy of Judy Chu’s YouTube channel:
That’s right. Judy Chu, my congresswoman, actually applauded Eric Holder on his enforcement of civil rights law. She must not be aware of the New Black Panthers intimidation of white voters in 2008, or the class-action lawsuit against Eric Holder’s Justice Department for denying non-Chamorro the right to vote in the plebiscite over Guam’s future status.
But when she praised Holder for trying to invalidate lawsuits that allegedly suppress voters (read: ask voters to prove that they are eligible to vote) she seems to think that voter fraud isn’t an issue, even though experience makes it clear that it is. Eight states now require state-issued identification at the polls, but Mr. Holder has put them on notice, worried as he that these states might violate the Voting Rights Act. Debbie Wasserman Schultz actually compares the bills to modern-day Jim Crow.
Asking for a driver’s license apparently disenfranchises homeless people (because you sure want them deciding the fate of the republic!), even when you offer to give them a state I.D. for free. Who knew? I’ve been voting for four years with a state I.D. because I can’t afford a car.
I could forgive Chu her first inanity–after all, Philadelphia and Guam are pretty far away from her Los Angeles congressional district–but not the second, especially when voter fraud is so rampant in L.A.
Critics say requiring state IDs to vote is a waste of time, anyways. There have only been about 300 cases prosecuted in the past decade, they note, suggesting that it isn’t a serious problem. But couldn’t it just be that prosecutors aren’t interested in prosecuting those cases and that the problem is a lot more serious? That perhaps prosecutors don’t want to upset the very interests that could see them defeated at the next election?
Which is why I went to Google to see if there were any voter fraud cases in Los Angeles–America’s second largest city–and wouldn’t you know it there were.
- In June of this year, Latino activist Nativo Lopez pled guilty to felony voter-registration. Mr. Lopez continued voting in Los Angeles County despite living in Orange County. This was not Mr. Lopez’s first offense. In 1996, Lopez registered new voters in the Orange County congressional district that very narrowly went for Loretta Sanchez over incumbent Bob Dornan. Subsequent investigation found that some voters–the ones that Mr. Lopez had registered–were not citizens. Mr. Lopez has gotten caught this time, but his punishment is rather innocuous: three years probation and 400 hours of community service. Given that Mr. Lopez would no doubt consider his efforts to register voters illegally as community service, I suspect this isn’t the last we’ll hear of him.
- Indeed, Ms. Chu’s congressional district has also been home to voter fraud. Jeanette Mann, a seven-term of the Pasadena City College, allegedly committed voter fraud by allowing her adult son, Stephen Mann, who lives in Canada to use her home for voting, something the law expressly forbids. Mr. Mann has cast his ballot in at least 21 local elections since 1992. Ms. Mann is now trying to claim that her son’s 19-year stay in Canada does not violate the law.
- In 2010, prosecutors indicted Democratic State Sen. Roderick Wright (Inglewood) not only lied where he lived when he ran for the California legislature in 2008, but he also made up a phony residence in a friend’s home when he ran unsuccessfully for the L.A. City Council. Before entering politics, Mr. Wright was the district director to Congresswoman Maxine Waters where he helped with … getting citizens to vote.
- Also, in 2010, the L.A. district attorney began an investigation of voter fraud in the November 2009 City Council election in Montebello. As many as 200 people may have voted illegally in the very close election that turned out two members of the city council. William Molinari, son of Mayor Bill Molinari, is among those likely voting illegally. The son was registering to vote at his parents’ home, despite owning a home in Alhambra since 2005 and claiming a homeowner’s tax exemption there.
- Also, in 2010, a Los Angeles City councilman, a Mr. Richard Alarcon and his wife, Flora de Oca were hit with a 24-count felony indictment for voting fraud just last year. Still facing those criminal charges, Mr. Alarcon moved yet again, this time for a run for the state legislature.
- The mayor and his wife of city of Vernon, CA, were convicted of voter fraud in 2009 for lying about living in Vernon, CA.
This supposed problem that never happens oddly happens whenever the L.A. district attorney’s office, headed by the capable people at the Public Integrity Division, looks into it. One wonders what fraud other district attorneys would find if they had the resources that L.A. does.
Still, I must say I find the whole thing rather odd. At 23 years of age, I have to show my ID when I purchase wine, when I go to the library to check out books, when I buy medicine at the local pharmacy, when I board an airplane, and, often nowadays, when I buy things with my credit card. I have to show it when I go gambling, when I buy cigars (sorry, Mom!), and when I go to clubs, and even, when the police just simply ask for it. My fiancee, who is 26 and looks 16, has to show it for rated R movies.
Why shouldn’t we have to show it when we fulfill our civic duty?