Aug 22, 2012

Corrupt AG Van Hollen Wants High Court to Reinstate Voter Obstruction Law

The Blind Leading the Blind - Brueghel
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (R) is betting the Wisconsin corporate media will not hammer the Republican Party for Van Hollen's petition to the Wisconsin Supreme Court to stay the two injunctions against the GOP's unconstitutional voter ID law.

It's a safe bet for Van Hollen and the GOP to make.

Denying the fundamental freedom to vote does not bring a high political price, not from the corporate media.


So, we get a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel piece citing "supporters" (not mentioning supporters are Republicans and Tea Partiers) who point out that the new ID requirement did not produce problems in the one election in which it was operative.

Omitted are the facts that this February 21 election was the Spring primary election, with no statewide races on the ballot, very low turn-out, and an election in which the state Governmental Accountability Board (GAB) did not record the turn-out as only local races were on the ballot, as the GAB confirmed.

"The G.A.B. did not calculate statewide voter turnout for the February 2012 nonpartisan primary because there were no statewide races on the ballot – just local races," e-mailed Reid Magney, public information officer of the Wisconsin GAB.

Consequently, the February election featured turn-outs in the single digits, as mostly die-hard voters cast their votes.

This is the election the GOP argues is evidence that Voter IDs do not obstruct voters. Another GOP talking point is presented by the media to the public unchallenged.

In any event, people were stopped from voting in February such as 84-year-old Ruthell Frank of Brokaw, now a co-plaintiff in the federal case, Frank v. Walker, (Case 11cv1128), U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Another example of lame media coverage, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel piece omits that the voter ID law was passed in the legislature with only GOP votes, no dissenting GOP votes, no Democratic votes, and that the GOP is pursuing similar voter ID laws in states in which the GOP controls the legislature and governor's office.

Political Culture

And of course the Republican and Tea Parties are openly hostile to the right to vote and pay no discernible price for their efforts at stopping citizens from voting.

In March, Van Hollen admitted that Wisconsin voters would be disfranchised by the GOP's voter ID law, so now his petition to make the law operative (staying the two injunctions) before the November election would in a healthy political culture constitute a high scandal against democracy.

We don't live in a healthy democracy.

United Wisconsin's Lisa Subeck slammed Van Hollen's move:

“Putting politics ahead of the law he is sworn to uphold, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is once again moving to disenfranchise as many as 300,000 Wisconsin voters who lack photo ID. Despite two previous court injunctions permanently striking down Wisconsin’s unnecessary and oppressive Voter ID law, today Van Hollen has requested that the Wisconsin Supreme Court immediately lift the orders that prevent the law’s enactment.

Van Hollen’s flagrantly political move comes just a few short months before the November Presidential election. The timing makes his intentions clear. With the selection of Paul Ryan as a vice presidential candidate, Wisconsin is set to be a crucial battleground in the race for President, and Van Hollen is attempting to disenfranchise the hundreds of thousands of seniors, students, minority, and low-income citizens who will be disproportionately impacted by this law. Van Hollen’s latest ploy reeks of political gamesmanship, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court should reject it outright.”
Still, Van Hollen's petition is a stretch. And his effort will likely be refused by the Supreme Court. Too naked a corrupt, partisan exercise even in this unhealthy democracy.

Information on the two state cases, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin v. Walker (Case 11CV4669) and Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP v. Walker (Case 11CV5492) are linked above.

How about Wisconsin Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R)? He championed the 2006 renewal of the Voting Rights Act, passed to stop state voter obstruction efforts.

No, word from Sensenbrenner's office is he would have no comment anymore on state voter obstruction efforts like Wisconsin's.

Two federal trials on the Wisconsin Voter ID law are set for the Spring 2013.

One Wisconsin Now, a civil rights group, released the following:
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements upon news Republican Attorney General JB Van Hollen would petition the state Supreme Court to overturn, in advance of the November elections, Circuit Court rulings that the state’s anti-democratic voter identification bill is unconstitutional.
"JB Van Hollen has spent years, and untold tax dollars, unsuccessfully chasing phantom vote impropriety allegations to justify his support for disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of legal voters. He’s either lying about rampant “voter fraud” or he is incompetent at his job. Van Hollen announced he was going to do this at a Romney-Ryan campaign rally and now he’s using his taxpayer financed office to convince the partisan, conservative Supreme Court majority to do the political thing, not the right thing."
In 2008 as GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain’s state chair, in coordination with the Republican Party, he used his office to try to purge hundreds of thousands of legal voters from the rolls. And after a six-year partisan witchhunt, Van Hollen has found no instances of voter impropriety that would have been thwarted by voter identification.
Earlier this summer, it was revealed the Republican National Committee was behind anonymous legal efforts to enact the law. A complaint related to state Rep. Robin Vos (R-Burlington) and his participation in the suit, filed by One Wisconsin Now, is before the state’s Government Accountability Board.

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