Stinker Quote of the Week: Election Edition
We thought readers might enjoy our weekly stinker quote a bit early this week, so here you go:
"During my three years at the Secretary of State's Office, we had more than a few calls and substantiated cases of voter impersonation, dead people who came back to vote one last time, and other forms of cheating.
"The only votes we were interested in 'suppressing' were the illegal ones.
"… So, why don't we (finally) have voter ID in place? The Obama Justice Department."
— Cory T. Wilson, former Deputy Secretary of State in Mississippi, in an editorial published in the Mississippi Press Gulf Live blog.
Why it stinks: Wilson's editorial toes the GOP party line regarding voter ID from beginning to end, down to saying voter suppression is "as phony as the 'war on women.' Wilson uses vague terms: "more than a few calls and substantiated cases of voter impersonation." We'd love to know how many calls and how many cases Wilson actually saw. And of those, how many convictions did the SOS get? One could rightly assume that given the GOP's fervor in pursuing voter ID laws across the nation, the party would trumpet those "substantiated" cases from the rooftops. But, alas, no one can seem to find them.
The reason some states' voting laws have to be reviewed by the DOJ is because of the states' histories. Saying the "Obama Justice Department" is the reason Voter ID hasn't been OK'd by the U.S. Department of Justice is a nice bit of revisionist history. It ignores the thousands of African Americans lynched during the Jim Crow era, and the thousands (millions?) of others who were threatened, bombed. spat upon and otherwise prevented from living as equals. It whitewashes the state's systematic attempt to destroy the lives and businesses of those who dared claim their constitutional right to vote.
Finally, Wilson uses sleight of hand to deflect (and devolve) his entire argument into a "Democrats suppress votes, too" nah-nah-boo-boo tit-for-tat. As proof, he pulls up a Virginia incident involving Patrick Moran, the son of (and campaign field director for) "Democrat (sic) Congressman Jim Moran," who "was caught on video discussing ways to help a hundred votes get cast by impersonating Virginia voters who were inactive. … In the video, shot by an undercover investigative reporter with Project Veritas, a conservative nonprofit."
The "undercover investigative reporter" works for none other than the king of gotcha journalism himself, James O'Keefe. You may remember O'Keefe as the Acorn and Planned Parenthood "sting" operations guy. Yeah, the same schmuck who lies, misrepresents and pressures people to talk, then doctors videos to make it all seem utterly nefarious (and served time for it). Project Veritas is O'Keefe's thing.
Moran resigned when the video surfaced. He was sucked into O'Keefe's gotcha tactics and said some stupid things. What does that have to do voter ID? Yeah, we couldn't figure that one out either.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified James O'Keefe as Patrick O'Keefe. We apologize for the error.