Thursday, October 25, 2018


it is that time of year
    Dear reader, please know there is more seasonal pleasantness ahead, but first

it is that time of year

     Election Season. I love my daughter's tribute to and statement about campaign yard signs and the pending election.

they are stealing votes
     Two blatant examples expose what is a strategy to deny minority votes. Over the last few political seasons the Republican party has employed tactics similar to the white racists in Dixie to deny citizens their right to vote. 
      Consider Brian Kemp, the Georgia Secretary of State who is running as the Republican candidate for Governor against Stacey Abrams the African American woman who is the Democrat candidate.
       Kemp has purged between 340-500 thousand current residents from voting. Kemp is known as "The Wizard of Voter Suppression" for good cause because of his bag of Republican tricks.
       An AP (associated press) analysis shows 73% of voters dropped by what he calls "the exact match" system were black. 
       The Center for Investigative Reporting program Reveal and American Public Media report more than a half million voters have been purged and many them may not be aware.
       Kemp has employed a "use it or lose it" technique, sending out post cards that look like junk mail, even to voters who are already registered and primarily only to black or minority neighborhoods. 
      He has used "the exact match" trick. If a name is not exactly as it was written by a voting registrar, though incorrect, even if a person can produce an ID with their name and address they are not allowed to vote. Here's the big problem with that, and in more places than Georgia, voting registrars may intentionally misspell a name, or they may not fully understand a pronunciation or spelling of an ethnic name. It is what the registrar writes that counts and if that registrar is working for Kemp or Republicans in other states, they have incentive to suppress votes in areas strong in Democrats.
      In Florida and in Arizona there are similar complaints by Hispanics because the white registrars do not understand or cannot spell names correctly or misspell them intentionally. 
      You may have heard the news this week where Kemp was caught on tape, for the second time, worrying about black voters and how to counter that.
       Consider the case of Dodge City Kansas, the historic and iconic old west town. The Republican clerk moved a majority Hispanic voting site to place outside of the city limits and one mile from the nearest bus stop. It gets worse. That precinct is supposed to handle 13 thousand voters, imagine the waiting time. Those 13 thousand voters in that one precinct compare to an average of 1,200 voters in other Dodge precincts. 
       The population of Dodge is 60% Hispanic, mostly all legal citizens, but because of efforts to suppress in the past 3 elections only 17% of the vote is Hispanic, though registration is closer to the town's percentage of Hispanic. In the meantime the anglo vote is 61% though the white population is only 40% of the community. Suppression works.
       There are at least nine states practicing voter suppression and they are all red states, carried by Trump.
       Trumps own voting fraud commission was disbanded in shame when they found no evidence of voting fraud. Despite that, and there is only one way to say this, Trump himself still lies about that. 
     A member of the Commission, an elected official from Maine said the commission came to a rapid end when others began to suspect the commission was  trying to frame a report that was not true.  
       "I think the reason why they disbanded it was because they really didn't want anybody to know what they were talking about and working on behind the scenes, which was this report that was being framed up without any of our knowledge. We hadn't even done any substantive discussion about what a report would look like and they were writing it. So I think that speaks to what the goal was, which was to validate the president's claims-not to do any type of investigation our explication of what those claims would look like or produce."  Matthew Dunlap commission member in interview with Don Gonyea.
        Other investigations, less partisan than the Presidents also find there has been almost no voter fraud, the types of which Republicans are trying to prevent. The truth is, Republicans are the perpetrators of the fraud by trying to prevent votes for Democrats.
       Trumps own repeated lies seems to have dulled the nation's sensitivity to the importance of truth. There are countless excuses invoked by those who support him, "That's just how he is. That's just how he does business. What difference does it make? Who cares the economy is on a roll."
      Voter suppression is wrong. To permit it, or to allow it without loud and rancorous challenge is dangerous. It is one more warning sign, a replication of what we have seen in history. 
      The markers are adding up. Russian interference, a divide and conquer style and a terribly divided nation, a minority president overturning years of majority policy, playing to a racist base, trying to discredit media, the arrest and indictment of most of his closest advisors, siding with dictators, an inability to tell the truth and an overt attempt to restrict voting rights is as Anti American as Putin, or the Imams of Iran. It is no wonder those who work with him closely call him a moron. What does that say about those who still support him?
      Thanks for reading through this. It needs to be said in as many places as it can be. As Bob Woodward said, "be worried."

and now something nice
     Harvest season on the California Central Coast. The colors of the season as the grape leaves change.

    See you down the trail.


  1. I suspect you meant "Dodge City, Kansas", not just "Dodge". And "grape" leaves, rather than "grave" leaves. Just sayin'.

  2. George Washington: "I cannot tell a lie."
    Donald Trump: "I cannot tell the truth. And who cares, anyway?"

  3. I think they see demographic doom and are taking steps to put off what might be inevitable for them. So they try and stop non-whites who are here from voting and try and keep others from coming in.

    And, somehow, instead of reaching out to those groups for future electoral success, they seem to double down on the white nationalist thing in their rhetoric and policies.

    Long-term, it's still not a winning strategy.