Hans Off! Scourge of Voters is Booted Off FEC

Categories: VOTING

Anti-democratic Bush election official's name withdrawn.

The GOP still has a shot at trying to fix the 2008 elections, but it will have to do it without that scourge of American voters, Hans von Spakovsky.

After three years of protests from Democrats (and small-D democrats), George W. Bush's handlers withdrew von Spakovsky's name from formal nomination to another term on the Federal Election Commission. (Von Spakovsky was a recess appointment to the FEC at the end of 2005.)

Who he? As I noted last September in "Tally Ho! The GOP's Hounding of Voters":

Before his FEC appointment, von Spakovsky was the chief civil-rights violator in the Justice Department's civil-rights division, leading the move to suppress minority and poor voters.

It wasn't enough that the GOP stole the 2000 presidential election; it has worked assiduously since then to stop Americans from voting. For great background on this, see my flurry of links in the "Tally Ho!" piece, particularly this April 2007 backgrounder by McClatchy's Greg Gordon, who wrote:

For six years, the Bush administration, aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates.

The administration intensified its efforts last year as President Bush's popularity and Republican support eroded heading into a midterm battle for control of Congress, which the Democrats won.

Facing nationwide voter registration drives by Democratic-leaning groups, the administration alleged widespread election fraud and endorsed proposals for tougher state and federal voter identification laws. Presidential political adviser Karl Rove alluded to the strategy in April 2006 when he railed about voter fraud in a speech to the Republican National Lawyers Association.

Questions about the administration's campaign against alleged voter fraud have helped fuel the political tempest over the firings last year of eight U.S. attorneys, several of whom were ousted in part because they failed to bring voter fraud cases important to Republican politicians. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales could shed more light on the reasons for those firings when he appears Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Civil rights advocates charge that the administration's policies were intended to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of poor and minority voters who tend to support Democrats, and by filing state and federal lawsuits, civil rights groups have won court rulings blocking some of its actions.

It was bad enough that the Supreme Court recently upheld the onerous photo-ID requirement for voting. Rove and von Spakovsky worked hard to get states to pass such Soviet-style legislation.

On the brink of the 2008 elections, the Roberts Court will have to carry on without Hans, the GOP's main brinker.


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