September 17, 2008

Repuglicans Will Steal 2008 Election

Do you think these Repuglican schemesters have the good of the nation in mind when they broadcast their omnipotence in turning American into a totalitarian state? Are they so afraid of liberty that they would destroy every single inaliable right? They should move to China if that's what they want!
Here's the brave man. Maybe he'd like to hear from you!

James Carabelli

Director of Landscape Sales

United Lawnscape

26215 Delwal Drive
Novi, MI 48375-1225

Lose your house, lose your vote

By Eartha Jane Melzer 9/10/08 6:42 AM

Michigan Republicans plan to foreclose African-American voters

The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County, Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” [my bold] party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.

State election rules allow parties to assign “election challengers” to polls to monitor the election. In addition to observing the poll workers, these volunteers can challenge the eligibility of any voter provided they “have a good reason to believe” that the person is not eligible to vote. One allowable reason is that the person is not a “true resident of the city or township.”

[...] “You can’t challenge people without a factual basis for doing so,” said J. Gerald Hebert, a former voting rights litigator for the U.S. Justice Department who now runs the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington D.C.-based public-interest law firm. “I don’t think a foreclosure notice is sufficient basis for a challenge, because people often remain in their homes after foreclosure begins and sometimes are able to negotiate and refinance.”

[...] The Macomb GOP’s plans are another indication of how John McCain’s campaign stands to benefit from the burgeoning number of foreclosures in the state. McCain’s regional headquarters are housed in the office building of foreclosure specialists Trott & Trott. The firm’s founder, David A. Trott, has raised between $100,000 and $250,000 for the Republican nominee.

The Macomb County party’s plans to challenge voters who have defaulted on their house payments is likely to disproportionately affect African-Americans who are overwhelmingly Democratic voters. [my bold] More than 60 percent of all sub-prime loans — the most likely kind of loan to go into default — were made to African-Americans in Michigan, according to a report issued last year by the state’s Department of Labor and Economic Growth.

Saulius "Saul" Anuzis
Chairman, Michigan GOP

He'd like to hear from you!

[...] Kelly Harrigan, deputy director of the GOP’s voter programs, confirmed that she is coordinating the group’s “election integrity” program. Harrigan said the effort includes putting in place a legal team, as well as training election challengers. She said the challenges to voters were procedural rather than personal. She referred inquiries about the vote challenge program to communications director Bill Nowling, who promised information but did not return calls. [too ashamed? repuglican with a conscience?]

Party chairman Carabelli said that the Republican Party is training election challengers to “make sure that [voters] are who they say who they are.”

When asked for further details on how Republicans are compiling challenge lists, he said, “I would rather not tell you all the things we are doing.” [my bold]

[...] “At a minimum what you are seeing is a fairly comprehensive effort by the Republican Party, a systematic broad-based effort to put up obstacles for people to vote,” he said.

[...] Challenging all voters registered to foreclosed homes could disrupt some polling places, especially in the Detroit metropolitan area. According to the real estate Web site RealtyTrac, one in every 176 households in Wayne County, metropolitan Detroit, received a foreclosure filing during the month of July. In Macomb County, the figure was one household in every 285, meaning that 1,834 homeowners received the bad news in just one month. The Macomb County foreclosure rate puts it in the top three percent of all U.S. counties in the number of distressed homeowners.

Jane Abraham

Michigan GOP

She's waiting for your email!

[...] David Lagstein, head organizer with the Michigan Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), described the plans of the Macomb GOP as “crazy.”

“You would think they would think, ‘This is going to look too heartless,’” said Lagstein, whose group has registered 200,000 new voters statewide this year and also runs a foreclosure avoidance program. “The Republican-led state Senate has not moved on the anti-predatory lending bill for over a year and yet [Republicans] have time to prey on those who have fallen victim to foreclosure to suppress the vote.”

And in good ol’ Ohio…

Foreclosed-on voters using old addresses could snag election

Sunday, July 6, 2008 3:36 AM

By Robert Vitale


[...] If there's Election Day disorder brewing for 2008, it might well be rooted in the nation's mortgage-foreclosure crisis. In Columbus, across Ohio and in other key presidential battlegrounds, more people losing their homes means more registered to vote from addresses where they no longer live.

Although federal law ensures that most still will be able to cast a ballot on Nov. 4, Ohio voters with outdated addresses risk pre-election challenges and trips from polling place to polling place. They're also more likely to cast provisional ballots that might not be counted.

"It's a real issue," said Daniel Tokaji, an Ohio State University law professor who wonders whether foreclosures might explain the increasing percentages of provisional votes cast between 2004 and Ohio's latest election, the presidential primary in March.

Nearly 3,700 people are registered to vote at Columbus addresses the city lists as vacant, according to records maintained by the city's code-enforcement office and the Franklin County Board of Elections.

The number of voters on the move, though, is higher than that. The board of elections sent out a plea in January to about 27,000 Franklin County residents who had filled out change-of-address forms with the U.S. Postal Service but hadn't updated their voter registrations.

[...] Ohio's 2-year-old requirement that voters show identification [SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS] at the polls makes it more important that they keep their registration information current, said Jeff Ortega, a spokesman for Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

[...] Columbus ranked 32nd among U.S. cities in the number of foreclosure filings during the first quarter of 2008, according to RealtyTrac, a Web site that lists homes on the market in most cities. Cleveland, Dayton, Akron, Toledo and Cincinnati also were among the top 50, and Ohio was ninth among states during May, with one filing for every 410 homes.

Other battleground states rank high in foreclosure filings as well: Nevada led the nation in May with one filing for every 118 homes, while Florida was fourth, Michigan fifth, Georgia sixth, Colorado seventh and New Jersey 10th.

Nathaniel Persily, a law professor at Columbia University, said Ohio is stricter than most states in using outdated registrations as grounds for disqualifying voters. But increasing numbers of outdated registrations increase the possibility of voter challenges in 2008, he said.[...]

Republicans recant plans to foreclose voters but admit other strategies

By Eartha Jane Melzer

9/11/08 3:41 PM

The Macomb County Republican Party chair who told Michigan Messenger earlier this week that Republicans planned to challenge voters at the polls using a list of foreclosed homes has changed his story.

James Carabelli now says the party has “no plans to do anything,” according to a story in the Macomb Daily.

Reports of the plan for foreclosure-based challenges have spurred outrage and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) planned a demonstration today at the Macomb County Republican headquarters.

Eric Doster is former counsel for the Michigan Republican Party and a lawyer who plans to represent GOP election challengers on Election Day.

Doster returned a call Wednesday afternoon and in a 30-minute conversation told Michigan Messenger that while he is unfamiliar with plans to use foreclosure lists to challenge voters, he does expect party volunteers to challenge voters in other ways.

When asked whether Michigan Republicans plan to create a challenge list based on returned direct mail, a practice known as “vote caging,” Doster replied, “I think so. I know this has been done in years past … both parties may be doing this.”

Doster said that the party’s deputy political director, Kelly Harrigan, would have more information about the challenge lists. Harrigan did not respond to a call from Michigan Messenger.

“Voter caging” is controversial because it can be used to target certain groups of voters. Some say that a piece of returned mail should not be enough to challenge a person’s claim of residency.

Last week Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner acknowledged that the use of mail for vote caging has disproportionately affected poor and minority communities and she instructed that returned mail should not be considered reasonable evidence that someone has moved.

Last word: MI GOP is in full denial, calling the Michigan Messanger "a liberal blog funded by the Center for Independent Media, "a known front group for liberal billionaire George Soros."
Keep up the pressure. It's our democracy at stake.

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