“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”.
That disgusting quote is not taken from an editorial. It is the lead in a hard news story by the McClatchy Washington Bureau.
The Republican Administration sought to quash Democratic registration gains by alleging “widespread election fraud”. Their goal: keep in the vote of poor and minority voters otherwise qualified.
We saw an example of this in Orange County last Fall. A Republican Assembly nominee sent letters to voters with Hispanic surnames warning them that “immigrants” couldn’t vote. The letter was a crude and excessive version of a national strategy pursued by the Bush Administration and its’ Justice Department.
See what Joseph Rich, civil servant and former Chief of the Justice Departments Civil Rights Division has to say:
“As more information becomes available about the Administration’s priority on combating alleged, but not well substantiated, voter fraud, the more apparent it is that its actions concerning voter ID laws are part of a partisan strategy to suppress the votes of poor and minority citizens”.
The McClatchy report goes on to say that a new, “secretive” group was set up in the Justice Department to “monitor” the implementation of the “Help America Vote Act”. That law was in theory going to register all persons with driver’s licenses – “motor voter” – in an effort to put more people on the rolls without requiring them to go through a separate encounter with a government office.
The Republicans chose to use it to “purge” the lists of thousands of voters – including thousands in California. Many more were purged because the name on their affidavit didn’t match a federal database (which, among other things, threw out voters. If one document included a middle name while another didn’t. More than 43% of the new applications for Registration in Los Angeles were thrown out in 2006, rejections approved by the Justice Department!
Bill Cavala was Deputy Director of the Assembly Speaker’s Office of Member Services where he worked for over 30 years.
He attended undergraduate and graduate school in the 1960’s and received a doctorate in political science at UC Berkeley. He taught political science at UC Berkeley during the 1970’s while he worked part-time for the State Assembly.
Cavala left teaching at UC Berkeley and went to work for Assembly Speaker Willie Brown in 1981 until his tenure as Speaker ended in 1995, and he has worked for his five successors as Speaker up to and including Speaker Fabian Nunez.
Mr. Cavala manages election campaigns for Democratic candidates.