A right-wing group in Houston engaged in a systematic voter suppression and intimidation effort used a doctored photo in its showcase video. Tellingly, a hand-lettered sign carried by an African-American woman at a 2000 Florida, Gore-Lieberman recount rally was changed from, "Don't Mess With Our Vote," to read, "I Only Got to Vote Once."
Huffington Post editors first suspected the photoshopping after I posted "Possible Arson and the Right's Texas Voter Suppression Effort" regarding King Street Patriots' attacks on a nonprofit voter registration effort and the mysterious fire that destroyed all of Harris County's (Houston) voting machines.
In my regular Sunday FireDogLake column, I posted a follow-up piece, "Contempt for Democracy: Attacks on Voting Rights," that included a link to DigitalDupes.org, which had launched an effort to locate the original photo. Within hours, Newshounds found it.
In addition, a Gore/Lieberman sign was altered to read, "I'm With Stupid." Here is the doctored video as presented in King Street Patriots' video, followed by the original photographs.
In the video, King Street leader Catherine Engelbrecht says their effort is all about the truth, that they just want true, fair, honest elections. But if they are so committed to the truth, why did they use doctored photos? Why did they lie?
Because their real intent -- as it has been for similar voter suppression efforts for decades -- is to create barriers between the ballot box and the voters. They want to suppress the vote of people they suspect of opposing their agenda. In this case, as in most, that means assaulting the voting rights of the poor and minorities.
Now why would the Republicans bother with all of this cheating if they were actually as far ahead as the Lamestream Media bleats that they are? No, really; why?
Similar kinds of crap is happening everywhere.
Benjamin Pearcy, a candidate for statewide office in Arizona, lists his campaign office as a Starbucks. The small business he refers to in his campaign statement is him strumming his guitar on the street. The internal debate he is having in advance of his coming televised debate is whether he ought to gel his hair into his trademark faux Mohawk.
Pearcy, 20, is running for a seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission, which oversees public utilities, railroad safety and securities regulation. Although Mr. Pearcy says he is taking his first run for public office seriously, the political establishment here views him as nothing more than a political dirty trick.
Mr. Pearcy and other drifters and homeless people were recruited onto the Green Party ballot by a Republican political operative who freely admits that their candidacies may siphon some support from the Democrats. Arizona’s Democratic Party has filed a formal complaint with local, state and federal prosecutors in an effort to have the candidates removed from the ballot, and the Green Party has urged its supporters to steer clear of the rogue candidates.
“These are people who are not serious and who were recruited as part of a cynical manipulation of the process,” said Paul Eckstein, a lawyer representing the Democrats. “They don’t know Green from red.”
The GOP has to recruit Greens to draw support away from Democrats in Arizona?!? Why, that's almost as ridiculous as their doing so in Texas. Oh, wait ...
Regarding Mr. Eckstein's quote at the end of the excerpt above, naturally our Greens in Texas sure can tell the difference, and they don't care. But that's a digression.
Why don't the Republicans just refocus their efforts? Why don't they try a little harder and come up with some fresh ideas to move the country forward instead of spending all this time, energy, and money on dirty tricks?
Because they can't help themselves; it's just their nature.
Sadder still, people actually do fall for it. The Republicans constantly pull dirty tricks because it works.
I suppose if this mass delusion actually does manifest itself in November, then the people will get the kind of government they want. But what are the rest of us going to do?