Friday, February 10, 2006

Greg Abbott takes on an invisible issue

Ed Ishmael takes him down:

Like most Republican leaders these days, Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott seems scared. He sees the writing on the wall in large urban counties and knows there is little he or any Republican can do to keep those counties from turning Blue. What with Republican corruption, a do-nothing Governor and a Republican- controlled legislature that cannot even fund our schools, the only thing the Republicans have left may well be the one thing Abbott is advocating: voter suppression.

In his recent opinion piece Voter Fraud Must Stop, Abbott takes a well-worn page from the Republican’s playbook and twists himself in knots setting up a straw man -- voter fraud -- which he then attacks. He claims we have an epidemic on our hands but predictably offers no evidence supporting his wild assertion. His attempt would be laughable if it did not involve the denial of voting rights to hard-working concerned Texans and if it wasn’t costing you and me $1.5 million dollars.

If you were surprised by Mr. Abbott’s epidemic alarm, you’re not alone. Even noted experts on Texas politics in general, and on Texas voting in particular, have no idea what he’s talking about. You see, you haven’t heard about this so-called epidemic before because it does not exist.

If you want to understand the smoke and mirrors trick Abbott is performing you must look no further than his own words. He starts his presentation by listing instances he claims prove voter fraud in Texas.

And what is the first example he references? One from 1948. That alone should tell you how weak his coming argument will be.

Go read the whole thing, and then read Phillip Martin's post at Burnt Orange Report, which is quickly becoming the go-to blog on Texas politics. Commenter Sonia cogently explains there why this is garden variety, poll-tax-style voter suppression and intimidation.

I'm guessing we'll be talking about it some at the Tejano Democrats' convention this weekend.

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