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December 17, 2005

Crap FEC Nominee

Shakes here...

Lost among the din of (well-placed) outrage over the revelation that Bush authorized a secret domestic spy program is his decision to choose two controversial nominees for the FEC yesterday. Of particular concern is nominee Hans von Spakovsky, an attorney who assisted with Georgia’s passing of a “disputed” (some might say unconstitutional) voter-identification law.

Career Justice Department lawyers involved in a Georgia case said von Spakovsky pushed strongly for approval of a state program requiring voters to have photo identification. A team of staff lawyers that examined the case recommended 4 to 1 that the Georgia plan should be rejected because it would harm black voters; the recommendation was overruled by von Spakovsky and other senior officials in the Civil Rights Division.

Before working in the Justice Department, von Spakovsky was the Republican Party chairman in Fulton County, Ga., and served on the board of the Voter Integrity Project, which advocated regular purging of voter roles to prevent felons from casting ballots.

Voter Integrity Project. Orwell would be so proud.

The WaPo doesn’t mention, but LeMew does, that voter purges are slightly more controversial—and complicated—than simply “preventing felons from casting ballots.”

von Spakovsky was also a strong advocate of the practice, famous from Florida 2000, of "regular purges" of felons, people who have the same name as felons, people who have vaguely similar names to felons, black people who once received a ticket for jaywalking, etc., from the rolls.

So von Spakovsky endorses both a state law and a practice that disproportionately disenfranchise black voters. Curious. Do you think that has anything to do with blacks’ traditional strong support of Democrats?

It couldn’t be, because just in July, RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman promised that the GOP would start reaching out to black voters.

"By the '70s and into the '80s and '90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out," Mehlman says in his prepared text. "Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."

I guess when the president’s approval rating among blacks fell to an abysmal 2% in November, maybe that plan started to seem a bit futile.

So bring on von Spakovsky! Time to spread some democracy, bitches!

December 17, 2005 | Permalink


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Man, how many blogs are you on today?

Posted by: Ezra | Dec 17, 2005 5:24:23 PM

Ezra, the other nominee is Viveca Novak's husband -- and you have nothing to say about that??

:: rolls eyes ::

Posted by: Scorpio | Dec 17, 2005 5:25:13 PM

You're right. From here on out, I pledge to comment on everything that happens in politics. Also, this is Shakes writing, not me.

Posted by: Ezra | Dec 17, 2005 5:39:31 PM

the other nominee is Viveca Novak's husband -- and you have nothing to say about that??

No, not at the moment, and for no sinister reason. Just can't write about everything.

Posted by: Shakespeare's Sister | Dec 17, 2005 5:44:08 PM

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