Democrats & Liberals Archives

Caging The Black Vote

Vote Caging. A vote suppression tactic mastered byJudge William Rehnquist and passed down to our current GOP lawmakers. Like so many of this administrations policies, it’s illegal.

Minorities in America have known for a long time that the GOP is a biggoted institution, whose sole purpose is to further the interests of the wealthiest americans onthe backs of the poor and middle class. We are aware of the tactic of sprinkling itself with the likes of Powell, Rice and Gonzales to give the impression that they're not against people of color or those who they label "have nots". We know the Republicans in power do not look out for our interests. We didn't know that they would deny the right of people of color to vote "by any means neccessary", especially if those means are illegal.

The current Republican Party, weak Democrats and the American people have allowed the Bush administration to attack a sovereign nation based on invented intelligence that was provided by Bush administration insiders.

They have allowed this administration to torture prisoners of war.

They’ve allowed this administration to disregard habeas corpus and use extraordinary rendition to outsource torturing captives that have in most cases been innocent.

They have allowed this administration to illegally tap phones and Internet service provided to Americans.

They have watched this administration place political hacks and cronies in key positions of our government and on some occasions Americans have been harmed or have died because of their incompetence. (FDA, FEMA, EPA, Education, Sec. Defense), to name a few.

They have allowed this administration to appoint no bid contracts to businesses that they still have an interest in and or are owned by political contributors to the GOP, only to watch millions of dollars get wasted or stolen.

They have allowed influence peddling and corruption to flourish.

We’ve heard all this before. The above-mentioned activities are morally reprehensible and criminal.
It will come as no surprise that this administration has yet another charge lodged against it.

They are now being accused of minority vote suppression through “Vote Caging.”

Vote caging is an illegal trick to suppress minority voters (who tend to vote Democrat) by getting them knocked off the voter rolls if they fail to answer registered mail sent to homes they aren't living at (because they are, say, at college or at war).

They suppressed votes from minority soldiers while they were fighting in Iraq. They suppressed votes from minority college students who were away at school or on vacation.
They suppressed votes from the homeless who are in shelters. They suppressed votes from people who recently moved.

Vote caging is illegal. Like so many of the activities of this corrupt administration that have taken place since the “Contract with America.” We have allowed the Republican party to bully America into accepting illegal politics, inept leadership, bigotry and incompetence.

Florida 2004:

“The Bush-Cheney operatives sent hundreds of thousands of letters marked "Do not forward" to voters' homes. Letters returned ("caged") were used as evidence to block these voters' right to cast a ballot on grounds they were registered at phony addresses.
“Tim Griffin, then-research director for the RNC is the mastermind of this caging plot. The idiots at the RNC made this information public by mistake; specifically, a series of confidential e-mails to ranking Republican Party members with the suggestive heading "RE: caging were sent out." The e-mails were accidentally sent to a George Bush parody site. They also contained suggestively named spreadsheets, headed "caging" as well.”

What do these criminals have to do to have charges brought against them?
Why further disenfranchise a group of people who are already hurt through growth in wealth disparity, cuts to aid and programs and predatory lending deregulation by the Republicans?

When are we going to get fed up with our Federal governments failures and illegal activities?

Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at June 6, 2007 10:15 AM
Comments
Comment #222415

All the tricks amount to getting about three fifths of a vote. People receiving housing assistance move more frequently, making voter registration less likely.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 6, 2007 12:19 PM
Comment #222421


Andre M. Hernandez

Thank you for this article, I was hoping someone

would pick up on this subject. You can already see

the responses of plausible deniability by the

Republican or what ever these off color groups

call themselves.

Posted by: -DAVID- at June 6, 2007 1:54 PM
Comment #222423

Andre, great post!

Everything this administration does is calculated to get rid of Democratic votes and to gain Republican votes. Preventing blacks from voting reduces Democratic turnout.

I’m not sure Republicans are bigots. Their action, however, are bigoted.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at June 6, 2007 2:11 PM
Comment #222424

Andre-

Why the reference to Strom Thurmond? Although I’m certainly not old enough to remember his early political career (who is?) I don’t remember ever hearing any charges of vote suppression against Strom. In fact, from the late 60’s on Strom had a good base of support among South Carolina blacks; I’m sure he wouldn’t have wanted to suppress it.

Posted by: George in SC at June 6, 2007 2:15 PM
Comment #222432

I think we have been fed up for a long time Andre, at least back to the railroaded elections in Florida and Supreme Court’s awarding the elections to Bush. It has been one thing after another and another since then. We’ve not had the votes until recently to do much about most things, and we still don’t have the votes to do what NEEDS to be done. We have to undo so many things before we can start any cleanup. Our plates are full, so everywhere we turn, there is lots of work to do.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at June 6, 2007 3:30 PM
Comment #222433

George,

It’s Judge William Rehnquist, not Strom Thurmond.
I’ll fix it immediately.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at June 6, 2007 3:37 PM
Comment #222438

O.k., that one just threw me off a bit. Now if you would have accused Strom of being a Panderer…..

Posted by: George in SC at June 6, 2007 3:48 PM
Comment #222443

Sooo… What does Rehnquist have to do with this again?

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 6, 2007 4:52 PM
Comment #222448

The Traveler,

Rehnquist is one of the early architects of using this direct mail tactic to suppress Democratic voter turnout.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at June 6, 2007 5:22 PM
Comment #222450

andre

how about some links that back up your theory. these are pretty serious accusations to make with out backing them up.

Posted by: dbs at June 6, 2007 5:45 PM
Comment #222453

So voters are dropped from the rolls because they don’t respond to a letter. If the person is living at the address the letter is sent they’d get the letter and know that if they want to vote they need to verify that they reside in the precinct they’re registered in.
I think that the rolls need to be cleaned up before every election. Folks can move, register in their new precinct, and never let on that they are registered in another one and vote in both precincts. And some most likely do.
I see nothing wrong with this as long as every voter receives the letter.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 6, 2007 6:15 PM
Comment #222455

andre

ron makes several good points. i might add that most people who leave for extended periods of time change thier address, and when you change your address it’s up to you to notify the registrar, and re-register in your new location. i think we need more protection against people voting twice, or voting when they’re not eligable. any problem with doing more to protect against voter fraud ?

Posted by: dbs at June 6, 2007 6:35 PM
Comment #222464

Andre,
There are plenty of reasons not to like the Republican party, but I think you’re wearing your tinfoil hat a little too tight.

Those of you who think Bush “stole” the 2000 election should study the election laws in place on election day, 2000. (I did) Bush was legally elected and the Supreme Court upheld the law AS WRITTEN.
The Democrats attempted a coup de tat.

Posted by: traveller at June 6, 2007 7:24 PM
Comment #222469

If someone did something illegal, we should charge them and go to trial. Otherwise you have the usual Dem ghost stories.

You didn’t even bother to link to whatever BS source this comes from.

Let me just say that I heard that Dems destroyed Republican vehicles, registered fraudulent voters and generally suppressed the vote. My evidence? Who needs it? Dems live on Fantasy Island where anything is possible.

The Dem motto is vote early and often. They bribe homeless people with booze to vote Dem. They register whole wards of Alzheimer patients to vote Dem. They vote the dead and probably their dogs.

See, this is really easy to do. Fun. Yes, I have heard those accusations against Dems.

BTW - if you move away from your home, it might be a good idea to notify of your changed address anyway. If you are temporarily in college, you probably have parents or relatives in your former house. If nobody at your old residence knows you, you probably plan NOT to return; you are not longer resident. You are eligible to vote someplace else and if you vote in both places (or let the local Dems vote for you) that is fraud. I think that might be what is messing you up.

Posted by: Jack at June 6, 2007 8:24 PM
Comment #222472

dbs,Ron,Jack,Traveler:

“Monica Goodling cited the existence and concern about “vote caging” in her written and oral testimony to the United States House Judiciary Committee on May 23, 2007, mentioning that Tim Griffin, who was appointed as interim United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, would have allegations of vote caging arise if ever presented to be confirmed by the Senate to the office, and that the Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty “failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in vote-caging during his work on the president’s 2004 campaign.”[4][5][6]


[edit] Examples of alleged political caging
The neutrality of this article or section is disputed.
Please see the discussion on the talk page.

From the Washington Post: “In 1981, the Republican National Committee sent letters to predominantly black neighborhoods in New Jersey, and when 45,000 letters were returned as undeliverable, the committee compiled a challenge list to remove those voters from the rolls. The RNC sent off-duty law enforcement officials to the polls and hung posters in heavily black neighborhoods warning that violating election laws is a crime.

The Washington Post continues: “In 1986, the RNC tried to have 31,000 voters, most of them black, removed from the rolls in Louisiana when a party mailer was returned. The consent decrees that resulted prohibited the party from engaging in anti-fraud initiatives that target minorities or conduct mail campaigns to ‘compile voter challenge lists.’”

In October 2004, the BBC Newsnight program reported on an alleged so-called “caging list” maintained by the George W. Bush campaign that suggested that they may be planning possibly illegal disruption of African American voting in Jacksonville, Florida.

The BBC reports that it has obtained a document from George W. Bush’s Florida campaign headquarters, inadvertently e-mailed to the parody website GeorgeWBush.org, containing a list of 1,886 names and addresses of voters in largely African-American and Democratic areas of Jacksonville. Democratic Party officials allege that the document is a “caging list” that the Bush campaign intends to use to issue mass challenges to African-American voters, in violation of federal law.

While Florida statutory law allows the parties to challenge voters at the polls, this practice is not allowed if the challenges appear to be race-based.

The list appears to have come to light because of what appear to be e-mails accidentally addressed by Republican campaigners to the georgewbush.org anti-Bush site instead of the georgewbush.com Bush campaign site. The e-mails had the subject line “Re: Caging” and contained Microsoft Excel spreadsheet file attachments called “Caging.xls” and “Caging-1.xls”.[7][8].

Investigative reporter Greg Palast initially received the 500 emails from the owner of georgewbush.org, and in a recent interview has drawn a link to the scandal surrounding the Alberto Gonzalez U.S. Attorney firings, claiming that the firings are part of an wider effort by Republicans to use caging to, in his words, steal the 2004 Presidential election.


[edit] References
^ Eberle Associates: Our Process: Process description. Eberle Associates, Inc. (2006). Retrieved on 2007-06-06.
^ a b c Caging definition from Double Tongued Dictionary. Double Tongued Dictinary. Double Tongued Word Wreste (November 3, 2004). Retrieved on 2007-06-06.
^ Reed, William. “Caging: how ‘they’ diminished the power of our vote”, San Francisco Bay View, San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper, May 30, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-06-06.
^ Goodling, Monica. “Remarks of Monica Goodling before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives”, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, May 23, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-05-23.
^ Transcript of House Judiciary Committee, May 23, 2007 Congressional Quarterly Transcript Service, via Washington Post, May 24, 2007.
^ Scherer, Michael. “Goodling’s McNulty-bashing”, Salon, Salon.com, May 23, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-05-25.
(Goodling cites Deputy Attorney General McNulty’s previous testimony to Congressional committee as being “incomplete or inaccurate”
^ Palast, Greg (June 2006) African-American Voters Scrubbed by Secret GOP Hit List, Democracy Now!
^ Emails published on georgewbush.org”
Enjoy the facts.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at June 6, 2007 8:46 PM
Comment #222485

Andre

Innuendo. How many legally registered voters were prevented from voting?

I always like to wait until we get some real evidence or at least a few bona fides victims.

I like evidence “inadvertently” emailed to a parody web page. Did the parody page publish those xl files or share them with the authorities.

Do you use email? I suppose you have sometimes sent email to the wrong person. But before you do that, you usually have to have the guy’s email. You do not inadvertently email to webpages.

BTW - I always says that there are some bad guys, like those Dems who bribed homeless guys to vote or the Dems who slashed the tires of the Republican cars. They actually arrested four Dem activist for doing that in Milwaukee. Now that is a REAL crime, not your ghost crime.

If you look at the Demographics of Florida, you see that most black voters live in districts controlled by Democrats. In fact, most of the abuses that occur are in Dem controlled districts. How stupid are these Dems if they just let this stuff happen.

Anyway, if there is any real evidence bring it to court. Most trial lawyers are Democrats. I am sure you can find some of them to handle the case and make sure justice is done.

When they caught those Dems slashing the tires they made arrests. A New York philanthropist and major Democratic donor paid a $5,000 fine because she gave packages of cigarettes to homeless men in Milwaukee while drumming up Dem votes.

You see the point. When someone (like the Dems) does something really illegal there is a trail. When someone (like the Dems) just make things up, there is not.

Otherwise, you have ghost stories. Everybody has heard of somebody who has seen a ghost, but only nut cases have really seen one themselves.

Posted by: Jack at June 6, 2007 10:02 PM
Comment #222486

andre

so let me get this straight. these are all alleged incidents. no officials charges have been brought.

““Monica Goodling cited the existence and concern about “vote caging” in her written and oral testimony to the United States House Judiciary Committee on May 23, 2007, mentioning that Tim Griffin, who was appointed as interim United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, would have allegations of vote caging arise if ever presented to be confirmed by the Senate to the office, and that the Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty “failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in vote-caging during his work on the president’s 2004 campaign.”[4][5][6]”

this is the testimony of one person. all the facts aren’t in yet, so at this point it’s just her story. doesn’t prove anything other than that it’s her story.


“From the Washington Post: “In 1981, the Republican National Committee sent letters to predominantly black neighborhoods in New Jersey, and when 45,000 letters were returned as undeliverable, the committee compiled a challenge list to remove those voters from the rolls.”

if these folks had actually lived there the letters would not have been undeliverable.

“In October 2004, the BBC Newsnight program reported on an alleged so-called “caging list” maintained by the George W. Bush campaign that suggested that they may be planning possibly illegal disruption of African American voting in Jacksonville, Florida.”

one word here stands out ALLEGED.


“Investigative reporter Greg Palast initially received the 500 emails from the owner of georgewbush.org, and in a recent interview has drawn a link to the scandal surrounding the Alberto Gonzalez U.S. Attorney firings, claiming that the firings are part of an wider effort by Republicans to use caging to, in his words, steal the 2004 Presidential election.”

this is just an accusation by an investigative reporter, doesn’t constitute anything except his own theory. it proves or disproves nothing.

“Enjoy the facts”

i will when you present some.

Posted by: dbs at June 6, 2007 10:17 PM
Comment #222523

All this proves is that:

Anyone can say anything, and anything said should be trusted by everyone and noone cares or really wants to know the truth.

My bad…
I forgot…

The Truth can be alleged.
The Truth comes from the media.
The Truth is in the blogs.
The Truth is what I want it to be.
The Truth does not need corroborated.
The Truth does not matter.

The Truth shall set you free?

Posted by: Cliff at June 7, 2007 9:19 AM
Comment #222531

Instead of whining about alledged incidents somewhere in America the Democrats should try to find some decent candidates with policies that the American public can understand and back. If you could just get your constituency to back you, (it is larger than the Republicans) you would get elected. Even after the ones who should no longer be on the voting roles are cast off.

Posted by: Phil at June 7, 2007 11:23 AM
Comment #222659

I can honestly say I’ve had this happen to me before and until someone told me about this I assumed my vote was equally counted like everyone else. During the last major election I was in college, about a hundred miles from home. Living expenses were tight so I was looking to cut corners anywhere I could. Housing near my school was very expensive, however I found a place just over the state line that was perfect, and wasn’t too expensive for me to live. I couldn’t afford out of state tuition at my college and I was planning to live there for two years or more so I claimed back home as my permanent residence. I was afraid that if I changed my permanent address I would be found out and they would charge me out of state tuition. I was ignorant to alot of the ins and outs of these things (hello thats why I was going to college) so I didn’t change my permanent address… in retrospect… I’m an idiot.
I felt particularly passionate about this election so I registered to vote nearby early on… Months later close to the elections I received one of these flier letter deals asking me to respond. I received alot of crap mail at this address and this seemed no different; plus I was afraid this would somehow get back to my school… (I’m a Liberal in a conservative school so I am particularly paranoid.) I threw it in the garbage. In retrospect, I’m an idiot. did I say that already?
I voted, and felt like particularly responsible citizen… my candidate lost of course… but I thought thats just the way of it. In retrospect I’m an idiot.
This was all perfectly legal… I recognize this… and I was doing something bad by not registering or acknowledging my change of address… out of ignorance but whatever.
I do wonder about the belief that this voter caging being a matter of suppressing black voters… true I’m sure it does do this, I have no doubt, but I see no evidence that the intention is so dark and twisted. It seems they just genuinely wanted to be sure that no one is trying to play the system… However it does hurt… after I figured it out I felt like my vote didn’t matter… Idunno… In retrospect I’m an idiot.

Posted by: Squire at June 8, 2007 5:10 PM
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