Sadly, it’s not just Republican operatives peddling the “voter fraud” myth

16 Oct 2013 04:48 pm
Posted by: Donna

Jeremy Duda had a piece in the AZ Capitol Times Tuesday featuring the thoughts of various politicos on Democrat Fred Duval’s candidacy for AZ Governor. Once again, the article is behind a paywall but there’s nothing really surprising about the observers’ insights. Most concluded that having no primary challenger (as of yet) puts Fred in a good position fundraising and positioning-wise. Robert Graham, AZ GOP chair, persists in his odd attempt to paint Duval as “boring”. He must be drawing from the Bush 2000 playbook, where Al Gore was relentlessly portrayed as stiff and dull by the Bush campaign and obliging talking heads.

What caught my attention was this bit of “advice” to Fred Duval from a very high-up GOP operative in Arizona.

(Chuck) Coughlin said staying close to the center will benefit DuVal. But being a moderate Democrat may not be enough in Arizona. Coughlin said DuVal will have to depart from “conventional center-left thinking” and said he’ll have to find a traditionally conservative issue, such as voter identification laws, to support in order to win.

“In order for a Democrat to win a statewide race in Arizona, the Democrat will necessarily have to offend part of his Democratic base,” Coughlin said. “If you just run a centrist campaign, you’re going to lose.”

I’m reminded of the best advice I ever got, which is “don’t take advice from people who want you to lose”. I mean, first off, it’s one thing to run as a moderate, but where is the advantage in actively pissing off part of the base, particularly on the issue of voter ID? Voter ID laws are popular, even among rank and file Dems, but the Democratic constituencies targeted by them are acutely aware that such laws are intended to disenfranchise them on the basis of spurious and racist “voter fraud” allegations. With the referendum to repeal HB2305 (the omnibus voter suppression bill passed last session) on the ballot in 2014, and Tom Horne’s plan to implement a two-tiered ballot system, I do expect that Duval will have to dodge many hand grenades on this nonsense. There is, however, no need for him to throw himself on one.

I fully expect someone like Chuck Coughlin to push the “voter fraud” conspiracy, since it helps his guy, but it’s quite disappointing to see what are supposed to be objective political researchers buying into it. I’m referring to a recent survey conducted by Esquire Magazine and NBC which purports to determine where the American “center” is. (Spoiler alert! While the authors claim “that everything we are told about politics in America today—that there is no middle ground between left and right, blue and red, us and them—is wrong”, the poll results themselves – on everything from abortion rights, to gay marriage, to marijuana, to religion in politics, to the role government should play in helping poor people – indicate that this is a decidedly liberal country. But I digress.) For some reason the authors of the study felt it was important to ask respondents about voter ID.

voter fraud poll

Oh wow, requiring voter ID is very popular! But so what? Does that make it a legitimate, necessary policy? Note the wording of the question:

Require all registered voters to show a photo ID, such as a valid driver’s license, at the polling booth before they can cast a vote.

No context or justification given. No preface explaining how there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud or how voter ID laws would do anything to stop the very rare cases that do occur. Which is interesting since the very next question, about domestic oil exploration, does add a qualification (emphasis mine).

Expand exploration of U.S. based oil and gas reserves to lessen our dependence on foreign oil.

Leaving aside that it’s not even true(!) that domestic drilling would “lessen our dependence on foreign oil”, that wording does show that the researchers were willing to provide context for at least some of their questions. Not the one about voter ID, though. The implication is that voter ID laws are passed in good faith by earnest public servants trying to solve a real problem and not a coordinated effort by Republicans to keep people from exercising their Constitutional right to vote.


  1. Comment by BruceJ on October 16, 2013 9:21 pm

    That “poll” was a huge load of codswallop. It was full of questions that were not possible to answer from context, questions like the drivers license one, etc.

    Not to mention the two ends were called ‘bleeding heart liberals’ against ‘righteous conservatives’.

    Might as well just come out and said ‘Dirty smelly hippies’ to ‘Real Americans’….

    Just more of the great conservative puke funnel in action.

  2. Comment by Timmys Cat on October 17, 2013 10:06 am

    Drive by.

    You gotta gotta read the take down of the POS “poll” (you’re right about that BruceJ) in Salon.

    Starts with:

    Esquire, a magazine about fancy clothes and ordering drinks like an asshole, has teamed up with NBC News to poll a bunch of soft-liberal white voters.

    Ouch! Then more fun:

    This nation is simply not divided as you think, according to this survey that purposely excludes 49 percent of Americans for being too partisan
    The entire thing is a mess. Many of the questions seem designed to shovel people into a comfortable middle between two rhetorical extremes
    it is clearly very psychically important to the elite political media that a reasonable center exist. A common-sense, centrist middle is an essential, foundational myth of the nonpartisan press
    This poll — or, more accurately, the packaging of the poll — isn’t just dumb, it’s actively obfuscatory.

    Hee hee! The new Salon Ginsu Knife!
    It slices! It dices!

    The “poll” will give Chuck (we don’t need no stinking fact check) Todd something to blather about.



  3. Comment by Timmys Cat on October 19, 2013 11:15 am


    Chuckie (jump this high, Jan) Coughlin giving advice to Dems?
    Ha! Why don;t you take your own advice and advise Republicans to offend part of their base?

    This two tier scam is another brain child of the Sec of State of KS,Chris Kobach. He’s the Crown Prince of voter suppression
    Kobach helped the American Legislative Exchange Council draft model legislation for proof of citizenship laws based on Arizona’s bill, which were adopted in three states
    and apparently the Crown Prince of the AZ GOP legislature.
    Two tiered is not a new idea.

    “These dual registration systems have a really ugly racial history,” says Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. “They were set up after Reconstruction alongside poll taxes, literacy tests and all the other devices that were used to disenfranchise African-American voters.”

    After Hornes being found guilty by two Republican county attornies of blatant election violations and now this racist attempt at voter suppression, it’s time to get rid of him.

  4. Comment by Timmys Cat on October 19, 2013 11:16 am

    darn tag fail

  5. Comment by Timmys Cat on October 19, 2013 1:40 pm

    O too also and just cause I wanted to.


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