Friday, September 28, 2012

ALEC Voter ID - Why Did the US Senate Do Nothing?

This morning I saw John Fund on a CSPAN video hawking his latest book on Voter ID.

Since Fund is good buddies of ALEC I did a search of him and his co-author and found this where his co-author, von Spakovsky, (who is also a good buddy of ALEC) is addressing the SENATE about Voter ID a YEAR AGO!!!

[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
S. Hrg. 112-160

  Chairman Durbin. So let us follow the money in this debate
for a moment. Let us see who is pushing for these changes in
the law and where the money is coming from and see if it gives
us any kind of an indication of a political motive behind this.
    Are you familiar with a group known as the American
Legislative Exchange Council?
Now here comes the standard ALEC LIE   
    Mr. von Spakovsky. Certainly, Senator. It is the equivalent
of the National Conference of State Legislators. It is a
similar trade organization for State legislators.
A similar trade organization – eh????
I don’t think that is how NCSL would describe themselves
BUT the American Legislative Exchange Council – does appear to be a “trade” organization”.
    Chairman Durbin. And one of the founders, Paul Weyrich, are
you familiar with this man?
    Mr. von Spakovsky. Certainly. He helped start the Heritage
Foundation, too.
Yes, he did.  And he coined the phrase “moral majority”.
    Chairman Durbin. And one of the preeminent conservative
political spokesmen in America who said in a moment of candor,
``I do not want everybody to vote. As a matter of fact, our
leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting
populace goes down.'' This quote comes from Paul Weyrich, one
of the founders of the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Hallelujah! For Chairman Durbin – it is evident that he is keeping himself educated!
    Then you take a look at where the money is coming from for
this council to undertake these legislative efforts all across
the United States, and you find a couple of brothers: David and
Charles Koch, billionaire conservative financiers who have
spent substantial sums of money, even before Citizens United,
to promote a pretty conservative political agenda.
Hallelujah! For Chairman Durbin – it is evident that he is keeping himself educated!
    Now take a look at the people most affected by these new
laws. You have heard it said over and over again. I think you
have said it in your testimony. I will just tell you as a
sophomore student of political science, I would bet the people
we are talking about are more likely than not to vote on the
Democratic side. Not all of them by any means, but more likely
than not. So is this a great leap to put these two things
together, that these two financiers through this council
spending millions of dollars promoting changes in State law
that will restrict the outcome of elections when it comes to
Democratic voters?
But then you have this response from Von Spakovsky.
A response which is a new one for me – and he doesn’t get it right – ti was evident he was fishing for something – anything to say.
    Mr. von Spakovsky. Senator, you can do that with any
subject in America. In fact, there is a famous Hollywood thing.
I am seven stages removed from--which actor is it?
    Senator Franken. It is----
    Senator Franken.--Kevin Bacon. It is not seven. It is six.
    Mr. von Spakovsky. Six. Very good.
    I do not believe that the Democrats in Rhode Island who
control the State I think four to one in the State legislature
would agree with that. They are the ones who thought this bill
was necessary. I read you some of the quotes from the
legislators who were in favor of this. And the same thing----
    Chairman Durbin. But take----
Don’t interrupt me here – I’m on a roll, I think
    Mr. von Spakovsky. The same thing happened in Kansas.
    Chairman Durbin. Do you----
Don’t interrupt me here – I’m on a roll, I think
    Mr. von Spakovsky. Democratic legislators also voted to
approve this voter ID legislation.
    Chairman Durbin. Do you dispute my premise that the
American Legislative Exchange Council has played an active role
in the promulgation of the State laws that we are discussing
here today?
    Mr. von Spakovsky. Senator, they have a lot of model bills
that they recommend to their State legislators.
    Chairman Durbin. I will take that as a yes.
Oh yeh – that is a definite yes.
    Mr. von Spakovsky. Yes, and those are--those are approved
by votes of their State legislators at their Committee
Oh yeh – that is a definite yes.
And by the Corporate members who would on the safety and elections task force – which included the Kochs, RJR, Taser Institute, Wine Institute, and the Coors.
    Chairman Durbin. And do you also concede the fact that the
Koch brothers are major financiers of conservative causes,
including this council?
Oh yeh – that is a definite yes.
And a definite YES when it comes to the Voter ID ALEC “model legislation”.
    Mr. von Spakovsky. I have no idea, Senator. I do not keep
track of major contributors to organizations like that.
    Chairman Durbin. We do.
Maybe – but not much!!!!

And I have to admit.
This exchange happened in September 2011.
WHY – could someone please tell me WHY – is this still an issue in 2012???
This is one of those times when talking did little except provide fodder for my blog.

What’s really embarrassing to me is both the Senators from Minnesota were in this meeting and neither of them did ANYTHING during the past year about this issue.


No comments:

Post a Comment