Judicial Watch has done it again. It has produced–following a Freedom of Information Act request filed with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ)–documents that suggest extensive coordination and communications between the DOJ Voting Section and former ACORN affiliate Project Vote.
Project Vote appears to be directing DOJ resources toward particular states; is having meetings with DOJ staff; and is even recommending lawyers to work in the Justice Department Voting Section that will oversee the 2012 presidential election.
Project Vote also appears to have played a role in the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s administration, which aims to force the state to increase voter registration in welfare agencies and drug treatment offices.
The documents also appear to show that Project Vote receives special access to, and meetings with, DOJ officials. So do other voter fraud-deniers, such as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Tova Wang at Demos; and the Brennan Center for Justice. I write about numerous similar instances in my book, Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department.
These activist groups have enjoyed access to the top political appointees at DOJ over voting–including Aaron McCree Lewis, in the Office of the Attorney General; Sam Hirsch, Deputy Associate Attorney General; and Deputy Assistant Attorney General in charge of voting issues, Matthew Colangelo.
Emails obtained by Judicial Watch also suggest that Project Vote was directing complaints to the persons at DOJ responsible for deploying election monitoring resources, urging them to devote resources to races around the country–particularly where Tea Party groups were active in efforts to combat voter fraud.
On February 23, 2010, Estelle Rogers, head of Project Vote and a former ACORN lawyer, also urged Voting Section Chief Chris Herren to hire two particular ACORN-approved attorneys to work in the Justice Department Voting Section. “Now that the application period has closed, I want to heartily recommend two candidates to you,” she wrote.
“Thanks very much Estelle,” Herren wrote back.
Eventually, the Voting Section in fact hired numerous lawyers from left-wing groups, such as those that were dedicated to aggressive enforcement of the welfare agency voter registration provisions of Motor Voter. The relevant emails obtained by Judicial Watch are redacted, so we don’t know if the individuals hired were the same ones suggested by Rogers. However, we do know that DOJ hired attorneys expert in Motor Voter–such as Bradley Heard and Elizabeth Westfall, who brought lawsuits while at the Advancement Project that stopped Colorado and Michigan from purging voter rolls of ineligible voters prior to the 2008 Presidential election.
But that isn’t the worst of it. Other documents suggest that a swarm of left-wing groups is meeting regularly with top DOJ election officials. The documents show these groups urging the DOJ to open investigations into particular people, states and events.
For example, Rogers met with Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes to discuss lawsuits under Section 7 of the Motor Voter law. Previously, Fernandes had announced her unwillingness to enforce portions of the same law designed to ensure dead voters or ineligible felons were not on the rolls. Former Voting Section Chief Christopher Coates testified under oath that he had recommended investigations into eight states with possibly corrupted voter rolls, but Fernandes and other Obama appointees had spiked the investigations.
Instead, the documents show pleasing Project Vote was a DOJ priority.
In an October 10, 2010 email, Rogers made clear that she wanted the DOJ to take action against then-Senate candidate Mark Kirk in Illinois (Rogers incorrectly refers to him “Paul” Kirk). Rogers places the words “voter integrity” in quotes, as if fictional. Herren respondes: “Hi Estelle….We are also receiving complaints from various sources. For all these, we are reviewing and taking action as appropriate. If you have any issues that come up that you want us to be aware of, please feel free to shoot us an email (to Brian [Heffernan], Bert and I) – that’s the easiest way to keep track of the many things coming in the door.”
The “many things” include complaints made by left-wing groups about voter integrity and Tea Party efforts.
The documents reveal how left-wing civil rights groups work against Republican or conservative candidates by attempting to leverage law enforcement against them. These groups have a cozy relationship with the Obama Justice Department, and know just who to call if they want something done against someone like Mark Kirk.
The documents that Project Vote sent to the DOJ also include allegations against a client of mine, True the Vote. That might explain why the Justice Department took no action on a complaint that True the Vote sent DOJ in October 2010 documenting that self-professed non-citizens were registering to vote in Houston. We even sent documents showing that applicants marked “no” to questions about whether they were US Citizens.
True the Vote didn’t get the kind responsive emails that Project Vote did. They didn’t get special meetings with Voting Section staff and political appointees like Project Vote did. They didn’t receive any telephone calls, requests for more documents, interview requests, nothing. In fact, they didn’t get any response from Justice. Of course the most obvious difference in how Justice treated Project Vote compared with True the Vote is that DOJ launched a series of enforcement efforts against Rhode Island and Louisiana, just like Project Vote wanted. Against officials in Texas with the corrupted voter rolls, DOJ did nothing.
These emails are just the tip of the iceberg. The emails refer to other emails, not disclosed by DOJ, which involve employees not within the scope of the request. When Judicial Watch expands the FOIA to cast a wider net, and more employees that are named in the emails, more evidence of the coordination between the ACORN affiliate and your Justice Department’s Voting Section is likely to be found.
Corruption is simply a way of life for this administration. Blatant-unapologetic-and unrepentant. It is the implementation of the Alinsky model for revolution.
Has there ever been a more corrupt “Justice Dept.”? I don’t think so. This guy shares a contempt for America that permeates his department, his “selective” enforcement of laws. His documented lies concerning the tragic and sophomoric “Fast and Furious” gun running plan should give all Americans pause to consider how such a person could be elevated/promoted to the position he now disgraces. Look up shameful in the dictionary.. that’s where this guy’s face should appear.
In the Obama administration, is Justice BLIND? Only a fool could believe that… Here’s the most recent example..
March 01, 2011
Attorney General Eric Holder finally got fed up Tuesday with claims that the Justice Department went easy in a voting rights case against members of the New Black Panther Party because they are African American.
Holder’s frustration over the criticism became evident during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing as Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) accused the Justice Department of failing to cooperate with a Civil Rights Commission investigation into the handling of the 2008 incident in which Black Panthers in intimidating outfits and wielding a club stood outside a polling place in Philadelphia.
The Attorney General seemed to take personal offense at a comment Culberson read in which former Democratic activist Bartle Bull called the incident the most serious act of voter intimidation he had witnessed in his career.
“Think about that,” Holder said. “When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, and to compare what people were subjected to there to what happened in Philadelphia—which was inappropriate, certainly that…to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line, who risked all, for my people,” said Holder, who is black.
Holder noted that his late sister-in-law, Vivian Malone Jones, helped integrate the University of Alabama.
“To compare that kind of courage, that kind of action, and to say that the Black Panther incident wrong thought it might be somehow is greater in magnitude or is of greater concern to us, historically, I think just flies in the face of history and the facts.,” Holder said with evident exasperation.
During his Tuesday radio broadcast, conservative host Rush Limbaugh lashed out at Holder for his response to Culberson’s charges, suggesting Holder should take offense to Rep. Charlie Rangel’s claim that abolishing collective bargaining rights is akin to reinstate slavery…
In a series of questions and comments earlier in the hearing, Culberson insisted that race had infected the decision-making process. “There’s clearly evidence, overwhelming evidence, that your Department of Justice refuses to protect the rights of anybody other than African Americans to vote,” the Texas Republican said. “There’s a pattern of a double standard here.”
“I would disagree very vehemently with the notion that there’s overwhelming evidence that that is in fact true,” Holder replied. “This Department of Justice does not enforce the law in a race-conscious way.”
Rep. Chaka Fattah, a Democrat from Philadelphia, said the Black Panthers “should not have been there.” But he said the GOP was making too much out of a fleeting incident involving a couple of people.
“The most unethical thing a person can do is make allegations based on absolutely nothing,” Fattah said. “The only issue of race is singling out this particular decision…That this rises to national significance is bogus on its face.”
“This Department of Justice does not enforce the law on the basis of race,” Holder insisted.
Democratic Rep. Chakah Fattah acknowledged that the New Black Panthers “should not have been there,” but the Philadelphia congressman accused the GOP of playing the race card by focusing too much attention on the Black Panther case.
UPDATE: This post has been updated with minor changes to the syntax of some quotes.
Posted by Josh Gerstein 12:15 PM