Mainstream Press Finally Catching on to Fraudulent "Voter Fraud" Manufactured by GOP
(Editor's note: Here's a good blog post about the latest GOP voter vigilantes, which AlterNet wrote about last month after going undercover at a training session. Read that piece here.)
There's a very good, deeply skeptical article in The New York Timestoday about right-wing groups such as True the Vote that are alleging massive, and pretty much universally Democratic, voter fraud in America. The story -- which I hope is a sign that the mainstream press is getting tired of this right-wing dishonesty, as the press seems to be getting tired of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's lies -- begins with a tale about a mysterious bus:
It might as well be Harry Potter's invisible Knight Bus, because no one can prove it exists.
The bus has been repeatedly cited by True the Vote, a national group focused on voter fraud. Catherine Engelbrecht, the group's leader, told a gathering in July about buses carrying dozens of voters showing up at polling places during the recent Wisconsin recall election.
"Magically, all of them needed to register and vote at the same time," Ms. Engelbrecht said. "Do you think maybe they registered falsely under false pretenses? Probably so."
Weeks later, another True the Vote representative told a meeting of conservative women about a bus seen at a San Diego polling place in 2010 offloading people "who did not appear to be from this country."
Officials in both San Diego and Wisconsin said they had no evidence that the buses were real. "It's so stealthy that no one is ever able to get a picture and no one is able to get a license plate," said Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Wisconsin agency that oversees elections. In some versions the bus is from an Indian reservation; in others it is full of voters from Chicago or Detroit. "Pick your minority group," he said.
I just want to point out that there actually was evidence of such a bus leaving Detroit to bring out-of-staters to vote against Scott Walker in the recall election -- or, rather, there was "evidence." The evidence is so transparently phony that only right-wingers are gullible enough to find it credible, which is why it showed up at Fox Nation.
What you find at the link is an eight-minute recording of a conversation that took place on Wisconsin's Election Day between a radio host and someone claiming to be on a phony-voter bus. Here's what's suspicious, though: the caller says he and his bus mates are from Detroit; they're going to Wisconsin -- and yet the radio host the caller contacted is a right-wing talker from Washington, D.C., named Chris Plante. Why him?
The caller says he's on one of four buses full of "Democrat union" guys being bused in to vote for Tom Barrett (from Detroit! "Union Thug" Central!) -- but he's going to vote for Walker (which would also be illegal), because, I guess, what better way to spend a day that to waste hours (what would it be -- eight? ten?) sitting on an interstate bus so that you can counter a hundred or two hundred illegal voters with your one (illegal) vote? That's much more sensible than just ratting them out without participating yourself -- right? (Oh, but, the caller says, "they're treating us to lunch!" Yeah, that would be enough to make me do this. He adds, "There's a lot of freebies with this deal" -- though we never learn what they are. Liquor? Food stamps? What would the people making this crap up give as an answer to that question? Alas, we never find out.)
My favorite line from the caller: "I also got a camera. I would love to put this on YouTube, but, man, I know how vicious Democrats are."
The guy is terrified of the vicious Democrats and yet he doesn't even seem to be making the slightest effort to whisper. He claims he called the D.C. guy because he used to drive in the D.C. area, but he's right-leaning and he's never found a right-wing radio host in Michigan? Isn't it awfully convenient that this call never appeared on the air anywhere near where the events allegedly took place, so that local news outlets might hear it, and perhaps be able to investigate the mysterious bus convoy in real time?
At the end of the clip, Plante asks the caller to stay on the line so he can get his phone number off the air, but, well, what do you know -- Plante later said that the caller never provided his number. But it doesn't matter, Plante insists, because "this is a long-standing practice of liberals and Democrats, to bus people in from other states to vote."
Really, it is! It's not just something right-wingers endlessly allege so they can push for laws that suppress Democratic voting! Nothing could be further from the truth!