Friday, April 24, 2015

A New York Democrat Explains Why Voter ID is Necessary

Councilman Vincent Gentile of New York spilled the beans and said what all HONEST candidates in New York know, Elections need ID.
The candidate said his personal experiences as a politician in New York, one of the 18 states nationwide with no voter ID laws, had made him a supporter of the measures.
All of us who’ve run before are, can tell you stories about what happens on Election Day,” he said.
We have often detailed the problems in New York with election fraud.  Vincent Gentile is not just a local councilman.  He is the Democrat Party Nominee for the open Congressional seat in the eleventh district.  Gentile added:
“There should be some kind of identification when a person presents themselves to vote,” Mr. Gentile said. “Whether it’s a photo, or something, there should be some kind of identification presented that is secure on Election Day before you’re able to vote.”
Of course other liberals, including his own campaign staff disagreed with him. Gentile will be taken to the woodshed for speaking the truth openly.  Gentile let the cat out of the bag.  Vote fraud is real and Voter ID can help stop it. Don’t take our word for it; take the word of this elected Democrat running for Congress.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

McConnell’s Win and Reid’s Loss

Under the leadership of Harry Reid the last few years, the Senate accomplished little and stifled almost all debate. Reid held minority opinions hostage, even when that opinion included members of his own caucus.  He even broke the Senate rules to change the rules just to give Senators in the minority less power by instituting the Nuclear Option. 

But thanks to the leadership of Senator Mitch McConnell and the new Republican majority, the Senate is a different institution today.  The Senate is actually having debates and amendments to bills by its members. 

However, Senator Reid is not done trying to screw up the Senate.  After a Human Trafficking bill passed a Senate committee unanimously and in a bipartisan fashion, Reid held up the bill because he did not like a small provision of the language. 

Reid stopped the bill.  In response, Senator McConnell refused to schedule a vote on Loretta Lynch to be Attorney General until the unanimously agreed on in committee bill on Human Trafficking went forward.  Democrats, led by Reid and Dick Durbin of Illinois even cried racism for the Republicans desire to have a vote to stop human trafficking first. 

Reid’s plan backfired on many levels thanks to McConnell’s leadership. 

First off, Senator McConnell with the power of the majority never wavered and the Human Trafficking bill was passed. 

Second, Loretta Lynch went from a sure thing to in doubt as time went on.  With more time to look at her record and her failure to distant herself from the most partisan Attorney General in recent memory, Lynch’s confirmation was much closer than originally expected with 43 votes in the end against her. 

Senator Reid’s antics accomplished nothing to stop the Human Trafficking bill but did hurt Obama’s choice for Attorney General.

Thank you to Senator McConnell for standing up and defeating Harry Reid.  Hopefully Senator Reid learned something but we doubt it.  We look forward to Senator McConnell continuing to lead an effective Senate.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hillary Clinton: The Woman with the Plan—to have a Plan

Attempting to preempt restless progressives unsatisfied with her Democrat coronation, Hillary Clinton’s consultants went to the drawing board. Bemoaning political money and calling for campaign finance reform was one easy fix they discovered to mollify all those potential progressive check writers and precinct walkers.

Thus on Clinton’s first official campaign day in Iowa she sent (some) progressive hearts aflutter: “We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccounted money out of it, once and for all, even if that takes a constitutional amendment.”  Ms. Clinton has yet to flush out the details of how her proposed 28th Amendment will cleanse our politics of the evil greenback. But rest assured its coming, as she declared to the Washington Post, “We do have a plan. We have a plan for my plan.” Whatever the plan is, it hasn’t yet made talking-point status on her website.  

Nevertheless the putative plan raises several issues and even more questions once it arrives from People for the American Way or whatever reformer shop likely tasked with creating it.  For instance, “unaccountable” money would presumably not include the bucket loads her Foundation received from foreign governments while she was Secretary of State. Nor would it count against the $2.5 billion she is planning on raising, or the $300 million others will pour into friendly Super PACs. It probably doesn’t include the millions that dark-money consortium Democracy Alliance will provide to Clinton-votarist David Brock’s buffet of ‘watchdog’ and ‘accountability’ organizations that will defend her and provide opposition research. And it most likely won’t include reversing the ten-fold political party cap increases her general counsel negotiated in ‘Crominbus’ late last year.

What the amendment would do, however, would make it harder for Ms. Clinton’s opponents to challenge her. As with so much of government processes, excessive rules and limits on political speech favor those with the means to get around them: the powerful, the incumbent, the connected. Those whose burrito-shop stops can produce fawning coverage about how she ordered “flawlessly” can afford to bury opponents in speech-regulation goulash. As National Review’s Charles Cooke states:

[T]hat Hillary Clinton is among the people advancing [a constitutional amendment] is nothing short of extraordinary. Clinton is one of the most powerful people in the world. As we have seen this very week, she is able to get her message out wherever and whenever she wishes — often at no cost . . . That she would seek to undermine the capacity of less powerful Americans to band together and respond to her dominance . . . should tell us a great deal about the woman. Perhaps she will lobby for the return of seditious libel, too?

In that spirit, here are some basic questions Ms. Clinton should answer about her yet-determined constitutional proposal:

  • Does the $2.5 billion she’s raising help get her message out? If so why should future candidates be hindered with caps?
  • Was Buckley wrong in holding “expenditure ceilings impose . . . severe restrictions on protected freedoms of political expression and association”?
  • Should she be elected, will the $2.5 billion she’s raising stain her administration from the outset? Did campaign money corrupt her husband’s administration?
  • Does the First Amendment enable the government to dictate how much a person can speak about politics?

Although generally well received in the reformer community, not everyone is onboard. Noted election-law professor Rick Hasen called an amendment “counterproductive and will only make things worse.” In his typically spastic fashion, Harvard professor Larry Lessig previously supported an amendment but is now against it. For once the professors are right; Ms. Clinton should find some other issues to pander to the angst-ridden progressive Left.

By Paul Jossey

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It is Much Deeper Issue than Hillary's Emails

One of President Obama’s most appealing campaign promises were his call for “transparency” in government.  Yet at every turn his Administration has fought any efforts at transparency.  While the media is focusing on efforts by Cabinet Officials such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hiding her emails on a private server, the problem is much deeper. 

One of the most important examples involves the consistent thwarting of the Inspector Generals across the Government.  As Senator Grassley said yesterday:

Similar attempts to limit the work of an Inspector general have occurred at the EPA and the Peace Corps.  Just last year 47 Inspectors General signed a letter to the Congress warning of these problems across the government.
We all lose when Inspectors General are delayed or prevented in doing their work.  In every agency where IG’s work, they help agency management become aware of problems and opportunities to improve.  So we must support the work of Inspectors General and remind government agencies that blocking their investigations is not acceptable.

Below is the complete prepared Floor Statement of Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa yesterday. 

Mr. President, the ability of the Congress to be a check on the actions of the executive branch is endangered.  One of the tools we have created to help the government identify and correct its mistakes is being obstructed.  I refer to the vital work of Inspectors General.
Inspectors General work in nearly 80 federal agencies.  They perform audits, conduct investigations and issue public reports of their findings and recommendations.  They combat waste, fraud and abuse.

But, their work is being frustrated.

To keep an eye on what is happening inside a government agency, the Inspector General must be able to access the agency’s records.  And this is exactly what the law calls for.
The Inspector General Act of 1978 directs that Inspectors General have a right to access ALL records, documents and other materials.  If the Inspector General deems a document necessary to do his job, then the agency should turn it over immediately.

But, the clear command of that law is being ignored far too often.  Agencies partially comply or refuse to turn over materials after a lengthy review and screening process by lawyers for the agency.  The examples range from the Environmental Protection Agency to the FBI and even to the Peace Corps.  The excuses vary but the pattern is clear.

For example, the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General is reviewing the Department’s use of the material witness statute.  That statute authorizes detaining certain witnesses for testimony before a grand jury.  The Inspector General was looking into allegations that the civil rights and civil liberties of certain material witnesses may have been abused.  This is just the kind of thing that Congress relies on Inspectors General to investigate.  And if problems are found, the Inspector General helps our government identify the problem and helps department leadership fix those problems.

Naturally, the Inspector General needed to review the grand jury testimony to decide if the value of that testimony was reasonable given the burden imposed on the witnesses.  Three U.S Attorneys offices and the Department’s National Security Division provided the Inspector General with the grand jury information concerning material witnesses.  But, the FBI refused to cooperate.

The FBI claimed that grand jury testimony could not be shared with the Inspector General.  This FBI decision to withhold information was a new practice, beginning sometime in 2010.  And the FBI claimed it had the right to refuse to provide the IG information in over a dozen other categories as well.

Remember – the law says the Inspector General shall have access to ALL records, documents and other materials they deem necessary to conduct their investigations.  And yet the FBI says its attorneys will review material first and decide what it would and would not release to the Inspector General.

It gets worse.

The FBI claimed it needed the approval of the Attorney General or the Deputy Attorney General to provide information to the Inspector General.  This is exactly upside down!
Under the law, an inspector general must be independent.  Agencies cannot be trusted to investigate themselves.  If an inspector general had to ask for permission from senior leadership, he would not be truly independent.

The Inspector General Act of 1978 does allow the Attorney General - not the FBI - to prohibit the Inspector General from carrying out or completing an investigation BUT only in certain limited circumstances.  When that extraordinary step is taken it must be done in writing to the Inspector General.  And the Inspector General must forward that written notice to Congress.

The FBI would have us believe that instead of written notice being required to block an IG investigation it needs written permission to comply with an investigation.  That is simply not how the law is designed to work.  So after this controversy arose, Congress took action.
We essentially bolded and underlined the provision in the Inspector General Act that ensures access to documents.  Not literally.  But, this year’s Justice Department
Appropriation declares that no funds should be used to deny the Inspector General timely access to all records.  The new law also directed the Inspector General to report to Congress within five days whenever there was a failure to comply with this requirement.

Since February of this year, we have already received four of those reports that the FBI is still refusing to comply.  One notice said the FBI was withholding evidence in two whistleblower cases.  I have written to the FBI twice about these notices, and just received a reply from the FBI Wednesday.  Unfortunately the FBI ignores most of the questions I asked and simply reasserts their position.

The FBI is not above the law.  It has an obligation to comply not only with the Inspector General Act, but also with the restrictions Congress placed on its appropriations.  That means, FBI employees cannot legally be spending their time withholding and reviewing documents before providing them to the Inspector General.

We must stay vigilant and insist that all government agencies, including the FBI, work with Inspectors General—not against them.

I applaud my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee for standing up for Inspectors General.  And, I also urge them to follow through, and help make sure the funding restrictions they put in place are obeyed.

As I noted earlier the problem is not confined to the FBI or the Department of Justice.  Similar attempts to limit the work of an Inspector general have occurred at the EPA and the Peace Corps.  Just last year 47 Inspectors General signed a letter to the Congress warning of these problems across the government.

We all lose when Inspectors General are delayed or prevented in doing their work.  In every agency where IG’s work, they help agency management become aware of problems and opportunities to improve.  So we must support the work of Inspectors General and remind government agencies that blocking their investigations is not acceptable.

It Takes a Long Time to Prove Vote Fraud

One of the problems with proving vote fraud is that it often takes years to come to light.  It has been proven a multitude of ways in a multitude of places, as recently as last year from conservative blogs to the Washington Post, that Obamacare was passed on the back of vote fraud in the 2008 Minnesota Senate Election.  

Yet, it's not often that years after the fact the literal physical proof of the fraud comes available to the public, as it did recently in North Carolina.
Lost for decades, the wooden box with an iron hinged lid sits safely beside a Bible on the coffee table of R.L. Clark's home.  Inside are remnants of a well-oiled political machine that ruled Madison County half a century ago.
... The box holds ballots from Madison's 1964 primary election with X's penciled beside the notorious name of Zeno Ponder, the county's longtime Democratic kingpin.
On election night, the first results showed that Ponder had carried his home county with 5,269 votes.
Turns out, there weren't that many registered voters eligible to cast ballots in Madison County's precincts, and the rigged results were thrown out by the state Board of Elections.
Ponder and his brother, the sheriff, ran a ruthless machine mixed with violence in North Carolina until the 1980s when the FBI finally got involved.  For those who think this sort of thing is ancient history you need to look no further than recent events by a similar machine in Kentucky

Vote Fraud is alive and real today, even if it takes years to prove it.  

Friday, April 17, 2015

Voter ID Laws Do Not Negatively Impact Voter Turnout

A Heritage Foundation study recently addressed this issue.  The Heritage study was in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.  GAO reviewed recent elections in Kansas and claimed that "Kansas... had seen decreased voter turnout since its voter ID law went into effect" in 2012, therefore, voter ID laws have a negative impact since they suppress voter turnout.

GAO based this assumption on decreased voter turnout between the 2008 and 2012 elections.  However, the Heritage study pointed out that a decrease was not due to the voter ID law.  Instead, it was improper to compare 2008 with 2012 because there were no statewide political campaigns in 2012, and presidential campaigns are "typically not active in Kansas due to the perception that Kansas is a 'safe' Republican state."  Thus, there was no get-out-the-vote effort in 2012.  The Heritage report explained that it was more appropriate to compare the 2012 election with 2000, with 2012 having a slight increase in the percent of voters participating.  Heritage further explained that the 2010 should instead be compared to a similar election in 2014 when "there was a positive 1.1 percent increase in voter turnout."  Other states with voter ID laws were cited as having similar increases in voter turnout.

The Kansas Secretary of State concluded that "The system is really designed to ensure that it's easy to vote and hard to cheat and I think we accomplished that."

By James Keats

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Prevent Targeting at the IRS Act (HR 709) Passes House on Tax Day

In honor of Tax Day, the House of Representatives recently passed a series of bills to increase IRS accountability and protect taxpayers.  One of the bills that was passed out of the House was HR 709, the “Prevent Targeting at the IRS Act.”

The Act would expand existing grounds for termination of the employment of an IRS employee to include “performing, delaying, or failing to perform (or threatening to perform, delay, or fail to perform) any official action (including any audit) with respect to a taxpayer for the purpose of extracting personal gain or for a political purpose.”

Sponsored by Representative Jim Renacci (R-OH), Renacci stated:

“The Prevent Targeting at the IRS Act adds political targeting to the list of fireable offenses at the IRS. I was proud to see the Ways & Means Committee unanimously approve this commonsense legislation as it is a step in the right direction to restoring a federal government that is accountable to the American people – and not the other way around.”

On July 31, 2013, the Prevent Targeting at the IRS Act, formerly known as the “STOP IRS Act,” passed the House of Representatives without opposition, but it never received a vote in the Senate.

Currently, HR 709 has 54 bipartisan co-sponsors. This bipartisan support proves that the recent IRS events were wrong, and even Democrats want to stop it from happening again. With such bipartisan support, this bill should become law.