In his fiscal year 2012 Budget President Obama proposed to “zero out” the Election Assistance Commission’s grant funding. As the President’s budget stated:
The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) administers Federal election administration grant funding to the States under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). Election Reform Grants are used to fund new and upgraded voting machines and support implementation of HAVA-mandated voter registration databases. Additional Federal funds are not needed to accomplish the purposes of HAVA since over $3 billion in Federal funds have been provided to the States since 2002, of which approximately $1 billion remains unspent as of September 2009. Besides eliminating unnecessary Federal spending, by providing no new Federal funding in 2012, States will be incentivized to spend current balances on HAVA-mandated programs to achieve State priorities for elections reform.
The House Administration Committee went a step further and has passed legislation to end the EAC, which has accomplished its mission and outlived its usefulness.
However, it looks like now the President needs the EAC to do his dirty work again. Since the IRS scandals happened and the IRS has presumably stopped targeting right-of-center groups, he needs a new agency to attack Republicans and conservatives. Don’t forgot when demonizing the Supreme Court over Citizens United and attacking the Federal Election Commission failed to oppress free speech in elections by Republicans, President Obama even tried to get the Securities and Exchange Commission involved in the election intimidation business. President Obama has been caught trying to damage our electoral process in a multitude of ways.
Now it looks as if he is going to try to revive the EAC in his latest efforts. Last Friday, President Obama nominated Myrna Perez as a commissioner to the Election Assistance Commission. Ms. Perez has not only long been associated with arguably the most partisan of outside groups that if the IRS was truly doing its job it would have investigated for partisanship, she has been one of the Brennan Center’s most extreme members. Some of Ms. Perez’s views include:
· Not only opposing Voter ID, but proposing being able to vote with an OUT OF STATE driver’s license in an election
· Opposing list maintenance of any type and even participated in efforts to stop Florida and Colorado from doing virtually any form of list maintenance. List maintenance was a key component of HAVA, the legislation for which the EAC was created.
· Favors counting ILLEGAL ALIENS in the census.
Here’s the kicker, Ms. Perez has ZERO election administration experience. The only reason to appoint Perez is to further the President’s war on open fair and honest elections. Ms. Perez is a liberal hack for whom no Democrat position is too extreme.
The President was on the right track in 2012 and should join the House in 2013 by eliminating the EAC.