Opinion: Keystone Election Kops

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A Philadelphia voter (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

A Philadelphia voter (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

The Buck Starts Here

Republican Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is no fan of Philadelphia voters.

During his 2010 Gubernatorial campaign, then state Attorney General Tom Corbett implored Republicans to keep the vote totals down in Philadelphia. In the final days of the campaign he said: “but we want to make sure that they [Philadelphia vote totals] don’t get 50%. Keep that down.”

Now, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer study, as governor he’s doing all he can to keep Philadelphia voter turnout as low as possible. Eighteen percent of Philadelphia voters won’t be able to cast their ballot because they lack the ID required under Pennsylvania’s harsh new voter ID law.

That is a lot of voters. And most of them happen to be Democrats.

The Governor and Secretary of State have said repeatedly that the Pennsylvania law only effects one percent of the states’ population. It turns out that the real number is closer to ten percent.

But why let facts get in the way of a good story?

Republicans pushing these voter suppression laws never admit their partisan intent. At least they didn’t, until an obscure legislator spoke the truth.

While listing off accomplishments of the state legislature, Republican Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Turzai told a group of Republicans that Pennsylvania’s voter ID law was “going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”

That isn’t what he was saying on March 9 when @RepTurzai tweeted: “Next week the #PAHouse will vote to protect the integrity of elections… Voter ID will help ensure the voter is who they say they are…”

Rather than protect the integrity of elections, Governor Corbett, Representative Turzai and the New Suppressionists are trying to rig elections and do the bidding of the corporate interests and outsource the job of writing legislation to corporate front groups.

The corporate benefactors have created a massive incumbency protection program for Republicans, drafted by faceless bureaucrats in Washington at a right wing political organization.

On March 8, Turzai tweeted “I am heading to the #Capitol Newsroom to talk to reporters… some heady stuff!” Turzai has been silent as to how heady his recent notoriety is.

Given the admitted partisan nature of these laws, Allegheny County, which Turzai represents, is suing.

That lawsuit is in addition to a court challenge already set for later this month.

The Courts are the only hope for more than five million voters that are targeted by the New Suppressionists nationally.

Pennsylvania is just one of many states that are led by New Suppressionists in the Grand Old Party. The legislation they have passed is already actively disenfranchising voters according to another study. The conclusion: “The numbers suggest that the legitimate votes rejected by the laws are far more numerous than are the cases of fraud that advocates of the rules say they are trying to prevent.”

The fact is that the difference is exponential and the target isn’t voter fraud, the target is getting Republicans elected. By any means necessary.

About Bill Buck

Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.

 

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