Saturday, September 22, 2007

If You Can't Win, Cheat

Heading toward next year's general election, we'd all better remember the classic GOP mantra: if you can't win, cheat. The big corporate interests that fueled the neo-conservative rise to power stand to lose a great deal if Democrats take control of government, and they do not intend to go quietly. Let me be clear: I am not talking about rank and file republican voters here. I am talking about the big corporate interests and their lawyers who actually run the party and fund the campaigns. For them, this effort has never been about furthering democracy; it is about keeping great wealth in the pockets of a few. Period. It's really not more complicated than that. The rest of us better understand that this is a street fight, and they will respect no rules. They will throw a hand full of sand in our eyes and then start punching.

According the The New York Times and MyDD, they have already started gathering those first few fist-fulls of sand. The Times reports today about the possibility that California will move to split it's electoral votes, awarding them based on who wins a particular congressional district rather than the winner of the state taking all. The group that is leading this fight is headed by some of the same Republican trial lawyers who helped successfully litigate Bush v. Gore. They are gathering the signatures needed to get the measure on the ballot in June of 2008, and they are readying for the inevitable constitutional challenge should the measure pass. Why? Because if California splits it's electoral votes, then an estimated 20 electoral votes could be awarded to the GOP nominee, even if the Democrat wins the state. That is the equivalent of Ohio, and will be very hard for Democrats to overcome. Here's the story, In 2008, Bush v. Gore Redux?

MyDD points to an article, Tracking Political Prosecutions, by Scott Horton published today in Harper's Magazine. According the article, the Bush administration used the Department of Justice to target key potential funders of John Edwards and Hillary Clinton. The DOJ investigations focused on lawyers and included raids of their offices and threats of criminal prosecution. The purpose was to dry up a key source of funds for these likely presidential candidates. Here's an excerpt:
In the last two weeks, two sources, one of them inside of the Justice Department, have told me that a scheme was hatched in the upper echelons of the Bush Administration shortly after it took office in 2001 or early in 2002. The project identified John Edwards and Hilary Clinton as likely Democratic challengers to President Bush, and identified prominent trial lawyers around the United States as the likely financial vehicle for Edward’s rise. It directed that their campaign finance records be fly-specked, and that offenses not be treated as administrative matters but rather as serious criminal offenses.

This is Watergate on steroids.


Tina said...

The Republs DO look for ways to subvert the system, don't they?
I guess they feel they have to because so far the Democratic candidates pretty much have a monopoly on charisma. Also the Republ candidates have to spend so much time herding their various sacred cows that they don't satisfactorily address the really huge issues like war & peace, the economy, health care, and the environment.

Open+Transparent said...

And who fights back against when they do cheat? Who makes sure the public knows exactly what they did? Who says we are taking the high road, and we are the ying to our yang?

Amy Morton said...

I'm right here speaking up, Track. It's us. We have to fight the good fight.

Open+Transparent said...

Were you invited?
Were any bloggers invited?

Amy Morton said...

Actually, I just posted on this. I've had an indcredibly busy 'real' work day. No, I wasn't invited, and don't know the answer to the second question. I have not talked with him about the event.