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Pierce writes: "The assault on voting rights is getting messy."

President Donald Trump. (photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump. (photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

We Can't Ignore the Latest Lawsuit Against Trump's Kangaroo Voting Commission

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

13 November 17

The assault on voting rights is getting messy.

he Presidential Commission on Voter Integrity, headed by noted friend of the franchise—and the immigrant—Kris Kobach of Kansas, has fallen rather clamorously off the radar since its disastrous open hearing in New Hampshire back in September. Not that the commission hasn’t been busy. So far 15 lawsuits of one kind or another have been filed against the Commission, and that will keep your staff pretty damn occupied. The whole puppet show has fallen into disarray, largely because it was founded in deeply bad faith, and because Kris Kobach is the Midwest distributor of Bad Faith on behalf of James Crow, Esq. LLC.

But the latest lawsuit is one we can’t ignore. The commission is being sued by one of its own members, as we learn from the invaluable Ari Berman at Mother Jones.

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, a Democrat whom Trump appointed to the commission in May, sued the commission in federal court on Thursday, alleging violations of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, which requires presidential advisory committees to operate in a bipartisan and transparent manner. The lawsuit says Dunlap is being deliberately kept in the dark about the commission’s work. “The law and good conscience require Secretary Dunlap to participate meaningfully in the work of the Commission; however, despite diligent efforts to gain access, Secretary Dunlap has been, and continues to be, blocked from receiving Commission documents necessary to carry out his responsibilities,” the lawsuit states. “By obstructing certain commissioners’ access to information and failing to allow substantive participation of commissioners with balance in terms of points of view, the Commission and its staff have compromised the legitimacy of any findings that may emerge from this process.”

Dunlap’s cause of action can probably best be explained by the brothers of the Faber College chapter of Delta Tau Chi.

Though a few Democrats, including Dunlap, were eventually appointed, “the Commission’s superficial bipartisanship has been a façade,” the lawsuit states.
The suit cites a number of examples of how Dunlap and others have been excluded from the commission’s work. Kobach consulted with von Spakovsky and another hardline conservative commission member prior to requesting extensive voter data from all 50 states, but did not inform the full commission of the action. Dunlap alleges he was not consulted beforehand about the agenda of commission meetings or documents introduced at them. He also claims he’s been told that the commission’s work is “on hold” pending the outcome of litigation against the commission, but a right-wing group in Minnesota said it had been invited to speak at a commission meeting in December, which Dunlap is unaware of. When he asked commission staffer Andrew Kossack for “copies of any and all correspondence between Commission members,” Dunlap said “Kossack did not provide any documents or agree to provide any documents.”

The assaults on the franchise are going to intensify, especially if Tuesday night’s results prove to be the precursor to the 2018 midterms that a lot of people believe them to be. Perhaps the last best hope that defenders of voting rights have against this kangaroo confab is that interested parties can sue the commission to tatters, leaving what’s left to public scorn and mockery. After all, remember, it wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor. your social media marketing partner


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+25 # Bruce-Man-Do 2017-11-14 05:58
Since voting is about all we have left of our fake democracy, it's uber-important to defend what's left of it. Thanks and Praise to Charles Pierce for consistently speaking truth to the constant stream of Rethuglican abuses and their consistent lying!
+16 # PeacefulGarden 2017-11-14 06:24
We can't ignore the lawsuit is correct, but there is little we can do about anything that happens inside our government, especially on the federal level. After watching our man-baby president with Duterte, and Putin, (we all know Duterte is a puppet of Putin, right) we cannot ignore that the American public is sitting on their hands during a coup.

I would imagine this "Voting Commission" is right out of the Ukraine playbook.
+12 # economagic 2017-11-14 09:15
Quoting PeacefulGarden:
We can't ignore the lawsuit is correct, but there is little we can do about anything that happens inside our government, especially on the federal level. After watching our man-baby president with Duterte, and Putin, (we all know Duterte is a puppet of Putin, right) we cannot ignore that the American public is sitting on their hands during a coup.

I would imagine this "Voting Commission" is right out of the Ukraine playbook.

I think Duterte AND the "voting commission" are more out of the Stalin playbook. Timothy Snyder, "On Tyranny." Short, cheap ($9), and an easy and worthwhile read.
+9 # economagic 2017-11-14 06:28
Good work, Charlie. There was always a dark side to Alice's alternative universe.
+19 # relegn 2017-11-14 06:57
A fraudulent commission created by a FAKE president. What could go wrong?
+5 # Buddha 2017-11-14 09:03
The actions of the GOP isn't one of a party that fears free and fair elections in 2018, huh?
+16 # 2017-11-14 09:18
Maine's son, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, has been speaking out about this absurd Commission for some time. His law suit will bring significant light which is clearly needed.
+7 # David Starr 2017-11-14 10:45
An informative, and glib, piece by Charles Pierce. A political wrecking ball should be applied to the "voter integrity commission."
+8 # Macserp 2017-11-14 18:07
The Repubs knew the 2016 election was compromised and they said and did nothing. In fact, they ushered in the crooked administration with open arms, fast-tracking Cabinet appointments left and right, while claiming there is nothing to see here, in regards to the Russian interference.
And to be sure things would go their way, they applied pressure at the polls with restrictive voter ID laws and cross-checking voter rolls, and purging voters of color and so on.
Our right to free and fair elections is a joke, and has been for some time, just ask Al Gore about the Florida Election Commission of 2000.
Clearly the Republican Party has decided that wining an election is more important than our cherished ideals about Democracy.
0 # NAVYVET 2017-11-16 16:08
In my lifetime, that goes back to the Dewey campaign of 1948 and the peculiar wins of Repubs like Joe McCarthy who took Congress from the Dems and Progressives--a nd, not unexpectedly, voted themselves a pay raise and special health benefits! Fortunately there were still enough voters to assure Dewey a defeat. He was a mean skunk of a prosecuting attorney who hated the Constitution and wanted to win above all else.

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