War Room
Reid vows legislation on robo-calls, phony sample ballot
Remember those abusive Republican robo-calls and the sample ballots that suggested — falsely — that Michael Steele is a Democrat? The soon-to-be Senate majority leader does, and he’s prepared to do something about them.

In a breakfast meeting sponsored by the American Prospect, Harry Reid told reporters today that the calls and the phony campaign literature were “absolutely wrong,” and that one of the first 10 bills he introduces in the next Senate will deal with such abuses. “We need to make these criminal penalties,” Reid said, saying that civil liability was apparently not enough to deter what happened in the run-up to last week’s election.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, meanwhile, is pushing the Justice Department to explain what, exactly, it’s going to do about last week’s reports of voter intimidation and trickery. Schumer raised the issue today with Civil Rights Division chief Wan Kim, who was appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he has followed up with a letter to Alberto Gonzales and other department officials in which he describes some of the “egregious attempts to block access to the ballot during this year’s campaign season.” Among them: “In Maryland, groups of people were brought in buses from out of state and paid to distribute sample ballots that misleadingly suggested that Republican gubernatorial and Senate candidates were Democratic candidates. In Arizona, three men were observed intimidating Hispanic voters by stopping and questioning them outside a Tucson polling place. Virginia voters suffered through a campaign of phone calls, currently being investigated by the FBI, that wrongly informed voters that they were not registered and would face criminal charges if they appeared at their polling places.”

Schumer says that he’s unhappy with the “lack of precision” in the answers Kim was able to provide today, and he wants to hear more from the department. For starters, he wants to know how many attorneys the department has assigned to “to address acts of voter intimidation and voter deception related to last week’s mid-term election.”

Call it a reminder of what oversight looks like — and the sort of thing that Gonzales and other Bush administration officials probably ought to expect a little more frequently when Schumer & Co. start controlling the Senate’s agenda in January.

— Tim Grieve and Michael Scherer Nov. 16, 2006

Post comment

Forbidden Bookshelf

Forbidden Bookshelf

“While We Were Sleeping”

While We Were Sleeping is an urgent call to save Greenwich Village from New York University's uncontrolled expansion.

Click here to donate to NYUFASP and receive a copy of "While We Were Sleeping: NYU and the Destruction of New York" (minimum donation to receive a book is $10 plus $8 shipping).

Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD

About News From Underground

News From Underground is a daily e-news service run by Mark Crispin Miller, a Professor of Culture and Communication at NYU. It is based on his belief that academics, like reporters, have a civic obligation to help keep the people well-informed, so that American democracy might finally work.

If you'd like to receive updates delivered to your inbox daily, sign up for News From Underground Alerts:

Help News From Underground!

Message from Mark: "I am a one-man operation, although assisted greatly by some volunteers, and, now and then, by people paid by others for one-time projects. There is no shortage of skilled, dedicated folks out there who want to help me. There is, however, nothing I can pay them with, unless you decide you can contribute something."

Please donate via the PayPal button above or via PayPal by email to: markcrispinmiller@gmail.com

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Popular Posts


Need a bigger font size?

Sponsored Links

  • Your link could be here too, contact us for pricing details.