By Doug Porter
One of the central themes of right wing activism since 2008 has been responding to allegations of voter fraud with increasingly difficult “voter id laws”. Actual voter fraud cases are hard to come by, so allegations are used instead to drum up concern.
One of the most outrageous claims during the 2012 election cycle was made by Kevin Schwedo, the director of South Carolina’s Department of Motor Vehicles, who said on January 11, 2012, that more than 950 residents were recorded as having cast a vote after their reported death date.
Republican Rep. Alan Clemmons was quoted during a legislative hearing on the matter, saying, “We must have certainty in South Carolina that zombies aren’t voting.” And that’s all it took for the zombie voter meme to take off with the right wing media.
Fox News gave plenty of airtime to State Attorney General Alan Wilson, who seized on the initial report as evidence of widespread voter fraud and used his appearances to promote South Carolina’s voter ID law, which was blocked at the time by the Justice Department.
So now the follow up investigation on those charges is complete. But you wouldn’t know it if you watch Fox news, because there’s been no reporting on the July 3rd public release of an investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) determining that no voter fraud was found. Zero. (h/t Media Matters)
Halloween Comes Early in Kochville
The right wing ghosts and goblins are out already hoping to scare folks in anticipation of implementation of ObamaScare this fall. From today’sWashington Post Fact Check, which awarded twin Pinocchios to the Koch brothers latest venture:
“If we can’t pick our own doctor, how do I know my family’s getting the care they need?” — “Julie,” in a TV ad sponsored by Americans for Prosperity
What is it about children and health care?
The conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity is launching a $700,000 ad buy that features a mother expressing concern that her son won’t get the medical care he needs for seizures because of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare…
…The AFP ad sets up a straw man — the notion that people are going to lose access to their doctor. For the vast majority of Americans, that’s not going to be the case. Under the law, millions of other Americans, for the first time, are supposed to gain access to regular health insurance.
Capitol Hill Filibuster Showdown
This could be the week where Senate Democrats muster up a little spine and finally confront Republicans’ strategy of obstruction.
The New York Times reports that Senate Democrats are preparing to force confirmation votes on a series of President Obama’s agency appointments, including nominees for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Labor Department and the National Labor Relations Board.
“What’s particularly galling to us is there are certain vacancies that haven’t been filled not because the Republicans have anything against the nominee,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Senate Democrat. “But rather because they just dislike the agencies and they don’t want them to function.”
Kumbaya at City Hall
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s vow to derail city issue legal issues by refusing to attend closed City Council sessions is apparently no more. A closed session docket for today is expected to proceed as planned.
Last week Goldsmith went to the press vowing not to attend closed sessions as a protest against Mayor Bob Filner having Deputy City Attorney Andrew Jones tossed out of a June 18th meeting.
A partial transcript of that meeting was released without authorization of the City Council, as required by law. Attempts to obtain a more complete transcript have been stonewalled and an attorney representing San Diegans for Open Government has filed suit seeking their release.
Michael Giorgino, the longtime GOP activist who’s filling in as interim communications director for the City Attorney’s office, told the Daily Transcript
“Based upon the City Attorney’s conversations with Council President Gloria and Chief Lansdowne, he is confident that there will not be a repeat of June 18 or other types of abuse of city employees in closed session.”
The City Council is expected to close the doors to discuss the progress of pending legal actions dealing with the legality of the city’s Downtown Property and Business Improvement District and Maintenance Assessment District annual levy approvals, along with a lawsuit over the expansion of a local desalination facility.
The First Lady is No More
Mayor Filner’s significant other Bronwyn Ingram made waves yesterday with an email to the “Team First Lady” volunteers working on homeless issues informing them that she and the Mayor were no longer a couple. From San Diego City Beat:
“I am extremely disappointed and heartbroken, both for what Team First Lady could have accomplished, and for me, personally; however, this is the only action I can take given the devolvement of our personal relationship. I wish Bob the best and sincerely hope those who have worked so hard on behalf of Team First Lady will continue their efforts in the same spirit of generosity for the communities of San Diego.”
San Diego Free Press writer Judi Curry presaged the confusion being caused by this situation with her coverage of the State of the City event back in January:
Then he [Nathan Fletcher] introduced “Bronwyn Ingram – the First Lady of San Diego.” What the hell? The first lady? Of San Diego? Who made her the first lady? Certainly not the new mayor. He hasn’t married her yet. What if he doesn’t marry her? Does she them become the “ex-first lady?” I can’t help but feel that this is in extremely poor taste. I don’t care if they are living together – are they? – have children together or what they do in private life, but she is NOT the First Lady yet, and should not be introduced as such. This is not to say that she hasn’t started a fine program targeting the homeless in San Diego. It is a good program and has the name “Team First Lady.” Again with the first lady. It really, truly, bothers me.
For San Diego’s big dog GOP Chairman Tony Krvaric, the breakup was yet another opportunity to disparage the Mayor:
— Tony Krvaric (@TonyKrvaric) July 8, 2013
He certainly keeps the ass in class.
Brother, Can You Spare a Fire Engine?
As of this morning 1300 firefighters from around the State are fighting the “Chariot fire” near Mount Laguna. Eight buildings have been destroyed, 120 homes have been evacuated and nearly 5000 acres had been burned. Reports coming in this morning say the fire is only about 20% contained.
A reliable source in the San Diego Fire Department tells me that, although the incident commander for the blaze has requested help from the city’s 30 plus ready reserve engines, none are available due to mechanical problems. My source points the finger at the managed competition process for vehicle repairs locally.
Really? We can’t spare a fire engine? What’s the rest of this year’s fire season going to be like?
On This Day: 1776 – The Declaration of Independence was read aloud to Gen. George Washington’s troops in New York. 1868 – The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment was designed to grant citizenship to and protect the civil liberties of recently freed slaves. 1995 – The Grateful Dead gave their last concert with Jerry Garcia at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Garcia died the next month of a heart attack.
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@
Check us out on Facebook and Twitter. AND ! You can now follow SDFP on Instagram. Follow us at sdfreepress for photos/videos of various San Diego events including ComicCon as well as photos of our handsome editorial board members and contributors.