Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It is always fun to click through the links. . .

Case in point, somebody recently cited this story at ThinkProgress in a comment thread at another blog:

Florida Republicans Admit Voter Suppression Was The Goal 

Of New Election Laws

That seems pretty clear-cut, doesn't it?

Except that when you read the part about Republicans "admitting" to voter suppression, you get this:   
Current party members and consultants confirmed the motive was not to stop voter fraud but to make it harder for Democrats and minorities to vote:
Wayne Bertsch, who handles local and legislative races for Republicans, said he knew targeting Democrats was the goal. “In the races I was involved in in 2008, when we started seeing the increase of turnout and the turnout operations that the Democrats were doing in early voting, it certainly sent a chill down our spines. And in 2008, it didn’t have the impact that we were afraid of. It got close, but it wasn’t the impact that they had this election cycle,” Bertsch said, referring to the fact that Democrats picked up seven legislative seats in Florida in 2012 despite the early voting limitations.
Another GOP consultant, who did not want to be named, also confirmed thatinfluential consultants to the Republican Party of Florida were intent on beating back Democratic turnout in early voting after 2008.
[...]A GOP consultant who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution said black voters were a concern. “I know that the cutting out of the Sunday before Election Day was one of their targets only because that’s a big day when the black churches organize themselves,” he said.
Uh, OK, Wayne Bertsch actually says that they knew the heavy preponderance of Democratic early voting was perceived as a problem for Republicans, but he doesn't actually say--anywhere in the quote--that targeting Democratic votes was tied to any specific action.  In other words, the tag, "Bertsch . . . said he knew targeting Democrats was the goal" is at best inaccurate.

The second is a quote by an anonymous consultant about the opinions of other consultants, who are also--not surprisingly--anonymous.

The third is another another anonymous consultant (who is limned as brave but anonymous due to a fear of retribution) who explicitly says the African-American vote was targeted.

So, let's see--nobody in this article who is actually a Florida Republican has actually admitted to anything, despite the headline.

I don't doubt that there may have been such an intent going on there, but, folks, this ain't anything resembling proof, and the headline is intentionally misleading about what's in the story.

Old attorney adage:  major proofs require major evidence.


kavips said...

You do know that Rick Scott sort of forced through the bill cutting early voting originally scheduled 15 days, down to 8, don't you?

In answer to your question, that sounds like a specific action to me.

Just for fun, here is a local take; I find local interpretations far more insightful than those of national media...


Hube said...

Yeah, and then there's crap like this: http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/17975

Steven H. Newton said...


You miss my point: I am not saying the GOP did not engage in such practices. I am saying that the article did not deliver what its headline promised.