Written by Tom Fitton
Standing Watch for Clean Elections
Here we are just a few days before Election Day and the Obama machine continues to work overtime to try to “fix” the elections to re-elect Barack Obama. And they are doing it with the full weight of the Obama administration behind them.
Never before has the line between a presidential administration and a presidential campaign been so indistinct. And never before has a Department of Justice (DOJ) been so hostile to election integrity laws.
Case in point: The Obama administration’s multi-pronged strategy to increase the number of illegal voters in 2012 in order to ensure the president’s re-election – a strategy that includes:
To this list I might add a sixth component: Fighting to suppress the military vote, a demographic widely seen as critical to Governor Romney’s chances to win the White House. (Some polls cite a double digit advantage for Governor Romney with military voters.)
In Ohio, for example, the Obama DOJ filed a lawsuit to reverse the state’s long-standing early voting policy for members of the Armed Forces. Some have also accused the Obama administration of allowing the government’s military voter assistance programs, initiated in 2009 to boost military voting numbers, to languish.
The result? Requests for absentee ballots for military voters are down – way down. In the battleground state of Virginia, for example, press reports show the number of requests for absentee ballots by military voters is just 30% of what they were just four years ago.
Judicial Watch has made election integrity a centerpiece of its activities. Judicial Watch neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office. But we have a deep and sincere interest in making certain that every vote cast is legitimate. And we will work to stop any attempt by a political campaign – no matter the political party – to undermine the integrity of the voting process.
For this reason, we initiated our 2012 Election Integrity Project, which was launched with an in-depth investigation that exposed a dozen key states that have the dirtiest voter registration lists. We put election officials in these states on notice that they must either clean them up in accordance with the law, or face a Judicial Watch lawsuit.
In some states, Judicial Watch’s warning letters got action. Lincoln County, West Virginia, for example, immediately initiated an effort to clean up its lists following a warning letter from JW, an effort that will continue right up through Election Day. Judicial Watch also prompted the State of Florida to clean up its voter registration lists and now is in court to try to help the state beat back a challenge from the Obama Justice Department, which objected to this critical election integrity initiative.
And we filed historic lawsuits against states that refused to follow the law and clean up their voting rolls.
Judicial Watch, in partnership with True the Vote, filed lawsuits against Ohio and Indiana, when election officials in those states failed to heed Judicial Watch’s warning and initiate steps to make sure its voter registration lists were clean in accordance with the law.
Judicial Watch was also a key player in a legal battle in Pennsylvania. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson upheld the its new voter ID law in a ruling against a legal challenge from the Pennsylvania ACLU. Judge Simpson incorporated in his ruling much of the legal argument that Judicial Watch lawyers had made in a “friend of the court” brief JW filed in support of the Pennsylvania law. Ultimately, after a battle in the State Supreme Court, the voter ID law was upheld and is on track for enforcement in 2013 and beyond.
Judicial Watch undertook similar legal campaigns in South Carolina, which will implement its voter ID law in 2013 over the objections of the Obama DOJ, and Tennessee as well.
Judicial Watch continues to battle for records detailing the Obama administration’s sordid partnership with the allegedly defunct ACORN and Project Vote, President Obama’s former employer. Judicial Watch continues to fight in court to stop the Obama administration’s scheme to “legalize” illegal aliens through its amnesty initiatives, while opposing illegal alien sanctuary policies that entice greater numbers of illegal aliens to cross the border.
Now, as I say, liberals protest that voter fraud is a phantom problem. They contend that it doesn’t exist. It was invented out of thin air by conservatives to justify the disenfranchisement of minority voters, they say. But the problem for liberals is that the facts keeps proving them dead wrong.
For example, last week, I told you about the son of Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA), who was reportedly caught on tape by an undercover reporter conspiring to commit voter fraud. Prior to that, in September, a Maryland Democratic congressional candidate was forced to leave the race after it was discovered she illegally voted in two states at the same time in previous elections.
Now how’s this for irony. As I explained above, the DOJ filed a lawsuit to stop the state of Florida from trying to ascertain whether non-citizens were on voter rolls, citing imagined concerns about the disenfranchisement of Hispanics. (You will recall that JW prompted Florida’s voter clean-up effort and then, with True the Vote, is now seeking to defend Florida’s efforts in court against the DOJ’s legal assault.)
Are these cases real enough for you? And if Election Day 2008 is any indication, we haven’t seen anything yet. Dirty election lists and resulting voter fraud could tip the balance of the election and cast doubt upon the election result, no matter which candidate wins.
Again, we’ve looked at the numbers. In key states, as much as one of every five names on the voting lists could be ineligible to vote (in many cases, for the simple reason that the voter is dead). Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Colorado are just a few of the states where as much as 20% of the voting rolls could be ineligible to vote. How can Americans have confidence of the outcome of an election in states with dirty voting lists? Dirty voting lists can lead to dirty elections.
With this in mind, I’m going to suggest you do two things to prepare for Election Day 2012. First, click over to watch the election fraud panel I hosted just a couple of weeks ago. We assembled the nation’s leading election fraud experts to give the inside scoop about what is going to take place during the elections this year. Then, get your hands on a free copy of our special report “8 Things You Can Do Now to Help Stop Voter Fraud” and participate in helping to ensure clean elections.
If you don’t have time to take all of our suggestions in the report, in the least, please follow the “if you see something, say something” rule and alert election officials if you see something fishy or underhanded going on.
It is very important that our campaign, and your efforts, continue right up through November 6 – and beyond. Because after the votes are counted this year, the election fraud problem will not go away. Certainly, we have ample evidence that the political Left is determined to turn our elections into a banana-republic style system. The only antidote to this underhanded campaign is the rule of law.
Judicial Watch investigators are set to go immediately into areas where any serious election disputes occur. We are independent of the political parties and campaigns, so you can count on Judicial Watch to stand watch for election integrity as the nation goes to vote next week.
Last Friday, I told you that I felt District of Corruption would be a big hit. But even I could not have anticipated the tremendous response the film received in its opening weekend.
JW and our producing partners, Victory Film Group and Constant Motion Entertainment, released District of Corruption in three cities. And the film scored the second highest per-screen average at the box office for a debut film!
Distributed by Rocky Mountain Pictures, District of Corruption averaged $7,374 over three theaters, finishing behind only one other debut film, vaunted film festival favorite, The Loneliest Planet. Unlike The Loneliest Planet, and the other major studio offerings last weekend, our film relied on grassroots support and word of mouth. And we were able to beat out virtually every other major film this past weekend. Plans are to release the film in more markets on November 9. (Click here to get the latest on tickets and show times.)
District of Corruption puts the spotlight on our battle against government scandal, secrecy and corruption through the last three presidential administrations (see trailer here). Written and directed by the conservative movement’s most prolific filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon – the writer/director of Occupy Unmasked and the Sarah Palin film The Undefeated, among many other “Tea Party” films – District of Corruption is released nationally by Rocky Mountain Pictures, the distributors of the documentary sensation, Obama 2016.
As I say, our movie opened in the following select theaters on October 26:
To help drive the success of the film, Judicial Watch is partnering with Movie to Movement, the grassroots group that helped turn out box-office-busting numbers of movie goers for Obama 2016. That film was a phenomenal success and we feel like District of Corruption has similar widespread appeal.
The American people are hungry for the unvarnished truth about government corruption and the current crisis caused by the Obama administration. At the same time, with all of the competition in this 24 hour news cycle, and the never-ending stream of political advertisements flooding the airwaves these days, we had to get creative in packaging our message. And the result, thanks to the efforts of our director, Stephen K. Bannon, is a compelling, visually stunning and entertaining movie that will both shock and inspire.
Of course, this being election season everything is viewed through a political lens. But as Steve pointed out in his press statement following the film’s release, this film transcends politics and will have a long shelf life beyond November 6th:
All of the key government scandals of the last 15 years are included in this film, with special attention paid to the Obama administration’s “greatest hits:” Operation Fast and Furious; crony capitalism; Solyndra and other “green energy;” federal bailouts and earmarks; ACORN and voter fraud; illegal alien amnesty; and threats to the integrity of the 2012 elections; as well as new attacks on government transparency and accountability.
This film is a companion piece to our New York Times best-selling book, The Corruption Chronicles, Obama’s Big Secrecy, Big Corruption, and Big Government, which was released in July by Simon & Schuster’s Threshold Editions. If you’ve already picked up your copy of the book, be sure to catch the film as well. While there is some overlap in terms of the territory we cover, these are two very different creative works – both equally important in our effort to rally public support for clean government.
We have always considered our public education efforts to be just as important as our lawsuits and investigations. That’s why we publish this weekly email every week, in addition to our newsletters, press releases, educational panels and special reports. But there is no question this year we have amped up these efforts – because the moment requires it.
As Steve said in his statement, the nation must “wake up” to reality. Our institutions of government, our traditional American values, our freedoms, are under a constant and vicious attack from the political Left. They intend to remake our country in their own distorted image. And they care nothing for the rule of law or our founding principles. No matter the election outcome, these battles will not stop.
Please join our cause. See this film. Get your friends to see it as well.
While so much focus is on the presidential horse race this coming Tuesday, across the country there are numerous ballot initiatives under consideration that will impact the lives of all American citizens. JW has been active in a number of them. For example, we successfully defended the right of citizens to vote up or down on Maryland’s policy of providing discounted tuition for illegal aliens (with the help of our client, MDPetitions.com).
Well there is another key ballot initiative taking place next Tuesday which would eliminate the death penalty in the state of California. And in advance of Tuesday’s vote, this week JW released a special report, “The End of the Death Penalty Initiative,” which discusses the administration and impact of California’s death penalty and the campaign tactics of those attempting to abolish it through the Savings, Accountability, and Full Enforcement for California Act (SAFE Act) currently on the ballot.
Judicial Watch’s extensive investigation into California’s popularly supported death penalty initiative documents its cost, details obstacles to its effective administration, and cites its impact on both potential murderers and the families of murder victims. Currently, more than 700 inmates await execution on California’s death row, all of whom would escape the death penalty should the so-called SAFE Act Initiative be passed. (The full report is available here. And it is a must read, particular for those of you who reside in California.)
The most serious problem with the application of the death penalty in California, the JW study finds, is what it terms “the overt abuse” of the writ of habeas corpus process. (Habeas corpus is a legal action that requires an arrestee to be brought before a judge or into court.) The study states: “Not only does the defendant get to have a writ of habeas corpus in the state court, but he also is entitled to seek a writ of habeas corpus in the federal court … resulting in delays of five to ten years or more.”
“Because of that time lapse, the defendant can claim an infinite number of time problems: witnesses have died, records have been destroyed, memories have faded, and all types of similar allegations.”
The JW report also provides in graphic detail case summaries of more than a dozen California death row inmates whose death sentences would be commuted should the so-called SAFE Act Initiative be passed, as well as the statements of victims’ next of kin who strongly oppose death-penalty repeal. Included in the report is a lengthy summary of California’s “Night Stalker” serial murderer, whose death sentence would be set aside should the SAFE Initiative become law.
“The perpetrators of these crimes are among those now on California’s death row who would be spared should the so-called ‘SAFE Act’ be passed into law,” the JW report concludes. “Their victims received no such consideration.”
Rather than banning the California death penalty, the Judicial Watch study recommends reforming the process by (A) Prohibit[ing] any judge who is opposed to the death penalty from ever sitting on any death-penalty cases, and (B) Enact[ing] a law either by legislation or initiative to speed the appeal process.
“The safety of every California resident depends on the existence of the death penalty. You can improve it and have it take less time, but don’t destroy it,” said Sterling “Ernie” Norris, former Los Angeles County Prosecutor and head of Judicial Watch’s West Coast office. (Ernie authored the study and has first-hand experience prosecuting murderers.)
As I say, please take the time to read this report. Be forewarned that it contains graphic material. But it’s important to arm yourself with the facts about the death penalty, which are so often lost in the liberal-dominated media discussions over this issue.
Until Next Week...
Until next week…
Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. Through its educational endeavors, Judicial Watch advocates high standards of ethics and morality in our nation’s public life and seeks to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people. Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach.