Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

VA GOP Head Warning People NOT to Register

This is an outrageous story, one which requires immediate push-back by all VA-area Dems and the Obama campaign:

[VA GOP Chairman] Frederick (left) is calling on Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell (R) to launch an investigation. Frederick is also urging residents to avoid giving their names or social security numbers to canvassers seeking to register voters. (emphasis mine)

“Identity theft is widespread problem in Virginia,” Frederick said. “Today, I am encouraging voters who have filed out any of these voter registration forms to immediately contact their registrars, and Virginians should exercise caution when approached by a stranger who asks them for their information.”

Why this sudden “concern”? Because apparently there was an incident involving some canvassers busted for turning in false names:

In a conference call this morning, Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (R-Prince William), the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, seized on recent news reports that three people in Hampton Roads have been charged with submitting false names on voter registration applications. The three canvassers worked for the Community Voters Project, a program of The Fund for the Public Interest.

That’s widespread identity theft? Three people in one town in Virginia? And now the head of the GOP is publicly warning all Virginians not to give their information to anyone trying to register them to vote?

I wonder why:

Frederick’s warning comes as Obama is deploying volunteers across Virginia to try to register 151,000 new voters by the Oct 6 deadline. Various non-profit organizations are also trying to register new voters, especially African-Americans.

“Any voter registration work done by the party will be done with vigorous controls,” said Jared Leopold, a spokesman for the Virginia Democratic Party. “Clearly this is a local problem that Jeff Frederick is trying to blow up into a statewide issue. We have real questions about his motivation in doing so. It seems he is trying to scare away people from legally registering to vote…What is Jeff Frederick so afraid of with legally registering new voters?”

Folks, this is a story that requires action now. Why? Because you can be sure we’re going to see a lot more voter suppression efforts, and also because the GOP is genuinely scared of Barack Obama’s voter registration drive, especially in states like Virginia where an extra point or two will give Obama the edge.

Publicly warning citizens and trying to scare them from giving information based on “widespread identity theft” is unacceptable. I strongly encourage anyone with contacts with the VA Obama campaign or Dem party to coordinate a strong push-back and response.

This is the first significant effort of the election season to suppress democracy, but you can be sure it won’t be the GOP’s last.

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July 29, 2008 - Posted by | Battleground States, Uncategorized | , ,

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