February 3, 2012

The Problem that Doesn't Exist

Patrick Laverty

We've heard State Rep Charlene Lima liken Rhode Island's new voter ID law to "Jim Crow". We've heard from people like Dr. Pablo Rodriguez that it is "a solution to a problem that doesn't exist." And Providence immigration lawyer, Roberto Gonzalez said in reference to the law "They based their support on some perceived fraud that no one has been able to establish actually existing. So based on some phantom problem..."

People have said that there are few to no known cases of voter fraud in Rhode Island. Well guess what, until a local television station in Florida had done the research, few known cases existed there either. Their reporter dug up 94 cases pretty easily. We can easily surmise that they missed some, simply because of their methodology. They went through all the jury duty recusals due to "Not being a US citizen" and crosschecked that with the registered voters. So if you begged off jury duty due to not being a US citizen, yet you're registered to vote, that was flagged. So how many did they miss that have not been called to jury duty or those non-US citizens who did serve and didn't call out their own status?

This is a problem that doesn't exist? No, it's simply a problem that isn't known about. The voter ID law is a step in the right direction toward better protecting the legitimacy of our elections.

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Is it possible that some of the 94 said that they were not citizens in order to skip jury duty? Have you looked into that? What's the penalty for dodging jury duty? Could that be keeping people from responding within the 30 day time period?

Somehow, I don't believe that this is purely a disinterested, altruistic pursuit. It is very well established that it behooves the Republican Party to keep the number of voters low.

I suspect that the game is to catch one illegal and frighten 100 legals away.

Say and write what you please, but don't pretend disinterested neutrality.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at February 3, 2012 4:08 PM

Bahahahaha...poor OTL...your schtick is so old...

Posted by: JTR at February 3, 2012 4:34 PM

OTL-sorry,pal,you are really out to lunch on this one-maybe you even believe what you're saying.
Pablo Rodriguez and Bob Gonzales are lying their asses off-Gonzales has become the master of hyperbole and bullsh*t on the immigration issue.
Of course he lines his pockets with money from people desperately trying to stay here-a real hero that one.
Rodriguez lines his by destroying babies in the womb.
Real towers of virtue there.

Posted by: joe bernstein at February 3, 2012 9:25 PM

Thanks for your comment JTR. You present an iron clad argument. Bahahahaha is a very powerful way to make a point.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at February 3, 2012 10:10 PM

Try looking beyond invective and you'll find this:
Pablo Rodriguez, M.D., 55, has served as President of Women's Care, Inc., a medical services company, since 1987. Dr. Rodriguez also serves as Associate Chair for Community Relationships at Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. He is a former chairman of the board of directors of the Rhode Island Foundation and the Rhode Island Latino Political Action Committee and former Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island. He also served on the board of directors of Women and Infants Hospital, Citizens Bank and the International Institute of Rhode Island. He is a well-known leader in the Hispanic community and an active participant in civic and charitable organizations. Dr. Rodriguez has been a member of our Board of Directors since 2003 and serves on the Bank's Directors' Loan Committee.

Of course you realize that calling someone a name is no argument at all. Because you say so does not make it so. You should know better. The same applies to Roberto Gonzalez.
Surely you realize that calling someone a liar does not make the person a liar. Calm down and present a rational argument.

After all, I can say you lie your ass off, but you probably wouldn't believe me. Nor should you, if I said it.


Posted by: OldTimeLefty at February 3, 2012 10:30 PM

The whole idea that voter fraud is not common is a case of not wanting to see the problem. It may only be a supposition that politicians discourage any investigation, it is clearly in their self interest to do so.

In the only really intensive investigation that I know of, the Kennedy/Nixon election. 677 people were indicted in Chicago alone. These were not simply the people who cast fraudulent votes, they were people who suborned (paid) others to do so.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at February 4, 2012 2:19 AM

Again I beg any good government group to cross-check the projo obituaries from January-September of 2010 in Providence, Pawtucket and CF with the names of those who "voted" in November.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at February 4, 2012 10:38 AM

OTL-I cannot condone abortion for convenience and therefore I have a low opinion of Dr.Rodriguez,whatever his other accomplishments are.There were brilliant doctors who were handmaidens of Hitler's Nazi Party-remember that.
Same in the Soviet Union-the mass murders in Bosnia/Kosovo were spearheaded by a psychiatrist;"Papa Doc"Duvalier was a physician;Bashir Assad also-want to go on in this vein?I think you get my point.
As to Roberto Gonzales,I have known him for almost 28 years,mainly in the course of my employment,so my assessment is not from an ignorant standpoint-he has changed in recent years and has disseminated totally untrue information in the immigration debate.I used to consider him a pretty decent immigration attorney,but for some reason unknown to me,he has spun tales of "Gestapo tactics"and racism where such descriptions are totally unwarranted-I told him as much in person at a debate sponsored by Brown University where I was an audience member and wound up speaking at some length by invitation of the moderator.
I don't know Dr.Rodriguez at all,but I just cannot accept killing a child in the womb as justified absent medical necessity.I also believe in societal responsibility for the welfare of children.
I am not a religiously based pro-lifer,but more in the way Nat Hentoff
is.Hentoff(unlike myself)is an atheist and believes it is wrong to deny someone their only chance at living.
I don't know about afterlife or anything-who am I to know that?i just think every fetus is a living person and is innocent-no one asks to be born,but everyone has a right to it.
I certainly make exception to a case where the mother's life is at risk-preserving the life that is here has to come first.
I personally know someone who put her life at great risk to have her child,and may not survive much longer as a result-a terrible hard choice for a young woman,but it was hers-the abortion advocates only believe in choice to terminate pregnancies.

Posted by: joe bernstein at February 4, 2012 12:34 PM

Radovan Karadzic-that was the doctor I was thinking of who oversaw the massacres in Bosnia/Kosovo.

Posted by: joe bernstein at February 4, 2012 12:59 PM

OTL-I've asked this before-HOW does voter ID disenfranchise "Blacks and Hispanics"-you can't seem to give a direct answer to a simple question.

Posted by: joe bernstein at February 4, 2012 5:09 PM

Thanks for your reasoned opinions on the subject of abortion.

Abortion is very difficult problem for me. I do not look at it lightly, but ultimately think that it comes down to an individual choice. I believe that medically safe procedures should be available if an individual so chooses.

On a personal level I grew up with a boyhood friend whose father had deserted the family and whose mother died in a "back alley" coat hanger operation. Poor guy was left an orphan - would have had a mother if clinics were available. The entire episode was an open neighborhood secret. There is no redeeming quality to the question, that is why my conscience tells me to leave it to the individual involved.

Is there room for abuse, yes, on both sides of the issue.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at February 5, 2012 4:43 AM

Voter Registration Intimidation:

• In October 2008, the ACLU of New Mexico and Project Vote filed a lawsuit charging a Republican New Mexico State Representative and a private investigator with voter intimidation and invasion of privacy. Newly-registered minority voters were declared in a press conference by the NM State Representative to have fraudulently voted in the state primary elections. A private investigator was later hired by a party official to go to the homes of these voters and interrogate them about their citizenship status.
• After a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, supporters of Barack Obama went to a nearby early voting center, where they were heckled and harassed by a group of protesters as they went in to vote. Nearly all of the early voters were black, and nearly all of the protesters were white.
• In Virginia, students at Virginia Tech were told that if they registered to vote in Virginia, it could affect their scholarship or tax dependency status and would obligate them to change their car registration and driver’s license to their permanent address.
• Finally, a poll worker in Dearborn, Michigan was perceived to be intimidating Muslim Americans, of which Dearborn has a large concentration. Two Michigan precincts also reported the presence of police scanning the long lines for voters with outstanding warrants, with one person being arrested.

Take a good look at the issue and you will find one party attempting to restrict and the other party attempting to expand the voter roles. Neither party is completely indifferent to the processes involved and both are trying to gain from the process.

Personally, I prefer to err on the side of more open roles.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at February 5, 2012 5:00 AM

Picking out some imdividual examples of abuse don't invalidate the need for voter ID.
I was involved in a voter fraud investigation in 1982 in Chicago involving bothe citizens and illegal aliens.We sent people to prison for falsely claiming US citizenship,a felony(8USC911).
It was run by Democrats,but no one made an issue of that aspect.
The Virginia Tech case doesn't seem to be an abuse to me.
I don't see a problem in RI-and frankly our new voter ID law is weak.
If you apply for a passport,you have to prove you are a US citizen-no exceptions.
I personally consider the act of voting a very important aspect of our society and it has to be protected from participatiom of unqualified persons of any race or background.
A lot of voter fraud doesn't even haave to do with"minorities"or foreign nationals-it has to do with dead people and out of district people voting as well as multiple voting by a single individual.
The voting process absent ID loses integrity.
FWIW the voter ID bill in RI ws introduced by two Black legislators who are generally left of center,although Sen.Metts steadfastly opposes same sex marriage.
I guess we've made our points on abortion and voter ID and neither of us is about to change our minds.

Posted by: joe bernstein at February 5, 2012 7:03 AM

Amazing. So Joe asked:
"I've asked this before-HOW does voter ID disenfranchise "Blacks and Hispanics"-you can't seem to give a direct answer to a simple question."

Old Time Lefty answers with a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with a voter ID law but instead has to do with intimidation. Let's take a look:
"charging a Republican New Mexico State Representative and a private investigator with voter intimidation"

At this point, they are already voters. A voter ID card does not prevent this.

"Nearly all of the early voters were black, and nearly all of the protesters were white."

Again, they were already voters. A voter ID card does not prevent this.

"students at Virginia Tech were told that if they registered to vote in Virginia, it could affect their scholarship or tax dependency status "

Was it true? Maybe it could. On one hand, you talk about wanting openness and then you have a problem with people getting more information.

" Dearborn, Michigan was perceived to be intimidating Muslim Americans"

And how does a voter ID prevent that?

Lefty, you're a fraud in your arguments. Joe asked you how voter ID will disenfranchise "Blacks and Hispanics" and you didn't do that at all. If this was a law that would do something about voter intimidation and giving out more information, you have something. But you couldn't even make a case here when given an open forum.

"Personally, I prefer to err on the side of more open roles."

Yeah, you will prefer that until conservatives flood the polls with people who shouldn't be voting.

Further showing what a fraud you are, it is interesting that you pick all those cases of voter intimidation, yet you missed one:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Black_Panther_Party_voter_intimidation_case in Philadelphia. The Black Panthers carrying a billy club and threatening white voters. Gee, i wonder why you didn't bring up that one?

Then Joe wrote:
"I guess we've made our points on abortion and voter ID"

Actually, you did Joe, but Lefty did not. I don't see any points from him on voter ID.

Posted by: Charlie at February 5, 2012 7:27 AM

You infused invective into a reasonable argument. This means you have nothing of substance to say about the situation. Not worthy of a rebuttal.

joe can speak for himself well enough.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at February 5, 2012 10:54 AM

Invective? I called your arguments a fraud and proved why. I actually proved YOU had nothing of substance to say and hide behind falsehoods. I exposed you for what you are and now you're running away scared. Unless you do actually have a single example of how voter ID disenfranchises Blacks and Hispanics without proving to be a racist. Can you do that?

Posted by: Charlie at February 5, 2012 11:56 AM

Charlie--nice job--factual and to the point.

Posted by: Mike678 at February 6, 2012 10:20 AM

The Huffington Post cites The Republican National Lawyers Association as follows: The emphasis is mine.
The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) in an attempt to discredit a NAACP report this week on the lack of voter fraud evidence has bolstered the view that there is no need for voter ID laws, imposed by many states. The RNLA produced data showing 46 states and various convictions for voter fraud. Presumably by their absence, 4 states and the District of Columbia had no convictions.
Viewing the data for the period 2000-2010, the report by its own account shows there is no link between voter fraud in states and the need for stricter voter ID laws. The data shows that during the entire 10 year period, 21 states had only 1 or 2 convictions for some form of voter irregularity. And some of these 21 states have the strictest form of voter ID laws based on a finding of 2 or less convictions in ten years. Five states had a total of three convictions over a ten year period. Rhode Island had 4 convictions for the same 10 years. Taking a close look at the RNLA data shows 30 states, including the District of Columbia had 3 or less voter fraud convictions for a 10 year period.
Voter ID laws enacted now in over half the states, require voters to present some form of identification as a requirement to vote. Fourteen states require a government issued photo ID when voting in person. At the time of registering to vote, other states like Kansas and Alabama further demand proof of citizenship beyond the federal legal requirement that citizens swear they are citizens. Kansas had one conviction for voter fraud in ten years; Alabama had three convictions in the same time period. During the 2011 legislative session, five states -- Wisconsin, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina -- joined Georgia and Indiana by enacting the strictest form of photo ID requirement for voters, and most of these newest changes will first come into effect for the 2012 elections.
The RNLA says the voter ID laws are needed to prevent against double voting, non-citizen voting, fictitious voter registration and voter impersonation. To hear Republicans tell the tale, one would think there has been massive voter/election fraud necessitating the need for stricter voter ID laws across the country. Now the Republicans' own data dispels their rampant voter fraud myth. A closer scrutiny of the RNLA data shows voter fraud has no correlation to needing strict voter ID laws.
In the states with higher convictions of improper voting, most involved voters improperly filling out registration forms, vote buying or a person with a felony conviction attempting to vote. Vote buying occurs when a voter is paid or offered money for their vote. Neither of these issues would be prevented by state photo ID requirement. While the RNLA data shows 17 cases of non-citizen voting convictions over 10 years in Florida and one in both Alaska and Illinois, this hardly justifies the requirement of proof of citizenship requirement.
The GOP and conservative groups fought to enact strict voter ID laws in more than 30 states. According to George Washington University law professor, Spencer Overton, a former member of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, "the existing evidence suggests that the type of fraud addressed by photo ID requirements is extraordinarily small and that the number of eligible citizens who would be denied their right to vote as a result... is exceedingly large." And now we see firsthand that the proof is in the pudding. And there's no proof to support the need for these voter ID laws.
(Editor's note:...single-digit instances do amount to a national trend, nor do they justify tightening voter access laws for millions of voters state by state.)

Not that facts will stand in the way of Charlie and Mike 678's pre-drawn conclusions. See "Pearls before swine"

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at February 7, 2012 1:16 PM

Before I even bother reading all that, please answer Joe's original question, which I will now make my question.

HOW does voter ID disenfranchise "Blacks and Hispanics"

Please answer that for me with actual facts that answer that question, not something about voter intimidation.

I can't wait to hear your racist statements to justify it.

Posted by: Charlie at February 7, 2012 2:47 PM

Frequency of proven violations is no basis for a law.
The basis should be whether or not the law makes sense on its face.
Voter ID makes abundant sense.
There's a law that states that a person born in the US to a foreign hed of state isn't a US citizen.
Has that ever even happened?But the law makes sense.Why?Becuse that person isn't subject to our laws in general.

Posted by: joe bernstein at February 7, 2012 5:51 PM
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