James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Registration fraud at a state near you

After I wrote and posted the article below about election fraud and suppression of Democratic votes, I learned that the same outfit caught in the voter registration scam in Nevada and Oregon is operating in Minnesota.

In fact, there is reason to believe it’s committing the same kind of fraud in virtually every so-called battleground state.

The phony company, using several names, actually is Sproul & Associates, a Phoenix-based dirty-tricks outfit owned by Nathan Sproul and financed by the Republican National Committee.

Sproul is a former chairman of the Arizona Republican Party and former head of the state’s Christian Coalition. He has been involved in political dirty tricks for many years.

In states like Minnesota, where citizens register to vote without declaring party affiliation, Sproul employees dealing directly with the public – mostly temps and part-timers -- are told to question potential voters about their party affiliations and presidential preference. The worker bees are paid bonuses for registering Republicans, but are discouraged from signing up Democrats and get no bonuses for signing them. Democrats and/or potential Kerry voters either aren’t given registration forms to fill out or their forms are trashed once they’re out of sight of the Sproul employees.

This is known because a number of people hired by Sproul to register people have quit and talked once they found out what was expected of them. Others talked because Sproul failed to pay them and they got angry. (Not paying is a Sproul characteristic. People in several states have complained that they weren’t paid for their work, and the company left its Las Vegas landlord unpaid after it was caught in its con game by a local television station.)

People hired by Sproul to work in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have spilled the beans, and Web sites based elsewhere have made similar reports.

I tipped daily and weekly newspapers in the Twin Cities Monday. Wednesday, the Star Tribune published a rather feeble story, which tried so hard for "balance" that it all but covered the fact that the Sproul operation is defrauding would-be Democratic voters. That’s something the Minneapolis newspaper does regularly these days: creating "balance" where there is none in order to placate the right, minimize the unpleasant contacts with its big advertisers and the publisher’s cronies and keep the phone calls, emails and letters down.

It also is interesting that the Minnesota Republican Party denied any wrongdoing and said, in its own defense, that the phony registration program is a national party endeavor, as though that makes it legitimate.

The state party people also used boilerplate language quoted, exactly, in every Republican denial of every fraud so far uncovered, regardless of the evidence: That Democrats "allege fraud where none exists and get the media to cover it." Deny, deny, deny.

City Pages, a large Twin Cities weekly – what used to be called an alternative newspaper, but now more genuinely main stream than the dailies – was working on an article as of Tuesday (Oct. 26).

Another voter suppression game came to my attention Tuesday.

The Guardian, the venerable English newspaper, reported that registrations by U.S. citizens living abroad is roughly 400 percent higher this year than it was in 2000. Total overseas registration may be a million votes higher this year than four years ago, the newspaper said.

Various evidence indicates that a high percentage of the new overseas registrations are Kerry voters, and about 40 percent of them are from swing states. (The votes of Americans living abroad are counted in their home states.) At least two web sites, one based in Munich and the other in Hong Kong, have been very active in registering overseas voters.

So – gee, you’ll be surprised – turns out that the Federal Voting Assistance Program, which once was a Pentagon operation, failed to get ballots to thousands of those civilian overseas voters, most of whom are "outraged" over the Bush administration’s war, the Guardian says.

The FVAP "lost" several thousand of overseas votes in 2000, but, like Florida, claimed the
problems were corrected. Yet, somehow, those mostly Kerry backers abroad have been prevented from voting this year.

FVAP, claiming it was overwhelmed by faxes, emails and phone calls from would-be voters
abroad, blocked civilian access to its Web site. It has given military voters access to the electronic ballot-request systems, however. (It’s merely coincidence that military folks, who often know little of world affairs other than what they are told by their superior officers, tend to vote Republican. That has nothing to do with the missing ballots. Ya sure, you betcha.)

And isn’t it fascinating that one has to read the foreign press to learn such things?


In case you also missed this in your local press: Defense Department officials admitted in interviews on National Public Radio that while the "official" number of American wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan through September was 7,500 – the number used by all news operations in this country – the actual number was more than 20,200.

That’s the total number of service people so badly injured that they had to be flown out of the two war-torn countries to hospitals in Europe and the United States. And the 20,200 number doesn’t include 800 service people evacuated because of depression or "post-traumatic stress disorder." Nor does it including another 600 evacuated for treatment of foul skin diseases caused by insects and parasites.

As I said several months ago when noting that the reported numbers of injuries were lies, a large part of the disparity in "official" and real numbers are attributable to the phony way in which "combat injuries" are defined by our Bushy Pentagon. And injuries not defined as resulting from "combat" are not reported to the public.