Monday, November 05, 2012

Destroying the Fabric of Democracy

Funny how that threat looks very different depending on which side of the US political aisle you stand.  The Republicans fear voter fraud:
A strategist for Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign said on Monday morning that voter fraud was virtually nonexistent in the U.S. and yet has somehow become part of the Republican “mythology.”


McCain, Schmidt’s former boss, warned at the last presidential debate in 2008 that the election could be affected voter fraud and claimed the community organizing group known as ACORN was “now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.”
Here are two opposite stories about possible voting fraud:  The first is about Ohio and uses a conservative angle,  the second is about Oregon and employs a liberal angle.  Enjoy!

The Democrats are more concerned about the effect of money in federal elections, after the Citizens United decision opened the floodgates.  If much of the information you see ultimately comes from the Koch brothers and other wealthy industrialists, the messages are bound to tilt towards the interests of the corporations, right?  

An interesting story about this culminated today when "California’s campaign finance watchdog on Monday publicly released the names of the donors behind an Arizona group’s $11 million donation to ballot initiative efforts in the Golden State."  To get the whole flavor of the story, start with this Bloomberg article and then read about the case in California.  The shadowy faces of the Koch brothers are just visible against the murky background.

The difference between the two concerns?  Well, I think the second concern is something which very well might destroy the fabric of democracy, unless we are content with equal rights for all dollars.  The former would be a concern if voter fraud was widespread.  But most evidence suggests that it is not.

The second difference is that those humongous donations to influence the political outcomes in other states are perfectly legal, voter fraud is not.