By Dick Miller
WE.CONNECT.DOTS: In this year’s presidential battle of “first time evers,” history still repeats. Not surprising, the story about FieldWorks reveals Democrats don’t learn while Republicans know when to repeat
Pennsylvania state police raided two offices of FieldWorks, a voter registration group earlier this week. Bruce Beemer, temporary Attorney General, suggested to the Philadelphia Inquirer that the organization was employing field registrants “who were cutting corners to meet quotas.”
Further, “state police used a warrant seeking forms that could be used to construct fraudulent voter registration forms,” per media reports.
News of these tactics to inflate voter rolls with Democrat registrants in a run-up to Tuesday’s election began in Delaware County, but have spread to Ohio and Indiana. One conclusion is that no one in the Trump camp is capable to orchestrate the allegations. The Republican establishment, is pulling out all stops to maintain its majority in the US Senate.
Voting scandals, crafted to blacken Democrats, would go well in three adjoining states that have critical Senate battles.
This caper began with a clueless Democrat governor. Rather than work on fulfilling his campaign promises, Gov. Tom Wolf has chosen to bed down with Republican state legislative leadership.
When former disgraced Democrat Attorney General Kathleen Kane resigned this summer, she left Republican Bruce Castor in charge. Perhaps it was her payback to Wolf who had been an early demander of her resignation.
Republicans were predicted to resist a temporary appointment by Wolf for Attorney General for the five months remaining in Kane’s term. Senate Republicans could have easily slow-walked the confirmation process effectively keeping their party in control of the office.
Some believe Kane was hounded from office because of her exposure of pornographic emails between mostly Republican politicos in central and eastern PA. The scandal figured in the resignations of two Supreme Court Justices and the firings or resignations from a host of senior aides to former Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.
Kane’s list of digital scofflaws has more names, maybe even Republican Senators. Castor threatened to release the entire report.
The legislature was amid an eight-week summer vacation when Wolf nominated Bruce Beemer to replace Castor. Tuesday’s election will decide a four-year successor to take office in late January.
Republican senators could not find time to solve the pension crisis or reduce the ten-deaths-a-day from drug overdoses. Mysteriously, they had time to come into Harrisburg for one day and unanimously confirm Beemer.
Wolf’s deal began to benefit Republican senators almost immediately. Beemer announced that the release of the entire report of pornography on government computers – a report paid for with taxpayers’ funds – would be delayed indefinitely. Each accused pornographer must be given a chance to defend his conduct. Or the media stops asking for a copy, whichever comes first.
Fast forward to the FieldWorks caper.
Apparently, this stunt is being managed by three-term Republican Congressman Patrick Meehan. His core support is mostly in Delaware County, one of the remaining Southeast regions that remains in Republican control. He lodged the complaint that FieldWorks was in the process of submitting forms to register thousands of new Democrats in Delaware County.
Using his clout as a Federal official, Meehan is making sure that the investigation of FieldWorks receives maximum publicity. First, he enlisted cooperation of AG Beemer. Beemer secured the search warrant from an accommodating Delaware County judge. He also told the media he thought FieldWorks was guilty of gathering false voter registrations.
The documents grabbed by Wolf’s State Police will shortly be reviewed by the Delaware County Election and Registration Commission, currently two Republicans and one Democrat.
No one has explained why the District Attorney’s office in Delaware County did not handle acquisition of the search warrant and a raid by DA detectives. Meehan would know how, because he was once Delaware County District Attorney.
Subsequent raids of FieldWorks offices in Ohio and Indiana have been easier to implement because both are controlled by Republican governors. The GOP also hopes to preserve Senate seats Tuesday in those states.
Bottom Line: Eight years ago Republicans led an investigation into a voter registration scandal about “The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now,” ACORN, for short.
At its peak, ACORN had a half-million members in 1,200 neighborhood chapters. ACORN advocated for low- and moderate-income families, neighborhood safety, health care, voter registration and affordable housing.
Several independent investigations eventually revealed that secretly-taken videos of alleged illegal ACORN voter actions had been “partially falsified” and “selectively edited.”
By that time, ACORN had been Federally defunded and filed for bankruptcy.
(PA senior US Senator Bob Casey was one of only seven votes against defunding ACORN. The Senate was in Democrat hands at that time.)
The situations involving both ACORN and FieldWorks may have been an outgrowth of the Democrats abandonment of the patronage system. Four decades ago a hardworking Democrat volunteer worked at the polls, raised election funds and registered new voters. This could earn them first “dibs” on a government job.
Democrat leadership said changes were necessary to bring us the good government that we are blessed with today.
Volunteers could no longer be depended upon to register voters. Private organizations were hired for this task. The problem during ACORN and it remains for FieldWorks is that pay is based on results. Consequently, the organizations pay staffers on an incentive basis. The more people you register Democrat, the higher your pay.