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Obama introduces “Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2006″

Friday, Nov 17, 2006

I doubt this would be constitutional, but what do you think of the idea? From a press release:

U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) this week introduced legislation to protect Americans from tactics that intimidate voters and prevent them from exercising their right to vote on Election Day. The legislation builds on similar legislation he introduced last year by including specific language to address misleading fliers and harassing robocalls that occurred during the 2006 cycle.

The legislation, the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2006, would make it illegal for anyone to knowingly attempt to prevent others from exercising his or her right to vote by providing deceptive information and would require the Attorney General to fully investigate these allegations. The legislation would also require the Attorney General, in conjunction with the Election Assistance Commission, to provide accurate election information when allegations of deceptive practices are confirmed.

“One of our most sacred rights as Americans is the right to make our voice heard at the polls,” said Obama. “But too often, we hear reports of mysterious phone calls and mailers arriving just days before an election that seek to mislead and threaten voters to keep them from the polls. And those who engage in these deceptive and underhanded campaign tactics usually target voters living in minority or low-income neighborhoods. This legislation would ensure that for the first time, these incidents are fully investigated and that those found guilty are punished.”

In last week’s election, mailers distributed by Republicans in predominantly African American counties in Maryland wrongly implied that African American Democrats had endorsed Republican candidates. The fliers were paid for and authorized by GOP Senate candidate Michael Steele and Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich.

In House races across the country, reports surfaced of Democrats receiving dozens of harassing robocalls designed to imply that they came from Democratic candidates. In fact, the calls were paid for by Republicans and were intended to suppress turnout among Democrats. (The calls were thoroughly documented on

Obama’s legislation would provide a criminal penalty for deceptive practices, with penalties of up to $100,000 or one year imprisonment, or both. The legislation would also require the Attorney General to work with the Federal Communications Commission and the Election Assistance Commission to determine the feasibility of using the public broadcasting system as a means of providing voters with full and accurate Election Day information.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Nisok - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 11:30 am:

    Great. Now if he and his colleagues would just apply the same reverence for the secret ballot to union elections, we’d have a great thing going.

    This is the same Obama who supports the Orwellian “Employee Free Choice Act” that effectively outlaws secret ballot elections and gives union organizers free reign to use whatever means necessary to get representation cards signed.

    What a country…sigh

  2. - archpundit - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 11:31 am:

    The robocall ban is probably Constitutional. It’s gotten past Federal Appeals Court in at least one case and several states look to be adding to it.

    The rest is interesting–the question before the courts being whether the bill would regulate conduct or speech. For a campaign to deceive voters may well be conduct. Given it’s designed to protect Constitutional Rights the case won’t just be of one right against a rule, it’ll be a competing rights case.

    I think the courts might take a dim view of the idea that purposely misleading a voter is freedom of speech if it discourages a voter from voting. On the other hand, the Steele flyers are a different story because they suggested Steele was a Democrat. That’s a very different issue and Democrats for Republican A or Republicans for Democrat A are not uncommon.

  3. - Belle - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 11:40 am:

    I think it’s meaningless unless it is applied to all media as well. Imagine having to tell the voters the truth, whole truth & nothing but the truth in TV, radio & print ads……no taking things out of context, no spin….leaving an informed, unmanipulated voting public….candidates elected on their actual positions! Well I can dream can’t I?

  4. - Cassandra - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 11:44 am:

    This bill seems well-intentioned but a little on the fluffy side. At it presumes voters are idiots,
    so a bit condescending as well.

    Perhaps Obambi is taking a leaf from Blago’s playbook….lots of fluffy feel-good legislation that makes it look like you are doing something when you aren’t.

  5. - grand old partisan - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 11:46 am:

    One of the more troubling aspects of this, to me, is the authority given to the Attorney General - a partisan political appointee. I’d like to see the specifics. What’s to stop an AG of one party from stalling investigations against an opposition party candidate so that their party’s nominee can criticize the “actions by my opponent, which are currently under Justice Department investigation.”? Similarly, what’s to stop the opposition party from flooding the AG with scores of bogus complaints to skew the investigation/dismissal ratio, and then running a national stategy against the administration’s party partisan bias?

    I support the goal, but the Senator needs to head back to the drawing board.

  6. - Central IL Stater - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 11:47 am:


    It’s called C-SPAN. :o)

  7. - Bubs - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 12:10 pm:

    Classic Obama: all “feel good” sound and fury for the media, but not much will come of it.

    I should think a former Harvard Law Review editor would be familiar with the First Amendment and “political speech.” It shows what a gimmick this is.

  8. - Archpundit - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 12:13 pm:

    ===At it presumes voters are idiots,
    so a bit condescending as well.

    I’m not sure I get this complaint. How does it presume voters are idiots? We know that flyers show up in African-American areas near almost all elections–including primaries so this shouldn’t let Democrats playing suppress the vote off the hook either. Voters don’t pay much attention to new regulations or changes in voting places. So they see an official looking notice and pay attention and end up not voting or spending a lot of time to figure out where they should be voting.

    That’s not presuming voters are idiots, it’s presuming that someone it trying to lie to them and helping them guard against such actions.

    The phone part is good practice–I should control what kind of phone calls I want to receive since I pay for the service.

  9. - Archpundit - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 12:16 pm:

    GOP–I’m not sure I’m reading the same way–so we both need to see the specifics. My reading is that instead of giving the AG discretion on investigation, the bill would require an investigation.

    I agree it could be open to manipulation, but the system is already dependent upon the AG. I’d rather have a requirement to investigate given these are pretty widespread events. I don’t want to be pollyanish because I think your point is pretty good, but it also might be able to bring light to the bogus charges as well.

    Is there any objection to the robocall issue?

  10. - Archpundit - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 12:29 pm:

    ===I should think a former Harvard Law Review editor would be familiar with the First Amendment and “political speech.” It shows what a gimmick this is.

    Does the First Amendment cover people showing up, acting like police, harrassing voters for IDs and warning them about being arrested? That seems like more than speech.

    I think the more grey area is still quite a grey area–is it legal to suggest to a naturalized citizen that they’ll be arrested if they vote? That’s intimidation, not just speech.

  11. - Angie - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 12:45 pm:

    Being that people are voting less and less, you’d think these clowns would sort of figure out that the last thing they need to be doing is trying to intimidate voters even if it is for the partisan reason of trying to tick off the voters from the opposing side.

    That said, nice to see that Senator Rock Star is attempting to look like he’s actually doing something other than lookin’ good and behaving all charismatic (not that this isn’t already working for him, of course).

  12. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 1:01 pm:

    I’m not an attorney, but agree with Archpundit that the law will be defended as a competing rights argument.

    Defamation law is clearly not sufficient for dealing with the problems.

    I’d rather these laws weren’t necessary, but it seems they are.

    GOP has a point about enforcement. But laws governing political misconduct are already selectively enforced.

    Ask Dick Devine about what he’s done about every single Open Meetings Act complaint I’ve filed with him. He doesn’t even bother to write back.

    If someone wants to improve the Obama legislation by creating a less partisan enforcement mechanism that would be OK. But the Obama proposal seems to be an improvement on the status quo.

  13. - Guy Fawkes - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 1:08 pm:

    “Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2006″
    Why doesn’t the Senator Messiah look at the deceptive practices within his own party in Illinois?

  14. - Wumpus - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 1:20 pm:

    First in Kenya, now federally. He proposes things that are most needed in Chicago. How often do we hear about pressuring/intimidating voters/workers on the state payroll with political pressure?

  15. - VanillaMan - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 1:22 pm:

    This is an unbelievabley insulting and racist set of proposals! Yes, racist. Obama is pandering to the point where he is just plain insulting. How stupid does he think we are?

    Obama must see black voters as gullible ignorant fools. The idea that there exists black voters that do not vote straight-line Democrat means they don’t know what they are doing?

    Over the past six years, we have been hearing one dramatic announcement after another claiming that black voters were swindled from electing Democrats. Even before the first vote was cast in 2006, we started reading and hearing “concerns” about vote fraud, and other Republican methods to keep in the majority. Now, Obama has officially joined the the nutty crowd of superstitious believers about Ohio being stolen, Florida being stolen and other supposed frauds.

    Has anyone noticed that since the election, we aren’t hearing these stories? Funny how when Democrats win, no one is claiming fraud. The only fraud being pulled over on us is the thinking behind Obama’s proposal.

    Stop playing pretty for the cameras Senator and start treating us like we have brains!

  16. - VanillaMan - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 1:25 pm:

    “In last week’s election, mailers distributed by Republicans in predominantly African American counties in Maryland wrongly implied that African American Democrats had endorsed Republican candidates. The fliers were paid for and authorized by GOP Senate candidate Michael Steele and Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich.”

    This is NOT wrong. This happened Obama! Several prominent Prince George county black politicians endorced Michael Steele. Sorry, but voters have a right to choose based on their beliefs, not on their skin color.

  17. - 1984 - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 1:40 pm:

    I see no reason not to let the two major parties have jurisdiction of what is truth and what is untruth.

    Very simply, if you are convicted of an untruth, you should be penalized. I honestly do not see how anyone can object to this.

    And don’t worry about the robocall…that will die a hard death in committee. You expect the parties to find volunteers (or pay people) to man the phones? That is an expense *no one* needs. The political consulting companies that profit off robocall will see to it that that is killed.

  18. - Anon - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 1:41 pm:

    Vanilla Man, check your facts. The three officials whose photographs appear here did not endorse Ehrlich and two of the three did not endorse Steele.

    So it was the Republican candidates who tried to benefit from what you describe as a “racist” attitude — that the only way to persuade an African-American voter to support a Republican is to falsely claim Democratic support.

  19. - fedupchicago - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 1:48 pm:

    Clutch your pearls even tighter, VanillaMan–otherwise you might not convince us that you’re actually concerned about racism. Some of us, of course, see right through your mock outrage.

    So would you consider the flyers that homeless Philadelphians were hired to hand out in black neighborhoods by the Maryland GOP that actually listed Ehrlich and Steele AS DEMOCRATS as acceptable? I consider it fraud, and I hope someone goes to jail for it. Maybe jail will teach the GOP a lesson, since they seem unable to operate in a moral and decent manner.

  20. - Joannie - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 1:55 pm:

    We voters are trying to get our wishes accounted for at the polls; unfortunately, the ones elected could care less what we want. The only thing intimidating the voters is the continuing corruption that we have no mechanism to stop. Hope that he is enjoying his new house.

  21. - Ivory-billed Woodpecker - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 2:09 pm:

    Has the general, federal fraud statute ever been used to prosecute people who “mislead and threaten voters to keep them from the polls”? Archpundit zeroed in on what must be the chief question: whether what Obama’s law seeks to regulate is conduct or protected political speech. If the former, the law seems not too dissimilar to the fraud statute.
    “[W]hoever . . . knowingly and willfully—
    (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
    (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
    (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
    shall be fined under this title [or] imprisoned not more than 5 years. . . .” 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a).

  22. - Platitudinus - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 2:14 pm:

    The Illinois Election Code requires that the name of the political committee paying for any part of a pamphlet, circular, handbill, Internet communication, radio, television, or print advertisement or other communication directed at voters be identified clearly within the communication. In addition, the Code authorizes any person who believes that a violation has occurred, to file a complaint with the State Board of Elections.

  23. - Archpundit - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 2:26 pm:

    ===This is an unbelievabley insulting and racist set of proposals! Yes, racist. Obama is pandering to the point where he is just plain insulting. How stupid does he think we are?

    ===Obama must see black voters as gullible ignorant fools. The idea that there exists black voters that do not vote straight-line Democrat means they don’t know what they are doing?

    Actually, this is a problem in primaries as well so you might want to deal with the reality that it occurs and it is wrong.

    While none of us have seen the full legislation, I’m wondering if the biggest impact would come from the requirement to investigate and then have the government to act when false information is given–especially in cases of voter intimidation regarding false polling information, fake ‘cops’, and threats of arrest if they try and vote.

  24. - Belle - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 2:28 pm:

    Central IL Stater - then lets have a C-SPAN expansion! :) Can you imagine running a campaign on the merits of a candidates and not the demerits of their oponents? Now that’s a campaign no politico could openly be against!
    Grand Old Partisan - excellent point. And one that may not happen - it ABSOLUTELY will happen.

  25. - Deck Marker, Potluck & Roly Poly - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 2:53 pm:

    I think this will hurt the Democrats more than the Republicans. What is Obama thinking? He is a stuntman.

  26. - curious george - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 3:41 pm:

    Too bad someone doesn’t introduce a “truth in advertising” bill for political campaigning… One which addresses negative advertisements with nary a modicum of truth and one that requires the candidate to follow through on all campaign promises.

  27. - Honest Abe - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 3:58 pm:

    Vote fraud is the margin of victory for Democrats in so many contested races, why should we be surprised by Obama’s proposal? Years ago, the Motor Voter scam was meant to recruit more voters who could not be bothered to register and then the provisional ballots for the clueless and otherwise ineligible was meant to help the underprivileged. If you need a photo i.d. to buy cigarettes, cough syrup, or liquor, why is it an imposition for states to have meaningful voter registration requirements and to ask voters to be prepared to display a photo i.d. card?

  28. - Squideshi - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 4:04 pm:

    Generally, this seems like a good idea; however, I would need to see the full text of the bill, and it’s not yet available on Thomas. I do, however, think that Obama should be focusing on a much bigger electoral reform issue–majority elections.

  29. - Goodbye Napoleon - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 4:31 pm:

    Brilliant. What a perfect piece of legislation to talk to the media about on election day, I mean primary day, in each of the 50 states . . .I think that the Democratic voters in Iowa and New Hampshire will agree with me.

  30. - Anon - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 4:43 pm:

    From today’s LA Times Op/Ed page, The liberal filmmaker extends an olive branch to disheartened conservatives:

    Michael Moore’s pledge:

    I would like to extend an olive branch. Those of you who consider yourselves conservative and usually vote Republican have not had a very good couple of weeks. Trust me, I know how this feels.

    In fact, those of us on the other side of the fence don’t really know what it’s like to win, so if we seem a bit awkward right now (were we supposed to vote for the majority leader the speaker said to vote for, or stick to our promise to the other guy?), forgive us.

    I know you are dismayed at the results of last week’s election. You’ve got to be freaking out about what this bunch of tree-hugging, latte-sipping, men-kissing-men advocates will do now that the country is in our hands. I don’t blame you. We’d never admit it, but we secretly admire you because you know how to chop down a tree, take your coffee black and enjoy watching women kissing women. Good on you!

    What I don’t want is for you to drop into the deep funk we liberals have been in for two-plus decades. Yes, your Republican revolution is over, but hang in there. And do not despair. I, and the millions who voted for Democrats, have no interest in revenge for the last 12 years. In fact, let me make 12 promises as to how we will treat you, the minority, in the coming years.

    Thus, here is “A Liberal’s Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives”:

    1) We will always respect you. We will never, ever, call you “unpatriotic” simply because you disagree with us. In fact, we encourage you to dissent and disagree with us.

    2) We will let you marry whomever you want (even though some among us consider your Republican behavior to be “different” or “immoral”). Who you marry is none of our business. Love, and be in love — it’s a wonderful gift.

    3) We will not spend your grandchildren’s money on our personal whims or to enrich our friends. It’s your checkbook too, and we will balance it for you.

    4) When we soon bring our sons and daughters home from Iraq, we will bring your sons and daughters home too. We promise never to send your kids off to war based on some amateur Power Point presentation cooked up by men who have never been to war.

    5) When we make America the last Western democracy to have universal health coverage, and all Americans are able to get help when they fall ill, we promise that you too will be able to see a doctor, regardless of your ability to pay. And when stem cell research delivers treatments and cures for diseases that afflict you and your loved ones, we’ll make sure those advances are available to you and your family too.

    6) When we clean up our air and water, you too will be able to breathe the cleaner air and drink the purer water. When we put an end to global warming, you will no longer have to think about buying oceanfront property in Yuma.

    7) Should a mass murderer ever kill 3,000 people on our soil, we will devote every single resource to tracking him down and bringing him to justice. Immediately. We will protect you.

    8) We will never stick our nose in your bedroom or your womb. What you do there as consenting adults is your business. We will continue to count your age from the moment you were born, not the moment you were conceived.

    9) We will not take away your hunting guns. If you need an automatic weapon or a handgun to kill a bird or a deer, then you really aren’t much of a hunter and you should, perhaps, take up another sport. In the meantime, we will arm the deer to make it a fairer fight.

    10) When we raise the minimum wage, we will raise it for your employees too. They will use that money to buy more things, which means you will get the money back! And when women are finally paid what men make, we will pay conservative women that wage too.

    11) We will respect your religious beliefs, even when you don’t practice those beliefs. In fact, we will actively seek to promote your most radical religious beliefs (”Blessed are the peacemakers,” “Love your enemies,” “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” and “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”). We will let people in other countries know that God doesn’t just bless America, he blesses everyone. We will discourage religious intolerance and fanaticism — starting here at home.

    12) We will not tolerate politicians who are corrupt and break the law. And we promise you we will go after the corrupt politicians on our side first. If we fail to do this, we need you to call us on it. Simply because we are in power does not give us the right to turn our heads the other way when our party goes astray. Please perform this important duty as the loyal opposition.

    I promise all of the above to you because this is your country too. You are every bit as American as we are. We are all in this together. We sink or swim as one. Thank you for your years of service to this country and for giving us the opportunity to see if we can make things a bit better for our 300 million fellow Americans — and for the rest of the world.

    Now pull yourself together and let’s go have a Frappuccino.

  31. - Dan Johnson-Weinberger - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 4:53 pm:

    If Senator Obama files a bill, you can take it to the bank that it’s constitutional. It’s ridiculous to suggest a voting rights attorney and constitutional law lecturer would file an unconstitutional bill. And clearly, the statute would apply to activities from both parties.

  32. - carlsnuts - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 4:57 pm:

    How interesting that Nyberg would support going after people who lie for political advantage. His whole M.O. on his blog has been lies and distortion to score political points. Nyberg even got sued for defamation - and fell back on the First Amendment as his defense. Fortunately for him, the plaintiff decided to have mercy and dropped it. Despite that, Nyberg never admitted he made up the story that got him sued. Nyberg perpetually posts defamatory statements about local officials. And Nyberg was recently busted for spreading a rumor about Jerry Weller that turned out to be totally bogus. But now Obama wants to go after people who lie in politics, and suddenly Nyberg is on board? I guess only left wingers can lie and get away with it. Hypocricy run amuck.

  33. - archpundit - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 5:16 pm:

    ====Vote fraud is the margin of victory for Democrats in so many contested races, why should we be surprised by Obama’s proposal?

    I know this is a common refrain from many, but is there any evidence for this claim?

    Most fraud around voting have to do with:

    A) registration where canvassers fake names and signatures because they get paid by the signature–there’s little evidence that the fake registrations end up in any significant number of votes

    B) Petition fraud

    C) Buying of votes–like in East St. Louis

    D) Voter Suppression techniques

    Is there some report out there that has identified a significant number of double or fake voters in the last 15 years?

    And in the case of a photo ID, many people don’t have them and those people are disproportionately old, disabled, and/or poor. Contrary to the middle class folks who comment on blogs they dont’ live the same life that we do. The question then is will such a requirement disenfranchise more people than it stops from voting illegally.

    Given there’s very little evidence of fake voting or double voting anymore it would seem photo ID is a solution looking for a problem while at the same time disenfranchising people who have the fewest resources.

  34. - Bubs - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 5:23 pm:

    Archpundit, I could be wrong, but I believe there there already are laws in the federal books from the Reconstruction Era, such as the Ku Klux Klan Act, that will cover your scenarios of voter intimidation. Voter intimindation isn’t exactly new under the sun, after all.

  35. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 5:27 pm:

    Michael Moore writes:

    “12) We will not tolerate politicians who are corrupt and break the law. And we promise you we will go after the corrupt politicians on our side first. If we fail to do this, we need you to call us on it. Simply because we are in power does not give us the right to turn our heads the other way when our party goes astray. Please perform this important duty as the loyal opposition.”

    Except in Illinois?

  36. - Mike Williams - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 5:29 pm:

    The rhetoric from some of the Republicans here is really something. They must be running scared of Obama.

    At any rate, one thing I thought of during the campaign would be to require a robocall to identify who is making the call as the first thing that must be said. So, for instance, if calling in the 6th Congressional, it would be “Hello, this is paid for by the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. I have some very important information for you about Tammy Duckworth.” That way, when the voter hangs up, they are not left solely with the impression that the call came from Tammy, as the case was this year.

    Remember that the Republicans used this tactic also in Florida, Pennsylvania, Conn., Wyoming, and Ohio, proving yet again that the GOP is the party of vote fraud, disinformation, and scare tactics.

  37. - No Kool-Aid, Thanks. - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 5:32 pm:

    Dan, you are such a tool, your folks should have named you Stanley.

    “If Senator Obama files a bill, you can take it to the bank that it’s constitutional.”

    When will he walk across Lake Michigan? I don’t want to miss the spectacle. Give us a break.

  38. - Angie - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 5:37 pm:

    “12) We will not tolerate politicians who are corrupt and break the law. And we promise you we will go after the corrupt politicians on our side first. If we fail to do this, we need you to call us on it.”

    Rinnng! Rinnng!

    That’s the sound of the Clue Phone calling up Illinois voters.

  39. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 5:39 pm:

    I’m actually OK with photo ID being standard with exceptions.

    Why does an elderly person who doesn’t drive need a photo ID?

    But in exchange for tightening the voter identification we need stronger laws to guarantee reasonable access to the voting process and enforcement to make the laws reality.

  40. - Mike Williams - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 5:43 pm:

    Stay tuned, Angie…stay tuned.

    Pay attention to the number of Democratic Legislators who begin to speak out against the Governor as his investigations go on.

  41. - Rex - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 6:02 pm:

    My first thought of the words Deceptive Practices pictured Obama standing next to his new home. I no longer respect the man or anything he say.s

  42. - bbishere2 - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 7:05 pm:

    Too bad this wasn’t enacted before this last governor’s race - it’d kept about 2/3 of Hot Rod’s BS off the tube!

  43. - Ghost - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 7:23 pm:

    They concept is not bad, but the execution opnes the door for greater abuse. overall this would have the potentil to freeze out or chill political speech, making people afraid to give opinions or be subject to suit. balancing the needs for free speech, especially in political debates and elections, we are better off with the current harm then with the harm this would create.

  44. - Little Egypt - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 7:36 pm:

    Anon 4:43. Please make a plane reservation for Michael Moore to come to Illinois and enforce #12. I would even chip in for the ticket.

  45. - anonymous - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 9:34 pm:

    on a previous article you noted that companies that used recorded voices rather than human scored better. that just amazed me. to tell you the truth I’ve had some of the best experiences I’ve ever had this last election campaigning in person. Somebody told me they wouldn’t take a sign, called me back on my cell which I called on because they had caller id and told me they would. I was walking and someone said, I was wondering if someone was going to come around, makes a difference. I think he’s got an idea on the robocalls, they could and should be regulated. on the mailers, the same but the big question is whos there in person is very important. you think that commercials are the most important votegetters but maybe not

  46. - Victor Guillemette - Friday, Nov 17, 06 @ 11:50 pm:

    The GOP may be the perpetrators nationwide or in other areas.

    BUT if Senator Barack Obama wants to stop voter fraud or intimidation he should go after the Democrats in Chicago.

    I voted and the paper towel said the opposite of what I did and I had to redo it with the judges help, I have doubts my vote was counted right.

    Intimidation, LOL, have you seen the gang members working for Regular Democratic candidates in Chicago. Senator Obama should look to his supporters and in his backyard.

  47. - GWM_GOP - Saturday, Nov 18, 06 @ 10:18 am:

    Well polish up the trophy for feel good legislation of the year. How could a bill with a name like that be anything but wonderful. Let’s not read it and just pass it now, now, now!

    Have to hand it to the man though…this is another chance for the media to get off to their boyfriend.

  48. - Casey Jones - Saturday, Nov 18, 06 @ 12:52 pm:

    Hey, how about the Senator looks at the antics of Blago’s people over the last several months and includes a provision to prevent campaign staffers from videotaping the crowds and getting the license plate numbers of cars at your opponents rallies?

    Obama’s handlers are slick, very slick - To say a negative word about this particular piece of fluff legislation is pretty much the equivalent of publicly disparaging “Mom” and swearing off “Apple Pie”…

    If he’s starting stuff like this already, it’s going to be a LLLOOONNNGGG time til 2008!

  49. - ArchPundit - Saturday, Nov 18, 06 @ 1:19 pm:

    So slick he also introduced a simliar piece of legislation last year

  50. - Angie - Saturday, Nov 18, 06 @ 1:27 pm:

    Mike Williams wrote: “Stay tuned, Angie…stay tuned.

    Pay attention to the number of Democratic Legislators who begin to speak out against the Governor as his investigations go on.”

    Oh goodie. I’m salivating like Pavlov’s dog in the psych experiments.

    Hey, someone should start a bipartisan bust-the-crooks panel where sensible and sane members of both parties get together and nail the worst of ‘em. That would create more of a climate of trust around here.

    Of course, everyone voting for AG Madigan in huge numbers was a great start (a round of applause for all of us).

    Gotta say, though, the press is fantastic. Front page story in the Sun-Times about the Rezko/Mrs. B real estate deal. Oh yes!!!

    Aside from our forum host’s excellent reporting, I might just have other reasons to still continue to read the Times. Oh, and when they report on my university, they always put us somewhere up front, too. Not far from the early news under some Education section, but sometimes on page 3, 4, or 5. Keep that up, ST.: )

    Last note: Couldn’t Michael Moore do a documentary about Illinois corruption? I’m not a fan of his, but gosh, wouldn’t you just love to see him agitate people like Rod? lol

  51. - Long Time Reader; First Time Poster - Saturday, Nov 18, 06 @ 7:04 pm:

    I just love how the story talks about how those evil Republicans were being dishonest. Where the heck does Obama think they learned the trick?

  52. - WonderBoy - Saturday, Nov 18, 06 @ 11:23 pm:

    Can you imagine what Obama is thinking? He must think we’re too stupid to know anything.

    The last thing we need is another bunch of arrogant know-it-alls playing God during campaign season, thinking they have to protect us from ourselves.

    Thanks Senator, you must think we’re too stupid to know lies and garbage when we see it.

    It sounds like Democrats want to take the “they stole the elections” myths and ride them into legislation to totally screw up elections in their favor.

    Also, Michael Moore is such a arrogant fat head, he has no right to be mentioned or quoted here.

  53. - Way Northsider - Saturday, Nov 18, 06 @ 11:48 pm:

    Wonderboy - could you please cite the evidence you used to conclude that “..Michael Moore is such a arrogant fat head, he has no right to be mentioned or quoted here.” I am not aware of how one evaluates these things before deciding on such “rights”. Please elucidate. Thanks.

  54. - Citizen A - Sunday, Nov 19, 06 @ 10:43 am:

    And the answer is: All we need to do is add a requirement that each candidate has served 6 to 8 years in federal prison and received a certificate of attendance. That way we will know they are qualified to hold office in Illinois. I think this is where Fitz is headed with his investigations, indictments, and prosecutions.

  55. - RFK fan - Sunday, Nov 19, 06 @ 8:48 pm:

    In a state where a state legislative race is very narrowly lost and in which a bunch of postcards mysteriously arrived in the mailboxes of African-Americans telling them their votes would be illegal, such concerns are not illogical. If there is not a valid concern, you have nothing to worry about. Methinks you doth protest too much.

  56. - Patrick Guiney - Monday, Nov 20, 06 @ 12:34 am:

    What about Democrats in Chicago and Cook County and the new Seqouia machines? Let’s have Federal hearings and laws on that. Please Obama help here at home.

  57. - markg8 - Tuesday, Nov 21, 06 @ 10:01 am:

    The robocalls Repubs used in IL-06 and approximately 52 other races around the country are from what I understand already illegal. But Rollcall just reported on 10-24 that the FEC wasn’t going to investigate anymore instances of voter suppression from 2004 because it had neither the manpower or the resources. That’s typical Republican modus operandi. Strip the regulatory agency of power and then pull whatever they want.
    Don Segretti would be proud.

    By law the caller is supposed to identify who the call is from at the beginning of the call, not the end. The intro of these calls said “I have important information for you about Tammy Duckworth”. If you listened to the whole thing you got an earful of the same old Republican slander about her and that was the end of it. If you hung up - like most people always do - you got called back, sometimes immediately, sometimes an hour later but invariably many times. One guy claimed he got 17 calls in one evening, another 14 times.

    These calls were intended to negate Duckworth’s volunteer phonebanker/canvasser advantage. They worked. Starting in mid October people were calling her office telling “us” to stop calling. Doors were slammed in our faces and phones hung up in our ears.

    Obama and Reid ought to hold hearings. Subpoena everybody involved at the NRCC, the companies they outsourced the work to, Karl Rove and Peter Roskam. Make a big stink about this and then pass a law that says any efforts to subvert not just any single political party with this garbage but our demcoracy itself of which elections are the bedrock are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines. Then fully fund the FEC so it can do it’s job.

  58. - Concerned - Tuesday, Nov 21, 06 @ 3:17 pm:

    Did Obama get Tony Resko’s advice on this speech?

  59. - Angie - Monday, Nov 27, 06 @ 1:49 pm:

    Citizen A wrote: “All we need to do is add a requirement that each candidate has served 6 to 8 years in federal prison and received a certificate of attendance. That way we will know they are qualified to hold office in Illinois. I think this is where Fitz is headed with his investigations, indictments, and prosecutions.”


    Go check out Fitzy’s blog on the Web sometime. Apparently, he has a sense of humor in addition to being a relentless prosecutor. Also, he lists The Ramones as favorite musicians. Quick! Can anyone come up with lyrics for Rod Blagojevich?

    Twenty twenty twenty-four hours to go
    I wanna be indicted
    Nothing to do, nowhere to go
    I wanna be indicted

    Just put me in some handcuffs
    Get my lawyers on the plane
    Hurry hurry hurry
    Before I go insane
    I can’t control my fundraisers
    I can’t control my state…

    I hope more pols get a big “Merry Fitzmas” and a bunch of unsealed gifts this Holiday season.: )

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