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Common Cause 9-14-12 Letter

Common Cause 9-14-12 Letter

Ratings: (0)|Views: 1,551 |Likes:
Published by True The Vote

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Published by: True The Vote on Sep 17, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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ATTORNEYS AT LAW3200 PHOENIX TOWER3200 SOUTHWEST FREEWAYHOUSTON, TEXAS 77027-7523(713) 552-9595FAX (713) 877-2531www.phillipsakers.com
September 14, 2012
DIRECT DIAL713/877-2555FAX713/877-2505
e-mail: brock.akers@phillipsakers.com
Bob Edgar, PresidentCommon Cause1133 19
Street N.W.9
FloorWashington, D.C. 20036Miles RapoportDemos220 Fifth Avenue,Second FloorNew York, NY 10001Re: Common Cause/Demos references to True the Vote, King Street Patriots andCatherine Engelbrecht in recent reportDear Mr. Edgar and Mr. Rapoport:I represent True the Vote, King Street Patriots and Catherine Engelbrecht. It has cometo our attention that you have recently co-
published a report titled “Bullies at the Ballot
relating to voter intimidation among other things and have named my clients. Wedemand that you retract and rescind this misleading information that defames myclients with incorrect and exaggerated information.
King Street Patriots is a group of concerned citizens in the Houston, Texas area that was formed for the purpose of education and analysis of issues that are of interest andconcern to people concerned about fiscal solvency and important social issuesreflecting traditional values. King Street Patriots is completely separate from theactivities of True the Vote, though your report often uses the names of these groupsinterchangeably. The sole purpose of True the Vote is to work to protect andmaintain the absolute integrity of the voting process. The discovery of and multiple
examples of unabated and rampant election fraud throughout the country havedemonstrated a crying need for an awareness of these issues. True the Vote providesa means to equip concerned citizens with the tools to ensure our republic is notcorrupted at the ballot box. Your report suggests and implies that our work is coordinated by the RepublicanParty. This is simply not true, and is a complete fabrication. Ours is a non-partisanorganization of both Democrats and Republicans, whose goal relates only to ensuring fair and free elections. We stand ready to assist the Democratic Party in any way thatmay help the electorate have confidence that the election process is not tainted by fraud. We have made numerous offers of our services to Democratic Party leadersthroughout the country. To our surprise and dismay, some people within theDemocratic Party have chosen to disparage us and cast aspersions as to themotivations behind our efforts. It appears that your report is intent on quoting fromsome of those sources, without concern as to whether there is an ounce of truth tothem. In so doing, you become a shill yourselves for the Democratic Party, whominterestingly is never characterized in any negative light throughout your report. Ourpoint is to not defend the Republican Party, since that is not our role. The pointinstead is that there is clearly hypocrisy inherent in the criticism of our group, whichserves in a non-partisan way, when your report takes aim only in one direction. You suggest in the report that True the Vote poll watchers intimidated voters in the2010 midterm elections. This is a flat out confabulation. One would think thatbefore defaming our organization with accusations of criminal conduct, you would
have at least some of the facts. Perhaps the facts don’t matter to you, either.
On the off chance the truth does matter, you should know that True the Vote merely trains poll watchers. True the Vote does not, and cannot, place poll workers or watchers. Only a candidate, party or organization affiliated with a ballot initiative may be nominated to be a poll watcher in Texas. As to poll workers, only the county appoints such individuals. The purpose of True the Vote trained poll watchers is toparticipate for the purpose of ensuring that voters are
intimidated in any way. Inthe 2010 election you reference, when some local election officials took offense at thenotion that their conduct was going to be actually monitored for the first time, falsecomplaints were made.
 The Harris County Attorney’s office and the D
epartment of  Justice made inquiry following these charges and found literally nothing in terms of  voter intimidation by True the Vote trained poll watchers--mostly retired women whose demeanor casts little threat to well intentioned people. Not one personparticipating as a poll watcher was identified as having committed an act of voting intimidation. Interestingly, the County Attorney revealed that their investigationreve
aled that the “hovering over” and confrontational conduct complained about was
all accomplished by election workers
the very people poll watchers exist to monitorand the source of the fictional complaints. None of the results of these allegations arereported
only that the allegations were made. Surely the result of the investigationinto those allegations is much more newsworthy than the allegations themselves, butno effort is made to discuss the complete exoneration of my clients. The report takes g 
rossly out of context a statement about voting “like driving andseeing the police following you.” This statement relates not to voters, but to the
election poll workers who are in charge of an individual polling place. Indeed, muchlike a driver ahead of a police car is more likely to not speed or roll through a stopsign, election workers are more likely to follow the codified, statutory procedures setup to avoid a fraud tainted election. To imply as this report does that the goal of a True the Vote trained poll watcher is to affect an individual voter is fundamentalmistake. It is hard to imagine the authors of the report do not understand thisdistinction, and that the quote was not consciously used to support a thesis which isflawed at its core. True the Vote has attempted to ensure that public officials responsible for the voterregistration roles properly maintain those lists. Your report incorrectly suggests thatthe efforts to enforce statutes concerning the proper purging of voter registration listsis itself violated when the maintenance is within 90 days of an election. The National Voter Registration Act is not violated in any way when an election official properly purges deceased or otherwise ineligible voters (such as a duplicate listing) right up tothe day of the election. The innuendo of improper conduct by True the Votepredicated on a misunderstanding of the law surely deserves correction.Similarly, an event hosted by King Street Patriots with Matthew Vadum as a speaker ispar
t of your report’s intimation that my clients are improperly targeting welfare
recipients. The quotes used by Mr. Vadum were of course not taken from a King Street Patriot event, but from other, out of context sources. Interestingly, at the eventdescribed in the report, Mr. Vadum was asked point blank questions about theseissues and offered a response so reasonable that no one could begin to criticizethem
unless his viewpoints are once again distorted. The point is not to defend Mr. Vadum, who can and should defend himself. The point is instead that this report isintended to skew the facts rather accurately report on what these organizations areabout, what they stand for, and the tremendous service they offer to the electionsystem. Jurisdictions with substantially more people on the voting rolls than show up incensus counts, with voting participation levels that are grossly out of proportion withother neighboring areas, and where independent incidents of voting irregularities are

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xrobespierre added this note
I wonder why the lawyers don't say in a 3 page legal letter that they are going to sue? Could it be that this letter was more for publication on this website than for actual use in court? Could it be that if they threatened legal action in bad faith (i.e. knowing their defamation suit would be declared frivolous) they could subject to Section 11 sanctions in federal court?
karencitizen added this note
actual voter fraud since 2000 http://votingrights.news21.com/intera...
Patrick Morris liked this

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