The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Senate Dems want action on vote suppression

With Steny Hoyer beating out Pelosi's choice, Jack Murtha, for Majority Leader, the Speaker (-Elect) of the House gets to begin her tenure with a little egg on her face-- although perhaps not as much as a Murtha victory would've meant.

In the meantime, some other Democratic senators are starting to fight the sort of battles you want to hear about in the news.

In a breakfast meeting sponsored by the American Prospect, Harry Reid told reporters today that the [GOP-sponsored robocalls] and the phony campaign literature were "absolutely wrong," and that one of the first 10 bills he introduces in the next Senate will deal with such abuses. "We need to make these criminal penalties," Reid said, saying that civil liability was apparently not enough to deter what happened in the run-up to last week's election.

Chuck Schumer's actions are probably best described as quixotic, considering the addressee, but it's still good to see:

Sen. Chuck Schumer, meanwhile, is pushing the Justice Department to explain what, exactly, it's going to do about last week's reports of voter intimidation and trickery. Schumer raised the issue today with Civil Rights Division chief Wan Kim, who was appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he has followed up with a letter to Alberto Gonzales and other department officials in which he describes some of the "egregious attempts to block access to the ballot during this year’s campaign season." Among them: "In Maryland, groups of people were brought in buses from out of state and paid to distribute sample ballots that misleadingly suggested that Republican gubernatorial and Senate candidates were Democratic candidates. In Arizona, three men were observed intimidating Hispanic voters by stopping and questioning them outside a Tucson polling place. Virginia voters suffered through a campaign of phone calls, currently being investigated by the FBI, that wrongly informed voters that they were not registered and would face criminal charges if they appeared at their polling places."