Democrat on defunct voting commission says Kobach lied about why it dissolved

Kira Lerner Political Reporter, Think Progress

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap (D) had strong words for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) on Thursday after Kobach tried to lay blame for the failure of President Trump’s Election Integrity Commission at the feet of Dunlap and three other Democratic commissioners.

“[It’s a] bunch of balderdash,” Dunlap told ThinkProgress in an interview.

Since Trump announced Wednesday that he was dissolving the commission he created to investigate his false claim that widespread voter fraud cost him the popular vote in 2016, he and his advisors have assigned blame to everyone other than themselves.

On Twitter, Trump said Democratic elections officials who refused to provide the President’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with voter data led to its demise. A White House advisor said it was unable to operate transparently. And Kobach, the commission’s vice-chair, claimed that Democrats on the panel jeopardized their opportunity to be involved in setting federal voting policy.

“Anyone on the left needs to realize that by throwing the food in the air, they just lost a seat at the table,” Kobach told Politico, likely referring to over a dozen lawsuits against the group by Democrats and voting advocates, including one by a Democratic commissioner against his own commission.

Dunlap, the commissioner who sued the group in November, said Thursday that Kobach’s attempt to lay blame on him is nonsense.

“He said we were stonewalling,” Dunlap said. “I was asking for very basic information. I wasn’t asking for all the inner workings of the commission. I wanted to know what our reference documents were, what are our communications like, who are we talking to, what are we saying to each other, what’s our schedule? And I couldn’t get that information at all, under any circumstances, and that’s why we pursued the lawsuit.”

On December 22, a federal judge ruled in Dunlap’s favor, ordering Kobach to give the Democrat more access to the panel’s records. Dunlap says he is still awaiting the documents.

“The Federal Advisory Committee Act is quite clear that this is supposed to be a transparent, open process that welcomes perspectives from across the political spectrum, and we weren’t doing any of that,” Dunlap said. “When I filed the suit, [Kobach] said the suit was baseless. Well, the federal judge disagreed.”

After the December order, Dunlap said he suspected that Kobach would choose to terminate the commission rather than involve the four Democrats.

Since disbanding the commission he created in May 2017 to substantiate his false claim that 3 to 5 million people illegally voted in November 2016, Trump has continued to perpetuate the myth of voter fraud. On Twitter, he wrote that only a voter ID law would protect American elections, when research shows that they actually suppress minority voters who are more likely to vote for Democrats.

Dunlap said his comments underscore why the commission’s investigation was so important — to prove that a federal voter ID is unnecessary.

***

Reposted from Think Progress

Kira Lerner is a Political Reporter for ThinkProgress. She previously worked as a reporter covering litigation and policy for the legal newswire Law360. She has also worked as an investigative journalist with the Chicago Innocence Project where she helped develop evidence that led to the exoneration of a wrongfully convicted man from Illinois prison. A native of the Washington, D.C. area, Kira earned her bachelor's degree at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

He Gets the Bucks, We Get All the Deadly Bangs

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre has had better weeks. First came the horrific early August slaughters in California, Texas, and Ohio that left dozens dead, murders that elevated public pressure on the NRA’s hardline against even the mildest of moves against gun violence. Then came revelations that LaPierre — whose labors on behalf of the nonprofit NRA have made him a millionaire many times over — last year planned to have his gun lobby group bankroll a 10,000-square-foot luxury manse near Dallas for his personal use. In response, LaPierre had his flacks charge that the NRA’s former ad agency had done the scheming to buy the mansion. The ad agency called that assertion “patently false” and related that LaPierre had sought the agency’s involvement in the scheme, a request the agency rejected. The mansion scandal, notes the Washington Post, comes as the NRA is already “contending with the fallout from allegations of lavish spending by top executives.”

***

More ...

Corruption Coordinates

Corruption Coordinates