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TPM: GOP Firm's Latest Bid To Suppress Minority Votes Fails

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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 12:47 PM
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TPM: GOP Firm's Latest Bid To Suppress Minority Votes Fails
GOP Firm's Latest Bid To Suppress Minority Votes Fails
Zachary Roth | December 2, 2009, 10:19AM

The Republicans' latest failed effort to make it harder for minorities to vote is being led by a lawyer for the same GOP firm that's behind a recent bid to undermine restrictions on robo-calls.

The day before the 2008 election, the Republican National Committee filed suit to end restrictions on GOP programs to combat voter fraud. Those "programs" have sometimes involved "voter caging" -- challenging voters' registration if mail sent to their residences was returned as undeliverable -- and other tactics designed to suppress minority votes. But a federal judge yesterday rejected the GOP bid, Politico reports, ruling that "voter intimidation presents an ongoing threat to the participation of minority individuals in the political process."

Almost as interesting as the fate of the lawsuit, though, is the identity of the lawyer behind it. That's Tom Josefiak, a former FEC commissioner and long-time RNC counsel, who also happens to be a partner at HoltzmanVogel -- the GOP law firm behind a slew of shady efforts to manipulate the voting process in favor of the Republican party.

As we reported last month, Jason Torchinsky, another HoltzmanVogel lawyer, is leading the legal effort to undermine state laws that restrict the use of robo-calls. Torchinsky is working on behalf of a shadowy conservative group that last year unleashed a barrage of anti-Obama robo-calls so vicious and misleading that they were denounced even by some Republicans.

Meanwhile, Alex Vogel, one of the firm's principals, served as executive director of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), the bogus "voting-rights" group that was set up by GOP operatives in 2005 to "give 'think tank' academic cachet to the unproven idea that voter fraud is a major problem in elections," as election law expert Rick Hasen has written. Torchinsky was also a key architect of that effort.

-snip

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/12/gop_f...


MANY OF THESE SAME CHARACTERS HAVE RESURFACED W A NEW GROUP AFFPA:

Shadowy GOP-Linked Group Plans Barrage Of 2010 Robo-Calls
Zachary Roth | November 23, 2009, 1:10PM

A shadowy conservative group with ties to the operatives behind a host of GOP dirty tricks is working to undermine state restrictions on political robo-calls, as it gears up to unleash a barrage of such calls in 2010 races.

Last month, American Future Fund Political Action (AFFPA) informed the FEC that it's planning robo-calls in congressional races. Jason Torchinsky, a lawyer for AFFPA, wrote that the group "wishes to distribute pre-recorded telephone calls ... as part of a nationwide program of political outreach." The calls, wrote Torchinsky, "will expressly advocate the election or defeat of one or more clearly identified candidates for Federal office."

AFFPA was asking the FEC for an advisory opinion on whether state laws restricting robo-calls should apply, or whether, as AFFPA argues, they're pre-empted by a less restrictive federal law that sought to standardize the regulation of robo-calls. An FEC ruling in AFFPA's favor would badly undermine state laws such as Minnesota's, which requires the listener to actively consent to hearing a recorded message before the message can be played.

That's worth paying attention to in itself. But behind the robo-call effort is a team of high-powered GOP operatives behind a slew of sleazy campaign tactics over the years.

You might remember Torchinsky, AFFPA's lawyer, as one of the architects of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), the bogus "voting-rights" group that was set up by GOP operatives in 2005 to "give 'think tank' academic cachet to the unproven idea that voter fraud is a major problem in elections," as election law expert Rick Hasen has written.

For several months, ACVR's executive director was Alex Vogel, a former RNC lawyer whose consulting firm reportedly was paid $75,000 for the ACVR gig. (Also involved with ACVR: TPMmuckraker favorite Pat Rogers, the New Mexico GOP activist who helped get David Iglesias fired for not pursuing bogus voter fraud complaints.)

Vogel also appears to have a hand in AFF: Torchinsky, a former Bush campaign lawyer, works for the law firm run by Vogel and his wife, Virginia State Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel.

-SNIP
http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/11/shado...

AND MANY SURFACED INITIALLY AROUND THE 2004 ELECTION THEFT IN OHIO:

Alex N. Vogel, American Center for Voting Rights De Facto Executive Director
July 1, 2007, 10:49PM

With so much media attention focused on Mark "Thor" Hearne, Alex Vogel's role in the operations of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) is being overlooked. As ACVR Executive Director and Free Enterprise Coalitionrepresentative, Alex Vogel was in a position to coordinate a campaign to disenfranchise Democratic voters and generate support for restrictive voting laws by discrediting ACORN and other organizations conducting voter registration drives.

I called Alex Vogel the de facto ACVR executive director because it was Vogel's lobbying firm, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti (MVC), rather than Vogel himself, that was paid $75,000 in 2005 to be the ACVR executive director, according to the 2005 ACVR 990.

The ACVR also paid $72,687 to Alex Vogel's law firm, Holtzman Vogel PLLC, in 2005.

The only evidence of Alex Vogel's association with the Free Enterprise Coalition is a reference to it in a 12/30/05 Free Press article by Bob Fitrakis, "Fake voting rights activists and groups linked to White House":

"...The Wood County case was withdrawn in June 2005, but not before it was revealed that the plaintiff, Mark Rubick, had been "indemnified" and held "harmless" by an obscure group, the Free Enterprise Coalition, with ties to the Republican Party. Signing as the "Authorized representative" for the Coalition was one Alex Vogel..."

The Wood County case that Fitrakis is referring to is a civil RICO lawsuit filed on 12/17/04 by Mark A. Rubick and Jamey C. Koralweski that charged ACORN, ACT, the NAACP National Voter Fund and the AFL-CIO with racketeering. The lawsuit was financed by the Free Enterprise Coalition.

-SNIP

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/blogs/mrs_pan...





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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 03:43 PM
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1. Here we go again.
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Cobalt-60 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 11:50 PM
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2. turn off the ringer and the answering machine sound
Robo calls can then easily be flushed from the memory.
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truckin Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-03-09 08:11 AM
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3. Kick
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