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Huckabee: Building a Bridge to the 19th Century (from Kos)

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skipos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 05:12 PM
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Huckabee: Building a Bridge to the 19th Century (from Kos)
Remember Ed Rollins? Ronald Reagans Political Director and 1984 campaign manager? After he managed Christie Todd Whitmans successful 1993 NJ Gubernatorial victory over Jim Florio, he boasted about his campaigns "outreach" to African-Americans:

In a breakfast meeting with Washington journalists, Rollins claimed that "street smart" New Jersey Republicans had doled out $500,000 in "walking-around money" to black ministers and Democratic Party activists on Whitman's behalf. But in this case the payments were actually sitting- around money, designed to counter Florio's heavy support among black voters by discouraging them from turning out on Election Day. As Rollins told the journalists, "We went into black churches and we basically said to ministers who had endorsed Florio, 'Do you have a special project?' And they said, 'We've already endorsed Florio.' We said, 'That's fine -- don't get up on the Sunday pulpit and preach. We know you've endorsed him, but don't get up there and say it's your moral obligation that you go on Tuesday to vote for Jim Florio.' " He added that Republicans had paid "key workers" in black Democratic strongholds to "go home, sit and watch television" instead of delivering voters to the polls. Bragged Rollins: "I think to a certain extent we suppressed their vote."

Most of the reporters in the room didnt mention Rollins boast of voter suppression, but the story eventually got out. Rollins initially claimed the boast was essentially a joke to needle Florio campaign manager James Carville, but as the controversy went on, his explanations got more convoluted. The NJ Democratic party filed charges to annul the election results, but the case and the story eventually faded.

Why did Rollins make such an impolitic boast? One theory is that he was essentially advertising to prospective clients that he was especially clever at keeping down the overwhelmingly Democratic Black vote. It's always seemed a plausible explanation, because few on the right condemned him. On the contrary, they generally accepted that he did in fact pay off ministers, but that what he did was equivalent to Democrats who spend "walking around money" on GOTV efforts to increase voter turnout. Obviously this is a cynical if not moronic interpretation, because it blurs the difference between spending money to encourage voter participation with spending money to discourage it.

Rollins has continued on as a prominent TV pundit, but he did pay a professional price for his comments; he's barely participated in campaigns since. As Harold Meyerson put it in the WaPo:

Time was when Republicans were at least embarrassed by their efforts to keep African Americans from the polls. Republican consultant Ed Rollins was all but drummed out of the profession after his efforts to pay black ministers to keep their congregants from voting in a 1993 New Jersey election came to light.

Rollins wasnt drummed out of the profession because of Republican outrage over his actions. No, it was because he was too loose-lipped about a favored Republican strategy. Some may think thats a cynical interpretation. But theres plenty of evidence that Republicans dont mind suppressing African-American votes; just look at the 2000 and 2004 elections. And now, even Rollins has apparently been redeemed enough to be drummed back in to running Republican campaigns:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee scored a major victory Thursday when he secured the support of prominent GOP insider Ed Rollins, who will serve as national chairman of Huckabees campaign.

We know that the Republican party wants to return to the days before womens suffrage, child labor laws and eugenics, when it was acceptable for Americans to use torture. Huckabee has already made it clear he would like to roll back many of the social advances of the 20th century, like feminism, the incarceration of the diseased, and the acceptance of science. Now, by hiring Ed Rollins, we see that he apparently doesnt care whether we might also backslide in the direction of Jim Crow.
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AX10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 05:14 PM
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1. Huckabee is truely an evil prick.
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