Banging Spoons

So former leaders of the Maryland Democratic Party are pointing their fingers all tsk-tsk at Republicans over Paul Shurick’s robo call conviction.

It offers further proof, according to former executive directors of the state party, to support a prevailing belief among Democrats that Republicans work to keep black voters, who typically vote Democratic, away from the polls.

And, it provides potential fodder for an organized effort to counter Republican-led proposals in some states to require photo identification to vote, says a political science professor.

“I hope this is a wake-up call to the Republican Party in Maryland,” said Susan W. Turnbull, who led the Democratic Party until March. “And to its candidates that if you do wrong, you are punished, and the appropriate way to run elections is to encourage all eligible voters to vote and any effort in voter suppression is wrong…”

Schurick was accused of attempting to suppress turnout of black voters in Baltimore and Prince George’s County by authorizing an Election Day robo-call that told voters to “relax,” that Gov. Martin O’Malley and Barack Obama, who was not on the ballot, had been successful.

Prior to the 2010 election, Turnbull held a press conference with elected Democrats warning that they expected rampant voter-suppression efforts on Election Day.

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“We were not surprised, we were prepared but still shocked that anyone would do the types of things that were being done on Election Day,” Turnbull said.

Rampant voter suppression? Types? As in more than one attempt?

Sorry Suze, that just didn’t happen, Governor O’Malley won by 14 points. Remember?

Also Suze, it was your party, who littered Prince George’s County with “We’ve got your back President Obama” signs even though he wasn’t on the ballot.

What happened was, a Democrat, Paul Schurick, approved a dopey scheme conceived by another Democrat, with a history of performing dirty tricks for other Democrats, Julius Henson. Yes, the scheme was hatched on behalf of Bob Ehrlich’s campaign, but no Republicans were actually involved.

That Maryland Democrats would bang their spoons over Schurick’s case in an attempt to use discredit GOP photo-identification proposals as voter suppression, is laughable.

Contrary to Democratic caterwauling, Heritage scholar Hans von Spakovsky reveals that the data shows that photo-ID laws do not suppress the vote of minorities or Democratic leaning voters.

For example, Georgia saw a dramatic increase in Democratic turnout in the 2008 presidential election from 2004—six percentage points—AFTER the state’s photo-ID law went into effect. The percentage of Black voters in Georgia jumped from 25 percent to 30 percent in 2008. Compare Georgia to Mississippi, which has no photo-ID law, the Black vote in Mississippi increased by half that of Georgia’s.

Indiana—the state with perhaps the strictest photo-ID law—saw a four-fold increase in turnout for the 2008 Democratic primary, and an eight-percentage point increase in Democratic turnout for the general election. Black voter turnout also increased in Indiana in the 2010 mid-term election.

Democrats counter that vote fraud is nonexistent. The keys to my car could be deemed non-existent, but I don’t know unless I get off my ass and go look for them.

Indeed, as The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed noted in the case challenging Indiana’s photo-ID law, Crawford v. Marion:

But the absence of prosecutions is explained by the endemic underenforcement of minor criminal laws (minor as they appear to the public and prosecutors, at all events) and by the extreme difficulty of apprehending a voter impersonator.

The Supreme Court didn’t buy the Democrats “nonexistent” argument either when it cited the long and sordid history of voter fraud in its 6-3 decision upholding Indiana’s photo-ID law.

Photo-ID laws provide the tools to both prevent and prosecute voter fraud.

Of course, Susan Turnbull and other Maryland Democrats were not to be found when a coalition of their allies saw the issue of voter fraud not so nonexistent as to use it in their challenge of the Maryland Dream Act petition signatures.

Ironically, on the same day Schurick was convicted, former Democrat Prince George’s County executive Jack Johnson, was sentenced to seven years for bribery and corruption, which netted him over a $1 million. Maryland Democratic muckety mucks like Susan Turnbull were nowhere to be found. They performed similar disappearing acts when Democrat mayor of Baltimore Sheila Dixon plead guilty to stealing gift cards meant for the poor, and when Democrat state senator Ulysses Currie was indicted for corruption.

Currie was found not guilty, but that’s because in Democratic run Maryland, simultaneously acting as an elected official and a lobbyist apparently isn’t illegal. No punishment, just a warm welcome at Governor O’Malley’s Christmas party.

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