After most of True the Vote's plans last year were ruined by exposure by the press, some may have thought they might crawl away into a corner and rethink this whole voter harassment and suppression thing. Nope. True the Vote is back in 2013 reloaded with new offshoots and new plans -- even as the old plans continue proving to be misfires. Last year, they launched "Voto Honesto," their "Hispanic initiative" on electoral reform, pushing for voter ID and proof of citizenship laws to vote and register. This year they've jumped off with two new groups:
True the Vote NOW: A new initiative described as: "We promote ideas that actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation." Basically, it's a lobbying arm that sends people to the Texas legislature to push for True the Vote's electoral reform laws. Right now, they are running with the "13 for '13 Legislative Recommendations," which is modeled after the 22 legislative recommendations True the Vote sent to the Texas legislature in 2011. Six of those 22 became law in Texas, including a photo voter ID law -- the strictest in the nation -- that was eventually ruled a violation of the Voting Rights Act by a federal court. In their new "13 for '13" package they've doubled-down, this time not only asking for proof of citizenship for people to register but attacking early voting. They are asking Texas legislators to trim the early voting period, allow video cameras to record and live-stream the early voting sign-in areas and voting lines, and to give early voting clerks the power to dismiss "non-performing poll workers." We'll be tracking to see how many of these become law.
Citizen Patriot Response: Remember those videos where a guy dressed like a pimp and a woman dressed like a prostitute pretended to go into ACORN (RIP) offices and ask for public benefits? The guy was James O'Keefe. The woman was Hannah Giles. They've since split up, but Giles is now working with True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht to form Citizen Patriot Response, an outfit that portends to help promote the charitable activities of Tea Party and "liberty-minded" groups -- basically a PR group to help reverse the negative tarnish those groups have earned for their real-life, less-than-charitable activities. It shouldn't be overlooked that Engelbrecht and Giles have also partnered with Brandon Darby, who was once known as a "radical, left-wing" activist instrumental best known for his humanitarian efforts in New Orleans after Katrina until it was revealed that he was an FBI informant responsible for the entrapment and arrests of environmental and political activists. We'll be tracking them as well.
Watch Darby talk about his conversion from left to right here:
Finally, the many claims of voter fraud by True the Vote have been proven false calls all too frequently. Their poor record on that continues. Yesterday, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement closed out several investigations into voter fraud in the state finding no evidence of it occurring. One of those cases came from True the Vote who alleged last year that several dozen people had been voting in both Florida and Rhode Island. The Florida law department found that to be untrue. As reported in Florida's News Herald yesterday:
Another recent case that has been closed involved whether one voter had cast ballots in both Florida and Rhode Island. The case was initiated by the group called True the Vote, which initially said 36 people had voted in Florida and other states.
FDLE closed the case after state election officials were told by Rhode Island authorities that the name of the voter there was probably wrong and was listed incorrectly because of a poll worker's error.