Reporter Morris was unable to reach Rockford for comment and was not able to confirm that hers was a real name for a real person. When he talked to True The Vote, who trained Rockford, that organization referred him to the Self-for-Judge campaign.
True The Vote Has a Contradictory Reality
True The Vote is a Houston-based, self-described "citizen-led effort to restore truth, faith, and integrity to our elections," founded in 2009. It joined Facebook in March 2011, where it links to such other sites as Townhall.com, Breitbart.com, and Election Law Center ("more red than the ivory tower") that has just filed a suit against the "Democrat Party" for alleged election law violations, including "a near take-over of a polling location by members of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). Incidents were so blatant that the NAACP members were actually moving people forward in line to vote ahead of other voters."
True The Vote calls itself "a non-partisan initiative to educate and train citizens to work within our electoral system to restore honor and integrity to the electoral process," but its website and Facebook page are dominated by partisan Republican, Tea Party, and evangelical voices to the exclusion of others.
The founder and president of True the Vote is Catherine Engelbrecht who married oilman Bryan Engelbrecht in 2008, the same year she launched her Facebook page. The Engelbrechts are two of the three directors of True The Vote,. The organization's 990 filing with the IRS shows that Catherine works 40 hours a week, while each of the other directors works just one hour a week, but all work without compensation. True The Vote reported income of $136,057 and expenses of $224,942 for 2011.
"Iran To Go Nuclear In Less Than A Month!"
The Engelbrechts are also directors of True The Vote's parent organization, King Street Patriots, which they founded in 2009 and put on Facebook the same year, announcing "nullification" as their first principle. The sites feature the same circle of right wing activists as True The Vote, but with many more attacks on President Obama and posts like this from April 13, 2010: "Iran to go nuclear in less than a month!"
2010 was also the year Catherine Englbrecht "discovered" that the New Black Panther Party was operating in Houston -- only it wasn't. In making that claim, she was accusing a voter registration group, Houston Votes, who later sued her for defamation. At about the same time, Harris County Voter Registrar Leo Vasquez was accusing Houston Votes of being "our area's new "ACORN' organization" for submitting more that 5,000 deficient deficient voter registration applications, which Houston Votes emphatically denied.
True The Vote set out to wage war against voter fraud in 2012, but its efforts have been slowed by the difficulty of finding actual voter fraud in the United States. In September, the New York Times publish a lengthy report by Stephanie Saul, highlighting some of True The Vote's credibility problems, including its claims of busses full of illegal voters in San Diego or Wisconsin, claims that appear to have had no basis in fact.
Any Unchallenged Falsehood Might Appear Credible
Failing to find witches tends to slow any witch hunt, but True The Vote hasn't given up by any means. Its newest post on its website trumpets the "nonpartisan, nonprofit grassroots organization" effort to join the federal lawsuit against Florida, on the side of the state's effort to purge its voter rolls.
At the end of its recent press release, True The Vote states that: "True the Vote, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Houston, TX has developed an exportable model with which to train poll workers across the country and equip grassroots leaders and volunteers for involvement at every stage of the electoral process. The organization promotes ideas that actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation."
Without a lot more honest and aggressive reporting by mainstream media, too many people are likely to think those might be true statements.
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