In last week’s pathetic farewell, Mr. Griffin averred that the accusation he was involved in caging voters, “Goes back to one guy - whose name I won’t mention.” (FYI, Mr. Griffin: My mother calls me, “Gregory.”)
Yes, I first reported the story for BBC London - back in 2004 which, as Griffin correctly noted, it was ignored by my US press colleagues until, as Tim put it, “I became embroiled in the US Attorney thing.” By ‘the US Attorney thing,’ I assume you are referring to your involvement in firing and smearing honest prosecutors and grabbing one of their salaries for yourself.
You say, Mr. Griffin, that the unmentionable reporter, “Made [it] up out of whole cloth.” You flatter me, Mr. Griffin. We could not possibly be so creative at The Beeb as to construct the thousands of names of voters on your caging lists.
And by the way, we don’t have just one of your “caging” emails, but scores of them.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for sending them to us - even if that was not your intent. You copied your caging missives to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org.’ Mr. Doster was Chairman of the Florida Bush campaign - but that address was not his but John Wooden’s pretending to be the Bush campaigners. Wooden then sent your notes to me.
Rove in Range
By the way, Mr. Griffin, if you want an explanation of ‘caging voters,’ just read an email dated February 5, 2007 by…Tim Griffin.
In that email, Griffin references the Bush campaigns mailing out thousands of letters. The letters returned (’caged’) as undeliverable were used as the GOP’s supposed evidence that these were “thousands of fraudulent voter registrations.” These voters were subject to challenge. However, these caging lists of “fraudulent” addresses, like the 2000 “felon” lists which in fact contained no felons, contained no fraudulent voters. But that wouldn’t necessarily save them from the massively successful Republican voter-challenge campaign.
During the appearance he made in Arkansas last week, Griffin said he’d never heard of ‘caging.’ “I had to look it up,” he said. Griffin discovered that “caging” is “a direct mail term.”
I don’t doubt Griffin’s ignorance. Griffin’s just a good ol’ boy, a former military lawyer, who wouldn’t know direct mail terminology from a hole in the ground. Until he went to work for the RNC.
So where did Tim get this direct mail term he used in his emails? Well, before Karl Rove signed on with George W. Bush, he owned Karl Rove & Co ….a direct mail firm. Rove made millions making up lists of voters, doing more ‘caging’ than a zoo-keeper.
Am I saying caging-expert Rove had something to do with the allegedly illegal caging games of his boy Griffin? Does a bear…?
Mr. Griffin wouldn’t answer BBC’s requests for comment. So I suggested to an Arkansas local, Luther Lowe, a former army reservist and himself a victim of a challenge to his vote, that at the Little Rock send-off for Griffin, he ask the fallen US Attorney about Rove’s involvement in caging. Lowe did so, politely. Griffin wove, ducked, blathered and blubbered. But wouldn’t answer.
Maybe a subpoena would encourage a Griffin response. And a grant of immunity from the Conyers committee. That’s Rove’s nightmare. Because unless Griffin joins Alberto Gonzales in Club Amnesia, Griffin has a lot to tell us about Mr. Rove and targeting Black voters.
Will he? It’s not Conyers’ style to hunt down Rove. The congressman is not, despite what Republicans say, a partisan hit man. He is, however, one tenacious legislator who told me he would like his committee, “to follow where the evidence leads.”
But that’s not necessarily going to happen. Conyers told me he sees the evidence in the prosecutor firing investigation leading to the much bigger, nastier issue of voter suppression - in simpler terms, fixing elections.