It has recently been reported that prominent Republicans in the Bush Administration are screening potential federal government employees concerning how they intend to vote in upcoming elections. This development calls for both Congressional investigation and an independent federal prosecutor. There is a federal law known as the Hatch Act which clearly makes such blatantly politicization of the federal government hiring program illegal. These activities may violate other federal laws, as well.
It is time for Republicans at all levels to distance themselves from the ethically challenged national leadership of the Republican Party and the Bush Administration. Not only have the Bush Republicans failed to follow the spirit of the law in many different ways, it now seems obvious that they are not complying with the letter of the law.
Scandal follows scandal in our daily news. During the 2006 election, Republicans tried with mixed success to spin the various illegal activities reported concerning Republican members of Congress, Republican Governors and various state Republican Party leaders as isolated “bad apples.” It now looks like most of the barrel may be rotten to the core of the Republican Party.
We have FBI raids connected to Arizona Republican Congressman Renzi and California Republican Congressman Doolittle in the headlines. The web of corruption by Republican officeholders seems to be vast. It looks like the Bush White House was actively engaged in keeping the extent of the corruption from the voters in 2006. This Republican culture of corruption explains much about the US Attorney firing scandal and Republican efforts to make voting difficult.
The US Attorney firing scandal is emerging as the biggest corruption probe and abuse of office probe since Watergate. It looks like the Department of Justice has been entirely politicized and may be involved is various ways in obstruction of justice. Denial of voting rights, obstruction of corruption by Republican officeholders, manufactured criminal cases against Democratic figures, manufactured vote fraud cases, orders to take legal positions favoring large corporate law-breakers like the tobacco companies and other abuses at the Department of Justice connected to top Republicans are emerging in the media.
The Republican efforts to make voting difficult for the poor, working Americans, minorities and the elderly are apparent in the policies pursued by the Department of Justice. It is equally apparent in the activities of the Republican Party machinery in almost every state in the union.
Tennessee Republicans in the State Senate recently voted to require voters present photo ID’s that many poor and elderly Tennesseans do not have. In 2006, Republican supporters of the Republican Governor Ehrlich successfully blocked early voting by using the courts to overturn voting reform laws. Early voting makes it much easier for working citizens to vote without interfering with their jobs. In recent elections in Tennessee, up to 40 percent of all votes cast came from early voting.
Corrupt officeholders are often removed by the voters in large turnout elections. Republicans fear these voters. Outright vote fraud may have handled several Congressional seats in Florida to Republicans who really lost had the votes been honestly counted.
Illegal campaign tactics are very common in modern Republican circles. The situation in New Hampshire is a prime example. Republican leaders in that state with close ties to the Bush White House developed an illegal scheme to disrupt the vote turnout phone lines of the Democratic Party and some unions during the US Senate race. The Republican went to the Senate largely based on this illegal and successful tactic. Recent media reports indicate that the Republican US Attorney in New Hampshire was playing ball with the Bush White House concerning the election and subsequent investigations.
These illegal activities are impacting government policies in many ways. Republican members of Congress and Republican Senators elected as a result of illegal activities will help Bush in the upcoming veto fights. The will of the majority of Americans will likely be blocked on issues like Iraq, the Employee Free Choice Act, competitive bidding on prescription drugs under Social Security, etc. because the Republicans rigged numerous elections around the nation.
Voters need to vote all Republican incumbents out of office. Honest Republicans who believe in the American system of free elections need to seize control of their Party and purge the crooks. The Republican Party needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. Many current Republican leaders and officeholders belong in jail. We need to vote in public officeholders who are willing to jail the rich and powerful when they attack the very foundations of American Democracy!
Written by Stephen Crockett (co-host of Democratic Talk Radio http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com and union activist). Mail: P.O. Box 283, Earleville, Maryland 21919. Phone: 443-907-2367. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Feel free to publish as a Democratic Voices column, Guest Editorial, OpEd or Letter to the Editor at no charge and without prior approval.