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Tim Griffin Did More Than 'Bow Out'

By       Message Barbara Bellows-TerraNova       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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In Jason Leopold's article about the August 11th release of Rove and Myer's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, wrote, regarding Tim Griffin, Karl Rove's choice to replace the fired U.S. Attorney from Arkansas, "in the face of the growing scandal - Griffin bowed out."

Actually, there's so much more to it that deserves attention.

First, Mr. Leopold, a generally diligent and courageous investigative reporter, (probably accidentally) makes it sound like Griffin never got the job, but he most certainly did. On December 20, 2006, he became the interim U.S. Attorney for the East District of Arkansas, with no Senate confirmation necessary, and, due to a March 2006 revision in the PATRIOT Act, no term limit.

Second, this so-called bowing out was much more significant and specifically-timed. Though the U.S. Attorney scandal did raise the suspicion that Griffin would choose to dump his increasingly publicized position, the announcement of his abrupt resignation came on May 30, 2007 . Though there was an attempt to show that this timing was because Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson wanted him on his campaign, there appears to be a far more pressing concern that arose on that same day.

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Coincidentally, the day Griffin's resignation was announced,May 30, 2007, that Greg Palast of BBC Newsnight handed over to Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Chairman of House Judiciary Committee, a stack of emails that he had obtained. The emails were sent by Griffin, acting as the GOP Deputy Communications Director in 2004, on behalf of the Bush-Cheney campaign, to state party leaders, and contained huge lists of voters who, they were advised, should be sent a letter requiring them to reply to prove they should not be removed from the states' official voter registration lists.

Palast had gone through the lists in these emails and found that the primary target for removal from voter registration lists were poor Black and Hispanic citizens and, even more repugnant, Blacks and Hispanics serving in the military (clearly unavailable to respond to the letter).

This is "voter caging", disenfranching voters based on race, and it is felony. It was also one of the successful and un-democratic tactics of the 2004 election, causing tens of thousands of voters in prime districts and states to be removed.

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A similar purging of 57,000 names from voter registration lists was ordered by two Florida Secretaries of State under Governor Jeb Bush, Sandra Mortham and the notorious Katharine Harris, in preparation for the 2000 election.

So, it's also worth pondering why Rove would want Griffin in Arkansas.

Well, as it turns out, one of Griffin's areas of expertise appears to be "opposition research".

In 2006, when the plan to place Griffin in Arkansas was hatched, it looked like the Democratic candidate for President in 2008 would be Senator Hillary Clinton, the former First Lady of Arkansas, with an highly involved legal and investment career spanning 18 years in the state, before her move to Washington to serve as the country's first lady.

As a U.S. Attorney in Arkansas, Timothy Griffin would be well-positioned for opposition research on Senator Clinton.

So, what has Mr. Griffin been up to since? According to Huffington Post blogger and Alaska public radio host, Shannon Moore,Timothy Griffin was very well paid by the mining industry to flyto Alaska over 20 times in 2008 to work on killing a ballot initiative that was attempting to "regulate water quality standards in Alaska" and protect "the largest remaining wild salmon run in the world". With Griffin's help, the ballot initiative was killed. Statistics aren't in on other killings caused by Griffin's efforts on behalf of industry in Alaska.

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The role of this man, who clearly prefers to work in the shadows, and who hires him to do what, deserve much more investigation. Because he is effective, he should not be so easily dismissed.


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