by Greg Palast
Palast is the author of Armed Madhouse, out this week in a new paperback edition.
Wednesday - April 25, 2007 - New Mexico
Before President Bush fired his sorry ass, US Attorney David Iglesias of New Mexico, in a last sad attempt to suck up to his Republican padrones, allowed his chief mouthpiece, Norm Cairns, to speak with me. He shouldn't have.
That was two years back, while I was investigating strange doings in New Mexico and Arizona, where, simultaneously, state legislators, Republicans all, claimed they had evidence of "voter fraud." Psychiatrists call this kind of mutual delusional behavior folie a deux. I suspected something else: I smelled Karl Rove.
In the New Mexico legislature, a suburban Albuquerque political hackette, Justine Fox-Young (her real name), claimed to have "several" specific cases of vote identity rustling. Like Joe McCarthy waving his list of "Communists," she waived documents of "evidence" of illegal voting on the floor of the Legislature. I called Ms. Fox-Young and asked her to send me the papers.
Q. Justine, you've uncovered criminals! Did you turn their names over to the US Attorney?
A. Well, no, but someone did.
She swore to me that US Attorney Iglesias would back up her story: he was investigating the evil voters and was about to indict them.
So I got Iglesias' guy Norm on the phone. Was Iglesias prosecuting, or actively investigating, one single real case of voter fraud?
Norm went into a lengthy swirly-whirly river of diving, ducking bullshit. I dove in.
Me: In other words, you can't back her story?
Norm: Well, yeah, uh, I guess you'd say that's true.
There was a multi-state con in operation. But what was it? Each of these bogus claims of voter fraud was attached to a sales pitch for a state law to tighten voter ID requirements -- to prevent these ne'er-do-wells from voting twice. In Arizona, one crack-pot Republican legislator, the Hon. Russell Pearce, claimed he had evidence that five million Mexicans had illegally crossed the border to vote.
The point: Rove knew that a "challenge" operation by the Republican Party, run from his office, knocked out 300,000 voters -- mainly poor ones, voters of color. His crew wanted to hike that higher.