Why on earth is The Arizona Republic -- which I thought was a real newspaper -- running an "article" about voter intimidation that is, word for word, a press release from what is apparently a GOP front group? And why are right-wing bloggers quoting the GOP press release as if it's a news story? (Oh, yeah, I guess that's not hard to understand.)
The press release/article is from the American Center for Voting Rights. As the Brad Blog reported on March 22,
... U.S. House Administrative Committee hearings yesterday in Columbus featured testimony from St. Louis attorney, Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II of the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR)....
While Hearne is listed as a witness for yesterday's hearings on the U.S. Committee for House Administration website as "National Counsel, American Center for Voting Rights", there is no mention of his affiliation or extensive work for Bush/Cheney '00, '04 and other Republicans.
Hearne, a former Reagan Administration official, is the National Election Counsel to Bush-Cheney '04 Inc. and was Missouri counsel to Bush-Cheney '00 Inc. As well, he was General Counsel to Republican Missouri Governor Blunt....
ACVR publicist, Jim Dyke -- the contact person given on a press release issued by ACVR yesterday -- is the one-time Communications Director for the Republican National Committee...
Those hearings were convened to look into reports of voting irregularities in Ohio in 2004. Brad noted that the group appeared to have been formed less than a week before Hearne gave testimony. Brad has more here.
You'd think the partisan ties of the group would be obvious just from the press release's prose:
Examples include paid Democrat operatives charged with slashing tires on GOP get-out-the-vote vans in Milwaukee and an Ohio court order stopping Democrat operatives from calling voters telling them the wrong date for the election and faulty polling place information.
Ah, yes, "Democrat" rather than "Democratic" -- that favorite asinine GOP verbal tic. They love that. They love saying "Democrat Party."
The header on the Arizona Republic Web page says "news." The URL reads, in part, "www.azcentral.com/news/articles." But this isn't a news article. It's a partisan salvo, and if the Republic is running it with no editing as news, that's a disgrace.
UPDATE: As a commenter notes, the Arizona Republic link isn't working anymore. Guess someone at the paper finally caught on. (Did I have something to do with that?) A search result at azcentral.com seems to be all that's left.
FURTHER UPDATE: Here's the cached version of the page from Google.
UPDATE: "Nonpartisan" ACVR head Thor Hearne called for Bill Clinton's impeachment in 1996.
...and, unsurprisingly, he's a devout Republicochristian.