Monday, November 28, 2016

TRUMP'S BASELESS VOTE FRAUD CLAIM, PARTLY SUBSIDIZED BY YOUR TAX DOLLARS

Donald Trump is claiming that Hillary Clinton's popular-vote lead in the presidential election is the result of 3 million ballots cast illegally by immigrants. The Washington Post has located the source of this conspiracy theory:
In fact, this claim that millions of illegal immigrants voted is itself the result of a random tweet.

On Nov. 13, Gregg Phillips, a former Texas Health and Human Services Commission deputy commissioner, tweeted about there being 3 million votes that were cast by noncitizens.

Phillips operates under a bewildering number of organization names -- JumpVote, VoteFraud.org, Election Night Gatekeepers -- but he is regularly identified (for instance, in this story at Right Wing News) as "the founder of Votestand, a voter fraud reporting app." VoteStand was brought to you by a group called True the Vote, as Breitbart noted in October:
Texas-based election integrity organization True the Vote has released a smartphone app that allows users to report voter fraud and irregularities.

VoteStand, available for both iPhone and Android users, is advertised to be the “first online election fraud reporting app” available to voters across the country “to quickly report suspected election illegalities as they happen,” according to True the Vote....

“VoteStand can be used to capture your voting experience,” True the Vote Founder Catherine Engelbrecht said. “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Go to the iTunes store and you'll see that the vendor for VoteStand is True the Vote, Inc. The Post notes that Gregg Phillips claims to be a True the Vote board member. And you can see in the tweet above that he says he'll be joining True the Vote "to initiate legal action."

Does the name True the Vote ring any bells for you?

Back in 2013, the group, headed by a woman named Catherine Engelbrecht, got a lot of publicity because the IRS under Lois Lerner wouldn't approve its tax-exempt status. Peggy Noonan wrote this sob story:
But the most important IRS story came not from the hearings but from Mike Huckabee’s program on Fox News Channel. He interviewed and told the story of Catherine Engelbrecht -- a nice woman, a citizen, an American. She and her husband live in Richmond, Texas. They have a small manufacturing business. In the past few years she became interested in public policy and founded two groups, King Street Patriots and True the Vote.

In July 2010 she sent applications to the IRS for tax-exempt status.... The U.S. government came down on her with full force....

All this because she requested tax-exempt status for a local conservative group and for one that registers voters and tries to get dead people off the rolls. Her attorney, Cleta Mitchell, who provided the timeline above, told me: “These people, they are just regular Americans. They try to get dead people off the voter rolls, you would think that they are serial killers.”

This week Ms. Engelbrecht, who still hasn’t received her exemptions, sued the IRS.
John Fund, a Noonan colleague on the Wall Street Journal editorial page, wrote this:
At least two donors told me they didn’t contribute to True the Vote, a group formed to combat voter fraud, because after three years of waiting the group still didn’t have its [tax-exempt] status granted at the time of the 2012 election.
True the Vote was seeking 501(c)(3) tax status, which required it not to support political candidates. But True the Vote's partisanship is obvious, as I noted in 2013. I quoted this, from Sourcewatch:
True the Vote's website portrays voter fraud as largely a Democractic party problem. It routinely runs stories on election fraud being perpetrated by "liberals," ... or "Democrats" ... but has, to date, never run a story on Republican or Conservative instances of voter fraud.

... in 2012, True the Vote contributed $5000 to the Republican State Leadership Committee.... This overtly political statement would legally, according to tax lawyers specializing in election law, disqualify a nonprofit from 501(c)3 tax-exempt status....
More:
True The Vote ... put together a video raising the threat of voter fraud which features soaring music. "Think it can't happen in your town? Think again!" reads one message. "Our elections are being manipulated. By the RADICAL LEFT," the video says.

The video originally featured a doctored photo of an African-American voter holding a poorly photoshopped sign -- featuring Comic Sans font -- that read "I only got to vote once." That part of the video has since been edited out.
And there was a story in The New York Times in 2012 about a suspicious RV:
Driving down the Interstate in Florida, you may see an R.V. wrapped with a picture of Abraham Lincoln.

These eye-catching vehicles are mobile command centers for registering and energizing voters. They are part of a citizen effort to "defeat Obama, hold the House and win the Senate in November," Fred Solomon, a retired Alabama businessman, said in an e-mail to fellow Tea Party supporters.

Mr. Solomon is a coordinator for Code Red USA, the plan to flood swing states with conservative volunteers. "Partnering with True the Vote, a nonprofit, nonpartisan watchdog group, we will train and put election observers in polling places in the swing states to reduce voter fraud," Mr. Solomon said in his e-mail.

Code Red USA is financed by the Madison Project, a political action committee whose chairman is former Representative Jim Ryun, a Kansas Republican who was regarded as among the most conservative members of Congress. The provocative video promoting Code Red accuses Democrats of "a clear intent to commit massive voter fraud."

Despite Mr. Solomon's e-mail and the video, which identifies True the Vote as a participant, Ms. Engelbrecht said her group has no role in the effort.
Gosh, I can't imagine why the IRS had questions about True the Vote's non-political status.

True the Vote issued a statement today:
“True the Vote absolutely supports President-elect Trump’s recent comment about the impact of illegal voting, as reflected in the national popular vote. We are still collecting data and will be for several months, but our intent is to publish a comprehensive study on the significant impact of illegal voting in all of its many forms and begin a national discussion on how voters, states, and the Trump Administration can best address this growing problem.”
The statement adds:
True the Vote (TTV) is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) voters’ rights organization, founded to inspire and equip voters for involvement at every stage of our electoral process. TTV empowers organizations and individuals across the nation to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation.
Yes, those last six words are a joke -- on us, the taxpayers.

9 comments:

Victor said...

Here we go again!
t-RUMP is saying that he did, DID, win the popular vote. HE DID SO TOO, LIBTARD!

Never mind "illegal" aliens, iIf 3 million more people, citizens, voted, t-RUMP wouldn't be the President elect.
But he won the Electoral College, and is still bitching and whining.

There's nothing worse than a sore "winner."

Victor said...

Make that a sore, whining winner.

CF2K said...

Jim Ryun is so stupid that even Kansas Republicans wouldn't re-elect him.

Roger said...

I know this question displays laughable naivete, but doesn't anyone ever ask the True The Vote people in any of their dozens of identities, what evidence they have? How is it that they know three million illegal immigrants voted? What is it their app does to prove the person whose picture they take is not a legitimate, registered, citizen voter? How, exactly, do they go about removing dead people from the rolls? Never mind, I understand. We know already that their claims are ludicrous so there's no point in asking how they know this stuff.

Grung_e_Gene said...

True the Vote and the RepublicaNazi Party actually belives 65-70 million illegal votes were cast in this election and with total control of Government they intend to make sure it never happens again.

Yastreblyansky said...

Great.

And hi, NYTimes, tell us more about fake news being manufactured for clicks by apolitical jokers in the South Caucasus. It is always produced and/or subsidized by the Republican noise machine.

Belvoir said...

Very good points, Roger.


I remember True The Vote because of the grammatical idiocy of their name. "True" is not a verb, dingbats.

Never Ben Better said...

Sorry, Belvoir, but "true" is in fact a verb as well as a noun and an adjective:

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/true

Belvoir said...

Ah, I stand corrected, thanks. It still sounds dumb.