Monday, October 15, 2012


Republicans who didn't want Libertarian Gary Johnson on the ballot in Pennsylvania had an interesting way of making their feelings known:
... Republicans in Pennsylvania hired a private detective to investigate [Johnson's] ballot drive in Philadelphia, appearing at the homes of paid canvassers and, in some cases, flashing an F.B.I. badge -- he was a retired agent -- while asking to review the petitions they gathered at $1 a signature, according to testimony in the case and interviews.

...the private detective, Reynold Selvaggio ..., some of the petition workers said in interviews and testimony, flashed his F.B.I. badge "like he was law enforcement," as one worker, Reynaldo Duncan, said in an interview....
Selvaggio admitted that he flashed an FBI badge at these signature-gatherers, but "denied Libertarian lawyers' suggestions that it was an intimidation tactic, saying his badge stated clearly that he was retired and that he said so in his interviews." So, y'know, it's OK.

Now, this tactic didn't work -- Johnson is on the ballot in Pennsylvania. (A judge was not pleased with the GOP tactics.) And it should be noted that some Democrats were helping to get Johnson on the ballot, in the hope that he'll take votes away from Romney. But still.

I've been thinking that the people who've been haranguing liberals on the subject of drones or surveillance or the drug war are people who don't have much to lose if President Obama loses and Mitt Romney is elected -- these Obama skeptics seem not to be worried about Romney judicial appointees upholding GOP vote-suppression tactics, because these skeptics are overwhelmingly white, and they're not in their eighties and nineties and too infirm to wrestle with bureaucrats in order to obtain voter ID.

But this incident in Pennsylvania suggests that Republicans will thug the vote no matter who you are, if they think you might hurt them at the polls. If we ever have a viable Libertarian movement or candidate who draws maybe 60% support from disillusioned right-wing voters, the Republican suppression is going to be pointed in that direction, and it won't be pretty. You don't have to be ACORN to be ACORN.


Philo Vaihinger said...

The Democrats were far from kind to the Greens or to Ralph Nader in 2000 or 2004.


Steve M. said...

Don't recall anyone flashing a badge.

Victor said...

They're FOR voters rights - as long as only the right voters vote.