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Durbin Mischief


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durbin-mischief
American Spectator:

TAMPA – The Republican presidential debate last night in Tampa is not the only political theater here this week.

A much less edifying political event will be Friday's dog and pony show in the Hillsborough County courthouse, put on by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights. A ton of political mischief can be dealt under these labels. And mischief is all the hearing, chaired by Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin, will be.

The ostensible reason for the hearing is to explore whether new voting laws, adopted by the heavily Republican Florida Legislature last year, are designed to keep Democratic constituencies from the polls. Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson has flatly made this charge, and easily enlisted Durbin to orchestrate the gag. In fact, the purpose of the hearings is to portray Republicans as rich, white racists and all-around meanies and cheats who want to keep Democrats, especially minorities, away from the polls.

In a press release from Nelson, who is running for re-election this year, we get these febrile charges: "The right to vote is, and always has been, at the foundation of our democracy. But this fundamental right is under serious attack right now, in Florida and more than a dozen other states. Many believe a handful of super-rich conservative activists are behind an orchestrated effort to keep millions of seniors, younger voters, and minorities from casting ballots next year."

Wow. Pretty overwrought stuff, deserving of elaboration. But I could get none from the accusers. Neither Nelson nor Durbin have said how these new laws, and others in other states, operate to keep minorities, et al. away from the polls. I've left five detailed messages with Nelson's office asking for clarification and seeking to learn if Nelson himself believes "a handful of super-rich conservative activists are behind an orchestrated effort to keep millions of seniors, younger voters, and minorities from casting ballots next years." Sure would like to know the names of these rich rascals. No call back. snip
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