It's hard to criticize the state of the media when the McClatchy D.C. bureau continues to churn out in-depth reporting on a daily schedule. This time the D.C. Bureau hammers out an investigative piece on Patrick Rogers, a lawyer based in Albuquerque who was involved with the firing of David Iglesias, the U.S. Attorney in New Mexico.
Reporter Greg Gordan, who, along with other McClatchy reporters including Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor, has been writing quality pieces on the scandal for quite some time, has learned that Rogers demanded Iglesias prosecute voting fraud cases, even in instances, "where little evidence existed." It also doesn't help that Rogers "was an officer of a nonprofit group that aided Republican candidates in 2006 by pushing for tougher voter identification laws."
Rogers was a member of the American Center for Voting Rights Legislative Fund , the lobbying arm of the recently disbanded American Center for Voting Rights. McClatchy reports that the ACVR, along with the Republican National Lawyers Association, "sought to scrutinize voter registration records, win passage of tougher ID laws and challenge the legitimacy of voters considered likely to vote Democratic." Indeed, Gordan reports that Rogers has "appeared at separate hearings before the House Administration Committee last year in Ohio and New Mexico," where he and a key member of the RNLA discussed reasons for stronger voting fraud laws.
Gordan's report found that the ACVR and the RNLA were actively involved with helping the GOP maintain control of Congress in the 2006 election in various ways:
- Tax-exempt groups such as the American Center and the Lawyers Association were deployed in battleground states to press for restrictive ID laws and oversee balloting.
- The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division turned traditional voting rights enforcement upside down with legal policies that narrowed rather than protected the rights of minorities.
- The White House and the Justice Department encouraged selected U.S. attorneys to bring voter fraud prosecutions, despite studies showing that election fraud isn't a widespread problem.
Nowhere was the breadth of these actions more obvious than at the American Center for Voting Rights and its legislative fund.
While numerous media outlets have reported on how the issue of voting fraud has been used as political motivation for the firings of U.S. Attorneys, even though there has been hardly any evidence that proves voting fraud should be a major concern, McClatchy continues to pile on the evidence that politics lies at the heart of the U.S. Attorney scandal.