In case you’re wondering whether there really is a divide between the Republican Party and grassroots conservatives, check out these two pieces. PJ Media has exposing an ongoing effort to keep Texas and other states under the federal government’s thumb when it comes to their election laws, based on racial discrimination many decades ago.
The first, published on Friday, by Tatler, is called RNC Operatives Join Holder’s Campaign Against Texas, Several Other States.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday that the Justice Department will seek to recapture Texas and return it to federal oversight for approval of all election law changes such as photo voter identification. Holder’s move comes after the Supreme Court in June freed Texas and other states from the requirement that all state election laws be approved in Washington, D.C. Holder’s move prompted outrage from Texas Senators Ted Cruz, John Cornyn and Governor Rick Perry.
The three should also be angry with the Republican National Committee. PJ Tatler has learned that staff at the RNC have been spending RNC donations plotting to do exactly what Eric Holder is seeking to do – return Texas and other states to federal oversight.
According to RNC sources frustrated with the race-based effort, paid RNC consultant Tom Hofeller is spending RNC donations to develop race-based criteria to grab Texas and other states and place them back into federal receivership. The sources tell Tatler that nearly all of the members of the actual committee have been kept in the dark about this effort, and no mention is ever made in RNC fundraising efforts — for good reason, because GOP donors would be furious.
Hofeller, a long-time RNC consultant on redistricting, has devised ways to force several states back into federal receivership by amending the Voting Rights Act to grab states and force them to obtain Washington, D.C. approval. He is hopeful that Congressional Republicans will use his RNC-generated ideas to accomplish this goal.
So far, the Republicans in Congress have shown more sense than the Republicans paid by the RNC, and are cool to the idea of returning states to federal receivership.
Later, RNC officials denied these claims, but the writer stood by his sources. Then yesterday J. Christian Adams wrote a post explaining the background of the story, titled Yes, the RNC Really DID Support Federal Oversight of State Elections. Adams is the former Department of Justice official who resigned after the department, under Eric Holder, dropped the intimidation case against the New Black Panthers and engaged in other racially biased actions.
Adams’s piece is too detailed to summarize adequately, but here are a few key points:
Since at least 2006 there have been RNC lawyers and consultants pushing the continuation of federal oversight of state elections. This view is usually associated with Democrats and radical leftists. With the help of the RNC operatives, it prevailed.
Top Republicans in Congress listened to the two sides – Carvin arguing for an end to federal oversight of state elections, and the RNC side arguing for continued oversight with even tougher new burdens on states. House Republicans eventually sided with the RNC point of view, and passed the 2006 reauthorization of federal preclearance power a few days after the debate. [That was a 25-year extension of the law!]
The question is why Republicans would do that. Here’s the story:
Last week, PJ Tatler reported that RNC consultants and staff were searching for ways to reactivate and preserve this federal power over states like Texas despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, just as Attorney General Eric Holder has vowed to do.
To anyone following these issues for the last decade, the PJ Tatler post was neither surprising nor unexpected. A small group of lawyers and consultants either working for the RNC or consulting with them has long advocated for federal preclearance power over state elections.
Whether this RNC activity ended after the PJ Tatler story was released on Friday, or when the Supreme Court ruled in June, or sometime before is unclear.
Yes, the RNC really did support federal preclearance oversight of state elections, just as Eric Holder does now. When this support ended is an unanswered question after the RNC on Friday unequivocally stated it opposes any fix to Section 4 that would place states such as Texas, South Carolina, and Virginia back under a federal boot. That’s good news.
But before the announcement last week, the self-serving RNC collusion with the racialist left was well-known and obvious. After all, the GOP used Section 5 federal oversight to racially gerrymander safe Republican districts and herd blacks into electoral enclaves for the last 23 years.
I remember the discussion on this over the years. Republicans who live by the numbers like the racial divisions that federal oversight brings. But Adams points out the consequences:
Of course this may have resulted in more Republican seats at first, but it has also racially divided the country and made politics more polarized. It has also reduced the number of competitive House seats, shifting power to the powerful and snuffing the accountability in House elections the Founders wanted. Most black seats are now protected using different Voting Rights Act provisions, but it’s hard for a junkie to put down the needle.
And he concludes that these RNC types can’t get away with it any more.
After the story hit last Friday, Republican donors and grassroots activists around the country went nuts. Having the RNC seek the same goal as Eric Holder as it relates to election oversight is simply unacceptable in 2013….
Conservative new media also now pack a wallop in 2013, as we saw last Friday. Any Republican who supports renewed federal oversight will quickly discover their donor base is fully informed of the effort. Websites like Breitbart, PJ Media, and others obviously won’t flinch from taking on Republicans, naming names and making sure donors know which Republicans put partisanship over the Constitution.
I hope people understand that race-based redistricting is pernicious not because Eric Holder supports it, but because it is unconstitutional and wrong in itself.