November 5, 2010
The SOS Project has had, at least for the past two election cycles, an impressive track record. Between 2006 and 2009, nine of the eleven candidates the organization backed, both in terms of endorsements and financial support, won their respective contests. This year, however, represented the first significant setback for the George Soros-funded group. Out of the seven candidates the 527 political organization endorsed in the 2010 election cycle, five of them – Bernie Buescher (Colorado), Michael Mauro (Iowa), Jocelyn Benson (Michigan), Maryellen O’Shaughnessy (Ohio), and Ben Nesselhuf (South Dakota) – lost on November 2nd; another, Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, narrowly escaped defeat by political newcomer Dan Severson. Additionally, while New Mexico Secretary of State Mary Herrera did not officially carry the endorsement of the 527 political organization, she did receive considerable financial support from them during her initial secretary of state campaign in 2006; Herrera, whose office has faced considerable accusations of ethical misconduct, lost handily to State Senator Dianna Duran.
November 4, 2010
The Left had a bad night on Tuesday, and one of the worst was had by liberal moneybags George Soros. Yesterday I pointed out that a “merit” selection initiative lost in a landslide in Nevada, despite major support from Soros-funded Justice at Stake. Writing in the Washington Examiner, Mark Hemingway points out that Soros’ Secretary of State Project – which is dedicated to tilting election law toward Democrats – also was a big loser.
On Election Day, Republicans won 17 of the 26 Secretary of State races, including in my home state of Michigan where Republican Ruth Johnson trounced Jocelyn Benson. Interestingly enough, Benson’s Soros connection became a significant issue in the campaign, and was even the subject of this devastating campaign ad.
Oh, and the pot legalization plan Soros supported in California went up in smoke as well.
April 13, 2010
Colorado Secretary of State Bernie Buescher and Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll have cooked up a scheme that could bring ACORN-style election fraud to the Centennial State, reports the Colorado Statesman. A draft bill would allow same-day voter registration and liberalize the rules for mail-in ballots – two loopholes groups like ACORN have used to commit voter fraud in many states.
Speaker Carroll claimed the bill was drafted “at the behest of county clerks” who are charged with administering the state’s elections. But Karen Long, president of the clerk’s association disavowed any involvement, writing in an email that clerks have “not been at the drafting table on this bill.” Both Carroll and Secretary of State Buescher refused to identify even one clerk involved with the bill’s drafting. One clerk willing to speak up called the bill “horrible” and claimed clerks were being pressured to support same-day voter registration to get changes in mail-in ballots they desire.
In the 2008 elections, ACORN was accused of voter fraud in 12 states; in Nevada alone, ACORN employees were indicted on 26 charges of voter fraud. Is this really a list Colorado wants to join?
April 5, 2010
Today’s Redstate blog provides a valuable resource: a backgrounder on the Secretary of State Project and a brief overview and analysis of nine key Secretaries of State candidates that the Project is backing in the 2010 elections.
March 26, 2010
While ACORN has imploded amidst allegations of fraud and corruption, its allies continue to hold powerful posts – including Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who is in a neck-and-neck race with Rob Portman to fill the U.S. Senate seat of retiring George Voinovich.
Brunner came to office with the help of the Secretary of State Project (SOS Project) – another campaign group bankrolled by hedge fund billionaire George Soros. Secretaries of State typically serve as the state’s chief election official, putting them in prime position to tip close elections toward ultra-liberal allies of the SOS Project. Exhibit A: Minnesota, where Secretary of State Mark Ritchie was elected with SOS Project $$ and went on to block an investigation of ACORN’s registration of dead voters and convicted felons. Ritchie also played a crucial role in Al Franken’s tainted Senate victory.
An American Spectator article raises interesting questions about some funny business involving Brunner and a prospective Tea Party candidate for Ohio Attorney General.
October 1, 2009
The Secretary of State Project is rattling the tin cup for Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and SOS challengers Debra Bowen in California and Jocelyn Benson in Michigan. The hope is that Bowen and Benson can do what Ritchie did in Minnesota: tip close elections, such as the Franken-Coleman race, in favor of their preferred candidate.
Ritchie, of course, was elected with SOS Project funding and quickly abandoned any pretense of running fair elections. According to Jeff Davis, president of the legislative watchdog group Minnesota Majority, Ritchie blocked an investigation of ACORN, which had endorsed him, despite evidence of “a number of irregularities” in Minnesota voter records – little things like dead people and convicted felons registering from prison. I guess the 2008 election was a two-fer for Ritchie as far as the SOS Project was concerned: He kept ACORN in the game and played a major role in tilting the election to Al Franken.
Like other groups funded by hedge fund billionaire George Soros – such as Justice at Stake – the SOS Project poses as a non-partisan, good government organization whose only ambition is to ensure clean elections. And, as with other Soros-bankrolled groups, this pose is used to shield the deeply partisan nature of the organization. I wonder if Bowen and Benson know that sweeping ACORN’s fraudulent activities under the rug is part of the job description for candidates taking $$ from the SOS Project.
July 16, 2009
The drawing of new boundaries for congressional districts – known as redistricting – is one of the most critical, but least understood activities in politics. The political insiders in state capitals who make the maps have a huge impact over who gets elected to Congress and how long those representatives can hold onto their seats. The redistricting process can even tip the scales when it comes to determining which party will control Congress for the next decade.
WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio, offers an interesting peek inside the sausage factory. Of particular interest is the decisive influence Secretaries of State can exert over the final congressional maps. As readers of this blog may recall, this influence is not lost on the financiers of the SOS Project, who are determined to put their partisan political allies in these positions of power.
June 4, 2009
The Nevada Attorney General’s office rolled their eyes this week when they were forced to respond to ACORN’s claim that the charges being brought against illegally paid canvassers were “politically motivated.” The Modesto Bee reports that ACORN lawyer, Lisa Rasmussen, believes that the “charges…just highlight a voter registration system that is broken.”
Broken? Surely ACORN, the same organization that has been accused of filing fraudulent voter registrations in multiple states, can come up with a better defense of their shenanigans.
This news also comes on the heels of the failure of the Nevada Assembly to take up a major election law bill which Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller supported. The Las Vegas FOX affiliate describes the purpose of the bill:
The proposal included felony penalties for offenses such as intimidating voters and interfering in the conduct of an election. It also proposed to streamline the election process, in part by creating an electronic voter database to give people the option of registering to vote online.
Miller also had said the bill would combat election fraud, citing alleged election fraud abuses involving political advocacy group ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
Whether or not the bill would have actually worked, it is good to see that some state governments are taking ACORN’s threat to their election system seriously.
June 2, 2009
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie faces a new lawsuit from a group of citizens and state legislators over his handling (or mishandling) of 2008 election results, reports Jeff Davis, president of the legislative watchdog group Minnesota Majority. In a Washington Examiner article, Davis calls attention to the “significant mismatch” between the number of ballots cast in the 2008 election and the number of voters in the statewide system. Ritchie himself admits the mismatch may be as high as 40,000 votes – more than enough to tip the contested Coleman-Franken Senate battle.
Davis notes that the problem surfaced last October 2008 when “a number of irregularities were discovered in Minnesota’s voter registration records” – like dead people and convicted felons registering to vote from prison. According to Davis:
“During this same time, ACORN was taking credit for registering more than 80,000 new voters in preparation for the 2008 election. Unlike other states that are now actively investigating and prosecuting ACORN for fraudulent election activity, Minnesota has done nothing. Allegations of wrong-doing were swiftly squashed by Minnesota’s ACORN-endorsed attorney general and Ritchie.”
Ahhhh … ACORN, the group which seems to pop up wherever dead people start voting.
As I reported on 5/14, Ritchie was elected with the financial backing of the George Soros-funded Secretary of State (SOS) Project – a national campaign specifically launched to help shift votes toward sharply partisan Democrats in close elections. It seems that sweeping ACORN’s fraudulent shenanigans under the rug is becoming an uncomfortable, but necessary, part of the job description for candidates seeking the $$ of the SOS Project.
May 26, 2009
Jim Pinkerton speculates on the Fox News blog about the future of Internet voting in national elections. Some highlights:
“So if vote fraud is already a problem, what will happen when the ‘vote’ is simply an electronic impulse, that could have come, potentially, from anywhere in the U.S. – or around the world. Who will oversee the e-voting process? And who will oversee the overseers?
“In 30 states, the chief elections officer is the state’s secretary of state. In the wake of the 2004 elections, smart Democrats launched the Secretary of State Project …. The [website] tells visitors – and, more to the point, potential donors – that a ‘modest political investment in electing clean Secretaries of State is an efficient way to stop voter suppression.’
“ … Internet voting is coming. If Democratic techies dominate the research and development of new processes, that will be fine with Democrats. If Democratic secretaries of state adjudicate the implementation process, and the vote-counting, that, too, will be fine with Democrats. And if Net voting comes quicker to Democrat-leaning places than Republican-leaning places, well, that will likely be A-OK with Democrats.
“But for Republicans, a Democrat-dominated e-vote system would be a swift road to political extinction.”