I am lame with no life on a Friday–why else would I be blogging? But I am about to head out to catch Kasi Lemmons‘ 3rd film, Talk to Me, starring Don Cheadle. But before I go, I just wanted to point you to an incredible piece of reporting on what is called “Voter Caging” which was done by the PBS investigative newsmagazine show, NOW w/David Brancaccio.
It was an important piece of journalism for people interested in the electoral process, and what is possibly behind this brewing scandal with Alberto Gonzalez and Karl Rove. You can watch the video on the PBS site. Here’s what they say about the episode:
Was there a White House plot to illegally suppress votes in 2004? Is there a similar plan for the upcoming elections? This week NOW examines documents and evidence that points to a Republican Party plan designed to keep Democrats from voting, allegedly by targeting people based on their race and ethnicity with key battleground states like Ohio and Florida of particular interest. “It was a partisan, discriminatory attempt to challenge voters of color,” Eddie Hailes, a senior attorney for The Advancement Project, a civil rights group, told NOW.
Was the White House involved? David Iglesias, one of the fired U.S. Attorneys, thinks so: “It’s reprehensible. It’s unethical, it’s unlawful. It may very well be criminal.” Iglesias told NOW he was repeatedly urged by his superiors at the Justice Department to investigate allegations of false voter registrations. After his investigations came up short, Iglesias said Republican officials got angry and complained to White House aide Karl Rove. Soon after Iglesias lost his job. As a result of allegations by Iglesias and others, Congress is investigating whether the White House acted unlawfully.
While Attorney General Alberto Gonzales refused to answer many questions about the controversy as he testified before the Senate this week, Iglesias told NOW he believes the White House is keeping documents from Congress to protect the Bush Administration. “That’s why there has been such a circling of the wagons around Karl Rove and Harriet Miers and Sarah Taylor. I believe there to be incriminating, possibly criminally incriminating evidence contained in those e-mails and other memoranda,” he said.