Fox News refuses to report on Bush-era DOJ decision that undermines GOP activist’s claims
Fox News continues to omit evidence while advancing GOP activist J. Christian Adams’ accusations that the Justice Department engaged in unprecedented and racially charged corruption by not pursuing additional charges of voter intimidation against members of the New Black Panther Party. In fact, no voters have said they were intimidated, and the Bush-era DOJ chose not to pursue charges in a similar case.
Fox News still omitting facts while promoting GOP activist Adams’ agenda
Shawn: Adams says DOJ has “an hostility to bringing cases against non-white defendants.” On the July 5 edition of America’s Newsroom, Fox News correspondent Eric Shawn aired a report advancing the unsubstantiated allegations of Adams, a longtime GOP activist who admitted his charges rely on hearsay. Shawn stated, “These are accusations that the Obama Justice Department dropped a voting rights case for political purposes.” Shawn also said that “one former DOJ voting rights lawyer, J. Christian Adams, will testify before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission tomorrow. He calls the case clear and says that the Department of Justice has what he says, an hostility to bringing cases against non-white defendants.”
Adams: “[N]obody thought there was any doubt that this was the clearest case of voter intimidation that I have seen.” Shawn then played a portion of Adams’ Fox News interview:
ADAMS: Slam dunk. I mean, nobody thought there was any doubt that this was the clearest case of voter intimidation that I have seen since I have been practicing law.
Bull: “Never have I seen a man standing in a militaristic uniform, holding a weapon … This is the worst, and this government is supporting it.” Shawn later said, “One of the poll watchers who was there that day is Bartle Bull. He’s a noted New York Democrat” and “was a poll watcher, and he is very interested in what will happen tomorrow, because when we broke the story, he said he thought it was a clear-cut case.” Shawn then aired footage of Bull saying:
BULL: Never have I seen a man standing in a militaristic uniform, holding a weapon — in this case a large billy club — blocking the entrance to a polling place. Even in Mississippi where I was in two towns in which they had nooses hanging off trees near the polling place, even there I never saw a weapon in the door of a polling place. This is the worst and this government is supporting it, is defending it.
Bush-era DOJ chose not to prosecute a similar case against Arizona Minutemen
Perez: “[T]he Department declined to bring any action for alleged voter intimidation” in 2006. In his May 14 testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s civil rights division, highlighted a case that completely undermines the notion that the DOJ’s decisions in the Black Panthers case were unprecedented or racially motivated. Perez testified that in 2006, the DOJ “declined to bring any action for alleged voter intimidation” “when three well-known anti-immigrant advocates affiliated with the Minutemen, one of whom was carrying a gun, allegedly intimidated Latino voters at a polling place by approaching several persons, filming them, and advocating and printing voting materials in Spanish.” [U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 5/14/10]
Anti-immigrant activist in 2006 case reportedly had “9mm Glock strapped to his side” at polling place. A November 8, 2006, Austin American-Statesman article reported (from the Nexis database): “In Arizona, Roy Warden, an anti-immigration activist with the Minutemen, and a handful of supporters staked out a Tucson precinct and questioned Hispanic voters at the polls to determine whether they spoke English.” The article continued:
Armed with a 9mm Glock automatic strapped to his side, Warden said he planned to photograph Hispanic voters entering polls in an effort to identify illegal immigrants and felons.
Arizona Daily Star: “[A]nti-immigrant activist” “stood by with a firearm in a holster.” A November 8, 2006, Arizona Daily Star article reported (from Nexis):
A crew of anti-immigrant activists, meanwhile, visited several South Side polling places in what one poll-watch group called a blatant attempt to intimidate Hispanic voters.
Anti-immigrant crusader Russ Dove circulated an English-only petition, while a cameraman filmed the voters he approached and Roy Warden stood by with a firearm in a holster.
Diego Bernal, a staff attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), said the trio was trying to intimidate Hispanic voters. “A gun, a camera, a clipboard before you even get to the polls - if that’s not voter intimidation, what is?” he asked.
Bernal said his group encountered the men at the Precinct 49 polling place at South 12th Avenue and West Michigan Street and began documenting the scene with their cameras. “There was an interesting period where they were taking pictures of us taking pictures of them.”
Tucson Citizen: Incident “reported to the FBI.” A November 8, 2006, Tucson Citizen article (from Nexis) reported that Mexican American Legal Defense Fund lawyer Diego Bernal “said he reported the incident to the FBI.” The article also reported that Pima County elections director Brad Nelson said: “If intimidation or coercion was going on out there, even though it might have been outside the 75-foot limit, it’s something we take very seriously, and we’ll be looking into it.”
No voters have alleged intimidation stemming from incident
Civil Rights Commissioner: “[N]o citizen has even alleged that he or she was intimidated from voting.” In an April 23 hearing on the DOJ’s decision in the case, Civil Rights Commissioner Arlan Melendez noted that “no citizen has even alleged that he or she was intimidated from voting,” which “was clear to the Justice Department last spring, which is why they took the course of action that they did.” From the April 23 Civil Rights Commission hearing:
MELENDEZ: My remarks are going to be brief because I think far too much of our time has been consumed on this seemingly unnecessary investigation. Citizens should be able to vote without intimidation, and it is our Commission’s duty to investigate complaints from citizens that their voting rights have been infringed.
In this case, however, no citizen has even alleged that he or she was intimidated from voting at the Fairmount Avenue Polling Station in 2008. This absence of voter intimidation was clear to the Justice Department last spring, which is why they took the course of action that they did.
This absence of voter intimidation was clear to the members of this Commission as well, or at least it should’ve been. Our investigation has been going on now for the better part of a year. We have wasted a good deal of our staff’s time, and the taxpayers’ money.
Main Justice: “[N]o voters at all in the Philadelphia precinct have come forward to allege intimidation.” A July 2 article at the legal news website Main Justice reported that “no voters at all in the Philadelphia precinct have come forward to allege intimidation” adding, “The complaints have come from white Republican poll watchers, who have given no evidence they were registered to vote in the majority black precinct.”
Bartle Bull endorsed McCain and was a poll watcher for the McCain campaign in Philadelphia
Bull: I “spent a day” in Philadelphia “troubleshooting on Election Day for the McCain Campaign.” In his report, Shawn introduced Bull simply as “a New York Democrat” and a “poll watcher” who “thought it was a clear-cut case.” But Bull himself has acknowledged that he served as a poll watcher in Philadelphia on behalf of the McCain campaign in 2008, a fact not reported by Shawn. From Bull’s April 23 testimony before the Civil Rights Commission:
BULL: Well, I had been serving in New York State, my second Republican candidate, as Chairman of Democrats for McCain in New York State. I knew we were going to lose New York. I thought perhaps I could help in Philadelphia. So, I took the train down there at 5:00 in the morning, and spent a day there, troubleshooting on Election Day for the McCain Campaign.