Sunday, May 6, 2007

Bradley Schlozman's KC Activities Profiled

Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe has written an extensive article about Bradley Schlozman, the loyal Bushie who apparently wrecked the Civil Rights Division before being named interim USA in Kansas City. He recently left KC to return to main Justice.

Of his work at the Civil Rights division David Becker, a former voting rights division trial attorney, said that Schlozman's efforts were a "wolf guarding the henhouse situation." In March of 2006, Schlozman was appointed interim USA in Kansas City. As Savege reports during the summer of 2006

the liberal activist group ACORN paid workers $8 an hour to sign up new voters in poor neighborhoods around the country. Later, ACORN's Kansas City chapter discovered that several workers filled out registration forms fraudulently instead of finding real people to sign up. ACORN fired the workers and alerted law enforcement.

Schlozman moved fast, so fast that his office got one of the names on the indictments wrong. He announced the indictments of four former ACORN workers on Nov. 1, 2006, warning that "this national investigation is very much ongoing." Missouri Republicans seized on the indictments to blast Democrats in the campaign endgame.

Critics later accused Schlozman of violating the Justice Department's own rules. A 1995 Justice election crime manual says "federal prosecutors . . . should be extremely careful not to conduct overt investigations during the preelection period" to avoid "chilling legitimate voting and campaign activities" and causing "the investigation itself to become a campaign issue."

"In investigating election fraud matters, the Justice Department must refrain from any conduct which has the possibility of affecting the election itself," the manual states, adding in underlining that "most, if not all, investigation of alleged election crime must await the end of the election to which the allegation relates."
When interviewed by Savage, main justice's spokesperson said that Scholzman had received permission to file the voting fraud cases just before the election. The DoJ spokesman cited an "unwritten exception" to the general Department of Justice Guidelines as justifying the indictments. Apparently, it was OK to publicly file the politically charged indictments five days before the election because "investigators need not interview voters for such cases." If you believe that you must also believe the Gonzales 8 were fired for "performance related reasons."

Schlozman announced on November 3, 2007, that he had assigned an Assistant US Attorney Matt Whitworth and members of the FBI to guard against election fraud. He urged members of the public to report cases of voter fraud to Whitworth and the FBI.

As it turned out according to a November 8, 2006, story in the local Kansas City legal publication The Daily Record
Don Ledford, public affairs director for U.S. Attorney Bradley Schlozman in Kansas City, didn't have any complaints to report.
Of course, Karl Rove had a complaint. Claire McCaskill won.

I want to thank TMP commenter "Mrs Panstreppon" for her work on the Schlozman story. Citzen journalism rocks.

Previously we blogged about the outstanding article written by Greg Gordon of McClatchy Newspapers detailing the GOP's Missouri 2006 voter suppression campaign. It seems Howard Beale of FiredUp Missouri has written a piece riping the Kansas City Star's eviscerated version of the Gordon article which focuses on Schlozman and the Department of Justice while downplaying Missouri GOP's involvement. You might want to give it a look. Oddly the Star is a McClatchy Newspaper.

UPDATE: Blue Girl points out that Brad Friedman has his own take on the Star's edit of the Gordon story. You might want to give it a look. The Star was shameless in its efforts to help the Missouri GOP.