There they go again.
As long time readers of this site know, we devoted a good deal of time
last fall to the Republican voter suppression and intimidation efforts in South Dakota, as well as in a few other states around the country.
At the moment, thereâs a close-fought race for the governorship in Kentucky and, as often happens when these races come down to the wire, Republicans are at it again.
(In South Dakota last year these efforts were directed at Native Americans, but in this case African-Americans are the targeted group.)
As recent press reports
have noted, state Republicans
plan to flood predominantly African-American precincts in western and central Louisville with poll watchers to challenge the eligibility of voters.
On Thursday, Jefferson County GOP Chairman Jack Richardson IV told
the Louisville Courier-Journal
that the precincts in question werenât chosen on the basis of racial make-up or voting patterns. But a flyer sent out in July
advertising a meeting to recruit poll watchers tells a different story.
(We've just added the flyer itself
to the TPM Document Collection, click here
to see it.)
The flyer is signed by Mike Czerwonka, a Republican activist from Louisville. In the flyer he says he has been "asked by the Fletcher Campaign for Governor to serve in the capacity of insuring the integrity of the election process" in portions of Louisville, and that Fletcher, the Republican candidate for governor, would himself be attending the meeting.
When I spoke to a representative of the Fletcher campaign this morning, he told me that to the best of his knowledge Fletcher had not
attended the meeting and that Czerwonka is working with the state party rather than the campaign.
We'll try to make a few more calls to sort that out, but what does the letter say?
Under the headline "Gubernatorial Election Integrity Call to Arms" it asks a rhetorical question ...
What do a series of close-fought races in Kentucky and Louisiana in recent years have in common, the flyer asks? It then answers the question â¦
All were adversely impacted by the presence and influence of the Democratic National Committee and the A. Phillip Randolph Institute (the black militant division of the AFL-CIO and funded in part by the DNC), and the NAACP and their efforts to marshal the Get Out To Vote (sic) efforts targeted toward the black, poor voters in selected communities and selected targeted races of national impact.
More, I suspect much more
, to come on this â¦Late Update
: The Czerwonka flyer says âPlease join Ernie Fletcher and me for an informational meeting at the ABC Officeâs in Louisville â¦ to learn more about this most important and vital issue.â (To get more of a sense of the context, see the letter itself
The ABC offices are the offices of the Associated Builders and Contractors.
A spokesman for the Fletcher campaign, Wes Irvin, tells me that Congressman Fletcher did
attend a board meeting of the Executive Board of the ABC on the morning in question. But this, said Irvin, was a normal campaign outreach meeting to a group of political supporters and was unrelated to any issues about voting or ballot integrity.