In December of last year, George W. Bush chose Karl Rove’s assistant, Timothy Griffin, to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Greg Palast writes today that the House Judiciary Committee missed a major scandal when it omitted Griffin’s appointment from its agenda yesterday: Griffin, according to reporters from the BBC, was behind the scheme to disenfranchise 70,000 citizens in Florida in 2004.
Emails sent by Griffin, who was RNC Research Director, got into the hands of BBC Newsnight reporters. These emails led to the discovery of “caging” lists–spreadsheets containing the names of voters whose voting rights could be challenged. The voters were African American and Hispanic, and they all voted in Democratic precincts in Florida. Thousands of students, military personnel and homeless people were targeted, and many lost their vote. (It is interesting to note that while the RNC was throwing a fit about military votes being counted, it was also throwing potential military votes for Gore into the trash).
Palast reminds us that it is illegal to challenge voters en masse when race is an element in such a target. Therefore, Griffin committed a federal crime, and was rewarded with a U.S. Attorney appointment. An even greater outrage, though, is that–to this day–neither Congress nor the news media has dealt with the blatant stealing of votes in both Florida and Ohio.