“I’m afraid the election’s going to be rigged. I have to be honest…. I’m telling you, November 8, we’d better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged. And I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away from us.”
Thus spoke Donald Trump the other day, igniting a mini-media firestorm. President Obama himself couldn’t resist the chance to jump in and call Trump’s comments “ridiculous.” Over at CNN my colleague Brian Stelter jumped on my friend Sean Hannity for not challenging Trump in an interview when Trump repeated his remarks, with Stelter saying of Hannity:
“Interviewers, even the ones who support the person they are interviewing have an obligation to probe further and push back when a candidate says something dangerous. And this is dangerous!”
“The election is going to be stolen? Third world dictatorship stuff!”
“Journalists cannot just play these soundbites, quote these claims, and move on to the next subject. We can’t just let it seep into the discourse like it is normal!”
As noted here, Stelter also said, “It is unpatriotic for any interviewer or any journalist to help [Trump delegitimize the democratic process without proof], tweeting that “Trump’s talk about a ‘rigged election’ is dangerous, and journalists should treat it that way.” Respectfully, I disagree. And, oh yes, the far left Salon found a Philadelphia elections commissioner to take on Hannity.
OK, I confess. I am gobsmacked at the Obama/Stelter replies. Where to begin? How about here, at the Heritage Foundation, with this 2008 article by Hans A. von Spakovsky titled:
Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire: 100,000 Stolen Votes in Chicago
Chicago (note: the home town of President Obama) is infamous for allegations of voter fraud. Richard Nixon went to his grave believing Chicago Mayor Richard Daley had stolen the 1960 presidential election for John F. Kennedy. And von Spakovsky gives chapter and verse about Chicago’s vote manipulation history.
In 1982 there was a hotly contested race for governor of Illinois between Republican James Thompson and Democrat Adlai Stevenson III. Writes von Spakovsky (bold print for emphasis supplied by me):
Both campaigns had complained to the FBI, but the federal investigation was really sparked by a party worker from Chicago’s 39th Ward who was upset by his precinct captain’s broken promise to award him a city job for his participation in the vote fraud. The worker told a Chicago newspaper, and then the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, “what he knew about vote fraud in that precinct.”
Good reporting by the local media helped fuel the investigation. One wire story concerned “a man listed as voting at a Skid Row precinct in the 27th Ward [who] had been dead for more than two years.” He was listed as living at the Arcade Hotel, and his signature was among those of 47 other voters listed as living at the hotel. However, the “[o]perators and residents of the hotel told the Sun-Times that 41 of the 47 people did not reside at the Arcade.”
In its reporting, the Chicago Tribune discovered that the supposed home address of three voters in the 17th Precinct of the 27th Ward was a vacant lot. The paper also discovered that votes had been cast for seven residents of a nursing home who denied having voted-their signatures on the ballot applications were all forgeries. In fact, one resident had no fingers or thumbs with which to write a signature. The fraud was so blatant that the resident without fingers or thumbs “was counted as having voted twice by the end of the day.” Not surprisingly, Stevenson easily won the 17th Precinct, by a margin of 282 to 30.
These stories illustrated what was to be a recurring theme in the grand jury investigation: the theft of identities and the casting of fraudulent votes on behalf of dead voters, prison inmates, and people who had moved, as well as forged ballots cast on behalf of the elderly and the handicapped. Even fictitious voters were invented and ballots cast in their names.”
On December 14, 1984, Chief Judge Frank McGarr of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois publicly released the federal grand jury’s report on the 1982 election-only the third time in the history of the court that a grand jury report had been made public. The evidence revealed substantial vote fraud in Chicago during the November 2, 1982, election and found “that similar fraudulent activities have occurred prior to 1982.”
What particularly struck FBI agent Ernest Locker was how routine vote fraud was for the precinct captains, election judges, poll watchers, and political party workers he interviewed. They had been taught how to steal votes (and elections) by their predecessors, who had in turn been taught by their predecessors. Based on his investigation, Locker came to believe the claims, hotly debated among historians, that Mayor Daley threw the 1960 presidential election for John Kennedy with massive ballot stuffing in Chicago. This type of voter fraud, stated Locker, “was an accepted way of life in Chicago.”
Soon after the investigation started, it became evident that this was not a case of isolated wrongdoing, but rather a case of extensive, substantial, and widespread fraud in precincts and wards throughout Chicago.
The article goes on in detail with sections headed:
But let’s move beyond Chicago. Sean Hannity mentioned Philadelphia. As it happens, back on October 10, 2008, I wrote in this space about a press conference held in the State Capitol rotunda that focused on, yes, voter fraud. In part, I reported this in a column titled “Stealing Pennsylvania: ‘Massive Fraud’”:
A retired Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice says that she is “not confident we can get a fair election” in the state come November.
Justice Sandra Newman, accompanied by Dauphin County District Attorney Edward Marsico and Pennsylvania Republican State Chairman Robert Gleason, expressed her concerns at a Harrisburg press conference this morning. A thick document replete with photo copies of phony registrations and aerial shots of vacant lots used as “addresses” for “voters” was handed out to journalists.
Gleason was even more explicit.
“Between March 23rd and October 1st, various groups, including ACORN, submitted over 252,595 registrations to the Philadelphia County Election Board” with 57, 435 rejected for faulty information. “Most of these registrations were submitted by ACORN, and rejected due to fake social security numbers, incorrect dates of birth, clearly fraudulent signatures, addresses that do not exist, and duplicate registrations. In one case, a man was registered to vote more than 15 times since the Primary election.”
“Voter fraud is no longer just a Philadelphia problem,” Gleason said, with ACORN targeting key counties across the state.
The group specifically cited six Pennsylvania counties as already having had problems with voter fraud — Delaware (suburban Philly), Philadelphia, Dauphin (Harrisburg), Allegheny (Pittsburgh), Centre (home of Penn State), and Erie (the largest city in the state’s northwestern tip).
As I noted in that column:
Perhaps most humorously was the role of 21st century technology in tracking down several attempted frauds. Through the wonder of Google, aerial shots displayed the following:
- 2418 Curtin Terrace in Philadelphia is — an empty field.
- 3103 S. 24th Street in Philadelphia — ditto.
- 4543 N. 11th Street in Philadelphia — ditto.
Not for nothing did Philadelphia and MSNBC’s own Chris Matthews, a one-time candidate for Congress in Philadelphia years ago, say this about the subject of voter fraud on his July 20, 2011 Hardball show on MSNBC:
Because they — and I know this goes on. It has gone on in old-time politics. It has gone on since the ’50s that I know about. People call up, see if you voted or you’re not going to vote. The, all of a sudden, somebody does come and vote for you. This is an old strategy in big city politics.
I know all about it in North Philly. It’s what went on. And I believe it still goes on. The question is, can we correct it without screwing up our system? I want people to vote, that’s the number one goal. But I also want to make sure people don’t cheat. So, let’s get out of here.
Was that Philadelphia elections commissioner quoted in Salon in Philadelphia on the scene for that press conference in 2008? Was he busy checking in to the complaints made by a for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice, a district attorney and GOP state chairman? Does he have any idea why Chris Matthews would say what he said? No word.
One could go on — and on and on — with tales like from this and that state across the country. Not for nothing did Lyndon Johnson earn the name “Landslide Lyndon” after his first 87-vote Senate victory in 1948 Texas. Here is the New York Times on the subject in 1990: The headline:
How Johnson Won Election He’d Lost
The story, by longtime Timesman Martin Tolchin, begins as follows:
WASHINGTON, Feb. 10— A study of Lyndon B. Johnson provides new evidence that the 36th President stole his first election to the United States Senate, in 1948.
The book, “Means of Ascent,” by Robert A. Caro, is the second volume of a projected four-volume study, “The Years of Lyndon Johnson.” With a first printing of 250,000 copies, it is to be published on March 15 by Knopf, and excerpts have appeared in The New Yorker.
Mr. Caro maintains that although ballot fraud was common in the late 1940’s in some parts of Texas, the Johnson campaign of 1948 raised it to a new level. Mr. Caro supports his charge with an interview with Luis Salas, an election judge in Jim Wells County who said he acknowledged his role only after all others involved in the theft had died.
To borrow from Brian Stelter, this was indeed “unpatriotic” and yes, “Third world dictatorship stuff!”
The point here is that whether we are talking LBJ’s stolen Senate race in 1948, the 1960 presidential election, a 1982 gubernatorial race in Illinois or a 2008 presidential election in Pennsylvania, “rigged elections” are far more common than the media leads Americans to believe. To think that President Obama — a son of Chicago whose entire political career was based on a Chicago Democratic Party where voter fraud, aka rigging elections, was described by an FBI agent as “an accepted way of life in Chicago” — thinks Trump’s warning is “ridiculous” is not only ridiculous but laughably disingenuous.
Donald Trump is right to raise the warning flags about a rigged election — and raise them right now. When, hopefully, something can be done about it before it happens — again.
Reince Priebus, sir? Over to you.