Tuesday, May 20, 2008

von Spakovsky

Hans van Spakovsky, the Bush nominee to the FEC known for his vote-suppressing ways, complains in the Wall Street Journal:
My own hard feelings will pass. But the political system has been damaged once more by the poisonous tactics of the left, and there is no reason to think that the whole sorry spectacle will not be repeated again and again and again. So long as such tactics are accepted and even encouraged by politicians and the media, it will become harder and harder to find ordinary citizens willing to submit to the character assassination that now passes for our confirmation process.
Of course, I'm certain it just slipped his mind that he also lied to the Senate Rules Committee.
When von Spakovsky -- whose nomination as commissioner on the Federal Elections Commission is still pending -- testified before the Senate Rules Committee last month, he claimed that he'd consulted with lawyers in the voting rights section before drafting the letter. "This was not me acting by myself, "he testified. "You know, I would have been consulting with the other attorneys there [in the voting section] to do it."

But that wasn't true, as Joe Rich, the chief of the voting section at the time, told TPMmuckraker. Rich is one among six veterans of the section who wrote the committee to object to von Spakvosky's nomination, calling him "the point person for undermining the Civil Rights Division's mandate to protect voting rights" when he worked at the Justice Department. Calling von Spakovsky's testimony "a flat out misrepresentation," Rich said that none of the career attorneys in the section had been aware of the letter -- even then-Assistant Attorney General Alex Acosta, who oversaw the Civil Rights Division, had not known about it. The letter went out under the signature of Sheldon Bradshaw, a senior political appointee in the division, on his last day.

In written answers...submitted to the committee weeks later, von Spakovsky changed his tune: "As I recall, I may not have consulted with the Section prior to drafting [the letter]." Von Spakovsky did not note that this was at variance with his spoken testimony. He continued, however, to say that he thought that he did consult with the section on a follow-up letter, sent in September. That letter, of course, reversed his earlier advice.
See TPM Muckraker for a long list of stories denoting the many other things von Spakovsky forgot to mention in his column. Please note their use of the "poisonous tactics of the left," including quoting him word for word and pointing out his actions.

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