voting rights

Bill Johnson “not looking backward”, except for an extinct organization

July 13, 2011

I asked KY Secretary of State candidate Bill Johnson this question on Monday, in response to his call for current KY SoS Elaine Walker to resign for letting homeless people vote without an address (Kentucky policy since the 80′s):

Should Trey Grayson have also resigned from office, because he used ACORN style tactics (letting homeless vote)?

Today on his Facebook page, he announced that he is going to file formal ethics charges against Elaine Walker tomorrow, because she is implementing the same policy that every Kentucky SoS has implemented since the 1980′s:

I will be in Frankfort tomorrow at 1:00 PM to file an ethics compliant against the Secretary of State and Board of Elections for their memorandum SBE 11-31 advising county clerks to register voters without an address. This is in violation of Kentucky Law KRS 116.155. Advising county clerks to violate the law is unethical and opens our elections to fraud.

I replied with this question:

did you file the same complaint against Trey Grayson when he did this for 8 years?

Here’s the amazing stuff that followed:

Johnson: Joe, I am not looking backward. I am concerned about the future. Trey worked hard to throw ACORN out of Kentucky and Alison grimes is inviting them to return. I am sure your employer will have many comments on my complaint. I will post here for all to debate.

Me: you do know that ACORN doesn’t exist anymore, right?

Johnson: LOL, they exist only under different names. You don’t honestly expect me to believe that they just all decided to call it a day

Me: just curious, you ever listen to Alex Jones?

So he’s not looking backward on Republican Trey Grayson implementing this longstanding and perfectly rational and American policy of letting homeless people vote, but he is looking backward on an organization (ACORN) that DOES NOT EXIST ANYMORE.

Kentucky is under just as much of a threat from ACORN as we are from being attacked by a herd of T-Rexes. Things that do not exist cannot hurt you. Simple logic.

But Bill Johnson is not alone. There are scores of other Republicans around the country that are screaming with fear about how ACORN is going to steal our democracy and insert Barack Obama as our overlord once again in 2012. Amanda Terkel’s great piece from HuffPo last week only scratches the surface. And it’s kind of easy to see why. ACORN is such a perfect political bogeyman (poor minorities working for the Obama Devil!) that they know it would really be a shame if they couldn’t stoke up fear against them anymore.

So remember to look under your bed tonight, Kentucky. There may monsters or an ACORN Army of the Homeless wearing Obama 2012 sticker under there.

Did Bill Johnson want Trey Grayson to resign for using ACORN-style tactics?

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July 11, 2011

As we learned last week, Bill Johnson says that KY Secretary of State Elaine Walker should resign and his Democratic SoS opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes is not fit for office? Why? Because they both agree that Kentucky should follow state law and policy in place since the 1980′s, allowing homeless people to vote even if they don’t have an address (they can only vote in the county clerk’s precinct). Because we’re, you know, America.

But why does Bill Johnson disagree? Because following the law and allowing citizens to vote is simply an ACORN, black president and George Soros plot to steal the election and give Obama another term. Evidence? We don’t need no stinking evidence.

Here is what Bill Johnson put up on his campaign’s Facebook wall on Thursday, with a link to this completely hysterical blog post accusing Walker and Grimes of “ACORN like tactics” for continuing to let homeless people vote in Kentucky:

And he followed up this weekend to let you know that Grimes “stands with ACORN”, even though ACORN DOES NOT EXIST ANYMORE:

So I have a question for Bill Johnson, who believes fanatical things such as that Barack Obama is using Jerry Lundergan’s daughter and an organization that literally does not exist in order to swing the election for him in Kentucky by using the precious electoral commodity of homeless people:

Should Trey Grayson have also resigned from office, because he used ACORN style tactics?

Really. This policy has been in place since the 1980′s, and it was in effect during both of Trey Grayson’s terms. Was he not fit for office? Was he part of the Clinton/Soros/ACORN/Obama/New Black Panther Party conspiracy to steal our Liberty?

Inquiring minds want to know.

In the meantime, here’s Bill Johnson telling you in this very glitzy campaign video how he’s going to protect us from Barack Obama using an imaginary organization using homeless people to STEAL his election in Kentucky.

Embarrassing. The kind of behavior you’d expect from someone who put out official campaign stickers like this, eh?

UPDATE: From the smartass in the comments:

“Will Johnson demand that John Kemper (Republican for Auditor) not be allowed to vote once Kemper’s house is sold by the master commissioner in foreclosure?”

Grimes responds to Bill Johnson’s War on Homeless Veterans

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July 6, 2011

GOP Secretary of State candidate Some Dude Named Bill Johnson upped the ante today on his ridiculous attack on the scourge of homeless people in Kentucky that are going to subvert our democracy, along with ACORN and the Mexicans.

“Frankly, I think Elaine Walker should resign and Alison Grimes is unfit for office if they think violating Kentucky law is appropriate. By making address exceptions for the homeless in violation of KRS 116.155, what other exceptions are they willing to make? Trust is important in our elected officials and those running for office. As a voter in Kentucky, my trust has been violated,” Johnson said in a release.

Alison Lundergan Grimes’ campaign responded correctly, pointing out that Bill Johnson has no earthly idea what he’s talking about:

“As a candidate for Secretary of State, Bill Johnson should know better,” Jonathan Hurst, a spokesman for Grimes’ campaign said in a statement. “The State Board of Elections, an independent bi-partisan agency, has been charged by the General Assembly to administer Kentucky’s election laws. To be eligible to vote, current state law requires that a voter: be 18 years old, be a Kentucky resident, be mentally competent, not registered to vote in other states, and not a convicted felon. Kentucky law does not require that one be a property owner to vote.”

Hurst said Grimes will work against voter fraud and said many veterans remain homeless, in one form or fashion. Hurst said those homeless veterans shouldn’t lose the right to vote.

“Kentuckians do not give up their rights as citizens because they are not property owners,” Hurst said in a statement. “Bill Johnson should check his facts before he tries to take away one’s most basic right – the right to vote. Indeed, all Kentuckians who meet the requirements of state law should have their votes protected and counted. Bill Johnson’s statement is disturbing, insensitive, and plays loose with the facts.”

What an incredible embarrassment Bill Johnson is. Expect the David Williams campaign to be smart enough not to touch this with a ten foot pole.

Bill Johnson decries the homeless plot to steal our democracy in KY

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July 5, 2011

It appears that there’s been a small increase in the number of homeless people registering to vote in Kentucky this year. New Tea Party Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown (who likes to talk about “Barack Hussein Obama”, how they’re stealing our Ft. Knox gold, and dress up cardboard cutouts of Sarah Palin in his campaign shirt on his FB page) was able to immediately connect the dots, as the Mexican infiltrators at ACORN will now steal our elections and Liberty by using the homeless:

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky election officials have reported an increase in the number of voter registration forms from the homeless, raising concerns among some about potential election fraud.

After the small increase, State Board of Elections Executive Director Sarah Ball Johnson wrote in a memo to county clerks last week that applications should be approved if they have “homeless” or “place to place” listed as addresses.

Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown said Tuesday he fears the policy could lead to vote fraud. He objected to the longstanding procedure in a letter to state election officials.

Naturally, Some Dude Named Bill Johnson will not let the homeless (who may or may not be members of the New Black Panther Party) steal our democracy:

Republican Secretary of State candidate Bill Johnson said he believes the policy violates a state law that requires would-be voters to list their place of residence to ensure that they’re entitled to vote in a particular precinct.

“I am sensitive to the plight of the homeless,” Bill Johnson said in a statement. “However, I am equally sensitive to the need for honest elections. If an address cannot be determined, then a person should not be allowed to vote. It’s that simple.”

See? It’s that simple. No address, no vote. Democracy intact.

By the way, the Kentucky Department of Veteran Affairs estimates that there are approximately 1,000 homeless veterans in Kentucky. Remember that when you hear Bill Johnson play up the military out on the campaign trail over the next 4 months.

(and no… you don’t want to know what Kenny Brown does with that thing)

Bill Johnson probably shouldn’t cite USA Today when touting his Voter suppression ID plan

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July 1, 2011

GOP Secretary of State candidate Some Dude Named Bill Johnson wants his Facebook followers to know that the “defining issue” in his race is whether or not Kentucky follows the national GOP strategy of enacting a voter ID laws. You know, the kind of voter ID law which will no doubt suppress the vote of young people, the elderly, the poor, and minorities. You know, so ACORN and the Mexicans stop their widespread “voter fraud”, of which there is zero evidence.

17 states now require picture ID to Vote. Just common sense in my view. This is a defining issue in this race since my opponent rejects such a measure.

I actually do agree with Bill Johnson that the voter ID issue is the “defining” one of the KY Secretary of State elections this year. What I don’t agree with is his ridiculous assertion that this voter suppression bill is needed, because of “ACORN and George Soros”.

You know who else disagrees with him? The editorial board of the USA Today, the newspaper that he cites on Facebook:

Our view: Republican ID laws smack of vote suppression


Supporters say this is necessary to prevent voter fraud. But the operative question is: Why, at a time of economic distress and state budget shortfalls, is this such a priority? The answer has less to do with prevention than with suppression.


Scratch just gently beneath the surface, and these new measures appear unnecessary at best. Voter fraud is rare and consists largely of the types of actions that IDs would not correct, such as vote-buying and voter intimidation. Fraud is already kept in check by elections officials, poll watchers from both parties, and acceptance of alternatives to photo IDs, such as utility bills.

One study in Minnesota, done after an extraordinarily close Senate race in 2008, found a grand total of seven suspicious votes, out of nearly 3 million cast. No charges were filed that year. Those seven cases were exceeded by the dozen or so elderly nuns in nearby Indiana who were turned away from the polls for lack of picture IDs.


Just as Democrats try to help their cause by making it easier to vote through expedited registration and early voting, Republicans see a benefit in lowering the turnout among certain voters. The people most likely to be dissuaded by the hassle of obtaining an ID card — the old and infirm, the young and the poor — tend to vote Democratic. Shouldn’t Republicans be looking for ways to expand their appeal to these groups, rather than throwing obstacles in their way?

While both parties are guilty of self-interested behavior, the national interest of addressing the USA’s deplorably low election participation rates clearly falls on the side of making it easier, not harder, to vote.

Yeah, so you might want to consider linking to Fox News or the Heritage Foundation, Bill.

These bills clearly serve as a form of voter suppression, and this is also clearly a Republican tactic that is sweeping the nation:

And how surprising that Bill Johnson, when confronted with the reality that many low income people in Kentucky don’t have a photo ID, declares “too bad, get a job and afford it!” (7:18 mark in video below)

Well, at least he’s summarized the philosophy of 2011 Republicans. If only he could have fit ACORN, George Soros and the New Black Panther Party in that quote, then he’d really be on all cylinders.

So, is this really the “defining issue” in this race? You bet it is. Is this Secretary of State race important in Kentucky. You bet it is.

KY Secretary of State candidates debate on KET

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April 19, 2011

Kentucky’s Secretary of State candidates got their debate on last night at the KET studio. Republicans Hilda Legg and Some Dude Named Bill Johnson went head-to-head, as did Democrats Elaine Walker and Alison Lundergan Grimes. (watch the full debate here)

On the Democratic side, I would say that Grimes’ performance was better. While there wasn’t really any difference in policy between the two, Grimes really drove home her answer on the phony Republican voter-ID nonsense that Legg/Johnson and other Republicans around the country are using to scare voters. She called it out as a transparent attempt to suppress votes and threw out some MLK, while Walker took a more diplomatic “not sure we need to”. While they had the same answer on restoring felons’ voting rights, Grimes again had more fire. These two issues will be big in the general election, and Democrats will be best served by someone who comes out swinging.

What I did NOT like about Grimes’ performance was her repeated insistence on telling everyone (in fact, it was the first thing she mentioned) that she was born here and Walker wasn’t, and that’s one reason you should vote for her. It’s not only bad pandering, it’s ineffective pandering. Is someone really going to vote for her because she came out of the womb inside state lines? And as one of the many Democrats currently living in Kentucky who was not born here, is she saying that I’m somehow less qualified, or less Kentuckian? It’s just one of those unnecessary acts of political pandering that makes my skin crawl.

Nevertheless, Grimes still performed better, in my opinion. Just not quite enough to get me off of the fence in this race. The number one factor for me in this race (since they appear indistinguishable in terms of policy) is which candidate will be the strongest against Legg/Johnson, as either of the Republicans as SoS will be a conservative nightmare. While the debate performance would seem to give the edge to Grimes, we don’t know what the money situation for each candidate is yet. Both candidates’ fundraising reports for the first quarter should come out later this week, so we’ll see if there’s a big winner or loser in that category. The Republicans are going the throw a ton of money at this race, and the Democratic candidate needs to show an ability to raise money. Until someone stands out as the stronger candidate, I’ll stay on this comfy fence.

On the Republican side, Hilda Legg actually slid to the right of Some Dude Named Bill Johnson, which is a pretty damned hard feat to accomplish. She once more advocated a birth certificate in order to register to vote, then cited the shady claims of the Colorado Secretary of State that “4,000″ illegal immigrants voted there in 2010. You know, even though he hasn’t proved that one illegal immigrant voted in that election. But why would a Birther need “facts” and their liberal bias. Anyway, Hilda Legg actually made Bill Johnson appear somewhat moderate, which may be a first in American political history for a candidate allied with Alan Keyes. And you know what happens when a GOP primary candidate appears moderate in 2011? They lose! Congrats Hilda, you won the debate with your fearless devotion to fear of Mexicans and the truth.

Now let’s see those KREF reports! Who’s gonna make it rain?!

(again, the full debate is here, I suggest that all Democrats watch it and come up to their own conclusion)

KFTC Voting Rights Rally today

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February 24, 2011

The good folks at KFTC are making yet another push to restore the voting rights of former felons in Kentucky, as we and Virginia remain the most backward states in the country in this regards. The bill passed easily in the House again this year (77-21), but now it faces David Williams’ Senate, which will be a tough climb.

Today they are holding a rally in Frankfort at 1:00, which you can watch live here:

Live video chat by Ustream

And be sure to call your State Senator at 1-800-372-7181 and tell them to do the right thing by voting yes on House Bill 70.

About that right to vote

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August 31, 2010

It might not be the best idea for our state to commission ads like these…

…if we remain one of the two ass-backwards states in the union to not let former felons restore their right to vote without a pardon. Mkay? Great.

Happy Hell in a Handbasket Day!

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August 18, 2010

Ninety years ago today, crybaby mama’s boy Harry Burn betrayed his countrymen and cast the tie-breaking vote in Tennessee’s legislature, ratifying the Constitution’s Nineteenth Amendment. His action set in motion decades of uppity bitches all across the U.S. totally ruining the nation, which they continue to do to this very day.

Damon Thayer thwarting voting rights and majority rule, getting an ear full

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March 10, 2010

The Voting Rights Bill HB 70, which passed the State House 83-16, is now being held hostage by Sen. Damon Thayer is the State and Local Government Committee in the State Senate. This is despite the fact that over 60% of the Senate support the bill, as well as the majority of his committee.

Check out Thayer’s Facebook wall… people don’t look too pleased with him:

That’s just from the last 3 hours, and they don’t appear to be stopping any time soon.

Damon Thayer’s page is here, if you want to drop him a line on his wall.

(Background on HB 70 and restoration of voting rights here)




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