Cooking Up a Conspiracy

(An excellent guide to why Scott Gessler’s “illegal immigrant voter” numbers are nonsense, as we’ve said repeatedly – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Conspiracy theories are odd things. They typically involve byzantine logic, wild leaps of faith and holding discussions with people who have some type of extreme agenda. A large dose of skepticism is called for around conspiracy theories.

So when our new Secretary of State Scott Gessler cooked up some numbers alleging that thousands of non-citizens are voting in Colorado, a number of red flags went up. His numbers are not so much fuzzy as they are sporting a mustache, sideburns and a goatee.

Depending on the day or hour, his numbers shift a bit, but his basic conclusion is that 5,000 non-citizens voted in 2010. These 5,000 people were in the U.S. legally and presented non-citizen documentation to get a Colorado drivers license between 2006-2010. In that same time frame (2006-2009), more than 32,000 people became citizens in Colorado.>> Throw in a few thousand more in 2010 (exact numbers are not available from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security yet).

Gessler’s agenda has taken some hits. He took his numbers to Congress recently and was skewered by Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-TX),>> who said Gessler’s case was weak and inconclusive. Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner>> is demanding that Gessler turn over any information because she’s not buying his theory. County clerks have testified that non-citizens voting in Colorado is a non-issue.

Gessler is asking Colorado lawmakers to pass a law giving him broad powers to freeze the voting rights of anyone whose citizenship  — in his opinion – is questionable…until the accused can prove otherwise. Coincidentally, many of these voters tend to cast their ballots for Democrats.  

Colorado is not the only state with this proposed legislation. The conservative ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is pushing similar laws>> in advance of the 2012 presidential election in swing states. Gessler is just one of the most aggressive secretaries of state carrying their water.

Former Secretary of State Bernie Buescher last year decided to have his staff re-check a random sample of people who did not mark the citizen box when registering to vote. The results? 100% of the people they contacted were citizens.

Speaking of former secretaries of state and conspiracy theories, Mike Coffman in 2007 gleefully conspired with Tom Tancredo’s congressional office, the El Paso County District Attorney, the El Paso County Clerk and his staff (all Republicans) about trying to chase down>> any illegal non-citizens voting here in Colorado. He never found any.  

No one is arguing that non-citizens should vote. We should argue about protecting eligible voters right to cast their ballot. Especially from an elected official who used to represent right-wing partisan political committees and admits that he’s in office “further the conservative viewpoint.”>>

Marry Gessler’s line of thinking to another conspiracy theory currently in vogue among Republicans: President Obama’s birth certificate is a fake! Color me more skeptical about Gessler’s intentions and giving him the power to purge voters from the roles. Whose birth certificate is real to the Secretary of State’s office?

Gessler likely has at least some power to double-check citizenship without legislation. So, stay skeptical and keep a close eye on this fox in the henhouse.

20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ArapaGOP says:

    Democrats are sure up in arms about “106” voters. If it makes no difference, why are you spending so much time castigating Gessler?

    Maybe because the integrity of our elections doesn’t matter as much to you? You’d better hope there are no valid cases, because then the public is going to wonder why YOU tried to deny it.

    • ajb says:

      Then we could see if Gessler is telling the truth or whether he’s lying.

      So far, he won’t share his list. Not with papers, not with the clerks who run elections, not anyone.

      But you, in all your wisdom, are not only defending this guy, but insinuating that those who disagree are somehow un-American.

      Reminds me of a certain other Republican politician who held hearings and waved around a secret list and ruined lives. How did that turn out?

    • Tom says:

      the problem isn’t so much that Dems feel that the lack of evidence for immigrants voting is a non-issue, it’s that the proposed solutions inevitably rely on some combination of a partisan purge of voting rolls and/or a draconian ID requirement that disenfranchises THOUSANDS of eligible voters.

      Frankly, I’m not sure why Republicans have managed to gin this issue up to the degree that they have. Just thinking rationally for a moment, it’s pretty ridiculous that immigrants who are notoriously cautious about staying off the grid would risk deportation and imprisonment for voting. It’s not as though there’s ever been a candidate or issue on the ballot that would directly benefit immigrants to the degree that they would want to take that risk. Overwhelming numbers of citizens don’t even make the effort to register and turn out. Looked at in that light, it’s pretty obvious that Republican outrage is based almost entirely on partisan calculation and not some patriotic duty to preserve our sacred democratic tradition.

      Maybe Republicans just get a bigger kick out of voting than everybody else. Perhaps there’s a booming trade in surreptitious documents to let shifty foreigners serve on juries as well.

    • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

      An election close enough to be swayed by one or two illegal votes would be recounted anyway, and the votes would get caught and thrown out. (If not, then where did he get the information he supposedly has? If they never get caught, why would he have a number?)

      It’s not worth the cost and risk to legitimate voters’ rights just to solve a problem that has no chance of impacting election results, if it is even happening, which I don’t believe it is.

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      why are you here minimizing?

    • Ralphie says:

      I don’t think it’s the Democrats that are up in arms about 106 voters.

      You might want to go back and read the coverage.

    • Republican 36 says:

      and he has failed miserably to meet it. He made these allegations and now its time for him to show his proof. He hasn’t identified one, not one, illegal alien who has voted in Colorado. If he has the names of some then he needs to turn them over to the Colorado Attorney General or the local DA’s for prosecution. So far, he is attempting to hide behind what can only be considered a false allegation to convince the legislature to pass his bill. Legislation should not be enacted based on misleading information and at this point, it looks like that is what SOS Gessler has presented to the General Assembly. It is time for him to show his cards, all of them, so we can judge for ourselves.

      • droll says:

        It’s not like he’s an attorney or anything. Hell, he’s probably not even seen a single episode of the Law & Order (or LA Law for you old folks). #LyingOrStupid

        Ralphie’s right; way too many good responses are ending up under AGOP. Not that I don’t appreciate your posts. 🙂

    • Bobby D says:

      They are just another sub-classification Gessler likes to point to, without any basis. There is no reason to believe they don’t fall in the 32,000+ that have become citizens.  

    • Craig says:

      Republican mis-direction.  Where’s the beef?  My guess, this is a veggie burger given to us by a bunch of “effite snobs” (I loved Spiro Agnew and he was a crook)who are trying to bail water and keep a sinking ship from sinking.  You know, I was probably in the Arapahoe GOP long before you were born.  It was a time when Bill Armstrong voted for the most liberal abortion bill in the Country and ran for Congress as a pro-choice Republican who had talked to his minister about the issue.  At that time it was filled with rational reasonable people who could get elected.  It’s dumb asses like you who are driving the party to ruin.  You should change your name because you’re not worthy.  In my day there were no elected Democrats in Arapahoe County.  In my day as its Republican Chair, there was only one elected Democrat.  The proof’s in the pudding.  What, what have you accomplished and how have you moved the conservative banner forward.  The answer nothing, you haven’t and you don’t want to because you are not really a consevative.   So please, keep up the good work.  Maybe 20 years after I’m gone someone will wake up and run you guys out of the party or start a third party that will make the Republicans = Whigs.

  2. reubenesp says:

    and will do anything to suppress Latino voter turnout.  They know it will probably be the decisive factor for Democratic victories in the 2012 elections.

    They tried to erase millions of Democratic registered voters through their “anchor baby” initiative, but it appears DOA.

    It is the image of a party gasping for air in the face of a major demographic shift combined with their extremist issues.

  3. The realist says:

    are these two issues connected for Gessler?

    1) Gessler wants more power to track down elusize illegal voters

    2) Gessler is in District Court in Saguache County trying to gain direct access to the ballots from November’s controversial election there.

    Is it just coincidence that the new Census shows that Saguache’s population is about 40 percent Hispanic?  Does Gessler think access to Saguache ballots just might get him the illegal voters he’s looking for?

  4. Gray in Mountains says:

    what is behind this, suppress Latino vote while ginning up the fearful and paranoid. If Gessler had anything it, names, would be in the sympathetic press and blogs. Immigrants would be getting arrested and he would get the national publicity that is all going to Arizona and the KS SOS.

    I do believe it plausible that a well meaning county clerk might, upon processing a driver’s license also process voter registration. But, if, after all the efforts that candidates and parties make we can’t get greater than 50% turnout, how many illegals who are NOT being solicited are going to make the effort knowing it could out them and get them deported or jailed.

  5. ScottP says:

    An elephant on a rampage can cause significant damage. I have a list of elephants that could have caused lots of damage in the state in the past. Unfortunately, I can’t share that list with anyone for fear it may embarrass the poor pachyderms.

    Just give me your bank account number and access to your funds and I will make sure just to take out the necessary funds for the repellent.

    • “I am ScottP, attorney for the wife of former Nigerian President Abacha, who was trampled by an elephant two years ago…”

      🙂

      And your response is the stark simplification of why we’re all pounding on SOS Gessler.  Why should we trust someone who hasn’t given either the AG’s office or the county clerks (nevermind the legislature) any information on claims he’s making, especially when all he’s asking in return is the power to deny whoever he wants the right to vote?

      • droll says:

        for the blatant contradiction he’s willing to say, repeatedly, in public. Takes real stupidity guts.

        “I need a law to enforce to dissuade illegals voting because I refuse to enforce the law (by not turning over names – isn’t that a crime anyway once the AG asks, or once the protected party does it again?) I have to dissuade illegals voting.” Please and thank you.

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