News reports today say the Senate, as well as the House, is interested in looking into former U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin's activities in Florida in 2004, famously revealed in a BBC report by Greg Palast.
In a tearful speech last week at the Clinton School, Griffin flatly denied "caging" black voters -- or using direct mail techniques to discourage voting in predominantly black neighborhoods. He also spoke ruefully about his unpleasant experience in public service. It's rough when political opponents go after you, he said. (That shouldn't have shocked Griffin, who spent years tearing up Democrats for the Republican Party.)
Palast now has some more things to say about Griffin, none of them kind. A sample:
At the risk of making you cry again, Tim, may I point you to an email dated August 26, 2004. It says, “Subject: Re: Caging.” And it says, “From: Tim Griffin - Research/Communications” with the email email@example.com. RNCHQ is the Republican National Committee Headquarters, is it not, Mr. Griffin? Now do you remember caging mail?
If that doesn’t ring a bell, please note that at the bottom is this: “ATTACHMENT: Caging-1.xls”. And that attachment was a list of voters.
In last week’s pathetic farewell, Mr. Griffin averred that the accusation he was involved in caging voters, “Goes back to one guy - whose name I won’t mention.” (FYI, Mr. Griffin: My mother calls me, “Gregory.”)
Yes, I first reported the story for BBC London - back in 2004 which, as Griffin correctly noted, it was ignored by my US press colleagues until, as Tim put it, “I became embroiled in the US Attorney thing.” By ‘the US Attorney thing,’ I assume you are referring to your involvement in firing and smearing honest prosecutors and grabbing one of their salaries for yourself.
You say, Mr. Griffin, that the unmentionable reporter, “Made [it] up out of whole cloth.” You flatter me, Mr. Griffin. We could not possibly be so creative at The Beeb as to construct the thousands of names of voters on your caging lists.
And by the way, we don’t have just one of your “caging” emails, but scores of them.
It's called hardball. Karl Rove and the people, like Griffin, who have worked for him know how that game is played. Until the balance of power in Congress changed, however, they thought the other side never got a turn at bat.