by Max Brantley
Republican Tim Griffin is running vigorously for Second District Congress. A steady barrage of news releases. Many public appearances. Good fund-raising. A couple of other Republicans haven't shown much yet. On account of incumbent Rep. Vic Snyder's surprise retirement plans, Democrats don't even have a candidate yet.
So it was about time somebody did something. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee threw a hard brushback pitch at Griffin today, reciting some of his well-known baggage as Karl Rove acolyte, political opposition hit man and mechanic at the center of schemes to depress Democrat voter turnout. A taste of what's to come is on the jump.
UPDATE: It's egregious baloney, but you have to give Griffin credit for the Republican genius knack at sleazeball. He blames his voter caging activites on ACORN.
BUT, ACORN's Neil Sealy has a pithy response for Griffin's easy sliming of ACORN:
In October 2004 the AR Democrat-Gazette got a list of new voters from the Pulaski County Clerk. That year more than 20,000 new voters were added to the rolls in the county. Reporters randomly interviewed some of the new registrants. Turns out that ACORN registered them. They did not have names like Mickey Mouse. They were low- to moderate-income and mostly African-American.
This is why Griffin caged voters. This is why Republicans have tried to demonize ACORN. They don't like to see poor black people vote.
DEMOOCRATIC CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE RELEASE
Congressional candidate Tim Griffin resigned from his position as U. S. Attorney when it came out that he had tried to use a dirty bag of Washington tricks to stop working families from voting. Now, Griffin is the darling of Washington Republicans in his race for Congress. The Griffin scheme, called caging, works by contesting the votes of working men and women, and members of our armed services.
“Tim Griffin signed off on the dirtiest, sleaziest scheme hoping to target working men and women along with members of our military to deprive them of their right to vote,” said Jesse Ferguson, Southern Regional Press Secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Griffin loves to talk about his 6-month stint as a US Attorney but forgets to tell us that he tucked his tail between his legs and ran away when news of the scandal broke. Arkansas families don’t know which is more damaging to Tim Griffin’s character - that he would try to perpetrate this type of dirty scheme on working families or that he now has the gaul to ask the people of Arkansas to go out and vote for him. The Griffith-scheme systematically singled out working and military families and tried to make it less likely that their vote counted. Arkansas families are starting to question the character of Tim “Dirty Tricks” Griffin after learning about his plans to steal voting rights from hard working families. With these kind of values, he has another thing coming if he thinks that the working men and women of Arkansas will forget this come election day.”
· “Caging” - A way to identify voters whose registered addresses may be invalid, by sending them registered mail that they must sign for. If they do not sign, their ballots could be contested.
May 2007: “Allegations that Tim Griffin had Been Involved in Vote Caging”
Justice Department Aide Monica Goodling testified to the House Judiciary Committee that knowledge about allegations of vote ‘caging’ by Griffin had not been disclosed during his selection process for U.S. Attorney.
"The deputy was not fully candid about his knowledge of White House involvement (and) ...failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of the White House's interest in selecting Tim Griffin as Interim U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in vote 'caging' during his work on the president's 2004 campaign." [Eureka Times Standard, 5/31/07; York Dispatch, 5/23/07]
June 2007: Griffin Resigns as Interim District Attorney
Griffin’s resignation as intern District Attorney became effective June 1, 2007. While discussing his resignation after only 7 months in the position, he said he wanted to move home and stay in Arkansas “for good” with his family. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 6/15/07; Associated Press, 6/15/07]
Denied Allegations Despite Writing Back to an E-mail with an Attachment Titled “Caging”
Griffin said the assertions of vote caging were unfounded.
"It's malicious and absolutely untrue that I tried to do this," said Griffin. [Charleston Gazette, 6/25/07]
Griffin Replied “Thank you, Perfect,” to an E-Mail Containing Spreadsheets Titled “Caging”
“Thanks to his friends at GeorgeWBush.org, an anti-Bush parody site, BBC journalist Greg Palast was given confidential e-mails with attached files named "Caging.xls" and "Caging-1.xls." These e-mails were sent by the Republican Party of Florida to a long list of national Republican officials and were accidentally also sent to the ".org" address. Among the intended recipients was Tim Griffin, research director and deputy communications director for the Republican National Committee, who responded to one with, "thank you, perfect." [Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 9/02/07]
Caging Lists Included Students and Soldiers
The RNC caging lists obtained by BBC Journalist Greg Palast, and written about in his book, contained nearly 2,000 names of voters. The names specifically included students and soldiers. [Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 9/02/07]
Griffin a Protégé of Karl Rove, Part of Larger U.S. Attorney Scandal
In 2006, U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins was removed from office by President George W. Bush in what became a national controversy over undue political influence by the Bush administration on U.S. Attorneys.
“Griffin, a protégé of key Bush adviser Karl Rove, was named to replace Cummins after Rove advanced his name in e-mails to White House officials for the position.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 9/22/09]
Said He Would Welcome Karl Rove’s Advice on Running
In an interview with the Democrat-Gazette, Griffin talked about his relationship with Karl Rove, and whether he would accept Rove’s advice.
“…Karl has over the years never been anything but gracious and nice to me and my wife. And I have always found him to be very kind. …I’d be stupid not to seek anybody and everybody’s advice. If I could get him to give me advice, I certainly would welcome it. He's clearly one of the sharpest minds in politics in the country.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2/22/09]