Following the announcement yesterday that Evan Bayh (D-IN) would retire his Senate seat, several right-wing bloggers attempted to corrupt the political process by calling on their readers in Indiana to gather signatures for Democratic candidate Tamyra D'Ippolito for the avowed purpose of supposedly benefitting conservatives and the Republican Party. This is only the latest instance of right-wing media supporting flagrant disregard for the democratic process in order to benefit conservatives.
Right wing blogs campaign to gather signatures for D'Ippolito with stated goal of benefiting GOP
RedState's Erickson: "Let's help the Democrats have a contested primary" by "help[ing] Tamyra get the signatures she needs." In a February 15 blog post, RedState managing editor Erick Erickson wrote:
This could be fun. Democrats in Indiana are trying to clear the field for Brad Ellsworth to run in Evan Bayh's spot.
Tamyra D'Ippolito is about 1000 votes short of getting her petition in for qualifying.
Those of you in Indiana should go out of your way to help Tamyra get the signatures she needs by tomorrow at noon.
Let's help the Democrats have a contested primary too!
In an update, Erickson provided the link to the petition for primary ballot placement.
HotAir's Allahpundit: "Red State's got the right idea" on D'Ippolito signatures. From a February 15 blog post at HotAir.com:
Remember that last-minute filing deadline that Ed talked about this morning, how Indiana Democrats would be forced to go through a caucus process because no one qualified for the ballot in time? Well, "no one" is on the verge of becoming someone.
Red State's got the right idea. She claims she needs 500 signatures by tomorrow, especially from the 8th District, although she'd feel safer with 1,000. If you're a conservative Hoosier and you get a knock on the door, you know what to do.
Here's her campaign Facebook page. She says she'll be collecting signatures tonight at someplace called Ragazzi's. Hop to it, Hot Air Indianans!
Freddoso: "Little-known Dem could ruin Bayh's succession plan"; urges readers to print, pass out petition document. Washington Examiner online opinion editor David Freddoso wrote in a February 15 post:
Hoosiers who would like to help d'Ippolito can print out this petition document, have the entire family sign it, and then drop it off at your county registrar's office by noon tomorrow. Better still, take it to the bar tonight and have everyone there sign it, too. Indiana does not have party registration, so any registered voter's signature is valid.
D'Ippolito claims she is close to having the required number of signatures to appear on the May 4 ballot -- 500 of them from each of the state's nine Congressional Districts. If she gets them, she will be the nominee, end of story. This would frustrate Bayh's attempt to pass his seat along to a party insider.
Ace of Spades: D'Ippolito is "a neophyte" who "can't win" so "we need a lot of signatures" to qualify her. In a post titled "Indiana Republicans: Go Sign This Woman's Petitions to Get Her on the Ballot (and Guarantee a Republican Pickup)," blogger Ace wrote:
And she's a neophyte the state party doesn't like and apparently a leftish ideologue, so she can't win.
Hey! Tell everyone you know-- seriously. This is potentially huge.
The Board of Elections will try to disqualify as many signatures as they can, because the Democrats desperately don't want her to be the nominee.
So we need a lot of signatures, particularly from right-leaning counties where she'll have trouble collecting them. (Gary, for example.)
And make sure all your information is accurate and legible.
Don't let them disqualify you.
Conservative Indiana blog HoosierAccess: "If Tamyra D'Ippolito is on the ballot, then that's all she wrote. They can't pick anyone else. She will be their nominee, period." From a February 15 post at the conservative blog HoosierAccess.com, under the headline, "Get Tamyra D'Ippolito on the Ballot":
The form to get her signatures is available here.
You do not need to be in contact with the campaign to get signatures. Just print the above form, get signatures of registered voters on it, and get it turned in to your county clerk's office by noon tomorrow (February 16).
There is not a lot of time. Bayh declined reelection at the last possible minute so that no Democrat would be on the ballot for Senate in Indiana, and thus Democratic Party insiders (largely Bayh cronies) would pick who is on the ballot in November.
If Tamyra D'Ippolito is on the ballot, then that's all she wrote. They can't pick anyone else. She will be their nominee, period.
HillBuzz: "Tamyra d'Ippolito is a once-in-a-lifetime gift" "get as many Indianans as you can" to sign her petitions. From a February 16 HillBuzz blog post:
Tamyra d'Ippolito is a once-in-a-lifetime gift. If she gets enough signatures and earns that spot on the ballot, she's the Democrats' nominee, and she will very easily be defeated in November.
This is a great chance for independents, moderates, and conservatives to work together on the ground and stick it to the Left the way Leftists have always been so effective at hitting Republicans with little efforts like this.
If you are in Indiana, download this PDF of the petition to put Tamyra on the ballot and get as many Indianans as you can to sign it...then get it to the proper County Voter Registration Office by 12 noon today.
It's daunting we only have a few hours to pull this off, but it would be amazing if this effort actually worked.
Right-wing media repeatedly support corruption of democratic process to benefit conservatives
Limbaugh urged Republicans to vote for Clinton in "Operation Chaos." During the campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Rush Limbaugh launched "Operation Chaos" with the stated goal of creating a lengthy campaign battle between Obama and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton in order to benefit the Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain, by urging Republicans to vote for Clinton in Democratic primaries and caucuses. Limbaugh described Operation Chaos this way:
LIMBAUGH: Operation Chaos was born primarily for the purpose assuming Obama was going to be the nominee at the get go of this. He needs to be bloodied up politically since McCain is not going to do it. Since the Republican Party is not going to be on the field in this way, somebody's gotta bloody up Obama. The only person that can do it is Hillary, and she can't do it if she's not in the race -- and so the purpose was Operation Chaos was to keep her in the race and to have her bloody up Obama in the process of staying in the race. I'm talking about politically. And, lo and behold, it's happened. This is the crucible of chaos.
Chaos has sprung up all over this campaign. That was the objective, and I need to issue a sincere thanks to all of you commandos, volunteers, and operatives for one hell of a job. I know how hard this has been for those of you to go out there and follow orders and actually vote for a Clinton. You have had to trust me that I know what I'm doing here and that that will not end up harming you or us, and I appreciate this trust that you have invested in me, your commander-in-chief. [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 5/6/08]
Conservative media frequently and baselessly raise the specter of voter fraud, stolen elections. While studies show that the casting of illegals ballots is extremely rare, right-wing media figures consistently fearmonger over the possibility that progressives are planning to steal elections. For example:
- Massachusetts special election. In the days leading up to the 2010 Massachusetts special election for U.S. Senate, Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Newsmax all suggested that progressives might engage in voter fraud in order to win, with Limbaugh stating that Democrats "hold out and see how many votes they need" then play "games with voter registrations and absentees."
- 2009 NJ gubernatorial race. Several conservative media outlets claimed that New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was preparing to steal the 2009 re-election race that he ultimately lost to challenger Chris Christie. For instance, on November 1, 2009, Andrew Breitbart's website BigGovernment.com suggested that the Corzine re-election campaign and its allies were planning to "rig" or "steal" the election. BigGovernment.com offered no evidence to support that claim, instead offering allegations including that "state democrats are paying for robo calls supporting Independent Chris Daggett" and citing "the sudden appearance of ACORN on the scene." Similarly, on November 2, 2009, the day before the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia, Limbaugh said to a caller: "But you mention the election fraud. I tell you what. Tomorrow's going to be a dry run for Democrat [sic] mischief and malfeasance, getting ready for 2010 and 2012. ACORN, SEIU, the New Black Panthers, they get their equivalent of the Super Bowl Tuesday."
- 2008 presidential election. Numerous conservative media and political figures have asserted or suggested that Democrats or progressives committed voter fraud in the 2008 presidential election, including John Fund, Dick Morris, and Rick Davis -- campaign manager for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign.
- Minnesota 2008 Senate election. In its decision rejecting former Sen. Norm Coleman's appeal of the decision declaring Franken the winner of the 2008 U.S. Senate race in Minnesota, the Minnesota Supreme Court stated that "[n]o claim of fraud in the election or during the recount was made by either party" and that "Coleman's counsel confirmed at oral argument that Coleman makes no claim of fraud on the part of either voters or election officials." The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported in a June 29 article (via Nexis): "Experts said the lack of crookedness in the election, as well as a commitment to the law and not politics, allowed the five state high court justices to explore the key issues in depth." The Pioneer Press added: "Rick Hasen, an election law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said the court's ruling Tuesday was so thorough that it also ruled out the possibility that either candidate -- or their lawyers -- could be accused of stealing the election." Nevertheless, conservative media personalities including Brit Hume and Sean Hannity, Morris, Fred Barnes, Bill O'Reilly, Gateway Pundit, and Jim Quinn suggested that voting misconduct took place to help Franken get elected.
- 2004 presidential election. One day before the 2004 presidential election, Hannity suggested Democrats were guilty of voter fraud in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Each of Hannity's claims each was contradicted by media reports.
Tancredo claims Obama elected due to lack of "civics literacy test" requirement for voting. During his February 4 speech at the National Tea Party Convention, WorldNetDaily columnist Tom Tancredo stated that because "we do not have a civics literacy test before people can vote in this country," "[p]eople who could not even spell the word "vote," or say it in English, put a committed socialist idealogue in the White House, name is Barack Hussein Obama." BigJournalism.com's Izzy Lyman subsequently defended Tancredo's comment.
Conservative media push myth that undocumented immigrants trying to vote illegally. In 2007, right-wing media figures advanced the myth that undocumented immigrants are attempting or are likely to attempt, en masse, to vote illegally. Among them were Fund -- who did so in his November 2, 2007, Wall Street Journal column and during the November 3, 2007, edition of Fox News' The Journal Editorial Report -- and Lou Dobbs -- in numerous 2007 appearances on Lou Dobbs Tonight and CNN's Lou Dobbs This Week, as well as during the November 14, 2007, edition of CNN's The Situation Room.