There is a very tight Senate race going on for the Senate seat once held by Barack Obama before his Ascension. The Republican, Mark Kirk (a military reservist), is in a tight race with the Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, the Illinois state treasurer who has close ties to Barack Obama and the Cook County machine. There has been a fair amount of mudslinging between the two sides, but there seems to be some mischief coming from on high. Illinois has been tardy in getting ballots out to our men and women serving in the military, and thus their votes may not count in November.
WLS reports from Chicago:
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether the state of Illinois missed the deadline for mailing absentee ballots to members of the military and other overseas American voters as part of a new federal overseas voting law.
Cris Cray, Director of Legislation at the Illinois State Board of Elections, says not all of Illinois' 110 jurisdictions were compliant with the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE).
The law requires every state to mail their absentee ballots 45 days prior to Election Day to overseas troops, government employees and other Americans who want to vote from abroad.
Cray said it's possible the ballots may not be counted because the state was tardy in sending them out.
This is especially damaging to Mark Kirk since he is a military reservist and soldiers vote for Republicans over Democrats by a three-to-one ratio.
But for the Democrats, it is imperative that this seat be kept in Democratic hands. There will be a lame duck session where a lot of Obama-Pelosi-Reid's agenda can be pushed through. Because the current senator, Roland Burris, was appointed by the disgraced Rod Blagojevich, a new senator, when elected, can be seated for the lame duck session and not have to wait until January. Therefore, the Republicans need every seat they can in the Senate to stop further mischief. Beyond this need, it would be a blow to the pride of Barack Obama to have this seat turned over to a Republican and not to Giannoulias -- a person who so impressed Barack Obama by his ability to toss a basketball that Obama used his power to help get him elected to the state treasurer's post (where he has failed miserably).
The MOVE Act was passed in 2009 in reaction to ongoing problems with having overseas military votes counted. States have had time to prepare and abide by the law. Is it a bolt out of the blue that Illinois -- a very blue state, home to Barack Obama and his cast of West Wing characters -- somehow just let this slip off their to-do list? All levels of state government are in the hands of Democrats, and Cook County -- where the Democratic machine has been in operation for decades and where corruption is king -- exercises a tremendous grip on what happens throughout the state.
Could Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod or their friends have just pulled a few strings, made a few phone calls to some key people, and whispered that other things were more important than giving our soldiers the vote? Dirty tricks are the modus operandi of this Cook County gang (see also my recent column, "Democratic Dirty Tricks: A Primer for Stealing Elections," for a further taxonomy of the tricks the Democrats have been playing as we approach Halloween and the witching hour of the November voting).
What makes this inaction even worse is that such skullduggery may have gotten a preemptive pass by the Department of Justice, headed by Eric Holder. The DOJ is charged with ensuring that all states abide by the Move Act and send the ballots out in time. Was the DOJ asleep at the switch? There are certainly signs that the problem may extend from Springfield to Washington.
For months, there have been numerous reports that the scandal-plagued Voting Rights division of the DOJ has been signaling to states that they do not have to worry about lawsuits for ignoring the Move Act law and that they could expect waivers from abiding by the 45 day requirement. The Washington Times:
The Voting Section appears to be in no hurry to enforce the new law and, more problematic, appears to be hiding how many states have failed to comply fully with the MOVE Act. As one Wisconsin legislator recently stated, "If there's no push from the feds, I'm not certain that we will see it happen," referring to mailing absentee military ballots 45 days before the election.
Could it be that Eric Holder's and Barack Obama's Justice Department have become tools to ensure Democratic dominance in Congress? Need one even ask?
Let's recall that Barack Obama from a very early time in his career made sure that his team was able to invalidate enough signatures on his opponents' petitions to ensure that he faced no opposition when he ran as a state senator. Obama also engaged in redistricting gamesmanship to redraw boundaries to ensure he had a safe seat. When he ran against a tough primary opponent for the U.S. Senate seat, news was mysteriously leaked that his opponent had been a wife-abuser (David Axelrod, his campaign strategist at the time and now his domestic policy advisor, used to work for the Chicago Tribune -- the paper that leaked the story right before the primary election). Obama came from behind in the wake of these reports and won the primary.
When Obama than faced a well-qualified Republican candidate, news also leaked that Obama's opponent had taken his wife to a sex club -- a visit that did not meet her approval (they later divorced, and this history came to light when newspapers peeled open the closed divorce records). That opponent quite the race.
Obama said during the campaign for the presidency that if his opponents "bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." Some things never change.
Welcome to gangsta government.