November 10, 2011

Net Archive and Campaign Materials Prove That Voter-ID Opponent Husted Campaigned As a Big Fan in May 2010

Filed under: Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:20 am

Now that the off-year election campaign is over, it’s important to circle back to who was charge of overseeing the balloting, and will remain so until (heaven help us) the end of 2014.

Unfortunately, that would be Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. Husted does not deserve the support of his own party, which should in turn be embarrassed that it asked the people of Ohio to elect him in 2010.

This post will show that Husted, on a issue critical to the fairness and integrity of elections, posed as someone he wasn’t during the 2010 GOP primary, abandoned his pose during the general election campaign, and did the exact opposite of what he promised during the primary once he took office.

In early August, I criticized Husted’s disgraceful opposition to a voter-identification requirement at the polls. Mary Kissel at the Wall Street Journal’s Political Diary accurately described Husted as “Ohio’s Pro-Fraud Republican.”

I also showed that:

  • ORPINO (The Ohio Republican Party In Name Only) Chairman Kevin DeWine was the sponsor of a voter-ID requirement law in 2006.
  • Husted was an outspoken supporter of that law at the time.

It turns out that we don’t have to go back five years for proof that Husted and certainly by inference DeWine remained big fans of voter-ID laws for quite a while after 2006 — in fact, for almost four more years. Over at the SOB Alliance’s Facebook page, a picture of a portion of a Husted campaign flyer has appeared. It’s from 2010.

Lookee here:

HustedCampaignLitProb0510

We believe that this flyer is from Husted’s Spring 2010 primary run against Sandy O’Brien.

Now here is something of which I am absolutely certain, thanks to the folks at archive.org — The Issues page at Husted’s campaign website during the primary (dated May 3, 2010) shows that he campaigned aggressively on his record of supporting a voter-ID requirement at the polls and the “trust” that such a requirement engenders:

HustedMay2010IssuesWebPageVoterID

In context, recall that Husted was trying to portray himself as the person who would right the ship after the disastrous vote fraud-enabling regime of previous Secretary of State, Democrat Jennifer Brunner.

An item at The Other Paper in Columbus from April 2010 shows that Husted went into multimedia mode, sharply criticizing ACORN in a primary campaign TV ad:

The spot, which aired around the state this week, begins with the image of a waving “Don’t tread on me” flag, which fades into a photo of Husted sitting with his wife and children, as the announcer reminds viewers that, “Defending our liberty begins with leaders who fight for our families.”

You have to credit Husted for going positive: Within a few quick seconds, the ad drops buzzwords that would delight even a moderately grumpy, run-of-the-mill Tea Partier, mentioning ACORN, fraud, the “God-given right” of prayer and “immoral” government debt. The ad ends with a nod toward protecting “children’s liberty,”—just in case you had forgotten how much Husted loves adult liberty from a mere eight seconds prior.

Husted stopped short of calling it pandering.

“Do we want to speak to issues Tea Party activists care about? Yes,” he said.

… But if Husted is counting on appealing to the state’s most conservative base, it isn’t working.

“It’s laughable,” said Ohio Liberty’s (Chris) Littleton.

Even the least discerning Tea Party activists know Husted is not the flag-waving patriot that the 30-second ad conveys. And when it comes to Tea Party values, Husted has zero street cred, Littleton said.

… For his part, Husted says he supports the freedom movement’s core values, including reducing government spending.

The “Tea Party” tab on his campaign website mentions his work in concert with Citizens for Tax Reform to enact a state appropriation limitation …

“Tea Party” tab? Oh yes, and in case voters didn’t visit the Issues page, the blurb on the “Tea Party” page also included the verbiage noted above about Husted’s past voter-ID efforts (click to enlarge in a separate tab or window):

HustedMay2010TeaPartyTab

But once he got past O’Brien’s primary challenge, in his general election run against Democrat Marilyn O’Shaughnessy, Husted didn’t think that the voter-ID requirement was quite so important. In fact, he didn’t mention it at all (click to enlarge in a new tab or window):

HustedGenlElection2010IssuesPage

Oh, and in case you’re wondering (verifiable by visiting the archive.org links noted above), that Tea Party tab employed during the primary campaign disappeared during the general election campaign.

In June of this year, Husted not only abandoned his voter-ID advocacy, he stridently argued against it, somehow convincing Republicans in the legislature who seemed clearly inclined to continue it to instead abandon it:

Husted maintains stance against photo-ID provision

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted issued another strong statement against requiring voters to present photo identification at the polls, continuing his week-long streak of standing against members of his own party.

In a statement emailed by his office today, Husted said: “I want to be perfectly clear, when I began working with the General Assembly to improve Ohio’s elections system it was never my intent to reject valid votes.

“I would rather have no bill than one with a rigid photo identification provision that does little to protect against fraud and excludes legally registered voters’ ballots from counting,” Husted said. “It is in the hands of the General Assembly.”

Husted’s objections over the controversial photo ID requirement played a role in Senate leadership stripping the provision out of a broad elections bill.

… Husted has said he prefers voters being given an alternative to prove their identities by providing their nine-digit Social Security numbers.

It would appear that a voter can provide any old Social Security number and march right into the voting booth or complete his or her absentee ballot. Great. Otherwise ineligible voters appear to be free and clear to make stuff up, while honest voters who choose to disclose their Social Security numbers rather than show ID are subject to at least some additional risk of identity theft. If I’m wrong, I would welcome a correction.

Thus, Jon Husted portrayed himself as a champion of voter ID and as a guy with “Tea Party Values” when it helped him fend off a primary challenge, jettisoned those items without explanation in the general election campaign, and now has totally and aggressively abandoned what he allegedly stood for a mere 18 months ago. He has left Ohio’s 2012 elections vulnerable to manipulation by those who place no value on their integrity. He has done it all without even a peep of outrage from ORPINO or its former voter ID bill-sponsoring Chairman Kevin DeWine.

Memo to Ohio’s establishment press: You can start doing your jobs and let the people of Ohio know about Husted’s about-face any time now.

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