During yesterday’s hearing in federal court about South Carolina’s voter ID law, the author of the bill, State Rep. Alan Clemmons answered questions regarding the motivation for the bill, and it wasn’t pretty.
An attorney for the civil rights groups suing South Carolina under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 presented emails to Rep. Clemmons which evidence that Clemmons supports racially charged rhetoric used to denounce the notion that brown folks might not have the means or transportation to obtain voter ID.
Ed Koziol, a racist-ass South Carolinian, e-mailed Clemmons and said that if the legislature offered a reward for ID cards, “it would be like a swarm of bees going after a watermelon.” In response, Clemmons wrote, “Amen.” Amen, Ed! High five!
Additionally, Clemmons claimed not to remember handing out packets of peanuts with cards that read “Stop Obama’s nutty agenda and support voter ID.” (The civil rights attorney stated that Clemmons had previously testified he had handed out the nuts.)
WASHINGTON — A South Carolina lawmaker and the author of a voter ID law considered discriminatory by the Justice Department testified in federal court Tuesday that, while crafting the bill, he had responded favorably to a racist email in support of the measure.
State Rep. Alan Clemmons acknowledged his reaction in the second day of arguments before a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia over whether the law violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Garrard Beeney, who represented the civil rights groups, presented emails sent to and from Clemmons’ personal account between 2009 and 2011, when he was working on the law. One, from a man named Ed Koziol, used racially charged rhetoric to denounce the idea that poor, black voters might lack transportation or other resources necessary to obtain photo ID. If the legislature offered a reward for identification cards, “it would be like a swarm of bees going after a watermelon,” Koziol wrote.
Beeney asked Clemmons how he had replied to this email. Clemmons hesitated a moment before answering, “It was a poorly considered response when I said, ‘Amen, Ed, thank you for your support.’”
Beeney also contended that Clemmons, a Republican, wrote the law to suppress Democratic votes. Blacks in South Carolina typically vote Democratic. Beeney asked Clemmons whether he remembered distributing packets of peanuts with cards that read “Stop Obama’s nutty agenda and support voter ID.”
Clemmons said he did not, though Beeney said he had testified in June that he did.
I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you, that the voter ID law enthusiasts consider passage of these sorts of laws a way to ensure that folks who might vote for Obama can’t.
Oh wait — no I’m not.
[read full post at ABLC]