This rather alarming video was linked here yesterday by commentor Rome Again. Here’s what the Colorado Springs Gazette says about it today:
[My emphasis] So, it looks like it may be “only” bog-standard base-level Republican dishonesty — a clueless young hottie sent out to register Romney voters misunderstanding what she’s allowed to do, or to say to potential registrants. (There’s also been some confusion on the internets by people who assume ‘El Paso County’ must be in Texas.) The one thing I think we can be sure about: If you have any free time at all, the Colorado OfA office can probably use your help to go solicit Safeway shoppers to register. Even the ones who intend to vote Republican — we still have almost six weeks to change their minds!
… The incident caught on video shows an encounter between a patron and a young female volunteer who was apparently working to make sure voters backing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made it to the polls. The problem: The young woman, after some head-scratching, says her work to boost the GOP turnout is funded by the county clerk.
Neither the volunteer on the recording nor the patron could be tracked down Sunday. But some who saw the video were outraged, demanding an investigation of County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams, a Republican.
Williams said the woman, though, doesn’t work for his office, which oversees local elections and voter registration. Instead, he said, she’s probably one of the scores of volunteers who are hitting the streets for both political parties to push voter registration ahead of the Nov. 6 election. The last day to register to vote for the presidential election is Oct. 9…
Romney and President Barack Obama are virtually deadlocked in statewide polls, making Colorado one of few prizes that remains up for grabs with seven weeks left to campaign.
And El Paso County will play a huge role in the statewide outcome. Long known as the state’s deepest pool of Republican voters, the county contains a pool of Democrats big enough to sway a statewide race if turnout is high.
Williams said one good way for people to sign up for a ballot to have their say is on the Internet: Citizens with Colorado ID cards can register to vote at GoVoteColorado.com.
Is the woman who filmed this filming her whole life or just taking footage of her shopping trips?
Williams may still be in hot water over this. Once she claimed to work for the county, that threw the whole mishegas into dangerous territory for him.
Imagine the white-hot intensity of this story if the person were doing it for Obama, funded by that same office, with the officeholder being a Democrat.
There wouldn’t be much talk about a single kid getting a little bit out of hand.
Um, after watching the video I’m voting for clueless. She also looks like she’s about 16.
Colorado Springs, home of (1) the Air Force Academy, which has a long history of inappropriate behavior toward non-Fundamentalist Christian cadets, (2) the creepy chastity-pledge movement, and (3) the greatest troll in the history of the Intertubes, Brad di Palma. Hard to imagine how this stuff could be happening there.
ACORN was disbanded for less, and I’m sure this guy was one of the cheerleaders. Fuck ’em.
Voting question: I want to apply for my absentee ballot this week (resident of IL, going to college in MO). There’s a part that says I have to label the election I want to vote in. Would that mean I need one for the presidential election, one for the House, one for the State Senate, etc? (In my area, everything except the presidential election is going to be competitive.) Because as I recall (I first voted in 2008), everyone was listed on the same ballot. Are the rules different for absentee ballots?
Or: Should I register in Missouri and just vote here instead?
“When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous. And she was choking and rubbing her eyes. Fortunately, there was enough oxygen for the pilot and copilot to make a safe landing in Denver. But she’s safe and sound.” – Mitt Romney
For fuck’s sake. The people who would have him run the country are traitors.
Corner Store Operator
@BGinCHI: Based on her initial question it seemed like she had talked to her when she entered the store and was suspicious so decided to film.
I vote for clueless as well.
OT: Can anyone of the html programers, website designers suggest a book for html, css stuff? I have some background in programming (C++) but I haven’t done it in a while. Something with more substance than the Idiots Guide series but less complicated than the O’ Reilly books.
“That’s a Smith and Wesson 45, and if you fire at me at this close range, the bullet will pass through me and the fuselage like a blowtorch through butter. The cabin will depressurize, and we’ll both be sucked into outer space together. If that’s how you want to enter the United States, you’re welcome. As for me, I prefer the easy way.”
I’m guessing she doesn’t actually work for the county clerk, but isn’t sure whether or not she does. She is probably being paid by a “third party” group to register as many Romney folks as she can. Similar to ACORN, though I don’t think ACORN discriminated, they just were registering in Democrat-heavy areas.
The set-up…asking someone who they are voting for (as if you were doing a “survey” and *then* asking to register the Romney voters — is just transparently stupid.
There are certainly laws in many states that forbid a voter registration organization from discarding any registrations (ACORN was forced by the law to submit the registrations they knew were faulty, and separated them out for ease of checking — they got lambasted by the GOP for turning in bad registrations).
Even if she is working for a third party register, it looks *really* bad. And should. You go where you think your voters are, but you can’t separate the sheep from the goats like that.
@Spaghetti Lee: If it is convenient, just vote in MO. http://www.rockthevote.org/
@Spaghetti Lee: Speaking as a lifelong IL resident, I would say MO would be better nationally, at least considering the (apparently still competitive?) McCaskill-Akin Senate race. Where are you from in IL? Unless you’re getting a chance to vote against Joe Walsh, maybe MO would be preferable.
@Spaghetti Lee: Not sure what county you are in, the Cook County applcations doesn’t require that. However, I think it may be a case of general election, primary election (Rep or Dem), etc. You can always call the office you would be requesting it from to make sure.
@schrodinger’s cat: I find the Head First series to be pretty good. Although you may find them stylistically annoying if you aren’t straight up beginner and don’t like their approach to making learning “easy.”
@Spaghetti Lee: Kay is the authority on local laws and her email is on the top right.
edit.. she writes on voter id and state election laws
Arm The Homeless
Pueblo has one of the largest schools in the state, it also has a lot of rural and retired voters because it does have a comparatively small economy for its population.
Either way its ripe for Obama to take this year, I hope he has a good ground-game.
@Spaghetti Lee: You should vote in MO if you can, Illinois is not a swing state.
I actually do live in the Walsh-Duckworth district. Here I’m in Vicky Hartzler’s district, and she has a somewhat competitive opponent (though not as competitive as Duckworth. But like you said, there’s also MO Senate here, and no senate election in IL.
I get that partisan voter registration is completely legal, and that both sides definitely do it.
And, yeah, the whole “I’m working for the county clerk” is a mess. But “I was mistaken when I said that” is probably a fig leaf enough.
And she didn’t refuse to register anyone, she just wasn’t going to go out of her way to offer to register anyone who wan’t a Mittbot.
That all seems to be business as usual.
But aren’t folks who are registering voters required to identify themselves as folks that are registering voters? Whenever I’ve seen registration drives (even partisan drives) there were big “Register to vote here” signs all around.
The fact that there was no sign, she didn’t volunteer the information, and was actually hiding what she was doing behind a bogus poll seems to be to be over the line.
But I have no idea if it is legal/illegal.
‘Mailing Address’ would mean where I live now (Missouri, for me) and ‘Home address’ means the permanent one back in IL, right?
@Spaghetti Lee: Your decision should be made soon.
@Spaghetti Lee: MO is also a little less red in the Presidential election than it could be, so your vote might also be useful there.
What’s the latest polling on the Walsh-Duckworth campaign?
This was discussed in a thread down below, but I just saw this tweet on Kos:
“If airplane windows don’t roll down, how does the pilot stick his head out the window to make sure his dog is okay?”
@gex: Will look it up but do you have a specific recommendation.
@Spaghetti Lee: Make sure you are clear on the Voter ID laws in both states and that you have all the proper ID with addresses that match up, etc. You’d hate to make a decision to vote in one state, only to find you don’t have whatever they’re requiring this go-round.
Is it just me, or do we need to recruit the “hottie” for our side? She looks a bit naive and maybe an easy convert. When I was her age, I was still voting for Republicans.
Is this what the Romney campaign meant when they decided to redirect efforts at Colorado?
The reason I am raising this is because a canvasser with a clipboard approached me in the street in Castle Rock, Colorado a few days ago with the same exact pitch, word for word. They didn’t get as far as the registration part, since my wife and I are already registered voters (so we waved the person off).
Bet these people are fanning out across Colorado to try to get new GOP registrants signed up in the weeks before the election. As other commentators have noted, partisan registration drives are not a new thing. What is spooky is when you combine something like this with the Colorado Secretary of State’s very overt and very partisan mucking around with the voter roles, and his efforts to declare large numbers of existing voter registrations to be invalid.
Looking at this….she was searching for an acceptable lie after she told the truth about what she was doing. She picked a bad one to tell.
What is it about Republicans saying the truth about what they think and then coming up with really bad lies to try and walk it back when other people say “Oh. Ouch. That’s not…wow. Didn’t know you thought that.”
new black panthers satellite office?
Forum Transmitted Disease
Huh, This sort of thing has been illegal in California for as long as I can remember, thank goodness. You can ask people to vote for your candidate, but you have to register anyone who asks no matter who they’re voting for.
Those of you who are voting for clueless…really? She’s at least 24 and she knows damn well what she’s doing.
Nothing there that says she doesn’t work for him personally. I’m sure he’s making sure every Republican in the county votes. Living or otherwise.
@burnspbesq: And Focus on the Family, and the Crystal Methodist Ted whatever his name is (snorting crack off a male hooker’s ass) and Michelle Malkin’s countertops.
That town is a wingnut Hell hole.
They fired most of the city employees, including cops and fire fighters, turned the pools over to the YMCA, disconnected the streetlights, and ask local residents to mow the parks once a week (which the city only waters once a month) if they don’t to be overrun by mosquitoes. If they don’t cut the grass, they have nothing to complain about when they are bitten by rats or eaten alive by bugs.
The busses only run once every 90 minutes and only during certain hours.
The Romney campaign isn’t registering voters. They outsourced that to the RNC.
I question whether she’s a volunteer. Where are the RNC finding volunteers? How does that work?
There are no “DNC volunteers”
How is she a “volunteer” if she admits she’s getting paid?
And paid by the (taxpayer funded) County Clerk, no less! I understand that Democrats are few on the ground in Colorado
Springs, but at least one or two of them pay some taxes…
NOT TO BE SPENT ON HIRING PEOPLE TO SIGN UP ROMNEY VOTERS!
Corner Store Operator
Duckworth is going to be fine against Walsh. If Democrats don’t pick up that seat, there are not a lot of House seats they will pick up.
@Rusty: Rusty, there are plenty of nice, wholesome looking teenage kids here in Colorado … who turn out to be hardcore, committed wingnuts when they open their mouths, due to home schooling and the like. We are not talking open minds or free inquiry normal of teenagers. Don’t get your hopes up for a “conversion.”
I say that as someone who was pretty conservative in my teens and twenties.
Awww, she’s cute. (Does the video lady call her “honeybunch”?) is there a catch-and-release program for li’l conservatives?
I’ve been through OFA voter registration training twice. No one leaves the training I went through with as little knowledge of the process as this person possesses. But it doesn’t surprise me, given the candidate she supports, that honesty and competence are in short supply in this situation.
I, also, am reasonably certain that this girl is merely a dolt and that the county clerk’s office is not actually her employer. Nevertheless, I urge El Paso County Democrats to follow Newt Gingrich’s dictum about throwing your drowning opponents an anvil. It’s their problem, not yours.
@kay: Kay, I share your suspicions. No matter what the talking track is, I strongly suspect that these people are NOT volunteers. If I can run into a “volunteer” early in the morning on a sleepy Castle Rock street, trying to sign up people leaving a diner, that suggests larger numbers of feet on the ground than your average volunteer effort.
@joes527: as an OFA volunteer I have registered Republicans with a smile. I have been accused of possibly not going to put that registration in, which I have roundly chastised as an affront to the ethics of the rights and responsibility of citizens to vote. They may still grump at the black lady registering them, but they know I will smack a bitch before I fail in my duty to them. Both sides do not do it too.
@Spaghetti Lee: At least here in Virginia, when you request an absentee ballot you have to give them your info as well as the address to which the ballot will be sent. They then use that info to get you a ballot for all YOUR races including bond issues, etc. I’d be stunned if Illinois’ situation is different.
@ruemara: My “both sides do it” comment was directed at “hold partisan registration drives.” And yes, both sides do it.
I went and looked up the California regulations, and they are pretty clear that this is permitted:
Voter registration is, by law, a non-partisan effort. That being the case, it is absolutely illegal to ask who a person is supporting and tell them that you are only registering voters who support a particular candidate.
I’ve been registering voters almost every week for months here in Colorado, usually more than once a week, and in spite of our ground game, we are not putting a dent in the newly-inactivated voter numbers. The Sec of State now has some ads out, I heard one on the radio for the first time today, but he doesn’t talk about the enormous numbers of inactive voters (200,000+ in Denver County alone)just makes it sounds like “register to vote! It’s a great idea!” Which is true, of course, but there are probably as many people out there who are inactive and need to be reactivated as there are that need to register for the first time. It has been a frustrating battle.
And the POS Sec of State, Scott Gessler, didn’t start these ads until after he got a sh&tstorm of bad publicity for pulling people off the rolls because of “discrepancies” in their registrations, specifically regarding their citizenship, of course.
It’s been a tough slog here in CO, and our incompetent OFA campaign staff has been completely counterproductive. Words cannot explain how much the campaign staff that has been assigned to this critical heavily-Latino corner of Denver has sucked. They are the second wave of OFA staff following lackluster reports & results from the last, but have proved to be exponentially worse.
But back to the point of the post — we register everyone, even the ones who piss & moan about Obama the whole time they’re filling out the form. I actually made a pretty big deal about the non-partisan issue way back in early June — told the OFA staff that we should not have clipboards with a big Obama sticker on them because it was muddying the voter-registration-is-non-partisan message. They took my advice. We don’t talk about candidates unless they bring it up, and I train people to register voters & canvass, and am explicit about that point.
@cosima: Suspect that those ads are just window dressing, designed to give Gessler some plausible deniability. They are too weak and too scarce and too late in the game to count. That’s on purpose. Same exact pattern in Pennsylvania. They are being incompetent on purpose, because they don’t REALLY want people to check their registrations and re-register if their names have been stricken from the voter rolls.
I think it is pretty plain that what Gessler is trying to do with his de-registration games (along with these partisan GOP registration drives) is ensure that any close election in Colorado is going to be a CONTESTED election.
@Arm The Homeless:
This happened in El Paso County, home of Colorado Springs.
Pueblo is in Pueblo County, and has long been Democratic Party stronghold. Pueblo and Colorado Springs are also in different Congressional Districts (3rd and 5th, respectivly), represented by Democrats and Republicans, respectivly.
Keep up the excellent work. Our SoS, Gessler, is evil
@ Bokonon & Wag —
Yup, covering his arse & he’s evil. Just got home from another round of canvassing. Since it’s getting dark early-ish now, we are doing it in pairs. The girl that was with me told me that she was at a bar last week and met a guy who said that he’d been registering voters for the Romney campaign. Not only were they paying him (!) to do it, but when he brought back the forms they said to him “Why are you registering Democrats?” He told her that he suspects that they did not turn those forms in, so he is no longer doing the work for them, even though he could use the money/job.
I suspect that is going on much more often than anyone realizes — same old shite with the Repubs, if they can’t win honestly then they’ll cheat their way to victory. So infuriating. One would hope that they’d be busted for it, but alas, our lovely SoS is probably in on the game at least indirectly, turning a blind eye to the shenanigans.
Just soldiering on here in Denver and hoping for the best, doing my part, and that’s all that I can do. This week I’m doing a big voter reg event at a farmer’s market, and am also having a couple of people at the table to educate voters about the local school bond issue and the big “Yes on S” issue that relates to state/city/school workers.
Part of me wishes that we had more time so that we could reach out to more people, the other part of me just wants it to be over because it’s exhausting.
One positive thing is that I’ve roped in our youngest daughter for several of the campaign events and even brought her with me to see Obama in August, so I hope I’m planting the seeds for her to become a huge Dem activist somewhere down the road. Tonight when I got home she said to me “Did you see our neighbor’s Romney signs? I almost died!” She’s 7. We have lots of talks about poverty and helping out other people and voting as a means to effect positive change — this morning it was centered around the privatizing schools issue, she brought it up. I think that I have deeper conversations with her than I do with our oldest who is in university…
My 22 y/o daughter had a similar situation when she went to the DMV to get DL for Nevada. A middle aged woman was going down the line outside the building asking everyone whether they approved or disapproved of Obamacare. Those who disapproved she would have them fill out a voter registration form and if they said they approved, as my daughter did, she would move on to the next person in line. A gentleman noticed this and asked why she didn’t register then made a point of loudly calling the woman back and stating the “young lady would like to register to vote.” She made a very large ‘x’ in the box denoting her party affliation as Democrat and thanked the woman for coming back.
Unfortunately, my daughter did not ask what organization the woman was volunteering with nor was the woman wearing anything suggesting a party or candidate affiliation.
There was some mild concern that despite getting a receipt that the registration form would be ‘lost’ but I am happy to report her voter registration card arrived yesterday and she will be casting her ballot in her 2nd general election.
Two incidents in two separate states is not a pattern but it does make me wonder if this is more than a coincidence.