Fenger Pointing

Becky Fenger | October 29, 2008

Becky FengerElection thoughts

Only six more days to go before the finish of the longest and most expensive race in presidential history. Not that I begrudge the money spent to pick our president. As author George Will has pointed out, Americans spend far, far more on potato chips yearly than is spent to elect the leader of the free world. That instantly puts things in perspective.

What does bother me mightily is the thought that vote fraud might play a factor at the finish line of this marathon race. When we have reached the point in our revered election process where operatives have corrupted the system, it’s all over, folks. Our freedom will be just a pleasant memory. And Barack Obama’s ACORN, the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, is front and center in the scandal. (You can run but you can’t hide, Barack the Organizer.) I highly recommend a book by the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund ominously titled, Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy.

We take for granted that American citizens will be the ones choosing our president. That may be on the way out, too, as reported by the Center for Immigration Studies. There is a concerted effort to allow new immigrants to vote without becoming citizens. Who is behind this? An alliance of “academics and law professors, local and state political leaders, and community and immigration activists.” Swell.

Then there is a growing movement to have ex felons cast ballots. ACORN, the NAACP, the Sentencing Project and the ACLU are working to restore voting rights to all. The Washington Wire of the WSJ reports that the Michigan Department of Corrections denied Barack Obama’s campaign the right to enter the prison facility to preregister prisoners who will be discharged before the election in an “Inmates to Support Barack Obama” push.

The state of Virginia is considered vital this year to a victory for Obama or John McCain. Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, is about to set a record for giving voting rights to felons by putting 1,500 on the rolls just this year, despite the fact that in his state felons lose their right to vote for life.

Maine and Vermont allow their convicts to vote while serving time. A liberal movement is afoot to let this be the law of the land. While an argument can be made for restoring voting rights to felons who have served their sentences, I would strongly object to a man or woman who is currently undergoing punishment being allowed to exercise the most precious of all rights of a citizen.

Closer to home, I would direct your attention to the race for Arizona Corporation Commission and ask that you not reward the disgusting antics of “Team Solar” by giving Sandra Kennedy, Paul Newman and Sam George your vote. You can get the whole story by going to www.PhoenixNew Times.com and typing their names into the “Search” bar, since my space is limited. Sam George used to be Sam Vagenas before the name change. What this smarmy trio did was to game the “Clean” Elections system by having George pour $290,000 of his own money into his campaign, thereby triggering an additional $165,000 of state money to the original $82,000 given by us to both Kennedy and Newman in the primary. Illegal? No. Unethical? You bet! The original goal of the “Clean” Elections Act was to give poor candidates with no ties to big donors a chance to compete against well-heeled candidates. Had George given himself more, Kennedy and Newman could each have received up to $248,000!

As reported by David M. Morgan of the Cochise County Record, the total direct cash state cost for Clean Elections candidates for the three seats on the Corporation Commission will be between $1.3 million and $2.1 million.

Don’t be swayed by the fact that you might be wild about solar power. We can get it without voting for these three political hooligans, two of whom ran from process servers who wanted to ask them about their use of Clean Elections money. Bob Stump, Barry Wong and Marian McClure weren’t my first choices for these seats, but they don’t have the slippery past of Vagenas/George who hatched the money-grabbing scheme. Despite what Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson thinks, we simply cannot afford to keep rewarding bad behavior.