Gingrich and GOP hypocrisy
As Chris Hayes, sitting in for MSNBC's Rachel Maddow noted at the time of the incident, citing a 2009 op-ed by Gingrich, the 1,500 acts of alleged election fraud committed on behalf of his campaign came straight from "from the Department of Shameless Schadenfreude."
Gingrich had joined his fellow Republicans years earlier in blasting the community organization ACORN for alleged "voter fraud" (which they never committed) in his op-ed, falsely claiming "ACORN has a long history of engaging in voter fraud."
But, of course, while a handful of ACORN's tens of thousands of voter registration workers turned in fraudulent signatures at various times over the years, there is no evidence that it was either condoned or ordered by ACORN themselves. Moreover, in almost every instance, when fraud by one of their workers was discovered, officials were notified of the fraudulent forms by ACORN themselves who also turned in the names of those workers to officials for prosecution.
There is no evidence that any illegal vote has ever been cast, in any election, due to an improper registration by any ACORN worker.
Those handful of voter registration fraud (not "voter fraud", as Gingrich described it) incidents by ACORN workers was condemned by Gingrich and his fellow Republicans. Famously, during a 2008 Presidential debate, then GOP nominee John McCain described those cases as "one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy."
Gingrich, McCain, Fox "News" and many others in the GOP opportunistically and inaccurately described the cases as "massive voter fraud". Yet, when 1,500 cases ofactual fraud was apparently carried out by Gingrich's own campaign (and prosecutors indicate it may be more than that), he marginalized the matter as "just a mistake."
The Republican Party has continually misrepresented the ACORN worker cases in order to push for new laws requiring state-issued Photo ID at the polling place for voting, even though such laws would not deter the type of fraud they were accusing ACORN of committing. They are pushing for such laws not because it will deterincredibly rare acts of in-person impersonation at the polling place, but because those laws will disproportionately disenfranchise Democratic-leaning voters, such as minorities, students, the poor and the elderly.
At the time of Gingrich's caught-on-tape admission to his supporter about his campaign's own fraud, Mediate's Tommy Christopher aptly described what he admitted his campaign had done to be "arguably worse than what ACORN was accused of."
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