Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Greater Threat to Democracy: Voter Fraud or Intimidation?

By John W. Lillpop

Tan Nguyen is running for the U.S. House in California’s 47th Congressional District. He is running as a Republican in opposition to the incumbent, Democrat Loretta Sanchez.

The novice Republican apparently made a mistake by sending a letter, or causing his campaign to send a letter, to Hispanics warning that those in America illegally or immigrants could be jailed or deported for voting.

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Nguyen’s letter would have been perfectly fine had it mentioned only illegal aliens. Unfortunately, the letter lumped illegal aliens and immigrants together and appeared to warn Hispanics of the severe consequences of “voting while Brown.”

Mind you, Nguyen is justified in being very concerned about votes being cast by illegal aliens. In 1996, former Congressman Bob Dornan lost his seat to Loretta Sanchez by just 984 votes. Dornan alleged that his loss was due to votes cast by Hispanic illegal aliens.

Nguyen has paid a heavy price for his ill-begotten campaign letter. The FBI raided his headquarters and California Republican leaders asked him to abandon his campaign. Both Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger and challenger Phil Angelides denounced the letter as a “hate crime.”

All in all, not a good campaign strategery for the immigrant from Viet Nam.

However, one does not need to go back too far in history to find an equally bone-headed mistake involving Hispanics and voting in California. In fact, just this past summer, Democrat candidate Francine Busby advised an audience of Spanish speakers that “You don't need papers for voting, you don't need to be a registered voter to help.”

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While Busby’s remarks got wide media attention, the FBI was not called in and Democrat leadership did not desert the Mensa-adverse Busby. The mainstream media did not go into integrity shock.

Overall, the liberal reaction was guarded hypocrisy.

Why the difference, one wonders, between the treatment afforded Nguyen and Busby?

One involves possible intimidation, the other possible voter fraud. Both are reprehensible and serious threats to American democracy and must be weeded out of our electoral process.

And both should be firmly denounced by all media sources and by all politicians, liberal and conservative alike!

John Lillpop is a recovering liberal, "clean and sober" since 1992 when last he voted for a Democrat. Pray for John: He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where people like Nancy Pelosi are considered reasonable!