Sunday, November 4, 2012

Karl Rove is not only the primary bundler of SuperPAC money enabled by the Citizens United ruling, but he's also the central figure frequently cited in the most reputable allegations of election fraud in the 2000 and 2004 elections. This is and should be a disturbing development. So he bears watching before the election to see what the world will have to contend with on election night. His recent column in the Wall Street Journal was chilling, not because political partisans often try to express confidence and convince their fickle potential supporters that they could be on a winning ship, but because it appeared to set forth the talking points for others to explain why a rigged Ohio ballot would have legitimately turned for Romney.

Yesterday brought an optimistic development in which Rove started to use Hurricane Sandy as an excuse for a possible Romney loss, leading to trash talking by folks like Obama advisor David Plouffe that "I think Karl Rove might have said that because a few days ago he predicted a big Romney win, and my sense is Karl is going to be at crossroads himself on Tuesday when he tries to explain to the people who wrote him hundreds of millions of dollars why they fell up short." My reaction to those statements is that if Plouffe and his cohorts are going to gloat about Rove's demise, they have to make absolutely sure that Rove can't convince a Republican governor in Ohio to use its rigged voting machines, some owned by Romney, to deliver a Romney victory there. One of the factors at play here is how badly Rove wants this, and how hard the White House is willing to work to prevent a fraudulent outcome.

Another disturbing development is that as the mainstream media is, as usual, silent about the recent history of electoral fraud, the right-wing press is already mounting its accusations against the Democrats, with FoxNews reporting flipped votes for Obama and the main organization soliciting notifications of fraud being Sheldon Adelson's SuperPAC Winning Our Future, previously aligned with Newt Gingrich, asking Americans to send their cellphone documentations of fraud to them so that they can decide which ones should be aired. Also, the network news has for the past few weeks (I know this only from watching the debates, I don't watch the broadcasts) been promoting the idea of a "statistical dead heat" by citing selected popular vote polls that tilt to Romney, getting the public used to the idea that Romney could win without emphasizing the electoral map and the state polls.

The Citizens United SuperPACs give political operatives a sustained relationship with deep pockets - determined to see a certain outcome of the election - that they wouldn't otherwise have, making the situation different from one in which donors reach their maximum contribution limit and have their index card filed away for the next election cycle. Why is it Sheldon Adelson's SuperPAC that wants to filter news on election fraud, the person who a reporter asked "How much money are you going to spend on this election?" before being pushed by his daughter, while being accompanied to his suite by Rove? This means that the sources of money that can be used to corrupt the system can be directed more easily to the people in a position to sell out the system.

Obviously, the longterm focus should not be on simply demonizing a crooked fixer who tries to exert control over a previously democratic system, assuming another won't take his place if he retires to a Tibetan monastery, but holding accountable the people in positions of power who allowed it to happen and changing the system so that it can't happen again. The Democratic Party has not tried hard enough to repeal Citizens United and create a paper trail for balloting, and it's their constituents, not the revolving door of politician/lobbyists who lead the party, who pay the heaviest price.

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman on Rove in 2004. Their current columns appear frequently on The Free Press.

Vanity Fair's Craig Unger, 10/12 "Is Rove Again The Man to Make the Difference?"

J.W. Ennis in 2010: "Karl Rove isn't in it for power anymore.. Karl Rove needs GOP control of the Justice Department so that he can wrap up loose ends and not have to keep looking over his shoulder."

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