Screaming Republican Hypocrisy on ‘Ballot Stuffing’ in Arizona

I‘m sure by now you’ve heard about the Republican party flipping out about video of a Latino man dropping off a box full of absentee ballots in Arizona. He’s dark-skinned, you see, and thus a Democrat who must be up to no good. But then at the very same time, Mitt Romney came to town to stump on behalf of GOP candidates and the invitation to the rally encouraged people to bring their early voting ballots with them to be turned in exactly the same way.

A couple days ago, we brought you the story of a completely fabricated wingnut outrage over a Latino man supposedly “caught” on video as he “stuffed a ballot box” in Arizona’s August primary. Except he wasn’t frauding anything at all.

The man, Ben Marin (not “Marine” as a couple of other sites have spelled it), was delivering early ballots to the Maricopa County Elections Department on behalf of Citizens for a Better Arizona (CBA). Arizona election law allows people to have anyone they want return their early ballots, and as we noted, Maricopa County Republican Party chair A.J. LaFaro, who pushed this “ballot stuffing” story into public attention, knows damned well this routine practice is perfectly legal. LaFaro was among those pushing a since-repealed law that briefly made it illegal for anyone but the absentee voter to turn in their own early ballot. Since we ran the story Wednesday morning, there have been a few additional developments.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell has confirmed that there’s nothing illegal or even suspicious about a get-out-the-vote worker dropping off ballots…

Thursday night, Mitt Romney made an appearance in Mesa, Arizona, to campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey. A graphic on a couple of conservative blogs, reproduced up top, urged attendees to “Bring your Early Ballots!” so GOP get-out-the-vote volunteers could collect them and get them to the county elections office. Our favorite little irony: On one rightwing blog, “Sonoran Alliance,” the Romney event notice, complete with invitation to bring those early ballots, appeared immediately above a piece complaining that “Ballot Stuffing is Legal in Arizona.”

The Romney event notice was later removed from the site, for obvious reasons. You see, when someone with dark skin does it, it’s obviously those dirty foreigners trying to steal elections. When Republicans do it, it’s just good civic engagement.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Artor

    Has there been any sign of consequences for LaFaro? His deliberately inflammatory rhetoric against Marin was clearly over-the-top, and resulted in death threats against a man he knew perfectly well was innocent of any wrongdoing.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Artor: his back may be a bit sore for a while from all the slaps, but otherwise it’s just a matter of Free Speech.

  • http://www.facebook.com/charlie.cain chuck c

    If the folks in AZ want to build a wall, how about building one around Maricopa county? A whole lot of douchebaggery seems to immigrate from there to the rest of the US.

  • Artor

    From the original article;

    LaFaro called Marin “a vulgar, disrespectful, violent thug that has no respect for our laws” in an interview with the Arizona Daily Independent. He said he wanted to follow Marin into the parking lot but feared the evil Hispanic man would kill him.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell has confirmed that there’s nothing illegal or even suspicious about a get-out-the-vote worker dropping off ballots…

    If it’s not illegal then why are the police doing nothing about this?

    If it’s not suspicious then why am I so scared and angry?

    Answer me that, Liberals!

  • Michael Heath

    Artor writes:

    Has there been any sign of consequences for LaFaro? His deliberately inflammatory rhetoric against Marin was clearly over-the-top, and resulted in death threats against a man he knew perfectly well was innocent of any wrongdoing.

    D. C. Sessions responds:

    [Maricopa County Republican Party chair A.J. LaFaro’s] back may be a bit sore for a while from all the slaps, but otherwise it’s just a matter of Free Speech.

    I’m not at all confident this is that clear cut. There may be grounds for a civil suit given the results Artor reports.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    “If it’s not illegal then why are the police doing nothing about this?”

    Indeed, why not investigate the matter — several Congressional committees can find room on their calendars I’m sure — as long as they have nothing to hide? Once the powers-that-be do get involved, of course, it will be absolute proof of wrongdoing by virtue of it being under investigation.

  • caseloweraz

    Let’s see…

    * This alleged ballot-stuffing occurred in August, yet the story is only now coming out? I suppose it’s just coincidence that the election is only two weeks away.

    * If A. J. LaFaro had a case that fraud was taking place, he should have long since made it to the county elections staff and gotten the matter dealt with.

    * I find it curious that LaFaro doesn’t appear on the video. Evidently he confronted Ben Marin from behind bullet-proof glass. In the video, Marin doesn’t seem very dangerous. Did he have a shiv tucked into his boot? No; he wasn’t wearing boots. Perhaps a piece was hidden under the back of his T-shirt. But from the video, that’s unlikely. LaFaro says he feared for his life; perhaps Marin had accomplices waiting outside. Yet LaFaro did not visibly confront him inside, where there were witnesses to any potential mayhem. Such witnesses would have been valuable to him in any case, to confirm the insults he claims Marin threw at him. Where are those witnesses? In the video, Marin shows no sign of being involved in angry dispute.

    I’m sure it’s not surprising to anyone here that this is just more Republican fear-mongering.

    A. J. LaFaro

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