Elijah Cummings COMING For Election Brian Kemp Stole From Stacey Abrams
Elijah Cummings dropped a bomb of reckoning in Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's mail Wednesday. The chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform is demanding the receipts to the election Kemp stuffed in his pants and walked off with when he thought no one was looking.
As Secretary of State, Kemp was very concerned that Georgians might exercise their right to vote, especially the particular shade of Georgian who'd never vote for him. After winning the Republican primary as an off-brand Donald Trump who liked to point loaded weapons at teens, Kemp refused to quit his job that involved overseeing the election in which he was a candidate against Stacey Abrams. It's the sort of thing you'd think would be mandatory and if not, someone would have the integrity to do on their own.
Cummings states in a letter to Kemp that his committee is investigating "serious problems" with voter access in Georgia. He specifically calls out Kemp for cancelling the voter registrations of 1.4 million Georgians (10 percent of the population), 670,00 of them in 2017 alone. In 2018, 53,000 Georgians, most of them minorities, tried to register to vote and Kemp placed their applications on "hold."
Democrat Stacey Abrams understood from the get-go that she'd never win if she relied on "habitual voters," so she worked hard to inspire and mobilize so-called "low propensity" voters. Coincidentally, those were the ones Kemp actively worked to disenfranchise. On Election Day, black voters waited in line for hours because of a "shortage" of voting machines. This was a poll tax under the guise of simple incompetence. Abrams still came within 55,000 votes of winning the election and 18,000 votes from forcing a runoff. It's naive to think overt corruption on Kemp's part didn't help drag his sorry ass across the finish line. Hillary Clinton, the people's president, even said in a recent speech that Abrams would be governor now if an actual honest election had been held.
Cummings has given Kemp until March 20 to provide all communications related to "voter purges," the placement of voter applications on "hold" or in "pending status," as well as all documents related to "closing, moving, or consolidating polling sites." Cummings also requests information regarding "the ethical or legal" obligations of simultaneously running for governor while overseeing state elections. He even demands documents related to Kemp's craven announcement, on the SecState website just three days before the election, that his office was investigating the Democratic Party after a "failed hacking attempt." In truth, the Democrats had warned Kemp of potential security problems. It was actually obscene.
Kemp plans to cooperate with Cummings because that's the law and all. He probably already has a folder stuffed with documents called "Show To The House Committee." If Cummings is smart, he'll ask for the one called "Never Show To The House Committee." Meanwhile, Kemp outright dismissed the investigation as just plain partisan "politics." Then, because he's the absolute worst, he shifted to repulsive dog whistling.
"Elijah Cummings and his colleagues in the House are hung up on giving more money to Puerto Rico when we have our own farmers who are fixing to lose their farm," Kemp said, specifying that people in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama were affected by [Hurricane Michael].
"I would urge them to do the real work of this country. Take care of the people who need relief," Kemp said.
This racist slime ignores that Puerto Rico is part of the US, and almost 5,000 people died there as a result of Hurricane Marla. There's also no evidence that Democrats don't care about Michael's victims just because they are still aware Puerto Rico exists.
Still, if Democrats would just get off the fake governor's back, Kemp would actually help Abrams's dream come true of free and fair elections. He's currently urging the state to replace almost 27,000 rickety voting machines so old they still have "Whites Only" printed on the side. That might've been good enough for his own fixed election, but now he wants to trade in these easily hackable antiques for some newer and probably just as hackable models.
The cost of the replacement machines, known as ballot-marking devices (BMDs), is sky-high: Kemp included $150 million in his budget to buy them. That's just an initial price, not including annual maintenance fees and licensing deals and such, but it's at least three times what it would cost to have Georgians vote by paper ballot, as 70 percent of the country now does.
Kemp ran a deranged ad last year where he demonstrated how he'd "blow up" government spending by literally blowing things up. (Dude, it's just a metaphor. Put away the dynamite.) What happened to his fiscal responsibility? It hooked up behind the bleachers with his crony capitalism. The favorite to win the $150 million contract, if approved, is Election Security & Software, which has had, er, some longstanding issues. Kemp's deputy chief of staff, Chuck Harper, is a former lobbyist for the company. David Dove was on the ES&S's board of directors and is now Kemp's executive counsel. Everyone gets a taste!
The governor is really just a white suit away from everyone rightly calling him Boss Kemp.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.