Is It Racist To Rely On Racism To Boost GOP Turnout? It's A Headscratcher!
It's almost 2020, which means it's time for more Republican ballot fuckery. Hooray! In the 2000s, Karl Rove famously drove GOP turnout by getting gay marriage on the ballot in key states, because you'll never go broke betting on the bigotry of the Republican electorate. But with Trump in office, the new plan is to hate on brown immigrants while telling lies about hordes of illegal Democratic voters stealing elections from White Jesus and the apostles. So today's bigot bait ballot initiatives will protect our sacred electoral process by making it illegal for non-citizens to vote.
Astute observers will note that it's already illegal for non-citizens to vote in federal elections. But a tiny handful of jurisdictions do allow non-citizens to participate in municipal elections. And if San Francisco and Takoma Park, Maryland, are letting non-citizens vote for the school board, then it must be time to PANIC. Or at least time to start hollering about it to gin up the rubes and make sure they come out in November.
Enter Tim Mooney of Silver Bullet, Inc., an Arizona-based political consultant that specializes in GOP ballot initiatives. After a 2010 petition drive to help Rick Perry by getting the Green Party candidate on the ballot -- so helpful! -- Mooney earned his ratfucking stripes in the marriage wars, spearheading Utah's anti-gay marriage amendment initiative in 2014. But then he had a "change of heart" in 2016, when he worked to get a pro-gay marriage amendment on the Florida and Arizona ballots, at a time when it was clear they had no chance of passing. Not in coordination with any local LGBT groups, of course. Just, you know, out of his overwhelming need to help his poor, oppressed gay brethren by goosing the bigot turnout.
But the Supreme Court put the kibosh on that play, so now it's on to constitutional amendments to make extra-double-super certain that none of them librul cities get crazy like San Francisco and let non-citizen parents of children enrolled in schools vote for school board members. The Washington Post reports that Mooney is behind a recent ballot initiative in Florida to amend the state constitution to say that "only" a citizen may vote in a Florida election.
This poses a solution to a problem that does not exist -- zero Florida localities are contemplating measures to allow non-citizen voting -- but it would likely boost Republican turnout. So Mooney has marshaled $4.7 million from an organization called Citizen Voters Inc, which, the Tampa Bay Times reports, "registered as a non-profit in 2018 but skirted IRS disclosure laws by not collecting money until 2019, and it does not have to disclose its sources of income until May 2020." Might goddamn convenient, ain't it?
And Mooney lined up West Palm Beach power couple Gina and John Loudon to be the public face of the campaign. John Loudon is a former Missouri GOP lawmaker who sits on the board of Citizen Voters Inc. and Florida Citizen Voters, the local PAC they're funneling cash through. Gina Loudon, aka Dr. Gina, is national co-chair of Women for Trump and a member of Trump's media advisory board. She recently went on Sean Hannity's White Power Hour to explain, "My book actually uses science and real data and true psychological theory to explain why it is quite possible that this president is the most sound minded person to ever occupy the White House."
Unfortunately, Gina'n'John'n'Tim failed to run their play by the local GOP. Apparently, Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott's 2018 wins in a blue wave year convinced them that turnout isn't going to be a problem, so they're more focused on beating back Democratic ballot initiatives backed by out-of-state donors. Because when Democrats put fair districts and marijuana legalization on the ballot -- or, say, felon re-enfranchisement in Florida -- it works. How's a GOP messaging guru supposed to argue that Floridians are victims of out-of-state and possibly foreign-backed ballot initiatives when Republicans are running the same play? Jesus, Tim, get with the program!
But Mooney has bigger plans, telling the Post that he intends to get similar measures on the ballot in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, and West Virginia. Because "Leftist activists have termed noncitizen voting 'the newest civil right ... How is this possible? Citizen Voters wants every state to pass the Citizen Voters Amendment."
Le sigh. They only have the one play, and it's RACISM. Third verse same as the first.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.