Opinion
President Barack Obama visits with campaign staff. Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press. President Barack Obama visits with campaign staff. Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press.  

How the Democrats could steal the key to winning Louisiana (and the rest)

Photo of Christopher Bedford
Christopher Bedford
Managing Editor

Fresh off re-election victories, President Barack Obama and his campaign-trail machine show no signs of slowing down. At all.

On Jan. 18, Obama for America (later, Organizing for America) became Organizing for Action; on Jan. 24, the campaign’s former national field director, Jeremy Bird, launched the party’s plan to turn Texas into a battleground; and in the coming weeks, if successful, the president’s Department of Justice will begin the process of turning Louisiana blue.

Just how would they go about doing that? Simple, really: The first step toward winning a state in the modern age is a deep knowledge of who is in that state, allowing organizations to understand how to reach, and sway, those people. And a major, major step in that direction in the Big Easy is obtaining the voter roll information — we’re talking Social Security numbers, license numbers, dates of birth, mother’s maiden names, dates and places of registration, and all changes to updates to registrations — for 2.9 million Louisiana voters, as well as the computer source codes the secretary calls “essential to election integrity,” and turn all that over to the activists and data gurus that won the country for the president in 2008 and 2012. One of these potential recipients is Catalist — an organization the Capital Research Center called “the most powerful weapon in [the left's] arsenal,” and one that counted Obama for America among its long and illustrious list of (entirely progressive) clients.

Sound nefarious? Well, it is. And this, in real time, is how it is playing out:

The Basics:

The DOJ is suing Louisiana Secretary of State Thomas Schedler, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH), DHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and DCFS Secretary Ruth Johnson under Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which requires states to register voters at welfare handout locations (they call these “public assistance” programs).

Louisiana, they charge, has not been registering welfare recipients with the “sufficient vigor” they think the 1993 law — at least the one section they choose to enforce — requires. (RELATED: Schedler: DOJ selectively enforcing 1993 Voter Rights law for ‘political agenda’)

Sounds likely enough, right? Louisiana, by the admission of Schedler himself, has a troubled past when it comes to voting corruption. Who would be surprised that the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division is taking an interest? But despite the insistence of professional race baiters across the country, the year is 2013, and here are a few voter facts to go with the hip new times: About 84 percent of eligible voters in Louisiana are registered, putting it in fourth place nationally; Louisiana’s 67.9 percent 2012 turnout was nine points above the national average and makes it one of three states with improved turnout from 2008; it was one of the first in the country to allow online voter registration; and it was one of the first to provide access to voter registration status at any time online. So now that the ghost of the KKK is out of the way, let’s take a look what’s going on here:

The Players:

The DOJ launched their lawsuit on July 12, 2011 — less than three months after an April 19 lawsuit was launched by Project Vote and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on pretty much the same grounds. Seriously: According to Voteguards.org — a website supporting Mr. Schedler and others in similar situations — the cases were so similar, “the defendants in the two identical cases attempted to have them merged into a single case in an effort to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs, but to no avail.”