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Paul Kiesel
Paul Kiesel
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Michigan Republicans Plan to “Foreclose” on Voters to Help McCain

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According to CBS News, Michigan Republicans are planning to use a list of foreclosed homes throughout the state to block people from voting in the upcoming presidential election in counties where foreclosure rates are high. One of those counties, Macomb County, a “key swing county in a key swing state,” will use this “foreclosure” tactic as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenger some voters on Election Day, as Michigan is arguably the top “blue state” target of the McCain campaign.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He argued that Macomb County wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.

McCain’s campaign has yet to respond to this issue, and it’s likely they’ll ignore it. The scheme would affect African-American families in the area, “who are more likely to vote Democratic, and more likely to be in foreclosure as a result of sub-prime loans,” (cbsnews.com, 9/12/08).

Macomb County Republicans suggest that this is just part of a comprehensive voter-challenge campaign Michigan Republicans are taking part in this year; it will coordinate with the regional McCain campaign to train volunteers in challenging those who wish to vote on Election Day.

The Michigan Republican Party has not stated if the foreclosure-driven scheme will be implemented statewide or just limited to counties with high foreclosure rates.

When asked about the GOP’s efforts, by CBS’s Steve Benen, Carabelli said, “I would rather not tell you all the things we are doing.”

Right, just like the lenders who enabled the foreclosure crisis when they didn’t want to tell us what they were doing when they were selling the loans that put us in this foreclosure mess.

Benen ends his article aptly: “Because nothing says democracy like Republicans acting in secret to prevent Americans from participating in an election. And nothing says ‘in touch with the needs of working families’ like trying to capitalize, politically, on a foreclosure crisis, by stopping victims from voting.”

The GOP says it embraces small town values. Maybe it’s just “small” values.