Thursday, October 26, 2006

OC GOP Registration Scandal: Were there arrests?

I just got an email from the OC Democrats...
Apparently, DPOC Chairman Frank Barbaro learned from OC District Attorney Rackauckas that there were between nine and twelve arrests relating to the OC GOP illegally switching about 500 registered Democrats and Decline-to-State (Independent) voters to Republicans early this year.

From the email release:

Today, Orange County Democratic Chairman, Frank Barbaro, commended Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas for making several arrests relating to the more than 500 verified complaints of voter registration fraud filed in the last seven months by the Democratic Party. These arrests come after hundreds of Orange County registered voters, without their consent, had their party affiliations illegally changed from Democrat to Republican in a voter registration drive sponsored by the Republican Party (see the original story here).

“We are hopeful that these arrests, as well as the recent response by local Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh to the Tan Nguyen scandal, are indicative of a new effort by local Republican Party leaders to protect the rights of all Orange County voters,” Barbaro said.

“The basic problem is that for years, certainly going back to the posting of uniformed guards at polling places to discourage Hispanic voters in 1988, the Republican Party has perpetuated a permissive political culture in which political candidates and their operatives think that they can act to suppress the democratic process without fear of repercussion. The unscrupulous letter of Republican congressional candidate Tan Nguyen did not happen in a vacuum. I have no doubt that the unfortunate history of Republican campaigns, including the voter registration fraud just now being addressed by the District Attorney, provided a context for his actions.”

“Hopefully, these arrests are a good first step towards discouraging those who would wish to suppress the democratic process, and we are hopeful that more preemptive action will be taken in the future. Specifically, we support the efforts of Supervisor Lou Correa to bring together law enforcement leaders in an Orange County Election Task Force that will monitor and quickly respond to all efforts to undermine a full and fair voting process.”

Frank Barbaro
Democratic Party of Orange County

Also, Peggy Lowe at the OC Register is reporting on Total Buzz that the DA was hoping to have a big press conference on Monday to formally announce this with SoS McPherson, but I guess it's a little late for that now (as long as this proves to be true).

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