The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Texas has been working hard to purge voters illegally, and it turns out that Republican Governor Greg Abbott was in on it.

A newly released batch of emails shows that Abbott pushed the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to investigate the citizenship status of Texas voters, all in the hopes of ginning up voter fraud claims.

The entire enterprise didn’t turn out well for the Texas GOP. They started with a splashy claim, saying 95,000 Texans were registered to vote but weren’t citizens, and 58,000 of those people had voted in at least one election. The voter purge list was riddled with errors and many on the list were citizens. It led to a lawsuit and a settlement that required Texas to completely walk back its baseless fraud allegations.

It also led to the resignation of Texas’ Acting Secretary of State David Whitley, who had pushed the voter fraud lie.

Abbott had thus far evaded embarrassment or responsibility for the entire affair, but that ended today when Campaign Legal Center, one of the groups that had sued the state, released emails detailing the creation of the voter purge list.

Abbott pops up in two emails in late August 2018. First, the DPS director of the driver’s license division wrote that “[t]he Governor is interested in getting this information as soon as possible.” That was followed by an email from a DPS employee saying, “We delivered this information earlier in the year, and we have an urgent request from the Governor’s office to do it again.”

According to Abbott, this doesn’t mean he had anything to do with the voter purge list. Late Tuesday, John Wittman, his spokesman, said that any allegation Abbott requested DPS provide the citizenship information was “patently false” and that “neither the governor nor the governor’s office gave a directive to initiate this process.”

That blanket denial doesn’t address what “urgent request” the governor’s office had that wasn’t about the DPS voter purge list. It would have been trivial for Wittman to explain what the request was, if not that. However, he’d also have to explain away the swift enthusiasm with which Abbott praised Whitley for “uncovering and investigating this illegal vote registration.”

Abbott has always loved to fearmonger about supposed voter fraud. It turns out when those claims fall apart, he doesn’t want to be held responsible.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

IMAGE: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

President Joe Biden

The price of gasoline is not Joe Biden's fault, nor did it break records. Adjusted for inflation, it was higher in 2008 when Republican George W. Bush was president. And that wasn't Bush's fault, either.

We don't have to like today's inflation, but that problem, too, is not Biden's doing. Republicans are nonetheless hot to pin the rap on him. Rising prices, mostly tied to oil, have numerous causes. There would be greater supply of oil and gas, they say, if Biden were more open to approving pipelines and more drilling on public land.

Keep reading... Show less
Youtube Screenshot

Heat deaths in the U.S. peak in July and August, and as that period kicks off, a new report from Public Citizen highlights heat as a major workplace safety issue. With basically every year breaking heat records thanks to climate change, this is only going to get worse without significant action to protect workers from injury and death.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration admits that government data on heat-related injury, illness, and death on the job are “likely vast underestimates.” Those vast underestimates are “about 3,400 workplace heat-related injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work per year from 2011 to 2020” and an average of 40 fatalities a year. Looking deeper, Public Citizen found, “An analysis of more than 11 million workers’ compensation injury reports in California from 2001 through 2018 found that working on days with hotter temperatures likely caused about 20,000 injuries and illnesses per year in that state, alone—an extraordinary 300 times the annual number injuries and illnesses that California OSHA (Cal/OSHA) attributes to heat.”

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}