Republican sleazy tactics roundup

It's hard to keep up with the Republican sleaze this week.

Michigan Republicans are planning to use foreclosure lists to suppress the vote in African-American neighborhoods:

The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP's effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

"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 said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.


One expert questioned the legality of the tactic.

"You can't challenge people without a factual basis for doing so," said J. Gerald Hebert, a former voting rights litigator for the U.S. Justice Department who now runs the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington D.C.-based public-interest law firm. "I don't think a foreclosure notice is sufficient basis for a challenge, because people often remain in their homes after foreclosure begins and sometimes are able to negotiate and refinance."

As for the practice of challenging the right to vote of foreclosed property owners, Hebert called it, "mean-spirited."

Republicans in Columbus, Ohio may be planning to use the same tactic.

Speaking of Ohio, Marc Ambinder reports that push-polling against Obama appears to have started there as well as in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Don't imagine that it's only state-level GOP operatives taking the low road. John McCain's latest television commercials on education accuse Obama of wanting to teach kindergartners about sex before they learn to read. David Sirota correctly points out that the law in question (on age-appropriate comprehensive sex education) called for protecting small children against child molesters by teaching them about inappropriate touching. If anything I think kindergarten is a little late to start teaching children about "good" and "bad" touches. This knowledge makes kids safer from sex predators.

In other news of the week, Republican spinmeisters are trying to gin up a scandal over Obama's use of the phrase "lipstick on a pig." Their fake outrage is even more hypocritical than it appears at first glance.

Also, CBS forced the McCain campaign to take down a "misleading" web ad.

Feel free to post a comment about anything I've left out.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that Sarah "I put the plane on eBay" Palin charged Alaska taxpayers for her family's personal travel.

In addition, Palin's ethics adviser urged the governor to apologize for "overreaching" in her desire for revenge against the Alaska state trooper who used to be her brother-in-law.

Newsweek cites court documents showing that the judge in the divorce case

was disturbed by the alleged attacks by Palin and her family members on Wooten's behavior and character. "Disparaging will not be tolerated-it is a form of child abuse," the judge told a settlement hearing in October 2005, according to typed notes of the proceedings.

I can't remember who said it first, but I absolutely agree that in light of "troopergate" we need to worry about how a potential Vice President or President Palin would use the FBI against her personal as well as her political enemies.

Meanwhile, a whistleblower who worked for Cindy McCain during the 1990s asserts that John McCain

used his Senate staff and resources to cover up Cindy's drug use, and potentially to prevent the Drug Enforcement Agency from investigating his wife's theft of illegal prescription drugs.

Snud has a lot more detail on those allegations here

Abuse of power to cover up personal wrongdoing? Sounds like George Bush to me.

SECOND UPDATE: Naughty, naughty. The Wall Street Journal scrubbed the end of an article pointing out that while McCain criticizes earmarks, Palin requested more earmarked dollars per capita than any other governor.

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