Last Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary has brought the topic of voter ID front and center again. Conservatives are crowing about how the record turnout completely disproves Democrats’ claim that voter ID laws are designed to disenfranchise traditional Democratic constituencies — mainly students and people of color. But what those conservatives aren’t saying is that while there was a record turnout overall, it was due to Republican voters, who turned out at almost three times the rate they did in 2008. Democratic turnout compared to that year was down by around 110,000.
Over the past few years there have been several instances of Republicans hinting that voter ID is a means to put or keep the GOP in power. The most recent admission in that regard came from Wisconsin congressman Glenn Grothman on Tuesday evening. But the most damning revelation about voter ID laws comes from a former Wisconsin GOP staffer named Todd Allbaugh. On April 5, Allbaugh posted the following on his Facebook account:
Allbaugh is saying what we’ve all believed for the past several years is true — the current Republican party can’t win in a lot of places by running on their policies, which are abhorrent to many people. So they are trying to win by cheating.
Republicans hate government; they say so themselves all the time. So why do they want to run it? The answer can be found in the book “Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches” by former Nixon lawyer John W. Dean. In that book, Dean says that to Republicans, the purpose of government is power. They see government as a means to enrich themselves, their families and their friends. Todd Allbaugh agrees with Dean’s assessment.
Allbaugh joined MSNBC host Chris Hayes on his show All In on April 7. During that appearance he repeated the charges he made in his Facebook post. Of course, there will be some who will dismiss Allbaugh as a “disgruntled former employee” or the like. But all he doing is filling in the blanks left open by other Republicans like Pennsylvania GOP leader Mike Turzai, who famously said to a Republican committee meeting in 2012, “Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania — done.”
Here’s what Allbaugh had to say about Republicans and voter ID:
Featured image via MSNBC screen capture