I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
N.M. GOP attorney says voter fraud likely, even as he gets TPM treatment
Pat Rogers, a prominent GOP attorney, sparked headlines on Talking Points Memo on Monday night. The spotlight on Rogers comes as TPM focuses on the accusations brought by the New Mexico GOP last week of finding clear evidence of voter registration fraud that represents a “bombshell.”
In its item, TPM reminded its readers that Rogers had figured in the federal Department of Justice report released in September that gave a blistering critique on the department’s handling of the U.S. Attorney firings.
But Rogers was adamant on Monday when he told the Independent that voter fraud likely is occurring in New Mexico. And he referred to last week’s GOP press conference that produced evidence he called convincing.
State Republicans last week said their search of public records for 92 newly registered Albuquerque voters who cast ballots in the June primary uncovered “highly suspect” voter registrations on file in 28 of those cases. They called it “bombshell” evidence of voting fraud. The party provided names for 10 of the 28 suspect registrations and said five of those 10 were registrations submitted by ACORN.
One of them has a social security number that is being used by three other people, GOP officials said. And another has a Social Security number that was issued before the voter in question was born.
“These are highly suspect forms,” Rogers said. “We have evidence that demands immediate and thorough investigation.”
Claims of “voter suppression and racism are being used to avoid responsibility for the dishonest activities of ACORN,” Rogers said.
ACORN, for its part, on Saturday brought forward two of the five voters the GOP said ACORN had registered and who had highly suspicious registration forms. ACORN officials said they contacted two of the other registered voters and said they were real as well.
But call TPM skeptical of Rogers’ contention. Rogers’ involvement in the Iglesias scandal prompted TPM to write:
In other words, one of the very same New Mexico GOP activists who was found in the OIG report to have tried to pressure David Iglesias to bring bogus voter-fraud prosecutions is still on the case, and has now helped to get a new federal investigation launched just weeks before the election.
And remember: the OIG report definitively concluded that Iglesias was fired as New Mexico’s US attorney for his reluctance to follow up on politically motivated voter-fraud claims, made by local Republicans including Rogers.
The federal investigation TPM refers to is the 1,400 registration forms the FBI is reviewing. Meanwhile, the DOJ report TPM references was produced by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and dedicates an entire chapter to former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, who was fired for, among other reasons, not pursuing voter fraud claims with enough gusto. Rogers figures prominently in that chapter as the authors of the DOJ report revisit his involvement in pushing voter registration fraud claims, which included ACORN, leading up to the 2004 general election and his pressure on then-U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. The DOJ report goes on to report that Rogers, among other New Mexico Republicans, continued to complain about voter fraud in New Mexico and complained to DOJ officials about what they perceived as Iglesias’s lack of movement on prosecuting such cases. At one point, the report says, Rogers and another prominent Republican, Mickey Barnett, met with the Department of Justice’s White House liaison Monica Goodling in Washington in June 2006 to complain about Iglesias’ record on voter fraud.
Several months later, Iglesias found himself out of a job as U.S. Attorney.