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Michelle Electioneered At Polling Station?

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

First lady casts early ballot near her Kenwood home

By ABDON M. PALLASCH Political Reporter
October 14, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama became the first early voter at the Martin Luther King Center on Chicago’s South Side just after 9 a.m. Thursday…

Election Judge Dorothy Yarbrough, a retired CTA bus driver, checked in the first lady. She took a look at her driver’s license and said, “I think that’s you.”

“You think?” the first lady replied with a smile.

“It was a great, historical experience,” Yarbrough said afterward.

How outrageous that they check voter IDs.

Chicago Board of Elections employee Charles Holiday gave the first lady a quick lesson on how to work the electronic voting machine.

At 5-feet-11-inches tall, Mrs. Obama had to hunch over a bit to use the machine. It took her six minutes to get through the ballot, which, in addition to governor, senator and other offices featuring well-known candidates, also includes 78 judges running to be elected or retained on the bench.

"Six minutes," for a Princeton and Harvard graduate?

Amanda Deisch, a social worker, was the second voter to show up Thursday.

She snapped a cellphone photo of the first lady as she took the voting machine next to hear and began voting.

“I told her we supported her and her husband, and we were praying for them,” Deisch said later. “I told her we’re trying to get the kids moving — her childhood obesity effort.”

Which sounds like electioneering to us.

Voter Anna Roberts took the next machine and, as Mrs. Obama finished voting, she allowed Deisch to take another cellphone photo and shook hands with both women.

Obama went back to the desk and handed in her voting-machine key, saying “Make sure everybody’s voting early.”

What does that even mean? Did she mean to say, "voting early and often," which is the famous slogan of the her mentors in the Daley machine.

She let more voters take photos with her.

“She was telling me how important it was to vote to keep her husband’s agenda going,” said Dennis Campbell, a 56-year-old electrician

This certainly sounds like electioneering to us.

But apparently we are mistaken. From Fox News:

First Lady’s Voting Day Stirs Controversy

by LA Holmes | October 14, 2010

Questions arose late Thursday over whether First Lady Michelle Obama engaged in unlawful electioneering during a conversation with a fellow voter at a Chicago polling place…

According to Illinois state law, such encouragement is barred from polling places. "No judge of election, pollwatcher, or other person shall, at any primary or election, do any electioneering or soliciting of votes or engage in any political discussion within any polling place, within 100 feet of any polling place," the statute reads.

But did Obama actually break the law?

It all depends on what Obama actually said to the group of voters. Had she specifically told Campbell he needed to vote for a candidate who would support President Obama’s agenda, she would indeed have violated Illinois election laws, as would someone wearing a campaign button or distributing political literature inside a polling place. But according to a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections, Obama made no such statement.

Rather, the elections official said, Obama told the group how important it is to vote early and vote in general, a perfectly appropriate suggestion at a polling place. Campbell’s characterization of the conversation may simply have included his political position, that he voted "to keep her husband’s agenda going," but not that the first lady had specifically encouraged Campbell to support Obama-friendly candidates.

Of course this is not what the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Even if one of the other voters had mentioned their support for President Obama and the first lady agreed, she would still not be in violation of election statutes because she would not, in that case, have initiated the political conversation.

Again, this is not how the Sun-Times article portrayed Mr. Campbell’s remarks.

The Chicago Board of Elections has not, at this time, made an inquiry into the matter.

Naturally. After all, the Chicago Board of Elections is world famous for their enforcement of fair and honest elections.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, October 15th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “Michelle Electioneered At Polling Station?”

  1. wardmama4 says:

    She will get away with it – just as the NBPP has gotten away with their intimidation and so on and so on – gettin’ back at thems that did – is the rule of the day and well election laws be damned. If it weren’t for cheating and election fraud the Democrat party would have probably died out long ago. . .And certainly The Won would have never won.

    God Help America
    A Proud American Infidel

    • Adam Moreira says:

      Or maybe it would be because it is close to the edge, but not violating the law.

      As for the NBPP case…the government lacked standing to bring it (except against one). You say someone was intimidated, I say I need a specific name; hey, we all have needs.

      How I know the government lacked a case against most of the defendants:
      Samir Shabazz intimidated: Christopher Hill (a poll observer).
      Malik Shabazz intimidated…who?
      Jerry Jackson intimidated…who?

      And yes, names are necessary, as you can’t file for intimidation against a fictional person.

    • David says:

      Adam they are right here. It is the police’s job to identify them not ours.
      Hypothetically, were a bunch of clan members dressed in hoods, standing outside your local poling place with weapons calling themselves “security”, would you be willing to file a compliant. The clan is a poor example considering it is a bunch of idiots without resources to track you and your family down. But say they also had those resources. If you knew (or even felt) they were dangerous would you expose your family to that kind of publicity. Especially when it is clear the justice department has no interest in pursuing the case.

    • Adam Moreira says:

      I did see the video. The local police though didn’t see a problem.

      Also, since the law says that it’s a civil issue, there has to be an individual who complained…and who had business being there related to the poll site (that’s crucial) in order for a complaint to be filed that’s not frivolous.

      A name can be hidden in a complaint, but it had better correspond to a real person.

      I wasn’t posting on S-L (and won’t bring up an old thread) at the time, but I would have brought up the legal standing issue then as a counter to those claiming racism. If there were real people harmed that could be positively identified, and the DOJ still declined to pursue charges, then and only then is that racism.

      A properly represented person would have objected immediately on grounds of standing (except for Samir, who should also ,have faced assault charges, as he actually assaulted Hill).

      @mr_bill – if the KKK said that, the proper response would be to increase security by poll sites, get a blanket restraining order in all 93 federal districts, and if they come by, then they are arrested, no questions asked.

      BTW, how I see intimidation: Because of the presence, someone does not cast a vote, or is physically intimidated in an attempt to prevent someone from voting, or physically intimidated in an attempt to prevent someone from monitoring the election (or actual altercations in the same circumstances).

      Those elderly women in the video—do you know if they were going to vote? I don’t.

      Also, the problem with the law as currently written is that it’s a civil violation, not a crime, to intimidate voters. That needs to change!

    • mr_bill says:

      “If there were real people harmed that could be positively identified, and the DOJ still declined to pursue charges, then and only then is that racism.”

      By the “standard” you propose if a [hypothetically speaking] blanket threat was issued by the KKK saying black people would be harmed if they attempted to vote in November. It wouldn’t be racist if no “positively identified” people were actually harmed. Seems like racism and voter intimidation to me.

      You can attempt to carry water for the current regime all you want and bury your head in the sand to avoid the truth, just don’t expect anybody here to believe any of it.

    • proreason says:

      “You can attempt to carry water for the current regime all you want ”

      Adam seems to be a new strain of troll.

      – he/she never says anything inflammatory to the regular visitors
      – 50% or so of the time, he/she pays lip service to conservative opinion, in an attempt to acquire credibility
      – the other 50% of the time, he/she presents the libwit position as the “only logical position”
      – he/she never reacts harshly to criticism so that he/she doesn’t get booted off the site
      – when challenged, the response is always “you are wrong. I am right”. No backup is ever provided.
      – he/she has recently revealed Hispanic heritage, in an other attempt to gain sympathy and not get booted off

      So far, it’s worked for a couple of weeks. I’ve never seen a troll last that long before.

      The libwits know how S&L has an outsized influence in the conservative blogoshpere. They are like bacteria, constantly mutating in attempts to undermine the site and its influence.

    • Petronius says:

      pro, I believe he is the same troll as Dr Saliva (or whatever-his-name-is) who was expelled last month. And he used a different name before that, when he was booted off in August.

      He is an insincere trickster who attempts to deceive and disrupt other posters on S&L, particularly the new or infrequent visitors to S&L. He delights in non sequiturs and red herrings, in distractions, diversions, and laying down traps and land mines, in playing jailhouse lawyer and in making assertions without any authority, and without any understanding. Also, his posts sometimes carry a charge of innuendo, provocation, meanness, or crass insensitivity.

      Since he is only here to muddy the waters, and to make trouble and spoil things for others, we might do well to ignore him in future.

      Turning to the merits :

      Obviously the Federal government has authority to enforce acts of Congress, including the Voting Rights Act. It has been doing so for decades. Enforcement is through the executive branch; that is why it is called the “executive” branch. Thus the government is represented in court by the DOJ.

      It is not necessary for the government to produce the bloody corpse of a voter in order to prevail in a voter intimidation case. Nor is it necessary even to prove that a single voter was discouraged from voting. The degree of fear experienced in the minds of victims is legally irrelevant. The important thing is the intent and actions of the defendants. The government meets its burden of proof if there is some evidence of an attempt to intimidate.

      It is only necessary for the DOJ to produce evidence if and when a case goes to trial. Here the charges were uncontested by the defendants. Since the defendants did not appear to contest the charges, there was no trial on the evidence, and therefore no witnesses.

      Since the case was uncontested, the judge properly ruled that a default judgment would be entered. The judge directed the DOJ attorneys to draft the orders for him to sign. The DOJ attorneys were in process of preparing and submitting the orders to the court when the change in political administrations occurred. One order was timely issued. But following the change in administrations, the remaining draft orders were withdrawn by the incoming Democrat Party officials at DOJ.

      The point here is that, under the stewardship of Tigellinus-Holder, the DOJ has — as a matter of deliberate political policy — sanctioned and enabled intimidation against white voters. Even the dullest mind should be able to grasp the point that this is a matter of political corruption by Democrat political appointees within DOJ, and not a question of the subjective feelings or identities of the white people who were the defendants’ targets.

  2. canary says:

    No doubt Michelle even did fist knocking with the little people.
    It’s like sooo many of Obama’s friends refused to discuss his muslim beliefs, because it could it might be taken in a way that could hurt him from being elected. I’d assume the normal liberal comments like “America had it coming”.

  3. GL0120 says:

    Even if one of the other voters had mentioned their support for President Obama and the first lady agreed, she would still not be in violation of election statutes because she would not, in that case, have initiated the political conversation.

    That’s so much like when Algore got busted for soliciting campaign donations from the VP’s office.
    He argued that the solicitation occurred in the ears of those contacted and therefore not in the VP’s office.

  4. mr_bill says:

    For crying out loud, she could have stood outside the polling place in para-military black-supremicist garb with a billy-club, and threatened whitey not to vote and it wouldn’t be against the law, according to the Dept. of [In]Justice. This one is a non-starter.

    She did it, the Chicago Board of Elections is carrying water for her and she will get away with it. She ought to know better, being an Illinois barrister and the spouse of a politician, but these people know no shame and are accountable to no laws.

    When was the last time a politician or their spouse did something like this? I can’t remember. Everybody else can seem to get it right, but not Michelle Antoinette Obama.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      All under the guise of “social justice”. Therefore, acting improperly/poorly is justified. After all, the line is that “whitey has been doing this for years” therefore, they have a free pass to do any and all things unethical, untoward and illegal and the people who would normally shed light on such behavior (the “media”) turn a blind eye toward it because they also believe the myth of “white supremacy” lurking in the hearts of all white people.

      As Rush and Steve and many here have already pointed out, the truth is that, although we observe this pathetic set of behavior traits, we are much too busy and really don’t give a crap about their so-called “problems” and that goes double for their made-up, imaginary ones. Most are now self-induced and it would take generations of training and learning for them to finally grasp the notion that they are free people, have the right to climb whatever ladder they want to try, and succeed or fail. But they have been so hammered with “you cannot win, no matter what you do…because you’re black” that the possibility of even trying anything with the possibility of failure doesn’t even cross their minds.

      So the indoctrination is complete. In order to be a successful black man, hating whitey is paramount. Next is to have a “street cred” attitude that makes you look “bad” (which is good) and to adopt a lingo that only fellow blacks can understand. To do otherwise or to be anything other than a rap star/sports brat, is to be an Uncle Tom and becoming an “oreo”.

      It is a sad testimony to the current condition of blacks in this nation. When once I was hopeful that diversity truly would be a huge strength for us all, I now believe that they instead choose “free” money, lives of crime and exceed the meaning of “academically challenged” because it’s easy to succumb to the mantra of the left.

      Is it possible that inside each black person’s mind is a picture of a huge house, four Escalades, $150,000 in clothes and a stipend of epic proportions that will carry them on forever? In my own personal experience, out of all the blacks I’ve met, worked with and communicated with, only a fraction of a fraction were not racially aware. And by that, I mean their “blackness” was not their identity and they didn’t have the “44’s at the ready” to shoot down some unwitting comment or slight that could be misunderstood. They were great people to be around, had an excellent, positive attitude and worked very hard and were usually very smart.

      Call it the elephant in the room but I chose years ago to not worry about it other than in the terms where it might affect me directly, and I do not go out of my way to accommodate blacks, just because of their race. I believe completely in equality and fairness…but not equality or fairness of outcomes. The opportunity to succeed or fail is a very personal thing. Now it has been politicized for over 40+ years. And I see the obvious results.

      The stereotypes in the past two years have grown to a far more unsavory bent than in the past. The racial divide has been intentionally widened and capitalized on but the more they use it, the less traction it will get because it is truly played. It is tired, it is overused. And 99.999% of the time, it is untrue. Like I told one fellow officer who happened to be black, back in 1991…”People don’t dislike you because you’re black…no…They dislike you because you’re an a–hole.”

    • Adam Moreira says:

      Nope—if that specific person could identify the person intimidating him, it’s game, set, match.

      @mr_bill (below) – the local police and state DA apparently didn’t believe it was intimidation either.

      @prorearon – uh, no. That’s actual intimidation against a real person. Samir Shabazz in this case is lucky that he didn’t face assault charges.

      Going forward though, the definition of “intimidation” and to a lesser extent “electioneering” need to have specific criteria defined, as they are too subjective, the former more than the latter.

    • mr_bill says:

      A specific person does not have to come forward. The board of elections or the State Attorney General’s office may bring an action. The Department of Justice dropped the issue because it has a new policy not to pursue voting crimes perpetrated by black people.

    • proreason says:

      Mouchelle and Barry both let their law degrees expire years ago, having no need to actually earn income, since they have both been given everything in their lives as poster children for Affirmative Action.

      but mr_bill is 100% correct that this is a non-starter.

      The US Department of Payback Justice for People of Color has seen to that.

      She could have water-boarded stubborn white voters and walked away scot free.

    • mr_bill says:

      Thanks Pro. Just because it is a non-starter doesn’t mean it is a non-event, though. Add this one to the ever-growing list of swipes, insults, and transgressions against the public trust and against the rule of law. The obamas continue to abuse their position and their power. Mooch-elle’s image is deteriorating and fast. Everytime Mooch-elle Antoinette Obama or her husband have a moment like this, it gives a glimpse of who these people really are.

      In brief spurts (ever more common), the obamas forget the public is looking and behave like themselves. In these candid moments, we see that they are the laws-are-for-the-pleebs, better-than-you, elitists they accuse others of being. Its only instructive for those whose eyes are beginning to be opened for the first time. Most of us don’t need the constant reminder of who they are, but it serves to keep the energy of the obama’s opposition high. There are those who willfully and blindly will continue to follow. They will be the same people who will be wondering what happened on Nov. 3rd of this year and Nov. 7, 2012.

      Gone are the days when the adoring press was asking her how she kept her arms “in shape.” Gone are the days when the “trendy” people were looking to her for fashion tips. Gone are the “Camelot” and Jackie Kennedy comparisons.

      With her every action, she is tearing down the illusions built for her by the sycophant media. When the Obamas are unceremoniously thrown out of office in 2012, they will have completely distroyed their own carefully-crafted image with a never-ending string of reality-show moments like this one.

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    Michele could have been pouring shots of liquor inside the polling place and noone would cry foul.
    It’s a “BY” for them and those like them.

    “WE BE OWED”

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