-By Warner Todd Huston
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am here all week in Texas in Houston's 18th Congressional District observing the energetic and determined work of the King Street Patriots as they implement their poll-watching initiative, True The Vote.
True The Vote made news early this month when initiative Chief Catherine Engelbrecht discovered that a former Service Employee International Union (SEIU) member had turned in over 23 thousand fraudulent voter registration cards. Englebrecht and the King Streeters then decided that they would initiate a grassroots poll-watching effort to make sure that the election was fair and that all laws and regulations were properly observed.
By the reaction of the well organized, heavily funded left, you'd have thought that the King Streeters had proposed shooting puppies. Engelbrecht and the King Streeters fanned out across Harris County to observe -- and report if necessary -- any improprieties they encountered at voting places, many in minority communities. The reaction was quick and virulently negative.
The left-wing rumor site TPM recently posted a piece full of innuendo about the finances* of the King Street Patriots attempting to sway people to believe that some shadowy, backroom, conservative groups simply must be funding them because it just can't be a self funded group.
TPM cites KSPs report that the $87,000 it has raised over the last few months has almost all come from donations from its grassroots supporters. This rings true in this world of new found conservative activism this year. Many reports have discovered that Tea Party groups and first time GOP candidates have been funded for the large part by small donors and grassroots activists. The King Streeters are no exception.
The fact is the King Street Patriots really is entirely made up of grassroots volunteers. No one in any position of power here is from any outside organization and no one inside is making money off this project. In fact, the $87,000 they brought in amounts to little more than subsistence funds that quickly went right back out of their accounts to pay for supplies, T-Shirts, printing, phone lines, electric bills and rent for the store front office they've set up. This is no high rolling effort, for sure.
Still, the charge that tons of money is being supplied by shadowy sources is quite interesting coming from the left. After all, one has but to recall the billions that MoveOn.org, George Soros and other left-wing groups have supplied to lefty organizations, not to mention the millions that Congress gives every year to legally troubled groups like ACORN on top of the various taxpayer funded public employee unions that supply millions to the left every year, and you have quite a hypocritical charge. The left is highly organized and extremely well funded yet these folks have the gall to complain that a gaggle of patriots dug deep into their pockets and donated $87,000 to keep the doors open and the lights on at the King Street Patriots office? The hypocrisy is too rich to deny.
But "the seriousness of the charge" is always far more important to the left than the truth. If the left can foster doubt they've already won half the battle as far as they are concerned.
As it happens, TPMs piece is mild by comparison to the reaction to the King Streeters evinced by the local media, the leftist bloggers and local left-wing community groups.
Like TPMs, calls for KSP to release its list of donors is a common refrain. Naturally, these same highly funded lefty groups in Houston have not released their donor lists, so one wonders what all the sound and fury is all about?
Lefty Texas groups such as Houston Votes, the website American Independent, and the Lone Star Project have not released their donor lists, yet these people have gone apoplectic over KSPs desire to keep its donor's names and addresses confidential.
As local conservative Texas blogger David Jennings says, it is interesting that these left-wing groups are attempting to force KSP to reveal its donor list. After all these lefties are employing the same tactics that the KKK used against its enemies in the 1960s. The KKK actually went to court because they claimed the "right" to donor lists of the NAACP so that they'd have the names and addresses of donors in order to target them for harassment. The courts disagreed and said that donor lists could legally remain secret.
Naturally, the lefty media is also into the act. 18th District Representative Sheila Jackson Lee has made news with her unsubstantiated allegations that King Streeters have inflicted "intimidating tactics" against "African-Americans and Latinos." The media have dutifully reported Lee's claims without bothering to ask after Lee's proof.
One wonders why Lee's electioneering outside a polling place hasn't become big news during this kerfuffle, though? As this video shows:
The local radio media is also pushing the anti-Streeters meme. For its part Houston's inner city radio station, Magic 102.1 FM, is giving free soul food to voters who turn out to vote. Other inner city Houston minority-oriented talk shows have for days been furthering the unsubstantiated stories about whites intimidating inner city voters, as well.
Other local "notables" are also on the attack against these grassroots folks. A well known local attorney named Craig A. Washington placed a "warning" to his friends on his Facebook page telling them that they all needed to get counter poll watchers to the polls. Ordinarily, I'd applaud his civic engagement but true to his leftist roots, Washington took that one little extra step toward threatening violence against those with whom he disagrees that is all too common on the left.
I'll reproduce it just how he wrote it... and I apologize in advance for the all caps, but that is just how he wrote it... the bold is my emphasis. (See screen shot here)
URGENT!!!! URGENT!!! URGENT!!! WE NEED PEOPLE, STARTING TOMORROW, TO GO TO EACH EARLY VOTING PLACE TO WATCH THE POLL WATCHERS!!!! PERFECTLY LEGAL!!! PREFEREBLY PERSONS WHO CANNOT BE INTIMIDATED!!!!! WE NEED VOLUNTEERS TO STOP THE MADNESS!! EACH OF HAVE FRIENDS/RELATIVES WHO FIT THE BILL. SEVERAL OF MY CLIENTS JUST GOT OUT OF TDC HAVE ALREADY VOLUNTEERED. WE NEED MORE VOLUNTEERS WHO ARE NOT AFRAID....call someone.
Notice how attorney Washington says that his "clients" that have recently gotten out of the TDC (that would be the Texas Correctional Department) have volunteered? Why do you think violent felons would be so eager to "volunteer" for him?
Curious, isn't it?
Then there is former and soon again to be State Representative Borris Miles, the same Borris Miles that was accused of threatening people with a gun in 2007. According to poll watchers Miles entered an early voting place and began loudly proclaiming that he was there to "help" anyone that needed it. After being ignored by the voters he threateningly announced that he would be back the next day.
After being voted out several years ago, Miles won the Democrat primary to once again run for the state rep's seat in inner city District 146. Miles does not face an opponent in the Nov. 2 election so he is the defacto elected official at this point. The fact is, though, that a candidate may not hang around polling places unless they themselves are voting. This amounts to electioneering and Miles's rant about "helping" in the polling place also amounts to voter/poll official harassment.
Miles has launched his own personal campaign against the King Street Patriots. He has spent a lot of time on inner city radio pushing the whites-intimidating-black-voters meme. On the air Miles is claiming that whites have pushed elderly black women at polling places and has said that the Streeters are sponsoring busloads of "paid mercenaries" to come into the inner city to harass black voters.
Miles has also appeared at Democrat poll watcher training sessions. Session witnesses said that Miles was heard telling his supporters that there is "anecdotal evidence" of "voter suppression" of the black vote being perpetrated by the King Streeters. He said elderly women were spat upon, pushed, and voters intimidated.
Additionally Miles has been heard telling his males supporters that if they feel intimidated they should react with violence if necessary. Miles reminds his supporters that "a mans gonna do" what he has to in order to protect elderly women voters that are being harassed by King Street poll watchers. What else could he mean but that his supporters should resort to violence? It is certainly easy to assume that Miles is inciting his supporters.
It should be pointed out that Streeter volunteers are general retired folks -- or nearly so -- many of them women. Obviously it's verrrrry threatening to have a 60-year-old woman watching clerks at a polling place, isn't it?
The thing is with all the hyperbolic, incendiary charges that Borris Miles has so liberally thrown about Houston, he has presented no proof whatever to substantiate it all. One would think that all the extremely racist, un-American activities that Miles is claiming that the King Streeters have engaged in would require proof if for no other reason than to prove that Miles himself isn't simply a racebaiting, blowhard. Sadly, it doesn't seem that anyone is calling for this hypocrite to present any proof to substantiate his wiled-eyed claims.
All these attacks against the King Street Patriots and their True The Vote initiative proves a few things, though. These grassroots, all-volunteer patriots are truly making waves in the normally Democrat locked city of Houston, Texas. It also proves another thing. Democrats do not like the bright light of public attention shed upon the dark electoral corners that they have created in order to continually steal the vote in Houston.
*Disclosure: TPM also mentions "records of payments to EmergingCorruption, a website run by so-called ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief." I have been associated with Anita for a few years, now. I also post on EC. The mentioned payment to Anita was for a speaking fee she earned when she came to speak to the King Street Patriots. She did not want the money given to her and asked that it simply be donated to the website in order to keep it up and running.