[guest post by Dana]
Last week, purple-state governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia signed an executive order which re-established voting rights to convicted felons who have served their sentences. This would impact 206,000 convicted felons. Felons whose various crimes were not limited to murder and armed robbery, but also rape, sexual assault, and child molestation. The governor pulled the race card out of his back pocket to justify the move which conveniently comes months before a presidential election, claiming that the order was aimed largely at rectifying Virginia’s “long and sad history” of suppressing African-American voting power.
“We benefit from a more just and accountable government when we put trust in all of our citizens to choose their leaders,” McAuliffe said Friday from the steps of the state Capitol, where a gospel choir warmed up a jubilant crowd. “It has taken Virginia many centuries, unfortunately, to learn this lesson. But today, we celebrate its truth.”
Given that Virginia is a swing state to watch, push back from Republicans was swift. Speaker of the House William J. Howell said bluntly:
“The singular purpose of Terry McAuliffe’s governorship is to elect Hillary Clinton president of the United States,” Howell said. “This office has always been a steppingstone to a job in Hillary Clinton’s Cabinet.”
In the face of such criticism, McAuliffe played dumb: Election?? What election?? Well, not quite, but he might as well have:
“Well, I would tell the Republicans, ‘Quit complaining and go out and earn these folks’ right to vote for you. Go out and talk to them,’ ” he said in response to a question about people saying his order was an election-year ploy to help Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.
“I think some of the language that has come out of the Republicans, I would tell them to be very careful at how they frame this, very careful of their rhetoric.”
…I’ll do everything I can to get disenfranchised voters entrenched,” he said.
It works when you welcome people back into society and make them feel good about themselves.“
Well as long as the convicted felons feel good about themselves then that’s okay said no violent crime victim ever.
Interestingly, MSNBC wasn’t fooled by McAuliffe’s move either:
But with Virginia shaping up as perhaps the single most pivotal swing state in the nation, it’s not impossible that the move could also tip the 2016 election for the Democrats.
McAuliffe, it’s worth noting, served as a top fundraiser for President Bill Clinton, and remains a close ally of the Clintons. Now there’s a small chance that with Friday’s order, he has helped put Hillary Clinton in the White House.
Of course, the fact that Democrats may get a boost from the move is irrelevant to whether it’s good or bad policy—and there’s growing support for the notion that people who have served their time should be full participants in society. Still, it’s hard to believe the political benefits didn’t cross the governor’s mind.
Hillary Clinton, who once smeared the 12-year old victim of a violent rapist she was defending and then laughed about it later, welcomed the violent felons with open arms:
“Proud of my friend (Terry McAuliffe) for continuing to break down barriers to voting.”
Donald Trump, who once donated $25,000 to McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign, criticized the executive action:
“That’s crooked politics,” Trump told his supporters during his Monday afternoon campaign rally in Warwick, Rhode Island. “I would win Virginia.”
“They’re giving 200,000 people that have been convicted of heinous crimes…the right to vote. They know they’re going to vote Democrat,” the Republican frontrunner said. “That could be the swing,” referencing Virginia in the general election
Today, Hans A. Von Spakovsky and Roger Clegg presented their argument that McAuliffe’s executive action is “likely an unconstitutional state action”:
He is following the example set by President Obama: If you don’t like a law or a constitutional limit on your authority, just ignore it. Rewrite, change, or bend it. The New York Times inadvertently gave the game away when it said that McAuliffe’s “action effectively overturns a Civil War–era provision in the state’s Constitution.”
McAuliffe’s willingness to do anything (and to say anything) to achieve partisan political goals shows a complete contempt for the rule of law and for the constitutional republic that is the United States. What a sad day for the great state that was the home of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, James Madison, George Mason, and the father of our country, George Washington.