Video: the American Bar Association put Judge Atlas on camera (and under harsh lighting) for their YouTube channel.
True The Vote (TTV), the right wing “voting integrity” organization with a creepy track record of trying to intimidate voters and a bizarre conspiracy theory involving every actual voting integrity organization in America, will have an evidentiary hearing before a federal judge tomorrow. Judge Nancy Friedman Atlas of the Southern District of Texas was appointed due to conflicts of interest in the federal Southern Court of Mississippi.
TTV will almost certainly not meet Friedman’s standards of evidence. With such a weak case, the organization’s determination to sue the Republican Party of Mississippi and the Secretary of State is not about rational perceptions of fraud, but anger at their charismatic candidate’s loss.
In related news, Chris McDaniel, the tea party insurgent who refuses to concede his US Senate race more than four weeks after losing his primary runoff to incumbent Thad Cochran, has asked the state supreme court to reconsider its decision to deny him unredacted access to voting records. The Clarion-Ledger reports:
In the state Supreme Court appeal, McDaniel lawyers say they need to see birthdates in poll books to identify voters with the same or similar names, and the cost of redacting the records is prohibitive and unjust. But the court ruled Thursday that poll books are public records maintained by circuit clerks and therefore subject to the state Public Records Act, which requires redaction of personal information such as date of birth before being made public.
In fact, WTVA reports that McDaniel wanted Social Security Numbers and phone numbers, not just dates of birth. It is hard to see how such information could benefit McDaniel’s campaign.
McDaniel has been touring the state in recent days making nonspecific allegations that his opponent won through fraud and saying that he will file a lawsuit contesting the vote by this Friday. Ya’ll Politics.com, which has been tracking McDaniel closely, says that he seems less sure of himself recently. Hard facts may weigh on him: McDaniel claims to have evidence that 10,000 fraudulent ballots were cast, but he must meet tough standards of evidence, and has yet to show the world a single example of these alleged frauds.
Nevertheless, McDaniel’s cause has repercussions in the larger war between the Republican Party and its outside groups.
On Friday Tom Zawistowski, executive Director of the Portage County TEA Party, called on (Ohio Senator Rob) Portman to “renounce” his support for Cochran and condemn “the actions of the Cochran campaign.” He said Portman’s move to support the pro-Cochran PAC shows that he doesn’t “respect either the TEA Party movement or black voters.”
In a statement, Portman said he had no role in the decision by Mississippi Conservatives to donate to All Citizens for Mississippi—the group that ran the ads.
Judge Atlas was nominated by Bill Clinton and confirmed by the US Senate in 1995, an act that seems unimaginable in today’s Washington thanks to tea party intransigence.