October 30, 2014
The Seattle Times Should Hire A Good Tax Lawyer
Local Media News
by Jim Miller, 06:36 AM

Why?  Because President Obama's IRS is not going to like the next-to-the last paragraph in this editorial.

The credibility of the press matters now more than ever.  This 2007 investigation occurred under President George W. Bush's administration, but the Obama administration is racking up an unprecedented record of hostility toward the press, open government and transparency.  That ranges from limiting press access of White House photographers to seizing AP phone records to threatening to send a New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter to prison for protecting a source.

Everything in that paragraph is true, and I suppose that we should be mildly pleased that the newspaper's editorial board has finally noticed what should have been obvious to them in 2007.  Leftists and machine politicians — and Obama is both — are rarely fans of the 1st Amendment (or the rest of the Bill of Rights, for that matter).

Now that their ox has been gored — and we really need an up-to-date metaphor to replace that one — will our local monopoly newspaper notice that the Obama administration has not always been kind to people who are not journalists?  One can hope so, but I would not suggest that you hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

(If the newspaper does want to start on that path, here's an easy story for them to do:   President Obama's fund raising trips here have almost all been timed to cause the maximum possible traffic disruption.  There ought to be at least one reporter, or columnist, at the Times who has enough nerve to ask Obama's local contributors whether that is deliberate.)

I am, by the way, serious when I suggest they get a good tax lawyer.  There have been too many incidents like this one for any prudent critic of the Obama administration to trust the IRS, while it is under his control.

Cross posted at Jim Miller on Politics.

(You can find a description of the FBI investigation that has them so hot earlier in the editorial.)

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October 28, 2014
Do Illegal Votes By Non-Citizens Sometimes Determine Elections Here In The United States?
Election Administration News
by Jim Miller, 02:39 PM

I began thinking about that problem more than two decades ago, and concluded, tentatively, that the answer was yes.  After the 2000 presidential election, and all the disputes that went with it, I put more time into the problem and, in 2002 gave an example, Maria Cantwell's defeat of Slade Gorton, where that may have happened.

The logic of my underlying argument is simple:

  1. There are more non-citizens living in the United States than ever before.
  2. Some small proportion of them will be tempted to register and vote, illegally.
  3. Many places have few checks against non-citizens voting, so most of those tempted will succeed.
  4. The non-citizens here in the United States tend to favor the Democratic Party.

Therefore, I concluded, some close elections were being tipped to the Democrats by these illegal votes.

All through this time, however, I have been unhappy that I could not find any academic studies of the question.  And it was obvious to me that it was not a difficult research problem, that you could get a good start on it simply by running a large survey, and asking the right questions, in the right way.

Now, finally, three researchers, Jesse Richman, Gulshan Chattha, and David Earnest, have done that study, and provided direct evidence for the conclusion I reached more than a decade ago.

Our data comes from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES).  Its large number of observations (32,800 in 2008 and 55,400 in 2010) provide sufficient samples of the non-immigrant sub-population, with 339 non-citizen respondents in 2008 and 489 in 2010. For the 2008 CCES, we also attempted to match respondents to voter files so that we could verify whether they actually voted.

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections?  More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote.  Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted.  Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.

Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections.  Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won election in 2008 with a victory margin of 312 votes.  Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin.  It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama's 2008 victory in North Carolina.  Obama won the state by 14,177 votes, so a turnout by 5.1 percent of North Carolina's adult non-citizens would have provided this victory margin.

You may want to apply those numbers to make back-of-the-envelope estimates of the likelihood that illegal votes by non-citizens gave Democratic candidates victories in your favorite close elections.  For example, this strengthens my conclusion that Cantwell's victory in 2000, by just 2,229 votes, was illegitimate.  And it makes it nearly certain that Christine Gregoire's 2004 victory over Dino Rossi, by just 129 votes, was illegitimate.  In fact, I will go further and say that, if you could have magically eliminated the non-citizen votes from just Seattle, Dino Rossi would have won the final recount.

There is nothing difficult in the chain of reasoning that I went through years ago, and I am nearly certain that others came to the same conclusion, independently.  I think it likely that unscrupulous Democratic operatives saw that they could gain a few votes by making it easier for non-citizens to vote, and that Republican operatives saw that they could be on the side of truth and justice — and gain a few votes, net — by putting tighter controls on registration and voting.  Understanding that non-citizens were sometimes tipping elections to the Democratic Party would explain, for example, why George Soros, and others, put money into the Secretary of State Project.

As has happened far too often in recent years, I wish that research had proved me wrong, wish that our close elections were not sometimes being determined by illegal votes.

Cross posted at Jim Miller on Politics.

(For the record:  I can think of a few places where illegal votes by non-citizens might help Republican candidates, for example, where there were many immigrants from Russia, or other countries that have suffered from Communism.)

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October 23, 2014
Back online
In Other News
by Stefan Sharkansky, 03:28 PM

Sorry for the outage, due to technical difficulties which have now (hopefully) been resolved.

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