05 November 2010

Reid Casino Voter Intimidation Case On the Table

The Justice Department is reviewing a complaint made by Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle’s campaign that the re-election campaign for Senator Harry Reid’s broke campaign finance laws and engaged in voter intimidate.

The National Review exposed a string of e-mails between a Reid campaign staffer Harrah’s International Government Relations demanding that the casino to get out its employees to vote for Harry Reid.  In fact, the campaign suggested that Harrah’s should put their employees into a headlock to get them to follow through. The campaign even offered to have Senator Reid call in order to get the backing of Harrah’s executives.

This desperate message from the incumbents campaign scored points with Harrah’s executives, as internal e-mails from Harrah’s Vice President Marybel Bejar implored:

 [D]o whatever we need to do to get the supervisors to know that there is NOTHING more important than to get employees out to vote. Waking up to a defeat of Harry Reid Nov 3rd will be devastating for our industry's future

 Election Law expert Hans A. von Spakovsk postulated that there was enough there for the DOJ to open an investigation since the materials suggest that both Harrah’s and Harry’s staff may have run amiss on coordinating in-kind contributions to a political campaign and coordinating GOTV efforts with a business.  Harrah’s and the unions spent money and time on the work clock to engage in partisan activities at the behest of Harry Reid’s re-election.

Von Spakovsk indicated that Harrahs might be culpable on coercing its employees to vote or not.  Harrah’s was not just encouraging their workers to be good citizens and do their civic duty. It seems that employees who had not voted were threatened and they were coerced to vote for a particular candidate. According to 18 U.S.C. section 594, that sort of coercion may be a federal crime.

Should we expect that the Justice Department will act swiftly to preserve the integrity of the ballot box.  Judging from the Holder Administrations withdrawal of the Philadelphia Black Panther voter intimidation VERDICT– I would not bet on it.

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