Last time it was over the RNC in NJ and the RNC lost and had to pay for consequences(below)The Billionaire that wanted to be King
On the heels of the Democratic Coalition Against Trump Super PAC filing complaints with the Department of Justice and FBI, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) just filed a complaint alleging the RNC via Trump is violating the consent decree forbidding the GOP from organizing racially motivated voter intimidation. Should the judge considering the case find in the DNC’s favor, the consent decree set to expire next year would be extended another eight years.
The DNC complaint not only asks for an extension of the consent decree but for a court order prohibiting the precise kind of intimidation many Trump voters have promised to carry out following Trump’s orders.
As we reported previously, the consent decree emerged from the 1981 New Jersey gubernatorial election. In it, the RNC ran a national campaign to elect the Republican candidate dumping massive amounts of resources (since New Jersey holds their gubernatorial elections in off years) into the campaign. Thanks to severe voter intimidation carried out by armed Republican operatives organized by the RNC in minority-heavy voting districts, the GOP candidate won by an extremely narrow margin.
Based on that documented, organized intimidation campaign, the DNC successfully sued the RNC and obtained a consent decree forbidding them from engaging in similar conduct in the future. That decree has been modified over the years but its primary prohibition remains the same: the RNC may not (through its or others’ actions) racially target and intimidate voters in elections.
According to the current DNC complaint:
Defendant Republican National Committee (“RNC”) has violated the Final Consent Decree entered in Democratic Nat’l Comm. v. Republican Nat’l Comm., No. 81-cv-3876 (DRD) (Nov. 1, 1982) (“1982 Consent Decree”), as modified by order of this Court on July 27, 1987 (“1987 Consent Decree”), and again on December 1, 2009 (“2009 Consent Decree”) (collectively the “Consent Decree” or “Decree”), by supporting and enabling the efforts of the Republican candidate for President, Donald J. Trump, as well as his campaign and advisors, to intimidate and discourage minority voters from voting in the 2016 Presidential Election. Trump has falsely and repeatedly told his supporters that the November 8 election will be “rigged” based upon fabricated claims of voter fraud in “certain areas” or “certain sections” of key states. Unsurprisingly, those “certain areas” are exclusively communities in which large minority voting populations reside. Notwithstanding that no evidence of such fraud actually exists, Trump has encouraged his supporters to do whatever it takes to stop it—“You’ve got to get everybody to go out and watch . . . and when [I] say ‘watch,’ you know what I’m talking about, right?”—and has been actively organizing “election observers” to monitor polling stations in “certain areas.” Trump has even encouraged his “watchers” to act like vigilante law enforcement officers.
Offering supporting evidence of their motion, the DNC pointed to Trump’s circle including statements made by both Mike Pence and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway explicitly saying they are working with the RNC on ensuring the election isn’t “rigged.”
In fact, Conway specifically told reporters the Trump campaign was working to combat that so-called voter fraud by “actively working with the national committee, the official party, and campaign lawyers to monitor precincts around the country.”
And make no mistake: just because Trump (and not explicitly the RNC) is the one organizing the voter intimidation tactics doesn’t mean the RNC is off the hook. The decree explicitly states the RNC is in violation “whether acting directly or indirectly through other party committees” if racially motivated voter intimidation occurs.
That’s why the RNC is in complete and total meltdown panic mode at the moment attempting to calm their base regarding Trump’s rhetoric. They’ve had to go so far as to issue a memo asking everyone not to violate the decree lest it be extended another eight years. That memo may be too little too late now that the DNC has filed suit against them.
NOTE: If you witness any sort of voter intimidation or are prevented from voting, immediately call the Election Protection Hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE or 888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español). You can also call The U.S. Department of Justice Voting Rights Hotline: 800-253-3931; TTY line 877-267-8971.
Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.
Cross referenced with US & News Report