Monday, August 15, 2016

Voter Fraud Guru John Fund

John Fund has been beating the voter-fraud drum for years and is doing so again in the wake of Donald Trump's "rigged election" comment in right-wing publications like the National Review and Wall Street Journal editorial page. Mr. Fund's latest is instructive in how he spins his particular brand of sophistry.

Take his recent column on National Review Online. Give it a read and notice three things:

  1. His scary stories quoting Chris Matthews, Ed Rendell and Arlen Specter make Philadelphia evoke images of Tammany Hall machine politics complete with fixed elections. All of his "evidence" for voter fraud is anecdotal.
  2. Notice the utter lack of hard numbers in Mr. Fund's account. What elections specifically is Mr. Fund telling these electoral ghost stories about? How many cases of documented in-person voter fraud were there in those elections? What percentage of the total vote in those elections were they? ruled that a claim that the 2012 election was full of voter fraud in Philadelphia was "Pants on Fire."
  3. Notice the link in this column to right-wing scam artist and provocateur James O'Keefe's latest effort to "document" voter fraud in Detroit. His latest political prank video was debunked by Tierney Sneed on Talking Points Memo quoting the individual he impersonated as well as those in the video. O'Keefe is infamous for dishonest cuts of videos that misrepresent what actually happened. Fund cites O'Keefe as a legitimate source in a completely uncritical way.
Most of the articles published on documented in-person voter fraud using hard numbers show that it is extremely rare. That does not stop Fund from continuing to make his deceptive case. Using Fareed Zakaria's colorful term, this makes Fund a "bull**** artist."

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