Major Victory for Cleaner Elections in California
JANUARY 04, 2019
Good news for the voters in California and across the country.
We have signed a settlement agreement with the State of California and the County of Los Angeles under which they will begin the process of removing from their voter registration rolls as many as 1.5 million inactive registered names that may be invalid.
These removals are required by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), a federal law requiring the removal of inactive registrations from the voter rolls after two general federal elections (encompassing from 2 to 4 years). Inactive voter registrations belong, for the most part, to voters who have moved to another county or state or have passed away.
Los Angeles County has over 10 million residents, more than the populations of 41 of the 50 United States. California is America’s largest state, with almost 40 million residents.
We filed a 2017 federal lawsuit to force the cleanup of voter rolls (Judicial Watch, Inc., et al. v. Dean C. Logan, et al. (No. 2:17-cv-08948)). We sued on our own behalf and on behalf of Wolfgang Kupka, Rhue Guyant, Jerry Griffin, and Delores M. Mars, who are lawfully registered voters in Los Angeles County. We were joined by Election Integrity Project California, Inc., a public interest group that has long been involved in monitoring California’s voter rolls.
In our lawsuit, we alleged:
- Los Angeles County has more voter registrations on its voter rolls than it has citizens who are old enough to register. Specifically, according to data provided to and published by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Los Angeles County has a registration rate of 112 percent of its adult citizen population.
- The entire State of California has a registration rate of about 101 percent of its age-eligible citizenry.
- Eleven of California’s 58 counties have registration rates exceeding 100 percent of the age-eligible citizenry.
The lawsuit confirmed that Los Angeles County has on its rolls more than 1.5 million potentially ineligible voters. This means that more than one out of every five LA County registrations likely belongs to a voter who has moved or is deceased. We noted: “Los Angeles County has the highest number of inactive registrations of any single county in the country.”
Our lawsuit also uncovered that neither the State of California nor Los Angeles County had been removing inactive voters from the voter registration rolls for the past 20 years. The Supreme Court affirmed last year in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Inst., 138 S. Ct. 1833 (2018) that the NVRA “makes this removal mandatory.”
The new settlement agreement, filed with U.S. District Court Judge Manuel L. Real, requires all of the 1.5 million potentially ineligible registrants to be notified and asked to respond. If there is no response, those names are to be removed as required by the NVRA. California Secretary of State Padilla also agrees to update the State’s online NVRA manual to make clear that ineligible names must be removed and to notify each California county that they are obligated to do this. This should lead to cleaner voter rolls statewide.
Prior to this settlement agreement, we estimated that based on comparisons of national census data to voter-roll information, there were 3.5 million more names on various county voter rolls than there were citizens of voting age. This settlement could cut this number in half.
Judicial Watch Attorney Robert Popper is the director of our Election Integrity Project and led our legal team in this litigation. We were assisted in this case by Charles H. Bell Jr., of Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP; and H. Christopher Coates of Law Office of H. Christopher Coates.
This is only the third statewide settlement achieved by private plaintiffs under the NVRA – and we were the plaintiff in each of those cases. The other statewide settlements are with Ohio (in 2014) and with Kentucky (2018), which agreed to a court-ordered consent decree.
You can take pride in knowing that we are the national leader in enforcing the list maintenance provisions of the NVRA. In addition to settlement agreements with Ohio and a win in Kentucky, we have filed a successful NVRA lawsuit against Indiana, causing it to voluntarily clean up its voting rolls, and we have an ongoing lawsuit with the State of Maryland.
We helped the State of Ohio successfully defend their settlement agreement before the Supreme Court. In North Carolina, we supported implementation of the state’s election integrity reform laws, filing amicus briefs in the Supreme Court in March 2017. And, in April 2018, we filed an amicus brief in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Alabama’s voter ID law. In Georgia, we filed an amicus brief in support of Secretary Brian Kemp’s list maintenance process against a lawsuit by left-wing groups. We won when the Supreme Court ruled in Ohio’s favor.
This settlement vindicates our groundbreaking lawsuits to clean up state voter rolls to help ensure cleaner elections. We are thrilled with this historic settlement, which will set a nationwide precedent to ensure that states take reasonable steps to ensure that dead and other ineligible voters are removed from the rolls.
Trump’s HUD Keeps Obama’s Funding for Radical Leftist Groups
If I were Barack Obama, I would be pleased to see that many of the schemes I set up to funnel money to left wing groups are still in place two years into President Trump’s presidency. Our Corruption Chronicles blog illustrates how The Swamp plunders on.
The Trump administration has dedicated another big chunk of taxpayer money to a controversial Obama housing project and the latest allocation gives millions to a leftwing group that advocates open borders, organizes pro-illegal immigrant marches across the country and promotes a radical Chicano curriculum in publicly-funded charter schools nationwide.
Known as Choice Neighborhoods, the program aims to transform slums into desirable middle-class neighborhoods. The costly experiment was the centerpiece of a broader Obama initiative to convert poverty-stricken neighborhoods into sustainable, mixed-income areas with affordable housing, safe streets and good schools. It was launched as a collaboration between the departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Education, Justice, Treasury and Health and Human Services (HHS) to help attract private investment necessary to transform distressed areas.
During Obama’s tenure, Choice Neighborhoods received a breathtaking $375 million, according to HUD figures. A substantial portion—$120 million—was rewarded as a parting gift in 2016, the HUD numbers reveal and the largest chunk—$122.27 million—was allocated in 2010 when Obama launched the program. Like many of the former president’s initiatives, large sums of cash went to leftist nonprofits and community groups that aligned with his liberal agenda.
Back in 2012 Judicial Watch reported that the administration paid half a million dollars to study the effectiveness of Choice Neighborhoods, including the challenges of bringing healthy food options to poor areas and the characteristics of the neighborhoods being targeted for transformation.
Instead of cutting back on these dubious programs that give huge sums of taxpayer dollars to leftist groups, the Trump administration keeps filling their coffers. This month HUD announced more than $60 million in grants for Choice Neighborhoods and other housing counseling grants. Among the recipients is the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), which recently changed its name to UNIDOS US. The renowned open borders group that specializes in promoting the Mexican La Raza (“the race”) agenda is getting approximately $2.6 million, according to government records.
Other like-minded groups getting cash include the Refugee Family Assistance Program ($32,000) and the Center for New York City Neighborhoods ($16,000), which lists the Mutual Housing Association of New York (an Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now—ACORN—offshoot) as a partner. The center’s board chair, Herbert Sturz, is a senior advisor to the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the deeply politicized groups billionaire George Soros uses to promote his radical leftist agenda worldwide. Read all about it in a Judicial Watch investigative report.
Earlier this year Trump’s HUD gave Choice Neighborhoods a $5 million infusion to promote “a comprehensive approach to transforming neighborhoods struggling to address the interconnected challenges of distressed housing, inadequate schools, poor health, high crime, and lack of capital,” according to a HUD statement. Los Angeles California, Lewiston Maine and Philadelphia Pennsylvania got the biggest portions, $1.3 million each. Chicago Illinois, Huntington West Virginia and Cleveland Ohio each got $350,000 to revitalize poor neighborhoods. The goal is to replace distressed public housing with high-quality, mixed-income housing and improve residents’ employment, income, health and education. Ultimately this is supposed to create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods. Three of the awardees received an additional $950,000 for “action activities” to build momentum and attract additional investment, according to HUD. The extra cash can be used to recycle vacant properties into community gardens or farmers markets or for community arts projects that beautify an area.
Weeks earlier HUD gave dozens of leftist groups that purport to fight housing discrimination $37 million. The biggest allocation—$999,962—went to a nonprofit that attacked Trump for terminating an Obama program that protects hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. Shortly before getting its money the Washington D.C. group, National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), bashed the president over a contentious policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that shields nearly 800,000 illegal aliens under the age of 31 from deportation and lets them obtain work permits and drivers’ licenses. An administration that continues funding leftist housing programs carried out by groups hostile to the president makes you wonder if Trump knows what’s going on under his nose?
Controversy is nothing new at HUD. The agency has been embroiled in a multitude of serious scandals—under both Democrat and Republican administrations—over the years involving leadership, low-level employees and field directors. Problems go back to the Ronald Reagan administration, when an influence-peddling scandal led to the conviction of 16 people, including top aides to then HUD Secretary Samuel Pierce. Bill Clinton’s housing secretary, Henry Cisneros, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about payments to his former mistress. George W. Bush’s HUD secretary, Alphonso Jackson, was ousted after the feds launched an investigation into his plots to enrich himself and his friends by giving them lucrative government contracts. Obama’s second HUD secretary, Julian Castro, misspent the agency’s federal funds as mayor of San Antonio.
The Obama-Clinton Administration Behind Syria Debacle
This week the media assumed their usual posture of hysteria over President Trump’s decision to withdraw our troops from Syria. Of course, I suspect they would have reacted the same way had he decided to send more troops there.
Ironically, the anti-Trump media gave Judicial Watch a chance to highlight the truth about the corrupt role of the Obama-Clinton administration in fostering war and terrorism in Syria on the heels of their Libya mess.
In 2015, we published some of the most important documents we have ever uncovered, and I don’t say that lightly. These documents show that Obama was well aware that arms were going to the conflict in Syria — out of Benghazi. They also show that the Obama administration, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were warned about the rise of ISIS. And, they were supporting terrorists in the internecine warfare in Syria.
This was a Defense Intelligence Agency report. And you know who ran the DIA then: General Michael Flynn. No wonder Obama didn’t like him. No wonder he was pushed out and ultimately prosecuted.
This mess was created by the Obama administration, and it led to massive refugee flows. The reason we’re in Syria is that Obama and Clinton allowed the destruction of Libya. They turned Libya over to the terrorists, and it became a funnel for terrorists to enter into the Syrian conflict. And that led to the rise of ISIS. It’s for exposing this that I believe Flynn has been on the Obama naughty list.