PAGOP Chair Says Voter ID Focus Helped in 2012

Pa. Republican Chairman Rob Gleason said last week that focus on the issue of Voter ID helped the party cut President Obama’s margin of victory.

He was responding to a question by PCN’s Francine Schertzer about the law, which is on trial in Commonwealth Court this week.

“Do you think all the attention drawn to Voter ID affected last year’s elections?” Schertzer asked.

Rob Gleason PCN

“Yeah, I think a little bit. We probably had a better election. Think about this, we cut Obama by 5%, which was big. A lot of people lost sight of that. He won, he beat McCain by 10%, he only beat Romney by 5%. I think that probably Voter ID had helped a bit in that,” Gleason said.

The law was not in effect for the 2012 election because it had been suspended by a state judge.

Pa. Democrats rescued the segment from obscurity when they clipped the footage in the video above. It proceeded down the well-beaten path of Pa. Dems press release to the liberal website Think Progress and finally arrived at MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show.

The party billed it as an admission that Voter ID is designed to give Republicans a partisan advantage. They cast Gleason’s comment as a sequel to Majority Leader Mike Turzai’s 2012 remark that Voter ID would, “allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”

The Voter ID requirement, which passed along party lines in 2012, would prevent in-person voting fraud at polling places. The problem? There is no documented case of the type of fraud the law would prevent having occurred even a single time in Pa. in the past decade, if ever.

With no evidence, Republicans believe that Democrats, primarily in Philadelphia, are somehow executing a massive cover-up of in-person fraud, and that the law will reign in unreported corruption.

PAGOP spokeswoman Valerie Caras said Gleason was talking about the deterrent effect of the issue. As in, the focus on Voter ID let potential fraudsters know they were being watched.

“Contrary to the distortions Democrats have been and are continuing to push, the simple fact is that Photo ID laws were not in effect in the 2012 election but the debate in the state legislature, news coverage and public information campaign could have an impact on voter the same as other issues do,” she said.

Just how Voter ID affected voter turnout in Pa. is debatable. The confusion may have kept Democrats from coming out to vote, as Dem party leaders assert. But the party also used the issue to energize some of its key demographic groups, particularly African Americans.

First Lady Michelle Obama cut a radio ad about Voter ID that aired in the Philadelphia market.

Here is the Maddow segment:

18 Responses

  1. Dear Chairman Gleason: Saw this post in Early Returns, which references, your WJAC interview in which you claim Voter ID made people afraid to “commit voter fraud.” I can tell you that my people fought hard for the right to vote. You may think that you are the Bull Connor of the PAGOP, but we are not afraid.
    -week-for-pa-gop Let’s have a MARCH ON HARRISBURG. LET’S STOP THE RACISM OF THE PAGOP!!!

  2. Dear Brothers and Sisters: When I read this article, it made my blood boil. Isn’t time to a organize THE MARCH ON HARRISBURG? Reverend Sharpton and Benjamin Jealous: Come lead our People. Tell Mr. Gleason and Governor Corbett, that they will never keep our People down. Let’s send the folks on State Street a message! I feel the extreme urgency of now! Let freedom ring all over Pennsylvania’s Capitol!

  3. Obviously racism is alive and well in Tom Corbett’s Pennsylvania and Rob Gleason’s PAGOP. But I’m not going to drink from the Cup of Bitterness and Despair. The best way to end this racism 50 years after MLK’s “I have a Dream Speech” is to work to drive up 2014 African-American Voter turnout in PA to record levels, which will end the racist politics of the desparate PAGOP. Don’t Wallow in the Valley of Despair. There is a fierce urgency of Now. Let Freedom ring in North Philadelphia, let Freedom in Germantown! Let Freedom ring in Point Breeze! Send Rob Gleason and his racist PAGOP a message.

  4. SOUL-MLK-2014 reminded me of something I said:
    “There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs. There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well.”

    Also, according to FBI statistics 14% of homicides are black on white, while 7% are white on black. Get smart my brother.

  5. Rob Gleason is working hard to get his Tea Party creds for his own bid for the Governor’s office. Certainly, he didn’t make these comments to help Corbett and his decomposing political body or get Ms. Gromis-Baker off to a good start? I may well be a moron, but I know what is going on. Rob Gleason for Governor, coming soon to your homes.

  6. Let me remind everyone that PAINDY is the genius who posted hours ago in a different article that he though Gleason would run for governor. I bet you $1,000 he doesn’t. Moron.

  7. Keep up the good work Renee. We love you. We know in the black community where most of the racist feelings in America come from. Polling consistently shows that even our community views Black America as being most racist. We even think we’re more racist than the other races think we are:
    Renee, you give hope to many who fear that everyone in our community will be viewed as ignorant as SOUL-MLK.

  8. Dear Renee Amoore: Isn’t it time to denounce this racist PAGOP and demand the head of Rob Gleason? Your own site describes yourself as “strong-willed”! Isn’t it time to take a stand for our people? Call out this racism Ms. Amoore! Enough is Enough. In year of the 150th Anniversary of the Emanicaption Proclamation, have the courage to help set our people free!!!

  9. Brothers and Sisters: We are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation this year. But in the shadows of the Trayvon Martin case and the voter suppression of the PAGOP of Rob Gleason, I am calling for action! President Obama and OFA, Benjamin Jealous, Mayor Nutter, Congressman Fatah, Reverends Sharpton and Jackson: Come to the City of Philadelphia and help get African-American turnout to levels never seen before, surpassing even our 2008 turnout. Rob Gleason wants to keep us on the plantation. Send Rob Gleason and the racist PAGOP a sharp message. The road to redemption for Trayvon Martin comes through Philadelphia in 2014. If you want to end racism in America, you must terminate Republican rule in Pennsylvania in the name of our People’s self-defense. God Bless you all and keep dreaming! Keep HOPE alive!

  10. Dear Chairman Rob Gleason and the PAGOP: I give you much free advice. Here is a script for a commerical and John Brabender can steal it and mark it up by 10,000%. MORNING IN PENNSYLVANIA: Sun comes up over Spruce Creek, the Delaware, the Susquehanna, the Ohio-calming music like Vivaldi plays in the background. IT’S A NEW DAY IN PENNSYLVANIA. WE GOT ER DONE! WE REALLY LOVE THE WHITE FOLK! WE’VE KEPT THE DANGEROUS UNEDUCATED SOCIALISTS BLACKS FROM VOTING! WE DEFEND THE WHITE FOLK. Meanwhile, an angelic white mother (obviously a soccer Mom and Homeschooler in one) appear with her beautiful 6 white kids. Paid for by the PAGOP I approve this message and I love the WHITE FOLK TOO!

  11. Why are repub officials such liars? Why won’t they admit that the only person convicted of voter fraud in the last generation was Paul Summers, a gop operative in DelCo last year? And that was for filing phony petitions, not election day ID fraud. As for the lower margin of Obama’s victory, it is generally lower for all incumbents going for a second term. Wait till Gleason sees how bad Corbett’s numbers are next year, if he can get on the ticket at all.

  12. Who is going to insure republicans from Rob Gleason? Of course we can’t have African Americans involved in the democratic system! Better that black Pennsylvanians engage in honest pursuits like drug trafficking, prostitution and gang violence. Leave Harrisburg to we honest white TAKERS!

  13. BTW, in addition to the confusion it cost voters by misleading them, the other effect was that it wasted Democratic resources attempting to education/assist voters with this bogus issue.

  14. “PAGOP spokeswoman Valerie Caras said Gleason was talking about the deterrent effect of the issue. As in, the focus on Voter ID let potential fraudsters know they were being watched”

    I call BULLSH*T on Caras. Under Corbett’s direction the state dept ran those misleading ads about showing your ID at the polls which made people think they couldn’t vote without ID.

    Basically Caras is claiming that Gleason means that 5% of previous voters were frauds who didn’t show up in 2012 because they were afraid of getting caught by a law that wasn’t in effect. As this would represent well over 100,000 people, why can’t the PA GOP produce a single fraudulent voter?

    If they really think 1 out of 20 voters is a fraud, a simple door-to-door check (using the list from the voter rolls of who showed up) would reveal anyone who says they didn’t actually vote, despite being marked as such in the rolls.

    These people in the PA GOP aren’t just liars… they are really bad liars.

Comments are closed.

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