As we are engulfed in the Sturm and Drang of the 2009 Virginia elections, Congressman Frank Wolf of Va 10 continues to capably represent his constitutents. Aside from his traditional outstanding constituent service, Congressman Wolf leads the way in asking the Justice Department why it dismissed a voter intimidation legal action against the New Black Panthers for Self Defense…after judgement had already been found for the US Government.
A good description of the situation is found here and here and here and here and of course here. Shoot, you can even see the events that kicked things off on You Tube here and here and even on a blog.
Not much question as to what happened. Men dressed in paramilitary garb holding nightsticks at the entrance to a polling place. That is what voters encountered at on November 4, 2008, at a downtown Philadelphia polling place. Bartle Bull, a former civil rights lawyer and publisher of the left-wing Village Voice, calls “the most blatant form of voter intimidation I’ve ever seen”. But when asked, the gentlemen in question would only say they were “security”.
DOJ filed against the group in January 2009. The Defendants chose not to contest the charges and were found guilty-as typically happens when the government files suit and you don’t show up in court. But now DOJ wants to drop the suit.
Mr. Wolf is the lead person asking AG Eric Holder to provide information to justify the DOJ decision to drop this action-an action in which they had already gotten a win in court. To date Mr. Holder and team has declined, but the stink Mr. Wolf has raised has gotten the US Civil Rights Commission involved-seems they too want to know why this situation, which to any reasonable observer is clearly behavior meant to intimidate voters, is being hushed up and ignored by the DOJ.
Now we know AG Holder’s ethical sensitivities are dubious-remember the Marc Rich pardon he reviewed and approved to President Clinton? Fortunately Congressman Wolf is out there working to keep DOJ on an ethical keel and demanding they justify their conduct-if they ever do.
And if you have any doubt the investigation of this decision is justified, just ask yourself what the decision would have been if it had been white militants instead of black militants offering “security”.