Travis Rowley: Republicans Told You So

Saturday, August 25, 2012


While Anthony Gemma’s highly anticipated press conference was certainly compelling, it remains unclear whether or not it will be enough to sink Congressman David Cicilline’s re-election hopes. At the very least, however, it seems Gemma is in possession of convincing evidence of large-scale voter fraud that would incriminate high-level officers within Cicilline’s inner circle.

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Still, as WPRO’s Dan Yorke so passively pointed out yesterday, there couldn’t be anything more humdrum than discovering evidence of inner-city election scams.

Unless you’re a liberal.

On Tuesday David Scharfenberg, the editor of the Providence Phoenix, appeared on the Dan Yorke Show to discuss Gemma’s upcoming campaign antics. During the course of the discussion, Scharfenberg ended up echoing the progressive refrain concerning Voter ID laws – particularly that they represent an ominous Republican effort to suppress the votes of Democratic constituencies.

As Democratic sympathizers have been doing all across the country, Scharfenberg called attention to the words of Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Turzai (R), who celebrated the fact that the passage of a statewide Voter ID law was “going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania” – which is a perfectly reasonable comment if one’s assumption is that Democrats perpetrate more than an insignificant amount of voter fraud each and every election cycle.

Ignoring what he surely knows to be the Republican premise, however, Scharfenberg decided instead to become the latest leftist to disingenuously characterize Turzai’s comment as evidence of the GOP’s sinister attempts to deny voting rights to “African-Americans” and “Latinos.”

Scharfenberg asked, “I mean,…do you need any more direct evidence…that Republicans in other states passed this bill [for] partisan motivations?”

If by “partisan motivations” Scharfenberg means “trying to win elections by making them fair” then, yes, Republicans are most certainly politically driven in this instance.

But I suppose Scharfenberg would also consider it to be illegitimate “partisan motivation” for you to call the police after a band of thugs has invaded your home, beat up your wife, and stolen all your belongings.

Denials and Derision

Liberals know that Republicans have been trying to achieve widespread acknowledgement of the nefarious election activities of the activist Left – unions, community organizers, Democratic operatives, etc. – for years.

Democrats and their media allies have typically responded to Republican allegations with denials and derision, most recently deciding to refer to Voter ID laws as “a solution looking for a problem.”

Even when Providence Democrats began to testify to the existence of voter fraud, liberals scoffed.

According to Rep. Anastasia Williams, she and a family member once walked into a polling station and discovered that others had already voted under their names. Williams now tells of “numerous [voter fraud] complaints,” claims to have personally witnessed such activity, and argues that “voter fraud, at the very least, exists in her district.”

Senator Harold Metts testifies to personally witnessing voter fraud in his district, tells of a “poll worker [who told him] that a voter had showed up unable to spell his own name,” and admits that his “constituents – both African-American and Latino – have complained to him about voter fraud for almost two decades.”

Twenty years. This is the average timespan that it takes Democrats to react to vital issues (see Pension Reform).

A Neglectful Media

Similar to what Rep. Jon Brien (D – Woonsocket) has reported, Scharfenberg told Dan Yorke that, while Rhode Island Democrats were gearing up to pass a controversial Voter ID bill last year, the “head of the Democratic National Committee [made an] eleventh-hour call to Gordon Fox saying you cannot pass this bill; it will destroy our narrative that this is all a Republican scheme.”

With minority legislators offering them cover, Smith Hill Democrats were able to resist the pressure from their party’s national offices.

But many Ocean State reporters were dutifully following the Democrats’ talking points. Scharfenberg called Voter ID laws a “solution in search of a problem,” and expressed frustration with local Democrats who were willing to sign on to “a pet project of Republicans who are happy to disenfranchise a portion of the Democrats' base in the midst of their righteous defense of the republic.”

WRNI’s Scott MacKay called Voter ID laws – yup, you guessed it – “a solution grasping for a problem.”

And a rating of “Mostly False” was how the Providence Journal’s Politifact team chose to reward this writer’s efforts to draft two columns that would provide hard evidence and examples of voter fraud, offer additional reasoning for the passage of Voter ID legislation, and expose the radical ethic that has infected the modern Democratic Party.

The Providence Journal. Yes, the news outlet that endorsed David Cicilline in 2010 for his “fiscal discipline” as Mayor of Providence.

The Evidence

Finally, however, someone decided to undertake the investigation that the Rhode Island press should have conducted – oh, I don’t know – maybe “two decades” ago.

Although likely driven by political aspirations, Anthony Gemma should still be commended for acting upon years of legitimate concerns regarding the integrity of the state’s electoral process. He personally hired TRP Associates, a wholly credible private investigation firm run by RI State Police retirees, whose compilation of evidence includes people being “registered to vote” at “abandoned buildings, vacant lots…businesses…and David Cicilline’s campaign headquarters.”

TRP has obtained admissions by former Cicilline campaign staffers – among others – who speak openly about “12-passenger vans” that carted “out-of-towners,” “visiting foreigners,” and “homeless persons” to “different polling places” – “in different districts” – “to vote multiple times.”

They tell of “Not Coming” lists generated by the Cicilline campaign, and then of cash payments given to people who “would vote for voters who could not make it” to the polling locations. One witness speaks of seeing an “undocumented alien” cast a ballot. Another testifies to having seen “individuals [tamper] with voting machines,” the “rig[ging of] electronic voting machines,” “extra ballots being submitted,” “non-citizens” being rewarded with “City jobs in Providence,” “lists of names of voters who would be impersonated,” and “individuals who had voted in disguise” – including a “powerful leader in the House of Representatives.”

Basically everything that Republicans have been saying for years.

Gemma did get one thing notably wrong during his remarks yesterday. He said, “The common denominator that runs through the vast majority of the mountain of evidence that TRP gathered is David Cicilline.”

Wrong. The common denominator is the Democratic Party.

Travis Rowley ( is chairman of the RI Young Republicans and author of The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.


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