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News, May 8, 2021
May 8, 2021

Eyes On | Bob Bauer's Building Back

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The Truth About Building Back Together's Highly Partisan Voting InitiativeIt was announced late last month that an "outside group" composed of "allies of President Joe Biden" is launching a new initiative ostensibly in the interest of voting rights.The non-profit group Building Back Together - a Biden administration slogan - said their aim with the initiative is to "counter proposed changes" in voting laws across the country, which they say is an effort to impede access to voting among people of color and "historically disadvantaged" communities.The initiative is being spearheaded by Bob Bauer, who was a senior adviser for Biden's 2020 campaign. Bauer is an attorney and specifically advised Biden's campaign on the election issues in 2020. He was ubiquitous on major media as the disputes over the vote were argued in court.In discussing the initiative with Politico, Bauer said that “A broad-based coalition is required to expose the serious and continuing disinformation about the 2020 election, and to defend against the use of that disinformation to advance wholly unjustified and all too often flatly illegal restrictions on access to the polls.""We also need to stand behind the election administrators of both parties now under attack for their dedicated non-partisan service to voters," he said in the prepared statement.Although Bauer specifically praised the value of non-partisan service, his own service was highly partisan through the process; a function of the job as a member of the campaign. He of course made near-continuous appearances in all the mainstream press, under exceedingly friendly conditions being interviewed by people who agreed with him.But we mention Bauer specifically not merely for his work in 2020 opposing judicious and full hearing of the cases being made on behalf of the people and in the interest of a full and transparent accounting. We mention him also for his work prior to 2020.Bauer was an attorney for the Obama campaign, as well, and spearheaded another initiative on its behalf.Here, we will let his words speak for themselves, in this excerpt from a document sent out during the 2012 election."Over the last several years, the Republican Party has embarked on a nationwide and coordinated strategy of limiting access to the polls by enacting legislation to combat what it has claimed is the risk of “voter fraud.” As part of this strategy, Republicans have pushed forward photo identification requirements, shortened early voting periods and hours, restrictions on voter registration, and other limitations to the vote. After successful legal challenges around the country, this attack on voting rights has been blunted and the right to vote this year for millions of Americans has been made more secure."But, there is another aspect of the Republican Party assault on the franchise that is now back in focus. It is carried out on the ground rather than in the legislatures—not by casting votes for ID legislation, but through direct challenges to voters at the polling place. Either directly, through its vendors, or in close association with allied organizations, the Republicans are attempting to disrupt the electoral process and create obstacles to the fair and effective exercise of the right to vote. All of this done in the name of investigating and combating 'fraud.'"That's from the first page of a six-page, highly partisan screed. Attacking the right of citizens to challenge the eligibility of ballots that they have cause to challenge is only a small part of what's in this manifesto.As a matter of fact, Bauer extensively attacked True the Vote by name in the document. In Bauer's memo, which purports to be about "protecting the vote," he says the "very purpose" of our advocacy for the rights of voters is "to intimidate voters."Do you feel intimidated, fellow concerned citizens? Or do you feel empowered?Bauer referred to True the Vote as an "outspoken" member of the "voter fraud community." This isn't just spurious, it is demonstrably false as well as revealing.True the Vote is an outspoken champion against vote fraud. That's our "very purpose." What Bauer argues, what the Obama campaign argued, and what this new voter initiative and those who lead it say repeatedly on television and radio is that there is no voter fraud.In fact, simply saying "voter fraud" can get you labeled a conspiracy theorist in the media. Yet, when it is convenient to their fundraising or memo writing, that is precisely the charge they make against True the Vote and other groups working to make our elections secure and accountable.That's an old trick in propaganda: accuse of others of what you are doing. And what Bauer and his group want to do is protect the potential for voter fraud, enable vote trafficking, and enshrine it in law. Their mission is to preserve the flaws and the weak points for future exploitation and to oppose by any means necessary those who, like True the Vote and its members, want integrity for the processes of democracy.True the Vote obtained an original copy of that memo and we have embedded it below, in full.[pdf-embedder url="https://truethevote.org/wp-content/uploads/securepdfs/Bauer-Memo.pdf" title="Obama-Biden Voting Memo Bob Bauer" width="700" align="center"]---

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