Brian Kemp and how not to do your job

At a hearing in front of the Georgia Elections Board, the Secretary of State’s office revealed their reasoning for their voter fraud-claiming media deluge last week. It was 25 voter registration applications out of 85,000 submitted that were giving it pause. These applications had already been flagged by Stacey Abrams’s group, The New Georgia Project, but they were required to submit them anyway. Also revealed in this meeting was that 51,000 of the 85,000 hadn’t been processed even though most were submitted months ago. Those delays, combined with an SoS investigation that seemed designed to inflame the Republican base, are the responsibility of all-hat-and-no-cattle Brian Kemp. If you have ever been to the SoS’s website, he’s a man whose face you’ve seen and whose name you’ve cursed. But back to the alleged malfeasance, as opposed to the actual.

The New Georgia Project and its slanted logo took on a difficult job. Registering voters and expanding the electorate isn’t easy. It involves going door to door trying to find people who meet the requirements to vote but just haven’t bothered to participate. Oftentimes they won’t complete the forms or give partial information. These are the problems of democracy. Every citizen of the United States should be registered to vote. Doing the yeoman’s work to expand the electorate and fulfill the great American experiment should be lauded.

Instead it’s being stymied…by exactly the person who should be encouraging it. Brian Kemp has two jobs: maintaining his Geocities-level Secretary of State site and securing the Democratic process. Instead, he appears to be holding up 51,000 Georgians applications because of possible fraud in 25 applications. It was explicitly stated in the hearing that the fraud was not on the part of the New Georgia Project. Which means asking them for information on all 85,000 of their applications, as well as all their communications both internal and external likely isn’t relevant to the wrongdoing. But that’s not even the point. If Kemp understood voter registration at all, he’d know that an error rate of .059% was actually quite an achievement in voter registration. For him to castigate a group attempting to achieve what is supposed to be one of the goals of democracy (see duty #2 above) for that error rate indicates either ignorance or malevolence. Consider his initial statements to WSB:

“Preliminary investigation has revealed significant illegal activities’ including forged voter registration applications, forged signatures on releases, and applications with false or inaccurate information.”

“We’re just not going to put up with fraud. I mean, we have zero tolerance for that in Georgia so we’ve opened an investigation and served some subpoenas,” Kemp told Channel 2 political reporter Lori Geary.  “At the end of the day this is not going to be about politics. This is about potential fraud which we think happened.”

If that were true he wouldn’t have released the subpoena. A subpoena accompanied by those words equals an allegation. That allegation was today found wanting. Yes, those 25 applications should be denied. Just deny them. That’s your job, Brian. Harassing groups who are trying to register voters while spreading fears of widespread voter fraud is not.

Brian Kemp wanted to be Ag Commissioner. Maybe we should have let him. But because he isn’t dealing with cows professionally, he’s taken instead to shoveling manure in a room downtown.

33 comments

  1. Ellynn says:

    The man wanted to close down access to the state archive, even to lawyers and goverment offices. If he can’t deal with a basic collection of presorted and indexed files of existing papers, what makes people think he can handle current papers and basic digital media?

    • Will Durant says:

      The youtube video of Laurie Geary’s interview given as a link on this site and by the AJC was entered on the youtube site within 20 minutes of its airing. It was submitted by username “Perdue Rapid Response” and titled ‘Group Led By Nunn Ally & Donor Under “Fraud Investigation”‘. Multiple “conservative” websites glommed onto this with varying titles attempting to link Nunn with voter fraud. Stacey Abrams is being linked to Nunn for a $500 personal donation and a $1,000 donation from her campaign fund to Nunn’s. Of course Sec. Kemp with his BS in Agriculture was originally appointed SOS by Cousin Sonny.

  2. Cowabunga says:

    Does this surprise anyone? I mean, at some point Deal has to share the limelight with the rest of his pals.

  3. benevolus says:

    Is any Republican leader going to step up and say something? That this is wrong? Ask for an investigation? Insist the the registration process be pushed forward? Anything? Anyone?

    • Cowabunga says:

      The GAGOP and all the governor’s men are circling the wagons and attacking anyone who dare open their mouths. Why anyone would consider voting for that type of governance is beyond me.

  4. Dave Bearse says:

    I kept quiet, but then again, I was impartial with respect to Benghazi investigations until after the second one was complete.

    Based on this post, it’s shaping up to be an investigation that will further embarrass those GOP partisans that aren’t lock, stock and barrel GOP. I think it will damage Deal and Perdue and the ticket in general as much as Kemp. Most people don’t pay enough attention blame Kemp.

  5. Loren says:

    Nitpick: the SoS website isn’t Geocities-level. Geocities sites were stereotypically ugly as sin, but were basically simple. The SoS site *looks* professional on first glance, but it’s a nightmare to navigate.

    Though if you want a Geocities-style site in modern Georgia governance, look no further than the DeKalb County State Court website: http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/StateCourt/index.html

  6. rightofcenter says:

    It looks like the Peach Pundit has dwindled down to a few Democrat partisans. It’s like the comment section on the AJC.

    • WeymanCWannamakerJr says:

      So if someone rejects the actions of a Secretary of State who is throwing out terms like “fraud” and “felonious” frivolously they are just being “Democrat partisans”? Could they not just be Georgians who would want to avoid a return to the Feds babysitting all of our elections. Perhaps citizens who want as many as possible participating in their government and paying attention to their civic duties. Or even people who vote based on the people running and the issues of the day and not which letter follows their name on the ballot. What I see going on here by SoS Kemp isn’t working out too well in what should be the best interests of Republican partisans either.

        • Lea Thrace says:

          Not really sure about the well meaning part for any of the commenters. Be they conservative or liberal…

          I generally read articles while chanting the mantra of “dont read the comments. dont read the comments.”

          Never fails that I read about 10 comments and promptly give up on life. Ugh.

      • rightofcenter says:

        Actually, I try not to read the comment section. There are certainly a couple of regular posters who could be the poster children for conservative idiots, and there are a handful of idiots of the liberal persuasion. I’ve never seen anything there that caused me anything but consternation for the future of the human race.

    • cborgia says:

      Funny. I dropped my subscription years ago because I was sick of the catering to right wing neanderthals and the foolish prating of Ayn Rand and von Mises believers. Perhaps I should give them another chance. Do you by chance read the MDJ, or at least look at the pictures?

  7. eburke says:

    If the Republicans would spend more time actually working to make the schools better, reduce traffic problems and doing something about a longterm source of drinking water, I’d be more likely to vote for them. Instead they have spent the last 12 years making it harder for black people to vote, running mexicans out of the state and giving their well connected friends tax breaks. I am disappointed and will take my vote elsewhere this election cycle.

  8. Spacey G says:

    “Brian Kemp wanted to be Ag Commissioner. Maybe we should have let him. But because he isn’t dealing with cows professionally, he’s taken instead to shoveling manure in a room downtown.”

    I’m not sure what makes me LOL more: That quote itself, or that I read it on PP. My how times have changed ’round here since ’08.

    (Does anyone have an e-version of Kemp’s foot-stamping little meme he sent out today? It’s all kinda righteous indignation six ways to Sunday. Must have for social re-purposing.)

    • Will Durant says:

      “Each and every one of the confirmed forgeries came to the Investigations Division from county elections officials.”
      And how may this be verified? FOI? Just have to take his word for it?

      Not a single statement refuting the requirement to turn over all registrations regardless of merit. So you turn them in and break the law or don’t turn them in and break the law, which is it?

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