Saturday, July 1, 2017

Letter to Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

A few years ago I lived in Arizona while working as a civilian for the military.  It was during my time in the desert that I became acquainted with the machinations of a political rattlesnake by the name of Kris Kobach.  He was the man who authored Arizona's infamous Senate Bill 1070, a.k.a. the "show me your papers" bill -  a legal pretext for every Barney Fife in the state to harass citizens who happened to have brown skin pigmentation.  The bill was an outrageous affront to civil liberties and the rights of good people to go about their daily routines without living in constant fear of being confronted by uniformed gestapo.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio loved SB 1070 - he loved it so much so that he followed Kris Kobach to Kansas in 2010 and helped him campaign to be elected Kansas Secretary of State, an office which he won.  Kobach has spent the intervening years crafting new and ever more clever ways to keep people of color and other minorities from voting.  He is America's acknowledged king of voter suppression.

Kobach is such a tool in the fight to suppress the votes of minorities that Donald Trump has named him to the new commission on "voting integrity," a forerunner to anticipated national efforts to curb voting by minorities and any other groups that might lean Democratic.

This past week the "Voting Integrity" commission, a group under the formal leadership of Mike Pence, issued a call for every state and the District of Columbia to provide detailed information on all registered voters to the commission - information like full names, voting history, felony convictions, and the last four digits of voters' social security numbers.  Many states have responded saying they will provide only information that is already publicly available, and a growing number are declining to provide the commission with any information whatsoever.  Interestingly, Kobach's home state of Kansas has announced that it will not provide the last four digits of voters' social security numbers.  (Trump, ever the bully,  has already begun taunting the states that are protecting their voter's information with calls of "What are you trying to hide?")  Sadly, a few states appear to be complying with the Pence/Kobach request.

All of that political intrigue has, of course, given this blogger a full head of steam.  The following letter will go out in this afternoon's mail to Jay Ashcroft, Missouri's Secretary of State - as well as a copy to my local newspaper.

Honorable Jay Ashcroft
Missouri Secretary of State
600 West Main Street
Jefferson City, MO  65101

Dear Secretary Ashcroft,

I am a retiree currently living on a small farm near West Plains, Missouri., a community that you know well.   As a native of the “Show Me” state, I pride myself in staying current on what’s happening around me, and, in particular, safeguarding my rights in a society where they seem to be constantly eroding.

I am particularly concerned about the recently announced “Election Integrity” commission that is being spearheaded by Vice President Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.    This commission, which has been formed to address a problem that many, including myself, do not believe exists, is requesting a wide range of personal information on voters from all fifty states as well as the District of Columbia.

It is my understanding that this commission is requesting that states provide information on voter registration rolls to include full names, addresses, voting history, party affiliation, felony convictions, and the last four digits of each voter’s social security number.

That request represents an astounding “Big Brother” overreach by the federal government, as well as an outrageous affront to democracy.  The idea of a small bureaucratic entity with partisan roots having access to that much personal information on American voters is as frightening as it is reprehensible.

Also, I am particularly concerned with Secretary Kobach’s involvement in this project.  He is a known champion of voter suppression, an activity that by its very nature is un-American and the antithesis of democracy.

I understand that a broad range of states are declining to provide any voter information to the commission – including places as diverse as Kentucky, Virginia, California, and Mississippi.  I would encourage Missouri to do the same.

As a resident of your state and as a registered voter, I am emphatically requesting that none of my personal information be turned over to the Pence/Kobach Commission.  Should your office ignore my request, I would like to be informed of the exact content of any of material that is transferred to the commission.

Thank you for your attention to my concerns and for your anticipated response.


Rocky G. Macy

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

Meanwhile yesterday CBS NEWS said this about Jay: "In Missouri, Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said he is happy to "offer our support in the collective effort to enhance the American people's confidence in the integrity of the system."" Jay repeated the new big lie about voting fraud in an opinion piece for FOX NEWS OPINION on May 20th ( He cited a case, a single case where a Democrat from Kansas City's Northeast District won an election via three votes cast by an over zealous relative. That relative faced the consequences of the law. Democrats are and were in the minority in that the General Assembly. Yet Ashcroft (Koch Brothers?) want to prescreen the electorate to assure they can manipulate the vote to the benefit of the GOP. Now Missouri is a state that fought stringent identification requirements for drivers licences. Yet Ashcroft makes demands that Missouri throw off its skirt and drop its panties in giving even more data to Pence and Kobach. Thank you for your letter.