Friday, October 15, 2004


Republican operative at center of voter registration scandal takes over Ohio GOTV effort

Time to sound the trumpets. From Josh Marshall:

As we told you a few days ago, six Republican party staffers and campaign workers in South Dakota resigned over a burgeoning voter fraud scandal. Chief among them was Larry Russell, head of the South Dakota GOP's get-out-the-vote operation, the Republican Victory Program.

To date, no criminal charges have been filed. But the state Attorney General says the investigation is "continuing."

Today comes news, however, that Russell -- still under investigation in South Dakota -- has been reassigned to run President Bush's get-out-the-vote operation in Ohio. Russell will now "lead the ground operations" for Bush in Ohio, according to an internal Republican party memo obtained by the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

And Russell's bringing along with him to Ohio three of the five other GOP staffers who had to resign in South Dakota and are similarly under investigation in that state.

Russel and the others are accused of tampering with absentee ballot forms.

The Argus Leader story Josh references is available here.

According to the Argus Leader:

But an internal Republican Party memo obtained by the Argus Leader said Russell would be going to Cleveland "to lead the ground operations" for President Bush and Vice President Cheney there.

Ohio is a swing state considered vital to a successful presidential victory.

Attempts to contact Bush-Cheney campaign officials in Cleveland were unsuccessful.

The memo was e-mailed to Republican staffers and officials Sunday evening by the state party's Executive Director Jason Glodt. Three other GOP workers who resigned over the application fracas also will be involved in the Ohio campaign, according to the memo.

"Todd Schleckeway, Nathan Mertz and Eric Fahrendorf have also been recruited to Ohio to work with Larry on the President's campaign," the e-mail stated.

. . .

Glodt confirmed Thursday that the memo is authentic, but he said he'd prefer not to comment on an internal communication.

. . .

"Ohio is on everybody's short list as a battleground state, so it is the place to be," he said.


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