“Republican strategist” Dee Dee Benkie took part in the Great American Panel segment on Hannity Monday night (12/26/11) where she spewed falsehoods about “rampant” voter fraud in this country and made unsubstantiated accusations about Democrats trying to steal elections. Although voter fraud has been shown to be very rare, guest host Mark Steyn accepted her comments without challenge. He did not even ask her to back up her outrageous claims that Democrats are deliberately trying to steal elections.
Benkie’s credibility had already been compromised during a previous appearance on Hannity when she ignored the mountain of evidence proving otherwise and questioned why President Obama hadn’t produced his birth certificate.
That's not counting this rather intriguing description of a Kindle book about her called Rove-ing Her Way To The White House:
The book… demonstrates that it was clearly possible to lie, cheat, steal and manipulate others to gain full security clearance in the White House. Such behavior enabled Dee Dee Benkie to do just that during the administration of President George W. Bush.
The rise to power of Dee Dee Benkie was facilitated by former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for President George W. Bush, Karl Rove. Her fall and political comeback… is a true story that involved politics at the highest level (the White House), sex, criminality, not following the Golden Rule, and, most importantly, jeopardizing the security of the United States of America… The book reveals for the first time Dee Dee’s true character. She has had extensive involvement in the criminal justice system, has unscrupulously manipulated good people to obtain what she wanted, blatantly disregarded criminal laws, and ignored the adverse effects that her ruthless actions have had on others.
Last night's discussion was about a South Carolina law requiring government identification to vote – which has just been blocked by the Obama Justice Department over concerns that the law would disenfranchise minorities.
Benkie said, “This is insane. You can’t even function in our society without an ID of any kind… This is all about the Democrats trying to be able to manipulate the elections, have voter fraud, cheat. It has happened. It happened in 2008… “
That’s a serious and a seriously appalling accusation. But rather than ask Benkie for any facts to suppot her allegation, Steyn gave it unwarranted legitimacy by not questioning it in any way.
Steyn gave Benkie further undeserved credence by saying, “Under the law in most states, I could walk into a polling booth and say I’m here to vote, even though I don’t live (there) and those guys would be obligated just to let me walk in there.”
“Absolutely,” Benkie agreed. She went on to say, “There’s so much voter fraud. It’s rampant.
In reality, the facts show that voter fraud is rare. Rolling Stone reported:
A major probe by the (Bush) Justice Department between 2002 and 2007 failed to prosecute a single person for going to the polls and impersonating an eligible voter, which the anti-fraud laws are supposedly designed to stop. Out of the 300 million votes cast in that period, federal prosecutors convicted only 86 people for voter fraud – and many of the cases involved immigrants and former felons who were simply unaware of their ineligibility. A much-hyped investigation in Wisconsin, meanwhile, led to the prosecution of only .0007 percent of the local electorate for alleged voter fraud. "Our democracy is under siege from an enemy so small it could be hiding anywhere," joked Stephen Colbert. A 2007 report by the Brennan Center for Justice, a leading advocate for voting rights at the New York University School of Law, quantified the problem in stark terms. "It is more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning," the report calculated, "than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls."
The Brennan Center report also stated,
These inflated claims are not harmless. Crying "wolf" when the allegations are unsubstantiated distracts attention from real problems that need real solutions. If we can move beyond the fixation on voter fraud, we will be able to focus on the real changes our elections need, from universal registration all the way down to sufficient parking at the poll site. Moreover, these claims of voter fraud are frequently used to justify policies that do not solve the alleged wrongs, but that could well disenfranchise legitimate voters. Overly restrictive identification requirements for voters at the polls -- which address a sort of voter fraud more rare than death by lightning -- is only the most prominent example.
Nevertheless, Steyn went on to dubiously claim that the United States “runs some of the most flawed and corrupt elections in the developed world.”
Benkie called that “embarrassing” and repeated her false claim that “We have voter fraud running rampant throughout our country. And it’s the Democrats are going to try to manipulate the elections and ACORN did this. These are proven cases where they manipulated and used voter fraud.”
Ah, the old ACORN smear trick. We can chalk that up as another Benkie falsehood. Some rogue ACORN employees improperly filled out some voter registration forms but no actual voter fraud was ever uncovered.
Sadly, Democrat Jaques DeGraff, whom I otherwise admire, didn’t seem to have the facts at hand to shine a strong light on Benkie’s deceits.
What's really running rampant is Republican/Fox News fear mongering without regard for the truth.