Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.org
Hans von Spakovsky. A German industrialist? A compatriot of artist Hieronymus Bosch? No. He is an attorney who is presently the head of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Voting Section. He is a member of the right-wing Federalist Society, and joined other Bush cronies in the Florida recount battle in 2000, and he is President Bush's newest recipient of a crony-nomination.
According to an article in today's Washington Post, von Spakovsky was nominated to the Federal Election Commission on Friday.
The nomination of von Spakovsky, a Republican, has already raised the hackles of some Democrats. According to WaPo:
In a letter to Senate Rules Committee Chairman Trent Lott (R-Miss.), Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) wrote that he is "extremely troubled" by the von Spakovsky nomination. Kennedy contends that von Spakovsky "may be at the heart of the political interference that is undermining the [Justice] Department's enforcement of federal civil laws."
WaPo added this:
It is clear that von Spakovsky had the ear of another "crony nomination" recipient, Alberto Gonzales, when it came to making decisions on the Georgia Voter ID issue and Texas redistricting, both of which had been recommended against by the Justice Departments' career professionals in the Voting Rights Division, but were given acceptance by the DoJ anyway.
The Georgia law has since been found unconstitutional as a "Jim Crow-era Poll Tax" by two Federal courts, and the Texas redistricting, concerning which former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay now faces indictments, has just been agreed to be looked at by the United States Supreme Court.
One other very notable point here. A Democrat, Robert D. Lenhard, has also been nominated to the FEC by Bush. As pointed out by Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake: "He's the husband of [Time Magazine reporter] Viveca Novak, whose testimony now provides the foundation for Karl Rove's defense in the CIA leak case."
As well, Lenhard was "quite helpful to the 1600 Crew as part of the legal team that challenged the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law," according to Jane.
Neither point, as Jane noted, was in either the White House Press Release or the WaPo's stenographic reporting of same.
Additional reporting on this story by Brad Friedman
CORRECTION: Our originally posted version of this story had reported von Spakovsky, instead of Lenhard, as the husband of TIME reporter, Vivica Novak. The BRAD BLOG regrets the error.