1000s of faked signatures submitted in failed conspiracy to qualify former House Speaker for 2012 GOP Presidential primary ballot
Republican scheme said 'worse than what ACORN was accused of'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/19/2013, 12:34pm PT  

Another campaign worker for 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has pleaded guilty to election fraud charges and perjury in Virginia.

On Tuesday, according to WVIR, Charlottesville, VA's NBC affiliate, 28-year old Adam Ward pleaded guilty to 36 counts related to submitting forged signatures in the failed attempt by the Gingrich campaign to qualify for the state's 2012 GOP Presidential Primary ballot.

Just 10,000 legitimate signatures were needed to qualify for the ballot. The Gingrich campaign turned in more than that, but thousands of them, it turns out --- in an incident that far outpaces anything ACORN was even ever falsely accused of --- were faked. State authorities say they were unable to verify some 4,000 signatures out of more than 11,000 turned in by the Gingrich campaign.

In April, another Gingrich worker, 31-year old Jennifery Derrebery, pleaded guilty to similar felonies, after prosecutors said she had "turned over stacks of signed and notarized forms to the Virginia Board of Elections containing roughly 400 signatures --- nearly all of them fraudulent."

At the time of Derrebery's plea, WVIR reported that she was cooperating with prosecutors who said the "investigation is still active, and may result in additional arrests."

In an exclusive report in January of 2012, The BRAD BLOG originally broke the story confirming VA's criminal election fraud probe of Gingrich and his campaign, after what state election officials described to us as "definitely an illegal act."

That "illegal act" was believed, at the time, to have involved some 1,500 fraudulent signatures, as overheard being described by candidate Gingrich himself. He had been caught on video tape, in December of 2011, speaking to a supporter in Iowa, attempting to downplay the failure to qualify for the VA ballot as "just a mistake"...

"We turned in 11,100 --- we needed 10,000 --- 1,500 of them were by one guy who, frankly, committed fraud," Gingrich is seen and heard saying in video originally aired by CNN.

The former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives said his campaign had "hired somebody who turned in false signatures."

The news today of a second conviction in the case confirms that the effort was a conspiracy, larger than just the "one guy" to whom Gingrich originally chalked up the "mistake".

When The BRAD BLOG originally noted Gingrich's video-taped remarks in Iowa, we had observed that "If the same standards are applied to Newt Gingrich as have, for years, been applied to the now-defunct ACORN organization by both Republicans and their media arm, Fox 'News,' then it seems Newt Gingrich's campaign has committed thousands of acts of voter fraud."

While the now-defunct, four-decade old community organization had been accused of all matter of wrong-doing by Republicans, largely angered by ACORN's wildly successful voter registration efforts, the group has never been found guilty of gaming any election, or even helping to cast even one single fraudulent vote.

That didn't stop Gingrich himself, however, from inaccurately and opportunistically charging in a 2009 op-ed that "ACORN has a long history of engaging in voter fraud."

In fact, ACORN routinely double-checked all voter registrations for validity after they were turned in by their workers. They then flagged questionable registrations as potentially fraudulent before turning them, and the responsible workers, in to election and law enforcement officials (as required by law). Gingrich's campaign appears to have done no such thing.

When the number of fraudulent signatures submitted by the Gingrich campaign was believed to be just 1,500, as described by the candidate, Tommy Christopher at Mediaite observed that what his campaign did "was arguably worse than what ACORN was accused of."

"ACORN had a much better ratio of valid registrations to fraudulent ones than Gingrich," write Christopher. "13% of Gingrich's signatures were bogus, while ACORN's error rate was around 1.5%, according to Project Vote. Most of the ACORN applications that were rejected were duplicates, not fraudulent ones."

The Republican Party has continually misrepresented the ACORN worker cases for years in order to push for new laws requiring state-issued Photo ID at the polling place for voting, even though such laws would not deter the type of fraud they were accusing ACORN of having committed. They are pushing for such laws not because it will deter incredibly rare acts of in-person impersonation at the polling place, but because such restrictions will disproportionately disenfranchise Democratic-leaning voters, such as minorities, students, the poor and the elderly.

Contrary to GOP claims, The BRAD BLOG documented, throughout the Presidential election cycle last year, a pervasive record of recent and apparent election fraud carried out by high-ranking Republicans, many of whom had previously been (inappropriately) critical of non-existent "voter fraud" by ACORN. See, for example, this article, as written last August, after four U.S. House staffers of then Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) were indicted on charges of ballot petition fraud almost identical to those which Gingrich's campaign workers have now pleaded guilty to.

That article offers a quick round-up of some of the most recent cases of alleged and/or confirmed voter fraud and election fraud by high-ranking Republicans such as Mitt Romney, Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White, the CA Republican Party, Rep. Todd Akin, James O'Keefe, Ann Coulter and several others.

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