The Connecticut State Election Commission announced this morning in Hartford that "it cannot make a full and fair determination of the allegations" against Ann Coulter who was alleged to have committed voter fraud twice in the state by voting illegally from her residence in New York City while being registered at her parents home in the Nutmeg State.
After a nearly inexplicable 20-month investigation, the Commission found "insufficient evidence in the present matter to substantiate the Complainant's claims."
However, The BRAD BLOG can report that, based on the Commission's five-page "Findings and Conclusions", it appears the Connecticut board either overlooked or ignored key evidence, including specific documentation of Coulter's illegal voting history in the state of Florida (they were only off by more than a year!), as well as her own incriminating admissions on the Fox "News" Channel about living in New York City......
The Connecticut complaint, orginally filed by conservative activist and longtime Coulter critic Daniel Borchers in early 2009, charges that the best-selling author and former GOP superstar was living in New York City when she voted inappropriately via absentee ballot from her residence in NY in both 2002 and 2004 while still registered at her parents home in New Canaan.
Connecticut General Statutes 9-23g, 9-140, 9-172, 9-359 and 9-360 disallow that, and the Commission has previously come down on not-as-famous voters, such as NY resident Daniel Jarvis Brown, for having committed the exact same offense. We we detailed Brown's case in June 2009, five months after the original February 2009 complaint against Coulter was filed.
In the five page document released today detailing "Findings and Conclusions" from her case, File No. 2009-10, the Commission offers information directly contradicted by documents long ago made public and published by The BRAD BLOG, concerning Coulter's voter history (including her history of voting illegally in the Sunshine State).
As noted in the Commissions findings, per General Statutes 9-172, "only individuals who are bona fide residents of the town in which they are offering to vote will be permitted to vote in state elections".
The "determinative issue", therefore, in this case was whether Coulter was a "bona fide resident" of New Canaan at the time she was living in NYC domiciles in 2002 and 2004. General Statutes 9-360 state that violation of these laws shall incur a fine of "not less than three hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars" and shall cause imprisonment of "not less than one year nor more than two years".
The Commission's document details how the determination of "bona fide resident" may now be made in Coulter's case [emphasis in original]:
9. As such, where an individual truly maintains two residences to which the individual has legitimate, significant, and continuing attachments, that individual can choose either one of those residences to be their bona fide residence for the purposes of election law so long as they possess the requisite intent...
10. Thus, the issues in the present matter are whether 1) the Respondent truly resided at her childhood home in New Canaan when she voted in that town on November 5, 2002 and November 2, 2004 and, if so, 2) whether she had legitimate, significant, and continuing attachments to that home.
In short, it seems the Commission now allows the voter in question to determine which of their multiple domiciles, if they have more than one, is their "bona fide residence", whether they actually intend to return there or not.
Coulter is contending in turn, that as a 41 and 43 year-old Constitutional attorney and best-selling author living in New York City and having moved away from "her childhood home in New Canaan" decades earlier --- where she originally registered to vote in 1980 at the age of 19 --- in 2002 and 2004, even after having purchased her $1.5 million condominium in NYC, her parents house was still her "bona fide residence".
It's a shame Daniel Jarvis Brown, the NY resident still registered at his "childhood home" in Connecticut, as we detailed last year, didn't have attorneys smart enough to help him make that same claim when he agreed to settle virtually identical charges against him a year or two ago.
Nonetheless, it appears the Commission ultimately based their findings on Coulter's own assertions (rather than available evidence to the contrary), "that she maintained a bona fide residence at a property which at all relevant times was owned by her parents." That, despite the fact that she has notoriously lied in the past concerning other charges of voter fraud and voter registration fraud against her in Florida in 2005, and despite documented hard evidence showing that Connecticut's findings as issued today were in error.
According to the Commission's findings, Coulter "maintained an apartment in New York City at the time of the November 5, 2002 general election and ... she owned a condominium in New York City at the time of the November 2, 2004 general election." However, she told them, "her residences in New York City, even the one that she purchased in 2003 and appears to own to this day, were secured by necessity and...she had no personal and/or permanent connection to them like she had to the residence in New Canaan."
But that's not what she stated publicly when facing voter fraud charges in Florida.
Moreover, the document notes that Coulter's parents have since died, and her childhood home in Connecticut "is held in a trust administered by a relative." In short, she never moved back to Connecticut after moving out of her parents home decades ago.
However, Coulter's own admissions, voting record, and even tax records in the state of Florida would suggest that she simply lied to the CT investigators to evade the rule of law. Again.
Evidence shows Coulter lied to and/or mislead investigators
Among the body of evidence contradicting the claims by the Commission, many of them apparently offered to them by Coulter herself, would be the following...
Voting Registration Record
The Commission notes while Coulter "first registered as a voter at the address in New Canaan...on or about January 8, 1980. The evidence also shows that she maintained this registration for over twenty-six (26) years until on or about August 17, 2006 when she submitted a request in writing to the New Canaan Registrar's Office that she be removed. The investigation revealed no indication that she registered and/or voted in any other place during that time period. The evidence also shows that after the aforementioned date, the Respondent registered to vote in the State of Florida and has since remained registered there." [emphasis ours].
That information is flat out wrong.
As we documented during our years-long investigation of the felony voter registration fraud and misdemeanor voter fraud Coulter carried out in Florida in 2005 and 2006 (an index of our many reports on the entire affair is located here: BradBlog.com/CoulterFraud), she registered to vote in Florida prior to the August 17, 2006 --- contrary to the "Findings" of the state of Connecticut.
Her voter registration in Florida was signed on June 15, 2005 and was received by the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections office on June 23, 2005, as seen below...
She not only registered in Florida in 2005, fraudulently using the address of her realtor on her form (without the realtor's knowledge) at 999 Indian Rd. instead of her own home address at 242 Seabreeze Ave., (as then publicly available at the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser's website), she also knowingly voted at the wrong precinct in February of 2006, as attested to in the following document from then Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Arthur Anderson...
Despite the evidence posted above --- which has been published multiple times over the years at The BRAD BLOG --- the Connecticut Commission's findings say their "investigation revealed no indication that she registered and/or voted in any other place" prior to "August 17, 2006 when she submitted a request in writing to the New Canaan Registrar's Office that she be removed" from the voter rolls in that state.
That investigators were unable to find the information provided above is disturbing, and casts a cloud over the entirety of their investigation.
If Coulter agreed with the Commission's findings, or led them to believe that she hadn't voted elsewhere until after August of 2006 in Florida, then she lied to them, as the record above shows.
On air admissions
After news of Coulter's voter fraud in Florida broke, she lied to the media about it, claiming that she didn't even live in Florida, she actually lived in New York (as opposed to Connecticut). In fact she did both live and vote in Palm Beach County, Florida as shown above.
Nonetheless, during the one known instance in 2006 when she was directly asked about the Florida charges on Fox "News" where she is a contracted contributor, she simply lied.
"I think the syphilis has gone to their brains," Coulter told Fox host Alan Colmes when he asked about the allegations made against her by the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections.
"Did you knowingly vote in the wrong district?" Colmes followed up. "No, I live in New York," Coulter incriminatingly lied in response. "This is all false, I'm telling you," she said.
But as we documented in no uncertain terms, it wasn't "all false." None of it was. Coulter did knowingly vote in the wrong district after knowingly registering at the wrong residence in Palm Beach County. The testimony of the poll worker who witnessed it, and confirmation from the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections was published by The BRAD BLOG on May 10, 2006.
This record --- all clearly documented here for years --- was apparently not even reviewed by Connecticut investigators. We also sent the above information, concerning her claim to be living in New York, to the Commission again just last week.
If Coulter did "live in New York" in her $1.5 million condo, as she claimed, rather than in the $1.3 million Florida homestead she purchased in March of 2005 when she illegally registered to vote there, she would not have been entitled to the $25,000 Homestead Tax Exemption she enjoyed in the Sunshine State that year and in years subsequent to it, according to Palm Beach County Appraiser records at the time.
As The BRAD BLOG detailed in June of 2006, Coulter had been taking that $25,000 exemption on her property even though the Florida homestead law requirements state [emphasis ours]:
The exemption requirements also state that "A copy of your deed and proof of residency is required" in order to receive the exemption.
If she didn't live in Florida, but rather lived in New York City, then it would appear that she broke Florida law again by taking that tax exemption --- in addition to the laws she broke during her voter fraud spree there.
If she lived in New York at the time, as she claimed to the media, then she would have broken the law in Connecticut by voting there absentee, since her parents home was clearly not her "bona fide residence" as she then owned her condo in NY and her mansion in FL.
The above information, concerning Coulter's claims of living in New York while actually having permanent residence in Florida, just after voting in Connecticut was given to the State Elections Enforcement Commission. It would seem that as part of their inexplicably long 20-month investigation --- (previous cases had been handled in an average of two or three months, though a SEEC spokesperson told us their case load had grown over the years, so investigations were taking longer) --- to determine whether Coulter voted illegally or not in 2002 and 2004, they didn't bother to review reams of already-available public documents casting doubts on her claims.
Why any of it matters
As the complainant Daniel Borchers told us last week, when we announced that Coulter's case was finally coming up for a vote before the SEEC, "Throughout her high-profile career, Coulter has survived controversies of her own making while claiming to be the victim (and her fans accept her assertions). ... Coulter has flaunted her prestige, power, and connections to elude - and even eviscerate - the rule of law."
Indeed she "flaunted" the rule of law in Florida where superstar, former Bush Administration GOP attorneys, an inappropriate intervention from a former boyfriend in the FBI, lies and obfuscations, months of refusal to respond to officials, and friendly Republican law enforcement agencies eventually helped Coulter to run out the statute of limitations on her voter fraud and voter registration fraud charges there. [We told the entire FL story in a feature article published by Hustler after all was said and done as posted here.]
In Connecticut, there is no such statute of limitations for such charges before the State Election Enforcement Commission. But she may have managed to get away with it anyway by buffaloing investigators unless the SEEC reopens the case to review their errors and the evidence we've provided here.
"Ann Coulter - that great proponent of the rule of law - has again eluded justice, proving once again that the rich and powerful are held to a different (unaccountable) standard," Borchers, a Christian conservative (and occasional BRAD BLOG guest blogger) told us today after CT's findings. "If the Coulters of this world - those Ivy League educated lawyers, newsmakers, and shapers of public opinion - cannot be held accountable for their irresponsible and illegal behavior, then where is the justice for the little man? Who really speaks for him?"
He added, "Justice deferred encourages injustice. Justice denied is no justice at all."
But far more important than Coulter's own flaunting of the law, Republicans have, for years, been using baseless charges of "voter fraud" against Democrats in order to keep voters from voting via inappropriate challenges at the polling place and disenfranchising photo ID restrictions meant to do little more than keep minority, elderly and student (read: Democratic-leaning) voters from being able to cast their vote at all.
In fact, Coulter's employer Fox "News", in their regular election season disinformation campaign featuring breathless, evidence-free reports of "voter fraud" has gone so far as to set up a special VoterFraud@FoxNews.com tip address to allegedly help ferret out dastardly Democrats and their "massive voter fraud" efforts.
That campaign, of course, formed the basis for the infamous (and fake) ACORN "Pimp" Hoax carried out by Rightwing scammers and dirty-tricksters James O'Keefe and his dissembling employer Andrew Breitbart. The scheme was meant to put ACORN out of business for having the temerity to legally register millions of low- and middle-income Americans to legally participate in their own democracy.
Though ACORN is now largely gone after four-decades of anti-poverty, pro-democracy work, thanks to the O'Keefe/Breitbart scam, the Right is still working themselves into a phony lather over imaginary "voter fraud" by Democrats again this year, as seen recently in Houston and elsewhere of late as the mid-term election grows near.
While the GOP campaign has succeeded in sending a tiny handful of folks to jail over the last decade, several for far lesser crimes than Coulter's, all the while, Fox has virtually ignored her repeated acts of violating voting laws in several states. They've also ignored well-documented evidence of voter fraud and voter registration fraud schemes by other Republicans and far larger schemes of election fraud by Republican officials.
"Coulter's Connecticut voter fraud case was breaking news in February, 2009. To date, her case was never mentioned on the Fox News Channel, despite Coulter's frequent guest appearances on that network," Borchers noted today via email. "Indeed, after the news broke that the case might be resolved in October, 2010, Coulter appeared on five Fox shows in eight days. Not a single host queried their guest about the her case."
"Obviously, this 'fair and balanced' cable network pursues the rule of law in general, and voter fraud in particular, from a highly partisan perspective. Conservative icons and prima donnas like Coulter can do no wrong in their eyes."
Borchers quotes author Charlie Savage who observed, in his book Takeover, "The rule of law is the enemy of the powerful" and notes that "While a pundit on MSNBC in 1996-97, Coulter zealously espoused the same sentiment. On 9/26/97, Coulter exclaimed, 'This is such a great issue. This is very important, how our society treats the rich and powerful - other than Al Gore and Bill Clinton, we know how they get treated: they can commit felonies and get away with it. But not everybody can! It's not anarchy yet! We are still a nation of laws.'"
"Apparently no longer," added Borchers.
• The complete five-page 10/14/10 "Findings and Conclusions" from the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission is now posted here.