Pennsylvania is getting hosed, and somewhere down there Birmingham's segregationist sheriff Bull Connor is probably smiling. The voter ID law that's expected to pass in Harrisburg and then get Gov. Tom Corbett's signature is the most embarrassing piece of legislation since I became a Pennsylvania resident. A state that's neglecting the needs of its poorest citizens will waste hundreds of thousands of dollars to instead suppress their votes, to "solve" a problem that doesn't exist.
Corbett added that some precincts in the past have voted over 100 percent, which he said demonstrates fraud, but he did not give examples in the interview. His top elections official, Secretary of State Carol Aichele, could not cite any instances of voter fraud when asked by a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this month.
I've covered politics in Philadelphia for a while, and I'm not sure what Corbett is even talking about. I don't think he knows what he's talking about, either. In fact, I think he's lying. In fact, since this voter-suppression law was introduced last year, top Republican officials have repeatedly lied to justify a law that isn't needed. Apparently, there are no consequences for lying in Pennsylvania politics.
The good news is that in states like South Carolina and Texas, the Justice Department has stepped in to try and stop voter ID laws. That's because those states are covered by the Voting Rights Act, because of their history of racially discriminatory laws. But the Justice Department probably has no standing in Pennsylvania, because we don't have a modern history of discriminatory laws.
We should be so proud. Just like the firefighters' windbreakers say in the photo at top, this is a "BFD." Because in a matter of hours, Tom Corbett will pick up a pen, and channel the spirit of Bull Connor.