J Christian Adams Testimony to the PA House State Government Committee
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Testimony Christian Adams Before the House State Government Committee House Resolution 578 May 2014 Christian Adams Policy Board Member American Civil Rights Union 300 Washington Street Suite 405 Alexandria, Virginia 22314 703-963-8611 firstname.lastname@example.org Chairman Metcalfe, Ranking Member Cohen, members the Committee, thank you for the invitation testify today. Westmoreland County native, great honor appear before this body. election lawyer. litigate election cases across the country effort bring greater integrity American elections. formerly served the Voting Section the United States Department Justice and have long record litigating against racially discriminatory election systems well litigation supporting election integrity multiple states behalf the American Civil Rights Union. have spent many long hours inside Pennsylvania polling locations monitoring elections. Those experiences have led believe that Pennsylvania place where every elected official should completely intolerant any criminal behavior touching Pennsylvania elections. appear before you today because the corrosive effect election integrity that comments and policies Attorney General Kathleen Kane have had. General Kanes brazen unwillingness pursue behavior some elected officials who reportedly took bribes exchange for votes against voter identification legislation sends signal that criminal behavior touching elections will tolerated. Her unwillingness enforce the law was not only corrosive the integrity Pennsylvania elections, but also sends message nationwide would-be election criminals. Because General Kanes comments and brazen unwillingness enforce the law, particularly they affect election integrity, support Article III Representative Metcalfes Amendment House Resolution 578. you know, General Kanes predecessor office initiated investigation October 2010. has been reported that this investigation targeted members this House from both political parties, and from all parts the Commonwealth. Reports indicate that four legislators accepted cash gifts and jewelry exchange for votes against photo voter identification bill. Unfortunately, General Kane has decided drop the matter. What even worse than General Kane dropping the matter her justification why she did so. She broadly impugned the competence and credibility the investigation conducted her predecessor well the line investigators the case. Worse still, General Kane invoked the specter race. She characterized the investigation racially tainted, apparently because the members caught accepting the bribes were all the same race. There growing corrosive attitude the United States that excuses criminal conduct pertaining elections. The Attorney General Pennsylvania should not making excuses for individuals who accepted bribes block election integrity legislation. Simply because one does not agree with voter identification laws does not mean one should turn blind eye toward public officials accepting bribes oppose them. the duty law enforcement officials throughout the Commonwealth totally intolerant any criminal conduct touching our elections. the obligation the Attorney General ignore the race, religion partisan affiliation the wrongdoers deciding whether enforce the law. The integrity our elections what provides the genuine consent the governed. Without the perception that the system clean, fair, and free from criminal conduct high officials, people will not long support the system. General Kane should take action against criminal behavior, not excuse it. Across America, however, instances voter fraud unprosecuted, individuals who vote twice the same election unpunished. Election officials who commit election crimes, sometimes even voting six times one election, are given breaks. Excusing criminal conduct encourages the public believe that elections are not clean, and not represent the consent the governed. Excusing criminal conduct surrounding elections inexcusable. But especially divisive excuse criminal conduct citing the race the wrongdoer. For the Attorney General assert that would improper proceed with criminal charges against individuals caught tape accepting bribes because their skin color wrecks the rule law. Unfortunately, experience, using race excuse potentially criminal conduct elections nothing new. write about this phenomena extensively book Injustice. For example, Hale County, Alabama, after indictments three individuals for voter fraud 2007, race was invoked cast doubt the criminal investigation Alabama Attorney General Troy King. stunning display, more than 200 people packed the arraignment the Hale County Courthouse and loudly applauded when not guilty pleas the voter fraud charges were entered. corrupt appropriation the moral authority the civil rights movement, the audience wore t-shirts that said, Greensboro Injustice Anywhere Threat Justice Everywhere. Outside the courthouse, supporters held hands huge circle, sang songs from the civil rights movement, and prayed for the defendants legal deliverance. All three defendants would ultimately plead guilty voter fraud. Neither should the Attorney General give pass criminal wrongdoing because the race the accused. immoral use race either excuse criminal conduct surrounding our elections just immoral discriminate against anyone the basis race. Sadly, giving cover criminal conduct American elections not phenomena confined Hale County, Alabama, the halls government Harrisburg. beginning happen throughout the United States. One the principles that separate America from every other country every other age that citizens are treated based their actions, not based they have friends high places protecting them, not they come from nobility and not based their race religion. The actions General Kane undermine this important principle equality before law. General Kane claims that the investigation was tainted and others have told the media that prosecution would impossible obtain the case legislators accepting bribes. One such opinion was offered district attorney who reportedly did not even review the evidence the case. Those defending General Kanes refusal enforce the law cite shortcomings the evidence the case. Fine, then let the people Pennsylvania judge for themselves. General Kane should release the General Assembly all the hidden camera videos the individuals accepting the cash and gifts. Press accounts describe hours and hours videotaped content. Let the citizens Pennsylvania see their legislators accepting cash and jewelry exchange for opposition voter identification legislation. Let the people Pennsylvania judge for themselves whether not General Kane faithfully executing the laws the Commonwealth. Let the people the judge whether the evidence sufficient. one thing assert that case was not worth pursing; quite another defend that assertion after everyone sees the videos legislators accepting bribes. Lets also hope the media throughout Pennsylvania does their job and presses for the release those videos. Finally, there plenty criticism around for not pursuing the bribes. believe that the acceptance bribes return for votes may also implicate federal criminal statutes, statutes which the United States Justice Department has diligently pursued many other cases, including here Pennsylvania. Greater scrutiny the Department Justices failure act this case also needed. would unfortunate thing the public believed that serious crimes might unpunished because those who accepted the bribes were the same political party the law enforcement officials charged with prosecuting them. Thank you for the opportunity appear. ### Christian Adams the founder the Election Law Center Virginia. the Policy Board the American Civil Rights Union. served from 2005 2010 the Voting Section the United States Department Justice where brought wide range election cases protect racial minorities including South Carolina, Florida, and Texas. litigates election law cases throughout the United States and even Guam. election litigation has represented multiple candidates for President the United States. received the Department Justice award for outstanding service and numerous other Justice Department performance awards. Prior his time the Justice Department, served General Counsel the South Carolina Secretary State. also serves legal editor PJMedia.com, internet news publication. Pennsylvania native and holds B.A. from West Virginia University and has law degree from the University South Carolina School Law. member the South Carolina and Virginia Bars.