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Posts Tagged ‘Hans von Spakovsky’
July 7th, 2014 at 8:59 am
Podcast: The “Lost” IRS Emails
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Hans von Spakovsky, Manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, discusses Lois Lerner’s “lost” e-mails, how the Justice Department is not taking the IRS investigation seriously and other recent IRS scandals.

Listen to the interview here.

June 23rd, 2014 at 3:56 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Lineup
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.”  Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm EDT:  Craig Shirley, Author, Historian, Conservative – President Reagan, Then and Now;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT:  Hans von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation – Lerner’s Lost E-Mails and Other IRS Scandals;

5:00 CST/6:00 pm EDT:  Robert Zarate, Policy Director of the Foreign Policy Initiative – What to do in Iraq; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT:  Steve Soukup, Vice President and Publisher of The Political Forum and Fellow in Culture and Economy at the Culture of Life Foundation – Immigration.

Listen live on the Internet here.   Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.

March 29th, 2013 at 12:25 pm
More on Affirmative Action

Tim’s column on the Michigan affirmative action case is not just right on target, but superb.

I particularly like this section:

So [according to those who filed suit to force Michigan to continue racial-preference policies], non-discrimination is discriminatory?

And states across the nation must suddenly reinstate racial preferences?

Such a result is untenable judicially, logically or linguistically, and the Supreme Court has accepted the opportunity to restore reason to the matter.  Curt Levey, counsel of record in the 2003 cases challenging Michigan’s race-based admissions policies, captured the issue well:  “The Fourteenth Amendment, lest we lose sight of the forest for the trees, does not require what it barely permits.”

Or, as stated by Chief Justice John Roberts in a 2007 affirmative action case, “The way to end discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

That is exactly what Michigan voters overwhelmingly attempted to do.  It is now the Supreme Court’s task to affirm that the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause actually means what it says.

Another excellent, concise summary of the issues at stake comes in the line from Hans von Spakovsky’s blog post for the Heritage Foundation: “The Sixth Circuit’s decision cannot be justified under the law because it turns the Equal Protection Doctrine on its head, holding that when a state bans unequal treatment under the law it somehow violates the concept of equal protection under the law.”

This isn’t just some abstruse legal argument — and it has practical applications beyond just those students who will be directly affected by the decision. As I’ve found in many years of battling against the vestiges of racism by whites against blacks, no single public policy is more likely to give white racists reason to self-justify their noxious attitudes than is a regime of racial preferences. If take away “affirmative action” — which, for both moral and legal reasons, we should indeed take away — we won’t, of course, cure racists of their racism, but we will further isolate them, further shame them, and further take away their willingness to openly state or act on their racism, because they will no longer be able to cite “affirmative action” as an excuse for them to feel unfairly treated just for being white. Moreover, I’ve found that it’s amazing how many people will actually change their ill behavior if they no longer think they can justify it in what they consider to be polite company.

Racial preferences sometimes stigmatize the recipients, often (as per U.S. Civil Rights Commission Gail Heriot) harm their own interests, and greatly exacerbate racial tensions. For all those reasons, as well as for the excellent reasons put forth by Tim, the time has come for such preferences to end.

January 14th, 2013 at 11:44 am
Colin Powell’s Rank Falsehoods

I and others have rightly blasted some of Colin Powell’s cheap shots in his Meet the Press interview yesterday, but I missed one of them until just now. He accused Republicans of deliberately “making it hard for these minorities to vote, as they did in the last election.” He also said “the courts struck most of that down.” Both parts of that allegation are incorrect. As Hans von Spakovsky(among others)  has repeatedly noted, there is no evidence that any voter ID laws have disenfranchised legitimate voters, and plenty of evidence to the contrary. And courts have repeatedly found voter ID laws to be perfectly reasonable, legitimate, and constitutional, with the DC Circuit issuing yet another ruling just last week in favor of such laws and against the Obama administration. Of course, when the Supreme Court itself heard a challenge to voter-ID laws, it ruled 6-3 in favor of the law’s constitutionality.

Now, let’s move on to Powell being aghast at Sarah Palin’s use of the expression “shuck and jive.” Granted, as soon as I heard Palin use it, I realized she had made a big error. I do think the term can carry racial connotations. What’s key here is the context. If you use the expression to describe a black man currying favor with whites, that’s a rather insensitive remark, to say the least. But if Powell is so concerned about governors using the term, he really ought to make sure he denounces current New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. And if he’s of the opinion that the statement of one governor (or former governor) is ipso facto evidence or even proof of a deep racial insensitivity on the part of the governor’s whole political party, then surely Powell today will clarify his remarks by blasting Cuomo’s Democratic Party as well. After all, Cuomo’s remarks were more directly descriptive of the sort of behavior that creates a racial/racist caricature than Palin’s ever were. “You can’t shuck and jive at a press conference,” he said, adding “all those moves you can make with the press don’t work when you are in someone’s living room.” As the original “shuck and jive” slander specifically referred to minstrel-show-like movements, Cuomo’s use of the term hit far closer to the racist home than Palin’s ever did.

And, as many others have noted, Obama’s own press secretary used the term “shuck and jive” as well. So why hasn’t Colin Powell denounced him?

(NOTE: One of those videos to which I linked had an extended piece on the controversy over Obama’s birth certificate. I do NOT, NOT, NOT, endorse anything having to do with those allegations. It was just the only link I could find in a QUICK search that included both parts of the interview that I address in this post.)

April 25th, 2011 at 12:50 pm
Obama’s Gray Davis Moment

Along with lying about the size of the budget deficit and imposing a steep rise in the car tax, California Governor Gray Davis did something else to guarantee his historic recall: impose a pay-to-play “donation” schedule on groups wanting to do state business.  Want a permit from the Coastal Commission?  How about a government contract to manage welfare cases?

For Davis & Co. there was only one question: How much did you contribute to my campaign?

Former Federal Elections Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky obtained a draft executive order that would implement the substance of the Disclose Act, a bill promising to chill corporate political speech before it was defeated in Congress last year.

According to von Spakovsky, the proposed executive order claims to “increase transparency and accountability,”

Yet this proposed Executive Order would require government contractors to disclose:

(a) All contributions or expenditures to or on behalf of federal candidates, parties or party committees made by the bidding entity, its directors or officers, or any affiliates or subsidiaries within its control.

(b) Any contributions made to third party entities with the intention or reasonable expectation that parties would use those contributions to make independent expenditures or electioneering communications.

In layman’s terms, that means the federal government wants to know which political groups you’ve been giving money to before it will consider awarding a government contract.

In an editorial today, the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) notes that the order exempts federal employee labor unions and the recipients of federal grants, both dues paying members of the Democratic Party.

At the moment, the Right is deploring the president’s last-ditch effort to silence dissenting political views after losses in the courts, Congress, and the FEC.  (Especially since Obama’s executive order specifically targets only those entities most likely to disagree with him.)

However, the Left should be leery of this latest version of gangster government.   There’s only a hair’s breadth of difference between punishing “bad” political expenditures, and demanding “good” ones.  As the deposed Gray Davis showed in California, a government nosy enough to punish its enemies, is a government powerful enough to tax its friends.