The Democratic Party has released a one-minute ad accusing a Republican candidate for Congress and former Karl Rove aide of being "the architect of a voter suppression scheme."
Tim Griffin, who worked as an aide for Karl Rove during the Bush administration before becoming a US Attorney, is running for Congress in Arkansas' 2nd district. An ad released by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee says Griffin was behind a "voter caging" effort, despite Griffin's claims to the contrary.
The video shows an email, obtained by investigative journalist Greg Palast in 2007, showing Griffin receiving and replying to issues involving voter caging. According to the DCCC, Griffin responded "Thank you, perfect" to one of the emails.
The video begins with audio of Griffin denying knowledge of voter caging schemes. "Obviously I've seen the Internet stuff about caging. ... The allegations that are on the Internet ... are completely and absolutely false."
"Tim 'Dirty Tricks' Griffin says the allegations are 'absolutely false'? Too bad he put it in writing," the Democratic ad states.
Voter caging involves efforts to challenge voters' legal status in order to prevent them from voting. A voter caging effort would typically involve identifying registered voters who are likely to vote against the candidate you support, then challenging them on the registration information they provide, such as current address.
The allegations against Griffin first surfaced in 2007. Griffin had spent several years as an adviser to Karl Rove in the Bush White House, before taking a position as an "interim" US Attorney for the Eastern District for Arkansas. In Congressional hearings held in 2007, it was alleged that Rove had pressured the Justice Department into appointing his former aide to the job. Griffin resigned from the US Attorney's office shortly after the hearings.
Griffin never had to face confirmation hearings in Congress, because a change to the law, made in the PATRIOT Act, allowed the president to keep an "interim" attorney on staff indefinitely, without confirmation.
During the 2000 election, Griffin was a legal advisor to the Bush-Cheney Florida Recount Team.
With House Rep. Vic Snyder's (D-AK) announcement he won't run for re-election, the 2nd congressional district in Arkansas is up for grabs. A poll conducted for FireDogLake last month, shortly before Snyder's announcement, found Griffin with a solid lead, 56 percent to 39 percent, over the Democratic incumbent.
The following video was uploaded to YouTube by the DCCC on Jan. 31, 2010.