Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry pandered to those who openly intimidate and harass minority voters by cutting the ribbon at the grand opening of King Street Patriots' new headquarters Monday, according to the Texas Democratic Party.

Talking Points Memo reported in October 2010 that the Justice Department was investigating the King Street Patriots' anti-voter fraud campaign after receiving a number of complaints about voter intimidation in Hispanic and African-American areas.

The King Street Patriots, a local tea party group, held a national summit in Houston earlier this year to continue their "True The Vote" campaign, which the Texas Democratic Party described as a "vote suppression scheme."

Poll watchers participating in the "True The Vote" campaign were accused of hovering over voters, "getting into election workers' faces" and blocking or disrupting lines of voters waiting to cast their ballots.

"As if endorsing their methods weren’t bad enough, Perry and legislative Republicans are trying to change the law to legalize the voter intimidation tactics this group used last year," Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie said in a statement. "It’s shameful that their agenda amounts to an assault on the essence of our democracy – voter participation."

The King Street Patriots plan to recruit 1 million poll watchers to monitor the 2012 elections.

Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore