Turley: 'GOP challenges look like suppression'
David Edwards and Andrew McLemore
Published: Saturday October 18, 2008

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The McCain campaign's allegations of voter fraud "look like" an attempt to suppress voting in battleground states, said a professor of George Washington University.

Professor Jonathan Turley said there is an "uncanny similarity in term of timing," drawing a comparison with voting scandals shortly before the previous two presidential elections.

"I think it is fair to say that some of these challenges do look like suppression efforts," Turley said in an interview on MSNBC. "So I think there is really grounds to be concerned here."

The allegations of voter fraud made by the McCain campaign about ACORN and Sen. Obama's alleged connections to it sound similar to another scandal during President Bush's administration, said Robert Bauer, a lawyer or the Obama campaign.

"This is an astonishing repeat of the kind of toxic intrusion of politics into the lawful administration of justice that we saw during the U.S. attorney scandal," Bauer said. "We're seeing a repeat of that."

The Obama campaign asked Friday for a federal investigation into whether the Bush administration and the McCain campaign have been illegally working together to spread "unsupported, spurious allegations of voter fraud."

The campaign's attorney wrote the request to Attorney General Michael Mukasey after learning from an Associated Press report that the FBI is investigating the controversial organization ACORN, Bloomberg reported.

In Wednesday's final presidential debate, McCain insinuated that Obama is involved with the organization and claimed it is attempting to sway the November election.

"We need to know the full extent of Sen. Obama's relationship with ACORN, who is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating maybe one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy," McCain said.

Democrats and Barack Obama have attacked the controversy as ridiculous political mudslinging, the Associated Press reported.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, known as ACORN, has championed liberal causes since 1970. This year, ACORN hired more than 13,000 part-time workers and sent them out in 21 states to sign up voters in minority and poor neighborhoods.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow suggested the McCain campaign's allegations are an attempt to reduce the turnout of newly registered voters, most of whom are Democrats.

"To keep turnout low, prevent votes from being counted and scare voters into thinking there are massive voting shenanigans and that their vote won't count anyway," Maddow said.

The MSNBC host cited a comment from Steve Schmidt, McCain’s chief strategist as an implication of their plan.

"The scenario for winning for us is a narrow-victory scenario," Schmidt said in an interview with The New York Times.

This video is from MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast October 17, 2008.

Download video via RawReplay.com