From the Augusta Free Press is this piece written by Mark Obenshain, Virginia state senator who should be Virginia's attorney general:
When Mark Herring and I faced off in last year’s election, one of his common refrains was that he would “take the politics out of the AG’s office.” And who could object to that? While every elected official brings his or her own convictions and ideas to bear, we rightly expect much of the Attorney General’s job to come down to properly interpreting and applying the law, and defending the state’s interests even when (as is inevitable) the Attorney General may disagree with some of those laws.
It didn’t take long for Herring to violate his pledge to take politics out of the office, or to do so repeatedly. The latest target of his highly partisan approach to the job? Virginia’s Photo ID law.
Last year, the General Assembly enacted legislation requiring voters to show a valid form of photo identification (with provision for free IDs for anyone lacking one)— legislation supported by the vast majority of Virginians. Earlier this summer, with the support of the Attorney General’s office and without any opportunity for public comment, the State Board of Elections exceeded its regulatory authority by embracing the novel idea that “valid” IDs included those that were plainly invalid (expired IDs, etc.).
When the State Board agreed to revisit its decision and consider an alternative definition of valid that comports with the plain meaning of the term, the Attorney General’s office stepped in with its ‘legal opinion’—to say that requiring IDs to be valid was unconstitutional!
It’s all part of a disturbing pattern, already the norm in Washington and increasingly prevalent in Richmond, in which the executive branch blithely disregards or disingenuously reinterprets laws it doesn’t like.
Now, there may be a case to be made that an expired driver’s license should be sufficient for voting purposes. That’s a matter that the General Assembly can take up for consideration. But the simple fact is that this is not what the General Assembly did.
The Attorney General’s office argues, essentially, that since it’s not possible for an officer of election to identify every conceivable invalid ID—for instance, they can’t query the dmv database to ensure that a license wasn’t revoked—then, for equal protection purposes, they cannot make determinations about the validity of any ID.
Let that sink in.
This goes far beyond the new photo ID law; it cuts deeply into prior laws regarding voter identification and sets the stage for further challenges to any ID requirement whatsoever, despite a string of court cases upholding laws like the one we have in Virginia. It is manifestly not the job of the Attorney General to manufacture challenges to laws he is sworn to defend.
Wherever one stands on whether or not expired IDs should suffice for voting—there are fair arguments to be made on both sides, and amending the law on this point merits further consideration—we should all be alarmed by this wholesale rewriting of the statute on the basis of such a strained interpretation of the equal protection clause.
Once again, Herring’s office has subordinated impartial legal analysis to the advancement of a political agenda, no matter how many contortions that requires. So much for taking the politics out of the Attorney General’s office.If you want to know why Herring doesn't like voter ID laws, consider the following.
A vote-fraud watchdog group here in the Commonwealth found recently that nearly 44,000 people were registered to vote not just in Virginia, but Maryland as well.
Here in Fairfax County, the local prosecutor refuses to take action against alleged cases of vote fraud.
More than 200 names were turned over to Commonwealth Attorney Raymond Morrogh for investigation. The names appeared on voter rolls, even though the individuals had excused themselves from jury duty because they were not citizens.That's significant, because on Election Night 2013, Obenshain had a 1,262 vote lead over Herring. In the end, Herring won the race with just over 100 votes.
“This should be easy to prosecute,” said Reagan George, director of Virginia Voters Alliance, an election watch group.
But the cases have fallen through bureaucratic cracks in Virginia’s most populous county — and most of the identified aliens remain on the voting rolls.
Fairfax Clerk of Court John Frey said he produced the list of names at the request of the Electoral Board. But neither Frey nor the board has prosecutorial powers in the matter.
According to board records, 278 registered voters did not affirm citizenship, as required, between 2010 and the end of 2011.
Of these, 117 had a history of voting within Virginia.
The Electoral Board referred its findings to Morrogh on four occasions: June 25, 2010; Feb. 28, 2011; May 3, 2011; and Aug. 18, 2011.
Names of an additional 36 non-affirming voters were relayed to the commonwealth attorney March 2, 2012.
Receiving no response from Morrogh, the board stopped sending data to his office.
Brian Schoeneman, secretary of the Electoral Board, said, “One of the most frustrating things is to have evidence that, on its face, justifies further investigation … and then to see zero action.”
“People say there’s no voter fraud because there are no convictions,” noted Schoeneman, a Republican and an attorney.
Election-integrity organizations call the “no-fraud” assertion both misleading and self-fulfilling when prosecutors will not prosecute.
Morrogh, a Democrat, did not respond to Watchdog’s inquiries.
Guess where Herring got the help to steal the election for attorney general?
Newly counted absentee ballots in Virginia’s 8th District could swing the election of Attorney General to Democrat Mark Herring, but a new ruling from the state Board of Election is putting provisional ballots in question.If Herring refuses to defend this law, there needs to be impeachment or a recall election. The only reason he is in office is to serve as a buffer between the law and the crooked Terry McAwful.
Brian Schoenenman, a Republican official on the Fairfax County Electoral Board, said via Twitter that a new vote count for the 8th District had 5,137 votes for Herring, 2,039 votes for Republican Mark Obenshain, and ten write-in votes, a change of 1,132 votes in favor of Herring. Schoeneman made the announcement after the board met early Saturday morning to investigate an apparent error in absentee ballot returns.