Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Is Dvorak Probe Of Forged Signature Scandal Proper?

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker conceded in an interview with Howey Politics that election fraud did in fact take place in St. Joseph Co. during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary with respect to the petitions filed on behalf of the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. A joint investigation by the South Bend Tribune and Howey Politics published this weekend revealed that perhaps as many as hundreds of names of Democratic primary voters were forged on the petitions filed by the Obama and Clinton campaigns within the Second congressional district. Parker insists, however, that the number of forged signatures were not sufficient to have kept either candidate off the 2008 Indiana primary ballot. Quoting Parker, Howey Politics reports:

Indiana Democratic Chairman Dan Parker believes there was election fraud during the 2008 ballot petition process in St. Joseph County, but emphasized that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would have qualified for the Democratic presidential primary. "Clearly someone did something wrong and they need to be found," Parker said. He acknowledged that St. Joseph County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak has now initiated a probe into who ordered pages of forged signatures on Clinton and Obama petitions. But Parker emphasized that even without the forged petition pages, both Obama and Clinton would have qualified for the primary ballot. "Both had their signatures in well in advance of the deadline," Parker said. "Both had more than enough signatures. Both would have qualified. If you look at every petition, both would have had more than 500 signatures."
Parker indicates that St. Joseph Co. Prosecutor Michael Dvorak, a Democrat, has initiated a probe into the investigation; however, according to the investigative report's findings, Dvorak's name was among those Democratic voters in St. Joseph County that was apparently forged on at least one of the primary petitions filed by the Clinton campaign. The report indicated that Dvorak's signature appeared twice on Clinton's petitions. Given that his own signature was forged and his partisan participation in the 2008 presidential election process, it would only seem appropriate that Dvorak seek the appointment of a special prosecutor. Democrats last year insisted that the Hamilton Co. Prosecutor, a Republican, appoint a special prosecutor to investigate vote fraud allegations against then-Secretary of State candidate Charlie White. Former Hamilton Co. Prosecutor requested the appointment of a special prosecutor and two prosecutors were named, one Republican and one Democrat, to carry out the investigation that resulted in grand jury indictments being returned against White. I don't know how Dvorak could possibly expect the public to respect any investigation he conducts given his personal involvement in the matter.

Yesterday, Indiana State GOP Chairman Eric Holcomb called on the Justice Department to open an investigation. Holcomb wondered whether the signature forging was confined to St. Joseph Co. or extended statewide.

This weekend's disturbing news that perhaps hundreds of ballot access petition signatures submitted by the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are fraudulent raises real questions about the integrity of our process and whether or not those individuals should have been on the primary ballot in the first place. How deep does this problem go? Is it isolated to St. Joseph County or was it a broader, coordinated effort across the state? Why did the St. Joseph County Clerk not do her job in scrubbing the list and ensuring the validity of the signatures? Who forged the signatures and why?" Holcomb added, "This episode is a strong reminder of why Republicans statewide have fought to protect Indiana's Voter ID law and why an overwhelming majority of Hoosiers support the law. Later this week, I will submit a formal request to the Department of Justice for an inquiry into this matter. With candidates for office currently collecting signatures before the 2012 election cycle deadline, it is imperative we get to the bottom of this so it does not happen again."
Remarkably, this story has been largely ignored by the mainstream media in Indiana, let alone national news media, despite the story's implications. It has not been picked up by the wire services and has been largely ignored by the state's largest daily newspapers. The Indianapolis Star only mustered up a brief mention on its political online blog, Deep Fried Politics. No news story appeared in the paper today.


M Theory said...

The mainstream media could care less about rooting out and exposing corruption, Gary.

Thank God you are here.

Vox Populi said...

St. Joseph Co. is NOT where Gary (the city, not the man) is.

Dvorak is the apparent victim of forgery, not the suspect. Nor is he the suspect in voter fraud by voting at a home he no longer lived in. He's simply doing the job people elected him to do. You'd be hard pressed to find a "special prosecutor" who didn't participate in the 2008 election.

I'd support you on this if Dvorak was at all involved in the controversy.

Gary R. Welsh said...

You're so full of it, Vox. Dvorak affixed his signature to one of the petitions of Hillary Clinton and declined to comment on the second signature affixed to a Clinton petition. He is a an elected Democratic official in the county where someone within the party organization carried out serial forging of names on petition. Because he was a victim in addition to being an interested party, he should not think twice about the need to recuse himself from this case. His conflict is much greater than the conflict Leerkamp was claimed by folks like you to have had in the Charlie White case. She wasn't even on the best of terms with White.