CINCINNATI (TDB) -- As the 2004 presidential election came to a close, Republicans launched an effort designed to suppress the black vote in Ohio. It was meant to protect President Bush at the polls. Black voters were overwhelmingly Democratic, and Karl Rove's crew feared a huge turnout could wreck all their plans to keep Bush in office. So the Republicans dreamed up a scheme that was targeted at precincts with heavy populations of black voters in Ohio. Three people running for Cincinnati City Council this year under the GOP banner played significant roles in that voter suppression effort -- Charlie Winburn, Sam Malone and Pat Fischer.
All three names appear in this federal court filing as litigants in support of the Rovian strategy to interfere with Ohio's black voters at the polls.
The Daily Bellwether wrote about the voter suppression effort that targeted black precincts last February when Winburn, Malone and Fischer received GOP endorsements for City Council. Now it is time to revisit the issue with the council campaign in full swing. The three should have to explain: Why did they actively support the Karl Rove strategy of challenging black people who wanted to vote? Why did they jump into bed with a voter-suppression effort that was described as a revival of Jim Crow, an open revival of southern-like discrimination at polling places.
Did they fear and lack trust in black voters? Their role in the 2004 voter-suppression movement should be a major issue in Cincinnati. How did they wind up in Rove's pocket, and why would they go there?