Vote-Or-Else Letters Go Out to New York Democrats
Divisive Politics and attack ads have always been par for the course in our elections, but this election cycle seems to have hit new lows and there doesn’t seem to be any end. Civility, is nothing but a memory. Do these attack ads work? Apparently they have worked because they continue to use them and raise billions of dollars to make sure we see them — AD Nauseam…
‘If you don’t elect a Democrat you will have black children killed by police officers in your streets,’ ‘we will escort the whore out the door,’ the mocking of a paralyzed man in a wheelchair… can it get any lower? How about trying to intimidate your constituents into voting by threatening to expose them to their neighbors if they don’t? We had the New Black Panthers trying to intimidate voters not to vote, but bullying people into voting is new. This is what is going on in some areas of New York State.
It is interesting that the defense of this tactic was that it was done in order to counter “Republican Voter Suppression Effort”. Republicans are trying to suppress the vote in New Your state? How does that work? They claim to want ‘everyone to vote’ but the letters were only sent to Democrats. This tactic may just backfire and some of those votes they want may go to Republicans instead.
Democrats with a record of not showing up to vote in New York state have received intimidating vote-or-else letters from the Democratic Committee which contain “bullying” verbiage telling them they’d better head to the polls next week or the committee would be “interested to hear why not,” insinuating the committee will be reviewing voting records looking for slackers who fail to show up and vote.
“Who you vote for is your secret. But whether or not you vote is public record,” the letter says. “We will be reviewing voting records to determine whether you joined your neighbors who voted in 2014. If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why not.”
“Many organizations monitor turnout in your neighborhood and are disappointed by the inconsistent voting of many of your neighbors,” according to the report card.
The committee, chaired by former Governor David Paterson, stood by their decision to send the scare-tactic letters and said the practice was commonplace throughout the US. Committee spokesman Peter Kauffmann also defended the letters:
“This flier is part of the nationwide Democratic response to traditional Republican voter-suppression efforts, because Democrats believe our democracy works better when more people vote, not less. The difference between Democrats and Republicans is they don’t want people to vote and we want everyone to vote.”
It ends with a line better suited to a mob movie than a major political party: “If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why not.”
The letter and accompanying post card was criticized even by party members, with one Democratic consultant saying it was the wrong way to inspire votes.
“It’s a threatening letter. It’s a scare piece that is unnecessary and inappropriate,” the insider said.
Brooklyn and Manhattan residents who received the note Wednesday were furious, calling it an attempt to browbeat them into showing up at the polls.
“I’m outraged. Whether I vote or not is none of your business!” said a Manhattan voter, who was so incensed that she complained to a local Democratic leader.
“The letter is ludicrous and menacing,” said the voter, who requested anonymity.
The woman also received a report card of her voting record, pointing out that she had failed to vote in two of the last four elections.