On this week’s edition of the Election Crimes Bulletin, Dennis Bernstein delves into Greg Palast’s new book, How Trump Stole 2020, which serves as a warning — and a guide to how we can steal the election back!
Dennis Bernstein: Welcome to another edition of the Election Crimes Bulletin. I’m Dennis Bernstein, joined weekly by Greg Palast. We’re going to let him tell you about his new book. But Greg, I have to start off this way. I just watched Trump’s daily madness. He was patting himself on the back for getting that governor of Georgia elected. He was saying, and we took him on, he had Obama, he had everybody on the Democratic party against him…and he won.
Greg Palast: Well, if you counted all the votes, including votes of people of color and let them vote, then no, Brian Kemp of Georgia did not win. Stacey Abrams, his opponent, the first African American woman ever to run for governor in America said, I won, I just won’t be inaugurated because of Jim Crow tactics. She was citing the figures in my book, How Trump Stole 2020. In it I go back into that race in 2018 with Brian Kemp.
Kemp is important because now he’s a one man coronavirus hotspot. Brian Kemp of Georgia has announced that basically he’s opening the state… Starting with the essential services: tattoo parlors, massage parlors, barber shops. These are the first operations opening. Not the schools, by the way. They’re going to hold off on that. But it’s Georgia, no one will notice.
I’ve been investigating this guy, Brian Kemp, for about seven years now, beginning for Rolling Stone and Al Jazeera. And this is the problem of an unelected government. It’s just like George Bush was able to take us into Iraq because he’s an unelected president and didn’t feel like he had to be judged by the voters. Same with Kemp. He does not have to be judged by the voters as long as he can remove, as he did, a half million voters illegally from the voter rolls.
So what he has to do is activate Trump’s base. If he can keep black voters away from the polling stations in Georgia, and he can get out those Trump supporters… I was at a Trump rally in Georgia with Mr. Kemp and it’s frightening stuff… they whip them up. They’re saying, okay, go out and spread your virus.
Bernstein: Let me just say that Trump, in Trump style, cut him loose today a little bit. He said, because it’s so insane that he’s going for the massage parlors and the tattoo parlors first, that Trump just thought he’d let it hang out, let the old boys get all riled up, and then say, well, maybe I’m not saying I support them over there. Maybe it’s not a good idea.
Palast: Well, what’s happening is that guys like Kemp are trying to out Trump Trump. Basically, they’re trying to run state governments based on the latest tweet from Agent Orange. And this is a big problem… Again, it goes back to elections. If you steal your office, you’re not responsible to the voters. You’re responsible to your co-conspirators, the thieves like Donald Trump. It’s a huge problem for Georgia, obviously, but this happening nationwide.
This has always been a problem. We still have a Jim Crow issue. I wanted to bring up, if you don’t mind, another governor of Georgia who’s also probably threatened more votes than Brian Kemp. And his name is Jimmy Carter. He’s 90 years old, but he still calls himself Jimmy, which is a problem for me to begin with. But here’s the real issue. The reason I bring up Carter is today he endorsed Trump’s statement that mail-in voting — and this is a quote from Jimmy Carter — “Absentee ballots remained the largest source of potential vote fraud,” which is Trump’s line.
Now, by the way, a Jimmy, what is a potential fraud? I mean, I’m like a potential major basketball player. I’m surprised I’m not going to be picked up by the Warriors in the draft. That’s my potential. But actually, in fact, I’m just a guy with a hat and a journalist. So what is the potential fraud? Let me just break this down so we get this correct, because between Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump, here’s a fact. Let’s try to slip in a fact in between these two fantasy statements. The problem of the possible fraud that’s committed with an absentee mail-in ballot is that someone takes your ballot, votes with it, finds it for you and sends it in. That’s called voter impersonation, and it can also happen when voting in person.
According to Dr Lorraine Minnite, the number one vote fraud expert in the United States at Rutgers… I did a calculation based on the number of people who she found committed voter impersonation: twelve over a dozen year period. If you do the math, in my book I note that you’re 540% more likely to get killed by a lightning strike than impersonate another voter. That’s how crazy rare it is. But you’ve got Jimmy Carter endorsing the Trump statement. This is dangerous. It’s also why I’ve called Jimmy Carter the dangerous Christian. He’s also the guy that, when I say he’s done more to suppress votes than even Trump, Jimmy Carter was the guy who endorsed moving to photo ID as a requirement to vote. That came from Jimmy Carter, who was co-chair of the Bush Commission on Voting.
It’s a horrible, racist tactic. In case you wonder how damaging photo voter ID requirements are, they cost 646,671 votes in 2016 and unquestionably was the reason why Hillary Clinton was the official loser in Wisconsin. Because you had 182,000 University of Wisconsin students, they have state photo ID, but the law is written in such a way that the state photo ID issued to students cannot be used for voting — though your concealed carry gun permit photo ID can be used for voting. So basically they knocked out the student voters of Madison, they knocked out the black voters of Milwaukee in 2016 who don’t have driver’s licenses. Believe it or not, people who don’t have driver’s license tend to be people without cars, which means lower income people, urban people, Democrats. This is how they steal elections. The Republicans can only come up with these cockamamie crazy obstacles to voting when you have people like Jimmy Carter endorsing their Jim Crow programs.
Bernstein: Let me just ask you a question, Greg. Trump himself is hell bent against mail-in ballots, right? Even though he mailed in his own ballot?
Palast: That’s correct.
Bernstein: But Carter is pro and Trump is…
Palast: No, no. Carter is against, he agrees with Trump. Carter is saying that Trump is correct, that absentee ballots are the source of major vote fraud… which is crazy. In other words, he’s endorsing Trump, just like he endorsed the Bush / James Baker plan for a photo voter ID. So this is devastating.
Now we have talked on the Election Crimes Bulletin on Flashpoints, you and I, at length about the dangers of mail-in voting. We have to fix a broken system. But my God, Dennis, unless you’re Brian Kemp, you should know that if you don’t mail-in your vote, you can die. Tthis is not a small thing. Dr. Fauci has already said he doesn’t think that we will be in a position to have massive in precinct voting by November. We’re going to have to mail-in those ballots. What I’ve been warning about is the system, which makes it horrible to mail-in a ballot. And that goes with the ID law. Several States, for example — and Wisconsin, the swing state, is one of them — require new voters to mail in a photocopy of their ID. Now, if you’re a student in Wisconsin and you mail in your student ID from the university, you don’t realize that your vote’s going to be thrown in the garbage. So we got to get rid of these things, like having to mail in your ID with your ballot. But we cannot make progress on this if we have supposed Democrats like Jimmy Carter, supposed civil rights protectors like Jimmy Carter, who endorse Jim Crow tactics thrown up by Brian Kemp and Donald Trump. It’s very, very dangerous. This is an issue we’ve talked about before… Where is the Democratic Party on standing up against these Jim Crow voter tactics? And unfortunately, among the white politicians of Georgia, Democrat or Republican, you’ve got a big problem.
Bernstein: Let me jump in here because we’re running out of time. You call your book How Trump Still 2020. That sort of feels a bit defeatist. It sounds a little hopeless. I mean, I think you say in the first one word chapter: “Trump won.”
Palast: Let’s put this way, the opening chapter, Chapter One, the entire chapter is, and it’s called “The End” is:
Donald Trump was re-elected President on November 7, 2018.
Two years before a single ballot was cast.
And I begin with the story of how they stole the election in Georgia then took that method of removing voters and they’re marching it across the country to Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, etc. Now, the thing is, what we can do though is, if we read the book, if we understand the material, we can steal it back. We can take back our election. It’s not too late. They’ve wiped out 17 million voters off the voter rolls. They rejected 17 million registrations. I just told you that two-thirds of a million people are going to lose their vote because of the ID laws. Here’s what we do. We can fight back. We can take care of our own votes. We can change the system, and we can work like hell… And. bye the way, you can’t win with 51% of the vote, you need 55% — that’s our rough calculation, it’s a pretty accurate one. They can’t steal all the votes all the time. Believe me, they can’t. And Georgia will be in play. No matter what Brian Kemp does, no matter how many of his voters he kills, it’s going to be in play.
Bernstein: They just tried to steal it in Wisconsin and they couldn’t, which is hopeful.
Palast: Very. I mean, it was horrible cause people literally, it was like capital punishment for voting. We already have seven reported cases of voters and one a poll worker with the virus because of the voting. It’s obviously going to rise. This is tragic, deadly, horrendous. But people said, we’ll take a chance on the virus rather than have them take away our vote — and boy is that inspiring. That led to victory in Wisconsin. And that’s very important. It’s not a victory of Democrat or Republican. It’s a victory the voters.
That’s what I’m seeing happening in Georgia. People are rising up right now in Georgia. They’re sickened in two ways by Brian Kemp, the governor’s decision to open up the tattoo parlors. They’re getting physically sick, but even Republicans are getting emotionally sick with this type of behavior, endangering the public, endangering our votes.
Look, there’s just not enough white guys to elect Donald Trump. It’s not despairing, How Trump Stole 2020. It won’t be released until June, but you can get it now. What I’m telling you is it’s not despair. It’s a warning. It’s a final warning. We can change it. We can reverse it, but we got to know how they’re stealing it before we can cuff the thieves and read them their rights.
“Greg Palast is my hero. He’s a real American hero trying to save our democracy. Read his work. It might just save us.” — Josh Fox, author and director of The Truth Has Changed and director of Gasland
We need to get this final warning on the bestseller list — so the media cannot ignore it!
Here’s the good news: we can steal it back.
Dennis J. Bernstein is the executive producer and host of Flashpoints, an award winning front-line investigative news magazine focusing on human, civil and workers' rights, issues of war and peace, global warming, racism and poverty, and other issues. Flashpoints is broadcast weekdays at 5 PM PST on the Pacifica Radio station KPFA-FM (94.1) in Berkeley, California and is relayed on Pacifica's national feed.
Greg Palast (Rolling Stone, Guardian, BBC) is the author of The New York Times bestsellers, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits and the book and documentary,
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
His latest film is Vigilante: Georgia's Vote Suppression Hitman
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