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Wed Feb 26, 2014, 04:50 PM

Battleground Texas responds to O'Keefe's latest video

O'Keefe is out with a video claiming that Battleground Texas is breaking Texas law by collecting telephone numbers from voters when they register voters. I am a deputy voter registrar in Texas and have worked at a couple of Battleground events. The Battleground people are well organized and are in compliance with Texas law. The Texas AG referred this case to the San Antonio DA and David Dewhurst has referred this issue to the AG.

Battleground has responded to the claims of O'Keefe. Battleground Texas' lawyers agree with my position that Texas law was not broken. Here is the letter from the lawyers for Battleground on this issue https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BxeOfQQnUr_gcGVSQURDelZSXzg/edit?pli=1 The same firm that represents President Obama is representing Battleground. This response is well done. Here is a link to one of the opinions from Greg Abbott that is cited in this letter https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/opinions/openrecords/50abbott/orl/2010/htm/or201008083.htm

You also argue the voters' telephone numbers and dates of birth are excepted from disclosure, and highlight language in sections 13.004(a) and 13.004(d) of the Election Code. However, for information to be confidential under section 552.101, the provision of law must explicitly require confidentiality. A confidentiality requirement will not be inferred from a provision's structure. See Open Records Decision Nos. 658 at 4 (1998) (stating that statutory confidentiality provision must be express and confidentiality requirement will not be implied from statutory structure), 478 at 2 (1987) (stating that, as general rule, statutory confidentiality requires express language making information confidential), 465 at 4-5 (1987). Section 13.004(a) prohibits the county from transcribing, copying, or recording a voter's telephone number. See Elec. Code § 13.004(a). Section 13.004(d) prohibits the posting of certain specified information on a website. See id. § 13.004(d). Because neither section 13.004(a) or section 13.004(d) explicitly provides that information is confidential, we find that the county may not withhold the telephone numbers and birth dates of voters from the requestor under section 552.101 of the Government Code in conjunction with section 13.004 of the Election Code.

Again, Attorney General Abbott has issued clear opinions on this issue and it is clear that Battleground is not violating any law and that O'Keefe is lying. I am amused that Greg Abbott did not know he had opined on this issue already.

I also love the fact that fool Christian Adams was too stupid to read Texas law on this issue http://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2014/02/19/new-okeefe-video-battleground-texas-violates-election-law-to-help-wendy-davis/ Christian Adams is the idiot who was illegally hired by the DOJ by the bushies and had to leave the DOJ when real attorneys took over. I love it when this fool is shown to be ignorant of the law

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Reply Battleground Texas responds to O'Keefe's latest video (Original post)
Gothmog Feb 2014 OP
JustAnotherGen Feb 2014 #1
Gothmog Feb 2014 #2
freshwest Feb 2014 #3
Gothmog Feb 2014 #4
freshwest Feb 2014 #5
Gothmog Feb 2014 #6
Gothmog Feb 2014 #7

Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Wed Feb 26, 2014, 04:54 PM

1. Will tweet this statement/quote by you out

Attorney General Abbott has issued clear opinions on this issue and it is clear that Battleground is not violating any law and that O'Keefe is lying.

When a truth is stated over and over again - perhaps we make that truth 'stick' much in the way the Republicans are always lying - and repeating lies - and getting them to stick.

#O'KeefeIsLying

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 26, 2014, 04:56 PM

2. Thanks

Getting the word out is very important.

Greg Abbott referred this issue to the San Antonio DA even though he had previously opined on this issue. http://www.democraticunderground.com/107815455

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 26, 2014, 06:37 PM

3. Good! Badly needed as the media will play the O'Keefe video endlessly for free. n/t

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Response to freshwest (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 26, 2014, 10:06 PM

4. O'Keefe is not getting the love and attention that he used to get

O'Keefe has been caught and exposed too many times for people to take him seriously. Earlier this month, O'Keefe had a video where he claimed that Battleground Texas volunteers were mocking or making fun of Greg Abbott due to Greg's disability. That video was quickly debunked.

This video is based on O'Keefe's ignorance of Texas law. I loved the way that Battleground was able to quote official opinions written by Greg Abbott on open record issues to debunk these claims.

I have not seen O'Keefe's video getting any attention other than from the right wing sources who do not care about the facts or the law. One of these right wing sources is that idiot, Christian Adams, who was illegally hired at the DOJ by bushies. Adams is a weak lawyer and an idiot who did not check the law concerning the copying of telephone numbers from voter registration applications.

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 26, 2014, 11:06 PM

5. Not even on the GOP PAC Fox Network? Excellent! n/t

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Response to freshwest (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 02:18 PM

6. Beside the idiot right wing blogs, I only saw this on Breitbart

Breitbart is pushing this crap but I did not see any Fox News stories pushing this claim. I think that Fox News has learned to ignore O'Keefe and so that means that O'Keefe can only go to brietbart

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 06:40 PM

7. Here is a good article on the response by Battleground Texas

Here is a good article on the response by Battleground Texas to O'Keefe's latest silliness http://www.texastribune.org/2014/02/25/battleground-texas-fires-back-critics/

Allegations that Battleground Texas broke the law during its voter registration activities are “entirely without foundation,” the Democratic group wrote in a letter to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Tuesday.

Dewhurst, citing a secretly recorded video of Battleground volunteers in Bexar County, had earlier called for a criminal investigation because of allegations that privacy laws had been broken.

But Graham Wilson, an attorney for the group, told Dewhurst in the letter that his call for a probe “reflects no familiarity with either the law” or rules promulgated by the office of the secretary of state, which handles voter registration regulations at the state level.

He said opinions from Attorney General Greg Abbott demonstrate that phone numbers gathered during the voter registration process were considered public information. Phone numbers allegedly copied down by Battleground volunteers sparked the accusations in the first place.

“In short, Battleground Texas is operating in full compliance with the law as set forth in the Attorney General’s legal opinions, and with attention paid as appropriate to the Secretary of State’s official guidance in this area,” Wilson wrote.....

The Battleground lawyer disputes that interpretation, saying the statute refers only to county officials — not the volunteers who act on their own out in the field.

As for the phone numbers, Wilson cited three opinions from the office of the attorney general, including one from 2010 stemming from a case in Dallas County. In that opinion, Abbott’s office concluded that “the county may not withhold the telephone numbers” from a requestor who had asked for the information.

Battleground also cited a pamphlet from the office of the secretary of state that says in part that a volunteer deputy registrar “may also copy the relevant information from the application in writing just as you would be able to do if you went to the registrar’s office and pulled a copy of the original application.”

I have cited one of these opinions on this thread and to me it is clear that Battleground did nothing wrong.

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