Sunday, July 12, 2015

True the Vote this week


TTV Begins Testing on TrueThis: Your Next Research Tool

This week True the Vote announced its newest public research tool, TrueThis -- a first-of-its-kind, citizen-facing, unstructured data environment. Originally developed to perform text and data analysis for documents related to the IRS’s admitted targeting scheme, TrueThis allows citizen researchers to upload, assimilate, and mine bulk data gathered through open records disclosures, lawsuit discovery, and other avenues of data collection. In a press release circulated on Tuesday, TTV Founder Catherine Engelbrecht explained, “Using our TrueThis application, the hundreds of nonprofit groups that bore the brunt of the IRS’s abuse will now be able to collaboratively combine Lois Lerner emails, harassment letters, correspondence with IRS technicians, and original applications to discern new insights into how and why the agency made the decision to target these organizations and the private citizens affiliated with them … Imagine being able to create a timeline that reflects specific points of inspiration, execution and aftermath in every harassing question posed by the IRS, for every target – and to create it within minutes, when conventional research methods could take years. Simply put, TrueThis will empower citizens to participate in the crowdsourcing of truth.  Ten-thousand-page, Friday-afternoon document dumps can now be distilled, mined, and analyzed by Monday morning.”

The tool has direct applications for election integrity research, of course.

“Citizen researchers have increasingly utilized open records laws in their respective states to collect data necessary to understand how best to advocate for improved election processes,”
Engelbrecht added. “These engaged voters tell us that it’s common for reams of documents to be offered in lieu of specifically requested records. With TrueThis, massive amounts of documentation, from troves of email correspondence regarding voter roll maintenance to statewide petitions, can be quickly processed and analyzed.”
Click here to read the full release.

Sign Up for the July National Webinar: Find the Focus

GeorgeSorospubliclystateshisintenttofundtheseefforts – chaotic mess or planned subversion? Sign up for the July 2015 conference call in webinar format coming this Monday, July 13, to learn how to fight back. 
Click here to sign up

Hear It to Believe It: NPR Feature on Organized Voter Fraud

Sometimes the trail of corruption is just too blatant to keep up the “voter fraud is a myth” line, even for the progressive, dulcet-toned newsreaders in public radio. This week, NPR offered a close look at a notorious drugs-for-votes ring sentenced in federal court earlier this year in south Texas. NPR summed their story up this way: “They're called politiqueras — a word unique to the border that means campaign worker. It's a time-honored tradition down in the land of grapefruit orchards and Border Patrol checkpoints. If a local candidate needs dependable votes, he or she goes to a politiquera … In the town of Donna, five politiqueras pleaded guilty to election fraud. Voters were bribed with cigarettes, beer or dime bags of cocaine. In neighboring Cameron County, nine politiqueras were charged with manipulating mail-in ballots.” Click here for the full story and audio – and have fun sharing on social media.

Promising News on the IRS Lawsuit Front

You may remember that a similar lawsuit filed by the pro-Israel citizen group, Z Street, recently had an impact on TTV’s appeal before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Essentially, the Court recognized that since the IRS was defending its targeting scheme using the same legal strategy in both TTV and Z Street’s cases, it was best to put ours on hold until it ruled on the Z Street matter. You may also recall that during oral arguments in the Z Street case, the Court undeniably handed the IRS its collective head for its targeting practices and courtroom tap dancing. Shortly before the Independence Day break, the Court followed through with an order sending the Z Street case to discovery and trial, against the IRS’s wishes. With the hold on True the Vote’s case now lifting, our attorneys are to submit briefs to the U.S. Court of Appeals to hash out next steps. In keeping with the recent ruling, TTV will file a motion to remand our case back to the district judge by next week. Cross your fingers, knock wood, say a prayer, pick up pennies or whatever works for you – we’re going back to court. Stay tuned…

More Bad News for the IRS

Remember when it was discovered that in 2010 Lois Lerner cooperated with the FBI to share 1 million pages of tax documents involving 501(c) organizations for the purpose of seeking indictments? Thanks to a court order won by our pals at Judicial Watch this week, we now have even more gory details. According to the court disclosures, 21 computer discs were given to the FBI from Lerner’s office, and they contained approximately 1.25 million pages of confidential return documents from roughly 113,000 501(c)(4) groups – which was nearly every group of its kind then in existence. Also this week, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch announced that the Senate Finance Committee expects to release the findings of its investigation before the August recess, according to a report in POLITICO. This promises not to be just another bland release, either. Members of Finance Committee leadership are some of the select few on Capitol Hill with the ability to dive into confidential tax records without redactions or other withholdings. Again, stay tuned…

No comments: