Goodling Dismisses Voter Supression Tactic Of ‘Caging’ As Just ‘A Direct-Mail Term’

As research director at the Republican National Committee, U.S. attorney Tim Griffin was involved in a plan to suppress Florida votes — primarily those of African-American servicemembers — in the 2004 election. From the LA Times, 10/28/04:

The Bush campaign is planning an election day effort to disrupt ballot casting by African Americans by challenging voters whose names are on a “caging list,” according to a British news report.

Citing an internal GOP e-mail with the subject line “caging,” the BBC reported Tuesday that Florida Republicans had a list of 1,886 names and addresses of voters in largely black and traditionally Democratic areas of Jacksonville. …

But African American leaders Wednesday called the list another “shameful” Republican effort to keep blacks from voting.

In her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee today, Monica Goodling — the Justice Department’s former White House liaison — tried to dismiss the voter suppression allegations against Griffin, a protege of Karl Rove, by calling caging just “a direct-mail term.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/05/goodlingcaging.320.240.flv]

Caging is not just a “direct mail term.” Suppressing votes on the basis of race is illegal under the federal Voting Rights Act.

Congressional sources told ThinkProgress that the White House decided to not put Griffin before the Senate Judiciary Committee for approval because it would bring up questions about the 2004 caging scheme.


GOODLING: Ok, and the last thing was the voter — the caging issue, which was a reference to Tim Griffin.

SANCHEZ: Can you explain what “caging” is? I’m not familiar with that term.

GOODLING: My understanding — and I don’t actually know a lot about it — is that it’s a direct-mail term, that people who do direct mail, when they separate addresses that may be good versus addresses that may be bad. That’s the best information that I have, is that it’s a direct mail term used by vendors in that circumstance.