Yesterday, the Washington Post reported, “Of the 12 U.S. attorneys known to have been dismissed or considered for removal last year, five were identified by Rove or other administration officials as working in districts that were trouble spots for voter fraud.”
One of those districts was Nevada. The U.S. attorney in that region, Daniel Bogden, was fired last year as part of the Bush administration’s prosecutor purge. According to Justice Department documents, part of the reason he was fired was because Karl Rove and Benton Campbell, chief of staff for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, believed that Bogden didn’t go after voter fraud aggressively enough:
[Senior counselor Matthew] Friedrich had asked Campbell for his assessment of Rove’s complaints about problems in New Mexico, Milwaukee and Philadelphia, according to a congressional aide familiar with Friedrich’s remarks.
The notes show that Campbell also identified Nevada as a problem district. Daniel G. Bogden of Las Vegas was among the nine U.S. attorneys known to have been removed from their jobs last year.
Yet as the Las Vegas Sun reports today,voter fraud wasn’t a problem in Nevada. In fact, Bogden didn’t have any cases to pursue:
Secretary of State Ross Miller, a Democrat, said he knew of no cases brought to the U.S. attorney’s office in recent years. Nevada Republicans say the same.
The biggest case Nevada had seen recently were allegations in 2004 that a Republican-financed group had shredded registration cards from Democratic voters. The FBI investigated but it appears the case was not forwarded to Bogden.
As the New York Times noted in a March 16 editorial, “In partisan Republican circles, the pursuit of voter fraud is code for suppressing the votes of minorities and poor people. … There is no evidence of rampant voter fraud in this country. Rather, Republicans under Mr. Bush have used such allegations as an excuse to suppress the votes of Democratic-leaning groups.”
Gonzales has admitted that when he approved of the firings in Nov. 2006, he didn’t know why Bogden was on the hit list.