Originally created 01/30/98

Left-wingers apologize 013098 - The Augusta Chronicle



A y ar ago a taxpayer-financed Texas branch of the left-wing U.S. Legal Services Corporation actually filed suit challenging the right of overseas military personnel to vote by absentee ballot.

The warped suit actually complained that most of the 800 Val VerdeCounty soldiers were "Anglo or white" and would vote Republican, which "overwhelmed and diluted votes of the plaintiff and the Hispanic votes."

The county balloting was close, and the GOP sheriff and county commission candidates won by just a few hundred votes. However, the premise of the suit -- that black or Hispanic individuals always support a candidate of the same race, and that a black or Hispanic bloc must be protected from white voters -- is neither borne out in real life or in the U.S. Constitution.

Most important, though, is the obvious reason the Val Verde County soldiers had to vote absentee. They had no other choice! Of course, that didn't faze Texas Rural Legal Aid. In a ridiculous 24-page written deposition, it sought to inquire into the sleeping arrangements of the soldiers and their wives, personal financial information and the names of organizations to which they have ever belonged. And get this -- the recipients had three days to fill out the forms, find a notary public to administer an oath to them and get it in the mail.

Imagine if minority voters were ever required to jump through such hoops!

Texas Rural Legal Aid said that military personnel weren't eligible to vote in Val Verde County (by absentee ballot) because they have been absent from the county for several years. Well, they were absent because of their service to their country. If not for the service of these patriots, none of us would have the opportunity to vote in free elections.

Well, a year later -- and after the waste of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars -- U.S. Legal Services head John McKay sheepishly wrote an apology to House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Tex. "I have written to TRLA formally admonishing the program for the poor and lax decision-making in case acceptance and resource allocation." It's gratifying to know the outcome of this battle -- and that this insult to our military personnel was not allowed to stand.