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Nice you've joined us, Josh

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Ah, this sounds familiar:

As I said, I think we now know that Graves was the ninth fired US Attorney. There were already eight. And I strongly suspect there are more. But Graves stands out because of the man who replaced him, Bradley Schlozman, who we profiled in Tuesday's episode of TPMtv. Schlozman's entire tenure at DOJ has been dedicated to turning back the clock on minority voting rights in the United States and more broadly to suppressing Democratic vote turnout. And there's evidence that Graves was sacked because he wouldn't do Schlozman's bidding in pushing his voter suppression agenda in western Missouri.

What kept you, Josh?

Roy Temple and I and others have been talking about this for six weeks and I've been sending you links. I'm guessing some of the fulltime folks reading the e-mail coming into TPM haven't been following the links I've been sending them. If they had, they'd have known most of this stuff six weeks ago.

However, as I said yesterday, this little story all makes sense except for the little fact that Graves was actually a signatory on the major lawsuit in question.

That sort of blows the "Graves wouldn't push the Republican voter suppression agenda" argument right out of the water, don't you think?

Oh yeah, and now the press is finally digging into who pressured DOJ to fire Graves. As I said six weeks ago:

I think it would be very interesting to see what sort of pressure was being applied by certain Missouri Republicans regarding the firing of BOTH Bud Cummins and Todd Graves. Hey, folks on both Judiciary Committees, I’d suggest subpoenas for Roy Blunt, Kit Bond, and Jim Talent. I think it’s time for them to answer questions on this matter.

These journalists have now unearthed Kit Bond as one of those Missouri politicos applying the pressure on DOJ to fire Graves, although Bond later tried, weirdly enough, to get DOJ to give Graves a little more time before he'd have to resign. DOJ refused and made Graves resign earlier than Bond had wanted.

Nice job, guys. Several bloggers and I suggested you look into all of this six weeks ago too.

Sigh. But at least these professionals are finally doing their jobs. I guess it's sort of annoying to read folks talk about this stuff with breathless excitement when we've been talking about it here for six weeks.

Oh well. At least they caught up.

(Go here if you want to read some of my posts about this stuff.)

UPDATE For a quick primer on the voter roll purge lawsuit, go here.

UPDATE 2 Here's another Missouri political blogger's take on the situation.

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Submitted by lambert on

If it's not a shout-out, at least it's not a critical mention.

I thought Kraske was involved in rewriting a story to supppress the important points, am I wrong?

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

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Submitted by tom on

Josh isn't reading this closely enough to realize that Kraske is a Republican hack. They're probably a lot more here if Kraske's got something somewhat insightful to say. They usually leak stuff to Kraske and he puts as nice a spin on it as possible.

My guess is the whole Republican establishment was upset with Graves for some reason or another. It may have been because he objected initially to these lawsuits or it may just be because the Graveses are fairly annoying people who portray themselves as "family farmers" but are really wealthy large landowners, damned-near plantation owners. They own nearly an entire county here in northwest Missouri (although that county is largely under water at the moment).

Sam Graves, Todd's brother, is my U.S. Representative and is about as nasty a character as there is as far as campaigning goes. He runs these outlandish negative advertisements. Bond would love to rid himself of the Graves boys.

Submitted by lambert on

And it's Kraske's job to make sure what gets out is under control?

NOTE Thanks to Drupal's wonderful "Related Stories" module, I note that you called the Patriot [harrumph] Act connection back in March 2003....

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

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Submitted by tom on

You get an A, Lambert. I think that's exactly it. Kit Bond is a big dog and he was trying to rid Missouri politics of those annoying Graves boys, it's a big deal.

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Submitted by tom on

that he wouldn't sign on to a lawsuit that sued the Secretary of State of Missouri's office trying to force her (Robin Carnahan) to purge voter rolls across the state. The suggestion was that these expansive voter rolls were opportunities for voter fraud by the Democrats. Graves has said he wouldn't support or even sign the lawsuit. The problem with this explanation is that his name is apparently affixed as a signatory on the lawsuit as it was filed in federal district court, which sort of torpedoes that little cover story of his completely. I can't help but wonder if he's lying or if someone forged his name on the lawsuit. This is something that needs to be pursued.

Graves also has intimated that he didn't want to pursue the sort of (groundless) voter fraud cases that the Schloz later pursued in Missouri. That may be true but he certainly never said anything critical in public about what the Schloz was doing.

Does that help?

Submitted by lambert on

And so Graves is one the Attorneys who stayed, and we're wondering why he kept his job, instead of being fired.

And (one of the things) he did was to put his name to this ginned up lawsuit.

And now that the scandal has blown up, he's trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube, but he can't, because somebody (who, again?) found out his name was affixed the lawsuit.

Yes?

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Submitted by tom on

in March 2006. As Josh Marshall put it, he's the "ninth attorney" that was fired. Graves's case provides much evidence that these machinations were going on for quite some time -- not just in the fall of 2006. According to the article in the WaPo, Bond was trying to get Graves fired as early as the Fall of 2005.

But Graves never said anything at the time and quietly resigned -- after being told he could resign or be fired apparently. But Graves's story has been that he was forced out because he wouldn't sign and support this lawsuit against the state of Missouri -- but his name is on the suit as a signatory.

Submitted by lambert on

Gee, and to think I thought that the Bond faction were wearing white hats, or something. Missouri politics must be, well, lurid...

And as for Graves being "fired" -- "Oh, and now he wants to be nice!"

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

Submitted by lambert on

Here and here (in comments on "Forgery?"

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.