The dustup over the voter registration of welfare recipients is turning into a perpetual motion machine.
Start with this morning’s papers. The Boston Globe featured this on Page One:
Only Mass. sent out voter registrations after lawsuit
Massachusetts is the only state that has agreed to send mass mailings to register welfare recipients to vote, following a series of state lawsuits brought by the liberal group Demos, which is chaired by the daughter of Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.
Republicans say the mass mailings indicate that Massachusetts went above and beyond what was necessary to turn out likely Democratic voters for the November election.
Other states have settled Demos’s lawsuits by agreeing to less costly steps, such as better training for welfare officials or upgraded computer systems.
But Demos says it pushed Massachusetts to mail the voter registration forms to thousands of welfare recipients because the lawsuit here was filed so close to the election that simply allowing recipients to register the next time they went to a public assistance office was not practical.
The Globe also editorialized about the issue:
Mailing voter registration forms to people on public assistance isn’t part of a partisan plot to help Democrat Elizabeth Warren beat Republican Senator Scott Brown: It’s part of an interim settlement over a lawsuit alleging that Massachusetts consistently failed to comply with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
Through the mailings, Massachusetts is taking steps to do what the law requires it to do — encourage voter participation in that great American enterprise known as democracy, including through public-aid agencies. To vote, citizens first must register. Government should do all it can — and all that the law requires — to help achieve that goal.
Yeah, tell that to the Boston Herald, which once again had four – count ‘em, four – bites at this apple. First up, a news report:
Welfare chief declares Elizabeth Warren ties ‘ridiculous’
State welfare commissioner Daniel Curley said yesterday he never communicated with Elizabeth Warren’s daughter and he rejected claims that the department’s taxpayer-funded drive to get welfare recipients registered to vote was politically motivated to help Warren.
“This gets to the ridiculous,” said Curley, who heads the Department of Transitional Assistance. “There has been no communication from DTA to any of those officials — or their daughters.”
No justice in lawsuit to boost Warren
In America, the wide-eyed and innocent believe in unicorns and the Tooth Fairy.
In Massachusetts, they believe in “coincidence.”
For 10 years a Lowell woman had been getting her welfare benefits at the local office without, she claims, being asked to register to vote. She never bothered to do anything about it until now. What a “coincidence.”
Right – but isn’t that what the law- . . . never mind. Let’s just keep moving.
To the web, this afternoon, when this popped up on the Herald site:
U.S. Sen. Scott Brown demanded challenger Elizabeth Warren cough up nearly $300,000 to reimburse taxpayers for a push undertaken by her daughter’s liberal think tank to register welfare recipients to vote.
”It’s been disturbing for a lot of people to learn that the state’s welfare department undertook an unprecedented voter registration drive at the behest of Elizabeth Warren’s daughter and the organization she represents,” wrote Brown in a statement. “It is clear that this was done to aid Elizabeth Warren’s Senate campaign. Professor Warren has more than $13 million dollars in her campaign account, and if she wants to mail every welfare recipient a voter registration form, she should do so at her own expense, not taxpayers’. She should immediately reimburse the state for the cost of this mailing and stop playing politics with the taxpayers’ money.”
The Globe posted much the same on its website.
This gambit is so ridiculous, it’s actually smart. And it ensures the perpetual motion machine won’t stop anytime soon.