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May 31, 2007

Another U.S. Attorney Targeted for Political Reasons?

Bustcrux Reportedly, Justice Department officials targeted for firing former US Attorney Tom Heffelfinger, but he didn't know it. Through a quirk of fate, Heffelfinger resigned before the axe had a chance to fall.

About the targeting, the Los Angeles Times wrote:

"Part of the reason, government documents and other evidence suggest, is that he tried to protect voting rights for Native Americans.

"At a time when GOP activists wanted U.S. attorneys to concentrate on pursuing voter fraud cases, Heffelfinger's office was expressing deep concern about the effect of a state directive that could have the effect of discouraging Indians in Minnesota from casting ballots.

" . . .Republican Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer directed that tribal ID cards could not be used for voter identification by Native Americans living off reservations. Heffelfinger and his staff feared that the ruling could result in discrimination against Indian voters. Many do not have driver's licenses or forms of identification other than the tribes' photo IDs....

"The issue was politically sensitive because the Indian vote can be pivotal in close elections in Minnesota.... Its members turn out in relatively large numbers and are predominantly Democratic." (LA Times/Truthout)

At BNP: fired prosecutors scandal overview, gist of Monica Goodling's testimony, her mention of vote "caging," and Jon Stewart's take on Justice Department testimony.


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