The US Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) is scheduled to vote tomorrow on the nomination of Republican voter-suppression guru Hans Von Spakovsky to a state-level body that advises the commission.
Lenore Ostrowsky, a spokeswoman for the USCCR — whose mission is to defend voting rights — confirmed to TPMmuckraker that commissioners will vote at a Friday morning meeting on Spakovsky’s nomination to the State Advisory Committee for Virginia, where he lives. According to a source, it is likely that Spakovsky’s nomination will be approved.
Ostrowsky additionally confirmed to TPMmuckraker that commissioners are also scheduled to vote tomorrow on the nomination of Cameron Quinn, a member of the Republican National Lawyer’s Association, to serve on the State Advisory Committee for Virginia alongside Spakovsky.
Commissioner Todd Gaziano, a Spakovsky backer who is also the director of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, told TPMmuckraker that he was “at least one of the people” who recommended both Spakovsky and Quinn for the advisory committee — which is an unpaid, volunteer position — calling both “well-qualified to serve”. As we reported last year, it was also Gaziano who recommended Spakovsky for a gig as a “consultant and temporary full-time employee” at USCCR in the run up to last fall’s election.
According to the commission’s website, the state advisory committees are “composed of citizens familiar with local and State civil rights issues.” They’re designed to “assist the Commission with its fact-finding, investigative, and information dissemination functions.” Gaziano — himself a former state advisory committee member for Virginia — noted that the commission’s rules require an “intellectually diverse” slate of state of advisory committee members, and said he believes the Virginia panel is “especially balanced and diverse.”
Spakovsky has long been a controversial figure in voting-rights circles. He has consistently championed voter ID laws and other measures that, the evidence suggests, make it disproportionately harder for poor people and minorities to vote. As a senator in 2007, Barack Obama assailed Spakovsky’s “efforts to undermine voting rights” and his “record of poor management, divisiveness, and inappropriate partisanship” during his tenure as an official at the Bush DOJ. Spakovsky was nominated by President Bush to be an FEC commissioner but his nomination was withdrawn last year when Democrats refused to confirm him.