Write of Center - 29 April 2023
A recent Associated Press article detailed fraudulent actions in Texas’ 1948 Democratic Party Senate primary “won” by Lyndon Baines Johnson by 87 votes. LBJ ultimately became Senate Majority Leader, Vice President, and President after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Audio recordings from AP reporter James Mangan’s interviews in 1977 with a former South Texas election judge were recently posted on the LBJ Presidential Library’s archival website.
Following Mangan’s death in 2015 his family found cassette tapes at his San Antonio home, later donating them to the LBJ Library in 2022.
Luis Salas, the former South Texas election judge told Mangan “Johnson did not win that election. It was stolen for him. And I know exactly how it was done.” Mangan revealed in a 2008 AP story that he convinced Salas, who had become quite ill, to go on the record, telling him “If you die, history will never know what happened.”
According to Salas, South Texas Democrat Party boss George Parr ordered that 200 votes be added to Box 13 in Jim Wells County in the days after the election. Salas said he watched as the fraudulent votes were added in alphabetical order from people who hadn’t voted in the election. The names and signatures for the 200 “voters” were all in the same handwriting.
Mark Lawrence, the LBJ Library’s director, said that while the Box 13 incident shows that “LBJ was willing to do what he had to do to maintain power, he was also a man more inclined to act on principle in efforts to ensure that people could vote in fair and equitable elections.” Lawrence noted that LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965, which outlawed practices designed to disenfranchise black voters.
Perhaps LBJ was genuine in his concern for voter rights in 1965, but he was also tape recorded saying that “the legislation would keep ‘n-word’ voting for Democrats for the next 200 years.”
Prior to 1948, some claim that when LBJ ran for the Democrat US Senate nomination in 1941, that election had been stolen from him by then Texas Governor Pappy Daniel.
Regardless of whether the 1941 election was stolen from LBJ, it is clear that fraud and corruption were widespread in Democratic Party politics prior to Texas becoming politically competitive in the 1970’s. Such antics are similar to legendary tales of Chicago Democrat Boss, Mayor Richard Daley, who ruled that city with an iron fist and did what he needed to do to keep his cronies in power, including allowing dead people to cast ballots.
With this historical background, it makes me wonder why today’s Democrats are so concerned about GOP efforts to have clean and fair elections.
President Joe Biden blasted Georgia’s election reform legislation efforts, calling it Jim Crow II. This accusation is completely absurd and unfounded. The law actually expanded early voting access for Georgia voters, added an ID requirement for absentee voting, codified the use of drop boxes with strict rules on how they can be used and set new rules for state and local election officials.
The result of this so called “racist” law? A record turnout in 2022 among Georgia voters of all races. Governor Brian Kemp, who signed the new voter bill into law, easily defeated Stacey Abrams by almost 8% and substantially increased his share of the black male vote.
Did Biden apologize for his bogus claims about Georgia’s new voting law? Of course not, because Democrats have to keep the narrative going that “only progressives care about black people.” Forget that in Chicago and many other cities, it is racial minorities who suffer the most from the left’s lax policies on crime. Forget that the white leaders of teacher unions who always back Democrats kept schools closed for far too long during COVID, depriving minority children of a good education. The list of progressive policies that have actually hurt racial minorities goes on and on.
Texas State Senator Paul Bettencourt, who as Harris County Tax-Assessor and County Clerk used to run that county’s elections, has proposed numerous bills this session to clean up the mess that occurred in Harris County’s November 2022 election. Bettencourt stated, “The nation’s third largest county cannot have 3rd world elections anymore.” Many polling sites ran out of paper ballots on election day. Were voters in those precincts, a majority of which were strong GOP areas, disenfranchised?
Whether the poor performance by Harris County’s election administrator was due to incompetence or lack of integrity, it may have (though not conclusively) affected some election results where only a few thousand votes separated winners and losers. In light of this, shouldn’t people of goodwill on both sides of the political aisle work to ensure accurate, fair, and transparent elections?