Coke or Pepsi to wash down Red Herring?

Mississippi’s Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is complaining about a Justice Department official who was critical of an inhospitable racist taunt hurled by a University of Southern Mississippi student at a basketball tournament. Hosemann’s red herring is intended to besmirch and bully the Department of Justice before Mississippi’s discriminatory photo ID law is reviewed, a law which is inhospitable, “disgusting and shameful” to currently registered and prospective, non-driving voters. The poll-tax (photo ID) law, which forces convenience expenses, including new document hurdles, upon people who have no road privileges (driver licenses), is discriminatory, de facto disenfranchisement of current and prospective non-driving voters and citizens. Scant evidence of impersonation-driven need for photo ID has ever been supplied and the law actually increases government expenditures needlessly by a minimum of $1.5 million. The possibility of a disparate impact, considering Mississippi’s history, should have been a baseline consideration before the bills drafting. The fact that it was not speaks to the ill intent of its likely principle drafter, the American Legislative Exchange Council, which produced practically identical model photo ID legislation. When drinking a Coke or Pepsi, remember that both companies were members of ALEC and both are apparently perfect with red herring.

May 2012

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