It’s already clear that Attorney General Merrick Garland has far too much conflict of interest to be involved in the dispute between parents and “educators” (I use the term loosely) over race-based indoctrination---I mean, training. But there’s a new report of yet another conflict, this time relating to his threatened “scrutiny” of election audits. So, is there anything to it?
First, regarding the conflict that is confirmed, yes, Garland’s son-in-law is the founder of a company that produces 25 percent of such materials for American schools, in an expanding industry that is making money hand-over-fist. It is impermissible that someone with such a tie should be targeting parents upset that their children are being spoon-fed such trash and ordering federal departments to essentially treat them as domestic terrorists. (Actually, it is impermissible for him to do this whether he has such a tie or not.) What’s even worse is that his memo calling for this looks for all the world like part of a coordinated political effort to keep protesting parents from weakening the current administration politically as we enter a new election season.
But on top of that, CREATIVE DESTRUCTION MEDIA now reports that Merrick Garland’s wife, Lynn Garland, is “highly involved on an executive level” advising on election audits. Recall that Garland’s “Justice” Department threatened auditors –- this was in the context of the Maricopa County audit –-with new “scrutiny” and even possible criminal prosecution for participating in their planned election canvass, which later turned up a great many irregularities, some of which have been explained (or sort-of explained) by election officials but others not.
Yes, the DOJ would prosecute cases of voter fraud, Merrick claimed. But he went on to say that “many of the justifications proffered in support of these post-election audits and restrictions on voting have relied on assertions of material vote fraud in the 2020 election that have been refuted by law enforcement and intelligence agencies of both this administration and the previous one, and by every court, federal and state, that has considered them.”
Of course, he said this back in June, before the audit had reported a great many anomalies. Also, the fact that courts failed even to look at evidence because they considered the issue “moot” says nothing about the existence of fraud or the strength of that evidence. And, really, he's citing intelligence agencies here, after what we know about the FBI trying to sabotage Trump? Good grief.
Anyway, CD MEDIA turned up a report from December of 2018 called “Principles and Best Practices for Post-Election Tabulation Audits,” which lists Lynn Garland as executive editor. There must be a lot of Lynn Garlands, and we can’t independently verify that this is Merrick Garland’s wife. Perhaps CD MEDIA can, but they did not include that in the story we saw.
A pdf of the report features a long list of endorsers, including the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, a leftist organization which has on its web page an analysis titled “Partisan Arizona Election ‘Audit’ Was Flawed from the Start.”
On its “Defend Our Elections” page, it does its best to keep the Russia Hoax alive: “In 2016, our election was attacked. Russians penetrated lists, hacked emails and targeted election officials with email scams,” etc. I will give them some credit, however, for recommending that paperless voting systems have a paper back-up.
But as we looked farther down the list of endorsers and checked into what they say about themselves on their websites, we were struck by how some were actually calling for some of the same common-sense election reforms we want to see, such as manual counting of actual paper ballots. So our first impression was surprisingly positive.
And look at this extremely pro-audit paragraph from page 4 of the report...
“Voices from across the political spectrum agree that we should be auditing our election outcomes. According to a 2018 Senate Intelligence Committee report, ‘States should consider implementing more widespread, statistically sound audits of election results. Risk-limiting audits, in particular, can be a cost-effective way to ensure that votes cast are votes counted.’ The bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration recommended that audits ‘must be conducted after each election, as part of a comprehensive audit program,’ and specifically endorsed risk-limiting audits. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s 2018 consensus study report on election security similarly recommended audits that ‘include manual examination of statistically appropriate samples of paper ballots cast,’ and advocated implementing risk-limiting audits.”
And then there’s this on page 5. Note the second sentence...
“Nearly all US votes today are counted by computerized voting systems. Such voting systems have produced outcome-changing errors through problems with hardware, software, and procedures. Errors can also occur in hand counting of ballots or in the canvassing of results. Even serious errors can go undetected if results are not audited effectively.”
It also says, “Audits require human examination of voter-marked paper ballots --- the ground truth of the election.” Too bad so many elections officials didn’t take this advice to heart and instead chose to withhold the physical ballots.
And there’s this: “Elections belong to the public. The public must be able to observe the audit and verify that it has been conducted correctly, without interfering with the process.”
And this: “Audit processes must include a way to respond to circumstances that come to light affecting particular devices, ballots or contests.” Again, Maricopa County officials were not cooperative in this regard at all. Neither was Dominion Voting Systems.
Overall, this is a good report. If it was edited by the same Lynn Garland who is married to the attorney general who was threatening election auditors with criminal prosecution, then the two of them have likely had some interesting dinner table conversations on the issue of election audits. Still, even if his wife is involved in election audits in a positive way, this is one more issue from which Garland should recuse himself. (Of course, the report she is said to have edited came out in 2018, well before the accusations of cheating in 2020.)
CD MEDIA says this report with Lynn Garland's name on it turned up not in a Google search but with another search engine. They’re say they’re still trying to find out if she was paid for any of this work, and if so, who wrote the check. They also want to know if her husband disclosed her activities during his confirmation process. If this Lynn Garland is indeed Mrs. Merrick Garland, he should have.
Thanks to those who responded to our commentaries about AG Garland’s outrageous and unconstitutional response to parents’ protests at school board meetings. We thought this reply made a good point...
The description "domestic terrorist" was first applied to Trump voters but has been followed by Americans opposed to vaccine and mask mandates [and] parents who voice their opposition to CRT at Board of Education meetings. The list of Americans who are not domestic terrorists is growing short.
From the Gov:
Shorter by the day, it seems. And watch out if you fall into all three categories! That’s a degree of “intersectionality” that might make the left seat you at a separate lunch counter.