Monday, September 29, 2008

Darren White Provides Documentation in Voter Fraud Investigation

Timing is everything, and by high noon on Monday Democratic Congressional Candidate Martin Heinrich decided the time was right to take a shot at his Republican opponent Darren White, who's named turned up in this Department of Justice’s report filed two years after nine U.S Attorney Generals were summarily fired.

But, by sunset, the two-term Sheriff had fired back with his own questions about Heinrich's integrity.

Heinrich claims White “is knee deep in one of the largest scandals in the history of the DOJ and he needs to come clean immediately to the voters of Central New Mexico about his role in the potentially illegal firing of U.S. Attorneys,” because his name is mentioned in the 300+ page joint report from the DOJ's Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility.

But the question is did Heinrich pounce too quickly?

White says, "I don't think I ever talked to David," about potential voter fraud, White said. "I just sent him a letter."

Keep in mind, White is the second top law enforcement officer in Bernalillo County responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes, including voter fraud.

In a press release from Heinrich, White is criticized for passing along information about potential criminal activity to the US Attorney.

"This scandal clearly demonstrates Darren White is anything but an independent voice for New Mexico and the voters of central New Mexico will see him for the partisan hack that he is," Heinrich said.

However, White said he told Justice Department investigators everything he knew about possible voter fraud, describing how he had forwarded information to Iglesias. He disputed Heinrich's allegation that he acted improperly.

"I was just doing my job," White said.

Heinrich’s staff lifted this quote from the Albuquerque Journal that has already by retracted by the paper’s editor:
White earlier admitted he had complained to both Attorney General Gonzales' Chief of Staff at the Department of Justice and Senator Pete Domenici about Iglesias, who subsequently said that White was part of "a political chorus that got to Pete Domenici." [Albuquerque Journal, 4/15/07, 4/19/07]
But the White campaign quickly released this unedited letter from Albuquerque Journal Editor Ken Walz to White retracting some of the reporting:
Sheriff White:

I have reviewed our David Iglesias stories with investigative reporter Mike Gallagher.

It appears that in a story published April 15, 2007, we incorrectly placed you in a convesation [conversation] with Kyle Sampson of DOJ during a meeting in the spring of 2006. We reported that you complained to Sampson about Iglesias and that Sampson produced statistics showing Iglesias was doing a good job.

In fact, based on other reporting, it appears to us the participants in that conversation with Sampson were Pat Rogers and Mickey Barnett and that you were not present.

Your [You] met with Sampson in 2005 on a different topic, although Iglesi [Iglesais] as came up during casual discussion. We have no information that you registered complaints about Iglesias during that meeting.

We did interview you for the story published in April of 2007, and you commented on other matters involving direct dealings between Iglesias and youir [your] office. We no longer have notes from this period, so we cannot cite to additional specifics.

Kent Walz

cc: Mike Gallagher
The Word also received this letter (click on image to the left to read the orginal) sent from Sheriff Darren White to US Attorney David Iglesias asking him to investigate voter fraud.

White says he sent Iglesias the letter after receiving a complaint from a mother about her underage child being fraudulently registered to vote, and after he consulted with the Democrat County Clerk Mary Herrera. In the letter White says he's "writing to bring to your attention potential inconsistencies with certain voter registration within Bernalillo County.

White informs Iglesias, "I'm referring the documentation to your office [U.S. Attorney] for investigation under federal law. The letter says copies of voter registration forms with "several potential problems are included."

We also obtained this copy of a letter from David Iglesias thanking White for his correspondence and confirms he has sent the referral to a task force. To read Iglesias letter click the image to the left.

In this transcript from the Albuquerque Journal Article Herrera clearly tells the reporter she'd like a federal investigation into problem voter cards:

County Clerk Mary Herrera said she is also getting forms that are only partially completed. When a clerk's employee calls the voter to fill in the blanks, the person sometimes says he or she never filled out the form, Herrera said. She said she, too, wants the U.S. Attorney's Office or state prosecutors to get involved. "We have a pile (of forms) that we are questioning," Herrera said in an interview. "They're just suspicious."

White's own campaign says if Heinrich wants to criticize the Sheriff for passing along information about potential criminal activity to the US Attorney, the question voters should really start asking is what would Heinrich do in the same situation?

Photo Credit: MG Bralley


Progressive blogger NMFBI HOP posted a U-tube video here featuring an interview with David Iglesias commenting on the Bern Co Sheriff at one of his "In Justice" book signings.

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