Johnson Campaign to Benson: How Can You Run a Fair Election After Training Political Operatives To Fake Intimidation?
Information Exposed that Benson Ran National D.N.C. Program In 2004
CLARKSTON – The campaign for Republican Secretary of State candidate Ruth Johnson today announced that new information showing Jocelyn Benson as the leader of a national program in 2004 that instructed Democratic operatives to fake claims of voter intimidation brings into question Benson's ability to operate fair and open elections in Michigan.
"Jocelyn Benson is askingvoters to put the integrity of Michigan's elections in her hands, yet her record suggests she was involved with the encouragement of false claims of intimidation," said Johnson spokesperson Denise DeCook. "Jocelyn Benson needs to answer voters’ questions about how someone who has sought to undermine an election for political gain will have the credibility to be Michigan's chief elections official."
New information shows that Benson was paid by the Kerry-Edwards Presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2004 to direct a national program aimed at training political operatives to impact elections across the country. Benson claims credit for being the National Field Director of the "Election Protection Program," in which she was responsible for recruiting and training operatives in the program and approving training manuals.
The Kerry-Edwards campaign and the DNC program that year produced a guide entitled, "Colorado Election Day Manual: A Detailed Guide to Voting in Colorado." The guide instructs Democratic operatives to complain of voter intimidation even if no such problems exist. The guide stated that, "If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a “pre-emptive Strike.” The strategies included attempts to rehash previous claims of intimidation and "place stories" that claim concerns about upcoming intimidation.
The Rocky Mountain News reported at the time that “Democrats got caught with their election playbook open Thursday when a leaked page was published urging operatives to lodge a "pre-emptive strike" of claiming voter intimidation, whether it's true or not...Indeed, a press release from the Colorado Democrats on Wednesday looked straight out of the playbook."
Johnson has also expressed serious concerns with Benson's written statements opposing Michigan's photo identification requirements for voter registration and voting, which in combination with Benson's plan for same-day voter registration, will increase the chances of illegal aliens and other committing voter fraud.
Ruth Johnson hasserved as the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds since 2005. In that role, Ruth cut more than $1 million in costs and reduced her staff by 20 percent. While reducing the size and cost of government, Ruth’s office also implemented innovative reforms that have resulted in fourteen national awards for making government more efficient and convenient for taxpayers.