We Talk Voter Suppression, a Key GOP Tactic to Sustain White Power, With Greg Palast as BuzzFlash Returns to the Internet

July 15, 2019

 
Greg Palast and BuzzFlash go back to 2000 in exposing Republican voter suppression. Palast’s thoroughly documented findings are routinely ignored by the mainstream corporate media. (Photo courtesy of  Greg Palast )

Greg Palast and BuzzFlash go back to 2000 in exposing Republican voter suppression. Palast’s thoroughly documented findings are routinely ignored by the mainstream corporate media. (Photo courtesy of Greg Palast)

BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW

Introduction

Greg Palast has been interviewed on BuzzFlash and has been a source for articles for nearly 20 years. BF first got to know Palast when he exposed the voter suppression of Blacks in the 2000 presidential election in Florida. The move by then Governor Jeb Bush and his Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, resulted in an election close enough to allow the Supreme Court to steal the presidency for George W. Bush.

The mainstream media, and what there was of the progressive press online at the time, largely ignored Palast's investigative and documented findings, but not BuzzFlash. This was election theft in broad daylight.

The reality is that Republicans cannot win national elections without voter suppression. They also cannot win many state and Congressional elections without gerrymandering.

We discuss this threat to democracy of voter suppression with the indefatigable sleuth Palast, specifically how the Republicans have used two of their key strategies of voter suppression – in this case denying felons the right to vote and selectively "purging" voter rolls– to their electoral advantage.

According to an April 21, 2018 New York Times article,

The Sentencing Project, a nonprofit organization focused on criminal justice reform, on a 2016 report estimate[ed] that 6.1 million Americans had been barred from voting because of felony disenfranchisement laws. Experts say that disparities in sentencing can make felony voting laws inherently discriminatory against minorities and people with low incomes.

“In terms of inequality, clearly, felony disenfranchisement laws have racially disproportionate effects. Our estimates lay that bare,” Sarah K.S. Shannon, an assistant sociology professor at the University of Georgia said. “In addition, because these laws can vary so widely by state, the effects are also spatially disparate, impacting some states’ electorates more than others.”

 Shannon estimated that in 2010, eight percent of US adults had a felony history.

Only Vermont and Maine allow incarcerated felons to vote. Most of the rest of the states allow varying degrees of potential redress for felons to seek to vote. However, many of the requirements for regaining enfranchisement are extremely onerous, and some states have permanent bans on voting for specific types of felonies.

A January 30, 2019 GQ.com article noted,

Republicans have long had an election problem. The more people vote, the worse they tend to get beaten. So the solution, since at least the 1970s, has been pretty cut and dry: Figure out who's likely to vote against them, and prevent them from voting. It may be a more circuitous approach than falsifying votes or straight up hacking an election, but it gives them an air of democratic legitimacy, even though they're actively fighting against the foundations of democracy.

The story states that Mitch McConnell opposed making election day a federal holiday because more people would vote, and that would help the Democrats. Add that to the list of politicians representing a diminishing white base suppressing the Black and Brown vote anyway they can to win elections. Unfortunately, few Democratic leaders (Eric Holder is one exception) are vigorously challenging the GOP on such blatant attempts to keep non-whites from voting. The Supreme Court, on a partisan 5-4 vote, helped the GOP by rolling back key provisions of the Voting Rights Act in 2013.

For now, let's start in the year 2000, talking with Greg Palast about Black voter suppression in the Sunshine State that led to Bush being installed in the White House.by a 5-4 SCOTUS vote. Sadly, the GOP legislature and governor in Florida just finalized a law – nearly 20 years later -- that defies the will of Florida voters to re-enfranchise felons in the Sunshine State.

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BuzzFlash: Greg, we have a long history together. BuzzFlash started May of 2000 but we became close in terms of reporting your findings with the theft of the election in 2000. Can you take us back to that time and ChoicePoint, Jeb Bush, Kathryn Harris -- the Florida secretary of state -- and the deletion of tens of thousands of names from the voting rolls based on intentionally flawed criteria?

Greg Palast: For two decades now, I've been on the vote theft beat originally for The Guardian and BBC Television out of London and later Rolling Stone, The Nation and, of course, with BuzzFlash. And it started when in 2000 I uncovered that the Republican secretary of state, Katherine Harris, conniving with Jeb Bush, the governor, who was also the brother of the candidate for President, removed tens of thousands of voters. They targeted 94,000 voters who they said were felons at that time who could not vote in Florida. If you have a criminal conviction in Florida, you couldn't vote.

So, what I found out, I'm the only journalist who actually tried to get the actual list of people that were named. I got them from inside the offices of Katherine Harris. I cracked the code and I found out something that should have shocked people who cared about democracy and the real winner of the 2000 election. My little first list I got was 54,000 names, and later I checked, not one, and I want to repeat this, not one was actually a felon. Everyone was innocent, their only crime was voting while Black. And I ain't guessing because next to their names were the letters BLA. Some had WHI, for white, but most were BLA for Black. And I want to repeat, none of them had been convicted of anything.

In fact, I went down to Florida with my BBC Television crew and interviewed some of these people, like Willie Steen. And he was matched on the list with a guy named Willie O'Steen from Ohio. And by the way the guy in Ohio who was convicted of a crime was white, and he was matched with a  Black Willie Steen of Florida. In short, Willie Steen of Florida lost his vote. Now remember, George Bush won the Presidency of the United States on just 537 votes, that's it, out of the state of Florida, that gave him Florida and the election. And so, 500 highly-disputed votes gave us the President, excluding tens of thousands, tens of thousands of Black people who were denied the right to vote on the wrong accusation that they were felons.

And unfortunately, we're talking today, nearly two decades later, because the same goddamn racist vote-purging is going on all over this country and almost no one is standing in the way of stopping it. And I started out with that one investigation in Florida for The Guardian, and then you picked it up, and you were one of the first outlets in the entire United States to take note of this story. And since then, it's been one election after another, one election stolen after another, more purges, and we're heading into 2020 with the same game, except worse.

BuzzFlash: Let me go back to that 2000 date because we definitely championed you. And at that time, you weren't in Rolling Stone, you weren't in The Nation, and you still aren't in the mainstream press. You're not one of the "consultants" on MSNBC or CNN, this bevy of people they have that they pay for punditry. You were reporting basically for the BBC at the time, right?

Greg Palast: Yes. The BBC and The Guardian newspapers out of London. In fact, I was living in London when I uncovered what was happening in my own country. But like you say, the truth was exiled. I mean, I was persona non grata and I remain to be in United States mass media. Because you can't talk about the myth that America has this wonderful democracy that you learned about in 6th grade, it's a mockery of democracy. Bush was not elected President, period. So, we literally had an electoral coup d'état, and no one wanted to talk about that, certainly not in the US media.

BuzzFlash: Yes, as we recall, the general attitude of the mainstream corporate press, and even some of the progressive sites was, "Let's get over it, let's move onto the next election." It's kind of like Nancy Pelosi's position on Trump now, "We'll beat him in the next election." But there were many other things going on, of course, the Brooks Brother riot, which shut down the Miami-Dade County recount, and the infamous butterfly ballot and all these elderly Jewish people somehow voting for Pat Buchanan. But I want to return to one thing which is what you focused on, which was so-called felons who were not allowed to vote in Florida. A proposition was just passed that would allow felons to vote in Florida.

Then, in a reactionary move, the Republican Florida legislature passed a bill, which the GOP governor signed, which makes this proposition so restrictive that basically very few felons could still vote. Indeed, the current Florida Governor, Trumpian Ron DeSantis, barely beat the Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum, who is Black. The tragic irony here is that if former felons had their voting rights restored, as the citizen initiative that passed intended, Gillum would probably have beaten DeSantis, just as Gore would have beaten Bush. But now DeSantis, who benefited from the felon disenfranchisement in Florida is thwarting the will of the voters and allowing the Jim Crow practice to continue. How do you feel? It's like we've come nowhere.

Greg Palast: Well, this is how it always goes. They don't steal all the elections all the time, they can't steal all the votes all the time. For example, people don't understand how many people in America have been convicted of crimes, usually voters of color. You know, marijuana laws, convictions, and coke. I mean, how many Wall Street guys are going to prison for snorting some coke? They all did, none of them went to prison for it, but how many Black kids have gone to prison for a couple of joints in their pockets? The answer is literally, literally millions, and they lose their right to vote while in jail. And by the way, they also lose their right to get a lot of jobs too.

BuzzFlash: Florida, a battleground state for the presidency, frequently has a close split between Democrats and Republicans.

Greg Palast: So, the Republican legislature, and the putz Republican governor DeSantis said, "Yes, you can vote if you have served your time, but you also have to pay all your fees." Now, court fees ...now understand, in Florida, they do this thing where if you go to court and you lose a case, someone who went to prison has to pay for their own meals, so they come out of prison in debt, plus they have all these massive court fees. So, Florida charges you to be convicted of a crime, it charges you to be in prison, and people in prison by the way don't make a lot of money, do they? So, you come out and then DeSantis and the legislature basically say, "Unless you've paid off all this money, you can't vote," so effectively overturning the right of felons to vote.

Plus, you've got to go through this whole business to prove you are now qualified as opposed to being automatically just put back on the voter rolls. This new law that reverses the will of the electorate will remove more than a million persons from the voter rolls, in effect allowing the theft of future presidential and statewide elections there. The current governor who signed the bill, as you noted, won by a small margin. Yes, he would have lost big time if the citizen initiative were in effect, allowing hundreds of thousands of felons to vote.

BuzzFlash: Isn't this a denial of citizenship?

Greg Palast: Losing your right to vote means you're a non-citizen, that's like what you do in Saudi Arabia or China, you lose your citizenship if you do something wrong. So, the voters of Florida voted overwhelmingly in 2018, I mean, it was a crush vote [65-35 percent] in Florida to allow people who've served their sentences to get their right to vote back. You don't become non-citizens, you serve your time, you become a citizen. The Republican legislature, this is very important: it's partisan. It's racist and it's partisan. If it were general, like when you said, thousands of people lost their vote, not any people, it's black people who are losing their votes, that is Democrats.

And by the way, it raises a very interesting question, why do we even have registration in the United States? Most of the world does not have such nonsense, this is just another impediment. If you are an entitled, legal citizen, voting under penalty of perjury that you're entitled to vote, you should be allowed to vote, period.

My partner is Swiss, and there you are required by law to vote and they don't get in your way, in fact they do whatever they can ... you're fined if you don't vote. And there's no registration, you're either entitled or not. We don't have people illegally massively voting; it's a con that there are a bunch of illegal voters in the United States. We should never go along with any restrictions on voting whatsoever.

BuzzFlash: Okay so, let's fast-forward. We're re-launching BuzzFlash and it's 2019, it's 19 years later since the theft of the election 2000 and your exposé on what was then called the ChoicePoint (which has since changed names). You have said, I believe, on your blog that in the 2018 election, there were more than a million votes that were suppressed.

Greg Palast: Well, way more than a million. When I worked ... I was investigating the 2016 and 2012 elections for Rolling Stone magazine, and I'm a statistician by training. I'm an economist. I did a very, very careful calculation with my co-author Bobby Kennedy, and even in 2008 when Obama won, he had to overcome a theft of about 5.9 million votes. That's a pretty accurate number, they steal a lot of votes.

In 2016, Donald Trump did not win, and I don't mean just the fact that he got crushed on the national popular vote. I mean that in several swing states, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, there's several states, including Arizona, that Trump supposedly won, but he only won because they purged so many Hispanic and Black and Asian American voters, Georgia too, and didn't count votes. And that's another great American secret, we don't count votes. Trump wasn't elected, if you counted the votes and you allowed people to vote who were illegally and wrongly excluded.

In 2000, I wrote a book which was a giant bestseller called The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, but I made a film with an updated version of it called The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. And I explained how in 2006, 1.1 million voters were illegally removed by just one purge system called Interstate Crosscheck, which was organized by a white supremacist who was secretary of state of Kansas named Kris Kobach, K-R-I-S K-O-B-A-C-H [who is now running for the GOP nomination for a Kansas US Senate seat]. And what he did was, he came up with this secret hit-list of people he said were registered or voted in two states. By the way, that's a crime, but he had 7.2 million suspects of this felony crime, 7.2 million, and none of my fellow lazy fuck journalists at the New York Times or the Washington Post or the LA Times, or any paper, actually asked for the list. I did.

BuzzFlash: I read at the time that Kobach was promoting this list, and I also thought you confronted him in a visit he was making to some constituents in Kansas, that even some people in the Trump White House had voted in two places because they vote on the presidential election in one place and they might vote on local issues in another, which is legally permissible. I think some of Trump's staff and advisers are registered to vote in two states.

Greg Palast: Well, what happened was we didn't find double voters, what we found is a bunch of people with common names. So, for example, I'm literally the only journalist who got the list. They turned us down but I'm an investigative reporter. I'm an old-fashioned gumshoe reporting with my team, with Zach D. Roberts, a great investigative photo journalist. We got our hands on about two million of the names. And so, for example, in the state of Georgia, there are about 535 guys named James Brown, and they said those 535 guys voted or were registered in other states, because they found a James Brown in Detroit and they found a James Brown in Arizona, believe it or not. Now, they matched, and I'm not making this up, they matched as the same voter James Thomas Brown with James Edward Brown, James Brown Jnr. with James Brown Sr., etc., and they just matched common names. So, while you could say that's crazy, it's not crazy, it's crazy like a fox, and here's why.

Because 85 of the 100 most common names in America are minority names. Think about it, Rodriguez, Hernandez, Black, Johnson, James Brown, and Asian names like Lee and Chung. So, if you use common names, first and last names, you're going to overwhelmingly knock out voters of color, that is Democrats, and that's what they were doing. They were knocking out voters because of James Thomas Brown and James Edward Brown and matched the same voter name, removed them from the voter roll. And we were able to get the inside information, they didn't remove all seven million, they removed about 1.1 million before the 2016 election.

Crucially, in Michigan, there were about 50,000 black voters illegally removed. And that's how Trump won Michigan!

BuzzFlash: Now, you posted something on a site yesterday in response to an article, originally, I think it was from Axios, that when Trump appointed a short-lived commission to "study" election integrity because he ludicrously claimed that Hillary's three million popular vote victory was fraudulent, he appointed Kris Kobach to be co-chair. Trump ignored that there were indications that Kobach was affiliated with white supremacists.

Greg Palast: That's right. Kris Kobach, who I've been investigating now, starting with Al Jazeera and then with Rolling Stone for six years, Kris Kobach is the brains behind the Trump vote-stealing machinery. He still is today and if Trump wins in 2020, he's heading towards another win because of the way Kris Kobach has figured out how to "suppress the vote," but you know if someone steals your car, you don't say your car's been suppressed. We're talking vote theft, okay? And by the way, that's why I can never get on National Petroleum Radio (NPR) because consider "voter suppression" to be a euphemism.

So, Kris Kobach has a long history of racist ties. For example, he was the lawyer for a group called FAIR on immigration. And FAIR was founded by a guy who said the group's purpose is to maintain a European majority in America. In other words, white. He doesn't mean Back Europeans. Literally he was a lawyer for a group whose whole purchase was to maintain a white majority in America. And he has spoken with and trucked with all these not only white supremacist groups but highly armed and dangerous white supremacist groups. And this is, by the way, is known to our media, but they did nothing about this. And now they're shocked to find out that Trump was warned, "Don't appoint this guy to any federal positions because it's going to come out that basically he's part of the white supremacist machinery." But Trump owes him his Presidency. He had special meetings with him during the transition.

In fact, one of the things that I see almost nothing about, there's this whole discussion that the question on the US Census form, "Are you a citizen? Is anyone in your household not a citizen?". They talk about that suppressing the number of Hispanics who may fill out the form. This was promoted by Kris Kobach [and promoted we now know by Republican gerrymandering consultant Thomas B. Hofeller]. His idea that was that he was going to prove that he knew that would scare off people from voting and cut Hispanic Census participation, but more importantly, his game was, we're going to use this information to prove that there are all these illegal aliens on the voter rolls. Because he was going to take your Census form and match it to your voting registration, and say, "Aha! There you are, there's all these millions of illegal alien voters."

Kobach says, "It's easy to find these people," well, guess what? He can't find any! He can't find them. So, where are these millions that he says exist? It should be easy to find them, when you vote, you give your name and address, last four digits of your social security number, and in a lot of states your phone number, it should be easy to pick you up, huh? But this is Kobach. And by the way he's not some dumbass redneck, he went to Yale, Harvard and Oxford, okay? Don't think that someone is a right-wing racist shit is a dummy; he's brilliant. And this is the danger.

BuzzFlash: Now, let me ask you, you also very closely covered the theft of the election in Georgia, the governorship, from Stacey Abrams. What happened there with the secretary of state who became the governor?

Greg Palast: Okay. Well, one of Kris Kobach's cronies is Brian Kemp. And so, I've been investigating Kemp since he took office in 2013 as Georgia secretary of state, That's the guy who's in charge of elections. Kemp was in charge of the elections in Georgia at the same time that he's running for governor of Georgia in 2018. He's in charge of who gets to vote, where they get to vote, which votes get counted if there are  questions about the vote. You like that? I mean, when they do that in China, we say that they're not democratic. But when they do it in Georgia, it's a great democracy, right?

So, I've been investigating this guy, he was part of Kris Kobach's Crosscheck program, but then he came up with a new gimmick called "Purge by Postcard," this is Kemp before the 2018 election when he's running for governor. And I spoke with Stacey Abrams back in 2014, she didn't even know what he was doing. I was showing her the documents, I have on camera my interview with her when she was shocked, like, "What is this? What is Kemp doing?" And little did she know that he was going to use these methods of removing Black people from the voter roll to defeat her in her candidacy for governor in 2018.

So, I sued Brian Kemp in federal court and won the names of every single purged voter, that is people that were wiped off the voter rolls. He had hundreds of thousands wiped off the voter rolls because they supposedly moved from the state of Georgia, or moved to another county, and I got experts from Silicon Valley. Believe me, Amazon knows where you were last Thursday, eBay knows what you had for lunch on Friday. I'm sorry, they know it all. And I hired the guys who know it all, who actually are hired by eBay, American Express, Amazon, etc., to tell you to tell them where you are, where you live. And I gave them a list of the purge voters, they came back to me and said, "340,134 people, it's not a sample, we have the names of third of a million people, the names and address," said, "these people have never ever moved from their homes where they were registered but they lost their votes for supposedly moving."

I uncovered that before the election, and the Democratic party did exactly zero.  Stacey Abrams lost by supposedly 54,000 votes. She cited my discovering 340,000 missing voters, so basically six times Kemp's supposed victory margin, those voters were flushed down the toilet, among other games. So, she actually said, "Given Palast's findings, I clearly won, but I won't be inaugurated." And that was a breakthrough. See, what people think is, her nomination was historic because she was the first Black woman ever nominated by the Democratic Party for governor in any state, never happened in California either. But to me what was revolutionary is that she was the first Democratic candidate ever to say, "I lost because of racist vote manipulation." And she cited my number. She also cited the case of one voter who I have on camera, if you go to gregpalast.com,

Greg Palast:  She is 92-year-old Christine Ford. it was going to be her 50th year of voting, but  they said, "You're not on the voter roll." This is Martin Luther King's cousin. I went to her home after I filmed her grandniece just in tears, inconsolable, after going to the polling station in Georgia in November, 2018. I went to their home later and there are pictures of her having dinner with Martin Luther King, who used to, after he would preach at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, would come over to her house for Sunday dinner, and this woman was denied the right to vote. Jim Crow is back. However, it's not like night riders, because white sheets have been transformed into spreadsheets. And that's the new danger, that's the real new Jim Crow, this is what's dangerous.

BuzzFlash: Now, we know from our history with you going back to 2000 when we were about the only ones covering you in the States, just phenomenal, the corporate media doesn't report on this very much even today. But what about the Democrats? In the Democratic debates in June, voter suppression did not come up once as an issue.

Greg Palast: Right. Yeah, this is the problem, isn't it? No one wants to talk about the Klansmen in the room, the elephant Klansmen. First of all, white Democrats don't want to talk about it, because they figure most of the allowed voters are white people, and black candidates don't talk about it because they don't want to be seen as playing the race card. I mean, it's crazy. We don't talk about votes being stolen in America, with Stacey Abrams being an extreme exception. Look, Al Gore, right? I just told you in detail how he had the election stolen from him. He stayed quiet. It's like, as far as he's concerned, it's just Black people losing their votes, who cares, right? And that's life, you know? He became a billionaire, he got his Nobel prize, he's not going to risk it on complaining about Black people losing their votes.

The other candidate who did complain about Black people losing their votes and who fought like crazy and then later got elected President was the President of Mexico, AMLO, as he's called, or Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador. I covered the theft of his election when the election was stolen from him in 2006. He never forgot that. And when he ran his campaign in 2018, he had five points to his platform. His number one point was count every vote, every vote gets counted. He made that the number one issue in his presidential campaign, and he won by a landslide, way too many votes for them to steal. It's one of the reasons, by the way that I just won an International Prize for Journalism by the Association of Mexican Journalists, because of my work on not only the election of Florida and Trump's election, etc., but the elections in Mexico. Because what AMLO proved is that if you make it an issue, you can win. And Stacey Abrams, by the way, made it an issue during her campaign, because I came up with my findings during her campaign and she made it an issue.

And too many Democrats say, "Oh, if you tell people their vote's going to be stolen, they won't vote at all." No. She understood it gets people angry. AMLO understood in Mexico it gets people angry. How dare in a democracy you take away my vote or threaten to take away my vote. And that's something the Democratic party has not learned. I'm telling you right now, you have all these Democratic poo-bahs who say you can't talk about stealing someone's vote because then people won't vote, and that's bullshit, it's cowardice and it's racist, because they don't want to talk about what happens to Black folk.

BuzzFlash: It's kind of ironic that you were honored in Mexico, not in the US., I read your speech. And I recall that highly-disputed 2006 election for president of Mexico. I believe fisticuffs broke out in the Mexico legislature, but nonetheless Obrador was not allowed to assume office in 2006, kind of like Gore in 2000. And you were appreciated in Mexico for your coverage of voter suppression but not in the US.

Greg Palast: Well, I'm kind of like the classic prophet outcast in his own land. I won the equivalent of Britain's Pulitzer prize in England working for The Guardian exposing excessive corporate power in the US and abroad. And I just got the equivalent of Mexico's Pulitzer prize for my work on elections in Georgia, by the way, Georgia and the others, and also my other work, because besides elections, I'm not a one-trick pony. My background is as an economist and as an investigator, and I always follow the money.

And I want to explain, this is very, very important. If you see my film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, which is now free on Amazon Prime, you'll see that I go to the billionaires behind the theft, and I'm not talking about a fake billionaire like Trump who just plays a billionaire on TV. I'm talking about the real billionaires behind Trump who aren't even Republicans, by the way, it's interesting, they're just rich guys who are funding the theft. And that's really important to understand, it's about the money. And a lot of my prizes in journalism which, again, always come from abroad, are for my work exposing these financial vultures and jackals.

BuzzFlash:. There are many ways to achieve voter suppression. Crosscheck and the former ChoicePoint are one example, but we've seen a lot of other techniques like the shutting down of ACORN, I think that was in 2009, the Republicans more or less framed the organization and forced it to stop registering voters. [James O'Keefe who was praised by Trump at the July 11 White House right-wing social media "summit" played a key infamous role in damaging ACORN's reputation, which GOP House members then used to mortally wound ACORN.]

Greg Palast: Right. Threatening and shutting down voter registration groups, which happened in Georgia, by the way, before that election, too.

BuzzFlash: I recall, it was just a blip in the news, that there was a police department in a rural county that stopped a bus that was taking Black seniors to register to vote and said that was illegal. The police forced the seniors off the bus. This is how granular white intimidation of Black voters has become.

Greg Palast: Yes. And for example, in Georgia, Brian Kemp, the secretary of state who was running for governor but he was also, as I said before, in charge of the vote, had the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, they have their own FBI, kick in the doors, and I say that literally, kicked in the doors of an Asian American voter registration group and threatened them all with arrest because they had photocopied registration forms, because they'd sent in registration forms, and people were not getting put on the voter rolls, Asian Americans, who vote Democratic, and so they kept copies of their forms to prove that they had been registered. And they said, "Oh, well that's a crime to photocopy your registration form." It's not a crime apparently to take those registration forms and literally, literally throw them in the garbage when the state gets these Democratic registrations. It's a crime just to expose it. And they successfully shut down the Asian-American voter registration campaign in Georgia.

This happened all over the country. The League of Women voters was threatened with legal action so they had to shut down in Florida. The League of Women voters, that "dangerous group"! The latest version of my book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, is also How to Steal An Election in Ten Easy Steps, and so there's many, many ways to steal that vote. But it's very important to understand that the vote is stolen so that billionaires can make more billions. It's not about Democrats and Republicans, it's about us and them, the billionaires, the movers and shakers, versus the moved and shaken. And vote theft is class war by other means.

BuzzFlash: You said earlier in this interview that you expected Trump to win in 2020. I assume that the implication is that the voter suppression will continue and surpass itself.

Greg Palast: Yes, because you don't see the Democratic Party fighting hard to stop voter suppression. Okay, Nancy Pelosi was reelected Speaker on the promise that she would make voting rights the number one issue in the new Congress. So, she passed HR1 which provided voter protections and said, "There you go, you passed your bill." And, of course, it doesn't pass in the Republican Senate. But there's no real attempt. They have my list of 340,000 people illegally removed from the voter rolls of Georgia, more from Nevada, from Iowa, from Indiana and so on, I've got these voter lists of illegally removed voters. I've never gotten a call from the Democratic Party like, "What can we do to get these people. ..." Well, I take it back. The Nevada party called to ask for a list to try and get people back on.

Greg Palast: I'm non-partisan so I can help people get re-registered, I can't support a party, and I won't. But you can't count on a Democratic Party to support voters of color, and you can have all kinds of theories, but I think it basically comes down to this. If you have a massive registration, the ability of voters of color to vote, you're not going to get -- the Pelosis and the Bidens and the Schumers are not going to be in control of that party anymore, and that's what they're afraid of.

BuzzFlash: Thank you. It's a wonderful reunion going back to 2000. Unfortunately, the news on voter suppression is perhaps even grimmer than it was back then.

Greg Palast: But also, the one thing we learned with Obama, not that Obama was a great President, it doesn't really matter, but it shows you can overcome the steal, and you can fight to stop it. And we will always be doing that, always be in this battle of us versus them. We can win. And I hope people pay attention, and I'm so thrilled that BuzzFlash is back on the scene because it's the one outlet I know I can take hardcore investigative reporting and give it to you and you will run with it. And that's unusual in the United States, so bless you for coming back.

BuzzFlash: We're very proud to be associated with you and to amplify your findings and your voice.

BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW

Interview conducted by Mark Karlin