Prominent Republican Propagandist Indicted for Voter Fraud

And, no, it’s not Ann Coulter

One of the conservative movement’s most polished and successful propagandists was indicted yesterday for voter fraud:

Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative commentator and best-selling author, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for arranging excessive campaign contributions to a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

According to an indictment made public on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, D’Souza around August 2012 reimbursed people who he had directed to contribute $20,000 to the candidate’s campaign. The candidate was not named in the indictment…

D’Souza was charged in the indictment with one count of making illegal contributions in the names of others, and one count of causing false statements to be made.

Federal law in 2012 limited primary and general election campaign contributions to $2,500 each, for a total of $5,000, from any individual to any one candidate.

The Senate candidate was Republican Wendy Long, who ran unsuccessfully against incumbent New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in 2012.

In 2012, D’Souza — who has opposed marriage equality on moral grounds — was forced to resign as president of Kings College, a righ-wing evangelical school based in Manhattan, after he attended a conservative conference in South Carolina accompanied by a woman with whom he shared a hotel room but who was not his wife.

D’Souza is perhaps best known for producing a documentary-style propaganda film, “2016: Obama’s America.” Released in 2012, it generated $33 million in revenues, making it the all-time second-highest grossing “documentary” after Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which grossed $120 million. (It may be the highest-grossing right-wing film released to date.)

Oliver Willis at Media Matters compiled a list of several of the most outrageous lies in the film:

D’Souza boosts this ludicrous premise (Obama ran for the presidency because he hates colonialism … just like America’s founders!) using several claims that are simply not rooted in reality. A few examples:

  • D’Souza claims that TARP and the federal bailout were programs that “Obama launched.” Both programs began under the Bush administration.
  • D’Souza claims Obama went by the name Barack to adopt his father’s “African identity,” but Obama has explicitly said his name change “was not some assertion of my African roots.”
  • D’Souza insists that references in Obama speeches to a “nuclear-free world” are evidence of “anti-colonialism,” but Ronald Reagan made multiple references to the same concept.
  • D’Souza claimed that Obama supported the release of the Lockerbie bomber because he sometimes “supports the release of terrorists who claim to be fighting wars of liberation against American aggression.” But the Obama administration formally opposed the release in an official letter from the State Department.
  • D’Souza claimed that Obama referred to BP as “British Petroleum” in a May 2010 speech. He never did.

A small irony is that upon reading that a top conservative propagandist had been indicted on voter fraud it would be fair to assume it was Ann Coulter, who has been accused of voting in precincts where she did not legally reside — twice.

The larger irony, of course, is that Republicans have excused their voter suppression efforts in states they control as efforts to curtail voter fraud among Democratic voters, even though the number of confirmed instances of voter fraud by blacks, Latinos, students and others who typically vote Democratic are statistically nil, and the number of cases in which Democrats with public profiles as high as D’Souza’s and Coulter’s is nonexistent.

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