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True the Vote to Elijah Cummings: Retract Your Smears

Voter integrity group True the Vote has issued a formal request to Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings asking him to retract defamatory statements he made about the Houston based group on national television and in writing. Not only has Cummings made false statements about the mission of True the Vote, he has also misled the public about the group's response to an October 4 request from Cummings for documents, a request he has no authority to enforce. An attorney representing True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht sent Cummings a letter late Tuesday afternoon. From the letter:


Dear Rep. Cummings:I represent Catherine Engelbrecht and True the Vote. We are shocked at your comments on “The Ed Show” of MSNBC, which you either know not to be true or have done nothing to assure their accuracy. We had higher hopes for you as an otherwise respected Member of Congress.

You said on MSNBC that we had “gone silent” in terms of a respon se to your requests.As you well know, we responded to your request for information when you wrote usthe first letter, which was filled with inaccuracies and innuendo. Catherine Engelbrechtoffered to travel to meet you in Washington D.C. to explain the actual activities of True the Vote and dispel the misinformation you and your staff had recited in your letter. Instead of agreeing to a meeting, you demanded more and different information—information which would be near impossible to directly gather. True the Vote has beenorganizing and doing its work for all of 2012, and yet you demand information fromus—without any right or authority to do so—in the time most calculated to keep usfrom our task of reducing voter fraud.

You have accused our organization of committing a crime, of acting in an illegal manner and acting so as to reduce the opportunity of minorities to vote. You have said that our poll watchers illegally cause problems at polling places, all with the desire tocause people to get out of line and not vote. You have said that we have targeted the elderly. Each and every one of these allegations is categorically false, has no basis in truth, and is not anything about which you are capable of substantiating with anythingother than a conjured allegation of some individual seeking to distort reality. Thisdefamation per se is shameful. Without so much as the common courtesy to meet with Ms. Engelbrecht, where you could have quickly learned how off track your allegationsare and have been, you instead go on national television and call this group names andcast them in the most unflattering light possible.

A statesman looks for truth, seeks justice and acts in the common good withoutconsideration of fealty to personal interest or party. A statesman would accept theinvitation to meet with Catherine Engelbrecht and learn first hand what True the Voteactually does and how they do it. The offer still stands for her to meet with you.

If you choose to meet with her, you will most surely be compelled to retract thecomments you have made, and we would hope that MSNBC would give you the sameopportunity for setting the record straight as they gave you for the time spent in castingmisinformation. If you choose not to meet with her, a retraction of your comments isstill necessary, and we will insist on nothing less.


As I've written before, Cummings is in bed with groups like the AFL-CIO, SEIU, NAACP and others. In this case, he is abusing his congressional power in an effort to intimidate True the Vote and to carry out the agendas of the groups just mentioned. As the letter states above, he should at the very least retract his smears.

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