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A tiny check box about citizenship on voter registration forms has touched off the latest battle over voting rights in Florida, where Gov. Jeb Bush's administration has advised election supervisors to reject applications on which the box is blank...
Jenny Nash, a spokeswoman for Florida's secretary of state, Glenda E. Hood, said the problem had arisen mainly on forms filed by third parties on behalf of potential voters. Dozens of groups have crisscrossed Florida this election year, registering record numbers of new voters, many of them in minority and low-income neighborhoods...
A law suit from the comfortably-named organization America's Families United designed to get the list of those forms rejected was thrown out.
Perhaps no one better illustrates the host of interlocking roles than Carl Pope, one of the most influential operatives on the Democratic side in the 2004 election. As executive director of the Sierra Club, a major 501c (4) environmental lobby, Pope also controls the Sierra Club Voter Education Fund, a 527. The Voter Education Fund 527 has raised $3.4 million this election cycle, with $2.4 million of that amount coming from the Sierra Club. A third group, the Sierra Club PAC, has since 1980 given $3.9 million to Democratic candidates and $173,602 to GOP candidates.
These activities just touch the surface of Pope's political involvement. In 2002-03, Pope helped found two major 527 groups: America Votes, which has raised $1.9 million to coordinate the election activities of 32 liberal groups, and America Coming Together (ACT), which has a goal of raising more than $100 million to mobilize voters to cast ballots against Bush. Finally, Pope is treasurer of a new 501c (3) foundation, America's Families United, which reportedly has $15 million to distribute to voter mobilization groups.
In the NYT article, AFU is described as "a nonpartisan civil rights group", which might be true. Or, it might just be an inside joke.