They're doing it with voting rights reports, too (hat tip bmaz).
Because my approach to election issues tends to be more closely aligned with Democrats, I was paired with a Republican co-author. To further remove any taint of partisanship, my co-author and I convened a bipartisan working group to help us. We spent a year doing research and consulting with leaders in the field to produce a draft report. What happened next seems inexplicable. After submitting the draft in July 2006, we were barred by the commission's staff from having anything more to do with it.
What was the problem? In all the time we were doing our research and drafting the report, neither the staff nor the commissioners, who were continually advised of our activities and the substance of our work, raised any concerns about the direction we were going or the research findings.
Yet, after sitting on the draft for six months, the EAC publicly released a report -- citing it as based on work by me and my co-author -- that completely stood our own work on its head.
The author, Tova Andrea Wang, ties the manipulation of the report to the corruption at DOJ.
We also raised questions about the way the Justice Department was handling complaints of fraud and intimidation. The commission excised all references to the department that might be construed as critical -- or that Justice officials later took issue with.
What was behind the strange handling of our report? It's still unclear, but it is worth noting that during the time the commission was holding our draft, claims about voter fraud and efforts to advance the cause of strict voter identification laws were at a fever pitch in Congress and the states. And it has been reported that some U.S. attorneys were being fired because they failed to pursue weakly supported voter fraud cases with sufficient zeal.
Not a surprise, really. BushCo took the HAVA and used it as an opportunity to roll back voting rights. And the manipulation of this report is just one step in that process.