When the GOP recently made it clear that they would challenge the voters whose addresses are on foreclosure lists in Michigan, it opened a rather large can of worms.
Republican Party Chairman James Carabelli reportedly told the Michigan Messenger that the local party simply is making an effort to make sure the proper electoral procedures are followed. Election monitors from the party have plans to be at the polls to attempt to block votes from people who are registered to vote using the addresses of foreclosed properties.
Many of the voters who have properties in mortgage foreclosure are African Americans who are Democrats. A study last year by Michigan's Department of Labor and Economic Growth showed that more than 60 percent of all sub-prime loans in Michigan were made to African-American people.
The Obama campaign sees the writing on the wall in Michigan and has filed a class action lawsuit against the Macomb County Republican Party in the Eastern District of Michigan on behalf of three county residents whose homes are currently in foreclosure. As a result of this lawsuit, the state Republican Party is threatening a countersuit.
The American Lawyer reported that the Obama campaign is seeking an injunction to prevent the voters in foreclosure from being challenged on Election Day. The lawsuit claims that a list of foreclosed properties is not a legitimate basis for challenging a voter's eligibility and serves only to "threaten, harass and intimidate" certain voters.
Of course, the voters who will be threatened, harassed and intimidated are likely to be voters who would not be voting for the Republican candidates.
The lawsuit was filed by lawyer James Bruinsma on behalf of the plaintiffs in Michigan. Lawyers Mary Ellen Gurewitz and Robert Bauer are listed in the suit as co-counsel for Obama for America. Lawyer Joseph Sandler is serving as counsel for the Democratic National Committee.
Bruinsma told the Am Law Daily that he has spoken with a number of people who are concerned that there may be intimidation and other tactics used at the polls to prevent them from voting. Therefore, the lawsuit was filed, and things are moving quickly to resolve the issues before the election.
The Republican Party in Michigan alleges that the quotes in the Michigan Messenger regarding the voter challenges were libelous and have threatened to file their own lawsuit if the story is not retracted within seven days.
Carabelli claims that the quote attributed to him in the Michigan Messenger was fabricated by the reporter who interviewed him.
The Center for Independent Media is not concerned about the threatened libel action and says that the threat is just a tactic to distract from the claims made by the Obama campaign. The Michigan Messenger says that it has received no notification from the Michigan Party Republicans so far and that they stand by their story.