Under a Texas Rock
Donald Trump got his ideas about voter fraud from where?
Reporters are chasing the source of President-Elect Donald Trump's weekend Twitter effusion alleging widespread voter fraud: "In addition to winning the electoral college in a landslide," Trump posted Nov. 27, "I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." Trump offered no evidence – there isn't any – but the bogus claim apparently originated in Texas, as right-wing media sources disseminated a claim by Austin-based Gregg Phillips (also via tweet), that "We have verified more than three million votes cast by non-citizens." Phillips, who claims title to a "voter fraud reporting app" called VoteStand, says he will provide evidence later – but not via the media. His name might ring a bell to Texans: From March 2003 to August 2004, Phillips was deputy director of the state Health and Human Services Commission, hired by the Rick Perry administration to provide an overhaul and radical privatization of the HHSC service delivery system. He had earlier led the Mississippi Department of Human Services – with similar privatization goals – but left that job under a cloud, after charges of both incompetence and self-dealing. Phillips has a lengthy history of both promoting privatization, and having that privatization favor companies in which he just happened to have a financial interest, that followed him through his tenure at HHSC and later, via a contract with the Texas Youth Commission. Whatever the outcome of his latest voter fraud claim – swallowed whole by the right-wing, fact-free blogosphere – astute observers should consider it one more job application to the already brazenly conflicted Trump Administration.