Sunday, March 05, 2006

Different Day, Same Dishonesty

There’s not much to say about Mark Hyman’s latest caterwauling about a voter ID system. It’s a subject he’s spoken about often, and we’ve already pointed out the problems with his arguments.

Basically, the type of ID system proposed some in Maryland amounts to an unofficial poll tax, in which voters must cough up money to the government in order to vote either in the form of a driver’s license or other government mandated ID card. (Hyman doesn’t mention that the Carter/Baker commission report he cites suggested that the 12 percent of eligible voters who don’t have a driver’s license should be provided an ID card *free of charge*). This not only tends to disenfranchise those who either don’t have driver’s licenses or money to purchase an ID card simply for voting purposes (people who are disproportionately black or Hispanic and tend to vote Democratic), but it’s also philosophically unacceptable in a democracy. No matter how much you make, you shouldn’t have to pay for the privilege of voting, period.

Parenthetically, the type of identification fraud Hyman claims to be concerned about is, as far as anyone can tell, virtually non-existent. More important problems cited by the Carter/Baker commission include issues such as paper trails, malfunctioning electronic voting machines, long lines at certain polling places . . . all problems involving the *depression* of voter participation (something that tends to help Republicans). These go unmentioned by Hyman.

More importantly, we have the return of the meta-level issue Hyman’s editorials often raise. Once again, Hyman is editorializing on what’s essentially a local issue for him and his fellow Sinclairians (Sinclair’s headquarters being in Maryland), but taking up space on local airwaves from coast to coast to do it. Even worse, Hyman doesn’t acknowledge that he is editorializing on behalf of a position advocated by the Governor Ehrlich of Maryland. Ehrlich, as you may remember was Hyman’s boss when the governor was a mere Congressional representative. You also may remember that Ehrlich has been in bed with the Sinclair folks for years, lobbying on their behalf, receiving illegal in-kind campaign contributions, and starring in Maryland tourist spots produced by Sinclair for free.

Of course, Hyman mentions none of this. After all, that would be the ethical thing to do.

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 4.70


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