Published Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010 | 9:29 a.m.
Updated Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010 | 6:06 p.m.
UPDATE: Secretary of state's response, calling Mitchell's letter "conjecture and rumor," posted at right.
So says Cleta Mitchell, the same woman who tried to get Scott Ashjian, the Tea Party of Nevada candidate out of the race, in an astonishing fundraising letter:
As Sharron Angle's campaign attorney, I am sorry to report that the Democrats and their cronies are up to their same old tricks, of trying to manipulate the election in hopes of skewing the results in their favor.
Two days ago, the Democratic Secretary of State announced that voters can be provided "free food" at "voter turnout events." Harry Reid has been offering free food and, according to other reports, some Democratic allies such as teachers' unions are offering gift cards in return for a vote for Reid.
Before we were even able to document the reported infractions to report to the authorities, the Democrat Secretary of State slammed the door shut on preventing this behavior and issued a public statement permitting these ACORN-style tactics. THESE are the kinds of shenanigans that can turn this race.
Harry Reid intends to steal this election if he can't win it outright. As a result, we need to deploy literally dozens of election law attorneys and poll watchers to combat these tactics at a cost of nearly $80,000. That's over and above our current budget. We need to raise $80,000 and we need to do it RIGHT NOW, because even as I am writing this, Harry Reid and his Machine are trying to steal this election. I'm sorry that we have to come to you yet again and ask for you to reach deep and contribute, but we must.
Understand, EVERYTHING we have worked for in the last year could be destroyed by dirty tricks and criminal acts in the next 8 days. As Sharron's first line of defense on these matters I am absolutely committed to making sure this won't happen.
What Harry Reid is doing is clearly illegal. Nevada law (NRS 293.700) provides that, “A person who bribes, offers to bribe, or use and other corrupt means, directly or indirectly, to influence any elector in giving his or her vote or to deter the elector from giving it is guilty of a category D felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.”
We've seen evidence of this sort of voter 'enticement' by groups such as ACORN - where, in 2008, two ACORN workers in Milwaukee were accused of offering pre-paid gasoline cards or restaurant gift cards to people in exchange for registration.
John Fund wrote in his book Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy, cited reports from the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader (South Dakota) and the election in 2004, where certain residents were quoted saying that "people on the streets were saying you go vote, they would give you gas money, $10, maybe a pack of cigarettes..."
Now, this week in Las Vegas, at our election hotline, we received reports that some teachers' union representatives were offering Starbucks cards to people to get them to vote for Harry Reid. It is even more disturbing and may be possible that they are using their influence and authority as educators to entice students on behalf of Reid.
Here’s the bottom line: when the powerful are threatened, they will do anything to retain their position. It's clear now that Harry Reid's campaign is even willing to skirt the laws of Nevada to do it.
Is there any question that they will do the same on Election Day?
Will you help us raise this $80,000 today? With it we can fight the election-stealing tactics of Harry Reid and his corrupt cronies.
The right to vote is a precious one - and it carries with it somber responsibilities. The Democrats' willingness to allow voters to be enticed with a promise of any thing of value is a debasement of the process- and it may just destroy everything we've worked for.
Please send an urgent contribution so our work will not be in vain. We’re going to win this race as long as we don’t let Harry Reid steal it. Can you help us today?
Counsel to Friends of Sharron Angle
Republican Nominee for U.S. Senate, Nevada
P.S. I've been in this business a long time. I have never before been so convinced that a candidate would reach so low in order to be victorious. Let's do this for Sharron and all her hard work. Please support us financially today.