Talk:American Center for Voting Rights

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Untitled[edit]

It does raise a question: Just what is it about Hearne's work for ACVR that he or someone else at his firm is trying to hide?

NPOV content copied from www.tompaine.com[edit]

Some of the text copied from www.tompaine.com is NPOV (e.g. "A mere six days" and the scare-quotes around several terms). Also from www.tompaine.com, "Mary Poppins Conspiracy" has <1 page of hits on Google. Probably not a relevant phrase to use. Finally, there's a dead link to the now-defunct ACVR site.

The content just really needs cleaned up. I'll do some later tonight... --Sstrader 21:15, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

You blatantly deleted more than what your NPOV statement claimed you would touch. So I reverted your edit. The reference by Senator Conyers about "Mary Poppins" is plainly also referred by the republicans. [1] You cannot delete dead links, you should find another source the material. I offered the entire ACVR site backed up in web.archive.org Here is the link to the reference [2] As a matter of fact, the false registrations in Ohio were falsified by a Defiance County Elections official and this was well known before the ACVR offered its testimony.Kgrr 04:43, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
First, I'm not going to edit-battle you. I'd like to see a good article but don't have the time to monitor this every minunte. I will however continue to pick away at the poor content you've added. And I will defend what I altered against your poor writing and poor logic:
- I "Blatantly deleted"? NPOV. I said the content "really needs cleaned up," and I did that. Nothing blatant there.
- I never disputed that the name "Mary Poppins" was used in the voter fraud accusations. I said that, because of its almost non-existence on Google, "Mary Poppins Conspiracy" wasn't "a relevant phrase to use." That means, simply, that if a couple of sites repeat the phrase but no one else does, it doesn't need documented in Wikipedia. Just the facts.
- I can and should delete dead links. From Wikipedia guidelines: "Dead links should either be removed, or updated with archived versions." I could not find and archived version. Why don't you actually do some work instead of copy/pasting wholesale from tompaine.com.
- Finally, you say "As a matter of fact" and then don't back it up with a link. Wow.
Please, please, please clean up your style so that it doesn't read like a partisan rant. And to any others, please help fix the many flaws in this article.
--Sstrader 12:37, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Redirect to this page[edit]

Why does Mark_F._"Thor"_Hearne redirect to this page now? It has a substanial amount of information on it in previous versions and now it appears as though someone wants it deleted. Is it being vandalised? Ignisdu 18:02, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

See User talk:Zscout370#Thor Hearne. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 20:30, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Here's the conversation there, editing out inflamatory statements by others: (Yellowdesk 23:24, 14 June 2007 (UTC))

At Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, what is "OTRS Ticket#: 2007061310013198" and how may I view the contents? -- Yellowdesk 14:32, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

OTRS is the email communication system people outside of Wikipedia use to email us. Someone complained about the article and in my decision as an OTRS user, I decided to redirect the article. To answer Yellowdesk's questions, OTRS emails are private and only those with access can read the emails. No political considerations were made when doing this action, since Democrats also use the system. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 18:09, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't know if this helps, but I have reviewed the ticket, and looked at Zscout's actions here. The article on Hearne appeared to be what we are now coming to call a coatrack, an article that was actually about something else. Such articles can be POV forks in disguise, or may simply give undue weight to a small part of someone's life - especially where the rest is not especially visible, as appears to be the case here. The solution - a redirect - is sane and practical, and does not preclude discussing Hearne's role within the group, provided it is done in accordance with our policy on living individuals and is properly supported by sources. Guy (Help!) 19:20, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Do you think there is a method to rectify the topic complained about so that editing may resume on the article? -- Yellowdesk 19:24, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
  • OK, thank you both, JzG / Guy and Zscout370 for the clarifications on this surprising topic. -- Regards, Yellowdesk 23:01, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

At www.Slate.com [3]there was a recent discussion of the editing of Wikipedia to remove reference to this organization in the article about the lawyer Mark "Thor" Hearne, who worked for various Republican candidates, including the Bush-Cheney campaign. See "Implausible Deniability. The Internet foils fudging by three "voter fraud" warriors." by Richard L. Hasen Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2007, at 5:31 PM ET article. According to [4], persons from his law firm have been editing Wikipedia to remove information about American Center for Voting Rights from his web page. Then it was restored [5] then it was removed again [6] by someone at an IP address that was said to be from his law firm per [7]. The preceding information is non-libellous , fully sourced, and in full accord with WP:BLP. He has also been written up in the St. Louis Post Dispatch online edition at [8] Edison 21:46, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

--- Besides founding ACVR, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, II was involved in the Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy controversy, a current event.

The wholesale deletion of the Hearne biography and re-directing it here denies the public access to the rest of his other notable (and perhaps notorious) accomplishments that "Thor" Hearne is known for. The article was properly referenced to reputable sources. Any disputed claims could have been removed. I also disappointed that Hearne does not have to follow the "conflict of interest" rule that prohibits authors from editing entries about themselves - in this case asking to have it deleted completely. The move to delete the Hearne Biography is the beginning of open and blatant censorship. I am disappointed that Wikipedia has set another precedent by caving into political pressure. Please restore the article Kgrr 15:32, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

The general consensus at the moment seems to be that if a person is in the news because he/she was involved in notable events and/or organizations A, B, C, and D, but otherwise is a private individual, then Wikipedia should have articles on A, B, C, and D that mention the person, but no article on the person him/herself. While the net impact certainly is to make it difficult to "connect the dots", if indeed there are dots to be connected, this isn't censorship - a search on the person's name will still turn up all the information on the person that is in fact newsworthy. It's only censorship if newsworthy information doesn't appear anywhere in Wikipedia because an individual (subject) so requests. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 16:46, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
That philosophy would mean the removal of all biographical articles, and there has been no such trend. This appears to be the removal of a bio article about a politician whose associates have previously edited the Wikipedia article to remove sourced information. Edison 18:53, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
And Hearne is notable on his own right:
  • "Significant coverage" - Googling "Thor Hearn" produces significant numbers = 88,800
  • "Sources" - there are no shortage of sources
  • "Reliable" - there are no shortage of reliable sources
  • "Independent of the subject" - He is as a nationally recognized expert on Government Relations, Election and Campaign Finance Law. If he were not, he would not have given expert witness testimony before the U.S. House Administrative Committee. Hearne also testified before the Missouri commission to investigate general election and voter fraud. Hearne has speaking engagements with numerous groups and organizations about issues of election reform. And, Hearne is the founder and general counsel for the American Center for Voting Rights.
So please explain why Avi Rubin is an expert but Hearne is not.Kgrr 19:22, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
I made no claims about a "trend". As far as consensus goes, the primary case is Daniel Brandt, where (if you check AfDs and DRVs) the number of google results (currently 67,000) was considered not to be a definitive marker in the most recent dispute. And as far as Hearne goes, I don't have a dog in this fight - I don't have any opinion as to whether there should really be a separate article on him or not, so someone else is going to have to provide any further explanation that you need. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 13:04, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
If the evidence were merely google hits, I would side with a redirect. But Hearne is also notable for leading the Republican legal effort to block a Democratic attempt to keep polls open in the 2000 election. He is a controversial figure in Missouri politics and should merit his own article.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 160.36.194.42 (talkcontribs) 13:44, 20 June 2007.
160.36.194.42 - Hearne wrote the Voter ID law for Missouri which was later found unconstitutional. Hearne was one of the Republican lawyers in Florida that inspected the hanging chad ballots. Hearne traveled to states all across the US in 2004 and oversaw more than 65 different laws suits that concerned the conduct of the election. All those things were in the article before it was scrubbed. He is very much a public figure in Republican politics as well.
John - I'm really not interested a fight. What I really want to understand is your logic here. If I understand your "consensus" logic, the only reason that you can write articles on Carl Rove or Frank Luntz is because they are public figures. Otherwise, people would have to put all the pieces together for themselves out of their actions while they were not being "private individuals"
Public figures are pervasively involved in public affairs. Public figures thrust themselves to the forefront of particular public controversies in order to influence the resolution of the issues involved. Hearne certainly qualifies here on many counts. Although Hearne is not a politician, but certainly has a whole history of being involved in the public affairs. Please explain. I simply don't understand your rationale for having to write 10-15 articles about Hearne's public involvements, but not being able to write one single article about him.Kgrr 00:38, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Here's the logic as I understand it. Please note that I'm not saying that it applies to Hearne, but rather that it applies in certain cases. Let's take an extreme case first: say that there is a kidnapping of a person; the story gets a lot press; ultimately the kidnapper is arrested. Now, in theory, the person who was kidnapped is "notable" in the sense that there are a lot of google hits, national stories, etc.. So in theory there could be an article that includes information about the person's early years, high school friends, etc., gathering all the minutia that was mentioned in passing in articles, and the result could be a fairly lengthy article. But the reality is still that if one removes a single event from such "biography", it would clearly not be appropriate for Wikipedia. In fact all of the information that is useful can (arguably) go into the article about the kidnapper, with a redirect from the name of the kidnapped person to the name of the kidnapper (or the article about the incident, if that's where the info is collected).
A less extreme case is Daniel Brandt. As I understand it, he's mentioned in news articles because (to simplify) he founded a number of (somewhat) controversial non-profit groups. But he's remained a private person - not giving interviews about himself, not going around the country making speeches. In short, what's relevant to the reader should be the groups, with appropriate articles on each (so goes the argument, which I find fairly persuasive.)
As for Hearne, I'm again not arguing whether or not he fits this framework. Certainly if he merits (say) a paragraph in each of 10-15 articles, it's seems difficult to claim that he's not personally notable. My only suggestion is that you might consider setting up a subpage in your own user space and work on improving the article to the point where you can ask those who set up the redirect to revisit the situation and see if they've changed their minds. If not, then you might take it to WP:AN for further discussion. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 13:16, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
There's a mirror of the old Hearn article here. — goethean 13:19, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
I started to write the article not to make him a coatrack, but to understand Mark "Thor" Hearne better. It's very difficult to maintain NPOV in the middle of a controversy with spurious edits. It's also hard to construct an article based on references that intend to coat-rack and weed-out what is relevant and what is not. The edits by 65.204.234.241 appeared to help steer the article quite a bit, even though a lot of the material was unreferenced.
I also understand the argument of private versus public person. Hearne clearly used to be a public figure with his speeches and giving expert testimony. But I do understand that it's possible to make a transition to a private person and not wanting to make interviews, public appearances and the like. Hearne's current job with providing people with political connections does not need this. I have tried to re-write the current article in my own sandbox, but it too gets deleted. I will wait for the controversy to cool a bit before I re-visit this topic. Thanks for your pointers.Kgrr 15:43, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Additional references[edit]

There was a Pittsburg Tribune-Review editorial [9] "'Study' is political fraud." By Dimitri Vassilaros, Monday, August 8, 2005 about this organization and Hearne and Lunde. It said the two directors of the group, Hearne and Lunde, sounded like a comedy duo. "When asked to name any contributors to his nonprofit, Hearne claimed he did not know but said Lunde did. When Lunde was asked, he claimed he did not know but said Hearne did." It called the 368 page study titled "Vote Fraud, Intimidation & Suppression in the 2004 Presidential Election," a fraud, noting close ties to the national Republican political and the Bush campaign.

A recent reference in the online version, StLtoday.com, of the St.Louis Post Dispatch [10] is "St. Louis lawyer figures prominently in vote fraud, U.S. attorneys probes." By Jo Mannies, Post-Dispatch political correspondent, 06/06/2007. It notes Hearne was the general council of ACVR, and that the website was abandoned. Per BradBlog, it has since been acquired by ACORN. With respect to the mysterious redirect of the Hearne article to this article, which a few other OTRS authorized Wikipedians have approved on the grounds that the article was just a "coatrack" wherein editors wanted to talk about this and other issues rather than about the individual, the Post Dispatch article says Hearn is "in the national spotlight," and "one of the top Republican lawyers in the country on election-related matters." It says he was the Bush Cheney national counsel in the 2004 campaign and is the election law counsel for his state's governor. It says he advised "working groups for the federal Election Assistance Commission and the bipartisan Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform." It says the Republican National Committee calls him "an accomplished attorney" and that he has " a lot of prominence — and notoriety." and "played a prominent role" in efforts to tighten voting security as by requiring photo IDs. All this sounds like notability beyond his role in this defunct organization. Hearne denied speaking to the White House about the firings of US attorneys, Edison 18:56, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Bot report : Found duplicate references ![edit]

In the last revision I edited, I found duplicate named references, i.e. references sharing the same name, but not having the same content. Please check them, as I am not able to fix them automatically :)

  • "ACVR2005 Ohio Election" :
    • {{cite web |url=http://web.archive.org/web/20050425104337/www.ac4vr.com/news/OhioElectionReport.pdf |title=Ohio Election Activities and Observations |date=2005-03-21 |publisher=American Center for Voting Rights |author=Mark F. "Thor" Hearne et al }}
    • which documented, among other incidents, the registration of voters named "Mary Poppins", "Dick Tracy", and "Jive F. Turkey." According to court records in the criminal prosecution of [[Chad Staton]] in [[Defiance County, Ohio]], individuals registering these fictional voters were paid money and in at least one instance, crack cocaine. The organization involved in this effort was called "Project Vote,"<ref> {{cite web |url=http://web.archive.org/web/20050324102250/http://www.ac4vr.com/ |title=ACVR Refers Voter Fraud Investigation To Dept. of Justice, Congressional Oversight Panel }}

DumZiBoT (talk) 23:05, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Dissolution and controversies Section has little to do with ACVR[edit]

There is a great deal of information in the Dissolution and controversies section that has nothing to do with the ACVR. What is the relevance of Bradley Schlozman, or ACORN fraud? What is the connection between that and ACVR? How is any of this a controversy anyway? Bonewah (talk) 19:28, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Content removal[edit]

I removed the following sentence: ""The DoJ devoted unprecedented resources to ferreting out polling-place fraud over five years and appears to have found not a single prosecutable case across the country," Slate reported." because it is contradicted several paragraphs later by this sentence "Five of these operatives have since been indicted and plead guilty or convicted in federal court to charges of vote fraud and identity theft." This article isnt about vote fraud anyway, its about the ACVR. Nothing in the Dissolution and controversies section has anything to do with the ACVR really except the first sentence. I removed the reference titled American Center for Voting Rights because it points to the PFAW's homepage and does not support the claim to which it was attached. Bonewah (talk) 20:35, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

My POV: This article is clearly about the ACVR which was a phoney grass roots organization that claimed that voter fraud is a major problem while in reality, their purpose was to keep people from voting. They managed to achieve their goal of creating voter ID requirements so strict that minor errors between the voter rolls and their ID gets them removed from the voter roles. The reason the DOJ is important in this article is because the DOJ has taken over their function to disenfranchise voters.
Clearly some things are being re-written to systematically dismantle this article since I worked on it. You can't just delete things from articles that were properly referenced. Let's work on what might not make anymore sense since other pieces have been removed by others. The POV is balanced by presenting both sides, not by clipping out sentences that are objectionable to your POV. Let the facts tell the story, not your POV.Kgrr (talk) 19:31, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I think you should familiarize yourself with wp:coatrack because that is what this article is. The ACVR did not fire any US attorneys. The ACVR had nothing to do with Bradley Schlozman, nor his decision to prosecute ACORN members, nor their convictions. It really doesn't matter how well sourced that information is, it isnt relevant to an article about the ACVR. If you want to talk about the rest of the controversies section we can talk, but your going to have to convince me (and spell out in the article) that they had a real hand in passing voter ID laws in the states listed or had anything to do with how many resources the DoJ dedicated to voter fraud, certainly the sources listed dont do that.
The reference to the ACVR's homepage is flat out wrong, it points to the PFAW's homepage and does not support the claim to which it is attached. I am going to remove it for that reason. Bonewah (talk) 21:37, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

"critics" complaints in the lede[edit]

I deleted "Critics[who?] noted that it was "the only prominent non-governmental organization claiming that voter fraud is a major problem," and called the Center a Republican Party front group whose support of a photo ID requirement was intended to suppress the minority vote.[1]" from the lede section of this article as it adds a bit of wp:undue weight to "critics" opinions. Additionally, the only critics cited is slate magazine, which is a bit thin for such a strong claim. Also note wp:coatrack, this article is not a vehicle for criticisms of the subject. Bonewah (talk) 17:54, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

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