Why GOP Govs. Are Rushing to Quit Project for Clean Voter Data
Plus: Why Putin Attacked Ukraine When He Did
Recently in The Bulwark:
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
In 2012, the Electronic Information Registration Center, or ERIC, was created with backing from the Pew Charitable Trust. Seven states were original members: Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. It eventually grew to count thirty states and Washington, D.C. as members.
The small D.C.-based organization has an annual budget of around a million dollars. But its relatively modest size belies the fact that ERIC does important work to help member states keep their voter rolls up to date.
The antecedents to ERIC were things like “Voter Vault” and “Demzilla,” national voter databases built and maintained by the Republicans and Democrats, respectively. Their main purpose was to aid get-out-the-vote efforts. Each was cobbled together from a variety of sources, and each was maintained with the assumption that combating voter fraud was, if anything at all, a secondary or tertiary purpose of the compiled data.
🎥 PODCASTS AND VIDEOS 🎧
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
GABRIEL SCHOENFELD: Why Putin Attacked Ukraine When He Did.
As I write, some evidence suggests that the first ripples of the long-awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive are finally in motion. For months, Russian forces have been pounding away at Ukrainian positions in the small city of Bakhmut, driving the defenders into a shrinking pocket. But now, the tables appear to be turning. Ukrainian troops are attacking Russian positions in Bakhmut on their flanks, driving them back. Retreating Russian soldiers, in an army of ill-fed and ill-equipped conscripts and convicts, are being executed by their own officers. Seizing Bakhmut has been a key Russian goal. It is supposedly also a Russian strong point and as of today Russia still controls 90 percent of the city. But if it begins to crumble, morale, already at a low point in Russia’s battered army, will further crumble with it.
How did Russia get into this fix? Why did Russian strongman Vladimir Putin launch a war that he cannot win and that has wrecked Russia’s military, costing it tens of thousands of lives and the destruction of much of its armored force? The story is told in Overreach, an engaging mixture of analysis and close-up reportage by the British journalist-historian Owen Matthews.
Happy Monday! I trust that, if you observed Mother’s Day, it was a good one. We did some grilling per mom’s request, and I introduced my kids to a new hobby: Geocaching. It was a great way to get them out of the house, get some exercise, and whet their appetite for puzzles and scavenger hunts. The trinkets were cool, too.
I’m looking forward… To meeting some of you tomorrow at the Across the Movie Aisle event here in D.C. I’ve never seen WarGames in the theatre, and I’m excited! 🍿 Don’t be a stranger! Please say hello, but not during the movie.
Here it comes… The Durham report was released today. (You can read it here.) It did not live up to the hype of the right, of course. But that it praised Merrick Garland will likely infuriate the MAGA right. As Gabriel Malor observes: “One thing is very clear. Special Counsel Durham is way outside his mandate to make these findings and recommendations.”
Rudy Giuliani is in the news again… With charges of sexual harassment. Read the complaint here. There is a lot to unpack (🧵), including the allegation that he and Trump were selling pardons.
Connolly staffer recovering… After a constituent attacked them with a baseball bat. The assailant was a mentally unwell conspiracy theorist who sued the CIA for false imprisonment, one of the victims was an intern on their first day.
In Vice’s last days before bankruptcy… a mad dash for cash, frozen accounts and unpaid debts.
Rambo? Nah. Meet “Rahm-San”… How Rahm Emanuel wooed Japan. I can’t say I saw this coming, as he’s been a blunt object.
Save the date! A live taping of The Next Level. This Wednesday at 3pm ET.
Just say no… To garlic mustard. Not an aioli. See if it the Asian Carp of plants is prevalent where you are.
“Rape, oppression, other charges stemmed from alleged forced baptism…” 44 charges in all, against a sheriff’s deputy in Tennessee. Stunning abuses of power. All of the charges were dropped.
The pessimism phase… Over reaching a debt limit deal.
Gosar’s digital director… Is a neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes acolyte. Will House Republicans say or do anything about it?
Tech support questions? Email email@example.com. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.