Down and Dirty Politics- East St. Louis Style

The Post Dispatch has the latest on the voter fraud and attempted murder charges filed last week against East St. Louis city official and democratic committeeman Kelvin Ellis:

Over the course of two months last fall, East St. Louis official Kelvin Ellis met with Deputy Police Chief Rudy McIntosh repeatedly to discuss derailing a federal vote fraud investigation, never realizing the officer was wired by the FBI.

When they met in a police car on Nov. 24, a hidden camera captured the scene as McIntosh told Ellis, falsely, that a witness against him had been killed.

“Our problem (is) over,” Ellis says calmly on a tape played Friday during a hearing in which a federal magistrate refused to release him on bond…

Prosecutors said Friday that they have been looking into fraud and “vote buying” in the city for more than two years, at least since the November 2002 election. Ellis and McIntosh are Democratic precinct committeemen who knew each other well; Ellis had been counseling McIntosh’s effort to enter politics.

Ellis has been a focus of federal investigators since at least May, when agents interviewed residents about voter fraud in his precinct, Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith said.

Ellis has not been charged with vote fraud. Goldsmith said there is a “pending indictment,” but details have not been made public.

“In the March 2004 presidential primary, there were allegations of rampant voter fraud,” Goldsmith said, including misuse of absentee ballots. The allegations continued through November’s election.

Including that meeting, Ellis and McIntosh met at least a dozen times, sometimes with another co- operating witness, Dannita Youngblood, a worker in Ellis’ office. Authorities said Youngblood destroyed a letter threatening a Republican committeeman, at Ellis’ direction.

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