"How to Buy Votes" at ESL Vote Fraud Trial

The Best Line from Wednesday:

** Democratic Precinct Committeeman Lilly Butler testified that during a political meeting in December 2002, Powell introduced city Democratic committeeman Frank Smith, who then gave a talk about how to buy votes without getting caught. **

The two main federal witnesses Dannita Youngblood and Rudy McIntosh both had problems under cross examination during the East St. Louis Voter Fraud Trial. On Wednesday, McIntosh continued with his cross examination by defense lawyers. He was on the stand for two days for a total of 15 hours, Tuesday and Wednesday. Here are some highlights from his testimony on Wednesday:

Five East St. Louis political figures are accused in East St. Louis federal court. Four are charged with conspiracy and vote fraud involving the November election. City Democratic boss Charles Powell is charged with a single count of conspiracy.

During the morning session, U.S. District Court Judge G. Patrick Murphy excused the jury and warned McIntosh that if he didn’t stop evading questions, his entire testimony would be stricken. McIntosh promised he would answer properly.

About 30 minutes later, McIntosh testified that he didn’t know what the word “snitch” means. Defense attorney John O’Gara of Belleville then played part of a videotape of McIntosh’s speech to political supporters days prior to the April municipal election. McIntosh ran unsuccessfully for East St. Louis Township supervisor.

But by the afternoon, McIntosh testified under re-direct questioning by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Carr that he made a mistake.

“I know what the word means. And I’m not a snitch,” he told Carr of his undercover informing for the FBI.

It was one of several parts of McIntosh’s Wednesday testimony under cross-examination that Carr attempted to rehabilitate by putting his witness under direct examination for a second time.

Another involved the exact date of a key political meeting in October.

McIntosh admitted he got the date mixed up but said he nevertheless was certain of what Powell, the political boss, had said about alleged vote buying.

But under re-cross-examination, an unusual step that Murphy ruled could be allowed because of confused testimony, St. Louis attorney Paul Sims, who represents Democratic Precinct Committeeman Sheila Thomas, obtained an admission from McIntosh.

A government transcript of an undercover McIntosh audiotape of an October Democratic committeeman meeting attributes the phrase, “If you pay 100 voters,” to Powell.

Sims, after repeated questions, was able to get McIntosh to answer that despite the transcript, Powell never said those words.

“No, he did not,” McIntosh stated.

He said he was fired as an East St. Louis Police officer for lying on his job application that he had a high school equivalency diploma.

After about 15 hours under cross-examination over two days, McIntosh, the former East St. Louis deputy police chief, finally left the courtroom.

* Committeemen Lilly Butler Testifies *

Also Wednesday, Democratic Precinct Committeeman Lilly Butler testified that during a political meeting in December 2002, Powell introduced city Democratic committeeman Frank Smith, who then gave a talk about how to buy votes without getting caught. Smith is not charged with a crime.

Butler said she did not pay for votes.

Under questioning by Powell’s attorney, Bruce Cook of Belleville, Butler said that a number of political notables were also at the meeting where Smith spoke, including City Councilman Karen Cason, former city manager Alvin Parks and District 189 School Board President Lonzo Greenwood. None of these persons is charged with any wrongdoing.

Butler also testified that Precinct Committeeman and longtime city Democrat Will McGaughy, who supported candidates opposed to Charlie Powell in the April election, became angry with her for not paying for votes. McGaughy is not charged with a crime.

Here are the previous posts on this trial:
East St. Louis makes Voter Fraud a Business
$5 for Non-Racists; Racists are $10
ESL Prosecution Witness Falters
Damning Tapes in East St. Louis Voter Fraud Trial
Witness Grilled at ESL Vote Fraud Trial

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