In the May 16 finale of For the People, "A Choice Between Two Things," the public defenders’ office and prosecutors take on voter intimidation perpetrated by “a pro-business advocacy group.”
The episode opens on Election Day, with defense attorney Jay Simmons (Wesam Keesh) waiting in line to vote with his parents, naturalized citizens from Syria. (Jay's parents being immigrants has been referenced in this season before, to decry the status of immigration laws, all while failing to explain the differences between legal and illegal immigrants.)
Suddenly a man named Harley Kemp stands up and starts claiming he knows who’s not a citizen and that people have “voted illegally” while he demands to see ID and “documentation.”
Harley Kemp: She's not a citizen.
Woman: But I've always --
Harley Kemp: Voted illegally? Yeah, where's your I.D.? Let me show you my I.D. You know why? 'Cause I bring my I.D. 'Cause I do it legally. Come on. And them, too, where's their documentation?
Jay Simmons: They don't need I.D to vote.
Harley Kemp: They're committing voter fraud.
Jay Simmons: You need to back up!
Harley Kemp: Oh, ho, hey. I have every right to be here.
Jay Simmons: Hey, don't leave. You don't need to leave.
Harley Kemp: I have every right to be here.
Vera Simmons: Jay, maybe we should vote another day.
Jay Simmons: There is no other day. This is the day. You're citizens. I was at the swearing-in. You were, too.
Harley Kemp: Can I just ask you, did you show your I.D.? Oh, I can't be yelling? All right, let me tell you this. Voter fraud is a felony! You vote illegally, you go to jail!
Jay Simmons: Intimidating voters is a federal crime! Is there security around here somewhere?
Woman: There's a hotline you could try calling.
Jay Simmons: We're gonna vote. After --
Harley Kemp: Better go call the hotline.
[ Telephone rings ]
Kate Littlejohn: This is Kate.
Jay Simmons: Kate, this is Jay. Jay Simmons. I need your help. I'm at my polling place --
Kate Littlejohn: Oh, wow. Word has really gotten out. Okay. So, "No" on Question 1. I pref--
Jay Simmons: No, I don't need help with my ballot. There's a problem here at my polling place.
Kate Littlejohn: What kind of problem?
Leonard Knox: Voter intimidation in New York?
Kate Littlejohn: New York has some of the most regressive, voter-restrictive laws in the country
Leonard Knox: I'm from Texas.
It’s to be expected the show would knock Texas, which requires ID to vote, something liberals consider oh so evil. But New York was lauded by liberal Mother Jones earlier this year for passing voter rights such as early voting and pre-registration for 16 and 17 year-olds.
Harley Kemp initially talks to Jay’s colleague, Allison Adams (Jasmin Savoy Brown), who gets a mouthful from Harley, including about “FraudWars,” an obvious play on InfoWars, where he gets his news:
Harley Kemp: The integrity of our entire democracy is at risk here, and I'm the one being arrested? Our government should be thanking me.
Allison Adams: I understand that's your opinion, but intimidation of voters is a federal crime, a serious one.
Harley Kemp: What's serious is the epidemic of election fraud. Don't you read FraudWars?
Allison Adams: I do not.
Harley Kemp: FraudWars is where the facts are. All those secrets the mainstream media tries to bury? FraudWars finds them. Do you have any idea how many foreign nationals voted in the last election?
Allison Adams: Nineteen.
Harley Kemp: Millions.
Allison Adams: Only nineteen were charged, I mean. In the entire country.
Harley Kemp: You see? My point exactly.
Allison Adams: Let's talk about your defense.
Harley Kemp: They said a lawyer was part of the deal. Are -- Are you the lawyer?
Allison Adams: Who said a lawyer was part of what deal?
Harley Kemp: If I'm charged with any crime in connection with the verification of voter identity, a lawyer will be provided, the compensation for which will not be reduced from the amount otherwise due to me.
Allison Adams: You were paid for what you were doing this morning at the polling place?
Harley Kemp: Well, I haven't been paid yet.
Allison Adams: You were hired to disrupt a federal election?
Harley Kemp: That was the idea. Democracy isn't free.
While only 19 people were charged, the Center for Immigration Studies noted thousands of illegal immigrants have been registered in sanctuary cities, and that there are 400 cases in the Heritage Foundation's fraud bank, though this is not a comprehensive list.
It turns out Kemp was paid by "pro-business advocacy group” the Alliance for American Advancement which advocates for issues like "deregulation, tax cuts." The prosecutors, led by Roger Gunn (Ben Shenkman) decide they’re going to go after the Alliance for American Advancement under RICO. It's always so telling who Hollywood regards as the bad guys.
As Assistant United States Attorney Kate Littlejohn (Susannah Flood) and Leonard Knox (Regé-Jean Page) put together their case, they realize this has been a pattern for the organization when an Alliance board member testifies:
Kate Littlejohn: Were you aware that much of the money you gave for the purpose of business advocacy was actually being used for voter suppression?
Ms. Denman: No, but in retrospect, I should have been.
Kate Littlejohn: Can you explain?
Ms. Denman: Mr. Spiller told me he had "Ways and means" of defeating anti-corporate candidates.
Kate Littlejohn: Did he describe these "Ways and means"?
Ms. Denman: When I expressed concern over a close Congressional race, he told me not to worry. He said, "Our people on the ground will take care of it."
Ultimately, the evil “pro-business” organization is found guilty.
Apparently, audiences haven't responded well to this politically charged show - For the People has been canceled after two seasons.