Wednesday, December 22, 2004

“The biggest deal since Selma”

For all you revisionists and “big lie” people who claim nothing was amiss in Ohio, here are two videos documenting the disenfranchisement of predominately black, Democratic voters. Believe your own eyes. They are about 17 minutes and 7 minutes in length, respectively. An accompanying press release was issued entitled, GROUP RELEASES VIDEO FOOTAGE OF ‘JIM CROW LIKE’ CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN OHIO ON ELECTION DAY.

The release states in part: "We hope this footage will serve as a wake up call to all Americans that the fundamental principles our country was founded upon like ‘democracy’ and ‘equal rights’ are being systematically dismantled by a small group of Republicans who are concerned with keeping power, not preserving liberty,’ said Zack Kaldveer, Communications Director, We Do Not Concede. ‘In America every vote must be accurately counted and equally valued, and that’s not what happened on November 2nd. We the people most definitely do not concede.’

The video provides a first hand glimpse of an emerging civil rights scandal of historic proportions that will culminate in a ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ bus trip organized by We Do Not Concede, consisting of voters who are contesting the Ohio electorate, led by Rev. Bill Moss of Columbus Ohio. The buses will travel from Columbus to Washington DC on January 4th through the 6th. Rev. Jesse Jackson has pronounced Ohio's vote fraud fiasco 'the biggest deal since Selma' and has called for a national rally at ‘the scene of the crime’ in Columbus January 3rd.

'For the second Presidential election in a row African-American voters have been subjugated to the role of second class citizens through efforts by Republicans to suppress, intimidate, and disenfranchise our vote,' said Rev. Bill Moss, original Contestant of Ohio Electors and founder of the Center for Freedom and Justice. 'Whether its Katherine Harris or Kenneth Blackwell, the purpose is the same: do everything in their power to ensure George W. Bush becomes President. If they are willing and able to thwart democracy and abuse the civil rights of American voters right in the face of the press and public, what else are they capable of? I am contesting this election because tyranny, particularly in the guise of democracy, is our civic duty to fight.'”

On the same subject, there is this awesome article from my heroes (Fitrakis, Rosenfeld, and Wasserman) at The Free Press: Ohio electoral fight becomes 'biggest deal since Selma' as GOP stonewalls. It starts, “As Republican officials stonewall subpoenas and subvert the recount process, Rev. Jesse Jackson has pronounced Ohio's vote fraud fiasco ‘the biggest deal since Selma’ and has called for a national rally at ‘the scene of the crime’ in Columbus January 3.” It continues, ”Jackson says this year will be different, urging election protection activists to stay focused over the holiday season. ‘We can't let [the Republicans] get away with this,’ he told the conference call. ‘Do not underestimate the outrage of the people. We are a legitimate force for democracy, here and around the world. We will count every vote and make sure every vote counts.’”

This is a very good read. At the end of the article, note the volunteer attorneys who have devoted their time to this noble effort.

Keith Olbermann backpedaled on his post from yesterday regarding the Hocking County incident. Among other statements, Olbermann writes, “Mr. Kalo [Minority General Counsel of the House Judiciary Committee] also points out details that make the recount situation in Hocking County, Ohio, seem far less closed than the County’s Assistant Prosecutor led me to believe. I guess I’m still a little naïve on such things, but it would seem to me that in telling his story of a 'comedy of errors' involving the inspection of the main vote tabulator there by a representative of the voting machine manufacturer, Triad Systems, David Sams might have been (sic) mentioned that in addition to being Assistant Prosecutor, he is also (per Mr. Kalo) the legal representative of the Hocking County Board of Elections during the recount.”

Keith also writes, “Representative John Conyers of Michigan is awaiting a staff report before deciding whether or not to formally challenge Ohio’s electoral votes a week from tomorrow. Ted Kalo, the Minority General Counsel of the House Judiciary Committee, advises us by email that Conyers ‘is waiting until all the facts are in,’ but notes that Representative Maxine Walters [it is actually Waters] of Los Angeles has already spoken publicly about her willingness to be the house signatory on the challenge. Whether or not there’s a senator willing to do the same is still an open question.”

Speaking of Conyers, he sent a letter requesting the raw, controversial exit poll data, addressed to: Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman, Media Networks, The Walt Disney Company and President, Disney-ABC Television Group; Bob Wright, President, NBC; Gail Berman, President, FOX; Jim Walton President, CNN; Thomas Curley, President, Associated Press; and Andrew Heyward, President, CBS.

The letter states that Mitofsky refused his request for the raw data based on proprietary concerns, and then continues, “As you are aware, the American citizenry has voiced a collective lack of faith in government to carry out fair election procedures. It is important that the Judiciary Committee access the raw voter poll data so that discrepancies between those numbers and certified election results can be investigated. The data may evidence instances of voting irregularities that occurred as the result of poor election practices and intentional voter disenfranchisement. Without the raw data, the Committee will be severely handicapped in its efforts to show the need for serious election reform in the United States.” He then writes, “We are happy to honor any confidentiality restrictions you may need to place on this data.”

On the 2004 Ohio Voters Lawsuit (re: Cliff Arnebeck) front, “Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer, a Republican who was re-elected on the same ballot as President George W. Bush Nov. 2 but has declined to recuse himself from a suit contesting the president's election, issued a motion and procedural ruling today that denies an expedited hearing in the case and lays out the framework by which he might dismiss the case.

In the ruling, Moyer orders those contesting the election to answer two questions: (1) Whether the suit is moot because it was filed too late, and (2) Whether there is a legal significance in delaying the hearing until after Congress certifies the results of the electoral college Jan. 6, 2005.

Moyer had previously dismissed the first iteration of the suit—which also contested his own election—ruling that two elections could not be challenged in the same suit.”

To end on a positive note, the Democratic candidate in the Washington State Governor's race, Chris Gregoire, pulled ahead of Rossi, the Republican, by 10 votes today after the final hand recount. This is without the 735 disputed King County ballots, which, oh by the way, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled may be counted. These votes are sure to favor Gregoire, but the official results will not be finalized until these remaining ballots are tallied. Her victory is all but a done deal now, with no provisions in state law for another recount.

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