Monday, January 31, 2005

Bunk Science = Bunk President

Breaking News: According to Non-Partisan USCV Study, "The Possibility That the Overall Vote Count Was Substantially Corrupted Must Be Taken Seriously"

By NASHUA ADVOCATE STAFF

"We invite all those who care about democratic processes in this country to join us in fully investigating and explaining what really happened in the 2004 Presidential election."

Who does this sound like to you?

Cliff Arnebeck? Bob Fitrakis? Some other progressive activist?

John Kerry? Ted Kennedy? Some other person with much to gain from the overturning of the 2004 presidential election?

Open your eyes, America.

There is disorder in your house.

And it is found not in the speculation of agitators, as some have told you; or in the theories of lunatics, as some have posited; but in the analysis and wisdom of the nation's brightest and most articulate citizens, who speak to you now in the plainest terms to say that a wrong has been perpetrated upon you and must not be allowed to stand.

That wrong is a presidential election whose final result cannot be verified by any academic of competent science and sound credentials.

And while you may despise academics their comfortable living and easy authority, their wisdom does not come without price: these are Americans who have devoted their lives to science, to the pursuit of truth and to the furtherance of accuracy and integrity in the national discourse.

And they have doubts.

Josh Mitteldorf, Ph.D., Professor of Statistics at Temple University, has doubts.

So does Brian Joiner, Ph.D., Professor of Statistics at the University of Wisconsin.

The same goes for Frank Stenger, Ph.D. (University of Utah); Richard G. Sheehan, Ph.D. (University of Notre Dame); Paul F. Velleman, Ph.D. (Cornell University); Victoria Lovegren, Ph.D. (Case Western Reserve University); and Campbell B. Read, Ph.D. (Southern Methodist University).

And the same goes for countless professors of statistics and mathematics the nation over.

It seems no one who has made an effort to do so can adequately explain, in scientific, rational, or even merely logical terms, how it is that George W. Bush came to be President of the United States for a second term. His Presidency, in short, defies all of the available mathematical data.

His is the Unexplained Presidency.

And remember that Mitofsky/Edison Media report the mainstream media trumpeted a week or two ago in an effort to explain away this current Unexplained Presidency?

It was bunk.

Here's the proof, from a non-partisan Report by United States Count Votes, of which organization all of the above professors and academics are members:

"Mitofsky/Edison say in their Executive Summary (p. 3), 'Exit polls do not support allegations of fraud...' -- but they do not consider the hypothesis of election fraud";

"The report proposes to explain the Within Precinct Error [Rates of the exit-polling] with the following statement (p. 31): 'While we cannot measure the completion rate by Democratic and Republican voters, hypothetical completion rates of 56% among Kerry voters and 50% among Bush voters overall would account for the entire Within Precinct Error that we observed in 2004.'....[but] no data in the report supports the hypothesis that Kerry voters were more likely than Bush voters to cooperate with pollsters, and the data suggests that the opposite may have been true....in precincts with higher numbers of Bush voters, response rates were slightly higher than in precincts with higher number of Kerry voters";

"Seven of fifty states have 't' values less than –2.7, meaning that each of them had less than a 1% probability of having the reported difference between exit polls and election results occurring by chance. The binomial probability that 7 of 50 should be so skewed is less than one in 10,000,000";

"The [Edison/Mitofsky] analysis of the potential correlation of exit poll errors with voting machine type is incomplete and inadequate, and their report ignores the alternative hypothesis that the official election results could have been corrupted"; and

"we suggest that the [Edison/Mitofsky] investigation extend to the official vote count tallies."
So wake up, America.

And not just you "blue" Americans, but you "red" Americans, too -- those hundreds of thousands and tens of millions of you whose commitment to integrity and civic duty predates this Unexplained Presidency.

There are things which are true which you haven't seen on television.

And not all of the things you do see on television are as real as they appear: do we have an elected President in the White House, or someone whose presence there is entirely unexplainable by scientific means? Have we fallen so far from a love of science and progress that we can accept on faith an election which cannot be explained by science? Do we now elect our national leaders on faith, rather than at the polling place and in the ballot-box?

The jury, in fact, is still out.

("Response to Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 Report," U.S. Count Votes, Dr. Josh Mitteldorf, et. al., 1/29/05)

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Republican Justice?

The AP posted an article describing Blackwell’s attempt to sanction the four lawyers (Cliff Arnebeck, Robert Fitrakis, Susan Truitt and Peter Peckarsky) that challenged the Ohio election results: Election challengers defend selves.

Cliff Arnebeck stated that Ohio Attorney General Petro’s and Secretary of State Blackwell (who are both Republicans) request for sanctions was “frivolous and motivated by partisan politics.”

"The attorney general seeks to engage a Republican justice to carry out a partisan Republican plan to suppress dissent and the right to petition government for redress of grievances through the court system," Arnebeck wrote.

The Arizona Daily Star, in an article entitled: Counties inconsistent in provisional-vote rules, reports:

About 5 percent of Arizona's voters - 101,536 of them, to be exact - had some trouble voting in the 2004 election, and 27,878 of them had their "provisional" votes thrown out.

The No. 1 reason for ballot rejection is that voters went to the wrong polling place.


Kansas City infoZine, in Texas Court Orders Voting Examiners' Meetings Opened to Public, notes:

A Texas court ruled today that state voting examiners may no longer bar the public from their meetings. In the case, ACLU of Texas v. Connor, the plaintiffs argued that the Texas Open Meetings Act should apply to meetings of the voting examiners. These meetings are used to decide what kinds of electronic voting machines will be used in upcoming elections. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) was co-counsel in the case."

The court rightly rejected Texas' policy of shutting the public out of the processes for selecting voting technologies. The need for public trust in our election systems cannot be overstated, and this is a terrific step forward for the voters of Texas," said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman.

Lastly, check out this great Velvet Revolution post from Andy Stephenson, beginning:

I am just back from the Progressive Democrats of America Conference in Washington. The trip was a very productive and the consensus coming from that is, that we all believe that a paper ballot is the first step in a larger battle for election reform. This is the beginning of a new Voting Rights Movement … and we are all on the front lines because democracy, itself, depends on us.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Got Paper?

Friday, January 28, 2005

We're Making Progress

Black Box Voting has activities planned in Ohio, Florida, and California.

Black Box Voting is focusing on two main areas in 2005:

“Activating the Eagles” -- Activating and empowering at least 1,000 new leaders, to apply a swarm of actions in many different ways to election integrity. Black Box Voting investigators and board members are traveling, at our own expense, to local citizens and groups who have shown leadership by taking independent, creative, and effective actions to take back transparency and accountability in elections. The focus of these visits is to conduct training sessions on how to investigate, how to audit, how to lead, to recognize local leaders, and to raise funds for local voting integrity groups.

“Help America Audit” -- Creating an open source auditing program to bring citizen intellectual talent from all over the world into analyzing real election data in live time. The open source-auditing program is forming in the “Help America Audit” workspace at the Black Box Voting forums.

The Brad Blog is reporting: Dodd and Conyers Introduce Comprehensive Election Reform Legislation.

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), Ranking Member on the Senate Rules Committee, and Rep. John Conyers, Jr, (D-MI), Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, announced that they will be working together in seeking changes to our nation’s elections system this Congress. Dodd introduced S. 17, the Voting Opportunity and Technology Enhancement Rights Act of 2005 (“VOTER Act”) Monday, and Conyers will introduce a House companion version based in significant part on the Senate bill shortly.

Among other things, their legislation will provide for a nationwide federal write in/absentee ballot; require states to provide for a voter verified ballot; insure that provisional ballots cast anywhere in a state are counted; eliminate disparities in the allocation of voting machines and poll workers; mandate early voting and election day registration procedures; and protect against improper purging of registration lists in federal elections.

Speaking of Saint Conyers, he is asking the FBI to investigate charges of ballot tampering in Ohio: Congressman to call on FBI to investigate ballot tampering allegations. Although he has been rebuked, he is not giving up. Here is the letter he sent today.

And this is interesting:
Diebold Announces Paper Trail for Voters. This sounds too good to be true, but hey... The article states:

Diebold Election Systems, a target of many electronic-voting critics during the 2004 US election, announced today that it has completed the design for a printer that would give its e-voting machines a paper trail.

IDG News Service reported Diebold's printer, submitted for federal government approval, would create a so-called voter-verified paper trail, a function that many critics have demanded of e-voting machine manufacturers. A machine with a voter-verified paper-trail printer allows voters to review their votes on a printout after using an electronic ballot, and advocates of such printers say they would allow voters to be confident that e-voting machines recorded their votes correctly. It also provides a paper trail for a recount.

The company's decision comes in large part because of state requirements for paper-trail ballots, said David Bear, a Diebold spokesman. Nevada used e-voting machines with paper-trail capabilities in the November U.S. election, and California and Ohio have joined Nevada in requiring e-voting machine printers in future elections. Voter-verified paper trails would virtually eliminate machine error in which votes aren't counted, said Will Doherty, executive director of Verified Voting Foundation Inc. In the November 2004 election, one county in North Carolina lost more than 4,500 votes when there was a misunderstanding over the capacity of the e-voting machines used there.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Support the Ohio Sanctions Defense Fund

As mentioned in a previous blog, Ohio State Attorney General Petro Threatens Election Fraud Plaintiffs and Conyers Responds, and The Free Press article, Ohio's GOP Attorney General launches revenge attack on Election Protection legal team, Ohio's Republican Attorney General Petro, in concert with Secretary of State (felon) Kenneth Blackwell, has moved for sanctions against the four attorneys who sued George W. Bush et. al. in an attempt to investigate Ohio’s bitterly contested November 2 election.

Please help defend these attorneys fighting for our electoral rights by donating to the legal defense fund.

Thank you

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Another Slice of PI, Please

Wow! The Seattle PI has really been on a roll. Yesterday, they published a great editorial: Revote? If Florida and Ohio go first. Now today, two more election reform articles.

Vote machine maker settles over her whistle-blower suit begins:

Renton elections activist Bev Harris has been called a fruitcake and a muckraker. Her book and Web site about the hidden evils of modern election equipment have drawn the ire of a number of officials around the country, who say there is nothing to Harris' claims that elections systems are profoundly vulnerable to hackers and other tampering.

"Dean Logan is not fond of me," Harris says of King County's director of elections.

But not everyone thinks all of Harris' claims are "a bunch of poppycock," as she puts it: The attorney general of California recently took up a whistle-blower claim filed by Harris against Diebold Election Systems and settled with the company for $2.6 million in December.

Also, there is this commentary by Jesse Jackson and Greg Palast, entitled: Black voters in United States disproportionately disenfranchised. For those you (you know who you are) who don’t click links, I am posting their commentary in its entirely:

The inaugural confetti has been swept away and with it, the last quarrel over who really won the presidential election.

But there is still unfinished business that can't be swept away. After taking his oath, the president called for a "concerted effort to promote democracy." The president should begin with the United States.

More than 133,000 votes remain uncounted in Ohio, more than George W. Bush's supposed margin of victory. In New Mexico, the uncounted vote totals at least three times the president's plurality -- and so on in other states.

The challenge to the vote count is over, but the matter of how the United States counts votes, or fails to count them, remains.

The ballots left uncounted, and that will never be counted, are so-called spoiled or rejected ballots -- votes cast by citizens, but never tallied. This is the dark little secret of U.S. democracy: Nationwide, in our presidential elections, about 2 million votes are cast and never counted, most spoiled because they cannot be read by the tallying machines.

Not everyone's vote spoils equally. Cleveland State University Professor Mark Salling analyzed ballots thrown into Ohio's electoral garbage can. Salling found that, "overwhelmingly," the voided votes come from African American precincts.

This racial bend in vote spoilage is not unique to Ohio. A U.S. Civil Rights Commission investigation concluded that, of nearly 180,000 votes discarded in Florida in the 2000 election as unreadable, a shocking 54 percent were cast by black voters, though they make up only a tenth of the electorate. In Florida, an African American is 900 percent more likely to have his or her vote invalidated than a white voter. In New Mexico, a Hispanic voter is 500 percent more likely than a white voter to have her or his ballot lost to spoilage.

Unfortunately, Florida and New Mexico are typical. Nationwide data gathered by Harvard Law School Civil Rights Project indicate that, of the 2 million ballots spoiled in a typical presidential election, about half are cast by minority voters.

The problem is that some officials are quite happy with the outcome of elections in which minority votes just don't count. They count on the "no-count."

Before last November's election, the American Civil Liberties Union sued five states for continuing to use punch-card machines, those notorious generators of "hanging" chads and "pregnant" chads that disproportionately disenfranchise black voters.

Four of those states settled with the ACLU by adopting simple fixes to protect voters. One state, notably, refused: Ohio, which forced 75 percent of its voters to use punch-card machines. In minority and low-income areas, these old machines on average spoil an unacceptable 8 percent of the votes cast on them. In high-income white districts, spoilage is typically 1 percent.

In Ohio, the decision to keep the vote-destroying machines in place in African American districts was made by the state's Republican attorney general, Jim Petro, and its secretary of state, Kenneth Blackwell. Blackwell, not incidentally, co-chaired the Bush-Cheney re-election committee. The election in Ohio was fundamentally flawed, a fact compounded by the widespread use of electronic voting machines susceptible to manipulation and hacking.

This election saw an explosion in a new category of uncounted, ballots: rejected provisional ballots. In Ohio alone, more than 35,000 of these votes were never tallied. Once again, the provisional ballots were cast overwhelmingly in African American precincts.

Why so many? In November, for the first time since the era of the Night Riders, one major political party launched a program of mass challenges of voters on Election Day. Paid Republican operatives, working from lists prepared by the party, fingered tens of thousands of voters in Ohio, Florida and elsewhere, questioning their right to a ballot.

One of these secret "caging lists" was obtained by BBC Television from inside Republican campaign headquarters in Florida. Every one of the voters on those sheets resided in African American neighborhoods, excepting a few in precincts of elderly Jewish voters.

These lists helped Republican poll workers challenge voters on the basis of an alleged change of address. An analysis of one roster showed that several of those facing challenge were African American soldiers whose address changed because they were shipped overseas.

Challenged voters were shunted to "provisional ballots," which, in Ohio and elsewhere, were not counted on the flimsiest of technicalities.

Who won the presidential race? Given the millions of ballots spoiled and provisional ballots rejected, the unfolding mystery of the exit polls and widespread use of electronic voting machines, we will never know whether John Kerry or George W. Bush received the most votes in Ohio and other swing states

But we can name the election's big winner: Jim Crow.

Last Thursday, the president said, "Our country must abandon all the habits of racism."

From benign neglect of the voting machinery to malign intent in challenging minority voters en masse, the United States is turning that ill habit into an electoral strategy.

In 1965, Congress gave us the Voting Rights Act, promising all people the right to cast a vote. It is now time to making counting that vote a right, not just casting it, before Jim Crow rides again in the next election.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is founder of Rainbow Coalition/ People United to Save Humanity (Operation PUSH). Greg Palast, author of "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy," investigated the election for BBC Television.


Finally, check out this 9-minute documentary of the Stolen Election of 2004.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Viva La Résistance

Here are two first hand accounts, by Avram Friedman, chronicling election protests that occurred on two dark days in American history, January 6 and January 20, 2004.

This first is the description of the march on Washington the day the electoral votes were certified, entitled:
Report on Washington DC, January 6, 2005. The essay ends:

Sore losers. "Get over it," we are chastised by the self-righteous hoodlums in power. What is not realized is that the mainstream news media blackout of the election challenge movement is a double-edged sword. If they had been able to witness the spirit, depth and commitment of today's march and rally on the evening news, the Republican leadership would have known that we will never "get over it." But, we will overcome it, overwhelm it and take back our country through demonstration, marching, investigating, exposing, indicting, convicting, forcing resignation, and impeaching.


"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised...The Revolution Will Be Live", Gil Scott-Heron.

By blacking out and over-controlling their own news media, the Republican leadership has cut itself off from the reality of what is happening out on the streets more than it has stemmed the growth of the election challenge movement. This movement has developed alternative means of communicating and organizing vast networks for spreading the word quickly and efficiently without the help of the mainstream media. These information networks are going to do nothing but grow and get better, rapidly. If your only source of information was the evening news and the morning newspaper, you wouldn't even have known that there was an historic protest march and rally in Washington on Thursday, January 6, 2005. But, you do know. The Second American Revolution may not be televised, but that will not prevent it from happening. Here are some pictures of Thursday's events.

The second describes the Counter Inauguration, with photos and video. It reads:

The historic, world-shaking news is that the side-walk areas designated to the general non-paying public along the parade route on Pennsylvania Avenue, were dominated by tens of thousands of people protesting the outcome of a fraudulent election and the war in Iraq. At the same time, streets that in the past have been packed hundreds deep and paid grandstand seats that were normally packed solid with the supporters of the President during virtually every inauguration in the history of our country were sparsely populated and in some cases almost completely empty on January 20, 2005. This is the real news.



The police lines in the street visibly stiffened as the clear, synchronous chant continued. Their faces lost the smugness of disdain and ridicule that had characterized them throughout the day, being replaced by the appearance of uneasiness, uncertainty and perhaps a hint of fear. The emotion of the crowd was raw. The black windows of the limo would protect the rider from the non-existent bullets, fruits and eggs, but not from the eruption of emotion from the crowd. The roar of "SHAME-ON-YOU" and the pure volcanic energy of psychic tension that permeated the parade route left nowhere to hide for the leader of the free world. For that period of time his elaborate bubble of insulation had been pierced. This was not a hand-picked crowd that had been weeded of dissenters as during the 2004 election campaign. The illusion of universal support and admiration that was so carefully crafted by his team had been shattered. George W. Bush was exposed to reality. The out-of-touch President was thrust into direct contact with his constituency. It must have been an excruciatingly long and harrowing ride between the Capitol Building and the White House.

Revote? If Florida and Ohio go first

Check out this great editorial in The Seattle PI today, written by Paul Loeb. I could not agree with him more.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Get over it, my ass!

Voters Unite has put compiled a 70-page report, entitled: Myth Breakers: Facts About Electronic Elections. It is billed as, “Essential Information for Those Entrusted with Making Decisions about Election Systems in the United States.” The report, albeit long, is an excellent resource, loaded with facts and references. Don’t leave home without it.

Check out these historic photos from the Ukraine during the Orange Revolution. That is what democracy, and an engaged citizenry with brains and backbones, looks like. Amazing what common citizens can accomplish when they are not consumed watching insipid television programs. Bread and circuses; you know the drill…

Finally, it is with immense disgust that I present you with today’s winner of the Tinfoil Hat Award, given only to those (un)worthy souls who espouse garbage even when confronted with irrefutable facts to the contrary. And the winner is Leonard Pitts Jr., of the Miami Herald, for his editorial: Get over it, Sen. Kerry you lost, so let’s move on. Congratulations Leonard!

In his rousing diatribe, Mr. Pitts’ states: “I don’t want to hear anything else about Ohio.” He then goes on to write: “… what I have yet to hear any credible expert say is that these irregularities [of Ohio] made any material difference to the bottom line.” I can only assume that Leonard’s “credible experts” are more of the Kenneth Blackwell rather than the John Conyers variety, and his “journalism” tempered with yet another case of lazy and/or politically motivated reporting, or worse.

Lest the reader think otherwise, he assures us that he is serious about election reform, and the perpetrators of such heinous crimes should suffer the full weight of the law. How reassuring. He adds: “If we the people lose confidence in the integrity of the elections, we lose pretty much everything.” At least we can agree on that.

Now that he has confirmed his dedication to democracy, he devotes the remainder of his tirade to impugning the motives of the election reform activists, calling it a simple case of “sour grapes” and the Democrats behaving “petty and small.”

One would think that someone with Mr. Pitts self proclaimed cognitive abilities would be able to connect the dots and realize that election reform activists are patriotically attempting to ensure the integrity of future elections, an issue that he proclaims to care deeply about. But alas, this expectation is too ambitious, as Leonard sees no problem with the last election, although he appears to understand the importance of people having confidence in the process. Ah, the rancid smell of hypocrisy. Ain’t cheap talk grand?

Thank God that we have the likes of the noble Leonard Pitts doing his investigative due diligence, assuring us that the Ohio election was fair and balanced. I’m sure his thousands of disenfranchised, black brothers and sisters feel much better now that he assured them nothing was amiss. One is only left to wonder if Mr. Pitts attended the Armstrong Williams School of Journalism?

To save you the trouble of registering at the Miami Herald web site, the above-mentioned commentary follows in its entirety. My deepest apologizes for wasting the electrons.

========================================
Posted on Fri, Jan. 21, 2005

LEONARD PITTS JR./COMMENTARY

It's too late for a replay on the Ohio vote

I don't want to hear anything else about Ohio.

My apologies to the Buckeye State, but I've had it up to here with overheated Internet postings purporting to prove that massive fraud swung the vote in the state that decided the election of 2004. If you haven't seen them, well . . . I'm sorry your hard drive crashed and I hope it's fixed real soon. The rest of us have been unable to escape the nonstop conspiracy theorizing that began about 30 seconds after John Kerry conceded the election.

I thought it had petered out, but this week, the former candidate himself stoked the fire, making unusually sharp accusations of GOP malfeasance during a Martin Luther King Day breakfast in Boston.

Voting machines, said Kerry, were ''distributed in uneven ways,'' and voters in Democratic precincts had to wait up to 11 hours to exercise the franchise while Republicans breezed on through. What he didn't say -- what I have yet to hear any credible expert say -- is that these irregularities made any material difference to the bottom line.

That being the case, why are we having this discussion?

ISSUE'S NOT TRIVIAL

I don't mean by that question to trivialize the issue of election fraud. In a nation that required a Voting Rights Act to ensure all of its citizens equal access to the ballot box, few things are more worthy of serious concern. Election fraud -- whenever committed, by whomever and for whatever purpose -- is a threat to our political system. If we the people lose confidence in the integrity of our elections, we lose pretty much everything.

And if I were convinced that was what moved Kerry to speak out, I'd happily support him. But it seems obvious to me after two months of conspiracy theories that what motivates Kerry and many other Democrats isn't concern over election irregularities in general, but concern over election irregularities that may have benefited the other party.

He's a politician, so maybe it's naive to expect anything else.

Still, the talk has become tiresome. In listening to party loyalists obsess over how the election was ''stolen,'' I'm reminded of something a former colleague, a white guy from the South, once wrote about the Civil War.

''For years after the war,'' he said, ``Southern partisans vainly refought the Civil War battles, particularly the crucial second day of Gettysburg, as if trying to get a different answer to a math problem.''

TRAPPED BY HINDSIGHT

There is, it seems to me, some of that going on with regard to the election. It's as if Democrats are trapped by hindsight, doomed to crunch that math problem in desperation until the numbers add up to a more palatable sum.

Meanwhile, George W. Bush was inaugurated for his second term Thursday.

It's no secret that some of us regard that as a disaster of Brobdingnagian proportions. Fine. There is no legal or moral requirement that anyone be happy about it.

But at this late date we are required to accept it. And to accept this: Unlike in 2001, when he took the oath of office with an assist from the Supreme Court, Bush was not inaugurated this time with any taint of illegitimacy. The election was close, but not that close. George W. is the duly elected, second-term president of the United States.

That some are still working that math problem at this late date, trying to make the numbers add up differently even as Bush places his hand on the Bible, feels petty and small. Feels like sour grapes.

In these next years, we will be tested in ways we can scarcely imagine. Do the Democrats really have the luxury of time to spin conspiracy theories that won't change a thing?

If there is a smoking gun, let's see it. But until and unless there is, we have little to gain from complaints like Kerry's.

It's time to swallow the bitter pill and move on.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

A public service announcement

As a public service announcement, and in the name of altruism, I am forwarding this post so that no one will even think of filling up Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell’s mailbox with garbage. This type of activity is beneath us. I also believe it is unlawful to mail excrement, so don’t even think about it and don’t pass this information on to anybody, especially those who are convinced he has committed gross felonies in the 2004 election.

Thank you.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

RNC purchased BushCheated.com

The Sacramento Bee in an article, entitled: Barbara Boxer takes center stage, asks the question:” What’s up with Barbara Boxer?” The article notes that many Democrats believe the Ohio election was illegitimate and that “these people have money, and they get organized, and so you can’t just ignore the progressive wing of the party.”

Senator Boxer states: “I don’t believe in mandates. But what I do believe in is keeping promises to the people. I told them election night - and I didn't know how prophetic this was - that if I had to stand alone, I will do it. I am not afraid."

We now learn that the Republican National Committee registered the domain: BushCheated.com in April 2003. Here is a link to the actual registration. Sounds like the makings of a conspiracy to me: intent and motive.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Hail to the Thief


Read this most excellent interview in The Blue Lemur with Rep. John Conyers Jr.: The Battle Goes On. Here are a few excerpts:

Conyers: Here we are two presidential elections in a row, one state determines the winner, and each time that state has the highest number of irregularities, unusual procedures, outright violations of election law. It does not require political science to get the connection

John: You don’t think that was simply because there was more focus on, say, Ohio in this election, and Florida in the last?

Conyers: It all came down to the same thing, John, the one state that would make the difference was the one state that was plagued with the most irregularities and the most complaints. I did not pick Ohio, Ohio leapt to our attention because that is where the majority of the calls came from.



Larisa: So essentially this past election is considered over, even if your investigation should bear fruit and [the survey and investigation] is for moving forward?

Conyers: I would not say it is over because if there are criminal violations they can be prosecuted still.

Larisa: This brings me to Kenneth Blackwell who is not seemingly cooperating…

Conyers: What a piece of work he is.

Larisa: How do you plan on handling Mr. Blackwell because he does not seem to want to cooperate?

Conyers: Once we get the committee hearing approval, this is my very next immediate task. Obviously we need him as a witness, and I would be willing to invite him to come forward. And if he refused I would seek a subpoena.

Here is a great idea from Lynn Landes for a parallel election, entitled: Plan B: Parallel Elections & Signed Ballots. She states:

A Parallel Election would be held in tandem with the official election. It could be organized on a precinct, county, or statewide basis. And anyone could do it. It's simple. On Election Day, "parallel election pollworkers" (PEPs) would position themselves outside the polls. They would provide voters with “parallel ballots” to mark and a ballot box in which to cast them. At the end of the day, PEPs would compare their tallies with the official election returns. If the tallies don't match, the election can be challenged.

But, the really big deal is this... voters would be asked to print their names and addresses and sign their ballots. What's the point? To provide proof. Candidates need hard evidence in order to challenge election results. A signed ballot would act as a voter's affidavit - as direct evidence of the voter's intent.

Exit polls and audits provide circumstantial evidence, at best. We need much more.

During the 2004 election, tens of thousands of voting rights activists worked the polls. They documented tens of thousands of election irregularities. But, all that documentation didn't provide any direct evidence of how people actually voted. Even when recounts were conducted, as in Ohio, election officials managed to sabotage the process.

The original goal of the secret ballot was to minimize vote selling and voter intimidation. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But, that time has passed. The secret ballot has become the refuge of scoundrels and unscrupulous election officials. It provides perfect cover for vote fraud and system failure.

Finally, check out these photos, from around the country and the world, and a clip, of protests on “Inauguration” Day. Taking it to the streets!

We Shall Never Forget


Let us remember the long lines because of the under allocation of voting machines in Democratic areas, the challengers at the polls, improper purging of polling books, vote hopping with electronic voting machines- a vote for Kerry tabulated as a vote for Bush, no paper trail on electronic voting machines, computer malfunctions, 100,000 provisional & machine rejected ballots uncounted due to rule changes mid-stream, illegal intimidation, and misinformation.

Let us remember the thousands who testified at Hearings of their horrendous voting experience and denial of the vote on November 2nd, 2004 throughout Ohio.

Let us remember the true leaders Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, Presidential Candidate David Cobb, Rev. Jessie Jackson, Rep. Conyers, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones of Ohio, plus 30 Congressional Representatives for their courageous leadership during Congressional and Senate Sessions, Congressional Forums and state rallies.

Let us remember the shenanigans of Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, co-chair of the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign, destroying thousands of registration forms due to “paper weight”, his delay in ratification of the first count, shut down of polling books for post-election inspection, the sabotage of the recount, his refusal to testify to a subpoena over tampering of tabulation machines before the Judiciary Committee and the promise of the Governorship if he,Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell delivered Ohio.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Open Letter to Warren Mitofsky and Larry Rosin from Rep. John Conyers, Jr.

The following letter from Rep. John Conyers Jr. to the authors of the 2004 presidential exit polling follows in its entirety:

January 20, 2005

Warren Mitofsky
Mitofsky International
1776 Broadway - Suite 1708
New York, NY 10019

Larry Rosin
President Edison Media Research
6 W. Cliff St.
Somerville, NJ 08876

Dear Mr. Mitofsky and Mr. Rosin:

I have reviewed the internal report you issued yesterday concerning your exit polling in the 2004 election, and, unfortunately, it has not caused my concerns and questions regarding the significant discrepancies between your polling data and the final electoral results to diminish.

In particular, I would note that there are a number of concerns with the explanations you posited in your internal report that do not credibly account for the unprecedented five point differential between your exit polls and the reported results. As I am sure you know, Professor Steven Freeman of the University of Pennsylvania has determined that such a differential was of a less than 1 in a 1000 likelihood - virtually impossible as a statistical matter.

To be frank, blaming such factors as distant restrictions on polling places, weather conditions, the age of exit poll workers, and the fact that multiple precincts were contained at the same polling place, as your report does, does not come close to explaining why the exit polls overstated support for the Kerry/Edwards ticket in 26 states and support for the Bush/Cheney ticket in only 4 states. Many of the factors you point to appear to merely be random characteristics of the election and your exit polling, rather than quantifiable and justifiable explanations. Nor can I believe that the massive discrepancies can credibly be written off to eagerness of Kerry voters to participate in the exit polls.

As a result, I would like to reiterate my request to receive the actual raw exit poll data that you obtained. I would also like to obtain copies of all internal deliberations, memos and other materials of your employees and consultants concerning or seeking to explain the discrepancies. To the extent you have concerns regarding releasing propriety information, I am willing to work with you to either receive this information on a confidential basis, or alternatively to bring in a neutral, outside expert to review these materials.

The stakes for our democracy are simply too high for us to allow this matter to pass without a serious and substantive review of the exit poll data. While the election is over, there is significant bipartisan sentiment in Congress and around the nation for voting reform. A complete and full release of the exit poll information will therefore not only help to resolve lingering doubts regarding irregularities in the 2004 election, it will also go a long way towards helping Congress understand how to best craft these reforms. I am hopeful that the media companies that contract for your services will also understand and support the importance of providing full, complete, and transparent information in this matter.

I would appreciate your responding to my office through my Judiciary Committee staff, Perry Apelbaum and Ted Kalo, 2142 Rayburn House Office Building (tel. 202-225-6504, fax 202-225-4423), by January 27th. Thank you.

Sincerely,
John Conyers, Jr.
Ranking Member
House Judiciary Committee

cc: Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
Chairman, House Judiciary Committee

Ohio State Attorney General Petro Threatens Election Fraud Plaintiffs and Conyers Responds

An article in The Free Press, by Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, entitled: Ohio's GOP Attorney General launches revenge attack on Election Protection legal team, states the following:

Robert Fitrakis, Susan Truitt, Cliff Arnebeck and Peter Peckarsky were named by Attorney General James Petro in a filing with the Ohio Supreme Court. Petro charges the November Moss v Bush and Moss v. Moyer filings by the Election Protection legal team were "frivolous." Petro is demanding court sanctions and fines.

"Instead of evidence, contesters offered only theory, conjecture, hypothesis and invective," the Attorney General's January 18th memo about the suit said. "A contest proceeding is not a toy for idle hands. It is not to be used to make a political point, or to be used as a discovery tool, or be used to inconvenience or harass public officials, or to be used as a publicity gimmick."

But Cliff Arnebeck says it has been Petro and Ohio's partisan Republican Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell, who have stonewalled the election challenge legal proceedings. Both have refused to submit any evidence to the court to refute the allegations in the election challenge case - claiming George W. Bush did not win a majority in Ohio - and Petro's office has also refused to allow any Ohio public election official to be deposed.

"Their cage has been rattled and they popped their cork," Arnebeck said. "The chairman of the Ohio Republican Party is going berserk because he can't stand the fact we are not going away. We are still pursuing the legal investigation and the legal interrogations. They are just besides themselves because they cannot withstand cross examination."

Petro's filing is widely viewed as revenge for the heavy toll on the credibility of the Ohio GOP and Petro's cohort, Secretary of State Blackwell, caused by grassroots activists. Spurred by the lawsuit, by extensive coverage at http://freepress.org and other web sites, and by a nationwide grassroots campaign that was escalated by Rev. Jesse Jackson and a series of public hearings around Ohio and in Congress, some three dozen Senators and Representatives mounted the first-ever challenge to a state's Electoral College delegation.


Petro's action raises suspicions that revenge and an attempt to chill further legal actions are the core motivations for this latest GOP assault on the election protection process.

Still, these tactics will not end scrutiny of Ohio's 2004 presidential vote. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have requested a federal GAO report on election irregularities in the state. Those Democrats have also produced a report detailing many Election Day problems that is now part of the congressional record and will be the basis for federal legislation later in the 109th Congress, many representatives and senators have said.


================================================

This open letter was written by Rep. John Conyers Jr. as a response to this intimidation by the Ohio Attorney General. It is posted in its entirety:

January 20, 2005

The Hon. Jim Petro
Attorney General
State of Ohio
State Office Tower
30 E. Broad St, 17th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215

Dear Attorney General Petro:

I write to express my concern regarding your recent request to sanction those attorneys who brought a legal challenge to last year's presidential election in Ohio. In particular, I am concerned that by seeking official censure and fines, you are engaged in a selective and partisan misuse of your legal authority. As eager as many disgruntled voters are to have a court of law finally assess the merits of the challenge actions, I have serious doubts about the validity of the sanctions case your office is pursuing.

As an initial matter, one would be hard pressed to see how the legal challenges brought under the Ohio election challenge statute were "frivolous." First off, it is widely known that the Ohio presidential election was literally riddled with irregularities and improprieties, many of which are set forth in the 102 page report issued by the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff. As a matter of fact, the problems were so great that Congress was forced to debate the first challenge to an entire state's slate of electors since the federal Electoral Count law was enacted in 1877. In short, there is more than an abundant record raising serious, substantive questions about the Ohio presidential election.

It is also noteworthy that the Ohio Secretary of State intentionally delayed certifying the vote, thereby insuring that the recount could not be completed by the date the electoral college met on December 13. The Ohio Secretary State also refused to respond to numerous questions regarding the irregularities submitted to him by several members of the House Judiciary Committee, has refused to respond to a single concern set forth in the Judiciary Report, and also sought a protective order to avoid any discovery related to the legal challenges. In short, Ohio election officials have compounded public doubt concerning the election by refusing to provide any sort of accountability and acting in almost every respect as if they have "something to hide."

Given this context, and to help assure the public that you are not selectively pursuing sanctions in these cases for partisan reasons, I would respectfully request that you provide the House Judiciary Committee and the public with an itemization of all sanctions cases brought and considered by your office since January, 2003. In addition, I would ask that you provide to us and make public an itemization of cases you have considered and pursued under Ohio's campaign and election laws since January 2003. Finally, I would like to receive a an estimate of the costs you would expect to expend of Ohio taxpayer funds to pursue the sanction case you are seeking against Mr. Fitrakis, Susan Truitt, Cliff Arnebeck, and Peter Peckowsky.


If you believe the election challenge case should not have been brought, I would suggest the more appropriate course of actions may be revisiting the law with the Ohio legislature, rather than pursuing far-fetched sanction cases which on their face would appear to be overtly partisan in nature.

I would appreciate it if you would respond to me though my Judiciary Committee staff, Perry Apelbaum and Ted Kalo, 2142 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 (tel. 202-225-6504, fax 202-225-4423) by no later than January 27. Thank you.

Sincerely,

John Conyers, Jr.
Ranking Member
House Judiciary Committee

cc: Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
Chairman, House Committee on the Judiciary

Supreme Court, State of Ohio

Ohio Bar Association

Colors

Settled on black...

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Time to Get Real

There has been much discussion, lately, regarding who will fill the Chairmanship of the DNC when Terry McAuliffe steps down in February. Towards this end, the Democrats keep asking: “Why did we lose the last election.” This question drives me absolutely crazy. It is politically akin to beating ones head against a wall.

Although Kerry was never going to win the Presidency by a landslide, a logical, fair-minded analysis of the Election Day antics will confirm that Kerry probably did win the election had it been fair. Although we will most likely never know who won with certainty (given, in part, to the stonewalling of the recounts), one could make a much more plausible case that Kerry won in Ohio, rather than Bush, when armed with the facts. The massive disenfranchisement in Ohio, Florida, and New Mexico is well documented and strong.

It is a fools game for the Democrats to keep wringing their collective hands and whining: “Why did we lose?” The real question is: “How do we ensure that our elections are fair so that in the future we may be certain of the true winners and losers?” Only when the broken election process is fixed, should we spend excessive energy on the former question.

Allow me a few analogies: An ounce of prevention is worth is pound of cure. Before filling your house with gold, install proper security. Build a sound foundation before constructing your home. Ensure that the election process is not stacked against you before the election, and before wearing a hair shirt due to its illegitimate outcome. It is total lunacy to not recognize these basic tenets.

Regarding the political direction the Democrats should take, as incarnated by their choice of a future leader, I believe the obvious choice is Howard Dean (check out his announcement of his candidacy: I’m Running). Lets face it; the Democrats are never going to win elections by becoming Republican-light. Harry Truman, at an address at the National Convention Banquet of the Americans for Democratic Action in 1952, spoke these wise, timeless words that the Democrats would be prudent to heed today:

The record the Democratic Party has made in the last 20 years is the greatest political asset any party ever had in the history of the world. We would be foolish to throw it away. There is nothing our enemies would like better and nothing that would do more to help them win an election.

I've seen it happen time after time. When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the fair Deal, and says he really doesn't believe in them, he is sure to lose. The people don't want a phony Democrat. If it's a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat, and I don't want any phony Democratic candidates in this campaign.

But when a Democratic candidate goes out and explains what the New Deal and fair Deal really are--when he stands up like a man and puts the issues before the people--then Democrats can win, even in places where they have never won before. It has been proven time and again.

We are getting a lot of suggestions to the effect that we ought to water down our platform and abandon parts of our program. These, my friends, are Trojan horse suggestions. I have been in politics for over 30 years, and I know what I am talking about, and I believe I know something about the business. One thing I am sure of: never, never throw away a winning program. This is so elementary that I suspect the people handing out this advice are not really well-wishers of the Democratic Party.

Howard Dean understands these words. For example, stand up against the illegal war in Iraq, unlike Kerry who tried to out macho Bush on this issue. Kerry’s record of bravery and devotion to his country spoke for itself, but he never drew a distinction between himself and Bush in this regard. Thus, many deduced: “If we are going to have war either way, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.”

I am convinced that the more the Democratic Party moves to the right, the more ineffectual they will become at governing and winning elections. The Party must embrace its Progressive roots and move strongly to the left. Let us at least lose defending the values we hold dear rather than lose acquiescing to the Republican agenda and being disingenuous to our core values. When the case is made for social programs, aiding the poor, fighting the fascism of big business, supporting environmental causes, national healthcare, and championing renewable energy, we differentiate ourselves from the other side and give people a true choice rather than a false one.

Embrace the word liberal, and explain what it really means and how liberal causes benefit the majority in this country. If we continue running from who we are and what we stand for in an effort to win, we will continue to lose and be where we deserve to be: an ineffectual, minority party.

What’s the Color, Kenneth?

How are we ever going to be a force to reckon with in this country when we can’t even decide what color to wear on Inauguration Day, tomorrow, to protest the second stolen election is a row? Half the sites I read say to wear blue, while the other half say to wear black.

Once again, the words of Will Rogers ring true: “I am not a member of an organized party; I am a Democrat.” Come on people. We can’t even agree on a stupid color? You can bet the Republicans would have settled on a single color, and they would all be wearing it. We’re still debating what the color should be, for God’s sake.

I shudder to imagine the powerful influence we would wield if we could work as one towards a targeted cause instead of always getting lost in the trivial minutia. I only hope that the new leader of the DNC can affect this change and funnel our significant energies towards a common end.

Watch Nightline Tonight on ABC

From ABC News:

VOTE 2004: FAIR OR FRAUD?
Jan. 19, 2005

In this very partisan atmosphere, it may not surprise you to hear that there are some people out there who believe the winner of the 2004 U.S. presidential race was John Kerry -- that he should be the focus of the extravagant inaugural parade that will make its way up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House tomorrow. These very vocal critics believe that because of voting irregularities in Ohio on Election Day, George Bush actually lost the election. Some go even further to say that the Republicans conspired to steal it. Washington has been dressed up once again for the festivities, so it seems a little late, but tonight we'll listen to the arguments and see if they have any merit.

If there had been more voting machines and less partisan oversight of the voting in Ohio, John Kerry would have carried the state, and had the electoral votes to carry the election. That's what some people think. Many of these arguments need to be looked at in the context of the vote in 2000, which also had serious problems and where partisan politics did play a role. It ended up in the Supreme Court and there are still people who believe Al Gore won it fair and square. But do the irregularities in Ohio rise to the same level? Or are we being subjected to much more concentrated criticism because of that anonymous engine of information called the Internet?


Part of the problem surrounding the various arguments about what happened in Ohio (and other states) is that those exit polls threw people off once again. By early afternoon on Election Day the poll results were being leaked very early on, showing that John Kerry was in the winner's column. Those results were turned upside down later by the actual results. But those early results had a lot of people convinced. "Nightline" correspondent Chris Bury, who was in Ohio on Election Day, sorts through all of this to see if any of the arguments that George Bush lost have any merit.

And what about some of the political shenanigans in past presidential elections? There are many great stories about the way political machines used to operate and who got paid to make them run. Ted Koppel will chat with two entertaining Washington watchers who will gingerly remove those political skeletons from the closet, just for some perspective.
We hope you'll join us.


Gerry Holmes & The Nightline Staff
Senior Producer
Washington Bureau

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Kerry speaks out on election irregularities on MLK Day

Kerry chose Martin Luther King Day, in Boston, to speak out, once again, on the fraudulent election. The article, Kerry criticizes election outcome, states:

"Voting machines were distributed in uneven ways. In Democratic districts, it took people four, five, eleven hours to vote, while Republicans (went) through in 10 minutes -- same voting machines, same process, our America," he [Kerry] said.

In his comments, Kerry also compared the democracy-building efforts in Iraq with voting in the United States, saying that Americans had their names purged from voting lists and were kept from casting ballots.

"In a nation which is willing to spend several hundred million dollars in Iraq to bring them democracy, we cannot tolerate that here in America too many people were denied that democracy," Kerry said.

Welcome to New Mexico: Your vote will self destruct in five seconds

An article in The Free Press entitled, What are they hiding in New Mexico, by Warren Stewart from the National Ballot Integrity Project raises several disturbing questions about the 2004 election in New Mexico.

It tells the incredible story of how the motion filed on Friday for a temporary restraining order to preserve the election results for a recount was denied by the New Mexico Court. Immediately after the decision was issued from the bench, counties began erasing the memories on their electronic voting machines. As a result, a recount is all but impossible since 82% of the statewide election was cast on paperless, voting machines with no audit trail.

New Mexico led the nation in under-votes, with under-votes rates over 10% in 92 precincts. 77% of these disappearing votes were cast on the paperless voting machines: the ones now being erased.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Martin Luther King Day

Rep. John Conyers Jr. is asking for your help in determining the future of election reform. Please take a few minutes to fill out this short survey: Seeking Your Thoughts on Election Reform.

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports that two Arkansas State Representatives are introducing legislation to require a paper trail for all optical voting machines in the state. To quote one of the Representatives, “The general public as a whole is mad and p***** off and fed up with our elections. They are losing faith.”

Another story on touch screen voting from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, entitled Touch screens more likely to be flawed, analysis finds, notes that voters using the ATM-style voting machines in November of 2004 were 50 percent more likely to cast a flawed ballot or have an unregistered vote in the presidential race, compared to voting machines employing simple paper ballots.

In the Pacific Northwest, the Seattle PI tells the story: GOP's request for criminal list raises concern. It states:

"Exercising the right to vote should never be an activity that triggers a criminal investigation," said Jenny Durkan, a lawyer for Washington State Democrats.

"This could have a chilling effect in a number of communities who don't understand the terminology," Durkan said. "They may believe that their right to vote hinges upon whether they paid traffic tickets."

I would like someone to explain to me why felons who served their time in prison are not allowed to vote. It seems only fair that someone who served his or her dept to society have this precious right restored. Are we to make felons pariahs forever, or are we to integrate them back into civilized society? Could this be just another of the myriad of ways to disenfranchise the poor voter that, by the way by coincidence I’m sure, is more likely to vote Democratic?

Finally, in honor of Martin Luther King Day, there is this excellent article in The Free Press, In the Shadow of Dr. King, counting the vote remains a civil rights issue, begins:

In the shadow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., America's electoral crisis continues.

King marched across the south and the nation to guarantee all Americans, black and white, the right to vote. But in 2000 and again in 2004, that right was denied.

Now in the wake of another bitterly contested vote count, is the electoral situation improving in the spirit of Dr. King?

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, when briefing the Senate Democratic leadership on the day before the historic challenge to the Ohio electors, told them that in the 40 years since the Voting Rights Act, the people opposed to voting rights have simply changed parties -- from "Dixiecrats" to Republicans -- while still doing "everything in their power to suppress the voting rights of [the] poor and minorities." Jackson also told Senators Reid, Durbin and Stabenow that after President Lyndon Johnson refused Martin Luther King, Jr.'s pitch for voting rights in 1964 at a ceremony commemorating King's Nobel Prize award, it was a "remnant of the civil rights movement that went down to Selma" that was beaten and bloodied in a struggle that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


In Jackson's analysis, all that was won was a Jim Crow "state's rights" voting system that with new Republican political strength has moved to openly suppress voting rights. His Rainbow/PUSH is beginning talk about a Montgomery (Ohio) to Selma bus ride in the spring.

It concludes:

The original Moss v. Bush lawsuit filed to overturn the seating of George Bush has been withdrawn, in large part because it was expected the courts would rule it moot. But the prospect of new litigation based on the legacy of Dr. King means the election of 2004 won't be over for a long time. It is 37 years since the legendary civil rights activist was shot. But in Ohio, New Mexico and around the US, the battle for the ability of all Americans to vote, and to have those vote fairly counted, has never been hotter.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been 76 on January 15th. Happy birthday Dr. King; we won’t let you down!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

We've Only Just Begun

There are two new articles in The Free Press today. Did the “Liberal Media” Get the 2004 Election All Wrong: discusses the fallacy of the liberal media and how the reports of the Democrats demise are greatly exaggerated.

COUNT EVERY VOTE. EVERY VOTE COUNTS: recounts the positive events that are occurring in the election reform movement, moving the country towards a fair and honest election process.

Among these:

• Both Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and Senator Barbara Boxer (who initiated the Electoral Challenge), are intending to introduce election changes.

• Democratic Representative John Conyers “wants to establish Election Day as a national holiday, expand early voting options, and create national standards for voter registration, voting hours and ballot recounts.”

• Democratic Representatives Gene Green of Texas, Brian Baird of Washington, and Bill Delehunt of Massachusetts want to do away with the Electoral College.

• Although Massachusetts Senator John Kerry was in Iraq, and not present for the historic challenge to the presidential election, he says he will introduce legislation “to reform our election system, ensuring transparency and accountability,” and have all votes counted.

• Ohio State Senator Teresa Fedor, from Toledo, wants “to improve our system,” thinks we need a paper trail, and that Ohio’s Secretary of State should be prohibited from “holding a campaign office.”

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Destroying the Evidence

David Cobb, 2004 Green Party Presidential candidate, has accused New Mexico election officials with the deliberate obstruction of justice after they gave counties the go ahead to clear electronic voting machines while a court case is still pending for a recount of the state. This would destroy critical data mandatory for determining why New Mexico had the largest number of under-votes (recording no vote for president) in the country, including several other irregularities.

David Cobb stated: "The conduct of New Mexico's Governor and Secretary of State has gone from bad to worse. They have gone from showing a complete disregard for New Mexico law and for the integrity of the democratic process to deliberately obstructing justice. This is outrageous and makes you wonder what they are trying to hide."

A temporary restraining order is being filed against the state canvassing board and county clerks to prevent the clearing of the voting machines.

Cobb-LaMarche Media Director Blair Bobier remarked: "New Mexico’s Governor and Secretary of State are doing such a poor job of following state law that they’re starting to make Ohio’s Kenneth Blackwell look good by comparison.”

Now that’s quite a statement. I didn’t know being more corrupt than Blackwell was possible. Live and learn...

Friday, January 14, 2005

Open Letter to the DNC

Dear Democratic National Committee:

I am writing to you regarding the recent fundraising email I received from the DNC, entitled: "One million strong by 1/20/05." Conspicuously absent in your plea for contributions is any mention of national election reform. I trust you are aware of the important work that Rep. John Conyers, Jr. and the Democratic Judiciary Committee did in uncovering the wholesale disenfranchisement of voters in Ohio. If not, I encourage you to read their 102-page report: "Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong In Ohio."

I trust you are also aware that only thirty-two principled, patriotic Democrats stood up to contest the Ohio electoral votes on January 6, while the majority of Democratic Senators and Representatives refused to stand as one with their brave colleagues. You know as well as I do that if the tables were turned, the Republicans would have rallied as one to support their cause.

The Democratic Party took the cowardly approach, more interested in appeasement and perception than the historic opportunity to lend their names and resources to fighting the most important political issue of our time: fair elections. Without a backbone, the Party gets what it deserves because the other side is playing for keeps.

Regardless of how much money the Democrats raise and spend to win future elections, they are ultimately doomed to failure when the process is stacked against them as it was in states such as Ohio, Florida, and New Mexico. In other words, you are playing a fools game.

I am convinced by the actions of the Party that the Democrats, with a few notable exceptions, are giving this issue short shrift. Consequently, I would rather donate my hard earned money to candidates such as David Cobb of the Green Party or any of the other patriots fighting for reform, who unlike Senator Kerry and the Democratic majority did not turn their backs on their loyal supporters and their country.

Kerry and the Democratic majority were AWOL after promising to count every vote and even collecting millions of dollars to do so. Frankly, I feel I am owed a refund from Senator Kerry and the Party whose words were not their bond. Stating that Kerry conceded because he could not win is either disingenuous or outright selfishness. In the end, it was not about who could win; it was about using Kerry’s bully pulpit to highlight the gross irregularities and educate the public in this regard.

I welcome your response to my heartfelt letter, and your assurances that the Democratic Party will get its act together and its tail from between its legs on this most dire issue. Please help me and the 20% (and growing) of the populace, who are certain that our democracy is broken, feel good about the Democratic Party; otherwise I’m certain I speak for this large population who will be forced to look for a new political home, unwilling to throw good money and energy after bad.

Sincerely,

justice

Conyers requests independent counsel

Rep. John Conyers Jr., of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft today requesting an independent counsel to investigate the irregularities of the Ohio election, and in particular, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell’s role in the perpetration.

The letter concludes:
    We also learned that Secretary of State Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney Campaign in Ohio, recently sent a campaign solicitation that uses a mock U.S. seal (attached). This partisan replica may violate 18 U.S.C. $ 7 13, which prohibits the unofficial use of the great seal of the United States or its likeness. It is our understanding that the Justice Department has intervened when similar seals were used in past campaigns. As to this point, we request that you appoint a special counsel to investigate whether charges should be brought against Secretary Blackwell. This is because the criteria set forth for appointing a special counsel have been met, and the public interest is best served by having an independent individual investigate whether charges should be pursued. We hope you will agree that asking the Bush Administration to investigate the individual who takes credit for it’s reelection – J. Kenneth Blackwell – creates an apparent, if not actual, conflict of interest.

    While the election is over, we believe it is important that the American people understand that our nation will not tolerate the intimidation of a single vote, and that where election misconduct occurs, it will be vigorously investigated, regardless of the political party involved. Given the importance of these issues, we would ask that you meet with us at your earliest convenience so that we may understand the procedures you will undertake to respond to our concerns. Such a meeting is particularly important given that the Government Accountability Office has recently found that the Department has failed to appropriately track or respond to complaints of voting irregularities in past elections.

Letter to Blackwell from Conyers

January 13, 2005
The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell
Ohio Secretary of State
180 East Broad Street, 16th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215

Dear Secretary Blackwell:

Attached for your review and response, please find a comprehensive Report regarding Ohio election law irregularities prepared by the House Judiciary Committee Minority Staff. Given the importance of election reform, and the key role Ohio has played in recent elections, I believe it is imperative that you, as the leading election official in Ohio, provide Congress with your reactions to the attached report, including in particular the factual and legal conclusions and legislative recommendations set forth therein.

I recognize that in the past you have been unwilling to respond to any inquiries regarding the irregularities in the Ohio presidential election or your office’s role in them. However, I am now hopeful that since Congress has certified the results of the electoral college, that you will be more forthcoming in assisting Congress in developing a record and legislation that will allow the nation to avoid a repeat of the voting irregularities reported in your state.

In this regard, it is important to recognize that voting reforms are now supported by key members on both sides of the aisle. House Minority Leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) observed during the House debates during last week’s electoral challenge:

As elected officials, we have a solemn responsibility to improve our election system and its administration. We cannot be here again 4 years from now discussing the failings of the 2008 election. …Our very democracy depends again on the confidence of the American people and the integrity of our electoral system. 151 Cong. Rec. H108 (daily ed. Jan. 6, 2005) (statement of Rep. Pelosi).

Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), Chairman of the House Administration Committee, agreed, stating:

I know there are some problems obviously with this election. They are not frivolous. . . . There is no such thing as a perfect election. … The question, then, is not whether or not mistakes were made. Of course they were. . . . We must always be seeking ways to improve the process. 151 Cong. Rec. H107 (daily ed. Jan. 6, 2005) (statement of Rep. Ney).

I hope that you too will recognize the need to insure that every eligible citizen in the state of Ohio and our nation as a whole is given the unfettered right to vote. If Americans can be fighting and dying to make sure every vote is counted in Afghanistan and Iraq, the least we can do as public officials is make sure our own voters are not disenfranchised.

Please be advised that I have issued this request to the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Board of Elections for each county in the state of Ohio in order to obtain their relevant assistance as well. Please respond to me at your earliest convenience, and by no later than January 27 if at all possible, through Perry Apelbaum or Ted Kalo of my Judiciary Committee staff, 2142 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 (tel. 202-225-6504, fax 202-225-4423).

Sincerely,

John Conyers, Jr.
Ranking Member

Enclosures

cc: The Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Chairman, House Committee on the Judiciary

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Rank Hypocrisy

Yesterday, Democrat Chris Gregoire was legally sworn in as the 22nd Governor of Washington State in a maelstrom of Republican anger.

Nobody outdoes the Republican rank and file when it comes to hypocrisy. The gubernatorial race in Washington State proves this point. Here are the facts:

1) When the Republican candidate, Dino Rossi, was ahead during the initial count and the machine recount, Rossi and his supporters had no problem with the election results, and Rossi demanded that Gregoire concede. Unfortunately for him, there is a provision in Washington State law for up to three counts: the original, the machine recount, and the manual recount.

2) After the manual recount (the third and final count by law), Rossi found himself on the losing end. Suddenly the election was unfair, and he demanded a revote. Gregoire refused, citing the adherence to state law and the accuracy of the manual count.

3) Rossi and his sycophants have since been whining nonstop, stating if Rossi had won the manual recount, he would ask for a revote so that the new governor would not enter office under a cloud of illegitimacy. If you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you. I promise you if Rossi had won the final count, he would be saying, “We won three times, now concede you sore losing wench.”

The Republicans are now saying that there was massive election fraud in the state, and have petitioned the court to throw out the result and decide the winner in a statewide revote. They have even adopted the orange ribbon in their fight for fair elections. Now I am all for election reform and I welcome the support of my Republican friends in this effort, but how come the same group that calls foul in Washington State believes the Ohio election was fair and just?

If there was fraud in Washington State, it is miniscule in comparison to the massive irregularities that occurred in Ohio. The Democratic House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. John Conyers Jr., has compiled 102 pages of irregularities in its report: Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong In Ohio.

Where is the outcry from the Republican, Washingtonian Protectors of Democracy on this one? Could it be that they are simply election reformers of convenience? That this is just partisan politics, as usual? That it is only about getting Rossi into the governor’s mansion and they only care about fair elections when their candidate is the loser?

To my Republican friends, I say that you now have proof that election reform is a non-partisan issue. Taste the bitterness. You should be outraged that Republican Senators and Representatives ridiculed the thirty-two patriots who bravely stood up in the House and the Senate on January 6, on all our behalf’s, to contest the results of Ohio with its overwhelming and irrefutable evidence of wrongdoing. I am certain you believe now that election irregularities can work as easily against you as for you.

The election in Washington State is over. You will not prevail in a state with a Democratic Senate, Democratic Legislature, Democratic Supreme Court, and a Republican Secretary of State who stands by the legality of the election and its result. Consider this election a wakeup call and an olive branch to work together with Democrats, and election reformers of all political persuasions, towards what is best for American democracy: elections in all fifty states that have paper trails and are fair, auditable, transparent, nonpartisan, nonproprietary, and with redundant checks and balances at all stages of the voting and counting process. Demand election reform from your representatives, be they Democrat, Republican, or Independent.

When it comes to fair elections, all Americans, regardless of party affiliation, truly have a common cause.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

A Tribute to Heroes

Please read this very nice tribute to the Ohio Thirty-Two: Leaders of Principle. These great Americans stood up for our country in one of its darkest hour. We must always remember their selfless devotion to principle and fairness, even as they suffer the abuse of their compromised colleagues and the opposition. We owe them nothing less than our full support in any way possible. These elected patriots are truly the pillars of hope for fair elections in this country. I am personally more grateful for their support than words can say. They will all be immortalized for generations to come.

Also a "must read" is this outstanding tribute to Rep. John Conyers Jr.: The Last Man To Concede. It reads in part:

“I wonder if Americans know, or appreciate, the gargantuan efforts made by Conyers on their behalf -- efforts to expose the administration's almost feral attempt to seize control of the election, our government and, ultimately, democracy itself. Like most Democrats, on that Nov. 3 morning as John Kerry stood before TV cameras and, with obvious relief, conceded the election before it was over, I was caught up in a vortex of depression, disappointment and outrage.

I was half-way out the door in search of a new party -- one that could be depended upon over the long haul -- one that knew the difference between right and wrong and had the courage to stand up for what was right, when I happened to look back. There Conyers was, the last man to concede, doggedly soldiering on for democracy in spite of the absence of his peers, the ridicule of the mainstream media and relentless attacks from Republicans.



So, unable to abandon Conyers, I came back. I am reminded of the words of former vice-president Al Gore, speaking of Kerry at the Democratic Convention in July, ‘He is a friend who will stand by you. His word is his bond. He has a deep patriotism that goes far beyond words. He has devoted his life to making America a better place for all of us.’

That may be true, but for me, it is John Conyers to whom these words of praise should be directed. It is John Conyers who makes me proud to be an American, and if I'm ever proud to be a Democrat again, it will be because of him.

Nobody had to ask him. John Conyers chose to be the last man to concede.”

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I Me Mine

Truthout .org published a Monday interview with Senator John Kerry’s brother, Cameron: Interview from Camp Kerry. I could hardly contain my frustration while reading it, especially when I got to the following part:

“But we [Team Kerry] looked at it hard [the election result in Ohio], and there just wasn't the kind of razor-thin margin that we had in Florida in 2000 to work with, or that Christine Gregoire was dealing with in Washington State. The three million vote margin nationally made it difficult, but there was enough of a margin in Ohio that I think we could have closed that margin but would still have been some tens of thousands of votes short.”

This is an unforgivable copout. Once again we see that Team Kerry is fixated on their man winning rather than the bigger principle of standing up against a criminal election. For Team Kerry, it is always about Kerry and if he could win. This is incredibly selfish and speaks to Kerry and his sycophant’s self-serving character.

It is not about you Senator. It is about massive disenfranchisement and doing the right thing for your country regardless of the hit you take. It is about speaking out against election atrocities while you still had the bully pulpit. Patriotism is selfless, and the Senator chose to be AWOL on this one. He abandoned the most important political issue of our time (fair elections) at its hour of greatest need because he “couldn’t win the presidency.” Give me a break! Tell it to someone with half a brain…

An Open Letter from Rep. John Conyers Jr. Concerning the Election Challenge

January 10, 2005

Dear Friend:

I want to thank you for the time and energy you have already given to help me in my pursuit of the truth about the 2004 Presidential election, particularly the truth about what happened in Ohio.

I believe what we achieved on January 6 will be a seminal event in the history of progressive politics, and significantly advance the cause of electoral reform. For this challenge to Ohio’s electors to have occurred, I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the internet activists, who spread the story of my efforts and supported me in every way possible. I am also thankful to the alternative media, including talk radio and blogs that gave substantial attention and investigation to these matters when all but a handful in the mainstream media refused to examine the facts. I cannot thank all of you personally, but you know who you are.

With the exigency of January 6 behind us, I wanted to let you know what I will be doing in the coming months. First, my investigation of Ohio voting irregularities is not over. In an effort to get as much information confirmed and circulated in advance of January 6, many valuable leads still need to be pursued and I pledge to do so. Substantial irregularities have come to light in other states during the course of this investigation and I will also pursue those leads. While there has been powerful opposition to my efforts and personal attacks against me as a result of my efforts, I want to assure you I remain steadfast.

Second, there are other matters involving wrongdoing by Administration officials that I will continue to pursue. Among other things, I will continue to seek answers about the role of senior Bush Administration officials in outing an undercover Central Intelligence Agency operative. I will also continue to examine the sources of the fraudulent case for the Iraq war, which intersects with the outing of this operative.

Third, I intend to develop and introduce legislation in a number of areas. Most importantly, I intend to introduce comprehensive election reform legislation in the coming weeks, and I will fight for its passage at the earliest possible moment. I intend to hold further hearings on this issue. I will also continue to fight the job loss and the loss of retirement security that has so negatively impacted working families in my district, and I will fight the economic policies of this Administration that are the cause of these serious problems. Finally, the Judiciary Committee will also be at the center of the efforts to oversee the U.S.A. Patriot Act and ascertain which, if any, provisions should be renewed. I expect to lead the fight against a number of provisions that I believe compromise our civil liberties.

Again, thank you for all you have done. I look forward to working with you on these and other important matters in the weeks and months ahead.

Sincerely,

John Conyers Jr.

The Election Reform Movement Blasts Off

Check out this read from The Nashua Advocate: The Election Reform Movement Blasts Off -- A Whirlwind Tour of Recent News. It provides an excellent rundown of recent election fraud news, and how it has reached into the mainstream.

The article ends:

"The Advocate submits there are only two lines now when it comes to election reform: and you're either in the right line or you're not.

Blackwell is on the wrong side of history, and will be on the losing side of this war. So, too, the Republicans, unless they make good on their supposed commitment to American values, and American morality, and support meaningful and timely election reform."

Also worth the read is this opinion from Washington Post columnist William Raspberry: What really happened in Ohio?

Monday, January 10, 2005

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is

Good evening my friends.

Read this great article from Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman of The Free Press: Together, we moved three mountains. Here are some key parts:

“Together, grassroots/Internet activists have just moved three major American mountains.

On January 6, we forced an angry Republican-dominated Congress into an unprecedented confrontation with the Truth about Ohio's stolen election, about dubious vote counts nationwide, and ultimately about an electoral process worthy of zero public trust.

America's progressive grassroots further showed it could prompt the ‘democratic wing’ of the Democratic Party to finally stand up for its constituents' right to vote, even in the face of the usual withering slander from Karl Rove's dirty tricksters.

And those of us who work the Internet showed we could spark a mass movement by exposing a national travesty despite relentless abuse from the mainstream media, which did absolutely nothing to uncover the systematic corruption of our electoral process.



The mainstream media slept, scoffed and scorned us. But from Ohio, Florida, New Mexico and elsewhere, there emerged an irrefutable portrait of yet another stolen election.

On November 3, John Kerry fled the scene. After collecting millions of dollars with the solemn vow to protect and count every vote, Kerry abandoned ship and disappeared, just like Al Gore in 2000. Both left tens of thousands of fervent, idealistic campaigners in a sickening lurch.

Do the Democratic Party centrists and Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) corporate types think they can still hope to win an election?

Who will organize or turn out for a party that won't stand for the sacred voting rights of its core constituencies?

The abuses leveled at Ohio's Democratic core black, young and working-class constituencies have now been thoroughly documented. But the party's corporate elite still slavishly mimics the GOP attack on ‘conspiracy theorists’ who dare explain what really happened here. Kerry's lead Ohio attorney, Dan Hoffheimer -- a high-roller in the Republican Taft, Stettinius & Hollister law firm -- dishes out Rovian contempt for those of us who expose this crime.

In precisely that spirit, Team Kerry ducked out with the phony dodge that the Ohio fraud was not numerically large enough to give it the presidency.

Just a few weeks' research could have shown otherwise. Or they could've looked on the web. Or they could've listened to their supporters' sworn testimony on being cheated out of their vote.

’Changing the outcome’ means more than who sits in the White House. It also means that every vote is counted, and the final margin is correct, no matter who's on top.

Ohio on November 2 was a high-tech lynching. On November 3, John Kerry certified it.



The vicious, contemptuous theft of Ohio's electoral votes has been put on the Congressional record. A nation conducting wholesale slaughter overseas in the name of democracy has been forced to face the gaping craters in its own.

The movement that made it happen was organized, funded and executed by an unprecedented bare bones, multi-racial, nationwide rainbow of cyberjournalists and grassroots activists, with no help from America's mainstream ‘party of the people.’



This election, like 2000, was a curse of its own. No matter how bleak things may seem now, the seeds of victory have been sown for those who will fight for true democracy.

Because we have once again proved that together, we can move mountains.”

Also check out this tribute to four activist patriots in the election rights movement: Many Americans Refuse to Concede 'Stolen Election'.