Wednesday, February 02, 2005

$2000 Donated to Legal Defense Fund of Ohio Attorneys

TUESDAY FEB. 1, 2005: Black Box Voting has committed a $2,000 donation towards the legal defense of Ohio attorneys. When voting integrity advocates in Ohio developed a five-foot-thick pile of evidence documenting fraudulent and improper conduct in the 2004 election, four attorneys -- Susan Truitt, Bob Fitrakis, Cliff Arnebeck and Pete Peckarsky -- filed a lawsuit on behalf of 37 voters. Ohio slapped back: Attorney General Jim Petro filed a motion to sanction the four attorneys.

The reason we at Black Box Voting feel so strongly about this effort to silence the Ohio attorneys is that we have experienced attempts to stifle our efforts, many times. Here are some examples:

In October, 2002, Black Box Voting founder Bev Harris was hit with a cease and desist order by voting machine vendor Election Systems & Software (ES&S), simply for breaking the story of its real ownership, which included Senator Chuck Hagel and his campaign finance director Michael McCarthy.

In September, 2003, Black Box Voting was hit with a cease and desist order by Diebold Inc., which triggered a takedown of the BlackBoxVoting.org Web site. In an unprecedented overreaching and abuse of the DMCA laws, all 300 pages of the site were shut down for 30 days.

In October 2003, Harris was subjected to repeated entrapment attempts, which she did not fall for. Based on these entrapment attempts, the Secret Service embarked on an investigation trying to obtain the names and IP addresses of everyone who had visited this Web site.

In the spring of 2004, Harris was issued a gag order by the U.S. attorney, with a letter asking her to appear before a federal grand jury in connection with the investigation by the Secret Service. After an expose by Seattle Weekly journalist George Howland, and negotiations by California attorney Lowell Finley, their intimidation tactics ceased.

Black Box Voting uncovered blistering information on election irregularities in Volusia County, Florida in late November 2004, and sued Palm Beach County over public records violations. Almost immediately, an orchestrated smear took place, including bogus claims of "profiteering," "embezzlement" and nepotism. These charges were planted around the Internet by people using fake names.

True leadership means standing up for allies when they are attacked. We must stand shoulder to shoulder when we face such attacks. And we must be ready to hit back -- where it hurts!

Therefore, Black Box Voting is not only donating money to support the Ohio attorneys, we are asking you to send this message to your lists and ask others to donate as well.

We are asking you to make sure that neither Secretary of State Ken Blackwell nor Attorney General Jim Petro are ever elected again for anything.

And Black Box Voting has just launched a series of public records requests for every last gnat's eyelash in the financial records files of everyone at the Ohio Secretary of State's office and the Ohio Attorney General's office. We have purchased a high speed scanner which can convert documents to searchable text and write them directly to our network for upload to the BBV Document archive.

Folks, these attempts to silence the truth are just the tip of the iceberg. Prepare for a rough ride. Our donation to help the Ohio lawyers is our gesture to say "We're not going to take this lying down!"

If you want to lead, you can't just talk the talk.

You've gotta walk the walk.

Join us in supporting Susan Truitt, Bob Fitrakis, Cliff Arnebeck and Pete Peckarsky. There will be a next time, so remember: We're all in this together.

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