READER COMMENTS ON
"FRANCINE BUSBY SPEAKS! 'IT'S OUTRAGEOUS,' SAYS PREVIOUSLY MUM CANDIDATE ON DISMISSAL OF ELECTION CONTEST!"
(62 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 7:36 am PT...
Did she use sign language???
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 7:37 am PT...
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 7:43 am PT...
"only a federal election challenge could be brought. The federal statute requires, unlike the provision for contests in California state law, that such a suit must be brought by a candidate."
Is it too late for her to step up to the plate?
"Busby said that she was not aware of the federal statute that would have allowed her to file a protest with the House of Representatives."
Had she raised a protest, and got competent legal council in such a protest, wouldn't she have found out about such avenue?
Lame I tell you - completely lame!
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 7:44 am PT...
And didn't we all ask her to do such a protest?
Lame and Lamer!
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 7:58 am PT...
Look, Busby did have to file with the clerk of the House within 30 days, so it's not possible any more.
PEOPLE ARE COMING AROUND.
The NC Times came around.
Francine Busby clearly sees the outrage.
The NC TImes articles' best quote has the judge saying that the House "selects" its Member:
"During the brief hearing, Judge Hofmann said the matter is one the U.S. House, not the state, must now address. "Once the House asserts exclusive jurisdiction and ***selects*** a candidate, the court no longer has jurisdiction," Hofmann said." (emphasis added)
This is not just "looking at the bright side." This is actual progress we're making with folks, and a bright light of transparency shined on the election process such that the judge's words become revealing in and of themselves.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 8:05 am PT...
A few people should direct their appropriate outrage away from Francine Busby, IMHO, at least to a significant extent. If I myself were the Congressional candidate, I WOULD NOT HAVE FILED an election contest. It's with the clerk of the House of Reps anyway, to be heard in the House, and if you want the dictionary definition of a futile act --- there you have it.
Moreover, by the time you get a ruling, the short term in question is over. And in the mean time, it distracts the campaign for November.
Candidates are AMONG THE LAST people we should expect to challenge, because they have to pay an especially high personal price for doing so. Candidates are OFTEN "failing" us in this regard, we should not reinforce this frame as if candidate non-involvement really says something fundamental about the merits of the case. Again, candidates have extraordinarily high disincentives not to file election contests and we should not set up unreasonable expectations of candidate involvement unless we want to SET OURSELVES UP more often than not.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 8:11 am PT...
Wise words from someone much more knowledgable in these matters than I.
But it sure is frustrating never the less!
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 8:15 am PT...
From the beginning of this debacle, it's been clear that the entrenched powers were never going to allow a recount on this race. I wonder why... No, not really. It's pretty clear to me.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 8:27 am PT...
Don't know if anyone posted this yet but I'm not waiting for an open thread:
"election fraud could never happen, there are too many honest locals managing the polls that it would be impossible!" Uh-huh.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 8:32 am PT...
Paul, I beg to differ with you slightly. I know where you're coming from, but look at when a Republican loses an election, as in Gregoire & Rossi. Rossi, the Republican, dragged the thing through the media and courts for months. That is what we want to see from Democrats. Rove has Republicans do it without exception, they vocally contest every close election they lose and do everything they can to keep it going. The Dems show no conviction. They are silent. Kerry is making grumblings about the 2004 Ohio fraud now, but where was he when it happened? He conceded in record time. Republicans never do that.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 9:14 am PT...
Paul, Thanks for your comment and for doing the right thing. I am taking some comfort from your comments but not much. Where are we supposed to turn if the courts refuse to rule for the people? This is the only recourse I see, massive day of resistance 10-05-06. Thanks Brad for this forum and everyone who comes here and comments. You all give me strength! http://www.worldcantwait.net/
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 9:14 am PT...
screw Kerry, that lame faux citizen. Where the f*** was he in 2004? It seems clear to me that he's one of "them" or at best owned by "them" - just like Bill Clinton was /is - just because they have a "D" by their name doesn't mean they support democracy.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 9:37 am PT...
I also call BULL with the candidate not filing.
I dont buy that in the slightest especially the way the country is so divided currently.
IF Busby would have filed immediately it would have shown conviction on her part and might have made the difference.
People want candidates with SPINE which is something Democrats are sorely missing.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 9:46 am PT...
Sure, Big Dan, more feistiness and courage is a good thing, and may increase the percentage of challenges, but there are still the large disincentives I'm talking about. That being said, you are also right that the "courage factor" could stand to increase in some instances.
But it's hard to say which particular ones. Consider this VERY underappreciated fact (IMHO). The arguments one uses to challenge or contest an election are highly overlapping with the arguments that invalidate an election (e.g., DRE fraud would violate equal protection, for example, relative to non-DRE voters who don't lose anywhere near as many votes).
When the arguments to be raised by a candidate invalidate the election, it simply gets a NEW election but does not result in the challenger winning.
However, if a new election is warranted but it CAN'T OCCUR because the problem is with the invalidity of the technology of voting to pass certification and/or constitutional muster, THEN you are looking at a new election but only after a period of months or years to get a whole new election technology in place.
What we are presently staring in the face with EAC standards becoming much more strict in 2007 for certification and resources and litigation focusing on elections for 2008 is the substantial possibility that we can not have valid elections, because the machines are not certifiable and the elections they produce tend to be unconstitutional.
Note that an incumbent party can only be replaced by a legally valid election process, and you can see that the incentives regarding messing with the elections systems are kind of messed up.
Note also that a 2004 Kerry, for example, may be advised by his lawyers that a challenge would only result in a new election but not a Kerry presidency, or that a challenge to the election would prove the technology of the election constitutionally defective, meaning that valid elections could not occur until HAVA II was completed (Bush v Gore requiring, as a matter of constitutional law, equality for all voters...)
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 10:26 am PT...
Thanks for the reasoned explanation of Busby's stances. I know that there are many of us out there that are very PO'd and would have liked to have seen Busby be a lot more active in protesting this election. I myself have talked to her about this and have expressed my wishes for her to do so. But I also understand her situation too, and can understand some of the reasons she didn't do so. I do fault some of her legal advisors for not informing her of the legal language of her having to be the one to contest the election with the hidden rules that noone's found about until now. Had her legal help from the DCCC or whoever had warned her earlier about this within the timeframe, perhaps she could have used those rules as a justification to enter into the fray and file a protest on behalf of her constituents, and say it was for legal reasons and not just because she wanted to do it for sour grapes reasons.
I think her quotes here now show that perhaps she can leverage this "missed opportunity" into what will appear to the public a greater need for her to be involved without making it a "personal" issue for her.
I think that the way you are handling this case Paul, I wouldn't be surprised if she and her campaign might work more closely with you in the coming weeks to help fight this. I think before she was a bit concerned about the bad feelings directed at her as being something hard to work with that also may have kept her from entering into the fray then too. Hopefully she can work with Paul soon and keep the issue focused on where it should be. Not on overturning the election, but to ensure that voting processes that are recognized legally are proper and guarantee us proper elections in November. And now that Bilbray's people have played their cards in this, she can use this as a campaign issue on how Bilbray is NOT for Democratic processes deciding elections, where before he could have claimed to have been an "innocent bystander".
Keep up the good work Paul! Hope we can get better results in the coming weeks!
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 10:27 am PT...
I respect your opinion and EVERYTHING you are doing so well to bring back election integrity and save (?regain) or democracy but I also have to disagree with a couple of your comments.
You say: ‘Candidates are AMONG THE LAST people we should expect to challenge, because they have to pay an especially high personal price for doing so. Candidates are OFTEN “failing” us in this regard, we should not reinforce this frame as if candidate non-involvement really says something fundamental about the merits of the case’. Unfortunately, I don’t think we or the candidates have the luxury of candidate non-involvement in election protests anymore. Given the state we are in, we need candidates who realize that the elections and election integrity are about more than whether they, as individuals, win or lose. It is about whether our democracy will prevail. In addition, it is not we, the protestors who use candidate non-involvement in election challenges as a bludgeon against the merits of the case. It is the very thieves and abettors themselves that use this argument over and over against our legitimate questioning of corrupt or possibly corrupt elections.
Again, I tremendously respect and thank you for everything you are doing but I can’t agree with you on the above points.
I should add that I wrote this before your post#14 appeared, but I couldn't get it to post. I defer to your legal expertise but I still have to stand by my comments about candidate involvement in election protests. Without a candidate's full involvement, I don't think that we can be successful, especially if we are only challenging the legal validity of the election process, when that process can be so manipulated and hidden from us that we would be prevented from proving intentional corruption (fraud) may have occurred, as in this case. There is a legitimacy to a protest that can only be achieved when a candidate and his party throw their full support behind a protest. I am willing to bet that we will see this from Republican challengers and their lawyers in the coming mid-term elections and that their ferocity in challenging when bring results in some instances when there isn't even merit to their challenge. Call me cynical.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 10:33 am PT...
In my post #16, "when bring results" in my next to the last sentence should have been "will bring results". For some reason, my internet connection (dial-up!!!) keeps timing out before I can post so that I have to reboot in order to post. Consequently, I'm taking shortcuts and not proofreading as well as I should.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
Grizzly Bear Dancer
said on 8/30/2006 @ 10:41 am PT...
can of worms.
Terrorist in Washington DC be forewarned:
Thank you for your insight councelor however no matter how this election is spun be it layman's terms or legal, our elections are officially in control of the people in power and NO LONGER IN THE HANDS OF "WE THE PEOPLE."
Let's get real. American voters were requesting a vote count to validate the electronic evidence of who won OUR ELECTION. NOT AN VOTE OF CONGRESSMEN. AN VOTE OF "THE PEOPLE!"
This IS NOT what our Founding Father intended when the Constitution was written to define American Democracy. i would tend to agree that Busby's input matters little in regards to the significance of yesterday court decision. This is a very dark page in American political history since the door has been slammed shut on a reasonable civil (internal) cure. Being a student of history, the new reprecussions may not be so civil.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
Grizzly Bear Dancer
said on 8/30/2006 @ 10:54 am PT...
#18 S/B: The election was a not a vote of CONGRESSMEN, A VOTE OF "WE THE PEOPLE." Of the many transgressions which occured here, the judges reasoning is utterly faulty. This is a disgrace to ALL AMERICAN regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, or economic class.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 11:07 am PT...
I was wondering about the legal representation Democrats have been getting. It's easy to control those who have much to lose and not so easy to control those who don't.
It seems we are moving closer to the time where we will need to see the men and women brave enough to refresh the tree of liberty.
That or keep spending more money on a broken system.
Support BradBlog, Buy Politics as Usual.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 11:21 am PT...
Paul, I agree with everything you said, except I wish Dems in general would act exactly like Rossi did, and make the opposition pay for a victory big time. That is the Rove/GOP strategy, and it works. That is not unethical, as is everything else Rove does. Fighting tooth-and-nail and raising a big stink when you lose a close election would bring more attention to e-vote fraud.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 11:21 am PT...
I also thank you and admire you for efforts to bring integrity to our election...but I am with Steve on this one. It's about time candidates stand up and speak out about the theft of our elections....I think the Repugs get the wisdom in the old saying. "The squeaky wheel gets the oil".
Kerry is finally speaking out more about the actions of Ken Blackwell in Ohio. I called his office in DC and talked to the aid about the CA 50 ruling. I suggested Kerry call a press conference and tell the American people about the state of our elections and the Republicans involvement in ending our right to vote. I suggested she read Brad Blog and make sure Kerry is aware of the ruling. She could tell I was upset and it seemed to me she got it and was frustrated as well. She made of point of telling me Kerry would be made aware of the situation.
I don't know if my call made any difference....But at least I able to vent al little.
I called Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi as well.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 11:24 am PT...
Silence by the candidate also causes lack of media coverage. Rossi caused huge media coverage. They almost stole that election of Gregoire, and she won by more than the count said. I wish I had this link I once had, where it had the stats of e-vote precincts vs. non-e-vote precincts in that race. We prove over and over again, that e-vote machines are controlling our elections.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 11:25 am PT...
Paul, you are clearly one of the "good guys" and I don't think there's any question that understand the risks that our country faces right now.
But, I also think that at times (in spite of your obvious skill and understanding of media) you are too "legalistic" and miss the big picture of how things actually play out in the "court of public opinion."
France Busby didn't need to make any specific legal challenge to appease most of the people on this blog who are critical of her, SHE JUST HAD TO BE LESS THAN INVISIBLE.
Kerry didn't have to make any specific challenge to the disgusting election mess in Ohio in 2004, he just had to NOT CONCEDE and perhaps throw a few million dollars of his $50M slush fund towards the recount efforts and appear on a few talk shows and take a few interviews and diss Blackwell at every corner as the scumbag that he is (using, of course, the soft and nice language that Kerry is SOOOO good at).
You are being just WAY too understanding of hack Democratic politicians who don't have a clue about how badly they are being bent over and screwed by the election process, but insist on calling those of us fighting for free elections names like "tin foil hat conspiracy theorists" and worse.
Many of us believe we are inches (perhaps millimeters) from having a corporate/fascist system in place that can't be voted out of office.
We need our candidates to understand that every time they run for office they are not just trying to get a political position --- they are fighting for the mere CONCEPT of democracy.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 11:28 am PT...
Actually, now that I'm mentioning Gregoire/Rossi, didn't Gregoire lose very close, and then demanded a recount, and then won? Isn't that exactly what Busby ISN'T doing? She should take a page from Gregoire, and be active like Gregoire was. And then Gregoire stopped more and more recounts after she won. Gregoire did EXACTLY what Busby and other Dems should be doing, and we never talk about how great Gregoire was, ironically.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 11:31 am PT...
Big Dan, I think Paul actually WROTE THE BOOK (or, at least co-wrote the white paper) on the fraud in Snohomish county in 2004.
( http://www.votersunite.o...onFraudInvestigation.pdf )
I had actually hoped that Gregoire would start an investigation after taking office and perhaps blow the whole lid off the scam, but she decided not to "rock the boat." Pity, as I think she has the bulldog attitude to take it to the mat. Another opportunity lost.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 11:37 am PT...
I trust Bob Fitrakis (of freepress.org) much more than I trust John Kerry, and he has said that Kerry got most of his advice about Ohio from a lawyer who actually WORKED FOR REPUBLICANS more than Democrats. It seems clear from the new book by Edward's wife, that Kerry wanted to give it up and "save his powder" (not to mention that $50M slush fund) and that there were at least a few people trying to convince him not to.
PLEASE, let's never talk of John Kerry again as other than a loyal Democratic Senator and one-time (and NEVER AGAIN) Presidential candidate who said a number of stupid things and wouldn't come right out and call a liar a liar. In addition, he told the great lie to the American People who supported him when he said that he would fight to make sure every vote was counted and then conceded with hundreds of thousands of votes not yet counted (and never to be and soon to be destroyed). John Kerry has NO ROLE WHATSOEVER to play in getting us fair elections in this country other than to vote for whatever bill somebody else puts up.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
Grizzly Bear Dancer
said on 8/30/2006 @ 11:44 am PT...
Comment #24: Right On! Although the legal judgment has crossed the double yellow line. Based on the evidence presented to the court about how the Busby - Bilbray election was administered, we are not A RED OR BLUE STATE. WE ARE A FASCIST STATE.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 11:57 am PT...
Paul and others --- What Dems have to do, actually, is to think more politically - or I should say more proactively political. For example, it is certainly true that filing an election contest would be futile, but the point would then be to make futility an issue, bringing the details of the election issue into it. Am I wrong? It seems to me that we are up against a wall, as Charlie L points out, and political tactics require continual proaction rather than incessant and stulifying caution. (In the big Democratic picture, however, we are dealing with more than issues of political tactics toward a goal. Kerry's conclusion, the DNC report, and so on have actually set back our cause and covered over what should be in plain sight.) Democrats have to make things happen which they aren't doing as a rule.
This is not to say that candidates'and others' mode of action are identical. Sure, candidates have other considerations, but they aren't helping and that's a big problem.
That said, as a practical matter we have to take into consideration Paul's #5. It would be unintelligent not to mark and consolidate any and all progress we make, so I am grateful for Francine Busby's remarks and for what appears to be progress. Even yesterday's egregious decision could clarify the issue - as Paul points out on another thread. Let's take what we get and work with it.
Thanks for your fine and patriotic work, Paul.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 12:08 pm PT...
"Still, Lehto argues that the Penny Creek school district “is supposed to be a generally Democratic area, but Republicans won every single race they could have on the electronic machines” — to the point, he and Hoffman say in their report, that the vote counts simply don’t make sense.
"Lehto cites the governor’s race between Republican Dino Rossi and Democrat Christine Gregoire as a case in point. In a comparison of the electronic and absentee vote totals, he says, the absentee count — 67.6 percent of the total vote — had Gregoire leading Rossi by 1,816 votes. For some reason on Election Day, in a county that trends Democratic, the electronic votes — only 32.4 percent of the total — ended up giving Rossi a net of 6,441.
"Lehto says the odds that one-third of the voters could reverse the paper trend and overcome a full two-thirds of the vote are one in 1,000 trillion — a statistical impossibility.
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
Harold R. Mencher
said on 8/30/2006 @ 12:09 pm PT...
Very typical of Democrats. Always a day late and a dollar short. It only took Senator John Kerry two years to finally lash out at Ken Blackwell of Ohio. Why do people not know, not realize that unless you change your game plan, the results will always come out the same. Why do the Democrats continue to think that they are going to win come November when absolutely nothing has changed. The Republican Party is in absolute control of the electoral process and they are also in full control of the federal court system. The Democratic leadership in Washington had well over 4 years to stop the use of these crooked and rigged e-voting machines and have done zip to stop them.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
Voice In The Wilderness
said on 8/30/2006 @ 12:48 pm PT...
Re Paul Lehto’s #14:
Suppose that a judge did rule that we have no voting machines that pass legal and constitutional muster. In the short run, we could not have elections and we would be stuck with the current incumbent thugs until such time as the electoral process could be fixed. But, guess what, that’s pretty much where we are already!
It’s critical that this be looked at from a longer term, big picture perspective. The first objective of the election reform movement must be to draw the public’s attention to this problem. So far, in spite of great progress on this front, we are still largely failing. A ruling saying that all elections are cancelled would BLOW THE LID OFF THIS THING!!! From there, I really think the rest would be cake.
Also, suppose we get a ruling that a new election is called for, rather than a recount. Is that something we should be afraid of? Wouldn’t it be MUCH harder to pull the same tricks the second time around? Wouldn’t the public be watching more carefully? Wouldn’t it alert the public that sensible like judges think that our electoral system has gone astray? Where is the downside there?
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
Voice In The Wilderness
said on 8/30/2006 @ 12:52 pm PT...
#32 Next to last senctence should have read "sensible PEOPLE like judges". Sorry.
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 12:55 pm PT...
A couple posts respectfully disagreeing with me are not really disagreements per se, they point to the crying NEED to have candidate involvement in many cases. That's agreed. (though candidate involvement will also complicate things, as it introduces the element of the other side saying it's all about personal ambition and sour grapes and not election integrity)
My posts are pointed to appreciating the disincentives and penalties to be paid by candidates. That does not mean that those disincentives CONTROL outcome. Instead, I believe an appreciation of all factors coming into play is necessary to be effective, and in some cases needed to be fair.
SOmeone said I was sometimes too legalistic. That's true. But I have sort of a role to play here, and if I'm not going to play the lawyer, who will? : )
If we're all serious about being effective then we'll want to have knowledge of all the factors, figure out how to properly balance them, and then act.
In some cases here, I am striking a note or two that not everyone may appreciate so that the overall conversation has the potential to strike the right chord.
If you want to be a little critical of me, that's ok, but don't do it because I explain some of the complicated pressures candidates come under and appear to be "understanding" of that. Instead, you can fault me for having to "understand" what Bilbray and Haas and their lawyers are thinking, in order to be able to predict what they will do next. And, it ain't pretty. Though I "understand," rest assured I don't approve!
Another fault in addition to being legalistic is that I presume to teach sometimes as well! : ) Sometimes I will even attempt to teach judges (one could claim that persuasion is all attempted teaching) I've met with this judge in chambers with the three other lawyers involved in this case including Ken Simpkins' able advocacy for our side, and I don't get quite the same feeling as others do on this judge.
I think he was up front from the beginning that he didn't know the law initially in this area. Very few do. But he said he'd get up to speed. I really think he listened to my argument (the transcript of which is posted at democraticunderground.com in Election Forum). And I think he knows, as we all knew that this case is heading for appeal, the only question is how much work will this particular judge have to do before it goes up on appeal?
I think he reached the "first level" of legal sophistication in the ruling. THere are cases that can be read, standing alone, to be somewhat supportive of the other side. In that case, as someone said, the "law is an ass." There are certain ways in which the more painful parts of the opinion work better on appeal, whether that was part of the judge's thinking or not, I'll never know.
The judge got involved here more or less by lottery. Not so with the defendants. They are the ones who were not required to make the argument that state courts are powerless to do anything. They could waive that argument or not make it. They acted intentionally, and Bilbray even acted with malice, continuing to insist that two citizen-plaintiffs be spanked for fees in an anti-SLAPP motion when the judge suggested he didn't want to hear it.
Yes, the judge blew it, but in a way that may allow us to make law on appeal, and in any case the focus of anger is more appropriately placed with those who act intentionally to strip citizens of their democratic rights and of their proper role in a democracy.
As I said to the cameras and made the one hostile reporter wince, "I Don't know what you call a system like that, but it ain't 'Democracy.'"
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 1:08 pm PT...
Re: Voice in the Wilderness #32
I agree with you that it is critical to look at things from a longer term, bigger perspective. That would be why one election pales in comparison with the democracy itself.
RIght now, in addition to my three cases, the most important task legally for all is the en banc rehearing in Stewart v Blackwell, in the federal 6th Circuit court of appeals. that case's panel opinion, a published one that luckily got vacated or canceled by the decision to rehear it en banc or by the entire list of 6th Circuit judges, originally held that DREs were constitutional and that central count optical scan and punchcard systems were unconstitutional. It even held that the fear of fraud under DREs did not even provide a rational basis for not allowing DREs! (this was for technical reasons but this could EASILY be abused for political points by DRE proponents). That's the most important thing in the country to work on right at this very second, from the perspective of all of us (the San Diego case we have 10 days to appeal on)
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 1:37 pm PT...
The discussion here is very interesting. However, I take a far darker view of the extent of election rigging in the USA than has been discussed very much on this website. My journalist sister on the East Coast has CIA contacts who have told her that the 2000 and 2004 presidential election numbers were "decided" in advance by CIA/OGA black bag operatives her contacts have some underground knowledge of. My belief and fear is that our elections are now subject to manipulation in the same way that elections of some third-world countries have been rigged by our CIA operatives in the past (and probably continue to be in some places, such as Mexico). Companies like ControlPoint and Diebold are very possibly nothing but CIA fronts, like many of our commercial airlines. Election manipulation has become far more nefarious than most Democrats and "left-leaning" or Democracy-cheriching groups are willing to admit.
Although not a professional statistician, I also find the number of recent elections with razor-thin margins very improbable. The sudden increase in close elections is to my mind circumstantial evidence of elections being rigged in a two-tier fashion. First, the numbers are manipulated to get candidates close in votes, when they actually are not, then the vote numbers are flipped to favor the desired candidate in the last minutes of the election tally. That is the scenario I think is being played out in many elections.
The election won by a Democrat by a razor thin margin is one in which the election manipulators screwed up, or the Democrat used some tricks of his/her own to turn the tables on the GOP election riggers.
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 1:40 pm PT...
Paul, it's been a while, but I don't recall the full 6th Circuit being particularly friendly towards Democracy or electoral rights. Has this changed?
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 2:07 pm PT...
Paul Lehto said in post #34:
Quote: As I said to the cameras and made the one hostile reporter wince, "I Don't know what you call a system like that, but it ain't 'Democracy.'" End Quote
Paul, "a system like this" when politicians are selected/appointed to a position and not elected is called a dictatorship (and you know that), as in the Bush Dictatorship which we are now living in.
Why didn’t you tell it like it is and say that? I'm sure an attorney for the Repugs would have, without a doubt.
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 2:32 pm PT...
In this blog, Brad shows us (with perfect clarity) the mechanisms that will be employed to take the 2006 elections. Republicans won't even need to do much illegal rigging gruntwork, they'll just take the election and then invent something afterwards to justify it. This absurd and deliberate flouting of the law has a terrifying subtext: we are openly fascist, we don't care if you, the people, know it ----because you can't do anything about it.
We should refuse to obey laws legislated by fascists. Our contract with our elected representatives; that we obey the laws made by those elected by us to work for our public good, is broken. Many of our "elected representatives", who have been (and will be) inserted into seats of power by the illegal behavior of the Bush administration, do not represent us and are not working for our good. Their laws are POISON to us and will result in further violations of the human spirit. I worry that behaving in a lawful manner is so ingrained in us, that our ability to discriminate between genuine laws and poison laws will be compromised. The obedience to poisonous and immoral laws is the recipe for raising Hitler's ghost. We can't let that happen.
Bluebear2- thanks for the link.
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 2:48 pm PT...
I'm left wondering whether election officials can be held civilly or criminally liable for something like this.
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 2:53 pm PT...
Bluebird (#39): The "Hassert/Bilbray" mechanism (of installing the player you like and negating any further counting) only works when they have stolen a lead in the vote counting and can get one of their thugs to "declare" a winner to the Clerk of the House.
They have not yet attempted this where the Repuglican thug "declares" someone to be a winner who was NOT ahead in the "count" and then the House installs them. There is nothing to stop that (and, as Paul points out so painfully) the only appeal would be to the criminals in the House themselves, but they haven't shown their hand so blatantly yet. Yet!
To make this little trick work convincingly enough that the "American Idol crowd" (i.e. those people who have chosen media circuses over participation or education about their government) will accept it (an incredibly LOW standard to begin with) they will STILL need to steal the election at the ballot box or in the counting room.
I continue to parrot the admonition of Greg Palast who said we must make the numbers so overwhelmingly against the Repuglican thugs that they are FORCED to steal the vote count.
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 2:57 pm PT...
You are from Everett, WA? This I did not know. Me too.
Anyway, you talk about the length of time it would take to get new "technology" and recertify it, get it in place. Does a paper ballot system constitute "technology"? Aren't we finally at a point where it is entirely obvious (not just to us, but to everybody, based on Zogby's latest poll) that Electronic Voting simply cannot work? Can't we just go back to paper and pencil? Is that naive?
Keep it stupid, simple...am I right?
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 4:24 pm PT...
I have to 'second' Soul Rebel's question:
"Aren't we finally at a point where it is entirely obvious (not just to us, but to everybody, based on Zogby's latest poll) that Electronic Voting simply cannot work? Can't we just go back to paper and pencil?"
I seem to recall Brad being against this, or saying it won't happen. Why? It seems so obvious. And it would certainly be cheaper.
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 4:25 pm PT...
As a matter of finding the silver lining, or even the silver plating, of this decision, I'd like to simply state that Francine Busby has a great chance of coming back and winning the November election, and it may be possible to highlight the malicious and cynical legal maneuvers of the Republicans and Bilbray in this race so as to possibly lose the battle, but win the war (the full 2-year house term).
I'd like to suggest that, from this point onward ... everyone with a voice on the matter at all focus on drawing attention to it. Try strong statements like Paul's:
"They are the ones who were not required to make the argument that state courts are powerless to do anything. They could waive that argument or not make it. They acted intentionally, and Bilbray even acted with malice, continuing to insist that two citizen-plaintiffs be spanked for fees in an anti-SLAPP motion when the judge suggested he didn't want to hear it."
I suggest we make the case, as often as possible, that Bilbray and Haas and Hastert and their legal teams have treated the voters and citizens of California's 50th with contempt. They have been dodging accountability, they have intentionally sought to invalidate the sovereignty of the state of California, and they've shown they can't be trusted any more than old Duke Cunningham!
Anyone with any other language that they think would work, put it out here ... we should make a thread like this into a brainstorming session to coordinate a message to get the district and the rest of the nation clued in.
Keep the heat on, get other liberal political blogs interested, and push the case further on to the national stage. Swing the election enough, and even small-scale fraud won't work.
Also, I don't want to downplay the possible good to the voting transparency movement of the case being heard in a higher court, with more time to draw wider attention. Not only does it sound like there may be a decent chance of winning on appeal, but more PR spread around the rest of the nation may be worth more than the one legal case. We've just got to get cracking on spreading the word!
P.S., Thanks, Paul, for all that you do!
COMMENT #45 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 4:58 pm PT...
This is a Must See! PBS set to ask if voting rights are ‘under assault’
“"This is a concerted effort to make sure that certain people don’t have the opportunity to vote, that they don’t have the opportunity to participate in their own democracy,” Georgia state representative Alisha Thomas Morgan will be seen telling the program.”
COMMENT #46 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 4:59 pm PT...
Comment #42, You are right. The Canadian Parliamentary Election was with paper ballots and counted in 4 hours! Granted, Canada has a small population, but the way they do it so efficiently is that they have many precincts so that there is a limited amount of people in each precinct, and therefore it's easier to manage counting. See the website: Wheres the paper (wheresthepaper.org)
COMMENT #47 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 5:01 pm PT...
You're welcome - us blue folks got to stick together!
COMMENT #48 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 5:07 pm PT...
As I noted in #15 above, Paul in #34, and Ari just now in #44 have all noted. The one big silver lining we have with this ruling is that Bilbray now has a dog in this race. He's now committed himself and his lawyers personally to be an active part of this very obvious manipulation and dismissal of Democratic processes. I think it would behoove all of us to write to Francine Busby and thank her for her statements above and to encourage her *strongly* to go after Bilbray in this election and convince the voters to make voting for her a mandate that they want elections that respects the will of people not the manipulations of bureaucrats (the way that 90+% of Americans want it according to Zogby). That should help her win this seat then I think.
But I think we need also to step back from this and say that isn't the only thing to be concerned about. That's more of a strategic help for Ms. Busby and this race and to some extent to allow voters speak out in their displeasure on how the primary was handled.
But we can't just look at that. We also need to make sure that we don't allow these positions to stand where they could do damage in every other race in the country, if this ruling is accepted as precedent. This needs to be appealed strongly, and that effort may need to be done outside of Francine Busby's efforts to get reelected and deal with other issues in her race against Bilbray. For that we need to look at the fundamental violations of the constitution and other laws going on, and not focus on just demonizing Bilbray for supporting this or Busby for not supporting our position enough earlier in this context. If we need to get support from the candidate like Busby where legal rules force us to get her actions to happen, then so be it, but it should be more of a plan to mechanistically beat down this devious Republican strategy that's being put in place. We need to not get emotional and just stay focused on shutting it down, whatever way we can!
The problem we have is now we have voting machines that can make margins of victory close enough to be manipulated by voting machines, but not close enough to be contested by reports of a station not counting ballots properly or the like that don't total enough to make up the "visible" difference in the race. In the case of Gregoire/Rossi, we had a close enough margin with enough votes in question to change the winner, that by the old rules they could get a recount. And we had the fortunate situation of having a Republican Secretary of State up there along with a court system that did things by the book and not questionably the way they've been done here and elsewhere that complicates things more.
We need to find ways to initiate election challenges when voting processes are in question, even if we don't have evidence of the potential for a set number of ballots to have been inaccurately counted/filed. This is hard now with the new world of e-voting machines with all of the existing laws and rules set up for pre e-voting times. This is a technical, legal, AND a public visibility issue and we need to hit this from all sides.
COMMENT #49 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 5:51 pm PT...
# 42, I too, think votes should be paper ballots and hand-counted as they are in Canada (They hand-counted Canada's ballots in the last Parliamentary election in 4 hours!) Computer professionals think this too--That computers have no place in elections
VOTING BY PAPER BALLOTS AND HAND COUNTS
The key to a timely hand-count is to limit the size of each precinct. The length of the ballot could determine the number of voters per precinct.
How other countries vote
HAND COUNTS WORK - OTTAWA (AP) November 28, 2000 --- Florida vote canvassers, take note. Within four hours after the last polls closed in Canada's parliamentary election, officials at 50,000 polling stations had hand-counted virtually every one of nearly 13 million paper ballots. There were glitches, to be sure --- an angry voter seized a ballot box in Nova Scotia and threw it into a polluted lagoon. But overall, Canada's federal elections system, which uses no counting machines, had a smooth Election Night.
For Canada's year 2000 election:
21,243,473 - registered voters
60,728 - number of polling stations
350 - average of registered voters per station (minimum of 250 per precinct)
12,997,185 - total ballots cast
214 - average ballots cast per polling station
139,412 or 1.1% - ballots rejected
61.2% - voter turn-out
For more on Canada's excellent election process, see below and at bottom of this page -
report on the disabled
voting templates for the blind
12. How to hand-count paper ballots.
COMMENT #50 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 5:57 pm PT...
Thanks, CharlieL, for responding to my post.
I'm thinking about how easy it's been for them to steal the lead: they have a whole mechanism set up for that too, as I'm sure you're painfully aware (including those classes on how to suppress the vote!), and, they have so many thugs! They'll find some pollster to announce a month ahead of time that the gap is closing between candidates, to make the theft seem more logical. Or reports of wide gaps will be kept out of the mainstream news. After the theft, of course, they will never allow an honest recount of any election if they can prevent it.
After seeing how the Mexican vote was stolen, even with paper ballots, it's clear to me that no voting method is safe from corruption (I still think paper is the best though: once a vote is thrown into the virtual world of computers, not only is the vote lost as a trackable object, but so is the criminal who stole it. Stealing paper ballots means human risk and that means potential accountability). Mostly though, It is the Ken Blackwells, Katherine Harris', Dennis Hasterts, the cronies, partisan elections commissioners, those working the system, preventing recounts, doing whatever they have to do to steal the election who are killing our democracy.
I'm with you in hoping they will drown in a sea of democratic votes (even though I'm not very big in the hope department today). Can we then win enough of the junkyard dog fights that are bound to follow any democratic victory to maintain a tiny toehold on democracy?
COMMENT #51 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 7:37 pm PT...
What are the 'disincentives' Paul? That she might lose an election? She just had one stolen from her! We're not going to start winning by standing around saying "Oh, well played!", we're going to have to fight everyone of these to the ground. What should be done now is a class action lawsuit against Dennis Hastert, this bag from the California Secretary of State by the Democrats that live in the district. We're going to have to start nailing these sons-of-bitches to the wall, each and every time they try to pull this kind of shit.
COMMENT #52 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 7:47 pm PT...
Well, to thwart the Repugs, I think that everyone should employ Clint Curtis' method that Brad had suggested people sign up for--that is, run a "PARALLEL ELECTION".
Clint had urged his potential voters:
To be sure your vote is counted, go to Clint Curtis' Vote Now 2006 to record your vote in a parallel election. If there is a problem at the polls, you will be notified to contact Clint. Then he will have a piece of paper to take to court if necessary to make sure your vote counts!
I think every candidate should adopt this method. For those who don't use computers, I suggest you send your candidate a letter of your intent to vote for him/her.
Probably, best to mail it by certified mail, so you can have a receipt.
COMMENT #53 [Permalink]
said on 8/31/2006 @ 12:12 am PT...
I agree with you on the parallel election. Could there be laptop within a legal distance from the polls where people could notify the candidate of their vote? A certified letter is a great idea too.
COMMENT #54 [Permalink]
said on 8/31/2006 @ 8:42 am PT...
I think we have to organize our own, intensive exit polls, guerilla-style, focusing on certain, unannounced polling stations. Then we MUST DEMAND the official stats for said precincts and make comparisons. Then, alas, but perhaps hurrah, we MUST JOIN OLE ERMA in the streets, IMVHO, I apologize for screaming
COMMENT #55 [Permalink]
said on 8/31/2006 @ 9:35 am PT...
I invite everyone on bradblog to start thinking and talking with their friends about what they are going to do when (not if) the elections of 2006 are stolen.
The question to ask is: "IF you knew that your local election was stolen and nothing was being done, would you be willing to... 1. protest in the streets, 2. shut down your local city government, 3. something else I can't mention without violating the Alien Sedition Act."
Ask your family.
Ask your friends.
Inquire with the co-workers you trust.
Mention it in passing with your associates and acquaintances.
The people in 1776 didn't know they were in a defining battle for the future --- they just thought they were doing what had to be done.
The people in Germany in 1933 didn't "get" it.
The people in Germany in 1937 didn't "get" it.
By the time the people in Germany understood what their responsibility was, it was too late.
I still remember my old typing test: "This is the time for all good men (and women) to come to the aid of their country."
Your Democratic Republic needs you. Are you ready to pledge your life and fortune to defending what America is supposed to be?
COMMENT #56 [Permalink]
said on 8/31/2006 @ 10:07 am PT...
Charlie L - The quick red fox jumped over the lazy brown dog
COMMENT #57 [Permalink]
said on 8/31/2006 @ 10:18 am PT...
Diane #53 --- I am looking into what distance one has to be away from the polling place and will let you know when I get more particulars
COMMENT #58 [Permalink]
said on 8/31/2006 @ 2:37 pm PT...
It sure did, didn't it. Only in this case, I think the dog was blue. (I will indulge in a little LMAO here.)
COMMENT #59 [Permalink]
said on 8/31/2006 @ 2:38 pm PT...
And can a moderator un-italicize all this text pretty please?
COMMENT #60 [Permalink]
said on 8/31/2006 @ 2:51 pm PT...
#59, Soul Rebel
We're trying, but it looks like somebody, Brad!, forgot to close italics somewhere inaccessible to mere mortals.
COMMENT #61 [Permalink]
said on 9/1/2006 @ 2:10 pm PT...
I am going to ask a few fundamental questions of you people.
Are you willing to give up your lives for democracy and freedom?
If you aren't willing to sacrifice yourself for your liberty what will stop determined fascists and totalitarians who have the power and means to take that freedom from you from doing so?
In lieu of sacrificing yourself for your freedom. Are you willing to travel at some inconvenience to a rally to protest against fascism?
Are you willing to contribute a substantial amount of your income even though it would cause some discomfort and rebudgeting to support issues or candidates that help to stem the tide of fascism and totalitarianism?
If no to the above shut the hell up and go shopping.
COMMENT #62 [Permalink]
said on 9/1/2006 @ 2:50 pm PT...
By your standards, I don't have to go shopping. I do notice a lot of people mentioning that they need to take care of their pets and families to excuse lack of participation, and I try to remind everyone that the men who fought the Revolutionary War had families and pets and livestock that needed attention too. I think most Americans do not realize that "liberty and justice for all" is something we ALL have to be willing to sacrifice for... up to and including our jobs, families and lives.
There are, however, multitudes who flat out have NO means to get to where the action is (if there is ever any action to get to), OR to go shopping. Some of them are sitting or standing by the road alone with homemade signs, and others are worrying themselves to death. Our society is not set up to facilitate the congregation of citizens. Many haven't the first part of a clue how to overcome this hurdle. Got any constructive ideas for them?