READER COMMENTS ON
"Democrats and Their Public Advocacy Group Supporters Continue to Fiddle on Election Reform as Democracy Burns"
(35 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 4/6/2007 @ 10:28 am PT...
I really don't understand the partisan focus in your editorial when, what this site is ostensibly about is policy and the election process, and not political parties, or individual politicians.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 4/6/2007 @ 10:44 am PT...
This site is about issues. Election Integrity is an issue. If I find someone working *against* EI, whether on purpose, or accidentally, or out of fear or anything else, I will call them on it, since such behavior impedes the process towards American EI.
In this case, it's the Congressional Democrats who "own the ball" for the moment in moving EI forward at the federal level. They are at risk of blowing it. Some of their biggest public-advocacy group supporters (PFAW, MoveOn, Common CAuse, VoteTrustUSA, etc.) are enabling them to do so.
My criticism of them has nothing to do with the fact that they are Democrats or "partisans". It has to do with the fact that they are wrong.
(And, btw, you'll note that the blame is spread throughout this article, on as many --- and surely many many more throughout the entire website --- Republicans than Democrats, as it has unquestionably been the GOP who has been the most aggressive in fighting AGAINST EI in America.
Your unsubstantiated assertions of a "partisan focus" are simply baseless.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 4/6/2007 @ 12:23 pm PT...
How did PFAW wind up so wrong on this? Who's been blowing smoke up their asses?
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 4/6/2007 @ 12:46 pm PT...
I can't tell for sure, Brantl. But Exec. Dir. Ralph Neas may have worked closely in the past with AAPD's Jim Dickson, who has been one of the worst obstructionists when it comes to Election Reform, as he's been insisting for years that no "paper trails" even be added to DREs, and that *everybody* use them!
Dickson has apparently also lied to many (including myself) about him and/or his organization receiving money from the voting machine companies. NYTimes reported they received at least $16,000, with his close allies at the National Federal for the Blind (NFB) having received $1 million from Diebold.
I cannot, however, tell you what effect any of that has had directly on PFAW policy, even as I continue to try and keep drilling down to figure out what the hell is going on here.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 4/6/2007 @ 12:51 pm PT...
I went to Warren Stewart's Web site (www.votetrustusa.org) and left the following message, after reading what you wrote, and what Warren testified to in front of Congress in February:
Given your testimony above, how can you possibly give support to the Holt Bill (HR 811) that ensures that DREs will continue to exist and use secret software? That allows the President to appoint cronies to the EAC and thus control election protocol throughout the U.S. Do just these two issues alone not concern you enough to either urge amendment of Holt or outright opposition?
Please comment on this very important issue - please help readers understand how VoteTrustUSA can take a support HR811 position in light of these fatal flaws. Thank you for taking the time to respond to this.
SAVE R VOTE
Riverside County, CA"
I am hopeful that he WILL respond, as that position (suppoorting HR811) without an explanation leaves all of us scratching our heads. I will let you know if I hear back.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 4/6/2007 @ 1:14 pm PT...
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 4/6/2007 @ 1:25 pm PT...
To the first commenter, I'd put it this way:
I (perhaps mistakenly) have/had hopes that Democrats would take the lead in election reform, but so far, it is not happening. The partisan situation is like this: the upper echelons of the Republican party seem to actively want to thwart clean, transparent elections. For example, I'm familiar with a group that Brad has blogged about called American Center
for against Voting Rights, which is a fraudulent group and (for some reason) is composed of top lawyers for the Republican party. On the Democratic side, they just don't seem to get it, and apathy and ignorance are the rule. The 2 parties are definitely different on this issue.
The creation of ACVR was very interesting. Back when the Repubs controlled congress, they had a sham hearing on voting reform. They invited members of ACVR to testify - they moved straight to the top of the list, of all (and there are many) the voting rights groups to pick from. Strange thing was, they only just formed 1 or 2 business days before the hearing took place. Strange, isn't it? ACVR formed on a thursday or friday, and then testified at a hearing on monday or tuesday afterwards.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 4/6/2007 @ 1:37 pm PT...
Leadership involves actually getting something done and Governor Crist hasn't accomplished anything yet on election reform. His own party in the Florida Legislature shot down his budget proposal to replace touchscreens with optical-scan systems and the various bills on the isuue in the legislature are at a virtual stand still. So far he's talked a good game, but I want to see results.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 4/6/2007 @ 3:54 pm PT...
Brad, thank you for this important article. In every race that has been revealed "glitches" in the electronic count, 100 percent of the victors have been Republican. Now, after one lucky spin in our slot-machine democracy, the Democratic leadership seems to think the machines aren't such a problem and they will embrace the Holt Bill as a cosmetic fix. Then the Dems can act all surprised when they lose big in 2008. At this stage of the game, both parties are beholden to corporate sponsors who have the greater interest in protecting the power they wield in this former democracy. This trilogy of power works together because they fear an honest democracy where people have the power. They have worked long and hard to finally hold the all the keys to our democracy and they won't be giving up the master key very easily. This issue is like any other campaign filled with empty promises. Our national treasure has been plundered, the middle-class is screwed, so why not steel the democracy, too? The masses sleep and hardly notice!
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 4/6/2007 @ 4:59 pm PT...
BeJammin075 - Good work over at dKos. Such posting there, and at DU, and elsewhere (particularly on some of the "social" sites like Digg, Reddit, etc.) mean more to these stories getting legs in the 'sphere than you may know.
I know, because I can check site traffic and such, and can see that a head of steam over at Digg or Reddit or StumbleUpon often translates into the story be re-linked all over the web.
So please continue to make noise with these stories, via diaries like that at dKos, or hitting those "Share this article" buttons at the bottom of each story, etc. It can have a very positive effect, whether it's easily apparent or not!
Especially since *I* can't go around everywhere yelling about it. Don't let that stop *you* from doing so, however!
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 4/6/2007 @ 8:59 pm PT...
It is very upsetting that the new Democratic majority seems so unwilling to embrace meaningful election reform. Brad, the work you and your fellow bloggers do here to bring this issue into prominence is the most important possible.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
JUDGE OF JUDGES
said on 4/6/2007 @ 10:31 pm PT...
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 3:36 am PT...
Please keep fighting! No one in the Country has more creditibility on this issue than Brad Friedman!
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 3:37 am PT...
credibility (I hate misspellings...sorry)
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 4:36 am PT...
The republican governor of the state with the worst voting record, or at worst second to Ohio, will not get my trust just because of what he says.
They lie habitually and have no body language or facial expression that is different when they lie or when they pass over the truth between lies.
If he were to open up the Ray Lemme murder, then I would be cautiously open to what he says. It is faith based not fact of performance based.
The quickie trust being offered by the neoCon republican is for too cheap a price to convince me.
Why strain against the grain, especially in the face of recent history, to make the case the republicans can be trusted to care about anything except power?
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 5:10 am PT...
What a contrast between this Bradblog post and this current thread.
One thing I can say is that Brad covers all bases.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 5:16 am PT...
I feel for electronic voting, the process can be very complicated and let's face it - some of our legislators are not exactly the sharpest knives in the drawer. They listen to "market talk" from vendors about what a system can do or not do and accept it for face value. Without computer background or asking assute questions, some may have bought into something they knew nothing about. Then on the other hand, maybe the biased neo-cons want exactly what we have - a simple way to cheat voters. After all, to normal people war is a bad thing, but to some (bush followers) war is a good, money-making business!
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 5:28 am PT...
I hope you don't mind an off-topic comment, but I think this is important: There is a great post on The Carpetbagger Report from a few days ago about the mainstream media's (specifically Time magazine's) ignoring the prosecutor purge scandal.
What explains the failure of the mainstream media to cover the purge scandal for so long, and so many other scandals? Do you think somebody just set up newspaper editors to cheat on their wives, and threatened to tell if the editors wouldn’t play ball when they come back some day and ask for something?
It wouldn’t be that hard to do, when you think about it. People wouldn’t talk about it.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 5:43 am PT...
The magnitude of the 2006 landslide surprised the "fixers" who were unprepared to tip the scales sufficiently to alter the outcome. If unverifiable voting methods are still in place in 2008, the "fixers" won't make that mistake again. Why can't the Dems understand this?
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 6:07 am PT...
You said "Why can't the Dems understand this?" ... which includes all dems. That would make it an overstatement. But I get your point ...
To that I offer this MSM rag article for us to ponder:
The first three months of the new Democratic Congress have been neither terrible nor transcendent. A Pew poll had it about right: a substantial majority of the public remains happy the Democrats won in 2006, but neither Nancy Pelosi nor Harry Reid has dominated the public consciousness as Newt Gingrich did when the Republicans came to power in 1995. There is a reason for that. A much bigger story is unfolding: the epic collapse of the Bush Administration.
(Time Magazine, emphasis added).
Why can't the repubs understand this?
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 7:24 am PT...
Here are some strategies that I recommend for working on our legislators to correct this problem.
Visit you Congressperson (and/or Senator) while they are on spring break. If unable to see them face to face in their home office find out if they will be speaking anywhere.
Here is a graphic image that explains the problem with DREs in simple language and images. Even charismatic, "priceless" elected partisans can understand it. ;-> http://www.votersunite.o...info/amendHR811orNot.asp
Also copy to them an article or two about Crist, and describe him as a modern day hero. Encourage them to commend Crist to the press for his reforms in Florida.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 8:30 am PT...
I live in Florida and have been pleasantly surprized by Gov Crist's proposal to scrap the DRE's. However, has this been a ploy to get us all to calm down about the previously stolen elections? If he is serious, he has the power to call for more investigation of the missing 18,000 votes in Sarasota and he can call on Clint Curtis for a little information or he can just make sound bites, knowing our Republican Legislature is not going to do anything. I'm still skeptical, and with good reason.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 8:39 am PT...
I'm going to this on Thursday morning in New York City armed with talking points and other good material on DRE. If you're in the NY Tri-State area, you should come too.
Vote 2008: Symposium on Election Reform and New York Voting Machines
When: Thursday, April 12, 2007
8am – 10am
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University
Jacob Burns Moot Court Room (First Floor)
55 Fifth Avenue (at 12th Street)
New York, New York 10003
Hon. Rush Holt – Congressman (D-NJ) (invited)
Doug Kellner – Co-Chair, NY State Board of Elections
Esmeralda Simmons, Esq. – Director, Center for Law and Social Justice, Medgar Evers College
Ion Sancho – Supervisor of Elections, Leon County, Florida
Moderated by David Becker – Director, Democracy Campaign, People For the American Way
Introduction by Andrew Stengel - Executive Director, Northeast Region, People For the American Way
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 8:51 am PT...
The Bush/Rove cabal has a history in meddling in election fraud, even in other countries (Italy, Mexico). And I am upset about the Dems remaining for the most part, silent on e-vote fraud.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 9:24 am PT...
Part of the problem is that, no matter how imperfect the system is, the people who are actually elected got there with that imperfect system. From THEIR point of view, the elections are working perfectly. They were elected, and their opponents were not. Why fix what isn't broke?
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 11:29 am PT...
How bout the American Citizens come together to raise the money ourselves for paper ballots and op-scans, instead of poring it down the never-ending hole of corrupt politician contributions~~~~~
I was glad to see Specter and a dem sponsor a campaign reform thing, at least start the conversation.
And I still say Brad, You need a running white house scandal tally page. Ya know, it's hard to keep up with em ALL.
DREDD, glad to hear some more scepticism!
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 11:31 am PT...
I KNOW! IKNOW!
Seriously, some hopes DIE HARD!
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 12:45 pm PT...
Or we could just not pay taxes on Apr. 15 due to no taxation without representation and it is so hard to get the attention of our elected officials. Hard to say they are just too busy to notice the hijacking of the very govt. they represent.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 4/7/2007 @ 3:43 pm PT...
This post was perfect timing. I just got a call from Common Cause for donation and talked at length with the gentleman about this. He was very understanding and thanked me for guiding him to The Brad Blog and said he would read more about it.
Not that one guy making phone calls for Common Cause is going to change anything, but it's good to keep the issue front and center whenever we can.
Between the corporate owned and controlled press and privately run elections, we've got too much work to do.
Thanks as always Brad. My lapsed donation is on it's way!
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 4/8/2007 @ 4:25 am PT...
If American democracy fails, it is a serious blow to democracy around the world, and step backwards for humanity. Why are the Democrats so weak, spineless, and lacking in vision and moral fortitude? With such weak, and intellectually lazy leadership in the United States, composed of milquetoasts who won't even stand up for the very basis of the Unites as a country --- the integrity of its democracy --- the world will turn away from the US in disgust, as it is already beginning to do. One can only pray that Rocky Anderson --- who has the rare courage and guts (rare for a Democrat, that is) to stand up to intimidating corporate-controlled conservative bullies, will somehow get in there and verbally punch them out (starting with Sean "Shout Down the Messenger" Hannity.
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 4/8/2007 @ 5:42 am PT...
You said "glad to hear some more scepticism" to which I say thanks. Note what Lildoggy #22 said. It comes from someone who lives there and who knows the landscape there in crime mecca.
I am skeptical of the neoCons because they cannot stop avoiding the facts and truth. That is the nature of being delusional.
And once it is institutionalized it is "normalized" in that entire neoCon realm which is also delusional. Currently the republicans are "bound and connected at the hip" to the neoCon infestation.
They have been turning the DOJ into The Office of Inquisition by religious fanatical appointees. Then they plan to come after dems and the most mad among them would "torture the devil" out of those who do not have the holy faith of the bushies.
And no child's money is left behind, nor is any US government office free from these crime motivated neoCon Rovian evangelists.
Keep the faith baby, that is where the devine booty loot is.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 4/8/2007 @ 6:38 am PT...
The point is, Bush caused us to never trust a Republican again, no matter WHAT they say. Bush didn't say during his campaign, "I'm going to appoint unqualified corporate cronies to all agencies and committees, I'm going to attack Iraq for the oil, I'm going to self-proclaim that I'm a conservative and say I espouse the conservative philosophy...but do the opposite, etc...etc...
So, trust a Republican...AGAIN??? Sorry, I'm glad this guy's saying this, but Bushco ruined it on the LOT of the Republican party. In emergency mode, it's best to never trust a Republican again!
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 4/8/2007 @ 8:47 am PT...
What I'd like to see, and I don't think it would be too hard for someone in the know to produce, is a map of the good 'ol USA, color-coded to show which states are
a) still all electronic voting machines and gung-ho about 'em and
b) which states have 'em, but are facing a fight from 'the movement against electronic voting machines' and
c) which states have insiders like the SoS or state legislatures fighting with 'the movement' against 'em and finally the states
d) which have gotten rid of them (pure lily White states).
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 4/9/2007 @ 3:56 pm PT...
The Rethuglican gov of Florida has a REASON for working to put the ex-felons back on the voting rolls, and it has NOTHING to do with voting integrity, and NOTHING to do with caring about the rights of ex-felonds.
The Rethuglicans plan to completely control every aspect of elections in Florida and OWN them, including the Republican and Democratic primaries and the general election. To manipulate those elections they will need LOTS of voters to supposedly cast ballots, and now the brilliant work of voter disenfranchisement they did in 1998 and 2003 is a PROBLEM for them, rather than the solution it was in stealing the election for Bush.
So, bring the ex-felons back and wow, what a suprise, for some insane reason, they are going to vote 85% Rethuglican --- who would have thought it?\
The Democrats (and PFAW) are IDIOTS if they think that November 2006 proved that the electoral system wasn't rigged. All that happened is that disgusted Americans did what Greg Palast told us to do: WE VOTED SO BIG THEY COULDN'T STEAL IT. It should have been a LANDSLIDE, with 30 to 50 additional Congressional seats and 3 more senate seats going to Democrats, but they managed to steal SOME of it --- just not ALL of it. Code was in place, and the "surge" was last-minute, and they couldn't get their "fix" re-fixed in time.
They won't make that mistake in 2008. If we don't fix Holt, we won't have a Constitutional Republic by 2010 and Rove will have won.
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 4/9/2007 @ 10:40 pm PT...
IMPEACH THE MOTHER FUCKERS ALREADY!