Linda Lamone Allows Her Picture To Be Used In Diebold Sales Literature
Testifies Favorably for Equipment That Failed Spectacularly In Maryland Last September...
By John Gideon on 6/26/2007, 1:33pm PT  

Today Wired News' Kim Zetter reported on their "Threat Level" blog that Maryland Election Director, and long-time Diebold apologist, Linda Lamone has allowed her statements and picture to be used in new advertising brochures Diebold has produced to promote their Express Poll 5000 electronic poll books.

Zetter quotes Lamone:

"Our election judges just love this product, and so do I. We in Maryland are extremely pleased with the performance of the system during the general election," reads Lamone's quote next to a photo of her smiling and sitting, presumably, in a state election office.

Note Lamone's mention of being pleased during the general election.

As Zetter points out in her article, the machines that Lamone is speaking for failed spectacularly in Maryland during last September's Maryland primary election. The machines also failed in Georgia last July. It appears that Diebold was doing what seems to have become a common practice among the voting machine vendors, "Beta Testing" in a real election. While Diebold claimed that they fixed all of the problems found during the primaries, at least one official told Zetter that machines in at least one precinct crashed when a last name beginning with "Cur" was typed in.

And what about the conflict of interest of Lamone shilling for a company that the state is doing business with? Zetter goes on to report...

Although it's common practice in the business world for a company to include the testimonials of happy clients in the company's marketing literature, Robert Hahn, general counsel for Maryland's State Ethics Commission, says "the way the private sector does business is not necessarily the way the public sector does business." Impartiality in carrying out duties, he says, is a factor in how the public views whether a state agency is "acting in a fair and responsible manner." Therefore maintaining that impartiality is important for public confidence. Hahn wouldn't comment on whether he felt Lamone's actions violated that public trust but pointed Wired News to a section of the state's ethics law that prohibits the misuse of a state office for the benefit of a state employee or a third party, such as a vendor.

Section 15-506 of the law regarding "Use of prestige of office" reads:

(a) In general. --- An official or employee may not intentionally use the prestige of office or public position for that official's or employee's private gain or that of another."

Whether Lamone profited personally from the appearance is unclear. What is very clear, however, is that Lamone, supposedly a Democrat, has shamelessly shilled for the company and covered up for her failures, as well as the company's failures in Maryland for years.