Three Smart Editorials Today Calling the Bad Guys Out and Demanding Accountability! Finally!
UPDATED: One More Smart Editorial Today Added, Calls Tom Feeney 'Shameless'!
By Brad Friedman on 8/30/2007, 9:18am PT  

Blogged by Brad from Boulder, CO...

Must get off the grid today very shortly (and will be gone until after Labor Day), so not much time for comment here. Rather, I'll give you quick pointers to three superb editorials in today's papers as the voices of the good guys return to counter the charlatans and propagandists who've been dominating the media pages for far too long.

Please read on, for some heroic cries for accountability --- finally --- from the hopelessly compromised U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), Election Officials in general, and Sequoia Voting Systems in particular, all found in the op/ed pages today from Coast-to-Coast!...

Our hero, Tova Andrea Wang, she the co-author of the bipartisan "Voter Fraud" report commissioned, then buried, and then released in altered, bastardized form by the EAC, speaks out today in the Washington Post. With her gag order now lifted, Wang details how the EAC has become little more than a politically compromised branch of the Bush Administration. No different from any of the other agencies that have been politicizing and rewriting public reports before they ever reach the public.

(NOTE: we interviewed her several weeks ago while Guest Hosting the Peter B. Collins Show, just days after she was finally allowed to speak about all of this for the first time, audio & text transcript here)

The EAC, as created by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) after the FL 2000 Election Debacle, was supposed to serve as a bi-partisan oversight group to monitor and assist in the administration of the nation's federal elections. But they have become fully partisan, politicized, compromised, and ineffectual in their prescribed duties. Just one example from the editorial detailing how her bi-partisan report was bastardized by the EAC:

We also raised questions about the way the Justice Department was handling complaints of fraud and intimidation. The commission excised all references to the department that might be construed as critical --- or that Justice officials later took issue with. And all of the suggestions we received from political scientists and other scholars regarding methodologies for a more scientifically rigorous look at these problems were omitted.
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[I]t is evident from the commission's "document dump" that its Republican general counsel assumed primary control over the rewriting of the report.

Also of note in the op/ed pages today, Ron Watt from Tehama County, CA, calls the Election Registrars out in the Red Bluff Daily News for the horrific way in which they've been operating, in near-lockstep, as agents for the Voting Machine Companies instead of the voters of California. Though his editorial refers to Election Officials in the Golden State, it could equally well describe the vast majority of such officials across the entire country. One sample...

We are now faced with the registrar of voters of most counties crying about the cost that [the findings from CA SoS Debra Bowen's "Top-to-Bottom Review" of e-voting systems] will impose on our county budgets. These costs are a direct result of the inept and possibly criminal actions of these very same registrars of voters.

These registrars, and in some case their predecessors, are responsible for convincing the various county entities to purchase these voting systems in the first place. I have spoken to, spoken before and listened to the rhetoric that is spewed by registrar of voters throughout California and various other states. The statements that they make are near verbatim. It would lead one to believe that Genetic Engineering has been continuing to the point that they are actually cloning these beings.
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[T]he very basic bottom line is that the Registrar of Voters is sworn to a solemn oath to uphold the rights of the citizenry and conduct fair and uncompromised elections. This has not been the case. The multi million dollar expenditure of taxpayer funds on flawed systems and then worse yet the continuing defense and justification of these systems is truly a violation of that oath.

As I remarked earlier with regards to cloning, you will note the identical pattern, "Buy the machines," "The machines are good," "The machines have not failed," "The naysayers are just sour grapes wackos," "Oh woe is me. It will cost money for paper ballots," "It's not my fault."

Finally, the editorial board at the Desert Sun, in a refreshing change of pace, calls for accountability for the mess in Riverside County, CA, where the Board of Supervisors may finally be catching on to the deception that has been played on them by Sequoia Voting Systems and their Registrars of Voters (first Mischelle Townsend, now Barbara Dunmore) for so many years. The unbylined editorial describes the scene at a recent County Board of Supervisors meeting in which the discussion concerned getting money back from Sequoia for their misrepresented systems, and the county's current attempt to lease paper-based systems for the upcoming elections, rather than be burned again (they've so far paid $30 million to Sequoia for systems that don't work, and can no longer be used):

"Well … I certainly feel your pain," Sequoia representative Howard Cramer said to county supervisors Tuesday. To that, we say, "Really? Do you really? Well then make it right. We've spent millions with you. Make it right."

County supervisors must keep pushing Sequoia.

Meanwhile, this entire situation has spun out of control, and someone should be held accountable.
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This situation is screaming for careful scrutiny and review. Someone must be held accountable for the ongoing million-dollar snafus.

UPDATE: Oh, and one more. The St. Petersburg Times finally wakes up and realizes how dirty Tom Feeney is. Noticing at least part of what we reported two days ago, the Times rightfully calls one of the U.S. Congress's most corrupt Congressmen "shameless"...

He told the Orlando Sentinel then that the fund was going to be used to provide necessary records to investigators and to "demonstrate conclusively that I always have acted with honesty and integrity."

Toward that quest to demonstrate his integrity, Feeney has now taken a $5,000 contribution from a company owned by his longtime political benefactor, Tyng-Lin Yang. Yang, as the Sentinel reports, is also president of Yang Enterprises, which is seeking a "logistics operations" contract at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Feeney is the senior Republican on the House Science space subcommittee. Feel cozy?

Yang and Feeney are no strangers. Feeney once worked as a lobbyist for Yang Enterprises and was accused, while he served as Florida House speaker, of using his position to intervene in a contract dispute with the state. Over the past six years, Yang and his wife have donated $18,000 to Feeney's campaigns.
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If his reason for silence is to further stoke the public's growing distrust, he is right on schedule.