Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones reached the highest level of my Life Heroes on January 6th, 2005, when she stood up at the joint session of Congress and said,
"Mr. Vice President, I seek to object to the electoral votes of the State of Ohio."
It was this objection, supported by the signature and support of Senator Barbara Boxer, that forced Congress into splitting up and debating the validity of the charge of voting irregularities in Ohio that should have made Ohio's electoral votes uncertifiable.
In the House that day, she said:
Mr. Speaker, and ladies and gentlemen, I, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a representative from the state of Ohio, and Senator Barbara Boxer, a Senator from California, have objected to the counting of the electoral votes of the state of Ohio on the ground that they were not under all of the known circumstances regularly given.
I thank god that I have a Senator for joining me in this objection, and I appreciate Senator Boxer’s willingness to listen to the plight of hundreds and even thousands of Ohio voters that for a variety of reasons were denied the right to vote. Unfortunately, objecting to the electoral votes from Ohio is the only immediate avenue to bring these issues to light.
While some have called our cause foolish, I can assure you that my parents, Mary and Andrew Tubbs, did not raise any fools. They raised a lawyer. They raised a former judge. They raised a prosecutor, and thank god, they lived to see me serve as a member of the House of Representatives. I’m duty-bound to follow the law and apply to the law to the facts as I find them, and it is on behalf of those millions of Americans who believe in and value our Democratic process, and the right to vote, that I put forth this objection today. If they’re willing to stand at polls for countless hours in the rain as many did in Ohio, then I should surely stand up for them here in the halls of Congress.
This objection does not have at its root the hope or even the hint of overturning the victory of the president, but it is a necessary, timely, and appropriate opportunity to review and remedy the most precious process in our democracy. I raise this objection neither to put the nation in the turmoil of a proposed overturned election, nor to provide cannon fodder or partisan demagoguery for my fellow members of Congress. I raise this objection because I am convinced that we as a body must conduct a formal and legitimate debate about election irregularities. I raise this objection to debate the process, and protect the integrity of the true will of the people.
With this, the report Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio, written by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. and the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff, based on the hearings they held in Ohio throughout December 2004. . .
WAS ENTERED INTO THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD.
It is this brave, tenacious, outspoken and vibrant woman who we will now miss.
It is her shoes we must fill.
And it is that action that must be told, and retold, and told some more, so that it is remembered, so she is remembered for doing it, so the coordinated actions of Barbara Boxer and John Conyers, Jr. are also remembered...
So we do not ever give up on our quest for Democracy.
And here's my Comment/Question I just sent to The Diane Rehm Show on NPR for today for her Friday News Roundup:
So much of the media reporting on Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones sudden death this week (including NPR) has failed to mention her most important single action: standing up before a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2005 to object to the certification of the electoral votes of the state of Ohio. With the support of Senator Barbara Boxer, she forced Congress to stop the certification, hold a 2 hour debate in both Houses, and entered the report by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. and the House Judiciary Democratic Staff, "Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio" into the Congressional Record" --- based on hearings in Ohio the Republican majority refused to acknowledge or authorize, concerning such questionable irregularities as machine errors, voter intimidation tactics, unnecessarily long lines in poorer neighborhoods, and data manipulation by Diebold and election officials.
This Congresswoman should be honored for this extremely important and courageous action, and we must all pick up that torch she raised to protect election integrity --- especially with reports EVEN THIS WEEK from The New York Times, CBS News, Scientific American, and the Washington Post --- revealing that these ridiculously expensive voting machines are still causing enough significant errors to throw the election results.
Is this NOT the most important story that must be emphasized before the election?
Are we all just giving up on Democracy? --- even while we destroy other countries to spread it?