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NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
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The BRAD BLOG has just received a personal phone call from Congressman John Conyers (not from his staff, but from the good Congressman himself), thanking us for the work that everyone has done on behalf of the nation to get the message through to the Baker/Carter National "Election Reform" Commission that their current make-up and apparent direction is wholly unacceptable.
Conyers has just finished meeting with Dr. Robert A. Pastor, the executive director of the commission, and has been told that he will be able to continue working and meeting with the commission and it's various members over the coming weeks and months.
He plans on meeting with former Jimmy Carter personally to discuss some of his concerns.
As a good faith measure, Conyers has told Pastor that for the time being he would ask us (and you) to direct all Email with concerns or information for the commission to CDEM@american.edu. We will shortly change the Email to the Commission page at Velvet Revolution to reflect that address change in similar good faith. We would only do that at the request of Mr. Conyers, and so it will be done. For the time being.
He will be issuing a full statement concerning his meeting and the commission shortly at ConyersBlog.
The BRAD BLOG has just received a personal phone call from Congressman John Conyers (not from his staff, but from the good Congressman himself!), thanking us for the work that everyone has done on behalf of the nation to monitor the Baker/Carter "election reform" commission and to seek fairness from it.
Conyers has just finished meeting with Dr. Robert A. Pastor, the executive director of the commission, and has been promised that the commission and its members will continue to work and meet with him about his concerns over the commission, its make-up and its current direction over the coming weeks and months.
He plans on meeting with former President Jimmy Carter personally to discuss some of these serious concerns.
As a good faith measure, Conyers has told Pastor that he would ask us (and you) to direct all Email with concerns or information for the commission to CDEM@american.edu. We will shortly change the Email to the Commission page at Velvet Revolution to reflect that address change in similar good faith. We would only do that at the request of Mr. Conyers, and so it will be done. For the time being.
Conyers will be issuing a full statement concerning his meeting and the commission shortly at ConyersBlog.
UPDATE: Conyers' full statement is now online.
Much going on today...So for now, Open Thread! Let the voices of the mighty 6 or 7 be heard!...
QUICK UPDATE: A bit of news...just booked Congressman Chris Bell, the man who filed the ethics complaints against Tom Delay last year --- the ones that led to his sanctions --- for this weekend's radio show! More info on guests etc. soon...
The hard-right Washington Times running a fair piece on Velvet Revolution's demands that James Baker leave the National Election Reform Commission? What's their game?...Either way, we're happy to see it...
We wrote earlier about a newly impaneled bipartisan presidential election reform commission made up of the likes of former President Jimmy Carter, former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, both Democrats, and former White House Chief of Staff James A. Baker III, a Republican.
Now, an election-reform advocacy group wants Mr. Baker, who served under former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, removed as the commission's co-chairman before the panel gets busy on whatever reform it can accomplish.
Representing about 100 affiliated election-reform organizations, the Velvet Revolution considers Mr. Baker "a partisan political operative and Bush family loyalist" who "will irreconcilably sully the credibility of such a commission and render its findings completely suspect, wholly useless and, regrettably, without merit."
"Mr. Baker is, in fact, the architect behind the invidious scheme implemented to ensure that the votes of all Americans would not be counted in the unfortunate and undemocratic 2000 presidential election fiasco," says the group, referring to when the soon-to-be-inaugurated George W. Bush dispatched Mr. Baker to voter-challenged Florida.
It was an interesting conversation.
Apparently, he was irate at us because Americans are sending Email to him and the commissioners complaining about the fact that James A. Baker, III is co-chairing the Commission. Baker, of course, is the long-time Bush Family loyalist and Bush/Cheney trial law attorney who architected the strategy to ensure that Americans' votes would not be counted in the 2000 election.
Pastor made it clear that he felt those Emails, sent by individual American citizens to the commission, actually constituted "harassment" and he charged that the thousands of Emails that he and the commissioners were receiving was, in actuality, being sent by "about 6 or 7 people"!
Velvet Revolution is a coalition of some 100 Election Reform and Voting Rights organizations, none of whom were invited to participate in this commission in any way, nor even knew anything about its creation. VR is co-founded by BRAD BLOG and has created a page where Americans can send Email to Jimmy Carter and the commissioners to let them know how they feel about Baker sitting as Co-Chair and some of his other cronies being seated on this commission.
If you are not one of the "6 or 7 people" who have already sent Email via that page, feel free to do so now.
If you are one of the "6 or 7 people" that have sent email via that page, you can let Bob Pastor know that it was really you who sent the email hoping to make your voice heard, by sending him another email to that effect at his email address,
firstname.lastname@example.org (Ed Note: Please write to Pastor for now at CDEM@american.edu - See this later article for an explanation as to why), which is posted on his public webpage at the American University, Center for Democracy & Election Management site. His phone number is also listed on that page if you'd like to chat with him, but we will do him the courtesy of not reposting it here.
We did our best to make notes of the extraordinary conversation that took place during the phone call as it unfolded...These are some of the highlights...or lowlights as the case may be...
A not too bad article on yesterday's Election Reform Commission hearing buried on page 17 of today's Washington Post. Amongst the quotes used from Carter and Baker --- seemingly taken from their unbroadcast press conference held after the hearing --- is this one from Carter:
"[W]e want to make sure that the electoral process has integrity --- that it is not shot through with fraud."
...Well, that's somewhat encouraging to hear. Though a pity that more such discussion did not actually occur in yesterday's hearings (Live Blogged here).
We've also heard from a reliable source that Carter spoke about "paper ballots" a number of times at that same press conference, and of using them as the counted ballot of record as they are overseas. That's also encouraging...if true...and if he can climb over the mountain of hard-right Bush/Cheney/GOP partisans and voting machine representatives who comprise and stack the commission against such real reform.
Also of note from the WaPo article was this little turn o' phrase:
We're not sure who "many" refers to in the above, nor which "hard evidence" was lacking. We do know that the mountains of existing hard evidence of Election Irregularities from '04 was not presented at all in yesterday's hearings, and that John Conyers --- who presented 102 pages of same --- was not invited to share that evidence with this commission.
The evidence that was presented, specifically on the strawman argument of "Voter Fraud" and "Voter Registration Fraud" and even "Provisional Voting Fraud" was indeed anectodal, and yet that was the "evidence" that was allowed to be presented to the commission yesterday. We hope that things will change in the next (and presumably last) meeting of the commission, but we are dubious at best.
The WaPo piece, however, did manage to offer add small bit of refreshing light to the mainstream media blackout on this issue. A few notable passages from the article:
They told of absentee ballots that were never delivered. Of voters who were arbitrarily struck from the rolls. Of confusing and poorly designed ballots. Of long lines at the polls. Of inadequate funds to train poll workers.
Some complained that polls are frequently inaccessible to wheelchairs. That bilingual assistance is lacking. That there are too few voting machines, especially in minority communities.
Others asked whether partisan officials ought to be in charge of elections. Whether the country needs a voting holiday to improve turnout. Whether the nation should adopt uniform poll closing times so elections called in the East do not depress turnout in the West. Whether photo identifications ought to be required to vote. And whether to create a "paper trail" for electronic voting machines.
"Years of inattention and, yes, complacency at all levels of government have given us an election management system that is not up to the task," said Kay Maxwell, president of the League of Women Voters. "We must look more closely at the next steps that need to be taken to bring our election system back to health."
"In the 2004 presidential election, the United States came much closer to electoral meltdown, violence in the streets and constitutional crisis than most people realize," professor Richard Hasen of Loyola Law School said in his written comments. "Less than a 2 percent swing among Ohio voters --- about 100,000 voters --- toward Democratic candidate for president John Kerry and away from incumbent Republican President Bush would have placed the Ohio --- and national --- election for president well within the 'margin of litigation,' and it would have gotten ugly very quickly."
Hmmm...It's almost as if the WaPo is suggesting that the '04 Election didn't go quite as smoothly as they, and the other corporate media outlets, have led Americans to believe up until now. Who knew?
Perhaps they'd like to begin investigating and reporting to the American people on some of the items in that "dizzying list of electoral problems"? America is still waiting...Perhaps we can bump it up to page 15 when that happens. As we like to say, it's only democracy at stake.
Just posted by AP...
Federal elections are still hampered by inadequate voting machines, outdated registration and poor training of poll workers despite a 2002 law passed to improve the system, witnesses told a special commission led by former President Carter and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III.
The system has been improved by the "Help America Vote Act," but "we've still got a ways to go," Carter said Monday.
Understatement of the Year Award goes to Carter!
Other than that, however, what's interesting about the article is that the AP got the tenor of the hearing all wrong! But this time, the lazy, inaccuracy of the MSM works out nicely, thank you!
They didn't cover (for the most part) the continuous drumbeat all day that morphed Election Irregularities/Fraud into Voter Registration Fraud and thus a call for Jim Crow-style Photo ID rules!
So three cheers --- in this case --- for a lousy, lazy, MSM who seem to have written their report before the event actually took place! Looks like the phoney-baloney "Election Reform" commission may not have gotten their money's worth! At least so far. We're certain the Cybercast News Service and the other fake GOP News Services will shortly lend a hand.
UPDATE Bloomberg's take...
The office of Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), ranking minority member of U.S. House Judiciary Committee and longtime Election Reform champion tells The BRAD BLOG that Conyers has expressed outrage at the tenor of today's hearings and the morphing of election irregularities/fraud issues into voter registration/fraud issues!
We'll note that, despite having compiled 102 pages of evidence on Election Irregularities in OH, Conyers was not invited to participate in these hearings though he has recently written a letter to Carter [PDF] volunteering to help in any way while expressing disappointment about Baker's position as co-chair.
UPDATE: Conyers' full no-holds-barred statement, condemning today's hearing in no uncertain terms has now been released! A few highlights here, but the whole thing is well worth the read!...
The remarks of Mr. James Baker, III, which were echoed by a number of right wing political operatives called as witnesses, seemed to have a singular purpose of spreading hoaxes and conspiracy theories about ineligible Democratic voters being allowed to cast votes. The remedy was cleverly repeated like a broken record, "photo ID, photo ID, photo ID." Right wing pundit John Fund was called as an "expert" witness by the hearing and offered racially charged proposals with racially charged rhetoric.
The substance of the testimony alleging "voter fraud" was a fraud itself.
At the outset, Mr. Fund laid bare the nasty, racial underbelly of these proposals. The right-wing has been long engaged in tactics to suppress minority votes, but rarely lets slip about such tactics, as Fund did today. In a discussion about provisional ballots, Mr. Fund said that Congress should allow precinct workers to determine whether a provisional ballot should count because they would know who "looks as if they belong in the neighborhood." Wonder what he meant by that?
For a moment, I was encouraged when someone appeared to have bumped the phonograph and the broken record of "voter id" suddenly stopped. Instead, a new broken record began repeating "no voter verified paper ballot, no voter verified paper ballot, no voter verified paper ballot."
On a panel supposedly designed to address "voting technology," only one of the four witnesses, Professor David Dill, spoke of the need for a voter verified paper ballot. Two of the witnesses on this panel spoke in total opposition to such a proposal.
The pattern of the hearing was clear: Republican political operatives, with little or no track record of involvement in voting rights issues, facing non-partisan advocates for civil rights. Predictably, this hardly was a fair fight. The deck was stacked from the beginning.
What can be said of a commission that holds such a hearing? What hope is there for the recommendations of such a Commission? I am scheduled to meet with Commission officials this week and I am trying very hard to have an open mind. But, frankly, at this point - seeing this first hearing - I think we should all be very wary of this Commission's objectives.
BRAD BLOG's LIVE BLOGGING of today's hearings can be read in this previous item...
Panel meets seperately from audience. James A. Baker, III --- the Bush family loyalist who went to the Supreme Court demanding that America's votes not be counted in 2000 --- presides over first panel.
CSPAN covers it live. All other Cable News channels cover choice of pope...
...WE'RE FOLLOWING...LIVE BLOGGING...
The network said we blew away (numbers wise) all of their current weekend shows! And it kept building throughout the 4 hours. So thank you for helping to spread the word!
Please feel free to thank the satellite network with a quick email for giving us the opportunity!
Resting now. (And be sure to catch the repeat of tonight's show at 12noon - 4pm ET on Sunday, which is 9a - 1p PT for the mathematically impaired! Catch it online via RAW STORY's Easy Links or IBCRadio.com or IBCRN.com.)
Oh...one more thanks (at least!) to Winter Patriot for keeping the Open Show Threads here up and running all night! I had no net access from the studio, so was flying blind! Hope to fix that by next week...So thanks WP for keeping the place in great shape while I was "gone"! More to come...After some rest...and a few more radio appearances tomorrow!
UPDATE: Last night's show can now be downloaded for you podcasting pleasure...All files here MP3, we'll try to get alternate formats in the future when we catch up with things. And, sadly, the swell bumper music at the top of each hour (the rock n' roll, I mean, not that jazz crap) has been cut out of these versions as well. We'll try to correct that later as well. Download away!...
HOUR 4 GUEST: Tribute Syndicate Editor & Columnist, Robert Koehler!
Discuss this hour of the show and our guest via the comments button...
HOUR 3 GUEST: RawStory.com Deputy Managing Editor & Investigative Journalist, Larisa Alexandrovna!
Discuss this hour of the show and our guest via the comments button...
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