Thursday, December 02, 2004
Posted at 11:35 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
The energy in the room at the Jackson rally
Check out the new article at the Free Press--it really gets across the energy at the rally with Jesse Jackson on Sunday in a way the mainstream media did not.
As the Reverend Jesse Jackson rocked a cheering crowd here in Columbus Sunday, a national movement was born. Shouts of "you got that right!" rang through the hall as Jackson preached that what Karl Rove and George Bush and Kenneth Blackwell are doing to the 2004 vote in Ohio would not fly in Iraq or Ukraine or Afghanistan.
Jackson plans to return to Columbus on Thursday as his organization Rainbow/PUSH files a legal challenge to overturn Ohio's election results. On Saturday, December 4, Jackson will join voter rights advocates for a symposium at Columbus' Africentric School on the near east side. Earlier in the day, demonstrators will gather at the Ohio Statehouse to protest voter suppression and irregularities that occurred on November 2.
Also see the other new article, "Warren County, Ohio: most successful voter registration drive in American political history, or stuffing the ballot box"
Posted at 01:01 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Received in my e-mail...
RALLY! "Investigate all 88 counties, Litigate, Re-Count, Recuse"
Saturday, December 4th, Columbus, OH
1:00 PM, Ohio Statehouse Lawn
East Broad & South High Streets, Columbus, Ohio
We demand that every vote be counted accurately from the Nov 2nd election. We demand a full re-count of Ohio's votes and a thorough investigation of all reported irregularities and discrepancies and charges of voter disenfranchisement throughout the state. The right to vote is a civil right and in a democracy no abridgement of that right can be tolerated. In Kiev, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators are on the streets, staying there overnight in the bitter cold, bringing the government to a halt and the world to attention, refusing to let democracy die. There are people coming to Ohio from all over the country for this rally. Let's do this.
SPEAKERS: Greg Palast (journalist and author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy), Bill Moss (former Columbus school board member), Bob Fitrakis (Columbus Free Press), Reuben Herrera (Adelante - Latino/Latina Democrats), Anita Rios (Green Party), Cliff Arnebeck (lead litigant in the Contest of Election suit), Jad Hummeidan (Council on American Islamic Relations), Petey Talley (Ohio AFL-CIO) (invited), Charleta Tavares (Columbus City Council member) (invited)
EVENING SYMPOSIUM: Stand Up and Be Counted: A Case for Democracy
Saturday, December 4th
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Africentric Middle School
300 E. Livingston Ave., Columbus, Ohio
Featuring Keynote speakers REV. JESSE JACKSON and journalist Greg Palast, author of 'The Best Democracy Money Can Buy'
Contact Evan Davis (614) 437-2039 cell (614) 946-3834
please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted at 11:41 am by Renee_in_Ohio
Not the usual topic, but I thought I should help get this information out, and it is about Ohio (that cute squarish state you see pictured above). I just received the following e-mail from Katherine Thomsen:
Dear fellow Ohioan,
You probably wouldn't know it, but today could be a very important day in Ohio's history. After many months of Speaker of the House Larry Householder stalling; tort reform may go before the Ohio House this afternoon.
For those that aren't very familiar with tort reform, let me give you the overview. Tort reform is broken down in to two areas for this bill. The first is cases that are an individual vs. a business and then medical malpractice cases.
They argue that the cases that are an individual vs. a business are frivolous and are clogging up our courts. But, the truth is that we already have laws in the state of Ohio that block frivolous lawsuits from going to trial. A judge has to hear a case before it goes to trial. If he finds it frivolous the plaintiff's lawyer faces a fine and the case is thrown out. As for clogging our court system, these type of cases have actually been dropping in numbers over the past ten years. The cases that are clogging the courts are criminal cases and business vs business cases.
For medical malpractice cases the claim is that malpractice cases have driven up the malpractice insurance rates over the past few years. But, that too is untrue. The General Accounting Office in a report before Congress in October of last year stated that there is not sufficient evidence to show that it is malpractice cases driving up insurance rates. But, they found that there were a few other factors. All of them were due to profit margins for the insurance companies; less competition in the market, slumping stock prices, etc.
Not only is this law based on a lot of falsehoods, but it will limit the everyday citizens rights in a courtroom. It will limit the jury's right to decide what the reward should be. It will limit the plaintiff's choice on lawyers, but not the defendants. It will make many fair cases very hard to get to court.
So while many people are going about their day, they do not know that many of their rights could be disappearing. The House session begins at 1:30pm today. Please send an email or call your State Representative and tell them to vote for your rights.
If you don't know your Representative please click here:
If you would like more information on this Tort Reform bill please click here:
If you are interested in watching the House session today please click here:
Just remember that the definition of tort is wrongful act. How can one reform that?
Please pass this along to other Ohioans.
Posted at 11:08 am by Renee_in_Ohio
Contest of Election to be filed today
From an article in The Guardian Unlimited
George Bush's victory in the US presidential election will be challenged in Ohio's supreme court today, when a group of Democratic voters will allege widespread fraud.
President Bush clinched re-election by winning the state of Ohio on November 2 by a margin of 136,000 votes over the Democratic candidate, John Kerry. Despite claims of fraud and technical glitches, Senator Kerry decided that they were not big enough to affect the result and conceded the election on November 3.
However, Cliff Arnebeck, a lawyer representing a group of voters challenging the Ohio result, claimed new analysis of various anomalies suggested it was rigged.
"We'll be calling for a reversal of the result based on evidence developed in the course of litigation," Mr Arnebeck told The Guardian yesterday. "Exit polling and substantial irregularities excluded votes that should have been counted. There is evidence that votes cast for one candidate were moved to the column of the other candidate."
Mr Arnebeck, a legal adviser to a liberal group, Alliance for Democracy, said the "contest of election" lawsuit will be presented to a judge from the Ohio supreme court today on behalf of at least 25 disgruntled voters. He said he expected other voters and organisations to join the case.
Ohio's secretary of state, Kenneth Blackwell, has until Monday to certify the result. His office did not return calls seeking comment yesterday but his spokesman, Carlo LoParo, told the Associated Press news agency: "There are no signs of widespread irregularities."
Posted at 09:49 am by Renee_in_Ohio
Amy Goodman inteviews Jesse Jackson
Transcript from Democracy Now program. Cliff Arnebeck, one of the attorneys filing suit this week, is also interviewed.
AMY GOODMAN: Reverend Jackson, Democracy Now! just went to Spain and Italy and on one of the main TV stations called RAI in Rome, the interviewer asked about the election and I said, “Well, really we don't really know who won.” And his eyebrows raised very high and he said, “Excuse me. Kerry conceded. Haven't you heard?” Now what about this, Reverend Jackson? What about Kerry immediately conceding?
JESSE JACKSON: The early concession betrayed the trust of the voters. We have a moral obligation and a legal obligation to see that every vote counts and whether Kerry gets the most votes or not, we must break a precedent of fraudulent elections. For the Secretary of the State, in fact, can be the co-chair of a campaign and run the process -- that's like a team owner of a baseball team being the umpire at game seven of the World Series. You can't be a team owner and be a referee at the same time. You can't have Katherine Harris and Ken Blackwell as chairs of the campaign and in charge of the process. It taints the credibility of the process at the very beginning.
AMY GOODMAN: Reverend Jackson, have you talked to John Kerry about this?
JESSE JACKSON: I did talk with him about the election and he first thanked us for our continued effort, but will not take a public position, nor offer any resources at this time, substantial resources to help make it happen. So we are doing it on our will.
AMY GOODMAN: So what's he doing with his $51 million?
JESSE JACKSON: I do not know. It make think so much that when the reason [inaudible] those that are fighting: the Greens, the Libertarians, and those who have found common ground. Dr. King got the Nobel Peace Prize and Lyndon Johnson gave King a White House reception. He said, “I thank you very much for the reception, but all Americans need the right to vote.” Johnson said, “Dr. King, I like you very much. You know I do, I like you. I regard you highly. But I can't render the right to vote unilaterally, I just can’t. I wish could, but I can't. The bad news is that Congress can, but won't. So you can't have the right to vote.” So the President talked, so we went to Selma, the common people rose up. And there again, the common people must rise up and demand that their vote count. So to me, this campaign in Ohio is not so much about Kerry as it is about Fannie Lou Hamer. It’s about Medgar Evers. It’s about Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney. It’s about the people's will to democracy. If people can fight [inaudible] for democracy in the Ukraine, we can do that here.
Posted at 09:37 am by Renee_in_Ohio
Juan Gonzalez: Ohio Tally Unfit for Ukraine
In the New York Daily News
In the 4th Ward on Cleveland's East Side, for example, two fringe presidential candidates did surprisingly well.
In precinct 4F, located at Benedictine High School on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Kerry received 290 votes, Bush 21 and Michael Peroutka, candidate of the ultra-conservative anti-immigrant Constitutional Party, an amazing 215 votes!
That many black votes for Peroutka is about as likely as all those Jewish votes for Buchanan in Florida's Palm Beach County in 2000.
In precinct 4N, also at Benedictine High School, the tally was Kerry 318, Bush 21, and Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik 163.
Back in 2000, the combined third-party votes in those two precincts - including the Nader vote - was 8. Cuyahoga, like most of Ohio's 88 counties, uses punch-card balloting.
"That's terrible, I can't believe it," said City Councilman Kenneth Johnson, who has represented the 4th Ward since 1980. "It's obviously a malfunction with the machines."
Posted at 09:32 am by Renee_in_Ohio
Cleveland Scene election report
This is not new, but I am linking to this story for anyone who hasn't seen it--it's another "boots on the ground" account of what went on in Ohio on election day.
In the months leading up to last week's national election, Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell did all he could to suppress the vote and ensure chaos. At one point, he even decreed that registrations must be submitted on 80-pound paper, lest Ohio be accused of having poor taste in pulp products. Blackwell even got a federal judge to ban the media from the polls.
So we decided to do what everyone else had been doing for months: We ignored him. Scene sent four reporters to cover the weirdness in Cleveland and Akron. One wore spandex. They were under strict orders: Don't even think about expensing anything, and for Chrissakes, stay out of the bar till 7:30. Here's what they found, the story Blackwell never wanted you to see.
Click here to read the rest
Posted at 09:25 am by Renee_in_Ohio
Boston Globe on Election Day Problems
Posted at 09:16 am by Renee_in_Ohio
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
I've been at work all day and haven't had a chance to update this blog, so I will just do one all purpose post with today's links. There is a piece by Jesse Jackson in today's Chicago Sun Times entitled Something's Fishy in Ohio.
Ohio determines the election, but the state has not yet counted the vote. That outrage is made intolerable by the fact that the secretary of state in charge of this operation, Ken Blackwell, holds -- like Katherine Harris of Florida's fiasco in 2000 -- a dual role: secretary of state with control over voting procedures and co-chair of George Bush's Ohio campaign. Blackwell should recuse himself so that a thorough investigation, count and recount of Ohio's vote can be made.
Blackwell reversed rules on provisional ballots in place in the spring primaries. These allowed voters to cast provisional ballots anywhere in their county, even if they were in the wrong precinct, reflecting the chief rationale for provisional ballots: to ensure that those who went to the wrong place by mistake could have their votes counted. The result of this decision -- why does this not surprise? -- was to disqualify disproportionately ballots cast in heavily Democratic Cuyahoga County.
Click here for the rest
From the Cobb/LaMarche web site:
Attorneys for Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb asked a federal court today to take jurisdiction of, and ultimately dissolve, a temporary restraining order issued by a Delaware County, Ohio judge attempting to prevent Cobb from seeking a recount of the presidential ballots cast in that county. Attorneys representing the Kerry-Edwards campaign filed papers in Delaware County, Ohio to intervene in legal proceedings in defense of Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb and Libertarian Michael Badnarik, who are seeking a recount of all votes cast for president in the Ohio 2004 general election.
Click to read more updates on the Cobb/LaMarche site, or to make a donation to help fund county observers for the recount.
Keith Olbermann writes about Blackwell's appearance on Countdown yesterday
As to the audit of the perception of conflict of interest in Blackwell’s other role as Honorary Co-Chair of the Bush-Cheney Ohio Campaign, he seemed less definitive. “We have a bi-partisan system in Ohio where the Hamilton County Chairman of the board of elections, Tim Burke, is also the Democrat chairman of the Democrat party in that county.” I’ll pause the quote here to note that said party does business as the Democratic Party and the Republicans’ obsession with that little ‘ic’ has always seemed peevish to me, even when it’s coming out of John McCain’s mouth. Blackwell continued: “The same for Dayton. The Democrat Chairman is the Chairman of the Board of Elections in Montgomery County.”
This is interesting, and this is troubling (why should you be able to be both Chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Party and Chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Elections?). But it also seemed to be self-evidently irrelevant - something akin to the political version of “They started it,” whether the ‘they’ are Republicans or Democrats.
I went for a straight yes-or-no on the latest ‘sources say’ story from the many and varied internets: did he, or did he not, meet with President Bush, in Ohio, on election day. “That’s just hogwash, absolutely zero, not true. And it’s the sort of mythology that grows out of, you know, a lot of people with a lot of time on their hands and the imaginations of Jonathan Swift.” While earning points for referencing the author of Gulliver’s Travels, Secretary Blackwell also threw a gauntlet down at the feet of the net’s Baker Streets Irregulars: there darn well better not be anybody willing to swear an oath they saw such a meeting take place.
Click for the rest
Posted at 11:04 pm by Renee_in_Ohio