Monday, January 31, 2005
New press release on voting irregularities
The following was posted in a diary by free speech zone on the Daily Kos:
NEW REPORT BY NATION'S PROMINENT STATISTICIANS AND VOTE-ANALYSIS EXPERTS REFUTES EDISON/MITOFSKY `EXPLANATION' FOR EXIT POLL DISCREPANCY, URGES INVESTIGATION OF US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
(US) - A new study (See report at www.USCountVotes.org) was released today co-authored by prominent statisticians and vote-analysis experts from a diverse range of Universities including Notre Dame, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Cornell, and Temple. Their study strongly refutes the `explanation' by pollster Edison/Mitofsky (E/M) that their exit polls (Kerry winning by 3%) differed so widely from the final certified tally (Bush by 2.5%) due to Kerry voters' answering pollsters questions at a higher rate than Bush voters.
Click here for the rest of the diary.
Posted at 08:33 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Friday, January 28, 2005
Some new Free Press pieces that you may not have seen:
Ohio's Secretary of State Blackwell libels election protection attorney at junket sponsored by voting machine vendors
Ohio's Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has publicly labeled as "a complete idiot" an Election Protection attorney he is attempting to have sanctioned. Blackwell made the derogatory personal attack outside a banquet-laden conference in Columbus being sponsored by Diebold, ES&S, Triad and other voting machine vendors.
J. Kenneth Blackwell: The “J” is for Judas
Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell is perhaps the single most opportunistic politician in the history of Ohio. His career began in Cincinnati in the 1970s and progressed to statewide office until today. Along the way, he metamorphed from a charter reform Democrat, into a Carter Democrat, then a New Democrat, then an Independent, then a moderate Republican, then a conservative Republican, and is now the state’s leading reactionary right-wing Republican. Blackwell has always represented opportunism in search of a political position. His flamboyant rhetorical style has never changed, as he has gone from arguing for civil rights to recently comparing himself to Gandhi and King as he offered himself up for arrest in defiance of a federal court ordering him to count provisional ballots cast within a voter’s county.
Report on Washington DC, January 6, 2005
This is the news report you did NOT see last night on CNN, FOX, NBC, CBS, or hear on NPR or read in the NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Columbus Dispatch, The Raleigh News and Observer or the Asheville Citizen-Times.
Finally, you can click this link to donate to the Ohio Sanctions Defense Fund.
Defend the attorneys against the partisan attack by Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro and Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Read Open Letter to Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro from Representative John Conyers, Jr. or Ohio's GOP Attorney-General launches revenge attack on Election Protection legal team for more information and check the site for updates.
Posted at 07:36 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Sunday, January 23, 2005
AFLCIO Comes Up Short Against Campaign Financing
I just got this news story in my e-mail. I imagine there are a lot of people here that would like to help the AFLCIO challenge the new campaign finance laws pushed through by Ohio Republicans. Any ideas? (I don't know much about how these things work, but wanted to draw it to your attention--hopefully someone else has the needed expertise.
AFLCIO Comes Up Short Against Campaign Financing
The A-F-L-C-I-O is considering its options after Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell declared it didn't have enough valid signatures to start a referendum process aimed at overturning Ohio's new campaign finance law.
Blackwell decided Thursday that the labor organization was 57 signatures short of the 100 required to begin the referendum process for the November ballot.
The law passed late last year quadruples contribution limits to ten-thousand dollars, restricts county parties' campaign funds and bans third-party ads funded by unions and businesses 30 days before elections.
Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for Blackwell, said the A-F-L-C-I-O still can submit the 100 signatures. The union then would need 193-thousand-740 valid signatures of registered voters by March 30th to delay the new law and put the issue on the November eighth ballot.
Posted at 08:41 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Ohio AG seeks to sanction attorneys
I read about this in the comments on Blog for America just a little while ago. Sounds *awfully* petty and vindictive. You know, there are a lot of things we would *like* to do when we're angry with people, but hopefully we are able to listen to that inner voice that says, "Even if it would feel good, it's still wrong." Think of how angry many of us were about the partisan way Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell handled the 2004 election--and we sought appropriate legal channels in an effort to address those wrongs. Now, the attorneys who agreed to represent "we, the people" are being targeted for revenge (or punishment or whatever) for daring to stand up for us.
This piece can be found in the Free Press:
In a stunning legal attack, Ohio's Republican Attorney General has moved for sanctions against the four attorneys who sued George W. Bush et. al. in an attempt to investigate the Buckeye State's bitterly contested November 2 election.
Robert Fitrakis, Susan Truitt, Cliff Arnebeck and Peter Peckarsky were named by Attorney General James Petro in a filing with the Ohio Supreme Court. Petro charges the November Moss v Bush and Moss v. Moyer filings by the Election Protection legal team were "frivolous." Petro is demanding court sanctions and fines.
"Instead of evidence, contesters offered only theory, conjecture, hypothesis and invective," the Attorney General's January 18th memo about the suit said. "A contest proceeding is not a toy for idle hands. It is not to be used to make a political point, or to be used as a discovery tool, or be used to inconvenience or harass public officials, or to be used as a publicity gimmick."
But Cliff Arnebeck says it has been Petro and Ohio's partisan Republican Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell, who have stonewalled the election challenge legal proceedings. Both have refused to submit any evidence to the court to refute the allegations in the election challenge case - claiming George W. Bush did not win a majority in Ohio - and Petro's office has also refused to allow any Ohio public election official to be deposed.
"Their cage has been rattled and they popped their cork," Arnebeck said. "The chairman of the Ohio Republican Party is going berserk because he can't stand the fact we are not going away. We are still pursuing the legal investigation and the legal interrogations. They are just besides themselves because they cannot withstand cross examination."
Petro's filing is widely viewed as revenge for the heavy toll on the credibility of the Ohio GOP and Petro's cohort, Secretary of State Blackwell, caused by grassroots activists. Spurred by the lawsuit, by extensive coverage at http://freepress.org and other web sites, and by a nationwide grassroots campaign that was escalated by Rev. Jesse Jackson and a series of public hearings around Ohio and in Congress, some three dozen Senators and Representatives mounted the first-ever challenge to a state's Electoral College delegation.
Click here for the rest
Posted at 11:41 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Monday, January 17, 2005
Open letter from John Conyers
As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it seems like a good time to remind everyone first, of the long-term effort it took to make this a national holiday, and secondly, that some of the same people who worked to gain real recognition for King's important civil rights work, continue decades later to fight for equal rights for all Americans.
The History of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
It took 15 years to create the federal Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. Congressman John Conyers, Democrat from Michigan, first introduced legislation for a commemorative holiday four days after King was assassinated in 1968. After the bill became stalled, petitions endorsing the holiday containing six million names were submitted to Congress.
Conyers and Rep. Shirley Chisholm, Democrat of New York, resubmitted King holiday legislation each subsequent legislative session. Public pressure for the holiday mounted during the 1982 and 1983 civil rights marches in Washington.
Congress passed the holiday legislation in 1983, which was then signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. A compromise moving the holiday from Jan. 15, King's birthday, which was considered too close to Christmas and New Year's, to the third Monday in January helped overcome opposition to the law.John Conyers, although belittled and dismissed by some as a "conspiracy theorist" for his recent efforts to expose the full truth about the 2004 election, deserves respect for continuing to be a leader in the decades-long fight for civil rights.
On the front page of John Conyers' web site, there is an Open Letter Concerning the Election Challenge.
"I believe what we achieved on January 6 will be a seminal event in the history of progressive politics, and significantly advance the cause of electoral reform. For this challenge to Ohio’s electors to have occurred, I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the internet activists, who spread the story of my efforts and supported me in every way possible. I am also thankful to the alternative media, including talk radio and blogs that gave substantial attention and investigation to these matters when all but a handful in the mainstream media refused to examine the facts. I cannot thank all of you personally, but you know who you are."
Click here for the rest, including his plans for the coming months. On Conyers' web site, there is also a link to his recent endorsement of Howard Dean for Chair of the DNC (in PDF format), an election reform survey, a volunteer form for people interested in helping him win his re-election campaign, and a place you can sign up for e-news updates.
There are many ways to honor the contributions and vision of Dr. King. One of those ways is to thank and support those who carry on his legacy--and, decades later, are still fighting the good fight.
Posted at 11:28 am by Renee_in_Ohio
Friday, January 14, 2005
Special prosecutor for Blackwell? And more Ohio news
House Judiciary Democrats to ask for special prosecutor to investigate Ohio election chief
for that story and other Ohio news and commentary.
Posted at 01:34 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Blackwell orders the use of optical scan voting machines
Not sure what to make of this...
Blackwell orders counties to use optical scanning: Touch-screen voting out in Ohio
Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell took the option of computerized touch-screen voting machines off the table yesterday and ordered all counties to deploy optical-scan devices using paper ballots by the November election.
"We have a tight election reform deployment schedule, too few allocated federal and state dollars, and not one electronic voting device certified under Ohio's standards and rules," he said.
It's the same position he threatened to take a year ago when lawmakers first assailed his decision to set a deadline for counties to select from a menu of voting machines. Eventually, the General Assembly mandated that any electronic device be equipped with a paper backup system for recount purposes.
Although optical-scan devices, which use paper ballots read electronically, meet her paper-backup requirement, Sen. Teresa Fedor (D., Toledo) questioned Mr. Blackwell's rush to judgment.
The federal Help America Vote Act does not require full compliance until 2006.
"An auditable machine is absolutely critical," she said. "However, he needs to allow the process to happen so everyone will have a voice, for everyone to make this decision. I feel the process he used to make his decision is flawed."
Posted at 11:08 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Flying a flag upside-down is a distress signal. Some weblogs are displaying the inverted U.S. flag as a symbol of a nation in distress. Now mine is too.
Several new articles in the Free Press. I flaked on posting about them yesterday, and I need to leave for work in a few minutes. So, rather than taking a chance of forgetting again, I'll just post the titles, and anyone who is interested can find all of them in the Election 2004 section of the Free Press.
"Rally Continues Drive for Democracy"
January 9, 2005
"Estimated vote count in Ohio"
January 8, 2005
"January 6 Washington, D.C. rally report"
January 8, 2005
"Together, we moved three mountains"
January 8, 2005
"What the election challenge means"
January 8, 2005
Posted at 03:58 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Blackwell wants to limit state spending
Two articles came to me via keyword news for Kenneth Blackwell today, one describing how he wants to limit state spending, and an editorial saying why he shouldn't:
Posted at 03:48 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Sunday, January 09, 2005
Final Election Update from georgia10
From georgia10 on Kos:
I have a feeling many here are suffering from election fatigue. But I thought one last update, a post-mortem of sorts, was in order. Let's tie up some loose ends, shall we?
Click here for more.
Posted at 07:06 pm by Renee_in_Ohio