Friday, December 31, 2004

''Dino-zilla'' or ''Groundhog Day'' meets ''The Last Hurrah''?

P-I columnist ROBERT L. JAMIESON Jr. paints the picture. On the P-I's news pages, there's "Gregoire certified as next governor--Rossi won't quit; he cites 3,500 'mystery voters.'" The Seattle Times has, "Doubts linger as Gregoire win certified." Bonus feature: "King County voter list: November 2004." You "can use this database to search for voters by name, along with ZIP code and precinct. It will show whether an individual voted, by absentee ballot or at the poll, or did not vote." The Olympian prints the AP wire story that puts Sam Reed center stage: "Reed, a veteran county and state election administrator, said he was "shocked and stunned'' by just how close it was. The dependably Democratic state went for John Kerry and re-elected Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and six Democratic congressmen, and installed a Democratic Legislature. The gap is 15-10,000th of a percentage point, the closest finish in American election annals, Reed said. The election is accurate to within 99.999 percent, not perfect but close enough, he said. Reed said there are probably valid explanations for the dispute in King County, where Rossi received a list of 895,660 people who voted, versus the 899,199 number that the county certified." Update: The Olympian has replaced the AP story quoted above with one by Brad Shannon, one of their own reporters. His story features quotes from House Speaker Chopp, the Senate Republican leader, a review of the state constitution, an interview with a Seattle couple touring the capitol and a link to "Apply to be on the Gregoire transition team." The updated AP wire story now has a new headline: "Gregoire Focuses on Gubernatorial Duties." The P-I has added a new story this morning, "Contesting the election: How it would likely work."

‘We Will Not Faint’ (UPDATED)

If you still think Ohio is important, Newsweek has a "WEB EXCLUSIVE interview with Jesse Jackson: As bloggers continue to spin conspiracy theories about a victory stolen from Democratic candidate John Kerry, the Rev. Jesse Jackson plans to lead a Monday rally in Columbus to protest alleged voting irregularities. He warmed up with NEWSWEEK’s Susannah Meadows." Here's my favorite blurb: "All we want is a fair count and a transparent election. We can live with the result. We’re fighting the odds but we will not faint in the face of the odds." Update: Two new ones from the Columbus Free Press: "The 2004 Presidential Election: Who Won The Popular Vote? An Examination of the Comparative Validity of Exit Poll and Vote Count Data" and "Ohio's official non-recount ends amidst new evidence of fraud, theft and judicial contempt mirrored in New Mexico." Update: For some reason, I can't find this one anywhere in the US press, but the UK Guardian has this new AP story: "Candidates Want Second Ohio Recount." True Confession: I just found the first three graphs of the AP story linked above in the "Briefs" section of today's P-I, on page 3. They do have the full story online. Google, you let me down today.

''DNC Race Heats Up''

MyDD thoroughly updates the horse race, with Howard Dean still a few lengths ahead as he "continues to work away under the radar, even on the web". Political Wire has this excerpt from the Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire": The race for DNC Chair will "accelerate at regional party meetings. Candidates to succeed departing Chairman McAuliffe will scramble for support at four gatherings, beginning in Atlanta Jan. 8 and concluding in New York Jan. 29. Dean, riding grass-roots fervor, remains front-runner for the early February national-committee vote. He faces competition from ex-Reps. Roemer and Frost. Former Denver Mayor Webb eyes support from fellow African-Americans, who constitute nearly one-fourth of the committee. Former Clinton aide Ickes is a wild card. Upstart Simon Rosenberg, who heads the New Democrat Network, trumpets the ability to run the 'huge business' the party has become." In line with their free enterprise beliefs, the WSJ makes you pay to read their full story.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

''Should we vote again?" (UPDATED)

Our friends at the Seattle Times have a poll. Currently, the results are 50-50. You know what to do. If you are looking for a time killer, here's the text of Dino's letter. Interestingly, the newspaper that has it isn't even in Washington state. Update: also has a poll that is going 65-35 in the wrong direction. They also report on Rossi's introduction of "a couple whose son is a soldier in Iraq who didn't receive his absentee ballot until the day after the election." How long before we get the "Swift Voters for Truth" ad? KIRO TV has a poll, too, with the same kind of results, but no mention of the "disenfranchised" soldier. KOMO TV has neither.

It's Official! Gregoire is Governor-elect!

I would be negligent if I did not post this: "Democrat Declared Wash. Governor-Elect." You have permission to uncork the beverages you've had on ice since November. The Seattle Times adds video of the certification from KING 5 News as an online option to its coverage (look for the link under their photo of Reed), as well as this quote from Secretary of State Reed; "I do not feel like this has been a botched election." In the five minute video of the press conference, Reed tells us next week he will introducing his own solutions for correcting problems in the election system.

Dino Throws a ''Hail Mary'' (UPDATED)

Three new stories out 'round midnight Wednesday just add a few fine points to the tale: Point one-"A revote would have to be approved by the Democrat-controlled state Legislature."-from the AP story on Yahoo News, currently the #5 Most Viewed story. Point two-"Restoring voter confidence is also the goal of a Bellevue company Munro is involved in. He is chairman of the board of Votehere Inc., which is developing a technology for a secure and confidential "voter receipt" that would show a voter that a vote had been recorded and counted properly. The company's Web site says it "is striving to return confidence to voters and calm to its election official customers."-from tonight's Seattle Times story, "Rossi urges revote to fix "mess." Point Three: "Seattle University political science professor Erik Olsen said Rossi's call for another election was inappropriate. "There is a process in place and you can't just willy-nilly set up new elections," Olsen said."-from tonight's P-I story, "Rossi calls for another election." Update: The Tacoma News Tribune runs with the AP story but adds the perfect headline: "Rossi pleads for new election." Just to put the whole "revote" thing in perspective, MYDD has this: "The last time a statewide revote was done in any state, to my knowledge, was in 1975 in New Hampshire for a US Senate seat," in the post "NC To Have Statewide Revote." Update: This morning's story in the Olympian has this: "Some Republicans, such as former Thurston County Commissioner Dick Nichols, said it's time for Rossi to concede. He sent an e-mail to Rossi's campaign expressing those thoughts, believing Rossi could do more harm than good to himself and the state by fighting on. "I was a contributor to the campaign and a very ardent supporter," Nichols said in a telephone interview. "I think he would have made a tremendous governor. ... So for me to say I think a concession is in order is a big pill to swallow. I can only intellectualize from his view what it must feel like to be that close. ... But at some point I think you have to take a look at reality." Secretary of State Reed was out of state and could not be reached to comment immediately. His spokeswoman, Trova Hutchins, said they plan a media-only event in Reed's Capitol office to certify Gregoire as the winner at 10 a.m. today. The big blow to GOP efforts to have additional ballots counted came this week when auditors in key Republican counties, including Lewis and Clark, refused to allow a reconsideration of ballots after the latest county certification of results."

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Reforming American Elections

The Blog for America quotes a New York Times editorial and the poster concludes, "[i]t is increasingly clear that voters want electronic, A.T.M.-type voting machines that produce verifiable paper records, or other systems like optical scan machines, where votes are cast on paper as a check on the reliability of machines." Update: No surprise here either. This announcement makes another decision official: "Conyers to Object to Ohio Electors, Requests Senate Allies." I don't know why Patty isn't on the list of "Senators who shall receive the greatest focus."

Dino Tries to Hang On

It's revote, a re-vote, or a "do-over" --- depending on where you get your news tonight. In any case, Rossi has decided to discredit the formal process that has taken the race to where it is today; Gregroire will be certified as the winner tomorrow. When she declines his offer for another vote, then what happpens? According to one source, he has already filed for the governor's race in 2008. This could be a long four years for us all. Update:The Seattle Times story, "It's Governor-elect Gregoire, but Rossi seeks 'do-over'," tries to cover all the bases. Maybe that's why it was posted almost an hour after the P-I story.

''Governor-elect Gregoire''

The P-I posted this at 1:25 pm, Wednesday: "Democrat Christine Gregoire, the three-term state attorney general who fought America's tobacco industry, Internet porn and schoolyard bullying, becomes Washington's governor-elect on Thursday, by a scant 129 votes out of more than 2.8 million cast."-from the story, "Closest governor's race: It's Governor-elect Gregoire, but no Rossi concession." The Columbian has this, from their story, "County panel rebuffs GOP bid," on Clark County's refusal to "shake loose" more Dino Rossi votes: "That makes it unanimous," said assistant elections director John Pearson of the secretary of state's office, which urged counties to turn down a request by the Republican Party to count hundreds of rejected ballots, including 24 in Clark County."

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

''Ohio Recount Ends, Shows Vote Closer ''

But not by much. Those behind the suit that is making a legal challenge to the vote had this to say: "Cliff Arnebeck, an attorney representing the voters in the challenge, wasn't taking much stock in the recount effort. He questioned why there was no independent investigation into the accuracy of counting machines to determine whether the machines had been tampered with."You're allowing the original error to be repeated a second time, so it's not a meaningful recount," he said."-from the AP story put out by Yahoo News. David Lytel of RedefeatBush, in a post on the ILCA online site says, "There are considerably more reported cases of vote suppression, fraudulent vote casting and fraudulent vote counting than George W. Bush’s margin of victory in Ohio. In all likelihood the surveys of voters as they left the polling places are accurate and considerably more people went to the polls that day to vote for John Kerry both in Ohio and nationwide. Should he be re-inaugurated on January 20th Bush will once again be securing the greatest prize the American political system has to offer, the presidency, through fraud, deception and illegal activity aided by a willfully ignorant press."-from the story, "The End is Near: The Coming Constitutional Insurrection." Update: From today's Minneapolis Star Tribune: "We may never know what happened in the Ohio vote." This is a first person account from the cofounder of the Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections - Minnesota, a grass-roots group that advocates for election integrity. Group members went to Ohio as election observers.

''Governor's race: 'Door closed' to reopening vote tallies''

"Counties have refused to reopen the vote count in Washington's ultra-close governor's race, and Republican Dino Rossi was reported under pressure Tuesday to carry a last-ditch fight into the courts."-from the P-I story tonight, "Governor's race: 'Door closed' to reopening vote tallies." Update: "Counties deny GOP's plea to reconsider Rossi votes" in Wednesday morning's P-I fleshes out the story with new quotes and background. The Times story, "Counties opposing GOP call to reopen vote counts," starts out with this: "The Republican effort to find votes for gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi is faltering as local election officials around the state — even loyal Republicans — are rejecting calls to reconsider previously rejected ballots."

The MSM Acknowledges National Vote Problems: ''Kinda''

Olbermann is the most courageous of the bunch today, with this comment from his new post: "The Kerry campaign spent much of 2004 being accused by its critics of trying to be all things to all people. It seems poised to continue to wear the bull's-eye well into the New Year." Olbermann was responding to this statement from Kerry's lawyer that there "are many conspiracy theorists opining these days. There are many allegations of fraud. But this presidential election is over. The Bush-Cheney ticket has won. The Kerry-Edwards campaign has found no conspiracy and no fraud in Ohio." While Olbermann does take on Kerry, he doesn't keep the story going with something like, "Ohio GOP election officials ducking subpoenas as Kerry enters stolen vote fray," as does the Columbus Free Press. Meanwhile USA Today and the New York Times feel obliged to concede there are problems, but they underestimate them and offer perfuncatory and tepid responses to the current situation. Update: "TV Networks Officially Refuse to Release Exit Poll Raw Data," from Solar Bus starts with this: "For those watching the growing body of evidence concerning election fraud in our past presidential election, one question has remained: Why don't we hear about this on the evening news? As of yet it's been hard to explain why the controversies in Ukraine make the headlines, but when similar problems are discovered at home, you have to scour the Internet to find the information." This article is reprinted on ILCA Online where you can also find new posts from ReDefeatBush, Jesse Jackson Z Net and others. Update: This AP story, "Ohio Official Refuses Interview Over Vote," is all over the place, including the Seattle Times, but not the P-I, yet. This "Opinion" piece in the Boston Globe by Jessie Jackson Jr. and James D. Henderson, "Making elections better, and stopping divisiveness, too" touts Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) as a solution to our vote problems.

New Year's Eve Beach Blanket Party with SeattleMoveON

"Join us at Shilshole with all your 2004 memorabilia (of lost causes and campaigns) and we’ll bonfire it up to launch a New Year’s to remember. 5:30 pm this Friday night, New Year’s Eve-- Fire pit closest to the “first picnic shelter” – Dress very warmly. If you have wood, bring it….as well as champagne and munchies, even effigies, to share. We’ll figure out what comes next from there…"-from SeattleMoveON. Questions/info: Nancie Kosnoff, 206-550-6506.

''Concerning Dean & the DNC''

My DD has this pithy phrase via Steve Gilliard: "What everyone in DC is fearing, but what is increasing clear, is that it's Howard Dean's job to lose." The Bennington(VT) Banner asks, "Who should lead the Democrats?" Their answer is not as predictable as you might imagine.

GOP Attacks King County Elections System

"The state Republican Party rolled out a long list of questions and accusations about the King County elections system yesterday that will likely be the foundation for contesting Democrat Christine Gregoire's claim to the governor's office."-from the P-I story today. The Seattle Times story, "GOP weighs next step after recount," has the same plot line, with less drama in the delivery. Update: The SF Chronicle lines up against the GOP in their editorial, "Settled in Seattle."

The MSM Acknowledges National Vote Problems: ''Kinda''

Olbermann is the most courageous of the bunch today, with this comment from his new post: "The Kerry campaign spent much of 2004 being accused by its critics of trying to be all things to all people. It seems poised to continue to wear the bull's-eye well into the New Year." Olbermann was responding to this statement from Kerry's lawyer that there "are many conspiracy theorists opining these days. There are many allegations of fraud. But this presidential election is over. The Bush-Cheney ticket has won. The Kerry-Edwards campaign has found no conspiracy and no fraud in Ohio." While Olbermann does take on Kerry, he doesn't keep the story going with something like, "Ohio GOP election officials ducking subpoenas as Kerry enters stolen vote fray," as does the Columbus Free Press. Meanwhile USA Today and the New York Times feel obliged to concede there are problems, but they underestimate them and offer perfuncatory and tepid responses to the current situation. Update: "TV Networks Officially Refuse to Release Exit Poll Raw Data," from Solar Bus starts with this: "For those watching the growing body of evidence concerning election fraud in our past presidential election, one question has remained: Why don't we hear about this on the evening news? As of yet it's been hard to explain why the controversies in Ukraine make the headlines, but when similar problems are discovered at home, you have to scour the Internet to find the information." This article is reprinted on ILCA Online where you can also find new posts from ReDefeatBush, Jesse Jackson Z Net and others.

Monday, December 27, 2004

''It's Chess not Checkers: Dean '08 not DNC Chair '05''

"The last thing I want to do is see Governor Dean in charge of raising money and overseeing day-to-day Democratic Party operations for nominee Evan Bayh. Just my personal opinion on that specific ilk of candidate."-from the post on Kos.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

''In Our View - Governor Gregoire'' (UPDATED)

Vancouver's Olympian, a newspaper that endorsed Rossi, has this editorial, "In Our View - Governor Gregoire: SCOW isn't SCOTUS: The Supreme Court of Washington (SCOW) voted unanimously to have the 735 King County votes considered. Unlike justices of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), who are appointed by the president, our justices are elected and thus not beholden to an official or a party. (There is still considerable resentment and suspicion about the SCOTUS split decision halting the 2000 Florida presidential recount, but the SCOW justices were unanimous and made a good case, accessible at "")." Unlike like the New York or Seattle Times, the Olympian cuts through the crap and partisan blather. Thanks to Bob Shields, one of the two King County Democratic-appointed vote counters chosen to look at the final group of ballots that the SCOW ruling said were valid, for sending this along. Update: Another clear-headed view from outside King County, in the Tri-City Herald: "End to governor's race first step in recovery." Update: John Nichols, writing in The Nation, says, "Maybe someday, if the Democrats really want to win the presidency, they will nominate someone like Christine Gregoire. Gregoire is the Washington state attorney general who this year was nominated by Democrats to run for governor of that state. She is hardly a perfect politician -- like too many Democrats, she is more of a manager than a visionary; and she is as ideologically drab as Gore or Kerry. But Gregoire had one thing going for her, and that was her determination to win."-from "Rule One: Count Every Vote."

Ohio: One New Article and a Roundup

"Another third rate burglary," from the Columbus Free Press describes the funny business in the Toledo area before election day and later. If you want all the Ohio dirt in one place, the "Ohio Election Fraud" website has a list of more than 50 links covering all the bases today. Update: Truthout's William Rivers Pitt says "This afternoon, an attorney representing the Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign filed two important motions to preserve and augment evidence of alleged election fraud in the November election."

Welcome to the Sunday Spin Zone

The "conservative" right wing amps up the rhetoric against an immenent Gregoire victory with, "The Democratic Coup in the State of Washington." The headline tips its wacko thesis. Expect more of the same in a variety of media and contexts. For example, having just recently discovered the "irregularities" in Ohio, the New York Times now trains its investigative eyes on the Evergreen State this morning with, "Recounts and Partisan Bickering Tire Washington Voters." This one irks me more, because of its veneer of credibility. Here's my beef: The article claims "Other voters said the close results and newly found and erroneously rejected ballots here in King County, the state's most populous and strongly Democratic county, made them deeply suspicious of the integrity of the election process and left them wondering if the results from previous close elections were accurate." So, who are the "others" cited? ONE VOTER, age 23, who voted for the first time for Gregoire and says "Democratic Party election workers had tried to contact her five or six times to have her complete an affidavit showing her signature was valid." And based on this, the article can claim "others are deeply suspicious?" I smell blatant spin, something the New York Times has been accused of with increasing frequency of late: Florida 2000, Iraq war, Dean candidacy, etc. On Sunday, Seattle becomes a one newspaper town, perhaps giving us a glimpse into the post-Joint Operating Agreement future. The news story from the Times, "Votes tallied for governor, but what's next is unclear," gives us a milder, Seattle-style hatchet job on Gregoire and the possibility of her ascension to the governor's office. It raises all kinds of questions, including a critique of Gregoire's campaign and manages to say not one positive word about her, while describing Rossi as an "affable and accomplished campaigner." They also could have said he ran from his legislative record and was purposefully vague about his stands on a range of issues from abortion rights to social services. Finally, the Times article claims "no one is sure about what happens next," when, in fact, their own story on Friday described the position of this state's Secretary of State, the elected official with the legal responsibility and authority to oversee and certify this election, thusly: "Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, said he considers the race over." This would seem to completely contradict their own headline in today's newspaper. Can an ad from "Washington Voters for Truth" be far behind?

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Time to ''Wrap Up'' the Governor's Race? (UPDATED)

This Christmas morning's P-I story leads with "Dino Rossi's current plan for keeping Washington's never-ending governor's race alive appears to be dying, and Republicans acknowledge his only option might be to formally contest the results." The staff at the Times must all be on vacation because they are just posting yesterday's story, again. How Mayberry. Update: The quote you won't be reading in our town: "The exhausting, exasperating, excruciatingly close Washington governor's race might be the worst thing to happen to democracy since Florida's pregnant chads."-from the AP story in the Boston Globe this morning, "In Washington state, the race for governor drags on -- and on."

Friday, December 24, 2004

''Default to Bush'' (UPDATED)

“One pattern that has been documented based on the experience of voters in Florida, New Mexico, Ohio, and elsewhere (especially in swing states) is the machines appear to have been set with a default to Bush. Then if the voter successfully punched the ballot for another candidate, Bush was replaced by that candidate.”-from the article tonight, "Kerry votes switched to Bush and ballots pre-punched for Bush," in the Columbus Free Press. Also new, there is, "Lawsuit Before the Ohio Supreme Court." Another legal move in Ohio: "Cobb Asks Federal Court to Preserve Evidence in Ohio." On January 3rd, Jesse Jackson, Progressive Democrats of America and a coalition of grassroots organizations including are holding a “‘Pro Democracy Count Every Vote Rally,” in Columbus, Ohio. Details here. Update: A poster on Kos takes him and other Kossacks to task for:"(s)ilence in response to any poster who contends that, whether or not it changes the outcome, the ongoing fight to count all votes in Ohio is a fight to ensure the rights of African-American voters and thus deserves the party's public attention and commitment. Go review the recent threads yourself. Look at what responses come to anyone who dares mention that the Ohio fight is about African-American voting rights and not about John Kerry and his embarrassing (but in hindsight quite predictable) loss to the Chimp. The silence I particularly deafening, and it is the most common reaction. Including most notably from the "official posters" of this site, such as Kos (and including Kid Oakland, who, living in the city he does, should damned well know better). Let's be clear. Kerry isn't being masterful behind the scenes, as some folks want to pretend. He's saving his political ass, at the expense of the very same Black folks he PROMISED he would not let be cheated out of the right to vote again. Kerry isn't just "waiting his time" - he's hiding in the latrine, terrified to publicly associate himself with anything that confronts the corruption in Ohio because of the potential political cost to himself and the fear that someone might call him crybaby names (i.e. "sore loser")."-quoted in "Folks don't get it," in the San Francisco Bay View. As if to prove the point made above, Solar Bus has an "Election Fraud Action Page" that makes no mention of the disproportionate disenfranchisement of African American voters in Ohio. I signed a petition there anyway.

''GOP to fight Gregoire victory''

No suprises here, from the P-I. The Times has, "It's Gregoire by 130; is it over? Rossi: This wasn't a clean election." The GOP message is undercut by one of their own: "Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, said he considers the race over."

''No Holiday for Vote Thieves''

This new article in the Black Commentator focuses on the role of John Conyers in the investigation of the Ohio vote: "Although he would disagree with the notion, Rep. John Conyers is acting as 'our' Special Prosecutor." Update: A devoted reader requests that I highlight this quote from the Black Commentator article mentioned above: ”Overt racism by right-wing Republicans is the core dynamic at work here, but it is aided and abetted by invisibility racism found in left commentators and media reports, who fail to center the civil rights struggle. An issue that is clearly about racism and civil rights has been whitewashed into ‘voter fraud’ generica. Type one racism answered with type two.” If you believe in Santa, maybe he is responsible for this seasonal gift: a front page story in the New York Times, "Voting Problems in Ohio Spur Call for Overhaul." Their voting "problem" poster child is an economics professor at Ohio University. His plight: he moved during the summer but "failed to notify the Athens County Board of Elections until the day before the presidential election. An official told him to use a provisional ballot. But under Ohio law, provisional ballots are valid only when cast from a voter's correct precinct. Mr. Shambora was given a ballot for the wrong precinct, a fact he did not learn until after the election. Two weeks later, the board discarded his vote, adding him to a list of more than 300 provisional ballots that were rejected in that heavily Democratic county." Update: "Jackson says Kerry conceded too soon: "Contending that Ohio's 2004 election results were more troubling than Florida's four years ago, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said yesterday that Democratic presidential candidate Senator John F. Kerry called it quits too soon. ''Kerry conceded much too quickly, before the facts were in," Jackson said in a conference call with reporters to discuss an ongoing challenge to Ohio's election results." Stuck in an airport with time on your hands? Here's roundup of election fraud stories from, including Greg Palast's November 4th article, "Kerry Won."

Thursday, December 23, 2004

''Final Washington state recount results: Gregoire by 130''

Once again the Times and the P-I make my job easier by posting the same AP story. But the Times adds several more paragraphs to this basic AP news about the new vote count: "SEATTLE -- Democrat Christine Gregoire won the Washington governor's race by a 130-vote margin out of 2.9 million ballots cast, according to final recount results from King County, the last of Washington's 39 counties to report. The statewide hand recount reversed the results of the first count, which Republican Dino Rossi won by 261 votes, and a subsequent machine recount, which Rossi won by 42. "Wooo-hooo!" exulted state Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirstin Brost moments after the results were announced. "We're very excited. We always believed she would win." The election results have not been certified and will likely be challenged in court. Republicans say the contest isn't over yet. "We're going to be going across the state demanding they make every vote count," Rossi spokeswoman Mary Lane said earlier Thursday. Since Election Day, Gregoire has gone from favorite to underdog and back to favorite. Democrats paid $730,000 for the hand recount. By law the state has to repay the party if the recount reverses the results. Secretary of State Sam Reed is scheduled to certify the election on Thursday, Dec. 30. After that, Republicans may pursue a legal challenge. State law allows any registered voter to challenge election results." Interestingly, Yahoo News has posted the same story with a different headline: "Democrat Gregoire Wins Wash. Governor Race." I prefer that one, don't you?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Department of Brutal Self-Criticism

"BIGGEST LOSER: Stranger politics writer Sandeep Kaushik. While it was long ago evident that he is a total fool, the discovery of King County's ballot counting error makes his call for Gregoire to concede after the first recount ["Lose. Recount. Spin." Dec 2] look truly stupid."-Mr. Kaushik, awarding himself the honor in, "WINNERS & LOSERS--Who's Really Up and Who's Really Down in the Governor's Race," from today's new Stranger. In journalism, let alone politics, this kind of honesty is stunning and rare. I guess he keeps the title, bestowed by this would-be journalist, "most charming political writer," Emerald City Division.

''Kerry to Enter Ohio Recount Fray''

Truthout is making a big deal out of this today: "2004 Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry will file today, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, papers in support of the Green Party/Libertarian Party recount effort. Specifically, Kerry will be filing a request for expedited discovery regarding Triad Systems voting machines, as well as a motion for a preservation order to protect any and all discovery and preserve any evidence on this matter."-from the post by William Rivers Pitt. Update: This post from Raw Story has text of the Triad video and makes its message clear: "foreclose the possibility of the county finding a discrepancy between the hand count and the machine count."

Bloggerman Responds to Some Criticism

I am reluctant to give Olbermann any more attention than he deserves, but he is the only MSM (mainstream media) anchor who is at least paying attention to the Ohio story. He retracts his vow to not post during his current vacation with, "Challenges and the challenged." One critic and his criticism to whom he does not respond: "MSNBC's 'Bloggermann' Blows It Again!" from The Brad Blog. Brad faults Bloggerman for "(f)ailing to meet even the usually lax journalistic standards of most Internet bloggers."

John Conyers Has 12 Questions for Triad

John Conyers sent this letter yesterday to the President of Triad GSI about the "conduct of your firm in connection with the Ohio presidential election and recount." Update: Conyers is pretty good at writing letters. This one, "Conyers hears election horror stories," reports about a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell, "asking him to cooperate in the ongoing Democratic investigation of “substantial irregularities” in Ohio, which certified the 119,000-vote margin for the President. That margin is 17,000 votes less than Mr. Blackwell’s original estimate of 136,000."-from the report in News. 17,000 votes? And here we went to the Supreme Court about several hundred.

Headlines Tell the Story: Can You Say ''Governor Gregoire?''

"Third time may be a charm for Gregoire."Seattle P-I.: "King County elections officials plan to certify the results of the hand recount this afternoon." "Voters glad their ballots finally will count." Seattle P-I: "Likewise Joel Swanson, a 22-year-old systems analyst from Shoreline, said the candidate receiving his or any other absentee vote wasn't the issue. "I'm probably one of the few Rossi voters who wanted them counted," Swanson said yesterday. "But I think it shouldn't matter who you want to win. If these votes are legitimate, they should be counted." "Gregoire leads by 10."Seattle Times: "Dino Rossi's bid to become Washington's first Republican governor in two decades unraveled in a big way yesterday. Vance said the Republicans have a list of 500 people statewide, including about 260 who have signed affidavits, who voted for Rossi but contend their ballots were wrongly rejected due to signature problems. In light of yesterday's court ruling, he said the party will press county auditors across the state to reconsider those ballots. "Now, we're with the Democrats," said Vance. "Let's count every vote -- everywhere, not just in King County.""Focus turns to canvassing board,"Seattle Times: "Forget the hanging chads and the mismarked ballot bubbles, the green pens and the sloppy voters. The gubernatorial election could be decided today by the little-known King County canvassing board. Asked whether he felt pressure because his decisions could elect a governor, Pelz said he doesn't. "We will act on these ballots on the guidelines of law. We'll do what's right and uphold the law." Logan, appointed by King County Executive Ron Sims, said it's not the canvassing board that matters, but the votes themselves. "Are these legitimate registered voters? The facts show they are," Logan said. "It weighs heavily on me that they might well determine who's governor. What weighs heavily on me is my administration made the error." "Vote Recount for Washington Governor Tips to Democrat." New York Times: "And in an election year that delivered Democrats so many bruising losses, the potential fall and rise of a Democrat in Washington would be a deliciously hard-won aberration. Such an outcome would also be a personal victory for Mr. Berendt, the state party chairman. For the last few weeks, he has begun each morning with hard-charging confrontations on a 6 a.m. talk radio show with Mr. Vance, the Republican chairman, whom he described as a "friend" before the election. "It's time for Democrats somewhere to draw a line in the sand and say we are not going to let bully Republican tactics determine who our governor is or how an election is going to be determined," he said. Mr. Berendt said Washington Democrats had decided from the start that what he described as Al Gore's "nice guy" approach was not to be the tactic here. "I don't think there's any doubt that people are empowered by this whole thing," said Representative Jim McDermott, one of the state's most prominent Democrats. "The feeling of many of us is they quit too soon in Ohio. We don't know what happened there, but we said, 'By God, they're not going to do that in Washington.' "

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Ohio Voter Suppression Videos

If you think Jim Crow voting practices ended after the civil rights movement of the sixties, check out these videos from last month in Ohio. Update: If you need more data about screw-ups or crimes in Ohio, there's "In Ohio, almost 1 in 50 votes for president don't count."

''Tim Roemer Should Not Become DNC Chair''

From this post on MyDD: "The upcoming battle to save Social Security from destruction by lying, rampaging conservatives is the single biggest domestic issue we have faced in the country in a decade. During this fight, we do not need the chair of the DNC to be in favor of said destruction. Unless Roemer publicly, loudly and completely repudiates his recent position on Social Security, he is utterly unacceptable as DNC chair. Mark my words: if Roemer becomes chair without doing this, I will actively encourage all progressive activists to donate and volunteer to third-party groups instead of and at the expense of the DNC. The Fainthearted Faction has no place in the Democratic leadership. This must be made clear to all involved."

Legal Fight Begins--Gary on ''HOLD''

"If the legal fighting does not produce a new governor by the scheduled Jan. 12 inauguration, lame-duck Gov. Gary Locke, a Democrat, may have to stick around. That is because of a provision of the state constitution that says the governor's term of office is four years "and until his successor is elected and qualified." Locke has made it clear he is not interested in hanging around.-from the AP story tonight, "Wash. Recount Favors Democratic Challenger." Update: From a Seattle Times story filed late Wednesday evening, "Brief likens recount to Nixon's 1960 race: "In a friend-of-the-court brief filed yesterday in the state Supreme Court, former Republican Attorney General Ken Eikenberry and the influential Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) compared King County's ballot-counting problems to Daley's alleged manipulation of the Chicago vote when he was mayor during the 1960 presidential election. The Democrats responded to the BIAW and Eikenberry in a filing yesterday. The party called it "an apparent attempt to insinuate indirectly what plaintiffs ... could not prove, that there is even the slightest indication of fraud in the manual recount of the Washington Governor's race in King County [or anywhere else for that matter.]" When will we see the "Republican Thugs for Truth" ads?

''King County reports recount results: Gregoire by 10''

"Gregoire's slim margin could widen on Thursday, when Democrat-heavy King County officials plan to count 700-plus belatedly discovered ballots. Over Republicans' objections, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that those ballots should be counted. The election results are not official. They will likely be challenged in court. Republicans vowed to keep fighting."-from the AP story in tonight's P-I. The Times has the same one, again. Kos (himself!) comments in this post, "Actually, it's 10. For now." Progressive Majority is asking us to Take Action: "Tell Dino Rossi to Concede in the Washington Governor's Race."


Go here at 9:30am for live coverage of the legal doings regarding the Governor's vote. If the video stream is busy, try the one for audio only. Update: The P-I and the Times post the identical AP story following this morning's Supreme Court hearing. A decision is promised later today or early tomorrow. Update: The P-I and the Times post the identical AP story following this morning's Supreme Court hearing. A decision is promised later today or early tomorrow. Update: "Court Says Disputed Votes Can Be Counted." This post on Kos breaks down the ruling. Here is King County Elections statement and what happens now: "Supreme Court rules King County can keep counting."

Conyers Wants Original Exit Poll Data

The P-I and Times articles both start with the same copy, from the AP. But the P-I story goes long, 15 paragraphs long. One little sentence not in the Times story: "Conyers' letter said the exit poll information could help determine whether there is evidence "of voting irregularities that occurred as a result of poor election practices and intentional voter disenfranchisement." Update: Conyers told Air America host Ed Schultz that "absolutely one Senator would stand up on 1/6 and contest the electoral vote" and he believes more than one will stand up and contest.-from this post on the Democratic Underground site, sent along by dedicated reader Annie Robbins. Update: "...volunteer attorneys have poured into Columbus from around the US to help investigate the bitterly contested presidential vote that has allegedly given George W. Bush Ohio's electoral votes and thus a second term. A lawsuit filed at the Ohio Supreme Court charges that a fair vote count would give the state and the presidency to John Kerry rather than Bush."-new today, from the Columbus Free Press, "Ohio electoral fight becomes 'biggest deal since Selma' as GOP stonewalls."

Dems: ''We Won by 8''-GOP: ''Too Close to Call''

"Democrats have claimed victory in the race for Washington governor by a razor-thin margin of eight votes, citing preliminary results of a hand recount they say puts Christine Gregoire in front for the first time. Republicans maintained the race was still too close to call."-from the AP story, "Dems Claim Win in Wash. Governor's Race." This projection does not include the disputed 700-plus ballots that the State Supreme Court will be deciding whether to count, later this morning. The GOP has threatened to sue if they allow them to be tallied. The P-I story this morning, "Democrats: Gregoire wins by 8 votes," has this: "King County elections officials said Berendt's victory claim was premature and that the data the parties are seeing hasn't been reconciled.The state Supreme Court hears an appeal about hundreds of disputed King County ballots at 9:30 a.m. The hourlong hearing will be broadcast live on TVW, channel 23 on most cable networks. Also, King County plans to announce its recount results by 3:30 p.m." The Seattle Times story, "Gregoire catches Rossi, Democrats say," highights the GOP's fighting stance: "Vance said the Republicans know of about 500 people statewide — including more than 260 who have signed affidavits — who say they voted for Rossi but their ballots were rejected because of signature mismatches or other problems. The party said yesterday it has heard from several members of the military, including some serving in Iraq, who say they wanted to vote but did not receive ballots in time. Vance said the party will fight to get all of those votes counted if the Supreme Court allows King County to tally its previously rejected ballots. "If they can bring in theirs from King County, we'll be going back to every county auditor and saying 'Let's start it all over again,' " Vance said. The AP story also mentions this colorful anecdote: "About 350 people gathered Tuesday to show support for Rossi in front of the Supreme Court, at a rally sponsored by a conservative talk-radio station. The crowd chanted "No more fraud!" They held signs saying "Welcome to Ukraine" and wore orange, a tribute to the signature color of demonstrators in Ukraine who protested a fraud-marred election there." I wonder if they would be willing to do the same in Ohio. Probably not.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

One Way Howard Dean Could Help

"If the Democrats had a Karl Rove—a cunning master strategist who thinks so far in advance that he wins new wars before the other side even wakes up to discover there's been a fight—setting up an election reform movement might be the first thing he would do. It just wouldn't look anything like the reform movement we have—so uncoordinated, strategically unsound, and prone to going off half-cocked that it may end up hurting the crucial cause it seeks to help."-from the Village Voice story, "The Case of the Ohio Recount."

''Recount saga continues''

Late Tuesday afternoon, the P-I posted this story on the governor's race: "Other counties added votes in recount." The practical impact of this: "the counties may have to recount yet again, the Secretary of State's Office said yesterday. Kirsten Brost, spokeswoman for the state Democrat Party, said yesterday that such a candidate-by-candidate tally of the batch of newly interpreted votes is meaningless without knowing the full and final count of all King County ballots. I think we're all waiting just to see what happens Wednesday," she said. "People just need to be patient."

''Desperately Seeking Senators''

From the Progressive Democrats of America:"Greetings! We all remember that early scene from Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 911", where one African American after another stands up in the well of the House to challenge the Florida vote from 2000, only to be ruled out of order due to the lack of a single signature from a single Senator. Not this time. On January 6, 2005, the House and Senate will once again meet to consider the electoral vote count. And once again, that vote count is likely to be challenged by a group of progressive House members, who will make the case that the misallocation of voting machines (especially in Ohio), the abuse of provisional balloting in numerous states, and the refusal and/or inability to conduct the recount in an open and auditable manner in Ohio, in Florida, and in so many other key states, mean that the certified electors should not be seated. This time, we want several U.S. Senators to join with them, to make a serious voting rights challenge that the entire world will hear. This time, we want so much polite-but-firm grassroots contact from progressive voters beforehand that a whole group of Senators will choose to stand up and fight for the voting rights of African-Americans, Latinos, and youth voters that the Republican Party targeted for disruption and disenfranchisement in the 2004 election. Some who need to hear from us are new, such as Barak Obama of Illinois and Ken Salazar of Colorado. These new Senators could use cover from the new leadership of the Senate, especially Dick Durbin, who also hails from Obama's home state. Some Senators depend on African American and Latino votes to be elected, and thus could be expected to stand up tall when voting rights issues are on the line, including Joe Biden of Delaware, Carl Levin of Michigan, Bill Nelson of Florida, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes of Maryland, Jon Corzine and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey. Senator Byrd of West Virginia was once a Klansman; but his eloquent leadership against the Iraq War has inspired us all, and he has the courage and fortitude to cap his career with an outspoken battle on behalf of abused African American voters. Senator Lieberman of Connecticut rightfully brags about his youthful efforts to register voters in the Old South in the 1960s; on 1/6/05, he will have the chance to demonstrate that his youthful idealism still survives. There are Senators who are safe, and could do the right thing--like Chris Dodd of Connecticut, Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, Charles Schumer of New York, Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, and Herb Kohl of Wisconsin. There is Jim Jeffords of Vermont, an Independent who was brave enough to stand up to the Bush White House once before. There is Senator Lincoln Chafee, a Republican in a solid Democratic state, the namesake of Lincoln, a moderate caught in a far right party. And, of course, there is John Kerry. To remind them why they're in Washington, click here. Ask them to stand for every American's right to vote (and have it counted.)" Patty: You just got six more years, can you hear us?

Notes and Commentary about the Media

Poynter Online has, "What Mainstream Journalists Can Learn From Bloggers." Bloggerman posts from a "SECURE UNDISCLOSED LOCATION," while on vacation, AGAIN. That would be because he is a mainstream journalist with all the benefits and percs.

Whistleblowers in Ohio and Congress

If you think e-vote companies are pillars of integrity, you might want to this check out, from Channel 8 in Indianapolis: "ES&S Project Manager Resigns Over Voting Machine Problems." "I was faced with a moral and ethical dilemma and I felt the only thing that I could do was come forward and tell the Marion County clerk what had happened,” said Wendy Orange, a name you will probably be hearing again. If you don't get around to the link, here's a taste: "She said she had "personally witnessed open discussions of potentially illegal procedures." John Conyers is the subject of today's Q & A from Salon, "Investigating Ohio." From the intro: "For those who believe that the 2004 election was stolen by George W. Bush, Karl Rove and an unholy alliance of party operatives and voting-machine impresarios, a 75-year-old Democratic congressman from Detroit has emerged as the last best hope for American democracy. Almost alone in official Washington, Rep. John Conyers has insisted that the nation understand -- and then correct -- the problems that plagued the 2004 vote."

Chris: ''Accept Recount''--Reed: ''Count 'Em All''

Bad day for Dino in the spin wars. The P-I leads with "Gregoire: Let's accept recount: With the very real possibility that the hand recount could undo Dino Rossi's victory, Christine Gregoire wants Rossi's pledge to accept the upcoming results as final -- and concede if he loses."-from the front page story, "Gregoire urges Rossi: Let's accept result of hand recount." Rossi isn't helped much by this, from the P-I reporter: "Rossi was unavailable for comment, but his spokeswoman, Mary Lane, said he would accept the results of the manual recount -- provided he wins." And the Seattle Times headlines this from our Republican Secretary of State: "Reed says county has right to fix error, tally 735 ballots." Update: Chris Bowers in MyDD, handicaps the Gregoire-Rossi race, drawing on some information we have already posted. His call: "Gregoire is almost certain to win if all valid votes are counted."

Monday, December 20, 2004

What Will It Take?

I don't know about you, but I am getting a little weary reading about yet another instance of "election irregularities" in Ohio and elsewhere, and not seeing any particular leadership towards resolving the issues they raise, except from John Conyers, Jesse Jackson and scores of activists and some media folks. Today, we have "The greatest story never told," from the Columbus Free Press, that frames the issue like this: "The United States is in crisis, 271 years after Zenger established press freedom as a precious right of Americans. A new despot has emerged in the form of corporate control of media." Then here's a quote from "No Vote In Ohio !!??" in alt press online: "The voting irregularities in the state of Ohio just won’t go away. Yesterday, in the state’s capital in Columbus, democratic members of the House Judicial Committee met for a rare field hearing to investigate alleged incidents of ‘election malfeasance and manipulation in the 2004 vote.” The article then lays out the major problems that were observed during the past election. Wired News gives us "Ohio Recount Stirs Trouble," today. It takes us through the now familiar tales of misdeeds. Finally, even the NEW YORK TIMES finally comes out editorially as follows:
"In Washington's gubernatorial election, Dino Rossi, a Republican, and Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, finished in a virtual dead heat. With nearly 2.9 million votes cast, Mr. Rossi initially led by 261 votes. A machine recount took his lead down to 42. Ms. Gregoire requested a hand recount. During it, King County, a heavily Democratic area that includes Seattle, found 723 absentee ballots that had not been counted because election workers made errors like failing to verify the voters' signatures. Republicans, fearing that those ballots would throw the election to Ms. Gregoire, have gotten a lower court judge to prevent them from being counted, at least temporarily. But there is no reason these ballots and other valid ballots that have turned up during the recount should not be counted. The right to vote cannot be taken away because an election official did not do his or her job correctly.In Ohio, where a recount of the presidential election is under way, it is becoming clear that as important as recounts are, they are not enough to ensure the integrity of our elections. Representative John Conyers Jr., a Democrat from Michigan, has charged that an employee of a company that makes vote-counting software used across the state may have tampered with one county's vote tabulator after the election to make the recount come out right. If people other than election officials have free access to the tabulation software, it can make a recount an empty gesture. Clearly the American election system needs significant improvement, starting with voter-verified paper trails for every vote cast electronically. In the current flawed system, the best chance we have of producing accurate results is to be on guard for manipulation of electronic voting machines and tabulation software, and to conduct conscientious recounts when the outcome is at all in doubt."
Tepid, reasoned and very sensible. The only problem with all these comments is that to date, nobody is acting in support of them, like say, in the UKRAINE. Like other "bad" things (racism comes to mind), nothing seems to be changing fast enough to make a difference. In the case of Ohio, the lack of action is impacting who is going to be declared victorious in the presidential election. It remains to be seen how the Washington Governor's race will be resolved, once the courts get involved. The P-I sums up today's events this evening with, "Governor's race heads to Supreme Court."

Vance: ''Smoking Gun''--Logan: ''Fairy Tales''

The spinning of the Governor's race continues in the P-I this morning: "GOP chief accuses election office of misleading public on absentees at issue." The plot line in the Times story, "In May, workers told how to verify ballots," paints a different picture: "In this November's general election, the county's absentee-ballot staff still didn't make the effort to find matching signatures. But instead of counting the ballots automatically, they rejected them."

Sunday, December 19, 2004

''Please, don't be like my friend, a staunch Kerry volunteer,...''

who hasn't looked at the Ohio story because he reads the New York Times, watches the News Hour and dismisses all contrary data a priroi as the delusions of the "chattering class," "paranoid conspiracy theorists" and "whining losers." The fact is, he doesn't want to know. His whole political paradigm would fall apart like it did when he found out there's no Santa Claus."-from the commentary, "Vote Fraud: Only Chumps and Compulsive Gamblers Keep On Playing in a Rigged Game," on the International Labor Communications Association (AFL-CIO) website.


From the frontlines in Ohio, comes this call for help: "Yesterday in 30 degree temperature with winds that knocked me over while I was filming the Ohio Statehouse Rally, Ohioans and people from all over America who came to Ohio to help us, listened to Joan and Eve tell how they were denied access to those public records in Greene County Ohio. I was moved beyond words when I looked into the faces of my haggard and weary fellow patriotic Ohioans who continue to persevere no matter how many obstacles are thrown in their path, no matter how tired they are, no matter how sick, how broke, how cold. That kind of spirit is seldom seen today. Yes, those of us in Ohio ARE on the front lines - and it feels like we are defending the Alamo. We are doing our part. A handful of determined people are working themselves to exhaustion. Yes, we ARE out there in the streets. And we ARE at the statehouse. And we ARE at the hearings. And we ARE filing the lawsuits. And we ARE out there doing the recount. And we ARE out there knocking on doors to investigate, verify and gather the facts. People all over the country who are web-tracking what's happening want to help, who feel helpless, frustrated, and sorry for us in Ohio, are offering good wishes and words of encouragement. And believe me, we appreciate the encouragement. We do, and thank you for that. But we here in Ohio need more than a "You can do it" pat on the back. We ARE doing it. But nobody knows. Ohio is screaming the truth at the top of its lungs, literally, and no one hears us because of all the noise of the media silence. If you want to do something, here's what you can do to help. I am asking the rest of the country to please get out there and find well-known people whose voices are loud enough to be heard by the press who will stand up for us. Get a Senator or a media personality or anyone of very high profile to come out about this. The media blackout is killing us."-from the story, "Ohio - Alone and In the Dark," on the AFL-CIO's International Labor Communications Association website. What DFA is doing in Massachusetts: "...members of Democracy for America-MA say they will let their pens do the talking leading up to the Jan. 6 challenge vote of the Ohio vote, which would be triggered by support by one U.S. senator and one congressman. "It's not over until it's over," said Herb Chasan, a Framingham resident and the unofficial leader of the local Democracy for America contingent. "We're not just going to throw in the towel and give up." The group hosted a meeting about election irregularities and voting reform on Wednesday, led by special guest Jonathan Simon, who worked in Washington as a political survey research analyst. Chasan doesn't buy the argument that his group, which recently changed its name from Stop Bush, was ineffectual because its main goal wasn't achieved. He said the group's letter-writing blitz forced the Ohio recount issue."-from the article, "Group strives to void Bush," in the Milford Daily News (MA).

''Ballot checks vary widely across state''

That's Washington state the Sunday Seattle Times' front page headline and article is referring to. The story leads the reader to conclude that we need some statewide standards and procedures. For comparison purposes, here's a new account of what happened in one county in Ohio: "Anomalies were found. Almost all of the witnesses that I spoke with felt that the ballots were not in random order, that they had been previously sorted. There would be long spurts of votes for only one candidate and then long spurts for another, which seemed statistically improbable to most. From what they were able to get through, witnesses found that signature counts were very much different from the official recorded number of ballots. At the time of the orientation, Jacqui Maiden stated that there will be no visual inspection of the remaining 600,000-some ballots in the county."-from the post on Democratic Underground about the recount going on now in Ohio (scroll down to "Inside story from the recounters". The folks at "Election Fraud 2004" have put together a slide show. but you have to give them your name and email address to view it. Update: The LA Times puts the race in perspective: "This is a cosmic coin flip; it is a 500-year flood in terms of voting," said Lance T. LeLoup, a political science professor at Washington State University. "To be 42 votes apart out of nearly 3 million cast — that is just unbelievably close."-from the story, "Governor's Race So Close, Yet So Divisive."

Saturday, December 18, 2004

''Florida's Rigged Election''

Mark Levine's presents David Lytel of ReDefeatBush and computer programmer Clinton Curtis -- who was hired by the Republicans to develop vote rigging software, in a live internet radio interview and call-in show Sunday, December 19 at 10am, Pacific Standard Time. Check out the RadioInsideScoop link above for more information. There is also a weblog on the site. You must install Windows Media Player 9 to listen. Update: The Brad Blog now has the full Clint Curtis sworn testimony and other reports about his information. Update: The Brad Blog now has the full Clint Curtis sworn testimony and other reports about his information. RadioInsideScoop should have the Curtis-Lytel interview archived soon, on the website.

''Electoral Coup Talkback 2004 FAQ''

From ReDefeatBush: "Some suggestions for how to talk to Republicans about Bush's electoral coup 2004 and help prepare them for the coming prosecutions, convictions and punishments."
Update: ReDefeat Bush also has this post that seeks to get Kerry to "man up" by asking the Clintons and Gore to "convince Senator John Kerry not to accept a fraudulent election on our behalf." They provide the contact information, we provide the pressure.

What Should the ''Ground Game'' Look Like?

"Manning Marable vs. Donna Brazile on the Future of the Democratic Party"--read, watch or listen to this discussion hosted yesterday by "Democracy Now!" From the introduction: "Manning Marable, one of America's most influential and widely read scholars is Professor of History and Political Science and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and founding Director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies. His latest books include "The Great Wells of Democracy: The Meaning of Race in American Life and "Freedom on My Mind: The Columbia Documentary History of the African American Experience." Donna Brazile was Al Gore's campaign manager in the 2000 election and is a longtime Democratic Party activist. She is author of the book "Cooking With Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics."

OHIO: ''Voters Refile Challenge Of Presidential Results''

The challenge is backed by the Reverend Jesse Jackson and Cliff Arnebeck, a Columbus attorney for the Massachusetts-based Alliance for Democracy, who accused the campaign of President Bush of "high-tech vote stealing." Here's an update on the "3 per cent recount in Ohio." Who the hell ever heard of such a thing anyway? Newropeans Magazine has, "U.S.: A Call for a New Election - 1st Part ." Read it. Update: "Ohio vote count battles escalate amidst new evidence of potential criminal activity," from Fitrakis, Rosenfeld aand Wasserman in the Columbus Free Press. Update: Call it the "Ukrainian Solution"--the 2nd Part of the Newropeans Magazine article, "U.S.: A Call for a New Election" is up. Unlikely, but it would be the right thing to do.

''Judge blocks count of newly discovered ballots in governor's race''

Question: Why in Tacoma? Answer: Any good lawyer will try to find "the right judge" to hear their case: "TACOMA, Wash. -- A judge Friday granted a state Republican Party request to block King County from counting hundreds of recently discovered ballots in Washington's incredibly close governor's race."-from the P-I story tonight. Both the Dems and King County plan to appeal. The Seattle Times story tonight covers much of the same territory, but punches up the news that another 150 ballots have been unearthed: "King County election officials found 150 more absentee ballots today that were mistakenly not counted in two previous vote counts but which are now expected to be included in the ongoing manual recount in the governor's race." I'm all in favor of counting all the votes, but I must say this is starting to resemble a farce. What might they find tomorrow? Update: It is tomorrow and we discover "Ruling WA judge barely qualified," from this post on Kos, compliments of Susan Hu. This Saturday morning's P-I story, "Judge: Don't count 735 ballots," notes that Gregoire picked up another 31 votes in Pierce County, cutting Rossi's lead to 50 votes statewide. This morning's updated Seattle Times recount story gives us a few more details like this one about how a King County Elections staffer came upon the newly discovered ballots: "he had missed a second tray that contained names beginning with A, B and C." Update: A post on Kos picks up on a column in this morning's Seattle Times.

Friday, December 17, 2004


"It was a Monday just after the DNC meetings in Orlando, the weekend of the 10th of December. As perhaps the most dramatic year in Howard Dean’s life draws to a close, he sounds less reflective than focused, with not a trace of wistfulness for what might have been. Lingering bitterness over the sandbagging and internecine candidate statements in the Iowa primary, resentment at being forced into a role as avatar for a clearly flawed candidate and badly prosecuted general campaign, all that seems to be the province of his many supporters, not Howard Dean. With his characteristic intensity, he purposefully moves ahead on his path, focused even more precisely on his goal: to remake the Democratic Party. Maybe “remake” isn’t really the right choice of words. And the focus on the Democratic Party, even that is too narrow. We are talking about no less than a Renaissance of the populace. Reinvigoration of long moribund participatory democracy free and unfettered by corporate lobbyists. A return to Core Values of the American Ideal. For Howard Dean and his legions, this is the goal. I march with them. It is with this as a background that I pursued my conversation with him, via his cell phone." Here's the interview in People For Change. It touches the issues of the DFA, DFC and the DNC as well as Dean's belief that the "third rail issues are the coziness with big corporations which are basically helping to destroy America’s standard of living, and the questionable activities around voting."

Let's Have a New Vote in Washington AND Ohio

"Former Secretary of State pushes for new vote," (in Washington state, not in Ohio). "Munro, who oversaw the state's elections system for 20 years before retiring in 2000, said a new vote is probably the only way to restore voter confidence and get a clear winner." The Dems scoffed at the idea, saying that "last week the Republicans were saying we need to resolve this as quickly as possible," Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirstin Brost said. "This week they're saying we need another election." The article goes on to say that Rossi's lead has slipped because of gains by Gregoire in the Snohomish County recount. There's at least one Republican who wants all the votes counted: "Chantelle Weaver, a South Seattle resident, voted for Rossi and discovered this week she was on the list of people whose votes were disqualified. "I did everything I needed to do to get my vote counted," said Weaver, who added it was her first time voting. She disagrees with the Republicans' effort to block the ballots from being counted. "I figure every vote should be counted, whether I win or not," Weaver said."-from the Seattle Times article this morning. Olbermann Update: "Conyers "prepared" to contest Ohio Electoral Vote," from Bloggerman's account of John Conyers' appearance on "Countdown." From another city by another bay: Berkeley is the 1st U.S. City to Pry Open Votergate: "By unanimous consent, the Berkeley City Council adopted the "Resolution Supporting the Request that the Government Accountability Office Immediately Undertake an Investigation of Voting Irregularities in the 2004 Elections. Drafted by Berkeley's Peace and Justice Commission, the Resolution also lists 17 measures to improve elections. "-from the press release.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Recount Drama Continues Tonight

The P-I tonight has this story: "Republicans to sue King County over 573 ballots," which lays out their objections to counting these newly discovered ballots. In response, Democratic State Party Chairman Paul Berendt says, "Dino Rossi is the accidental Gov.-Elect, the only reason he was in the lead at the end of the last count is because of King County's mistake. Now that the mistakes are being fixed, (Republicans) want to stop valid votes from being counted." In an email to supporters, the Dems also claim: "The GOP has never said a word about the hundreds of ballots added into the count that favored Dino Rossi. And Democrats never objected to counties correcting mistakes in ways that favored Rossi. For example, in the machine count, Snohomish added in 223 ballots that were never counted, and Rossi picked up votes because of it. Chelan found a ballot that should have been counted before but wasn't. It was a Rossi vote, and it was added in and the GOP had no problem with it. Whatcom found 7 new ballots, and Rossi gained because of it." The Seattle Times hasn't posted a new story on this yet. Meanwhile, in Ohio, "Ohio Justice Throws Out Election Challenge," from the AP, but the suit will be refiled tomorrow. Sandeep Kaushik writes in The Stranger about Ohio in, "THE OTHER RECOUNT---Suspicions About Elections Fraud Persist." He mentions your resident blogger and says "Howard Martin's website has been assiduously linking to relevant press reports about developments in Ohio and elsewhere. Okay, I'm writing about it." He also says: "This week the state will begin a recount of the presidential vote, paid for by the Greens and Libertarians. On Monday, Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan held a hearing in Columbus to investigate electoral "irregularities." Jesse Jackson has suggested that Democrats formally object to Ohio's Electoral College delegation. The Kerry campaign has offered tentative (and, sigh, nuanced) support for those pressing for a closer look at what happened there. Good for them. Obviously, none of it is going to change a goddamn thing." He defends the election folks in King County and Secretary of State Sam Reed, preferring to put the responsibility for our vote problems on "a second-rate, piecemeal, jury-rigged (if not outright rigged) system of administering elections that undercuts faith in the integrity of electoral results on the part of a wide--and growing--swath of the electorate. And, tragically, that is not going to change any time soon." As usual, his article is worth reading and thinking about. Also from Ohio, "Senator Kerry's and Senator Edwards' state counsel for Ohio has issued a letter to Ohio Republican Secretary of State and Bush-Cheney '04 chair Kenneth Blackwell demanding an official investigation into voting machine tampering in Hocking County, RAW STORY has learned."-from their article.

Seattle Times Reporters Show Up: ''Recount Boost for Chris''

"As of last night, after three more counties completed tallies, Rossi had gained 79 votes more than Gregoire in the manual recount, which would effectively give him a lead of 121 votes. If all of the 573 contested King County ballots are counted, they could close the gap for Gregoire. Those ballots are from 480 precincts, and if they follow the same pattern as absentee ballots from those precincts, they would boost Gregoire by about 140 votes."-from this morning's story, "New look at 573 ballots may close Gregoire gap."

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Pam Eakes received this email from a good friend who has been working on the recount in Ohio. She has passed it on to me to spread far and wide. You may do the same: "Hi, I thought you'd be interested in this. Rep. John Conyers, who is leading the Congressional investigations in Ohio, needs our help. He is asking for one million emails from the American public demanding that the House Judiciary Committee hold full hearings on the 2004 Election. Full hearings are essential, because that will give the Committee subpoena powers -- until now, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell and others have been able to simply ignore Rep. Conyers' demands for information -- because the GOP Committee Chairman has refused to convene a full hearing. WE can change that." Send your email here. Update: The Crooks and Liars site has some video of Conyers on Olbermann's show yesterday. ADDED BONUS Footage: Following the Conyers interview, he has a short story on the Washington Recount.

Recount News Tonight

Wednesday evening brings us "King County board votes to move forward with 573 ballots," from the P-I and the identical AP story in the Times. Take your pick. I guess all their own reporters were otherwise occupied this afternoon. The Dems are happy and Chris Vance is not. "Conspiracy theories abound in Wash. race," appears in the Boston Globe, so most of your neighbors will never see it. Update: In my rush to go off to count ballots this morning, I was remiss in my duties: Joel Connelly did a credible job of framing the Washington state recount and giving credit where it is due in his column this morning, "Democrats acquire backbone since days of Gore." Thanks to an astute reader who brought its absence to my attention.

Ukraine to Ohio to Washington II (UPDATED)

Geov Parrish, in the Seattle Weekly, makes the point that "In Ukraine, they know how to respond to a rigged election," in his article "Winning in the Streets." The Columbus Free Press has, "American democracy hangs by a thread in Ohio." Setting the stage for a Congressional review of the presidential election: "Vermonters urge Jeffords to challenge Electoral College results." I'm more impressed that Conyers is on Bloggerman's tv show, "Countdown" today, than his celebration of today's NY Times story on Ohio. Kos has another "Ohio Update" this afternoon. Update: "Election tampering now alleged in Ohio by Cobb, Badnarik, Kerry-Edwards lawyers," according to this article in Raw Story that features a copy of the actual civil suit. "Theft of the Election, Redux," takes us back down memory lane to tell us "Why 2000 was Prelude to 2004 -- and the Democratic Party Got Mugged a Second Time." It comes to us via BuzzFlash from the Vanity Fair magazine. The Boston Globe has, "Ohio recount resembles Florida in 2000." Update: "The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee asked the FBI on Wednesday to investigate an Ohio election worker's concern that a software company employee could have tampered with election results when working on machines before a ballot recount."-from the AP story tonight, "Congressman Calls For FBI Investigation Into Ohio Election."

''As the Recount Turns''--Daily Drama Continues

The P-I story, "Court rules against Gregoire" says the "state Supreme Court yesterday shot down Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Gregoire's best chance for a comeback, but the discovery of even more uncounted ballots in King County left Republicans livid." Shot down? Livid? And that's just the first sentence. The language stays on edge all the way through. Not to be outdone, the Times story asks, "Will Legislature pick governor?" and answers, "It could happen." Are you on the edge of your seat yet? The story descends into a discussion of legal and constitutional issues which should calm you down considerably. Then the story picks up some steam again with quote from Sen. Adam Kline, (D-Seattle) who claims there is "popular assumption" that Rossi has won the race, in part because of the Republican's careful postelection public-relations strategy. That, he said, will put Democrats "on very, very thin ice with the public" if lawmakers get involved in determining the outcome. "I would be very, very careful here," Kline said. "No matter how thoughtful and surgically precise we approached this, if we were seen publicly as trying to steal an election, the ill will we would invite would be worse than four years of Dino Rossi." Ill will?? In politics??? My gosh, that sounds just brutal! MAN UP ADAM!!! From King County Recount Ground Zero in Tukwila, another Times story tells us Rossi gains a few more votes" and "election workers had recently found 22 ballots in the pockets of voting machines already put in storage." Pockets left unemptied? You can imagine how the Republicans reacted to that. But that's not all: "Meanwhile, Logan yesterday found himself caught in another skirmish between Democrats and Republican over what constitutes an "overvote" — when a voter chooses more than one candidate. Such ballots are disqualified. The Democrats' recount director, David McDonald, said the number of overvotes in the manual recount of poll voters had nearly tripled, from 18 to 51, from an earlier machine count. But McDonald said in a letter to Logan that the rate of overvote designation dropped dramatically after Logan clarified instructions to counting teams Friday. The Democratic Party has asked that all potential overvotes be passed on to the canvassing board. But Vance said any change in the way overvotes are handled could unfairly boost Gregoire's prospects in the state's largest county." The bickering should continue until next Wednesday, when the Times says the recounting (is that a word?) will conclude in King County. If you still require some opinion on all this from a professional journalist, the Times also has, "Election '04: way outside the box." Finally, I am looking forward to my friend Sandeep's work in this week's Stranger. His recent article, "LOSE. RECOUNT. SPIN," had this: "But even if the Democrats are right that a hand recount will shift the vote tally in their favor--and that is a very big if--they will have won only part of the battle. What Democrats face now by fighting on is more than a political donnybrook, or even a legal struggle over recount procedures (both Democrats and Republicans have already brought lawsuits over aspects of the first two counts). They must also negotiate a public relations minefield." With the latest finds and disputes, I wonder what he'll be saying now.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

''Vote Fraud Story Sneaks Into New York Times via AP''

This blurb from ReDefeat Bush even links you to the NY Times article. The NY Times also has "Lawmaker Seeks Inquiry Into Ohio Vote," in tomorrow's paper. In a related matter, Blackwell responds to Conyers' 35 plus 2 questions in this letter. Update: Do you feel the "Ohio Fatigue" yet? Yahoo news passes on this Washington Post article, that this post in Kos seeks to put in the proper context: "I am extremely tired of Ohio and news from Ohio. It is exhausting to keep caring about it. And the frequent reposting of stories on it in the Diaries reflects a level of discoordination that a bunch of individuals, each and unto themselves, can only reflect. But every time I think we should just let it go and live on to fight another day, I think of Peggy Allen, casting her ballot for her first time at age 63, only to have it thrown in the trash." Testimony in Ohio from Green Presidential candidate David Cobb claims the "company that requires immediate and penetrating scrutiny is Triad Systems" rather than Diebold.

The Invisible Horse

Tim who? "In a statement, Roemer said several prominent Democrats have asked him to consider leading the party."-from the P-I story tonight. From CNN, there is another story, "Reid, Pelosi backing Roemer for DNC chair." Like my grandfather said, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." Why do you suppose these "prominent Democrats" would ask someone most party members know little or nothing about and have probably never heard of, to lead the party? What personal qualities of leadership do you imagine he might posses? Talk about a dark horse, this guy is an invisible horse. Update: Kos sheds a little light on the man and his friends. "The days of trying to move the Democratic Party to the right are over. We lost a very close election (a one-state difference) by running the #1 liberal in the Senate. Not bad. The country is shifting in our direction, not to the right. But the country was attacked and people were scared. They were manipulated with fear. And America has never thrown a sitting president out during wartime. That’s the facts. Oh, and our candidate could have run a better campaign (but we’ll have that discussion another day)."-from Update: Another pony is prepping for the race: "Texas ex-chair mulls bid for Dem leader."

WA State Supreme Court Dings Dem Lawsuit

"Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt issued a statement saying he was disappointed in the ruling, particularly given that there is already evidence that there are valid votes in some counties that were not counted. He said the ruling means Democrats will have to make their case to each county canvassing board rather than rely on a statewide order from the court."-from the Seattle Times story tonight, "Democrats' lawsuit unanimously rejected by the state Supreme Court." The P-I has "The decision does not affect the 561 uncounted ballots in King County that were discovered Sunday to have been wrongfully rejected because of mistakes by election workers. Those ballots go to a canvassing board Wednesday for verification. King County is Gregoire's biggest stronghold, so those ballots could tip the delicate balance of the election her way."-from the Seattle P-I story, "Supreme Court rejects Democrats' recount lawsuit."