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Guest post: Nick Lampson

When Charles asked me to guest blog on his site while he was on vacation, I thought . . . vacation?? Wow. Must be nice. Listen, Kuffner, I have been fighting for Texas’s 22nd congressional district for a year and a half now–with no vacation! So while you’re living it up out on vacation somewhere . . . St. Andrews golf course, Marianas Islands . . . wherever, I’ll be right here in the Houston area writing your blog for you and trying to fit that little campaign thing I’m doing in there somewhere. And, frankly, I’m still not over the bloggers’ party at the state convention. Sure, I was treated well, but my staff was, let’s just say, “less than productive” the next day.

But speaking of the campaign, let me use this post to bring Off the Kuff readers up to speed on what’s been happening over at Lampson for Congress. While Charles was sitting in his cubicle at work and dreaming of Pina Coladas with Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff, I was hard at work announcing my endorsement by the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest environmental organization, and I welcome their support. At a press conference I held to announce this endorsement, I discussed my commitment to energy independence. This is something I feel strongly is essential to our environment, our economy, and our national security. It’s an issue about which I am passionate, and, since I left Congress in 2005, I sit on the board of a company that makes bio-diesel from crops grown by American farmers.

Congress needs to do much more to encourage renewable energy like bio-diesel. This would reduce pollution. It would ensure that we no longer have to rely on oil supplies from the most unstable regions in the world. And, if Houston’s energy sector looks to the future and takes a leadership role in innovation and development, energy independence could mean high-tech jobs right here in our area. Plus, it will create a larger market for American grown crops and will allow the dwindling numbers of family farmers in this country to keep the farms, which have been in their families for several generations. You know, there are still farmers in rural Ft. Bend County, and we need to let them know we haven’t forgotten they’re working hard down there to preserve their way of life even in the face of rapid urban development. After all, farming in Ft. Bend County is how my grandparents got their start in this country after arriving from Italy.

Oil will be a part of filling our energy demand for the foreseeable future. But America is moving toward reducing her need for foreign oil from unstable regions. America’s leaders must make the commitment to fund research and development of renewable energy.

Now, I know some of you are more interested in politics than policy. So let me fill you in on what we’ve accomplished campaign-wise at Lampson for Congress. Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and interns, we have contacted around 40,000 voters since the beginning of May. We have people knocking doors or making calls literally seven days a week. We are not waiting for the Republicans to untangle Tom DeLay’s sticky web of political gamesmanship. We are moving full-steam ahead delivering our message of cutting our deficits and debt; building a homeland security effort that actually pays for things like port security instead of focusing on color-coded charts and press conferences; renewing our commitment to education; ensuring health care is a right, not a privilege, for all Americans; and pushing for a solid plan that makes Iraqis responsible for Iraqi security so we can eventually bring our troops home.

I want to thank all of the people who have been helping us with this effort. And I want to thank the Texas bloggers who have been following this race and not allowing our opponents to get away with a campaign of false statements and misinformation. And, despite my green-eyed envy over his vacation, I want to thank Charles as well for allowing me to submit this entry. I finally feel I have arrived in the blogosphere!

Nick Lampson
Candidate for Congress
22nd Congressional District

(Note: The Muse attended the event at which Lampson was endorsed by the Sierra Clun, and has some pictures from it.)

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3 Comments

  1. Support Science to Reverse Global Warming, if still possible says:

    Thank you for your work on Global Warming–everyone’s most important, number 1 job.

    We cannot allow science denying republicans to define the science of Global Warming and get it so wrong that we are undone.

    Just in case FYI and for the U.S. House Energy Subcommittee’s information–held open for additional comments on Global Climate Change for 30 days from July 27, 2006:

    Please work to reverse the eminent crisis next year which could accelerate global warming by 50%. Something fast and smart has to be done now which means Republicans get on board now or get out of the way.

    ……………..

    http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article1191932.ece

    5 August 2006 22:44

    Amazon rainforest ‘could become a desert’

    And that could speed up global warming with ‘incalculable consequences’, says alarming new research

    By Geoffrey Lean in Manaus and Fred Pearce

    Published: 23 July 2006

    The vast Amazon rainforest is on the brink of being turned into desert, with catastrophic consequences for the world’s climate, alarming research suggests. And the process, which would be irreversible, could begin as early as next year.

    Studies by the blue-chip Woods Hole Research Centre, carried out in Amazonia, have concluded that the forest cannot withstand more than two consecutive years of drought without breaking down.

    Scientists say that this would spread drought into the northern hemisphere…and could massively accelerate global warming with incalculable consequences, spinning out of control, a process that might end in the world becoming uninhabitable.

    snip

    The research carried out by the Massachusetts-based Woods Hole centre in Santarem on the Amazon river has taken even the scientists conducting it by surprise. When Dr Dan Nepstead started the experiment in 2002 by covering a chunk of rainforest the size of a football pitch with plastic panels to see how it would cope without rain he surrounded it with sophisticated sensors, expecting to record only minor changes.

    Snip

    the Amazon now appears to be entering its second successive year of drought, raising the possibility that it could start dying next year. The immense forest contains 90 billion tons of carbon, enough in itself to increase the rate of global warming by 50 per cent.

    Dr Nepstead expects “mega-fires” rapidly to sweep across the drying jungle. With the trees gone, the soil will bake in the sun and the rainforest could become desert.

    (More)

    ……………….

    Texans, Americans better do something now about putting the brakes on Thelma Bush and his Louise GOP’s Voluntary Pollution Laws which are causing global warming to accelerate faster and faster.

    ……………….

    Nick Lampson, you must win to work to reverse a quickening Global Warming.

    Until No Evidence E-Voting and Lever Machines and Hidden Evidence Scanning Machines are tossed out (hopefully, Patrick Fitzgerald will do just that), we have to overcome this intentional disadvantage by adding evidence to a system where it has been removed on purpose.

    Please try to persuade the following large groups of Democrats and Progressives to put evidence back in elections to prove our Democracy.

    from:
    http://electiondefensealliance.org/stop_the_executive_branch_from_taking_over_our_elections_amend_or_end_hr_550_0

    What’s wrong with the Holt Bill in three easy bullets

    Common Cause, MoveOn.org, TrueMajority, VerifiedVoting.org, and many other large election reform groups are pushing – and pushing hard – for passage of HR550 (the Holt Bill), national legislation aimed to amend the Help America Vote Act. The bill is being sold as a way to put “auditable paper trails” into national law. Sounds like a great idea. But many activists disagree with the approach to support “paper trails” that might be audited when what we want are real paper ballots that are – not might be – counted.

    The other problem with HR550 is that it is about much more than paper trails. Read below the dangerous details that the groups pushing for passage of HR550 “as written” aren’t talking about.

    The democratic processes of the American Republic are based on decentralized power. Centralized power led to the American Revolution. Centralized power is the antithesis of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

    1. Centralization of Executive Power–White House Control over Counting the Votes: HR550 extends beyond the existing expiry date the power and authority of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), establishing a Presidential Commission authorized to control the counting of votes in every election–federal, state,and local–in the nation.

    2. Centralization of Executive Power–Crony Appointments: The potential for stacking of the EAC is evident in the scenario already played out under the current Administration. In early 2006, the Bush White House made numerous recess appointments, putting political cronies into positions of power and authority without any Congressional oversight or checks and balances. Of the eight recess appointments made on January 4, 2006, three were Commissioners to the Federal Election Commission. Two of those appointed Commissioners are known for their opposition to voting rights and clean elections. The third is a political crony of Senate Minority Leader Reid of Nevada. (Nevada is now positioned to take a lead role in the Democratic presidential nomination process. For this privilege, Nevada has promised to play the nomination process by Party rules, financed by the Casino industry.)

    3. Centralization of Executive Power–Regulatory Authority: Federal regulatory authority means the federal entity preempts state and local authorities. The EAC was created as an advisory commission with one exception: it was granted regulatory authority over the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). The EAC has been steadily positioning and even suing to assert its regulatory authority in other areas under its domain. Even if it does not succeed through litigation, the EAC could, with the insertion of a single line of text in ANY congressional act, become regulatory. This is how the FEC gained regulatory powers. A regulatory EAC means that a Presidential Commission potentially stacked with political cronies would have legal decision making and enforcement power over the following areas, for every state in the nation:

    — Which voting systems are approved for use in our elections
    — Who counts the votes in every election
    — How votes are counted in every election
    — How recounts are administered and how their outcomes are determined

    A recent editorial in the New York Times, entitled “Strong Arming the Vote” (August 3, 2006) describes how the Department of Justice under the Bush Administration has been heavily involved in partisan ploys to negate necessary checks and balances in election practices. HR 550, if passed as written, will establish a whole new arm of Executive power with dangerous authority to subvert the entire democratic process of elections that supports our system of government. It would result, in effect, in a bloodless coup.

    People often ask, so what DO you support?

    Here’s an amended bill that might gain grassroots support:
    We, the grassroots, can support the Holt Bill when it is amended to remove those dangerous provisions that centralize Executive power and expand Judicial election decision making authority. A Holt Bill that amends HAVA and provides real solutions to the problems in our election system need only include three items:

    — The incontrovertible and legally defensible system of verifiable elections through the use of real, voter-marked and verifiable paper ballots (as distinguished from paper trails)

    — The elimination of secret vote counting through the use of black box voting products.

    — An extension of all HAVA mandated deadlines pending a complete independent investigation, analysis, and audit of HAVA monies distributed and spent on electronic voting systems, the outcomes thereof, with said investigation including information on the most advanced system of checks and balances for elections: hand counted paper ballots.

    What can you do?

    Contact your Congressional representatives and tell them to amend or end HR550.

    ………………..

    You must win because you will work to reverse Global Warming.

    However, since time is so short, try to affect change now, before election day to push republicans to do the right thing.

    Pry open Media by demanding a return to the Fairness Doctrine, equal time, which Reagan shut down, effectively shutting down Democratic and Progressive voices which negatively affect reality based solutions.

    Help Media by demanding that editors and producers state that there is such as thing as the truth and that journalists need more time to go deeper to get that truth.

    Try to affect change now, before election day, to shame or prompt better self regulating behavior from polluting industries which are taking horrible advantage with Voluntary Pollution Laws. Every day they are polluting makes reversing Global Warming harder and harder until one day it will be impossible.

    And, please consider that if the time line is correct and the Amazon starts burning next year increasing Global Warming by 50%, then what measures are the fastest to create change so that we can begin work on this awful problem?

    Nick Lampson, Please consider asking John Kerry to Count His Paper Ballots in the Aug. 22, 2006 trial in Ohio brought by the Libertarian and Green Parties for Election Fraud. If Kerry needs convincing tell him about the Amazon’s potential for a very quick worsening climate, if we don’t have him as President to work to solve this problem. I want a rational, problem solving leader as soon as possible. And, if HAVA’s advocates like MoveOn, CommonCause, TrueMajority and VerifiedVoting really believed in HAVA, they would be the loudest in calling for Kerry’s votes to be counted. HAVA creates Paper Ballot Evidence but delays counting all the ballots. Well, that is Kerry’s situation. But, they are not (yet) asking for Kerry’s votes to count; they are just asking for HAVA. If HAVA is viable, then it would be the basis to Count Kerry’s Votes.

    Counting Kerry’s votes would make me and many other people very happy.

    If delayed or if HAVA is really a joke (since it was put together by Abramoff, Ney, Cunningham, others? it looks more criminal), we need to add proof:

    PLAN B

    Bev Harris

    from: BlackBoxVoting.org

    “We’re counting the votes. Get over it.”

    Sign up for NATIONAL HAND COUNT REGISTRY

    Will you volunteer to hand count votes if needed?

    Sign up for everything here:
    http://www.bbvforums.org/cgi-bin/forums/board-profile.cgi?action=register

    And more Bev Harris PLANS

    http://www.bbvforums.org/cgi-bin/forums/board-auth.cgi?file=/1954/36341.html

    The Citizen’s Tool Kit contains 20 modules, listed below. The concept is to begin actively managing your government by choosing JUST ONE THING — and doing it.

    ………………

    PLAN B

    Lynn Landes

    from:
    http://www.ecotalk.org/VotingSecurity.htm

    A very simple idea suggested by Lynn Landes is: Right after you vote on Election Day, send to the candidate(s) for whom you voted a postcard or letter with your name, address, and signature, and simply state that you voted for him/her. Candidates can use that information to challenge “official” election results. Candidates of any party should not concede until they have canvassed some or all precincts to check on official election results.

    Lynn Landes update:

    …candidates or activists need to conduct a Parallel Election, of sorts. They need to collect affidavits from voters or, at the very least, get signed statements that include the voter’s name, signature, address, and for whom they voted. These can be collected in three ways:

    1) on Election Day as voters leave the polls,

    2) door to door after the election, or

    3) by asking voters, particularly absentee voters, to mail-in affidavits or signed statements immediately after they mail in their ballot.

    If manpower is a problem, then target only a few polling places or precincts. Keep in mind that a list of those who voted is a matter of public record. Most precincts have about 500 voters and most voters don’t vote.

    Lynn Landes on Parallel Elections: So, let’s do something different. We’ll go to Plan B. We’ll organize our own Parallel Elections.

    ………………..

    PLAN B

    Mark Crispin Miller

    http://markcrispinmiller.blogspot.com/2006/07/call-to-arms-on-this-fourth-of-july.html

    A call to arms on this Fourth of July!

    Here, friends, is a clarion call from a great new group–the Election Defense Alliance (EDA). I’m proud to say that I am on the board of this endeavor, and can vouch for the integrity, intelligence and patriotic spirit of all those who put the EDA together.

    Please send this email far and wide. This a group that really gets it.

    MCM

    ***

    Dear Election Integrity Activist,

    Who would have thought that our 230th Day of Independence would see American Democracy hanging by a thread? Yet so it is, and a good part of that thread is our movement to restore honest elections. Our task is immense and we are all rising to it. But as so much vital work is being undertaken in election integrity groups around the country-and as we find ourselves yet again deep in the swamp of skullduggery the American election cycle has become-the necessity for coordinating our ideas, strategies, tactics and resources is becoming more apparent than ever.

    At this critical juncture, when the need for working together can not be overestimated, we are happy to announce the formation of the Election Defense Alliance (EDA), a national coordinating body of election integrity activists, working throughout the country to defend our election systems against covert election fraud.

    EDA’s primary functions will be to provide coordination and focus; eliminate duplication of efforts; create a clearinghouse for the sharing of materials, know-how, and other resources; and facilitate cohesive decision-making about strategic priorities and tactical approaches.

    It is clear that election integrity forces will be successful only if our efforts have a cumulative and mutually reinforcing effect. At the same time it is also evident that strategies and tactics must be tailored to the needs of individual venues, and that local groups generally have the most experience in identifying and meeting such needs. Therefore EDA is structured to draw energy and ideas from the grassroots level and provide the synergy necessary to meld these disparate efforts into a cohesive national force to be reckoned with.

    Because November is bearing down on us, our initial emphasis is on the coordination of all efforts pertaining to election monitoring, data analysis, and rapid and effective response. Our goal is to permit affiliated groups to concentrate on their particular focus while Election Defense Alliance functions both to facilitate their efforts and to amplify the effect. To that end, we will share techniques for recruiting, training, and deploying the volunteer armies that will be needed in the field. We are also concentrating on establishing media connections, raising funds, and developing coalitions with non-election-related organizations to build the massive public awareness needed if election integrity is to be front-and-center in America.

    In the longer run, our attention will be focused on all of the following strategies and supportive processes:

    Election Monitoring
    Data Analysis
    Investigation
    Litigation
    Legislation
    Public Education
    Coalition Building
    Public Events
    Election Day Rapid Response
    Voting and Registration Systems
    Volunteer Recruitment and Training
    Fundraising
    Communications
    Media and PR

    Each strategy component will have a working group of activists focused on that particular activity. Each group will select its own leader who will also serve as the group’s representative to EDA’s Coordinating Council, or leadership body. EDA’s affiliated organizations, whether or not they participate directly in one or several of these groups, will be able to draw upon the work and contributions of fellow affiliates and EDA’s collective expertise. In this way, EDA affiliates will be able to concentrate on their own specific missions (e.g., exit polling, HCPB, litigation, etc.), while drawing upon the collective for many of the nuts-and-bolts components (such as education, PR, volunteer recruitment) that are necessary for successful election integrity initiatives. At the same time, individual initiatives will have dramatically greater impact when linked through EDA with the many similar programs being undertaken nationwide. To look at specific examples of just how EDA will function to facilitate the work and strengthen the hand of election integrity activists, please click here.

    In sum, affiliation with Election Defense Alliance will enable each member group to transcend its own resources without sacrificing its autonomy. The result of such synergy, we believe, will be the critical mass that we have all learned from experience is essential to our success.

    EDA differs from existing national groups in several important respects. First, it is not primarily a discussion list. We are action-oriented. Our primary objective is to create and implement a more comprehensive strategy than would be possible for any individual group or small number of groups working together. Yet, in recognizing the importance of coordinated strategies, we nonetheless also perceive that the vast majority of the work must be done at the state and local levels, not on the national level. Furthermore, we view attempts at national legislative reform as highly unlikely to succeed, and indeed fraught with HAVAesque perils, given the current constellation of power in Congress.

    At EDA we believe that success in responding to the electoral state-of-siege will require a vast expansion of public awareness and the channeling of that awareness into corrective action by citizens at every phase of the electoral process throughout the United States. And we believe that the public cannot be mobilized to the necessary scale and speed of action unless the prevailing reality, including the nexus between election-rigging and political dominance, is fully and frankly exposed. EDA will not shrink from publicly making those connections.

    Election Defense Alliance is both aggressive and strategic, prepared for the long haul but aware that there is no more wiggle room for delay, confusion, or ineffectiveness. Recent developments-such as the RFK Rolling Stone article, the Brennan Center Report, the California 50th District Special “Election,” and a dramatic uptick in media attention and public awareness-have set the stage for a very public battle over the future of our democracy. We know that the still out-manned forces of electoral integrity must bring their very best to this battle.

    The more individuals and groups affiliated, the stronger will be the impact that all of us will make together.

    The following activists have already endorsed and/or affiliated with EDA: Jerry Adams, Judy Alter, Ray Beckerman, Gary Beckwith, Tom Courbat, Marj Creech, Dorothy Fadiman, Brad Friedman, David Griscom, Sherry Healy, Kip Humphrey, Gail Jonas, Emily Levy, Victoria Lovegren, Sharona Merel, Lewis Miller, Mark Crispin Miller, Bruce O’Dell, Peter Phillips , Ginny Ross, Nancy Tobi, Bob Wilson. By joining with them and working with EDA you can continue the important work you are already doing AND be part of a critical collaborative effort, working together to make the enormous impact necessary for success.

    Our website at http://www.ElectionDefenseAlliance.org, though under construction, already features lots of helpful information, including our Prospectus, principles of governance and organizational structure, a growing resource library, biographical information of affiliated individuals and groups, discussion forums, and a blog. We believe the site will be very helpful in answering any questions you may have about EDA that we have not addressed in this brief introduction.

    We all know that our democracy is at stake and that time is short. This is the most important issue any of us has ever worked on. We must join together to be successful. Make this a momentous Independance Day for American Democracy. Please sign on at http://www.ElectionDefenseAlliance.org/join.

    We very much look forward to working with you.

    In solidarity,

    Dan Ashby
    Sally Castleman
    Jonathan Simon
    Election Defense Alliance co-founders

    posted by MCM
    ………………..

    And, I thought you might appreciate the amazing Gore Vidal:

    President Jonah

    By Gore Vidal, Truthdig

    Posted on January 28, 2006, Printed on August 9, 2006

    http://www.alternet.org/story/31321/

    While contemplating the ill-starred presidency of G.W. Bush, I looked about for some sort of divine analogy. As usual, when in need of enlightenment, I fell upon the Holy Bible, authorized King James version of 1611; turning by chance to the Book of Jonah, I read that Jonah, who, like Bush, chats with God, had suffered a falling out with the Almighty and thus became a jinx dogged by luck so bad that a cruise liner, thanks to his presence aboard, was about to sink in a storm at sea. Once the crew had determined that Jonah, a passenger, was the jinx, they threw him overboard and–Lo!–the storm abated. The three days and nights he subsequently spent in the belly of a nauseous whale must have seemed like a serious jinx to the digestion-challenged whale who extruded him much as the decent opinion of mankind has done to Bush.

    Originally, God wanted Jonah to give hell to Nineveh, whose people, God noted disdainfully, “cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand,” so like the people of Baghdad who cannot fathom what democracy has to do with their destruction by the Cheney-Bush cabal. But the analogy becomes eerily precise when it comes to the hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico at a time when a president is not only incompetent but plainly jinxed by whatever faith he cringes before. Witness the ongoing screw-up of prescription drugs.

    Who knows what other disasters are in store for us thanks to the curse he is under? As the sailors fed the original Jonah to a whale, thus lifting the storm that was about to drown them, perhaps we the people can persuade President Jonah to retire to his other Eden in Crawford, Texas, taking his jinx with him. We deserve a rest. Plainly, so does he. Look at Nixon’s radiant features after his resignation! One can see former President Jonah in his sumptuous library happily catering to faith-based fans with animated scriptures rooted in “The Simpsons.”

    Not since the glory days of Watergate and Nixon’s Luciferian fall has there been so much written about the dogged deceits and creative criminalities of our rulers. We have also come to a point in this dark age where there is not only no hero in view but no alternative road unblocked. We are trapped terribly in a now that few foresaw and even fewer can define despite a swarm of books and pamphlets like the vast cloud of locusts which dined on China in that ’30s movie “The Good Earth.”

    I have read many of these descriptions of our fallen estate, looking for one that best describes in plain English how we got to this now and where we appear to be headed once our good Earth has been consumed and only Rapture is left to whisk aloft the Faithful. Meanwhile, the rest of us can learn quite a lot from “Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire,” by Morris Berman, a professor of sociology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

    snip

    Berman sets his scene briskly in recent history.

    “We were already in our twilight phase when Ronald Reagan, with all the insight of an ostrich, declared it to be ‘morning in America’; twenty-odd years later, under the ‘boy emperor’ George W. Bush (as Chalmers Johnson refers to him), we have entered the Dark Ages in earnest, pursuing a short-sighted path that can only accelerate our decline. For what we are now seeing are the obvious characteristics of the West after the fall of Rome: the triumph of religion over reason; the atrophy of education and critical thinking; the integration of religion, the state, and the apparatus of torture–a troika that was for Voltaire the central horror of the pre-Enlightenment world; and the political and economic marginalization of our culture…. The British historian Charles Freeman published an extended discussion of the transition that took place during the late Roman empire, the title of which could serve as a capsule summary of our current president: “The Closing of the Western Mind.”

    “Mr. Bush, God knows, is no Augustine; but Freeman points to the latter as the epitome of a more general process that was underway in the fourth century: namely, ‘the gradual subjection of reason to faith and authority.’ This is what we are seeing today, and it is a process that no society can undergo and still remain free. Yet it is a process of which administration officials, along with much of the American population, are aggressively proud.”

    In fact, close observers of this odd presidency note that Bush, like his evangelical base, believes he is on a mission from God and that faith trumps empirical evidence. Berman quotes a senior White House adviser who disdains what he calls the “reality-based” community, to which Berman sensibly responds: “If a nation is unable to perceive reality correctly, and persists in operating on the basis of faith-based delusions, its ability to hold its own in the world is pretty much foreclosed.”

    snip

    “Finally, we shouldn’t be surprised at the antipathy toward democracy displayed by the Bush administration…. As already noted, fundamentalism and democracy are completely antithetical. The opposite of the Enlightenment, of course, is tribalism, groupthink; and more and more, this is the direction in which the United States is going…Anthony Lewis who worked as a columnist for the New York Times for thirty-two years, observes that what has happened in the wake of 9/11 is not just the threatening of the rights of a few detainees, but the undermining of the very foundation of democracy. Detention without trial, denial of access to attorneys, years of interrogation in isolation–these are now standard American practice, and most Americans don’t care. Nor did they care about the revelation in July 2004 (reported in Newsweek), that for several months the White House and the Department of Justice had been discussing the feasibility of canceling the upcoming presidential election in the event of a possible terrorist attack.”

    I suspect that the technologically inclined prevailed against that extreme measure on the ground that the newly installed electronic ballot machines could be so calibrated that Bush would win handily no matter what. [Read Rep. Conyers’ report (pdf) on the rigging of Ohio’s vote. http:www.house.gov/judiciary democrats/ohiostatusrept1505.pdf ]

    snip

    It is usual in sad reports like Professor Berman’s to stop abruptly the litany of what has gone wrong and then declare, hand on heart, that once the people have been informed of what is happening, the truth will set them free and a quarter-billion candles will be lit and the darkness will flee in the presence of so much spontaneous light. But Berman is much too serious for the easy platitude. Instead he tells us that those who might have struck at least a match can no longer do so because shared information about our situation is meager to nonexistent….

    (more)

    …………….

    We all have a lot of work to do to shed some light on our plight to set aright.

  2. Support Science to Reverse Global Warming, if still possible says:

    I got HAVA and Holt’s H.R.550 conflated. Pardon me.

    Correction:

    And, if H.R.550’s advocates like MoveOn, CommonCause, TrueMajority and VerifiedVoting really believed in it, they would be the loudest in calling for Kerry’s votes to be counted. HAVA as amended by H.R.550 creates (and counts only 2% of) Paper Ballot Evidence but delays counting all the ballots by hand when problems arise. Well, that is Kerry’s situation. But, they are not (yet?) asking for Kerry’s votes to count; they are just asking for H.R.550. If H.R.550 were really viable (without the problematic centralizing of voting which no one is discussing) then it would be the basis to Count Kerry’s Votes. So, what gives?

  3. Support Science to Reverse Global Warming, if still possible says:

    Dear Nick Lampson, Please pardon my faulty research skills. I am very sorry. To correct my mistake is the following:

    Here is what I should have found sooner:

    http://www.nvri.org/about/ohio_recount.shtml

    SEEKING A FAIR DEMOCRATIC PROCESS:

    The Ohio 2004 Recount

    On Monday November 15, 2004 NVRI issued a joint statement with Common Cause, Demos, the Fannie Lou Hamer Project, and the People for the American Way Foundation, supporting the effort by Presidential Candidates David Cobb (Green Party) and Michael Badnarick (Libertarian) to have a full recount of all votes cast in Ohio. NVRI subsequently agreed to serve as counsel for Cobb and Badnarik in their efforts to have a full and meaningful recount. While the lawsuit brought attention to the serious flaws in the state’s recount procedures, it was ultimately dismissed.

    NVRI’s Challenge to Ohio’s Recount Procedures End

    NVRI’s challenge to Ohio’s recount procedures for presidential elections has come to an unfortunate end, though not before exposing serious flaws in the recount system. In February, Judge James G. Carr dismissed NVRI’s lawsuit , saying the principle of sovereign immunity bars the lawsuit, and ruling that the kind of errors found in the 2004 recount are not likely to occur again. On behalf of our clients, we asked the Judge to reconsider his opinion, but in early May he issued his opinion declining to revisit his ruling. After consultation with our clients – former presidential candidates David Cobb (Green Party) and Michael Badnarik (Libertarian Party) – we have decided against an appeal. The lawsuit brought to light serious flaws in Ohio’s recount procedures, including violation of requirements for random selection of recount precincts and other threats to the reliability and timeliness of the recount. CLICK HERE to read Judge Carr’s final decision. Thanks to all our partners and supporters who stood with us in this important effort.

    (April 6, 2006): Indictments Handed Down in Ohio Recount Foul-ups

    The evidence that Ohio’s presidential recounts were not handled fairly keeps popping up. On Wednesday, three Cuyahoga County Election officials were indicted for disregarding rules that were designed to ensure a fair recount. Though the foul-ups leading to the indictment would not have changed the final results, it re-affirms NVRI’s position that the recount system is woefully inconsistent. Though the indictment in this case does not claim intentional fraud, it does strengthen NVRI’s claims. To read about the indictments, see this article. NVRI still awaits a decision on our effort to reinstate the case.
    (February 17, 2006): Motion Filed Before Judge Carr Seeking a Reconsideration of His Ruling in the Recount Case
    On behalf of our clients, NVRI asked Judge Carr to reconsider his decision to dismiss this case. In his decision, Judge Carr said the problem was not likely to recur. Quite to the contrary, we argue that it is extremely likely to recur, and the complaint should be reinstated, and trial should move forward.
    Read the motion here and read some of the exhibits listed below. These exhibits show just how clear it is that recount foul-ups are likely to be a continuing problem.

    Exhibits to Motion Seeking Reconsideration:

    Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C, Exhibit D

    (February 7, 2006): NVRI Disappointed in Dismissal of Vote Recount Lawsuit

    On Tuesday, February 7, Judge James G. Carr dismissed NVRI’s lawsuit challenging the manner of Ohio’s presidential recount system. Judge Carr said the principle of “sovereign immunity” bars this lawsuit, and found that the kind of errors found in the 2004 recount are not likely to occur again. NVRI is profoundly disappointed in the ruling and is consulting with cooperating counsel as well as clients David Cobb and Michael Badnarik about whether or not to appeal. The judge’s ruling is attached.

    …………….

    and to add some hope back is the following:

    Zogby poll: AMERICANS WANT FAIR AND FREE ELECTIONS!
    From Paul Lehto:

    Here’s a news preview on my brand new Zogby poll on election transparency that I believe is a very important development for the election protection and “election detection” movement:

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=203×446445

    This Zogby poll was commissioned by Paul Lehto with support from Democracy for New Hampshire, Michael Collins and electionfraudnews.com and other election detection patriots.

    Fully 92% of every single demographic group in American favors the public’s right to observe vote counting and to obtain any information regarding vote counting, according an August 12-15 Zogby telephone poll of approximately 1200 likely voters nationwide.

    In a democracy, 51% is winning. 92% is complete annihilation of the “opposition.” When it’s spread across all demographic groups from armed forces to very conservative to walmart shoppers to libertarians to progressives and liberals, the 92% means there really isn’t even a debate to speak of!

    May I recommend as the subject of what the 92% is for or against: “Citizen Oversight” or “Oppose Secret vote counting” or “favor Public’s Right to KNow in Elections”. “Verifiable” elections is simply “capable of verification” and could include a mere audit that may or may not work….

    Maybe it’s just me, but I like the distinction between 51% support in a democracy and 92% support in a democracy, as made in the above democraticunderground.com link, stressing how “over the top” these numbers are as the basis for confidence IN OURSELVES, and as the flip side of “no confidence IN SECRET ELECTIONS”. As you know, bradblog.com and CA50 Action Committee have stressed “no confidence” as the theme of the election contest here in California, where I’m litigating the 50th Cong. District election contest. http://www.nosleepovers.org

    Maybe the partial reason for our movement’s “mixed” results is that election officials haven’t felt the full persuasive frame or power of the frame, or else haven’t realized just how out of touch they are if they are not in favor of radical transparency. Remember GOethe’s old quote: Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. I think there are angels behind us on this issue when framed as opposition to secret vote counting and favoring election transparency and the public right to know, and we are way too timid when it comes to our own sense of confidence when it comes to transparency and anti-secret vote counting. Particularly strong is the opposition to secret vote counting because one really can not argue in favor of secret vote counting, but people might not fully “get” an abstract term like “transparency.”

    This is, in my opinion, a watershed moment. This is when people GET A SHOT IN THE ARM, and it doesn’t matter if we’ve had some good and some not so good results **in the past**, with this poll in our pocket (or really, in our hearts and minds), the debate is transformed in our favor and in the favor of every decent election activist everywhere!

    Look for a national press release to Zogby’s 35,000 press contacts on Tuesday. We’re looking for all activists to be blogging and talking up this on Tuesday with all press contacts and listservs, and doing local statewide press releases of their own highlighting anti-transparent local officials, to synergize the local and national angles at the same time.

    Go get ’em, everyone!

    Paul Lehto (aka Land Shark on DemocraticUnderground.com )
    Attorney at Law

    ………………….

    and for more hope:

    http://www.bbvforums.org/cgi-bin/forums/board-auth.cgi?file=/1954/32983.html

    7-17-06:

    The World’s Quietest News Story: Kennedy Files Voting Machine False Claims Lawsuit

    Bev Harris

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his law firm, with backup from powerful lawyers from tobacco litigation, have filed lawsuits against the major vendors of electronic voting machines alleging fraudulent claims.

    Where is this story in the Associated Press? On CNN? With potentially catastrophic financial consequences, why do stock boards for publicly owned Diebold Inc. contain a press release for a recent Diebold acquisition, yet not a word about a lawsuit that could cost the company a billion dollars, devastating stockholders?

    Voting machine vendor fraud may be the biggest story since 1776. The second biggest story may be the silence of the press.

    quote:

    On July 13, the Pensacola, Fla.-based law firm of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. filed a qui tam lawsuit in U.S. District Court, alleging that Diebold and other electronic voting machine (EVM) companies fraudulently represented to state election boards and the federal government that their products were unhackable.

    Kennedy claims to have witnesses centrally located, deep within the corporations, who will confirm that company officials withheld their knowledge of problems with accuracy, reliability and security of EVMs in order to procure government contracts. Since going into service, many of these machines have been linked to allegations of election fraud.

    http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2750

    The financial consequences for all companies named could be catastrophic. Qui Tam suits can result in companies being required to pay treble damages. Unless settled quickly — which, on a federal level and with the dollar amounts involved, seems unlikely — they will lead to discovery and that will reveal secrets the companies have long tried to keep under wraps.

    Qui Tam issues

    Because a Qui Tam lawsuit usually requires secrecy, use of this remedy involves ethical dilemmas. The case is normally sealed, and even the existence of the case is often not revealed.

    It can take years to lift the seal, and typically the plaintiffs are prohibited from talking about the evidence until the seal is lifted. In the case of evidence of fraudulent claims for voting machines, the impact of keeping evidence necessary for the conduct of fair and accurate elections under seal would be unacceptable. It would be an apalling decision by plaintiffs, for example, if evidence of tamper-friendly voting systems was withheld from the public during a presidential election. That would be exactly the wrong choice to make.

    The first Qui Tam lawsuit filed against voting machine vendors (that we know about) was filed by Black Box Voting founder Bev Harris and Jim March, who was one of the founding board members of Black Box Voting. That Qui Tam alleged that Diebold made false claims when selling its system to Alameda County California. The existence of the suit was kept sealed until June, 2004, but March and Harris refused to keep the evidence under seal, and made all evidence public immediately. Diebold was ultimately forced to pay $2.6 million to the taxpayers of California on this suit.

    Kennedy’s firm appears to be taking an aggressive stance against secrecy

    They did not keep the existence of the suit secret, and have apparently confirmed it in interviews with In These Times and BradBlog.com

    Sources close to the plaintiffs have informed Black Box Voting that if the Department of Justice refuses to unseal the case after 60 days, a significant public situation will result, again indicating that this particular litigation will put public interest first and set private agendas aside.

    Citizen investigations and citizen reporters made the difference

    Mike Papantonio, a senior partner at Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Echsner & Proctor, P.A., the Pensacola lawfirm involved in the suit, excoriated the DNC. According to Bradblog, Papantonio cited “the indolent Democrats and the lazy media,” for not participating in any of this, and decried the fact that he and RFK Jr. were essentially forced to take action on their own, given the Dems’ failure to do anything.

    He also spoke of the importance of election integrity groups and certain key blogs. “Unless you had these organizations out there like Black Box Voting or BRAD BLOG, people like that, paying attention to this, this wouldn’t even be on the radar screen,” he said.

    You’ll find stories on this here:
    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3065

    http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2750

    But not here, as of the posting time of this story:

    CNN
    ABC-TV
    NBC-TV
    CBS-TV
    MSNBC
    Fox News
    New York Times
    Washington Post