Democrats & Liberals Archives

If the House Doesn't Change Hands

If next Tuesday’s election results do not bring us the expected change of control to at least the House of Representatives, will it be due to Democratic overconfidence, peaking too early, or outright Republican fraud?

Eric Simonson, over in our red column, points to the irony that charges of Republican election fraud by Republican opponents might serve to dismay and discourage the Democratic turnout needed to give them this long awaited victory. It's a real concern that may have fed into the lack of official Democratic sponsorship of any of the investigations into such alleged fraud by groups which are typically dismissively derided by conservative pundits who would have us believe that it is unthinkable that coordinated party-sponsored election fraud could happen in America.

I don't pretend to know just how Orwellian the Republican power elite may have become, but I know that we are foolish to simply take it on faith that elections are honest, when so much is on the line in a country where we cherish our representative democracy, but where money pours into politics. Why is it not universally demanded that paper trails be required, and exit polling be used less as a tool for early reporting and more as a tool to audit the honesty of our elections? Properly designed they could do just that, and do so in other countries. I had naively assumed that such was the case here when I wrote this article less than two weeks before the 2004 election.

Unlike some acquaintances, I'm not so jaded as to believe that "the fix is in", and there is nothing we can do. In fact I'm certain there are plenty of jurisdictions where elections are perfectly fair. Even in Florida and Ohio where ample evidence suggests shenanigans in the last two elections may have changed the outcome (thanks Eric for providing the links which you too easily dismiss), I'm pretty sure that there is a point past which even a thoroughly corrupted system wouldn't or couldn't dare go--yet. If the vote is decisive enough, an electronic theft would be too likely to leave a smoking gun.

So whatever you believe about the honesty of our elections, don't let your cynicsim stop you from voting. And if you smell a rat after it's over, don't let the smug dismissiveness of the naysayers stop you from raising questions. It's only those of us who cast votes who can provide any evidence that fraud was committed, if indeed it comes to that. And if the Democratic swell is large enough, as I'm still counting on, checks and balances may be restored regardless, as one-party rule is swept away.

Posted by Walker Willingham at October 29, 2006 7:47 PM
Comments
Comment #191386
If next Tuesday’s election results do not bring us the expected change of control to at least the House of Representatives, will it be due to Democratic overconfidence, peaking too early, or outright Republican fraud?

Most likely none of the above. Rather, it would be because of voters who aren’t thrilled with the Republicans now contemplating the alternative of handing the keys over to the party of Nancy Pelosi, Jack Murtha, and Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 29, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #191392

Yeah Dems never engage in election fraud except for buying poor Chicagoans cigarettes if they vote left. And then there’s the slashing of tires of Republican vans in 3 different states in 2004, the feet stomping effort to discount military absentee ballots … shall I go on?

Yeah, liberals and dems are honest and perfect … don’t ya know. I’m also an excellent driver and Wopner’s on at 7.

Posted by: NobleNation at October 29, 2006 11:02 PM
Comment #191393

“Rather it would be because of voters who aren’t thrilled with the Republicans now contemplating the alternative of handing the keys over to the party of Nancy Pelosi, Jack Murtha, and Ted Kennedy.”

Egad, Pelosi, Teddy, and Mr. “Okinawa is just over the horizon” Murtha leading America? Maybe Ahmadinejad is right and Armageddon is sooner than we think.

Posted by: NobleNation at October 29, 2006 11:06 PM
Comment #191394

Walker,

I do find it odd that Bush, Cheney, et al, seem so confident of a Republican win. Here in Kansas I know it’s tough going and while I hope to see a win for John Doll over Jerry Moran I know the odds are not good.

But, do I anticipate some form of voter fraud? You bet! We’ve gone electronic! Why the hell does a town of 2,000 need computers to vote?

The sad thing is that the poor have always been the least likely to vote and anything that strengthens their belief that their vote won’t really count increases the chance that they won’t bother to vote.

Sad but true.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at October 29, 2006 11:20 PM
Comment #191403

I’m not a Californian. I’m a Nebraskan implanted in Kansas. But I know humility when I see it:

Alec Baldwin: True Lies: Filmmakers Go Too Far in Attack Against Schwarzenegger

http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20061030/cm_huffpost/032771

That is the way a true American responds to “mudslinging”.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at October 30, 2006 12:24 AM
Comment #191406
If next Tuesday’s election results do not bring us the expected change of control to at least the House of Representatives, will it be due to Democratic overconfidence, peaking too early, or outright Republican fraud?

The fear of “Speaker Pelosi”. Speaking of voter fruad, it is Ms. Pelosi and her liberal buddies who fight tooth and nail to block laws requiring photo ID to cast a vote and file law suits to block counting of absentee ballots cast by our brave men and women in uniform.

Posted by: Kirk at October 30, 2006 12:40 AM
Comment #191415

WW,

The only reason you want to use exit polls “…as a tool to audit the honesty of our elections…” is that’s the only way John Kerry could have won in 2004, even though exit polls were way off the mark. Polling is, at best, educated guessing and, at worst, used to manipulate/influence voters.

Previous posters have it right. The only actual cases of voter fraud, manipulation, intimidation and denial comes from the Left.

Liberal values are embraced by a minority in this country. The only way for Democrats to consistantly win elections is to embrace the values of the voters and not scream fraud every time they lose.

Posted by: mac6115cd at October 30, 2006 7:49 AM
Comment #191418

Karl Rove has been displaying more than token confidence.

Competition is instinctive. And where there is competition people have always ingenuously found ways to gain advantage.

All the pieces may be in place for the Republicans. They lie to win - if that doesn’t work they will cheat by stealing votes with the electronic machines. If they get caught, they have laid the groundwork to be able to scream liberal lies and get away with it.

And the leader can predict victory and be called a genius.

Posted by: Schwamp at October 30, 2006 8:20 AM
Comment #191419

walker,

I believe there is a third option you have failed to recognize. If next Tuesday’s election results do not bring the expected change of control, then the expectations where incorrect. Which would simply mean that the voting public do not want what the dems are appearing to offer.

Posted by: cliff at October 30, 2006 8:36 AM
Comment #191421

Paranoia is already starting?

If you do not get what you want, it cannot be that you lost, it has to be trickery?

It is not the life I choose to live…
I will not live in fear…

Posted by: discerner at October 30, 2006 8:42 AM
Comment #191423
I do find it odd that Bush, Cheney, et al, seem so confident of a Republican win.

They can’t afford to look worried. They have one strategy, saying that everything is swell, and they stick to it. Last night on TV I watched Lynn Cheney say that media bias made everything sound bad when actually the war and the economy were great. Really? Because I remember Rumsfeld saying the war would be over in a few months. Personally, when I see someone lie to my face, repeatedly, in the most obvious and in your face manner I get angry. But their strategy all along has been that you can fool all the people all the time, easily. The time Bush has been in office has really shaken my faith in common-sense.

For me, if we lose a lot of it will have to do with gerrymandering, districts drawn specifically to be overly representative of Republicans. It’s nearly impossible to win in those cases. Gerrymandering seems so obviously non-democratic to me I almost fainted when the Supreme court said it was constitutional.

I don’t know. Fixed elections. Gerrymandering. Scare tactics. There was a time when I would have said never in this country, but not anymore.

On the whole I totally agree with this post. I don’t see why it should be so hard to put mostly infallible process in place, even at the last minute. Especially when each time these electronic voting machines are reviewed they are found to be easily hackable.

Posted by: Max at October 30, 2006 8:52 AM
Comment #191426

I say make your vote regardless of what you think folks might do to it. Raise reasonable, strong objections if people start playing dirty tricks. Don’t let people push you over. Cynicism is the path to corrupt government. If we don’t think we can take the government back from people like them, we won’t do it, and the corrupt will remain in power.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2006 9:05 AM
Comment #191428

Cliff-
Maybe they don’t, but we will see election day.

Discerner-
Bush and the Republicans have been less concerned about the appearance of impropriety, and at times the reality of it than they should have been.

They made a real show of disrupting the 2000 elections, getting people like John Bolton to show up in the counting rooms and declare the count over, getting that Brook Brothers Riot to pound on things outside.

Combine this with all the hub-bub over corruption, opacity and unaccountability, and many people are left in a position where it takes little for them to get suspicious of the Republicans.

Ultimately, until the Republicans in the leadership stop believing that the main sin in their scandals is getting caught, they will continue to inspire suspicion in their opponents.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2006 9:13 AM
Comment #191431

Stephen,

First of all let me state that I respect your posts although we usually do not agree.

Your comments above apply equally to the Democrats as they do Republicans. The only difference is that the Republicans will actually resign when they are caught and the Democrats will not.

Now…My argument is not a good one…but when I look at the political landscape, in spite of all the problems, the Democrats do not stand for my values, in fact, they are getting worse. The Republicans have been doing a bad job, but turning power over to the Dems goes against everything I stand for.

Posted by: discerner at October 30, 2006 9:36 AM
Comment #191435

Walker,

Excellent article. I think that the answer is all three; peaking to early, overconfidence, and fraud. I think that the Repubs are setting us up to think we have it in the bag so we can relax and just stay home at the same time that they use the “scary” threat that we will win to scare / terrorize their base into voting. We did peak a little early. Why are we even debating the need for verifiable paper trails? There should be no debate about that.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 30, 2006 10:21 AM
Comment #191440

Walker,

Good advice; the only ways to effect change are to vote, convice, and contribute. I am cheered somewhat by the polling showing how motivated the liberals and centrists are in uniting against the (r)wingers in DC and by the fact that many electronic voting machines have been removed for this election cycle.
I can also see by the postings from many of our friends on the rightwing that they still chew on fear and xenophobia as their motivators. Too bad, it must suck to be them these days.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 30, 2006 10:33 AM
Comment #191442

We may have to take back the vote. Since the thugs control the process we probably will need a true revolution. The problem is I haven’t heard from enough people with the balls to fight! There is only one language these warmongers understand. In the event of another Diebold election, we would be fools not to speak it to them.

Posted by: the minutemen at October 30, 2006 10:41 AM
Comment #191448

Fraud?? what a joke. Its the democrats that do not want I D cards to vote. I wonder why. Truth to you libs is like Al Gore to victory.

Posted by: Thomas at October 30, 2006 10:54 AM
Comment #191452
I’ve said this before several times, but I’ll say it again because it bears repeating. AL GORE LOST HIS HOME STATE!

That’s a phony baloney argument and you know it. Gore won the popular vote in the entire United States. Yes, I know, that isn’t in the Constitution, but the Constitution doesn’t say you have to win your home state, either.

Since you are so fixated on this bit of presidential trivia, here is a list of candidates who lost their home state.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_major-party_United_States_presidential_candidates_who_lost_their_home_state

Both George Bushes lost their state of birth. Both times.

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 30, 2006 11:07 AM
Comment #191454

Say Woody what does any of that have to do with fraud? Bush won Gore lost get over it move on. Tell me why dems dont want I D cards. Dont skirt the issues answer my questions.

Posted by: Thomas at October 30, 2006 11:20 AM
Comment #191458

Thomas,

1LTB brought up Gore. Trust me, I have no interesting in rehashing the combination of mishaps and criminal mischief that led to Bush being the President. If you guys stop using the 2000 election to make bogus points, I’ll stop pointing out the gaping holes in your logic.

I don’t see why I need to address fraud. We all know that the fewer people vote, the better it is for the GOP. Each side is looking out for their own interest.

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 30, 2006 11:39 AM
Comment #191460

For all on the left screaming about the chance of Repulican fraud with electronic voting machines. Which way do you think these machines would be fixed?


Government Probes Electronic Voting Machine Maker With Alleged Ties to Venezuelan President Chavez

Posted by: Keith at October 30, 2006 11:49 AM
Comment #191461

Woody,

In the 2000 election the votes were counted at least 4 times all came up with the same conclusion. It was the dems that wanted every vote to count, except the military vote. I wonder why? As far as popular vote Bush recieved more votes than you beloved Clinton. I wonder why Woody you wont answer my question? Why do dems appose I D cards to vote.

Posted by: Thomas at October 30, 2006 11:51 AM
Comment #191463

A report by the American Center for Voting Rights http://www.ac4vr.com/reports/072005/default.html lists the following instances of Voter Fraud, Intimidation, or Suppression by Democratic Operatives.

I by no means am trying to suggest that there have been no instances of Republican law breaking. With the millions of people and dollars involved in a campaign to do so would be extremely naive on my part. I am simply offering a counter to the often-repeated charge that it is the evil nasty Republicans who look to disenfranchise voters while the milk and cookies Democrats want to insure everyone the right to cast their vote.

1) Five Democrat Operatives In Milwaukee Charged With Slashing Tires Of Republican Vans On Morning Of Election Day.

The five individuals charged in the case were all paid Democrat operatives. Two defendants in the case are the sons of prominent Milwaukee Democrats: U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore and former Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt, Chairman of the Kerry-Edwards campaign in Milwaukee.

2) Court Issues Injunction Against Democrat Operatives Targeting Ohio Voters With Phone Calls Providing Deceptive Information to Voters

The Marion County Democratic Party provided an affidavit in the case that explained its role in the matter. The affidavit, as completed by Cathy Chaffin, Chair of the Marion County Democratic Party, explained that Kerry-Edwards campaign staffers made the misleading phone calls blocked by Judge Faulker’s order. Chaffin stated in the affidavit that once she became aware that Kerry-Edwards staffers were using her office space to make calls giving “the wrong polling location” to voters, she tried multiple times to get them to stop the calls, to the point of threatening to kick them out of the office if the calls did not stop.

3) Court Issues Injunction Against Democratic National Committee Ordering It To Stop Distributing Intimidating Materials To Republican Volunteers In Florida

On Election Day 2004, a Seminole County, Florida, court stopped the DNC and state Democratic Party from “further intimidation” and dissemination of materials that were “designed or intended to intimidate or unduly threaten the activities of poll watchers” organized by the Florida Republican Party.

4) Court Orders MoveOn.org To Cease Voter Intimidation And Harassment In Ohio

On Election Day, individuals in Franklin County, Ohio, were threatened and harassed at their polling places by agents of MoveOn.org after being asked about their voting preference and revealing their intention to vote Republican.

5) Violence Against Republican Volunteers In Philadelphia On Election Day

According to press and police reports filed on November 2, this past election was no different. Reports indicate that Republican volunteers in Philadelphia were violently intimidated by Democrat activists on Election Day 2004.
One Republican activist, working as a Bush campaign legal volunteer to monitor the vote in Philadelphia, was “cornered in a parking lot by roughly 10 large men, whom the police later identified as ‘union goons.’” The men tried to tip over the minivan the Republican attorneys were sharing, “punching it relentlessly, breaking parts off and failing to drag us out, they chased us in and out of the dense urban traffic.” It took “a frantic 911 call and a police roadblock” to stop the assault, and the GOP volunteers “had to be secreted out of town to safety by a police escort.”

6) Union-Coordinated Violence And Intimidation Against Republican Campaign Offices And Volunteers

On October 5, a Bush-Cheney campaign volunteer in Orlando had his arm broken when trying to stop union activists from storming the campaign office. This incident was part of a series of simultaneous demonstrations coordinated by the AFL-CIO against Bush-Cheney campaign offices in 20 cities, intimidating campaign volunteers with violence and vandalism. In Orlando, AFL-CIO members stormed and ransacked the Bush-Cheney field office as part of what one local newscaster called a “coordinated attack against the Bush-Cheney campaign.” Protesters also defaced posters of President Bush and dumped piles of letters on to the floor of the office. Several protesters in Orlando faced possible assault charges as a result of the incident. (92)

As part of the 20-city anti-Bush protest, more than 100 AFL-CIO members “stormed” the Bush-Cheney campaign’s Miami office and “pushed volunteers” inside. Three dozen union members rushed a campaign office in Tampa, shaking up elderly volunteers. (93) Union members staged an “invasion” of the Republican campaign office in West Allis, Wisconsin, where police were called after 50 activists “marched right in” and “took over the place for about 30 minutes” with bullhorns and chanting.

Posted by: Kirk at October 30, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #191465

well put Kirk. Im sure you wont get any response to the facts. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Thomas at October 30, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #191466

My advice?
To Democrats, I say stop worrying. We have the advantage. People really want the Republicans out. Overconfidence will only hurt us to the extent it encourages complacency. Underconfidence will only feed the view that our hopes are unfounded. Given the fact that this is a mental game as much as anything else, we don’t need to slack off for any reasons.

To independents and unaffiliated voters, I offer this advice: Don’t be afraid of us. The Republicans are going to give you a million reasons to fear a change of control. Why shouldn’t they? They’re afraid of losing power. However, over the past few years, they’ve given you good reasons, substantive reasons to be afraid of their continued power. You folks are intelligent enough to judge for yourself what the results of the past few years has been for this country. The polls have shown you recognize what’s going on. The more partisan folks out there think you’re idiots, but the reasonable folks here understand that Americans are not fools.

The thing is, they believe they’ve got you pinned down. They believe that if they use particular words and give you particular emotional shocks, that they can determine what you will think and do on election day. They have used this in one election after another to prevent you from holding them accountable, to discourage you from choosing alternatives.

Now, though, having demonstrated just how unworthy many of these people are for continued office, they want you to stick with the status quo that is bankrupting America, degrading our defenses, and keeping our troops mired in a war they are expected to win without the material support the Right is unwilling to give them.

You do not have to settle on Democrats as your final choice. We do not have to be your ideal. You don’t even have to like us. Our job, if you elect us, will be prove ourselves worthy of the next election. If we fail at that, then we have only ourselves to blame when you kick us out. At the very least, your vote will have broken the continuity of business as usual, and will have put a scare into the Republicans.

Ultimately, the decision is yours. Don’t make it out of the fear of the unknown, the future, the potential. Make it out of a cold, hard assessment of what has gone wrong over the past few years. You are these people’s employers don’t be afraid to issue the pink slips, or these people will think they can do anything.

To Republicans: Learn a bit of humility. Realize that your challenge is the one we’ve been successfully addressing these past few years: how to convince people of our point of views. The truth is, the Republicans have neglected this, believing their power base islarger than it actually is, that the nation is truly as far to the right as it is.

Meanwhile, they have become excessively reliant on media manipulation to shore up their power, minimizing problems in the news or weathering the issues with denials until people move on to other matters. This has had the effect of leaving the Republican party in its own little bubble. It has also had the effect of accumulating a great many grievances, and making it easier for people to be set off by small issues.

The Republicans need to regain their policy expertis, regain their ability to compromise and work across partisan lines. The isolation is killing the Republican party. The worst thing a Republican Party can do at this point is win, and further cripple itself trying to keep up the game of denial.

Let this majority die. Give your party a better base of practical know-how and pragmatic attitudes. Get in touch with what Americans really believe and not just what it would be nice for the Republican Party to believe Americans think. Lose this arrogance, this quickness to turn to negative campaigning and vitriolic attacks on the other side. If you want to be real competitors, you have act like the heroes, not merely proclaim yourself such in conflict with your real actions.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #191467

Here is one more from the report for all you leftists who keep pointing to Ohio as the scene of the crime.

Charges Of Long Lines Orchestrated By Republicans To Suppress The Minority Vote

On June 2, 2005, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean charged that Republicans caused long lines at polling places on Election Day to suppress the minority vote.

Dean stated:
“The Republicans are all about suppressing votes: two voting machines if you live in a black district, 10 voting machines if you live in a white district. …

Dean was just the latest Democrat leader to make this charge. In January 2005, the Rev. Jesse Jackson charged that “blatant discrimination in the distribution of voting machines ensured long lines in inner-city and working-class precincts that favored John Kerry, while the exurban districts that favored President Bush had no similar problems.” (8) The Democrat staff of the House Judiciary Committee, led by Ranking Member Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), alleged in a January 2005 report that “the misallocation of voting machines [in Ohio] led to unprecedented lines that disenfranchised scores, if not hundreds of thousands, of predominantly minority and Democratic voters.” The Conyers report specifically cited Franklin County, Ohio, as an area in which Republicans intentionally misallocated voting machines in order to cause long lines and disenfranchise minority voters.

However, Democrat election officials in Franklin County and the U.S. Department of Justice have refuted this allegation. During the recent U.S. House Administration Committee hearing held in Columbus, William Anthony, Chairman of the Franklin County Democratic Party and County Board of Elections, flatly rejected the allegation…

Anthony stated under oath: “Some have alleged that precincts in predominantly African American or Democratic precincts were deliberately targeted for a reduction in voting machines, thus creating the only lines in the county. I can assure you Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, both as a leader in the black community and Chairman of the local Democratic Party and a labor leader and Chairman of the Board of Elections, that these accusations are simply not true.”

Anthony noted that the entire process for allocating voting machines in the county was controlled by a Democratic supervisor.

Posted by: Kirk at October 30, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #191468

I posted this in Eric’s thread but it belongs here too. When you read a report like that, and consider all the trouble that has been reported, I think it becomes more and more likely to suspect that our elections have been stolen with electronic voting machines. For me personally, there is simply too much proof that has been piling up over the years to make me believe otherwise. The machines that have been tested have been easily hacked time and time again. Many of the machines have wireless ports on the sides of them — which makes them even easier to hack from remote locations. Now, ask yourself why an electronic voting machine would ever need or should ever have been equipped with a wireless port, but wouldn’t be provided with a means to print out a paper reciept like every single cash register ever made?

But of course folks on the left should still get out to vote — if only to record our votes with the people taking exit polls.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 30, 2006 12:17 PM
Comment #191469
Many of the machines have wireless ports on the sides of them

Adrienne, please explain to us what you mean by wireless port?

Posted by: Kirk at October 30, 2006 12:24 PM
Comment #191471

Keith-
Are you telling us you’re for laws increasing the security and standards of these voting machines, so that we can ensure there’s no voter fraud? That would be good to hear from you.

It’d also be good to hear of whether there’s a positive connnection between Chavez and these investors. Naturally, we wouldn’t want a foreign power interfering in elections. Of course, we also would not want to discourage people from investing in the business of Democracy either.

I’m sure good effective regulations on how these machines can be made, and by whom, would do much to resolve such questions.

Kirk-
I’d be happy to comment on this if you would only be so kind as to provide independent documentation for all those incidents. The trouble with ACVR is that Bush supporters predominate in its leadership and its funding. It follows the typical pattern of astroturfed organizations in that it claims to be non partisan, but has leadership and funding that is anything but.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #191472

How much will some one bet me that if Republicans lose big they’ll blame Chavez?


I thought this was interesting. It seems FEMA is suddenly responsive in Tom Reynolds district.

Posted by: gergle at October 30, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #191473

Thomas,
Requiring a photo ID to vote is akin to requiring a national identity card. It is a thin line between ensuring people are entitled to vote are able to vote, and either inhibiting them by charging them a fee for ID, or risking invasion of privacy through a nationwide database.

Why not vote by mail, as we do in Oregon? It is not perfect, but far preferable to the various types of fraud and intimidation which are occurring in places like Ohio & Florida.

Posted by: phx8 at October 30, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #191476

I believe there has always been election fraud, in America and everywhere else. I think the difference is that it used to be local and isolated. It appears the Republicans, as most obviously evidenced by the K-street project, have taken their extremist politiking to the legislative and election process itself and not limiting themselves to just polluting the information process.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 30, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #191477

Woody,

Since you bring up the popular vote BS, it might interest you to know that we don’t know who won the popular vote. When the margin of victory exceeds the votes remaining, they aren’t counted. There were more uncounted votes than the Gore’s margin of victory, so we don’t know who won. Gore may have won by a wider margin than we think, or Bush may have won. Either way, the Constitution says Bush won. Gore conceded, why don’t the rest of you?

As far as Bush losing his “home” state, there’s a difference between state of birth and home state. Bush wasn’t born in Texas, but he was a resident long enough to be governor, and by more than the 6 weeks Hillary was a “resident” of New York. Its a shame I don’t have any cheese, it would go well with the whining I hear every damned time 2000 or 2002 or 2004 is brought up.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 30, 2006 12:54 PM
Comment #191482
I’d be happy to comment on this if you would only be so kind as to provide independent documentation for all those incidents. The trouble with ACVR is that Bush supporters predominate in its leadership and its funding. It follows the typical pattern of astroturfed organizations in that it claims to be non partisan, but has leadership and funding that is anything but.

I would be more than happy to supply you with independent documentation. Comment away!


1) 5 Charged In GOP Tire Slashings, Derrick Nunnally, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, January 25, 2005

And the following Milwaukee Criminal Complaint http://www.ac4vr.com/reports/072005/exhibitE.pdf

2) Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), U.S. House Committee On House Administration Hearing, Columbus, OH, March 21, 2005

And the following See Ohio Republican Party v. Marion County Democratic Party et al., Marion County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 04 CV 0791 http://www.ac4vr.com/reports/072005/exhibitF.pdf

3) See November 2, 2004, Order on Motion for Temporary Injunction, J. Thomas Monk, and All Those Persons Similarly Situated Throughout the State of Florida v. Democratic National Committee, Democratic Executive Committee of Seminole County, and the Florida Democratic Party, 04-CA-2312-16-L http://www.ac4vr.com/reports/072005/exhibitG.pdf

4) See Timms et al. v. MoveOn.org, Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 04 CVH11 011533 http://www.ac4vr.com/reports/072005/exhibitK.pdf

5) The Reality Of Intimidation, Eric Wang, Op-Ed, THE [UVA] CAVALIER DAILY, http://www.cavalierdaily.com/CVarticle.asp?ID=21349&pid=1216, November 10, 2004

http://www.ac4vr.com/reports/072005/exhibitM.pdf

Police Reports, Philadelphia Police Department, November 2, 2004

http://www.ac4vr.com/reports/072005/exhibitN.pdf

6) Protestors Storm, Ransack Bush-Cheney Headquarters In Orlando, LOCAL 6 NEWS, www.local6.com, October 5, 2004; Second Break-In Hits A Bush Office In State, David Postman, THE SEATTLE TIMES, October 12, 2004

Florida GOP Workers Claim Intimidation By Labor Protesters, Mike Schneider, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, October 5, 2004

Anti-Bush Crowd Needs To Calm Down, Patrick McIlheran, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, October 9, 2004

And just for expediency here is the backup for my post on Ohio

DNC Chairman Howard Dean, Remarks To The Campaign For America’s Future “Take Back America” Conference, Washington, DC, June 2, 2005

Senators Should Object To Ohio Vote, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Op-Ed, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, January 4, 2005

Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong In Ohio, Report Of The House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff, January 5, 2005

Testimony Of William Anthony At U.S. House Committee On House Administration Hearing, Columbus, OH, March 21, 2005

Posted by: Kirk at October 30, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #191485
Why not vote by mail, as we do in Oregon? It is not perfect, but far preferable to the various types of fraud and intimidation which are occurring in places like Ohio & Florida.

This is just a single example of why not.

The Tuscaloosa News reported finding “blatant” vote fraud…

After the initial August election, the News reported finding multiple absentee ballots cast from addresses of vacant houses and people submitting ballots from addresses that were not their homes. Five people claimed the apparently vacant mobile home pictured at right as their residence in casting absentee ballots in the August election. The News further reported that a man at the center of the absentee ballot controversy spent two years in prison after being convicted of 15 counts of vote fraud in 1998.

Absentee Ballots Raise Questions In Greensboro, Johnny Kampis, TUSCALOOSA NEWS, September 5, 2004

Posted by: Kirk at October 30, 2006 1:23 PM
Comment #191488

For the sake of the blue state true believers, I hope and pray that when the dems take control, and I believe they will, that all of this alleged Republican gerrymandering, voter fraud, corruption and graft all goes away. They will have to be squeeky clean, and if/when these traits are found in their own party, that they do not coverup or deny their existence. All I am hearing is of Republican problems, and nothing (or very little) about dems. Then comes the article about Sen Byrd even calling himself “big daddy”, and I wonder if anything really will change.

If not, their stay in the majority will be short lived, and the tail will wag the dog once again.

Posted by: Chi Chi at October 30, 2006 1:33 PM
Comment #191498

1LTB,

I didn’t bring up 2000, YOU did. So quit “whining” about it.

So the popular vote is BS, but the home state business is reasonable? Got it. I’m sure you’ve always believed that whoever wins his home state (however YOU choose to define it) is the real winner. The fact that this applied to GWB in 2004 (by your standard) is a complete coincidence.

And Gore did win the popular vote. Your argument is based on a myth.

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 30, 2006 1:57 PM
Comment #191505

Kirk-
Thank you for the evidence you did provide. We can therefore attribute maybe three or four incidents to Democrats.

However, I don’t think election day mischief by overzealous campaign volunteers is quite the same as a Republican consulting firm shredding Democrat registrations, or Blackwell invalidating registrations for being printed on the wrong paper. It’s not the same as there being two voting machines for a liberal college and a multitude for the Republican’s. It’s not the same as there being an overwhelming percentage of punch card ballot machines in poor neighborhood, and admitted hackability on Computer driven machines.

You describe minor incidents, minor tricks. These things I describe seem more like pervasive problems, at the very least. It’s in your interest to resolve these problems, to leave as little room for such claims as possible, because the cost of winning an election on questionable grounds could ultimately outweigh the benefits of avoiding the question.

The Republicans need to address their credibility problems, and this is part of it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2006 2:20 PM
Comment #191506

Kirk,
What state was the absentee ballot fraud committed in? Absentee ballots are not exactly the same, but the fact a small-scale fraud was detected supports the idea. It is possible to commit fraud with mailed votes, but difficult to do on a large scale basis. A paper trail exists & forms must be signed, and while it is imperfect, it gives voters a change to reflect before casting their vote, without the inconvenience of going to a polling station.

The electronic voting machines are too easy to hack, and there is no paper trail.

It never fails to amaze me that anyone would use electronic voting machines with such minimal security. Through my job I am very aware of computer security. If spammers are willing to commit crime for mere millions of dollars, and hackers to commit crimes just for the prestige or from sheer maliciousness, imagine the incentive to hack a vote, when tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake!

Posted by: phx8 at October 30, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #191510

I am always confused by the attacks using Nancy Pelosi as a radical ogre. From the viewpoint of the San Francisco Bay area, she is an efficient middle of the Democratic road politico; a bit more conservative and party politics oriented than many of us would prefer. (My rep is Barbara Lee.)
Pelosi is, however an intelligent, articulate and dynamic woman. Is that maybe the real concern?

Posted by: dana at October 30, 2006 2:45 PM
Comment #191513

Don’t let their confidence fool you. They could be perp walked in handcuffs to prison and still tell you that they are innocent and they will be vindicated. Look at Ney, Cunningham, etc. Voter fraud is still a concern however. I can tell you that in Ohio if Blackwell (R) who is 20% behind Strickland (D) were to somehow ‘win’ there would be action and my wife and I will be on the bus.

Posted by: Frank at October 30, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #191518
I don’t think election day mischief by overzealous campaign volunteers is quite the same as a Republican consulting firm shredding Democrat registrations, or Blackwell invalidating registrations for being printed on the wrong paper.

Silly me. You are right, boys will be boys. After all what harm is a little mischief?

Partisan Tactics In Colorado Voter Registration Drives

According to a 9 News report, a voter registration group operating in Colorado under the name “Choose 2 Vote” paid workers $3 for each Democrat or independent voter they registered and nothing for Republican applications. (167) The group admitted to only being interested in Democrat registrations:
“Company spokesman Derrick Lee admitted to 9NEWS he was only interested in registering Democrats. ‘Yeah, what do you want me to say? It’s true,’ said Lee. ‘The Republicans weren’t paying money for voter registrations.’”

ACORN Linked To Voter Registration Fraud In Florida

Mac Stuart, Former Miami-Dade Field Director For ACORN, Said There Was “A Lot Of Fraud Committed” And Republican Voter Registrations Were “Routinely Kicked Back.” Stuart alleged that ACORN violated a slew of election laws, including “illegally copying voter registration applications and selling them to labor union groups, allowing people to sign petitions who were not registered voters and suppressing Republican voter registration applications.” Stuart said it was common for ACORN to hold on to hundreds if not thousands of registration cards for weeks at a time and photocopy them for money. (173)

Nine Democrats Found Guilty Of Vote-Buying In East St. Louis

On June 29, 2005, a federal jury convicted Charles Powell, Chairman of the East St. Louis Democratic Party, and four others of felony conspiracy to commit vote fraud. The jury deliberated for more than five hours before convicting the five “of scheming to buy votes with cash, cigarettes and liquor last November to try to get key Democrats elected.” Prosecutors alleged that money for the vote-buying “flowed from the Belleville-based St. Clair County Democrats to their East St. Louis counterparts in a bid to elect certain Democratic candidates, including Mark Kern as St. Clair County Board chairman.” Each count carries up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. (199)

The five convictions on June 29 brought the total number of East St. Louis Democrats found guilty of vote-buying in the last four months to nine. On March 22, 2005, four Democrat activists in East St. Louis pleaded guilty to paying voters $5 to $10 to vote for the “Democratic ticket” in the November 2004 election. Those pleading guilty included three precinct committeemen and one precinct worker. According to the Belleville News-Democrat, the money used to buy votes came from the St. Clair County Democratic Central Committee, which paid $73,326 to East St. Louis Democratic precinct committeemen days before the election. (200)

NAACP, ACORN And Other Third-Party Groups Linked To Thousands Of Fraudulent And Suspicious Voter Registrations In Ohio

NAACP National Voter Fund

NAACP National Voter Fund Worker Paid Crack Cocaine In Exchange For Fraudulent Registrations. Perhaps the most outrageous example of voter registration fraud occurred in Defiance County, where Chad Staton pled guilty to submitting hundreds of fraudulent voter registration forms for the NAACP National Voter Fund in exchange for crack cocaine. Mr. Staton filled out and submitted voter registration forms in the name of cartoon characters, action figures, celebrities and other fictitious residents of Lucas, Cuyahoga and other counties.
http://www.ac4vr.com/reports/072005/exhibitT.pdf

Jive Turkey, Sr., Registers To Vote. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections received some 1,284 suspicious voter applications that were turned over to prosecutors to investigate for potential fraud. Among those registered was a Jive Turkey, Sr., who included an off-color middle name on the form. Most forms were submitted by America Coming Together (ACT) and ACORN/Project Vote. (281)

AFL-CIO

Forged Signatures, Duplicate Registrations, And Nonexistent Addresses Found On Registrations Submitted By AFL-CIO. Over 50 registration cards submitted by the Ohio AFL-CIO to the Summit County Board of Elections turned out to be illegitimate, as some were for individuals who were already registered, and many appeared to have the same handwriting. (284)

I could go on but I think you all get the point, it’s just some of you will choose to ignore it.

Posted by: Kirk at October 30, 2006 3:17 PM
Comment #191524

Since there are many people on this site who really appear to dig into how things work, please tell me who is responsible for the new voting machines. Does each voting entity decide, was it a state, U.S. Congressional, or Presdential edict? Does the party in control of a particular district decide? How exactly is the decision made. Thanks! Jim

Posted by: Jim at October 30, 2006 3:27 PM
Comment #191525

So let me get this straight…

If the Dems win (overall) next week, it will be because it was a referendum on Republicans/GW Bush/War in Iraq, and the people legitimately chose Democrats…

If Republicans win (overall), it was because of voter fraud and “stealing” the election and Dems should have won…

Am i reading this right? I for one hope the Democrats take the House and/or the Senate…but to assert that if one side wins, its legit, but if the other wins, its a fraud is just plain hogwash. IMO, this whole post has been dedicated to one of the two situations i just wrote…am i the only one who sees it this way?

Posted by: Dizzle at October 30, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #191531

Jim,

I can tell you in Ohio it is the Responsibility of the Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell who is running for the Governer. Now to me and many others this seems to be a conflict of interest to be running for office and be responsible for determining how the election process takes place. He had chosen Diebold as the provider for the electronic voting machines. The CEO of Diebold wrote a memo to Bush right before the 2004 election saying that he was dedicated to making certain that the State of Ohio’s electoral votes went to him. Some people don’t see a problem with that. Blackwell is also highly invested in Diebold. Still some see no problems with these issues. In Hamilton county we have gone back to paper ballots because of voting discrepancies. I do believe that the majority of the people in Ohio are tired of the crimes and conflicts of the Republicans and we will vote these turkeys out.

Posted by: Frank at October 30, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #191532

Frankly I am quite surprised that anyone would describe thousands of dollars in damage to rented vehicles, threats of violence, threats of financial ruin through law suits, broken bones, forced entry, vandalism and assault as “mischief”.

This is out-and-out criminal activity and nothing less. To label it otherwise is to be somewhat dismissive of the acts.

Disenfranchising voters by falsely directing them to the wrong polling location or directing them to vote the day after the election is for the most part just as egregious as shredding or invalidating their registration. In the end the same purpose is served, only the methods are different.

If Republicans were found to have violated the law through voter fraud, intimidation or suppression they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

One last point on Ohio.

The DNC Voting Rights Institute’s report on the election in Ohio, released on June 22, 2005, rejected these claims that the election was stolen. According to the report, the DNC’s own “statistical study of precinct-level data does not suggest the occurrence of widespread fraud that systematically misallocated votes from Kerry to Bush.” The DNC’s experts found that the similarity between the vote patterns for Kerry in 2004 and the Democrat gubernatorial candidate in 2002 was “strong evidence against the claim that widespread fraud systematically misallocated votes from Kerry to Bush.”
Posted by: Kirk at October 30, 2006 3:54 PM
Comment #191538

Dizzle:

“Am i reading this right? I for one hope the Democrats take the House and/or the Senate…but to assert that if one side wins, its legit, but if the other wins, its a fraud is just plain hogwash. IMO, this whole post has been dedicated to one of the two situations i just wrote…am i the only one who sees it this way?”

I wish I would have said that. On the money. Unfortunately, the uber-partisans will not see it this way. I am suspicious of both parties, maybe a bit more of the repubs because I know the tricks they use. But I have witnessed the tire slashings Stephen Daugherty called “election day mischief by overzealous campaign volunteers” and can tell you, it was not done by your typical “overzealous campaign volunteers.” The “pranks” committed by dems did not get the publicity traction that the “alleged” fraud by repubs did. But I can tell you, it was just as real.

Two friends of mine in the Chicago metro police dept (both of whom are true blue dems themselves) witnessed the “smokes for votes” campaign orchestrated by, among others, dem operatives from Ill and Ohio. The vans whose tires were slashed in Milwaukee were leased (legally and at full retail rate, btw) from a friend of mine. Perpetrated by someone more than just your typical party volunteers.

On the flip side of the coin, I am well aware of the crap repubs have pulled in my state and neighboring states ranging from illegally removing yard and road side signs to filing frivolous complaints with election boards to tie up lawyers time and money. I’ve seen the pressure tactics by business owners and social workers alike from both sides of the aisle to push their employees, clients, friends and customers to vote a certain way.

I have always done what I could from the “inside” to stop it, report it, distance myself and the campaign I was working on from it. But, eventually, it became overwhelming. So I left the party with the same disdain for it that I had for the oppposite party.

No party’s hands are clean here. I just wish one of them (or better yet both) would grow some cajones and admit it. I would have a lot more respect for them if they did. From my perspective, those who think their party is less egrigiously involved than the other is flatly naive. Spend some time making your living on the campaign trail. Until then, take it from me, both parties should hang their heads.

Posted by: Chi Chi at October 30, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #191547

Chi Chi,

I’m with you. I would contend that there are many, many voters out there who seriously see no fundamental difference in the political conduct of both major parties.

We all deep down like to think that we can believe the rhetoric that “my party is above the petty, partisan BS”, but experience has shown us time and time again that the principal and only objective of the party system is to simply stay in power for as long as possible, at any cost. I would like to see someone either party deny this and actually PROVE to me and to voters that there are motivations beyond just a power grab in government.

Honestly, I cannot wait until the elections are over and i don’t have to hear the partisan babble on the radio and television constantly day in and day out. Quite a shame what American politics have become.

Posted by: Greg at October 30, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #191551

Chi Chi & Greg,
Come on, now. Any organism or organization seeks to survive. Failing to do so by accumulating money or power or resources means no more survival.

What an organism seeks to do with its existence is a whole different kettle of fish. That is the crux. That is why there is a profound difference between Democrats and Republicans and other parties. The War in Iraq, deficits, questions about minimum wage and the distribution of the tax burden, the desirability of concentrating power in a unitary executive- these are major, major differences.

Disliking the nature of organizational survival or the corruptive nature of money & power is fine. By all means, be pure, and refuse to particiapate in any organization. But please do not presume that all organizations which thrive are the same, simply because they raise money or exercise power. It is what they do with their money and power that makes all the difference.

Posted by: phx8 at October 30, 2006 5:07 PM
Comment #191559

phx8:

I’m not sure how this relates to my post. I’m saying both parties are equally culpable in the electioneering crap. They are both pulling whatever dirty tricks they have to in the quest for a majority.

Your post is, as I read it, discussing post election actions. I have no beef with that, although I think you vastly overstate the purity of one party over the other. Or are you asking us to excuse the obvious and proven campaign shananigans of the dems because once they are in the majority, all will be well with the world? The ends justifies the means? Sorry, I won’t buy that either.

Posted by: Chi Chi at October 30, 2006 5:47 PM
Comment #191560

PS

I am a member of many organizations who seek to survive in an honest manner. Just because the organization is political in nature does not excuse outlandish tactics and behavior.

Posted by: Chi Chi at October 30, 2006 5:49 PM
Comment #191576

Well I am willing to bet that I know exactly why the dems lost the house and have little chance of gaining it back entirely.

Over the last few decades the DP has failed to produce legislation in support of its greatest supporters on an effective level. Namely the Unions and the racial minorities.

I am a Poli Sci major seeking a PhD. In my studies of the effect of legislation on society, I have discovered that the good intention laws are rarely as effect as they are costly.

Affirmative Action brought more jobs to minorities at the cost of mandatorizing the recognition of the very thing they are seeking to not be recognized as. We as whole need to realize that all any person of any race wants to be recognized as is an individual.

Also the recent legislation that has been in favor of Unions has been next to non-productive. Unions workers are VERY diligent in wanting proper minimum wages on federal AND state levels. Dems delivered such legislation on most state fronts, but the federal increase that was originally proposed was never even remotely close to what is not only desired, but desperatley needed. The federal minimum needs to be $9.25 now and at least 10.50 by 2025. We are behind the curve bey nearly a decade and a half!

Not too mention the DP failed to even acknowledge the small business on any national level for nearly a decade now. They have last all but a few deep routed supporters on the Small Business front. They still have support of the entities that represent them, but their quickly losing the support of individuals.

Property owners have also been negatively impacted here in washington State to the point that their are losing the most simplest of rights to their own private property and they are not being compensated! This is undeniably unconstitutional.

The only way the DP is ever going to regain its supprt is if it can return to those who they once cared so diligently for in through the 60s and 70s.

The gay rights and pro choice is a good cause, but it fails to result in voter turn out as 76% of our population is still Judeo-Christian. That is battle to be fought first on the local level then after having one that bring it to the federal congress.

For now it would be in the DPs best interest to revert back to support the middle class and the things that effect them daily. For it is them who they originally built their foundation upon roughly two centuries ago.

So promote individual freedoms of the majority on the federal front and minority rights on local fronts.

OH and a good example is:

WA 2nd district

97% rural (by land acres)
87% Judeo-Christian (does not include the no comments)
37% registered republican (thats it)


Rep platform = dog and gun owner rights
Dem platform = gay marriage

Nearly every Dem sign in the district has been removed by the locals and some have even stuck them in the ground upside down!

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at October 30, 2006 6:38 PM
Comment #191589

Frank

“The CEO of Diebold wrote a memo to Bush right before the 2004 election saying that he was dedicated to making certain that the State of Ohios electoral votes went to him.”

Do you happen to have a copy or link to this memo? Somewhere other than the dailykos, CBS, Dan Rather or Mary Mapes

Posted by: Keith at October 30, 2006 7:08 PM
Comment #191590

phx8,

Whatever ideology a party professes is perfectly fine with me. In an academic “political science” view, that is the purpose of parties in the first place- to be organizations of like minded people in the political arena. Each party has its followers and loyal subjects, all with reasonably similar views.

What i have a problem with is not who or what the party stands for, but with the conduct of the party on behalf of their candidates. Slashing tires and selling votes for cigarettes, “Questionable, unsecure” voting machines, Non-Stop attack ads during prime time for weeks and weeks…is this how our system is supposed to work? BOTH parties sanction such activity, and it’s ok? Come on now.

In an ideal world, which we do not live in, each party would take a positive, non-confrontational approach to making their policy views clear and understandable to the public, and not resort to lowering themselves to the level of bloodsuckers and filth we see today.

Had parties and candidates respected the principles of democracy…er…the republic, they would accept defeat by the voters as a judgement on their policies and nothing more. Since parties cannot accept that, yes, the money and (quest for)power does corrupt, we’re back to slashing tires and questionable voting machines.

Chi Chi asks the question- “Does the end justify the means?”

Posted by: Greg at October 30, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #191593

Chi Chi,
Ok, I was on my high horse. But most people realize there are small scale activities by both parties which are wrong, & should be prosecuted. Hassling people at polls and various other forms of intimidation are relatively small potatoes.

My main concern is over the potential for hacking this election. There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that the last election was hacked. It is nearly impossible for exit polls to be as far off as they were in that election.

The hacking may not even be a matter of political loyalty. People who create viruses and hack are malicious. They cause problems just to prove they can do it, out of ego and spite. This upcoming election is like a siren call for such people. Computer security was dismal in 2004, just appallingly bad. It is scary to think just how much damage could be inflicted this go around.

Posted by: phx8 at October 30, 2006 7:10 PM
Comment #191601

Phx8, the problems with the exit polls in 04 have been studied pretty extensively.

For whatever reason, it is obvious to everybody (conservative and liberal) that the data gathered was inherently bad.

It came down to the fact that totally apart from party identification and who voted for whom, women were hugely overrepresented in the exit polling samples. There were places where women were said to be 60% of the voters. It was also found that too many of the polsters were young, white and female.

This isn’t their conclusion but mine: I suspect that younger female pollsters were not as comfortable approaching the middle-aged males who constituted a large percentage of those who voted for Bush in 04, and instead gravitated towards those most like themselves. Also I think that married women with children, as opposed to single women, were less willing and had less time to participate in an exit poll on top of voting. In 04, one of Kerry’s most reliable constituencies was that of young, single females.

Just my theory.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 30, 2006 7:36 PM
Comment #191603

Neo-con Pilsner

You are pretty right on on the exit polls. The other aspect is that Republican voters when approached by a pollster are more likely to not talk to them. Mainly because they do not trust the pollster and the media. The same thing goes for telephone polls, studies have shown that conservatives tend to not want to be bothered by telephone pollsters

Posted by: Keith at October 30, 2006 7:41 PM
Comment #191604

On the subject of voter fraud, isn’t it interesting that in New York, there are 2,600 voters who are so dedicated to the democratic process that they continue to vote even though they are dead.

Hey, if they can find time to vote, then certainly you and I can.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 30, 2006 7:44 PM
Comment #191609

Keith,
Cleveland Plains-Dealer 8/28/03
Cleveland Plain-Dealer from August 28, 2003.

“The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.”

The Aug. 14 letter from Walden O’Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc. - who has become active in the re-election effort of President Bush - prompted Democrats this week to question the propriety of allowing O’Dell’s company to calculate votes in the 2004 presidential election.”

Posted by: phx8 at October 30, 2006 7:52 PM
Comment #191610

phx8

And you don’t think it’s a leap to say that he will use his companies machines to do this?

Posted by: Keith at October 30, 2006 8:01 PM
Comment #191616

phx8

I’m not sure what the controvrsy is about. No diebold machines were used in Ohio in 2004.

Blackwell Halts Deployment Of Diebold Voting Machines For 2004
July 16, 2004 COLUMBUS - Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell today halted deployment of Diebold Election Systems’ electronic voting devices in Ohio for the 2004 General Election. The decision is based on preliminary findings from the secretary of state’s second round of security testing conducted by Compuware Corporation showing the existence of previously identified, but yet unresolved security issues. Hardin, Lorain and Trumbull counties had selected to use new Diebold equipment this November. Those counties will use their current voting devices in 2004.

“As I made clear last year, I will not place these voting devices before Ohio’s voters until identified risks are corrected,” Blackwell said. “Diebold Election Systems has successfully addressed many, but not all, of the problems that were identified in our first security review. The lack of comprehensive resolution prevents me from giving county boards of elections a green light for this November.

“I look forward to working with Diebold Election Systems and our other qualified election system vendors as they continue to bolster security and develop voting devices that meet Ohio’s requirement for voter-verifiable paper audit trails.”

In December 2003, Secretary Blackwell released results from two comprehensive examinations identifying 57 potential security risks within the software and hardware of the voting devices offered by Ohio’s qualified electronic voting systems vendors: Diebold Election Systems, Election Systems and Software, Hart Intercivic, and Sequoia Voting Systems. He ordered the voting machine manufacturers to resolve all of the identified issues or face a halt in deployment.

Diebold Election Systems was the only vendor to submit revised voting software and hardware for retesting.

Compuware Corporation, based in Detroit, conducted the thorough technical analysis of each of the electronic voting device vendors’ software and hardware. InfoSENTRY, based in Raleigh, NC, conducted on-site vendor inspections and interviews to assess voting system vendors’ security plans, procedures and processes.

A comprehensive report from Compuware detailing the second round of security reviews will be available at the secretary of state web site www.sos.state.oh.us when the assessment is complete.

Posted by: Keith at October 30, 2006 8:10 PM
Comment #191625

Kirk:
“Adrienne, please explain to us what you mean by wireless port?”

I’d much rather let Brad Friedman’s blog explain it to you in depth instead:
Why do Diebold’s Touch-Screen Voting Machines Have Built-In Wireless Infrared Data Transfer Ports?
IrDA Protocol Can ‘Totally Compromise System’ Without Detection, Warns Federal Voting Standards Website

Posted by: Adrienne at October 30, 2006 8:23 PM
Comment #191637

Keith-
The controversy was and remains that a manufacturer of electronic voting machines, where voters have to trust that what they see is what they get, promised an election to the president. At the very least, manufacturers of such machines should be required to abstain from political activities.

Whatever happened to people avoiding the appearance of impropriety? You shouldn’t want folks like him making such statements, because it only helps to foster the bad reputation Republicans have for dirty tricks. Winning at all costs is ultimately winning at too high a cost.

In general, I think the Republicans have gotten so big on this notion of being the mavericks, the rebels who fight the unfair system, that they’ve lost perspective on those times and those issues where it pays for things not to look funny, and where doing anything you want will give people the impression that you will run roughshod over anything that gets in the way of your thirst for power.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2006 9:10 PM
Comment #191644

Keith,

If you search on Diebold CEO There are literally hundreds of hits regarding this matter.

Posted by: Frank at October 30, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #191646

Stephen

So how do you feel about leaders of public employee unions making blatant political statements? Since the people they are trying to get elected are the same people who they negotiate their contracts with

Posted by: Keith at October 30, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #191649

Keith obviously doesn’t realize that Diebold Optical Scanners were used to count the vast majority of Ohio’s vote in 2004, and that they have as many, if not more problems as their touch screen computerized voting machines do.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 30, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #191655

Keith-
The difference is, those Public Employee leader unions do not make the very devices used to count the votes. They can suggest things to voters, but they don’t have the access to hack the voting machines like Diebold does.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2006 9:47 PM
Comment #191677

Stephen

I thought we were discussing the appearence of impropriety.

Posted by: Keith at October 30, 2006 10:55 PM
Comment #191703

Woody,

The fact that you didn’t mention Gore doesn’t mean that you never referred to him. You say that based on what you percieve as a pattern of vote fraud by Republicans, which by the way you can’t back up with a single arrest or indictment, tht the Republicans are going to “steal” this election. Up until Al Gore lost Florida, you didn’t hear Democrats claiming voter fraud. By saying there’s a pattern of Republican voter fraud, you’re bringing up Al Gore and 2000 whether or not you want to admit it.

Furthermore, the point I was making about a home state is that the people of Al Gore’s home state, who presumably know him better than those not from his home state, looked at what they saw and decided they didn’t like it. Like I said, had Gore carried his home state, a feat even McGovern managed, he would have been President at least through 2004 and no amount of fraud etc in Florida would’ve changed it.

What’s very interesting to me about Al Gore is just how far he sold out. Before he became VP, his wife was famous for being one of the movers behind the rating of CDs, and he was rated in the top 5 of Senators by both the National Right to Life Federation and the NRA. If you can think of two more polarizing domestic issues pre-9/11 than abortion and gun control, I invite you to share them. As it is, shortly after he became VP, he magically changed his mind and became exactly the opposite. This is part of the reason I don’t vote Democrat for national positions, the Party mkes you go along with its views. Remember when Clinton told Bob Casey Sr, former governor of Pennsylvania no thanks to his speech before the DNC?

Dana,

There is no fear of Nancy Pelosi based on sexism as you suggest. In fact, you pointed out the reason for why most people don’t like her. From the point of view of the San Francisco Bay area, she might be moderate. But from the point of view of San Francisco, gays are more welcome than Soldiers and Maoists more welcome than Christians. Perhaps this is why to the rest of the country that aren’t denizens of the Left Coast, she’s exactly what you say, a radical ogre.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 31, 2006 12:22 AM
Comment #191720

1LT B:

The fact that you didn’t mention Gore doesn’t mean that you never referred to him.
Actually it means precisely that. Also, McGovern did not win his home state of South Dakota.

Voter fraud is nothing new in this country and it’s been employed on behalf of candidates of both parties. Any claims otherwise are preposterous. The likelihood of fraud is always greater for the party in power.

My post made no absolute claims about fraud in the last two elections—my suspicions do not equal knowledge.

Systems which give greater assurance that the counting of the vote is not tampered with are certainly available, and it is scarcely a radical demand to insist on greater accountability.

Kirk,
the various claims you have cited of fraud against Republican voters are not to be taken lightly, but they do not add up to a systemic rigging of the election which is what I’m concerned about here. Why can’t we all agree that we should assure that there is not a systemic rigging of the election?

Anyone who slashes tires should be prosecuted for that illegal act, but they are 100,000 times less likely to change the outcome of an election than Ken Blackwell IF he uses his power inappropriately.

The point of this post isn’t to claim that Republicans are more poorly behaved than Democrats. The point is that the vote is sacred to democracy and Republicans and Democrats alike should work together to make sure that votes are accurately counted.

The point is simultaneously to encourage everyone to put aside any doubts about fairness and vote regardless of what you believe about the likelihood of fraud. We do not live in Iraq under Sadaam or Zimbabwe under Mugabe or Chile under Pinochet. Any fraud here is small potatoes to what is routine in faux democracies, and I’m quite sure that overwhelming results are not going to be reversed anytime soon.

PS> I’m not a big fan of Pelosi. She’s more strident but less liberal than I am. The claims that those on the right make about her are laughably untrue. Dana, don’t worry so much about claims like those of 1LT B—while they may have succeeded in misleading moderates into believing Pelosi and other moderately liberal Democrats are extremists which they are not, moderates are nonetheless not typically offended by Pelosi in the same way they are by the unethical behavior of DeLay, Cunningham, and Ney.

The incessant barking of the right wing may finally become the irrelevance that it should have been reduced to years ago.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at October 31, 2006 1:31 AM
Comment #191731

Walker,

My last post was to Woody, not you, but ok. Your own later comments prove my point. Several on the left are accussing the Republicans of systematically rigging elections and saying there is a pattern of this. Since these accusations didn’t start before 2000, to cite a pattern it has to start with the 2000. You are correct to say that we should take all prudent measures to ensure that elections are fair and not tampered with.

As far as Pelosi goes, the claims I made are not lies. San Francisco has consistently tried to run the military out of its city limits. Thier mayor started marrying gay couples in clear defiance and violation of state law. Further, I don’t recall saying I thought Nancy Pelosi was corrupt, just a radical who’s totally unappealing to a conservative voter. How DeLay and company factor into an argument about Pelosi’s political views is beyond me. Pelosi is not moderate except to a radical who’s so far left Maoist would be an appropriate description. I don’t know where you’re from, but lay out Pelosi’s views to Americans from the Mid-West, South, or any rural area and she’s a pinko to them.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 31, 2006 2:22 AM
Comment #191739

1 LT B,

While I don’t normally like to get into this kind of partisan bickering, I am getting really confused by the constant labeling of many Democratic candidates as “The Far Left” and “Radical.” Especially Nancy Pelosi and a few others. I have never seen anyone on this blog point to just how these people deserve that label, just endless repetitions of the accusation. If anything, the Democrats are not liberal enough in my view, as both parties are simply corporate shills at this point. And I’m really tired of hearing the crap about how they “Don’t have a plan.”

Take a look at Nancy Pelosi’s proposals:

Prohibit the Congressional pay raise until the nation’s minimum wage is increased.

End tax giveaways that reward companies for moving American jobs overseas.

Implement the 9/11 Commission reccomendations within the first 100 hours of Democratic leadership.

End tax giveaways to big oil companies.

Make college tuitions tax-deductible.

Allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices.

Promote a new GI Bill of Rights, which includes provisions to end the Disbled Veteran’s Tax and the Military Families’ Tax; provides a $1000 bonus to those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; expands the GI Bill education and job training programs, among many others.

I could go on, but the entirety of her platform is here.

So, where is exactly is the “Far Left Radical” here? I do not see her calling for the destruction of capitalism, the installation of a socialist regime and the disbanding and condemnation of our troops anywhere in there…

Just sick of the misrepresentations…how hard is it for people to listen to the other side, not just what they’re side is saying about the other side? It must be that damn liberal media that’s stopping the Democrats from getting their message out…

Posted by: Liberal Demon at October 31, 2006 6:03 AM
Comment #191775

LiberalDemon

“Make college tuitions tax-deductible.”

This is a perfect example of what the dems do with legislation. They never ask “then what” about their legislation. What will happen if we make college tuition tax dedeductible, the colleges will raise the tuition. Look at health insurance as soon as the individual stopped paying for their medical either directly or to the doctor, the rates went up. If somebody is getting something for nothing, there is no accountability for the something.

The answer is, if you cannot afford the college, send your child to a cheaper one.

Posted by: Keith at October 31, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #191782

If the Dems don’t win this year, they might think about throwing in the towel. Of course, the Republicans will rescue them. Politicians always self destruct. Possibly, it is time to think about a new party. Red Dog Dems, this is your time.

Posted by: Pat at October 31, 2006 10:55 AM
Comment #191858
I am getting really confused by the constant labeling of many Democratic candidates as “The Far Left” and “Radical.” Especially Nancy Pelosi and a few others. I have never seen anyone on this blog point to just how these people deserve that label, just endless repetitions of the accusation. If anything, the Democrats are not liberal enough

Never mind Pelosi’s proposals take a look at her voting record since 2000. In all fairness I must say that I agreed with some of her votes. However, the ones I agreed with were outnumbered about 20-to-1.

Voted YES on allowing human embryonic stem cell research. (May 2005)

Voted NO on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions. (Apr 2005)

Voted NO on making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime. (Feb 2004)

Voted NO on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother’s life. (Oct 2003)

Voted NO on forbidding human cloning for reproduction & medical research. (Feb 2003)

Voted NO on funding for health providers who don’t provide abortion info. (Sep 2002)

Voted NO on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad.(May 2001)

Voted NO on federal crime to harm fetus while committing othercrimes. (Apr 2001)

Voted NO on banning partial-birth abortions. (Apr 2000)

Voted NO on making the PATRIOT Act permanent. (Dec 2005)

Voted NO on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage. (Sep 2004)

Voted NO on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance. (Sep 2004)

Voted NO on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration. (Jun 2003)

Voted NO on Bankruptcy Overhaul requiring partial debt repayment. (Mar 2001)

Voted NO on military border patrols to battle drugs & terrorism. (Sep 2001)

Voted NO on scheduling permitting for new oil refinieries. (Jun 2006)

Voted NO on authorizing construction of new oil refineries. (Oct 2005)

Voted NO on passage of the Bush Administration national energy policy. (Jun 2004)

Voted NO on implementing Bush-Cheney national energy policy. (Nov 2003)

Voted YES on prohibiting oil drilling & development in ANWR. (Aug 2001)

Voted YES on starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol. (Jun 2000)

Voted NO on reducing Marriage Tax by $399B over 10 years. (Mar 2001)

Voted NO on prohibiting lawsuits about obesity against food providers. (Oct 2005)

Voted NO on limiting attorney’s fees in class action lawsuits. (Feb 2005)

Voted NO on restricting frivolous lawsuits. (Sep 2004)

Voted YES on campaign finance reform banning soft-money contributions. (Feb 2002)

Voted NO on banning soft money donations to national political parties. (Jul 2001)

Voted NO on prohibiting product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers. (Oct 2005)

Voted NO on prohibiting suing gunmakers & sellers for gun misuse. (Apr 2003)

Voted NO on small business associations for buying health insurance. (Jun 2003)

Voted NO on capping damages & setting time limits in medical lawsuits. (Mar 2003)

Voted NO on allowing suing HMOs, but under federal rules & limited award. (Aug 2001)

Voted NO on Prescription drug coverage under Medicare. (Jun 2000)

Voted NO on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight. (Apr 2006)

Voted NO on federalizing rules for driver licenses to hinder terrorists. (Feb 2005)

Voted NO on continuing military recruitment on college campuses. (Feb 2005)

Voted NO on adopting the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. (Oct 2004)

Voted NO on permitting commercial airline pilots to carry guns. (Jul 2002)

Voted NO on preventing tipping off Mexicans about Minuteman Project. (Jun 2006)

Voted NO on reporting illegal aliens who receive hospital treatment. (May 2004)

Voted YES on extending Immigrant Residency rules. (May 2001)

Voted NO on end offshore tax havens and promote small business. (Oct 2004)

Voted YES on $167B over 10 years for farm price supports. (Oct 2001)

Voted NO on reducing tax payments on Social Security benefits. (Jul 2000)

Voted NO on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends. (Dec 2005)

Voted NO on providing tax relief and simplification. (Sep 2004)

Voted NO on making permanent an increase in the child tax credit. (May 2004)

Voted NO on permanently eliminating the marriage penalty. (Apr 2004)

Voted NO on making the Bush tax cuts permanent. (Apr 2002)

Voted NO on $99 B economic stimulus: capital gains & income tax cuts. (Oct 2001)

Voted NO on Tax cut package of $958 B over 10 years. (May 2001)

Voted NO on eliminating the Estate Tax (“death tax”). (Apr 2001)

Voted NO on eliminating the “marriage penalty”. (Jul 2000)

Voted NO on $46 billion in tax cuts for small business. (Mar 2000)

Voted NO on promoting work and marriage among TANF recipients. (Feb 2003)

Voted NO on treating religious organizations equally for tax breaks. (Jul 2001)

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 1:28 PM
Comment #191941

Kirk,

So from what your showing me it would appear that Pelosi is 38.25% Repub., 43.7% Dem., 10.4% NonPar. and 14.5% down right anti-middle class, so why do the few ‘super liberals’ support Pelosi so much when her votes are more aimed towards her personal agenda than the agenda of the ‘super liberals.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at October 31, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #191943

Keith-
A union leader speaking about who they would like in management? That doesn’t sound like a conflict of interest. He or she would be acting in the interests of the union, so long as they were not offered compensation from the candidate.

A voting machine manufacturer has a duty to the voters not to interfere with their choice. This guy announced he was going to deliver the election to Bush. That’s a conflict of interest. A public workers union leader has a legitimate interest in who he negotiates with, and has no duty to keep quiet on the matter. His interests are plain, and voters decisions can only be affected by his appeals if they find such appeals persuasive.

The guy who makes the machines could potentially bypass that altogether. Whose politicking is potentially more dangerous to people’s rights?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 31, 2006 5:14 PM
Comment #191989
So from what your showing me it would appear that Pelosi is 38.25% Repub

How in the world do you come up with her being 38.25% Republican based on that voting record?

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #191990
Whose politicking is potentially more dangerous to people’s rights?

Neithers politicking is more dangerous. Potential criminal activity on the other hand is another story.

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 7:16 PM
Comment #192003

Kirk,

While I do disagree with many of her positions (there are reasons I’m not a Democrat), it is rather disingenuous of you to put up a list of “votes” that do not fully explain exactly what was being voted on or why it was voted for/against.

Many of the pieces of legislation you mentioned either don’t do what you refer to them as, or do many other things as well (“restricting frivolous lawsuits”…how about restricting all lawsuits not initiated by corporations, who together file more lawsuits than individuals and are more likely to be struck down as frivolous?)

Manipulating the wording like that is really easy and can be done by both sides. I could easily say something like “Voted NO on allowing the FBI to come into your home while you’re not there, rifle through your belongings and then leave and not tell you they were there.” “Voted NO on forcing pregnant girls to tell their incestual father and abusive alcoholic mother that they would like an abortion.” “Voted NO on condemning permanently injured victims to financial ruin and abject poverty.” “Voted YES on research into potential cures for countless debilitating conditions.”

Lists like that mean very little, as they stifle debate and assume a superior position without even having to prove it. Without going back and actually reading the content of the legislation in question, trying to understand both sides of the debate and why those votes were cast, you don’t really know what you’re voting for/against.

Like I said…sick of the misrepresentations.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at October 31, 2006 8:10 PM
Comment #192094
While I do disagree with many of her positions (there are reasons I’m not a Democrat), it is rather disingenuous of you to put up a list of “votes” that do not fully explain exactly what was being voted on or why it was voted for/against.

Demon,

The listing of votes give the main issue covered by the vote. So, there is no manipulation or misrepresentation on my part.

In fact, I would be more than happy to post a more in depth synopsis of each of the Bills voted on including the House or Conference number and final vote tally if you want me to use that much space. When the synopsis is read it becomes even more clear that she is a far left liberal.

Otherwise I can post this link http://www.issues2000.org/CA/Nancy_Pelosi.htm
and those interested can go there and read the information for themselves.

Posted by: Kirk at November 1, 2006 12:48 AM
Comment #192095

Kirk-
Electronic Voting Machine manufacturer making promises about where the votes are going to go.

Tell me why the hell that doesn’t strike you as a problem. I can tell you right out that a Union leaders is supposed to express views on management, about who is selected on that side of things. I can also tell you that voters can tell that leader to get stuffed.

But the guy making the voting machines? He can stuff the ballot box, and do it in such a way that there would be little evidence left to unravel the truth.

Why is nearly every one of your arguments about alleging somebody else is doing the same thing? You’re essentially conceding your party’s corruption with such points, and worse, appear to be arguing for a mutually depraved status quo.

Is that what you want? Is this what conservatives are preserving nowadays?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 1, 2006 12:49 AM
Comment #192101

What you insinuate that O’Dell did or will do is criminal activity. It is not politicking!

Criminal activity does strike me as a problem, politicking does not. If O’Dell did or does committ a criminal act he needs to be prosecuted. If not then people have no business throwing false or misleading insinuations at him.

Portions of The Cleveland Plain Dealer report on O’Dell’s letter is below.

The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.” ….he penned invitations to a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser to benefit the Ohio Republican Party’s federal campaign fund - partially benefiting Bush - at his mansion in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington…..In his invitation letter, O’Dell asked guests to consider donating or raising up to $10,000 each for the federal account that the state GOP will use to help Bush and other federal candidates.

Now please explain to me just exactly how stupid you think O’Dell is. Do you really think that the guy is so ignorant that before he is going to committ what would be I’m sure a Federal Offense, he is going to advertise it in a letter to hundreds of people?

Why is nearly every one of your arguments about alleging somebody else is doing the same thing? You’re essentially conceding your party’s corruption with such points, and worse, appear to be arguing for a mutually depraved status quo.

No, I’m simply washing the windows so that you all can see that it is indeed a glass house in which you live.

Now let me ask you why is nearly every one of your arguements based on twisting and misrepresenting of what others have said?

Posted by: Kirk at November 1, 2006 1:36 AM
Comment #192440

kirk, it’s your mother. Get off that computer and come to bed!

Posted by: Mum at November 1, 2006 7:22 PM
Comment #192603

Kirk,

The listing of votes give the main issue covered by the vote. So, there is no manipulation or misrepresentation on my part.

Yes, it does give the main issue covered by the vote and illustrates the need for “One purpose per bill” legislation.

What the list didn’t give was the reason behind the vote (the site you linked to, however, does in some instances). Take the partial birth abortion ban for instance. Most of America would have no problem with some limits being exacted on that procedure, the problem is that that particular bill has already been struck down as unconstitutional numerous times due to the fact that it does not contain an exception to protect the health of the mother and because the language used in the bill is unconstitutionally vague. The fact that this was going to happen was known on both sides long before the bill even came up for debate.

This is a common practice, where specific clauses are purposefully either included or absent from bills in an effort to bait the opposition into voting against it. Once that occurs, one can then defame their opponent and claim that they were against the main purpose of the bill, even when that assertion is patently untrue. It is an egregious example of politics trumping ideology, where a lawmaker is more intent on making their opponent look bad then they are in enacting that specific legislation.

In fact, I would be more than happy to post a more in depth synopsis of each of the Bills voted on including the House or Conference number and final vote tally if you want me to use that much space.

Good on you for following up. I suppose that you then of course know the reasons behind many of the votes and the facts behind the issues. For an example, look at drilling in ANWR. When presented as either drilling in ANWR or doing nothing (as the current administration is apt to do), then it doesn’t look so bad. However, many people understand that this is not the time to be looking for more oil; this is the time to be getting off of oil completely. The ANWR reserves only contain what amounts to a drop in the bucket compared to our total fossil fuel consumption and it will take many, many years to even access it fully. ANWR vs. nothing = ANWR. ANWR vs. increased CAFE standards and increased funding into research and implementation of alternative fuels = no brainer.

Constantly framing positions into an “Our way or the highway” approach will quickly lead a person into isolation while the highway gets awfully crowded.

When the synopsis is read it becomes even more clear that she is a far left liberal.

And this was what I took exception to in my original post: The “Far Left Liberal” boogeyman. Maybe you don’t realize this, but being pro-choice, pro-environment, pro-stem cell research, anti-victim screwing (tort-reform) and anti-executive power grabs (MCA, PATRIOT Act) are all actually pretty moderate positions in this country, as they are held by large percentages of the population. So are proposals to increase the minimum wage, expand veterans benefits, stop giving our tax dollars to oil companies and do nearly anything besides “Stay the course” in another country’s civil war.

In the end, I don’t really care about Nancy Pelosi and didn’t really want to put myself into a position to defend her. What I did take exception to is when people merely label and dismiss people, simply by virtue of their political associations and what usually amount to complete misrepresentations of their views. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you linked to, there is a graph with her position plotted on it. If you you look closely, she is in the Liberal camp, although only one space away from moderate. Below that, laughably, it says she is a “Hard core Liberal;” I’d hate to see what they called someone who is actually far to the left (or right).

Taking a few steps to the right will generally make everyone else seem quite a bit further left than they really are.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at November 2, 2006 5:19 AM
Comment #192654

Demon,

I will give you that the partial birth abortion bill did not make an exclussion for the “health” of the mother but did for the “life” of the mother. It would be up to the doctors to determine if the woman’s life was at risk.

Personally I find it repugnant that a doctor is allowed to perform a procedure in the birth canal that if the baby was 15-20 inches further would be murder. Guess there is a fine line there.

As for ANWR your argument fails in that CAFE Standards are being addressed and investments into research and development of alternatives are being made.

In addition the drop in the bucket must one huge bucket.

U.S. Geological Survey - 1980. In 1980, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the Coastal Plain could contain up to 17 billion barrels of oil and 34 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

U.S. Department of Interior - 1987. After several years of surface geological investigations, aeromagnetic surveys, and two winter seismic surveys (in 1983-84 and 1984-85), the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), in its April, 1987 report on the oil and gas potential of the Coastal Plain, estimated that there are billions of barrels of oil to be discovered in the area. DOI estimates that “in-place resources” range from 4.8 billion to 29.4 billion barrels of oil.

What I did take exception to is when people merely label and dismiss people, simply by virtue of their political associations and what usually amount to complete misrepresentations of their views.

I am not labeling and dismissing her because of the political association but her voting record. I could care less if there is a D - R - I after her name. In fact there are several Republicans that I would label as Liberals. Maybe not Far Left Liberals, but Liberals none the less.

And this was what I took exception to in my original post: The “Far Left Liberal” boogeyman. Maybe you don’t realize this, but being pro-choice, pro-environment, pro-stem cell research, anti-victim screwing (tort-reform) and anti-executive power grabs (MCA, PATRIOT Act) are all actually pretty moderate positions in this country, as they are held by large percentages of the population. So are proposals to increase the minimum wage, expand veterans benefits, stop giving our tax dollars to oil companies and do nearly anything besides “Stay the course” in another country’s civil war.

Yes and oversimplification of the issues into nice little catagories like pro-choice or pro-environment is a common practice, where specifics are purposefully absent from surveys in an effort to bait the opposition into answering the questions the way the polster wants it answered.

Posted by: Kirk at November 2, 2006 10:39 AM
Comment #192873

Kirk,

I will give you that the partial birth abortion bill did not make an exclussion for the “health” of the mother but did for the “life” of the mother.

And this is why the bill was ruled unconstitutional.

Personally I find it repugnant that a doctor is allowed to perform a procedure in the birth canal that if the baby was 15-20 inches further would be murder.

As I said, most Americans would agree with you. It’s too bad that the Republican leadership is more concerned with winning political points than it is with banning this procedure. This is exemplified by their steadfast refusal to write a bill prohibiting it that will pass Constitutional review.


As to ANWR. I fail to see how you are OK with actions that merely reinforce and extend the status quo. This is not the time to be seeking out new sources of fossil fuels; this is the time to be weaning ourselves off of them.

Increased CAFE standards and moderate conservation efforts are sufficient to eliminate our need for Middle Eastern oil, which is a great (and necessary) first step.

I am not labeling and dismissing her because of the political association but her voting record. I could care less if there is a D - R - I after her name. In fact there are several Republicans that I would label as Liberals. Maybe not Far Left Liberals, but Liberals none the less.

And my confusion here lies in the labeling as “Far Left,” given that there are no members of the “Far Left” in either the House or the Senate. If you wish to label someone what they are (A mostly moderate Liberal, in this case), that’s fine. But to magnify this label into an extreme is simply not accurate.

The problem with labels lies with who is defining the terms. Also, the definitions of both Liberal and Conservative change over time. Barry Goldwater, by the standards of many of today’s Republicans, would today be labeled as a Liberal.

Yes and oversimplification of the issues into nice little catagories like pro-choice or pro-environment is a common practice, where specifics are purposefully absent from surveys in an effort to bait the opposition into answering the questions the way the polster wants it answered.

I would agree with you on inherent unreliability of polls, however, most of the issues we are addressing have been polled numerous times by numerous different organizations, which lessens the chances of manipulation or confusion.

Are you arguing that being pro-choice (and the other more-specific positions I listed, such as increasing the minimum wage) are extreme positions in America today?

Posted by: Liberal Demon at November 2, 2006 6:08 PM
Comment #192995
As to ANWR. I fail to see how you are OK with actions that merely reinforce and extend the status quo. This is not the time to be seeking out new sources of fossil fuels; this is the time to be weaning ourselves off of them.

Increased CAFE standards and moderate conservation efforts are sufficient to eliminate our need for Middle Eastern oil, which is a great (and necessary) first step.

I am not advocating extending the status quo. In fact what I am advocating is tapping the oil/gas reserves in ANWR to greatly reduce or dependence on foreign oil while at the same time continue to work to increase CAFE standards and develop alternatives. No reason that all 3 can’t be pursued at the same time.

The problem with labels lies with who is defining the terms.

You are exactly right. It depends on where you stand on the political spectrum. You tend to agree with the majority of Pelosi’s positions so naturally she will appear to be more moderate to you. To those of us who disagree with the majority of her positions she is far from moderate.

Are you arguing that being pro-choice (and the other more-specific positions I listed, such as increasing the minimum wage) are extreme positions in America today?

The pro-choice is probably one of the easier ones to define here. Take pro-environment for instance. Here just as with the far left or moderate liberal this has a lot to do with perspective. I mean face it, no one wants to harm the environment. However, those labeled as “environmentalists” would rather squash a property owners rights than disturb a bird.

I am pro-stem cell research as are a large percentage of conservatives. In fact this administration has funded the research at a higher level than most. There is adult stem cell research which many scientist feel offer more benefits than embryonic stem cells. There have already been many strides with adult stem cells. What most conservatives do not approve of is using embryos or cloning embryos to conduct research.


Posted by: Kirk at November 3, 2006 1:08 AM
Comment #193005

Kirk,

This thread will disappear soon, so you may not even receive this reply.

I am not advocating extending the status quo. In fact what I am advocating is tapping the oil/gas reserves in ANWR to greatly reduce or dependence on foreign oil while at the same time continue to work to increase CAFE standards and develop alternatives. No reason that all 3 can’t be pursued at the same time.

You may not be, but the current administration surely is. Eliminating the increased CAFE standards that Clinton put in place before leaving was one of Bush’s first actions after he became President. There is no need for us to drill in ANWR, as the necessary reductions in our import and use of foreign oil can be achieved without doing so.

You are exactly right. It depends on where you stand on the political spectrum. You tend to agree with the majority of Pelosi’s positions so naturally she will appear to be more moderate to you. To those of us who disagree with the majority of her positions she is far from moderate.

This is why I simply don’t like the inflammatory rhetoric of labeling your opponent as an extremist. Disagreement should not foster such animosity, as it only serves to divide and stifle debate, which is, in many ways, the cornerstone of many of our founding Democratic principles.

I mean face it, no one wants to harm the environment.

This can be argued against, actually. Perhaps no one wants to harm the environment, but that is arguing motive of people we do not know. The fact is that, malicious or not, many corporations are harming our environment, grievously so; their intent, in many cases, is negligent at best, due to the fact that they will fight to continue their actions long after the harm has been reasonably proven.

However, those labeled as “environmentalists” would rather squash a property owners rights than disturb a bird.

Yes, there are many degrees of environmentalism. It should be our goal to create as much balance here as possible. If one side is allowed to dominate, we end up living in trees eating bark; if the other dominates, we live in toxic sludge. Neither is preferable.

I am pro-stem cell research as are a large percentage of conservatives. In fact this administration has funded the research at a higher level than most. There is adult stem cell research which many scientist feel offer more benefits than embryonic stem cells. There have already been many strides with adult stem cells. What most conservatives do not approve of is using embryos or cloning embryos to conduct research.

This administration was the first to provide direct funding, however this is in part due to the fact that the technology didn’t mature until recently. Somewhat like lambasting FDR for not investing more in the internet.

Adult stem cell research is further along because of the lack of restrictions on it and the availability of the cells (not arguing here, just stating a fact).

Finally, one of the issues with embryonic stem cell research boils down to the fact that most of these embryos are created in fertility clinics and are destined for the trash bin even as I type this. I see no reason to relegate them to garbage-bin status when we could be using them for nobler purposes.

Beyond that, as in the creation of embryos strictly for study, is a much trickier subject, one which this thread doesn’t have time to go into.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at November 3, 2006 4:06 AM
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