Primary

Election Fraud in Pennsylvania?

Election Fraud in Pennsylvania?

(Image Source – Diebold Variations)

They’ve got a Secret

Michael Collins
“Scoop” Independent News
Washington, D.C.

The Pennsylvania primary could lock up the Democratic nomination process once and for all. The campaign that Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean asked to be finished by July 1 could be over this Tuesday. Regardless of your candidate or party, you’re probably like the vast majority of citizens who insist on fair elections that are open to the public for examination.

Citizens want to know that the candidate taking office is the same candidate who won a majority or a plurality of the votes. A 2006 Zogby poll of 1018 registered voters nationwide found that 92% believed that they, as citizens, have the right to witness vote counting for the election of their paid public servants.

That will not be the case in Pennsylvania any more than it was the case in Florida, Ohio, California, South Carolina, and most other primary states. Almost all states bar any real inspection of vote counting, the process that determines the election result. Even if they did allow you to watch the count, all you would see is a whirring third-rate computer system run by a private company that won’t allow anyone to take a comprehensive look inside.

Post election audits are either absent or randomly selected by the people who run the election. Recounts require an exceptionally close election, less than a 1% difference typically. And citizen recounts after the election, where paper records exist, are barred by law in Florida and Virginia and barred almost everywhere else by bureaucratic fiat.

Even if you got to examine each and every ballot, the chain of custody of those paper records will likely be compromised at several key points. Ballots collected by unaccountable individuals, driven around in the trunks of cars, unsupervised, plus other election board customs, mean you can’t track the chain of custody of ballots from collection at precincts to delivery at counting locations. Post-election storage oftentimes reflects little concern for real security. If you can’t track the chain of custody, you can’t know if the ballots recounted or examined are the original voted ballots, if ballots have been replaced, altered, etc.

We elect people who pass laws that are enforced by bureaucrats who then tell us to take a hike when we want to closely examine an election.

“The results are what we say they are,” say the keepers of the vote, our so-called public servants. “Move along, there’s nothing to see here” is the prevailing attitude toward inquiring citizens.

Potential Election Fraud in Pennsylvania

When you build any system that conducts “mission critical business,” like electing a president, you need to create enough safeguards to make sure that the process is secure. How secure is the voting process in Pennsylvania?

Almost 90 percent of Pennsylvanians will vote using touch screen voting machines that have no paper record of votes cast. Once you touch the screen, the machine can count your vote any way it’s programmed. It can even give you a receipt indicating you voted for Smith and count your vote for Jones. These touch screens total their own votes, invisibly and without any outside checks. We can’t watch and even if we could, we wouldn’t know what to look for. Our election boards routinely sign contracts agreeing that the computer programs that count our votes are the trade secrets of the e-voting machine companies, no peeking. The companies even “refuse to promise that their products will work.”

Our election process is not a serious one when you examine it to any degree but it is very popular with the politicians and the election boards that they populate.

Computer scientists at Princeton University and others have been able to hack touch screen voting machines successfully on repeated occasions. A candidate in Florida’s 13th congressional district lost at least 14,000 votes and a seat in Congress in 2006 in a county with touch screens only, while surrounding counties had nothing like these vote losses. Congress promised a vigorous investigation but never delivered.

The situation in Pennsylvania is so bad that Common Cause rated the state at “high” risk for election problems in the 2008 election. In addition, a citizens’ group in Pennsylvania is suing the state to decertify touch screen voting machines because they fail to provide an accurate vote count. The case was allowed by the Pennsylvania courts and is proceeding through the system.

Those citizens prefer optical scanners because optical scan machines count voter marked paper forms. However, unfortunately for those well intended citizens, optical scanners are no solution for these reasons. While the paper forms are marked by voters, they are counted by optical scanners, computers operating with programs that are “trade secrets.” Pennsylvania allows automatic recounts in only races with a 0.5% or less victory margin and lacks a uniform guarantee for citizen examination of any paper trail that may exist. Optical scanners are computers just like touch screens and can be manipulated with detection extremely difficult. Finally, other than the vendors or contractors that sell and maintain the machines, there’s no guaranteed access to the inner workings of these e-voting devices, none at all.

Will there be election fraud in Pennsylvania? We’ll never know for all of the above reasons. It’s all a secret. They have it. We, the citizens, don’t


Bethlehem Steel (above) used to be a world leader as was Pittsburgh’s U.S. Steel. The mills were closed, the companies gone, and the workers callously strewn along the highway of lost dreams. Pittsburgh’s population in 1950 was 700,000.Today it’s 300,000. atomische.com (cc)

Actual Election Fraud in Pennsylvania

Anyone who doubts the existence of massive election fraud needs to look no further than this primary. Failing to address real needs and issues of citizens is the biggest election fraud of all. Just turn on the television or pick up the newspaper.

The state faces real issues and the voters have very real concerns. The industrial base for the state left the country some time ago. Nothing replaced it except all those “new jobs” from NAFTA. As a result, there was major loss of well paying jobs for the working class and all the benefits that go with that, not the least of which is health insurance.

There are over a million uninsured in Pennsylvania. There are many more underinsured. In the rural areas and small towns, unemployment is a major concern. The tax base has taken a major hit. The state needs roads, bridges, and other vital structures and there’s not enough money.

But what are the two hottest topics from this primary election? Obama got slammed for saying small town Pennsylvanians are “bitter” about getting screwed by their “public servants” for the last two or three decades. He was then attacked as an “elitist” and chastised for “talking down” to small town citizens. Instead of pointing out that heroin is more common than hope in too many small towns, Obama backed off and apologized.

The second big item in terms of press coverage is the mockery of a presidential primary debate in Philadelphia. The condescending Charles Gibson of CBS and flighty George Stephanopoulos of ABC spent over an hour talking about totally irrelevant issues. They wasted the time of both Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama by forcing the dialog into the three ringed circus of strange mainstream media preoccupations.

While neither Clinton nor Obama openly objected during the debate, the crowd inside the debate hall did. They booed Charles Gibson which puts him in the company of Sean Hannity of Fox News who was pursued by angry Ron Paul supporters. Who needs Nielson ratings?

No Respect for Citizens

The election system in Pennsylvania is not available for inspection by the public, that 92% who said they’d like the option to observe vote counting. The machines don’t allow that, they’re computers. There’s nothing to watch. The laws prevent that. It’s a secret that only the election boards and the private contractors who count the vote get to see. The security of voting machines is in serious question and election oversight is conducted by the same people who created the system.

It’s all a magic show, a series of illusions that can be manipulated by the entertainers, also known as politicians, or anyone well placed and determined enough to manipulate a system with few if any real safeguards.

The failure to discuss real issues is an insult to all citizens. It might explain why a majority fail to vote in primary elections and why 35% to 40% consistently fail to vote in the general elections for president. A common refrain among those who refuse to participate is “Why bother, they’re all a bunch of crooks.” Among those who do vote, there are huge doubts about the honesty of elections. A 2006 Zogby poll of 707 likely voters in Pennsylvania asked this question: “Do you think the 2004 election was stolen?” Forty percent said yes.

The public officials who control elections behave as though the people are stupid and ignorant of the questionable practices of secret vote counting and outsourced elections. Wrong! The citizens of Pennsylvania know what the story is. Just add the 40% of likely Pennsylvania voters who thought 2004 was stolen with the 35% to 40% who routinely stay home because they doubt the system. That produces a majority of citizens who have serious doubts about a system created to serve the elected and not the electors.

The news media act like the people are a bunch of sheep who buy whatever the media put out because some people actually watch the news. They fail to note that in polls on public respect for various professions, the television news media gets a 16% approval rating. The people who booed debate anchor Gibson are a perfect reflection that attitude.

The politicians showed their respect for citizens after the 2006 election, when the message was clear. Get out of Iraq. They have their excuses. But the reality of the charade was made crystal clear in at the Philadelphia presidential primary debate. While enduring an hour when no real issues were discussed, did you hear either candidate criticize the news people for their inane questions? Not a word.

Wouldn’t it be nice if one or both candidates said something like this?

Charles and George, didn’t your networks ignore all the public evidence that the Iraq war was based on lies, evidence available before the Iraq War Resolution and the invasion? Didn’t your networks give Alan Greenspan a pass in 2004 when he told people to go out and get an adjustable rate mortgage because things were looking so good even though many told Greenspan he was totally off base starting in 2001?

Gentlemen, what good are you if you can’t even spot the obvious scams?

How about some decent questions?

But even if one or both had said something like this and changed the tone of the campaign, it wouldn’t be enough. We would still have to contend with outsourced elections conducted beyond the public view. Our elections are shielded by federal and state law to protect the true elitists; those people who tell us who we elected while they do everything that they can to hide the election process from us.

END

Resources:

“Loser Take All” – Edited by Mark Crispin Miller
Coalition for Voting Integrity (of Bucks Co. Penn.)
The Myth of Verified Voting
Election 2004: The Urban Legend
Notes from the Underground

Special thanks to Jill Hayroot for her contributions

Permission to reprint in part or whole granted with attribution of authorship and a link to this article. See links with images for reproduction rights.

Bush – Clinton 2008

Ambition Gone Wild or the New “New World Order”
Poised in the Wings?

Michael Collins
“Scoop” Independent News
Washington, D.C.

The 2008 presidential primary has been a close race. It should be over by now except for the shouting. There is “virtually no chance” that Hillary Clinton can claim the delegates needed for nomination. We should be witnessing Barack Obama’s triumphal march to the Democratic convention in August.

But much like Michael Myers in Haloween, Hillary Clinton has picked herself up off the canvas every time she seemed down for the count. She lost Iowa, reanimated her campaign by winning New Hampshire, but then failed in 9 of the next 23 official state contests. At the same time, spectacular turnout increases showed that the Obama movement was pulling Democrats to the primaries in record numbers.

Clinton’s Ohio win was negated losing the delegate race in Texas while splitting the popular vote. Before these two contests, Hillary needed to win 60% to 75% of remaining delegates. She failed to meet that goal in both Texas and Ohio. The word went out – there is no way you can win. Only a scorched earth campaign offered any hope for Hillary.

Yet Hillary will not stop despite the virtually insurmountable odds, the recent high profile endorsements for Obama, and her overwhelming rejection by 61% of the voters in both Mississippi and Wyoming just after the Ohio win.

The vulgarity of her campaign created rare agreement by some in the mainstream and alternate media. Clinton’s tactics are particularly vicious and her charges and sound bites appear to be an “intelligent design” for the Committee to Elect John McCain President.

Two Vipers at Obama’s Throat

The nastiness started when the Clinton campaign chair in New Hampshire wondered why the media wasn’t focusing on alleged drug use by Obama in his youth. Clinton was forced to fire the operative and then suffer through the humiliation of a public apology to Obama.

There were other cheap shots by Clinton’s campaign, all of which seemed within the realm of the typical nasty campaign. Then these weapons of mass distraction were launched.

“I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House and Senator Obama has a speech that he gave in 2002.” Sen. Hillary Clinton Mar. 3. Is she endorsing McCain? Better yet, is it possible to interpret this statement as anything other than as a McCain endorsement?

“I think it would be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people who love this country and were devoted to the interest of this country, and people could actually ask themselves, who’s right on these issues, instead of all this other stuff that always seems to intrude itself on our politics.” Bill Clinton, Mar. 21 North Carolina

The former president riffed on the Rev. Wright controversy. What was the former president’s reference for “all this other stuff”? Obama? Clinton’s cheap shot had a clear target; Obama’s patriotism. The reference to “our politics” is interesting. How many fingers would it take to count the members of that club?

At the moment he became a viable contender, Obama had two vipers at his throat. Their message was simple: he’s less qualified to lead than McCain and he doesn’t love his country.

Why is Hillary doing this if she can’t win the nomination? What’s husband Bill up to?

There are two theories that capture the imagination.

Entitlement

The first is a conventional explanation that claims Clinton knows that she’s lost the nomination. By continuing to tear down Obama, Hillary helps assure a McCain victory and all that implies (the “100 years war” policy). She’s then positioned to take the nomination and the White House in 2012.

This casts Hillary as totally indifferent to the struggles and suffering that a McCain presidency would bring to citizens. His sole purpose so far has been to advocate for an imperial United States occupying strategic oil depots in the Middle East in perpetuity.

When asked about the economy, he said, “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should,” That’s hardly the level of skill required if the chief executive is to successfully navigate the economic storms faced by 300,000,000 citizens.

If this theory is correct, Hillary Clinton would have us endure four more years of Bush policies just to serve her ego driven ambition.

Rule by Proxy

The alternate theory is that Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush have formed some sort of political alliance or clan. In this scenario, Hillary is at the service of these two schemers, a critical functionary in their post-presidential quest for power and influence.

Is this possible? How could these two have the unmitigated ambition and skills necessary to pull off a master plan that invokes nearly every conspiracy theory over the past few decades? Where’s the evidence?

There’s no need for a conspiracy theory. In fact, if true, this can’t be the type of shadow conspiracy associated with behind the scenes manipulation because it is all so very public.

Husband Bill was adopted, as it were, by the elder Bush given the status of his two political heirs? This combination would serve the purpose of perpetual power for the backers of both ex presidents. United, the two would be a living symbol of continuity by the “center” and an assurance to the incumbent ruling class that policies in dire need of change will stay the same.

The raw ambition theory is easier to believe. After all the time she’s done, Hillary may have thought, “Screw him! It’s my turn.” It’s the rawest form of entitlement mixed with the unrealistic persistence of an embittered loser.

If the Clinton campaign were a brute force scheme combining the Bush and Clinton political factions to preserve established wealth, why would they be this obvious?

Clinton proposes Greenspan lead foreclosures group

Reuters
Monday, March 24, 2008; 9:30 AM

WHITE PLAINS, New York (Reuters) – Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and other economic experts should determine whether the U.S. government needs to buy up homes to stem the country’s housing crisis, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will propose on Monday.

END

Also see: The Money Party (5): “Us versus Them”

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Collins: “Chain, chain, chain …” The Texas Primary

Forced Loyalty Oath Locks Kucinich out of Texas Primary

Image

“Chain, chain, chain …” The Texas Primary

Michael Collins
“Scoop” Independent News
Washington, D.C.

Dennis Kucinich may not win the Democratic nomination for president, but he’s leaving a pro-democracy legacy across the country. To begin with, this candidate actually discusses critical issues demonstrating his respect for voters. With regard to the voters’ right to know, he just asked for the first recount in memory for a presidential primary simply because it makes perfect sense. The New Hampshire results need a serious second look.

Kucinich struck another blow for democracy by challenging the restrictive loyalty oath required by the Texas Democratic Party to get on the primary ballot. He actually reads the contracts he signs. When presented with the loyalty oath required to run as a Democrat in the Texas primary, Kucinich prudently edited the document to reflect the requirements of free citizens living in a democracy:

“I, ______________ of __________________, __________ County/Parish, _____________, being a candidate for the Office of President of the United States, swear that I will support and defend the constitution and laws of the United States. I further swear that I will fully support the Democratic nominee for President whoever that shall be.”

Rules of the Texas Democratic Party

Kucinich filed the marked up loyalty oath on Dec. 28 but wasn’t informed that it was “defective” until Jan. 2, 2008. His campaign received verbal notice that he wouldn’t be placed on the ballot unless he signed a clean copy of the oath. The new loyalty oath had to be faxed that day or no deal, according to the campaign. Rather than compromise, Kucinich said no. (Video at 3:59)

In his initial Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief, Kucinich was joined by a Texas “qualified elector,” Willie Nelson (Image). The complaint argued that the requirement violates both the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” First Amendment“1. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. (Image)

“5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” Sections 1 & 5 Fourteenth Amendment

The concern expressed by Kucinich was simple. If the eventual Democratic nominee supports the Iraq War, signing this oath would require Kucinich to support that nominee and therefore the war. To make matters worse, supporting the war would negate his duty as a Member of Congress to protect and uphold the Constitution. Like a few others, Kucinich knows that this is an unconstitutional war since it was never declared by Congress (See Article I, Section 8, “To declare war”). What other choice did he have but to reject the loyalty oath? What justification did the other candidates have to accept the oath?

The complaint failed in the lower Federal courts and was immediately appealed to the United States Supreme Court on Jan. 17. A day later, the court refused any intervention leaving Kucinich off of the Texas ballot.

Democracy’s Champion among the Candidates

Dennis Kucinich is the one consistent advocate for expanded democracy and measures to fight election fraud among all of the presidential contenders. Kucinich has a strong record as an advocate for working men and women by promoting civil rights, voting rights, and human rights at home and abroad. He’s never shied away from taking both principled and practical positions on elections. These are, after all, the essential element to achieve his goals.

His call for a recount in New Hampshire was without rancor or negative speculation. He simply recognized the problem, invoked the right to recount, and paid the bill.

In Texas he’s fighting a loyalty oath that would clearly restrict his free speech after the election. While the Texas Democratic Party leaders did their best imitation of apparatchiks, Kucinich answered with the simple truth in essence saying: You will not obligate me to support an illegal war by making me support a pro war candidate.

In the 109th Congress, Kucinich provided a solution to the problems of chaotic and highly questionable elections when he introduced a bill requiring the hand counting of paper ballots for the 2008 presidential election. The Paper Ballot Act of 2006 was elegant in its approach but profound in impact. Had it been adopted, we would not likely have the problems and questions we have right now:.

SPECIAL RULES FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS:

‘(A) The State shall conduct the election using only paper ballots
`(B) The State shall ensure that the number of ballots cast at a precinct or equivalent location which are placed inside a single box or similar container does not exceed 500.
`(C) The ballots cast at a precinct or equivalent location shall be counted by hand by election officials at the precinct, and a representative of each political party with a candidate on the ballot, as well as any interested member of the public, may observe the officials as they count the ballots. The previous sentence shall not apply with respect to provisional ballots cast under section 302(a).’

From his first days on the national stage, Kucinich has stood for the people and against the interests of greed and exploitation. In return for his efforts, he’s been ridiculed and marginalized. Most recently, MSNBC went out of its way to make sure he couldn’t take part in a televised presidential debate.The network simply formalized the increasingly obvious rule of network and other mainstream media outlets: the closer a candidate is to truly progressive positions, the greater the media blackout. The corollary to this rule entails limiting what little national exposure occurs to only those reports that ridicule and demean the candidate.

When an intellectually honest history of the Great Bush Decline is written, the role of the Kucinich platform and campaigns will stand well above the rest as the path of reason that the “leaders” were afraid to walk.

END