Diebold/Bush Junta to Rig Elections in California
Posted by Peace Patriot on Sat Feb-18-06 10:19 AM
Below is an assortment of articles regarding Diebold shill Bruce McPherson's sudden re-certification of Diebold election systems in California yesterday. McPherson is a Republican Schwarzenegger APPOINTEE to the Secretary of State's office, after our Democratic, ELECTED Secretary of State Kevin Shelly was forced to resign on bogus corruption charges last year. (Shelley had sued Diebold and decertified the worst of their election theft machines prior to the 2004 election--and got whacked for it.)
Diebold--and its brother (literally) electronic voting corporation, ES&S--are highly political rightwing Bushite corporations, who are seizing control of our nation's election system, using "TRADE SECRET," PROPRIETARY programming code, with virtually no audit/recount controls.
Until last month, Diebold was run by Wally O'Dell, a Bush/Cheney campaign chair and major fundraiser (who promised in writing to "deliver" Ohio to Bush/Cheney in 2004). ES&S is a spinoff of Diebold, initially funded by billionaire rightwing nut Howard Ahmanson, who also gave a million dollars to the Chalcedon Foundation (which, among other things, advocates the death penalty for homosexuals). Diebold and ES&S are managed by two brothers, Bob and Todd Urosevich.
These are the people who are tabulating our votes with SECRET, PROPRIETARY programming code. (Diebold and ES&S tabulated 80% of the vote in 2004). (You wonder why we have 60% to 70% of Americans opposing the war, and all Bush policy, yet we still have war and one dreadful Bush junta policy after another. This is why.)
This takeover of our elections by private, partisan corporations was arranged by the highly corrupt Republicans in Congress, Tom Delay and Bob Ney, with a $4 billion electronic voting boondoggle (the so-called "Help America Vote Act"-HAVA), a supposed "election reform" bill that promoted electronic voting and pushed it on the states, and that contained no ban on secret vote tabulation programming, no requirement of a paper trail (making recounts/audits impossible), secret, industry-controlled "testing" of the machines, inadequate funding of federal oversight, no controls over partisan activity by election vendors, no controls on lavish lobbying, and no ban on "revolving door" employment (for instance, our previous Republican SoS in Calif, Bill Jones, after bringing these election theft machines to Calif, immediately went to work for one of the major firms--Sequoia--after leaving office).
In addition to all this, these new electronic voting systems are extremely hackable, insecure and unreliable--with Diebold among the worst for hackability, and ES&S with similar computer architecture to Diebold. In short, they are highly expensive "lemons," which leave our elections wide open to fraud.
Kevin Shelley was ousted, and Bruce McPherson was brought in, by the powers of darkness, in order to do just what Bruce McPherson did yesterday, Friday, Feb. 17, 2006: to re-certify Diebold by fiat.
The California Democratic Party sat back and let the bad guys oust Shelley without a fight. In fact, I heard stories of the new Dem leadership in the Calif legislature strong-arming other Dems, to force them to shut up about it. I think the reasons for this are corruption and fear--with some Democrats in the pocket of electronic vendors to government, and/or beholden to war profiteers, and others afraid of the Bush junta and its power to destroy people, or afraid of corrupt county election officials, who now have too much secretive power over elections (like Connie McCormack in Los Angeles--also a Diebold shill).
Recently, however, a new star has risen in Calif--State Senator Debra Bowen (a Democrat)--who is running for Secretary of State, and is saying all the right things about our corrupt, non-transparent election system, is very knowledgeable on this issue, and is challenging McPherson and the powerful, devious, Bushite electronic voting firms. The Schwarzenegger-appointed McPherson has to get voter approval this fall.
If we lose this fight in California, our democracy is over.
(Note: Almost simultaneous with McPherson's sudden re-certification of Diebold in Calif this Friday, was the governor Maryland's blast at electronic voting and Diebold in particular, mid-week. In Maryland, we find DEMOCRATS defending Diebold and electronic voting (with NO paper trail at all), and a Republican opposing them--a very interesting situation. Google groups these articles as "related." I have included some of the articles on the Maryland controversy.)
Reuters: short article on McPherson's sudden re-certification of Diebold, ending with this, "It (Diebold Election systems) had been under fire in California after the state's March 2004 primary election for glitches at polling places attributed to its voting systems and some activists had questioned their security." (2/17/06)
San Jose Mercury News (AP): Somewhat informative report on McPherson's sudden re-certification of Diebold, but leaves out virtually all recent controversy (for instance, hundreds of people at hearings and thousands of letters opposing Diebold, the Diebold de-certification in Florida, and the Maryland governor's recent blast at Diebold/electronic voting) and contains no opposing or skeptical comment at all (from election integrity groups or anyone else) (2/17/06):
CBS-Sacramento TV: short but at least it was covered (2/17/06)
Mind-bogglingly corrupt reporting on Calif/Diebold in the Houston Chronicle--could have been written by Diebold (2/17/06):
Calif Chronicle: Bowen's comments on McPherson's sudden re-certification of Diebold, good quotes, including, “How the Secretary can re-certify the Diebold machines when they don’t comply with California law, they violate the standards set by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) that the Secretary said he intended to follow, and he still doesn’t have the report back from the ITAs that he said he was waiting for, is beyond me.” (2/17/06)
Report on Bowen's recent hearing on electronic voting security ("Hearing on 'scary' voting machines") (2/17/06):
Numerous reports on Maryland governor's blast at electronic voting (and Diebold), which is listed by Google as "related" (to Calif) but is not mentioned in the news articles on McPherson's re-certification of Diebold in Calif. (2/15/06-2/17/06)
On the Google list (re: Maryland):
Baltimore Sun: Lead - "Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. said yesterday that he has lost confidence in the state's ability to hold fair and secure elections this fall, and he called for paper receipts for Maryland's electronic voting machines and the delay of early-voting procedures approved by the Democratic-controlled legislature. // In a sharply worded letter to the chairman of the State Board of Elections, Ehrlich said he is concerned about the dispute over Diebold Elections Systems' electronic voting machines in other states, which use technology similar to that of Maryland's touch-screen voting equipment." (2/16/06)
L.A. Times, re Maryland, an AP article that has been picked up by other major news outlets (2/16/06):
ABC News (AP) re Maryland: "Gov. Robert Ehrlich, citing concerns over electronic voting machines and a new early voting law passed by Democrats over his veto, said Wednesday that he no longer has confidence in the state's ability to conduct fair and accurate elections this year." (2/16/06)
Article on open source voting technology, and Bowen hearings. Although the article is soft on McPherson--says he is "in favor of more transparency," which is patently not the case--it does contain important information and links (2/16/06):
Horrifying report (read between the lines) on computerized voter databases, with link to new computer experts' report, ZDNet (2/17/06):
www.votersunite.org (MythBreakers - easy primer on electronic voting--one of the myths is that HAVA requires electronic voting; it does not.)
www.verfiedvoting.org (great activist site)
www.UScountvotes.org (monitoring of '06 and '08 elections)
www.solarbus.org/election/index.shtml (fab compendium of all election info)
www.freepress.org (devoted to election reform)
www.TruthIsAll.net (analysis of the 2004 election)
Sign the petition (Russ Holt, HR 550, great bill-has 169 sponsors): http://www.rushholt.com/petition.html
www.debrabowen.com (Calif Senator running for Sec of State to reform election system)
Also of interest: (Bob Koehler--very bad machines in Ohio, recent)
Amaryllis (Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia lavish lobbying of election officials - Beverly Hilton, Aug. '05)
Am I in despair? No. McPherson's move simply tells us HOW IMPORTANT Diebold is to the Bush junta. I did not expect this fight to be easy. It is the fight if our lives, friends. It is the whole ballgame.
Non-transparent elections are NOT elections. They are tyranny.
We MUST restore our right to vote. Our vote is how we exercise our sovereignty as a people. No vote, no sovereignty. No vote, and the great dream of Jefferson and Madison and the other American revolutionaries--the dream that overturned thousands of years of rule by kings and popes--will be over.
There is a REASON that this junta is taking away our right to vote--and the reason is those very statistics I cited above, which show an overwhelming progressive, anti-Bush majority in this country. The fascists cannot win transparent elections. And that is another reason that I am not in despair. The Bush junta and its war profiteering corporate news monopolies have not convinced the American people of ANYTHING. (Read the issue and approval polls over the last several years--you will be amazed.)
This great progressive majority has been demoralized, disempowered, and, above all, DISENFRANCHISED. They KNOW they are being lied to. They KNOW they are being robbed. They oppose war and torture and everything else the junta is doing. They are aware of many things--far more than they are given credit for. But they DON'T know WHY their will is not being enforced. The members of this great progressive majority feel isolated and alone--unaware of how the corporate news monopolies create the illusion of a rightwing majority out of a 30% to 40% MINORITY.
The truth about our election system is the biggest black hole in the "news." And what these news monopolies did on election night 2004 (FALSIFIYING their exit polls to hide the Kerry win) is among the biggest of those big, dark, empty holes--because what they are hiding is their own complicity in the stolen election.
It is the great progressive majority--that persists in its progressive views, and holds onto its sense of America, despite the relentless propaganda--that gives me hope, and keeps me in the fight to restore our sovereignty and its mechanism, our right to vote.
We get a lot of negative remarks here at DU about the "sheeple"--about the ignorance and lack of care of our fellow Americans. In my opinion, this is a complete misreading of the situation. Americans are not stupid, and are not uninformed, for the most part. What they are is DISENFRANCHISED. And they are having a hard time coming to grips with this--because it means that there is nobody and nothing that they can trust: not the news media, not the election system, not the Democratic Party, not the courts and judges, not any level of government (the thievery and murder of the federal government are matched, to some degree, by the corruption and lying at the state/local level on the election system and other matters). This failure of ALL of our institutions is difficult to understand--it takes a lot of time and study, and word-of-mouth/internet communication--and it is even more difficult to accept.
The American people are like a kid who finds out that his parents intend to murder him, and he runs to the police in desperation, and the police don't believe him, and turn him back over to his parents. And then he runs to his school, and the school authorities don't believe him, and turn him back over to his parents. And he runs to his neighbors, and his neighbors call the police.
Wouldn't you want to help that kid?
And one of things you'd need to do for that kid is to help him become an adult real fast.
Americans are on to the junta, but they don't know where to turn to, for help--everyone they turn to betrays them--and they don't know what to do to protect themselves. They don't know WHY the roof is crashing in.
The answer is very simple: non-transparent elections. There are other huge problems, of course. But this is the key problem--the one that MUST be turned around, for any other problem to be solved. And it is the hardest one to see--or to acknowledge--because when you do see it, the other institutions start falling like the house of cards they are.
There is NO ONE we can trust but ourselves--we, the people, the theoretical sovereigns of this great country, who MUST now finally grow up, and become the citizens we were meant to be, and take back our country from those who are destroying it. And there is only one way to do that, peacefully--by taking back our right to vote.