Happening Again

So I was freaked out that the voters in San Diego apparently haven’t had enough political corruption.I Voted!

I wrote about it right after the June 6 election in California. It seems that noted Republican bribe-taker Randy “Duke” Cunningham was unable to serve as their congressional representative any longer because he was in prison – hello? – and I was hoping the voters down there would send a message to the Republican Party that the fun was coming to an end. I thought they could send that message by not electing another Republican, but to my surprise, on the morning of June 7, the Republican won it in a close race.

So the guy (Brian Bilbray) is already sworn in, which I’m sure must be some kind of a record for swearing people in – isn’t there supposed to be some waiting period, for certification or something? – but now it turns out that the whole election was a sham! Imagine this: a Republican wins a close race, has a quickie swearing in and marches off to Washington, only now it turns out that the voting machines they used were severely compromised, and no one knows for sure if the vote count was accurate, or even close! Does any of this sound familiar?

According to Brad Friedman (BradBlog):

The election was run on highly hackable Diebold voting machines that were sent home overnight and unsecurely with poll workers for days prior to the election which rendered the machines both illegal and uncertified for use in the election under both federal and state laws, requirements and statutes. The GOP has since rushed to swear-in Bilbray before the votes were counted, or the election even certified by the state of California.

In case you don’t want to track down all of these links, allow me to summarize: The Diebold voting machines have been examined by computer experts, who say they would have no trouble changing the software and the operating system in two minutes without a password. In light of this vulnerability, the State of California has a bunch of rules about securing the “chain of custody” of these machines prior to and following any election. Mainly, the idea is to ensure that the machines are not tampered with. But the San Diego registrar of voters, needing some temporary storage in the week preceding this past election, sent a number of the voting machines home with volunteer poll workers, to be stored in their spare bedrooms, garages, back porches, etc., and completely without official supervision.

This is against state and federal law, and it completely invalidates the results of the election as reported so far. The only way to know who won is to do a hand recount. I don’t know if this is even possible, but a complication might be that the newly “elected” official is already sworn in.

I’m not going to say that the Republicans are pulling a fast one here, but this is symbolically a very important election, and there is considerable evidence that the GOP is willing to do anything to stay in power (see Florida, 2000 and Ohio, 2004). Will Democrats roll over again, not wanting to be perceived as sore losers? At what point will the American voters say “Enough!”?

Personally, I’ve had enough. I think today maybe I will officially join the conspiracy theorists. Just because I have a crazy look in my eyes doesn’t mean I’m wrong about this. Elections have been and are being stolen, people. Get a good laugh at my expense if you like, but if you don’t think the power structure in this or any other country won’t do what it takes to stay in power and keep you out, take a look at some newsreel footage of the 1968 Chicago police attacks on demonstrators at the Democratic National Convention. The radical right wingnuts in this administration have done all they can to subdue the population short of shooting us.

Are we going to wait for that to start again?

If, like me, you are a little concerned about this, here’s something you can do: There is an online petition at Velvet Revolution. The form will be sent to the Busby campaign, the San Diego registrar’s office and California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson’s office. You may also send your personal comments only to your nearest daily local newspaper as well if you select that option. A recount might not change the outcome of this election, but we must defend the integrity of our electoral system. If we lose our faith in it we’re in for a rough ride.

Note: For the time being, the main page of The Brad Blog will be a good place to read about this story. If you happen to be reading this post at some time in the future, after President Jeb Bush has declared blogs illegal, relevant information can probably be found here.

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4 Replies to “Happening Again”

  1. wow! just this morning, over a shot of wheat grass and a cigarette, i was telling my friend about this dream i had where Jeb Bush was president…then the debate about genetic mutation began – are all members of the royal Bush family stupid and alcoholic? the genes are clearly expressed (this, probably caused by inbreeding), but is nature to blame? and what does that make the rest of us, ruled by a mutant.

    oh, but i digress…too much wheat grass.

    i dunno, larry…you sound genuinely shocked by the flaws within our electoral system. we went through this, we lost an election because of this (remember the Florida….the Ohio!) yet, still, we’re dealing with this corruption. by dealing, i mean writing, and calling, and protesting…you now the drill. is electoral reform possible – within reach, without making reforms at all levels of our government?

    as you know, i am out there…constantly, but i wonder how long we can go on unheard – trying to change “middle” and “end” issues, prior to causing changes at “top” and “origin” levels. we have no real leadership (i.e. did you watch Kerry’s recent flop, as he unveiled his ridiculous pull-out strategy?) and even the ones that care, do not know how to penetrate and cause change within their own system.

    we need to spend our energy and resources differently. all the rioting in the world won’t make a difference, if the same leaders that allowed us to get here in the first place, remain in control. we should focus our efforts into seeking new-young leadership. the Democratic party WILL NOT do this or invest efforts in such search, this has been clearly established. why? because the party is corrupted with more inner-political systems than our own government. the Democratic leaders believe they have what it takes – a complete dillusion, which only shows how out-of-touch they truly are with “people issues”. but what do you expect from a party that keeps choosing over-compensated, elite members of society as their candidates. how could we possibly expect for these people to relate to the causes of the common man?

    i’m not a communist (i say that as i click my ruby shoes together)…i would just like to see a real revolution of thought. i would like to meet the next MLK or some lesser, yet promising leader.

    there are people out there that have “it” pumping in their blood. we need to find these grass roots leaders and give them a voice, pour resources behind them, riot around them – create a shift and shake the roots of the nation.

    we need to seek, find and create new leadership. all other efforts are falling in the hands of ill-equipped, corrupted, stale, and disconnected so-called lawmakers.

    now…for a real issue – how DO we stop the Bush gene from spreading?

  2. one – Where to begin? I’m not shocked by the flaws in our electoral system. They’ve been there all along, and over the centuries politicians have used the loopholes to their advantage, at the expense of the very people who elect them. No system can be perfect and certainly this one isn’t, but it does provide a framework for justice and I believe it can work if we all pay attention.

    But lately some very smart operators have found and exploited the weaknesses in ways the Founders could not have imagined. They have fine-tuned the concept of “focus group” and taken polling to new levels of accuracy. They have used our modern omnipresent, always-on media to superb effect. Unfortunately, they do these things without regard for the well-being of the nation and the people. They have fooled us with wedge issues like homosexuality, abortion, creationism, flag-burning and more. Their agenda is, simply, to amass great wealth for themselves by promoting a worldwide state of permanent war.

    But they are winning elections by conning certain small segments of the electorate to get out and vote on specific moral or religious issues, issues which the candidates don’t really care about, but they get these votes in the precincts where they need them, and then they forget about those people – until the next election. How long can this go on? I’m hoping the people are waking up even as I write this.

    They also seem to be stealing elections. To their credit, they are the first ones to use the latest technolgy to do their jobs. Sadly, their “jobs” amount to self-aggrandizement, and their use of the technology amounts to fraud. If we refuse to accept the chicanery, if we guard the integrity of our election system, perhaps we can save it.

    The youth of today will lead us. Somewhere out there is a future President (and I include you in this group), someone with the drive to take the reins, the resources to get them and the vision to bring us together in building a better world. I’d do it myself, but I’ve been really busy at work lately.

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