On swaying the DNC

I have a strategy suggestion in this regard, Mark. The post-Watergate reforms occurred because so many new people, not beholden to the machines running either political party, were swept in. They caused the leadership absolute fits– and produced campaign finance and intelligence reform that endured.

I am only donating to incumbents who supported voting rights in 2000 and/or 2004. Most of my contributions go to challengers where the incumbent is a Republican. When I send in the contribution, I attach a note in Dutch uncle-ese saying that I expect them to support the right to vote.

If we can get a freshman class of 30 genuinely independent people who owe their victory to election reform activists, it could change the tone in Congress.

Regards, Oliver

Diebold flops in Florida

Posted on Thu, Dec. 15, 2005
ELECTIONS
New tests fuel doubts about vote machines

A top election official and computer experts say computer hackers could easily change election results, after they found numerous flaws with a state-approved voting-machine in Tallahassee.

TALLAHASSEE – A political operative with hacking skills could alter the results of any election on Diebold-made voting machines — and possibly other new voting systems in Florida — according to the state capital’s election supervisor, who said Diebold software has failed repeated tests.

Ion Sancho, Leon County’s election chief, said tests by two computer experts, completed this week, showed that an insider could surreptitiously change vote results and the number of ballots cast on Diebold’s optical-scan machines.

After receiving county commission approval Tuesday, Sancho scrapped Diebold’s system for one made by Elections Systems and Software, the same provider used by Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The difference between the systems: Sancho’s machines use a fill-in-the-blank paper ballot that allows for after-the-fact manual recounts, while Broward and Miami-Dade use ATM-like touchscreens that leave no paper trail.

”That’s kind of scary. If there’s no paper trail, you have to rely solely on electronic results. And now we know that they can be manipulated under the right conditions, without a person even leaving a fingerprint,” said Sancho, who once headed the state’s elections supervisors association.

Read more.

Earle subpoenas Wilkes and others (legible)

This could be the start of something big, or fatal.

Prosecutor Issues Subpoenas in DeLay Case
By SUZANNE GAMBOA, Associated Press Writer
Tue Dec 13, 9:36 PM ET

A Texas prosecutor has issued subpoenas for bank records and other information of a defense contractor involved in the bribery case of a California congressman as part of the investigation of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

District Attorney Ronnie Earle issued subpoenas late Monday afternoon for California businessmen Brent Wilkes and Max Gelwix, records of Perfect Wave Technologies LLC, Wilkes Corp. and ADCS Inc. in connection with a contribution to a fundraising committee at the center of the investigation that led to DeLay’s indictment on money laundering charges.

Perfect Wave contributed $15,000 in September 20, 2002 to Texans for a Republican Majority, a fundraising committee founded by DeLay, R-Texas.

Read more.

Is Diebold tanking?

From a reader:

agorafinancial.com has just sent out the following alert. you will not find it on their web site- probably because it was sent out privately to their paid customers. I just received it from a trusted friend.

The Emerging Capital Report
December 14, 2005

**Flash Sell Alert**

Voting Machine Scam Offers Windfall Profit Opportunity

Back in 2000, the presidential election was decided based on interpretation of hadwritten ballots. Pundits decreed that never again should we depend on a system that allowed “hanging chads,” “dimples” and other such flaws.

Instead, we were to use electronic voting machines. The rush was on to adopt these across the country.

It now turns out that America traded the frying pan for the fire.

Diebold Inc. (DBD: NYSE) is ready for sale. We don’t own it, but it’s so vulnerable that a short-sale is warranted.

While I generally don’t recommend short-selling (borrowing shares and then selling them), I can’t resist doing this with Diebold.

IMPORTANT: Read and thoroughly understand the “Action to take” instructions below. Short-selling is not for the uninformed.

This is a Special Situation, to be done only with extra money, not in lieu of a regularly scheduled Transformational Technology Portfolio purchase. (You’ll have to keep money in your account to cover the risk of losses if Diebold should rise. That money could instead be used to buy Transformational Technology stocks.)

Why am I making my first-ever short sale in the history of The Emerging Capital Report?

Diebold is a company that’s benefited from its political connections to become the largest supplier of voting machines in America. It’s got a market capitalization of $2.7 billion. All that could melt away.

The company’s leading voting machines have now been proven glaringly vulnerable to “hacks.” Hacks, as you may know, are deliberate interferences with software by a person (aka a “hacker”). Usually, it’s not malicious. When it is, it can be costly.

How about a hack that steals an election? This horrifying scenario strikes at the heart of the American system, and it’s been proven possible. Election commissioners are starting to recognize this and drop Diebold.

This has all been pretty technical. The explanations of how to hack these machines have been hard for the average person to grasp, even when simple to do. (In one case, a monkey was trained to change election results remotely. Visit www.blackboxvoting.org for details.)

A few counties have dropped Diebold already, but there was no “trigger event” to cause mass defections. Until now.

Anyone will understand that a bombshell that has just been dropped. A security expert has shown that Diebold lied to the State Department when it said that votes could not be changed on its memory card.

This is crucial, because the memory card comes loaded with these machines and is available for simple tampering by any election worker. No password is needed. It’s a one-step process that could easily go undetected.

In a test election in Leon County, Fla., on Dec. 13, eight ballots were actually cast. The correct total would have been two “Yes” and six “No” votes.

However, in the test, a memory card preloaded with plus and minus votes was used. This is supposed to be impossible: Diebold claims that such a card would be rejected by the system. (Indeed, its “zero report” at the start of the election showed that zero votes had been cast, despite votes being already loaded into the tally on the card.)

Sure enough, at the end of the mock election, the vote totals were not those actually cast, but rather the pre-engineered total: seven “Yes” and one “No.”

These numbers may seem trivial. But it’s an enormous percentage difference, one that would ensure the swinging of a landslide from Republicrats to Democans, or vice versa.

It also establishes beyond a doubt that elections in America could already have been engineered to give “pre-loaded” results. There is, quite simply, nothing more dangerous to a democratic system.

Upon completion of the above test, Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho told www.BlackBoxVoting.org that he would never again use Diebold machines. He has asked the county for funds to replace the abandoned machines. You can be sure the county will ask Diebold for a refund and, if necessary, sue to get it. Others will follow suit (literally and figuratively).

He’ll issue a formal announcement soon. That will be picked up in the mainstream media, in all likelihood provoking a firestorm of controversy and a plunging stock price. I learned about it early because of my contacts inside Black Box Voting.

This devastating discovery comes on the heels of research at the universities of Maryland, Johns Hopkins and Rice, which concluded they are “a threat to democracy.” Such research had shown the machines could be hacked and elections rigged, so election supervisors are already nervous.

The new test — right in front of an election supervisor’s eyes under real-
world conditions — provides them with a solid reason to drop Diebold. It is likely to result in the decertification of Diebold machines across America, as well as criminal prosecutions of its management.

Adding fuel to the fire, a class-action stockholder suit was filed by the law offices of Scott & Scott. While such suits are routinely filed when management fails to meet its projections, and in most such cases the damages to shareholders are not huge, in this case, they could well exceed the value of the whole company.

Every investor who bought stock relying on Diebold’s deceitful promises about the reliability of its technology will be able to claim all losses as damages. There is no defense that I can foresee. Rarely is a class action so timely or cut and dry.

It may lead to the bankruptcy of Diebold. (Should that happen, you’ll never have to buy back the stock you sold and you’ll make the maximum 100% return on your investment.)

Action to take: Sell Diebold (DBD: NYSE) at $34 a share or better. Immediately upon confirmation of sale, place an “open” order to buy back your shares at the sale price plus 25%. (Example: You sell a stock at $60 per share. You would place the buyback order at $75 per share. This limits your losses if the stock rises, rather than falls.) Hold this position until I tell you to buy it back, Diebold goes bankrupt or your open buy order is triggered. (Again, if you do not understand everything I have said, do not make this investment. Your broker can explain short-selling to you.)

Short-selling is risky, even with an open stop loss order. Your risk of loss is unlimited if the stop loss order gets canceled and, unlike Transformational Technology investing, this particular trade depends on public realization that a particular technology is really a Trojan horse. Still, be aware that sometimes the Trojans win.

***** Copyright 2005 Agora Financial, LLC

Agora Financial, LLC expressly forbids its writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to its readers. And all Agora employees and agents must wait 24 hours after an Internet publication prior to following an initial recommendation, and 72 hours after publication is mailed.

Call the DNC, and then geCall the DNC, and then get everyone you know to call themt everyone you know to call them

I called Anna Martinez at the DNC (202 863-8000) who is responsible for voting rights issues. Talked with her for about half and hour. She was receptive but very guarded about what Dean and the DNC would be doing about rigged elections. Of course she cited the party line about the investigations conducted by the DNC and that they have lawyers working on a “message”. She also said it hadn’t been proven that the elections had been stolen and that they were working on fixing “irregularities” through legislation. Of course, she had no alternative but to quote the party line.

I told her so long as they work on “message” without talking with you and Fitrakis and Bev Harris, nothing was going to happen and that Dems would lose 2006 and 2008 not only because of stolen elections but because people would refuse to vote for Democrats.

I think part of the strategy must be for people to call the DNC, Kerry’s office, Reid’s, Pelosi’s, etc. The more phone calls they’re flooded with the more responsive they may become. If it’s clear that money and votes are drying up they’ll have to rethink sitting on their hands. What will they fear more: the GOP attack machine and echo chamber or the indignation of core progressives. If the purse strings are pulled their hands may be forced, unless they go the Denny Hoyer way and start a feeding frenzy again at the corporate trough.

What do you think about putting out the word on your site to encourage people to call the DNC and leading Democrats. The more calls and emails the better. This is only one part of the strategy, but it can be an important part of it.

Robert C.
Richmond CA

He sees clips

President Bush Clarifies His Newspaper Reading Habits, Sort Of
By E&P Staff
Published: December 13, 2005 2:05 PM ET

NEW YORK Reports on President Bush’s reading habits in regard to newspapers have ranged from “almost never” to “six or seven a day.” Some have said he does read the paper every day–but only the sports pages. In one of his several chats with the president on Monday, NBC anchor Brian Williams asked him directly about it.

From the transcript:

WILLIAMS: “Once and for all — and I know you’ve had some fun with members of the press on this subject — how much television news do you watch? How much do you read the morning papers, news magazines? How much do you see in an average week?”

BUSH: “I don’t see a lot of the news. Every morning I look at the newspaper. I can’t say I’ve read every single article in the newspaper. But I definitely know what’s in the news. Occasionally, I watch television. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but it’s occasionally. I’m working at that point, as are you.

Read more.

So much for that great plague of "voter fraud"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 14, 2005
10:46 AM

CONTACT: Project Vote
Kathleen Barr, Project Vote, 202-546-4317
Michael Slater, Project Vote, 503-375-9377

One Year Later: Results of 2004 Voter Fraud Investigations Give Vote Groups a Clean Slate
Community Group ACORN Vindicated as Baseless Lawsuits, Investigations Collapse

WASHINGTON – December 14 – Today, Project Vote congratulated the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) on the dismissal of the third and final voter registration fraud lawsuit brought against the group in 2004. ACORN, in partnership with Project Vote, ran the largest non-partisan voter outreach program in the 2004 election cycle, registering 1.15 million low-income and minority citizens in 26 states and contacting 2.3 million through Get-Out-the-Vote efforts. In 2004, several politically motivated law firms brought baseless charges of voter registration fraud against ACORN in an effort to inhibit its work to register low-income and minority voters.

“For twenty years, we have worked with ACORN to ensure the voices of low-income and minority Americans are heard at the ballot box,” said Holli Holliday, National Director of Project Vote. “We have complete confidence in ACORN’s quality control process and are not at all surprised these lawsuits and investigations have collapsed. Today, we celebrate this as a victory for voters.”

Read more.

Bob Barr hears the duck quacking

Remember when, ten years ago, Clinton et al. were “jack-booted thugs,” according to the NRA?

My, how times change! Check out the pentultimate paragraph below:

Republican Congressman Says Totalitarian Regime a Danger
Bob Barr says military dictatorship close
By Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
Tue, 2005-12-13

Former Republican Congressman and CIA official Bob Barr says that there is a danger recent developments describe a trend of America slipping into a totalitarian society and that the Bush administration are doing everything in their power to see that this happens.

During a radio interview with host Alex Jones, Barr outlined where the country is heading.

“Basically, as long as you smile when you demand to see somebody’s ID at gunpoint sitting on a bus I guess it’s OK for the government, that’s sort of the way they operate. It can be a totalitarian type regime.”

Read more.

TALON

Pentagon May Be Tracking Activists
From Reuters
December 14, 2005

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has a secret database that indicates the U.S. military may be collecting information on Americans who oppose the Iraq war and may be monitoring peace demonstrations, NBC reported Tuesday.

The database, obtained by the network, lists 1,500 “suspicious incidents” across the United States over a 10-month period and includes four dozen antiwar meetings or protests, some aimed at military recruiting, “NBC’s Nightly News” said.

The network said the document was the first look at how the Pentagon had stepped up intelligence collection in the U.S. since the Sept. 11 attacks.

The report quoted what it said was a secret d! ocument as concluding: “We have noted increased communication between protest groups using the Internet” but not a “significant connection” between incidents.

Read more.