Let's get subpoenas out in California!

Please take action and forward to your contacts.

This has national implications. For the first time ever, we have the opportunity to subpoena key voting industry witnesses to get them under oath in front of a senate hearing to investigate what the Sam Hill they were doing when they created and recommended tamper-friendly voting systems.

We’re sure by now you’re aware that Calif. did an about face and certified Diebold’s entire line of products — hackable touch screens, hackable optical scanners, and extremely hackable GEMS tabulators — despite 100% public opposition and numerous attacks proving the sytems’ fatal flaws and insecurities.

But this isn’t just California. Get these people under oath in California, and you get them questioned for the whole nation.

Everything is at stake.

We are putting some very important phone numbers and emails here along with simple instructions for what we all need to do.

We have everything to lose if we don’t all take a few simple steps immediately. EVERY STATE is experiencing issues with secret, privatized voting equipment examined by mysterious private contractors who won’t answer any questions at all about what they do.

Here is the most efficient, easiest strategy to counteract shoving illegal and insecure systems that we never asked for down our throats. This action is the culmination of years of hard-core work by Black Box Voting and others. JUST DO IT.

Here are the simple, painless suggestions. See below for why they are so important.

This comes down to only FIVE emails, FIVE faxes, FIVE calls.

Do you have one good excuse for not being able to make five contacts?

On second thought– don’t think one up. Just do it, please.

Remember; your tax dollars are paying not only for this equipment, but for the voting machine examiners who refused to answer any questions in last week’s Calif. Senate Elections Committee hearing.

WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT THIS CALL TO ACTION:

1) All we need is three out of five senators.
2) All five are interested and willing to listen
3) This is the FIRST time Black Box Voting has issued a call to action.

We believe grass roots calls to action lose their punch when overused.
We have waited until now because, like the Black Box Voting Hursti project, we know THIS effort is highly strategic and can create real change, quickly.

WHO TO CONTACT:

California Senate Rules Committee. Only they have the power to authorize subpoenas.

WHY DO WE NEED SUBPOENAS?

Key voting industry witnesses, including all federal testing lab personnel, chickened out of Calif. Senate Election Committee’s Feb. 16 hearing on how this stuff got certified in the first place. They don’t want to answer questions.

Subpoenas will legally compel them to show up so they can be questioned under oath. Black Box Voting believes that perjury will follow. A plan is in the wings for what to do if/when key witnesses perjure themselves.

By the way, documents can also be subpoenad – like the NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS signed by voting system examiners, which reportedly have prevented them from telling what they know. And like the documents requested under Calif. public record law by the Senate Elections Committee which the current secretary of state — in violation of the law — has failed to answer or provide.

HERE IS THE CONTACT LIST FOR THE FIVE RULES COMMITTEE MEMBERS:

Urge support for subpoenas of election industry and certification insiders. (Among those who chickened out of testimony on Feb. 16: Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Hart Intercivic; Ciber labs, Wyle labs, and voting system examiners).

IT’S ONLY 5 EMAILS/FAXES/CALLS. MAKE THEM ALL.

Senator Don Perata (Chair) D
(916) 651-4009
District office (510) 286-1333
Senator.Perata[at]sen.ca.gov
Fax (510) 286-3885 Perata

Senator Jim Battin (Vice-Chair) R
(916) 651-4037
Jim.Battin[at]sen.ca.gov
Fax: (951) 653-9524 Battin

Senator Roy Ashburn R
(916) 651-4018
senator.ashburn[at]sen.ca.gov
Fax: (661) 323-0446 Ashburn

Senator Debra Bowen D – She is on the rules committee and is also the chairperson of the Senate Elections Committee.

EMAIL ONLY
Debra
[at]debrabowen.com – (Ms. Bowen is mounting this case and will be busy preparing,
emails are welcomed– See below*)
Fax (310) 318-6733 Bowen

Senator Gilbert Cedillo D
(916) 651-4022
Fax (916) 327-8817 Cedillo

This is about volume of calls logged, emails sent. Make the contacts and make sure this goes out to your list.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WHAT TO SAY:

Be concise, be polite, be professional. Here’s your message:

You want Rules Committee support for subpoenas of election industry and certification insiders to answer the Elections Committee’s questions about voting machine programming, examination and certification.

A sample letter is provided below in this email.

That’s it. Short and simple. Polite, professional, firm. Short clear message.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WHO ARE THE KEY WITNESSES?

Diebold head programmers, federal testing labs (Ciber, Wyle) that repeatedly certified flawed systems, voting system examiners who took taxpayer money, spent hours on so-called “security exams” on systems a 12-year old can hack, repeatedly recommending for certification.

BACKGROUND

The Calif. Secretary of State’s office decided to certify Diebold — again — despite the new UC Berkeley report.

QUOTES FROM THE LATEST REPORT, COMMISSIONED BY THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA:

“Harri Hursti’s attack does work: Mr. Hursti’s attack on the AV-OS (Optical scanner)is definitely real. He was indeed able to change the election results by doing nothing more than modifying the contents of a memory card. He needed no passwords, no cryptographic keys, and no access to any other part of the voting system, including the GEMS election management server.”

— (Comment from Black Box Voting: Note that Diebold has lied repeatedly to election officials and secretaries of state about this. We have videotape and documents from Diebold documenting this posted at our Web site) —

…and:

“Interpreted code is contrary to standards: Interpreted code in general is prohibited by the 2002 FEC Voluntary Voting System Standards, and also by the successor standard, the EAC’s Voluntary Voting System Guidelines due to take effect in two years. In order for the Diebold software architecture to be in compliance, it would appear that either the AccuBasic language and
interpreter have to be removed, or the standard will have to be changed.”

— (Comment from Black Box Voting: Note that California can only run software certified by the Federal ITA process, by state law. The “Berkeley team” is saying flat-out that such certification was not done correctly. It follows that the entire Diebold product line should be illegal under state law.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WHAT’S ALL THIS ABOUT KEY WITNESSES CHICKENING OUT?

The Feb. 16 California Senate Elections Committee hearing on certification was hit with no-shows by ALL FOUR major vendors (Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Hart Intercivic). Representatives from Wyle and Ciber t

esting labs also declined to appear. The Secretary of State’s office is now “legally late” on a series of public records requests made by California Elections Committee Chairperson Debra Bowen.

Sen. Bowen has to get permission from the California Senate Rules Committee to have subpoenas issued.

Only three of the Rules Committee Senators are needed to invoke port subpoenas.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SAMPLE LETTER

Senator ____,
California Senate Election Committee

Dear Senator ____,

I urge you to take a courageous stand to issue port subpeonas to key representatives and officials from Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Hart Intercivic, as well as Wyle and Ciber Testing Labs and state voting system examiners who fail to appear for your hearings on this matter.

I also urge you to subpoena documents as needed, including the non- disclosure agreements signed between examiners and vendors, and all other documents needed to assess the integrity of the certification process.

Voters must be able to ensure that voting systems are secure from tampering, either by outsiders or by insiders. If the citizenry cannot see for itself that elections are secure, that our votes are being counted as we cast them, it is only a matter of time before the very fabric of our nation is torn to pieces.


Flawed, hackable systems have been approved that violate FEC guidelines. Some of these systems are so deeply flawed that they defy common sense. It is imperative that the elections industry insiders who were party to the design, examination and recommendation of these systems appear before California’s Senate Election Committee in open hearings under oath to answer questions and address these serious concerns.

Sincerely,

[name]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FROM CALIF. SENATE ELECTIONS COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON BOWEN:

“We are going to need an enormous amount of people power in the next couple of weeks. Together we can change this whole pathetic mess. Let’s stand up for our democracy RIGHT NOW.”

“Email is great because it is easy for us to log and report — and we can actually prove how many emails we’ve received!”

“Please email me in support of issuing subpoenas rather than calling you will save my staff a great deal of time logging calls, and you know what kind work we have to do right now. You can always call and fax later!”

Debra Bowen

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THANKS EVERYONE, IN ADVANCE, FOR MAKING FIVE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT CONTACTS FOR DEMOCRACY.

Thanks to M.S. English for collaborating with Black Box Voting to craft this message quickly and effectively. Her Web site is recommended for those who want to get up to speed on the history of the voting machine issue:

http://www.whoscounting.net

Recommend the Chapters on “Technology” and “The Companies” as a Primer.

For more information, see the free online chapters of Black Box Voting:
Available in .pdf format on the home page at http://www.blackboxvoting.org
(scroll down, look in right hand column)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HERE ARE MORE LINKS YOU MAY FIND OF INTEREST:

Here is a copy of the Diebold GEMS program. Thirty million votes will be counted on GEMS in the brutal battle for control of congress in 2006. Be your own “federal testing lab” — see for yourself:

http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages

(Is this not ridiculous? You could teach a pigeon to hack the audit log. Your 12-year-old sister and all her giggly friends can change administrative passwords and election results.)

Details: The true scariness of the Herbert Thompson GEMS hack: With Visual Basic script, a one-minute access by anyone — even years ahead of time — can implant a trojan horse. Thompson’s script demonstrated May 2 in Leon County, Florida was able to make “intelligent guesses” to find names and ballot questions and then manipulate them.

http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages

Article: Key Witnesses chickening out on hearing:
http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages

More extensive article on Calif. certification issues:
http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages

Voting system examiners blocked from telling what they know:
http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages

Electronic voting machines: Who cooked this turkey?
http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

IF YOU WANT TO DO MORE:

Now comes gathering evidence in the form of public records.

Black Box Voting will work with any who volunteer to send customized public records request letters. We will help you learn the ropes, will suggest strategic records to start collecting NOW to protect Election 2006.

This year, it is all about mentoring individuals to regain their power as citizens. It takes no more effort to write a public records letter than to write your congressman — but when you write for public records, you end up with something tangible: Evidence.

To participate in the 2006 Election Cleanup Crew, email crew[at]blackboxvoting.org. Please allow a few days to respond, due to our heavy schedules — this is a one-on-one, personalized project, and we are so very proud of the many citizens who are stepping up to the plate.

We are quietly developing leaders in “cells” throughout the country, helping citizens learn the skills to oversee their own government.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

blackboxvoting.org

Marcy Winograd in California!

PDA’s Own Marcy Winograd Launches Campaign against Rep. Harman in CA

Over a hundred progressives turned out in Venice, California, Saturday night to launch Marcy Winograd’s campaign challenge to pro-war Congresswoman Jane Harman, who represents California’s 36th Congressional District. Marcy is the President of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles (PDLA). Marcy’s supporters pledged to claim the Democratic Party as the party of the grassroots peace and social justice movement. Amid resounding applause and calls of “Dump Harman!” Marcy told her supporters that the campaign will be about mobilizing the progressive movement throughout Southern California. “Either way, whether I win now or in 2008,” said Winograd, “progressives will come out ahead because Harman will know that elected Democrats must listen to the people, lest the people rise up. Challenging pro-war Democrats are the true Party patriots, demanding the Party adopt a winning platform that will represent the overwhelming majority of Democrats who favor an end to the US occupation of Iraq.”

Rep. Harman has been a supporter of the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, new nuclear weapons development, and illegal government wiretapping of private American citizens. As a Congresswoman, Marcy would immediately join the “Out of Iraq” caucus in Congress, vote to de-fund the war, and lobby to spend the war billions on social programs for education, health care, housing and the environment. This is an exciting time for Progressive Democrats in Southern California to have a real progressive candidate to support. To contact Marcy, please email her. Winogradcoach[at]aol.com

Yo, Democrats! It's Berlin calling!

February 13, 2006
Use Your Imagination
by Patricia Goldsmith

I’m tired of playing the self-defeating electoral game. We have no reason to expect that in 2006, after six years of rigged elections, everything is suddenly going to work. In 2006, HAVA will really kick in; our situation could well be worse.

I know in my own state of New York, lobbyists are busily flogging voting machines. Now and then I get a notice from a committed activist, and I write e-mails requesting optical scanners with paper ballots, but it’s a pretty secret process. Responsibility for purchase decisions passed from the state level, where legislators could be attacked en masse, down to the county level, and I just have this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that the people in charge of choosing our new black box voting systems can be bought for a not-too-fancy lunch.

There’s a lot of money sloshing around out there, and there’s a lot of takers. Even Democrats are lobbying for Diebold et al. now, after years of being frozen out. Happy days!
Read more.

UPDATE: MCM on Barry Gordon's show tonight!

That was one of the best interviews ever. Everyone needs to hear it, forward it, and make sure you send it to ALL of your elected reps., candidates, and local election officials.

Here is the podcast site.
http://www.podcastdirectory.com/podcasts/index.php?iid=7888

I hope it will be posted there soon. Thanks for the heads up. Now I am pretty curious about the MSM news event coming up. Whatever it is, we all need to be completely ready to raise hell as soon as possible — as soon as we can get a toe in the door. There might not be other opportunities! Certainly not at the ballot box. And I’m not an anarchist, so let’s be smart and take advantage of every opportunity with everything we’ve got.
Ginny

Hi Mark,

People can hear your interview today with Barry Gordon through the radio’s website:

http://www.kcaaradio.com
(Click on “Listen Live”)

The show airs from 5 to 8 p.m. Eastern Time; you’ll be on in the second hour, from 6 to 7 p.m. (By the way, Sen. Barbara Boxer will be on right at the start of the show today!).

The info about the show and a blurb about your book is posted on Barry’s new website:

http://www.BarryGordonFromLeftField.com

Barry’s a great guy, and I’m sure you’ll both get a lot of important information out to the listeners.

Have a great show!

Doug

Urgent New York action!

Revised Voting Machine Standards Introduced
On Tuesday, 2/14/06 the State Board of Elections met in public and executive session. At the meeting, the Second Draft of the Voting Machine Regulations was formally introduced. This revision is the State Board’s response to the public commentary on the Draft Voting System Standards.

The proposed final standards are now available for public comment. The final 10 day public comment period will end on Friday, 2/24/06. Details about how the public can submit comments on the proposed final standards can be found below, as well as a link to the document.

NYVV Comments on the Revised Regulations
Unfortunately, the proposed final standards do little to improve the many weaknesses present in the original version of the Draft Standards. It is disappointing, and a cause for concern, to see how much of the detailed technical commentary the State Board received was simply ignored in the latest revision.

One welcome addition is a lengthy section describing requirements for voter verified paper ballots (VVPAT), which was notably absent from the Draft Standards. But overall, nothing substantive has changed. Among many crucial issues not addressed in the Final Standards are:

* The certification and testing process is vendor driven and managed. Far too much discretion is given vendors to define and influence the certification process.
* Allows the State Board to waive any requirements without cause.
* Does not require vendors to submit both DRE and scanner systems.
* Does not require that all written procedures used to conduct testing, the tests themselves, and the results of such testing be fully and readily available and open to the public.
* Poor acceptance test requirements.
* No requirement for comprehensive security testing of voting systems such as “Red Team” tests.
* No requirement for the usability and accuracy of the system to be demonstrated to the public. Each system must be required to pass a multi-machine Public Mock Election Test.
* No requirement for a challenge system under which independent experts can petition the Board to perform a test in order to prove system shortcomings.

NYVV and several noted security experts will be submitting detailed commentary on the Second Draft of the Regulations. As currently written, the revised regulations do little to protect our right to vote. The State Board of Elections must recognize that the voters are the primary stakeholders in elections, and we require adequate security safeguards, comprehensive and extensive testing of voting systems, and a fully visible and transparent process.

Submitting Comment on the Final Standards
The public can submit comments on the proposed final standards by Friday, 2/24/06 by sending them to:

NYS Board of Elections
40 Steuben Street
Albany, NY 12207-2108

Or via email:

info[at]elections.state.ny.us

Download the Second Draft of the Voting Machine Regulations: http://www.elections.state.ny.us/hava/2ndDraftVotingMachineRegs.pdf

II.

Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 12:19:32 -0500
Subject: More on NY voting change. Short, urgent action tomorrow.

PBOS EXPLAINED, AGAIN.

Simply said, if we lose control of our vote, we lose everything we value about our Democracy.

We want Paper Ballots and Optical Scanners as our new voting technology, and not electronic voting. A short action, requiring just a return reply, will be asked of you tomorrow.

New York must replace our mechanical lever voting machines by 9/1/07 with only these two options, but decisions as early as next month. (1) PBOS, Paper Ballots with precinct-based Optical Scanners, with accessibility to voters with disabilities and language minorities, or (2) DREs, “Direct Recording Electronic” voting machines with a touch screen or pushbuttons.

Paper Ballots, with precinct-based Optical Scanners, has the advantages of electronic voting, increased accessibility and quick election-day results, with LESS COST and LESS RISK.

PBOS is a good transition from lever machines to counting electronically, but with safeguards and voter verifiability.

PBOS also costs less than half and lasts twice as long as DRE.

While we enjoy our computers, and all the bells and whistles, the direct electronic voting systems are error prone and easy to hack. They lose votes, create votes, shift votes, freeze and count backwards, in great numbers. Quickly, and without detection.

Since the law says only 3% of the vote would be spot-checked, 97% of the vote is unobservable, hiding a multitude of problems and the wrongly elected.

Some of the current decision-makers are operating with the devil they know. Many would like to scuttle the poll worker system, or remember the ballot stuffing stories, but without considering the computer devil they donít know. Nothing can compare with the stealth and magnitude possible with electronic voting fraud.

There is a heavy lobbying and public relations effort to bring the DREs to New York State. Contrary to the sales pitch, these machines are not audited or built like ATMs, where business practices require an updating, 100% cross-audit.

Already compromised by voter disenfranchisement, new ID requirements, low registration and turnout, elections are now threatened by vendor owned technology with bogus results.

Electronic voting has become another voting rights struggle.

Key Differences.

Following are important comparisons and misconceptions: (1) The PBOS voter-verified paper ballot is the legal ballot, whereas the DRE electronic “paper trail” is not the legal ballot. That vote is recorded directly, and known only to the vendor. (2) Therefore, we have the potential for the privatization of our elections:

The paper ballot for the Paper Ballot, precinct based Optical Scanner, PBOS, is the LEGAL ballot, verified by the voter before it is cast, counted, and witnessed by citizen observers. That’s what we want.

The electronic voting machine, DRE, Direct Recording Equipment or “touch screen,” creates a paper trail, which is meaningless, like misplaced trust. The legal vote is cast directly on the machine, in secret, known only to the vendor, which programs and administers, also in secret.

DREs can produce three different versions of the vote. That trail, or “voter-verified paper audit record,” may be different from what is on the screen, and the vote recorded. This is due to error, tampering or fraud. The voter is not verifying the actual vote, and, legally, the paper record does not even have to match the recorded vote.

The simplest, least expensive and most reliable technology is what we need. That’s PBOS.

PBOS
The system consists of LEGAL paper ballots marked by hand (or by ballot-marking devices for voters with disabilities or minority languages, like Automark), and optical scanner machines in each polling place. The optical scanner lets the voter check each ballot for correctness before it is cast and counted, and prints a tally report at the end of the Election Day. After scanning, the votes are stored, locked and guarded in a ballot box.

Easily filled out like a lottery ticket, the ballot is available for quick, 100% recount, before the media declares a winner.

More than one half of the counties in New York State, and all five boroughs, currently use the 30-year old PBOS system. Paper ballots and optical scanners are used in more jurisdictions in our country than any other voting technology.

Minnesota has moved to PBOS to satisfy HAVA, and just this week, New Mexico is one step closer through its Senate. There was targeted disenfranchisement to the Native-American and Hispanic of New Mexico in the ’04 election, by vendor technicians under oath, resulting in more votes lost than won by Bush. Phant
om
votes of 100,000 in Alaska, casting some doubt on that popular vote won by Bush.

California is refusing Diebold because of the stunning failure of its tests.

We already have a bipartisan staff trained to handle the PBOS technology and prevent fraud. This simple system can be easily learned, has the fewest problems, lowest rate of invalid ballots, and highest level of confidence, of any system currently used.

DRE
By contrast, the legal ballot is whatever is recorded directly inside the computer–which can be different from what is on the computer screen and the printout. New York’s new election law calls the printout a “voter verified paper audit record” and it is not the legal ballot. Unless there is a costly, difficult and unlikely 100% recount.

We would unnecessarily privatize our elections. The DRE machines do the recording and counting of the votes in secret, and voters canít see if their votes are correctly cast inside the computer. Election observers canít witness the storage, handling, and counting of votes. The bipartisan, election structure of New York State would be replaced by costly vendor technicians, who program the secret software and administer the machines. In Miami, that is $1,100 an hour for technicians with sole control.

To this day, we have not been able to get lawsuit discovery or a recount on the proprietary systems used in the í04 Ohio election, or anywhere else.

We should benefit from others statesí mistakes. Miami-Dade just threatened to throw out their $24.5 million touch-screen e-voting system because of lost votes in six elections due to (1) flawed vote counts due to hardware and software failures and (2) operational cost overruns exceeding predicted costs. They estimate that in five years they would make back the purchase price of PBOS from future savings.

The Maryland governor just wrote a letter this week that cost overruns were 1,000% greater than estimated.

Computer security is impossible to achieve-40 million MasterCards were compromised in 2005. The FBI reports that 87% of businesses admit to being hacked, with 44% as an inside job. Communications capability in e-voting systems allows tampering by anyone in the world. There is a reason why computer experts are the biggest critics of electronic voting!

Urgency

State certification of electronic voting systems may begin soon, now that the comment period will end next week. The Board of Elections in New York City will also make its decision on new equipment.

We want the New York City Council to request that the PBOS system is purchased for all the boroughs, and we need the State Board of Elections to certify the PBOS system as an option.

A resolution to choose PBOS was introduced in the City Council on December 21, too late to pass in the 2005 session. It has been re-introduced and is awaiting a new number. We hope to pass it as soon as possible, before the machines are certified. However, we need a show of organizational and popular support.
http://webdocs.nyccouncil.info/textfiles/Res%201301-2005.htm?CFID=557179&CFTOKEN=59231373

The Department of Justice has recently found New York in non-compliance with HAVA, and the push to a solution may be hasty and undesirable. Many states are grappling with legislation that mandates change before the appropriate technology is available.

Some in New York are working for a temporary solution this election year to retain our lever machines, and adding the Automark, to satisfy HAVA and DOJ. However, the law still mandates, definitively, we must not use levers and replace with those two options to be decided by the counties. Whatever happens this year is only a temporary solution until the law is changed, which is why we must push for PBOS.

Other points

* The Boards of Election cannot uphold their responsibility to conduct elections with bipartisan citizen observers, because vendors program the software and administer the machines in secret. If they want to change the poll worker system, why not upgrade, instead of jeopardizing the vote by poll worker elimination?

Who says?

DNCís “Democracy at Risk: The 2004 Election in Ohio” http://www.democrats.org/a/2005/06/democracy_at_ri.php

The non-partisan Report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, September 2005, confirms the security and usage issues with DREs. A few examples below.
http://reform.house.gov/GovReform/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=35848
*Some voting machines did not encrypt cast ballots or system audit logs, and it was possible to alter both without being detected.

Here are 120 pages of documented failures.
http://www.votersunite.org/info/messupsbyvendor.asp

www.nyvv.org
www.wheresthepaper.org/ny.html

Vendors and bad politics made keeping our lever machines impossible. We need to stop a very bad choice, while favoring a good middle step that satisfies the new law.

Be well, be activist, protect the vote,

Marjorie

“… touch-screen machines are highly vulnerable to being hacked or maliciously programmed to change votes. And they cost far more than voting machines should.”
–New York Times editorial, March 9, 2005

One more case of Bushevik harassment

Printed from the Boise Weekly – Not Your Everyday Newspaper website: www.boiseweekly.com

POSTED ON FEBRUARY 15, 2006:

Red State, Meet Police State

A federal employee gets hassled by Homeland Security for antiwar stickers on his car. Is it a mistake, a new rule, or the part of a trend of the First Amendment being bullied out of existence? Read the transcript, read the rules and decide for yourself


By Nicholas Collias

Dwight Scarbrough’s idea of political dissent is one that rubs some people the wrong way. He likes to blame his compulsion for peaceful troublemaking on his birthday: October 2, the same as Ghandi. However, a few of Scarbrough’s techniques are all his own–especially when it comes to his truck.

For instance, when the Iraq War was looking imminent, not long after September 11, Dwight attached a garbage bag to the back of his truck bed. He splattered the bag and the truck with ketchup and added a sign reading, “This veteran knows that our children are worth more than a $6.95 body bag.” When he drove down the freeway, the bag would inflate and appear occupied.

Read more.

Rightists seize New Hampshire media

FROM: Ilene Proctor or Angus Hsu

From: arnie/marty
Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2006 7:48 AM
To: Ilene PRoctor
Subject: Re: Arnie Arnesen off air memo

Dear Ilene,

As per our conversation I am writing to inform you that as of Jan 1, 2006, I, Arnie Arnesen, the ONLY progressive voice on radio in NH, was removed from the airwaves. Why should anyone give a shit??? Because the conservative Republican party looks to NH to regroup and rebuild in anticipation of the 2008 election. Now, unlike the 2000 and 2004 presidential primary campaigns, there is no one on the NH landscape that can or will test the message, challenge the factless rhetoric and explore the personalities of both republican and democratic candidates.

Why was I removed? Lack of audience? No talent? An inability to be fair? Hardly. They claimed that I was removed because I was too controversial for radio advertisers, horse manure, I was removed because I was effective. NH was the only state to go from red to blue in 2004 and we removed a one term (multimillionaire Republican) governor for the first time since 1926. If one looks at the geographic footprint of my radio program, you will notice a remarkable nexus between my voice and overwhelming numbers against the incumbent Governor and President.

NH is a small state. It so happens that the media agencies who control the advertising landscape for much of the state are the same ones who ran the Bush/Cheney campaigns for the state. They influence if not control where most advertisers will place their cash. One influential owner, for example, was named the Outstanding Republican Woman for 2005. These agencies are far from subtle. A partner of one of those “republican” agencies acquired an hour a day with Andy Card’s brother, on my flagship station “to rehabilitate the three hours of lies of Arnie Arnesen” (that is what he actually said to the audience virtually every morning).

Ilene, they were embarrassed. How do you muffle my voice? Cut the funding stream to my stations. These agencies told all their clients that I was too provocative. Without advertisers, the stations decided to drop me for either a right-wing talker (no surprise) or a sports format.

The worst part is that I had become the person who explained NH to the nation. Hardball, FOX, C-SPAN, CNN all come calling as NH takes the national stage. Add to that SBS Australia and TVOntario and you know I have an international reputation. Without my independent views, the party drones on both sides get to do the spin and you know what that means – no McCain, no Dean, no platform for vetting Sam Brownback, Dr. Frist or honestly looking at Hillary or giving Russ Feingold, Chuck Hagel or even the next Al Sharpton, a place to talk.

I have a history of political and media accomplishments. I was the Democratic nominee for Governor (first female) and Congress, a Harvard Fellow, a columnist for the Boston Globe, a six-year member of the national board of Common Cause, the list goes on. Go to the website at the Kennedy School of Government http://www.iop.harvard.edu/ and click on their book Skirting Tradition and select the excerpt. They highlighted the chapter about me. If you read Eleanor Clift’s book, Madam President, I am prominently noted. If you checked out Glamour magazine back in the mid 90’s, I was chosen as one of the 11 women who would change the world if they won. I have been sought out by every major newspaper in the country to comment on Presidential politics during the primary season. Am I opinionated and blunt? Maybe. Credible? Definitely!

Finally, Ilene, take a look at this letter sent to one of the station owners that had aired my show. This email was cc’d to me on Feb 15th, about three months after my show stopped airing on that particular station. The writer/listener describes me in a nutshell and further describes the passion of my audience:

Dear Mr. Vinikoor,

OK, I’ve given him a while to prove himself, but Bob — it ain’t happen’. This Gardner Goldsmith fellow is really the pits. I can take another right-wing, neo-conservative talk jock, but did you have to go get one with a sophomoric attitude and a 2-digit I.Q.?

Please bring back Arnie — PLEASE ! She was the brightest spot on your lineup, and I had to go to quite an effort to receive your station to hear her. Now I’ve moved further away, and paradoxically, I get the WNTK signal better*, and next thing you know, Arnie is booted from the lineup.

Arnie is definitely a liberal, but very often hosted far more conservative guests and callers with dignity, intelligence, real wit, and respect — not the sort of 10th grade, pseudo-intellectual condescension we get from Mr. Goldsmith addressing more liberal (and enlightened) points of view. I’ve heard the buzz that Arnie wasn’t good for ad. sales … but I must ask: ad.’s from whom ? There are plenty of businesses out there who can relate to her left-leaning, though balanced approach to news and events. Maybe you need advertising sales people who can stop in businesses that don’t have Bush/Cheney banners on display.

Hoping things get better soon,

Brad
Newbury, VT

* I used to have to climb up a ladder and put the radio up on the roof to hear Arnie — then I discovered a particular roof truss out in the garage where the reception was fair, so I put the radio up there for days that I worked at home — I still had to climb a ladder to turn it on or off. Why should you care ? Because there are listeners out there that are looking for her kind of message — and there must be an advertising base willing to pay for access to that audience.

The public rationale given by station management was that I was “too provocative” for advertisers. Political, informed yes provocative only if the facts are provocative.

I hope this gives you a sense of what happened and the tragedy of the events that unfolded. We will talk soon.

Ciao,
Arnie

Election fraud on the religious right

Bruce Prescott (“Mainstream Baptist”) is Executive Director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists, President of the Oklahoma Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Host of the “Religious Talk” radio program on KREF in Norman.

Southern Baptists and Voting Irregularities

By Mainstream Baptist
Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 04:46:44 PM EST
The fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention began at a meeting in Houston, Texas in 1979. From the beginning voting irregularities accompanied the takeover. (John Baugh, the Baptist layman who founded Sysco Corp., calls it “Voting Fraud” — see his Battle for Baptist Integrity, p. 95)

The chief architect of the SBC takeover was Houston appellate court judge Paul Pressler who meticulously reviewed the Convention’s Constitution and By-laws and crafted the strategy for the takeover. Yet, in 1979, Pressler himself registered and voted at the Convention’s annual meeting in violation of the SBC’s Constitution. Pressler registered as a messenger (delegate) from a church in which he was not a member (the ecclesial equivalent to the recent vote fraud felony Ann Coulter allegedly committed when she voted at a precinct in which she did not live).

Voting irregularities during the takeover were not limited to the actions of this politically savvy judge. After Adrian Rogers was elected President of the Convention, a number of people stepped forward to protest improprieties that they had observed during his election.

Read more.