Tonight at the McNally-Robinson Boostore, at Prince and Mulberry, I’ll be introducing Stephenie Hendricks, author of a short, powerful book called Divine Destruction. It’s about the theological basis of the Bush administration’s anti-environmental policies. She’ll be speaking, answering questions, signing copies of her book.
The event begins at 7:00 p.m.
Ohio Recount Mismanagement Case Moves Forward
by Catherine Komp
More than a year after the 2004 general election, indictments against county workers suggest the Ohio recount was not conducted legally.
Apr. 19 – During both the 2004 presidential election and subsequent recount in Ohio, elections observers reported hundreds of problems and irregularities in precincts across the state. But while top-ranking officials have avoided repercussions, one county prosecutor is going after mid-level elections workers in Ohio’s biggest county, accusing them of illegally fixing the recount.
While some voting-rights activists welcome the indictments of three county workers as an opportunity to expose flaws in Ohio’s polling system, some criticize the investigation for failing to hold state leaders and top-level elections officials accountable. Instead, activists are turning to lawsuits over Ohio’s recount procedures to force state officials to repair fundamental defects in the system before the next election.
Last week, Special Prosecutor Kevin Baxter issued formal charges against Jacqueline Maiden, the third and highest-ranking Cuyahoga Board of Elections employee to be indicted by a grand jury. The state has charged Maiden, a former elections coordinator, along with ballot director Kathleen Dreamer and Rosie Grier, an assistant manager of ballots, with violating six counts of Ohio election law, two of them felonies.
Bush challenges hundreds of laws
President cites powers of his office
By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | April 30, 2006
WASHINGTON — President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.
Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ”whistle-blower” protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.
Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush’s assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to “execute” a law he believes is unconstitutional.
Here is the broadcast schedule for my Keynote talk that taped at Vox Pop. It will air on Free Speech TV, channel 9415 on the DISH Network.
May 11 11:00am Keynote: Mark Crispin Miller
May 12 4:00pm Keynote: Mark Crispin Miller
May 13 11:00am +3:00pm Keynote: Mark Crispin Miller
May 14 7:00pm Keynote: Mark Crispin Miller
A nationwide network of nonprofit organizations, including the Organic Consumers Association, are mobilizing to stop Congress from passing a law that would enable telecommunications giants to control the flow of traffic on the internet. Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are pressuring Congress to pass the “telecom reform bill” that would allow them to restrict or slow down your access to certain websites on the internet. As an example, last year, Canada’s version of AT&T — Telus — blocked their internet customers from visiting a web site sympathetic to workers with whom Telus was negotiating.
This controversial bill would create a similar situation in the U.S. whereby telephone and cable companies would have increased power to control how well (or poorly) specific websites, including nonprofit organizations, would function on your computer. The current construction of the internet allows everyone to compete on a level playing field. This is the reason that the internet is a force for economic innovation, civic participation and free speech. If the public doesn’t speak up now, Congress will hand over control of the internet to these telecommunications monopolies.
Send a message to Congress now.
Unfair Dismissal of County Legislative Resolution for PBOS
RED HOOK, NY – The County Legislative Chair “killed” a county resolution calling for paper ballots, counted with scanners (PBOS). This is the second time the Dutchess legislature refused to discuss the issue of HAVA compliant voting technology.
Last year, in September 2005, Chairman of the Dutchess County Legislature Brad Kendall had removed from the Government Services Committee agenda a resolution recommending PBOS. Because a reason for removal of the item was not transmitted to the sponsors in a timely fashion, citizens vocally condemned the high-handed tactics of the majority party. The reason for removing the item from discussion and vote was “because the State had not yet certified machines and therefore the resolution was premature.”
This year the Democratic caucus re-submitted a resolution for consideration in May 2006. It was again not allowed on the agenda of the Government Services Committee. Committee Chair Mary Swartz denied consideration with these words: “Considering this resolution would exert undo (sic) political influence on a process that should be non-political in nature.”
Mid-Hudson Verified Voting believes this action is unfair. “The County Legislature must be involved in this issue. The fiscal implications of voting machines will be tremendous. Also, citizens want to be represented in the selection of new voting systems. For these reasons, a County Legislative resolution is appropriate.” said Vicky Perry, director of Mid-Hudson Verified Voting, a citizens group pushing for paper ballots and ballot scanners.
“County Resolutions represent the voice of citizens, and are a time honored method of expression.” said Bo Lipari, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Verified Voting. “In New York citizens are shut out of the critical process of selecting voting systems. Many counties in New York have passed resolutions calling for support of paper ballot based voting systems. Elections belong to citizens, our voices must be heard.”
Ulster County and Putnam County Legislatures have both endorsed paper ballots and ballot scanners. “In Ulster County, we are looking hard at every issue that impacts our budget.” said Majority Whip Robert Parete of the Ulster County Legislature. “New voting systems will have a long-term effect; that is why we chose to support a proven technology. We owe it to our citizens.” And according to Ulster County Legislator Gary Bischoff, “There is no doubt in my mind that the best choice for new voting machines is a system that has proven to be reliable and gives us a paper trail actually filled in by the voter. That choice is a paper ballot optical scan system. The Ulster County Legislature took a strong stand on this issue. I would like to urge my colleagues in the Dutchess County Legislature to add their voice to a growing number of towns, cities and counties that have passed resolutions favoring paper ballot optical scan voting systems.” The city of Beacon recently passed a resolution unanimously calling for PBOS.
Over the past few months, several public events have been held in Dutchess County that focused on the changes we will experience when the Help America Vote Act is carried out. The clear message from the public was that paper ballot voting is the preferred solution. A legislative debate is called for to connect the public, through their elected officials, to the cornerstone of democracy – the vote.
The New Press Invites You To:
Sasha Abramsky will read from his new book
CONNED: How Millions Went to Prison and Lost the Vote
172 Allen Street, NYC
(between Stanton and Rivington)
-Saturday, April 29, 7pm-
Event is FREE and Open to the Public
Bluestockings Books, Fair Trade CafZ, and Activist Center
CONNED: How Millions Went to Prison, Lost the Vote, and Helped Send George W. Bush to the White House is Published by The New Press. For more information visit www.thenewpress.com and www.connedthebook.com