Ohio’s gubernatorial race tests the power of the Christian right.
Issue of 2006-07-31
Posted 2006-07-24

Pastor Rod Parsley stood on a flag-bedecked dais on the steps of Ohio’s Statehouse last October and, amid cheers from the crowd below, proclaimed the launch of “the largest evangelical campaign ever attempted in any state in America.” A nationally known televangelist and the leader of a twelve-thousand-member church on the outskirts of Columbus, Parsley had gathered a thousand people for the event, and attracted bystanders with a multimedia performance involving a video on a Jumbotron and music by Christian singers and rappers broadcast so loud that it reverberated off the tall buildings south of the Statehouse. TV crews from Parsley’s ministry taped the event. “Sound an alarm!” he boomed. “A Holy Ghost invasion is taking place. Man your battle stations, ready your weapons, lock and load!” In the course of the performance, Parsley promised that during the next four years his campaign, Reformation Ohio, would bring a hundred thousand Ohioans to Christ, register four hundred thousand new voters, serve the disadvantaged, and guide the state through “a culture-shaking revolutionary revival.”

Among those who spoke at the rally were Senator Sam Brownback, of Kansas, and Representative Walter B. Jones, of North Carolina, both Christian conservatives, and J. Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio’s secretary of state, who is now the Republican nominee for governor. All talked about the need to bring God and morality back into government. “We refuse to give up or back up or shut up until we’ve made a better world for all,” Blackwell said.

For the past two years, the religious right in Ohio has been on a victory march. In 2004, a coalition of conservative Christian organizations campaigned statewide for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, enlisting hundreds of pastors and collecting half a million signatures. The ballot initiative, known as Issue One, passed with sixty-three per cent of the vote, and many concluded that this effort to bring out “values voters” won the state for President Bush, and returned him to the White House. Parsley and another megachurch pastor, Russell Johnson, of the Fairfield Christian Church, campaigned hard for the initiative, as did Ken Blackwell, whose role in overseeing the election procedures caused a controversy of its own, and who was the only Republican leader in the state to join them. Subsequently, the two pastors formed organizations—Reformation Ohio and Johnson’s Ohio Restoration Project—to get out the vote in 2006 and beyond. This year, there is nothing like Issue One on the ballot, but Blackwell, who carries the standard of the religious right, could become governor of Ohio.

Read more.



I wanted to update you on the lawsuit I have filed against George W. Bush and members of his administration, referred to in legal parlance as Conyers v. Bush.

You are likely familiar with a number of steps I have taken to challenge the legality and constitutional grounds of the Administration’s actions. From the lead up to Iraq, to the Downing Street Minutes, to the outing of a CIA agent, to warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens, I have called loudly for the Bush White House to explain itself.

I decided to file suit against the President in Federal Court in Michigan, along with 11 Senior Democratic Members of Congress. This suit was necessary because of a clear violation of the constitution. When the President signed the Deficit Reduction Act (which “reduced” the deficit by cutting taxes, health care benefits, and student loans), he signed into law a bill that had not passed the House and Senate. A different version of the bill passed each house of Congress with a multi-billion dollar difference in funding for life-saving medical equipment.

Anyone who ever watched Schoolhouse Rock knows this to be a problem.

Given the stakes involved I felt it was imperative to aggressively take this fight to the courts. The President’s lawyers tried to get the bill dismissed, but late last week I responded with legal filings that stand up for the rule of law and the Constitution and hope to bring the President, and our United States government, back under the rule of law.

I wanted to email you this news today to update you on our efforts and to thank you for your help and support. Thank you also for your continued dedication to a better democracy.

John Conyers, Jr.


Under the Radar – In preparation for Election 2006

CIVIL RIGHTS — CHANGES IN JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SAPS OFFICE MORALE: Since 2002, the Bush administration has quietly filled the ranks of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division — the nation’s top enforcer of anti-discrimination laws — with lawyers who have “strong conservative credentials but little experience in civil rights.” The result, according to William Yeomans, a 24-year division veteran who retired last year, is that “morale among career attorneys has plummeted, the division’s productivity has suffered and the pace of civil rights enforcement has slowed.” Although a committee of career veterans had made hiring decisions for decades, former Attorney General John Ashcroft changed the rules in 2003 to minimize input from staff, allowing the process to be handled completely by political appointees. Consequently, the “clear emphasis” has been to hire individuals with conservative backgrounds. Only 42 percent of employees hired since 2003 have experience in civil rights, as compared to 77 percent of those hired in the two years before the change. There has also been a “sea change” in the types of cases brought by the division: fewer voting rights abuses are being prosecuted, and instead, more interest has been shown in cases of “reverse discrimination against whites and religious discrimination against Christians.” While this was somewhat expected, says Richard Ugelow, who also recently retired, no one “anticipated that it would go this far, that enforcement would be cut back to the point that people felt like they were spinning their wheels.”


Bad news from Moscow

Comment on Bradblog today….

Hey! I woke up to some awful and creepy news in my inbox this “morning”:

After more than a decade of working with The Moscow and St. Petersburg Times, Chris Floyd was “let go” today by the new editor – a young lad fresh out of business school who wrote Chris;

“The column no longer fits in with our plans.”

That’s it, after 10 years of the column, 12 years overall with the paper. One day to the next.

It’s over.

After August 11, Floyd will no longer be published in The Moscow or St. Petersburg Times.

Chris Floyd, whose webpage Empire Burlesque many of us know and love, would seem to be getting the treatment, the old clean-the-media-of-that-subversive-truth-stuff treatment, at work… on the very same day he publishes the third edition of Empire Burlesque — High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium.

I’m gonna email the editors[at]themoscowtimes[dot]com and tell them how I feel about this. I’m not going to swear. I’m pretty sure I won’t use profanity. But I am SO sick of this stuff. Maybe I’ll let the young lad know that it stepping straight into fascistic conformism isn’t the best way to start one’s career.

Damn! Double damn… Quintuple damn!!!!!


Media Coverage – from a friend


While sitting here in Israel, watching another day of 24/7 wall-to-wall coverage of the “war,” it occurred to me that if the western media devoted 10% of this effort to coverage of Iraq, the resulting public outcry would likely bring America’s occupation to a speedy conclusion.

Additionally, this obvious effort to push Iraq off of the front page has impacted me, personally. My son’s August Bar Mitzvah plans are in shambles now that most of our anticipated visitors from America have been terrorized out of traveling to Israel. I am also forced to field seemingly endless phone calls from well-intentioned friends back home who see the media’s version of what is happening here and erroneously assume the entire country is under attack.

Forget about Hezbollah and their over-hyped “army,” what will truly help return everything here to normal (or as normal as things can be) will be sending Shepard Smith and company packing. They are all seriously misrepresenting what is happening here. Unfortunately for them, it seems as if WW lll will have to wait.



Direct Material Proof of Massive Election Fraud in Ohio in 2004 and Proof that Federal Ballots will be Destoryed on 9/3/06


See: for a link to this powerpoint presentation.

It includes new evidence just found in Ohio.

I haven’t yet been able to scan in all of the supporting documentation (mostly the absentee audit and certified vote reports – but have all of this available as backup and will scan this in as soon as I can.

We need funds now to continue gathering data and trying to launch a campaign to save the ballots that will be destroyed in many counties on Sept. 3, 2006. See pictures from Darke County at the end of the spreadsheet.




Howard Dean at Democracy Fest 2006

Dear Professor Miller,

I thought of you, and your analysis of the Democratic leadership’s avoidance/denial of the seriousness of our electoral crisis (Al Gore excepted), when I was at Democracy Fest 2006 in San Diego last weekend. Howard Dean was disseminating the DNC talking points about happy-talking our way into the hearts and minds of Republicans and Independents. Someone in the audience punctuated Dean’s remarks with shouts of “Count the vote!” several times, to cheers and applause by the crowd. Dean’s reaction was to brush that off telling us that those whose votes we are courting don’t want to hear about that kind of negative stuff this year. To which the same man replied “Count the vote!” More cheers.

Have mercy on our democracy. Americans should have taken to the streets the day after the last two presidential elections.

Thank you for keeping our electoral crisis on the national radar screen, and for your passion, which is the only sane way to feel about this situation.



NASA's Goals Delete Mention of Home Planet

Published on Saturday, July 22, 2006 by the New York Times

NASA’s Goals Delete Mention of Home Planet
by Andrew C. Revkin

From 2002 until this year, NASA’s mission statement, prominently featured in its budget and planning documents, read: “To understand and protect our home planet; to explore the universe and search for life; to inspire the next generation of explorers … as only NASA can.”

In early February, the statement was quietly altered, with the phrase “to understand and protect our home planet” deleted. In this year’s budget and planning documents, the agency’s mission is “to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.”

David E. Steitz, a spokesman for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, said the aim was to square the statement with President Bush’s goal of pursuing human spaceflight to the Moon and Mars.

But the change comes as an unwelcome surprise to many NASA scientists, who say the “understand and protect” phrase was not merely window dressing but actively influenced the shaping and execution of research priorities. Without it, these scientists say, there will be far less incentive to pursue projects to improve understanding of terrestrial problems like climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more.


Steve Freeman, Greg Palast et al. on Saturday!

From Steve Freeman:
I will be in New York this Saturday, July 22, 2006 at the Harlem Book
Fair speaking on a panel on “A Matter of Trust:
Integrity and the US Electoral System”

Time: 12:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

The event takes place at the Schomburg Center (Langston Hughes
Auditorium) 515 Malcolm X Blvd. @ W.135th Street

Other panelists are:

my co-author. Joel Bleifuss (Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen?: Exit Polls, and the Official Count),
John McWhorter (Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America),
Paul Robeson, Jr. (A Black Way of Seeing),
Greg Palast (Armed Madhouse),
Peniel E. Joseph (Waiting Until the Midnight Hour)

It will be covered live by CSPAN.



I didn’t even know that I’m a candidate!

But I love Kurt’s sense of humor!

—– Original Message —–
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2006 4:38 PM
Subject: Thanks


I really like your work, Mark. It’s nice to see a loser so prepared to explain not only his last defeat but his NEXT one as well.

Congratulations and be sure to have the legal team ready for the Fall!

Kurt N.