Bob Fitrakis stomps Manjoo gets it all wrong
by Bob Fitrakis

In Farhad Manjoo’s “Was the 2004 Election Stolen? No” he claims
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s article in Rolling Stone contains “numerous
errors of interpretation and his [Kennedy’s] deliberate omission of
key bits of data.” As an Election Protection legal observer in
Columbus and one of the four attorneys who challenged the Ohio
election results, I was struck by Manjoo’s own numerous errors of
fact and deliberate omissions of widely-known studies and data.

In his first claim that the Ellen Connally anomaly, where an
under-funded retired municipal judge from Cleveland ran ahead of
Kerry in rural southwestern counties fails to indicate vote-shifting
from Kerry to Bush, Manjoo deliberately omits several well-known
facts. The obvious fact on record is that Democratic nominee Al Gore
pulled his campaign out of the state six weeks prior to the 2000
election while Kerry and his 527 organization supporters spent the
largest amount of money in Ohio history. So to compare the non-Gore
campaign in 2000 to the massive Democratic effort in 2004 seems
disingenuous. Moreover, Manjoo conveniently ignores the fact that
sample ballots were everywhere in the state of Ohio and voters in
these rural counties were repeatedly mailed and handed both party’s
sample ballots. There were large and active campaigns in the key
counties in question – Butler, Clermont, and Warren – passing out
Republican and Democratic sample ballots. This is a major omission.
Also, Manjoo might actually want to do some research on the amount of
money Eric Fingerhut spent vs. John Kerry. Fingerhut’s major effort
was walking across the state of Ohio because he didn’t have any
funds. Hardly Kerry’s problem.

By the way, it is easy to shift votes on punchcard machines due to
the ballot rotation law in Ohio. For instance, the hole to punch for
Kerry would be “4” in one precinct and the hole to punch for Bush
would be “4” in the next precinct. Public records reveal that in key
southwest Ohio counties, ballots were counted at the county level,
not the precinct level, to save money on counting machines. Thus, all
one has to do is shift Kerry cards to a Bush tabulating machine to
get a shift. There was more than enough time to do this, when votes
came in during the wee hours of the morning. In fact, when we finally
got to look at the ballots from four precincts in Warren County, we
were surprised to discover that two the pink “header” cards used to
separate precinct ballots had holes punched for Bush.

It appears Manjoo knows very little about Ohio election law. As a
licensed attorney in the state and involved in the practice of
election law, I’m stunned by the obvious errors that Manjoo makes.
The purges in Ohio were, in fact, deliberate, and they occurred in Democratic
strongholds. Cuyahoga County records indicate 24.93% of all voters in
Cleveland were purged between the 2000 and 2004 election. Census data
indicates that most of the people who move in urban areas move within
the county, which would make them still eligible to vote under Ohio
law, and not be purged. What Manjoo leaves out is the standard
practice by counties, which would have moved these individuals to
“inactive” status before purging them. Additionally, numerous surveys
as well as reports by the Toledo Blade and other newspapers reveal
that many of these people had voted in local elections or had
contacted their county board of elections, which under voting
directives indicates activity. This activity would prevent them from
being purged.

Yes, there was the deliberate purging in the Democratic strongholds
indeed. The Toledo Blade reports 28,000 voters purged from the
Democratic stronghold of Toledo in late August 2004. Perhaps Manjoo
should make it a practice to do a Lexus Nexus search prior to
attacking people for omitting data. The key here is that it is
standard for counties to purge in odd-number years, 2001, 2003, etc.
Manjoo also ignores the fact that 95.12% of all the provisional
voters in Hamilton County came from the Democratic city of
Cincinnati, where only 32% of the county’s voters resided. Less than
5% of the provisional ballots were handed out in the lily-white
suburbs. Perhaps Manjoo has a hard time imagining a man of Karl
Rove’s high standards targeting black and poor voters.

Manjoo’s claim that the missing voting machines did not impact the
African American communities is bizarre and laughable. As an election
observer who witnessed lines at 9 inner-city African American
precincts, I counted an average of 80 voters leaving per hour without
voting in precinct after precinct. I have my logs from that day, if
Manjoo would care to see them. I find Manjoo’s comments both
preposterous and possibly racist. The reality is, Franklin County
needed 5000 machines. They went into the election with 2886, but they
only put out 2741 on Election Day. I have in my possession a document
that shows 125 machines that had been previously allocated, but were
blackout out and held back on Election Day – all 125 from the
Democratic stronghold of Columbus. Forty-two percent of the African
American wards had machines held back at the last second. This
constitutes 74% of all the majority African American wards in
Franklin County. Perhaps if Manjoo had actually called and asked for
the documents, he may have had a better perspective. Mark Crispin
Miller, Rolling Stone and Bobby Kennedy all verified their facts
before they wrote their pieces. Election Protection volunteers,
attorneys and eyewitnesses have yet to hear from Mr. Manjoo. Perhaps
this is a new style of investigative reporting. As an award-winning
investigative reporter, I’m also quite interested in how
fact checks their writers.

While Manjoo’s errors are legion and will clearly pass into infamy,
one of his most absurd is pretending that Bill Anthony, the Franklin
County Board of Elections Chair, had anything to do with the actual
allocation of the machines. The allocation of voting machines was
drawn up by Matt Damschroder, the Director of the Franklin County
Board of Elections. Manjoo actually, in a major error, refers to
Damschroder, as the Chair of the Election Board. Manjoo incorrectly
cites both Anthony and Damschroder as chairs of the Franklin County
Board of Elections. Under Ohio law, there’s only one Chair and
Damschroder has never been chair. I’m surprised that Manjoo would
make an error of this magnitude. Anthony is the Chair. The Board he
chairs deals with general policy matters. Damschroder is the Director
who deals with the nuts and bolts of Election Day activity. For
example, it was Damschroder who admitted going back to 1998 and
purging 3500 felons in Franklin County at Blackwell’s request. In a
given year, Damschroder told WVKO he only purges between 200-300
felons. In 2004, Damschroder admitted that he went back and purged
people indicted, but not convicted of a felony. By the way,
Damschroder is also the former Chair of the Franklin County
Republican Pary. It is Damschroder who admitted that when 356 people
showed up to vote at the right polling site, the vast majority from
the inner city, he refused to have their votes counted because his
election workers gave them a provisional ballot in error. This is
listed in his official voting log as “Voted on Paper, Should Have
Voted on Machine.”

In conclusion, it appears that Manjoo, in his zest to be the great
“de-bunker” of grassroots activists and progressive writers, simply

es his facts as needed. No surprise that he thinks Bush won.
After all, he seems to adopt the same intelligence-gathering methods
Bush used in Iraq which are favored by Fox News. His approach reminds
me of that famous quote from Ronald Reagan “Facts are stupid things”.


From a reader

If you’re in touch with Malcolm or post on Kos, you might direct him to MercuryRising, where I have been doing a much deeper refutation. However, he pointed out something I missed, and he is credited.

The Manjoo-athon is ongoing at:

Part 4

Part 3

Part 2

Part 1

I am planning one brief concluding part. The main take-away point is this:

The choice is not between Kennedy being right and Manjoo being right. The choice is whether there should be a proper investigation or not. Those attacking Kennedy’s piece are basically arguing in favor of being allowed to remain ignorant.

A second point is that the anti-Kennedys set as a threshhold proving that 120,000 votes would change. But if Bush ordered even one vote stolen, he is unfit to be president.

Farhad's Follies

Here’s is one of many sound rebuttals of Farhad Manjoo’s hatchet-job on RFK Jr.’s excellent and all-important article in Rolling Stone.

Shame on Manjoo and Salon.


A Semi-Comprehensive Quizzing of Manjoo’s Rebuttal of RFK Jr.
by malcolm
Sat Jun 03, 2006

This will be my first ever diary on Daily Kos, but I don’t expect anyone to go easy on me.

This afternoon I read with great interest Farhad Manjoo’s rebuttal in Salon of Robert Kennedy Jr.’s article in Rolling Stone. I would ask you to believe me when I state that although I have been of the opinion since Nov 2 2004 that it was very likely that the election was fraudulent, I approach articles such as Mr. Manjoo’s with a strange hope that this time I can have it explained to me in a way that allows me to finally get a good night’s sleep, secure in the knowledge that nothing overtly untoward was going on, that the process of democracy in the United States is still hobbling along, flawed but basically intact. Despite my huge admiration for RFK Jr., and my lasting dream that he will one day soon be the most effective and honorable head of the EPA that this nation has ever had, deep inside I harbored a hope that he was wrong on this, and that Salon and Mr. Manjoo were going to show me the way.

Sorry to say, I’m just not there yet.

Read more.

MCM and Bob Fitrakis share the stage this Saturday!

Mark Crispin Miller and Bob Fitrakis speaking in Bucks County!

Good news for CVI members! You don’t have to wait to see Robert Kennedy, Jr. on the Colbert Report. You can get the information behind his Rolling Stone story from two of the people who know what happened behind those scenes: Mark Crispin Miller and Bob Fritakis.

Both men will be speaking at the CVI fund raising event this Saturday, June 3rd in New Hope.

Don’t miss your chance to get the story behind the story from people who know the facts. Find out what happened in Ohio so we can prevent the same thing from happening in Pennsylvania.

WHEN: Saturday, June 3, 11:00am – 1:30pm

WHERE: Esca Restaurant
18 W. Mechanic Street
New Hope, PA

COST: $50 for buffet luncheon, lecture and booksigning, $35 for lecture and booksigning alone.

RSVP: votingintegrity[at]aol[dot]com
or call Ruth at 267-250-2879

Make checks payable to Coalition for Voting Integrity, P.O. Box 536, Doylestown, PA 18901, or pay online at the CVI website.

All proceeds benefit the Bucks County Coalition for Voting Integrity legal fund

Rolling Stone calls for investigation of DRE machines!

Kennedy/Rolling Stone Editorial Calls for Official Investigation of Electronic Voting Machines!

In a sidebar editorial to today’s exposé on what Robert F. Kennedy Jr. suggests was a stolen 2004 Presidential Election in Rolling Stone a call is made for an official investigation into the Electronic Voting Machine scam.

Sub-titled “Electronic voting machinees pose a grave threat to democracy,” the editorial details one confirmed problem after another with Electronic Voting Machines (most of which we’ve been reporting here at The BRAD BLOG for the past two years). Included are details on how Diebold scammed their way into Ohio and helped push the Help America Vote Act through congress in 2002 (as we originally reported our own exposé here.)

“Enough.” the RS editorial concludes, “Only a complete investigation by federal authorities can determine the full extent of any bribery and vote rigging that has taken place. The public must be assured that the power to count the votes — and to recount them, if necessary — will not be ceded to for-profit corporations with a vested interest in superseding the will of the people. America’s elections are the most fundamental element of our democracy — not a market to be privatized by companies like Diebold.”

Hear! Hear!

Our discussions with Kennedy over the last several weeks, in advance of today’s article, make it clear that he’s not done with this issue yet. Not by a long shot. Stay tuned…


RFK Jr.'s exposé in Rolling Stone
Back to Was the 2004 Election Stolen?
Was the 2004 Election Stolen?

Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted — enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.

The complete article, with Web-only citations, follows. For more, see exclusive documents, sources, charts and commentary.

Like many Americans, I spent the evening of the 2004 election watching the returns on television and wondering how the exit polls, which predicted an overwhelming victory for John Kerry, had gotten it so wrong. By midnight, the official tallies showed a decisive lead for George Bush — and the next day, lacking enough legal evidence to contest the results, Kerry conceded. Republicans derided anyone who expressed doubts about Bush’s victory as nut cases in ”tinfoil hats,” while the national media, with few exceptions, did little to question the validity of the election. The Washington Post immediately dismissed allegations of fraud as ”conspiracy theories,”(1) and The New York Times declared that ”there is no evidence of vote theft or errors on a large scale.”(2)

But despite the media blackout, indications continued to emerge that something deeply troubling had taken place in 2004. Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad(3) never received their ballots — or received them too late to vote(4) — after the Pentagon unaccountably shut down a state-of-the-art Web site used to file overseas registrations.(5) A consulting firm called Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states,(6) was discovered shredding Democratic registrations.(7) In New Mexico, which was decided by 5,988 votes,(8) malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots.(9) Nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment — roughly one for every 100 cast.(10)

Read more.

Jeb praises Swift Boat smear artists

This letter was referenced in the New York Times on Sunday, May 28th, 2006. This is the first time a copy has been posted publicly.

“The president’s brother, Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, sent a letter thanking the “Swifties” for “their willingness to stand up to John Kerry.”

Excerpt from Jeb Bush’s letter:

“As someone who truly understands the risk of standing up for something, I simply cannot express in words how much I value their willingness to stand up against John Kerry.”


It's slime time

Brace yourselves for a hysterical attack on Bobby Kennedy Jr. for his piece in Rolling Stone. The issue isn’t even out yet, and yet the ditto-heads are on the job already. Here’s a comment from Anonymous, which came in late last night.
At 12:46 AM, Anonymous said:

Oh, whoop-de-doo. A magazine that reviews crappy music and still thinks it’s cool to get stoned and have sex with anything that moves. And the article is written by a guy named “hic” Kennedy. That’s it, folks. Rolling Stone is finished.

That’s it, folks. The Busheviks have an immense new problem on their hands. So let’s all hang together (because they’d like nothing better than to hang us separately). All hail RFK, Jr.–and speak up on his behalf!

RFK Jr. says, "BushCo stole it in '04!

Here, finally, is that mainstream piece that I’ve been publicly referring to for months. As I had promised Rolling Stone and Kennedy that I would keep it confidential, I could not mention the specifics, but here they are at last.

This piece should finally snap the Dems out of their trance, and push the media– both mainstream and progressive–to pay due attention to this all-important issue.


Says ‘Evidence Shows High-Level Republicans Suceeded in Scheme to Steal Election in Ohio’!
Mag to Hit Stands Friday, Internet on Thursday, Publicity Push to Accompany

A damning and detailed feature article, written by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., for Rolling Stone, documenting evidence of the theft of the 2004 Presidential Election is set to hit newstands this Friday, The BRAD BLOG can now confirm. The online version of the article will be posted tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

The article, which has been several months in development, will contend that a concerted effort was undertaken by high-level Republican officials to steal the Election in Ohio — and thus the country — in 2004!

Kennedy told The BRAD BLOG this morning that “the best evidence says the Republicans succeeded” in their plan.

He writes in the article, and confirmed to us today, that evidence shows Ohio Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell was “certainly in on” the scheme, and “there are indications that the effort went all the way up to the White House.” …