Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Jeeni Criscenzo is running against Darryl Issa in San Diego's 49th congressional district, and she has a consistantly excellent diary at Daily Kos. Today is no exception.
Last Saturday, I participated in the Arlington West Memorial here in my Oceanside, CA hometown. Two young Marines came by and asked what we were doing. I told them that we were honoring the troops who had fallen in Iraq and pointed out that there was a name on each marker for everyone of those who had died in Iraq. "Everyone?" the one young man asked?

"All 2600," I replied as I looked over the expanse of markers, flags and votives in the sand. "Is there someone in particular you are looking for?" I asked. He nodded and I brought him over to the table where we had a list of all of the names. He flipped over to the "D's", his finger moved deliberately down the list of names and stopped midway. "He's my brother," he said.

** JeeniCriscenzo's diary **

She faithfully participates in local Arlington West memorials and other anti-war events. There have them fairly regularly on the beach here, and unfortunately at this point in time, it takes the San Diego Veterans for Peace at least 4 hours to put up the memorial, with a cross, or other appropriate religious symbol, for each person. Then they read the names of each one. It's become an all day affair. There were only a handful of crosses at the first one I ever saw, and it's shocking to SEE it grow. At the most recent that I attended, there were four people reading names at once at different corners because it's so enormous now.

Jeeni has taken on the rationale for the war since the beginning of her campaign, and proudly proclaims that position. I don't live in that district, so I can't vote for her. That said, I deeply support her campaign. She's got scads of courage and integrity, and a great sense of caring and empathy. She's very intelligent, and obviously puts a lot of thought into her actions and decisions.

I particularly like her Peacemaker Pledge.

We are the deciders! We the voters have an opportunity this November to make our voices heard. We can define the issue that takes precedence over all others by insisting that we will only vote for Congressional candidates who are committed to ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq in the near future. I am inviting every candidate to join me in making the Peacemaker Pledge that says:

I pledge to make it a priority to work with my colleagues in the 110th Congress to enact legislation calling for the speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Pass it on to the congressional candidate in your area. If they can't make THAT pledge they don't deserve your vote.
I just ran across this website called Progressive Punch. It looks interesting, and useful. You can look up your congresscritter, and it will search it's database and present you with a record of their votes. That's very cool. Sometimes it's difficult to wade through the gov sites to find this kind of info.
Judge throws out 50th District election lawsuit

The North County Times wrote a good article summarizing the dismissal of the lawsuit. The Trib wrote one too.

Suit seeking recount of Bilbray election is dismissed

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Today's CA-50 ruling

Here's why I'm not completely bummed about the outcome in today's ruling w/r/t the CA-50 effort. I sort of expected it, even though it's rather jaw dropping to realize that the House of Representatives is in no way bound to wait for the official results of an election before swearing in the "winner". Then once that's done, the election is essentially over unless someone has proof positive of election fraud. I figured it was going to end up being dismissed based on the Constitutional phrase "each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members . . .."

There are some positives realized from this case, and I don't consider my attention to this issue to have been in vain.

It raised awareness in the public, and in the media that there are important security issues to be dealt with regarding electronic voting equipment. I look at this as another little nudge in the direction of more transparent elections. The more people are educated about the problems and understand the risks, the more they will demand clear accountability toward the public when it comes to elections. Proprietary, secret voting software will not provide that. The way things are now, it would be simple to manipulate an election, if one were inclined to do so, and we have to remain vigilant in protecting the essential features of democracy. Don't take it for granted. Demand secure elections. The results of the Zogby Poll that show the vast majority of people insist upon secure and transparent elections. That is a fact, and it is also a fact that can not be guaranteed with the majority of the existing voting systems.

It also let me see who all has their fingers in our election. I still can not believe the Republican assistant Secretary of State can fax unofficial results to Dennis Hastert, a Republican leader in the House of Representatives, telling him to swear in the Republican candidate. Bilbray flew off to DC to be sworn in while the votes were still being counted. That's not good enough for me.

That early swearing in sure looks a lot like a grab for power. They knew that would be the end of the election process. I don't like it. The election was prematurely taken from the San Diego and the 50th Congressional District, and they knew they were doing it. The only thing that would stop Bilbray from keeping his seat at that point, would be blatant evidence of corruption of the voting process. Why would one need to resort to fixing an election, if they had the power to stop the vote counting at will.

I smell a trend.

I do have hope that eventually (sooner rather than later, I'm hopin'!) people will start asking serious questions about our elections, and there will be more nudging. . . and out of that nudging will come solutions. We all want huge, rapid fire change, but it just doesn't work that way. Democracy is designed to be nudged. It's complicated on purpose to keep BAD changes from happening quickly...Unfortunately it also prevents necessary change from happening quickly. We change in small increments.

Now, where is my corkscrew. I have a bottle of Amielie 2004 Cabernet that I got a couple days ago from Mankas Hills Vineyard through their Free Wine for Bloggers promotion.

I hear it calling me.... is now collecting donations to help defray costs.
I'm sad to report that it appears to be OK for the House of Representatives to have a case of election interruptus, snag up the "apparent" winners, shuttle them to DC and swear them in and the local jurisdiction loses all control of the election process. Soon as that person is sworn in, it's over folks. Be sure to keep that in mind this coming November.

The CA-50 lawsuit asking for a recount was dismissed today, based on the ruling that neither San Diego nor the state of California has jurisdiction in an election once the candidate is sworn in to the House.

Much more at Brad Blog including a copy of the judge's ruling, and comments the attorney for the contestants, Paul Lehto.

In a little crumb of good news, he dismissed the anti-SLAPP suit based on the same decision. No jurisdiction.

More after I digest this, I'm sure.

Here's a nifty little graphic of Arnold's contributors

A little bit of this and little bit of that....

There's a conversation at Daily Kos about Prop 89 this afternoon. Jump in!


The judge in the CA-50 case will be ruling on the jurisdictional and constitutional aspects of the case this afternoon. Go to for more information. The outcome will be posted there later today.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Court told votes don't have to be counted, certified

Raw Story has a great update and summary of the CA-50 case.

I'm just sitting here, impatiently waiting for tomorrow afternoon.

::drums fingers on desk::
More news from Scoop on the contested election in CA-50....

Election Nullification II: Speaker of House had Special Source for Election “Certification” - California Assistant Secretary of State for Elections Tells House Clerk, it’s all good!
By Michael Collins “Scoop” Independent Media

What would you think if you heard that a Member of Congress was sworn in prior to the official certification of his hotly contested and controversial election?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

OMG. This is great. You MUST give it a listen. I am sharing it far and wide. It's a song by Rickie Lee Jones (who's one of my personal all time favorites forever and ever amen) and two guys from Squirrel Nut Zipper, Tom Maxwell and Ken Mosher. The song, “Have You Had Enough?” is a swing remix of the band’s hit, “Put A Lid On It”. It's a great call to arms. Please share liberally (I crack myself up sometimes) and open your wallet to contribute through the Blue America PAC on Act Blue. Or if you don’t like entering your credit card information on the net, please send a check to Blue America PAC, Box 27201, Los Angeles, CA, 90027.

Donate some dough to help elect mo' better candidates.

Mucho gracias to Alicia from Last Left Turn Before Hooterville for pointing me toward The Enigmatic Paradox.

The song will be widely released in about two weeks. Enjoy! It made me ridiculously happy.

Friday, August 25, 2006

An update from Paul Lehto at OpEd News:

ELECTION NULLIFICATION in California Congressional Election.

The power grab became clear only a couple days ago, when the jurisdictional argument above was filed and made perfectly clear the mental state and specific intent of the defendants when Bilbray was shuttled to DC to be sworn in seven days after the election. The swift swearing took place at least 16 days prior to the certification of the election on or about June 29. But, if this swift swearing is to be given effect as the Defendant Brian Bilbray and Registrar Haas argue, then the "exclusive jurisdiction" of the House of Representatives also deprived Registrar of Voters Haas of any jurisdiction to certify results in the first place! The election was thus never legally finalized or certified, it legally "never happened."

Busby/Bilbray Contest Defendants Claim Election Decided in DC, Not California!

Bradblog has more information on this story.

The CA50 special election was held on June 6, on illegal voting machines as has been described here many times. (Click here for a good recent summary of the situation). On June 13, Brian Bilbray was sworn in to House of Representatives. On June 30, the election certified by Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas. And on August 22, defendants filed a brief and moved to dismiss, stating that because Bilbray has already been sworn in, the Court has no jurisdiction whatsoever and the House has exclusive jurisdiction to judge who its members are and the qualifications of those members.

Is Bilbray's attorney is saying that since the House selected Bilbray, the votes don't matter? That's what it sounds like to me.


Here's some information at Democratic Underground about the jurisdictional argument being made by Bilbray's attorneys today.

So . . . what they are saying is that since Bilbray was sworn in (long before the votes were counted) that act meant that San Diego lost jurisdiction over it's election. If you take THAT to it's logical conclusion, it seems they are saying that the House gets to PICK representatives, and the elections don't really matter. As long as they're sworn in, it's over.

I beg to differ. I certainly hope the judge does too. I wondered at the time why they were in such an all fired hurry to install him into the House.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Defendant Bilbray Files Anti-SLAPP motion

Defendant Bilbray Files Anti-SLAPP motion against Jacobson and Ritt (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) seeking costs and fees.

Rep. Bibray is bringing an anti-SLAPP claim for attorney fees against citizens Jacobson and Ritt, claiming that these citizens have mounted a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, specifically in violation of the First Amendment rights of Rep. Bilbray. He want's costs and fees because he's claiming these two citizens are violating HIS rights by asking for a recount. It's bad enough that he's claiming the House of Representatives removed jurisdiction from the State of CA before the election was certified, by convieniently swearing him in SEVEN DAYS after the election while votes were still being counted. Now he wants to financially intimidate citizens who are fully within their rights to ask questions about the election and demand proof that the election was carried out fairly.

Strategic lawsuit against public participation from Wikipedia.

This is the same tactic Micahel Haas, from the San Diego Registrar of Voters, used in attempting to charge an exorbiant fee for a recount. The amount he demanded was arbitrary and way above the norm. A dollar per ballot, when in Orange Country they charged voters fourteen CENTS a ballot. That sure makes it look like Haas pulled that number out of his hat.

So these people, who are representatives of the goverment...our government... are repeatedly placing financial barriers between citizens, and their own power.

They don't seem to hold much affection for "we the people" now, do they?
Most of the following information was provided by Paul Lehto, Counsel for Jacobson and Ritt, the citizens in congressional district 50 who are contesting the June 6 election.

HEARING ON ELECTION CONTEST AND MOTIONS TO DISMISS IS AT 1:30 PM Friday, August 25, 2006, San Diego Superior Court, Dept 60, 330 Broadway, San Diego, CA, 92101 The Honorable Yuri Hofman, Judge. (more...)

Brief Summary:
BASED ON THE DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS FILED AUGUST 22, the defendants are effectively claiming that they took all power away from the people of San Diego's 50th District when Bilbray was sworning in during a rushed ceremony only 7 days after the June 6 election, because defendants now claim that this act deprived San Diego Superior Court of jurisdiction under Art. I, sec. 4 of the Constitution. But if this is true, then it is also true that Registrar of Voters Haas was powerless to certify the election itself, and thus the election legally never happened. A new election would thus have to be ordered.

More Detail: The defendants' position in their motion to dismiss is that the court is powerless (i.e. without jurisdiction) to do anything about this election contest, because Bilbray was sworn in on June 13, only 7 days after the June 6 election, and long before the election was legally final and certified on or about June 29.

This premature termination of the election in the 50th Congressional District by the swearing in took place while votes were literally still being counted and provisional votes were still being counted, and also this premature swearing-in took place well before the 1% ballot audit required as part of the certification process was completed, and also occurred fully 16 days prior to the official certification of the results. But the defendants strongly argue that this court can do nothing, because the swearing in of Bilbray transferred jurisdiction exclusively to the House of Representatives, who they say has the "exclusive" right to determine the "qualifications" of its members pursuant to Art. I, sec. 5 of the United States Constitution (the "Qualifications Clause" of the US Constitution). However, it follows from this "no jurisdiction" argument on account of the "exclusive jurisdiction" of the House of Representatives, that the defendant's premature swearing-in at the command of Washington DC politicians also necessarily means that there is no power and no jurisdiction for defendant Registrar Haas to certify the results of the election, either. The swearing-in simply terminated the election in mid-count.

Consequently, the defendants arguments about the court's lack of power also mean that this uncertified election does not legally exist, it legally never happened and never became final because the election has never been certified at a time when anybody in San Diego had any power to do anything about it (prior to June 13, the swearing-in). Because no election is decided or over until it's officially certified, this election was purportedly decided in Washington DC, and never decided in San Diego's 50th Congressional District, where it was supposed to be decided by election. THere having been NO RESULT certified in the 50th congressional district that had the power of law behind it, the defendants' position, if adopted, would require the recognition that the Brian Bilbray was never elected by the people of San Diego's 50th Congressional District to Congress. He was simply selected, and sworn in.


June 6 Congressional election in Busby/Bilbray race

June 13 Bilbray sworn in to House of Representatives, votes still being counted, audit not yet started

June 30 election certified by Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas, after audit completed

August 22 Defendants file a brief and move to dismiss stating that because Bilbray is sworn in, the Court has no jurisdiction whatsoever and the House has exclusive jurisdiction to judge who its members are and the qualifications of those members.

Paul Lehto

There's much more at

(obligitory disclaimer: I volunteer to update the website at - terry)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Update: Here is the news release from Zogby about the newly released poll regarding concerns about election tranparency.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I just have to share this post from Calitics.

Angelides, Bowen, McNerney and the grassroots angels.

They make a great point, and the comment about the "Democratic angels" gave me a much needed laugh.

Speaking of McNerny, I saw him speak at Democracyfest, and I'm sold. I liked him VERY much, and I'd vote for him in a heartbeat. He's the real deal, and can provide some much needed leadership in the area of alternative energy. He's inspiring.


Security by Obscurity?

Bradblog has more information, including some charts and graphs, about the Zogby poll.

The survey was commissioned by election protection attorney Paul Lehto of Washington State. According to Lehto, “The public overwhelmingly opposes secret vote counting and favors election transparency and the public right to know.”

What the Zogby poll boils down to is this; citizens know they have the right to view and obtain information about how election officials count votes.

This is a fundamental right which is at the very core of democracy. If we don't have fair and open elections, we have nothing. Everything is built upon transparent elections, and for officials, such as the Registrar of Voters in San Diego, to throw up roadblocks that stop citizens from exercising their right to SEE the election process is deplorable. They should be nothing but cooperative.

The Zogby poll shows that people overwhelmingly understand the importance of transparent elections, and election officials that deny, and hide, and refuse to cooperate, are completely out of touch with this reality.

And I haven't even addressed the multitude of problems with electronic voting machines with it's proprietary (secret) vote counting software.

These poll results should strengthen our resolve to address all of these issues that are associated with what is becoming our "faith-based" voting system. We have checks and balances in this country, and we should NEVER be forced to accept elections on faith and blind trust. Our votes should not be "counted" by private companies with secret software that determines our elections without benefit of those checks and balances.

We need to demand that our elections are always transparent and WE need to OWN our elections. Not Diebold. Not ES&S. Not Hart Intercivic. Elections need to be secure, and verifiable, and as long as we are using proprietary software and hackable machines they absolutely are not. The Zogby poll shows that people understand that.
New Zogby Poll On Electronic Voting Attitudes

At a stunning rate of 92%, Americans insist on the right to watch their votes being counted. And, at an overwhelming 80%, they strongly object to the use of secret computer software to tabulate votes without citizen access to that software.

I think it's interesting to note that people seem to be quite adamant about their right to vote securely in a transparent process, however that is a sharp contrast to what we're hearing from out government agencies that are involved with voting systems. They've bought proprietary systems with inadequate security, and then when citizens ask questions about the process, the door is slammed in their faces.

That's not what people want, and it's certainly not in line with the guarantees of free, fair and transparent elections.

More on this subject later.....

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Washington Post - Touch Screen Machines Stir Election Anxiety in MD.

So the governor of MD tells the election board that he no longer had confidence in its "ability to conduct fair and accurate elections in 2006".


the administrator for the state board of elections says, "I think the system is fabulous"


TrueVoteMD doesn't feel reassured, and wants a paper trail.

Deputy Election Director Goldstein says, "outlandish"!
"In my mind, if you add a paper trail, you're going to end up with a lot more questions than answers," Goldstein said. Discrepancies might arise from comparing computer tallies to hand-counted paper receipts, which could be subject to human error.

Oh, please. That's such baloney that it's an offense to the intelligence of any reasonable person. Computers aren't subject to "human error"? Plus, that's like saying, don't audit your accounting records because you might find a mistake! Personally, I look at vote counting and mentally apply the same standards that I'd apply in generally accepted accounting practices.

Who's in touch with reality here? Here's a clue: it's NOT the election board. Even they acknowledge that they'll end up going with a paper trail because it's what the people "want". Acknowledging that, how can anyone say that advocates of a paper trail are trying to "dampen turnout" and raise needless alarm? What's causing alarm is that people KNOW how bad the electronic system is, and they want to fix the problem BEFORE the upcoming elections.

AFAIC, an emergency fix could be a paper trail. In the end, I want open source and/or non-proprietary software with a paper trail that gets counted or properly audited. I know I'm not alone in feeling that is a requirement....not just something I "want".

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Democracy for New Hampshire has released three Counting the Vote videos which show the "easy, transparent, observable, secure, and fair nature of this method of vote counting when done within the community by members of the community and administered by good and honest election officials."

OpEd News has more information about the videos, along with links to other resources about the trouble with electronic voting.
It's good to see that Forbes Magazine isn't ignoring the issues with e-voting. Here's an opinion piece by Aviel Rubin called Pull the Plug.

Consider one simple mode of attack that has already proved effective on a widely used DRE, the Accuvote made by Diebold (nyse: DBD). It's called overwriting the boot loader, the software that runs first when the machine is booted up. The boot loader controls which operating system loads, so it is the most security-critical piece of the machine. In overwriting it an attacker can, for example, make the machine count every fifth Republican vote as a Democratic vote, swap the vote outcome at the end of the election or produce a completely fabricated result. To stage this attack, a night janitor at the polling place would need only a few seconds' worth of access to the computer's memory card slot.

My ideal system isn't entirely Luddite. It physically separates the candidate selection process from vote casting. Voters make their selections on a touchscreen machine, but the machine does not tabulate votes. It simply prints out paper ballots with the voters' choices marked. The voters review the paper ballots to make sure the votes have been properly recorded. Then the votes are counted; one way is by running them through an optical scanner. After the polls close, some number of precincts are chosen at random, and the ballots are hand counted and compared with the optical scan totals to make sure they are accurate. The beauty of this system is that it leaves a tangible audit trail. Even the designer of the system cannot cheat if the voters check the printed ballots and if the optical scanners are audited.

The type of voting system mentioned in this last paragraph of Dr Rubin's article is what they're doing here at Open Voting Solutions.

Aviel Rubin is a professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University and author of the soon to be released Brave New Ballot: The Battle To Safeguard Democracy In The Age Of Electronic Voting.
The Freeway Blogger's movie How to Reach 100,000 People for Under $1.00 won the Jury Prize in July's Huffington Post Contagious Festival. Congratulations! (ok, a little belated, but's hard to keep up.)

I'm not naming names, but some most all of the CodePink San Diego women think the Freeway Blogger is just peachy.


Friday, August 18, 2006

I was perusing some CA political blogs and ran across this little bit of something at D-Day.

Meanwhile, to drum up support for Schwarzenegger among evangelicals, the state party has hired Ben Lopez, a lobbyist for the Rev. Lou Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition, a group that seeks to outlaw abortion and roll back gay rights.

Good grief, Arnold.

The Traditional Values Coalition. Hoo boy. Google them and read their site for five minutes, and let me know how you're feeling about Arnold's campaign after that.

Frankly, I think Arnold is full of hockey pucks. He says:
"I am proud California is a leader in recognizing and respecting domestic partnerships and the equal rights of domestic partners," .... "I support current domestic partnership rights and will continue to vigorously defend and enforce these rights and as such will not support any rollback."

(as he's vetoing the same sex marriage legislation.)

And now they hire someone who's job is to keep gays from having equal rights. This organization calls homosexuality "deviant behavior". They opposed benefits for the partners of 9/11 victims. They blather about the "homosexual agenda". They oppose women's right to privacy w/r/t reproductive rights, and call global warming a hoax The whole right wing theocratic agenda.


You get the picture.

In summary: Don't buy that line about him being a moderate. He just plays one on tv.

Major Election Integrity Bills Moving Forward in CA

I received this good news in my email this afternoon, but I don't have a link to a post so I'm just going to paste the whole article right here. It was written by Tom Courbat, the project director for Save R Vote/Election Defense Alliance in Riverside CA. The information was obtained from Senator Bowen's office today.

I'll post updates as they make their way through the legislature, and when they get to the point where their are awaiting the signature of the Governor, I'll post that too so you can send him messages to encourage his signature on these items.

Major Election Integrity Bills Moving Forward in CA

August 18, 2006

State Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach) indicated today that five significant election integrity bills she’s authoring will be heard on the Senate floor before the Legislature adjourns on August 31 and are likely to be passed and sent to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk for signature. Most of the bills have enjoyed widespread bipartisan support and if they are approved by the Legislature, the Governor will have until September 30th to decide whether to sign or veto the measures.

Senator Bowen, Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, has been relentless in the pursuit of increased transparency of elections and protection of the rights of citizens to actively participate in the election monitoring process to ensure fair and honest elections. Her legislative agenda has included tighter controls on electronic voting systems which now dominate the election system landscape. Senator Bowen chairs the Senate Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments Committee.

The Bowen bills aimed at open, fair and transparent elections are summarized below.

SB 1747 Citizen observers – Allows any bona fide association of citizens or a media organization to have up to two representatives each to check and review the preparation, programming, testing and operation of the election day tabulating devices.

SB 1235 – Absentee votes included in audit/tally - Requires counties to sort absentee voter (AV) ballots and early voting ballots by precinct and include them in the mandated 1% random manual tally. The 1% manual tally is to provide a check against the count generated by the voting machines. Counties are already required to conduct a 1% tally of all ballots, but excluding absentee ballots – which accounted for 43% of the votes cast in the June primary [49% in Riverside County] – undermines the integrity of the audit. The bill also requires the 1% manual tally to be conducted publicly and that the results of the tally be made available to the public.

SB 1725 - Absentee ballot receipt verification – Requires each elections department to set up a toll-free phone number or Internet system to let voters check to see whether their returned absentee ballot has arrived back in the county elections office.

SB 1760 – Paper quality standards – Prevents the Secretary of State from certifying any election system for use in the state if the paper ballot or the accessible voter-verified paper audit trail (AVVPAT) won’t retain its integrity and readability for the 22 months that elections officials are required to keep all election ballots and materials.

SB 1598 – Initiative backer disclosure – Requires initiative petition signature gatherers to tell voters up front whether they’re volunteers or being paid to collect signatures, and requires them to list the five largest contributors to the initiative on the top of the petition.

Update/interview provided by Tom Courbat, Project Director, SAVE R VOTE, Riverside County, CA.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Geov Parrish at Working for Change writes about the aftermath of the Lamont/Lieberman race:

That's why all the hysteria, and hot air, from Beltway people who know better. It's not that they don't recognize that voters, properly motivated, can bring down this whole corrupt charade of corporate democracy; it's that they don't want you to recognize it. Because if you, which is to say we, understand that the ultimate electoral power really does belong to us, we're capable of ending a lot more than just the war in Iraq.
Excellent article on the Opinion page at the Guardian by Mark Almond.

People power is a global brand owned by America

Castro's failing health gets more airtime than the constitutional crisis gripping America's southern neighbour, which is one of its major oil suppliers. Apparently, crowds of protesters squatting in Mexico City for weeks protesting against alleged vote-rigging don't make a good news story. Occasionally commentators who celebrated Ukrainians blocking the main thoroughfares of Kiev condescend to jeer at Mexico's sore losers and complain that businessmen are missing deadlines because dead-enders with nothing better to do are holding up the traffic. Ukraine's Viktor Yushchenko was decisive when he declared himself president, but isn't López Obrador a demagogue for doing the same?

Mexican riot police seal Congress

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Paul Jacobs at the North County Times.

Elections have become so ethereal that citizens demanding sanctity of the process are treated like unworthy, wayward members of the flock in need of a good flogging.

Hoo. That's about the size of it. I'm surprised we've not been called unpatriotic for asking questions and demanding accountability.

I don't think we have anyway.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Salon's Shameful Six

Here are the six states where vote suppression could cost voters their voice -- and Democrats the election -- in 2006.

The drum beat about our elections is getting louder.

Monday, August 14, 2006

An Important Wrap-Up Message About DemocracyFest...

As I mentioned (repeatedly) Democracyfest was great. An excellent opportunity to learn and network and see interesting speakers and meet wonderful people. BUT, for whatever reason they did not have the turnout they anticipated. (Maybe it was too close to YearlyKos? I chose between the two, and Demfest got the upper hand by being local.) Since the turnout was low, SD for Democracy is left with more than a bit of debt, so please give them a hand with whatever you can contribute.

From the above link.....

1) Buy T-shirts. We have some left over, in limited quantities and sizes. These high-quality shirts feature the eye-catching San Diego Bay DemocracyFest design by our own Leigh Mahon. Please go to to purchase shirts for $19.95 for one, or $29.95 for two. If you have questions, call the DemocracyFest line at 858-472-4168. Give them as gifts, wear them to your next protest or meeting!


2) Make a TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION. That's right, I said TAX DEDUCTIBLE. We have managed to find a way for people to donate to the cause of reducing the DemocracyFest debt by contributing to the Campanile Foundation, which is a 501[c][3] Philanthropic Foundation supporting San Diego State University. True to the DFA "any amount helps" style of fundraising, we invite people to send whatever they can or are comfortable with, to help us to retire the debt incurred in hosting DemocracyFest 2006. Once the debt has been retired, any additional checks received would be returned. We're not looking to come out ahead.

The directions are simple. Make your check payable to: The Campanile Foundation - DemocracyFest 2006.

Mail them to:

The Campanile Foundation
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, Ca 92182-8030


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Cityfest is today in Hillcrest.

Cool. Looks like the Democratic Party booth is close to the stage so I can hear Ruby and the Red Hots while I'm registering voters.
KungFu Monkey sez,

Wait, Aren't You Scared?

The California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act News

One of the things I was pleased to hear this past week was that Phil Angelides is endorsing Prop 89.

"I am proud to join the ranks of California Nurses Association, The League of Women Voters, California Common Cause and so many others in supporting Proposition 89 - the Clean Money Initiative," said Angelides who was joined by California Nurses Association President Deborah Burger and Assemblywoman
Loni Hancock. "It is time for the people of California to clean up the influence of money in our government. Our government should answer to the voices of Californians, not corporate special interests."


Prop 89 has launched their new website at

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Hey ya. I've not had much to say this week because I'm in a mood. I seem to have blown out my knee or something, and pain makes me crabby. If I Blog While Crabby (BWC) I might say something regretable. Normally I just Blog While Annoyed (BWA). There's a big difference.

I've been watching with interest (and a measure of disgust) while the Republican party has a meltdown over Lamont's win. I'd just like to say, wow.


So it appears that the political strategy is to rile the no-nothing base with misdirected fear, rile the donor base with threats about the scary rise of the Fringe Left, and paint those who disagree with Bush (the majority of Americans) as America hating traitors.

My bullshitometer is pegged to the right. Sounds like Fear Campaign 2006 to me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Elections Task Force, IRV highlight next SD Common Cause meeting

This coming Saturday, August 12, there will be a San Diego Common Cause meeting at the Mission Valley library. There will be a panel discussion about the San Diego Elections Task Force.

The Elections Task Force was formed by the City Council and is comprised of 9 members of the public and city staff. Since February, the Task Force has been evaluating election-related topics that would help improve the way the city of San Diego runs elections.

The Task Force has already completed a report on mail-only ballot elections, and will also consider issues such as instant run-off voting, voter outreach, ballot tabulation, and public financing of elections. These are exciting issues that may change the way San Diego conducts elections.

Panelists include:
Liz Maland, San Diego City Clerk and Task Force Chair
Sharon Spivak, Deputy City Attorney
John Kern, Task Force Public Member
Charles Imes, Task Force Public Member

Meeting Details:
Saturday, August 12, 2006
12:00 - 2:00 pm
Mission Valley Library Community Room
2123 Fenton Parkway, San Diego, CA 92108
Visit to get directions.

The meeting is free and open to the public. For additional information, please contact toll free (866) 952.4222 or

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I figured Lieberman was going to announce that, but I hope he has a change of heart. It's kind of pathetic.

Not to mention spitting in the face of voters in CT.

(edit)- here's David Sirota on the subject....

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Revolution is Not Being Televised.

Local bands of party loyalists organized both campaigns and are the bedrock that supports the foundation. But both candidates soared because they had access to an Internet-driven message medium.

Sterling Newberry nails it with this article. This is really one of the best things I've read about what's behind the success of the Lamont campaign (and others). There's not been acknowledgement by the MSM that there's anyone other than internet whackos and conspiracy theorists out here on the Wild Wild Internet, and of course they are missing the point completely.

Stirling addresses the fact that this is about "insiders" who understand the system with all it's faults, working with the netroots. These folks are smart, politically saavy, AND understand that grassroots efforts and social networking are where it's at. It's a very good article, and he makes some great points that most articles I've read about the netroots have omitted. Somestimes they're too busy marginalizing Net activists to report the facts of the matter.

The new politics then is not the Internet, nor a "grass roots" revolt, but the merging of two classes of active people: one group of people who have bonds deep within their community, who have worked endless hours for their school committee, and been representatives and delegates to party conventions and national organizations, and the other, people who live in a virtual city, grasping and weaving through the gossamer strands of virtual connections, and turning them into real connections. This is why every successful Internet-fueled movement has had, as a key component, producing physical, face-to-face meetings and gatherings. One can list the numerous examples, from Meet-Up to Yearly Kos to the recently concluded "Democratic Reunion" drive by the DNC.

I was going to blah blah blah about the article, but .... just go read it. Good stuff.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

btw, when I Googled that Richard Goodstein fella, I ran across a blog from another campaign worker named Richard that's working for Lieberman.

He's kind of a conflicted fella (politically speaking), and that's cool wtih me, but he also admits that they intentionally disrupt Lamont events and remove Lamont campaigns signs. Sheesh. Sounds like Joe is running for junior high class president. And I don't know about CT but in CA removing the oppositions campaign signs is illegal, as it should be. It's also pathetic.

Personally I prefer it when people run on their own merits rather than admitting they have none by constantly focusing on screwing with the other candidate. That's repulsive, and seeing evidence of that type of thing would change my vote.

Since I don't live in CT and I would have voted for Lamont anyway, it's a moot point for me, but I'm just sayin''s pathetic and another strike against Joe in my book.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Ya know, I really do hope Lamont wins in CT. It's looking pretty darn good actually. Usually I don't pay real close attention to races outside the state, but this one has been interesting. And NOW the Lieberman campaign is looking like a freaking train wreck, and I can't look away!!!

Connecticut Bob has video of more Lieberman supporter disruption at a Lamont event. This time the guy blowing a gasket is a lobbyist (or Washington attorney or political stratigist...depending on which hat he's wearing) who's come to CT from DC to heckle Lamont at this final weekend's campaign events. Wow.

I loved the Lobbyists for Lieberman chant.

I did a search to see what I could find on this guy Richard Goodstein, and others had already beat me to it.

Aldon at MyDD

Matt Stoller at My DD

Richard Goodstein: "Email Me The Last Good Story You Wrote About Joe Lieberman" at TPM Cafe.

More bizarro world politics.
I've added Welcome to Pottersville and The Memory Hole to the blogroll.
Here's a very good, 18 minute video that's a great overview of the dangers associated with electronic voting machines. It's called Help America Vote on Paper. It includes interviews with interviews with Dolores Huerta, election lawyers Lowell Finley and John Eichorst, and Congresswomen Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, Lynn Woolsey and Cynthia McKinney.
Computerworld has published an article about the CA-50 lawsuit. Mostly just general information. I don't think there's anything new there, but this issue is starting to get wider coverage. Hurrah, at last.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Debra Bowen Convenes California Senate Select Committee on Integrity of Elections

Diebold Voting Machines and snafus questioned in Kern County's '06 primary at It's My Right to be Left of Center

All I can say is, Vote for Debra Bowen. Please please pleeeeeeease. I really truly believe that she's someone who will make positive changes in our election process here in California.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What's up with these Lieberman supporters or staff members or thugs or whoever they are? That is just weird. I really do hate bullies. Pathetic.


Ned walks into Ted's Steamed Cheeseburgers for the event, and the 3 or 4 booths inside are already packed, as are some of the counter seats, with about 15-20 teenagers and one older gentleman, many of whom had asked for and received Ned Lamont stickers from the Lamont staffers organizing the event. Ned says hi to the owner. As Ned starts talking, the teenagers reveal Lieberman T-shirts. The older gentleman starts yelling "Are You an Al Sharpton Democrat or a Bill Clinton Democrat?" and something along the lines of "because Bill Clinton has the support of everyone and Al Sharpton only has the support of..." trailing off. Ned decides to leave, with his staff fearing for his physical safety.

The entire scene moves outside, where about 6 reporters are there, witnessing the entire spectacle. A near melee ensues as at least 5 of the Lieberman kids continue to yell and scream at Ned and get physically abusive with Lamont staffers, even bloodying a photographer's nose.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Congressman Brags About Sabotaged Minimum Wage Bill: ‘You Have Seen Us Really Outfox You’

These guys are amazing. They use a long overdue minimum wage bill for political leverage, and then brag about it. That's repulsive to use poor, hardworking individuals as political pawns, but they think it's clever politics.

Republicans voted down a very reasonable and modest increase in the minimum wage, and then introduced their own version with this gift to Paris Hilton, et al, attached to it. They know it won't pass, they'll make their business lobbyists very happy so they will hand them more cash. Of course this is all related to the fact that elections are only 99 days away, they WILL use it to say Democrats opposed the minimum wage.

I don't know what else to say. They're going to have to stop leaving me speechless. It's adversely affecting my blogging.
Be Cool. Join Night School TONIGHT!

The second in a series of three Democracy for America Night School classes will be held tonight at 5:30 PT/8:30 CT and you can get the info to sign up right here. Tonight's conference call is on the topic of leveraging blogs and online media.

I took the first class in this great series on using the mainstream media to advance your campaign or issue, and it was excellent. I learned a lot of useful and practical information and I highly recommend it for grassroots/netroots activists.