Saturday, September 30, 2006

We Count Conference, Cleveland OH

Live Blogging from the "We Count Conference" in Cleveland at Democratic Underground.

Conggressmember Kucinich introduced a bill for hand counted paper ballots with precinct posted results in presidential race. It's HR 6200. I'll post the text of the bill when I get it, but generally speaking I think it sounds peachy.

Discussion at DU

Title: To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require States to conduct Presidential elections using paper ballots and to count those ballots by hand, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [OH-10] (introduced 9/27/2006) Cosponsors (19) Latest Major Action: 9/27/2006 Referred to House Committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on House Administration, and in addition to the Committee on Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

Friday, September 29, 2006

a message from Guerrero Azteca Peace Project

Proyecto Guerrero Azteca por la Paz and American Voices Abroad (AVA) Military Project : a project of U.S. citizens living overseas supporting U.S. military personnel stationed overseas

With HELGA AGUAYO, Wife of Army Specialist AGUSTÍN AGUAYO, and Supporters Agustín Aguayo is a Conscientious Objector and War Resister who went AWOL on September 2, 2006, when his unit deployed for a second time from Germany to Iraq. On September 26, Aguayo turned himself in to Fort Irwin Army Base near Barstow, CA. Today he will be brought by military escort to Germany or to Kuwait to face prosecution by the Army.

WHEN: at 11:00 AM on Saturday, September 30, 2006

WHERE: Offices of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), MALDEF Blg., Exec. Board Room, 1st Floor, 634 S. Spring Street (betw. 6th & 7th) Los Angeles. For directions go to:

Helga Aguayo, wife of Agustín Aguayo. She recently returned with the couple’s twin eleven-year-old daughters to their home in Palmdale, California, after spending more than three years on the Army base in Schweinfurt, Germany.

Fernando Suarez del Solar, father of Jesus Alberto Suarez del Solar, a U.S. soldier (a Mexican citizen without U.S. citizenship) who died in Iraq on March 27, 2003. From the time of his son’s death, Fernando has dedicated his life to opposing the war on Iraq, which he deems illegal, and the practices of U.S. military recruiters. He has twice traveled to Iraq to bring medications and the message of peace to victims of the occupation.

Elsa Rassbach, a U.S. citizen and filmmaker living in Berlin and a founding member of American Voices Abroad (AVA) Military Project, whose members have provided support to the Aguayos for their lawsuit against the Army and public education about their case. She is active in the German peace movement and in Democrats Abroad, and worked with the GI rights movement in Germany during the Vietnam War.

With Statements by Representatives of Some of the Following Endorsing Organizations:
American Friends Service Committee, Center on Conscience & War (CCW), The Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO), Military Counseling Network (Germany), Code Pink, Connection, e.V. (Germany), Courage to Resist, Global Exchange, Guerrero Azteca Project, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), Gold Star Families for Peace, Military Families Speak Out (MFSO – Orange County); Munich American Peace Committee (MAPC – AVA in Munich, Germany), Not In Our Name (Bay Area Chapter).

Elsa Rassbach - AVA Military Project
Fernando Suarez del Solar - Guerrero Azteca Peace Project (speaks Spanish)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

from the NY Times

Bill Would Reimburse States for Printing Alternate Ballots

Looks like Russ Feingold is going to co-sponsor the legislation to reimburse local jurisdictions for the cost of paper ballots.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Emergency paper ballot legislation in the Senate

WooHoo! Good news from Brad Blog! Today Senators Boxer and Dodd introduced emergency paper ballot legislation. They have written and introduced an amendment to the Help America Vote Act, and similar legislation will be filed in the House. Here's the intro:

To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to reimburse jurisdictions for amounts paid or incurred in preparing, producing, and using contingency paper ballots recording electronic voting machines in the November 7, 2006, Federal general election

This way the counties can't say, "we can't afford to have DREs AND paper ballots".

It's a common sense contingency plan for all precincts to have paper ballots available, especially in light of the fact that there have been many documented cases of problems with electronic DREs. No or inadequate paper trails, crashed computers, jammed printers, and computers that don't boot up. Unknown numbers of voters have been told to "come back later" when the computers aren't working....or haven't shown up at the polls until 10-11:00 a.m. after their sleepovers with a pollworker.

If you are a registered voter and you show up on election day you should never be turned away. Never. Ever.

This has to be PUSHED through the process. This is the last week of the legislative session. So the time is NOW to contact your representatives, and tell them you want them to pass the "Confidence in Vote Act of 2006". If it doesn't pass this week, it won't happen before the November election. If they can all fly to DC to pass legislation that affects one person, they can do this. It's do-able. One of the things that makes it politically do-able in a short time is that it's not an mandate.

Now you go read Brad's article and the text of the proposed legislation. It's happy news.

More to come....

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Demand Peace in San Diego 9.25.06

From the San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice mailing list:

The Campaign for a Declaration of Peace has called on Congress for a concrete and rapid plan for peace in Iraq by September 21,
yet the war continues. We call on people to take action, withdraw your consent from this war and support a comprehensive peace process!

JOIN US TO DEMAND PEACE AND SAY "NO MORE WAR! OUT OF IRAQ NOW!" with bannering, street theater and a march.

Monday, September 25, 2006 4-7 p.m. (this event will be continuous; comewhen you can!) Horton Plaza (downtown on Broadway between 3rd and 4th Streets)

Sponsored by the San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice. For more info: 619-263-9301. More info at

The Iraq War will end when people refuse to support it! WE DEMAND PEACE!

unkforjazz is posting pictures at flickr from this week's Declaration for Peace events in San Diego.

I wanted to help at Arlington West in Balboa Park yesterday, and to do voter registration at the Adams Avenue Street Fair today, but my knee isn't well enough yet to walk and/or stand that much.

I say I'm an impatient patient, but a friend told me I'm just mad that I can't kick butt with a post surgery knee. Maybe it's some of both. I'm not used to all this sitting.

So thanks for sharing your pictures, Michael.

Friday, September 22, 2006

SD Union-Tribune continues fight against Clean Elections

San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board gets the Joker of the Day award from the Prop 89 blog.

Here's the way off base editorial from the SD Union Trib.

This isn't the first time they've slammed the concept of Clean Money, and but luckily there are lots of reputable organizations that do support voluntary limits on campaign contributions.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Gimme back my vote

Will The Next Election Be Hacked?

"What I saw," he says, "was basically a corporate takeover of our voting system."

That's about the size of it, afaic.

Have I mentioned how thrilled I am that he's taken up this issue over the last few months?
Remember the church in Pasadena facing the IRS investigation?

Church fighting IRS over anti-war sermon won't give up documents

Good for them. They have every right to take this to court. They didn't endorse anyone. The talked policy and moral issues, not party and candidates.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Let America Vote Act - Emergency Paper Ballots

Here's the promised link from Brad Blog with the legislative language for the "Let America Vote Act". What do you think?


WHEREAS significant failures of electronic voting machines have occurred in various jurisdictions during primary elections held in Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Maryland and other states during 2006, and

WHEREAS such failures have forced legitimate, registered voters to have been turned away from the polls by the thousands so far in 2006 primary elections simply because neither voting machines nor paper ballots were available for use when the voters arrived at their polling place, and

WHEREAS the probability exists that such failures will continue and the adverse results of such failures will be multiplied and increased in magnitude by the additional number of voters participating in the November 7, 2006 General Election, and

WHEREAS the potential exists for massive disenfranchisement of American voters in the November 7, 2006 General Election, by such failures of electronic voting machines,

NOW THEREFORE be it enacted that:

A. For the November 7, 2006, General Election, each election jurisdiction shall be required to prepare and print Emergency Paper Ballots of the proper ballot style for all races and propositions which shall be contested in that jurisdiction.

B. Such Emergency Paper Ballots shall be printed in sufficient quantity to guarantee that every voter who may require one, either as requested or as a result of voting machine unavailability, shall be able to receive such an Emergency Paper Ballot.

C. As with all provisional ballots, such Emergency Paper Ballots shall be printed in all languages specified for ballots in that jurisdiction.

D. Any voter eligible to vote in the jurisdiction in which he or she requests an Emergency Paper Ballot shall be entitled to receive and cast such Emergency Paper Ballot, regardless of the type of ballot that shall have been specifiied in that jurisdiction through operation of law, without further qualification, request, proof or furnishing of reason for such request.

E. Such Emergency Paper Ballots shall be official ballots for purposes of casting, tabulating, audits, redundant counts and recounts, and shall not be considered provisional ballots.

F. Emergency Paper Ballots shall be cast and tabulated in the same manner as all other ballots cast on November 7, 2006.

G. The associated costs to states for this mandate will be reimbursed out of Help America Vote Act funding.

H. This Act shall terminate and cease to have effect on February 28, 2007.
Bring your passport to the polls.

I'm hoping the Senate knows better.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The "Hail Mary" Election Protection Act

Just in time for football AND election season, Brad at Brad Blog has a great suggestion. I think it speaks for it's self.


Emergency paper ballots shall be made available at every voting jurisdiction in the United States during the November 7th, 2006 General Election. These paper ballots shall be available in sufficient numbers for optional use by voters who prefer to use them, and by all voters in the event of voting machine failure or unavailability. These paper ballots are not to be provisional ballots, but regular paper ballots that shall be counted immediately upon the close of polls on election night along with all other votes cast by properly registered voters.

Great idea. He says he'll be posting a more "bill-like" verion tomorrow at Brad Blog, and is asking for people to contact their representatives to see if they will sponsor or support such legislation.

Monday, September 18, 2006

More top notch "security" for voting machines

I was just poking around at Digg, trying to figure out all the bells and whistles and I ran across this story from Freedom to Tinker.

“Hotel Minibar” Keys Open Diebold Voting Machines

After the demonstration at Princeton which showed how easy it is to tinker with the software in a Diebold voting machine, they realized that the key that "secures" the memory card is a standard fact the SAME key that opens file cabinets, minibars and electronic equipment. In other words, you probably have one hanging on your key ring.

Election Protection Forum 9/16/06

Todd Beeton at Calitics has a very nice summary of Saturday's election protection event in Los Angeles. Sounds like it went really well.

I really wanted to be there, but my knee isn't quite well enough for me to get out and about yet. I didn't think a four hour car trip would be in my best interest.

Mr Beeton is right on that Brad at BradBlog is doing some great work. He organized the forum this past weekend, his blog is consistantly excellent, and he's helped a great deal in publicizing the issues here in San Diego with the CA-50 Action Committee/ group.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Five Bucks Five Bucks Five Bucks

I've added a link at the top of the sidebar where you make a donation to support Proposition 89. Five bucks! How easy it is to give five bucks to something that can make an enormous, positive difference in our government? That's part of the beauty of Prop 89.

One of the requirements for a candidate to obtain clean money financing is that they must show a broad base of voter support for their campaign. They qualify by gathering a set number signatures and five dollar contributions, and agreeing not to accept any other private money. To do this they must get out in the community and make themselves and their views known. It creates dialogue between citizens and candidates, and shows that the individual running for office can be a viable candidate.

There's lots of good information online about the benefits of Prop 89. A good start is the Facts page at Proposition 89 Now.

Proposition 89 Now!
Prop 89 at Blogger
Californians for Clean Elections
Prop 89 video at You Tube
Proposition 89 News

Give it a look, and then come back and give five bucks five bucks five bucks to put democracy back in the hands of individual citizens. Those bazillion bucks corporations have owned the process for far too long.

If we don't pay for our own political process, someone else will. It belongs to us,and it's worth a lot more than five dollars.
I just added Words Have Power to the blogroll.

Today he's got a link to an exhaustive (exhausting?) US News and World Report article about the Cunningham scandal.
Today, the FBI, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the Defense Security Service are working with prosecutors to put the finishing touches on indictments against several other defense contractors, and senior defense and intelligence officials, who helped Wade with his corrupt activities. "We have been looking at everybody that's involved," says a federal law enforcement official. "Anytime you talk about defense contracting, it's a huge spider web."

Looks like we'll be hearing some more news on that pretty soon.

Today's sermon

Here's a copy of the sermon that was given at All-Saints in Pasadena that caught the attention of the IRS.

He didn't advocate any specific candidate, and if someone was going to make a decision based on that sermon, they could reasonably decide to vote for neither of the major candidates. Kerry sure as hell was not an anti-war candidate, even though that's how some tried to paint him at the time.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Now wait one darn minute here!

I'd like to know more about this, but I think it smells like harrassment.

The IRS is investigating whether All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena violated the federal tax code when its former rector, Rev. George F. Regas, delivered an anti-war sermon on the eve of the last presidential election.

I mean really....suddenly it's wrong for Christians to talk about peace? I wonder if Jesus has heard about this!?

This really bugs me in light of the fact that so many conservative churches actively insert themselves into politics (and campaigns) with no repercussions. I've known a whole lot of people over the years who've told me their church has told them who to vote for, and it ain't the Democrats. From the story linked above it sounds like the pastor was not making an endorsement or telling anyone how to vote. If any group should talk about the evils of war, it's people who claim to be Christian.

Electing the Prez by Popular Vote? What a Concept!

So what do you think about the National Popular Vote plan? If you like the idea, convince me.

People I generally hold in pretty high esteem w/r/t elections support it. Debra Bowen, for example.

I like it in theory, and I think the Electoral College is a dinosaur. I believe the president should be elected by the popular vote. One person, one vote. The law will only go into effect if enough other states join the interstate compact to create a coalition of states with a combined 270 electoral votes. I don't believe there's a problem with the constitutionality of it, because it's up to the states to decide how to award their electoral votes.

All that said, I have a little voice in my head saying, that potentially California could overwhelmingly select a Democrat (for example) but still end up awarding all electoral votes to the other candidate, and that bothers me.

And could a rigged election in a few smaller states push it to that point? I dunno. Help me do the math!

The California legislature has approved AB2948 and it's sitting on Arnold's desk. Whatever you think about it, now's the time to tell him.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Rady Ananda and Marj Creech are voting rights activists who are working in Ohio to protect the vote, and they're created a nifty little tri-fold brochure to educate voters about how to monitor their election process. I think they did a really nice job, and even though it's focus is on Ohio, the same principles apply anywhere. Give it a look, and pass it on.

Your presence is requested....

Send Arnold an invite to a debate with Phil Angelides.

He really needs to accept a debate. AFAIC, a televised debate should be one of those "must do" things, especially in state-wide elections. I have serious questions about anyone that refuses a debate, no matter their party.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Block the vote

Alternet has an article today called Block the Vote: The 10 Worst Places to Cast a Ballot.

Good article, because it shows the myriad of ways elections are being corrupted, but I do wish they'd pointed out these scams are not limited to these 10-11 areas. I'd hate for anyone to think since they're region isn't on the list, that means they're safe. Voting and election problems are widespread.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

SD Veterans for Peace Events

For Immediate Release

The San Diego Veterans For Peace will stage 3 events in one week in September.

Sunday September 17, March with Kids For Peace, 9AM, Redwood Circle, Balboa Park.

Wednesday September 20, Candlelight vigil outside NBC studios downtown San Diego, 4 to 6AM.

Saturday September 23, Arlington West, 6th and Laurel, Balboa Park, 12 noon to 6PM.

The public is asked to attend and participate in all 3 events. Please contact Dave Patterson for additional information:

Contact: Dave Patterson, President
San Diego Veterans For Peace
Benjamin at Birdoblog has started writing up a list of advertisers you can write to, to inform them you won't be buying from companies that advertise on ABC, in light of the crockumentary about 9/11.

Personally I would like to know who's underwriting the cost of showing The Road to 9/11 sans commercials. I figure that's to protect the corporations, and not as the "public service" it's claimed to be. Just between you and me, lying is not a public service.

Max Blumenthal follows the money.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Election Protection Forum

Featuring Gore Vidal, Maxine Waters and Debra Bowen - Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 3:00PM
Immanuel Presbyterian Church
3300 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA
(corner of Berendo, 2 blocks west of Red Line's Vermont Station - see for schedule)

There's more info at SoCal Grassroots.
It's been announced that the plaintiffs in the CA-50 election contest will appeal the dismissal of their suit requesting a recount based on the extreme security issues with the computerized voting system. The judge dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds, stating that once the apparant winner is sworn in, the jurisdiction shifts to the House of Representatives.

Donations to the appeal can be made via Velvet Revolution.

In related news, I'm completely irked that I missed Down for the Count on NOW last night. Honestly, I swear that sometimes it's on at 8:30 and sometimes it's on at 9:30. Just when I think I have it figured out they move it.

Jammed machines, rejected ballots, malfunctions that declare the losing candidate the winner...if this were occurring on American Idol, you can imagine the outrage, but it's happening with a far more important American institution: democratic elections. New election machines, as mandated and funded by federal law, may create a new election debacle instead of correcting the old one.

Ain't that the sad truth?

Questions about American Idol voting arise, and people are outraged. Questions about voting in democratic elections arise, and the people who say anything about it are conspiracy theorists.
The San Diego Peace Resource Center has a great calendar of peace/anti-war events for the San Diego region.

Monday, September 04, 2006

I'm Jeeni Criscenzo at You Tube.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

In the spirit of Camp Democracy in Washington DC, September in San Diego will be a month of actions for Peace, and there are several events for San Diego peace activists.

September 17, March with Kids for Peace Balboa Park

On September 17th, the Tariq Khamisa Foundation has generously agreed to sponsor the Americans for a Department of Peace and Kids for Peace in a Walk for Peace to be held in Balboa Park. The event is a new twist on a walk-a-thon fundraiser and will conclude with peaceful multicultural music and a picnic. This will be held in Balboa's beautiful Redwood Circle. We hope to not only raise awareness about the campaign to establish a U.S. Department of Peace, but also to raise funds for the efforts of the Americans for a Department of Peace, The Peace Alliance, and Kids for Peace so that each can continue to spread peace locally while they support the national campaign for a more peaceful future. The event is in conjunction with the national month of peace and the international day of peace.

For more information, please visit: AFDOP Peacewalk

This is a family-friendly, pro-peace event. All are welcome regardless of participation in the fundraising portion, but we do ask that all participants keep the event's pro-peace nature in mind. We would like for the Walk to keep a positive, inspirational nature without the negativity of the "anti-" message so that we can keep the event inclusive and welcoming to all ages.


The San Diego Veterans for Peace will hold a silent candlelight vigil outside the NBC studio in downtown San Diego on September 20 from 4AM to 6AM

Also, please join them on September 23 at the Arlington West Memorial Balboa Park at 6th and Laurel.

Please note that this is a memorial, and they do not allow protesting or the passing out of political materials. Additional details regarding the time of the memorial will follow.


"It isn't enough to talk about peace.
One must believe in it.
And it isn't enough to believe in it.
Once must work at it."
Eleanor Roosevelt

Declaration of Peace: On September 21, the International Day of Peace, Declaration signers across the U.S. will engage in nonviolent action in Washington, D.C. and in communities throughout the nation.

Sign the Declaration for Peace

Sign the Voters Peace Pledge
Hey there. I've been busy the last few days. Did you miss me? I went to Mount Miguel HIgh School in Spring Valley, CA and my 30th (gasp!) high school reunion was this weekend. I was busy with that.

A few months ago I did some poking around to see if a reunion was planned for this summer, and didn't find anything. I went to the alumni site, found a contact and wrote to him asking if there was a reunion, and if not could we at least do something for the school. Well, I guess that (with contacts from other alumni) spurred a handful of people into action, and they started planning a party.

I started trying to figure out what we could do for the high school. I contacted the facilities manager, and did a tour of the campus with her to see what they need. Well, they need a LOT. My poor little raggedy school!

While we were walking around the campus, the facilities manager told me that a couple years ago the students raised money to plant trees on campus, so they were able to purchase five or six Queen Palms and they placed them along the front of the school. That night, someone came and dug up the new trees and carted them off. They stole the trees!

My inner Lorax sprang to attention and said, We Must Speak For The Trees!

I went back and told the group that my choice was to do a fundraiser to purchase new trees and other landscaping for the campus, and they agreed.

So the past two days I've been at reunion events, walking around saying "Hi...remember me? No? Well, will you give me money anyway?" Several people handed me checks or cash, and I had flyers that I handed out. Hopefully money will show up in my mailbox this week too. I not only wanted to raise some money for the school as a class gift, but hopefully we'll be successful and it will encourage other class reunion groups to do the same in the future.

I live in the same general area right now as I did when I was a teenager, so the school is still part of my community, and it needs some attention.

And trees.