Number of Days Until the 2014 Mid-Term Elections

Number of Days 113th Congress Still Hasn't Introduced A Jobs Bill

Thursday, February 16, 2006

From Stolen Elections to Cruella De Ville

One of the goals of this blog is to examine the Florida political landscape from a different perspective using different news sources other than the conservative based, bought and paid for corporate media. Yes, corporate media news sources will be employed in a triangulation approach, if you will, to contrast different angles of the story. Hence, “Politics: Florida News Hat Trick” will be a regular feature of ‘Truman’s Conscience.’ Three news stories will be chosen for the reader to consider in light of the corporate media’s attempt to either ignore or discredit the source of the piece. Please let me know what you think.

First, Anthony Lappe of Guerrilla News Network writes an excellent piece revisiting the meltdown here in Florida and Ohio. The money quote of the piece gives it the right flavor for those of us who know in our hearts the Florida electoral process was subjugated in an extralegal coup: “But for a small contingent of left-wing activists and progressive Democrats, Ohio was Florida Redux – a ruthless Republican coup orchestrated under the absent gaze of the lapdog media.” The most satisfying aspect about the article is the sources:

Fooled Again?
Wed, 15 Feb 2006 18:22:00 -0800

By Anthony Lappé
In his new book, Mark Crispin Miller argues Bush stole the White House, twice
Editor’s note: If you asked everyone in the U.S. whom they thought won Florida in 2000, half the country (or more) would most likely tell you Al Gore, including Al Gore. But pose the question, who won Ohio in November 2004? and it’s an entirely different story. For most Americans, George Bush earned a commanding mandate on November 2, 2004. The race in Ohio, officially decided by 118,000 votes, was close, but was no Florida. There were no hanging chads or Jews for Buchanan. Democracy worked and the guy with the most votes won. But for a small contingent of left-wing activists and progressive Democrats, Ohio was Florida Redux – a ruthless Republican coup orchestrated under the absent gaze of the lapdog media. In GNN’s new documentary
American Blackout, we detail some of the more egregious examples of voter suppression. As the Conyers Report documents, there is substantial evidence that heavily Democratic (and African-American) precincts in Ohio didn’t have enough voting machines, voters were intimidated and valid votes were discarded. Yet for most on the left, it’s still an open question whether Republican shenanigans actually prevented a Kerry win. What does Kerry think? In his new book, American Vertigo, Bernard-Henri Lévy writes he met up with a “haggard, ghostly” Kerry a few weeks after his loss. According to Lévy, the defeated candidate faintly whispered in his ear, “If you hear anything about those 50,000 votes in Ohio, let me know.”
In his new book,
Fooled Again, NYU media critic and outspoken Bush-basher Mark Crispin Miller (The Bush Dyslexicon) says he knows where to look. In Fooled Again, he lays out what he says is a definitive case that Kerry won Ohio, and thus the election. Recently, GNN’s Anthony Lappé conducted this interview with Miller about his controversial allegations: (Read more)

There is a nice piece from Alternet.com that includes the 2000 Florida election debacle. In an excerpt from “How to Steal An Election,” author Andrew Gumbel does a nice job outlining the forgotten dots that still need connecting with this money quote from the piece:

“In Florida, well-known voting rights activist Bev Harris claimed to have found the backup data to Volusia County's computer tabulation machines sitting in garbage bags ready for disposal, the suspicion being that county officials might have falsified the official count and then set about destroying the evidence. But she never actually produced the allegedly discarded data, or even the videotapes she said she had made of her find.”

There is no doubt this book is a future resident of my home library. The article starts off by outlining his overall point:

“A few days before the November 2004 election, Jimmy Carter was asked what would happen if, instead of flying to Zambia or Venezuela or East Timor, his widely respected international election monitoring team was invited to turn its attention to the United States. His answer was stunningly blunt. Not only would the voting system be regarded as a failure, he said, but the shortcomings were so egregious the Carter Center would never agree to monitor an election there in the first place. "We wouldn't think of it," the former president told a radio interviewer. "The American political system wouldn't measure up to any sort of international standards, for several reasons." (Read more)

I hadn’t known about former President Jimmy Carter’s feeling before. Another consequence of the lapdog media, I’m sure.


I see the Florida GOP community finds itself in a no win situation with Katherine Harris. I loved Mel Martinez’s backhanded endorsement recently as he grudgingly admitted he would endorse her candidacy and make public appearances with her. It’ll be interesting to see if she opts to appear with her boy, the faux President of the United States with a below 40% approval rating seeing how she was the key component of the electoral coup of 2000. The Palm Beach Post made a nice point about the trepidations the GOP still holds for her candidacy:

“It's an uphill battle — as it invariably is for a challenger facing an incumbent. Until recently, the GOP political hierarchy has been noticeably cool to a Harris candidacy. Their concern, it is frequently said, is that although Harris could easily win a primary election, she cannot attract enough independent voters to defeat Nelson.” (Read more)

Though polls show a tightening of support for her bringing her numbers into the low 40’s, Bill Nelson for the moment seems to be sitting quite comfortably. But hey, this is Florida and as we are well aware of by now strange things can happen at the ballot box. Only time will tell.

4 Comments:

Black Box Voting said...

Goodness. Does no one check their facts anymore?

>>"In Florida, well-known voting rights activist Bev Harris claimed to have found the backup data to Volusia County's computer tabulation machines sitting in garbage bags ready for disposal, the suspicion being that county officials might have falsified the official count and then set about destroying the evidence. But she never produced the allegedly discarded data, or even the videotapes she said she had made of her find."

The videotape has been online for about a year now...the link to it has been clearly marked on the front of our home page for most of that time. The author could have checked his facts very easily simply by going to http://www.blackboxvoting.org and scrolling down the home page (right side).

The direct link to the videotape showing that finding the tapes in the trash is a fact, not a "claim" is here:

Volusia County Videotape

All of the poll tapes and a description of what is wrong with each are posted here, also plainly visible on the home page of our Web site:

Volusia County Poll Tapes

Finding poll tapes in the trash is not exactly accurately described as "finding the backup data to computer tabulation machines." Poll tapes are results reports produced by the precinct voting machines. The tabulation machine is the computer at the elections office that receives voting machine data by modem and compiles a separate report.

The data comes from two separate sources and one does not always exactly match up to the other -- for example, some of these systems include absentee votes in the tabulator report but have no poll tapes reports of the absentees.

Kathleen Wynne, a Black Box Voting investigator, had the presence of mind to take that videotape. It is not particularly accurate to always substitute the words "Bev Harris" for the entity "Black Box Voting." In this case, the video was taken by Kathleen Wynne, and it does a disservice to her to call her work "Bev Harris."

There were two instances of finding poll tapes in garbage. I was involved in one, the other involved wonderful Florida Fair Elections Coalition founder Susan Pynchon, who found more tapes in the Election Office trash. Broward County's Ellen Brodsky was also involved in the second trash incident.

I believe the Votergate guys got video of the second situation, and Kathleen Wynne got the video of the warehouse incident. Note that it is Black Box Voting's videotape, not Bev Harris's videotape.

Black Box Voting is a nonprofit 501c(3) organization. It is a nonprofit corporation run by six directors with a staff of three full time investigators (Me, Kathleen Wynne and Jim March) and a part time administrative assistant.

Unless we maintain better critical thinking skills, which include clicking a Web link now and then to check our facts, we will succumb helplessly to what is happening to our democracy. Propaganda is propaganda.

Hopefully, the author issue a correction. Statements like this are hurtful to me and unhelpful to the citizenry's efforts to take back oversight of their elections.

Bev Harris
Founder
Black Box Voting

Black Box Voting said...

Whoops, my links were duds.

Volusia County videotape:
http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/2197/6737.html

Volusia County poll tapes:

http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/2197/15675.html

Michael said...

Ms. Harris,

Thank you for setting the record striaght. What a pleasant surprise to have you respond to my post for this new endeaver. I was unaware of your web site until now. I am going to add you to my links list and watch your site closely for any news you may have on voting rights and anomalies. Any input you may have on my blog content will be greatly appreciated. I'm looking forward to hearing from you again soon.

Black Box Voting said...

Nice to see your work here, Michael. What you're doing is important. The blogosphere has a lot of impact, and you're using it for important information.

Bev