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Reply #23: And a few responses (while still waiting for your answer to the question I posed below) [View All]

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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-06-10 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. And a few responses (while still waiting for your answer to the question I posed below)
Edited on Sat Nov-06-10 07:21 AM by Fly by night
Since the focus of this thread is on the unprecedented (and unexplained) red shift in our state legislature, I will focus there. (It is true that the 4th US Congressional District -- Al Gore Jr. and Jim Cooper's seat before briefly in Republican hands, before Lincoln Davis' return of this seat to Democrats) has caused our Congressional delegation to deviate a bit. But never to deviate as deviantly as this year.)

The amount of election fraud (and/or machine "glitches" that are uncorrectable in the absence of paper ballots) enabled by unverifiable voting machines is well-documented. As an election commissioner, your ignorance of that fact is appalling (and very telling). I would suggest you visit the Voters Unite web-site for a vendor-specific review of problematic elections on specific machines -- those reviews run 50-80+ pages apiece.

I would also recommend you learn about Clint Curtis, a former Republican computer programmer who has testified under oath (and who has passed two polygraph tests) that he was hired to write a computer program to hack the Florida voting machines by a former Republican state (and then US) legislator, a task that brought about Clint's resignation from the company that had agreed to provide that "service" to the Republicans. (Clint is now a Democrat.)

I would also recommend that you read anything (anything) by academicians who have studied the risks to our democracy of unverifiable voting -- Avi Rubin at Johns Hopkins, Dan Wallach at Rice, Rebecca Mercuri at Radcliffe, David Dill at Stanford -- you get the idea. IT professionals are unanimous in their opposition to unverifiable voting. As one of them said, "If voting machine companies were also trying to peddle financial services to banks for whom I have provided security consultant services with the same unverifiable features as their voting machines, we would laugh them out of the room ... right before we call the FBI."

To make your life easier, I would recommend you watch two hour-long documentaries: "UNCOUNTED: The New Math of American Elections" and "STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote". I would be happy to send you copies if you'll send me a private message with your mailing address. (I'll wait for that as I'll wait for you to answer the question below in this thread.)

Your party's ascension to control of our state legislature -- for the first time since 1870 -- remains the most "surprising" (read "unlikely") result of the 2008 election cycle. That's not my opinion -- it is the studied conclusion of political scientists who study election patterns nationwide. In that year, as in all others, it didn't matter who cast the votes, but it did matter who counted them (and, in Tennessee, that counting was done in 93 of our 95 counties on unverifiable voting machines owned by far-reich wing dominionists -- for the first time).

The one person responsible for the helpful insecurities of that election (and others) was Brook Thompson. I haven't mentioned yet that Brook served on the Board of Directors of the Election Center, that pro-DRE shill "think tank" whose indoctrination was mandated for all new election commissioners in Tennessee, a position that was considered a conflict of interest in 49 other states. (In addition to verifiable elections, we need ethics in government here.) Brook did your (his?) party's bidding and -- unlike almost every other employee of the Secretary of State's office when Tre Hargett took control and fired everyone en masse -- Brook was awarded with a cushy administrative law judge position. Go figure (though you won't have to go very far).

The fact that you are so willfully ignorant of the history of the TN Voter Confidence Act -- and of the bogus excuses for not implementing it -- speaks volumes. After the 2008 TVCA delay allowed your party to take control, Tre and his flying monkeys tried to float several arguments for delaying it even further or repealing it entirely, all of which were shot down in legislative hearings. His final argument -- that no machines met the (nonexistent) 2005 certification requirements of the TVCA -- was rejected in a court of law (and wasn't that you sitting on the row in front of me at that hearing?) So don't try to convince anyone here that there was any valid reason for keeping our unverifiable elections safe for Republican election theft here. We know better. You know better. We want to change things. You don't. See the difference?

As far as HAVA goes, the US House of Representatives was controlled by Republicans during and after its passage. Otherwise, the bill's author, Chairman Bob Ney (R-Cellblock 9), would not have been able to block hearings on Rush Holt's Voter Confidence Act (on which our state law was modeled), even though it had 200+ co-sponsors (some of them Republicans.) Like the Patriot Act, HAVA was passed in haste. Common-sense efforts to correct it immediately thereafter (and before states spent their HAVA funds) could not even get a hearing. Wonder why? (I don't.)

In 2008, we were proud here in Tennessee that the TN Voter Confidence Act passed unanimously in our Senate and with all but four votes in our House. That was not a hasty vote, with both the legislature and TACIR spending over a year studying the issues and deciding (without a single dissenting vote in either body) that we needed to implement this good government legislation. There was no good reason to delay its implementation until 2010, which Republicans insisted on to support the bill. However, there was a BAD reason and that BAD reason continues to show its slimy head in spades in our state elections. It will likely continue to do so, barring federal intervention. Sadly, even honorable Republicans -- of which Tennessee used to be blessed with an abundance -- can no longer rid their party of gun-fellating flying monkeys through the ballot box. Instead, they must sit forlornly with the rest of us as we send those apes to the General Assembly and to Congress.

Finally, while I can think of many sensible reasons why TN Republicans would want to hide their identities (I can think of several for why some of you want to remain closeted, period), responding to anonymous surveyors assessing the political makeup of our electorate is not one of them. If you and your flying monkey colleagues are so ashamed of being Republicans, might I suggest you try another party or try to fix your own. (Just don't choose ours -- we have enough DINOs as it is.)

In hopes that you're not working today, kindly answer my question below. Or answer it here:

Are you a Republican or a Democratic election commissioner?

Inquiring minds want to know (though informed, and battle-scarred, minds already suspect the answer.) How about it, Atlatl (or is it Mark?) Don't be ashamed of your political affiliation.

Save your well-deserved shame for what you've done to democracy, and the consent of the governed, here in Tennessee.

The Constitution prescribes a remedy for treason -- it may be what we need to apply here in Tennessee to recover from what now ails us. As for me, I am happy to provide the rope and to help build the gallows on War Memorial Plaza. That might be a gruesome, but a fitting, tribute to the men and women who have died to keep our country free this long.

We need to do something.

In the meantime, sharpening our own atlatls (and encouraging everyone (including you) to read or re-read about the Battle of Athens (TN)) seem to be in order.
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