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Who said: "Help America Vote Act -- looked fixed from the start."

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:02 AM
Original message
Who said: "Help America Vote Act -- looked fixed from the start."
Who said these things in early fall 2004, before the November election.

Their faith in our institutions had been eroded to a point where many of them hardly believed in the political process. In 1998 they'd seen their elected Congress suspend its responsibility to represent them and vote to impeach their president even though two thirds of the electorate was against it. In 2000 they'd seen right-wing appointees on the Supreme Court refuse to recount the Florida votes, overriding the rulings of the Florida Supreme Court, and essentially hand the presidency to their party's candidate.

They'd seen Republican protesters sent by Texas representative Tom DeLay, then the third most powerful Republican in the House, banging on windows and shaking their fists at vote counters in West Palm Beach, Florida; African-American voters systematically turned away at the polls; a family dynasty strong-arming election officials -- overall, a political horror show worthy of a banana republic. It was the most serious attack on America's faith in democracy since the Tilden-Hayes debacle in 1876, when a Republican-dominated panel of congressmen, senators, and Supreme Court justices stepped in to decide a disputed election (with vote irregularities claimed in Florida, among other states). They ruled in favor of the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes (earning Hayes the popular sobriquet of "Rutherfraud"). And it had sent a clear message to the public: The Republicans had little respect for our democratic institutions if they got in the way of their party's agenda, and the Democrats were mostly toothless when it came to fighting back.


More on the subject from the same person.

The Republican assault on democracy didn't stop with the election.

Next came a flurry of off-year congressional-district gerrymandering, with a wink and a nod from the White House, to give Republicans an advantage. House majority leader Tom DeLay rammed a change through the Texas House to redistrict in such a way that as many as five congressional Democratic seats could be lost with the stroke of a pen. White House strategist Karl Rove personally lobbied Colorado lawmakers by phone to get them to approve a redrawing of their state's congressional map to protect the seat of a freshman Republican congressman who'd won with only a 121-vote margin. There were election irregularities in Alabama, where, after the polls were closed and the press had gone home, six thousand votes were suddenly discovered that tipped the election away from the Democratic governor to a Republican challenger. There was the organized conservative effort to unseat an elected governor in California. Then there was Supreme Court justice Anthony Scalia's duck-hunting junket with Vice President Dick Cheney, after which the justice refused to recuse himself from the case Cheney had pending before the Court.

Even the plan adopted by Congress to deal with the Florida recount debacle -- the Help America Vote Act -- looked fixed from the start. No sooner had Congress authorized the states to buy new equipment to improve the reliability of future vote counting than the news came out that the new touch-screen voting machines were potentially more subject to tampering. Worse still, they left no paper trail. Worst of all: Two of the companies providing the new machines -- Election Systems Software and Diebold Election Systems -- had notable links to the Republican Party. Most notably, Walden O'Dell, the CEO of the voting-machine maker Diebold Election Systems, had said in a fund-raising letter that he'd do all he could in "helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes for the President."

The fix, it seemed, was in.


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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. Of course the fix was in. HAVA is the equvilent of that other bush**
trash action, NCLB.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
2. ohh! ohhh! I know! I know! /waves hand frantically/
should I tell?


nah... let the game continue... :)
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hedda_foil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
3. Oooh! I know, I know!
And I know who has the power to set it straight. We do!
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. And people often say some leaders don't know what is going on.
I say they do, and there are things they must overcome. I have tried to change it, but I never get that voting activist thing just right...so I have donated and left it to others who do it better.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
5. More about voters being deprived of rights...who said.
"I spoke to African-Americans who said the Florida election debacle, with the reports of election-night police roadblocks in black neighborhoods, the wholesale removal of African-Americans from the voting rolls, and poll workers who turned black voters away brought back all too recent memories of the Jim Crow South. The whole experience had convinced them that the political system was hopelessly fixed against their interests. For a community already suspicious of our government institutions, this was a terrible blow -- not just for them but for democracy. "People already didn't believe their votes counted," I heard. "Now they know they don't count."

This feeling of disenfranchisement wasn't limited to African-Americans or to the 2000 presidential vote. It came, more globally, from living in a society where ordinary people's problems and interests didn't seem to matter to their government. As the Bush administration passed measure after measure for the benefit of super-wealthy individuals and big corporations -- the tax-cut bill, the Medicare prescription-drug act, and a whole slew of pro-industry environmental measures -- it became increasingly clear that its true constituents were the people who paid for its campaigns.

And the Democrats -- where were the Democrats? "

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