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John Conyers blogs today. Topic: The New Election Reform Commission

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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-12-05 08:58 PM
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John Conyers blogs today. Topic: The New Election Reform Commission

The New Election Reform Commission
Some Big Concerns
And Other Matters

As you may be aware, on March 25 it was announced that former President Jimmy Carter and former Bush-Cheney Campaign lawyer James Baker, III, would co-chair a Commission on election reform. I think bipartisanship is desperately needed in the area of election reform. However, for many of us, Mr. Baker will be forever remembered for his ultimately successful efforts to stop the counting of legally cast votes in the 2000 election. Had these efforts not succeeded and had the true will of the voters been ascertained, Al Gore would have been elected President.

How can an individual who played a critical role in the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of Floridians now co-chair a Commission which should have as its mission ensuring that every vote counts?

This is of great concern to me and should be of great concern to every single person who cares about this important issue. Online activists have been taking a close look at this issue. Please keep an eye on it.

I also think it is critical that this Commission understand the nature of the problems before prescribing solutions. Was there widespread disenfranchisement in the 2004 election or not? A critical part of this debate has been the ongoing debate between the company responsible for the network exit polls and various researchers and those contending that the 2004 data from such polls are an indicia of disenfranchisement. In my view, the trump card in this debate was recently handed down by US Count Votes in a new study (warning: big PDF file) that finds the chances of the official reported results of the 2004 election being accurate in light of this poll data is one million to one. One million to one. Case closed.

The only response to this compelling research from Secretary of State Ken Blackwell? Through his spokesman, he said we should ignore it because the "weather is nice" outside.

Finally, while this Commission will certainly hear from traditional civil rights activists, and it should, it also needs to hear from the activists who brought about the 2004 challenge to Ohio's electors and are most familiar with some of the aspects of the 2004 debacle, and also most versed in some of the changes that must be made to our voting systems. Activists like Velvet Revolution.us, CASEOhio, United for Secure Elections, and US Count Votes, to name a few, need a seat at the table.

Yesterday, I wrote to President Carter communicating these concerns.


On unrelated topics, there are so many things going on in the Judiciary Committee this week, I frankly do not know where to begin. Tomorrow the Committee will mark up a number of bills, including: legislation that would vastly expand the federal government's criminal justice authority, expand the use of mandatory minimum sentences against juveniles, and make a slew of changes to the criminal code; a bill that would make the parental notification laws of a state travel with a young woman to a state that has no such law; and a bill that would immunize gun makers from liability for their bad acts.

On Thursday, the House will consider draconian bankruptcy legislation that would take away a fresh start from people who have insurmountable debt because of a medical emergency or military service.

More on these matters later.

Link: http://www.conyersblog.us /
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-12-05 09:03 PM
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1. don't fly in any small planes, m' man. nt
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-05 04:44 AM
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2. Thanks Melissa n/t

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tommcintyre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-05 06:42 AM
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3. Thanks Melissa, this made my day!
We really need someone of Conyers stature to "tell 'em like it is". Up until I read Conyer's blog, I had pretty much decided to pass on making a blaster to promote the hearing to the media (considering all the questionable appointments and proposed testifiers).

However, I think I can incorporate Conyer's statements, and if they don't have these types of groups represented, the media exposure will help to "taint" their actions.

Then, the commission will have a chance to "redeem" itself at the second hearing in June (by having representatives from these types of groups).

Anyway, that's the best plan I can come with right now.

P.S. I think I will have the blasted email go to the key players in the Commission (just so they know that WE know, and we let THEM (the media) know).
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tommcintyre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 01:46 AM
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4. kick n/t
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tommcintyre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-05 08:52 PM
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5. kick
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