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Election Reform and Related News: Sat., March 8, '08

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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 07:13 AM
Original message
Election Reform and Related News: Sat., March 8, '08
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 07:34 AM by livvy
Election Reform and Related News
Saturday, March 8, 2008






:bluebox: Post stories and announcements you find on the web.

:bluebox: Post stories using the new Spring 2006 Edition of "Election Fraud and Reform News Directory" listed here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph ...

:bluebox: Re-post stories and announcements you find on DU, providing a link to the original thread with thanks to the Original Poster, too.

:bluebox: Start a discussion thread by re-posting a story you see on this thread.

;-) Recommendations for the Greatest Page are always welcomed. It's the link below. (And if you don't, Kurovski, Wilms, or Melissa G will either scare the shit out of you, trick you into submission, or appeal to your sense of guilt.)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... (I remember this fondly, Wilms!)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
My back is covered folks...just sayin', so you may as well just do it now. Don't make me sic my frog on 'ya, either. He's feeling especially grumpy today since he caught the flu at the frog....er, I mean dog show.

:evilgrin:
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 07:35 AM
Response to Original message
1. Editorials, Op-Eds, Opinion, Letters, Blogs, etc. n/t
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. OH: A Successful Election
Feel free to re-post and add some comments or corrections.

Article published March 8, 2008

A successful election


RETURNS from Tuesday's primary election in Ohio have been tabulated and the results show that - acts of God aside - Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's experiment with paper ballots was a success.

This is not to suggest the process was spotless. No election would be complete without a blemish or two but this one had, thankfully, fewer than expected.

The polls were kept open until 9 p.m. in Sandusky County after election officials ran short of paper ballots after a precautionary device - a ballot-on-demand printer - failed.

A handful of Sylvania Township voters were mistakenly given ballots intended for 17-year-olds and therefore didn't get to make their voices heard on ballot issues. And in 10 southern Ohio counties, flooding resulting from heavy rain forced many voters to cast provisional ballots at boards of election instead of their usual polling places.

Also, since it seems no election is complete without some technical glitch, 15 memory cards containing results from two West Toledo polling stations were misplaced for several hours and a 16th card was locked in a polling place until Wednesday morning, resulting in vote totals not being sent to the secretary of state until about 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday.

But it was in Cuyahoga County, where Ms. Brunner ordered that touch-screen machines be replaced by paper ballots read by optical-scan readers, that the paper-based system proved its worth. Yes, the polls had to kept open an extra 90 minutes in 21 precincts there because of ballot shortages. And, yes, some polling sites had to be reopened because the order to extend hours didn't come until after their 7:30 p.m. closing time.

more...
http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. Short Attention-Span Theater
Short Attention-Span Theater

Harry Shearer
Posted March 8, 2008 | 09:20 AM (EST)

Two events dominating this week's news demonstrate together how we've managed to build a society incapable of taking the long view--of anything.

The mess that the two parties have made--the Democrats with their rules, the Republicans with their legislative mischief in Florida--of the Michigan and Florida primaries is a splendid demonstration of the public sector's unwillingness to look beyond the next news cycle. The Democrats decided months ago to "punish" Florida and Michigan for moving their primaries early into the process--a sop, basically, to Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, the only approved early states. The Republicans who control the Florida lege had moved up the primary in the same bill that mandated paper trails for voting machines, apparently knowing the national Dems opposed the date but also knowing Florida Dems couldn't vote against the paper-trail bill. There it sat, a non-issue until it became painfully apparent that this was, against the intended design, to be a long primary season, and Florida's (and Michigan's) delegate votes might well be crucial.

Now, it's a crisis. Yet all the players had months to work out a reasonable solution. But that would have meant looking ahead.

Similarly, the economic mess the banks and Wall Street have sponsored was a classic in short-term thinking. The exotic economic "products" that were peddled, as supposed AAA-rated securities, to banks all over the world, that were just bundles of sub-prime mortgages, were premised on one simple assumption: that housing prices would continue to rise in the short term. In the long term, of course, housing prices both rise and fall, and a sane financial strategy takes that fact into account. But there was so much money to be made--by peddling the crappy mortgages, by peddling the bundles of crappy mortgages--and the chief executives of the financial services and banking companies that ended up holding the bag kept one salient fact in mind: they could get out with their $50 million golden handshakes intact, before the bubble burst, and somebody else would have to clean up the mess.

The public sector decision makers can't think past the next election. The private sector decision makers can't think past the next quarter. And it's the public that's got a short attention span?

more...


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harry-shearer/short-atten...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
3. States n/t
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Florida Democrats Consider Mail-In Vote for New Primary
Published: Saturday, March 8, 2008

Florida Democrats Consider Mail-In Vote for New Primary
By wes allison
St. Petersburg Times
WASHINGTON | Forget the notion of Florida Democrats packing schools and fire halls for an Iowa-style caucus, or lining up at their local precincts to choose between Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama.

If Florida Democrats take one more shot at making their voices heard in this tick-tight race for the Democratic presidential nomination, the most likely scenario will be balloting by mail.

With Obama and Clinton nearly tied in the race for delegates, and with opportunities dwindling for either to pull away before the convention in August, pressure is building for Florida and Michigan to take a mulligan.

Both states lost their delegates for holding primary elections earlier than Democratic Party rules allowed. Thursday, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida's senior elected Democrat, reversed course and called for a new primary election.

He also demanded that the Democratic National Committee pay for it, even though DNC chairman Howard Dean has said no.

'With two outstanding candidates battling so closely for their party's nomination, there's no way you can tell nearly 2 million Florida voters they don't count,' said Nelson, the de facto head of the state party, Nelson supports Clinton, who won the January primaries in Florida and Michigan, and he has argued that Clinton should get to count the delegates she would have won. That's anathema to Obama, since none of the Democrats campaigned there.

more...

http://www.theledger.com/article/20080308/NEWS/35191918...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 07:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. FL: Machines Not Ready For Revote By June 10
Machines not ready for revote by June 10

By GEORGE BENNETT and DARA KAM

Palm Beach Post Staff Writers

Saturday, March 08, 2008

TALLAHASSEE Among the many complications involving a "do-over" Democratic primary in Florida, consider this: Palm Beach County is in the midst of scrapping most of its touch-screen voting machines and is not ready to use a new optical-scan system, Elections Supervisor Arthur Anderson says.

The most obvious alternative, a mail-in election, is illegal unless the legislature changes the law.

A special election by June 10 to make Florida delegates count in the Democratic nomination "would be a train wreck for Florida," said Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent, also president of the statewide elections supervisors association.

As Sen. Hillary Clinton took big wins this week over Sen. Barack Obama in Texas and Ohio, talk intensified about letting Florida and Michigan back into the race for the nomination. They were penalized with losing delegates for moving their primaries to Jan. 29.

The difficulties of a "do-over" lie not only with equipment but in finding and training poll workers, making sure precincts are available, deciding who would pay for it and whether the state should establish a precedent by allowing third parties to underwrite elections.

Among the problems, county and state officials say:


At least four counties, including Palm Beach, may not have proper equipment to hold an election by June 10, the last date allowed by the Democratic National Committee.

The county has been gearing up to have the optical-scan system ready in time for primaries Aug. 26.

more...

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/tcoast/e...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. OH: Video Report Cuyahoga County Wants Its $21 Million Back on Voting Machines
Cuyahoga County wants its $21 million back on voting machines

Kim Wendel
Created: 3/7/2008 6:15:25 PM
Updated:3/7/2008 7:34:29 PM


Video
Play Video

Taxpayers in Cuyahoga County spent $21 million on malfunctioning electronic voting machines.
Now the county is demanding that the company that made them buy them back or face off with the county in court.

Diebold manufactured them, then the company switched its name to Premier.

The county also wants money for scanners it had to buy for the paper ballots that were used March 4 to replace the malfunctioning machines.

There's been no comment from Premier while the machines are collecting dust in a warehouse in Lorain.

Click the link below to view Channel 3 Senior Political Correspondent Tom Beres' report.

http://www.wkyc.com/video/player.aspx?aid=56851&bw= I never got the video to work. Maybe you'll have better luck, or it could be at their end.

http://www.wkyc.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=8469...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. The Cost of Freedom: Brattleboro Paid $5,000 For Indictment Issue
I know this isn't "election reform", but I found the article interesting, and it's about a subject close to my heart. Too bad we can't get every town, city, etc. to do this. Corner the rats...aarrrgghhh, matey. :rofl:

The cost of freedom: Brattleboro paid $5,000 for indictment issue
By BOB AUDETTE, Reformer Staff


Saturday, March 8
BRATTLEBORO -- Freedom of speech isn't exactly free.
It cost the town nearly $5,000 to deal with the feared repercussions of placing a special article calling for the indictment of the president and the vice president on the town warrant.

That's just a preliminary estimate, said Town Manager Barbara Sondag, and includes only the personnel costs.

"This would be starting from the time we got the barrage of e-mails and phone calls," said Sondag, after the Selectboard agreed to place the indictment on the town warrant.

"It pretty much shut (the town clerk's office) down for a couple of days," she said.

At a Selectboard meeting on Jan. 25, the board voted 3-2 to forward to town voters a resolution calling for the arrests of both President George Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney if they ever find themselves in Brattleboro. Vermont is the one state in the union the two have never visited during their term in office.

more....


http://www.reformer.com/ci_8499708?source=most_emailed
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #3
13. MN: Township Residents to Decide
Township residents to decide
By Mackenzie Ryan, maryan@stcloudtimes.com


Published: March 08. 2008 12:30AM - Last updated: March 08. 2008 2:30AM

As most of Minnesota's township officials prepare for annual meetings and elections Tuesday, residents in a few area townships will wait until November to elect their supervisors.

Residents in Crow Lake, Crow River, Lake George, Le Sauk and Paynesville townships in Stearns County have altered their election calendar so voting coincides with the November general election.

About 200 townships have switched to a November election cycle instead of holding elections at the March annual meeting, said Eugene Dufault with the Minnesota Association of Townships.

"We feel the turnout will be higher with the presidential election and other elections in the fall," Le Sauk supervisor Ron Naber said, adding that it's also a cost-savings measure.

more...

http://www.sctimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #3
14. CT: The Results Are In-Residents Voice Their Opinions On New Optical Scan Voting Machines
The results are in -Residents voice their opinions on new optical scan voting machines
By:Rochelle Moore, Staff Writer
03/07/2008

The Government Administration and Elections Committee held a public hearing on Feb. 21, for residents to voice any concerns they might have about the optical scan machines recently used at poll sites across the town during the primaries.

The scan machines, which were used for the first time on Feb. 5, replaced the once used lever machines. Town Clerk, Essie Labrot (D), said all in all the machines were a big hit with voters, poll workers and officials.

"They said they liked the new equipment," said Labrot. "They (the poll workers and officials) would like more training, and they like to hear the noise."

The noise Labrot is referring to is the "cha-ching" sound residents would hear when the lever was pulled.
One resident wrote a letter voicing concern about not having the noise.

"I received no confirmation that I voted other than the unceremonious drop of my ballot in to a shredder looking slot," wrote the resident. "While I understand that the prior machines did not have a similar audit trail, there was a loud "chunk" closing and opening the curtain as well as the sound of the machine clicking when I pushed the levers. So, there was at least a feeling that my vote was counted."

Another resident wrote a letter about problems at the Bugbee poll site.

On "Tuesday Feb. 5, my wife went to vote at the Bugbee School polling place about 6:15 a.m.," said the another resident. "She returned around 6:40 a.m. and told me the scanning machine was not working and they had put her ballot inside the side of the machine. She said to the polling officials present she was concerned her vote would not be counted."

more...

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19370177&BRD=...
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #3
16. NY: Dutchess task force to examine election machines

Dutchess task force to examine election machines

March 7, 2008

POUGHKEEPSIE The Government Services and Administration Committee of the Dutchess County Legislature Thursday approved creation of an eight-member task force to investigate the merits of hand-counting paper ballots versus optical-scan computer voting machines.

Democrat and Republican committee members locked horns over the need for such a body, its size and the merits of the new types of voting machines.

Those members of the public who spoke supported the task force, including Pat Lamanna

-snip-

Attorney Andi Novick, who wrote an amicus brief over the new voting machine issue in the state, said there is nothing wrong with the current levered machines and the security they provide.

Weve had a good system and why are we now taking 150 years of electoral history and throwing it out the window? she asked.

snip

http://www.midhudsonnews.com/News/March08/07/DC_vtmach_...


Thanks to Bill Bored for posting the discussion.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
25. FL: Better audits are sought for voting
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 05:40 PM by Wilms

Better audits are sought for voting

State elections officials are wary of a hasty overhaul as they switch to optical scanners.

By Will Van Sant, Times Staff Writer
Published March 6, 2008

With the presidential contest in full swing, voting reform advocates and Florida election officials are trying to develop a better way to monitor election results.

State officials agree that Florida's current audit provisions, adopted last year, don't go far enough. But they are wary of too hasty an overhaul during an election year already complicated by a move to the statewide use of optical scan voting equipment.

snip

The need for improved audits was raised by activists who organized a working group of local supervisors of election and computer and statistics experts that began meeting in December.

snip

In its present form, the working group's bill would greatly expand the number of races subject to scrutiny to include every election for federal office, the governor, lieutenant governor, Cabinet members, the Legislature and at least two other statewide elections or referendums. In each county, that means local officials would have to audit as many as 10 to 12 elections in a given cycle.

The process would involve reviewing ballots that had been fed into an optical scan machine. The ballots would be hand counted, and the results compared to those the machine produced.

The method would be risk-based, which means more ballots would be sampled from tight races than blowouts. Although 13 states require post-election audits, only New Jersey has gone the risk-based route. The state created the requirement last year but has yet to put the new rule into practice.

http://www.sptimes.com/2008/03/06/State/Better_audits_a...


Discussion:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
9. World n/t
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. E-Count Causes Vote Result Delay
E-count causes vote result delay
Last Updated: Friday, 7 March 2008, 18:18 GMT

Electronic counting should not be used in Scottish elections until improvements to the system are made, the Electoral Commission has said.


It comes after a council by-election declaration was delayed by more than 12 hours after a technical fault.

The same counting software was used for the Cambuslang East count as that used in last May's chaotic Holyrood election.

The Electoral Commission raised serious concerns after the 2007 fiasco.

The results process was besieged by delays and saw some 140,000 ballot papers rejected.

A spokesman for the Electoral Commission said that local elections did not fall under the organisations remit but the Cambuslang East by-election delay did raise important issues.

He said: "Following the 2007 Scottish elections the Electoral Commission made clear our serious concerns about the future use of electronic counting.

"We set out the steps that needed to be taken, including measures to ensure transparency, security and accuracy.

"It remains our view that these are the basic conditions that must be met before e-counting is used again in Scotland," he said.

more...




http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/glasgow_and...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Polls Close in Malaysian Election
Polls close in Malaysian election
March 8, 2008

Top_news
By Agencies

Voters have cast their ballots in Malaysia's general election, which is seen to be a test of popularity for the country's prime minister at a time of rising ethnic tensions.
The ruling coalition, the Barisan Nasional (BN), has ruled Malaysia since independence 50 years ago and is certain to retain power.

Voting began just after dawn on Saturday at about 8,000 polling booths across the country, closing again at 5pm (09:00GMT).

Result were expected to be released throughout the night, but a final tally was unlikely until at least 12 midnight.

As voting got under way police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of 300 opposition supporters at a poll-related incident in northeastern Terengganu state.

Twenty-two people were arrested after throwing stones at busses, allegedly carrying people they feared would cast bogus votes.

more...


http://mwcnews.net/content/view/20783/0/
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Australia: Commission Questions 453,584 Over Not Voting at Federal Election
Commission questions 453,584 over not voting at federal election
Sharon Labi
March 09, 2008 12:00am


ALMOST half-a-million Australians have been issued with a "please explain" for failing to vote in last year's federal election.

The Australian Electoral Commission has sent 453,584 letters to apparent non-voters asking them to provide a valid excuse for not voting or pay a $20 fine. The fine can rise to $50 plus court costs if the matter is contested.

Having a dislike of all candidates or simply having no interest in the election is not a valid excuse.

However, you will get off the hook for catching a bag-snatcher, being diverted from a polling station to save a life, being involved in an accident or helping fight a fire, thanks to a High Court ruling from the 1920s.

Voting in Australia is compulsory unless a voter is travelling abroad.

"Voting is voluntary if you're overseas during the election, that would be an example of a valid reason," AEC spokesman Phil Diak said.

more...

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,233406...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
15. Vote '08 n/t
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. What If There Is No Back Room? The Search For a Way Out of the Democrats' Dilemma
CAPITOL LETTER
Eleanor Clift
What If There is No Back Room?
The search for a way out of the Democrats' dilemma.

Mar 7, 2008 | Updated: 11:56 a.m. ET Mar 7, 2008

No matter who wins the remaining primaries, there's no way for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton to capture enough delegates to reach the magic number of 2,025 needed to secure the Democratic nomination. The decision will then fall to the superdelegates, elected officials and party people often demonized in the media as hacks or backroom operators. A majority of them will swing behind one or the other candidatelikely Hillary Clintonboosting her over the top even if she lags behind Barack Obama in the pledged delegate count.

And they will do this dastardly deed behind closed doors, in the electronic equivalent of the smoke-filled room, plotting over cell phones and making their decision based on implied favors and self-interest. This is the nightmare scenario. The good news for Democrats is that the excitement of two historic candidates generated hundreds of thousands of new voters; the bad news is half of them won't show up in November. But wait, things could get worse, or maybe better, depending on your perspective.

What happens if the superdelegates are just like the rest of the votersi.e., they can't definitively decide between these two candidates? "What happens if they split the superdelegates?" asks an adviser to the Clinton campaign. The roughly 350 superdelegates who have not yet endorsed are all free agents. There's nothing that says they have to act in concert, and they'll work to avoid anything that fuels conspiracy theories. "My real worry is there is no back room," says this adviser. Clinton says she'll go all the way to the convention in August. If there's a stalemate, the superdelegates could decide to pass on the first ballot to test the candidates' strength at that juncture. We could then be way back to the future, the first time in the modern reform age that a candidate is not chosen on the first ballot.

If that happens, the convention could turn to a compromise candidate. Al Gore is the most obvious and perhaps the only contender who could head off a complete meltdown in the party. After all, he already won the popular vote for the presidency. It was only because of a fluke at the Supreme Court that he was denied his turn at the wheel. No one could deny that he's ready on day one to assume the presidency. "It's the rational choice if this turns into a goddamn mess, which it could," says the Clinton adviser, who doesn't want to be quoted seeming to waver about Clinton's chances of securing the nomination.

Gore has kept his silence throughout the Democratic nominating season. But his name will surely surface as his party ponders the possibility that they will not have a nominee by the time the convention rolls aroundespecially since John McCain enjoys a huge head start in launching his general-election campaign. We have the Ted Kennedy forces to thank for the freedom of choice that all delegates enjoy, not just the supers. In 1980, Kennedy argued for an open convention, while President Carter was determined to keep convention delegates bound. With a 600-delegate margin over Kennedy, Carter prevailed. As a result, any delegate voting against the candidate he or she was elected to represent could be replaced by an alternate and thrown off the convention floor. The rule was strict and enforceable. Kennedy couldn't dislodge any of the Carter delegates. Two years later, after Carter lost the election, the phrase "in all good conscience" was inserted into the rule, belatedly giving delegates the latitude Kennedy had sought.

more...

http://www.newsweek.com/id/119851
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
18. Campaign Finance n/t
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. MO: PAC Man Draws Ethics Complaint
PAC man draws ethics complaint


By JANESE HEAVIN of the Tribunes staff
Published Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Columbia educator is one of four teachers in the state who have filed a complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission challenging St. Louis businessman Rex Sinquefields creation of political action committees.

Sinquefield last year created 100 PACs, many of which support school choice issues. One such committee is "Missourians Needing Educational Alternatives," which has the same acronym as the Missouri National Education Association.

As president of the Columbia chapter of MNEA, Jefferson Junior High School teacher Laurie Spate-Smith said she was "just appalled that he would be using the acronym for my association."

In the ethics complaint, Spate-Smith and teachers from Independence and Fenton accuse Sinquefield of violating Missouris Campaign Finance Act by setting up "sham committees or alter egos established to evade the campaign contributions limits" established in state law.

"He funneled his over the limit contributions through his alter ego Sinquefield PACs," the complaint says. "These contributions have conveyed to the public that these contribution limits are meaningless and that the political process may be controlled by a regime of large individual financial contributions. "

more...

http://www.columbiatribune.com/2008/Mar/20080308News009...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Bob Brady Legal Bill a Campaign Finance Issue
Bob Brady legal bill a campaign finance issue
By Jeff Shields

Posted on Sat, Mar. 8, 2008

Inquirer Staff Writer

To stay on the mayoral ballot last year, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady rolled up a whopping $448,468.09 legal bill. How that bill will be paid this year has spawned another legal challenge and exposed a possible hole in the city's campaign-financing law.

The firm that represented Brady last year, Cozen O'Connor, says Brady's campaign committee should no longer have to follow the city's strict contribution limits to pay his legal debt because the election is over.

The city's Board of Ethics has disagreed, saying those laws still apply.

On Thursday, Cozen O'Connor sued the city's Board of Ethics in Common Pleas Court to overrule the board's opinion.

If Cozen prevails, candidates could borrow huge sums during an election, knowing that donors could give unlimited sums to repay those loans after the election.

more...


http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/20080308_Bob_Brady...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. WaPo: A $3 Vote For Competitive Elections
A $3 Vote for Competitive Elections

By Robert D. Lenhard
Saturday, March 8, 2008; Page A15

Our system for public financing of presidential campaigns is badly broken. Our lawmakers know it, and they must decide whether to abandon the system or to increase the amount of money available to participating candidates. They won't make this choice before the November election. But by April 15, more than 130 million Americans will have done so.

The entire federal public financing system depends on the decision of each taxpayer to check the box toward the top of Form 1040. Check yes, and the federal government is required to allocate $3 of your tax payment to fund the program. Check no, and none of your taxes go to this program. This is the only chance you have to decide how the federal government will spend a portion of your tax dollars.

When Congress considers whether to reform or abandon the public financing system, one fact in particular will be noted: Taxpayer participation has fallen steadily, from 28 percent in 1981 to approximately 10 percent over the past several years. Whether this is because of ideological opposition to publicly financed elections, ignorance of what checking the box will do or a mistaken belief that participation will raise their tax bill, nine out of every 10 taxpayers decide not to send any of their tax dollars into this program.

It's a shame because, by many measures, the program has worked quite well. In presidential elections from 1976 until 2000, every major-party nominee chose to accept public financing, with its accompanying rules, in both the primary and general elections.

more...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
22. For now...


I may be back later as more news surfaces. Until then, if you find it, post it. Have a great Saturday everyone!
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
23. Thanks, livvy!
K&R.
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
24. Woh! Glad I got on the computer this AM
I hate to think what would have happened to my karma had I not been in time to rec! :hi:
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #24
27. LOL. I would never mess with your karma. Too dangerous!
Thanks for the assist! :hug:
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 05:25 AM
Response to Original message
26. Kick to the top. (nt)
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. Your welcome, and thanks back at ya'!
:hi: :hug:
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