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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:28 PM
Original message
(Interesting) HuffPo: "Ohio Was Stolen" Crowd, Pay Heed To Tom Hayden
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/russell-shaw/ohio-was-sto...

By now, large swaths of the progressive blogosphere are convinced beyond counterpersuasion that "Ohio was stolen," and John Kerry was actually elected President in 2004.

While objective, politically progressive outlets and thinkers without books to sell have countered these notions with hard facts, the "Ohio was stolen" crowd continues to exhibit confirmational bias by sticking to their beliefs.


(snip)

"And to the bloggers, I say stick to standards of evidence that will convince the mainstream voters. Sometimes we stray from what we know, and what can be proven to the public, into the world of, well, conjecture. We cannot fight against a faith-based crusade with one that sometimes appears to be fantasy-based. We cannot fight the conservative model with a conspiracy model. The facts are staggering enough to cause deep public questioning and, in time, a radical public awakening. We should see ourselves as the questioning conscience of the nation, the prod to deeper digging by the media, the force that pushes politicians to address all the "inconvenient truths", every last one of them."

What Tom is saying is, when you take your "fantasy-based," "Ohio was stolen" opinions to the public square, and demonize anyone who asks for confirmational clarity, you run the risk that millions of voters who we all need to come down on our side this time will tune you out. Why? Because, frankly, the most shrill of you who are absolutely convinced that Ohio was stolen sound like sore losers, pundits with agendas, wack jobs, or some sort of combination of all of the above.


Then he makes his real point,

But given this obsession with Ohio, Diebold, Ken Blackwell, and other objectionable types, those who have not voted in the past and who we progressives really need this cycle will go "what's the use."

And even some progressives who do vote will be unmotivated because they will assume their votes don't matter.

We can't allow this to happen. The stakes are too high.


The comments are ranging across the spectrum.

I for one pretty much agree with him. I think Ohio was stolen - but not by the "machines". It was stolen by voter suppression. And what we need to do is convince people that they need to FIGHT - they need to give a resounding FUCK YOU to the people who would try to suppress their vote, by registering, verifying their registration, making sure they know where their polling place is, and basically not taking ANY SHIT about being allowed to excersize their RIGHT TO VOTE.

(okay I know their is a fantasy-land aspect to all that but the rant did feel good. Now if we can only figure out how to make stop the games the repukes will play with id cards and machine allocation and opening the polls late and every other shitty thing they will try)

Thought you all might find the piece interesting too.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. I saw that and posted
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Cool.
You're way ahead of me, as usual. ;-)
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fedupinBushcountry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think it was both
machines and supression. John Kerry had the lead in that state all day long, they couldn't even get enough votes supressed so they had to use the machines in the end.

I think no matter what people say, after 2000 and 2004, some will say why bother, but I think that will be very few. I think most that think it was will be at the polls. There was a Zogby poll that just came out and 92% of Americans think the non-transparent way we count votes is not right.

18. In some states, members of the public have the right to view the counting of votes and verify how that process is working. In other states, citizens are in effect barred from viewing vote counting even if they would like to view the process. Which of the following two statements are you more likely to agree with ? A or B?

Table 1.

Statement A: Citizens have the right to view and obtain information about how election officials count votes.
92%

Statement B: Citizens do not have the right to view and obtain information about how elections officials count votes.
6%

Neither/Not sure
2%
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Hmmm. I think it *might* have been partly due to some shenanigii with
machines...but I don't think it's been proven, and I don't think it can be.

Didn't Kerry and his lawyers try to get access to the machines or get them locked down or something so they could be examined? I believe that they did but I didn't stash away any good links.

Anyway once the machines were let loose, there would be no proving anything, even if it were provable in the first place.

So we can only look forward. I think ensuring that machine fraud CAN'T happen (or that it is so difficult it can't happen widely enough to throw a national election), is one front that we have to work on, but meanwhile there are places where it already is very difficult to execute that kind of fraud, so there is no sense confusing people and letting them take that attitude that "my vote won't count anyway." I think the people who are working on the machine front should be able to make their case without resorting to hyperbole or unproven allegations. Simple facts of what COULD happen with proprietary software and partisan control of and access to the process, should convince anyone who gives a damn at all.
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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Difference between what is suspected and what is proven
"machines...but I don't think it's been proven, and I don't think it can be."

No matter what what anyone suspects, only what can be proven ultimately matters.

Changes in the rules are needed to prevent such possible fraud with the machines, but as you say claiming fraud without proof is counter productive.

It is not even necessary to claim that Ohio was stolen to argue for changes in the laws. The fact that fraud cannot be excluded with the current system is sufficient to argue for change.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Your last sentence is perfect
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Exactly. n/t
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. To me that is missing the point.
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 09:59 PM by ProSense
People always believe this to be about proving the election was stolen versus proving the Republicans took action to steal the elections.

Beyond that, this writer is very insulting and he quotes Hayden out of context. As a matter of fact, the quote isn't even stating what Shaw implies. Hayden's point was about framing the argument and being able to support statements with facts, not dismissing facts as conjecture! Shaw is insulting, and by focusing on whomever he deems to be zealots, is dismissing anyone with legitimate concerns about election tampering. His whole argument is to shut up or risk turning away voters, not convincing them that they should show up, be diligent and demand accountability. Shaw is no different from those who, in not wanting the real message to get out, lump everyone together into the "kook" category. He labels the entire argument a "fantasy" and refers to the more "shrill of you." In other words everyone who says the election was stolen is fantasizing and some who make the claim do it rudely.


The goal is not to find the 3 million votes, the goal is to find the truth about what happened, and if tampering occurred hold those responsible for it accountable. It would be ridiculous to say that now if no one had put any effort into uncovering the facts, but many have and there are four lengthy reports detailing the irregularities.


There is Clinton's statement that RFK Jr. made a compelling case in his article.
http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=3949

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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Can't find the truth if one's mind is made up
"The goal is not to find the 3 million votes, the goal is to find the truth about what happened, and if tampering occurred hold those responsible for it accountable."

The problem is that so many people have their mind made up that tampering did occur that they are accepting very weak arguments. Those who make such weak arguments (such as the arugments based upon the exit polls) are quickly discounted as cranks by serious people, and the investigation goes nowhere.

There is a very high burden of proof to claim an election was stolen. Those who start from the perspective that it was stolen are not going to be taken seriously (in the real world, as opposed to GD at DU).

Arguing for transparent elections, and supporting serious efforts to investigate 2004 is far different from the attitude seen at sites like Brad Blog where their mind is already made up, and they will not be taken seriously.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. But that's keeping the argument in the realm of
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 11:24 PM by ProSense
Brad Blog and the like. The only people accepting weak arguments are limited to the blogosphere and not likely to influence public opinion. When someone like Shaw comes out to publicly denounce the entire argument as a fantasy, that serves no purpose because those who buy the weak arguments don't want to hear it. Everyone else who believes that something went wrong and an investigation needs to happen will find him insulting.

Most Americans are only getting to hear this argument from television appearances by RFK Jr. and others who tend to stick to the facts.

And you make the point again:

"There is a very high burden of proof to claim an election was stolen."

That is true, but it dismisses the fact that we have no idea what evidence can turn up (it could be a whistle blower, although I doubt it). It also dismisses the fact that not all the actions in question relate to the election being stolen, but to the integrity of the process. Some of those actions may be illegal.

I find it strange that this debate is even coming up now because it has nothing to do with election reform, which is not going to happen before the 2006 election. I don't for a second believe people crying stolen election (as described above) will drive people from the polls. So something else must have motivated Shaw to write this article at this time.



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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Who did he directed this at?
"But that's keeping the argument in the realm of Brad Blog and the like."

I can't speak for Shaw, but I assumed he had the likes of Brad Blog in mind, along with many in the blogoshere who are already convinced that the election was stolen.

Unfortunately RFJ, Jr. included many weak arguments in his Rolling Stone article. Now that he has turned to legal action hopefully we will see something more substantial. I'm sure he realizes that he needs to be much more selective in the quality of his evidence in a court room as opposed to a Rolling Stone Article.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. He didn't direct
it at the people with weak arguments, he said the arguments were a fantasy.

A magazine article can make a compelling case, but this wasn't a legal brief. So attacking the Rolling Stone article for the weak points, when there are numerous compelling facts, makes no sense to me. Clinton, Kerry and Catherine Crier have all said the case made is a compelling one. I read the article it was convincing.
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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. I saw it as directed at the weak arguments
He was directed it at those who cry "Ohio was stolen."

The JFK article may seem compelling to those who are unfamiliar but doesn't hold up to any scrutinh. Once the slightest bit of fact checking is done most of what JFK wrote just doesn't hold up. He took every theory floating around, with most of them having been disputed even by liberal publications. While people like Clinton and Kerry politely said it is compelling, note that they don't actually repeat any of his claims. These supposed endorsements are just the polite way a politician comments without committing to anything to avoid offending anyone.

I suspect that this is largely due to the need to sell a cover story. An article on the pre-election voter suppression efforts, which is what is really important, just isn't as exciting a cover story. Throw in claims of a stolen election and you have something which sells.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. That's simply not true!
What was Catherine Crier's motivation? Politeness? During the first week the article appeared it was analyzed by critics who found merit in the stronger arguments in the article.

The excitement generated by the cover story has nothing to do with the facts it contains. You are mixing in a lot of unrelated factors that have nothing to do with the facts of the election or the article.

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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #21
27. Certainly is true
Vague comments that it is compelling are meaningless. Those who actually analyzed the data tore it apart, regardless of political belief. See the multpile links I have on the blog post.

The story obtained some excitement, but did no good beyond that due to the weakness of its arguments. If it had stuck to the actual problems it wouldn't have generated as much publicity but it would have had more of a chance of being taken seriously.

Those with any experience in analyzing data, such as with a science, math, or statistical background generally dismissed the article.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. The links in your post only
refute the point that there is evidence to support that the election was stolen. No one who rationally discussing this issue believes such evidence has been discovered. The articles linked to do not refute the many irregularities, not even those involving the machines. Most of the criticisim is about the exit poll information. I've read them all.

This is from one of the more critical analyses, which I didn't see among the links in your article:

Real Problems

Let me start with the aspects of Kennedy's article that I liked. The article extensively describes the various impediments to voting that occurred in Ohio's 2004 election. And there were a lot of problems in that election, some probably driven by the desire to suppress votes and others by plain incompetence. To summarize some of the most significant problems that Kennedy describes:

- As in most other states, Ohio's chief election official is elected on a partisan basis. This inevitably creates the risk that the official will discharge his or her duties in a partisan fashion, and there's evidence to support the conclusion that Secretary of State Ken Blackwell did just that in 2004. Foremost among the decisions that might reasonably be questioned are his order not to count provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct, and the order (later rescinded) to require that registration forms be on 80-lb. paper weight.

- In the weeks preceding the 2004 election, the Republican Party mounted an extensive effort to challenge voters' eligibility. According to Kennedy, the GOP sent letters to over 200,000 newly registered voters, and later sought to have more than 35,000 voters taken off registration lists when the letters were returned, a practice known as "caging." These pre-election challenges were ultimately stopped by a federal district court, properly so in my opinion.

- The punch-card voting systems that were used by over 70% of voters in Ohio's 2004 election resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of votes. Overall, there were around 95,000 votes on which no vote for President was recorded, the majority of those cast by punch card. Other voters used non-notice optical scan systems, which are also prone to error. Kennedy estimates (based partly on my work) that 66,000 votes were lost due to unreliable voting equipment. This seems to me a reasonable estimate if we include the votes lost due to non-notice punch-card and optical scan systems.

- There were inexcusably lines at many polling places in Ohio, including those in Franklin County and Knox County. Kennedy reports that some voters near Kenyon College had to wait for eleven hours before voting. He also finds that the reported problems with long lines were concentrated in urban areas with high minority populations, and the mostly anecdotal evidence that I've seen suggests that this is probably accurate. A DNC-sponsored survey found that 3% of voters, which would be over 174,000, left the polls without casting ballots due to long lines. (Interestingly, the percentage who left and didn't come back was about the same 3% for both black and white voters.) While it's difficult to measure with any degree of precision how many votes were lost due to long lines, this undoubtedly was a serious problem that discouraged some people from voting.

Snip...

To summarize: There's no doubt that some votes were lost due to faulty voting technology (let's say 66,000). There were also likely some voters whose provisional ballots weren't counted due to registration errors (the most that this could possibly be is 35,000). Add to that voters who report leaving the polls without casting a ballot (174,000, generously estimated), and you've still only got a total of 275,000 lost votes-- and keep in mind that this is indulging very optimistic assumptions in Kerry's favor. If my algebra is right, Kerry would still have had to pick up about 196,500 of those lost votes, or over 71%, in order to tie Bush, given the 118,000 margin of victory. Perhaps not beyond the realm of possibility, but not very likely.

Snip...

Even more damaging are the measures being proposed in some states to impede access to the vote. Kennedy properly notes that the restrictive voter ID laws recently enacted in Georgia and Indiana are tailored to suppress voter turnout. Unfortunately, there's a well-orchestrated campaign to pass these vote suppression measures in other states, which I've previously described here. The State of Missouri's legislature recently enacted a similar law, and others seem likely to follow, absent a groundswell of opposition.

It's perfectly reasonable to look back at the 2004 election and try to learn from the mistakes that were made. I'm therefore not one who believes that those distressed by the 2004 result should simply "get over it." But arguing over who really won shouldn't distract us from issues like voter ID and felon disenfranchisement, where the present fight over vote suppression really lies.

http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/blogs/tokaji/2006/06/back-to-o...



Again, it's not necessary to find 3 million votes or even to prove without a doubt that the election was stolen, only that actions were taken to impact the elections.
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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #29
33. The problem is claims it was stolen
This article is very generous to Kennedy's analysis, yet still concludes that it was not very likely that tihs adds up to show the election was stolen. There are real problems and there are also claims floating around of other problems. The problem with Kennedy's article is that it does not differenitate between what is real and what is easily refuted. When you have several invalid arguments along with some valid arguments, the result is likely to be that the article will be discounted and the valid arguments will be ignored. There's a similar problem with sites like Brad Blog where there is some valid info but also lots of weak arguments are also thrown around, discrediting the entire site.

The point of the Huffington Post article is in how we convince people beyond the blogoshere and those who already believe there is a problem. Mixing in weak arguments along with the good arguments undermines the cause.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #33
36. How can you easily refute an allegation
that requires further investigation by simple throwing out theories that it didn't happen. In Tokaji's analysis, after acknowledging the litany of problems, here are the only two items he indicates should be taken grain of salt and the single issue he claims is hard to swallow:

Grain of salt:

He refers Kennedy description of a group of Republican operatives as hearsay. I guess we'll have to wait for the results of Kennedy's lawsuit.

About the missing votes Tojaki states:

If my algebra is right, Kerry would still have had to pick up about 196,500 of those lost votes, or over 71%, in order to tie Bush, given the 118,000 margin of victory. Perhaps not beyond the realm of possibility, but not very likely.



Hard to swallow:

The exit polls. And even here this is battle of statistician opinions on missing data:

While it's hard to evaluate a claim based on a source that isn't yet available, I remain very skeptical of the argument that exit poll discrepancy prove widespread election fraud. As an initial matter, it's worth noting that Mystery Pollster Mark Blumenthal, a reliable source on matters of exit polling, has argued that Freeman's prior work exaggerated the significance of the "errors" within Ohio and the other states in which such discrepancies existed.


The interesting thing about all of this to me is that the main purpose of Kennedy's article was to demonstrate the need for a thorough investigation, and it is met with more theories about why the data can't possibly be accurate.

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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. Throwing out weak theories

The burden of proof is on proving that fraud did happen If you start from the assumption that it did happen, as so many do, them it is questionable from the start. If you base the claims on disputed arguments then it also invalidates the investigation.

Tojaki appears to be intentionally generous to Kennedy to point out that, even if you accept many of Kennedy's arguments, you still do not get enought votes to prove the electoin was stolen. Others who have analyzed the number place Kerry even further behind.

The exit poll argument is especially weak for multiple reasons. Blumenthal does a good job of going thru many of the problems with this.l
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #37
38. The burden of proof
Edited on Tue Aug-22-06 10:07 AM by ProSense
comes when the case goes to court. Burden of proof doesn't come before the investigation. The allegation comes first. When a charge is leveled, there is always someone to dispute it. Disputes do not invalidate an allegation. It's the same with any case, from Duke Cunningham to the war.

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kerrygoddess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #33
41. Actually what RFK, Jr does is ask - "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?"
It's a question posed to get people to think - and in that realm he was quite successful.He also addresses the issue of voter suppression in the opening of the article - the opening that you posted on the Dem Daily when they article was published.

Was the 2004 Election Stolen?
Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House. http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=3165


A few "weak" articles on BradBlog don't discredit him. Brad has the respect of the DNC, John Conyers and many in the party. JK expressed interest in talking with Brad when he was in LA in June.
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kerrygoddess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. Lawyers with reputations like RFK, Jr
Don't file court cases to sell magazines.
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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. That's not what I said
The court case and the magazine are two separate things. The court cases aren't even on the same abuses written about. The article was weak. It remains to be seen whether the court case holds up, but it needs to be judged on its own merit independent of the article.
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kerrygoddess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #26
39. The article was a prelude to
the court case. That's my understanding from talking to people who have talked directly with RFK, JR. I don't personally see Rolling Stone as a magazine that needs to "sell" magazines with a hypre piece nor do I feel that RFK, JR would publish something he does not personally believe in. RFK, JR is a very principled man. Insinuating he was out to "sell" hype is off base in my opinion.

The HuffPo piece from Shaw quoted Tom Hayden out of context - Hayden was not even refering to the issue. Shaw wrote as if he was.
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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. That's quite naive
Rolling Stone wants to sell magazines. Their covers are designed with that purpose in mind. Billing this as a question of a stolen election is part of selling magazines.

Lawyers also use PR in high profile cases to get jurys more friendly to their position. Kennedy is banking on the prospect that people will lump all election fraud issues together in their minds and not differentiate between different situations. His actual legal cases are loosely related to the topic of the article, but he is really going to court over different issues.

The Huffington Post piece started out ok in quoting Hayden even though Hayden wasn't talking about Ohio. The quote is relevant to the topic of being taken seriously and this could be applied to the eleciton fraud issue. Where the post fails is in the paragraph after the quote where it does falsely imply that Hayden was talking out Ohio. The post would have been much better, and accurate, if instead it explained why the author felt the Hayden quote was relevant. By failing to explain the relevance of the quote, and banking too much on Hayden's name, the post will ultimately be a forgotten aspect of this issue.
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kerrygoddess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Brad has actually made a lot of in roads on this issue
He's not the conspiracy theorist that some think he is. I've talked to him in depth. He's a great guy, and he's not out to hurt any. He wants to see that the votes are counted. he gets that some of Ohio is voter suppression and has writen in depth about that.

I agree this won't keep people from the polls. During our primary in June evey one was stating when they were voting that they wanted to make their votes were counted.
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fedupinBushcountry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. Agree
we can't snub people like Brad, who are working to make it right. You know a lot of people don't know anything about Brad or others, but they do know that something was not right in '04, and I think just thinking that will make people more aware of results and then ask more questions and demand an answer. The more facts and info out there the better.

I have to vote on Diebold with no paper trail in November and for 2 very important seats here in Virginia, you bet I'm going to watch closely. The sad thing is that we have a Dem Governor and to have these paperless machines after 2004 is beyond me.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. I really wasn't
criticizing Brad, simply referring to all the stolen election information floated online via the blogs. Brad is one of the few people who has kept the issue alive.
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kerrygoddess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. I know...
I was agreeing with you.

Every issue needs a champion and Brad is the one blogger who takes this issue seriously. It's the whole isse of voter rights that Brad champions and he deserves credit for that.

RFK, Jr has filed his case in court - I for one will be interested in the outcome.
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #11
25. Motivation is an interesting question.
I wonder.

Meanwhile, a good election reform scholar - Dan Tokaji - countered some of RFK's conclusions and arguments here:

http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/blogs/tokaji/2006/06/back-to-o...

Kennedy's treatment of his subject differs from most "stolen election" arguments we've heard since 2004, in that it's much more comprehensively researched -- including over 200 footnotes that would make a law professor proud. While there's not a whole lot of new information here, Kennedy does a nice job of explaining and cataloguing the numerous problems that did in fact occur in Ohio's 2004 election. For reasons explained below, I don't think he makes a persuasive case that the election was "stolen" (i.e., that Kerry really won). The article is nevertheless useful in exposing how shoddy election administration practices can result in lost votes, and how some recently enacted laws will make things worse rather than better.


I'm sorry, but I lean toward Tokaji's analysis more than RFK's. He focuses on what we can fix and need to fix.

But, just my opinion. These really are difficult arguments, and I'm no expert.

Of course, you could also look at it as Tokaji playing "good cop" to RFK's "bad cop". The bottom line for fighting for election reform is the same. Tokaji's repudiation of RFK's arguments might help in some sectors. (of course, this is merely an unproven theory. ;-) )
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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #25
30. Motivation?
The author's motivation isn't all that important. He had an important point and said it. I can only speculate as to his motivation but I would guess it was the convergence of two factors. It is extremely common that in blogs with a lot of comments anything written about 2004 gets comments like Kerry really won but it was stolen, or that there isn't any point in voting/campaigning since they control hte results. For those who have analyzed the data, this does get anoying. Add to that Hayden's quote, which fits in well when also applied to this, and I could see where posting this was tempting.

Tokaji's analysis sounds much better. Kennedy's article would have been much better as a review article which extensively documents all the arguments on the election. The article fails when it tries to come to a conclusion (such as that the election was stolen) without differentiating between the good and bad articles. Kennedy is forced to be much more focused in legal proceedings and perhaps there he can do some good in fixing specific problems in the voting process. Then he is simply working to prove that specific procedues can create problems without needing to get into questions such as whether the 2004 election was stolen.

It is important to have more coherent arguments like Tokaki's. What the post you linked to is trying to get at is the manner in which arguments will be taken beyond the blogosphere. If you want to have a bunch of bloggers backing your argument, then sourcdes like the RFK article and Brad Blog serve the purpose. However if you want to be taken serioulsy in the general population it is necessary to avoid such poor sources. My guess is that Tokaji isn't playing good cop/bad cop but realizes that fo r his own owrk on election reform to be taken serioulsy it is necessary to acknowledge that he realizes the weaknesses of the RFK article. There is the danger that, due to RFK's prominence, all arguments for election reform will become indentified with the Rolling Stone article and therefore be dismissed outside of the blogoshere.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #25
32. That was one of the most
critical, but as I pointed out above, he also spotlighted some serious problems. The point about Tokaji is that when he says "and how some recently enacted laws will make things worse rather than better" it means he is against some of the very reforms that are needed, specifically the voter verified paper audit trail. So he has his motives.
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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #32
34. Unclear on paper trails
His comments on paper trails can be taken more than one way:

"Unfortunately, some of the measures being implemented in the states would do little or nothing to improve elections. One of them is the so-called "voter verifiable paper trail" (VVPAT) that's part of the "Count Every Vote Act" that Kennedy mentions. If there's anything that should be clear from Ohio's 2004 election, in which the substantial majority voted with punch card and optical scan ballots, it's that paper doesn't guarantee election integrity or public confidence in the results."

If he is saying that the act wouldn't have solved the problems in Ohio then he is correct. If he is saying that paper trails by themseleves are not enough to solve the problem, then he is correct.

If he is opposing paper trails then I disagree as, even though this was not the problem in Ohio in 2004, it is a potential problem in other elections.

Paper trails are just one of many things which need to be done.
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 07:18 AM
Response to Reply #9
24. I agree that the writer uses some insulting language.
Edited on Tue Aug-22-06 07:22 AM by MH1
To be honest, I barely noticed it when I read the post, because I am so used to such language being used in the blogs.

I guess I took it as an identification of who he is talking about: i.e. he is not complaining about EVERY person who discusses the possibility of the election being stolen, just a certain faction that is shrill and doesn't provide coherent arguments for their positions, or refuse to admit that their evidence is not sufficient for their allegations - which range into "conspiracy theory" land. That is NOT referring to ALL people who contest the election, or ALL observations of things that just don't add up. It is only a certain segment, that refuse to listen or move on when presented rational arguments. I have had a painful experience with someone like that not too long ago - perhaps that's why this resonated with me. When A disproves B but you present it 5 or more times and the person still insists on B without making ANY argument that could explain why A doesn't hold or doesn't really disprove B - well it gets REALLY frustrating.

I am as interested in election reform as anyone. But there are facts and there is bullshit. I don't like to see it when the bullshit takes the focus off the facts. (Of course, one person's fact is another one's b.s. ...)

I didn't mean to stir up a huge controversy here. Sorry guys!
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #24
28. I don't think
your posting the information had anything to way the discussion unfolded. It needed to be posted. This is a controversial topic so debate is expected. I'm sorry you had that experience since there really is no arguing with people who refuse to acknowledge the facts.

Which is the point: people who are convicted to BS arguments are not going to change, and not all such individuals are wedded to the issue of election fraud.

There are BS arguments in the election fraud debate, but there are also valid ones. Ironically, Shaw uses Hayden's valid point to make a BS argument: crying stolen election will turn people away from the polls.
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fedupinBushcountry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. Exactly
Every thing that Kerry and others brought to court have been stonewalled or dismissed. There is proof of suppression, but as Kerry stated in an interview I believe with Ed Schultz, that he could not fight a lot of things because under the state election laws, which in some cases Blackwell was part of, they would hold up in court due to those laws (example how many machines in each polling place), sad but true.

JK also specified that we need to elect Democrats in the Secretary of State positions so we can tackle these issues on a state level, which comes into play on all election anomalies in all the states, and that includes the machines.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. That's an interesting point!
JK has also advocated national standards in some aspects of the process. The two count every vote and deceptive practices bills covers it all.
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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #12
31. Suppression vs stolen
Also note that the legal action from people like Kerry is concentrated on issues of voter suppression and the problems created by having a partisian indivudual like Katherine Harris or Blackwell also i ncharge of the elections. It is these problems which occur before election day where the proven problems are, and where action needs to be taken.

Beyond that there is a need to clean up procedures on election day with regards to counting the vote, paper trails, preventing people from taking the votes home over night, etc. However to call for reform on these issues because fraud is possible is quite different from claiming that widescale fraud already occured before any proof is obtained.
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kerrygoddess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #31
40. There were many instances
of changed votes due to manchine error that have been documented. Those couple with suppression add up to some very real discrepancies. My understanding that the ongoing lawsuits are focused on what they knew early after the election. Much more has come out since.
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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. Finally a sane voice on the issue
I have a post related to this at Liberal Values:

http://liberalvaluesblog.com/?p=107
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kerrygoddess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
14. Interesting actually...
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 11:49 PM by kerrygoddess
I read all of Hayden's post and the quote that Shaw refers to isn't even about voter fraud or stolen elections. What I got from reading Hayden's entire post was that he was referring to all of the issues and this in particular: "If won't be easy after Connecticut, but try not to make the wars within the Democratic Party more important than the war against the neo-con agenda."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-hayden/see-you-at-arm...
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #14
35. I see it that way too, and i hope people take the advice. n/t
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-25-06 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
43. Here is how this guy stacks up in the
logic department:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/russell-shaw/i-hope-and-p...

He's a complete idiot!
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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-25-06 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. I sure hope he is asking to generate discussion
and he isn't really serious.
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