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Member since: Thu Jul 29, 2004, 03:51 PM
Number of posts: 458

Journal Archives

FTC to Challenge Merger of Staples, Office Depot

from the APWU website:

From the article:
12/07/2015 - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that it would seek to stop the proposed merger of Staples and Office Depot, the nation’s largest and second-largest office-supply chains. The agency filed an “administrative complaint” charging that Staples’ proposed $6.3 billion takeover of Office Depot would violate the nation’s anti-trust laws by “significantly reducing competition nationwide.”

APWU President Mark Dimondstein praised the decision. “This is an important victory for consumers and businesses against Staples’ unbridled greed and its dangerous corporate agenda,” he said. “It is a big step toward stopping the merger.”The APWU has been an outspoken critic of the buyout.

“Our union conducted two studies showing the negative impact the proposed merger would have on consumers and businesses. It was clear that a merger of these two companies would have left just one national office-supply superstore chain. This would inevitably force customers to pay higher prices and leave them with fewer choices.”

The FTC voted 4-0 to issue the complaint and to authorize its staff to seek a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction in federal court to prevent the two companies from consummating the merger and to maintain the status quo pending a hearing on the matter. The administrative trial is scheduled to begin on May 10, 2016.


I'm so glad to see this development!

Vigilance of Saline County’s Electronic Voting System Urged

KSAL Staff - November 12, 2015 4:14 pm. From a Salina, Kansas radio station.


from the article:
"Statistician Beth Clarkson has been in the news about her efforts to audit Sedgwick County voting machine tapes from the 2014 election. She presented a series of questionable statistical voting patterns linked with electronic voting machines at today’s K-State Salina Polytechnic’s Civic Luncheon.

Of concern, both Sedgwick County and Saline County use the same type of direct record electronic (DRE) voting machines that statisticians are finding problematic. They see a correlation between the kind of voting machine used and the percentage of Republicans in those precincts voting.

As a baseline, when paper ballots are counted, the percentage of both Republicans and Democrats who vote is the same, regardless of precinct size. In a graph, this appears as a flat horizontal line. With the Diebold and Sequoia brands of electronic voting systems used predominantly in Kansas, Clarkson sees:
• In very small precincts, which are often rural, a very high percentage of Republicans voting. (This is expected.)
• As precinct size increases, the percentage of Republicans voting decreases significantly for small (but not very small) precincts.
• Then, the trend shifts. In medium and large precincts, the percentage of Republicans who vote shows incremental increases with size and “never reaches a mean” (or comes to a flat line).
• Clarkson also included results for other brands of electronic voting machines that showed increases in the percentage of Democrats voting as precinct size increased. Any voting system that didn’t produce a straight line gives cause for auditing.

While New Mexico, New York and Wisconsin gain high markets for verifying their vote counts, Kansas—like most of the country—has an inadequate voting verification system. (New Mexico uses ballots that are scanned; after the election, these ballots are re-scanned to verify results.)"


More at the link, including a quote from Clarkson that she feels, after reviewing data from the 2004 presidential race in Ohio, that John Kerry should have won the 2004 election.


11/1/15 Beth Clarkson newsletter plea for verifiable voting


Beth's request from the newsletter:

"I need your help for a letter writing campaign.

A RFP (request for proposal) for a new voting system for Sedgwick, Shawnee, Johnson and Wyandotte counties was issued in October.

I have some major concerns with it about the lack of crucial requirements for transparency in vote counting. I've enumerated them in this post http://showmethevotes.org/2015/11/01/minimum-requirements-for-a-new-voting-system/ at showmethevotes.org along with my arguments for why these requirements are necessary.

If you agree that we need a system that will guarantee our votes are counted accurately with verifiable transparency, then please write:

Sandra Gritz
Chief Deputy Election Commissioner,
Sedgwick County Election Office
525 N. Main, #101
Wichita, KS 67203

email: [email protected]

Please let her know you support me in wanting those minimum requirements included in our new voting system. She has promised to forward our concerns to the committee that will be deciding on the new voting system.


Beth Clarkson

10/22/15 Secretary of State Dismissed from Voting Machine Lawsuit -- two articles


Thursday, October 22nd, 2015, by Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The top election official in Kansas was dismissed as a defendant from the lawsuit filed by a Wichita mathematician seeking voting machine tapes after finding statistical anomalies in election counts. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said in a statement Thursday he was pleased but not surprised. The move leaves Sedgwick County Elections Commissioner Tabitha Lehman, whose office actually has the tapes, as the only defendant in the case. Wichita State University statistician Beth Clarkson wants the tapes to do a statistical model by checking the error rate on electronic voting machines used at a Sedgwick County voting station during the November 2014 general election. Kobach says the law is clear regarding auditing procedures and contends he should have never been a party to the lawsuit in the first place.

link to second article:

Kobach dismissed from statistician’s lawsuit
By Zoe Brown Published: October 22, 2015

TOPEKA (KSNT) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has been officially dismissed from a lawsuit filed by Wichita statistician Elizabeth Clarkson.

Clarkson was requesting access to ballots in order to audit election results.

A release from Kobach’s office says he was pleased, but not surprised, with the dismissal. Kobach stated, “The letter of the law is clear regarding the auditing procedures of election ballots; we were dismissed as a party to this lawsuit because we should have never been a party in the first place.” He said the Secretary of State’s Office did not have custody of the ballots and did not have the authority to direct others to give Clarkson access.

Kobach also believes that, if the courts interpret the ballot custody statutes correctly, Clarkson’s access to the ballots will be denied again.


Kobach believes that "if the courts interpret the ballot custody statutes correctly, Clarkson's access to the ballots will be denied again."

His arrogance is breathtaking.

Kansas judge sets trial date for lawsuit over voting machines

from Beth Clarkson's newsletter:

Discovery Hearing October 19th, 2015

Judge Douglas Roth held the discovery hearing at 11:00 this morning. This was a short and somewhat informal hearing.
Kris Kobach was officially dropped as a defendant and had no representation present for that reason.

The following dates were agreed to:

Discovery Cut-off: Dec. 31, 2015
Pre-trial Conference: Jan 14, 2016, 1:30 pm
Dispositive Motion Deadline: Jan 27, 2016
Bench Trial Mar 22, 2016 9:00 am

Afterward, my attorney and I were interviewed immediately afterwards for KSN news. http://ksnt.com/2015/10/19/voting-machine-lawsuit-moves-ahead/

Judge Sets March Bench Trial in Lawsuit over Voting Machines

Source: kansaspublicradio.org

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The lawsuit filed by a Wichita mathematician seeking voting machine tapes after finding statistical anomalies in election counts is set to go to trial early next year. A scheduling order issued Monday sets a one-day bench trial for March 22 to hear the open records case brought by Wichita State University statistician Beth Clarkson. Sedgwick County Judge Douglas Roth also set deadlines for motions and scheduled a January 14 pretrial conference. Clarkson wants the tapes to do a statistical model by checking the error rate on electronic voting machines used at a Sedgwick County voting station during the November 2014 general election. Top election officials for Kansas and Sedgwick County want the court to block the release of tapes, arguing they are not subject to the open records act.

Read more: http://kansaspublicradio.org/kpr-news/headlines-monday-october-19-2015

Glad to see this!

Kansas mathematician Beth Clarkson's Show Me the Votes Foundation opens

from Beth Clarkson's 10/14/15 newsletter:

Show Me The Votes Foundation is open.

I've now got a non-profit foundation set up to take donations together with a gofundme site. https://www.gofundme.com/showmethevotes

I appreciate all the correspondence and interest I've generated with my quest for data here in Wichita. With your help to handle the inevitable legal expenses, I know I'll succeed.

Many Thanks to Paul Klusman, a master of the art of Internet Cat Videos, for being kind enough to put together the video. I also want to thank Eileen Jones for setting up the site. I don't know when I've have managed that.

Dr. Bob Scott, retired WSU prof and independent businessman and Denney Clements, http://www.amazon.com/Bleeding-Kansas-2-0-Denney-Clements-ebook/dp/B00MJDCJK0/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1444870503&sr=8-1&keywords=Denney+Clements semi-retired writer and editor have agreed to serve on my board of directors for the Show Me The Votes Foundation. In addition to covering expenses, I hope to have enough donations to be able to arrange to pay my employer for my time spent on this going forward. Bob and Denney will make sure the money goes towards this project and not to my bank account.

Beth Clarkson


Looking forward to tomorrow, date of the discovery hearing!

10/1/15 Salina Journal editorial "Voting for the truth in Kansas"

From the editorial by Steve Haynes, president and publisher, Nor’West Newspapers, Oberlin:

"It’s hard to understand why state officials, especially Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who worries so much about voter fraud, are making it so difficult for a Wichita State University researcher to check the accuracy of Kansas voting machines.

Statistician Beth Clarkson says voting results seem to show a pattern, an “anomaly,” that could indicate the results are not accurate or have been manipulated. She wants to audit the results, and so far has filed two lawsuits to get access to voting records.

Maybe she’s wrong. Maybe there’s nothing to worry about. But when a legitimate expert says there could be a problem with votes being manipulated, don’t voters deserve a full-scale check?

So far, Kobach and county election officials have stonewalled Ms. Clarkson, saying two state laws make it illegal to give her what she wants."

More at the link:

Looking forward to the Oct. 19th discovery hearing that's coming up.

9/21/15 Update -- Kansas mathematician Beth Clarkson has a lawyer and a discovery hearing

link to her newsletter:

from her post:

I have a lawyer and a discovery hearing!

I was able to discuss my case with several lawyers over the past few months. My thanks to everyone who has offered their support. Randy Rathbun of Depew Gillen Rathbun & McInteer, LC, http://www.depewgillen.com/ offered his services pro bono. He had a number of admirable qualities, but the one most important to me was his attitude that my goal of getting access to those records was attainable. He’s also a local attorney and a fellow Sedgwick County voter.

I was able to speak with the Sedgwick County Courthouse regarding scheduling of a discovery hearing. It's to be at 1:00 October 19th. My understanding is that this is a short (~15 min) hearing to determine the amount of time needed to schedule a trial. I don't know more than that, but I'm grateful to have legal counsel arranged before this occurs.
I'm scheduled to be on the Radio Sunday, Sept. 27th.

"Keep Hope Alive Radio Show with Jesse Jackson"

9/2/15 Update on Beth Clarkson's Kansas voting records lawsuit

From her newsletter:

Showing the votes is too much trouble

It's unnecessarily burdensome to the defendent

That's from Paragraph 17 in Lehman's response is asking the judge to refuse my request to gain access to R.T.A.L. voting records. There's more, but that seems the closest to a legitimate reason to me in her 8 page response. An audit is ALWAYS a great deal of trouble and work. I can understand that. It's just not a sufficient reason IMO and I hope a judge will feel similarly.

Legal aid is forthcoming.

A bit of good news. I've talked with two different lawyers this week willing to assist me. Both of them have an attitude that this case can and should be won. I'm to expect a notice of a discovery hearing sometime in the next week, scheduled for sometime in the next month. I'm grateful that I won't have to go to it alone.

No newsletters for the next three weeks.

I don't expect anything further to happen until the discovery hearing. In addition, I have professional and personal priorities that I have to deal with over the course of the next three weeks. I will have only occasional access to email during that time, so please forgive my tardiness in responses to email.

Thanks for all the support.

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