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AtLiberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 08:13 AM
Original message
John Gideon: Corporate Control of the Election Process
Corporate control of the election process

by John Gideon
June 22, 2005
The Free Press


Those who hold the sacred trust of overseeing the election procedures and voting systems in this country are an alphabet-soup of organizations. The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS); the National Association of State Elections Directors (NASED), the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC); the Election Center. What do these groups have in common? They either receive their funding from the vendors or are greatly influenced by those who do receive funding from the vendors. We can only hope that the EAC can resist the influence. The others haven't.

Who are these "vendors"? The vendors are the corporate face on our elections systems the for-profit companies that develop and sell the equipment used to run our elections. They are those who have the most to gain from the influence they buy through their donations and dues to the alphabet soup, and that influence is considerable. They include names like Diebold, Elections Systems and Software (ES&S), Sequoia Voting Systems, Hart InterCivic, Accenture, UniSys, Accupoll, and more. In fact they are all proudly named on the list of corporate affiliates of NASS.<1>

The NASS Corporate Affiliates Program

How does a company become a "corporate affiliate" of the National Association of Secretaries of State, and what does it mean? According to a description of the NASS Corporate Affiliate Program, corporations can donate annual dues in the amount of $20,000, $10,000, $5,000, or $2,500. Those funds go directly into the coffers of NASS. And what do the corporations get for donating to this worthy cause? "The NASS Corporate Affiliate Program is a savvy way to share ideas and build relationships with key state decision makers while supporting the civic mission of the association."<2>

Build relationships with key state decision makers? In other words, unrestricted access to lobby the people who will be spending the taxpayers' money to buy new election equipment. The scale of this unrestricted access is directly, and openly, related to the amount of "dues" that the corporation pays to the program...

For the rest of the story, click:

http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2005/13...
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. Bingo! . . . this is THE fundamental problem with our voting process . . .
when did the American people vote to turn that process over to for-profit corporations? . . . this is the issue that the Congress and everyone else concerned with voting and elections should be addressing . . . taking the voting (and especially the vote counting) process away from corporations and returning it to the people is crucial to insuring free, open, and fair elections in this country . . .
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melissinha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Absolutely
Of course you all know that the corporations have their hands in everything..

In what instance do corporations not have influence over policy that affects them directly?

Thanks you guys for posting this... As I really don't know about this.... do OUR congressmen, Conyers in particular, aware of this?
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RedEagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
2. Thanks John, More Influence from CSG:
Council of State Governments.

I have cherry picked from several areas of the site.
Also:

"Reproduction permitted with credit to Association
Copyright 2005, The Council of State Governments"


This organization has been in the background for a long time. I believe you can trace involvement back to the Rockefellers. Did it have a hand in the creation of entities like NASS and NASED?-


http://www.csg.org/CSG/default.htm

"As states take on more responsibilities, they are finding that it pays to share resources, strategies and ideas for doing all that needs to be done. One resource that states have counted on since 1933 is The Council of State Governments.
......

To assist states with multi-state and regional solutions, CSG maintains offices throughout the country that staff regional associations of legislative and executive elected officials.
.....
CSG helps states increase efficiency by identifying the best new and creative approaches to significant state problems in our Innovations Awards. Our information products are full of useful and practical policy solutions. In addition, CSG draws upon experts in the states, and marshals them as consultants to help sister states in need of services. And CSG's leadership training helps state officials enhance their skills in managing strategic change."
.....

Reproduction permitted with credit to Association
Copyright 2005, The Council of State Governments


"CSG believes private sector involvement in the governance system is critical to formulate innovative solutions to state challenges. CSG members benefit from our private sector partners as they create public/private partnerships and lend expertise to public policy challenges. Since 1984, more than 165 corporations and associates, including many Fortune 500 companies, have added their voice to CSG issue forums by participating directly on CSG committees and task forces and by working on CSG programs and research projects."


"The State Government Affairs Council is the premier national association for multi-state government affairs professionals of over 120 major US corporations, trade associations, and service providers. Key benefits for SGAC members include liaison opportunities with state governments and legislative leaders, networking with peer experts, and professional development opportunities. CSG has a long-standing partnership with SGAC, collaborating on multiple levels to share information and expertise."


"The following is a list of CSG's affiliate organizations:
American Probation and Parole Association
College Savings Plan Network of NAST
Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation (CLEAR)
Emergency Management Accreditation Program
Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision
Midwestern Governors Association
National Association of Attorneys General
National Association of Government Labor Officials
National Association of Secretaries of State
National Association of State Chief Administrators
National Association of State Election Directors
National Association of State Facilities Administrators
National Association of State Personnel Executives
National Association of State Telecommunications Directors
National Association of State Treasurers
National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators of NAST
National Emergency Management Association
National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators
National Lieutenant Governors Association
State Debt Management Network of NAST
State International Development Organizations
The Southern Governors' Association"


"CSG also works on state legislation, interstate compacts and multi-disciplinary issues that cross CSG's primary areas of focus."




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tommcintyre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 07:23 AM
Response to Original message
4. kick n/t
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Amaryllis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-05 09:54 AM
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5. kick
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