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4/6. WV Coal,corruption and campaign finance. Clay KY vote buying-more arrests?

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-06-10 08:12 PM
Original message
4/6. WV Coal,corruption and campaign finance. Clay KY vote buying-more arrests?

Emergency vehicles leave the entrance to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch
Coal Mine Monday, April 5, 2010 in Montcoal, W.Va. after an explosion at
the underground coal mine. (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)

WV Coal,corruption and campaign finance. Clay KY vote buying-more arrests?

April 6 2010

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post writes about coal, corruption, campaign finance reform and yesterday's mining tragedy in West Virginia. Klein says Blankenship, leader of the Massey coal mine "has more or less purchased the state's government. He's certainly bought the state Supreme Court...." Klein says that some sort of reform is needed in this case...Citizens in Clay County Kentucky are waiting to see who is arrested next in the long running vote buying scheme that has corrupted local government. At least another dozen high profile arrests are expected. The federal action to clean up the vote buying has increased public confidence in elections....

All this and more in today's voting news below....

AL: Elections bill now goes to voters
A constitutional amendment that would give voters the chance to elect candidates to fill vacancies in DeKalb offices rather than an appointment by the governor has passed the Legislature and will appear on the November ballot for voter consideration

CA: Saturday Voting Initiative - Intended to Increase Voter Participation An election reform measure being proposed for the November ballot in San Francisco would add the Saturday before the traditional Tuesday election day as an alternate day for voters to cast their ballots

CA: Voting really isn't that hard (LTE in San Francisco)

CA: San Leandro Council Deadlocks on Ranked Choice Voting Ordinance

CO: All Briefs Now Filed in Colorado Lawsuit Over Independent Candidate Ballot Access /

CO: Web-based voter registration unveiled
Citizens with a Colorado driver's license or identification card can surf to on the Internet to get registered for the ballot.

CO: Lawmakers consider election reform (video available)
House Speaker Terrance Carroll (D-Denver) has submitted what he calls a "first draft" of proposals that among other things, give counties more flexibility in holding mail-ballot elections during even years. The proposals would also eventually allow for voter registration on Election Day.

FL: Obscure political committees nudge Legislature's agenda Little-known political committees benefit from industries trying to influence legislation.

FL: Call Crist to Veto HB 1207. Why Leadership Funds are Bad.
...the bill which would legalize leadership funds by creating a new type of shady political committee which would be controlled by those legislators already in leadership and could raise an unlimited amount of money year round, even during legislative session, which is currently prohibited for lawmakers.

GA: Voter fraud website launched Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp today launched a new website to prevent election and voter fraud in Georgia elections.

KY: In Clay, residents wonder: "Whos next?" In the past five years, more than a dozen local officials have been convicted of crimes that included extorting kickbacks from a contractor, laundering money for a drug dealer and buying votes on a grand and pernicious scale.

What has people holding their breath, though, is that more than a dozen other current or former public officials also allegedly took part in vote fraud, according to witnesses, prosecutors and court documents.

MN: Is instant runoff voting right for Duluth?
The City Council may ask voters to weigh in, and give IRV backers a chance to make their case to the public.

NY: A Step in the Right Direction for Voter Registration
...order recently issued by the Northern District of New York in U.S. v. N.Y., in which disability offices at state colleges and universities are declared--once again--voter registration agencies...

SC: District 2 election on hold until feds grant preclearance
...the federal judges blocked today's District 2 election because, they said, it violated Section Five of the federal Voting Rights Act.

TN: Benton County, Tennessee Voter Registration Uproar /

TX: Sanchez: Take advantage of technology
As demonstrated by Travis County's silly electronic voting devices, the eSlate, something is not necessarily better, and can be quite inferior, when it's digital.

WI: Editorial: Why the rush on election changes?
...The linking of driver's license renewal and voter registration, as proposed for Wisconsin, has the potential to compromise sensitive personal information because much of the data would have to be available in more than one database.

WI: Voting bill would reduce fraud risk

WV: West Virginia Mining Tragedy: The Caperton v. Massey/Campaign Finance Connection?

WV: Coal, corruption and campaign finance reform
Blankenship has more or less purchased the state's government. He's certainly bought the state Supreme Court, spending millions to unseat a justice who had ruled in favor of mine workers. The court, including the new justice Blankenship had elected, soon thereafter reversed a $50 million judgment against Massey.


"Hushed Money"
My new Slate Jurisprudence column begins: ...Opponents of reasonable regulation have a new target: trying to keep the flow of campaign money secret.

Internet voting

Canada: How online, phone voting might work this fall (Sarnia)
...Intelivote Systems will bid to deliver online and phone polling if city council opts next week to investigate an alternative to traditional paper ballots, company president Dean Smith said.

Internet Voting: Technology and Policy Issues
By David Wagner of UC Berkeley. A DoD project for overseas voters; Register & vote from abroad ... Internet voting is a danger to democracy; No voting system will ever be perfectly secure


Philippines: Comelec way behind in preparations for elections, say watchdog groups

Voting News Archives here at /
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To assist with Daily Voting News, please send links to news articles to us at
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-06-10 08:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. people need to wake up - this corruption led DIRECTLY to those miners' deaths.
Blankenship had money to give to teabaggers' rallies but none to fund safe working conditions for his employees.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-06-10 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Rachel Maddow is talking about this now
the election system in WV is corrupted by Massey money in much the same way that
Clay Co KY election system corrupted by vote buying scheme.

So similar. But vote buying (of govt) is legal in WV.

I was born and raised in WV (southern part of state, no mining since mid 70's)

Mining was and probably still is a way that a man can make better pay than he
would otherwise, but the risk is so high, the work so hard, the conditions so horrific.

Miners still get black lung.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-06-10 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. kicking.....again
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