You are hereElections
By Hans Johnson
In These Times
Monday 18 September 2006
Citing extremism, more GOPers are joining the Democrats.
A trend of local, below-the-radar party-switches is undercutting Republicans as they face the sternest challenge in a decade to one-party control of Congress and several state legislatures. Such party-switching by elected officials often indicates that the label they are shedding has lost appeal and foreshadows poor performance at the polls.
By Ann Imse
Rocky Mountain News
Friday 15 September 2006
Attorney fears fraud, says state "headed for train wreck" in November.
Voting on computer screens is so vulnerable to massive fraud that Colorado's November election is "headed for a train wreck," says an attorney who is seeking to have the equipment barred at trial next week.
An expert would need just 2 minutes to reprogram and distort votes on a Diebold, one of four brands of computerized voting systems attacked in the suit, says attorney Paul Hultin. His firm, Wheeler Trigg Kennedy, has taken on the case pro bono for a group of 13 citizens of various political stripes.
t r u t h o u t | Press Release
Thursday 14 September 2006
Researchers reveal "extremely serious" vulnerabilities in e-voting machines.
In a paper published on the Web today, a group of Princeton computer scientists said they created demonstration vote-stealing software that can be installed within a minute on a common electronic voting machine. The software can fraudulently change vote counts without being detected.
Published on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 by The Nation
by John Nichols
Press reports on the primary victory of Minnesota Democratic U.S. House candidate Keith Ellison make note of the fact that he is now likely to become the first Muslim elected to Congress. But Ellison is also likely to become one of the most left-leaning members of the next House.
The Ellison victory was one of several for anti-war Democrats seeking open seats. Others came in in New York, where City Council member Yvette Clarke won a fierce fight for a Brooklyn seat once held by Shirley Chisholm, and in Maryland, where John Sarbanes, the son of retiring Senator Paul Sarbanes, led in a crowded House race. In Maryland's highest-profile race, however, former NAACP head Kweisi Mfume, who was outspoken in his opposition to the war, lost to the decidely more cautious Representative Ben Cardin by a 46-38 margin.
In another Maryland race, activist Donna Edwards was in a virtual tie this morning with Representative Al Wynn, with a substantial number of votes still to be counted. During the campaign Edwards billed Wynn "the Joe Lieberman of Maryland" because of the Democratic incumbent's many votes in favor of Bush administration initiatives.
If Edwards pulls out a victory, it will be a very big deal.
But Ellison's win is nothing to sneeze at.
What the Minnesota Democrat did right is instructive.
By Kimberly Hefling
The Associated Press
Tuesday 12 September 2006
Washington - Any other time you'd expect Rep. Curt Weldon to be an unwavering supporter of President Bush's Iraq policy. After all, just this summer the Pennsylvania Republican was saying the jury remains out on whether Iraq still holds weapons of mass destruction.
But Weldon, vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, is desperate to hold onto his seat in the Philadelphia suburbs. He is sounding more like a Democrat and the increasing number of dissident Republicans who are talking about a timetable for bringing the troops home.
By Paul Harris
The Guardian UK
Thursday 07 September 2006
The debacle surrounding the Republican victory in 2000 demonstrated to the world that America's electoral process is wide open to abuse.
But as Paul Harris discovers, the system has actually worsened since then.
One person, one vote. Count the totals. The one with the most wins. The beauty of democracy is its simplicity and its inherent fairness. It equalises everyone, even as it empowers everyone. What could go wrong? In America, it turns out, quite a lot.
The Associated Press
Friday 08 September 2006
Columbus, Ohio - A judge ordered Ohio's county elections boards on Thursday to preserve ballots from the 2004 presidential election, a move activists hope will help prove accusations of fraud.
Federal law requires the counties to keep the ballots for 22 months after the election, which was this week.
The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by plaintiffs including the Ohio Voter Rights Alliance for Democracy and the head of a Columbus neighborhood association that accuses Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell of depriving many blacks of the right to vote in 2004 by distributing fewer voting machines per person in black neighborhoods.
Why Are We Suddenly At War With "Islamic Fascists"? A Neologism that Signals a Change in Strategy As Elections Near
Published on Friday, September 9, 2006 by Find Law
by John W. Dean
The latest orchestrated war-speak from Bush Administration officials, as they ramp up their oratory for the mid-term election, has recast Islamic militants and terrorists as "Islamic fascists." Thus, as we approach the five-year mark since terrorists attacked Americans on our own soil, the Administration is redefining the enemy - once again.
We have gone from the non sequitur of the "war on terrorism" (A war on "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce for political purposes"?) to the neologism of the "war on Islamic fascists." Or, depending on the speaker, on "Islamofascism." Why the new rhetoric?
The answer is simple: Pure politics. Republicans, for good reason, are worried about losing control of Congress. (For less than rational reasons, many Americans believe Republicans are more effective than Democrats in fighting terrorists.) Should Republicans lose control of Congress, or either chamber, of course, it will mean the effective end of the Bush/Cheney presidency -- with the remaining two years of the presidency likely to be consumed by investigations into the activities of the prior six.
The Associated Press
Thursday, 07 September 2006
Bridgeport, Connecticut - The owner of DataUSA Inc., a company that conducted political polls for the campaigns of President George W. Bush, US Sen. Joe Lieberman and other candidates, pleaded guilty to fraud for making up survey and poll results.
Tracy Costin pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Costin, 46, faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when she is sentenced Nov. 30.
Published on Thursday, September 7, 2006 by the Associated Press
by Shannon McCaffrey
MACON, Georgia - President Bush's once-solid relationship with Southern women is on the rocks. "I think history will show him to be the worst president since Ulysses S. Grant," said Barbara Knight, a self-described Republican since birth and the mother of three. "He's been an embarrassment." In the heart of Dixie, comparisons to Grant, a symbol of the Union, is the worst sort of insult, especially from a Macon woman who voted for Bush in 2000 but turned away in 2004.
In recent years, Southern women have been some of Bush's biggest fans, defying the traditional gender gap in which women have preferred Democrats to Republicans.
By Sibel Edmonds & William Weaver
Recent surveys measuring public opinion and confidence in congress all arrived at the same conclusion: over seventy percent of Americans have lost faith and confidence in the United States Congress. The public no longer trusts this body of politicians who were elected to represent the people and the peoples’ interests. Instead, they now view these “representatives” as servants of special interest groups, corporations and high-powered lobbyists. Americans are tired of watching and listening to elected officials who refrain from taking a strong stand on crucial issues, and who almost never state their positions with conviction and sincerity. In the eyes of the nation these senators and representatives are nothing more than programmed publicity puppets, competing for face time in the media. Common adjectives used by our citizens to describe these officials clearly reflect their sentiments: “spineless,” “phony,” “corrupt,” “out of touch,” “timid,” “all show and no substance,” and the list goes on. Why have we Americans lost confidence and faith in those elected? Where and when did we go wrong; or perhaps more correctly, they go wrong? What have these representatives done, or, failed to do, that arouses such anger and loathing in the very same constituents who voted them into office?
Update: Jonathan Tasini, Candidate for U.S. Senate vs. Hillary Clinton
will join us to talk about the various issues including Iraq and Health
Care which he is emphasizing in his primary election efforts
Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report
Produced by Mimi Rosenberg and Ken Nash
Monday, August 28, 2006, 7 - 8 pm EST,
over WBAI Radio 99.5 FM
or streaming live at http://www.wbai.org
Jonathan Tasini isn't expecting a miracle. The candidate who would take on political giant Hillary Clinton for her adamant pro-war stance is not expecting to repeat what Lamont pulled off in Connecticut; he admits he just doesn't have the money. And yet he is proud his poll numbers were recently as high as 13% and climbing. Make no mistake: on the issues, he feels, he's got Hillary's number all the way. But Ms. Clinton refuses to debate him. Editorials in both The New York Post and The New York Times, in a rare moment of agreement, demanded a debate be held. As one of Tasini's staffers blogged two weeks before the primary: "Ms. Clinton is in absolutely no danger of losing the primary. Her aversion to debating Mr. Tasini has to do with the prime focus of his campaign: her vote four years ago to authorize President Bush to go to war with Iraq."
A Former War Backer, GOP Congressman Calls for Timetable
By Anushka Asthana, Washington Post
Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), once an ardent supporter of the war in
Iraq, said yesterday that the Bush administration should set a time frame
for withdrawing U.S. troops. He added that most of the withdrawal could take
place next year.
Shays, who faces a tough reelection campaign because of his previous support
By Jeff Cohen
The cover story in the new issue of TIME, the flagship publication of the Time Warner media empire, informs readers that Hillary Clinton has "virtually nonexistent opposition for her senate seat."
Hold that phrase in your head. Because at another outpost of the Time Warner empire, decisions have been made that help ensure Sen.
Clinton will have "virtually nonexistent opposition."
By OSHRAT CARMIEL, Staff Writer
The Bergen Record
Friday,August 25, 2006
Speaking before an audience of Iraq war dissenters and presidential critics, Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Fair Lawn, pledged to support an inquiry into the possible impeachment of President Bush over the war in Iraq.
That offers a critical reason, Rothman told his applauding audience in Edgewater on Wednesday night, to elect Democrats in November.
Check out today’s NY Times editorial pressing Hillary Clinton to debate Jonathan. It’s time she stopped ducking the question. Please call her office at 212-213-3717 to say that you want to hear her debate Jonathan on the issues. We will not let this go. She must debate. Democracy demands it The Times editorial is linked below.
Hillary Clinton’s Low Profile
A message from Charles W. Sanders:
ACTION PAGE: http://www.charleswsanders.org/petitions/pnum262.php
On Friday, August 18th, I filed the necessary nominating petition signatures to compete for the Democratic party nomination for the U.S. House in the 3rd District of OH. Due to the sudden and unexpected withdrawal of our candidate, it has been determined that there must be a special election on September 15 to fill the election vacancy
ACTION PAGE: http://www.usalone.com/bright/pnum448.php
Jean Hay Bright, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Maine, has been campaigning on a pro-peace, anti-war platform for more than a year, but has been ignored by the media and the Washington Beltway crowd because she's opposing Olympia Snowe, who despite being one of the most pro-war, hawkish senators in Washington has been able to FOOL the media and the public by claiming she's a moderate.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of the Voters for Peace Pledge
United for Peace and Justice | http://www.unitedforpeace.org
Congress has the power to cut off funding for the Iraq war. If we want to end the war, the peace movement must make Congress a key target of our pressure. The 2006 mid-term Congressional elections give us the opportunity to exercise increased leverage over all Congressional candidates, be they incumbents or challengers.
By William Rivers Pitt, Progressive Democrats of America
There are three Senate races taking place today that may come to swing the Senate back to Democratic control, and Progressive Democrats of America is right in the middle of all of them. Sherrod Brown is running against Republican Mike DeWine in Ohio, Jonathan Tasini is putting forth a primary challenge against Democrat Hillary Clinton in New York; and Kweisi Mfume is challenging Democrat Ben Cardin for Maryland's open Senate seat. Each of these candidates carries with them a compelling story.
An emergency public meeting
HOW TO GET OUT OF IRAQ...
AND WHY ATTACKING IRAN WOULD BE REALLY DUMB
Featuring two intelligence experts (who happen to be New Yorkers)
Former U.N. Weapons Inspector
Former Senior CIA Analyst (27-year veteran)
With observations by
Author of “Cable News Confidential” and the founder of FAIR
By BRIAN COOK
To illustrate how human consciousness cannot be understood solely through observable behavior, cognitive scientists came up with a thought experiment known as the “zombie problem.” They defined a zombie as a mindless drone, a mere automaton, but one that behaves in ways completely indistinguishable from other sentient human beings. As philosopher Daniel Dennett put the problem rather chillingly, “Since [external behavior] is all we get to see of our friends and neighbors, some of your best friends may be zombies.”
By David Sirota
Eric Alterman writes that "one the country's most significant problems is the stupidity of our political discourse." He says "It's not just inconvenient and annoying; it interferes without our ability to address our problems and allows thugs to get away with metaphorical murder." He's absolutely right - and one of the things that really bothers me are the definitions used to describe political positions - definitions that progressives themselves repeat, even though they imply dishonest storylines about the progressive movement.
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA 08) is one of the first GOPers to publicly and sharply criticize Pres. Bush's handling of the Iraq war. In a mailer sent to Bucks County voters, Fitzpatrick called the admin's "stay the course" strategy "extreme" while also criticizing Iraq war vet Patrick Murphy's (D) "cut and run" proposals.
-- While several members (Gil Gutknecht, Jo Ann Davis) have criticized the president's handling of Iraq, Fitzpatrick went one step further. The mailer's headline, "America Needs a Better, Smarter Plan in Iraq," could come straight from the DCCC. His comments will likely provide Dems ammo against more steadfast supporters of Bush on Iraq.
By Jim VandeHei
PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. -- When it comes to President Bush and the Republican Congress, Rep. Jim Gerlach says voters in his suburban Philadelphia district are in a "sour mood."
That's why when it comes to his reelection, the two-term incumbent says "the name of the game" is to convince those same voters that he can be independent of his own party. He has turned his standard line about Bush -- "When I think he's wrong, I let him know" -- into a virtual campaign slogan, repeated in interviews and TV ads.
By Norman Solomon, www.huffingtonpost.com
The leading pro-war Democrat in the Senate is hoping for a landslide in the New York primary next month. And unless progressives quickly mobilize to dent her vote total, she’s likely to get it.
Hillary Clinton, of course, intends to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008. But first there’s her quest to win big for reelection.
If antiwar voters cut into Clinton’s percentage in the primary on Sept. 12, despite overwhelming media visibility and a massive campaign war chest, her momentum would take a hit.
By ROBERT L. BOROSAGE
Special to the Star-Telegram, TX
Ned Lamont's stunning upset of incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary has sent shock waves through the dead sea of American politics.
Lamont did the impossible: This virtual unknown beat an 18-year incumbent with universal name recognition, a $12 million campaign war chest and the support of Washington insiders, the punditry and the corporate lobbies.
Primary win could affect other races
By Fred Lucas, The Danbury News-Times, CT
The tremors sent through the political landscape last Tuesday will have big aftershocks in November, experts say.
That's not just on the three-way Senate race in Connecticut, but also on three high-stakes U.S. House races in the state.
Meanwhile, some political observers fear last week's election result is further evidence that moderates are becoming endangered in Washington.
Lamont win spurs Dunkelbarger
By Robert Preer, Bosaton Globe
The day after Ned Lamont's victory over US Senator Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary, Philip Dunkelbarger hit the campaign trail in Massachusetts' Ninth Congressional District with a simple message.
``People are making a very clear statement to Democrats who may have been complicit in this disaster in Iraq," Dunkelbarger told a group of residents of the Orchard Cove senior retirement community in Canton Wednesday morning. ``Yesterday was Lamont-Lieberman. Today starts Dunkelbarger-Lynch."