Monday, November 17, 2014

Here's a special guest blog about rigged elections.

     I usually don't publish anyone else's writing on my blog, but this analysis of election fraud by Richard Tamm  is so outstanding that I just couldn't resist.  He needed a URL and I needed to get this information out ASAP.  So everyone wins -- except of course for America.  But then after the 2000 stolen election and the 2004 stolen election and the 2014 stolen election, Americans should be used to losing by now.  Or else, like me, they should be totally outraged!

What happened in the 2014 U.S. election?
     By Richard Tamm

      I've been trying to understand what happened myself.  So, I've been reading many articles, etc. and have come up with the following.  These are my own thoughts on this subject, and are subject to revision based on both my own further reading and investigation as well as on your feedback.

     Let's divide it by party:

1. The Republicans:

     As Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis say in their 11/10 article entitled "How the GOP bought, rigged, stole and lynched the 2014 election" ( ), "Since the Bush-Cheney-Rove theft of the 2000 election in Florida, the right of millions of American citizens to vote and have that vote counted has been under constant assault."  Dennis Brault, focusing more on Wisconsin, also uses this quote in his equally good article entitled "Walker's 'Dark Way' Re Election - The Fix Was In.  What it Means For The Future" ( ) and adds: "This assault has been brutal."  They both go on to describe in some detail the immoral and unethical but "legal" methods this minority party used to not just win elections but guarantee they will continue to win them for many, many years into the future.

     First, the more visible methods used:

     A.  Gerrymandering: The GOP purposely set out to "win" (by any means, not necessarily legal) control of as many states as possible in the 2010 elections.  Having done so, they were in position in 2011 to use the new census of 2010 to redraw congressional districts in an extremely partisan and gerrymandered way. 

     As Jonathan Simon said on the weekly KPFA show, "Guns & Butter" entitled: "Voting Machines:  Computerized Election Theft" ( ) "Republicans won control of Pennsylvania in 2010.  They then redistricted brilliantly, so that in 2012 the Democrats actually won a majority of votes statewide for the U.S. House of Representatives in Pennsylvania, and they wound up winning 5 of the 18 seats with a majority of the vote!"  (This hour-long audio is a real MUST to hear - packed with information.)  Here are pictures of two of these gerrymandered districts: 
Inline image 1
     These gerrymandered districts will stay in effect till at least 2021.  And chances are, with redistricting within the state, it will be extremely hard to remove the Republicans from power within the state for the next redistricting.  So, this may continue for decades.

     B. Jim Crow voter suppression:  As the Economist reported in "Stumbling blocks" ( ), "Tuesday was the first federal election under laws that actually make it tougher to vote in 15 states. Eleven states rolled out new requirements for photo identification at the polls; nine states made it trickier to register to vote; eight states cut back early voting days; and three made it harder to restore voting rights to former criminals.
     These changes are part of larger trend. Since 2010 lawmakers have introduced around 180 bills to restrict voting in 41 states. Many of these have been overturned or weakened by courts, but quite a few have become law and are in effect in 21 states."

          1.  Removing valid registered voters from registration lists:  As Greg Palast reports in "Jim Crow returns - Millions of minority voters threatened by electoral purge" ( ), "Election officials in 27 states, most of them Republicans, have launched a program that threatens a massive purge of voters from the rolls....  At the heart of this voter-roll scrub is the Interstate Crosscheck program which has generated a master list of nearly 7 million names....  Based on the Crosscheck lists, officials have begun the process of removing names from the rolls - beginning with 41,637 in Virginia alone.  Yet the criteria used for matching these double voters are disturbingly inadequate..." 
     Supposedly the match is on first, middle and last name, date of birth and the last 4 digits of the Social Security number.  But in practice it is being done on only first and last name, with allowable differences in all other fields.

          2.  Increasing felon disenfranchisement: Sean McElwee reports in "Voter Suppression in 2014" ( ), "Research finds that felon disenfranchisement laws have influenced the outcomes of both presidential and Senate elections.  Such laws disenfranchised almost 6 millions voters this year—most of them poor and people of color."

     From an article entitled "States Deny Millions of Ex-Felons Voting Rights" ( ):  "In three Southern states the numbers are more stark:  In Florida, 23 percent of the voting-age black population can't vote because of a felony record; in Kentucky it's 22 percent; and in Virginia it's 20 percent. Taken together, one in five blacks living in those three states is disenfranchised.  Florida, with 1.5 million disenfranchised ex-felons, leads the nation."

          3.  Passage of Voter ID laws:  In this same article, McElwee reports, "For this year’s midterm, comparing McDonald’s turnout estimates with states with photo ID, non-photo ID and no ID law at all shows that on average, states with a photo ID law had 4.4 percentage points lower turnout than those that did not. States with a non-photo ID law also had lower voter turnout, about 1.52 points lower than states without voter ID."

     And Richard Parker reported in "Election 2014: Surge or Theft?" ( ), "Meanwhile in Virginia, nearly 200,000 otherwise-qualified citizens were denied their voting rights because of improper or inadequate IDs; in Texas, the number was more than 600,000. All part of a 33-state effort to guarantee against voter fraud—a danger certifiably documented in 31 instances out of more than one billion votes cast since 2000, according to the Washington Post."

     Ari Berman also reported in "Did Voting Restrictions Determine the Outcomes of Key Midterm Races?" ( ), "Six hundred thousand registered voters don’t have the required voter ID in Texas but the state issued only 407 new voter IDs as of Election Day. “There are more licensed auctioneers (2,454) in Texas than there are people with election identification certificates,” reported the Texas Observer."

          4.  Removal of Same-day registration: McElwee further reports, "Research suggests that same-day registration reduces the class bias of the electorate. Previous Demos research finds that when same-day registration is available, hundreds of thousands of voters use it....  States with SDR had turnout 7.92 points higher than states without SDR. This is likely a combination of factors, including the fact that states committed to turnout generally pass many reforms which work together to boost turnout."

          5.  Removal of Early Voting Days: As Richard Parker reported in the same article, above, one example is the state of North Carolina: "In the North Carolina race for U.S. Senate—at $107 million, the most expensive statewide race in American history—state House Speaker Thom Tillis beat Senator Kay Hagan by a margin of 1.7 percent, or about 48,000 votes, under one of the harshest new election laws in the country. It’s a law that Tillis himself helped craft, that eliminated seven early voting days and same-day registration, and prohibited voting outside a voter’s home precinct — all disproportionately likely to affect student and African-American voters.

     In North Carolina’s 2010 election, 200,000 voted in the early voting days, while in 2012 nearly 700,000—including one-quarter of all African Americans voting in the election—did, as well; this year that was illegal."

     And Mark Gollom reported in "Will new voter ID laws swing the U.S. election? ( ) "It's true that Republican-dominated state legislatures in some states have passed laws that could make voting more difficult. In Florida, laws were passed to limit the number of early-voting days, prohibit voting on the Sunday before the election and impose a 48-hour time limit on third-party voter groups to register new voters. "

          6.  Making it more difficult to register to vote: As Richard Parker further reported in the same above article: " According to the Brennan Center:  Kansans faced two new voting restrictions this year—a strict photo ID law that was put into effect right before the 2012 election, and a new documentary proof of citizenship requirement for voter registration …  We know from the Kansas secretary of state that more than 24,000 Kansans tried to register this year but their registrations were held in "suspense" because they failed to present the documentary proof of citizenship now required by state law."

        7.   Destruction of Democratic voter registration forms:  Googling "destruction of voter registration forms" will bring up a number of stories of GOP operatives destroying Democratic voter registration forms, for ex, as reported by David Ferguson in "3rd GOP Operative caught trashing Dem Voter Reg. Forms, Local Authorities NOT investigating" ( )

     "A third instance of fraudulent voter registration has been uncovered in the important swing state of Virginia, where a Republican consultant has been arrested and thousands of discarded voter registration forms were recovered from a dumpster earlier this week."  

     C.  Dark Money:  With Citizens United the floodgates were opened.  As Richard Parker, above, reported, "Final figures aren’t in yet but it’s likely that donors spent nearly $4 billion on this off-year race for 435 House and 33 Senate seats. It’s not all about the Koch brothers—but a lot of it is, especially since, under Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court opened the floodgates for dark money from an unlimited number of undisclosed donors in the name of free speech."

     Then the less visible method: 

     D.  The "Red Shift":  Since the introduction and widespread use of electronic voting machines in 2002, there has been a consistency in pre-election and exit polls showing Democratic candidates with a percentage that is 5 - 10% higher than the percentage of the final vote count as reported by these machines and voting systems.
     Exit polls which are used worldwide to determine if elections are honest or fraudulent used to be incredibly accurate in the U.S. before these new voting machine systems were introduced.  But they are now considered to be "not working" or have become "inaccurate" (not that they are still accurate but are reporting that the vote counting is fraudulent) since they indicate that the Democratic candidates should get 5 - 10% more votes than is being reported by these machines, i.e., the numbers shift from blue (Democratic) to red (Republican).
     Jonathan Simon covers this topic in great detail in the "Guns & Butter" interview mentioned above as does Richard Charnin in his book "CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and The New American Century ".

     And Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis speak for many of the leaders in the election protection movement when they say in the linked article above, "In evaluating the actual vote count, manipulation of untrackable electronic voting machines must also be accounted for.  Over the years, Bev Harris, Brad Friedman, Jon Simon, Richard Charnin and many others have added vital research leading to the inevitable conclusion that the 2014 election---like 2000 and 2004---was essentially bought, rigged, stolen and lynched."

2.  The Democrats:

     A.  The abandonment of populism and the failure of the "Republican lite" strategy: Bill Clinton presented himself as a centrist Democrat.  His and the Democratic Leadership Council's "distaste for what they refer to as "economic class warfare" has allowed the language of populism to be monopolized by the right-wing.

     Many argue that the Democrats' abandonment of populism to the right-wing, shifting the form of that populism from the economic realm to the "culture wars", has been critical for Republican dominance of Middle America. (See, for instance, Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas?.)" (

     Along with Clinton's moves to the center-right with the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and the passage of NAFTA, there was a loosening of ties with labor and a seeking of more campaign funds and support from Wall Street.  This is still affecting the Democrats negatively in not being able to fire up their base and also not being able to get anything close to the amounts of unlimited Dark Money now being unleashed against them.

     Acting as "Republican lite" has not been working.

     If you take the city of Richmond as an example, the progressive Democrats and Greens succeeded in winning their races against over $3 million that Chevron spent to defeat them because they spoke economic populism and what Howard Dean called "lunch-bucket" issues and were able to really fire up their base to have a successful grass-roots campaign.  In contrast, the regular Democrats who took the Chevron money to oppose the progressive Dems and Greens all lost.

     Also, in abandoning their close ties with labor and their commitment to economic populism and "lunch-bucket" issues because of their more recent need for campaign contributions from the same Wall Street big banks, large corporations and plutocrats funding the Republicans, they have refused to consistently speak up for and defend the poor and middle class and champion economic justice for all.

     By default, they often simply appear to be accepting and allowing the terribly corrosive revolving-door corruption so visible to everyone, and the slide toward ever greater corporate, oligarchic and state power, growing militarism, endless war, and drift from the truth - not the issues that will fire up their base.

     B. The abandonment of Howard Dean's 50-state strategy:  As reported by  Louis Jacobson in "Looking Back at Howard Dean's 50-State Strategy" ( ). "Dean said he continues to believe that every state, no matter how unfriendly to his party, deserves to have a basic level of institutional, financial, technological and personnel support, which can be 'relatively inexpensive.'

      'It would be a terrible mistake to leave even one state out of a basic package of training, IT and staffing,' he said.  'I don't advocate putting a zillion dollars into Alaska, but I do advocate having a competent, well-run Democratic Party in place, because you never know where lightning is going to strike.'"

     C. The refusal to even consider that the electronic voting machines could be shifting votes and allowing the Republicans to steal elections: 

         1.  Denial:  As Jonathan Simon said in his interview on Guns & Butter, above, at minute 11:  "...a conversation I had in a public forum that was actually a conference on media reform back in 2007 with a man who was at the time the DNC Democratic National Committee official pollster Cornell Belcher.  And, I asked him on this panel whether he placed any credence at all in fact that we had all these red shift patterns and whether the election returns could possibly be being manipulated.  And, of course, he said absolutely not, not a chance.  And then he said something curious.  He said but you know it's funny but I felt he was a little bit like on some truth serum.  He said, "You know when our internal polls show our guy ahead by 10 points, we've learned to treat it as if he's even, as if it's a toss-up, you know.  And we can't figure out why." 

     So, internal polls are designed to be very accurate because they allow the party to get the information necessary to know where they should put money into elections at the last minute, where the money is needed, where it's not needed, where it would be wasted.  So, those polls are designed to really tell them the truth.  They are not designed to market any candidate or build momentum or anything.  They're internal.  And when they're off, so they're doing their best, methodology-wise, to come up with an accurate picture.  And he was talking about them being off by 10%!  And so, then, I reframed my question: "Well, in light of that, do you think that there's a possibility that the vote counts could be manipulated?"  And he said "Of course not!" 
     And that's the kind of denial that we have been dealing with all along.  "This is America!  It's the beacon of democracy.  It could never happen here." 

      2.  Inexplicable SilenceJoan Brunwasser talked about this with Harvey Wasserman in "Harvey Wasserman:  How the GOP Bought, Rigged, Stole and Lynched the 2014 Election" ( ): 

   "JB: The $64,000 question is: Why do the Dems continue to act so spineless on this issue of election theft?  [Which is what all the "suppress all the voters who may not be voting for your candidate/s" strategy amounts to] 

     Even on the losing end of the stick, Democrats still represent tens of millions of voters.   Are they still so terrified of being tarred and feathered as conspiracy theorists?  All the less than savory yet very effective voter suppression tactics are hardly even covered by the Mainstream Media. 

     HW:  It's actually a $64 trillion question and I have no answer.  It's totally contrary to my own nature to let such things go by, so I have no idea beyond a bunch of politico/psycho-babble.  But we do know they absolutely refuse to discuss it.  Daily Kos has banned a number of us who blog about it.  Gore and Kerry simply walked away and have never discussed it since.  If you have an answer, please let me know."

     D.  The refusal to really fight Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression.  The Democrats are failing to see the incredible importance of voting rights and election protection as the keystone issues.

     For more information on all the above, go to "Occupy Rigged Elections" on Facebook.