Category: Election Integrity (page 1 of 3)

Will Alabama Voters Be Next to Reject ‘Trumpism’?

by Harvey Wasserman

originally published by TruthDig on November 8, 2017

Phil Murphy, right, won the governor’s seat in New Jersey, but during the race, his Republican opponent released a controversial immigration attack ad linking him to a convicted killer. (Screen shot via The Washington Post)

Steve Bannon’s attempted fascist putsch in Virginia and New Jersey has failed.

Is Alabama next? Can the Democrats keep it from being stolen?

Tuesday’s gubernatorial elections in the Garden State and the state “for lovers” were soundly won by moderate Democrats. The elections were widely featured in the corporate media as referendums on Donald Trump.

But the knife cut much deeper. Steve Bannon, the nation’s leading fascist activist-theoretician, offered to campaign for Gillespie, branding him a “culture warrior” in the course of the race. Although Gillespierefused Bannon’s direct aid in the campaign, Bannon praised Gillespie’s adoption of far-right Trumpist ideology and his brutally racist, anti-immigrant ads that reflect Bannon’s extreme right-wing ideology.

Bannon went so far as to say that Gillespie’s swing to the hard right was what made his race competitive. “I do believe Gillespie’s going to pull this thing out,” Bannon said Sunday, two days before the vote. “The lesson of Gillespie is Trumpism without Trump. … We now have forced the establishment to embrace our platform.”

But once Gillespie lost, both Trump and Bannon attacked him for not fully embracing their positions or their presence. Trump was the first sitting president to not campaign in a Virginia governor’s race since Richard Nixon during Watergate. As the defeat became clear, Trump tweeted from Asia that Gillespie did not represent him.

With immigration as a pretext, Virginia and New Jersey voters wereshowered with visual and textual images portraying blacks and immigrants in race-baiting, fear-mongering terms.

Similar images were spread in the 1988 presidential campaign of George H.W. Bush against then-Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis. They linked Dukakis to a pardoned black criminal named Willie Horton. Bush won the election but lost his soul.

The public relations guy responsible, Lee Atwater, issued an apologyjust prior to dying of brain cancer.

Tuesday’s victory in New Jersey was predictable. The truly awful Chris Christie left the state in ruins. His mean-spirited incompetence was staggering on more fronts than can be explained in a single article.

The victory in Virginia was less clear. The current corporatist Democrat governor was term-limited. The state has drifted to the Democrats in recent years. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton won Virginia in 2012 and 2016, respectively, and it has two “blue” U.S. senators. But 2010 gerrymandering gave both state legislative houses to the GOP.

To become governor, the Bush-style Republican Ed Gillespie took to vicious hate-mongering. A victory by Gillespie would have given the GOP an iron grip on the 2020 redistricting process.

Virginia’s 11 congressional seats are split seven to four for the Republicans. The Legislature at Richmond has been firmly in GOP hands, but may be flipped to the Democrats. Hopefully, a fair redistricting process will follow.

But what really matters is that in the former capital of the Confederacy, home of Robert E. Lee, an overtly racist campaign failed. “Trumpism”—using immigration and other cover issues to scream a racist rant—was rejected. This was actually a vote on hate. Thankfully, both Virginia and New Jersey said no.

As an underscore, both Virginia and New Jersey elected African-American lieutenant governors and two Latinas defeated incumbent Republicans for seats in the Virginia legislature. That state’s first transgender candidate also won a seat.

Meanwhile, Democrats took control of the Washington state Legislature, establishing a “Great Blue Wall” against Trump along the three West Coast states—Washington, Oregon and California.

But the next big test will be in Alabama on Dec. 12. The special election to fill the vacated U.S. Senate seat of Jeff Sessions, now Trump’s attorney general, will pit Judge Roy Moore against Doug Jones, a moderate Democrat.

alabama

Moore is the quintessential Bannon fascist. His raucous career has been defined by race hate and Biblical babble. His Deep South defeat would signal the failure of Trumpism’s core bigotry on its ancestral soil. It would also swing a crucial seat in the U.S. Senate, significantly altering the balance of national power.

Alabama is about a quarter black. To win there, the Democrats must confront a computerized Jim Crow assault aimed at disenfranchising blacks. With a Republican governor and secretary of state, the Democrats must painstakingly monitor every ballot, electronic and otherwise.

Alabama’s electoral system now features electronic machines that in many cases offer a ballot image that can be recounted. In a close race, these could make all the difference.

But the Democrats have been slow to act.

Virginia Democrats were urged by election protection activists to prepare for legal action in case a close vote proved vulnerable to theft. But according to a leader of Progressive Democrats of America who was active in the fight on election night, the party did no such thing.

Furthermore, one NAACP organizer in Virginia complained that the party failed to contact key black senior centers to ensure that elders came out to vote. A group called Carpool Vote ferried black voters to the polls.

In Alabama, the party will have to do better in mobilizing its grass-roots supporters, and will need every pixel possible from the state’s electronic voting machines.

In recent congressional elections in Montana and Georgia, Democratic candidates lost close vote counts that might well have been rigged. Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson, along with numerous experts, have expressed the belief that the June race in Atlanta conceded by Democrat Jon Ossoff was stolen.

Given the Virginia/New Jersey rejection of hate, Alabama is now in play. The Democrats have shown they can beat Trumpism.

In Alabama, they also must show they’ve learned some lessons from recent elections.

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Harvey is a lifelong activist who speaks, writes and organizes widely on energy, the environment, election protection, social justice, grass-roots politics and natural healing, personal and planetary.

He hosts “California Solartopia” at KPFK-Pacifica and “Green Power & Wellness” at prn.fm. He edits nukefree.org, solartopia.org and has taught history, diversity and ecology studies at numerous colleges. With Pete Seeger and David Bernz, he co-wrote the Grammy-winning “Solartopia Song.”  Follow Harvey Wasserman on Twitter @Solatopia

 

 

Will the Trump/Bannon GOP Steal Virginia…and American Democracy?

by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

Ed Gillespie

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie

 

A big chunk of American democracy is riding on Tuesday’s Virginia election.

The outcome could turn on how well Democrats protect the right to vote….and the right to have the votes accurately counted.

If Democrat and anti-Trump activists do not work to guarantee everyone’s access to the polls, they could very well lose the election.  The GOP has perfected the use of Jim Crow tactics to prevent from voting countless black, Hispanic and other ethnic citizens by electronic and other means.  The Democrats have been weak at best at protecting those votes.

They can also expect a “last minute surge” for Republican candidates, followed by “glitches” in electronic voting machines, especially in rural areas where election boards are controlled by Republicans.  If experience in states like Ohio, New Mexico, Wisconsin and elsewhere are any indicator, ballots will be “found” for the Republicans and “lost” for the Democrats in key swing districts.  These could easily determine the outcome.

They can also expect a “last minute surge” for Republican candidates, followed by “glitches” in electronic voting machines. As election protection activist Mimi Kennedy puts it:

” Georgia’s Special Election ‘glitched’ last April, when  Democrat Jon Ossoff’s totals went over 50% in his House race in the 6th District. That majority would have given him the seat outright. But tabulation in large Fulton County “glitched” for two hours, and when it came back up, Ossof fell below 50% and never recovered. This prompted the runoff election in June, which Ossof’s opponent – Georgia’s Republican former Secretary of State – won by a squeaker margin. When a lawsuit was filed to do forensics on the runoff, Kennesaw State University, which handles Georgia elections, wiped the servers clean but told nobody for months. When forced to admit the destruction of election records, the data managers called it “routine housecleaning.” 

“It is predictable that in rural areas of Virginia, where election boards are controlled by Republicans, problems might arise. For many of these counties, the return to paper ballots is brand-new. Ballots must still be counted by software. Experience in states like Ohio, New Mexico, Wisconsin and elsewhere indicate that “glitches” will occur, be blamed on unforeseeable error, and will benefit Republicans, not Democrats, in key swing districts.  Experience also shows that questions asked in such cases will go unanswered, and results, however anomalous, will stand.”

So far, the Democrats have been notoriously lax in fighting against such disenfranchisement and vote count theft.

According to election protection specialist John Brakey, Virginia now has electronic machines that provide ballot images.  These, he says, must be preserved after the election for purposes of a meaningful recount.  It is not yet clear if Democratic operatives are prepared to go to court or do whatever else is required to guarantee such scrutiny. If not, they may once again find that precautionary measures were the only way to avoid more losses from “glitches” that can never be rectified.

Much more is at stake here than just a few statewide offices.

With the governorship will come control of the state’s re-districting—“gerrymandering”—-process for a decade to come.  Should the Trump-right Republican Ed Gillespie become governor, he will conspire with the GOP-controlled legislature to re-draw the state’s Congressional and legislative districts in 2020.

In a state that went for Hillary Clinton in 2016, there are eleven Congressional districts. Gerrymandering has given seven seats to Republicans, four to Democrats.  Thus a fair, non-partisan redistricting process in 2020 could shift as many as three or four seats in the US House of Representatives.  That won’t happen if Gillespie is elected.

Despite a statewide Democratic majority, both houses of the Virginia legislature are controlled by Republicans.

This election will also determine Virginia’s next secretary of state, who will have control over voter registration rolls and vote counts in upcoming elections.

Republican control of the governorship and secretary of state’s office would be very bad news for those fighting the hate-based regime of Steve Bannon and Donald Trump.   Trump has been asked by the GOP to not campaign in the state.  But fascist theoretician Bannon has called the election a referendum on “Trumpism without Trump.”

Bannon, Gillespie and their GOP operatives have saturated the state with vicious, blatantly racist anti-immigrant ads reminiscent of the infamous “Willie Horton” smears run by George H.W. Bush in 1988.  Such fascist scare tactics allowed Bush to beat Michael Dukakis.  GOP strategist Lee Atwater later apologized for those ads shortly before he died of brain cancer.

This year the Trump/Bannon GOP has saturated Virginia with horrific racist and anti-immigrant messages.  They’re also using them in New Jersey, where there is a governor’s race, and elsewhere.  Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Ralph Northam, has responded by saying he will oppose sanctuary cities in Virginia.

But the race has now become a test of how effective such hate-based propaganda can be.

It will also be a test to see if the Democrats are willing or able to protect the right to vote.  And if they can guarantee a fair and accurate electronic vote count after those ballots are cast.

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Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman co-wrote The Strip & Flip Disaster of America’s Stolen Elections: Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft (freepress.org, solartopia.org).  They broke most of the major stories about the GOP theft of Ohio’s 2004 presidential election.   Follow Harvey Wasserman on Twitter @Solartopia.

Can Democrats Stop Virginia, Alabama Elections From Being Stolen?

by Harvey Wasserman

originally published at TruthDig on November 2,  2017

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez

Donald Trump’s primary enablers, the corporate Democrats, may be poised to blow it again in upcoming elections in Virginia on Nov. 7 and Alabama on Dec. 12.

Both races are critical to stopping the Trump onslaught, and if the Democrats don’t act, the GOP could steal them. Independent election protection activists are working to reach the candidates and state parties. Their success or failure in preventing the theft of these two key elections will say much about the American future.

The Virginia governorship will be a key pivot in upcoming battles over gerrymandering. The far-right candidate, Ed Gilllespie, who now is running about even with Democrat Ralph Northam, could conspire with a GOP-controlled legislature to rig districts for the next decade.

In Alabama, a U.S. Senate victory for Roy Moore—a former judge with a history of racism, sexism and homophobia—would super-charge fascist theorist Steve Bannon’s ongoing putsch. Polls show Moore running even with Democrat Doug Jones for Jeff Sessions’ vacated seat.

In both states aggressive campaigns to disenfranchise voters of color could make the difference. The presence of easy-to-hack electronic voting machines also demand intense scrutiny from an active, engaged Democratic Party.

But the charisma-free trio of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Tom Perez appear incapable of opposing the Trump lunacy.

A new report entitled “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis” by media critic Norman Solomon and other progressive activists explains what killed the Democratic Party and makes clear that the corporate Democrats in the Senate, House and party prefer Trump running wild in the White House over the social democrats represented by the nation’s most popular politician, Bernie Sanders.

The social democrats are the 30 million or more Americans who supported Sanders in last year’s primaries. They are the sole grass-roots force preventing a total Trump fascist coup.

But the Perez-led Democratic National Committee has purged Sandernista social democrats across the board. The party machinery is now in the hands of corporatists with no connection to the grass-roots activists who were once the soul of the party and embody its only chance to get back in power.

The Clinton corporatists long ago sold the party infrastructure to Goldman Sachs. As wealthy militarists, they stripped the DNC of any meaningful connection to the aggrieved grass roots of the dying American working and middle classes. Their core commitments are far closer to those of Donald Trump than they are to Bernie Sanders. They are far more comfortable with Trump in the White House than they would be with Sanders or someone else truly committed to social democracy.

They are also more than willing to let the GOP steal elections, since the Democrats have effectively won every presidential election since 1992.

But in 2000, Al Gore let Florida Gov. Jeb Bush steal the presidency for his brother George W. In an election allegedly decided by 537 votes, Gov. Bush stripped more than 90,000 primarily black and Hispanic voters from the registration rolls. He then flipped some 20,000 digital ballots from electronic machines in Volusia, Fla., and other counties at critical moments in the election night vote count.

Gore did seek a recount in four counties. But when the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to stop it, he conceded. Gore won the nationwide popular vote by more than half a million. He eventually won a recount in Florida. But despite his hundreds of millions in personal wealth, he’s never done anything to fight the corruption of our electoral system. Instead he’s joined the corporate chorus blaming Ralph Nader for daring to run a campaign that had zero impact on Gov. Bush’s theft of the 2000 election.

hio in 2004 John Kerry was the rightful winner of an election stripped and flipped by Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, who now sits on Trump’s Jim Crow Presidential Commission on Election Integrity to institutionalize election theft on a nationwide basis. Despite his personal millions, Kerry has never lifted a finger to make sure such a theft never happens again.

With Barack Obama, the grass roots rose up to put him in the White House. But the party shunned them once in office, and sat silent while the GOP took a thousand federal, state and local offices, many of them through illegal registration stripping and electronic vote flipping.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by some three million votes. She won the exit polls in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, more than enough to claim the presidency. Despite her immense personal wealth (or maybe because of it), she’s said nothing about any of that. Instead, she’s blamed her failures on James Comey, Vladimir Putin and Bernie Sanders.

Now the Democrats, having purged the Sanders/activist wing from the DNC, continue to lose elections under dubious circumstances. They threw in a winnable Georgia congressional race without a single challenge to obvious stripping of the voter rolls and serious inconsistencies in the electronic vote count. As with Gore, Kerry and Clinton, the corporate Democrats conceded without a whimper.

In Virginia and Alabama, the Jim Crow GOP is working to disenfranchise every likely Democrat.

But a new generation of voting machines will provide ballot images that could be scrutinized. Thus far, the corporate Democrats have no legal team in place to protect the registration rolls or examine the electronic vote count.

The national party, of course, claims to have no money. Bernie Sanders was able to raise millions with small donations. The social democrats might do it again if there was a party worth supporting.

But the corporations that bought the Clintons now have Trump in the White House. They don’t need the DNC. And having purged the grass-roots activists, the corporate Dems can’t raise the kind of funds that Bernie did.

If the Democrats somehow win in both Virginia and Alabama, the Trump rush to total power could be impacted.

That’s why each and every GOP disenfranchisement must be challenged. A well-organized, heavily funded legal team must scrutinize the electronic ballots after the inevitable GOP theft.

And both Democratic candidates must refuse to concede until every vote is counted and recounted.

The brain-dead corporate DNC shows no willingness to do anything like that. So Schumer, Pelosi and Perez need to stand down, and let independent election protection activists do their work.

Until they do, Donald Trump will once again run wild, with no effective opposition, leaving the GOP free to steal every election for the foreseeable future—with potentially apocalyptic consequences.

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Harvey Wasserman is a safe energy activist and radio talk host based in Los Angeles. Tune in for California Solartopia on Thursdays at 6:30 pm on 90.7 KPFK-fm in Los Angeles.  Harvey’s Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth is at www.solartopia.org. and you can follow Harvey in Twitter @Solartopia

How Gore, Kerry and Clinton Put Trump in the White House

by Harvey Wasserman

Originally published on October 11, 2017 on TruthDig

 10.12.house
The White House (AgnosticPreachersKid / Wikimedia)

 

Amidst the hellish chaos of the Donald Trump catastrophe, it’s more essential than ever to understand how he got into the White House and who put him there. Then we need to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

In her recent blame-everybody-else-while-doing-nothing screed, “What Happened,” Hillary Clinton fingers James Comey, the Russians and Bernie Sanders.

But, in fact, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry put this madman in office.

This trio of multi-millionaire corporate Democrats won the presidential races of 2000, 2004 and 2016. Then they lay down, said hardly a word and did even less as they let George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump rule the land.

All three presidencies were stolen by stripping large numbers of black, Hispanic, Asian-American and young citizens from the voter rolls, and then electronically flipping the vote count. In 2000 and 2016, the thefts were finalized by the Electoral College.

Along the way, the United States House, Senate and a thousand state, federal and local offices also have been flipped. The Supreme Court has come along for the ride.

The impacts—eight years of George W. Bush and an eternity of Donald Trump—have been somewhere between catastrophic and apocalyptic.

We will recover only if we do what the corporate Democrats have not: Face up to how our entire electoral system has been become a sham and then change it.

Let’s start with Al Gore and Florida 2000.

In 2000, Gore was duly elected president of the United States. He won the popular vote nationwide by more than 500,000 ballots. Later, independent assessments showed he rightfully won Florida, which would have given him a majority in the Electoral College.

Officially, Gore lost Florida by 537 votes. In its infamous 5-4 Bush v. Gore decision, the Supreme Court stopped the recount that might have given Gore the presidency. The deciding vote was cast by Clarence Thomas. Gore, as a U.S. senator, had voted to put him on the bench.

But then-Gov. Jeb Bush, George’s brother and son of the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency, actually prevented the legitimate citizen votes that would have won Gore the presidency. In shifting Florida from Gore to George W. Bush, Jeb Bush used a wide array of strategies perfected by their father at the CIA for overthrowing Third World regimes that American corporate interests deemed inconvenient. Florida 2000 was the logical follow-up.

As Greg Palast reported, Jeb used the ChoicePoint computer program to strip some 90,000 mostly black and Hispanic citizens from the voter rolls. As reported by activist Bev Harris, some 20,000 votes were electronically bounced around in Volusia County and elsewhere. At critical points on election night, they kept Bush2’s chances alive.

About 50,000 votes were tallied for the great consumer activist Ralph Nader in Florida 2000. Corporate Democrats still scream at him for daring to run at all. That pubic assault has shifted the focus away from how the election was actually stolen while undercutting America’s most effective corporate critic. In the perennial war waged by corporate Democrats against social democrats, this has been the new millennium’s centerpiece.

But had Nader not run, and had all who voted for him tried to vote for Gore, Bush still would have become president. With computerized stripping of the voter rolls, and electronic flipping of the vote count, Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris showed that a governor and secretary of state can take any reasonably close statewide vote and engineer whatever outcome they want.

Until very recently, Al Gore never publicly challenged the existence of the Electoral College, which was originally formed in part to empower slave owners. He was the fifth presidential candidate to rightfully win an election but lose the White House.

After 17 years, Gore still has not confronted publicly the issue of Jeb Bush’s stripping the voter registration rolls or flipping the electronic vote count. Gore has never used his considerable public persona or immense personal wealth to open a public dialog about that election’s corrupted outcome—or to work to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Indeed, while presiding over the U.S. Senate as vice president, Gore crushed a legitimate challenge to Florida’s stolen Electoral College delegation that put the GOP in the White House.

Gore has since got a Nobel Prize for his work on climate change. But his actions were the first inconvenient steps to a Trump administration now making climate chaos infinitely worse.

Four years later, John Kerry followed suit.

In Ohio 2004—as in Florida 2000—the voter rolls were stripped and the electronic vote count flipped. This time, the prime perpetrator was GOP Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, today a member of Trump’s “election integrity” commission.

Working with Bush2, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, Ohio’s first African-American secretary of state unleashed a veritable barrage dirty tricks to take the Buckeye State—and the presidency—away from John Kerry.

In Democratic urban strongholds and college towns, precincts were riddled with chaos that was distinctly lacking in rural Republican regions. Incorrect addresses were posted on the state’s official website, and polling stations were shorted on voting machines. While Blackwell spread confusion about the weight of the paper stock required for ballots, he refused to send usable ones to precincts short on voting machines. As a result, thousands of Ohioans—many students and people of color—simply could not vote.

Official letters were also sent to “ex-felons” threatening criminal prosecution if they dared to vote, even though ex-felons can legally vote in Ohio and many who were threatened weren’t ex-felons anyway. At least 300,000 citizens were stripped from the voter rolls, nearly all in heavily Democratic urban areas. Some absentee ballots in southern Ohio were sent out missing Kerry’s name.

In some Democratic strongholds, voters who pressed Kerry’s name on touchscreen machines saw Bush’s name light up. Some who chose Kerry saw that their choice had disappeared by the time they got to the end of the ballot.

There was much, much more, which Bob Fitrakis and I have documented in “How the GOP Stole America’s 2004 Election,” at freepress.org.

On Election Day, Bush and Rove made one trip out of Washington, D.C.—to check in with Blackwell. They made no public appearances and didn’t bother with Ohio’s GOP governor, Bob Taft.

At 12:20 on election night, despite mass chaos and huge lines (up to five hours long) in Democratic precincts, CNN showed John Kerry winning Ohio—and thus the presidency—by 4.2 percent of the vote. The projected margin was well over 200,000 ballots.

Somehow, a “glitch” stopped the tally. The “problem” was in a server in Chattanooga, Tenn., where the email accounts of Karl Rove and the national Republican Party also resided. They were all managed by Michael Connell, a Bush family high-tech consultant running Ohio’s vote count under a no-bid contract from Blackwell. [Editor’s note: Connell died in a small plane crash in Ohio in 2008, after recently being subpoenaed to testify in a lawsuit allegingvote rigging in the 2004 Ohio election.]

When the flow resumed at 2 a.m., all was flipped. Bush somehow won by 2.5 percent—a 6.7 percent shift. Scholars such as Ron Baiman deemed this change a “virtual statistical impossibility.” Bush’s Blackwell-approved Ohio margin was a beyond-improbable 118,000-plus votes, much of it from three southwestern counties riddled with chaos.

Kerry’s staff was thoroughly briefed on the likely fraud. At noon the next day, with 250,000 votes still uncounted, Kerry conceded. Then he went windsurfing.

Kerry has yet to say a public word about what happened in Ohio 2004, or in other states that year where election theft was blatantly obvious. The fraudulent tactics the GOP “test marketed” in 2004 have been used full force right through the “Trump triumph” of 2016, flipping an untold number of critical elections along the way.

Like Gore and Kerry in 2000 and 2004, Hillary Clinton was the designated winner in 2016. And like them both, she has said and done nothing about the third theft of the U.S. presidency in the first five presidential elections of the new millennium.

Clinton won the national popular vote by at least 2.9 million, despite a massive Jim Crow vote-stripping fraud perpetrated by GOP governors and secretaries of state in about 30 states. Parallel to ChoicePoint in Florida 2000, they used a program called Interstate Crosscheck, spread by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. As reported by Greg Palast, Crosscheck stripped voter rolls on the pretext that citizens were double-registered, even if their names did not match from one state to the other.

Palast estimates that at least 1 million voters were denied their ballots in this way, most of them likely Clinton voters who were black, Hispanic, Asian-American, Muslim and young. As featured in Palast’s book and movie “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy,” Kobach chairs the White House commission aimed at stripping registration rolls in upcoming elections. Clinton mentions Kobach briefly in “What Happened,” but offers no meaningful discussion of how his Jim Crow disenfranchisement campaign might have turned the 2016 outcome—or how to prevent it from happening again.

Clinton also briefly mentions the Electoral College that cost her the White House, but—like Gore and Kerry—gives no indication she plans to do anything significant about abolishing it.

She also fails to explore the fact that she won the exit polls in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin—more than enough to give her an Electoral College victory. In all those states, the official vote count was deeply tainted with massive registration stripping and widespread electronic flipping.

But she harshly assaults Green candidate Jill Stein, echoing Democrat party-line attacks on Nader.

Trump’s total alleged margin in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania was under 100,000. As in Florida 2000, Clinton counts Stein’s votes and complains that had they all gone to her, she could have won.

But she never mentions that she stiffed Stein’s attempts to investigate the obvious fraud in all three states. As Palast has reported, more than enough Wisconsin voters were stripped from the registration rolls using new photo ID requirements to flip that key state to Clinton. In lawsuits filed on behalf of the Stein campaign, Bob Fitrakis has established that Wisconsin also failed to provide transparent electronic voting machine source codes, as required by law.

In Michigan, where Clinton allegedly lost by about 10,000 votes, some 70,000 ballots were recorded without a presidential preference. In the face of obvious manipulation, Clinton has never questioned the absurd presumption that tens of thousands of Democratic voters in Detroit and Flint would slog through long lines and official abuse to cast ballots without marking a choice for chief executive.

In fact, Clinton killed Stein’s attempt to force a recount in Michigan. When a judge ruled Stein lacked standing, but that Clinton had it, Clinton’s lawyersrefused to support the recount. They also stonewalled Stein’s investigationsin Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

None of this is mentioned in “What Happened” or in Clinton’s public appearances. The candidate who rightfully won the 2016 election never mentions the obvious stripping and flipping that defined her losses in the three states that put Trump in the White House. Like Gore and Kerry, she has never indicated anywhere that she intends to do anything to stop this from happening again.

Clinton does, however, famously attack former FBI Director James Comey and the Russians for allegedly derailing her campaign at crucial moments.

Comey’s announcement of an investigation of her emails did, in fact, put a crimp in Clinton’s campaign. She still won the popular vote and the exit polls in the five key states that could have won her the Electoral College.

The Russians may or may not have hacked our electronic voting machines. But it’s abundantly clear, 17 years after Florida 2000, that those machines canbe hacked with ridiculous ease, and that the likeliest culprits will always be local officials whose access is universal, quick and predictable.

The Russians may or may not have also released emails showing that Clinton’s cronies on the Democratic National Committee wrongfully sabotaged the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Again and again, Clinton contemptuously assaults Sanders for his allegedly lukewarm support of her candidacy. But she completely ignores the massive grass-roots social democratic uprising that continues to make him America’s most popular politician.

Instead, she locked up her boring, uninspired candidacy behind the mighty fortress of corporate Democrats who seem to fear the social/green democrats to whom the party must ultimately belong if it’s ever again to take power. She let her personal hatred of Vladimir Putin convince even many of her followers that she might well spark a new Cold War with Russia.

Thus, she still misses and disses the activist nation that nominated Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, helped him survive the GOP’s strip-and-flip assaults, and thus escape the Electoral College death trap.

In 2016 the grass-roots “Hope and Change” tidal wave segued into the “Sandernista” uprising. It became the most powerful grass-roots movement for eco-social democracy in modern U.S. history. The latest incarnation is now in a desperate struggle to take the Democratic Party back from the “Clintonista” corporate elite that has gutted it. Its agenda is to turn the party into a force for peace, social justice and ecological sanity that can actually win elections.

Had Clinton lowered herself to embrace it, she might well have overcome a thoroughly corrupted electoral system and kept Trump out of the White House.

But as of now, there is no indication that either she, Al Gore or John Kerry are awake to the power of that movement, or to the need to confront an electoral system that strips millions of citizens from its registration rolls, flips electronic vote counts, and has used the Electoral College twice in this century to elect the likes of Bush and Trump as president.

With the corrupt remnants of the Clintons’ corporate-owned Democratic Leadership Council (which Hillary praises in “What Happened”) still in control of the party machinery, more than a thousand federal, state and local offices have slipped to the Republicans since 2000. Much of that clearly stems from grass-roots disgust with a party run by a dull, tone-deaf corporate cabal whose agenda on war, trade, welfare and more, is often indistinguishable from that of the GOP.

But much also has to do with the death grip Republican governors and secretaries of state have on the electoral apparatus. In 2016 and 2018, six U.S. Senate seats went to Republican candidates who lost in the exit polls, a virtual statistical impossibility. With those races went control of the upper House—and the Supreme Court.

Trump’s federal commission on “voter fraud,” headed by Kobach, with Blackwell by his side, is escalating the Jim Crow assault on our voter rolls. Easily hacked electronic voting machines guarantee flipped outcomes. The Electoral College still lets small red states deny the duly elected presidential candidates rightful access to the White House.

The reforms we need to our electoral apparatus include universal automatic voter registration, transparent poll books to guarantee duly registered citizens can actually vote, a four-day holiday for voting, easily accessible polling stations, and, above all, universal hand-counted paper ballots, to stay where they are cast in translucent containers with clear chain of custody until they can be tallied in full daylight, with open national oversight.

We also need an end to gerrymandering, the death of the Electoral College and an end to corporate money in campaigns.

All this seems beneath the corporate Democrats. But without such reforms, it’s a sad illusion that the Congress can be retaken in 2018, or that the GOP rampage through state and local legislatures can be reversed.

As for 2020, with the current electoral claptrap, a progressive presidency is almost certainly out of reach.

It will be up to the grass-roots sequel to the Sandernista movement to end this nightmare.

If “What Happened” and their timid inaction are any indicator, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Al Gore still don’t get it. That they opened the door for Donald Trump will be their most profound collective legacy.

“Truth!” shouts Jack Nicholson at the end of the legendary film “A Few Good Men.” “You can’t handle the truth!”

Until they can, these three biggest losers—and their moribund corporate Democrats—are destined for the scrap heap of history.

The sooner, the better.

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How to Reform the Corrupted U.S. Electoral System

by Harvey Wasserman

Originally published at Truthdig on September 22, 2017

President Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump visit a fourth-grade classroom at Saint Andrew’s Catholic School in Orlando, Fla.,in March. (Shealah Craighead / White House)

Election theft is now the core reality of American politics.
It has poisoned every corner of the United States government, put the world at the brink of atomic and climate catastrophe and robbed every generation of its inherent right to a sane and prosperous future.
We are under the thumb of a vicious corporatocracy in a nation that desperately desires social democracy. A fascist government—in a nation that, at heart, hates fascism—rules us.
We are being robbed of universal health care, decent public education, renewable energy, environmental protection, accountable policing, basic human rights, nuclear disarmament and much, much more because unelected billionaire corporatists control our government instead of dedicated, accountable public servants.
The Jim Crow stripping of our voter rolls has denied millions their most basic right.
The electronic flipping of our voting machines has thrust into power a horrific horde of the most cynical, unqualified and outright destructive rulers our nation has ever seen.
Donald Trump is in the White House despite losing the 2016 popular vote by nearly 3 million votes and losing the exit polls in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. George W. Bush buried us in the cancerous destruction of Iraq and the rest of the Middle East despite losing the popular vote by 500,000, because, as reported by Greg Palast and Bev Harris, his brother stripped and flipped the vote count in Florida 2000. As reported at freepress.org, Bush2 got a second term through the electronic theft of Ohio’s electoral votes in 2004.
All of this happened without a meaningful word from Al Gore, John Kerry or Hillary Clinton. They’ve made their disagreements with Donald Trump known. But with a corrupted electoral system, there’s no chance of changing the balance of governmental power, and all such rantings are, as William Shakespeare put it, “sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Today, our Supreme Court, Congress, state and local governments are packed with reactionary corporatists who owe their power to manipulated elections. Through the Obama years, more than 1,000 federal, state and local offices changed hands in elections rife with fraud. In 2014 and 2016, six U.S. Senate seats went to Republicans who lost in the exit polls. Our entire electoral system is riddled with deceit. What has been done to our government is a mirror image of what our military and intelligence operatives have done to developing nations too many times to count.
A mere year ago, a self-proclaimed socialist, the New Deal Democrat Bernie Sanders, helped ignite the biggest movement for social democracy in modern American history. Deeply rooted in the millennial generation, this grass-roots uprising promised an ecologically sustainable future built on tolerance, justice, equality and peace. It offered the prospect of a decent, survivable future. It also challenged the corporate party elite and the Clintons’ Democratic Leadership Council.
And, as shown by its internal emails, the Democratic National Committee also conspired to deny Sanders the nomination. It ignored and abused the massive social uprising that comprises our nation’s last, best, hope for a progressive, sustainable future.
Despite that, Sanders then supported the Clinton candidacy. She rightfully won the presidency. Then she walked away, and, among other things, prevented a Green Party recount in Michigan and elsewhere.
And now we have Donald Trump in the White House.
To this day, Clinton has done nothing about the fact that the election was stolen. But she’s gone out of her way to trash Sanders and further alienate the movement he helped ignite. Without the youthful energy of that uprising, the Democratic Party has no meaning and the nation has no future. But we also need fair, accountable elections.
Despite being the rightful winners of the 2000, 2004 and 2016 elections, the corporate Democrats continue to say nothing about the utter debasement of our electoral system. Because of the top-to-bottom manipulation of that system, we have a government completely controlled by corrupt corporatists.
Predictably, an entire federal juggernaut is now aimed at prolonging this tyranny. Kris Kobach, vice-chair of President Trump’s electoral-integrity commission, as reported by Palast, masterminded the Crosscheck computer program used to rob countless Americans—mostly black and Hispanic—of their votes in 2016, thus putting Donald Trump in the White House. One commission member is J. Kenneth Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state, who electronically flipped Ohio 2004 to George W. Bush.
Trump has now appointed Republican attorney Cameron Quinn, a high-profile enemy of voting rights, to head the civil rights division at Homeland Security. It’s an obvious escalation of the nationwide assault on the voting rights of citizens of color, the young, the elderly and the non-millionaire majority.
Trump, the GOP and the Gore-Kerry-Clinton Democrats know full well that given fair elections, the American people would throw this pack of ravenous corporate beasts entirely out of power. To get an electoral system that actually works for the public good, here’s what we needed:

 

● Universal automatic voter registration, with registration rolls that can be easily monitored, so individual citizens can confirm their status as they come to the polls.
● A four-day weekend for voting, with ample polling stations providing convenient access for all.
● Universal hand-counted paper ballots that are kept in translucent, video-monitored containers that do not move.
● An end to gerrymandering.
● Abolition of the Electoral College.
● A ban on the corporate purchase of our campaigns.
In the long run, the only thing that can save this planet from utter destruction is the will of the people, legitimately empowered. Donald Trump’s uniquely crazed genocidal/suicidal corporatocracy is the most obvious indicator it is being denied, and the consequences are lethal.
If we want any kind of future on this planet, an electoral system that works is the only answer. Win it, or die.

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Harvey Wasserman is the host of “California Solartopia,” a radio show that is broadcast at KPFK-Pacifica 90.7 FM in Los Angeles on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. His weekly “Green Power & Wellness Show” is podcast from prn.fm. “Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth” is at www.solartopia.org, as is “The Strip & Flip Disaster of America’s Stolen Elections: Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft, co-written with Bob Fitrakis.

Orange Is the New Orange: Why Trump Must Resign by Nagasaki/Nixon Day

by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

Originally posted on August 27, 2012 at Reader Supported News

donald cloud

ngst, fear, and loathing are the overwhelming emotions six months into the disastrous Trump presidency. Just exactly who or what do we have at the helm of the United States Ship of State, and the little red button that could end life as we know it?

The planet and its leaders are watching in horror as the ship appears to be capsizing. Trump and his fools enrich themselves, all the while gleefully decimating domestic social programs, dooming the environment, and destroying our nation’s relationships around the world.

Simply put, what we have is an international criminal hell-bent on continuing his crime spree within and without his corrupt administration. Making the world safe for oligarchy.

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Casinos, luxury hotels: Money laundering

Let’s see, casinos, pricey real estate, the Russian mob, the U.S. mafia … hmmm. One plus one plus one equals money laundering.

The notorious meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and assorted Russian operatives spawned new allegations and suspicions that the Trump family colluded with Russian intelligence to try to gain electoral victory over Hillary Clinton. The details remain murky but the truth is likely more diabolical.

Not that Clinton wasn’t busy demonizing the Russians and using the Clinton Foundation for political payoffs.

The meetings with Putin’s comrades and Trump’s entourage may indicate the president may merely be a bagman and money washer for the Russian mafia.

This perception is magnified by Trump’s unprecedented refusal to release his tax forms, which may indicate his net worth to be largely in rubles.

Trump has a long history of involvement with the Russian government. Trump’s first visit to Russia was in 1987 at Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubin’s invitation.

Craig Unger’s New Republic article, “Trump’s Russian Laundromat,” essentially argues that Trump’s money laundering for Russian mobsters is what propelled his worldwide real estate empire.

Trump’s closely-held private real estate holdings, according to Unger, provide the perfect resources for illegal money laundering. Unger cites “a flow of highly suspicious money from Russia.” He points out, “Over the past three decades at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, and even run criminal activities out of the Trump Tower and other Trump properties. Many used his apartments and casinos to launder untold millions in dirty money.”

Business Insider noted that U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice recently settled a major money-laundering case involving a real estate company owned by the son of powerful Russian government official Pyotr Katsyz, former vice governor of the Moscow region. Katsyz’s son Dennis owns the real estate company Prebezon, which was accused of laundering millions of dollars through New York City real estate when the case was “unexpectedly settled two days before going to trial in May,” according to Business Insider.

The attorney representing the Katsyz family was none other than Natalia Beselnitskaya, who met with Donald Trump Jr. on June 9, 2016, to allegedly disclose damaging information concerning Hillary Clinton. She was described as a “Russian government attorney” in Trump Junior’s emails. Democratic House Judiciary Committee members sent a letter to Sessions inquiring about Beselnitskaya’s involvement in the settlement.

Also in attendance on June 9 was Renat Akhmetshin, described by CNN as “a U.S. citizen lobbyist promoting Russian interests and a former Soviet military officer,” and Aras Agalarov, owner of the Crocus Group, a Moscow-based property company.

The mystery man, or the 8th person who emerged at Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians, turned out to be Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a Crocus Group vice president accused of laundering more than $1.4 billion into the U.S. from Eastern Europe. Kaveladze allegedly used 2,000 shell companies to launder money into the U.S.

Essentially, Trump Jr.’s meeting was a perfect Russian triumvirate representing an alleged money launderer, the Russian military, and a pro-Putin oligarch.

If Trump is to be impeached and his clumsy cover-up of Russian ties revealed, it will be because the laundered money was easy to follow from the election tampering to Putin meddling.

Forget about the Russians, Trump supports American-made election riggers

While Trump’s apparent law-breaking focuses on the Russians, his primary anti-American assault is his bogus Election Integrity Commission led by Kris Kobach, whose Crosscheck program stripped countless non-millionaire citizens from the voter rolls in at least 30 states, critical to putting Trump in the White House. The man who rigged Ohio’s 2004 election, Ken Blackwell, also serves on the Commission.

As Americans, we cannot allow this high-tech Jim Crow destruction of the electoral process to lead to a permanent, one-party dictatorship.

This official lynch mob must be replaced by a national commission to promote universal hand-counted paper ballots and universal automatic voter registration, with legally protected, transparent voter rolls.

At least now the media and establishment have to admit U.S. election systems can be and have been hacked — a fact the Free Press has investigated and reported for over 15 years.

Resign or be convicted

All of this raises the blackmail issue. Which foreign entities, including crime syndicates, have information to compromise Trump and his close personal entourage?

It’s not just the Russian connections we should be investigating. As The New Yorker pointed out, “Throughout the Presidential campaign, Trump was in business with someone that his company knew was likely a partner with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.”

Trump’s “Trump Tower Baku” was a failed luxury hotel project in Azerbaijan, considered one of the world’s most corrupt nations. His partner was Zaya Mammadov, a billionaire oligarch tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, who worked as the Azerbaijan Transportation Minister for $12,000 a year.

The Guardian reported in mid-June that “Donald Trump – like Richard Nixon” is now “under investigation for obstruction of justice.” There is already speculation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is also investigating Trump’s alleged money laundering.

Trump has questioned Mueller’s impartiality regarding the Russian investigation and has contemplated firing Mueller in perhaps his own version of the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre,” when Nixon fired Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox.

Donald Trump must resign the presidency by August 9, the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki and the resignation of Richard Nixon.

In Trump’s brief tenure, he’s already fired James Comey, the FBI Director, for failing to pledge personal loyalty. Trump went on to try to intimidate Comey by suggesting he might have “tapes” of their conversations. The Washington Post reported that Trump then tried to get CIA director Mike Pompeo and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats to kill the FBI investigation into Trump’s Russian connections.

Trump’s coverups must stop. If by August 9 he hasn’t resigned, he needs to be convicted, perp-walked, and removed.

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Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of THE STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS (www.freepress.org) where Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES are also available. Harvey’s SOLARTOPIA! is at www.solartopia.org, along with HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE US.

JIM CROW GOP STEALS ANOTHER ELECTION AS BRAIN DEAD DEMOCRATS & MEDIA SAY NOTHING

Electronic Voter Fraud, Pencil Version

Electronic Voter Fraud, Pencil Version

By Bob Fitrakis & HarveyWasserman

 

 

 

The Jim Crow GOP has stolen yet another Congressional election, this time in Georgia.   As always, the media and Democrats are saying nothing about it.

 

And now the US Supreme Court will allow secretaries of state to completely trash the ballots of anyone they choose.

 

So the Trump/GOP domination of American elections is essentially secure for the foreseeable future. Anyone believing the 2018 or 2020 elections will provide realistic opportunities to overthrow Trump/GOP control of the government is living in a dream world.

 

That dream world fits an historic pattern we outline in our new STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS (www/freepress.org). Its latest incarnation has just surfaced in Jim Crow Georgia.

 

The much-hyped Congressional race between Democrat John Ossof and former Georgia GOP secretary of state Karen Handel was the most expensive in US history, costing more than $50 million.

 

It has ended with yet another victory for Jim Crow election theft as surely as if the KKK had run rampant through the countryside, lynching potential voters.

 

When the seat was vacated by a Trump cabinet pick, Ossof apparently won a run-off election. Early reports showed him with well over 50% of the vote. But as usual where electronic voting machines are involved, Ossof’s margin mysteriously fell under the majority as the evening proceeded, forcing a run-off.

 

Not one major media outlet reported that GOP secretaries of state like Handel have been using the infamous Crosscheck program to strip untold numbers of minority and other suspected Democrats from the registration rolls. As reported by Greg Palast in THE BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY, Crosscheck was developed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to eliminate millions of non-white voters from the registration rolls. In 2016 some 30 GOP secretaries of state used it to help put Trump in the White House.

 

Trump has since appointed Kobach to a special national commission on elections. Trump also picked J. Kenneth Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state responsible for flipping the 2004 presidential election from John Kerry to George W. Bush. The commission will be a perfect weapon to further enhance the Republican apparatus for stealing elections.

 

Meanwhile, in their endless fund-raising e-mails and public rantings, the corporate Democrats continue to focus on alleged Russian hacking. They avoid any real attention to the Crosscheck program and other forms of homegrown Jim Crow disenfranchisement that helped cost them the presidency and innumerable seats in the state and US legislatures, giving the GOP a growing iron grip on our government.

 

They fail to mention that a data analytics firm working for the Republican National Committee “accidentally leaked the sensitive personal details of roughly 198 million citizens … on the web for nearly two weeks.” As Business Insider explained: “This is what you can use to steal an election.”

 

In Georgia, Greg Palast has reported in that a grassroots citizens’ group recently compiled some 10,000 registration forms for Korean-Americans to vote in the disputed Ossof-Handel district. The completed forms were delivered to GOP election officials, but somehow the names were never entered onto the voter rolls.

 

When registration activists complained, Georgia authorities claimed to never have received the forms. According to Palast, when the activists told election officials they had photo-copied the forms, the state launched a legal lynching, threatening the activists with criminal prosecution and destroying their voter registration organization.

 

Those 10,000 disenfranchised Korean-Americans, combined with votes stolen by Crosscheck, could easily have won the first run-off election for Ossof, and the follow-up as well.

 

This is the third consecutive Congressional election the Democrats have lost since Trump took power. They also just lost one in South Carolina.

 

Pelosi and company are trying to crow about how close they came in heavily Republican districts, many of which re growing increasingly diverse.   But those seats still belong to Trump’s Jim Crow GOP. Like Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004 and Hillary Clinton in 2016, the party still refuses to even discuss how these critical elections were stripped with massive disenfranchisement and then, where necessary, flipped by electronic means.

 

To make matters much worse, the Supreme Court has just upheld partisan election stripping in Ohio, refusing to hear a challenge to Ohio’s Jim Crow habit of trashing ballots with minor errors on them.

 

The process has been perfected by current GOP Secretary of State Jon Husted, who regularly orders that ballots be discarded with tiny variations in details like omitting a zip code, missing a digit in a social security number, writing in legal cursive rather than roman letters.

 

Like Blackwell before him, Husted swings elections by pitching thousands of provisional, mailed-in and other suspected Democratic votes into the trash on the slightest pretext. The practice was challenged in court by the Democrats and the Northern Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. But the corporatist Roberts Supreme Court has left this electoral lynch process in place.

 

In essence this marks the death of the Democratic Party in Ohio and wherever else there’s a Trump/GOP secretary of state. Popular progressive US Senator Sherrod Brown, for example, will stand no chance for re-election in 2018 in a balloting where Husted can eliminate as many Democratic votes as he needs to flip the seat to the GOP, no matter who they run for it.

 

Major stories at Huffington Post, the New York Times and elsewhere make no mention of the trashing of those Asian-American registration forms or of the Crosscheck program stripping untold numbers of registered voters in Georgia.

 

Endless Democrat harping on Russian meddling, followed by countless fundraising emails signed by Nancy Pelosi, ignore that the party has zero chance of stopping the Trump GOP until registration forms are actually honored and votes are actually counted.

 

Neither the corporate media nor the corporate Democrats seem able to handle the inconvenient truth that our electoral system is, as Donald Trump says, totally rigged.

 

He should know. His party is the one doing it, Jim Crow-style, in Georgia and throughout the rest of the country.

 

The Democrats and their media cohorts are now beginning to mourn the weakness of the “Democrat” brand.

 

But they seem unwilling and/or unable to face the simple reality that these elections are being stripped and flipped. Until they do, there will be zero meaningful electoral challenge to the Trump catastrophe.

 

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Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of the newly issued STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS: FIVE JIM CROWS & ELECTRONIC ELECTION THEFT now at www.freepress.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It Doesn’t Take a Russian to Hack an American Election

by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

Originally published by the Columbus Free Press

6.16.trac

Russia, Russia, Russia!!!   But what about the Americans?

Attorney-General Jeff Sessions has confirmed the Russians hacked into as many as 39 state data bases, and did all they could to affect the electronic vote count that put Donald Trump in the White House.

But Americans could have done it much easier.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach set in motion a Jim Crow/Crosscheck purge of hundreds of thousands of mostly black, Hispanic and Asian-Amrican citizens prior to the election in at least 29 states.

Now Trump has appointed Kobach to an “Election Integrity” Commission.  His co-commissioner is J. Kenneth Blackwell, who as Ohio Secretary of State helped steal the 2004 presidential election.

Why isn’t this pair of election thieves being called to testify before Congress?  Why is there no national viewing of Greg Palast’s BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY on precisely this topic?

The electronic flipping techniques Blackwell used in Ohio 2004 are part of the “black box voting” syndrome documented by Bev Harris.  No Russians needed.

“Made in America” was the virtual statistical impossibility that Hillary Clinton won the exit polls in FL, NC, PA, MI and WI but lost them ALL in the official vote count, and thus the Electoral College.

And how about the 70,000+ ballots from heavily Democratic areas of Michigan that officially showed no presidential choice, an insanely improbable outcome easily produced by a hacker’s algorithm.  Again, no Russians necessary.

Likewise the sequential improbabilities in Wisconsin and much much more make it clear that rigging elections will continue as long as we have vulnerable registration rolls, electronic voting, an Electoral College, corporate campaign funding and much more.

Meanwhile, there’s a high likelihood the upcoming special Congressional race in Georgia has already been hacked…by Americans!!  As reported by Palast, thousands of Asian-American citizens have already been purged from the voter rolls to pave the way to Congress for Georgia’s former Secretary of State.  Again, no Russians needed.

It may seem like borscht, but election theft is American as apple pie.

In reality the Americans have been stripping and flipping elections here and worldwide for many decades.  Here’s some history—-

·         In 1950, the Bureau of Social Science Research (BSSR) was founded as a division of the School of Social Sciences and Public Affairs at the American University. In 1953, it became a non-profit organization involved with the CIA, and was used as a propaganda tool in the overthrow of Iran’s Mossadegh. It then emerged as key player in the rise of electronic voting.

·         In 1974, the US General Accounting Office commissioned a year-long study on the rise of electronic voting equipment. In 1975, Rory G. Saltman, an electronics expert at the National Bureau of Standards, warned that “Increasing computerization of election-related functions may result in the loss of effective controls over these functions by responsible authorities and that this loss of control may increase the possibility of vote fraud.” (National Bureau of Standards Special Publication #500-30).

·         In 1975, the CIA admitted to a US Senate investigative committee chaired by Senator Frank Church that it was engaged in 5000 “benign” operations, which involved, among other things, electronic election rigging in the Third World. Election theft was preferable to a bloody coup said the Agency.

·         In its coverage of the 1980 Iowa Republican Caucus, the Manchester (New Hampshire) Union-Leader wrote that the campaign of former CIA Director George H.W. Bush “has all the smell of a CIA covert Operation….Strange aspects of the Iowa operation [include] a long, slow count and then the computers broke down at a very convenient point, with Bush having a 6% bulge over Reagan.” Bush won the primary over Reagan, 31.6% to 21.5%. This break-down of tabulating equipment at a key point in the vote count became a staple of the electronic tabulation process in elections to come.

·         In 1981, the Reagan-Bush administration established ties between the Bureau of Social Science Research (BSSR) and the International Center for Election Law & Administration (ICELA). The CIA-linked BSSR provided initial funding for the ICELA to promote the spread of electronic voting machines worldwide.

·         In 1984, the New York Times revealed that a company called The Computer Election System of Berkeley, California, created a software program and related equipment “…used in more than a thousand county and local jurisdictions to collect and count 34.4 million of the 93.7 million votes cast in the United States,” more than a third of the total votes. President Reagan signed National Security Directive NSDD245. The New York Times revealed that the secret directive involved: “a branch of the National Security Agency investigating whether a computer program that counted more than one-third of all the votes cast in the United States in 1984 is vulnerable to fraudulent manipulation.”

·         On December 18, 1985, legendary New York Times reporter David Burnham reported in California Official Investigating Computer Voting Security that state Attorney General John Van de Kamp found major errors in the computerized vote count from the 1984 election in California and elsewhere. Problems were found in at least thirteen areas nationwide, including Illinois, Montana and North Dakota. Van de Kamp said he “is concerned about what he sees as a potentially serious problem.”

·         In 1985, the director of International Center on Election Law and Administration, stated that electronic voting presents “a massive potential for problems” and that it “centralizes the opportunity for fraud,” according to Harris’sBlack Box Voting.

·         On November 25, 1986, Dr. Michael Ian Shamos, a computer scientist employed by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Elections as an electronic voting systems examiner, reported in An Outline of Testimony on Computer Voting Before the Texas Legislature that:“When one company or a conglomerate of companies apply unauditable software from a general distribution point, or participate directly in ballot setup procedures, there exists the possibility of large-scale tampering with elections. An errant programmer or tainted executive could influence or determine the outcome of a majority of election precincts in a country….”

·         In the 1988, New Hampshire Republican primary, during the first large-scale US use of computer voting machines in a presidential election, former CIA Director George H.W. Bush trailed Bob Dole by eight points in polls taken on Election Day. But when the votes were electronically tallied, Bush beat Dole by nine points. Such a 17-point turn-around qualifies among mainstream election statistical analysts as a “virtual statistical impossibility.”

·         In August, 1988, Roy Saltman wrote: Accuracy, Integrity and Security in Computerized Vote Tallying for the National Bureau of Standard’s Institute for Computer Sciences and Technology. He warned that “the possibility that unknown persons may perpetrate undiscoverable frauds” was a key problem with electronic voting systems.

·         In 1988 Ronnie Dugger, long-time editor of the Texas Observer, wrote a major piece on the move toward electronic-based elections in the New Yorker Magazine. He warned that the capacity now exists for “…altering the computer program or the control punch cards that manipulate it, planting a time bomb, manually removing an honest counting program, and replacing it with a fraudulent one, counting fake ballots, altering the vote recorder that voters use at the polls or changing either the logic that controls precinct-located vote-counting devices, or the voting summaries in these units’ removable data-hyphen storage unit.” Dugger concluded: “the problem in this segment of the computer business, as in the field at large, is not only invisibility but also information as electricity.”

·         In 1996, Chuck Hagel ran for US Senate in Nebraska against popular incumbent Democratic Governor Ben Nelson. Hagel had never held elective office. But he was part-owner of ES&S, a computerized voting machine company whose machines were used in conducting the statewide election. Michael McCarthy, president of ES&S, was Hagel’s campaign treasurer. Hagel became Nebraska’s first Republican elected to the US Senate in 24 years. Hagel’s part ownership of ES&S was hidden from the public during the campaign. One Nebraska newspaper called Hegel’s victory a “stunning upset.” Some 80% of the state’s ballots were cast and counted on ES&S machines.

·         After the presidency was given to George W. Bush in Florida 2000,  Harris posted a series of internal Diebold memos relating to a critical electronic miscount in Volusia County that helped swing the election. One memo from Lana Hires of Global Election Systems, now part of Diebold, complained, “I need some answers! Our department is being audited by the County. I have been waiting for someone to give me an explanation as to why Precinct 216 gave Al Gore a minus 16,022 [votes] when it was uploaded.” Another, from Talbot Ireland, Senior VP of Research and Development for Diebold, referred to key “replacement” votes in Volusia County as “unauthorized.”

·         In the November 2002 Georgia election, incumbent US Senator Max Cleland lost his seat to right-wing Republican Saxby Chambliss in an unexpected last-minute upset. It was the first election in which Georgia had used Diebold voting machines, and just prior to Election Day in an unusual move, the president of Diebold’s election unit Bob Urosevich brought in illegal software updates to the system. Harris found a set of files called “rob-georgia” among the secret voting machine database files.

·         In 2003, Ohio businessman Walden “Wally” O’Dell, promised in a fund raising letter to wealthy GOP supporters that he would deliver Ohio’s electoral votes to Bush. O’Dell ran Diebold, which owned and operated the bulk of Ohio’s electronic voting machines. Diebold also controlled the software that would count the votes that decided the 2004 presidential election.

·         In March 2004, we published the article Diebold, Electronic Voting, and the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy on freepress.org and on motherjones.com predicting that Ohio would be the new Florida in the 2004 presidential election because of the partisan connections of George W. Bush to the private owners of the electronic voting machines and vote tabulation software. The key source for the article, Athan Gibbs, was an African American entrepreneur who had invented a voting machine that gave each voter a verified voting receipt. Approximately one week after the article ran, Gibbs was killed when his car was hit by a truck on an interstate highway.

·        Machines used in the Ohio 2004 election in Columbus came from Ransom Shoup, convicted in 1979 for conspiring to defraud the federal government in connection with a bribe attempt to obtain voting machine business, according to the Commercial Appeal newspaper of Memphis.

·         On July 20, 2011, the Free Press published an election contract signed with GovTech, Michael Connell’s private IT company, allowing the theft of the  Ohio2004 electronic vote count, plus a graphic architectural map of the Secretary of State’s election night server layout system linked to the IT site in Tennessee. Both documents were filed in the King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwellcase.

There is much much more, now published at our STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS (www.freepress.org).

In 2016 there is plenty of evidence of Russian interference.

But in an American election, the likeliest strippers, hackers and flippers are still American.  If the Congress and the media ever gets around to investigating Kris Kobach, Ken Blackwell and other likely home-grown suspects, we are ready to testify.

——————

This article was also published by Reader Supported News

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of the new STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS:  FIVE JIM CROWS AND ELECTRONIC ELECTION THEFT IS AT WWW.FREEPRESS.ORG

 This article was also published by Reader Supported News

Global Hackers and the Russians Have Made Hand-Counted Paper Ballots an Issue of Urgent National Security

hacked 4 harvey

By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, The Columbus Free Press & Reader Supported News

15 May 17

e have no evidence at this point that the Russians, or global hackers, hacked our electronic voting machines to put Donald Trump in the White House.

But we are 100% certain our electronic voting machines have been hacked by many many others, and could be in the future by virtually anybody with entry-level computing capabilities. As the New York Times and others have reported, cyberattacks have now become an integral part of the modern landscape. A tool stolen from the very National Security Agency meant to protect us has been used to perpetrate more than 75,000 recent hacks—-and those are just the ones being reported.

The evidence that our electronics-based election system is particularly vulnerable to such attacks has long been well-established. It ranges from a wide range of public vote flipping demonstrations to a computing professor using a voting machine to play the University of Michigan fight song.

But, why would you need to hack the machines if you are one of the private, for-profit partisan corporations that secretly program the computerized voting machines and tabulators with secret proprietary software? The lack of transparency with our “black box voting” means that none of our elections are truly verifiable.

In 2016 some 80 percent of America’s ballots were cast and/or counted on such machines and tabulators. Many touchscreen voting machines provide no usable paper trail and render vote counts that cannot be independently verified. Scanners of paper ballots can be rigged to render dishonest counts that go undetected if the ballots are never manually audited.

Though we have no evidence of Russian hacking on our electronic voting machines in 2016, there is no doubt that they or any other hacker with an interest in the outcome could have done so if they wanted to.

Or, the private companies could have simply programmed the results

So that leaves us with one inescapable conclusion: to protect the integrity of our future elections, our entire electoral system must convert to universal hand-counted paper ballots.

It has become an issue of national security.

The entire nation is now in an uproar over Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey. We know he was investigating possible Russian involvement in our election. The Russians clearly wanted Trump to win.

During the campaign, Trump very publicly asked the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails. The Russians did, in fact, hack the Democratic National Committee, releasing documentation showing the DNC hierarchy worked actively against the nomination of Bernie Sanders.

We don’t yet know what else the Russians actually did or did not do, if anything, to help shape our choice of presidents in 2016.

We know further that someone hacked into the recent French elections on behalf of Marine LePen.

In an electronic era, election theft has now become a matter of a few keystrokes.

Indeed, election theft in the United States is very much a home-grown industry. As we explain in our new STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS (www.freepress.org / www.solartopia.org) electronic machines are perfectly designed to steal elections. As Bev Harris has shown, they are black boxes that give local election officials virtually unlimited power to shape the outcome however they like.

Thus we document clear instances of electronic vote theft in the 1988 New Hampshire Republican primaries won by George H.W. Bush, and in the general presidential elections won by George W. Bush in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004.

Along the way we have encountered likely electronic hacks in numerous other local, state and federal elections. In Ohio 2006 a series of statewide election reform referenda were defeated with swings of more than 30% from pre-election polls to official outcome, a virtual statistical impossibility. In 2014 and 2016, Republicans claimed six US Senate seats in elections where they lost in the exit polls by significant margins. That six such vote counts would all go in the same direction is also a virtual statistical impossibility.

In 2016, the Electoral College was decided by five states—-Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin—-where Trump lost the exit polls but won the official vote count. That all five states would go in the same direction is, once again, a virtual statistical impossibility.

In Michigan, more than 75,000 ballots were counted in heavily Democratic Flint and Detroit metropolitan area without presidential preferences being registered. This presumes that some 75,000 citizens took the trouble to vote (often waiting hours in line) but failed to choose a president. In Wisconsin, electronic anomalies also abounded. In Wisconsin, a suspicious anomaly was uncovered across several voting precincts where the last number in Trump and Clinton’s vote totals appeared not to be randomly distributed in regards to zeros and fives. In these precincts, over half of Trump and Clinton’s total numbers ended with a zero or a five.

Meanwhile, countless black, Hispanic, Asia-American, Muslim and other non-millionaire citizens were stripped from registration rolls by some 29 GOP secretaries of state. As shown in Greg Palast’s “Best Democracy Money Can Buy,” the far-right secretary of state from Kansas, Kris Kobach, spread the Crosscheck program around the country with the clear intent to strip as many likely Democrats from the voter rolls as possible. Trump has just appointed Kobach to head his special commission on voter fraud, aimed at “proving” that millions of illegal voters cost Trump a majority in the popular vote.

Additional mass disenfranchisement has been done throughout the US through demands for photo ID, short-changing of precincts and voting machines, deliberate misinformation and much more.

There is little doubt that between stripping the voter rolls and flipping the electronic vote count, our electoral system is in shambles. The Russians are clearly NOT at the root of the problem. Election theft can be and has been repeatedly perpetrated right here, by Americans.

But the Russians could have done so. In coming elections, they, other foreign powers and a veritable army of domestic hackers can deliver pretty much whatever outcome they want.

Our private voting machine companies like ES&S and the now-defunct Diebold have long had this power.

The solution is obvious: we must secure our voting system entirely off-line. with outcomes that can be certified in real time, by real people. We need universal automatic voter registration; a four-day natonal holiday for voting; universal hand-counted paper ballots; an end to gerrymandering and the Electoral College; and a ban on corporate campaign spending.

As we now know from this past presidential election, whether flipped by the Russians or not, it has become an issue of national security…and the future of our democracy.


Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman have co-written seven books on election integrity, including the new STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS (www.freepress.org / www.solartopia.org).

Bill Maher & the Corporate Democrats Need to Stop Scapegoating the Grassroots Resistance

bill bashes

by Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis

 

Corporate Democrats and liberal commentators love to scapegoat the activist left for their catastrophic failures.  The blame game just fell to a new low with Bill Maher’s latest attack on Jill Stein.

Like Hillary branding Trump supporters as “deplorables,” Bill tells American grassroots activists to “go f*** yourselves with a locally grown organic cucumber.”

Hillary says she was “on her way to victory” when FBI Director James Comey and “the Russians” intervened.  Maher and others say Stein caused her defeat, as they blamed Ralph Nader for George W. Bush in 2000.

Hillary now pledges to “resist” Trump Fascism.  Maher and other liberal pundits have been relentless in their attacks on him.

And the rest of us struggle with the keys to nonviolent resistance in the Dark Age now upon us.

But one thing is clear:  what won’t work is another 16 years of liberals like Maher scapegoating left activists without facing the basic realities of where Trump came from:

  • Like Al Gore in 2000, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.
  • Counting 2004, which was stolen from John Kerry in Ohio, the Democrats have won every presidential election since 1992
  •  Gore and the Democrats have had 16 years to fight the Electoral College, a racist anachronism designed to enhance the power of slaveowners.
  •  The EC has put six popular vote losers in the White House, nearly 15% of our presidents.
  •  Rather than work to end the EC and win electoral reform, liberal bloviators and corporate Democrats have spent 16 years whining about Nader, one of America’s greatest activists.
  •  Had they instead abolished the EC, Trump would not be president.
  •  With the Electoral College in place, still more candidates who lose the popular vote will win the White House.
  •  Had Nader NOT run in 2000, George W. Bush still would have become president.
  • Had Stein NOT run in 2016, Donald Trump still would have become president.
  •  In Florida 2000, Gov. Jeb Bush used the Jim Crow ChoicePoint program (as reported by Greg Palast) to strip more than 90,000 black and Hispanic voters from registration rolls in a tally allegedly decided by 537 votes.
  • In Ohio 2004, Jim Crow GOP election boards stripped more than 300,000 primarily urban black voters from registration rolls in a tally decided by 118,775.
  •  In 2016 nationwide, 29 GOP Secretaries of State used the Jim Crow CrossCheck program (as reported in Greg’s “Best Democracy Money Can Buy”) to strip countless thousands of black and Hispanic voters from registration rolls in states that decided the Electoral College.
  • In Florida 2000, electronic flipping in Volusia and Brevard Counties (as reported by Bev Harris) allowing Fox “reporter” John Ellis (a Bush cousin) to flip the network narrative from a Gore to a Bush victory.
  • In Ohio 2004, between 12:20 and 2am election night, a “glitch” in the state’s computerized vote count (as run under a no-bid contract by a Bush family operative in a Chattanooga bank basement) was used as cover to flip a 4.2% Kerry victory to a 2.4% Bush victory, giving Bush a second term.
  •  Nationwide in 2016, electronic “irregularities” continually flipped Clinton exit poll victories to Trump official victories, including Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, which gave Trump the Electoral College and the presidency.
  •  As in New Mexico 2004 and elsewhere in both 2004 and 2016, thousands of ballots in heavily Democratic areas were allegedly missing a presidential preference, including some 75,395 in Michigan, which was decided by less than 11,000

All this and more fits a clear historic pattern which we outline in our new STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS.

Clinton Democrats and liberal pundits like Maher call this “conspiracy theory.”  They refuse to deal with either the stripping of voter rolls or the flipping of electronic vote counts.  Instead they attack grassroots activists who do.

Jill Stein, for example, attempted recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.  She fought corrupt officials in all three states (Pennsylvania has a Democratic governor) and hit nothing but brick walls.

Clinton sent “legal observers” but no financial or other meaningful help.  Liberal pundits continually attacked Jill for her efforts.  Despite the horrors of Trump fascism, the Democrats have said and done nothing about the total fraud that put him in the White House.

Al Gore essentially disappeared immediately after losing 5-4 in the US Supreme Court. So did Kerry and Clinton immediately after their own losses.  Not one of them is working to abolish the Electoral College, or for a reliable election system. But the corporate Democrats and liberal pundits have plenty of energy to scream at the grassroots left.

Of course, in 2008 and 2012, that’s precisely who put Barack Obama in the White House.  We have reported widespread electoral fraud in both years.  But a powerful and diligent grassroots upheaval curbed enough abuses to save Obama from what doomed Gore, Kerry and Clinton.

Obama also used that grassroots energy to build a popular vote margin too big to steal.

In 2016, Bernie Sanders again unleashed that grassroots power.  As an avowed socialist, he inspired millions of precisely the activists a legitimate Democratic Party should have welcomed—-young, committed, energetic, idealistic, ready to work for a social democratic future.

We believe Bernie was the rightful Democratic nominee.  We also believe that had she chosen Bernie for VP,  Hillary could have walked into the White House.

Despite her miserable campaign, locking into the Sandernista movement would have allowed us to thoroughly monitor this election, curb some of the worst abuses and build a grassroots constituency that could have overwhelmed Trump’s fascism and put this country on the road to real social change.

In these dark days we must recall that in the spring of 2016 we enjoyed the HUGEST social democratic movement in a century, with tens of millions of optimistic Americans ready to work and win a bright and fair future.

Instead we face the grim realities of tangible fascism.  It doesn’t help when liberal pundits and corporate Democrats attack the grassroots activists who are on the frontline of the resistance.

The Democrats will stay out of power until they can convince the American public (even us “deplorables”) they can deliver on civil liberties, social justice, ecological sanity, and more.  And that they can construct an electoral system that actually reflects the popular will.

Clinton, Kerry, Gore and the liberal punditocracy must finally deal with how they lost these three presidencies.   And then DO something about it, so it doesn’t happen again.

They could start by demanding universal automatic voter registration; transparent registration rolls immune to Jim Crow stripping by programs like ChoicePoint and Crosscheck;  universal hand-counted paper ballots; a four-day national holiday for voting; an end to gerrymandering, the Electoral College and corporate purchase of campaigns.

They might also THANK rather than scapegoat what was once the Democratic Party’s energetic base, including activists like Nader, Stein, Bernie and the rest of the grassroots movements that form our last and strongest barrier against the harsh realities of Trump Fascism.

————
Harvey Wasserman & Bob Fitrakis co-wrote THE STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS (www.freepress.org / www.solartopia.,org), where Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES appear with HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE US and SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH. Harvey’s Green Power & Wellness show is at www.prn.fm.

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