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New Book: Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement’s Rise and Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People’s Vote, 2000-2008

Bob Fitrakis
October 5, 2012

CICJ Books has just released “Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement’s Rise and Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People’s Vote, 2000-2008” by Marta Steele.

Marta Steele has done yeoman work for the election integrity movement. She has plowed through more websites and blogs than one can even imagine. She set out with the nearly impossible task of writing the definitive historical narrative of the folly of electronic voting in the United States between 1988 and 2008. More shockingly, she accomplished that task.

Electronic voting machines are perfectly designed to steal elections. That’s their principle purpose. Ireland has just gotten rid of them altogether. Germany, Japan, Canada, Switzerland all use paper ballots. Why? Because you can actually count them in public, and then count them again.

But here in the US, elections are corporate-owned and operated. Anyone who experienced pushing the e-spot for John Kerry and having the name George W. Bush light up—as happened so often in Ohio 2004—knows all too well that what Marta Steele documents in this remarkable book has become the defining reality in American election theft.

What she has done by way of documentation is truly impressive. Never again will those who question the validity of electronic voting be called “conspiracy theorists.” Through sheer tenacity, the author has scoured the vast morass of cyberspace and brought back all the essential data and assembled it in an understandable and analytical fashion. Readers can only draw one conclusion from her work – those who deny the death of democracy are foolish “coincidence theorists.”

She accumulated mountains of incidences that show the so-called “red shift” in favor of the Republican Party is not an anomaly or computer “glitch,” but evidence that there is systematic tampering of computerized voting machines by private companies connected to the Republican Party. Although our newspaper, the Columbus Free Press, and our website freepress.org published plenty on the flaws of electronic voting and election irregularities, we were nonetheless overwhelmed by the research documented in this volume. Those who read this book will no longer fall for the easy propaganda lines and talking points put forth by Karl Rove and his cohorts in explaining away impossible election results.

This book is important because its research is so detailed, its history so clear, and its analysis so convincing. The book destroys the mythology that “it can’t happen here” – that our system is an old and infallible democracy that can’t be corrupted. This powerful work will force all who read it to take a side, but more importantly, to take action, perhaps even direct action.

A key breakthrough that the book allows is to shatter the absurd notion that the empire of the United Stated may very well meddle in and steal election abroad, but would never use these tactics at home. The fact that the Bush family, with their patriarch George Herbert Walker Bush being the CIA director, is so inextricably linked to the rise of electronic voting and improbably election results, should be no surprise. That’s why it is no coincidence that she starts her history of election voting irregularities in the year that George H.W. Bush wins the New Hampshire and becomes president.

The Bush family ascendancy corresponds to black box, nontransparent voting in America. The more we’ve privatized our software and hardware and called it “trade secrets,” the better the Bush family candidates have done, against all odds. Their presidential victories, with the official exit polls falling well outside the margin of errors and predicting victories for their opponents, would easily be denounced by election observers in a Third World country.

Small wonder that when push came to shove, Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell refused to allow United Nations observers into the Buckeye State polling places to check the veracity of the 2004 balloting.

We believe this book does more than any other to expose the evils of electronic voting. The endnotes alone amount to a giant step forward in revealing the crimes of privatized e-voting in our nation.

As Al Gore and John Kerry refused to do, we must now face the reality that as long as our balloting process is dominated by electronic machines, the outcome of any election can be flipped by a governor or secretary of state with a few late-night key strokes. Considering the hundreds of millions the rich and super-rich are willing to spend to control the government, would you ever doubt they would hesitate to buy an election?

What Marta Steele has done is to confirm far beyond any reasonable doubt that as long as electronic machines are at the core of our vote count, there is no such thing as democracy in the USA. What we have instead is an electronic corporatocracy….proprietary, secretive, anti-democratic and for sale (or lease) to the highest bidder. The real question is: now that Marta had made this all perfectly clear, what are we going to do about it?

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~ with Harvey Wasserman

Buy this book at the Free Press Online Store

Bob’s Radio Show Sat. Oct. 6 2012 With Dr. Fadhel Kaboub

…discussion on poverty with Denison University’s Assistant Professor of Economics, Dr. Fadhel Kaboub

Dr. Fadhel Kaboub is Assistant Professor of economics at Denison University (Granville, OH) and Research Associate at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, and the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability. Dr. Kaboub’s research focuses on the Political Economy of the Middle East, and on job creation programs in developing countries. He is a widely published author and is regularly invited to lecture at universities around the US. He is frequently invited by the national and international media to comment on various economic policy issues. His is currently writing a book on the Political Economy of the Tunisian Revolution. He has been an elected member of the editorial board of the Review of Radical Political Economics since 2006, and has been the book review editor of the Heterodox Economics Newsletter since 2007. Dr. Kaboub is the program coordinator of the Denison Volunteer Dollars (DVD) program, which has provided more than 1,700 hours of community service since September 2008. In 2011, Dr. Kaboub became the recipient of the Denison Community Association faculty and staff commitment to service award, and in 2012, he was named the Bartlett Family Pre-Tenure Fellow.

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Events Saturday Oct. 13 Green Party VP Candidate Cheri Honkala

Events for Saturday October 13 with Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Cheri Honkala
Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Cheri Honkala will visit Columbus on Saturday October 13, 2012. Honkala is running with the Green’s presidential candidate, Jill Stein.
11am-12noon – Bob Fitrakis will interview Cheri on WVKO1580AM radio show “Fight Back!” wvko1580.com, call-in 614-821-1580
4-6pm – Meet and speak to Cheri Honkala at a fundraiser reception for the Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala Green Party presidential campaign, at 1021 E. Broad Street. Suggested donation: $25.00
6:30pm-midnight – Cheri will be joining Dream Act activists at the Second Saturday Salon 6:30pm-midnight, also at 1021 E. Broad Street. There will also be a presentation by Anti-Racist Action and a celebration of the first anniversary of the Occupy movement in Columbus.
For more info: 614-374-2380
fcgreenparty@gmail.com
http://www.jillstein.org/cheri_honkala

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Protect the Vote! Election Protection & Video the Vote volunteers needed by Free Press Staff

Protect the Vote! Election Protection & Video the Vote volunteers needed
by Free Press Staff
October 5, 2012

Election Protection Observers
The Free Press (Freepress.org) in conjunction with the Green Party will be placing observers for the 2012 election. We need volunteers. All observers must be eligible voters in Ohio.
If you are new to this, you may not know that we can appoint one observer at the county level. County level observers can observe in a different county from their county of residence. County level observers can observe at any precinct throughout the day, and also can observe the vote counting* process in the evening of election day (approximately 7:30 to midnight) Our goal is to place one county level observer in 44 of the 88 Ohio counties, and have that county level observer spend the evening at the county BOE.

If you are willing to help, I need some feedback.

1. Can you observe at the county level outside of Franklin County and spend the evening at that Board of Elections? If so, which county would you prefer?

2. Can you observe at the county level outside of Franklin County but not able to observe in the evenings? If so, which county would you prefer?

3. If in Franklin County, please send me the precinct in which you live, or tell me in general, or specifically, which precincts/polling place you would like to be responsible for. A list of polling locations can be found by clicking the link here: http://vote.franklincountyohio.gov/voter/

4. If you are unsure if you can observe, that is OK, just tell me that but give me your polling place/precinct anyway.

Contact me at pete@caseohio.org or 614-946-0614
Pete Johnson, coordinator.

ALSO We need Video the Vote volunteers!

Those interested in videotaping on Election Day have two meetings to attend to learn what is expected and get training. Videocameras can be provided. We also need people to work in the office on Election Day to upload videos.

First workshop is Oct 9 at 7:30p at Whetstone Library branch in Clintonville.

Second is Oct 25 at 7:30p at the MLK Library branch just north of the Franklin Park Conservatory.

Both will cover the same content and are FREE.

JR McMillan

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Protect the Vote! Election Protection & Video the Vote volunteers needed

Election Protection Observers
The Free Press (Freepress.org) in conjunction with the Green Party will be placing observers for the 2012 election. We need volunteers. All observers must be eligible voters in Ohio.
If you are new to this, you may not know that we can appoint one observer at the county level. County level observers can observe in a different county from their county of residence. County level observers can observe at any precinct throughout the day, and also can observe the vote counting* process in the evening of election day (approximately 7:30 to midnight) Our goal is to place one county level observer in 44 of the 88 Ohio counties, and have that county level observer spend the evening at the county BOE.

If you are willing to help, we need some feedback.

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Bob spoke at “The Other America”

Bob spoke at “The Other America” 50th anniversary event tonight on his exploits with the author Michael Harrington. It was an interesting and informative event on the persistence of poverty in our nation.

Original Event post:

“The Other America” and the Persistence of Poverty
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 7:00PM
It’s the 50th anniversary of Michael Harrington’s book The Other America today. The Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio will commemorate this event with an event featuring local activists to discuss how we deal with poverty as a community and as a country. Co-sponsored by Simply Living, the Free Press, Green Education Fund and Jobs with Justice. Speakers: Keith Kilty, producer, “Ain’t I a Person?”; Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, Director, Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks; Fadhel Kaboub, Assistant Professor, Economics Department, Denison University; Kevin Boyle, Professor, History Department, Ohio State University; Bob Fitrakis, Professor, Columbus State Community College, writer, publisher of the Free Press, and Linda Cook, Ohio Poverty Law Center.
ProgressOhio, 172 East State Street. Free parking.
For more information call 614-288-5738
smorgen@juno.com

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Bob Representing Madeline ffitch Arrested Protesting PA Toxic Frack Water In Ohio

Bob Fitrakis represents Madeline ffitch in Athens who was arrested and charged with a felony for chaining herself to cement barrels to protest toxic water brought into southern Ohio from Pennsylvania’s fracking industry. (btw Madeline prefers her last name spelled this way)