Prime Time

by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
December 29, 2011

It took two stolen US Presidential elections and the prospect of another one coming up in 2012.
For years the Democratic Party and even much of the left press has reacted with scorn for those who’ve reported on it.
But the imperial fraud that has utterly corrupted our electoral process seems finally to be dawning on a broadening core of the American electorate—if it can still be called that.

The shift is highlighted by three major developments:
1. The NAACP goes to the United Nations

In early December, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the largest civil rights organization in America, announced that it was petitioning the United Nations over the orchestrated GOP attack on black and Latino voters.

In its landmark report entitled Defending Democracy: Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America, the NAACP directly takes on the new Jim Crow tactics passed in fourteen states that are designed to keep minorities from voting in 2012.

The report analyzes 25 laws that target black, minority and poor voters “unfairly and unnecessarily restrict[ing] the right to vote.” It notes “…a coordinated assault on voting rights.”

The Free Press has been reporting on this coordinated assault since the 2000 election, including the heroic struggle of voters in Ohio to postpone the enactment of the draconian House Bill 194 that was the most restrictive voting rights law passed in the United States. (See Voting rights activists fight back against new Republican Jim Crow attack in Ohio)

The NAACP points out that this most recent wave of voter repression is a reaction to the “…historic participation of people of color in the 2008 presidential election and substantial minority population growth according to the 2010 consensus….”

It should be no surprise that the states of the old Confederacy — Florida, Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina — are in the forefront of repressing black voters. Three other Jim Crow states with the greatest increase in Latino population — South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee — also implemented drastic measures to restrict minority voting.

The report documents that a long-standing tactic under fire since the 1860s — the disenfranchisement of people with felony convictions — is back in vogue. This has been coupled with “severe restrictions” on persons conducting voter registration drives and reducing opportunities for early voting and the use of absentee ballots complete these template legislative acts.

Most of these new Jim Crow tactics were initially drafted as model legislation by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a secretive and conservative corporate policy group whose founder, according to the NAACP, is on record in favor of reducing the voting population in order to increase their own “leverage.”

The Brennan Center for Justice estimates that the 25 laws passed in these 14 states could prevent as many as 5 million voters from voting, a number easily exceeding the margin of victory in numerous presidential elections.

Ohio’s HB 194, which awaits a 2012 referendum vote, would disenfranchise an estimated 900,000 in one of our nation’s key battleground states.

An important statistic in all the legislation is that 25 % of African Americans lack a state photo identification, as do 15% of Latinos, but by comparison, only 8% of white voters. Other significant Democratic constituents — the elderly of all races and college students — would be disproportionately impacted.

Ohio voters have just repealed a draconian anti-labor law passed by the GOP-dominated legislature and the state’s far-right governor John Kasich. Whether they will do the same to this massive disenfranchisement remains to be seen. But the fact that it’s on a state ballot marks a major leap forward. Ohio activists are also drafting a constitutional amendment that includes revamping the registration, voting and vote count procedures.(Can we transform labor’s Buckeye victory into a new era of election protection?)

2. The Justice Department awakens

On Friday, December 23, 2011, the U.S. Justice Department called South Carolina’s new voter ID law discriminatory. The finding was based in part on the fact that minorities were almost 20% more likely than whites to be without state-issued photo IDs required for voting. Unlike Ohio, South Carolina remains under the 1965 Voting Rights Act and requires federal pre-approval to any changes in voting laws that may harm minority voters.

The Republican governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley denounced the Justice Department decision as “outrageous” and vowed to do everything in her power to overturn the decision and uphold the integrity of state’s rights under the 10th Amendment.

The US Supreme Court has upheld the requirement of photo ID for voting. Undoubtedly the attempt by US Attorney General Eric Holder to challenge this will go to the most thoroughly corporate-dominated Court in recent memory. The depth of the commitment of the Obama Administration to the issue also remains in doubt.

3. The EAC finally finds that voting machines are programmed to be partisan

Another federal agency revealed another type of problem in Ohio. On December 22, 2011, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) issued a formal investigative report on Election Systems & Software (ED&D) DS200 Precinct County optical scanners. The EAC found “three substantial anomalies”:
• Intermittent screen freezes, system lock-ups and shutdowns that prevent the voting system from operating in the manner in which it was designed
• Failure to log all normal and abnormal voting system events
• Skewing of the ballot resulting in a negative effect on system accuracy

The EAC ruled that the ballot scanners made by ES&S electronic voting machine firm failed 10% of the time to read the votes correctly. Ohio is one of 13 states that requires EAC certification before voting machines can be used in elections. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported in 2010 that the voting machines in heavily Democratic Cuyahoga County had failed during testing for the 2010 gubernatorial election. Cleveland uses the same Republican-connected ES&S ballot scanners — the DS200 opti-scan system. Ohio’s Mahoning County, home of the Democratic enclave of Youngstown, also uses the DS200s. The same opti-scan system is also used in the key battleground states of Florida, Illionois, Indiana, New York, and Wisconsin.

Voting rights activists fear a repeat of the well-documented vote switching that occurred in Mahoning County in the 2004 presidential election when county election officials admitted that 31 of their machines switched Kerry votes to Bush.

But a flood of articles about these realities—including coverage in the New York Times—seems to indicate the theft of our elections has finally taken a leap into the mainstream of the American mind. Whether that leads to concrete reforms before another presidential election is stolen remains to be seen. But after more than a decade of ignorance and contempt, it’s about time something gets done to restore a semblance of democracy to the nation that claims to be the world’s oldest.

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman have co-authored four books on election protection, including How the GOP stole America’s 2004 election, at Free Press, where Bob’s Fitrakis Files are also available. Harvey Wasserman’s History of the United States is at Harvey Wasserman.

Fight Back Dec. 02, 2011 Occupy Columbus Update

Submitted by fightback on Fri, 12/02/2011 – 8:20pm
Bob and Connie interview RW Powers about how Occupy Columbus is doing and discuss the arrest of 7 occupiers

29:59 minutes (27.45 MB)

Guest Alec Johnson on the Keystone Pipeline and other environmental issues

The show “Fight Back!” is live at
(on the internet)

7-8pm eastern time

You can call-in and join the discussion – 1-877-932-9766

Saturday, December 10 * 6:30-midnight

Socialize and network with progressive friends. Food, drinks, music, art, and more! December 10 is Human Rights Day. We will have a presentation on Occupy Columbus – 7pm.

Free Press
1021 E. Broad St.
(east side door, parking in rear)
253-2571 *

Bob Fitrakis on “Fight Back”: With the 2012 election fast approaching, is the U.S. election system designed for election fraud?
Bob interviews election fraud expert Richard Charnin discussing the importance of exit polls and evidence of election irregularities from past elections.
Richard Charnin (“TruthIsAll”) began his career as a numerical control engineer/programmer for a major defense/aerospace manufacturer. In 1976, he moved on to Wall Street as manager/developer of corporate finance quantitative applications for three major investment banks. For the 2004 presidential election, he projected that Kerry would win 337 electoral votes and 51.8% of the two-party vote, closely matching the unadjusted exit polls.

Listen and call in this Wednesday, November 30
7 – 8 PM
Call 877-932-9766
Here’s how to call in to the LIVE INTERNET radio show:
(on your computer – not on your broadcast radio dial)
On Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm
Go to:
Click on “Listen Live”
Call 877-932-9766

WCRS Podcast – fightback

Fight Back Nov. 22, 2011 – Columbus Coalition for Responsive Government’s petition drive to expand Columbus City Council

Submitted by fightback on Tue, 11/22/2011 – 6:40pm

Bob and Connie interview James Moore and talk about why Columbus City Council needs district representation to be more responsive to citizen needs and stop doing things like bailing out the hockey arena

29:58 minutes (27.44 MB)

Fight Back Nov. 17, 2011

Submitted by fightback on Thu, 11/17/2011 – 10:09pm

Bob Fitrakis and Connie Gadell-Newton interview filmmaker Kaveh Nabatien whose film is a Columbus International Film Festival Award winner – Vapor. Also, they interview actor Praq Rado, who is in another festival film, Dreaming American.

29:55 minutes (27.39 MB)

Fight Back 11012011 Keystone pipeline

Submitted by fightback on Tue, 11/01/2011 – 5:27pm

Bob interviews Alec Johnson on the Keystone pipeline

29:35 minutes (27.09 MB)

Fight Back October 25, 2011 – Occupy movement

Submitted by fightback on Tue, 10/25/2011 – 5:34pm

Bob and Connie talk about the Occupy movement, anti-corporatism and modeling classes

29:58 minutes (27.44 MB)

Turkey time everyone……I would like to formally invite everyone to join us to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday here at NAICCO on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @ 5pm. We would be honored with your presence and hope that you will come to enjoy the comradery with the Indian Community. Please feel free to bring a dish or drinks or a baked good. We do wish everyone the best and hope that you have a wonderful and safe holiday.

Happy Holidays,

Masami Smith
Executive Director
Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio
P.O. Box 07705
Columbus, Oh. 43207
fax 614-443-2651

Free Press FREE Movie: Pricele$$
Tuesday, November 22• 7:30pm – 9:00pm
From Emmy-nominated Habitat Media (Empty Oceans Empty Nets and Farming the Seas) comes PRICELE$$, a film exploring the consequences of an electoral system that can obligate our leaders to the special interests bankrolling their election campaigns. The filmmakers follow a river of money through two national policies that affect the everyday lives of most citizens: agriculture & energy. In addition to time spent with farmers and an unusual group of Iraq War veterans, the filmmakers visit seasoned lawmakers, lobbyists and some dauntless citizen watchdogs. A classroom full of savvy civics students help provide comic relief. PRICELE$$ also takes a behind-the-scenes look at Arizona’s road-test of an electoral reform that some observers believe can free Congress from the corrosive influence of big-money donors and lobbyists. Narrated by filmmaker Steve Cowan, PRICELE$$ was made on location in Washington D.C., New York, Iowa, Arizona, California and Oregon. Winner of the Columbus Institute of Contemporary Journalism Award and the Silver Chris Award.
Drexel Theater, 2254 E. Main St., Bexley — 253-2571 —

Bob Fitrakis on “Fight Back”: Greg Palast
Greg Palast will talk about his new book Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores.
Listen and call in this Wednesday, November 16
7 – 8 PM
Call 877-932-9766
Here’s how to call in to the LIVE INTERNET radio show:
(on your computer – not on your broadcast radio dial)
On Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm
Go to:
Click on “Listen Live”
Call 877-932-9766

Monday, November 14th, 2011, 7:00 PM.
The Crisis in Capitalism. A Program with Bill Barclay

Bill is a DSA member and founder of the Chicago Political Economy Group (CPEG). He has also been active in the Oak Park Coalition for Truth and Justice. He worked for 22 years in financial services before retiring in 2004. For more information on CPEG – see

This event is jointly sponsored by the Franklin County Green Party and the Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio. Free and open to the public.

Location: Northwood Building, room 100, 2231 North High St. (corner of Northwood and N. High St.), parking available in visitor spaces behind the building. For more information, please contact or website

GREAT Occupy Movement Song: