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Videos: Prison Rally, Saturday April 7, 2012 Dowtown Columbus

Videos: Prison Rally, Saturday April 7, 2012 Dowtown Columbus

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Franklin County Green Party Tuttle Park Clean-Up for Earth Day 2012

“We are not only the Green Party, we are the clean party!”

Click Photo to enlarge

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Fitrakis for Congress CAMPAIGN KICK-OFF PARTY Pictures

Sunday, May 6, 2012
4:30pm until 7:30pm

1021 E. Broad St., Columbus Ohio 43205 (east side door)
614-374-2380
fitrakisforcongress@gmail.com

Join the Ohio Green Party to KICK-OFF the Bob Fitrakis for Congress campaign, third district. There will be food, drink, music, and political campaign gifts. Meet Greens from all over Ohio. Tell Bob what you want him to accomplish in Congress!

Paid for by the Fitrakis for Congress campaign, Suzanne Patzer, Treasurer, 1021 E. Broad St., Columbus Ohio 43205.

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Will “Push And Pray” Voting Prevail In 2012? The Private Companies behind The Curtain: The Great And Powerful Advocates Of Faith-Based Electronic Voting

Bob Fitrakis

April 11, 2012

The Private Companies behind The Curtain: The Great And Powerful Advocates Of Faith-Based Electronic Voting

In this election year, the most important companies to watch are two you’ve probably never heard of — Smartech and Triad.

In the 2004 presidential election, Averbeck worked closely with the late Michael Connell, the CEO of New Media Communications. Connell was Karl Rove’s IT guru before his untimely death in a suspicious plane crash. As the FreePress.org has previously reported, then-Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell contracted with Averbeck to provide back-up computer services to report Ohio’s official election results.

Ohio Secretary of State’s office claimed they were unable to tabulate Ohio’s votes within the state in real time because their computers had a supposed “denial of service” attack in the wee hours of the morning after the 2004 Election Day. Vote tabulations were then shifted to the Old Pioneer Bank building in Chattanooga, Tennessee where Averbeck ran his internet service company Smartech. (See New court filing reveals how the 2004 Ohio presidential election was hacked)

Averbeck’s Airnet Group, Inc., doing business as Smartech, is a key company in the private, well-connected Republican world of electronic election systems. According to Airnet Group’s website it is a “…a leading of advanced Internet hosting, network and application solutions for business, delivery services via secure state-of-the-art Internet Data Centers.”

Airnet started as a staffing firm in 1994. The Chattanooga Times Free Press quotes Averbeck as saying he “…backed into political work” when he was hired to solve the Republican National Committee’s internet problems in the 2000 presidential election.

During the 2004 presidential election, Averbeck told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that his company had dedicated six web servers to handle his political business and was “negotiating for more broadband capacity to handle the growing demand for electronic political information.” In August 2004, Smartech hosted the Republican National Convention’s website as well as the Bush-Cheney campaign website – www.georgewbush.com.

The GOP paid Smartech $2.3 million in the 2004 election cycle, according to SourceWatch.

Prior to emerging as owner of the premier internet hosting company for Republicans in the United States, Averbeck had been affiliated with Pathway Press, the publishing arm of the Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee. “Pathway provides award-winning magazines, books, and innovative discipleship curriculum materials for the Church of God and to the wider Evangelical and Pentecostal community,” according to its website.

In 2006, Smartech earned even more money, $3.3 million, from the Republican Party.

Averbeck and Connell not only teamed up in Ohio during the controversial 2004 election in Ohio, but also worked with notorious political operative Paul J. Manafort on the 2004 campaign of Viktor Yanukovych in the Ukraine. The U.S. State Department accused Yanukovych’s campaign of rigging that election. Only a massive outcry by the Ukrainian people reversed those election results.

In 2010, with Connell deceased, Averbeck and Manafort once again worked on Yanukovich’s campaign. Allegations of election rigging emerged once again. This time, despite the charges of an election fix, Yanukovich was declared the winner.

While Connell’s New Media designed the Ohio election reporting system in 2004, Smartech hosted the back-up vote tabulation. The maintenance on the electronic voting machine maintenance in Ohio was done by primarily by a third secretive right-wing company, Triad. The Rapp family owns Triad Governmental Systems, also known as Triad GSI and the following companies: Rapp Systems, Corp.; Psephos Corp.; and Odyssey Online.

Connell, Averbeck and the Rapps — or New Media, Smartech and Triad — were all heavily committed to the Right-to-Life movement and far-right Republican politics.

The Rapp family, led by patriarch Tod A. Rapp of Xenia, Ohio, emerged in the public eye in 2000 after it was revealed that Psephos Corp. designed the infamous butterfly ballot in Florida. Tod Rapp started his first company, Rap Systems Corp. in 1979. In 1983, Tod Rapp and David E. Snoddy incorporated Triad Governmental Systems, Inc. Its stated purpose was “…to develop, promote, sell, distribute, market and service computer systems, software, and hardware and to consult with federal, state and local government authorities and private industry.”

During the recount of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, allegations were made that the Rapp family was aiding in rigging the recount for George W. Bush. Triad Governmental Systems maintained the computers in 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties, mainly in southern rural counties. In the last statewide election, public records indicate that Triad now services the computers in 57 of the 88 counties. Following their notoriety in the 2004 elections, Triad Governmental Systems started marketing itself as Triad GSI.

The Rapp family is well-known in the Greene County Right to Life movement. In Triad GSI’s website, the company says “It is our desire to develop the highest quality election software and hardware systems available in the elections business.”

In September 2011, Averbeck announced he was planning to build new data centers in Ohio and California but is committed to staying in his highly secured site in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Averbeck, the Rapp family, Smartech and Triad — these are the private, far-Christian Right companies that will be counting the vote on Election Day 2012 in the Buckeye State.


Originally published by https://freepress.org

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The Green Party On Worker’s Rights

The right to organize unions, bargain freely, and strike when necessary is being destroyed by employers and their representatives in government. One out of ten workers involved in union organizing drives is illegally fired by employers. As union membership falls, so do the wages of all working people, union and non-union. We support the right of workers to form a union and bargain collectively.

1. The Green Party supports workplace democracy, which includes the following:

a. The right to elect representatives to sit equally with management on the Board of Directors.
b. The right to fair and democratic elections of union officers.
c. No permanent replacement of striking workers.
d. No forced overtime.
e. Flexible work schedules to deal with personal and family concerns
f. All workers, temporary or permanent, must be paid a living wage.
g. All workers must have health care coverage until the passage of universal health care.
h. All workers must have unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, and access to a jobs search program when they are unemployed.
i. Require minimum pensions for all workers, fully vested and portable, that do not reduce social security benefits
j. Mediation must be the first available solution to labor–management disputes with an agreed-upon time limit.
k. Labor has the first right to buy out a company that is for sale or is going bankrupt, or being outsourced to another state or another country.
l. A law requiring employers who purchase or merge with other companies to honor all existing collective bargaining agreements and contracts.

2. We support the enactment of living wage laws that apply to all workers.
3. Agricultural and other excluded workers must be covered by federal labor laws, except where existing state laws offer more protection.
4. All workers have a right to a safe and humane working environment. Failure to apply or enforce OSHA laws puts many workers at risk.
5. We stand firmly opposed to privatization and contracting-out of public services. A government that works for us would provide critical goods and services that should not be run for profit.

Contact us: FCGreenParty@gmail.com or Facebook “Franklin County Green Party”

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Bob Fitrakis on “Fight Back”: Occupy and the Koch Brothers

Bob interviews Jim Miller, Executive Director of Brave New Foundation, producers of “The Koch Brothers Exposed” movie and Robert Krane of the local Occupy Columbus.
Listen and call in this Wednesday, April 18
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: http://talktainmentradio.com/
Click on “Listen Live”

Call 877-932-9766

All shows rebroadcast on WCRSFM community radio 98.3/102.1 Wednesdays at 8pm

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Will “Push And Pray” Voting Prevail In 2012? The Private Companies behind The Curtain: The Great And Powerful Advocates Of Faith-Based Electronic Voting

Bob Fitrakis

April 11, 2012

The Private Companies behind The Curtain: The Great And Powerful Advocates Of Faith-Based Electronic Voting

In this election year, the most important companies to watch are two you’ve probably never heard of — Smartech and Triad.

In the 2004 presidential election, Averbeck worked closely with the late Michael Connell, the CEO of New Media Communications. Connell was Karl Rove’s IT guru before his untimely death in a suspicious plane crash. As the FreePress.org has previously reported, then-Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell contracted with Averbeck to provide back-up computer services to report Ohio’s official election results.

Ohio Secretary of State’s office claimed they were unable to tabulate Ohio’s votes within the state in real time because their computers had a supposed “denial of service” attack in the wee hours of the morning after the 2004 Election Day. Vote tabulations were then shifted to the Old Pioneer Bank building in Chattanooga, Tennessee where Averbeck ran his internet service company Smartech. (See New court filing reveals how the 2004 Ohio presidential election was hacked)

Averbeck’s Airnet Group, Inc., doing business as Smartech, is a key company in the private, well-connected Republican world of electronic election systems. According to Airnet Group’s website it is a “…a leading of advanced Internet hosting, network and application solutions for business, delivery services via secure state-of-the-art Internet Data Centers.”

Airnet started as a staffing firm in 1994. The Chattanooga Times Free Press quotes Averbeck as saying he “…backed into political work” when he was hired to solve the Republican National Committee’s internet problems in the 2000 presidential election.

During the 2004 presidential election, Averbeck told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that his company had dedicated six web servers to handle his political business and was “negotiating for more broadband capacity to handle the growing demand for electronic political information.” In August 2004, Smartech hosted the Republican National Convention’s website as well as the Bush-Cheney campaign website – www.georgewbush.com.

The GOP paid Smartech $2.3 million in the 2004 election cycle, according to SourceWatch.

Prior to emerging as owner of the premier internet hosting company for Republicans in the United States, Averbeck had been affiliated with Pathway Press, the publishing arm of the Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee. “Pathway provides award-winning magazines, books, and innovative discipleship curriculum materials for the Church of God and to the wider Evangelical and Pentecostal community,” according to its website.

In 2006, Smartech earned even more money, $3.3 million, from the Republican Party.

Averbeck and Connell not only teamed up in Ohio during the controversial 2004 election in Ohio, but also worked with notorious political operative Paul J. Manafort on the 2004 campaign of Viktor Yanukovych in the Ukraine. The U.S. State Department accused Yanukovych’s campaign of rigging that election. Only a massive outcry by the Ukrainian people reversed those election results.

In 2010, with Connell deceased, Averbeck and Manafort once again worked on Yanukovich’s campaign. Allegations of election rigging emerged once again. This time, despite the charges of an election fix, Yanukovich was declared the winner.

While Connell’s New Media designed the Ohio election reporting system in 2004, Smartech hosted the back-up vote tabulation. The maintenance on the electronic voting machine maintenance in Ohio was done by primarily by a third secretive right-wing company, Triad. The Rapp family owns Triad Governmental Systems, also known as Triad GSI and the following companies: Rapp Systems, Corp.; Psephos Corp.; and Odyssey Online.

Connell, Averbeck and the Rapps — or New Media, Smartech and Triad — were all heavily committed to the Right-to-Life movement and far-right Republican politics.

The Rapp family, led by patriarch Tod A. Rapp of Xenia, Ohio, emerged in the public eye in 2000 after it was revealed that Psephos Corp. designed the infamous butterfly ballot in Florida. Tod Rapp started his first company, Rap Systems Corp. in 1979. In 1983, Tod Rapp and David E. Snoddy incorporated Triad Governmental Systems, Inc. Its stated purpose was “…to develop, promote, sell, distribute, market and service computer systems, software, and hardware and to consult with federal, state and local government authorities and private industry.”

During the recount of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, allegations were made that the Rapp family was aiding in rigging the recount for George W. Bush. Triad Governmental Systems maintained the computers in 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties, mainly in southern rural counties. In the last statewide election, public records indicate that Triad now services the computers in 57 of the 88 counties. Following their notoriety in the 2004 elections, Triad Governmental Systems started marketing itself as Triad GSI.

The Rapp family is well-known in the Greene County Right to Life movement. In Triad GSI’s website, the company says “It is our desire to develop the highest quality election software and hardware systems available in the elections business.”

In September 2011, Averbeck announced he was planning to build new data centers in Ohio and California but is committed to staying in his highly secured site in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Averbeck, the Rapp family, Smartech and Triad — these are the private, far-Christian Right companies that will be counting the vote on Election Day 2012 in the Buckeye State.


Originally published by https://freepress.org

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The Free Press uncovers one million voters purged in Ohio

Bob Fitrakis
April 15, 2012

The Free Press obtained public records from all 88 of Ohio’s county Boards of Elections (BOE) documenting that 1,092,392 voters were removed from the voting rolls since the last presidential election.

Cuyahoga County, which includes Democratic-rich Cleveland, led the Buckeye State with 267,071 purges. Franklin County which includes the capital of Columbus, removed 93,578 voters. Franklin County went 58% for Obama in the 2008 election. Hamilton County which includes Cincinnati removed 65,536 voters, for a total of 426,185 from these three Ohio counties. Once again, a few rural Ohio counties reported no purges. These include Hancock, Huron, Sandusky, and Wood counties.

The National Voting Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993 mandates that each state make a reasonable effort to remove the names of ineligible voters from the official voting rolls. Some voters were purged for legitimate reasons such as those who are deceased and voters who moved out of the county or out of state. But, the Act also allows BOEs to remove voters who have not voted in two consecutive federal election cycles. BOEs are allowed to mail to registered voters who can be purged if they don’t respond to the mailing – even if they still live at their registered address.

These discretionary mass purges concentrated primarily in Ohio’s urban centers could be the key to whether Obama wins the nation’s most controversial swing state in this year’s election. A similar study by the Free Press during the 2008 year revealed 1.25 million voters purged. After the 2004 Ohio election debacle and recount, the Free Press discovered that between the 2000-2004 election cycles 305,000 voters had been purged in the state.

In 2008, the grassroots activist group ACORN and other groups re-registered many of Ohio’s purged voters before the November election. After Obama’s victory, an obviously concentrated effort by the Right targeted ACORN and succeeded in shutting it down. Without ACORN or a similar operation in place, what will happen in Ohio in 2012?

We could follow the actions of the ACLU in 2008, that won a lawsuit in Michigan halting the mass purging of voters in Detroit. Michigan officials purged an estimated 30,000 voters per year based on their failure to respond to the voter registration material sent to their house. Justice Stephen J. Murphy of the U.S. District Court ordered Michigan to “immediately discontinue their practice of canceling or rejecting a voter’s registration based upon the return of the voter’s original voter identification card as undeliverable.”

Perhaps the ACLU or another organization will step up in Ohio to remedy or eliminate these purges In the meantime, Ohio voters should check their registration status before heading to the polls this November.

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Democratic Socialists? Democrats Not Half That Good

By Bob Fitrakis
May 25, 2009
Article below.

Video Below article!
The Republican National Committee recently dropped its resolution to brand the moderate pro-corporate Democratic Party “Socialists”. As the late, great Democratic Socialist leader Michael Harrington liked to tell it when he testified before a dying Senator Hubert Humphrey on the Humphrey-Hawkins Work Bill, that would theoretically guarantee every American a right to a job, Humphrey bluntly asked him “Is my bill socialism?” Harrington replied, “Senator, your bill’s not half that good.”

Here’s why the Democratic Party is also not half that good. Obama’s “Me too” bailout policy to the largest and most irresponsible banks and investment houses has nothing to do with socializing capital. Democratic Socialists believe in democratizing and socializing money matters. They favor credit unions and co-ops with democratically elected boards over large welfare checks to transnational corporations. In fact, there’s little difference between Obama’s approach to the big bankers and George W. Bush’s.

If the Democrats were European Democratic Socialists or Social Democrats, they would have never allowed 20% of all U.S. workers and 47 million people in the U.S. to live without health care. They would have at least called for a general strike to shut down the system until the injustice was stopped.

If you want to look at the history of democratic socialism as a barometer for that esteemed label in American history, let’s start with the legendary Eugene Victor Debs. Unlike the cowardly Democratic Party and its then-leaders – John Kerry and Hillary Clinton who both supported Bush’s illegal imperialist occupation of Iraq to remain politically viable as presidential candidates – Debs went to jail to oppose World War I.

Not only that, he ran as a Socialist Party presidential candidate from jail and received a million votes defending the First Amendment. What was Debs’ great crime? Claiming the rich have always declared war and the poor and working class have always fought and died.

Historically, U.S. Socialist leaders like Debs, Norman Thomas, and Michael Harrington were not cowards hiding behind pragmatism and popularity polls. When virtually no U.S. politicians spoke on behalf of accepting Jewish immigrants from Nazi Germany during the Great Depression, Thomas fought for their admittance.

Martin Luther King, Jr. called Norman Thomas “the bravest man” he ever met. When Thomas gave his nominal blessing for the last remains of the Socialist Party to merge into the Democratic Party in 1960, he did not surrender his conscience. For example, he called John F. Kennedy “all profile and no courage,” particularly in regards to the President’s civil rights actions. In 1965, Thomas spoke at the first major anti-Vietnam War rally in Washington D.C. and announced he had come to “cleanse” the American flag, not to burn it.

Thomas spoke out and wrote a book against the torture of pacifists during World War I, asking the key question, “Is conscience a crime?” He understood that when you strung pacifists up by their thumbs, it was torture. I’m sure if he had ever been briefed on it, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi allegedly was, he would have denounced it immediately.

Michael Harrington was the architect of the Great Society and the War on Poverty. His book, “The Other America,” stands as a lasting monument to the principles of Democratic Socialism. When both the Democrat and Republican Parties were ignoring the 22% of U.S. population living in poverty during the Eisenhower years, it was Harrington who documented their desperate plight.

Harrington later went on to champion the rights of the wretched of the Earth in his book “The Vast Majority.” He helped write the policy perspectives that tilted the European Social Democrats toward massive aid to Africa, Asia and South America.

Debs, Thomas and Harrington came to realize that democracy was more important than socialism and that decision-making from the bottom up was the key. To label the timid, triangulating Obama Democratic Party as Democratic Socialists is absurd. Not only is Obama not half as good as Debs, Thomas and Harrington, he’s not yet a pale imitation of FDR. And we can only dream that he would adopt the infrastructure programs and progressive tax policies of President Dwight Eisenhower from the 50s.

Perhaps the best we can do is raise the slogan demanding that Obama “Be like Ike.” America needs a Marshall Plan, that’s something an FDR or Ike would understand. Debs, on the other hand, would be calling for an army of a million men to arrest Bush and Cheney for crimes against humanity. And Debs would be talking about his desire to resurrect from the dead the more than a million dead Iraqis killed in a corporate capitalist war for oil.

That’s the legacy of American Democratic Socialism.

Bob Fitrakis, Ph.D., J.D., is the editor of the freepress.org and author of The Idea of Democratic Socialism in America and the Decline of the Socialist Party which is for sale at the freepress.org online store.

Dr. Robert Fitrakis