Monday, April 23, 2007

Game plan

As a citizen of this country -- any country -- what would one think about a situation in which a political party was reporting the results of an important and hotly contested election? Furthermore, what if that political party was the one in power? Undoubtedly, most citizens would find such a situation not just unacceptable but intolerable.

Well, that appears to have been exactly what happened during the 2004 presidential election. Unsurprisingly, the party in question is the GOP and the scene of the crime is Ohio. Steven Rosenfeld and Bob Fitrakis are reporting in The Free Press, with notable tips to epluribusmedia and Joseph Cannon's Cannonfire, the sordid details of some of what really went wrong in Ohio.
On Election Night 2004, the Republican Party not only controlled the vote-counting process in Ohio, the final presidential swing state, through a secretary of state who was a co-chair of the Bush campaign, but it also controlled the technology that allowed the tally of the vote in Ohio's 88 counties to be reported to the media and voters.
Those suspicious servers used by "White House officials" (really Republican party operatives working in the White House and being paid with tax payer money, just like the rest of the Bush administration) that have been revealed during the US Attorney purge investigation have also been found to have hosted the Ohio election results after those results were redirected from the Ohio government website to the GOP servers.
There is more than ample documentation to show that on Election Night 2004, Ohio's "official" Secretary of State website – which gave the world the presidential election results – was redirected from an Ohio government server to a group of servers that contain scores of Republican web sites, including the secret White House e-mail accounts that have emerged in the scandal surrounding Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s firing of eight federal prosecutors.

Recent revelations have documented that the Republican National Committee (RNC) ran a secret White House e-mail system for Karl Rove and dozens of White House staffers. This high-tech system used to count and report the 2004 presidential vote– from server-hosting contracts, to software-writing services, to remote-access capability, to the actual server usage logs themselves – must be added to the growing congressional investigations.

Numerous tech-savvy bloggers, starting with the online investigative consortium epluribusmedia.org and their November 2006 article cross-posted by contributor luaptifer to Dailykos, and Joseph Cannon's blog at Cannonfire.blogspot.com, outed the RNC tech network. That web-hosting firm is SMARTech Corp. of Chattanooga, TN, operating out of the basement in the old Pioneer Bank building. The firm hosts scores of Republican websites, including georgewbush.com, gop.com and rnc.org.
And things get decidedly worse.
The software created for the Ohio secretary of state’s Election Night 2004 website was created by GovTech Solutions, a firm co-founded by longtime GOP computing guru Mike Connell. He also redesigned the Bush campaign's website in 2000 and told "Inside Business" magazine in 1999, "I wouldn't be where I am today without the Bush campaign and the Bush family because the Bushes truly are about family and I’m loyal to my network."
And no doubt the Bush campaign wouldn't be were it is today -- in the White House again -- without the efforts of the indebted and chummy Mike Connell, an obvious "loyal Bushie" in the right place at the right time. After Walter O'Dell's damning pronouncements about delivering Ohio to Bush, it is amazing these people say shit like this. Perhaps there really is an overweening sense of invincibility within the GOP. Of course, when the Democrats are your "opposition," how can one not have such a sense? Because check out just some of the odd occurrences in an election that was said to have been "clean."
On Election Night 2004, many of the totals reported by the Secretary of State were based on local precinct results that were impossible. In Clyde, Ohio, a Republican haven, Bush won big after 131 percent voter turnout. In Republican Perry County, two precincts came in at 124 percent and 120 percent respectively. In Gahanna Ward 1, precinct B, Bush received 4,258 votes despite the fact that only 638 people voted for president. In Concord Southwest in Miami County, the certified election results proudly proclaimed at 679 out of 689 registered voters cast ballots, a 98.55 percent turnout. FreePress.org later found that only 547 voters had signed in.
These are irregularities that have been extremely well documented. Our media ignores these facts and disparages those who won't. The cowering Democrats, too afraid of being called sore losers, won't press it. But if the Democrats don't wake up to what is and has been going on here and admit, at least to themselves, that they are doomed without countering this siege of the electoral system, they and we will be doomed to GOP control until they do. There now seems to some inkling on the part of the Democrats now that the US Attorney purge has revealed the lengths to which the GOP will go in order to maintain power.

And don't believe for one odor-free moment that November was an indication that everything is just fine. It is wasn't and isn't right now. Karl Rove and the rest of the operatives simply weren't prepared for both a deep and wide rejection of their party. They still tossed 3 million votes and vote totals were, once again, completely at odds with exit polls, polls that matched pre-election polls very well. Those exit polls indicated that Democrats should have won between 35 and 50 seats. The Democrats ended with +31 seats and, how odd, 7 of 10 undecided seats were finalised in favour of the GOP by the slimmest of margins in districts were huge voting problems were reported. Florida's contested 13th district is only one example, where 18,000 votes disappeared and the Republican was declared the winner by 373 votes.

The Democrats inability to confront this reality is truly puzzling. Yes, they take a pounding in the press, which more than happily bullhorn Republican complaints about the most tepid of Democrat complaints. It is not puzzling, however, if the Democrats really are just a front company for mobster Republicans; a facade designed to make American democracy appear to be at least somewhat legitimate. But even if this were the case, you'd think that even the Democrats would get a little tired of being called traitors all the time. Maybe that was part of the job description:
must appear to bristle at being called treasonous, which will occur frequently when your orchestrated criticisms are deflected by Republicans in the White House and Congress. Do not be alarmed by this name-calling. It is all just part of the act.
But again, as citizens of this country, we are not disposed toward a belief that this is what is really in place in our political system. And if it is not, why then would we or the Democrats tolerate the obvious problems and partisan nature of those who are counting the votes in this country's elections? Most Americans wouldn't if they actually knew anything about it. But with our corporatized media machine unwilling to shatter the myth of American democracy with reality, that oblivion will remain in place. Because as far as corporate America is concerned, your only real purpose here is to simply buy shit. And the less you know about what is really going on, the better.

1 Comments:

Anonymous PeteyR said...

Simply mind-blowing.

Impeachment. Prison. Hard time for the lot.

6:05 PM  

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