Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Welcome 'NY Times' to Election 2004!

And other notes from Ohio...

(As we take a quick pause from preparing our friendly response to The Yangs.)

After a few choice words for The NY Times (and even some helpful ones) by The BRAD BLOG over the past several weeks, we're glad to see our new best friend, Tom Zeller Jr. pick up where only us conspiracy-theorists and dissidents have feared to tread over the last 5 and a half weeks!

In a refreshingly tinfoil-reference-free article in tomorrow's Times Mr. Zeller smartly covers the troubling reports (reported here yesterday) out of Judiciary Committee hearings in Ohio about the Triad Governmental Systems employee who, for reasons still unclear, is said to have taken apart one of the tabulating machines in Ohio just last Friday.

Triad, (get me!) -- according to The NY Times -- is "the Ohio firm that created and maintains the vote-counting software in dozens of Ohio counties" and which seems to have some splainin' to do about why the heck one of their employees was taking apart counting machines -- with volatile memory chips! -- prior to the planned recount in the Buckeye state!

Our story yesterday cited a congressional source as describing an unnamed eyewitness election official as "100% real and credible" after interviews. In tomorrow's story, Zeller reveals her to be Sherole Eaton, deputy director of elections for Hocking County and that she's filed a sworn affidavit recounting what she saw along with "at least two county employees".

As mentioned in a letter from John Kerry's attorney to Ohio Elections Officials last Friday which questioned their methods for selecting the 3 percent sample of precincts chosen for the initial counting tests, The Times reports...

Ms. Eaton contends that the Triad employee asked which precinct Hocking County planned to count as its representative 3 percent, and, upon being told, made further adjustments to the machine.
But Brett Rapp, the president of Triad, said that although it would be unusual for an employee to ask about a specific precinct, preparing the machines for a recount was standard procedure and was done in all 41 counties where Triad handles vote counts. He added that he welcomed any investigation.

"I've been doing this since 1985, and in all my experience this is the first time that we have had any complaints whatsoever," Mr. Rapp said.

Neither the story, nor Mr. Rapp seems to provide an explanation as to what it was that Triad was "further adjust[ing]" or trying to fix.

Nor is any explanation give as to why neither Greens, Libertarians, Democrats or -- presumably -- Republicans were notified about the "adjustment" prior to the Triad employee getting caught doing it! Apparently even the deputy director of elections for the county had no prior notice! Strange, given Ohio of Sec of State (and Ohio Co-Chair of the Bush/Cheney Re-Elect Committee) J. Kenneth Blackwell's adamant response that public polling books(!) could not be reviewed by Green/Lib recount volunteers because neither a Democrat nor Republican was present after such books were yanked from volunteers hands over the weekend.

In other related news that I've been frustratingly unable to cover as much as I'd like, Blackwell sent a response [PDF] -- if one can call it that -- to John Conyers very specific 36 questions [PDF] (2 of them in this updated letter [PDF] based on information provided to the Judiciary Committee by The BRAD BLOG!) asking for explanations about a number of incidents that the JC was troubled about before they even began their hearings.

Blackwell's letter answered "not a single question", as Conyers put it, in his [PDF] reply back to Blackwell concerning his "refusal to cooperate with Judiciary Committee members". BuzzFlash offers a concise selection for the dissident-on-the-go from each letter.

I hope to have more to say in the near future about the heroic efforts of Conyers, his staff and the rest of the Dem JC members and staffers in the future. But for now, let it suffice to say, the country is blessed to have at least a few elected officials in such high places who are willing to fight -- really fight! -- for the American people.

As long time BRAD BLOG readers may recognize, such words from this blog -- about Democrats of all people! -- is no faint praise. Since there are quite a few of you in those hallowed halls now reading this page, let me say publicly: Thank you for what you've done so far! Keep it up! It's what we're paying you for! And if you don't, you'll have a lot of angry BRAD BLOG readers to contend with. And that's not always fun. Just ask Mr. Zeller.

My time is maddeningly spare while working on new reports re: Clint Curtis, but as things continue to heat up in Ohio and other such areas where we find democracy in various forms of critical condition, I'll attempt to continue touching base -- even cursorily -- when I can. Even if it's not with the detail I've been able to offer on some of these matters overall since Nov. 3rd.

I rest a bit easier, however, knowing that some five+ weeks ago there were just a few of us willing to report on these issues out loud. But now the numbers grow every day and the places to get good information on this have grown exponentially.

The "dissidents", as the AP now calls us, have arrived.

To which I'll add a comment I heard yesterday attributed to a Pacifica Radio Producer when they'd heard about our new appellation. "Great! So now we're dissidents?! What's next -- "insurgents"?!"

We'll hope it doesn't come to that...But we make no promises.


Blogger yuyakay said...

This quote from the President of Triad is the Holy Grail we've all been searching for.

"...the reporter also reached the president of the Triad company, Brett Rapp, who calmly welcomed any investigation, and added that, in correspondent Zeller’s words, “preparing the machines for a recount was standard procedure and was done in all 41 counties where Triad handles votes,”

Now straight from the asses mouth, irrefutable fact that there is no possible way to recount this election, and a re-vote is the ONLY way to determine the wishes of the electorate.

12/15/2004 9:16 AM  
Blogger Winter Patriot said...

It's nice to see the NY Times finally coming around. After the previous fraudulent presidential election they waited until the 12th of September before they dared to report it; of course they hid the truth behind a false headline, but by then it was too late anyway.

I was starting to think the Times wouldn't get around to telling the truth this time until we had yet another episode of faux-terror. Maybe now that some of the mainstream media have started to speak the truth, we may be spared another national horror-show.

None of this would be possible without the relentless and courageous work of many many people. Thanks again to Brad, and to everyone else who has remained hopeful and determined. We may get out of this mess yet!

"The heart that feels not now is dead; the blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole, and made them happy. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death." -- Thomas Paine, "The Crisis", December 23, 1776

12/15/2004 11:32 AM  
Blogger TallahasseeJoe said...


I have in many ways been impressed with your journalistic integrity, as I have said elsewhere. However, please don't make comments that seem to suggest that electoral reform advocates may become "insurgents" - even as a joke. As the recording at Houston airport says "Inappropriate jokes may result in your arrest." Terrorism isn't funny anymore, if it ever was. If I were really paranoid, I would say you are starting to sound like an agent provacateur.

12/15/2004 11:46 AM  
Blogger Dredd said...

The news may be getting everywhere now. Seems like AP is picking up on it:


12/15/2004 4:05 PM  
Blogger partridge said...

Since when was an insurgent automatically a terrorist?

The US was founded by 'insurgents' afterall. Unless you want to argue that the founding fathers were terrorists too...?

12/15/2004 5:00 PM  
Blogger nonviolent_insurgent said...

This is dictionary.com's definition of insurgent:

1. Rising in revolt against established authority, especially a government.
2. Rebelling against the leadership of a political party.

I think perhaps the chains of political correctness and the desire for safety at any cost have put us in danger of forgetting our roots and forgetting that sometimes you have to stand your ground no matter what it takes. It is true that the fight for independence which established this country became violent, as did the fights for the vote for women and blacks. That is, unfortunately, what it took. However, we do have the framework in this country, at least so far, for nonviolent insurgency. Whether the human race does remains to be seen. It takes courage, and I think the people reading this have that courage. I am grateful for Brad's reminder that sometimes that's the attitude we have to have, and this is one of those times! Thank you, Brad, for all you do -- you're awesome!

12/17/2004 8:55 AM  

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