The Ostroy Report

The Ostroy Report is a fresh, aggressive voice for Democrats and a watchdog of the GOP/Tea Party. We support President Obama and the Democratic agenda and seek to preserve the Senate majority while taking back the House. But we're also not afraid to criticize the left when necessary.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Another Stolen Election Headed Our Way? We Talked with Mark Crispin Miller About What Voters Can Do to Prevent It


Mark Crispin Miller is a very serious guy. We met recently over coffee at a quaint little cafe near New York University, where he teaches communications and media. Mark's been sounding the alarm on election fraud for years, convinced that both Al Gore and John Kerry were robbed of the presidency in 2000 and 2004. And he's afraid, very afraid, that the problem these days is worse, not better. Listening to him talk, watching his gestures, hearing his doomsday scenarios, it's easy to get caught up in it. And it makes you angry to think he's right. We vowed to riot in the streets should Democrats lose again in November. What I love about Mark is that you get the feeling he'd actually do it.

While I firmly believe that part of the Repugs' strategy to win elections is to steal them, I don't profess to be an expert on voting fraud. There's plenty of very dedicated folks like Mark, Brad Friedman and Bobby Kennedy Jr. who've thankfully been carrying that torch, making the rest of us painfully aware that the problem exists and that if, unchecked, it can and will happen again. If you don't believe that, all you need to do is monitor the blatantly corrupt actions of people like Kenneth Blackwell--Ohio's Secretary of State, gubernatorial candidate and loyal Bushevik--to get a greater sense of the threat facing Democrats at the polls.

So what I asked Mark was not to simply rehash the infuriating tales of fraud from the Gore/Bush and Bush/Kerry elections, but to clearly define for us what Americans can do to prevent a repeat in 2006 and 2008.

First and foremost, Americans must vote. And vote in record numbers. Sounds simple, right? Well it is. The ability to vote in this country is not just a right but an obligation. The more Democrats that vote, the less likely that fraud would impact the outcome of an election. 96-million, 105-million and 121-million people voted in the '96, '00 and '04 elections respectively. In '04, overall turnout was a record 61%, but the GOP's highly efficient "72-hour" program delivered more voters than the Democrats' get-out-the-vote efforts. But as we now know, we still need even greater turnout.

Miller believes, and has written this month in The American Spectator, that "We need the biggest turnout ever, as a protest on behalf of free and fair elections in America. Such a turnout will make it that much harder for the Bush Republicans to spin their victory."

Next, Miller urges that Americans bombard their congressmen and Senators demanding an end to electronic voting unless a critical paper trail is created. Even better, we should have paper ballots that can be hand counted. That companies like Diebold--headed by shameless Bushevik Wally O'Dell--get to control the machines that receive and tally votes is criminal. As Miller points out, one little programmed tweak can, and did, turn countless Kerry votes into Bush votes. How this situation is allowed to exist in our Democracy is incomprehensible.

Miller also believes the media must commit itself to educating the public to this growing problem. "The key here is mass awareness," he said. "Right now, when nobody has really heard what went down, it's hard to think of what to tell them to do...The real problem here is the media. Their failure to put a spotlight on this is a gross abdication of their Constitutional responsibility." He strongly urges contacting major newspaper editors: "The media should be inundated with letters from people demanding to know why it's not being covered...I mean, why aren't they covering this, it's unbelievable."

Miller is also frustrated that the liberal radio and cable shows aren't doing a better job at creating awareness, and cites just a handful of broadcasters who he says "get it" including MSNBC's Keith Olberman and Air America's Thom Hartmann.

Another suggestion Miller has is to demonstrate at the headquarters of the NY Times, Washington Post and other major news establishments to demand greater focus and coverage be placed on this very serious problem. Where are the young, righteous, idealistic Woodward and Bernsteins of today willing to tackle the greatest threat ever to our Democracy?

As for election day itself, Miller has a couple of suggestions. The first is that the U.S. government should make it a national holiday to make it as easy as possible for people to get to the polls. The less obstacles to voting we put in front of people, the greater the turnout we'll experience.

Additionally, and extremely important, Miller said every voter should go to the polls this November armed with the phone number 1-866-OUR-VOTE from Election Incident Reporting System, which records and analyzes information about voting problems before, during, and after elections. He also mentioned the Election Defense Alliance, "which is setting up a citizen's rapid response mechanism to go to places where there are close races--and where Republicans are cheating--to help people gather evidence." Should you witness fraudulent and/or suspicious activity on election day, get on your cell phone and contact these groups immediately.

Lastly, Miller wants consistency. "I think we need a federal standard of elections, so that there's a certain uniformity of voting methods coast to coast. The patchwork system we have now is a disaster, with different rules and systems from state to state and county to county....The vast crazy-quilt of different voting systems nationwide is very dangerous, as it allows for huge inequities, and has help to over-complicate, and thereby obfuscate, what ought to be a fairly simple process."

But he maintains that overall control should remain on the state level. "It's basically a good thing that the states control their own election systems, as that arrangement helps to keep the federal government at bay. Indeed, Bush is trying to tighten his control of the election system by strengthening the hand, and selecting the members, of the Election Assistance Commission. For BushCo to run the national vote directly would be catastrophic. So the principle of state control is worth preserving. The problem lies not with state control per se, but with the inordinate influence of the parties--and, lately, just one party--over the election process."

So, let's make this simple for voters:

1-Vote, vote, vote...and get everyone you know to vote as well
2-Write your congressmen and senators and demand uniformity and federal standards for the election process. Demand an end to electronic voting machines unless there's a viable paper trail. Demand paper ballots instead. Ask that election day be declared a national holiday
3-Bombard the media with letters and calls that demand coverage of election fraud
4-Organize demonstrations
5-Go armed to the polls next month with 1-866-OUR-VOTE and call it immediately to report any fraudulent and/or suspicious activity

In parting, the most chilling thing Mark told me was his prediction of what the Republicans will do should Democrats win on Nov 7th, which he also expounded in American Spectator: "If the GOP should lose the House or Senate, its troops will mount a noisy propaganda drive accusing their opponents of election fraud. This is no mere speculation, according to a well-placed party operative who lately told talk radio host Thom Hartmann, off the record, that the game will be to shriek indignantly that those dark-hearted Democrats have fixed the race. We will hear endlessly of Democratic "voter fraud" through phantom ballots, rigged machines, intimidation tactics, and all the other tricks whereby the Bush regime has come to power. The regime will, in short, deploy the ultimate Swift Boat maneuver to turn around as many races as they need so as to nullify the will of the electorate."

To quote Alanis Morissette, "Isn't it ironic, don't ya think?".....

28 Comments:

  • At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Democrats Will Raise Your Taxes said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Democrats will raise your taxes said…

    Voter fraud is a serious concern, but will liberals use 1-866-OUR-VOTE to report Democratic voter fraud? I doubt it - Democrats are not that honest. All they want is power, they don't care how they get it.

    If voter fraud is so serious to the Democrats, why may I ask, do Democrats block laws requiring voters to show valid identification? They call this a voter tax, but they are liars. You need to show valid identification to buy a car, drive a car, buy alcohol, walk into a bar, use a credit card, check a book out of a library, etc..

    Democrats don't want voters to show valid identification because Democrats are participating in voter fraud.

    I'm sure the Republicans are doing it too, so don't bother with the koolaid, brownshirt liberal bullshit.

    I want votes to count, regardless of which candidate they are cast for. Unlike Ostroy and his puke cronies who "vowed to riot in the streets should Democrats lose again in November." I will respect a candidate of another party if (s)he is legitimately elected by the American people.

    VOTE FOR THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES AND SHOW WASHINGTON YOU'VE HAD ENOUGH CORRUPTION FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE ISLE.

     
  • At 9:54 AM, Anonymous johnny said…

    What I have been doing in ALL of the elections we have here in Florida is ask when I sign in to vote where will my paper receipt come out on the machine? Of course the poll worker has no idea and says there aren’t any, to which I reply, “How do I know my vote is counted?” I do the same thing when I drop the voter card in the box on the way out.

    So I recommend that the not only that EVERYONE vote but they ask where the paper trail is and how did they know their vote counted when they are at the polls. Going through the process without saying anything is nothing less then being one of those sheep in this country.

    PS: Voting for ANY turd party candidate is throwing your vote away. As we have seen EVERY vote counts and this is not the time to play games. This is serious stuff that has been going on with the GOP and it's time to get them the hell out.

     
  • At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    WAKE UP: Democrats will raise your taxes ONLY if you are in the top 2%. That is what they mean by rolling back the Bush tax cuts.

    I'm not and I never will be in the top 2% so what is the problem? We cannot support a war on the backs of the shrinking middle class and working poor.

    Quit being selfish. You are only going to die anyway.

    MAKE OUR COUNTRY BETTER FOR ALL AMERICANS. DO THE RIGHT THING AND YOU WILL SLEEP BETTER AT NIGHT

     
  • At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I like what the commentator said about making sure election officials know, on election day, that voters are highly suspicious of paperless voting machines and do not trust that their votes are being counted.

    I plan on complaining and saying something like, "Hey, isn't taxation without representation one of the reasons we fought the Revolutionary War?"

    These Democracy stealing machines have got to go. That is all there is to it.

    These days, even Lou Dobbs is ranting about the voting systems. He is no longer just upset by the idea of some illegal alien voting (why an illegal would subject him/herself to the possibility of getting caught is beyond me.) No, now Lou has found out that some of the voting software being used was made in other countries, like Saudi Arabia. Oh yeah, this really drives Lou bonkers. I have to admit, that just seems really insane to me too.

    Who among us would trust our money to a bank that never issued a staement and refused to give a balance or a withdrawal receipt from ATMs? Only a fool, eh? My vote is every bit as important as my money, if not more so, since I only have one.

    I want to be sure that that one vote counts and if I am not sure, I may possibly have a major meltdown. If there are enough major meltdowns, the news media will know about it.

     
  • At 1:07 PM, Anonymous lugnut said…

    The fix is already in. Has anyone noticed, that in a lot of the polls, the results show a lot of then within the margin of error.

    It is my contention, when they steal the election through voting machines fraud, etc., their explanation will be, the dems only led by 3 to 4%, so it wasn't out of the ordinary.

    Considering the congress approval rating is around 16%. The poll numbers are unbelievable.

     
  • At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anonymous 9:59,

    "I'm not and I never will be in the top 2% so what is the problem? "

    Why are you so jealous of those who are more successful than yourself? You don't care about more taxes because YOU don't pay them - someone more successful than you will pay them, so its OK.

    That person in the 2% most likely created YOUR job. Of course, you believe the government can more efficiently use that person's money, but you will kill job growth.

     
  • At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    2:05

    You said I'm jealous, I didn't. You don't know me at all and have no clue. I want a better America not one based on greed.

    You are mouthing the repub line about trickle down economics. It didn't work in the past and it isn't working now.

    So quit being selfish. The shrinking middle class and working poor can not shoulder all the Bush and Repub debt.

    The top 2% does not need the tax cut. The rest of us need them to step up.

    WAKE UP 2:05.

     
  • At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    One way I intend to leave a paper trail is to write-in my Democratic candidates.
    Will it be a apin to the poll officals. You bet. As a Majority Inspector at my
    district I will be happy to count your votes one-by-one.

    I have been working with computers for 50 years, uncovered countless security holes
    over the years; I do not trust these thieves as far as I could hrough the old lever
    machines.

     
  • At 5:20 PM, Blogger Granny said…

    I'm voting absentee as I have for the last several years (with my fingers crossed they haven't figured out a way to mess that up too). Sacramento Country here has already had a problems with misprinted ballots and Yolo with its voting machines.

    I found you through truthout and I'll be back. Meantime, I'm linking to you at Is America Burning which is a small political blog written by two great-grannies.

    Thanks,

    Ann (aka granny)

     
  • At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Why, oh why did this concern and consequent uproar become more or less national and widespread so late in the game? There are those who have been fearful of yet another stolen election and have said so certainly since the theft in Ohio and some protested and worried way before that. We should have taken to the streets BEFORE this election, not plan to after it. Since it's too late all we can do is hope the losing Dem. candidate will not wilt and cave in immeidately upon hearing he/she's lost and DEMAND an investigation and recount, or even a paper REVOTE. DEMAND DEMAND DEMAND. No matter how much he/she may think it will "upset" the country. It'sa matter of life or death for out country.

     
  • At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Voting machines and stolen elections have been a concern since 2000. Don't forget there are still lawsuits waiting on voters being told there were "no more ballots" in heavily black and democratic precincts in the south.

    Supposedly there a legions of lawyers poised to swoop down on any hints of election/voter machine tampering or irregularities.

    Our thinking is, if the GOP retains Congress, then we will know for sure that the election has been rigged and stolen, once again!

     
  • At 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    10:21 So what? Too little too late. While the many are in line waiting for justice those who stole the election continue to wreak havoc.

     
  • At 12:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If you're so pessimistic 10:55, then what are you doing to stop the stolen elections?

     
  • At 2:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    One thing we can do is to participate in the Visual Exit Poll.

    After the election, we can wear dots or ribbons, or anything blatantly representing the color of the party of our choice.

    For example, red dots for Repubs, blue for Dems, etc.

    With enough participation (i.e. you and I), the election cannot be stolen.

    Check out the mySpace page,

    http://myspace.com/committed2freedom

     
  • At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lou Dobbs and Jack Cafferty, both CNN, have been doing a lot on this election fraud issue as they have been doing on the general incompetence of this Bush administration.

     
  • At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If Virginians are inflenced not to vote for Webb because of excerpts from his novels, our country is lost. Lynn Chaney who wrote a novel about lesbian love (did they get married in her novel) was on TV outraged at the content of Webb's novels, which she has not read. She doesn't want her children watching TV because of what he wrote; and she was disgusted to hear Imus reading the Webb excerpt on his program. (Hasn't she ever listened to Imus before?) Maybe we should only elect children who aren't sexually mature for office. And, if Virginia women feel slighted about Webb's comments, they should keep in mind how their welfare and that of their families is a stake in thie election. The Democrats must get control of Congress for the check and balance we so need.

     
  • At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If you want REAL social/political change, then voting for Republicans OR Democrats IS A WASTE OF A VOTE. Two parties - One Head.

     
  • At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    8:34 The only change worth talking about now is the control of Congress. Get the bums out so we can have our checks and balance.

     
  • At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    VOTE FOR THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES.

    DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ARE CORRUPT.

     
  • At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Russia's Flat-Tax Miracle
    March 24, 2003 | |

    It's never fun to admit failure. But Russia's 13 percent flat tax forces me to confess a certain degree of incompetence. For 10 years, I've been working in Washington to replace our convoluted tax code with a simple and fair flat tax. But as every taxpayer can attest, my efforts have not borne fruit.

    Yet in Russia, President Vladimir Putin -- the former head of the Soviet KGB -- implemented a flat tax in 2001. Not only a flat tax, but a flat tax with a 13 percent rate, four percentage points lower than the supposedly "radical" plan espoused by Steve Forbes and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. And it's been a big success.

    Imagine how this makes me feel. I've tried to help reform the tax system in the United States, a nation the rest of the world considers the home of unfettered capitalism and free-market principles. Yet every year, our tax code gets bigger and more complicated. In Russia, by contrast, the flat tax has been in place for more than two years now. And this reform took place in a nation still trying to overcome the legacy of more than 70 years of communist dictatorship.

    Remember the saying: "To the victors go the spoils"? It must not be true. We won the Cold War, but Russia gets a flat tax while America is stuck with a Byzantine tax system based on class-warfare ideology.

    But perhaps our luck will change. The Russian flat tax has been so successful that even American politicians might learn the right lessons. Let's look at the evidence: Russia's economy has expanded by about 10 percent since it adopted a flat tax. That may not be spectacular, but it's better than the United States, and it's very impressive compared to the anemic growth rates we see elsewhere in Europe.

    It also appears, conventional wisdom aside, that a low tax rate doesn't mean less money for government. Over the last two years, inflation-adjusted income tax revenue in Russia has grown 50 percent. Why? Because people are willing to produce more and pay their taxes when the system if fair and tax rates are low -- exactly what Ronald Reagan predicted when he triggered America's economic boom with lower tax rates 20 years ago. Ironically, the former communists in Moscow now understand supply-side economics, yet liberals in Congress are still relying on the politics of hate-and-envy.

    Interestingly, the flat tax is just one of several positive reforms enacted by President Putin. Russia also has reduced the corporate rate of tax from 35 percent to 24 percent. (U.S.-based companies still pay 35 percent, the second-highest corporate tax among industrialized nations). Small businesses also get better treatment. The old system with high tax rates has been replaced by a new system where companies can choose either a 6 percent tax on gross revenue or a 15 percent tax on profits.

    Of course, President Putin can do more. Russia still needs to privatize inefficient state-run industries. It also would be nice if he supported President Bush in the Middle East; after all, Bush has supported Putin's flat tax. During a state visit in 2001, President Bush said, "I am impressed by the fact that [Putin] has instituted tax reform -- a flat tax. And as he pointed out to me, it is one of the lowest tax rates in Europe. He and I share something in common: We both proudly stand here as tax reformers."

    The success of Russia's flat tax shouldn't surprise anyone. Hong Kong has had a flat tax for a long time, and it's been the world's fastest-growing economy over some 50 years. Indeed, there are growing signs that China may implement a flat tax in the near future. Talk about a man-bites-dog story! One of the few remaining communist nations may get a flat tax before America. At this rate, the United States may wind up in the same category as France, Cuba and North Korea.

    To be fair, President Bush is moving America in the right direction. He already has pushed one tax cut through Congress (though most of it has yet to take effect). Now he is urging lawmakers to end the double taxation of dividends and expand IRAs. All of these policies shift us -- slowly but surely -- in the direction of a flat tax.

    It would be nice, however, if we got to a flat tax during my lifetime. And even if we implemented the flat tax because we didn't want to fall behind the rest of the world, at least I'll be able to tell myself that my efforts weren't wasted.


    - Daniel Mitchell is the McKenna fellow in political economy at The Heritage Foundation (www.heritage.org), a Washington-based public policy research institute

     
  • At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Under six years of President W. Bush, this nation, under God has recovered from a one trillion dollar blow to our nation’s economy due to failed national security policies of the previous Presidents administration. Increased the number of homeowners to the highest level in the history of our nation. Increased the number of minority businesses in the history of our nation. Reduced interest rates to the lowest rate in forty years. Reduced unemployment to the point of statistical full employment. Brought the Stock market to record highs. The current thirty-six month run of our economy is the best in the history of our nation. There are more Americans that are “rich” than at anytime in our history. They are more people attending college than at anytime in the history of our nation. Folks, if this is what you call a “broken government” please, DO NOT FIX IT!

     
  • At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    6:45 Of course, by all means let us mold our government after Russia. We know what a great life they live over there and always have. Do I hear you say "Yeah, Russia".

    7:03 See your doctor. Perhaps he/she can get you in touch with reality. If you're a sane Republican Spin Meister on the Repubican payroll, see your spiritual advisor.

     
  • At 5:27 AM, Anonymous H. Haan said…

    Hello,
    I am a male (38) from The Netherlands.

    We in the Netherlands have around 3 or 4 big political parties and 3 or 4 important small ones. For everybody it is clear what they stand for. Conservative, social, liberal, green, etc., there is a party for everyone.

    When you see the advertising of those parties you just see what they stand for.
    There is no rumour or hysterical screaming whatoever
    Politicians respect each other and discuss things with each other like normal, intelligent and decent people.
    It is certainly no problem here in the Netherlands to tell everybody what you vote.
    People will like you anyway.
    Of course there are exceptions but generally spoken it is the truth.

    I would like to know why politics is so different in the USA.
    Why does your election propaganda sound so theatrical and why is there such a lack of intellectual debate in your mainstream media.

    My advice is to vote for thirds parties.
    Because politics should be more then the Dems and Reps only…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_the_United_States#Current_third_parties

    More information on the Dutch parlement (in English):
    http://www.houseofrepresentatives.nl/

    Kind Regards

     
  • At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dear Netherlands Man, When you get your Muslim-assimilation problem worked out and no longer suffer vicious murders in that regard, you can consider telling us how to vote. In the meantime we don't need Russia or the Netherlands held up as would-be superior models.

     
  • At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    More people in college or just getting on-line degrees, 7:01PM BIG DIFFERENCE! I've worked with a few on line degreed folks. It is not the same as a rigorous 4-5 year degree. They do not have the critical thinking skills it takes to really make it. Sure, they get the promotion into an entry level 2yr or BA position, but then what?

    No critical thinking and analysis skills and you've got just another Republican. And someone who thinks they have an education but doesn't know dick or they wouldn't vote GOP!

    Rove even said the more educated a person is the more they have a tendency to be a Democrat.

    Degrees are created unequal between ivy league and state universities, at best. An online degree is about worth what ya paid for it!

     
  • At 10:10 AM, Anonymous jake said…

    when liberals lose elections its never "we lost". its always "it was stolen!"

    cry me a river.

     
  • At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    TO: Jake said Thank you for pointing out that we Liberals are smart enough to recognize a crime when we see it. It's particularly of interest because the Conservatives seem oblivious to or probably uncaring about the corruption in the Repbulican Party. That's one reason they lost the election, or didn't you know?

     

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