LOCAL ACTION ALERT- Alameda County

October 17, 2007

Following is a some timely information I received from Jerry Berkman, a local voting rights activist friend of mine. Please read below how and where you have the opportunity to “interact” with John Tanner from the Department of Justice on the afternoon of Thursday, October 18th at UC Berkeley. (Jerry’s website is Election-Reform.org, check it out.)

John K. Tanner is the Chief of the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Voting Rights Section.  He has recently made outrageous statements about race and voting. He will be speaking at UC Berkeley, 109 Moses Hall, Thursday, Oct. 18, 3:30-5:00 pm with a reception to follow. Hopefully you will attend and ask him some hard questions, or notify others who could do that.

The event is described at:

http://blogs.lib.berkeley.edu/whats-new.php/2007/10/11/election_administration_and_voting_right

Some background:

TPMMuckraker.com has an article:
"DoJ Vote Chief Argues Voter ID Laws Discriminate against Whites", which says:

Tanner explained that "primarily elderly persons" are the ones affected by [voter ID] laws, but "minorities don't become elderly the way white people do: They die first." So anything that "disproportionately impacts the elderly, has the opposite impact on minorities," he added.

[and]

Tanner told the [Georgia NAACP] that minorities were actually "slightly more likely" than non-minorities to have a photo ID.

Also, BradBlog.com has video of Tanner's recent speech:

http://www.bradblog.com/?p=5145

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What to Say when They Call

June 20, 2007

The Democratic Party has started already with the calling for donations.  I know I’m going to get a whole lot more calls in the coming months as we get closer and closer to E-day.  So are you most likely.

I have decided that I am not going to give to anybody that calls themselves a Democrat.  Why?  Because they are complicit in the criminal/psychotic situation we find ourselves in presently.  Whether it’s our illegal, immoral occupation of a soverign, oil-rich nation half-way around the world that is causing thousands of deaths and dismemberments of our own people (not to mention the innocent Iraqi population) or our own home-grown hijacking of the US Constitution by the insane criminal neocons who call themselves Republicans – the Democrats are not doing everything they could be doing… everything they should be doing to change things.

Okay they didn’t have the votes to override the veto of the troop withdrawl bill… but they could have fillibustered if they really wanted to get the job done.

They may not have all the votes necessary to impeach Bush, Cheney and Gonzales (yeah! all at the same time!  that’s what I’m talking about!) – but they could put the proposal up for consideration and see what kind of response they get… get the dialogue started – a motion of historic proportions.

That’s the kind of stuff that would send a message to me, my fellow Americans and the rest of the world that the Democrats are serious about fixing the problems we face instead of just giving us lip service.

So, when the DSCC or a Democratic campaign calls me for a donation I say something like, “NO.  I will not give you any money until you start impeaching the criminals in the White House that are ruining our country and destroying its reputation.  Get on the ball!” or “NO.  If you are going to continue to roll over for this adminstration on issues like our illegal occupation of Iraq, you will get nothing out of me.  Shape up and start getting this thing done: Bring Home Our Troops NOW!”


Warrantless Wiretap / DOJ Fiasco Timeline

May 17, 2007


James Comey, Fmr Deputy AG
Photo c/o Washington Post

Following is the latest juicy update from Josh Marhall’s TPM Muckraker. Contributor Paul Kiel is reporting that a timeline of the Bush 43 administration’s illegal warrantless wiretapping program is fast developing.

The first date to mark on your calendar, I think, is October 3, 2003. That’s when the Senate confirms Jack L. Goldsmith as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. In June, with Goldsmith’s nomination before the senate, John Yoo had left his job as the deputy at OLC to return to his teaching gig at Boalt.Fast forward to December 11, 2003, when Comey is confirmed as Deputy Attorney General. He immediately assumes a more aggressive posture than his predecessor, Larry Thompson. The Times reports this morning that “with Mr. Comey’s backing, Mr. Goldsmith questioned what he considered shaky legal reasoning in several crucial opinions, including some drafted by Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo.”

But that was just the beginning. Thompson had not been authorized access to the details of the NSA program. But, reports the NYTimes, “Comey was eventually authorized to take part in the program and to review intelligence
material that grew out of it” (1/1/06). He set Goldsmith to the task of sorting through the program’s dubious legality. Goldsmith’s “review of legal memoranda on the N.S.A. program and interrogation practices became a source of friction between Mr. Comey and the White House,” the Times reports today. And we know from Comey’s testimony that by “the White House,” we mean, principally, Dick Cheney and David Addington.

There is much more in today’s TPM article, for instance, but my favorite part deals with an exchange between Senators Leahy and Spector, towards the end of the electrifying testimony by James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General, who was a key figure in the DoJ at this time. (Incidentally, Comey is also the person who appointed Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the Valerie Plame Wilson leak, while AG Ashcroft was in the hospital). See the aforementioned exchange below:

PS: There’s hope we’ll find out what was really going on. I’d highlight this portion of Specter’s remarks from the hearing: “Mr. Comey, it’s my hope that we will have a closed session with you to pursue the substance of this matter further. Because your standing up to them is very important, but it’s also very important what you found on the legal issue on this unnamed subject, which I infer was the terrorist surveillance program. And you’re not going to comment about it. I think you could. I think you could even tell us what the legalisms were. Doesn’t involve a matter of your advice or what the president told you, et cetera. But I’m going to discuss it with Senator Leahy later and see about pursuing that question to try to find out about it.”

And then Leahy, in response: “We will have a closed-door hearing on this. Senator Specter and I are about to have a briefing on aspects of this.” Can’t wait to hear what leaks out of that.

If you check out the (20 min. YouTube) video for James Comey’s remarkable testimony of May 15 2007, you will see for yourself how callous and brazen the current leadership of this nation truly is. Thank you James Comey for your integrity, both then and now.

Leahy and Spector: the spotlight is now on you and your committee. We are all watching you.


Come On! Come On! Climb on Board! The Train’s leavin’ the Station!

December 16, 2006

It’s that time of year…ya know ‘The Holidays’. A time when we’re all supposed to be happy, love one another and be with family. I’m not going to do a rant here; time enough for that next year and believe me when I say I will be ranting come January. Meanwhile, watch the video of one of my favorite tunes from a time when peace and brotherhood all over the world seemed a lot closer to hand.I’ve loved this tune for years, it’s cued up in my truck CD right now, and this animation is totally happening. That might be me on top of the train. Ya never can tell.

A.Citizen sayin’ put yer hands together.


A Call to Action!

October 15, 2006

The California Democratic Party has put out a call for Volunteers to help with Grass Roots organising to help create a tidalwave Democratic Victory this election! They need volunteers to help with grassroots organizing.

If you want to take our country back from the fascist scum of the Republican Party this is the most immediate way to go.

As I understand it you would be working with other volunteers and student interns to elect Democratic candidates.

If you are interested call: 510-452-8483

or email: katrina@cadem.org


Debra Bowen for California Secretary of State

October 9, 2006

“We cannot have a legitimately constituted government that runs on trade secret software where no one can see what the voting machines are doing. So I’ve taken the lead in California for publicly owned software where everyone can see every line in the computer code, and to keep voting equipment that’s not secure or reliable and can’t be verified, from being used in our elections…”

 

http://www.debrabowen.com/

 

Bowen’s Five Point Plan For Cleaning Up California Elections

  • Ensure that every vote is counted exactly as it was cast. That means requiring every electronic voting machine to have a paper trail that can be counted to verify the vote, and it means establishing tough auditing requirements for all voting equipment. Right now slot machines have tougher security and audit requirements than voting machines! Voting machines that don’t meet strict security and accuracy standards should not be used in California.
  • Correct our voter registration system to ensure that every eligible voter who registers is placed on the voter rolls. As you probably have seen in the news, thousands of eligible voters who have filled out a voter registration form have not been put on the voter rolls due to the Secretary of State’s poorly planned implementation of new laws.
  • Reform the initiative and proposition process to avoid another costly special election like we had last year. Ballot measure sponsors must be forced to disclose whether signature gatherers are being paid, and just who is paying to collect signatures to qualify for the ballot. Voters deserve to know BEFORE they sign a petition whether corporate special interests are underwriting the measure!
  • Improve access to information on who is contributing money in the political process, how that money is spent, and how much money is used to lobby for and against legislation. Citizens need to be able to follow the money.
  • Improve the election process — and increase public participation in elections — by reducing long lines and equipment failures at the polls — and improve training for poll workers.

State Senator Debra Bowen for California Secretary of State

  • What she will do as Secretary of State will help fix voting problems across the country, this is the most important single election this year.
  • Senator Bowen has led the charge against the certification of the dangerous Diebold electronic voting machines — holding hearings, taking testimony from experts, and standing up to Secretary of State McPherson’s irresponsible decisions.
  • As Chair of the Senate Elections Committee, Senator Bowen has the experience we need to do the job. She knows the subject of elections so well she has informed a president of a testing company of the right way to do his job.

Phone Banking For Debra Bowen

Tuesday evenings, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

United Democratic Campaign
1936 University
Berkeley (between Milvia and M.L. King)
Parking free after 6PM

Contact: Sandra, (510) 236 2595, syolles@yahoo.com

Thanks to Counted As Cast for the valuable info! Please visit their site for much more election information and resources.

And last – but certainly not least – please donate to her campaign!