Sunday, September 12

Weopons of Mass vote Suppression

These aren't balloon trailers folks, or useless ordinence from our last shipment of weopons to Iraq 14 or 15 years ago, we are talking bona fide WMVS's, Weopons of Mass Vote Suppression. Grep Palast did a number on the frauds committed in 2000 in his book "The best Democracy that money can buy". More recently Bob Herbert had a couple of columns up about a couple of new fronts on that battlefield, and sometime back I had a piece called The Million Vote March, that dealt with another Palast article dealing with the US commision for civil rights analysis of the 2000 election. Kerry fired a shot across the bow of the bush campaign in an appearence with the congressional black caucus. From Gilliard, via Pickler at the AP.
WASHINGTON - John Kerry suggested Saturday night that Republicans may try to keep black voters from casting their ballots to help President Bush win in November.

"We are not going to stand by and allow another million African American votes to go uncounted in this election," the Democratic presidential nominee told the Congressional Black Caucus. "We are not going to stand by and allow acts of voter suppression, and we're hearing those things again in this election."

Kerry has a team of lawyers to examine possible voting problems to try to prevent a repeat of the 2000 election disputes. He also has said he has thousands of lawyers around the country prepared to monitor the polls on election day.

"What they did in Florida in 2000, some say they may be planning to do this year in battleground states all across this country," Kerry said. "Well, we are here to let them know that we will fight tooth and nail to make sure that this time, every vote is counted and every vote counts."
Glad to hear Kerry take up this issue himself. This will of course have a three pronged effect. First, the jackboots of the "101st fighting keyboards" and the rest of the rightwing PR operation will spin like dervishes of denial, at the suggestion that anything untoward occured in Floritda in 2000, Charlie Johnson has probably already fired up his mad Word Skillzā„¢, to combat this message. Second it serves as a toss of red meat to the base, allaying the fears of many, that Kerry is not fighting hard enough, and third, while this statement will garner predictable responses from the solid supporters, it may serve to re-introduce the concept of fairness to the discussion, and some in the middle may be drawn by the very American ideal of every vote counts. These would the people that don't want to vote for bigots and thieves, the people the Republican convention was trying to woo with its kinder gentler face, at least until Miller hit the stage. How does the administration respond? I'm betting smug will be part of it.
Bush-Cheney spokesman Steve Schmidt said the campaign would not respond to Kerry's "baseless, divisive attacks" until Sunday. "Today is a day of remembrance," he said.
Ahh yes, a bit of smug, and hiding behind a pile of bodies, preferably ones with skirts.

Now on a more serious note, there is no question in my mind that our criminal in chief and his minions for the establishment of aristotheocracy, will do everything in their power, to lower black voter turnout it is the only way that they can win, in fact their success with the operation in 2000 likely had a bigger impact than Nader's candidacy.
I did a bit of math concerning the civil rights report and the votes in florida in Million Vote March.
So over 90,000 votes for president in the state of Florida cast by African Americans, dissappeared into Florida Swampland. That nearly 180,000 people cast uncounted ballots in this state alone should put a chill in anyone's spine. What really puts a chill in mine is that Florida accounts for 9.4% of spoiled ballots nationally. With a population of 16 million, Florida accounts for roughly 5.5% of the population of the United States. Gotta hand it to a state when it can beat it's spoiled vote quota by 75,000 votes.
So when trying to breakdown what Nader meant in florida, we should take some things into account. One 35% of those voting for nader would likely have voted for bush (a completely uninformed estimate for the sake of argument), leaving 65% we have to not the highly likely possibility that 30% or more may not have bothered to show up to the polls. (YACUEFSOA). I can say with certainty, that of the voters who would have shown up anyway and holding their noses, voted for Gore, would have swung the state his way with a margin well in excess of 537 votes. Plug those 90,000 uncounted African american votes into the picture and Gore wins the state Running away. Bob Herbert had 2 recent columns detailing voter intimidation or vote supresstion activities. In his column titled "Voting while Black":

One woman, who is in her mid-70's and was visited by two officers in June, said in an affidavit: "After entering my house, they asked me if they could take their jackets off, to which I answered yes. When they removed their jackets, I noticed they were wearing side arms. ... And I noticed an ankle holster on one of them when they sat down."

Though apprehensive, she answered all of their questions. But for a lot of voters, the emotional response to the investigation has gone beyond apprehension to outright fear.

"These guys are using these intimidating methods to try and get these folks to stay away from the polls in the future,'' said Eugene Poole, president of the Florida Voters League, which tries to increase black voter participation throughout the state. "And you know what? It's working. One woman said, 'My God, they're going to put us in jail for nothing.' I said, 'That's not true.' "

In a previous column titled "Suppress the Vote":

The state police officers, armed and in plain clothes, have questioned dozens of voters in their homes. Some of those questioned have been volunteers in get-out-the-vote campaigns.

I asked Mr. Morales in a telephone conversation to tell me what criminal activity had taken place.

"I can't talk about that," he said.

I asked if all the people interrogated were black.

"Well, mainly it was a black neighborhood we were looking at - yes,'' he said.

He also said, "Most of them were elderly."

When I asked why, he said, "That's just the people we selected out of a random sample to interview."

Target black neighborhoods, toss out those under the age of 40, check against list of frequent voters, and voila, there is your "random sample". While I have been aware of the Kerry campaigns teams of lawyers for quite some time, it is appropriate at this time to remind us and those in the Bush camp, that they are ready and gonna be watching.
By the way I congratulate anyone who gets to the end of this post. I wish I had a prize to hand out.