Sunday, January 31, 2010
Terry Goddard has failed in his most important case as an Attorney General. Why should we promote him to governor?
You might have been aware of an investigation his office conducted into the 2006 RTA election Question 1 and 2 in Pima County. Here, investigators discovered that the current elections division in Pima County manipulated the electronic database files for this May 2006 election. This discovery ultimately led to the successful three-year lawsuit against Pima County that reaffirmed electronic database files as public records and collected a very large amount of evidence suggesting that the 2006 RTA election was rigged.
Attorney Bill Risner represented the Pima County Democratic Party in this case. When a substantial amount of evidence was discovered, he fulfilled his duty as an officer of the court by reporting this potential crime to Attorney General Terry Goddard.
A reasonable expectation one has when reporting a crime is for law enforcement to contact the person filing the report to find out what happened. This elementary step is especially helpful in complex white collar crimes like the manipulation of data in an elections system.
In the spring and summer of 2007, Terry Goddard chose to do precisely the opposite. Instead of talking to the people who made the discovery so that he could find out what happened and where to look, he began working with the suspects - Pima County. Interviewing the suspects and collecting facts from the suspects is essential. Allowing the suspects to suggest what to investigate, however, invites a huge conflict of interest with a strong potential to manipulate the outcome [pdf].
Did those who first discover and report this situation have an opportunity to point out what they found and explain its significance? Absolutely not. In fact, the results of the first investigation were withheld from the people who made the complaint until the day of the press conference. The suspects, however, were informed of the results of the investigation and given an advance report.
At the press conference, Attorney General Terry Goddard stated that the resulting report exonerated the Pima County Elections division. This was patently false. It was excruciatingly clear that Terry Goddard participated in an exercise in public relations designed to falsely reassure the public about the reliability of the Pima Elections Division and the RTA election itself. It was also evident that, in coordination with local corporate press, a campaign began to undermine the efforts of the election integrity movement by confusing the public further about the issues surrounding this case and casting members of the election integrity group in a negative light.
It was at this moment in time that the Democratic Party was made well aware of what had taken place and of Terry Goddard's role in this activity. There was ample time to choose a more ethical candidate for Governor of Arizona.
Adding insult to injury, Terry Goddard behaved in a similar manner when he finally exercised his authority to examine the RTA ballots in 2009. After years of dragging his feet and denying his authority to examine the ballots in this white collar criminal investigation, Attorney Bill Risner informed Terry Goddard by mail that the Pima County Democratic Party was currently in a civil case to retrieve the poll tapes from that election. These poll tapes are significant because they offer a snapshot signed by poll workers of what the results should be by each precinct. In this letter (pdf), Risner informs Goddard that his client has obtained an expert willing and able to examine the poll tapes for their authenticity and that these poll tapes are with the ballots.
At this moment, before the Pima County Democratic Party can retrieve the poll tapes and examine them, Terry Goddard obtains a secret court order and whisks the ballots away from the secure local Iron Mountain storage facility to an undisclosed location. This chain of custody is monitored by and depends solely on the Attorney General's office for a full month. The public is still uncertain about where these ballots were stored prior to the examination.
Despite countless pleas to examine the poll tapes, Terry Goddard refuses to examine the poll tapes.
Despite countless pleas for Terry Goddard to provide a rudimentary, no-cost, non destructive forensic check of the ballots to see if any were generated with a laser printer, Terry Goddard refuses to perform this forensic check.
Despite countless pleas for Terry Goddard to perform a precinct-by-precinct analysis of the ballots, Terry Goddard refuses to perform this analysis.
Instead, Terry Goddard hires Maricopa County to perform a "recount" to determine whether the ballots indicate the same results as in the election. No other meaningful audit or examination took place.
Once again, it was painfully clear that Terry Goddard participated in an exercise in public relations designed to falsely reassure the public about the reliability of the Pima Elections Division and the RTA election itself. The poll tapes were then resealed and sent back to the Iron Mountain Storage facility in Pima County. Attorney Bill Risner is continuing to work on behalf of the Pima County Democratic Party to retrieve the poll tapes which are now hung up in the Pima County Treasurer's newly introduced obscure and expensive protocols for examination. It is clear that the Democratic Party is, to this day, being discouraged from looking at the poll tapes, which were very recently and easily acquired from other past elections.
So the recent mass emailed solicitation on behalf of Goddard is problematic. Some elements of the Democratic Party seem to have this idea that it's "better to have our crook in there than their crook". That's not good enough.
It's ironic that Terry Goddard is collecting money for a clean elections campaign when, thanks to his efforts, we will never know for sure who will win his own election.
Friday, January 29, 2010
The Obama administration stunned New York’s delegation yesterday, dropping the bombshell news that it does not support funding the 9/11 health bill.
The state’s two senators and 14 House members met with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius just hours before President Obama implored in his speech to the nation for Congress to come together and deliver a government that delivers on its promises to the American people.
So the legislators were floored to learn the Democratic administration does not want to deliver for the tens of thousands of people who sacrificed after 9/11, and the untold numbers now getting sick.
“I was stunned — and very disappointed,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who like most of the other legislators had expected more of a discussion on how to more forward.
“To say the least, I was flabbergasted,” said Staten Island Rep. Mike McMahon.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
The pdf containing the linked chart is available for download by right-clicking here.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Groups Urge Secretary of State Galvin to Take Action to Detect Election Tampering
LEXINGTON, Mass., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Representatives of nonpartisan election watchdog groups around the nation issued a last-minute 'orange alert,' warning that tomorrow's Massachusetts special election to elect a successor to the late Senator Ted Kennedy is ripe for manipulation. The groups call on Secretary of State Galvin to take immediate extra security precautions for the Senate race, which has become a high-stakes national contest. Critical national initiatives such as health care reform and financial reform will be influenced by the results of this election.
Unprecedented amounts of out-of-state money has funded a media blitz, and recent seesawing polls -- some highly questionable -- show Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Martha Coakley now reported to be in a virtual toss-up.
Experts are concerned that with the electronic election system in use, its lack of transparency and ease of manipulation, the public has no basis for trust in the accuracy and integrity of the election results. Confidence in election outcome should be based on objective verification rather than government reassurance, particularly when voting systems with so many known vulnerabilities and so little ability for oversight are employed.
"Now is the time for Massachusetts state election officials to act. Now is the time for all citizens to act," said Sally Castleman, Massachusetts voter and co-founder of Election Defense Alliance.
Members of election integrity organizations nationwide urge Secretary of State Galvin to take immediate steps to increase transparency for this electronically tabulated election.
Massachusetts elections are programmed and serviced by New England Diebold affiliate LHS Associates, a private company, located in Methuen, MA, which alone controls the trade secret software and memory cards holding all ballot and voting data. This data must be secured and held by Massachusetts election officials, experts say.
Secretary of State Galvin must immediately institute a policy and practice to ensure that public election officials and not LHS Associates maintain chain of custody over all ballots, voting machines, database files, and memory cards. Only through public possession and scrutiny of all election data can we ensure the integrity of election results.
Alert citizens can help defend against election shenanigans by volunteering as polling center watchdogs.
Election Integrity expert Brad Friedman has warned that the outcome will rely on the accuracy of votes tallied by the easily-hacked electronic Diebold/Premier optical scan voting machines, featured in the film Hacking Democracy.
Friedman, writing in the Gouverneur Times (http://www.gouverneurtimes.com/st-lawrence-news/54-worldnational-news/10625-easily-hacked-voting-systems-to-be-used-in-ma-special-election-for-the-us-senate.html) (http://tr.im/KvUb) says, "The electronic voting systems used in Massachusetts are notoriously plagued with problems and vulnerabilities, and are in violation of federal voting system standards. Moreover, they are sold, programmed, and maintained by a company with a disturbing criminal background."
Friedman notes with concern, "The machines and cards are often accessed by both election officials and the private vendors who program and maintain them."
The candidates are urged not to concede the election or declare victory until election results can be verified and any bona fide election challenges resolved.
The organizations issuing the alert include:
Americans United for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency in Elections, AZ http://audit-az.blogspot.com
Bev Harris, BlackBoxVoting.org, a national nonpartisan nonprofit elections
Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots, Belmont, MA www.handcountedpaperballots.org
Coalition for Visible Ballots www.coalition4visibleballots.homestead.com
Florida Fair Elections www.floridafairelections.org/board.htm
Massachusetts Citizens for Voting Integrity www.handcountedpaperballots.org
PDA Board Chair Mimi Kennedy www.pdamerica.org
NH Fair Elections Committee www.democracyfornewhampshire.com
Velvet Revolution www.velvetrevolution.us
Where's the Paper www.wheresthepaper.org
Prof. Mark Crispin Miller, election integrity author/journalist, professor of media studies, NYU
Thursday, January 14, 2010
This is a direct quote from Cass Sunstein, from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama Administration. The bad news is the very reckless nature of what Sunstein proposes. Some people with such "cognitive diversity" may accept the call for "revolutionary violence". And what about having an authentic investigation of 9/11? Conspiracy theorists are not likely to be persuaded by an attempt to dispel their theories; they may even characterize that very attempt as further proof of the conspiracy." says Sunstein. He never directly admits that an authentic investigation would contradict the official U.S. establishment's account of 9/11. Many of Sunstein's publications on behavioral economics have become a staple for law students. In an acute stage of pomposity, Sunstein suggests "Because those who hold conspiracy theories typically suffer from a crippled epistemology, in accordance with which it is rational to hold such theories, the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups." Scientific thought has become a "crippled epistemology"?
Willful ignorance has never been the only hurdle in the pursuit of an authentic criminal investigation of 9/11. Like the COINTELPRO programs of the 70's, peace movements, environmental groups and 9/11 Truth, demonstrations/meetings have often found themselves with one or two outspoken individuals willing to waste the groups time with aggressive calls for retaliation or obviously bogus theories. Often, like the police officer in our own group for 9/11 Truth Tucson, they will spend time casting an overall "shadow of doubt" of foul play while refusing to specifically address the issues that contradict the 9/11 Commission's report. Regardless of the "cognitive diversity" these groups celebrate, vigilance and honesty will overcome this new infiltration of clowns.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Professor Buiter, a former Monetary Policy Committee member who is now at the London School of Economics, said this increasing disenchantment would result in an exodus of foreign cash from the US.
The warning comes despite the dollar having strengthened significantly against other major currencies, including sterling and the euro, after hitting historic lows last year. It will reignite fears about the currency's prospects, as well as sparking fears about the sustainability of President-Elect Barack Obama's mooted plans for a Keynesian-style increase in public spending to pull the US out of recession. Full Article
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Access Tucson is where the Weekly Intercept television show will soon broadcast this year.
Here is the message from Access Tucson:
Access Tucson could be shut down on Tuesday. You need to speak up immediately
We don't think the Mayor and City Council meant to terminate Access Tucson, ending its 25 year commitment to serving individuals, community groups and cable subscribers. Still, that would be the effect if Tuesday's 4-2 vote (Uhlich and Fimbres voting no, Romero not in attendance) to cut funding to most "outside agencies" by 60% stands. We think the City fought much too hard to secure funding for Access Tucson and the government channel (Tucson 12) in the cable license negotiations a couple years ago for them to turn around now and permanently pull the plug.
Councilman Steve Kozachik is on the right track, asking City Manager Mike Letcher to come back with a plan to co-locate or combine in some fashion
Tucson 12 with Access Tucson.
Here's why that makes sense:
By moving Tucson 12 in with Access Tucson, the City would save the rent it pays for Tucson 12's class-A space in the Pioneer Building.
Together, Access Tucson and Channel 12 are stronger and combined could be supported by the $1.38 a month that Tucson Cox subscribers pay on their monthly bills.
If the City cuts Access Tucson but not Tucson 12, there could be a constitutional challenge. Would it be legal for the government to eliminate the public's right to speak while
preserving its own TV channel?
Public Access to cable must be provided under Tucson law but without adequate funding it is meaningless.
A true partnership between the City and Access Tucson would meet the City's objectives of saving money, avoiding duplicate expenses, giving cable subscribers the services they're paying for, and preserving Access Tucson's ability to serve the community.
The Mayor and Council will vote on this Tuesday! Please take just a few minutes by calling them or emailing them TODAY!
Ward 1: Regina.Romero@tucsonaz.gov
Ward 2: Rodney.Glassman@tucsonaz.gov
Ward 3: Karin.Uhlich@tucsonaz.gov
Ward 4: Shirley.Scott@tucsonaz.gov
Ward 5: Richard.Fimbres@tucsonaz.gov
Ward 6: Steve.Kozachik@tucsonaz.gov
Or you can try emailing them all at once by clicking here (may not work with all email programs).
You can also support this effort by writing a letter to the editor of the Arizona Daily Star.
And please attend the Mayor and Council meeting on Tuesday 1/12 at the Leo Rich Theater (Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Avenue). Study session begins at 2pm and the regular meeting starts at 5:30pm.
Let's fight to keep the doors open and the lights on at Access Tucson. It's your public media and your right.
Thank you and please contact Sam Behrend, Executive Director or call Access Tucson at (520) 624-9833 if you have any questions.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
An investigation by BBC's Newsnight has cast doubts on the key piece of evidence which convicted the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi.
Tests aimed at reproducing the blast appear to undermine the case's central forensic link, based on a tiny fragment identified as part of a bomb timer.
The tests suggest the fragment, which linked the attack to Megrahi, would not have survived the mid-air explosion.
Two hundred and seventy people died in the 1988 attack on Pan Am flight 103.
Monday, January 4, 2010
The US shut its embassy in Sanaa on Sunday, citing "ongoing threats" by the militant organisation, and the UK followed suit.
On Monday, France shut its Yemen embassy, Japan suspended its consular service in Sanaa, and Spain restricted public access to its mission there.
According to Yemeni media, it comes after six trucks full of weapons and explosives entered the capital, and the security forces lost track of the vehicles.
This is a strange news story. There’s no denying the tendency to construct a network without the imagination to foresee how vulnerable that network is – it reminds us of genetically modified foods and the unknown elements behind the dangerous effects truly realized.
From another perspective, think of what a perfect excuse a cyber attack could be to invade another country. All you have to do is shut down a power grid for a couple weeks, bring reporters in to show the resulting casualties, then proclaim the discovery that one particular country hacked the U.S. power grid.
Or, you could say that the Department of Defense just happened to launch a couple nukes towards Bolivia, but only because some hacker got into the the U.S. Defense network. Voila!
This news story is strange because an open public admission of the vulnerabilities of the U.S. Department of Defense gives birth to worlds of hacker wannabees with new ambitions to invade the U.S. Defense system. Why do that?
Watch CBS News Videos Online
Sunday, January 3, 2010
City Manager Mike Letcher has contributed to the council's vulnerability by pushing for a 2% rental tax, which will be passed directly onto the mid to lower income sections of the population who are likely renting.
There are two red flags with this recall campaign. First, the chosen targets appear to be the result of a partisan initiative. There's no clear presentation about why the targets are chosen over council members Rodney Glassman and Shirley Scott. Republican Mayor Walkup's name seems to be added to demonstrate that "Take Back Tucson" is a nonpartisan effort.
Second, their website offers no specific action, vote or behavior linking these suspects to the offense of turning their backs on the business community. Worse, no suggestions about what specific actions need to be taken except general platitudes like "smarter, more focused, more effective policymakers". O.K. What's that?
Here is a list of questions sent to their site:
1. What specific acts has Romero done to demonstrate she is part of the problem?
2. What specific acts has Uhlich done to demonstrate she is part of the problem?
3. What specific acts has Walkup done to demonstrate he is part of the problem?
4. What specific votes/activity can you list that support your pinning of the problem on Ulich, Walkup and Romero over other occupants like Glassman and Scott?
5. Assuming the public is capable of discerning the cause, what events take place that are "business unfriendly" and have nothing to do with any representative or democratic process?
6. How do impact fees compare to the cities that already outrank Tucson?
7. The problem with bureaucratic mazes seem like a good point. Why don't you address that problem with a "city manager" style of government?
8. What impact does the state budget crisis have on the problems with effectively funding city initiatives?
9. The dominant business community, particularly those involved with the RTA like the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, have created deceptive campaigns in the past. How does your group distinguish itself from these same hacks looking for more government hand-outs?
10. This city in particular seems to be primarily dependent on corporate welfare. The government is the primary employer, directly or indirectly, throughout this city. Davis Monthan Airforce Base, Raytheon, University of Arizona and the City of Tucson practically run the Tucson economy. What industry that comes close to this type of volume in business do you intend to target and attract to the city?
11. How are you able to successfully refute that this is a partisan initiative when the only Republican on your hit list has, by a huge margin, the highest chance of surviving an attempt at a recall?
12. Avoiding generalities, what specific actions relating to Tucson's economy are performed by serious competent leaders?
On the "Take Back Tucson" home page, there is a clock that counts backwards until the next Mayor and Council meeting. The circus is near. If the bankroll of Mr. Lopez has any connection to his coverage, expect all kinds of media-including the Arizona Daily Star, which currently seems to be eating out of his hands.
Perhaps this post should include a clock that ticks forward until we receive some real answers.
Here's the Comcast/Cox Access Tucson schedule:
Saturday 1/16/2010, 9:00 AM, Channel 74/99
Saturday 1/23/2010, 9:00 AM, Channel 74/99
Saturday 1/30/2010, 9:00 AM, Channel 74/99
Monday 2/1/2010, 8:00 PM, Channel 73/98
Monday 2/8/2010, 8:00 PM, Channel 73/98
Monday 2/15/2010, 8:00 PM, Channel 73/98
Monday 2/22/2010, 8:00 PM, Channel 73/98
KANSAS CITY (Reuters) - The rapid adoption by U.S. farmers of genetically engineered corn, soybeans and cotton has promoted increased use of pesticides, an epidemic of herbicide-resistant weeds and more chemical residues in foods, according to a report issued Tuesday by health and environmental protection groups.
The groups said research showed that herbicide use grew by 383 million pounds from 1996 to 2008, with 46 percent of the total increase occurring in 2007 and 2008.
The report was released by nonprofits The Organic Center (TOC), the Union for Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the Center for Food Safety (CFS). Full Article
Friday, January 1, 2010
Flight 253 passenger Kurt Haskell: "Today is the day that I realized that my own country is lying to me and all of my fellow Americans."
Haskell: 'For the last five days I have been reporting my story of the so called "sharp dressed man." For those of you who haven't read my account, it involves a sharp dressed "Indian man" attempting to talk a ticket agent into letting a supposed "Sudanese refugee" (The terrorist) onto flight 253 without a passport. I have never had any idea how it played out except to note that the so called "Sudanese reefugee" later boarded my flight and attempted to blow it up and kill me. At no time did my story involve, or even find important whether the terrorist actually had a passport. The importance of my story was and always will be, the attempt with an accomplice (apparently succesful) of a terrorist with all sorts of prior terrorist warning signs to skirt the normal passport boarding procedures in Amsterdam. By the way, Amsterdam security did come out the other day and admit that the terrorist did not have to "Go through normal passport checking procedures".' Full Article