Friday, March 19, 2010

Pima County Spends $150,000 to Prevent the Democratic Party from Doing what the AZ Attorney General was Supposed to Do

Remember the hurried press conference by AZ Attorney General Terry Goddard in April of last year? That's the one where he paraded out all of his assistants and formally declared that after counting the 2006 RTA Ballots, they had found no evidence of foul play for rigging the elections? A few puny voices on the side of the room opposite the mainstream media asked questions. The first, did you count or examine the poll tapes in any way? The answer was no. Second, did you do a precinct by precinct audit against the statements of votes cast? No. We would have had to account for one or two adjustments and we don't know how to do that. Third, did you perform any forensic checks to verify the authenticity of the ballots? The answer? Don't be silly.

The poll tapes garnered interest right away from Terry Goddard, because Terry wasn't going to examine anything until he was informed of the Democratic Party's plans to look at the poll tapes. Then, like a hawk flying out of the sky after a field mouse, Goddard snatched the ballots from Pima County's Iron Mountain storage facility. How was the Democratic party informed? Through secondhand chatter from the Democratic Party's opposing legal team while the ballots were being transferred up to some unknown location in Maricopa County. The recount behind glass would take place one month later.

During this process, the Democratic Party had requested repeatedly that Terry Goddard examine the poll tapes, because they provide a valuable "precinct snapshot" prior to the tabulations. In addition, they can easily be identified if they are fake or regenerated. During this exchange, a tentative agreement was reached by Assistant Attorney General Robert Conrad and the Democratic Party. Conrad assured the Democrats that they would examine the poll tapes and the Attorney General's press spokesperson confirmed that poll tapes would be examined.

Only at that brisk press conference last year did the public discover that the Attorney General refused to examine the poll tapes. The reason? Well, Attorney General Terry Goddard was reduced to feigning ignorance about the importance of examining the poll tapes at that very same press conference, so we weren't given a reason unless you want to believe Goddard's act about being ignorant.

So Terry Goddard finished his debut with the RTA ballots and passed them back to the Iron Mountain Storage facility in the custody of Treasurer Beth Ford. The poll tapes are included in the ballot boxes.

Now the Democrats are stuck in a court battle to acquire the unadulterated ballot tapes to examine and copy. You know, those same type of poll tapes from last Fall's city election that were acquired for twelve dollars and forty cents?

At first, the State Treasurer's office and Pima County tried to overtly deny access to the poll tapes, claiming that they were the same as releasing the ballots. Precedence really did a number on that argument, so now they are using more covert means of getting in the way - like restricting the number of participants, raising the costs of copying and videotaping and postponing the actual exchange.

The State Treasurer has also suggested another important measure. This time, they really want the poll tapes to pass through John Moffatt's hands so he doesn't have to go and violate another court order like the one he violated with the database hard drives in the past RTA law suit. Yes, they are actually insisting on having the poll tapes first be transferred to Pima County (the suspects in the RTA investigation) before the Democratic Party can look at them. Meanwhile the rest of the press is ignoring this court case and ridiculing those that still think something's amiss. After all, they have a stake in making their RTA fiction stand.

For anyone interested in seeing this ridiculous game live and up close, the hearing is Monday, March 22nd, at 1:30 PM in the Pima County Superior Court House. Bring popcorn.

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