Sunday, October 28, 2012

Local Daily Extolls the Virtues of Pima County in Apologetic Report of Lawsuit Aimed at Keeping Pima County from Breaking Laws

J.T. Waldron

When propaganda gets this obvious, we ultimately choose not to run away from it and prefer not to rely on the hopes that people will ignore it.

It is far more productive to give it its due and shed light on it.

The Arizona Daily Star's sunday edition contains the article with a peculiar title that is self evident as propaganda:

What is the main, bulkier part of the title? You guessed it:

Pima Sees Gains in Election Security

What was the actual current news to be reported in the story?

The lawsuit by citizens to compel Pima County to follow existing election laws.

What's the damage?

The Arizona Daily Star has over 364,000 readers for its Sunday edition, which is about a third of the population of Pima County being falsely assured about "Elections Security". Another story that is being convoluted with this story about the lawsuit involves local election integrity commission member Mickey Duniho's analysis of a nationwide study showing consistent Republican favored margins in larger precincts for both primary and general elections since 2008.   This story had adequate, neutral treatment when it was reported by the same author on the previous Friday, the least favorable day for the 238,000 readers that would elect to check it out. Although the story has little to do with the lawsuit filed last Wednesday to compel Pima County to comply with existing election laws, it serves to confuse the simple lawsuit requiring official returns to be placed in the official returns envelop and legally proper numbers for the hand-count audits.

The only conceivable connection that Dunaho's emergency Election Integrity Commission meeting has with the lawsuit filed last Wednesday is that the anomalies he confirms could be resolved with the proper hand count audits requested in that lawsuit. So could a lot of other ways of cheating be discovered with proper hand count audits.

We put additional police in the streets to prevent all kinds of crimes. Not just one.

Incidentally, this is the only time that the plaintiffs in last Wednesday's lawsuit are mentioned.  Duniho is referred to as "a plaintiff in the lawsuit" but the author fails to mention the twelve others including Green Party Candidate Dave Croteau, Republican Candidate Bill Beard, Libertarian Elections Specialist Jim March and Paul Hilts, the chair of the Pima County Democratic Party Elections Committee.

The title, "Pima sees gains in election security" suggests to its readers, "nothing to see here. All is well." Quick browsers will think that is the point of the article.

The competing "gains in election security" were sprung from the records lawsuit involving the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) election and they were procedures that would not have been implemented without the public and legal scrutiny surrounding RTA election shenanigans.

While the additional measures are helpful, they are at best mere obstacles for Pima County to maneuver around should they wish to cheat in elections in the future. They are nice measures, but should be seen as window dressing until the core essential steps to counter black box voting machine fraud are implemented. In fact, Pima County's legal team is referring to these measures to block further scrutiny of the RTA ballots now in storage at the Iron Mountain facilities.

While spending 2.5 million dollars on procedures that are outside of the specific measures needed to resolve the lawsuits surrounding a two billion dollar bond election, Pima County could save a great deal of money by complying with the appellate court decision for prospective relief. By removing themselves as an obstacle to prospective relief through the courts, Pima County could assure the public that those "security measure" expenditures were also helping prevent future legal costs involving election transparency. They are refusing to do so at this time because compliance also means allowing a proper audit and forensic exam of the RTA ballots. They know the plaintiff will finally resolve in the courts that the RTA election was rigged. That is why they are choosing not to save time and money by letting this simple procedure forge ahead.

Additional elements designed to vindicate Pima County by the Arizona Daily Star seem to surround an exchange towards the end of the meeting between Pima County employee John Moffatt and Mickey Duniho. First, the idea that Moffatt continues to work for the county and is inextricably entwined within the Election Integrity Commission is an insult to the public. In court he admitted to being responsible for the convoluted logic that ultimately cost Pima County over one million dollars in legal fees to resist public records requests. Moffatt was also named in the IBeta report providing many ineffectual tests that were certain to be meaningless in the first Attorney General investigation of the RTA election. He was also found with his hand in the "evidence cookie jar" in violation of a court order when it was time to divvy up the data after the Democratic Party won the records case.

The video of the EIC meeting shows at the end John Moffatt's essential skill - groveling. Moffatt delivers a pathetic attempt at chastising those who would suggest that Pima County's elections division is capable of fraud. It was disturbing to see at this point that no-one was laughing. It's difficult to imagine the sense of being browbeaten when listening to this delivery up close and in person, but Mickey Duniho seems far more conciliatory for what he knows about Pima County. In fact, he was there when Moffatt violated the court order at the Pima County vault. Frankly, Moffatt should have been handed his ass for even suggesting that accusations of fraud in the Pima County Elections Division are inappropriate.

True to form, this relatively small exchange at the commission meeting affects a large chunk of what made this Sunday's article. Somehow the article extracts a statement from Mickey Duniho, "My feeling is that today elections in Pima County are processed in a very good manner. I don't see any major things that I want to change." The rest of the meeting, however, had Duniho stating that we have no reliance on the integrity of the elections because there is not a sufficient audit of the ballots after they are run through the black box voting machines. In his presentation at the beginning of the meeting, he states "The way we are doing it now where we do a hand-count by batch does not confirm the integrity of the elections." Fair reporting would mention the contradiction and get clarification from Duniho.

Why would the writer omit the fact that the window dressings mean nothing if you have the same crooks running the elections and they are still reserving the right to cheat by violating state laws?

Why does the establishment press insist on letting Pima County get away with rigging elections?

If reporter Carli Brosseau buys John Moffatt's spiel, does she get a chance to line up at Pima County's trough should things go south in the real world?

There is a real cost for preserving this illusion of election theater and I don't think the Star will be willing to pay for it.

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sorry, AUDITAZ, must have mistakenly deleted your comment.