Sunday, December 12, 2004

TRUTH LEFT OUT: Ohio's Secretary of State May Have Committed Election Fraud

MMLP = UNREPORTED BY MAINSTREAM NEWS
Ohio Fraud Smoking Gun

It has now been 24 days now (and counting) and this MAJOR newsbreak has not been made public by the mainstream:
Yesterday, it came to the attention of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff that efforts to audit poll records in Greene County, Ohio are being obstructed by County Election officials and/or Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. According to Joan Quinn and Eve Robertson, two election observers researching voting records, Greene County officials initially gave Quinn and Robertson access to poll records, and then abruptly withdrew such access. Greene County Director of Elections Carole Garman claimed that she had withdrawn access to the voting records at the direction of Secretary Blackwell. Regardless of who ordered the denial of this access, such an action appears to violate Ohio law. Later, at the same office, election observers found the office unlocked, and what appeared to be locked ballot boxes, unattended. Prior to the withdrawal of access to the books, observers had found discrepancies in election records, and possible evidence of minority vote suppression.
(from Congressman John Conyers News Release -- posted on The Brad Blog Too)
Not one peep from the big guys. Incredible, right? Well, listen up! There's more to this story. As OpEdNews.com writes:

Now, here is the kicker. Blackwell not only did not have the authority to take this action, he is actually in violation of the law. Ohio Revised Code Title XXXV Elections, Sec. 3503.26 that requires all election records to be made available for public inspection and copying. ORC Sec. 3599.161 makes it a crime for any employee of the Board of Elections to knowingly prevent or prohibit any person from inspecting the public records filed in the office of the Board of Elections. Lastly, ORC Sec. 3599.42 states: “A violation of any provision of Title XXXV (35) of the Revised Code constitutes a prima facie case of election fraud within the purview of such Title.”

Did you get that America ? The Secretary of State of Ohio, who has an obvious conflict of interest by being the State Chair for the reelection of George W. Bush, has now violated the law to stop a recount that could prove that Bush actually lost Ohio, and thus the entire presidential election. Where in the hell is the media? Where is the outrage? Why is this not the TOP story on every network? Why is this not the HEADLINE in every paper? Again, even if you think the fraud allegations will not amount to overturning the election, isn’t the potential of real voter fraud in this country worth reporting? When a man who is so obviously compromised and ethically bankrupt such as Blackwell actually VIOLATES THE LAW, isn’t that considered news? Is it not even more relevant when you consider the ONLY possible reason for Blackwell to illegally stop the recount is that he is afraid of the results?

As I understand it, there will be a Congressional meeting in Ohio about the vote fraud issue on Monday. Joan Quinn, highlighted above (in the first excerpt) by Newsclip Autopsy, has been requested to attend this meeting:
Because of the urgency of the Greene County matter, Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, has requested that Ms. Quinn testify at a hearing scheduled Monday in Columbus, Ohio. Ms. Quinn has agreed to do so and will also present sworn statements from corroborating witnesses. Conyers issued the following statement:
"The Recount effort is simply a search for the truth of what happened during the 2004 Presidential election in Ohio. We have now repeatedly seen election officials obstruct and stonewall this search for the truth. I am beginning to wonder what it is they are trying to hide."
Not one mainstream news media outlet has published this statement (that I can find anyway). Not one big news outlet has mentioned that there is now proof that the Secretary of State in Ohio has committed fraud (according to the state's own law). Let's see how much coverage it gets after the Congressional meeting on Monday.

UPDATE #1: Carlo LoParo, a spokesperson for Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, has responded to the Greene County lockdown -- to this news website.
...According to Mr. LoParo, these actions were not the result of any edict from the state, but were initiated at the county level as a normal part of securing and preparing all materials and records for a recount which has been requested and will be performed in accordance with Ohio law. LoParo said that the Secretary welcomed the scrutiny of the recount...
(from Elites TV, December 13, 2004)
It will be interesting to see what the counter-response will be from Joan Quinn and Eve Robertson. The author of this article seems to be warming up to the explanation provided by the Blackwell spokesperson -- without any further reasoning, I might add.

UPDATE #2: Keith Olbermann has broken the silence in big media land. However, since he has been dedicated to following the fraud issue since November 2, I think I'll need at least one more major news organization to report this story before I stop the MMLP clock (now at 3 days). In Olbermann's blog, he says:

...And here is Blackwell, having insisted on 'Countdown' that there would be a re-count and his office would take no steps to prevent it, stepping on his own feet in Xenia, Ohio. Last Friday, Greene County election officials there tossed out two Green Party observers who had been given access to the examine the voting records there, attributing their actions to Blackwell’s directives that the so-called ‘canvassing period’ which follows every election be extended from ten days to more than a month because of the fact of the recount. Those county records, Blackwell’s people reasoned, needed to be sealed and handled with the “utmost care” until the recount was completed.

Just to round out the absurdity, those same two Greens returned to the Election Board building in Greene County (and what script editor would’ve permitted that coincidence?) on Saturday morning to find, they say, the facility unlocked, and all those ‘sealed’ voting machines and records out in the open where any passing vandal or political memorabilia junkie could’ve walked off with them (heck, I own two Broward County 2000 Voting Machines, if anybody would like to do a private recount). Greene County responded by insisting that while it was true that someone appears to have left the building unlocked, overnight, on Friday, and that nobody locked it up until Saturday afternoon, the other stuff — about the machines and records being unprotected — wasn’t true; they were inside locked rooms.

Well, that’s all right, then.

My MSNBC colleague and Newsweek chief political correspondent Howard Fineman shares my amazement at the Inspector Clouseaus of the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. If there’s nothing wrong in Ohio, it sure won’t be because Secretary Blackwell didn’t try to make it look like there was.

I'm still waiting to hear what the Green Party has to say about all of this. David Cobb has not mentioned a word about it on his website yet.

UPDATE #3: Katrina Sumner, one of the Ohio recount activists who was leading the recount effort in Greene County emailed Teresa Amesse, Former Chair of Montgomery County Kerry Edwards Phone Bank. In the email (posted here), she states a troubling encounter:

Last night I was returning from Columbus and was scared out of my mind. First I’ve been getting calls from a man that has been able to tell me each and every place I’ve been or roads I’ve been traveling on (a group of 3 other women heard this while driving me to meet Jesse Jackson and Cliff Arnebeck last night, having the call on speaker). Then while driving back I was ran off the road by two dark blue Suburbans(?), bigger than 4 runners anyway, with dark tinted windows. They came up behind me with their brights on and then one came to the side of me and ran me into the ditch off I-70. I saw as they sped away that one had a Maryland license plate, but in the heat of it all I couldn’t get the plate number or even see the plate of the other one. It’s becoming apparent to me that someone is not liking what I’m doing. So thank you much cause I truly need the encouraging words.

Katrina Sumner



Newsclip Autopsy has provided an email list of the Mainstream Media in the sidebar of the main page. Cut, paste, write, and send. Every little bit helps to keep the ball rolling on votergate!
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