Todd Palin Refuses to Testify? Shocking! Shocking, I say!

18 09 2008

Ed O’Callaghan, erstwhile top terrorism prosecutor from Washington D.C., now holed up in Anchorage Alaska giving legal advice in the Troopergate investigation, announced that the “First Dude” will not be cooperating.  He will ignore his subpoena, O’Callaghan says, because he no longer believes the investigation is “legitimate.”   Why?  Didn’t say.  It must have something to do with that hideously partisan unanimous vote by a council of 8 Republicans and 4 Democrats.  Those damned Democrats wielding their minority power all over the place, forcing consensus!  Who do they think they are? (Big red “Illegitimate” stamp slams down on document) Those buncha <grumble grumble grumble>…..

Todd, along with other witnesses, can stall without penalty for months, pushing this investigation well past election day.  To bring contempt charges, which are punishable by a fine up to $500, or up to six months in jail, the full  Legislature must be in session.  That happens after Christmas.

Surely there will be other nuggets of intrigue to come, but few doubt at this point that the final chapter of the Troopergate tale will be told until after November 4. (puts reading glasses away, and closes the Troopergate book.  For now.)  The damage that this stonewalling has had on Sarah Palin’s “image,” that the out-of-state lawyers and the McCain campaign were trying so fervently to craft, has yet to be measured.

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Palin Cancels Appearances. “NOT Because of Poll Numbers.”

18 09 2008

Hmmmmm….

Sarah Palin has cancelled her two-day swing through California next week, the McCain campaign said today.

Whether the planned Sept. 25 fundraiser in Silicon Valley, which will raise money for state and federal GOP efforts, will go on without Palin as headliner is unclear.

Campaign spokesman Rick Gorka said the Alaskan governor’s calendar was “fluid” and he could not say where Palin would go instead of California, nor if she would reschedule a visit here before Election Day. McCain and Palin are campaigning today and tomorrow in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Then they will head to Florida, which is shaping up to be a very competitive state.

A Field Poll released earlier this week found that while Palin had helped McCain solidify support among his GOP base in California, the ticket had made no inroads among independent voters, a key bloc the GOP needs to win to be competitive in California. Among likely voters, the Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket has a 16 percentage point advantage over the Republicans.

And a national poll out today showed Obama with a 5-point lead over McCain, a reversal from their standings before the Wall Street economic crisis hit.

Gorka said the decision to send her elsewhere next week was not made because of the polling results. “It’s a scheduling thing,” he said.

So…it’s a “scheduling thing”, but “her calendar is fluid” and nobody knows where she’s going to show up next. And it is NOT, I repeat, NOT because of poll numbers. Maybe she was afraid they’d make her play “Stump the Candidate.”





Alaska Lt. Governor Sean Parnell Concedes!

18 09 2008

Alaska Democratic Congressional Candidate Ethan Berkowitz

Lt. Governor Sean Parnell will not seek a recount in the Republican primary for Alaska’s lone seat in the House of Representatives. He conceded to 18-term incumbent Don Young, who is currently under investigation and has spent more than $1 million in legal fees, before he has even been indicted. Young squeaked out a narrow victory with a final vote tally of only 304 more votes than Parnell.

Parnell, who had indicated he would seek a recount, has apparently had a change of heart. He may be banking on a McCain-Palin victory, which would put him snugly in the governor’s chair with a direct line to the White House. At this point, it’s not a bet I would take, but I’m not him.

The concession still strikes me as odd, since the margin of victory was slim enough that the state of Alaska would have picked up the costs of a recount. Maybe he worried that a recount and second loss would sully his image. Palin and Parnell are all about image.

Democrats will sleep a little easier tonight knowing that Democratic challenger Ethan Berkowitz will be the one to face Don Young in November. Parnell would have been a tougher competitor. I can practically hear the champagne corks popping at Berkowitz headquarters.

Despite the much larger Republican turnout at the primaries, many of Parnell’s votes were “anyone but Don Young” votes from Republicans, Independents, and Non-Partisans. Many will either not vote at all, or vote for Berkowitz, simply because the 18-term corrupt, bombastic, blowhard that is Don Young is no longer tolerable.

There were also many Republican ballots selected by Independents, and Non-Partisans who lean Democratic, but voted for Young in a strategic move to keep him in the race so Berkowitz can bring him down like a bag of dirt. In Alaska, Independents and Non-Partisans can choose either the Republican or Democratic ballot. That’s why there are so many of them. Ahhhh…strategery.

Frankly, it’s also going to be a lot more fun to cover a Young-Berkowitz matchup for local media and bloggers.

So join me in a toast (or a donation) to Ethan Berkowitz! >tink< It’s not going to be a cake walk, but he stands a chance of ending an era of corruption in Alaska’s congressional delegation. I’ll bet there are plenty in Washington D.C. popping their own corks right about now.





Obama Campaign Files Suit Over Voter Suppression

18 09 2008

Disturbing allegations of new “caging” techniques being implemented by the Republican party have surfaced in Michigan. The Republican Party Chairman in Macomb County, Michigan, (a swing county in a swing state) is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes as a resource to block voters in the upcoming election. Lose you home, lose your vote. And, yes, most of the foreclosed homes in Michigan affect African-American families. The use of these lists is an attempt to challenge that these voters are “true residents” of the state, a requirement to vote.

While this type of Republican tactic is far from surprising, what is surprising is that the Obama campaign is filing suit. They will seek an injunction to prevent the GOP from engaging in this type of voter suppression. Here’s the statement. The Obama campaign:

…seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to challenge the “lose your home, lose your vote” vote-suppression program adopted by the Macomb County Republican Party, in concert with the Michigan Republican Party and the Republican National Committee, as well as unnamed Defendants who will implement the scheme at polling places in Macomb County and throughout the state. This “lose your home, lose your vote” program is part of a broader scheme – misnamed an “election integrity” program – to harass voters and suppress the vote throughout the State of Michigan in the upcoming election on November 4.

Despite the fact that thousands of Michigan voters’ homes have been foreclosed, many residents are still living in them, but will nonetheless be disenfranchised, if the Republican party has its way. The good news here is that the Obama campaign is being proactive. Democrats (and the country) are still suffering from the fallout of the elections of 2000 and 2004. They’ve been burned once…twice… and are positively bristling with a “never again” attitude that will serve them well.

Seeing Obama taking a strong stand on these policies which he refers to as a “national and systematic program” is a good thing. They are taking it seriously. As much as we don’t want to imagine the scenario, Obama needs to be ready to legally challenge the vote in November if the signs of vote tampering/voter fraud rear their ugly heads. They can’t ‘blink’. (I humbly apologize for the use of that analogy)

Many of the same suspect voting machines that were in play in the last two elections still exist. There has been no significant vote reform and there’s nothing we can do about that at this point. What we can do is be the eyes and ears at the polling places.

The election watchdog group Black Box Voting, has sent out the following request. If you are not familiar with this group, you should be. The website is extensive, and there’s also a great documentary Hacking Democracy (available on Netflix) which tells the story of this organization and the amazing woman who started it all. This is possibly the single most important issue facing our country, because without preserving the integrity of the vote, we have nothing.

They also have a downloadable Tool Kit for the upcoming election on the website.

So do what you can. If you’re a blogger, post this. If you’re a tech, read below and get a job. Engaged citizen? Go to the website to learn more. Download a tool kit. Be prepared and know what to look for at your polling place.

It happens everywhere. In 2004 there were districts in Alaska that reported a voter turnout of more than 200%. I like to think we’re politically engaged, but not to the point that every registered voter makes it to the polls twice. These issues have still not been resolved. And who is heading up the division of Elections for the upcoming vote in 2008? Sarah Palin’s Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell.

***************************************************************

Widest possible distribution needed. Please do spread this in blogs, etc:http://www.votersunite.org/info/ReclaimElections.pdf

This post will no doubt produce howls of objection for the vendors that read it. Black Box Voting is encouraging all individuals with a technical background to search and apply for temporary tech ELECTION SUPPORT jobs for the November 2008 election.

Hiring is underway for temporary technicians to help with voting machines this fall. Vendor dependence is undermining the structure of US elections, as described here in the new report by VotersUnite.org:

We want to see You, the People, enter into the vendor mix directly.http://www.blackboxvoting.org/toolkit2008.pdf

HOW TO FIND TEMPORARY ELECTION TECH POSITIONS:

In a presidential election year, voting machine vendors will hire and train thousands of technicians staffed around the country. For example, anywhere that Election Systems & Software has a machine, they are under contract to provide an on-site support tech. Hart Intercivic, Premier (Diebold), and Sequoia also use Election Day support technicians.

Temporary election tech support jobs have been spotted on hotjobs.com, rollouts.com, and local tech temp firms like (in 2006) DecisionOne. The tech services firm may be a subcontractor for the big four voting machine companies. Sometimes you’ll find the positions advertised by your local county.

Sites like Rollouts.com have you register in their E-tech database. They search for techs based on skill set and area. There isn’t much in the way of a skill set needed for the election projects.

QUIETLY APPLY FOR THE JOBS

Anyone with tech skills interested in safeguarding the November election is encouraged to register at technical recruiting sites and apply for any election-related projects.

CONSIDER ASKING FOR TIME OFF ON YOUR FULL TIME JOB TO DO THIS. This November, there may be no better way to watch the behind-the-scenes process than to be a stagehand, so to speak.

It is not the vendor, and not the government, that has the right to elections information, it is the PUBLIC. Citizens have inalienable rights to sovereignty over the government they created and pay for. These rights cannot be honored without mechanisms to see all information related to elections, and ultimately, to have control processes that honor citizen sovereignty.

That said, it ain’t gonna happen this November. Therefore it is entirely appropriate, patriotic, and important, for citizens to apply for temporary positions as voting machine technicians to provide inside public oversight for the process.

There will be nondisclosure agreements, which are not appropriate at all for public elections, but it’s a reality now that vendors are trespassing on citizen right to know. There may be issues that arise which the public clearly has a right to know. When that happens, a decision must be made.

YOU WON’T BE THE FIRST

We have already been in communications with other patriotic volunteers who have successfully obtained these positions in the past, and are doing this for November.

THERE ARE ALWAYS WAYS TO DEAL WITH IMPORTANT ISSUES IF THEY ENDANGER THE PUBLIC GOOD. You, the People, are needed on the inside of the elections industry this November.

This is a public service bulletin from Black Box Voting.

Black Box Voting Tool Kit 2008 – free download here:

Empower more election watchdog actions:
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/donate.html
Black Box Voting
330 SW 43rd St Suite K
PMB 547
Renton WA 98057





AK Senator Bill Weilechowski on Ed Schultz Show!

18 09 2008

Tune in now for the Ed Schultz show and his upcoming guest Alaska Senator Bill Weilechowski about the latest in Troopergate.

CLICK HERE

UPDATE:  He did a good job reviewing where we are.  Ed Schultz picked up on the critical issue to debunk the reasons they give for the stall.  This ethics investigation is bipartisan.  The Legislative Council that voted to proceed with the investigation is made up of 8 Republicans and 4 Democrats.  Palin stated eight times that she would be happy to cooperate with the investigation.  She stated that the discovery that dozens of calls from her administration were placed regarding the trooper, Mike Wooten, was “disturbing.”

Then the nomination, the lawyers, and the full-scale attempt to squelch the investigation while throwing everyone who speaks out under the bus in daily press conferences.

There will be a Judiciary Hearing tomorrow.  More then.





Bed Time in Alaska – Open Thread

18 09 2008

Goodnight Mudflatters, Muckrakers and Mudpuppies….

Don’t stay up too late.

(heads upstairs)