One more bone? Call for one more Congressional Investigation?
Melowese Richardson is the former Ohio poll worker who blatantly and publically admitted to Cincinnati’s (Hamilton County) WCPO-TV in February that she flat-out to voted twice, first by submitting an absentee ballot, and then later voting for the current President Barack Obama at the polls, in November.
Ms. Richardson was accused of eight counts of illegal voting in the 2008, 2011 and 2012 elections. She pleaded no contest to four counts in exchange for prosecutors dropping the remaining charges.A judge immediately convicted Richardson, who now faces up to six years in prison.
More on the subject…
(USA) 5/13 – PROPOSED “RIGHT TO VOTE” AMENDMENT TRANSFERS STATE POWER TO FED? UPDATED MAY 30, 2013: The deletion of two words makes all the difference, as to whether a proposed new US Constitutional Amendment switches control over local elections to the feds.
Traditionally, the constitutional amendments pertaining to enfranchisement — the 15th Amendment which gave the right to vote to racial minorities, and the 19th Amendment, which gave the right to vote to women — granted the federal government the right to enforce the right to vote.
The new proposed Amendment, offering a blanket right to vote to all citizens, adds two key words: “AND IMPLEMENT” — and those two words would change the balance of power, from state administration of elections to the federal government prescribing exactly how elections are run.
Especially this year, I have become wary of how news media portrays proposed legislation, as compared with what is actually in the legislation. So when I saw U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan’s proposed constitutional amendment portrayed simply as a national right to vote bill, I wondered what else was in it.
So here you go: While Section 1 states a right to vote, Section 2’s addition of the words “and implement” puts the federal government in position to dictate control over local and state elections. And that’s a problem, because a stabilizing structure in the USA is state-administered election codes, not federal. Pocan’s bill, as currently worded, would change that balance of power forever.
Here is the proposed amendment in its entirety:
* * *
SECTION 1. Every citizen of the United States, who is of legal voting age, shall have the fundamental right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides.
SECTION 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation.
* * *
As I see it, and please show me where I’m wrong on this, the Amendment as it is currently worded drops just the one shoe while making sure the other shoe is ready to go. That other shoe is legislation with specific interpretations of exactly what will will “implement” the newly specified “right to vote.”
Simply by calling it part of protecting the new “right to vote,” procedures for any aspect of any local election could be made subject to federal control.
As we have seen with the mammoth Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), fat bills with hidden problems are the easiest place to hide special interest items, as lobbyist Jack Abramoff admitted while trying to ram his own agenda through HAVA. The HAVA bill jammed electronic voting into elections, and we’ve been paying for it in loss of rights and dollars ever since.
By amending the Constitution to authorize the U.S. Congress to legislate implementation of any kind of election reform it deems “necessary” to protect right to vote, the next thing we will see is partisan, political, complex, pork-laden legislation pushed through.
We can expect to see legislation as dense and thick as a Russian novel, rationalized as helping protect “right to vote” but incorporating all kinds of poorly understood (but vendor-friendly) shiny new things.
Internet voting? Um, let’s see here… It will protect right to vote by making it “convenient.” Paraphrasing Victoria Collier, “Convenience voting is used to justify every kind of voting system that doesn’t provide for public authentication and chain of custody.”
Draconian vote ID rules? Implements protection of the right to vote by preventing others from voting for you.
Whichever party gains control of congress would be able to legislate “implementation” of measures which were previously controlled by state and local government.
Other election-related federal legislation is enacted through state and local jurisdictional control, or limits its power to federal elections. But nothing in the proposed Amendment limits ensuing legislation to federal elections. The… More
(NY) 5/13 – NIAGARA COUNTY, NEW YORK: LAND OF OPPORTUNITY FOR ELECTION TAMPERING – By Bev Harris
Whoever controls chain of custody for voting computers can control elections. That is, until more transparent election procedures are enacted. Until that time, election integrity in Niagara, falls. (Groan.)
But for bad puns, I’m afraid the company that owns the voting machine warehouse in Niagara County has me beat. That firm is aptly named “Clear Opportunity.”
NIAGARA’S REPUBLICAN PROBLEM
Niagara County, New York Republicans, in a no-bid contract with a company owned by one of their largest contributors, has offered up a crucial link in voting machine chain of custody. Niagara signed a lease to house its voting computers in a warehouse owned by Clear Opportunity Properties, LLC, owned by GOP supporter David Ulrich.
Niagara County Democrats are apparently uncomfortable enough with the sweetheart deal to try to get that contract opened up to competitive bidding.
“Sweetheart deal” may be a gentle term. “Rapaciously gainful” or perhaps “copiously creative” might be more accurate ways to describe it.
IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT VOTING COMPUTERS CAN DO TO YOU, IT HELPS TO UNDERSTAND POLITICS, FINANCIAL MANEUVERING AND CORRUPTION
POLITICS: Republicans hold a super-majority in Niagara County, which is not governed by a handful of county supervisors, or by a smallish county commission, as some West-coasters may be accustomed to, but New York style: by a county legislature made up of 15 members.
Only three of the 15 Niagara County legislators are Democrats.
FINANCIAL MANEUVERING: Secure in their comfortable hold on the county legislature, Ulrich-supported Republicans steamrolled into a lease to rent a warehouse owned by Clear Opportunity Properties LLC, controlled by one of their most generous donors, David Ulrich.
“In the months leading up to the county Republicans deciding to hand the lease to Ulrich, he made contributions of more than $12,000 to local Republicans, $6,000 of which went directly into the Niagara County Republican Committee.” writes Darryl McPherson of the Niagara Falls Reporter.
McPherson’s outstanding reporting on Ulrich’s previous “clear opportunities” with Niagara tax money included an effort by GOP county legislators to sign a $640,000 lease on a building that cost Ulrich just $75,000 in 2004.
Niagara’s Republican legislators also signed leases with Ulrich for the facility that houses their elections board, and other county offices.
According to McPherson, Ulrich’s combined valuation on those properties in 1999 was just under $1 million; flush with county-assigned taxpayer-funded leases, he turned around and sold the properties for $9.1 million six years later.
But that’s not the only hit on taxpayers. Republican lawmakers had public money foot the bill for a $500,000 facility that they recently proposed selling for just $160,000 to another GOP donor.
CORRUPTION: The building commissioner for the city of Niagara Falls, Guy Bax, pleaded guilty this month to taking bribes this month.
“GROSS” — AND SOME DEMS ARE TARNISHED TOO:
Bax was stripped of his position as building commissioner in 2011 and replaced by Dennis Virtuoso, who is now one of the Democratic county legislators backing a new contract on the voting machine warehouse.
The Gross payoffs — Bax admitted to taking payoffs in exchange for steering work to a contractor, John Gross, who is now serving a 33-year sentence.
Public official Bax’s sentence? Probation. Does he lose his pension? Nope.
In fact, Niagara County has a reputation for corruption. Even the Wikipedia entry for Niagara Falls has a section on its corruption.
Labor unions in Niagara — always a Democratic stronghold — are especially problematic.
Chiefs of Niagara’s Laborers Local 91 — leader Mark Congi, and pretty much Local 91’s entire management roster — was found guilty of extortion, racketeering and other crimes; Congi took a plea in 2006; another Local 91 leader died before sentencing; most of the rest… More