Friday, April 22, 2016

Super Rich Give Millions to Hillary/New Dems Via Loophole  (NY Voting Fiasco Just Warm-Up to Nov. Vote?)  Uncovering an Unjustified Ethnic Cleansing of Voter Rolls from Ohio to Florida to Texas  (Purge Them?)  Instead of Purging Them, We Should Be Enfranchising Them

Nothing to see here.
(Billionaires Give $12.3M To Dems & Hillary Via Joint Fundraising Committee Loophole)

Move along.

Sing "la la la" if it helps.

By February, Clinton had netted about $26.9 million through joint fundraising committees, according to Bloomberg Politics’ Bill Allison, while Bernie Sanders brought in just $1,000.
(Will) Tucker (of "Open Secrets") wrote that his analysis of Clinton’s use of joint fundraising committees reveals her close ties to big business and the global 1%.
“Clinton can claim popular support for her campaign from law firms and the education industries, but a look at her big-money groups shows Wall Street and the wealthy dominate the giving.”
(Click on photo to see it all.)


New York Voting Fiasco Just the Warm-Up for the November Game

By Greg Palast, Greg Palast's Website
21 April 16
uckle up, America. The voting demolition derby that was the New York primary on Tuesday was merely the crash test for the coming voting wreckage in November: a carefully planned pile up.

First, live from New York….

Francesca Rheannon, whom you may know as the host of Writers’ Voice radio, did the civic thing by volunteering to work the polls in a town east of New York City.

“I just got off my 17-hour shift as an election official. In my election district, out of 166 Democratic voters, 39 were forced to file affidavit ballots. The last [election] I worked in, exactly ONE voter needed an affidavit ballot.”

That’s nearly one of four voters. Why? Their names had gone missing from the voter rolls.

An affidavit ballot (called a “provisional” ballot in most other states) is a kind of placebo ballot. You get to pretend to vote – but the chance it will actually be counted is …well, good luck. If your name is wrongly removed, kiss your vote – affidavit or not—goodbye.

Rheannon’s experience was hardly unique. In Brooklyn alone, over 125,000 names were quietly scrubbed from the voter rolls in the five months leading up to the primary.

To put it in perspective, the number of voters purged equals about half of the number who got to vote. Scott Stringer, the New York City Comptroller will now audit the Elections Board--now that the election is over. Hey thanks, Scott.

Neal Rosenstein, the lead voting rights attorney for the New York Public Interest Research Group, which plans legal action, notes that part of the problem is that partisan hacks sit on the Elections board in New York—hacks from both parties.

Brooklyn is under the control of the Kings County Democratic Party, one of the last of the big city machines. Would they attack their opponents’ voter registrations? I don’t have to guess: in my wasted younger days, I was in the Brooklyn County elections office with the hacks where we were assigned by the Party to challenge voters’ signatures en masse. (I wouldn’t and nearly lost my state job.)

Am I saying the machine “fixed” the election for Hillary Clinton? Without further investigation, it would be irresponsible for me to pronounce judgment. Some of the purged may have moved, some have died. But those who waited in line only to fill out affidavit ballots are unlikely to be deceased.

If the Machine had been aware of the mass purge underway, would they have stopped it? As they say in Brooklyn, Fahgeddabouddit.

But whether party hacks shoplifted New York or not, that’s small potatoes. Scrubbing voter rolls is not a “New York value.” It’s a nationwide epidemic, a disease eating away at the heart of our democracy.
Voting officials learned a lesson from Katherine Harris the Florida Secretary of State who purged Black voters in 2000. They learned how to repeat the purge, expand it and carefully hide it.

I’ve been traveling the nation, from Ohio to Georgia to Arizona and back—and finding the voter-roll purging machinery running at full speed.

Nationwide, state voting chiefs are, from my long experience, the most violently partisan officials you’ll ever encounter.

From the data provided by the US Elections Assistance Commission, we can calculate that no less than 491,952 voters were wrongly removed from the rolls in 2008, the last reviewed Presidential election in addition 2,383,587 voters filled out registration forms that were simply never added to voter rolls – and 767,023 provisional and affidavit ballots were not counted.

And it’s not just anyone’s ballot. I’ll never forget that, at one of my recent talks on vote suppression, I asked how many in the audience had ever been shunted to a provisional ballot. There were only two Black people in the audience. They were the only two to raise their hand.

US Civil Rights Commission statistics tell the story. The chance of a ballot “spoiled” – not counted for one reason or another – is 900% higher if you’re Black than if you’re White.

As Rosenstein says for NYPIRG, “Instead of purging voters, we should be enfranchising them.” Yes. Though we thought that was settled by the Civil War.

OK, we didn’t know about the New York purge beforehand. But I’m telling you this now: My team is uncovering an unjustified ethnic cleansing of voter rolls from Ohio to Florida to Texas.

This year I was in Selma, Alabama, with Hank Sanders, an African-American who joined Martin Luther King on the march to Montgomery that won the Voting Rights Act. Today, he’s State Senator Hank Sanders, a title that is a tribute to America’s advance on voting rights. He’s also Hank Sanders, purged voter, forced to vote “provisionally” this year.

Why? I’m investigating. But the state officials (and let’s tell it like it is:  it’s mostly GOP officials) have used so many spurious grounds to cancel registrations—“caging,” “cross-checking” and a host of other sick tricks, it’s not easy to pin-point which one is responsible for the “lynching by laptop.”

It’s worth noting that Brooklyn, like Alabama, was on the “pre-clearance” list in the Voting Rights Act. I can tell you right now, it’s unlikely that neither Hank Sanders nor the 125,000 Brooklynites would have been purged, had the Supreme Court not gutted the Act in 2013.

As I look upon the wreckage that was the New York primary, I see the prelude, the test run, for the catastrophic failure, the well-planned failure, of the voting system in November. The purges and votes “spoiled”--the votes not counted—not the voters, may well elect our President.

But there's something you can do about it. Right now, my investigations and production team are finishing the final frames of our film on the upcoming theft of the 2016 election:  The Best Democracy Money Can Buy:  A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits.

Donate $100 to support our investigation and I will list you in the movie credits, send you a signed copy of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits right now and a signed copy of the DVD once the film has wrapped. 

Or support our work by making a No Gift Donation, small or ginormous, all are immensely appreciated!
Most important, your tax-deductible donation will help us finish, broadcast and distribute our film and print reports before the November catastrophe and just maybe, a better democracy.


 # grandlakeguy 2016-04-21 13:25
Thanks Greg for your tireless work on this VERY IMPORTANT issue!
It is a tragedy that so many elected officials and others in charge of administering our elections have forgotten the principles of freedom and representative government upon which this nation was founded when the American Revolution fought against the British oppressors.

I firmly believe that anyone in a position of power that participates in these schemes to subvert the will of the electorate should face a minimum of ten years in prison (and not in a "country club" prison).

They are stealing the freedom of the American people!

This crime is nothing new and I have been ranting about this since the "Supreme Court" stole our right to elect a President on December 12, 2000. The marquee of my Oakland, Ca. theater (which has been shunned by Republicans ever since) has been a very vocal message board to arouse the public about this outrage. My first posting on this iconic sign which faces a major freeway read:

This is America.
Every vote must be counted!

To see a collection of these "Political Haiku" visit:

Unfortunately not too many Americans got aroused at the realization that our elections have become charades. Perhaps this time things will change because Bernie Sanders is giving us a glimmer of hope for REAL change.

We look forward to presenting Greg Palast's new movie on this subject this fall.
Please support him and see his film wherever it is shown.

# joejamchicago 2016-04-21 13:44
We have become a stupid people. Finally we have a candidate who is not controlled by big money. He should be receiving 90% of the vote. He should be receiving 99% of the Black and Latino vote. That the primaries have been close enough for theft, is such, as is likely has taken place, is the real problem. Does any one--any one person--actuall y believe Wall Street has invested millions in Hillary Clinton with no expectation of favors? Bernie blew it when asked to name one vote she had cast that favored Wall Street. He should have pointed out that Hillary Clinton has done her best to prevent the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act, which worked incredibly well for over six decades. Preventing its return has been Wall Street's highest priority.

# CL38 2016-04-21 13:44
The George W Bush campaign and Jeb Bush put voter removal from voting lists on the map, en masse.

Now Democrats (devolved into neo-liberals) adopt gop cheating tactics as part of the 'Democratic' platform!

DEMOCRATS, TOO, HAVE BECOME CORRUPT and Hillary Clinton is the WORST possible Democratic candidate as she consistently demonstrates that she's a serial liar and cheat. Yes, she supports women's rights, but is NO GENUINE feminist on other important issues. She supports incessant war for profit, the 1%, voter suppression to 'win', every conceivable special interest possible--banks , wall street, oil and gas, the insurance health care industry, the drug industry, etc.

She won only 2 of last 10 primaries & caucuses and BOTH are under investigation for major election irregularities.

# Radscal 2016-04-21 17:43
Did y'all catch Rachel Maddow last night?

She noted an odd thing in Republican Primary in New York.

With 82% of precincts reporting, Ben Carson had 2,056 votes in one county.

But, when 100% reported, Ben Carson had only 162 votes.

Somehow, Carson lost 1,894 votes!

This was clearly a "Flip" of votes. This should have been THE story. Instead, Maddow laughed it off. Oh those silly Republicans.

As CL38 notes, Dems, and particularly HRC have adopted the Republican election theft methods. So we must ask, how many Democratic votes were "Flipped?"

# jdd 2016-04-21 13:54
Of course it was the Hillary machine. We've heard this before. In Iowa where the Hillary supporting Des Moine Register called the caucus vote a "debacle," and called for an audit to the incredibly long lines in Arizona. The DNC rigged the debates to pave the way for her coronation, but got fouled up by the unexpected surge in the Sanders campaign. These shenanigans happened not just in Brooklyn, but throughout the entire state to ensure HRC got her much needed "double digit victory." Anything less would have been considered another win for Bernie.

 # Jim Rocket 2016-04-21 17:50
Something stinks and it's hard to believe that a grown-up democracy would allow unverifiable voting machines. I like how the gun nuts are worried that "they" are coming for the guns because then there will be tyranny. When their votes are stolen it's crickets.

# sharag 2016-04-21 13:55
This is why the protests in Washington D.C.right now on the steps of the capital building are so important. Corruption needs to be addresses at every state capital in the country. Public protest seems the only avenue left to do so.

# CL38 2016-04-21 13:59
We now have an election system from BOTH Democrats and Republicans that manipulates the vote with voter suppression tactics--long lines with many hours of waiting time, special voter ID's that are a challenge to obtain, fewer and fewer polls open for voting--scrubbi ng voter lists, reversing votes on voting machines, etc.

Perhaps it's time for Jimmy Carter to call in the U.N. to oversee the corrupt U.S. election 'process'.

# grandlakeguy 2016-04-21 14:41
He has tried in the past only to be blocked by the established political parties!

For the same reason we no longer have real exit polling!

# CL38 2016-04-21 14:07
I intended to vote for Hillary if Bernie lost. NO MORE. I will write in Bernie Sanders in the General election after the DNC, Hillary & the MSM have completed a party-wide collusion to steal as many primaries as possible.

They could care less if the public sees what they're doing.

# Mainiac 2016-04-21 14:18
Please advocate for the NY delegates to be divided equally between Bernie and Hillary. Hillary should not be allowed to get an advantage because she participated in a fraudulent primary.

Bernie’s campaign office — 1-802-862-1505

# wantrealdemocracy 2016-04-21 16:38
They hate us all over the world today---with good reason. We don't fight terrorism---we practice it. We, the United States of America, is the worst terrorist nation on earth. It is our duty as citizens to change our rotten government. As you see from this article, we are not going to do that by voting. Time to get out on the streets and stop all business as usual. Don't play by the rules of the plutocracy, let's make new rules and create a democracy in our nation where the congress does the bidding of the many, not the few.
# Terry Allen 2016-04-21 15:11
Now that Sanders is being marginalized by the corporate media, perceived as no longer an option by the voters, democracy is over and all hope for economic justice has ended. Just because we have a choice doesn't mean we have democracy.

Wow this political system sucks....I will NOT vote for Hillary or Trump because they are war mongers and love the 1%.......see why we need revolution..... .
# Radscal 2016-04-21 18:05
Anyone with access to social media data can identify the political stands of the majority of voters without them knowing it.

We learned recently that Google worked directly with HRC's State Department to identify people who remained loyal to the Syrian government, so they could be targeted.

We know that Julian Assange states that Google is backing HRC (the director of Google Ideas was a HRC advisor).

We know that Google search results can be manipulated to sway public opinion.

"Don't Be Evil" Incorporated and the Surveillance State could easily have provided a "scrub list" to the Democratic Party leaders. Heck, they probably could have hacked in and done it themselves (as they apparently did in AZ).

# lfeuille 2016-04-21 17:58
To put this in perspective. The "Nation" is reporting today that New York had the second lowest voting rate in the nation. Only Louisiana was worse.

# grandlakeguy 2016-04-21 18:18
The "Nation" refuses to look at the issue of computerized election theft!
I have to wonder, who owns the "Nation?"

# Salus Populi 2016-04-21 18:56 Three days before the election, a New York resident posted on Facebook that the state had abruptly shortened the voting period by knocking off the 6 a.m. to noon part, thus largely disenfranchisin g working people, who in many cases can only get to the polls on the way to work, not after they get off an hour or so before polls close. Along with the purge of the voter rolls and the "flipping" of votes, this might account for the inflation in Hillary's lead. It would seem that since 1988, when the national Dem machine used Wisconsin to sink Jesse Jackson, the methods have greatly increased in sophistication. IMO, there has not been a real, honest and fair election since 1998.

A century from now, the years between Eisenhower’s and today’s Republican party will seem a brief interlude and I’m sure that Chinese historians will puzzle over the swift deterioration of America and its institutions in that time frame.
I am neither Chinese nor a historian and I am puzzled as hell. I was a kid when Ike was president and I am an old man now. Blessed with an extremely good memory, I have trouble associating the America I was born into and the America that withers before my eyes today, as if it were being struck down by a wasting disease.

Time for the historians to descend?

If only it would matter.

Republican Primaries:  The Voyage From Eisenhower To Trump

Oppressed beneath the weight of their own corruption and of military violence, they for a long while preserved the sentiments, or at least the ideas of their free-born ancestors.”
 — Edward Gibbon, “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”
I think people are making a mistake if they treat the Republican primaries as serious politics. They obviously are not, but at the same time it seems to me that they are a more than serious symptom of levels of unhappiness, frustration and confusion among the citizenry that border and frequently cross the border of collective insanity.
Under Richard Nixon’s guidance the Republican party executed the “Southern Strategy” and took know-nothing, racist-populist America to its bosom and began to win majorities sufficient to implement policies that have led that same voter base of know-nothing, racist-populist Americans to even greater degradation.
Now the Republicans are trapped in a nut house of their own creation.

Just as an exercise of political science fiction, try to imagine Dwight D. Eisenhower in the midst of these Republican primaries, try to imagine him on Fox News.

Impossible, right?

When I was a boy the Republicans that lived around me were mostly pallid, though vigorous, high church Episcopalians, solid, smug types who struggled mightily with golf and sedately clipped stock coupons. As to the younger ones, crew cuts and white bucks, energetically embalmed in stifling, Pat Booney squareness comes immediately to mind.

I cannot think of a better bellwether of America’s malaise then that of the party of the formerly priggish, self-contented, self-righteous, self-satisfied, conventional and sensible becoming the party of the paranoiac, the exasperated and the kooky.

A century from now, the years between Eisenhower’s and today’s Republican party will seem a brief interlude and I’m sure that Chinese historians will puzzle over the swift deterioration of America and its institutions in that time frame.

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