Ohio recount moves from conspiracy to reality

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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There's nothing the "liberal" media loves better than writing breathless, fact-free prose ridiculing progressive Internet activists as tin-foil-hatted conspiracy theorists.

Latest Conspiracy Theory -- Kerry Won -- Hits the Ether
By Manuel Roig-Franzia and Dan Keating
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, November 11, 2004; Page A02

Even as Sen. John Kerry's campaign is steadfastly refusing to challenge the results of the presidential election, the bloggers and the mortally wounded party loyalists and the spreadsheet-wielding conspiracy theorists are filling the Internet with head-turning allegations.

Are these tree-killing, Rove-kissing stenographers still so utterly clueless about the power of progressive Internet activists?

Memo to the Washington Post and the rest of the corporate-owned media: the progressive Internet is bigger and more powerful than you are when the truth is on our side - as it almost always is.

How many times do we have to prove this before they get it?

  • In the fall of 2002, the Bush administration and the "liberal" media began pounding the drums for war in Iraq. Progressives on the Internet exposed every Bush claim as a lie, including Iraq's alleged WMD's - and the American public's alleged support for war. (I personally debated Bill O'Reilly on this point, and kicked his ass before he threw me off his show.) In the dead of winter, progressive organizers used the Internet to mobilize millions for anti-war marches all around the world. In fact, it was the growing opposition to the war at home and abroad that forced Bush to rush to war, because he knew the momentum - and the truth - were on our side.
  • In early 2003, as the war began and the "rally around the flag" effect pushed Bush's approval ratings into the 70's, the "liberal" media gravely warned Democratic candidates to support the Iraq War to be "credible." But unknown candidate Howard Dean used the Internet to enlist 640,000 devoted supporters, raise $50 million, and surge to the head of the Democratic field - on an anti-war platform. (It's all explained in Joe Trippi's excellent book, The Revolution Will Not be Televised.)
  • In early 2004, Bush planned to raise an unprecedented $200 million to blow the Democratic nominee out of the water, starting with an immediate vicious attack on the winner of the winter primaries. But John Kerry, the Democratic Party, and Moveon all raised tens of millions over the Internet, and fought the ruthless Bush campaign to a draw.
  • In early October, Sinclair Broadcasting Group announced plans to force its swing-state affiliates to broadcast the lie-filled Kerry-bashing film "Stolen Honor." Within days, progressive activists persuaded advertisers and investors to rebel, and Sinclair beat a speedy retreat.

On Election Day, progressive hopes soared as pre-election polls and mid-day exit polls all pointed to a Kerry victory. But as the evening dragged on, the returns from Florida and Ohio showed the election going to Bush. The next morning, while progressives struggled to understand the unlikely numbers, Kerry offered a quick and gracious concession. The Busheviks immediately celebrated their "triumph" and proclaimed their imaginary "mandate" for privatizing Social Security, eliminating the progressive income tax, and outlawing abortion.

But on the Internet, progressives said: wait a minute.

We started with the exit polls. We could understand some inaccuracies - but why did they all favor Bush by several points? The media's official explanation - that Democrats were more likely to talk to exit pollsters - was ludicrous on its face.

Then we heard from the voters. We heard stories about lines that were hours long, forcing some voters to give up without voting. We heard stories about provisional ballots being denied to voters whose registrations had never been received. We heard stories about touchscreen voters whose votes for Kerry mysteriously turned into votes for Bush, requiring numerous touches to correct.

Then we looked at the vote-counting machines. We knew the electronic machines could fail without leaving a trace, because we fought for two years to get Congress and state officials to require paper trails. Sure enough, we quickly got reports that computer errors resulted in major voting errors, ranging from several thousand to tens of thousands of votes - even votes counting backwards.

Then we pored over the county-by-county election returns. Why did Bush do so well in rural Democratic counties? Why did Kerry run behind down-ballot candidates in rural Republican counties?

As these anomalies accumulated, we started blogging and writing articles to connect the dots. As the evidence accumulated, we gradually came to a conclusion: there were enough problems to justify a serious examination of the election results.

This conclusion was reached by individual voters, not by the Kerry campaign or the Democrats. In fact, they were entirely MIA, with the exception of three Congressmen who asked the GAO for a study of voting problems - a study that would take months to complete and thus have no impact on this election.

Indeed, if any one person played a pivotal role, it was MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who noticed the most significant problems and did what journalists are supposed to do - try to get the facts. Another crucial person was Air America Radio's Randi Rhodes, who broadcast Internet findings to her passionate and growing radio audience.

On Thursday, the collective efforts of progressive Internet activists reached a critical mass - but in an entirely unexpected way. Green candidate David Cobb and Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik jointly announced their intentions to file a formal demand for a recount of the presidential ballots cast in Ohio - and called upon Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican who chaired the Ohio Bush campaign, to recuse himself from the recount process.

This announcement is political dynamite. In 2000, Al Gore spent weeks in court trying to get a statewide recount. When the Florida Supreme Court finally ordered one on December 8, rightwing Justice Antonin Scalia immediately stopped it with an infamous injunction claiming it would harm Bush - taking sides in a dispute and violating all principles of injunctive relief. Three days later, 5 partisan Republican Justices declared the election over in their infamous Bush v. Gore decision, thus throwing out 175,000 never-counted votes and making Bush's Presidency a judicial coup d'etat, not an election.

But now, as soon as Cobb and Badnarik raise $110,000 (I'll guess 48 hours), John Kerry will get the unexpected and astonishing gift of a recount in Ohio. And because Ohio law is more specific than Florida law, that recount will be orderly and (hopefully) accurate, and the American people will find out who really won the election.

This is a huge victory for progressive Internet activists, for American Democracy - and possibly for President John Kerry.



Truth Or Dare?

  • mntleo2's picture
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When you have the truth on your side you do not need to give these nimrods very much credence. I learned something from some African American elders when I was young. They used to laugh and joke about how stupid they were considered by the "boss" when in reality the boss was more often than not, the idiot. The biggest joke was, while the "boss" was going about his business thinking he was so smart, a great deal of things went on right under his nose because he underestimated his "help." In other words, the "help" were the ones running things while the "boss" strutted around looking pretty ridiculous.

So, while the WP goes about its business, so can we ~ under the radar.

My two cents worth

Cat in Seattle


ACTION ITEM: Washington Post Dismisses Evidence

  • Mike Hersh's picture
    Mike Hersh
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ACTION ITEM: Washington Post Dismisses Evidence as "Conspiracy Theory"
(Link to and excerpt from the article follows)

Please write to the Washington Post to explain that mounting evidence of what they call "glitches" - which only favored Bush - just continued the wholesale election crimes Republicans used in 2000. Added to widely reported illegal dirty tricks used to block, delay and disenfranchise voters, these may indeed add up to enough votes to put Bush's "victory" in question.

Even if we cannot prove cheating provided Bush's margin, the rule is if you cheat you lose. If someone robs a bank but the vault happens to be empty, that's still bank robbery. We already know about voting machines recording Kerry votes as Bush votes, a lock down in Ohio allowing who knows how much tampering under dishonest claims of FBI and Homeland Security warnings, and miscounts in key Florida counties.

These and other "irregularities" - none of them in question or dispute - provide more than sufficient legal grounds for a full and complete investigation in every jurisdiction reporting them. We cannot know for sure whether or not crimes and other "convenient glitches" could overturn the election. How could anyone unless and until all the facts are in? The Washington Post does its readers and our system a disservice by prejudging the outcome and mocking these serious concerns. That isn't journalism. It's propaganda. The Washington Post used to know and care about the difference.

Call or Write to the Washington Post
Phone: 202-334-6000 | Fax: 202-334-5269
1150 15th St., NW, Washington, DC 20071

letters@washpost.com and ombudsman@washpost.com

Letter writing guidelines and individual writers' email:

Here's an excerpt from the article:

Latest Conspiracy Theory -- Kerry Won -- Hits the Ether

By Manuel Roig-Franzia and Dan Keating
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, November 11, 2004; Page A02

MIAMI, Nov. 10 -- The e-mail subject lines couldn't be any bigger and bolder: "Another Stolen Election," "Presidential election was hacked," "Ohio Fraud."

Even as Sen. John F. Kerry's campaign is steadfastly refusing to challenge the results of the presidential election, the bloggers and the mortally wounded party loyalists and the spreadsheet-wielding conspiracy theorists are filling the Internet with head-turning allegations. There is the one about more ballots cast than registered voters in the big Ohio county anchored by Cleveland. There are claims that a suspicious number of Florida counties ended up with Bush vote totals that were far larger than the number of registered Republican voters. And then there is the one that might be the most popular of all: the exit polls that showed Kerry winning big weren't wrong -- they were right.

Each of the claims is buoyed by enough statistics and analysis to sound plausible. In some instances, the theories are coming from respected sources -- college engineering professors fascinated by voting technology, Internet journalists, election reform activists. Ultimately, none of the most popular theories holds up to close scrutiny.



MikeHersh.com - http://www.mikehersh.com
BushOccupation.com - http://www.bushoccupation.com
Media Watch Project - http://elandslide.org/display.cfm?id=316
Buy Oppose Bush Items: - http://www.cafeshops.com/antibush04

Bad journalism

  • TheAggPro's picture
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I covered this on my site yesterday, but when you contact the Post, let them know of your displeasure about this story's lack of balanced reporting — as well as an opinion in the fourth graph.

We have to start calling them on this. The failure to attempt to even talk to one blogger is a violation of all rules of fair journalism. NBC's piece on this last night was just about as bad, and unfortunately, when a story appears in the Post (and it's wire service) or the Times (and it's wire service) it tends to frame coverage decisions by editors across the nation.

Because of poor journalism such as this, now all of those who question these numbers are being consigned to the "Fruit Loops" category. All the more disheartening after Keith Olbermann's thorough handling of the vote subject on MSNBC.

Election 2004

  • kwahlf's picture
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Please put the link to;

A Petition to Congress requesting an investigation into the Presidential Election of 2004

back on the first page.
We need all the signatures we can get!
If you spot any false names and lewd crap in the petition,
contact tech support. ( I did) They will delete it!
Lot's of people are trying to undermine and whitewash this effort
to find out the truth.

Dem in OC

Letter To The Post

  • mntleo2's picture
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Dear Editor:

Almost 230 years ago, when local Americans met in the Boston Commons and whispered about King George's madness, do you suppose they were laughed off by the rulers as just a bunch of conspiracy theorists? I bet they were.

Perhaps you need to get an ear to the ground about what is happening in America in the wake of 2000: many of us do not trust the current voting systems and we have a good reason. This distrust is the REAL story and treating Americans like they are kooks for caring deeply about our precious right to vote will not make our doubts go away. Get this in your pretty little heads: some of us do not find it so important as to whether or not Kerry won as much as we care about our voting rights being treated as one of the few remaining rights we have left after Ashcroft and Co have had their way with us.

Another "conspiracy theory" (quite well founded) is that the American press is the laughing stock of the world because they continually treat reality as if it were not there. Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11, faith-based funding is Constitutional and has nothing to do with imposing religion on anyone, Americans who cared so much about their soldiers that they opposed the war were unpatriotic, tax breaks for the rich are helping everyone, the economy is going great even though most Americans make thousands less a year, and Medicare's giveaway to Republican cronies is going to benefit all seniors.

So who are the ones wearing the tinfoil hats here? Just asking.

Catherine Sullivan
(Address and phone included)


Fox FINALLY acknowldged that

  • Abyssal Dragon's picture
    Abyssal Dragon
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Fox FINALLY acknowldged that there were irregularities and
said that voter had a legitimate reason to be concerned...
but then went on to bash bloggers.. lol


  • Aaron Miller's picture
    Aaron Miller
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I agree with kwahlf, put the petition back on the front page! Atleast in one of the sidebars. I'm sending everyone I know to sign it, and its harder when I can't just say 'go to democrats.com'.

Exit Polls and Electronic Voting

  • unknownamerican's picture
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I am a software Engineer; I have more than 15 yrs Experience.
I have constantly said that electronic voting system is a complete fraud.
Many, many scientists have said that there is simply no way
to have valid voting without a "Paper Trail".

A Simple solution was not implemented.
I strongly believe that the Exit polls were accurate. They have been pretty good for the last 50 yrs!. Most of the people who voted did vote for Kerry but guess what! the computers were at the end, set up to add a few 100,000+ votes to Kerry's opponent.
Even if 5,000 votes per machine can be added, by simple internal computer code!.Just 100 machine setup to add 5000 fraudulently can add 500,000 free votes to Kerry's opponent.

Please note if we do not fix this problem by having “paper Trail”. Democrats will Never ever win an election. We can have millions vote for Democrats but those votes will never count.

Please launch an investigation. Most Polls have been consistently accurate all our life. America has the best Exit polls in the world. They would have been right in 2004 too but unfortunately the e-voting computers seem to have been rigged to give Kerry's opponent thousands/millions of votes!!. Please Sir treat this as a crusade and get to the bottom of this. Republicans are saying that people lie in Exit polls. Please Sir! it does not make sense!. Why will thousands of people lie?. Unfortunately, The computers have been rigged to give Kerry's opponents advantage by adding phantom votes!!

Please give me one reason why do Republicans want electronic voting machines with no Paper Trail? . Why? Why?


Volutia County records on lockdown

  • dinamic's picture
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Volusia County election records just got put on lockdown. Dueling lawyers, election officials gnashing teeth, Votergate.tv film crew catching it all.
See the story here

Proud  member of the reality based  community


  • natasha's picture
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Yes please also visit:


These are the people really trying to make a difference. I feel the need to spread the word about them in case no one has heard of them. They are true American heroes. They are trying to do the recount in Florida. Also please donate if you can. They need the money to pay for the lawyers.