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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Tricounty DFA Update: DFA-Link! Voting Machines, Pirro In, EC Out and more
Hello Everyone!

In This Update;

1. DFA-LINK Going Online!
2. Happy 70th Birthday Party Wednesday With ITTC
3. Verified Voting
4. Pirro To Run Against Clinton
5. Pataki Vetoed EC: NARAL Action
6. More On Roberts And The Disabled
7. Governor Dean: Next Scapegoat -- Immigrants

1. DFA-LINK Going Online!

There is major news from DFA tonight: as most of you probably know, DFA is discontinuing it's connection to, which is a commercial service DFA has subscribed to. DFA's 'net staff up in Burlington have been slaving away for months on creating a new set of meeting, communication, organizing and just general community building tools. The new tools are called DFA-Link. They've now started going online and I have been looking them over. Honestly, the new tools are sensational. They've taken internet organizing to a whole new level. Down the road these tools are going to redound enormously to DFA's benefit. Much of the success of our movement has been because of the empowerment of average Americans. Quite simply, these tools empower people to "do stuff" by making it easier and faster to do more things, and perform those functions transparently, and I believe more people will come into DFA because of that empowerment. No one out there has anything like this.

So, first! Hat's off to everyone in Burlington who have been working on this project! You've done a great job, even an historic one. If there was an Oscar for political tools, one would be coming their way.

Next, all that hard work is for nothing if we don't use these great tools. So I am asking everyone to take a second, click this link and go online with DFA-Link and register.

That's the first step. After you register a new account, you can then search by zip code to join our local groups. Democracy For The Greater Glens Falls Area is already up. More will be coming shortly. That way, you'll stay informed about the group you chose! If you want you can also directly join our regional coalition group, Democracy For the Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area.

I'll be talking more later on how this will empower us.

2. Happy 70th Birthday Party Wednesday With ITTC

Wednesday, August 10 at 12:30, the In This Together Coalition will be celebrating the 70th birthday of Social Security. They will be visiting Congressman Sweeney's office in Glens Falls to present him a Social Security Birthday cake and they asked us to join them.

I think this is really a winner because it is so humorous and visual. The presentation will be at Sweeney's office in the Rogers Building at 21 Bay in downtown Glens Falls across the street from the Crandall Library. If you want to help in this fun event, meet in the lobby about 15 minutes before hand. Who knows, there may be cake, too!

3. Verified Voting Heating Up

I was on our monthly State leaders/liaison conference call last night and the call was dominated by the subject of what voting machines New York State is eventually going to use. Contrary to what we have heard, this issue is still pending and we are going to have to focus on this again at our next meetup.

This night, news comes from Cliff Perez of our Albany/Troy meetup of a NY State Board of Elections meeting that was held today (Monday):

"The starting time for the meeting was scheduled for 12:00 P.M. however, the meeting did not begin until 1:35 P.M. In attendance were staff members, three out of the four Commissioners and roughly 12 to 15 members of the public. They did speak about voting machines: 1. no Voting System has been certified to date, & 2. they spoke about whether they (Board Staff) would want to look at these voting machines prior to the Certification process. However, no decision was rendered at this meeting and I don’t recall any mentioned about the next meeting. The bottom line in all of this is that we (our state) is far from being ready to implement this process by the first of January of 2006...."

So the process and the decision is still hanging. As we have noted before, it is essential for the integrity of our democracy that we have Paper Ballot that are optically scanned -- the paper ballots are the real ballots and they can be recounted by hand to prevent fraud. As we know from Florida and Ohio in 2000 and 2004, machines that are all electronic are invitations to vote rigging.

In case anyone doubts it, electiion fraud is still an issue:

For instance, was Ohio stolen again during the special Congressional race last week? Questions are being raised.

There was a major op-ed piece in the Times Union on verified voting yesterday:

The Fairness By Beckerman blog has a huge compilation of voting and voting fraud issues.

I understand there is also a very major piece in Harper's Magazine for August, but it is not online, unfortunately.

4. Pirro To Run Against Clinton

Westchester District Attorney Jean Pirro announced today that she intends to run for Senate against Hillary Clinton.

Well, this should be choice! The NY Times is already fawning over her (naturally), but, to quote the TU, " Pirro was re-elected district attorney in 2001 while her husband, lawyer-lobbyist Albert Pirro, was in federal prison for tax fraud, and he has been an issue in most of her campaigns. In 1997, he was fighting a paternity suit, which was ultimately successful. In 1986, he refused to release information about his law practice and she had to withdraw as the GOP candidate for lieutenant governor. He is a major Republican fundraiser."

As you might guess, the sleaze factor of this Republican couple is right off the scale. Will her jailbird hubby release his tax returns?
Will we ever know if she is on the take if he doesn't? As the tabloid would say, Enquiring Minds Want To Know. The Republican tradition of the trashing of public service goes on, along with the demise of shame.

5. Pataki Vetoed EC: NARAL Action

As many expected, Gov. Pataki reversed his support of women's right to chose now that he is seeking favor with the far right so he can run for some other job, so he vetoed the emergency contraception bill. You can send him a letter protesting.

6. More On Roberts And The Disabled

Ann Sharpe sends along this along about Judge Roberts and his legal rulings:

7. Governor Dean: Next Scapegoat -- Immigrants

Gov. Dean predicts that for 2008 the GOP will use immigrants as the scapegoat/distraction du jour, replacing gay marriage, runaway brides, other people's clinically brain dead loved ones and the like:

Thanks everyone! Make sure you click the DFA-Link link and register!

Enjoy your summer. Don't forget author/provocateur Jimmy Kuntsler at the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe tomorrow at 7pm.


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