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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tricounty DFA Update: Washington County Holiday Party, Rally Pics, Election Hacking and more
Hello Everyone;

First: Happy Thanksgiving! This year we finally have something great to be thankful for.

In This Update:

1. Washington County Democratic Committee Holiday Party
2. Pics of Rally and Victory Celebration
3. Evidence Grows Election Was Hacked-- But Not Enough
4. Troublesome Reports
5. Thin Margins Create Dangers
6. Voting Technology & Agenda For New Year
7. DNC Rallies Behind Gov. Dean
9. Blue Tiger Democrats
10. Friday Film Fest

1. Washington County Democratic Committee Holiday Party

You are invited to the Washington County Democrat's 3rd Annual Holiday Party Fund Raiser!

Friday, December 1st, 2006, 7 - 9 pm, Rice Mansion Inn, 16 W. Main St. Cambridge, NY

$25 per person includes Hors d’oerves and Desserts by Spoonful Catering, Wine, beer, soft drinks
Wine Basket Raffle and Silent auction. Great Holiday Gifts: art, jewelry, certificates for dining and shopping in local stores!
Cocktail Party or Holiday Attire. Newly elected Democrats plan to join us.

RSVP and send payment by November 25th! Make your check to WCDC (Washington County Democratic Committee)
and send to Ed Dowling, 1 Highland Street, Greenwich NY 12834

SPACE IS LIMITED! Call Lisa (854-3388) or Sheila Comar (642-9566) for reservations

2. Pics of Rally and Victory Celebration

Linda Thompson took some terrific pictures of President Clinton's rally for Rep.-Elect Gillibrand at the Warren County Airport and the Victory Celebration at the Gideon Putnam:

3. Election Was Hacked

There were many predictions the election would again be "hacked" and stolen. Karl Rove actually came out and said he had the "real" numbers-- which many regarded as a code word for fraud. So many people were surprised when the election seemed to go smoothly.

But there is in fact a growing case the election was hacked. But something may have gone wrong for the right wingers: in order to hack the election, software to many tens of thousands of electronic voting machines has to be distributed well in advance-- it can't be done at the last minute, there are too many of them.

As a result, the right wingers may have been caught short by the sudden last minute swing of the electorate as the war began to collapse and corruption began to explode. As a result, they may have underestimated the number of votes they had to steal. The Democratic wave was just too great.

The Election Defense Alliance has produced a detailed analysis of the election that bears close inspection:

Please note I do say MAY have been hacked. But there is enough here for any responsible person to be deeply worried.

4. Troublesome Reports

Part of the problem in stealing an election is that if you steal too many votes, it becomes obvious what you are doing.

Accordingly, evidence of problems or fraud often show up best in small communities because they can't be hid. These small cases are the canaries in the coal mine.

*A man in Utah discovered it's possible to vote twice on an electronic voting machine. (1)
*The wife of a mayoral candidate discovered no votes had been cast for her husband on their community's touch screen voting machine, despite the fact she knew he had already voted for himself. (2)
*In Arkansaw 199 votes were cast in a mayoral race in Gateway, which has only 122 people. In the Pea Ridge, 3,997 votes were cast in a contested mayor's race in a city of 3,344 people. (3)
*But large jurisdictions can reveal problems, if they are big enough. In Florida's 13th Congressional District 18,000 votes disappeared. This is Katherine Harris's old district! The Democrat lost by 373 votes out of 237,000 cast. Coincidence? Or did Harris and her supporters steal that the way they stole Florida in 2000? (4)
*Accusation of election fraud are flying in Florida once again over the result in FL-13. People For The American Way and Common Cause are demanding complete new revotes. (5)
*Computer scientist John Stokes has actually put up a webpage with all the details on how to steal an election, in order to alert people to the danger. It is very easy. (6)
(footnotes at bottom)

5. Thin Margins Create Dangers

There has been a lot of talk about a Democratic Wave, but in fact many races were very tight, which could have made a stolen election possible. 23 House seats were won by less then two percent. Sen. Schumer points out that a 10,000 vote shift in the right states would have put the Senate back into Republican hands.

Democrats won in Virginia by 9,200 votes, in Montana by about 1,500. In the last race settled so far, in Connecticut, the margin of victory for Democrat U.S. Rep-elect Joe Courtney was only 91 (or 86) votes out of 242,000 cast. When it gets that incredibly tight, the danger of hacking grows very dramatically, as does the temptation.

6. Voting Technology & Agenda For New Year

Clearly, for all of DFA, voting technology is going to be a huge issue for the New Year. Here in NY, certification of new machines has been delayed. That's good. But we have to work to make sure area counties go with reliable Optical Scan/Paper Ballot machines, not touchscreen machines that can be hacked.

Those who attended the presentation we organized a year ago with Bo Lipari, or saw Bob Millman's video, will recognize Bo as the leading expert here in NY on this issue. For more go to New Yorkers For Verified Voting's website:

7. DNC Rallies Behind Gov. Dean

It appears that the Democratic Party has rallied decisively behind Governor Dean and the 50 State Strategy. There are many articles, this is a good one from a Western perspective:

Blogger Chris Bowers put the issue recently: "small donations from progressive movement activists flow to the DNC in record amounts, and most of those donations end up being spent on direct grants to state parties and in the form of state-level field organizers. This is a novel path for Democratic money to take, especially since it generally bypasses both Washington, D.C. based consultants and wealthy donors. It is also exactly why Carville's base of supporters hate Dean so much."

If you want to see the antithesis to this, read this astounding piece in the NY Times today: Senator Clinton spent $30 million dollars to win reelection over a total nobody. Quick-- can you name her opponent? See? You had to think about it.

$30 million and we still lost every state legislative race in sight. That $30 million contributed absolutely zero to building the party here in upstate NY.

9. Blue Tiger Democrats

There's a new group being formed to promote the idea of a grassroots party, and although it's very Dean and DFA-like, it's supported by Lt. Governor-Elect and present Sen. Minority Leader David Patterson. From their website:

"Blue Tiger Democrats believe that civic engagement must be the first and foremost priority of local Democratic and Progressive organizations across the country.
We advocate channeling the massive volunteerism seen during the 2004 election and recent periods of crisis towards civic engagement just as Democrats did historically from the mid 1800s through World War II.
Far too much Progressive political giving goes to funding 30-second commercials.
Our mission is to encourage you to invest a portion of your funds in strengthening the roots of party organizations at the local level through civic engagement."

They are also advocating a return to the original Democratic Symbol, the Tiger, only blue for the modern age.

It be nice if they would acknowledge their debt to Governor Dean, Dean For America and Democracy For America, but there is a lot to like here and little else to complain about:

10. Friday Film Fest

Finally, the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe in downtown Glens Falls continues its Friday Night Progressive Film Festival at 8pm with:

Nov 24 BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB (1999) Wim Wenders 105 min.
Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.

Thanks everyone! See you all soon and have a great holiday! (footnotes with the sources are below.)

Larry Dudley


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