Dr. Robert A. Pastor Accuses Velvet Revolution of 'Harassment', Sending Fake Email!
Supplies no evidence for his conspiracy theory, nor his firm belief that Republicans won Election 2004.
By Brad Friedman on 4/19/2005, 10:17pm PT  

Earlier this evening, we received a phone call from Dr. Robert A. Pastor, the Executive Director of the Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission.

It was an interesting conversation.

Apparently, he was irate at us because Americans are sending Email to him and the commissioners complaining about the fact that James A. Baker, III is co-chairing the Commission. Baker, of course, is the long-time Bush Family loyalist and Bush/Cheney trial law attorney who architected the strategy to ensure that Americans' votes would not be counted in the 2000 election.

Pastor made it clear that he felt those Emails, sent by individual American citizens to the commission, actually constituted "harassment" and he charged that the thousands of Emails that he and the commissioners were receiving was, in actuality, being sent by "about 6 or 7 people"!

Velvet Revolution is a coalition of some 100 Election Reform and Voting Rights organizations, none of whom were invited to participate in this commission in any way, nor even knew anything about its creation. VR is co-founded by BRAD BLOG and has created a page where Americans can send Email to Jimmy Carter and the commissioners to let them know how they feel about Baker sitting as Co-Chair and some of his other cronies being seated on this commission.

If you are not one of the "6 or 7 people" who have already sent Email via that page, feel free to do so now.

If you are one of the "6 or 7 people" that have sent email via that page, you can let Bob Pastor know that it was really you who sent the email hoping to make your voice heard, by sending him another email to that effect at his email address, rpastor@american.edu (Ed Note: Please write to Pastor for now at CDEM@american.edu - See this later article for an explanation as to why), which is posted on his public webpage at the American University, Center for Democracy & Election Management site. His phone number is also listed on that page if you'd like to chat with him, but we will do him the courtesy of not reposting it here.

We did our best to make notes of the extraordinary conversation that took place during the phone call as it unfolded...These are some of the highlights...or lowlights as the case may be...

"If you're trying to make sure you are heard," he yelled at us on the phone, "you've been heard! But we're not going to work with you because you are harassing us!"

"How is individual email being sent by individual American Citizens to let you know that they find it absurd that the man responsible for ensuring the votes of Americans would never be counted in the 2000 Election would be appointed as co-chair of a secretly formed Election Reform Committee?...That there couldn't be a more inappropriate choice for the job...how is that harassment?" we asked him.

ROBERT PASTOR: You are harassing us. And we're not going to talk to you, or anybody in your group. We've heard you, but unless you turn off that email, we're not going to...

BRAD BLOG: You are receiving mail from Americans who are letting you know how they feel?

RP: It's the same message over and over again.

BB: They are welcome to add any text they like as a P.S., but would you feel better if we removed the text and let them write whatever they wanted?!

RP: No. We are not going to talk to you, you've been heard, but we're not going to talk to you.

BRAD BLOG: You keeping saying you've "heard us", but what have you done about it? Have you made any changes to the commission? Anything at all other than giving us lip-service that "we've been heard"?!

RP: The commission is done, we're not making any changes.

BB: So what good is "hearing" us?...If we take down the page where Americans can Email you --- you asked on your web page for input from Americans after all --- will you place Velvet Revolution or any of our affiliates on the commission? Since not one of them --- over 100 Election Reform and Voting Rights groups --- was even invited to participate in this commission?

RP: The commission is done, we're not making any changes to it. It's closed...What you are doing is harassment...Stop the harassment, sending us the same Email over and over again.

BB: We're not doing any such thing...Those are individuals sending you email...

RP: It is not individuals! We've received thousands of Emails and they were sent from only about 6 or 7 people only!

BB: Wait, wait, wait...What are you talking about?!...Do you have any evidence of that, sir? Do you have one single iota of evidence to make that claim that the thousands of emails you're receiving are in fact from "6 or 7 people"?...Do you have any evidence? ...Why don't you try replying to a few hundred of those notes, and see if they bounce back, or see if they get to people and you get a reply back...Those are thousands of Americans who are trying to have their voice be heard!, Bob!...That's the only way they can be heard since they've been shut out of this commission entirely! People who have been working for months and years on the very thing your secret commission is supposedly working on!

RP: Well, they are not going to be listened to.

BB: So, you are suggesting that somehow, for some reason, you should have more power over our American democracy than any other American Citizen? Are you kidding me?!

RP: Well, apparently I do have more power because otherwise you wouldn't care so much about what the commission is doing.

BB: Yes, we care, because it's an important commission...It needs to happen...Such a commission is necessary, very necessary...but the way this thing has been fixed and stacked...

RP: It is not stacked.

BB: Who appointed the members of that commission?

RP: The members of the commission are Republicans and Democrats and individual non-partisans...

BB: Who appointed them to this commission?

RP: You have a problem with three or four of the commission members and one of the academic advisors, but there are probably more Democrats than Republicans on the commission...

BB: I don't care how many...This isn't about Democrats or Republicans, Bob. There should be Republicans on the commission...We have no problem with that! What we do have a problem with is Bush/Cheney and Voting Machine Representatives...is the lead attorney from the Kerry/Edwards campaign on the advisory board, Bob? [As is Thor Hearne, the National Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc.]

RP: No he's not. But there are people on the Right that have problems with all the Democrats on the committee.

BB: I don't give a damn about the...There's no problem with Republicans on the committee, Bob...It's not...

RP: Do you know who won the last election?

BB: Uh...Not really...Do you?...

RP: You don't know who won the election?

BB: Not really...I wish I did, but...

RP: The Republicans won the Presidency! And both houses of Congress, the House and the Senate!

BB: How do you know that?...

RP: Look, if you...

BB: How do you know that, sir?

RP: Look, if you think you speak for 51% of the American people you are wrong, you don't...

BB: How. Do. You. Know. That. Sir?...How do you know the Republicans won?!

(No answer.)

At that point, apparently, Mr. Pastor had no answer or simply refused to discuss it any further because he then hung up the phone on us.

It's a pity that we never got to ask him why John Conyers, who compiled some 102 pages of evidence of what went on in Ohio last Election, was not invited to either join the commission, nor even testify before it.

Also not invited, were any of the scores of speakers present at the "Nash-ional" Election Reform Conference held last week in Nashville, where mountains of evidence was presented to suggest that something went terribly wrong in last November's general election.

On the other hand, Mr. Pastor's commission did have time to invite hard right partisans like John Fund of the Wall Street Journal's editorial board (and a frequent contributor to the Fox News Channel) to present unsupported anectodal evidence suggesting there was some trumped up, phoney-baloney problem with "provisional voter fraud" that would be solved by throwing out all provision votes not placed in the voter's own precinct.

Disallowing provisional votes not cast in the voter's precinct, Fund was allowed to inform the commission and America via CSPAN, would help the "problems" from the last election because the poll workers would be able to determine if the voter "looks as if they belong the neighborhood."

Get it?

Apparently, they had time for that. But not the work of Conyers and others who have worked tirelessly for months, if not years, on problems in the rapidly disintegrating American Electoral system.

Dr. Robert A. Pastor and his Blue-Ribbon National Election Reform Commission hard at work to assure that there will be no true Election Reform in America. And the "6 or 7 of you" out there who feel that American democracy deserves much better, can apparently all go to straight to hell.

Dr. Robert A. Pastor
Executive Director for the Commission on Federal Election Reform
(Ed Note: Please write to Pastor for now at CDEM@american.edu - See this later article for an explanation as to why)
Pastor's AU webpage

Be heard.

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