But They Still Have Trouble With That Whole 'Fact Thing'...
By Brad Friedman on 3/31/2006, 1:36pm PT  

Meanwhile meanwhile... The Wingnuts have discovered they too should be concerned about hackable Electronic Voting Machines, as we find in this article posted yesterday over at RedState blog --- the site co-founded by serial plagiarist and disgraced former Washington Post blogger (for three days anyway) Ben Domenech --- concerning new ownership of Sequoia by Venezuelan firm Smartmatic.

Apparently, the writer is concerned about Electronic Voting Machines only now that he's realized Smartmatic may be owned or controlled or unduly influenced by one Hugo Chavez. He goes so far as to quote these words by another blogger in his article:

It is extremely worrying indeed that a company with connections to the Hugo Chavez regime has been selected to run elections in a county of Chicago and given carte blanche to operate in the USA and other countries.

While we're glad to see the Wingnuts suddenly giving a damn about Electronic Voting --- now that they're concerned about their own ox being gored by a company which may have left-leaning ownership --- we're hardly surprised that the anonymous blogger who calls him or herself "AcademicElephant" (we'll presume it's a "he") didn't seem to have such concerns about another Voting Machine Company with "connections to the George W. Bush regime [being] selected to run elections" all over our country in 2004 during one of the most contentious elections in our country's history.

But of more concern for the moment, now that Mr. Elephant has suddenly decided to be worried about such important matters as a transparent and accountable democracy, he sadly exhibits the all-too-familiar Wingnut tendency of having a problem with that whole pesky "fact thing".

By way of example, Mr. Elephant decides right off the bat to use some of the same tired old misleading propaganda in one of his early grafs...

Even after repeated investigations revealed no substantive irregularities in the Ohio 2004 presidential vote--after all, Mr. Bush won Ohio by a larger percentage of votes than that by which Mr. Kerry won Pennsylvania, so this was hardly a replay of Florida--the conspiracy theories continued to flourish

We're not sure which "repeated investigations" Mr. Elephant is referring to, but one such investigation which revealed more than a few "substantive irregularities" in more than 100 pages can be found here. It was in the hands of all 100 United States Senators on the morning of January 6th, 2005 as they debated whether to certify Ohio's Electors while repeating over and over again on the Congressional record that "there was no evidence of any problems in Ohio's election."

Have a feeling Mr. Elephant hasn't bothered to read that report.

Nor, has read of the "substantive irregularities" documented in the 767 pages of this book. Or even this new, digested version which may be easier for Senor Elephant to plow through.

As to the "larger percentage" by which Elephant claims Bush beat Kerry in Ohio being larger than the percentage by which Kerry beat Bush in Pennsylvania...well, we're not really sure what the hell that actually has to do with anything. Is he suggesting there were "substantive irregularities" in PA? Please feel free to investigate and report on them, if so. Otherwise, he would seem to be doing nothing more than "flourish conspiracy theories," we guess.

For the record, in re: that "larger percentage"...Just 6 votes recorded for Kerry instead of Bush in each Ohio precinctin 2004 would have given the state to Kerry. Just 6 votes. And we've seen more than enough "substantive irregularities" in Ohio over the last year and half that we've been reporting on these matters, to understand quite clearly that had any real investigation of the election taken place (hell, simply counting the actual votes might have done the trick!) we'd likely find that Bush didn't receive more votes than Kerry in the state. As it is, and as Mr. Elephant doesn't seem concerned that the votes in Ohio were neither counted, nor recounted, we may never know.

But Elephant Man's conspiracy theories continue...

Given this outpouring of self-righteous concern over a private American company whose CEO was exercising his constitutional right to political free speech marketing its voting machines to the government, I find it interesting that there is no corresponding blogswarm over the news that a government-connected Venezuelan company is doing the same thing with what I consider to be far more troubling consequences.

The "far more troubling consequences" he's referring to there, of course, would seem to be the fact that ownership of the company may be influenced by someone who doesn't care for the Bush Administration, rather than someone who, Diebold's fomer CEO Walden O'Dell, raised at least $100,000 for their campaign and publicly pledged to deliver the state of Ohio to George W. Bush in a fundraising letter to Republicans.

To be clear, we don't like the private ownership of any such company being given complete and secret control over our public elections. Further, as Chavez' ownership or influence of the Smartmatic company (which only recently purchased Sequoia) is far less understood or even clear, it would seem unlikely there would be any "corresponding blogswarm" akin to the dribs and drabs about Diebold's former CEO O'Dell which have showed up only after persistent noise made by a small group of folks on the Internet who thought it noteworthy enough to try and make quite a bit of noise about! Over a three year period of time!

For BRAD BLOG's part, we've been reporting just about everything we have time to discuss concerning Sequoia, Diebold, ES&S, Hart InterCivic and all the rest. We're an equal opportunity Election Integrity Advocate. And yes, we've covered the mysterious new ownership of Sequoia and their relation to Chavez in these pages as well. We've also called out Sequoia for their failing, and now proven-hackable, machines in Washington, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Nevada, California and anywhere else that they are being used to the greatest threat and destruction of our Electoral Democracy.

Lest any of this dissuade the wingnut bloggers from hammering on the Election Transparency Drum, we welcome the Elephant's entry into the same fight we have been in for some time hoping to restore the integrity of America's crumbling democracy. We just wish, however, that he'd get a few more facts right, set the country-dividing partisan bullshit and propaganda aside, and stand up for American Values no matter whose ox may be "Kerried" in the bargain.