On Tuesday, while the corporate media was helping along John McCain's faux controversy over lipstick and farm animals, and while Republicans were otherwise preparing to celebrate 9/11 on Thursday, a group of so-called "third-party" Presidential candidates gathered for a news conference at the National Press Club, as sponsored by Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)'s CampaignForLiberty.org. Paul's introductory statement, endorsing third-party candidates as a whole, is here.
The candidates joining Paul included independent candidate Ralph Nader, Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney and Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin. It was announced that the Libertarian candidate Bob Barr would be present as well, but he became a no-show and then decided to hold his own presser an hour later. The snub earned him the excoriation and retraction of an endorsement from Adam Kokesh of Iraq Veteran's Against the War, who I interviewed earlier this week while guest hosting The Randi Rhodes Show. Kokesh was the awesome dude who held up the "You Can't Win an Occupation" protest sign during John McCain's RNC acceptance speech last week.
The three candidates who did show, all spoke to various aspects of the detrimental nature of the dangerous two-party duopoly the country is currently saddled with, thanks in no small part to the corporate media's unwavering support thereof. (See this condescending coverage from WaPo clown Dana Milbank, whose never run for even dog catcher, as far as I know, much less President on a national party ticket, by way of just one such example.)
Only McKinney spoke directly to the issues surrounding Election Integrity. She is, to my knowledge, the only Presidential candidate of any party this year, to speak substantively to the most important matter underscoring every freedom we have and every serious issue we face in this nation.
She begins her remarks by pointing out: "What has not been mentioned this morning, and has rarely been mentioned throughout this presidential election season, is the issue of election integrity." She speaks rather eloquently both about "massive disenfranchisement" and "manipulation of electronic voting machines." The video clip of her comments on the topic (appx. 3 mins, courtesy Alan Breslauer) is below. A text-transcript is included at the end of this article…
None of the candidates, including McKinney, have yet signed the StandingForVoters.org pledge to challenge any questionable election results and not concede until every vote is counted, and counted accurately. We (The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us, the creators of the StandingForVoters.org initiative) welcome all such candidates, from any political party, running for any office on the national, state or local level, to sign the pledge and stand up for voters as they have/will stand up for them. The SFV campaign calls on voters to demand candidates sign the pledge, and makes materials available to hand to them during campaign events. For more info, see the website or write to info@StandingForVoters.org.
The text transcript of Cynthia McKinney's statement yesterday on Election Integrity, follows below…
So, for example, for those of you who are not familiar with the film “American Blackout”, it methodologically demonstrates how the election in 2000, and again in 2004, how those two presidential elections were stolen, and the use of certain political constructs in order to disenfranchise certain populations.
Now aside from the fact that we don’t have election integrity, or didn’t have it in 2000 where one million black people went to the polls, and they voted, but their votes were not even counted… So we should never forget the fact that there was massive disenfranchisement, one million blacks alone whose votes were not counted, and yet there are some who would like to talk about stealing elections. Basically, here has to be election integrity.
Secondly, in the 2004 election, again what you see is the situation with the purposeful manipulation of electronic voting machines – aside from the fact that electronic voting machines have their inherent problems that have not been resolved from their introduction in 2000…
Now in 2008 we have the voter ID laws that have been passed, that basically create a two-tiered election system in this country – one for those who show up at the polls on election day with certain sets of requirements, and then, yet another, less-stringent set of requirements for those who mail in their ballots.
And then of course we have the voter caging, and the voter caging also targets certain populations of voters. So therefore, we’ve got some severe problems with election integrity, and those need to be addressed in the system, and by those who are campaigning within it as well.