Monday, October 6, 2008

Party For Your Right to Fight

"This party started right in 66
With a pro-Black radical mix
Then at the hour of twelve
Some force cut the power
And emerged from hell
It was your so called government
That made this occur
Like the grafted devils they were" - Public Enemy

Just wanted to share with you some information about current attempts to disenfranchise voters for the upcoming presidential election. Below are two articles of such events as well as a list of a few activities that the Brennan Center documented in their recent report on voter purging.

You can access the Brennan Center report as well as access links to websites to learn whether you have been purged from the voter roles by going to the Bill Moyer's website on PBS (

1. Posted on Thu, Oct. 2, 2008
Vote-scam fliers target black neighborhoods
By CATHERINE LUCEYPhiladelphia Daily News 215-854-4172
With just weeks to go before the presidential election, voter intimidation has reared its ugly head. An anonymous flier circulating in African-American neighborhoods in North and West Philadelphia states that voters who are facing outstanding arrest warrants or who have unpaid traffic tickets may be arrested at the polls on Election Day.Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett Gillison, who learned of the flier last week, said that the message is completely false."The only thing that police officers are going to do that we'll be encouraging that day is that they'll be exercising their own individual right to vote," Gillison said.He plans to put up statements on the city and police Web sites to let citizens know that the handouts are false. He said that he also will record a public-service announcement for broadcast.Gillison referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney's Office and the district attorney."We are not going to stand for any intimidation of voters," Gillison said. "Not in this city."He said that he did not know who was behind the fliers, which appear to be targeted at supporters of Democratic candidate Barack Obama.But telling people to beware of voting if they have outstanding warrants is an old trick. In Maryland's 2002 gubernatorial election, anonymous fliers in African-American communities warned people to pay parking tickets and resolve outstanding warrants before heading to the polls."It seems to be clearly aimed at lower-income voters that might have had some problems in the past and clearly aimed at discouraging people from voting," said Zack Stalberg, who heads the political-watchdog group Committee of Seventy.Stalberg said that he feared that there could be more fliers to come."I'm a little surprised it appeared this far before Election Day," he said. "It's another indication of how dirty this election might become."Local NAACP President Jerry Mondesire said that he was aware of the flier and would be watching for other intimidation efforts, but would wait until closer to Election Day to reach out to the public."We probably will do something closer to the election," he said. "People tend not to pay attention until two weeks out."Mondesire said that he didn't know who was circulating the fliers, but added, "I do know one thing for sure: They're not Democrats."

2. Palast: One out of five Colorado voters purged from voter registration
Outcome of 2008 election likely to be skewed by unethical tactics
By David O. WilliamsAugust 27, 2008 — Robert Kennedy Jr. had a pretty good excuse for skipping his scheduled appearance with investigative journalist Greg Palast to promote their latest project, “Steal Back Your Vote” — a report on voting irregularities and fraud in the 2008 election.Palast, speaking at the Progressive Democrats of America gathering at a downtown Denver church during the DNC Tuesday, excused Kennedy’s absence to be with his uncle, Monday’s inspirational surprise speaker Sen. Ted Kennedy, and introduced a surprise replacement of his own, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now.Progressive investigative journalist Goodman asked a delegate to hold up a goody bag with sponsor logo from AT&T on one side and decried the influence of big corporate money on the modern American political process.She talked about trying to get into a delegate gathering at Mile High Stadium Monday and being denied access by towering security guards. Goodman said delegates at a corporate party are in training for just how skewed by campaign contributions politics in America have become, and added that there can be no good reasons to keep the press out, only bad ones.“When you’ve got money saturating politics, and even if you care deeply about the public good, you’ve got to see where the money is and that’s what this is about every four years,” Goodman said. “It’s about teaching (budding politicians) big-money politics.”Goodman said AT&T’s sponsorship of the DNC is the Democrats’ reward for refusing to block a bill several weeks ago giving telecom companies retroactive immunity for facilitating domestic spying by the feds. She also urged support of independent media during both parties’ political conventions in order to limit and expose excesses by police against protesters in Denver and Minnesota.
Palast took back the microphone to talk up his project with Kennedy, which will be the subject of a feature in a major national magazine next month and which also will be released as a 24-page comic-book-style PDF illustrated by three top political cartoonists. The report will be available on the Web site said former Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson has made the state the epicenter of the rampant practice of purging voter registration lists for alleged irregularities — a tactic now even more en vogue in the wake of new legislation backed by the Bush administration.“Now under the Help America Vote Act the entire nation is Floridated, but the champ, [former Florida Secretary of State] Katherine Harris, ain’t got nothing on Colorado,” Palast said. “We’re sitting at purge ground zero. The reason that there’s a convention here is this is a swing state where Democrats are piling in, tens of thousands of new voters in Colorado at the top of the bucket, but at the bottom of the bucket the spread sheets are going (poof).“What’s happening? Donetta Davidson, who had been secretary of state in the state of Colorado, removed 19.4 percent — one out of five voters in the state of Colorado, she removed their names. And what happens to Davidson as a result of this? The answer is George Bush made her head of the brand new Election Assistance Commission, where she can train all 50 secretaries of state in her purging ways. In fact, President Bush, instead of calling her chairwoman of the EAC, was going to call her the Purging General.”
3. A few recent examples as noted in the report by the Brennan Center:
• In Mississippi earlier this year, a local election official discovered that another official had wrongly purged 10,000 voters from her home computer just a week before the presidential primary.
• In Muscogee, Georgia this year, a county official purged 700 people from the voter lists, supposedly because they were ineligible to vote due to criminal convictions. The list included people who had never even received a parking ticket. • In Louisiana, including areas hit hard by hurricanes, officials purged approximately 21,000 voters, ostensibly for registering to vote in another state. A voter could avoid removal if she provided proof that the registration was cancelled in the other state, documentation not available to voters who never actually registered anywhere else.

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