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I saw Lowell Finley's name (Help America Recount) on the list of speakers for the Nashville election reform/election fraud conference this weekend, at the Democratic Underground site

I've been wondering if California would be represented at the conference. What is Mr. Finely going to talk about?

I have particular concern that the Kevin Shelley story be communicated to activists in other states. Judging from what happened to Shelley, Secretaries of State who sue Diebold and get tough on the verifiable election issue, WILL suffer stealth attack and possible ruination of their careers, and voting rights activists should be well prepared for such events with truth squads and legal defense funds.

We were caught off guard here in California. The attack on Shelley was swift and lethal. And now this bulwark against election fraud is gone!

The Schwarzenegger Republican appointee, who is replacing our duly elected Sec of State Shelley, is moving swiftly to dismantle Shelley's vigilant electronic voting team, and has packed his "transition team" with Republican and Schwarzenegger operatives, one of whom actually has Diebold as a client. Their immediate purpose is to get a Schwarzenegger-controlled (and untimely, and very costly) redistricting initiative on the ballot in a special election this year, before Shelley's paper trail requirement for all counties kicks in, in January 2006. Clearly, they want an unverifiable election on this matter (redistricting).

Things are not well in California--once the nation's leader on strong election standards (under Shelley). Shelley was driven from office on trivial, unproven charges. It is my understanding that he resigned this February because he didn't have the legal funds to defend himself. Corrupt and complicit county elections officials, some with shady connections to the electronic voting industry, fought against Shelley's transparency measures. Some of them even got together and SUED the Sec of State in order to PREVENT a paper trail (a suit they lost). His efforts included trying to stop the "revolving door" between public service and these private companies (a scandalous situation).

The result of all this will undoubtedly be continued corruption, and a weakening of CA's election standards (a weakening of the rules, and lax enforcement), and much worse (a Bushification of elections here).

The CA Democrats' failure to fight back against Shelley's ouster is as incomprehensible as the national Democratic leaders' failure to object to the fradulent election system that Diebold and others put into place for 2004 (and their failure to contest its fraudulent result). I knew there were problems with the CA Democratic Party (as there are nationally), but I had no idea how bad those problems are.

The CA Democratic legislative leadership were complicit in the ouster of Shelley. And one of his chief enemies was Connie McCormack, L.A. elections chief, who is pro-Diebold, pro-paperless voting, best friends with the former Diebold salesperson in California, and...a Democrat!

So this problem--unverifiable elections, and the corruption that has become endemic with electronic voting systems--crosses party lines. It is truly a non-partisan matter, in this respect. I have yet to figure out how it's possible that the national Dem Party leaders FAILED TO OBJECT to the obviously fraudulent election system that Diebold, et al, put into place for 2004. I mean, Wally O'Dell, Bush/Cheney campaign chair in Ohio (and CEO of Diebold) counting all our votes with secret, proprietary software, and no paper paper trail? Come on.

It's a mystery. And now we find that CA Democrats are no better. Who will defend our right to vote? Who will insure transparent, verifiable elections in the U.S.A.? This is obviously something us citizens are going to have to FORCE our political representatives to do. They are not going to do it willingly. (Look what they've done so far!). Right now, I don't think anybody--Democrat, Republican or "other"--is getting proper representation in goverment. Real Republicans (balanced budget, no proligate spending, no foreign entanglements)--may be the least represented of all.

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