Deep politics investigative wiki

Moderators: DrVolin, 82_28, Elvis, Jeff

Re: Deep politics investigative wiki

Postby Marionumber1 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:59 pm

Like I said in my PM to you, I value your posts on voting rights and election security news, so please feel free to keep sharing that info here. My primary focus is on unraveling the criminal conspiracy with regards to e-vote rigging, so I may not always respond to those posts, but the information you share is important.

Unlike virtually every other "conspiracy theory", such as the JFK assassination, drug trafficking, or 9/11, nobody yet has undertaken a serious in-depth investigation into the network of voting system vendors, private contractors, election officials, and shady political interests surrounding them. As that Politico article you linked demonstrates, every one of these institutions is virtually impenetrable in their secrecy. That kind of investigation is what I'm determined to do.

I do have a bit about the Ahmansons; unfortunately, there's not a lot of publicly available information about them. The patriarch of the family ran Home Savings & Loan, and thanks to another one of your old DU posts, I learned that they managed to lose $150 million during the 1980s. Howard Ahmanson Jr. is semi-prominent as a Dominionist financier, but cousins William and Robert Ahmanson who were responsible for financing AIS (later ES&S) are more obscure.

One interesting bit did jump out from an Omaha World-Herald article on ES&S:

In 1979 he [Bob Urosevich] got an infusion of capital from a family friend with Omaha roots, California millionaire William Ahmanson.

The Urosevich family did make a name for itself in the Omaha community for running a popular fast food restaurant (Todd's Drive-In), but until reading this World-Herald article, I had no idea that they were family friends with savings-and-loan millionaires. That means that the Urosevich family was almost certainly well-connected, and as with the Ahmansons, I have virtually no information about them. I know there were some disturbing things going on in Omaha during the same time that the Urosevich brothers were getting AIS off the ground, and the World-Herald (which bought AIS from the Ahmansons in 1987) was involved... There are also unconfirmed allegations from Karl Rove's old operative Dana Jill Simpson that Rove and Urosevich were friends.

Finally, one last thing about the Uroseviches, which I came across a while back but the Russia scandal reminded me of: Bob's son (John Urosevich) went into finance and was dealing with Deutsche Bank among others: ... anking.pdf He's now apparently COO of the Minneapolis branch of CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors LLC :
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:42 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Deep politics investigative wiki

Postby Elvis » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:08 pm

By way of suggestion for separately posting new e-voting material, there are one or two pretty good existing theads on electronic vote theft, seems it would be most useful to add to/consolidate the best one.

At the same time, e-voting problems certainly belong in a wider Deep politics investigation, as the players often overlap with the other areas of Marionumber1's studies. And what I most like about Jeff Wells' work is how he connects dots among seemingly disparate topics.
"Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous."
User avatar
Posts: 5519
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:24 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Deep politics investigative wiki

Postby Marionumber1 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:02 pm

Elvis » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:08 pm wrote:At the same time, e-voting problems certainly belong in a wider Deep politics investigation, as the players often overlap with the other areas of Marionumber1's studies. And what I most like about Jeff Wells' work is how he connects dots among seemingly disparate topics.

Yeah, that's the approach I tried to take with my article from last year:

Marionumber1 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:30 pm wrote:A while back, I also wrote a lengthy article on my blog about the history of computerized election fraud, which may be of interest: ... state.html It goes into a lot of the connections, like Christian Dominionists (the Hunt family, Ahmanson family, the Council for National Policy, etc.), the Omaha business community (intersections with the Franklin scandal and Chuck Hagel), financial fraudsters linked to Watergate, defense contractors, and more. This article uses "deep state" in the proper sense of the term, not the version adopted by the alt-right that means "liberals and RINOs who dislike Trump". Arguably, the right-wing network supporting Trump played one of the biggest roles in setting up this system of riggable electronic voting:

When looking at systemic election fraud, an interesting question is when it all began. Obviously, we've had election fraud for as long as this nation existed, but it could never be executed on a national level until computers took over the vote counting process. Since 2000, there's been a nationwide vote shift to Republican candidates, as well as fraudulent primaries (2008 Dem, 2012 Rep, and 2016 Dem) to ensure the corporate candidate won. But did fraud start then, or did people just start paying attention?

Quite often, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 is described as the turning point. The law mandated states modernize their voting systems after the disastrous 2000 election, adopting electronic voting systems (optical scanners and DREs) and voter registration databases. All of this made elections much easier to tamper with on a wide scale.

Yet HAVA only accelerated what had been going on for a long time. The groundwork for fraud was laid back in the 1960s, when punch card voting came into prominence and a private media consortium took over reporting the results. In the 1970s and 80s, Dallas and Omaha powerbrokers began consolidating the elections industry. In the 1990s and early 2000s, financial criminals from Vancouver and Seattle steered Global Election Systems (later Diebold) to a dominant position.

The introduction of electronic voting is a national coup decades in the making. It has numerous ties to convicted criminals, mob organizations, wealthy powerbrokers, military/defense contractors, and the CIA. Sound like a crazed conspiracy theory? Everything I'm about to share can be easily verified.


With respect to RI, I actually discovered the board before I came across Jeff Wells' writing. But I agree with you about how well he was able to connect the dots. Indeed, that kind of inquiry is what's so unique about the RI community as a whole.
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:42 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Deep politics investigative wiki

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:08 pm

Dominionists Head To Trump’s DC Hotel To Bring ‘Heaven’s Rule’ To America

By Peter Montgomery | February 21, 2018 12:13 pm

Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C. (Photo: W. Scott McGill/Shutterstock)
While thousands of conservative political activists gather just outside Washington, D.C., this week for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a gathering of spiritual warriors will pack the Trump International Hotel just blocks from the White House. The sold-out event—The Turnaround: An Appeal to Heaven National Gathering—has been organized by a group of dominionists who consider themselves to be modern-day apostles and prophets, including Dutch Sheets, Chuck Pierce, Cindy Jacobs and Lou Engle.

Event leaders are associated with the New Apostolic Reformation, which believes a triumphant, dominion-taking church will help bring about the return of Christ, and many are part of POTUS Shield, a network of self-described apostles and prophets who believe President Trump was anointed by God to help bring that all about.

Sheets, the event’s main promoter, believes the event will play a prophetic role in getting the church to “function as Christ’s Ekklesia, the representatives of His Kingdom government on earth; as such, we will expose the enemies of God, disrupt their plans, enforce Heaven’s rule, and reform America.” As he described it in 2015, “We must realize that we are God’s governing force on the earth, which have been given keys of authority from Him to legislate from the spiritual realm.”

“It seems the spiritual airwaves are filled with prophetic insight regarding this gathering,” Sheets wrote excitedly in an email sent over the weekend. He told a story about a dream that a “trusted prophet” had, which featured hundreds of angels with tuning forks in their hands transforming into an army of special forces.

Sheets is big on the concept of the Ekklesia, a Greek word that is traditionally interpreted in scripture as “the church.” But Sheets imbues the term with governmental authority:

One of the great shifts in process within the Body of Christ is regarding our role as Christ’s Ekklesia (Church). Most of you probably know that in Christ’s day, the Word did not mean a religious service, organization, or building; it was a legislative assembly. We are “representatives” of Christ’s Kingdom government on earth.

Certain streams of the Body of Christ have functioned well as His family and Bride. Few of us, however, have operated at a high level as His Ekklesia. Binding and loosing, opening and closing spiritual doors, releasing Heaven’s decrees to earth—these governmental functions have occurred only at fairly low levels.

This is about to change.

The turnaround for America is only part of God’s plan for this gathering. One prophecy concerning the upcoming Turnaround conference stated that the worldwide prayer movement will be launched into its next phase. Functioning as Christ’s Ekklesia IS that new phase! The Church is about to move into a completely new level of enforcing Kingdom rule and the will of God on earth.
Sheets considers it interesting that the meeting will take place physically between the FBI and the Department of Justice, “two of the agencies from which a few corrupt individuals have tried to destroy the president.”

We will operate in our Kingdom authority while there, breaking the back of this attempt to render President Trump ineffective. We will decree the exposing and failure of all attempts to sabotage his presidency. We will release favor over him, enabling him to accomplish everything for which God sent him to the White House—including the turning of the Supreme Court! President Trump will fulfill all of God’s purposes for him.
“I think it’s so prophetic that we’re doing this in the Trump hotel in Washington, D.C.,” Sheets told fellow prophet Steve Shultz in a January interview. Sheets says that when organizers were looking for a place to hold their event in DC, some venues told them they weren’t welcome. They worried about approaching the Trump International because it is more expensive than anywhere else, he said. But after his team reached out, someone from the hotel called the next morning and said they knew all about the Appeal to Heaven, wanted it in the hotel, and lowered their prices to make it happen.

The event’s February 22 starting date also holds prophetic significance for Sheets and other organizers. Sheets calls the Bible verse Isaiah 22:22 “the key to governmental authority,” describing its power in 2014:

Fifteen years ago, God unequivocally and undeniably gave me Isaiah 22:22 as a life-verse. “Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, when he opens no one will shut, when he shuts no one will open” (NASB). After 40 plus confirmations over a two-week period—yes, more than 40—I became thoroughly convinced this verse was both a promise and a weapon for me. I have since used the verse hundreds of times throughout America—in all 50 states and in Washington D.C.—to open and close spiritual doors for the Lord.
Lou Engle, who has called on Christians to pray that God would “sweep” the Supreme Court and other federal courts of justices and judges who uphold Roe v. Wade, operates through a group called The Call, which sent supporters a February 7 email about the prophetic nature of the event and the choice of February 22 for its opening. The email asked readers to “take up our rod of authority” and urged people to pray for President Trump:

Pray for the exposing of any lies and subversive plans arrayed against the president. Decree that he will perform all of God’s pleasure while in office (including the appointment of pro-life judges, establishing of Jerusalem, etc.) Isaiah 44:28. Decree that every demonic scheme to entrap or impeach him would come to nothing. Declare a hedge of protection around the president according to Isaiah 44.
Sheets believes that God has a special plan for Trump. “I’m very confident that there is an encounter with God that this man is going to have,” Sheets said of Trump, an encounter that will transform him into a modern-day John the Revelator, author of the apocalyptic biblical book of Revelation. “I already believe God is using him…I believe He wants to make him a father of this nation, for this nation, to this nation.”

Sheets and others have been sending weekly notices calling for prayer and inviting people to take part in prayer calls for gathering. The prayer focus for this week included a specific request that the VIPs just around the corner would make an appearance: “Pray that President Trump and Vice President Michael Pence will honor the invitation and come, even if just briefly.”

Last week’s preparatory prayer call covered conference logistics and prayers that armies of angels would attack the enemies of God, “anti-Christ spirits that want to derail the destiny of this nation.” One leader prayed that God would rebuild and restore America “according to Your original intent.” Another who led prayers on the call said, “We declare it’s no longer the District of Columbia, it’s the District of Christ!”

This isn’t the first time Sheets and Jacobs have held an event in D.C. Back in 2012, they teamed up with the Family Research Council to launch an election-year project. At the launch event, Sheets declared “I’m trying to raise up an army!” and asked God to “raise up kingdom warriors that are ready to do whatever it takes to bring forth your kingdom rule in the earth.” Their pre-election prayer rally that year did not have its intended consequences, but 2016 was a different story. ... o-america/
Posts: 29113
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:28 pm
Location: into the black
Blog: View Blog (83)

Re: Deep politics investigative wiki

Postby Marionumber1 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:22 pm

Thanks for that link. Dominionism is, not surprisingly, one of the most powerful political forces behind Trump. And when you see that same group being so influential among the voting system vendors, that's pretty frightening. (Obligatory note so people don't misinterpret me: this is not about practicing Christianity; a movement dedicated to elevating any religion over secular law is frightening.) Another good article on this was written by Jennifer Cohn, who's a recent arrival to the election integrity community: The Council for National Policy (to which Kellyanne, Bannon, the DeVos family, the Mercers, Pence, Ken Blackwell, and two men whose families funded the largest voting machine vendor in the U.S.) has set a deadline of 2020 for restoring “religion and economic freedom and Judeo-Christian values” under the Constitution
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:42 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Deep politics investigative wiki

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:49 am

Trump Election Commissioners Are Resisting Efforts to Protect Elections From Hacking
One of them says the threat of Russian meddling was invented to allow a federal takeover of the voting process.
AUG. 18, 2017 6:00 Am

The intelligence community fears that Russia’s meddling in US elections did not end in November 2016, and that when the Kremlin tries to intervene again, state and local voting systems will be a prime target. “They will be back,” former FBI Director James Comey warned in June. Many election systems would prove an easy target. Last month, hackers at the annual DEF Con conference demonstrated this vulnerability when they easily breached multiple voting machines. A 16-year-old hacked a machine in 45 minutes.

In response to this threat, the Department of Homeland Security has taken a major step to protect elections by prioritizing the cybersecurity of state and local voting systems. Yet several members of President Donald Trump’s controversial election commission oppose DHS’s move, and two of them have dismissed the threat entirely as a ploy for the federal government to intrude on states’ rights. Their opposition is a signal that the commission, tasked with finding vulnerabilities in the country’s election system, is not likely to take cybersecurity seriously.

On January 6, the same day that the intelligence community released a declassified report alleging Russian meddling in the election, DHS announced that it would make additional cybersecurity assistance available to states that request it. This was done by classifying election infrastructure as “critical infrastructure,” a designation that already brings heightened security measures to critical infrastructure such as dams and the electrical grid. The move means that DHS will provide risk assessments, system scanning, and other cybersecurity services to states that request them. But several election officials and experts who sit on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity quickly condemned the designation.

Christy McCormick, a Republican commission member, said in a statement the next day that Russian interference was a hoax used by the federal government to gain access to state-run election systems. “This declassified report was not about the November elections; it was about politics,” said McCormick, who is also a member of the bipartisan Election Assistance Commission, which helps states administer elections. “Connecting the allegations in the report to the election administration process and asserting that it rose to the level of interference in our elections is a gross and incorrect characterization.”

Rather than accept the findings of the intelligence agencies, McCormick turned to John McAfee, the eccentric founder of the McAfee antivirus software company, as an expert on the question of Russian interference. McAfee, who ran unsuccessfully for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination in 2016, has spent the last year on a crusade to exonerate Russia from the intelligence community’s assessment that it hacked the Democratic National Committee. McAfee has found an audience in Russian state-run media outlets, conspiratorial radio host Alex Jones, and pro-Trump right-wing blogs such as Gateway Pundit. “McAfee believes that the report is deceptive propaganda perpetrated on the American public, and I agree,” McCormick said.

The following week, Hans von Spakovsky, a commission member who has long warned about illegal voting and led efforts to make it harder to vote, published an approving blog post on McCormick’s objections to the critical infrastructure designation. Von Spakovsky has his own theories about why DHS decided to designate voting systems as critical infrastructure. When DHS first began to consider the designation last summer, following the first reports of breaches of state election systems by the Russians, von Spakovsky posited that the Obama administration was using the threat of hacks in order to gain entry into state and local election systems and help its preferred candidates win.

Two members of the commission have dismissed the threat of Russian hacking as a ploy for the federal government to intrude on states’ rights.
After the Supreme Court invalidated part of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, the Justice Department lost the ability to send poll watchers to jurisdictions previously subject to federal oversight. “That must be very frustrating to the partisans who inhabit parts of the Justice Department these days and want their staff out there making sure their political friends get elected,” von Spakovsky wrote last August. A critical infrastructure designation, he concluded, would allow federal officials to call the shots in local elections and alter the outcome. He called it the Obama administration’s “election Trojan horse.”

Von Spakovsky also dismissed the possibility that a cyberattack could affect US elections. “There is no credible threat of a successful cyberattack on our voting and ballot-counting process because of the way our current election system is organized,” he wrote.

Though less conspiratorial in their objections, other commission members have opposed the critical infrastructure designation as an unwelcome intrusion into states’ business. In February, the National Association of Secretaries of States, representing the officials who oversee elections in all 50 sates, the District of Columbia, and US territories, passed a resolution condemning the designation. Among those who voted in favor were at least two members of the election commission: Republican Connie Lawson of Indiana and Democrat Matthew Dunlap of Maine. (All the commission’s members were appointed by Trump.)

DHS’s poor handling of the rollout contributed to these initial objections. The agency failed to alert top state election officials before announcing the designation, generating ill will from secretaries of state who wondered if the federal government was trying to meddle in their jobs. DHS fueled this problem by not providing details about what the designation would mean—details that are still being worked out in conjunction with state officials and the Election Assistance Commission. Moreover, DHS kept state officials in the dark about Russia’s attacks on election systems in 2016 because the officials didn’t have proper security clearances. This poor communication contributed to feelings of distrust among some state officials.

Eight months later, however, the relationship between DHS and state officials is on the mend. Federal and state officials have created a Sector Coordinating Council to make decisions about the aid and resources the designation will make available, and how to implement those policies. DHS is working to get security clearances to state election officials so they can be informed about threats.

The extent of Russia’s interference and states’ vulnerabilities is becoming clearer to state officials and the public. In June, DHS officials testified before Congress that the Russians had attacked systems in 21 states, with varying levels of success. NPR reported last week that on Election Day in Durham County, a liberal part of the swing state of North Carolina, electronic systems erroneously marked some voters as having already cast a ballot. The county quickly switched to paper lists of registered voters, creating chaos and long lines. It’s possible that human error caused the problem, but the third-party vendor that supplied the electronic lists, VR Systems, was targeted by the Russians last year.

Still, many state officials remain hostile to the idea of federal help in state election administration—including those on the president’s election committee. Dunlap, the Democratic secretary of state of Maine, continues to object to the designation, saying it could lead the federal government to tell states how to run their elections. He also has cast doubt on the threat of a cyberattack on the nation’s voting systems. “While the issue of hacking has become a real concern for many aspects of our daily lives, voting is not one of them,” Dunlap said in a statement. “There is no nationwide voting system that is accessible via the Internet or a network; thus, any attempt to alter the vote would require a massive conspiracy of thousands of poll workers from both parties that is simply not feasible.” It’s true that the country’s decentralized election system protects if from a single nationwide attack, but attacks targeting swing states or districts could change the outcome of an election.

A spokesperson for Lawson, the Republican secretary of state of Indiana, confirmed that she continues to oppose the designation. McCormick and von Spakovsky did not respond to questions about whether the new evidence of Russian meddling had changed their views. The office of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the vice chairman of Trump’s election commission, did not respond to questions about his views on the designation.

Rather than focus on security, many members of the commission believe voting fraud is the greatest threat to election integrity. Multiple members, including Kobach and von Spakovsky, have pushed for laws that make it harder to register to vote and cast a ballot. At the commission’s first meeting in July, most members were more focused on preventing individual acts of fraud than on upgrading and securing election systems and machines. However, the group did decide to take up the issue of cybersecurity as one of several topics to include in its final report.

Rather than focus on security, many members of the commission believe voting fraud is the greatest threat to election integrity.
The critical infrastructure designation has prominent supporters in state and federal government. John Kelly, who served as homeland security secretary until becoming White House chief of staff last month, encouraged states to ask DHS for help. “I think they’re nuts if they don’t, because in the world we live in cyber-wise, any second, third, fourth objective look at what you’re doing would make sense,” Kelly said at the Aspen Security Forum, an annual gathering of national security and intelligence experts, in July. He also stressed that the designation is not a takeover. “If they don’t want the help, they don’t have to ask,” he said.

Some state election officials are happy to receive the help. “When you’re talking about states or locals going up against nation-states in terms of cybersecurity, we really need whatever additional help the federal government can provide,” says Edgardo Cortés, the commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections. “I think it will be a collaborative effort to keep our elections safe.”

Cortés thinks it’s impossible for the designation to prompt a federal takeover of state-run elections, because the Constitution gives the states wide latitude to run elections. “I think that concern is really overblown,” he says. “I don’t think anything that they have offered, things like assistance in scanning your systems, assistance in coming in and helping you do threat assessments and things—I mean, none of that strikes me as things where there’s an attempted takeover of the process.”

Despite the change in administration, Cortés says that DHS officials have made clear the designation is here to stay. But it’s also unknown who will ultimately replace Kelly at DHS. That person may make another call on whether election infrastructure gets prioritized in the face of the continuing threat of Russian hacking. ... m-hacking/
Posts: 29113
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:28 pm
Location: into the black
Blog: View Blog (83)

Re: Deep politics investigative wiki

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:06 pm

A Win for Democracy in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania, congressional districts
Photo credit: DonkeyHotey / WhoWhatWhy (CC BY-SA 2.0) See complete attribution below.

Not all heroes wear capes. Among the ones who don’t is Nathaniel Persily, a man few Americans have ever heard of. By day, he teaches at Stanford Law School. At night, he is saving the battered US democracy.

Persily is a court-appointed expert who has been tasked with redrawing gerrymandered maps — most recently in Pennsylvania. The Keystone State is a perfect example of why Persily’s expertise is desperately needed.

After Republicans won both chambers of the state legislature and the governor’s mansion in 2010, they immediately began to cement their new majorities.

In 2011, they revealed a new congressional map that is widely viewed as one of the most gerrymandered in the US. It doesn’t take an expert like Persily to see why. It featured oddly shaped congressional districts, some with narrow corridors and jagged boundaries that split many different counties.

For the purpose of allowing Pennsylvanians to be represented fairly in elections, it was an abomination. For the purpose of allowing Republicans to send a disproportionate number of representatives to Washington, it was perfect.

In 2012, Democratic candidates for the US House of Representatives won 2.79 million votes in Pennsylvania and five congressional districts. GOP candidates won 2.71 million votes and 13 congressional districts — and they have held onto that advantage ever since.

What the Republicans had done is to “pack” minority populations into a small number of districts, like those representing Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, that would vote for a Democrat by an overwhelming majority while giving their own candidates an advantage in all of the state’s other districts. As a result, they achieved a lopsided victory, despite the popular vote being evenly split between the two parties.

Because the wheels of justice turn slowly, it took more than five years for Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court to declare the map unconstitutional. The court gave state Republicans one more chance to draw a fair map, specifying features it should entail.

“To comply with this order, any Congressional districting plan shall consist of: congressional districts composed of compact and contiguous territory; as nearly equal in population as practicable; and which do not divide any county, city, incorporated town, borough, township, or ward, except where necessary to ensure equality of population,” the court ruled.

Republicans failed to meet the court’s standard.

As a result, Persily was assigned to create a map that would more fairly represent Pennsylvanians in Congress. He did, and complied with the court’s wishes on how such a map should be drawn.

Persily uses census data and mapping software, and in this case the court’s direction, to come up with a fairer map. Describing his work, he said that the challenge is “trying to balance the myriad factors required by the law, politics, demography, and geography for a jurisdiction.”

In the case of Pennsylvania’s new map, the media calls it a win for Democrats, who will likely send more than five representatives to Congress after the midterm election. It might even swing the pendulum a bit too much in their favor. But it is certainly not blatantly partisan — and seeing this result in purely partisan terms is to miss the point.

It’s a win for democracy.

Of course, it is possible that one party wins the popular vote in a tightly contested state but ends up not getting more delegates. However, when winning 50.3% of the popular vote nets a party less than 30% of a state’s congressional seats, that’s prima facie a case of electoral fraud.

In Pennsylvania, Republicans are fighting fiercely to protect their ill-gotten gains. They refused to comply with the decision, unsuccessfully appealed to the Supreme Court, challenged it again in federal court, and even floated the idea of impeaching the judges who handed down the decision. In other words, now that somebody finally put an end to an injustice perpetrated against Pennsylvania’s voters, they seem willing to go to extreme lengths to prevent that from happening.

While this case and other recent ones, for example in North Carolina, involved Republicans clinging to power, this is a bipartisan problem. Meaning neither party is likely to fix it.

The Supreme Court will get a chance to rectify this problem later this year, when it rules on whether Wisconsin’s politically gerrymandered map is unconstitutional. However, the court has sadly been on the wrong side of democracy in recent landmark cases, such as Citizens United, which opened the spigots for more money in politics, and Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted the Voting Rights Act.

If the court fails to stop political gerrymanders, one can hope that American voters will take the matter into their own hands. Whether through popular referendums or electing representatives committed to change, the way to ensure fair election results is to empower people like Persily to draw maps that fairly represent the voting public. ... nsylvania/
Posts: 29113
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:28 pm
Location: into the black
Blog: View Blog (83)

Re: Deep politics investigative wiki

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:36 pm

Notorious Von Spakovsky Email On Voter Fraud Commission Entered As Evidence
By Tierney Sneed | March 9, 2018 4:18 pm

Full committee hearing on the nominations of Hans von Spakovsky; David Mason; Robert Lenhard; and Steven Walter, each to be a commissioner of the Federal Election Commission.Douglas Graham/CQ-Roll Call Group
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS — In order to impeach the testimony of Hans von Spakovsky, a witness called to defend Kansas’ proof-of-citizenship requirement, ACLU lawyer Dale Ho introduced as evidence an email von Spakovsky wrote about the now-defunct Trump voter fraud commission.

In the email, von Spakovsky said that putting Democrats or even “mainstream Republicans” on the commission would result in “abject failure.” The email was eventually passed on to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Ho also presented a transcript of an audio recording in which von Spakovsky denied to a reporter that he had sent the email. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is defending the law, objected, unsuccessfully, to the admission of the transcript.

Last September, before von Spakovsky was revealed as the sender, a reporter for Pro Publica asked him about the email, which was originally surfaced via a FOIA request, with the name of the sender redacted. Von Spakovsky denied sending it.

After it was revealed that he did send it, Von Spakovsky said he had been confused because the reporter had phrased her question imprecisely, by asking about an email sent directly to Sessions. In fact, the email was forwarded to Sessions via intermediaries.

The email was sent before many of the commissioners, a group that would later include von Spakovsky, had been named. The commission was disbanded in January, facing several lawsuits over transparency and privacy issues.

“There are only a handful of real experts on the conservative side on this issue and not a single one of them (including [redacted]) have been called other than Kris Kobach, Secretary of State of Kansas,” the email said. “And we are told that some consider him too ‘controversial’ to be on the commission. If they are picking mainstream Republican officials and/or academics to man this commission it will be an abject failure because there aren’t any that know anything about this or who have paid any attention to the issue over the years.”

The email was presented by the ACLU’s Ho when he was asking von Spakovsky who else he considered to be an expert in non-citizens registering to vote, as von Spakovsky claims to be. Von Spakovsky has refused to name other experts, claiming that he is not aware of other people’s expertise and can only speak to his own.

Kobach objected to the admission of the transcript of the audio recording of von Spakovsky denying to the reporter that he wrote the email. Kobach argued that the transcript shouldn’t be admitted because, he said, Pro Publica has in the past misrepresented itself to Kobach. The reporter who asked von Spakovsky about the email (and tweeted audio of his response) is in the courtroom.

The judge allowed the audio, which Ho had provided, to be played. ... commission

Sam Levine

There is an explosive confrontation happening in court right now between Dale Ho, top ACLU voting rights lawyer, and Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage foundation and one of the biggest voices saying voter fraud is a widespread problem
1:09 PM - 9 Mar 2018

Ho hasn’t spoken since the first day of the trial but he’s cross examining von Spakovsky. He’s clearly been waiting. He started by going after von Spakovsky’s credentials, questioning whether he really had the background to say voter fraud is a big problem.

He repeatedly asked von Spakovsky whether he could name one voting restriction that was a burden. He asked him over and over. Von Spakovsky wouldn’t really answer. Then they played his deposition when he said just that.

Aside from Ho, Judge Robinson also confronted von Spakovsky. He said that any time a non eligible person cast a ballot it was voter fraud because they were diluting a legitimate vote. But Robinson wanted to know if it would also be fraud if thousands of citizens were blocked

We haven’t seen Judge Robinson ask about stuff in this way before.

to impeach von Spakovsky’s credibility Dale showed an email he wrote saying no mainstream democrats or Republicans should be on Trump’s voter fraud commission. We’re on break while Kobach reviews transcript of a @JessicaHuseman interview where Von Spakovsky denied sending to DOJ
Posts: 29113
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:28 pm
Location: into the black
Blog: View Blog (83)

Re: Deep politics investigative wiki

Postby Marionumber1 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:13 am

Well, it was already quite clear that the "election integrity commission" was a partisan sham designed to disenfranchise voters, but it's pretty funny to see Von Spakovsky admit the partisanship in his own words...then disavow them, of course. Back last year, one of the first signs that the commission was going to be a dog-and-pony show was how Ken Blackwell, the architect of voter suppression and electronic fraud in the 2004 Ohio election, got appointed.
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:42 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Deep politics investigative wiki

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:58 am

Claims Of Leading Voter Fraud Alarmist Picked Apart In Kansas Trial

Tierney Sneed

A prominent voter fraud alarmist who had prepared a report defending Kansas’ proof-of-citizenship law admitted in testimony Friday that he did not investigate the circumstances surrounding the registrations of a handful of non-citizens that were central to his allegations.

The witness, Hans von Spakovsky, relied on a spreadsheet provided to him by the state. The spreadsheet showed that in Kansas’ second most populous county, there were only 38 alleged cases of non-citizens registering or attempting to register to vote in the last two decades. That spreadsheet, which also showed that only five of those non-citizens cast votes, had already come under extreme scrutiny earlier in the trial.

“I did not personally examine each registration form,” von Spakovsky said, under cross-examination from Dale Ho, the ACLU’s lead attorney in the case.

The ACLU’s expert witness, Lorraine Minnite, had done so. And much of her testimony was spent picking apart the spreadsheet for mischaracterizing what appeared to be administrative error or confusion by the non-citizen, when one looked at their registration form. (One of the alleged non-citizens, for instance, did not check the box confirming they were a citizen).

Kansas’ cross-examination of Minnite focused on her definition of voter fraud, and on how courts had previously treated her testimony. That latter line of questioning was abandoned, however, when Kansas attorney Garrett Roe had trouble staying within trial rules.

Ho, meanwhile, picked apart von Spakovsky’s report, which claimed that Kansas had a “problem” of non-citizens registering to vote. He pressed von Spakovsky on the evidence he was using to support his allegations, and pointed out when von Spakovsky omitted relevant context. When van Spakovsky attempted to dodge Ho’s questions, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson intervened to get him to answer.

Ho’s questioning of von Spakovsky was intense. He at times gestured at the witness, and at one point Kobach objected, saying Ho was “aggressively pointing” at von Spakovsky.

“Mr. Ho, I think you should tone it down,” Robinson said.

Early in his questioning, Ho brought up von Spakovsky’s allegation in his report that “ineligible voters could make the difference in a close election.”

Von Spakovsky admitted that he couldn’t cite a single case where non-citizen voting changed the outcome of an election.

Ho then turned to a Florida NBC News affiliate’s story von Spakovsky cited in his report. The story alleged that 100 people who had claimed to have been non-citizens on jury forms were registered to vote in Collier County. Follow up investigations clarified that 35 of those registrants were in fact U.S.citizens.

Did von Spakosvky look into any follow-ups on the original, or seek to correct his report given the more recent reporting?

The best that von Spakovsky could offer was that it was corrected in his deposition in the case.

Another claim in von Spakovsky’s report was that 3 percent of people called to jury duty in a court district that used voter registration for its jury pool were not citizens. Von Spakovsky had pulled that statistic from a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. Ho introduced the GAO report into evidence to show that the court district von Spakovsky chose had the highest percentage of non-citizens of all the court districts included in the GAO report.

The GAO report looked at eight court districts: Four had no cases of potential jurors being disqualified for not being citizens, while one had less than 1 percent and the other two around .1 percent of potential jurors claiming to be non-citizens.

Ho moved on from the report itself to claims that von Spakovsky — and Kobach — have made in op-eds, that Somali nationals voting illegally tipped a state legislative race in Missouri.

A state court ruling found that there was no fraud in the race.

Von Spakovsky said he “was not aware of that” when he wrote his op-ed. Asked if he attempted to retract the claim, von Spakovsky said he didn’t recall when he found out.

Parts of the report von Spakovsky offered as part of his expert testimony had been already thrown out by the judge, who found that von Spakovsky was not qualified to testify on a survey he had cited in defending the proof-of-citizenship efforts .

For his efforts, von Spakovsky was paid $5,000 by the state of Kansas. ... cked-apart


Sadly He Is Not on Trial, Just One of His Schemes

Kris Kobach, voter disenfranchisement
Kris Kobach keeps targeting innocent voters. Photo credit: DonkeyHotey / WhoWhatWhy (CC BY-SA 2.0) See complete attribution below.
If Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) weren’t such a grave threat to US democracy, he would be an almost comically inept bad guy in the mold of Elmer Fudd. While the latter hunts a “wabbit,” Kobach always claims to be on the hunt for huge numbers of non-citizens who cast illegal votes.

That particular danger to democracy is about as real as Bugs Bunny.

Kobach, however, is a different story, because he actually is a threat to fair elections in the United States. Unfortunately, not enough people are paying attention. This week, for example, far away from the media spotlight, another of his voter disenfranchisement schemes is being debated in a courtroom in Kansas City.

At issue is a Kansas law requiring people to provide proof that they are US citizens prior to registering to vote. Ostensibly, the law’s purpose is to prevent non-Americans from registering and voting. That seems like a worthwhile goal. However, the law addresses a problem that doesn’t exist, and potentially intimidates people into not exercising their right to vote as citizens.

As much as Kobach, or President Donald Trump, wants people to believe that millions of illegal votes have been cast, there is no evidence that this has happened. Even Kobach’s own numbers don’t support his claim.

In his opening statement defending the law, Kobach said 129 non-citizens either registered to vote or have attempted to do so since 2000, and he claimed that is the “tip of the iceberg.” That’s not a huge number in a state with a population of nearly 3 million.

It’s also not proof of fraud. Instead, many of these cases probably involve human error and ignorance — for example, when a DMV employee asks a non-citizen applying for a driver’s license whether he wants to register to vote, or when permanent residents think they may be eligible.

It’s worth keeping in mind that voter fraud is an incredibly stupid crime to commit. If successful, the impact is minimal, i.e., one vote among millions. If caught, however, the person committing voter fraud is fined, imprisoned or both.

Quite frankly, it’s hard to believe that a significant number of people would risk a felony conviction to cast one extra vote in an election. And neither research studies nor anecdotal evidence suggest it is a widespread problem.

The proposed solutions, like Kobach’s law in Kansas, however, often are a real problem. In this case, it disenfranchised thousands of eligible voters by making it arduously difficult to sign up.

For example, the people who did not have the required proof of citizenship at the time they tried to register had to sign a statement swearing, under penalty of perjury, that they didn’t have the documents. But how many people can be absolutely certain that they don’t have a birth certificate and would swear to it?

As ACLU attorney Dale Ho put it: “Enforcing this law is like taking a bazooka to a fly.” That’s certainly an approach Elmer Fudd could empathize with.

Those who are aware of Kobach’s other tricks won’t be surprised that this law mainly disenfranchised minorities and young people, i.e., demographics that are more likely to vote for Democrats.

Related: The Dirty Tricks of Election Thieves

In this case, things may turn out OK. So far during the trial, the sheer incompetence of Kobach and his team has tested the patience of the presiding judge, who at one point told him that this is “not how trials are conducted.”

While voter fraud is a crime, the type of voter disenfranchisement that Kobach has tried again and again is unfortunately not. So even if this law is struck down, chances are that he will be back with yet another scheme to deny eligible Americans the right to vote — under the guise of fixing a problem that doesn’t exist. ... sas-court/

Secretaries of state slam provision to allow Secret Service at polling places
Washington (CNN)More than a dozen secretaries of state slammed a rider attached to legislation to reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security that would allow Secret Service to be dispatched to polling places nationwide during a federal election.

"This is an alarming proposal which raises the possibility that armed federal agents will be patrolling neighborhood precincts and vote centers," according to the letter, which was obtained by CNN.
In the letter, which was sent Friday to Senate leaders Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, and Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, the 19 secretaries of state write that they believe the proposal is "unprecedented and shocking."

"Secretaries of State across the country agree that there is no discernable need for federal Secret Service agents to intrude, at the discretion of the president, who may also be a candidate in that election, into the thousands of citadels where democracy is enshrined," they wrote.

The legislation has already passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support, but it was not included in the Senate bill passed out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last week.

When asked for a comment, the White House referred CNN to the US Secret Service.

The Secret Service responded Monday to the Boston Globe, which first reported the story, saying the provision was "grossly mischaracterized."
"The only time armed Secret Service personnel would be at a polling place would be to facilitate the visiting of one of our protectees while they voted," the Secret Service said in a statement.

CNN has reached out to the House Appropriations Committee for comment on why the rider was included and has not yet received a response.

The full Senate still needs to approve the legislation, and then the House and Senate versions of the bills must be reconciled before going to President Donald Trump for approval. ... index.html
Posts: 29113
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:28 pm
Location: into the black
Blog: View Blog (83)

Re: Deep politics investigative wiki

Postby Marionumber1 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:10 am

Anyone know a solid link between convicted GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the lobbying effort to install electronic voting machines? In my research, I've uncovered tons of circumstantial ties, but nothing proving he was involved: Abramoff was corruptly lobbying Bob Ney, the leading sponsor of the Help America Vote Act, but officially, Abramoff's only involvement with HAVA was trying to get Ney to introduce a casino provision wanted by the Tigua tribe. Many people have cited Diebold's payment to Greenberg Traurig, the lobbying firm where Abramoff worked, but Abramoff was not one of the Greenberg Traurig partners handling the Diebold lobbying. Abramoff also shows up in connection with Maryland governor Bob Ehrlich, a onetime supporter and early adopter of Diebold machines, and has a tenuous link to David DiStefano, a Diebold lobbyist even more well-connected to Ney. He also, for unspecified reasons, lobbied Tom Feeney, who was accused by Clint Curtis of being interested in vote rigging software. Abramoff constantly shows up in close proximity to suspicious election activity, and yet there's no definitive tie between him and any of it.
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:42 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Deep politics investigative wiki

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:01 pm

Pennsylvania Will Eliminate Paperless Voting Machines In Time For The 2020 Election ... .nuoBVmGql
Posts: 29113
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:28 pm
Location: into the black
Blog: View Blog (83)

Re: Deep politics investigative wiki

Postby Marionumber1 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:17 pm

Glad to see that change being made by Pennsylvania. One of the most most galling things about the 2016 recount effort was that even if a federal judge hadn't blocked the recount (i.e. covered up fraud), many jurisdictions left no paper to count anyway.
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:42 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Deep politics investigative wiki

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon May 07, 2018 11:14 am

Ohio Goes to Court Over Ballot Image Preservation

Ohio, ballot images, Franklin County, Cuyahoga County
Electronic voting hasn’t guaranteed fairness in elections so far. But digital-scanning technology has the potential to increase transparency in elections — if election officials flip the right switches.

Digital scanners capture images of each paper ballot cast and use the images to count results. The machines can preserve the images, providing a quick and easy way to verify election results.

But the settings can be adjusted to discard the images after the results are tabulated. Some election officials are quick to defend their right to trash the ballot images, despite the fact that the machines count the images, not the paper ballots.

The latest contest over ballot image preservation is currently underway in Ohio, where the Green Party candidate for governor, Constance Gadell-Newton, filed an expedited lawsuit against Cuyahoga County, Franklin County, and Secretary of State Jon Husted (R).

The expedited lawsuit argues that Cuyahoga and Franklin counties, the two most populous in Ohio, will violate federal law when they destroy ballot images from tomorrow’s primary.

“You may have the original ballot, but that’s not what the machine counted: it counted the picture,” John Brakey, director of AUDIT-USA, a nonpartisan advocacy group involved in the Ohio case, told WhoWhatWhy. “How can you destroy the evidence that you used to count the votes?”

Ballot images, effectively digital photocopies of the original ballot, don’t take the place of a paper ballot, but rather offer an additional layer of verification. A recent case in New York determined that the images are public records under Freedom of Information laws, meaning that anyone can access and review the records.

ballot scanner

“The public has a right to be able to see what’s happened in an election and be able to confirm that they should be able to trust [the outcome],” Lawrence Norden, Deputy Director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program, told WhoWhatWhy. “We should be doing everything we can to preserve and make available materials to people.”

In 2010, the Brennan Center was involved in litigation in the Bronx where, thanks to ballot images accessed through a FOIA request, they were able to determine that machines had been miscounting ballots due to a technical issue.

Over 20,000 votes were lost in the governor’s race alone.

Selective Leadership


The digital-scan voting machines in question can all preserve ballot images. Franklin and Cuyahoga counties have simply opted not to save them. According to Brakey and other activists, election officials in the county made clear their intent to destroy ballot images. It may be too late for some ballots already — in Ohio, precincts can start counting absentee and vote-by-mail ballots up to 19 days before an election.

The Cuyahoga Board of Elections declined to comment due to the ongoing litigation; Franklin County and the Secretary of State did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Left up to the counties, election transparency differs widely across the state. Though supportive of a transition toward digital scanning equipment statewide — to replace the outdated direct-record electronic voting machines and optical scan technology in use in the majority of Ohio’s voting precincts — the state has neglected to issue any directive to preserve ballot images.

Elsewhere, though, Husted hasn’t hesitated to intervene in elections. The US Supreme Court reviewed a case last year that concerned a procedure in Ohio, which removes inactive voters from the rolls. The case is still pending.

Jon Husted, Constance A. Gadell-Newton
“No one has shown more leadership in taking away votes,” Robert Fitrakis, attorney for the plaintiff in the case, told WhoWhatWhy. “But when it comes down to transparent elections, [Secretary Husted] finds that there is no state law that shows that he can send out a directive that tells people to turn on ballot image preservation.”

Old Equipment


Most voters in Ohio, though, rely on outdated machinery, such as direct-record electronic voting and optical scanners, that do not produce publicly verifiable records such as electronic ballot images. Optical scanners date back to the 1960s and use a technology called MarkSense that counts votes more quickly than by hand. But the machines don’t capture an actual image of the ballot — rather, they produce a “print out” with a barcode that can only be read by a computer programmed with potentially vulnerable software.

DREs, or touchscreen voting, were celebrated by some as a solution following the Florida recount scandal in the 2000 presidential election. But it didn’t take long for the vulnerability of the machines to become apparent. The machines produce no paper trail whatsoever; they rely entirely on software to record and tabulate election results. The weaknesses of the software have been exposed repeatedly.

“If you’re using DREs you might as well hang a sign out: ‘Fraud Invited,’” said Robert Fitrakis, the prosecuting attorney in the Ohio case, told WhoWhatWhy. “If you’re allowing private corporate entities to program your computers, the problems aren’t the Russians, it’s the companies using proprietary software to code your machines in non-transparent ways.”

And old equipment presents a slew of threats for election security and reliability. Many of the now decades-old voting machines run on software that is no longer vendor-supported, limiting the ability to respond to flaws or security breaches. In addition, voting machine companies no longer provide replacements for aging parts, noted Norden from the Brennan Center. While the threat of hacking is high, so is the risk that machines simply won’t work come election day.

“The way we deal with infrastructure is that we’re constantly making improvements and thinking about what needs to be upgraded,” said Norden. “It’s not like we wait for 12 years until it’s all falling apart and realize it’s time to replace everything.”

Given the multiple weaknesses and opacities within election infrastructure, the fight to preserve ballot images could be a milestone in building trust in the electoral process. With a system to verify and authenticate results through publicly accessible ballot images, public cynicism about elections might ebb.

Anything that can increase voter confidence in elections from the local to the federal level is worth it, said Brakey of AUDIT-USA. His organization plans to pursue ballot-image transparency on the local level for as long as it takes: “I’m trying to get more people involved in voting by proving that elections are real.” ... servation/
Posts: 29113
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:28 pm
Location: into the black
Blog: View Blog (83)

Re: Deep politics investigative wiki

Postby Marionumber1 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:02 pm

I have a quick announcement for anyone who comes here and tries to visit these wiki links. Because of an unexplained terms-of-service violation with No-IP, the domain was taken down. I'm trying to get that reinstated, but in the meantime, the simpler URL works fine: And many of the old URLs are saved using
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:42 am
Blog: View Blog (0)


Return to Data And Research

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests