I HAVE SPOKEN OF SYMPOSIUMS AT ELITE SCHOOLS THAT CALL FOR AMERICAN POLITICS BE TAKEN FROM THE UNIVERSITIES' CURRICULUM BECAUSE THERE IS ONLY INTERNATIONAL POLITICS NOW. I SPOKE OF THE NEXT WAVE OF ELECTION CAPTURE VIA ENDING THE TWO PARTY STATEWIDE ELECTION AND REPLACING IT WITH OPEN ELECTIONS DETERMINED BY TOP VOTE-GETTING IN THE PRIMARIES. THIS MODEL OF CAPTURE IS MAKING ITS FIRST APPEARANCE IN CALIFORNIA THIS ELECTION CYCLE WITH THE SHERMAN VS BERMAN CONTEST (SHERMAN IS PROGRESSIVE CHOICE ALTHOUGH HE IS NOT A GOOD ONE) . CORPORATE POLITICIANS ARE TRYING TO MAKE SURE LABOR AND THE LOWER/MIDDLE CLASS CANNOT MAKE A COMEBACK SO THEY ARE LABELING THEM 'RADICAL' AND EMBRACING 'CENTRISM' AS THE NEW POLITICS, BECAUSE AFTER ALL, ALL CENTRISTS ARE CORPORATE. THAT IS WHAT SHERMAN VS BERMAN DOES IN A HEAVILY DEMOCRATIC STATE LIKE CALIFORNIA.....AND IN MARYLAND'S CASE YOU CAN BET THESE CORPORATE LEADERS ARE WATCHING AND READY TO FOLLOW!
FISCAL/LABOR PROGRESSIVES IN HEAVILY DEMOCRATIC STATES ARE SEEING THEIR DISTRICTS BEING GERRYMANDERED BY CORPORATE DEMOCRATIC MAJORITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY JUST AS WE HAVE IN MARYLAND. THINK HOW THE MINORITY DISTRICT NEVER CAME ABOUT AND HOW MONTGOMERY COUNTY IS TAKING ON WESTERN MARYLAND CONSERVATIVES. THIS NOT ONLY ENDANGERS THE REPUBLICAN SEAT, IT MAKES FISCAL/LABOR PROGRESSIVES IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY ENDANGERED WITH MORE CONSERVATIVES IN THEIR DISTRICT. THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED IN CALIFORNIA. A DISTRICT THAT WAS ONCE PREDICTABLY PROGRESSIVE IS NOW LIKELY TO TURN THIRD WAY CORPORATE WITH AN OPEN RACE. THE REPUBLICANS IN THAT HEAVILY DEMOCRATIC DISTRICT WHOSE CANDIDATE IS ALMOST SURE TO LOSE MAY/WILL CROSS OVER AND VOTE FOR THE THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRAT JUST SO THE FISCAL/LABOR PROGRESSIVE WILL NOT WIN. THAT IS THE PLAN AND THESE CORPORATE POLITICIANS ARE WATCHING TO SEE IF IT WORKS.
REMEMBER, FISCAL PROGRESSIVES ARE THE ONES WANTING STRONG LABOR RIGHTS AND WAGES, CIVIL LIBERTY/RIGHTS PROTECTIONS, SAFETY NET PROTECTS, CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE, AND STRONG PUBLIC EDUCATION.....ALL THINGS REPUBLICANS HATE AS DOES THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS EVEN AS THEY PRETEND NOT TO. THIRD WAY ARE WORKING TO MAXIMIZE CORPORATE GROWTH AND PROFITS AND MAINTAIN WEALTH; ALL THINGS REPUBLICANS LIKE.
WHAT THIS 'OPEN ELECTION' DOES IS CIRCUMVENT WHAT ACTUALLY EXISTS. THIRD WAY, WHO ARE BASICALLY REAGAN LIBERALS, SHOULD BE A THIRD PARTY NOT LEADING THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. IF THEY WERE A THIRD PARTY THEN THE RACE WOULD BE CLEARLY DEFINED AS IN POLITICS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM........
CONSERVATIVES VS LIBERALS VS LABOR.
AS IT IS, DEMOCRATIC VOTERS ARE CONFUSED AS TO WHICH ISSUES THESE POLITICIANS STAND........WHICH IS THE POINT.
WOULD PROGRESSIVES HAVE VOTED FOR CLINTON IF THEY UNDERSTOOD TODAY'S MEGA-CORPORATIONS WERE TO BE THE RESULT?? I THINK NOT.
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT!!!
BELOW YOU SEE HOW MARYLAND'S INCUMBENTS ARE MOVING TOWARDS ONLINE VOTING. CAN YOU IMAGINE ANY WAY EASIER TO COMMIT ELECTION FRAUD THAN HACKING ONLINE VOTING???? IT BEATS BALLOT BOX STUFFING! WOULD YOU KNOW THAT IT IS BALTIMORE'S SENATORS AND ELECTION LEADERS HELPING TO PUSH THIS POLICY???? JOAN CARTER CONWAY IS THE ELECTION CHAIRPERSON AND ROSS GOLDSTEIN OF THE STATE ELECTION OFFICE IS RIGHT HERE IN BALTIMORE.
All election advocates agree that online voting offers no protections from fraud and should not be advanced in any form. If a government agency or bank cannot keep its accounts from being hacked, how will the Election Board? The answer is it won't. Any attempt to change paper ballots that can be checked and verified is just another step away from accountability!
SHOUT OUT TO ATTORNEY GENERAL GANSLER, JOAN CARTER CONWAY, AND GOLDSTEIN AS WELL AS ALL YOUR INCUMBENTS THAT MARYLAND DOES NOT WANT THIS SLOW MOVE TOWARDS ONLINE VOTING!!!!
Maryland election board looks at online ballot marking May 29, 2012
By Glynis Kazanjian
The State Board of Elections may move to implement an online ballot marking system for all absentee voters in time for this year’s elections, depending on an opinion from the attorney general. But some voter advocacy groups worry about the potential for fraud.
The move to online ballot marking comes after a 2010 federal mandate that required states to provide overseas voters and active military personnel with access to online absentee ballot applications.
The attorney general’s opinion, requested by Sen. Edward Kasemeyer, would say whether or not the elections board should seek federal and state certification for the online ballot marking tool. The board staff is currently developing the device through a Department of Defense grant.
Certification would test the system and look for vulnerable areas, including where fraud or manipulation could occur. All whole voting systems are federally required to receive certification, but the state board argues the ballot marking tool would be only part of a voting system.
Group worries about voter fraud
Some critics, including the voter integrity group SaveOurVotes, say that without proper federal and state certification, there is a high risk for voter fraud and a potential breach of security of voter information.
“Voting system certification requirements exist to ensure that voting equipment conforms to consistent standards that safeguard our elections against tampering and error,” SaveOurVotes Co-Director Rebecca Wilson wrote in an April 30 letter to Attorney General Douglas Gansler. “Waiving certification requirements for such an undeveloped and untested system as this would set a dangerous precedent.”
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) offered an informal opinion on the matter in February at the request of State Elections Board Administrator Linda Lamone. The commission staff said that an online ballot marking wizard did not meet the definition of a voting system and therefore “was not considered eligible for testing and certification under the EAC program.”
The Election Assistance Commission is supposed to have a fourfive-member board, but it hasn’t had a quorum since December 2010 and currently has no board members serving.
Federal requirements for military and overseas
In early 2010, the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE Act) required states to provide active military personnel and overseas voters with an electronically downloadable online ballot. The state elections board implemented the change as required, but went beyond the scope of the mandate by allowing all domestic voters to request absentee ballots over the Internet.
As a result, almost 80% of 11,375 absentee voters that received their 2010 ballots online were “domestic, civilian voters,” according to an elections board memo.
Some critics charge the expansion to all absentee voters occurred without a formal board vote. The board did vote to approve the absentee ballot application, 4-0, on Feb. 25, 2010, but minutes from January and February 2010 board meetings do not indicate a distinction was made between MOVE Act absentee voters and in-state absentees.
A state regulation the board published March 12, 2010 only refers to “voters authorized to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.”.
But state board deputy administrator Ross Goldstein said staff used the word “voter” and it was not limited in any way.
“The board was informed of our plans and had two different opportunities to vote on the concept of sending ballots to voters via the online delivery system,” Goldstein said.
AG opinion due in June or July
Attorney general spokesman David Paulson said the opinion should be issued in June or July. If the attorney general finds the state does not have to go through certification, the board will then decide whether to limit the online ballot marking option to three classes — active military personnel, overseas voters and disabled voters — or to open it up to all domestic voters, as they did with the online absentee ballot delivery option in 2010.
Other critics of the online ballot marking tool, including Montgomery County activist Holly Joseph, also claim the board did not vote on the use of the absentee ballot marking tool for the 2012 presidential elections.
There was no record of a vote in the monthly meeting minutes, but Goldstein said the vote happened, according to an audio tape of the meeting reviewed by staff.
“I can confirm that a vote was taken to approve the absentee voting materials, including the absentee ballot application, during the September 2011 meeting,” Goldstein said. “It was unanimously approved.”
Possible gateway for online voting
SaveOurVotes and other critics also contend the move to allow absentee voters to mark their ballots online will eventually become a gateway for statewide online voting. Maryland’s policy of no excuse absentee voting by mail allows any registered voter to request an absentee ballot without providing a reason for needing one.
“I believe that most activists suspect that it will now be very easy for the State Board of Elections to go from offering online voting processes to a subset of voters to offering it to all,” said Mary Kiraly, a former Democratic member of the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
Currently, all absentee voters can download an absentee ballot online, which they mark by hand and mail to their local board of elections. There, the ballot is duplicated into a scannable ballot and compared with the voter’s original hand written ballot by a bi-partisan election review team.
The proposed online ballot marking tool eliminates the need for staff to create a matching scannable ballot. Instead, the ballot would be created through the ballot marking wizard and embedded with a barcode that included the voter’s selections made online.
The local board staff would then print out the embedded ballot and scan it through new printers, already purchased with the DOD grant funds, which could read the barcode. The bi-partisan review team would then compare the mail-in ballot with the ballot created online.
Board distinguishes between voting online and marking ballot
Goldstein said it is important for people to understand the distinction between voting online and using a ballot marking wizard to expedite an internal procedure.
“Nobody’s voting online,” Goldstein said. “People are marking ballots through the wizard, but there is no actual voting that’s taking place online. This is a ballot delivery system and what’s really being added to it is just a way to help improve the ballot marking and the ballot duplication process.”
“It would be one thing if we said we were going to use this barcode and rely on this barcode on its own as part of the voting process, but that’s not what we’re saying,” Goldstein said. “We’re saying we’re going to use this barcode to duplicate the ballot, to make the ballot duplication part faster, easier and more accurate.”
Sen. Roy Dyson, D-St. Mary’s, who chairs the Senate’s elections law subcommittee, introduced a bill (SB1078) this year that would have permitted the state board to use the online ballot marking tool without certification requirements. The bill passed the Senate 43-4, with four Montgomery County Democrats opposing it. The bill failed to pass the House. THIS MEANS THAT ALL BALTIMORE'S SENATORS VOTED FOR THIS ONLINE PROCESS THAT IS ONLY A STEP CLOSER TO ONLINE VOTING!!!!
GOP prefers traditional method
State Republican Party Executive Director David Ferguson said he prefers the traditional method of voting.
“I am very suspect of any voting that does not take place at the ballot box,” Ferguson said. “People have been expressing concern about the electronic processes that are currently being used. A paper ballot that has been given with a proper ID has been the standing and best practice across the country. I would encourage Maryland to move toward those best practices and not away from them.”
Robert Walker, chairman of the State Board of Elections, resigned in December 2010 but remains a member of the board. Walker agreed to stay until a replacement had been appointed, but according to Goldstein, a replacement still hasn’t been named.
The board also voted to allow Bobbie Mack, a Democrat, to continue as vice chair. The board’s bylaws state that the vice chair is supposed to be the opposite political party of the chair after the current vice chair’s term ends.
Brad Sherman, Howard Berman Fight: California Congressional Race Turns Physical (VIDEO) By MICHAEL R. BLOOD 10/12/12 02:32 AM ET EDT
LOS ANGELES — An increasingly bitter California congressional race between two House Democrats turned physical Thursday when one aggressively seized the shoulder of his opponent during a debate, yanked him toward his chest and shouted, "You want to get into this?"
The confrontation between Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman came amid a nasty campaign for a Los Angeles-area seat that has become one of the most expensive House contests in the nation.
The lunge by the 57-year-old Sherman appeared to startle Berman, who is 71 and smaller in stature, while the audience hooted and shouted.
Moments earlier, during a dispute on an immigration-related bill, Berman, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, stepped close to Sherman on the stage, who told his colleague loudly, "Get out of my face."
The two men later stood nose-to-nose exchanging words before a sheriff's deputy emerged behind them and briefly placed his hand on Sherman's shoulder. Sherman sat down and took a drink from what appeared to be a water bottle before the two men continued the debate.
Berman's campaign released a video of the confrontation at Pierce College in the San Fernando Valley.
The veteran lawmakers were pulled into the same district after a voter-approved independent panel redrew California's political boundaries. They were the top vote-getters in the June primary and went on to the general election because of California's new primary system, which sends the top two finishers to the runoff regardless of party affiliation.
Their race for the 30th district seat is one of eight same-party congressional runoffs on California's November ballot. Another, in the San Francisco Bay area, involves Democratic Rep. Pete Stark, the longest-serving member of the state's congressional delegation.
Sherman said in a statement that the debate "was not conducted at the highest level. I regret my part in allowing emotions to distract from the exchange of views."
The campaign has seen a series of competing accusations, ranging from suggestions of ethical impropriety to fleecing taxpayers. Earlier Thursday, two former secretaries of state, George Shultz and Madeleine Albright, released a letter defending Berman for taking overseas trips following criticism from Sherman's campaign.
ALTHOUGH BRAD SHERMAN IS THE ONE SUPPORTED BY PROGRESSIVE GROUPS, HE IS NOT THE POLITICIAN THAT WE WOULD WANT TO CHOOSE...HE IS SIMPLY BETTER THAN A MORE CONSERVATIVE BERMAN. YOU'LL NOTICE THAT IN CALIFORNIA, THE LAND OF EVERYTHING THAT IS HURTING THE 95%.....FRAUD, CORRUPTION, FOR-PROFIT EDUCATION, PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS, WEALTH INEQUITY, POLICE BRUTALITY/INCARCERATION AT THIRD WORLD LEVELS.....IS NOT RUNNING NEW CHALLENGERS TO THESE INCUMBENT DEMOCRATS....THE INCUMBENTS ARE JUST FIGHTING ONE ANOTHER. WHY WOULD YOU KEEP THE SAME POLITICIANS IN OFFICE THAT WE NOW KNOW WORKED THROUGHOUT THIS HORRIBLE TRANSITION IN AMERICAN POLITICS???? THE SAME THING IS HAPPENING IN MARYLAND AND IT IS BECAUSE OF THE SAME ENTRENCHED POLITICAL PROCESS. WE MUST SHAKE FREE OF THIS ENTRENCHED SYSTEM AND
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!
Undecided voters turn out for debate between Reps. Brad Sherman, Howard Berman
By Dakota Smith, Staff WriterPosted: 10/10/2012 08:25:05 PM Contra Costa Times
U.S. Representative Brad Sherman debates fellow Congressman Howard Berman at ONEgeneration Senior Center in Reseda on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff Photographer)Plenty of undecided voters, including many registered Republicans, came out Wednesday night in Reseda for one the last debates between Democratic Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman before the Nov. 6 election.
And some left swayed by one candidate. West Hills resident Pat Winson, and her husband, Bob, both registered Republicans watching the hotly contested 30th Congressional District race, declared their support for Berman at the end of the event.
"He's better at reaching across the aisle," Bob Winson said.
Every vote - and every debate - matters at this point. With just four weeks left before the election, Berman and Sherman are campaigning furiously, holding events at a rapid pace throughout the Valley to woo local residents.
During the 90-minute event Wednesday at the ONE Generation Center, the two politicians did their best to differentiate themselves, and display their individual styles and policy stances.
"I have held 160 Valley town hall meetings," Sherman told the audience, painting himself as the more accessible politician.
By contrast, Berman leaned on his lengthy record in Congress and his endorsements from key politicians, telling the group: "I'm the guy they go to to deliver."
Unlike previous debates between the politicians, which have quickly turned into forums for the two men to attack one another, Wednesday night's event was largely civil.
On many issues, the two Democrats agreed. Both regret going to war in Iraq, both support President Barack Obama's health care legislation, and both sympathize with the persecution of Chinese practitioners of falun gong.
In terms of higher education, Sherman complained that elite universities are "pricing themselves out of the market,"
while Berman stated that local universities need to stop relying on foreign and out-of-state students to foot the bill. On the economy and the nation's debt problem, Berman called for increasing the tax rate on those making more than $250,000, while Sherman said he supports the president's power to veto line items in the budget.
Addressing job creation in the 30th District, Berman talked about the cost of runaway production, while Sherman repeated his support of Obama's job bill.
During their closing remarks, both men reiterated the themes that now define campaigns: Berman portrayed himself as the more distinguished politician than Sherman, with deep experience in foreign policy, and a willingness to work with Republicans.
An admitted outsider, Sherman used his loner position to his advantage. He cast himself as willing to challenge controversial bills, and criticized Berman as being entrenched in Congress.
Despite some grumbling that the veteran politicians are similar, differences came through Wednesday, audience members said.
"I'm going with Sherman," said Virginia Thompson, a North Hills resident who'd come to the event undecided.
She couldn't recall what exactly Sherman said during the debate that won her over, but her vote was set.
WHILE KRUGMAN IS A FREE-MARKET LIBERAL HE AT LEAST CALLS THE THIRD WAY DEMOCRATS OUT FOR THEIR CENTER RIGHT POLITICS MOST OF THE TIMES WHILE FLAGGING THE REPUBLICANS AS VILLAINS AS IS HIS JOB AS THE DEMOCRATIC OPINION PERSON. HE RIGHTLY CALLS THIS PUSH TO THE CENTER A COP-OUT EVEN AS HE KNOWS IT IS A LIBERAL POLICY.
TAKE BACK YOUR DEMOCRATIC PARTY BY VOTING THIRD WAY CORPORATE POLITICIANS OUT OF OFFICE!!!
Op-Ed Columnist The Centrist Cop-Out By PAUL KRUGMAN Published: July 28, 2011 New York Times
The facts of the crisis over the debt ceiling aren’t complicated. Republicans have, in effect, taken America hostage, threatening to undermine the economy and disrupt the essential business of government unless they get policy concessions they would never have been able to enact through legislation. And Democrats — who would have been justified in rejecting this extortion altogether — have, in fact, gone a long way toward meeting those Republican demands.
As I said, it’s not complicated. Yet many people in the news media apparently can’t bring themselves to acknowledge this simple reality. News reports portray the parties as equally intransigent; pundits fantasize about some kind of “centrist” uprising, as if the problem was too much partisanship on both sides.
Some of us have long complained about the cult of “balance,” the insistence on portraying both parties as equally wrong and equally at fault on any issue, never mind the facts. I joked long ago that if one party declared that the earth was flat, the headlines would read “Views Differ on Shape of Planet.” But would that cult still rule in a situation as stark as the one we now face, in which one party is clearly engaged in blackmail and the other is dickering over the size of the ransom?
The answer, it turns out, is yes. And this is no laughing matter: The cult of balance has played an important role in bringing us to the edge of disaster. For when reporting on political disputes always implies that both sides are to blame, there is no penalty for extremism. Voters won’t punish you for outrageous behavior if all they ever hear is that both sides are at fault.
Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. As you may know, President Obama initially tried to strike a “Grand Bargain” with Republicans over taxes and spending. To do so, he not only chose not to make an issue of G.O.P. extortion, he offered extraordinary concessions on Democratic priorities: an increase in the age of Medicare eligibility, sharp spending cuts and only small revenue increases. As The Times’s Nate Silver pointed out, Mr. Obama effectively staked out a position that was not only far to the right of the average voter’s preferences, it was if anything a bit to the right of the average Republican voter’s preferences.
But Republicans rejected the deal. So what was the headline on an Associated Press analysis of that breakdown in negotiations? “Obama, Republicans Trapped by Inflexible Rhetoric.” A Democratic president who bends over backward to accommodate the other side — or, if you prefer, who leans so far to the right that he’s in danger of falling over — is treated as being just the same as his utterly intransigent opponents. Balance!
Which brings me to those “centrist” fantasies.
Many pundits view taking a position in the middle of the political spectrum as a virtue in itself. I don’t. Wisdom doesn’t necessarily reside in the middle of the road, and I want leaders who do the right thing, not the centrist thing.
But for those who insist that the center is always the place to be, I have an important piece of information: We already have a centrist president. Indeed, Bruce Bartlett, who served as a policy analyst in the Reagan administration, argues that Mr. Obama is in practice a moderate conservative.
Mr. Bartlett has a point. The president, as we’ve seen, was willing, even eager, to strike a budget deal that strongly favored conservative priorities. His health reform was very similar to the reform Mitt Romney installed in Massachusetts. Romneycare, in turn, closely followed the outlines of a plan originally proposed by the right-wing Heritage Foundation. And returning tax rates on high-income Americans to their level during the Roaring Nineties is hardly a socialist proposal.
True, Republicans insist that Mr. Obama is a leftist seeking a government takeover of the economy, but they would, wouldn’t they? The facts, should anyone choose to report them, say otherwise.
So what’s with the buzz about a centrist uprising? As I see it, it’s coming from people who recognize the dysfunctional nature of modern American politics, but refuse, for whatever reason, to acknowledge the one-sided role of Republican extremists in making our system dysfunctional. And it’s not hard to guess at their motivation. After all, pointing out the obvious truth gets you labeled as a shrill partisan, not just from the right, but from the ranks of self-proclaimed centrists.
But making nebulous calls for centrism, like writing news reports that always place equal blame on both parties, is a big cop-out — a cop-out that only encourages more bad behavior. The problem with American politics right now is Republican extremism, and if you’re not willing to say that, you’re helping make that problem worse.