Preparing for a press conference to denounce Tre Hargett's disrespect for the law.
I have now read this editorial twice and, although I think you raise important points, the hurried and repetitive nature of the editorial's content suggests some nervousness on the part of Memphis Flyer staff at this stage of the investigation. While that's understandable, it also goes with the territory.
Let me be clear, since it seems hard to be at this point: The entire state of Tennessee owes the Memphis Flyer a debt of gratitude for first revealing this August 5 election fraud story and then staying doggedly on it. You have not done that for idle reasons -- there is a "there" there.
The evidence that is already before us, and the evidence that the SCEC still steadfastly refuses to release, both point correctly to potential malfeasance and willful manipulation of election results by one or more parties. There is no way to sugar coat that. The time and attention of Chancellor Goldin and his courtroom is certainly merited by the charges that illustrate these suspicions and by the evidence that the Memphis Flyer has done an excellent job of covering for all of us.
You are correct to suggest that no one should jump to conclusions. You are perhaps not correct to imply that it is too early to suspect wrongdoing and to question the motive, means and opportunity of the key players involved. There is a trail of evidence here that is neither short nor sparse. Many of us hope that evidence trail is about to widen, not narrow, as the court proceedings on this case begin to unfold.
The courts, a number of local, state and federal criminal justice agencies AND the Fourth Estate should follow this evidence to its logical conclusion and justice, if merited and deserved, should be the certain outcome of these processes. After all, if we can't obtain a trustworthy measurement of the "consent of the governed" with our voting systems, we encourage election fraud -- we enable it. It appears that we have also just witnessed it.
If election fraud has happened, it needs to be punished, swiftly and forcefully. At the same time, a very flawed voting system -- slower, more expensive and without any capacity to verify voter intent -- should not be the basis for another election in Memphis or anywhere else. The TN Republicans should not have blocked implementation of the Voter Confidence Act. They justly deserve a major portion of the blame for the mess that Memphis is now in. If that was their intention, all I can say is "Mission accomplished". Gianinni, you're doing a heck of a job!"
But I still have the same old persistent question: Just what part of "trust but verify" do the self-serving still not understand these days ... in the birthplace of the blues?
And in the office of the TN Secretary of State?
OK, I hope someone else comments here. My thanks to the MF again and here's hoping you do a bit tighter editing job before posting your next editorial on this topic. You're heading toward a potential Pulitzer -- stay on the right track. Just because you don't have much local competition for this story doesn't mean you shouldn't do your best. And just because there are real reasons to fear what you're finding, it's your job to find it anyway. Somebody has to, others are supposed to -- show us all the way it's done.
The biggest news from Thursday night, in my opinion, hasn't been covered much yet. Hopefully, you will get the information presented by the two investigators, Bev Harrs and Susan Pynchon, into the public eye in Shelby county very soon.
For once, I will not write a great deal here myself. Having read the Harris/Pynchon report, I will let it speak for itself. A four page (!) summary of the report now appears on-line at:
Here are just two excerpts:
"Consultants examining the Aug. 5 Shelby County election found 3,221 more votes than voters on documents provided by Shelby County elections officials pursuant to a court order.... Most voterless votes were found in large Republican precincts, a non-random distribution..... Shelby County declined to provide precinct results after the election and even after they certified the results; Elections Administrator Richard Holden stated in front of a court reporter on Aug. 16 that it was not possible to produce them, a
misrepresentation to the court, but the inspection team discovered copies of precinct results reports sitting on Shelby County computers. The results had been there since Aug. 6. Shelby County precinct results ("Statement of Votes Cast" or "SOVC") do not match the list of participating voters."
Here is just one of many documented examples in the report of manipulation of the votes, using information provided (pursuant to a court order) by the Shelby County Election Commission:
"Shelby County's certified "SOVC" results show 85,290 votes cast at polls (not early votes, or absentee votes, but Election Day polling place votes. But Shelby County's Participating Voter List shows only 82,069 voters who cast votes at polls. Also, in at least five locations containing phantom votes -- votes without voters -- Shelby County had performed secret uploads from voting machines the day before the election.
The heavily Republican COR09 precinct, location HOPE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH shows just 20 people who voted at the polling place, but the certified "SOVC" results counted 619 votes. This is a discrepancy of 599 votes."
Again, Jackson, Memphis Flyer editors and Shelby Countians of all political persuasions -- if , like me, you just want your votes to be counted as they were cast, read the four page summary of this report at the above link. Then pop some popcorn.
It is EVIDENCE like this on which long prison sentences are made.
Read and weep (or get really, really mad) ... in the birthplace of the blues.
We're paying attention statewide now. And the interest will grow.
Stoplying, thanks for the updates. It's nice to know that the SCEC respects Mark "Human Error" Goins as much as I do. (Not much.) It is clear he is in his position to facilitate election fraud statewide and not because his hillbilly head is overly endowed with brain cells. My guess is that Gia-ninny et al were afraid that Marky Mark couldn't stick to their "move along, nothing to see here" script, not because he doesn't want to but because it would require different responses than "human error, human error ... uh, human error" from him.
Of course, they shouldn't sell short Goins' ability to stay on script. Mark defended ad nauseum the bogus "extra cost" numbers floated by Tre "Too Tall" Hargett in the legislature as their excuse for not implementing the TN Voter Confidence Act (which may have prevented the Memphis melt-down), costs that included one county's estimate that it would cost them $70,000 "extra" to store a single filing cabinet of ballots and other counties' estimates that it would cost them $tens of thousands$ more to deliver and store 60-70% less equipment. The Cheshire Cat has nothing on corrupt and corrupter Mark and Tre. It's time to let some American eagles loose on those cats.
As for the TBI, I share your cautious optimism that they are performing their duties, despite political pressure, because they have found evidence of wrong-doing and they will not abide it. My own experience with the TBI (last summer, when "Too Tall" filed a "terrorist threat" complaint against me for invoking the Battle of Athens (TN) in my writings and testimony to the legislature) is that they are honorable law enforcement professionals who are not about to become jack-booted enforcers for a corrupt regime.
I can't imagine a better issue for Steve Cohen to take on than protectng the consent of the governed. My old college classmate has not shied away from taking brave stands on many, more controversial, issues and none of them is as important as this one. I hope he is working behind the scenes now to uproot this corruption with the assistance of the FBI and the USDOJ. It is not just his own political career, but democracy itself, that he can help save with that effort. One thing's for sure -- no one who is not in on the deal stands much of a chance in November if the same corrupt country-club crackers are counting the votes (and programming the voting machines).
Keep on keepin' on, Shelby countians. As someone who grew up in your post-WWII projects (while my Dad was at UT med school), I am hoping and praying for some serious franchise-saving redemption soon ... in the birthplace of the blues.
Gia-ninny is not hired -- he is appointed by the State Election Commission, supposedly after being recommended by the local Republican Party and by local Republican officials. That begs the question -- how do Shelby Countians remove sitting SCEC members, notably the two Democrats who don't seem to be concerned at all that the Shelby County Democrats want them gone? (Makes you wonder just whose interests -- besides their own -- they are serving.)
BTW, neither the State Election Coordinator nor the State Election Commission members have any relevant training in computer-based voting equipment, other than the indoctrination they received at the Election Center, a brainwashing outfit in Texas set up by the voting machine companies to peddle (and praise) their unverifiable voting equipment.
Other questions: Has Mark "Human Error" Goins issued a report yet? Where does the TBI investigation stand? Where does Congressman Cohen's request for a USDOJ investigation stand? Has Cohen called for a separate FBI investigation? Why haven't the Governor and prominent Dem legislators weighed in yet on the August 5 barrel of smelly fish guarded by red-wrapped skunks over there?
Thanks to the Memphis Flyer for not "moving on" from the most important story of the decade, in Memphis and -- by extension -- in the entire state of Tennessee. Memphis election problems are not unique to Memphis at all, as the FBI and the USDOJ Voting Rights Division investigators will learn when their troop ships disembark ... in the birthplace of the blues.
You know, when a rabid skunk crawls up under my house and dies, I know what happened even before I can actually see the carcass. Sorta like the August 5 Shelby county elections.
Unfortunately, you have Election Commission members who could not move faster than they did to sanctify this smelly carcass, despite fighting tooth-and-nail to prevent anyone from actually crawling under the house to discover and remove the source of the smell. If their motivations for both actions are not obvious to all concerned, you might need a new nose ... in the birthplace of the blues.
Shelby county (and Tennessee) does not need a blue-ribbon commission. After all, we've still got to wait another seven years to be able to look at all the evidence collected by the Warren Commission on who killed JFK, fifty four years after his assassination. So if it's the truth we're looking for, a commission might not be the way to get there. In the meantime, here's some truth for you:
Anyone who pays attention to the mechanics of elections knew (in 2004, if not before) that voting on equipment that allows no independent validation of the votes cast on that equipment is a bad idea. That's the truth.
Anyone who knows anything about the CEOs' politics of the companies who manufacture that equipment knows that not only are these CEOs Republicans but they are members of the splinter cult Dominionists that have infected the once-honorable Republican party and who have no moral code that prohibits stealing. That's the truth.
Anyone who supports election integrity knows that we worked hard for four years to get the TN Voter Confidence Act (TVCA) passed to ban unverifiable voting equipment in favor of paper ballots counted by optical scan machines and to require hand-counted audits in a handful of precincts each election as a safeguard for that equipment. That's the truth.
Anyone who paid attention to the TVCA debate knows that both the Joint (Legislative) Committee on Voter Confidence AND the TN Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) endorced the TVCA and encouraged its passage. That's the truth.
Anyone who still believes in bipartisan cooperation and support for American democratic ideals knows that the TVCA passed with near-unanimous support in the TN House and unanimous support in the TN Senate in 2008 ... but only after the bill was amended to delay implementation until 2010. That's the truth.
Anyone who remembers 2008 knows that something happened during that last election in which we were supposed to use the unverifiable equipment -- a sweep of open legislative seats for TN Republicans during an otherwise blue tidal wave year -- something that no political scientist nationwide can still explain. That's the truth.
Anyone who recognizes what a political "flip-flop" looks like would apply that term to the decision of TN Republicans -- once they "won" control of the legislature -- to move immediately to rescind or delay the TVCA. In fact, they announced that a repeal of the TVCA was one of their three top legislative priorities within days of that election. That's the truth.
Anyone who is a skilled skunk-tracker knows that the impetus for this un-American flip-flop came directly from Shelby County and its overly-pampered son, Tre Hargett. Everything that Tre has done since becoming Secretary of State has worked to weaken voters' trust in the election process and to reduce the numbers of tax-paying citizens who can exercise their franchise here. That's the truth.
Anyone who can connect the dots knows that what has happened in Shelby county is the logical outcome of everything that has come before, though the level of chutzpah evident in the recent Shelby county election theft might even offend the dainty sensibilities of the more upper-crust members of the TN GOP (nee RICO) party. That's the truth.
Anyone who believes in the "consent of the governed" as the only legitimate basis for government power and control in this country needs to refuse to acknowledge and honor the fraudulent results of your recent August election. Anything less would do a disservice to democracy and would dishonor the blood shed by Americans of all political persuasions to protect this country from its enemies, both foreign and domestic. That's the truth.
Anyone who continues to defend easily-hacked election equipment and who continues to facilitate election fraud by delaying and eviscerating the TVCA is a traitor to this country. I support the remedy enumerated in the Constitution for these traitors, whether they live in Memphis or anywhere else in this country. That.is.the.truth.
Anyone who has supported anything less than fully defending the consent of the governed needs to be removed from office and they need to receive swift, sure and severe punishment for their actions. It may take a while to remove their skunky smell from the body politic but there is nothing that is more worth doing these days ... in the birthplace of the blues (and everywhere else).
Until we can count the votes the way they are cast, we do not live in America. Love it (enough to defend it) or leave it (to the corrupt country-club crackers who have wrested control of our elections with the help of their "vapor-trails" voting equipment, vapors that smell mightily like the south-bound end of a north-bound skunk ).
It is now approaching six weeks since the latest stolen elections in Shelby county and Gia-ninny still cannot explain (among the many, many other "glitches") how 6,000+ more votes were recorded than voters and he needs more time to do so. Yeah, right.
It is clear that this Rethug gang can neither shoot straight nor move their mouths without lying. However, if red-ringed election fraudsters look, walk and quack like ducks; this bunch could get a job at the Peabody Hotel after they are removed from the Shelby County Election Commission AND after they are released from prison.
Shelby countians of all political persuasions: DO NOT CONSENT to a fraudulent election -- it does not serve any of us except the un-American election thieves who have taken the reins of the TN Republican party. The election fraud evidence is overwhelming and there is only one real explanation. In their haste to take advantage of the unverifiable voting equipment that TN Republicans worked so hard to get in place and keep in place, the Shelby county Rs way over-reached to produce results that no one in their right minds can (and should) accept. Since this local corrupt crew knew they would be assisted by their baby brother in crime, Tre Hargett, it is no surprise that they would try to steal your franchise. The only question remaining is whether Shelby county voters (and the TBI and the US Department of Justice) will allow them to perpetuate this charade.
Quick, Gia-ninny, we need more bluster, blather and nonsensical "know-nothing" nuggets from you. It seems to be all you are good for. Protecting the Constitution and defending the consent of the governed as the only legitimate basis for our governments -- not so much. Where are the honorable and patriotic Shelby county Republicans when we need them most? Don't tell me they no longer exist, because I know they do. The question remains -- do they hate American democracy as much as Gia-ninny and his ilk?
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By Richard Alley
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