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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Courageous or 'reckless'?

Depending on your knowledge about, comfort level or point of view on touch-screen voting machines, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (not unlike her predecessor Ken Blackwell of Cincinnati) has become a magnet for praise -- as well as scorn -- as the state's top election officer.

The latest example is today's announcement that Brunner has been selected for the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in Boston on May 12.

The Ohio Republican Party quickly responded with its own take on Brunner's award. GOP spokesman John McClelland sent out a news statement titled: "Brunner's Special Brand of Courage: 'Fostering a culture of intimidation regardless of the consequences'" (See full text below.)

Brunner, a Democrat, will get the award along with California Secretary of State Debra Bowen for challenging the reliability of touch-screen voting systems. In December, Brunner recommended that 57 Ohio counties -- including Adams, Butler and Highland -- replace their touch-screen voting machines purchased after the 2004 presidential election with optical scan machines which use paper ballots. Brunner released a study that found touch-screen machines susceptible to hacking, memory card problems and other technical failures. Her critics object to the disruption and cost of replacement -- estimated as high as $64 million -- and questioned the necessity of Brunner’s proposals.

This year's award winners were announced earlier today by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Brunner and Bowen will be presented the award for "political courage" by Caroline Kennedy and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy at a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. (You may recall Robert F. Kennedy Jr. authored a 2006 article titled: "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" for Rolling Stone magazine here.)

"As we prepare to cast our ballots for the next President of the United States, our confidence in the integrity and reliability of the voting process has never been more important," Caroline Kennedy, president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, said in a news statement. "Secretaries of State Debra Bowen and Jennifer Brunner have each demonstrated exceptional leadership in working to ensure that voting systems provide a full and accurate count of the vote. Our democracy depends on voter trust. Debra Bowen and Jennifer Brunner’s efforts to earn that trust have made them true profiles in courage."

The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award is presented annually to public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences. The award is named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, which recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers, incurring the wrath of constituents or powerful interest groups, by taking principled stands for unpopular positions. The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation created the Profile in Courage Award™ in 1989.

For more information about the Profile in Courage Award and all the past recipients, visit http://www.jfklibrary.org/

John McClelland's Republican Party statement read: "Jennifer Brunner has indeed shown a willingness to act regardless of the consequences, recklessly promoting a radical agenda and consistently hewing to her own personal version of the truth. It takes courage to pursue a colossal waste of tax dollars for a new voting system based entirely on personal whims and hypothetical evidence. It takes courage to punish your critics and threaten dissenters while presenting yourself as nonpartisan. It takes courage to surround yourself with advisors from the tin foil hat wing of the Democrat Party, yet claim to approach election reform with an open mind."

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17 Comments:

at 8:05 PM, March 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Republicans should be concerned about the integrity of our vting systems as much as anybody else. We had massive disenfranchisement in Florida 2000 and Ohio and other states in 2004.

This is a well documented fact. These machines have been tested again and again and have been found to be easily hackable. They shouldn't have been purchased in the first place. Who the hell ever thought having private partisan corporations secretly counting our votes was a good idea in the first place?

Real democracies are transparent. The partisan hacks that are giving Brunner a bad time are the same one's that pretend that Ken Jim Crow Blackwell was non-partisan. They should be ashamed of themselves!

 
at 8:23 PM, March 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
"...John McClelland's Republican Party statement read: "Jennifer Brunner has indeed shown a willingness to act regardless of the consequences, recklessly promoting a radical agenda and consistently hewing to her own personal version of the truth. It takes courage to pursue a colossal waste of tax dollars for a new voting system based entirely on personal whims and hypothetical evidence. It takes courage to punish your critics and threaten dissenters while presenting yourself as nonpartisan. It takes courage to surround yourself with advisors from the tin foil hat wing of the Democrat Party, yet claim to approach election reform with an open mind."

Typical wRong wingnut whacko spewing the elephant dung propaganda !

While 'John the blab-ist' foot-taps around the facts he lends credibility that the wRong wingnut whackos are all destined for the padded rooms with their hallucinations of men coming to get them in tin foil hats !

That wRong wingnut whacko kook-aid must have them all marching to jones-town ?

'John the blab-ist' must have investment stock in touch-screen machines !

Airport joni must know she can not win without closed door manipulations !

The facts reveal that the voters have exposed the 'culture of corruption' and will probe them until they go foot-tapping away !

PATHETIC 'family values'

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !

 
at 9:21 PM, March 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not surprising that McClelland and the party of no ideas has nothing to offer but divisiveness and shallow rhetoric.

It seems as though the GOP Gestapo throws stones at an award that counts John McCain, the party's nominee for president, among past recipients.

You know what they say about "sticks and stones ... "

 
at 10:26 PM, March 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

They just bought the voting machines in 2004.

Surely there is a less-expensive way of ensuring the security of elections than purchasing ENTIRELY new machines, no?

A little common sense here, people...

 
at 10:28 PM, March 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jennifer Brunner is a woman of integrity as well as a down-to-earth problem solver.

You have no idea how happy I was to vote in the Ohio Primary earlier this month on a paper ballot. There will be a record of my vote...no high expense to maintain machinery nor software.

That's Democracy...and Jennifer Brunner understands Democracy.

 
at 10:34 PM, March 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both of these fine Secretaries of State deserve this prestigious award. The integrity of the vote is the basis of our democracy. It is shameful under one Republican SOS, Ken Blackwell, so much distrust and controversy could occur. He left our election system in Ohio in quite a mess ( thankfully Blackwell has been subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee for his role in suppressing and disenfranchising voters in Ohio-he will have some questions to answer)

Ms Brunner has acted upon the GAO Report on Electronic Voting as well as Ohio 's Everest Report, both which found e-voting machines unreliable, inaccurate and with severe security risks for tampering. She is working to see the outcome of the vote reflects the will of the Ohio voter regardless of party.

If Mr McClelland views fair, transparent and verifiable elections as a radical reckless agenda then either he is living in the wrong country or even possibly he has something to hide.

 
at 9:23 AM, March 19, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is where Republicans miss the boat on covering things up.

When something goeswrong with Republicans, we Republicans vote them out of office.

When Democrats suffer problems and "irregularities", long lines, under-produced ballots etc., they give themselves awards.

It's crazy, but I am beginning to see why the wild-eyed, sycophantic liberals are so staunch. They have better spin on their own failures. For them, a "failure" becomes a "success".

"Old Democrats" become "New Democrats."

"Liberals" become "Progressives."

It's just the old "bait and switch." Put lipstick on the donkey, and voters will be fooled into thiking it's not a donkey... for awhile.

 
at 10:12 AM, March 19, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
"...It's just the old "bait and switch." Put lipstick on the donkey, and voters will be fooled into thiking it's not a donkey... for awhile. 9:23 AM, March 19, 2008"

Does thiking = thinking ?

You mean like, Newt the kook resigning in disgrace for infidelity after condemning 'old Democrats' and then attempting to resurrect the wRong wingnut whacko rhetoric via. a Chabot-head money grab ?

'bait and switch' - you mean like the wRong wingnut whacko practice of foot-tapping in the restroom hoping to grab the attention of another chabot-head ?

Oh yes, the wRong wingnut whacko hypocRite fully exposed !

PATHETIC 'family values' !

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !

 
at 10:25 AM, March 19, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:23 AM,
Don’t throw stones-

Republicans become compassionate conservatives

Compassionate conservatives become Neocons

Repubs invented the bait and switch just like the fear mongering they used to win the Whitehouse in 2004 i.e. if George Bush isn’t in the Whitehouse, terrorists will be in your back yard.

Something needs to be clarified here. There were very clear problems with the elections in 2004 and 2006 in different areas in Ohio. This is factual and documented. Admitting this is true and that it needs fixed does NOT necessarily mean you believe that the election should be overturned or that it was stolen. What is fundamental is that each voter gets to cast a vote secretly and with no obstacles and that vote will be counted.

This is not a partisan issue because Republicans are also subject to the same electoral process as Democrats. By ensuring every vote is cast and counted it benefits ALL citizens. You really need to stop you partisan bickering, it only leads people to believe you don’t hold the sanctity of the vote in very high regard and prefer faulty elections as long as they work in your favor.

 
at 11:04 AM, March 19, 2008 Blogger usefullidiot said...

We must have a "paper" trail for something as important as our elections. Anyone who couldn't punch a card doesn't deserve the honer of voting!!

 
at 11:20 AM, March 19, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

A "RECKLESS RADICAL AGENDA" is one that allows partisan corporations with proprietary source code to oversee our elections.

Funny how the same companies that can provide accurate ATM machines for the banking industry can deliver voting machines that have been shown to be inaccurate, unreliable and tamper prone. Was it just a coincidence that Diebold's Wally O'Dell promised to deliver Ohio to Bush in 2004?

In Franklin county e-voting Machines have been locked down and considered a crime scene:

County's voting machines examined
Brunner triggers state probe by reporting that fall ballot apparently masked a name
Sunday, March 16, 2008 3:22 AM
BY BARBARA CARMEN
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

At least 15 of the county's electronic machines are under double-lock at an Alum Creek warehouse. It is being treated as a crime scene.

-SNIP
Brunner said consultants from SysTest Labs in Colorado, however, were skeptical. When she described the gray box with the faint words "candidate withdrawn," the investigators told her, "That's exactly what you'd see if someone masked a name."

A SysTest report notes that voters in other precincts -- in Victorian Village, Clintonville and Hilliard -- also reported seeing "candidate withdrawn" on their machines.

SysTest investigators also found that the board had not performed a routine test of the computer software on each machine, instead testing just one machine in each precinct.

-SNIP

SysTest investigators also found that the board had not performed a routine test of the computer software on each machine, instead testing just one machine in each precinct.

-SNIP

Investigators also discovered that a board programmer turned off "audit logs" in the voting machines in April 2007, hindering investigators from reconstructing software changes. White found that the vendor had instructed a board employee on how to disable audits to speed programming.

http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/03/16/BOEPROBE.ART_ART_03-16-08_B1_9F9LIV3.html?sid=101

JUST ANOTHER "CONSPIRACY THEORY", OR SOMETHING MORE NEFARIOUS?

 
at 11:40 AM, March 19, 2008 Anonymous billo said...

It's NOT the"hackable" aspect which is crucial; it's the secret, unverifiable software buried deep in the machines' processors and memory cards which CANNOT be entrusted with our elections. You think the banks would purchase systems which they could not independently verify are accurate and safe? NO! But Boards of Elections, slobbering over the trough of HAVA billions, just couldn't resist the siren-song selling of the DRE's and "new-tech" systems, even though the vendors required them to sign contracts which literally give carte blanche for manipulation of the election results.
The repukes framed this as "voter fraud" when in truth it is nothing less than "ELECTION FRAUD" fully aided and abetted by corrupt right-wing politicians and their henchmen, the corporate owners who produce the election systems. A hand-counted paper ballot for all federal offices - President, US Senate and House plus statewide issues are a MUST!

 
at 12:08 PM, March 19, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, paper ballots are what Dem political machines have used for election-fraud since time imemorial.

 
at 12:54 PM, March 19, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
"usefullidiot said...Anyone who couldn't punch a card doesn't deserve the honer of voting!! 11:04 AM, March 19, 2008"

Does honer = honor ?

Typical wRong wingnut whacko, use-less ****ing idiot of the NAZI party (tnp) spewing the elephant dung propaganda !

Isn't a punch card a paper trail ?

Voting is not an honor it is a Constitutional Right and you would know that if you hadn't become a fird-grade skool drop-out !

Perhaps, you could honer your Civic lessons ?

PATHETIC 'family values' !

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !

iespell.com


.

 
at 1:59 PM, March 19, 2008 Blogger usefullidiot said...

"Voting is not an honor it is a Constitutional Right and you would know that if you hadn't become a fird-grade skool drop-out !"

Of course.....That's why ten States
deney convicted felons at the ballot-box!!!!

PATHETIC BOLDB**T BLAST!!!!!

 
at 4:08 PM, March 19, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
"usefullidiot said...Of course.....That's why ten States
deney convicted felons at the ballot-box!!!! 1:59 PM, March 19, 2008"

Does deney = deny ?

Perhaps, you should read the Constitution !

Now, go back to yo mama's basement fur urin fird-grade home skool ed-ju-ma-cake-son !

Once again: iespell.com

With some wRong wingnut whackos there is no hope fur !

PATHETIC 'HypocRites' !

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !

 
at 3:15 PM, March 20, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohio should be honored that Secretary Brunner is receiving a Profiles in Courage award. Despite the Kennedy name -- the museum, foundation, and the presence of family members -- the award in non-partisan. The awards committee contains Sen Cochran (R-MS) and Sen. Snowe (R-ME) as well as historians, journalists, and others. Moreover, McCain and Ford have both been honored by the same award. Mr. McClelland could stand to learn some courage himself instead of name-calling like a bully.

 
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