Monday, September 11, 2006

Lawsuits, Movies, and More

Two of the most important election lawsuits are going forward this week. Holder v McPherson (.pdf) is the statewide action brought by VoterAction.org challenging the certification of Diebold. The update:

The hearing for the Motion for Preliminary Injunction for the California Diebold Case (Holder v. McPherson) will be held next Thursday, September 14th at 9:30 a.m. The hearing, presided over by Judge Ronald Quidichay, will be held in Dept. 302 is on the third floor of the San Francisco Superior Court building, which is at 400 McAllister Street (cross-street Larkin).
BradBlog reports that the CA-50 lawsuit will be appealed. The case was dismissed when the defendant, Brian Bilbray, moved that the court had no jurisdiction over his election to Congress because Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert had already sworn in Bilbray. Justice and Democracy lovers are refusing to choke this down since Bilbray's swearing in came while outstanding votes awaited counting and the election itself had not yet been certified. Bilbray's motion to dismiss was granted based on Article I, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution. This same argument has since been applied to keep the courts out of a Republican primary in Nevada.

Another important election-related power grab is in progress here in CA and it has almost slipped under the radar. Assembly bill 2948 has passed both the CA Senate and Assembly and now awaits Arnold's signature. If signed into law, CA would be the first to sign onto a compact being considered by other states. Each participating state agrees that their electoral college votes will be granted to the winner of the national popular vote in future presidential elections. This is meant as a step toward the worthwhile goal of directly electing the president. However, it has the potential impact of overriding the will of the voters in any participating state, and has prompted Dan Ashby of the Election Defense Alliance and California Election Protection Network to call it a "blue state suicide pact." If you think it will help, ask Arnold to veto AB2948. Call 916-445-2841.

Emmy Award winner and Oscar nominee Dorothy Fadiman has a new film opening this week called Stealing America: Vote By Vote. The movie is showing only in select theaters for one night stands beginning at Camp Democracy in DC this Friday. The film will show in Mountain View, CA on 9/19, Oakland, CA on 10/4, and Palo Alto, CA on 10/15. I can't seem to find the dates listed in one place online though I have an e-mail with several more showings. Contact me and I'll send you the list I have.

The movie getting far more attention is ABC's 9/11 docudrama, "The Path To 9/11". There was controversy as soon as the publicity started for this film. It seems obvious that since there are so many unanswered questions about 9/11 that any such theatrical treatment will necessarily be met with less than unanimous acceptance with regard to accuracy, as with election results. Several former members of the Clinton administration were very vocal about misrepresentations--fiction--in this film. Clinton himself wrote a letter to ABC asking them to cancel the movie. Fox News reports that ABC did make changes in response to such pressure. For me, the bottom line here is that this movie is straight up propaganda that serves at least two valuable purposes for the Bush administration.
  1. As an admitted docudrama taking creative license, this film is clearly intended to shape public opinion about what actually happened and who is responsible; this extends beyond the fictional content of the film (which I didn't see) and encompasses all the PR, media hype and controversy that preceded the film's airing.

  2. This film seems to be trying to widen the rift in the perception of reality. This is a central theme in Blueprint For Peaceful Revolution (.pdf). The corporate/military/government/media juggernaut has many ways to divide Americans. One way is leading half the country to believe a lie. There are many ways to sow these seeds of uncertainty, making it impossible to know things for sure. The result is the reality-based community divided from the faith-based community by a rift in the perception of reality. (Faith-based has no religious connotation here, instead it refers to those who would accept the official line unquestioningly, on faith.)
There are a few who have questioned quite eloquently lately. When Rumsfeld was recently in Salt Lake City, he gave a great Black Kettle statement about the rising threat of fascism. That same day, Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson gave a great outdoor speech condemning this administration (video, transcript). Later that night on MSNBC, Keith Olbermann ripped into Rumsfeld in a new and improved sort of way (video). KO had more worth watching tonight, broadcasting from Ground Zero above what he called this country's unmarked mass grave (video, transcript)

And finally, a note about the ongoing sloppiness at the Eureka Times-Standard. Recall that the T-S recently ran an article comprised of excerpts from a Voter Confidence Committee press release. Five of us from the VCC then submitted a letter to the editor in which we were thankful for the coverage but also critical of a factual error in the story. Beyond anyone's control, the Zogby poll results referenced in our press release were published a day later than expected and the T-S article printed the incorrect survey release date as a result. It is harmless and inconsequential information but it is important because it reinforces the broader point we've been trying to make. That is, don't publish what can't be proven and hasn't been independently verified. So now it turns out that the T-S did publish this letter on 9/3. However, they dropped the names of the other signers and published it with credit only to me. Also, and here comes the kicker...despite their policy, and last year's pen name scandal, and the message we've now delivered repeatedly, I was never contacted to confirm that I really wrote the letter.

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Posted by Dave Berman - 10:37 PM | Permalink
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Read or Post a Comment

The Times-Standard has published at least two letters of mine without contacting me. I say "at least" because I'm not a regular reader and they may have published others that nobody mentioned to me.

However, the Arcata Eye, Eureka Reporter, and even The Lumberjack have all contacted me prior to publication. (The Eureka Reporter even wanted a photo to put with my piece as a guest column.)

Posted by Blogger Kathryn @ Sep 12, 2006, 10:14:00 AM
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The Diebold case is indeed crucial to the future of America .. we can't let this crooks keep stealing our votes .. thanks for the update! ... Stealing America won't play anywhere my little corner of the world, but I'll definitely check it out on DVD

Posted by Blogger Reel Fanatic @ Sep 12, 2006, 3:27:00 PM
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