Saturday, September 23, 2006

Media Forum Validates Advocacy Journalism Approach

On Thursday night I was part of a panel discussion on the topic of local media. I squeezed into the KHUM studio with Tom Sebourn (News Director, KGOE), Half-Def (pirate radio), Charles Winkler (outgoing Managing Editor, Eureka Times-Standard), Bob Browning (General Manager, KIEM-TV3), Rich Sommerville (incoming Managing Editor, Eureka Times-Standard), Paul Encimer (KMUD/Green Fuse), and Diane Batley (Assistant Managing Editor, Eureka Reporter). Mike Dronkers (KHUM Program Director and midday DJ) was our host and facilitator.

The discussion moved quickly and was surprisingly civil. The group was already expected to be large, but Half-Def and Sommerville were last minute additions. Batley was sitting in for Reporter Managing Editor Glenn Franco Simmons who she said was unexpectedly ill. At the top of the show, Dronkers acknowledged that I had inspired the program in our election night conversation questioning how unverifiable election results could be reported by the media as fact. I don't think he explicitly stated that I also booked all of the panelists except the three that weren't scheduled to be there.

As we went around the room to introduce ourselves, I took the opportunity to provide my definition of advocacy journalism. I noted that one of the stated goals of the We Do Not Consent blog is to change the public dialog on various issues and that bringing such a group together for this event is an example of what I consider to be successful advocacy journalism.

While I did NOT say the following on the air, I do point out in the Introduction to my book, We Do Not Consent (free .pdf download), that the Voter Confidence Resolution is my best example of advocacy journalism, so far. I wrote that when Arcata was the only City Council to adopt it. Now there's Palo Alto too. Two cities have declared "no basis for confidence" in election results under current conditions. To me this is an awesome amount of change to the public dialog. I don't say this just to pat myself on the back but to encourage adoption of the advocacy journalism approach as a necessary means for doing the organizing work required in pursuit of progressive change.

I went into Thursday night's forum with several goals in mind, some of which were acted upon off the air. On the air, in the few minutes we devoted to elections, I called upon the media to hold the elections department to the law by obtaining precinct poll tapes at all voting locations on election night. I know first hand that Humboldt does not have a perfect record of following this part of the election code.

Beyond just the accountability of seeing poll workers doing their jobs properly, I pointed out that gathering the poll tapes would allow an absolutely basic cursory verification that the centrally tabulated results jibe with the combined precinct totals. Given the number of precincts, I suggested that the various media might even consider some type of pool arrangement as is common among White House reporters.

I also reiterated the June 6 challenge that brought us all together, adding for emphasis that the media is currently allowing the government to dictate election results which are reported without question or verification, even though the results govern the power of the very same government. I recall Encimer and Sebourn chiming in with supporting comments but I don't remember any particular response from Batley, Winkler or Browning. I think this really is one of the best arguments ever developed for the election integrity movement and it should be fully pressed everywhere.

I also suggested that it would be in the interest of the media to join the call for hand counted paper ballots because then they could observe and document the counting process which would become the basis for considering their reporting to be credible. Each of these points was on my list of goals before the event.

After the show, I gave copies of We Do Not Consent to everyone there. I mentioned how much I appreciated the media coverage of the book launch and how I'd like to get an actual book review that deals seriously with the issues. There were no promises.

At one point I corralled Batley, Winkler and Sommerville. I told them Voter Confidence Committee member Ruth Hoke had written an article based on reviewing local media coverage of election issues as documented in my scrapbook. Hoke's article is excellent and one way or another you will soon get a chance to read it. I quickly flashed the scrapbook though we didn't leaf through it. I was sort of making my pitch and wanted to get to the point.

I gave one copy of Hoke's article to each daily paper. I suggested another writer borrow the scrapbook and write a similar article to compare two people's perspectives of the same thing. There was some interest in this, as I framed a media critique as a means of instituting accountability, the very reason we had supposedly gathered (though I don't think Dronkers used the word even once). It was reasonably suggested that a more neutral party such as the North Coast Journal or an HSU journalism professor do the second critique. A few things to figure out, but as one of the goals for the night, it certainly moved ahead.

I should also mention that Winkler, as basically a caricature of the role he's played for 2.5 years (as I've blogged, and as Hoke notes in her scrapbook review), suggested that I publish Hoke's piece first, which of course would not reach the audience it deserves and would defeat the point of what I'm proposing.

Back in the studio, the other thing worth mentioning is that in the final few minutes we were also joined on the phone by Arcata Eye Editor Kevin Hoover and the pseudonymous blogger Captain Buhne. Apparently one or both of them felt it was important to "prove" that they are not the same person. The Captain's voice, by the way, was disguised to preserve the secrecy of his or her identity. There is somewhat of a cult of personality around this person who has repeatedly scooped the entire community on very inside stories of local media operations.

Captain Buhne's most recent scoop was the announcement of Winkler's departure from the T-S. During the forum, Winkler expressed a little frustration and dismay that the Captain would know such things, but even more so that he/she operates without the accountability of a real name. Click here for a partial transcript of just this portion of the show. The Humboldt Herald is the only other local blog I've seen with any items about this event. If I've missed anyone, feel free to add a comment below. As for Winkler, he claims to have been offered a promotion to a newspaper in the Bay Area where he would rather not live. He says he is now trying to sell his Humboldt home and explore his options.

Feedback overall has been quite good. Consensus among participants was that this was worthwhile or perhaps necessary and that it should happen again. According to Dronkers, calls to the radio station have been positive, suggesting a longer show next time and fewer panelists.

As the first of its kind (here, at least), this event created an immediate tangible impact and change; and with panelists urging future forums, this event also created a ripple effect on the long-term big picture; and by the nature of the discussion, allowing citizens and especially independent media makers to directly address and challenge those holding the reins of the local corporate media outlets, we tapped directly into the relationship or balance of power between We The People and the media most responsible for shaping our local reality.

I have offered these same criteria before to judge the appropriateness of a potential goal, and to describe the hallmarks of peaceful revolutionary acts.

Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/09/media-forum-validates-advocacy.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 11:05 PM | Permalink
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Thursday, September 21, 2006

MEDIA ADVISORY: Forum On Media Accountability Airs Live Tonight

MEDIA ADVISORY

September 21, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Forum On Media Accountability Airs Live Tonight
KHUM To Host and Air Panel Discussion Featuring Humboldt Media Makers

Author and election integrity advocate Dave Berman has assembled a panel of Humboldt County media makers for a panel discussion on media accountability airing live from 6-7pm PST tonight on KHUM, 104.3 and 104.7 in Humboldt, and streaming world wide at www.khum.com.

"The impetus for this event," explains Berman, "goes back to the June 6 California Primary Election when the Voter Confidence Committee challenged local media not to report what can't be proven (unverifiable election results) and what hasn't been independently verified."

A series of private meetings with local media and elections officials then led to a pair of Op Eds proposing the forum discussion. Participants include radio programmers, Mike Dronkers (KHUM), Tom Sebourn (KGOE) and Paul Encimer (KMUD); newspaper editors Charles Winkler (Eureka Times-Standard) and Glenn Franco Simmons (Eureka Reporter); KIEM-TV3 General Manager Bob Browning; and Berman, who has written a book and writes a blog by the same name: We Do Not Consent.

"Another topic I feel it is important to address," says Berman, "is the he-said, she-said style of journalism that allows opinion and fact to be conflated and presented in a false sense of balance."

Berman's work with the Voter Confidence Committee (VCC) has frequently generated media coverage questioning the security and legality of election conditions. Studies by computer scientists and government agencies, including the Government Accountability Office, substantiate concerns raised by the election watchdog group. Rather than exploring the contents of these reports, local media typically presents the basic charges contrasted by quotes from elections department officials, without regard to the relative weight of fact and opinion.

Tonight's broadcast, dubbed "Media Talkback" is an opportunity for listeners to redefine what is required of media to be considered credible. Fostering such dialog is a part of Berman's approach to blogging, which he calls advocacy journalism. Media from around the country are encouraged to listen online and cover the event. The panel will take calls from listeners at 707-786-KHUM.

The VCC has announced that this will be the first in a series of media accountability forums. The group expects to publicly confirm the date and location of the next event by next week.
# # #

Contact:
Dave Berman
wedonotconsent@guvwurld.org
707-845-3749

KHUM call-in line: 707-786-KHUM
Listen online: www.khum.com
# # #

Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/09/media-advisory-forum-on-media.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 1:51 PM | Permalink
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Voter Confidence Resolution ADOPTED By Palo Alto City Council

By a 5-3 vote on Monday night, the City Council of Palo Alto, CA adopted the Voter Confidence Resolution (VCR). Palo Alto joins Arcata, CA as the second city to declare that current election conditions ensure inconclusive results, and:

Whereas inconclusive results, by definition, mean that the true outcome of an election cannot be known, there is no basis for confidence in the results reported from such elections;
Inconclusive outcomes and no basis for confidence are two of the three main points emphasized in the Guide To The Voter Confidence Resolution. The VCR is a template to be customized in each community. The Guide's third main point is that the legitimacy, or "just Power" of government, derives exclusively from the Consent of the Governed. This concept stems from the Declaration of Independence. The template and Arcata's language include this provision:
When elections are conducted under conditions that prevent conclusive outcomes, the Consent of the Governed is not being sought. Absent this self-evident source of legitimacy, such Consent is not to be assumed or taken for granted.
In Palo Alto, the VCR has been championed through the public process by Shauna Wilson, Chairperson of the Human Relations Commission. Through all the revisions that led to Monday night, the above clause was left intact. However, in a compromise that apparently became necessary to win a majority Council vote, this final part of the statement was dropped.

Since the very first time I ever wrote about the concept for this resolution, on April 3, 2004, I have always emphasized as a matter of strategy that we must shatter the assumption of our Consent and create an ongoing impact that becomes cumulative through the question: Has the Consent of the Governed been withdrawn, YET? Think of this as a frame of inevitability - it is not a matter of IF the Consent has been withdrawn but rather a matter of WHEN.

No doubt the Consent of the Governed has not been considered by anyone to be withdrawn based on Arcata's adoption of the VCR on July 20, 2005. The point being that many such statements must be adopted to generate the cumulative impact that makes the point inevitably true. Of course, withdrawing Consent (and complicity) can be demonstrated in myriad other ways and we should not consider it a loss or lesser victory for Palo Alto to come on board minus this element of the resolution. In a phone conversation with Wilson shortly after the Council's historic Monday night vote, she said:
"The City of Palo Alto voted in support of all voters having an opportunity to realize their vote could count and would be counted."
In addition to the removal of this Consent section, the Council also axed two of the nine submitted items in the election reform platform. These objections were benign. One had called for "Re-authorization of the Voting Rights Act before Congress as H.R. 9," which has already occurred. The other item called for support of Clean Money laws, and an earlier agenda item had already put the Council on record with this item. So, though I haven't seen the "official" version adopted by Palo Alto, the version shown below is an unofficial representation based on the submitted agenda item and known revisions.

Shortly after the conclusion of the Council's meeting, I was contacted by Brent Turner, founder of the San Mateo Election Integrity League and volunteer for the Open Voting Consortium. Turner had attended the meeting and wrote to share the good news. According to Turner, "We support this resolution as an obvious step in the proper direction." Turner spoke on the record before the Council, urging them to continue to show leadership in the future. Turner reports that Palo Alto Mayor Judy Kleinberg was in the majority that approved the resolution. The three dissenting Councilmembers' objections, according to Turner, were on jurisdictional grounds. This sounds similar to Arcata's Mayor Michael Machi who typically declines to join in statements that go beyond city limits.

I will be attempting to make contact today with more official sources in Palo Alto and ideally will be able to promote this excellent development with a press release later today or perhaps tomorrow.

* * *
UNOFFICIAL TEXT OF VOTER CONFIDENCE RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY PALO ALTO CITY COUNCIL 9/18/06

Whereas a properly functioning election system should produce substantial agreement about the results indicated by a fixed set of unchanging records; and

Whereas recent elections have been conducted under conditions that have not produced substantial agreement about the outcome; and

Whereas future elections cannot possibly produce substantial agreement as long as any condition permits an inconclusive count or re-count of votes; and

Whereas inconclusive counts and re-counts have occurred during recent elections due in part to electronic voting devices that do not produce a paper record of votes to be re-counted if necessary; and

Whereas the lack of open source software in electronic voting devices restricts public verification of vote accuracy; and

Whereas the Secretary of State has the power to interpret, and implement state and federal elections laws, and set the standards for everything from the processing of voter registrations to the conduct of official recounts; and

Whereas when the Secretary of State is also a principal player in the re-election campaign under his or her jurisdiction, confidence in the Secretary of State’s impartiality is questionable; and

Whereas in the absence of federal or even state standards for voter roll purges, and number of voting machines and poll workers per registered voter, the United States has many municipalities with as many possible standards; and

Whereas exit polls have been used to verify the authenticity and integrity of elections all over the world, and yet exit polls in some recent elections in the United States indicated a landslide victory for the candidate that tallied votes registered as the losing candidate; and

Whereas inconclusive results make it impossible to measure the will of the people in their preferences for representation; and

Whereas the money necessary to run campaigns for state and federal elected offices often requires extensive fund raising and encourages the influence of special interest groups and wealthy donors, while limiting candidate’s ability to interact directly with the public; and

Whereas the Declaration of Independence refers to the Consent of the Governed as the self-evident truth from which Government derives "Just Power"; and

Whereas inconclusive results, by definition, mean that the true outcome of an election cannot be known, there is no basis for confidence in the results reported from such elections;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

The following is a comprehensive election reform platform likely to ensure conclusive election results and create a basis for confidence in U.S. federal, State and local elections:
1) A voter-verified paper ballot for every vote cast and additional uniform standards determined by a non-partisan nationally recognized commission, and

2) Voting processes owned and operated entirely in the public domain, and

3) A requirement that the top elected official responsible for overseeing elections in each jurisdiction not serve in any capacity in any political campaign over which he or she has jurisdiction, and

4) Consistent national standards for security, including physical and electronic security of election systems, including tallying systems, and

5) Uniform and inclusive voter registration standards and accurate and transparent voting roll purges, based on fair and consistent national standards, and

6) Consistent national standards for the number of voting machines and poll workers per 100 voters in each precinct, to ensure reasonable and uniform waiting times for all voters, and

7) Counting all votes publicly and locally in the presence of citizen witnesses and credentialed members of the media, and
In passing this resolution, the City Clerk of the City of Palo Alto, California will follow the above guidelines, where possible, to protect, and ensure voter confidence. This resolution will be sent to California State and Federal legislators, the California Secretary of State, and the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.
# # #
Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/09/voter-confidence-resolution-adopted-by.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 9:10 AM | Permalink
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Monday, September 18, 2006

Humboldt Media Accountability Forum This Thursday

The first in a series of forums on media accountability will be held this Thursday night, September 21, at 6pm. I will be participating in a panel discussion with various local media decision makers. We will gather in the studio at KHUM, which will be airing the discussion live at 104.3 and 104.7 in Humboldt, and streaming online at www.khum.com. The radio station put out a press release (below) on Friday calling the event a media roundtable and dubbing it "Media Talkback."

The idea for the event can be traced back to the June 6 CA Primary election when the Voter Confidence Committee held a press conference rejecting the election outcome and challenging the media not to report what can't be proven (unverifiable election results). That led to meetings with editors of both Eureka daily newspapers and then a pair of OpEds (T-S, Reporter).

In addition to election conditions, another theme I hope will be central to this event is he-said/she-said journalism, referred to in the press release below as "false balance." When I spoke to Eureka Reporter Editor Glenn Franco Simmons this morning to confirm his participation, he asked me what was meant by that. I did not pick that phrase but I know it came from conversations I've had with KHUM's Mike Dronkers about opinion being weighted equally with demonstrated fact. For example, here are three articles from the Eureka Times-Standard (1, 2, 3) in which I refer to either the law or a government report. In all cases, no effort is made to check the law or report. Fact becomes alleged fact and gets washed by the supposed balance of the opposing opinion.

Check this WDNC entry for more on the potential topics I'd like to see on Thursday.

* * *
9-15-06

For Immediate Release

Media Roundtable Discussion to Air on KHUM

Representatives from Humboldt County media will join a roundtable discussion on the issues concerning local media to air on 104.3 & 104.7 KHUM radio, September 21st at 6 p.m. The show is called "Media Talkback," hosted by KHUM Program Director and midday on-air personality Mike Dronkers.

Community members will have an opportunity to ask those participating in "Media Talkback" questions about how they shape local news, entertainment and information. Topics include false balance, what makes the news, and much more. Listeners may email or call the station with questions.

"People are always curious about the mechanics of media. By bringing together some of our local media makers, listeners can call in and get answers to questions they wouldn't normally be able to ask," said Dronkers.

Those participating in the roundtable discussion include Times-Standard Managing Editor Charles Winkler, KIEM-TV Station Manager Bob Browning, Eureka Reporter Managing Editor Glenn Franco Simmons, local blogger Dave Berman, KMUD News Director Estelle Fennell, Bicoastal Media Program Director Tom Sebourn, and Dronkers.

Listeners who have questions may contact roundtable participates by calling the KHUM request line at 707-786-5486 or by email at info@khum.com.

-33-


Jessica Bigger
Promotions Director
KHUM,KSLG, & KWPT(The Point)
Office: 707-786-5104
Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/09/humboldt-media-accountability-forum.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 11:21 PM | Permalink
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TONIGHT: Palo Alto City Council Considers Voter Confidence Resolution

This is a reminder of tonight's potentially historic Palo Alto City Council meeting, starting at 7pm. If you are anywhere in the Bay Area, please consider attending (map) to speak in favor of the Council adopting the Voter Confidence Resolution (VCR). This version of the VCR to be considered tonight was recently adopted by the Human Relations Commission to address the Council's concerns over a previous version. The Palo Alto language is derived from the Voter Confidence Resolution adopted by the Arcata City Council on July 20, 2005. That language was developed on my previous blog, GuvWurld.

The bigger picture plan has always called for a series of City Councils to adopt the VCR. The idea is to repeatedly challenge the assumption that the Consent of the Governed exists or is even sought. While the City Council front has progressed slowly, nonetheless there are many great examples of the VCR's tenets being adopted and embraced by election integrity groups across the country. Click here for a recap of organizations who declared no confidence in the CA-50 race back in June. Notice even attorney Paul Lehto used language from the VCR in his pleading and oral arguments before the San Diego judge.

Look for WDNC exclusive reports this evening from correspondents at Palo Alto City Hall.

Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/09/tonight-palo-alto-city-council.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 10:11 AM | Permalink
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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Letter to Editor of WashPost re: Major Problems At Polls Feared

Sent to: letters@washpost.com

9/17/06
Re: Major Problems At Polls Feared (9/17/06, p.A1)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/16/AR2006091600885_pf.html

Dear Editor:

The same September 17, 2006 issue with the front page headline "Major Problems at Polls Feared" also reported on the complications with Maryland's Primary Election and the ongoing series of electoral "train wrecks" nationwide this year. Poll problems are not just feared, they have begun. Your "Feared" article is reminiscent of stories prior to the November 2004 election in which the public was told to expect lawsuits and delayed vote counting. Yet immediately after that election, citizens were vilified for trying to spotlight the very problems we were told to expect.

This November, more than one third of the votes will be cast on paperless electronic machines that cannot be recounted. At least an equal number of votes will be counted on optical scanners using secret proprietary computer programming. In a recent survey, Zogby International found 92% of Americans believe we have a right to know and see how our votes are counted. But by design, we cannot know or see how our votes are counted. The problems the Washington Post says we should fear do not stem from results yet to be reported, but rather from the very election conditions that are already in place. Listen closely and you'll hear Americans saying "We Do Not Consent" to secret vote counting that requires blind trust and provides no basis for confidence in the results reported.

Dave Berman
Eureka, CA

Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/09/letter-to-editor-of-washpost-re-major.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 10:31 AM | Permalink
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Friday, September 15, 2006

Hitting The Road With A Blueprint For Peaceful Revolution

I left Eureka at 2pm on Wednesday, headed to Santa Rosa. It took almost four hours to get to the Round Table Pizza where the Progressive Democrats of Sonoma County were holding their regular meeting in a private room. Many thanks to Anna Givens who was kind enough to invite me as the keynote speaker. The best thing about this group is that I didn't encounter one person who didn't get it. Nobody raised concerns or challenged statements like "there is no basis for confidence in reported election results," or "as long as people are jailed without charges and we are not presumed innocent, we are not Free People." This made my job easier. This may have been the most in depth and lengthiest talk I've given focused almost entirely on A Blueprint For Peaceful Revolution (.pdf).

Several years ago, when I first became politically active, my main focus was on evaluating how we choose our goals. That hasn't really changed, though I've developed various concepts and phrases that now provide guidance for making better choices. I began my presentation Wednesday night by saying I have a top line and a bottom line. The top line is that we need to look at how we choose our goals and if we do this using the concepts I'm about to share then the bottom line is that Peaceful revolution is necessary, NOW!

Among the concepts discussed, I suggested that wisely chosen goals, when achieved, should accomplish the following: create an immediate tangible impact or change; create a ripple effect with repercussions on the long-term big picture; and influence the balance of power between We The People and the government.

We talked about the two components of ruthless honesty: reconciling what we say we believe with how we act on that same information; and differentiating false alternatives from genuine alternatives.

I described and gave examples of some of the memes, though I think I neglected to refer to them that way. The emphasis was on "least you can do" and "what would be better?"

The Voter Confidence Resolution was a good way to tie this all together. It is a ruthlessly honest document that says current election conditions ensure inconclusive outcomes, provide no basis for confidence in the results reported, and assume rather than seek the Consent of the Governed. What would be better is to implement the platform of election reforms contained in the resolution. While that won't happen all at once, the least we can do is reject the charade. That step builds toward the bigger goal of hand counting the ballots to reach a verifiable outcome we can accept. And that goes toward the even bigger goal of preventing power and authority from being bestowed upon a candidate claiming an office that was not properly won or even contested. Put another way, this is part of how we are withdrawing the Consent of the Governed.

It was a very lively discussion with a lot of Q&A. The topics I initiated took about 30 minutes while the dialog ran another entire hour. The questions led to answers that introduced many other Blueprint (.pdf) topics I hadn't yet brought up. We dealt with inherent uncertainty, the Cold Civil War, intentional divisiveness, the rift in the perception of reality, municipal civil disobedience, and more. If these terms are new for you, please read the Blueprint.

As usual, even when a gig like this seems to go well, my "what would be better?" instinct presents ideas for improvement. In the near future I hope to create some PowerPoint slides that will help streamline my presentation, also bringing it more consistency. I might even narrate some really brief comments that could be recorded and posted with the slides online. In addition, I recently compiled the last 2.5 years worth of local news coverage of election issues into a scrap book. I may try to create a virtual version. Already in progress, Voter Confidence Committee member Ruth Hoke is doing a comparative analysis of the coverage documented in the scrap book. We are aiming to have a serious critique ready in advance of next Thursday's media accountability forum ("Media Talkback").

So it took me about 3.5 hours to drive back to Eureka after my few hours in Santa Rosa. I had hoped to line up Bay Area appearances on the same trip and spend a few days down there but it didn't come together. Meanwhile, when I returned, I realized the ultimate motivation for being willing to make this trip anyway. Along with "Peaceful revolution is necessary, NOW!" I have a message for people in every town I can visit: "psst...the peaceful revolution is on...pass it on." There is just no way that people are not ready for it. They just don't know how to begin or that others have already begun.

* * *

A Blueprint For Peaceful Revolution (.pdf) was first published in the GuvWurld News Archive on 9/22/05. It also appears as the final chapter in my book, We Do Not Consent. Download a free .pdf version of the book or visit http://WeDoNotConsent.blogspot.com to buy a hard copy.

* * *

Click here
to find out what California City Council has the Voter Confidence Resolution on its next agenda.

* * *

Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/09/hitting-road-with-blueprint-for.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 9:56 PM | Permalink
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Dave Berman, Brad Friedman Discuss Voter Confidence Resolution on Peter B. Collins Show

As I mentioned in a post early this morning, the Palo Alto City Council will consider adopting the Voter Confidence Resolution on Monday night. I called in to the Peter B. Collins radio show this afternoon to make that announcement. Brad Friedman was doing his usual guest co-host stint at that time. Download the audio here (.mp3) and drag the slider to 2 hours, 55 minutes and 30 seconds. I am the last caller of the show.

Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/09/dave-berman-brad-friedman-discuss.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 7:45 PM | Permalink
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CONFIRMED: Palo Alto City Council To Consider Voter Confidence Resolution on Monday

As reported this past Monday, Shauna Wilson and the Human Relations Commission (HRC) of Palo Alto, CA have adopted another version of the Voter Confidence Resolution (VCR). The HRC requested that the Palo Alto City Council consider adopting the VCR, and now I have confirmed that the Council has once again made this an agenda item for next Monday, 9/18.

All Bay Area election integrity advocates are requested to attend and speak to the Council on behalf of the VCR. The meeting is at 250 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto, and it starts at 7pm.

Has the Consent of the Governed been withdrawn, YET?

Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/09/confirmed-palo-alto-city-council-to.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 3:35 AM | Permalink
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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Holder v. McPherson in Court Today

The major CA lawsuit challenging the certification of Diebold is in Superior Court today in San Francisco. WDNC correspondent Jane Allen is on the scene and just checked in to say the judge has made reference to a tentative ruling that would seem to favor the defense (Secretary of State McPherson). At this point nothing is firm but apparently the judge has commented that the defense is best served by keeping quiet. The plaintiffs' attorney Lowell Finley of VoterAction.org will still have a chance to change the judge's mind, and as you can see for yourself, the case is very strong (.pdf).

This is a breaking story that I will try to update throughout the day in this thread.

Update 12:40pm
Just picked up voice mail from Jane left approximately an hour ago: "The judge adopted his tentative ruling. The plaintiffs get nothing. No injunction. No writ of mandate."

I will have more later today.

Update 1:56pm
We Do Not Consent EXCLUSIVE
First hand observations from the court room filed by Jane Allen

Judge Quidachay announced at the beginning of the hearing that he had issued a tentative ruling yesterday (Sept. 13) denying the writ of mandate and preliminary injunction because petitioners failed to sustain their burden of proof. He said he would hear from all parties, but, in effect, told attorneys for respondents that when you're ahead, it's a good idea to be quiet.

The judge made several comments which indicated that he was concerned about creating "excessive hardship" to counties with elections less than 60 days away. He seemed unimpressed by petitioners' arguments around the potential disenfranchisement of millions of voters and returned a few times to the hardships that an injunction would create for counties and mentioned petitioners' argument that millions of dollars have already been spent on these machines. He also offered the rationale that the machines are "not bad enough not to use if" short-term, interim fixes are accomplished.

Petitioners' counsel (I didn't catch his name) reminded the judge that there were alternate remedies (short of an immediate injunction against the machines), namely, decertification after six months to prevent continued use of "systems that raise grave doubts in the minds of the voters" and enjoining respondents from further purchases.

There were questions and answers about interpretive code, sleepovers and possibility of using paper ballots for the upcoming election.

Mr. Woods, representing Bruce McPherson, emphasized the "vigilance of the SOS" on this matter and that it is "offensive" to suggest that the SOS "should do what's already been done" as far as testing, etc. In asserting the diligence of the SOS, he cited a history of testing and sending back for more testing, characterizing that as "running it through the wringer." He stated that "long-term measures" to remedy problems are already "required to be accomplished by Diebold."

Lowell Finley, representing petitioners made a few final comments pointing out that a "crucial difference" with DREs is that "fraud can be viral" ... a "qualitatively different danger of fraud" that’s "undetectable" and the danger is not from individual voters but from “insiders in the process" ... people who work for Diebold or other manufacturers or insiders who get into elections offices. He cited the difficulty of identifying malicious code, the "danger to our democracy," the "profound and ongoing defects" of the machines and the "dishonesty of Diebold" in their "dealings so far." Mr. Finley cited Brown v. Board of Education to compare that decision regarding sweeping reform of segregated public schools (and the burden imposed on the school system) to the sweeping reform required of the current state of elections.

I thought it was an interesting comparison because what I heard from that example was: he was urging Judge Quidachay to have the courage to call a halt (regardless of the proximity of the elections and the millions and millions of dollars already spent) to a deeply flawed system.

Petitioners' arguments failed. The judge adopted his tentative ruling, saying that petitioners "failed to meet their burden on all claims."
Update 9/15 3:15am
BlackBoxVoting.org has a thread based on this blog post. Bev Harris said a very nice thing: "The WeDoNotConsent blog, published by an extraordinary citizen from Humboldt County Calif. (Dave Berman), has an exclusive from the courtroom today"

Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/09/holder-v-mcpherson-in-court-today.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 10:20 AM | Permalink
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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Latest Terrorist Threat

By definition, if you threaten to attack American civilians with a weapon, you are a terrorist. Meet Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne:

Air Force chief: Test weapons on testy U.S. mobs

POSTED: 7:56 p.m. EDT, September 12, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before being used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary said Tuesday.

The object is basically public relations. Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions from others about possible safety considerations, said Secretary Michael Wynne.

"If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation," said Wynne. "(Because) if I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press."

(More...)
CNN posted this AP story last night and I've archived it here. If Wynne is truly concerned about being vilified in the press, he seems oblivious to how it would play out if he ordered this weapon deployed against U.S. citizens. For that matter, the mere suggestion should result in his vilification in Congress where his resignation should be demanded immediately.

Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/09/latest-terrorist-threat.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 12:01 PM | Permalink
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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.

Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/09/lawsuits-movies-and-more.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 10:37 PM | Permalink
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Voter Confidence Resolution Advances in Palo Alto

The Human Relations Commission (HRC) of Palo Alto, CA has now twice adopted modified versions of the Voter Confidence Resolution (VCR) derived from the language developed at the GuvWurld Blog, predecessor to WDNC. In February the HRC adopted this language (.pdf), though when the Palo Alto City Council finally considered the VCR in May it was sent back to the HRC for revisions. In July the HRC made its second unanimous endorsement, archived here and shown below in full. And now, according to HRC Chairperson Shauna Wilson, the Council is set to reconsider the revised resolution on September 18. The following is a letter submitted by Wilson to the Council asking for their approval of the resolution and outlining the changes made by the HRC to accommodate the Council's previous concerns.

Dear Mayor, Kleinberg, Vice Mayor Kishimoto, and City Council Members,

The Human Relations Commission passed a Voter Confidence Resolution on February 9. 2006 and requested the Resolution be sent to the City Council of Palo Alto for consideration. The Voter Confidence Resolution made it to the City Council agenda on May 8, whereupon it was sent back to the HCR for revision.

Some City Council Members took issue with specific sections of the resolution unanimously passed by the HRC in February. The HRC has sited the provisions below.

1. Declaring election day a national holiday.
  • Some Council members were concerned about the financial impact of an election day holiday for City employees. Other Council members wondered if a national holiday would be the most effective way to increase voter turnout.

  • HRC RESPONSE: The HRC removed this provision from the revised Voter Confidence Resolution
2. Equal Time provisions to be restored by the media along with a measurable increase in local public control of the airwaves
  • A Council member believed this provision was inappropriate and unnecessary.

  • HRC RESPONSE: The HRC believes that equal time provisions for political candidates would help to equalize the political process. The HCR also believes current laws could be enforced by the FCC. Specific Supreme Court rulings authorizing the Federal Communications Commission to enforce equal time provisions and free airtime for political candidates can be found at the link provided below. http://tinyurl.com/m6zvq The HRC agrees to remove this segment of the resolution in the interest of offering the City Council a Voter Confidence Resolution in keeping with City Council concerns.
3. Preferential voting and proportional representation to replace the winner – take – all system for Federal, State and local elections.
  • A Council Member sited preferential voting and proportional representation as complicated voting systems which should not be considered for this Resolution.

  • HRC RESPONSE: The goal in preferential voting is to produce election results where winners gain seats in proportion to the votes they secure. This system is used for national elections in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan and a number of European Countries. The HRC believes a preferential voting system would enhance voter confidence. However, the HRC has removed this provision in honor of the City Council request.
Members of the City Council also questioned the call for support of clean money laws. The HRC had purposely left this segment open ended as legislation was pending in the State and in Congress. Since passing the initial Voter Confidence Resolution, Proposition 89: California Clean Money and Fair Election Act has qualified for the November 2006 ballot. Details and specifics about this proposition can be found at www.CleanMoneyElections.org

When the HRC passed the most recent version of the Voter Confidence Resolution the Voters Rights Act was before Congress. H.R. 9 has subsequently passed and the Voters Rights Act has been reauthorized.

The Human Relations Commission hopes the City Council will pass this revised Voter Confidence Resolution which has incorporated the changes suggested by various City Council members.

Sincerely,

Shauna Wilson Mora
Chair of the Human Relations Commission
City of Palo Alto, CA

* * *

Voter Confidence Resolution
As passed by the Human Relations Commission of the City of Palo Alto
July 13, 2006

Whereas a properly functioning election system should produce substantial agreement about the results indicated by a fixed set of unchanging records; and

Whereas recent elections have been conducted under conditions that have not produced substantial agreement about the outcome; and

Whereas future elections cannot possibly produce substantial agreement as long as any condition permits an inconclusive count or re-count of votes; and

Whereas inconclusive counts and re-counts have occurred during recent elections due in part to electronic voting devices that do not produce a paper record of votes to be re-counted if necessary; and

Whereas the lack of open source software in electronic voting devices restricts public verification of vote accuracy; and

Whereas the Secretary of State has the power to interpret, and implement state and federal elections laws, and set the standards for everything from the processing of voter registrations to the conduct of official recounts; and

Whereas when the Secretary of State is also a principal player in the re-election campaign under his or her jurisdiction, confidence in the Secretary of State’s impartiality is questionable; and

Whereas in the absence of federal or even state standards for voter roll purges, and number of voting machines and poll workers per registered voter, the United States has many municipalities with as many possible standards; and

Whereas exit polls have been used to verify the authenticity and integrity of elections all over the world, and yet exit polls in some recent elections in the United States indicated a landslide victory for the candidate that tallied votes registered as the losing candidate; and

Whereas inconclusive results make it impossible to measure the will of the people in their preferences for representation; and

Whereas the money necessary to run campaigns for state and federal elected offices often requires extensive fund raising and encourages the influence of special interest groups and wealthy donors, while limiting candidate’s ability to interact directly with the public; and

Whereas the Declaration of Independence refers to the Consent of the Governed as the self-evident truth from which Government derives "Just Power"; and

Whereas inconclusive results, by definition, mean that the true outcome of an election cannot be known, there is no basis for confidence in the results reported from such elections;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

The following is a comprehensive election reform platform likely to ensure conclusive election results and create a basis for confidence in U.S. federal, State and local elections:
1) A voter-verified paper ballot for every vote cast and additional uniform standards determined by a non-partisan nationally recognized commission, and

2) Voting processes owned and operated entirely in the public domain, and

3) A requirement that the top elected official responsible for overseeing elections in each jurisdiction not serve in any capacity in any political campaign over which he or she has jurisdiction, and

4) Consistent national standards for security, including physical and electronic security of election systems, including tallying systems, and

5) Uniform and inclusive voter registration standards and accurate and transparent voting roll purges, based on fair and consistent national standards, and

6) Consistent national standards for the number of voting machines and poll workers per 100 voters in each precinct, to ensure reasonable and uniform waiting times for all voters, and

7) Counting all votes publicly and locally in the presence of citizen witnesses and credentialed members of the media, and

8) Re-authorization of the Voting Rights Act before Congress as H.R. 9

9) Support of clean money campaign reform laws such as passed in the States of Maine, Arizona, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Mexico and to be included in the November 2006 election ballot for California as the California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act ; and
In passing this resolution, the City Clerk of the City of Palo Alto, California will follow the above guidelines, where possible, to protect, and ensure voter confidence. This resolution will be sent to California State and Federal legislators, the California Secretary of State, and the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

Be it further resolved:

When elections are conducted under conditions that prevent conclusive outcomes, the Consent of the Governed is not being sought. Absent this self-evident source of legitimacy, such Consent is not to be assumed or taken for granted.

Posted by Dave Berman - 1:55 AM | Permalink
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Press Release: Dave Berman to Address Progressive Dems of Sonoma

Press Release: Dave Berman on Elections & the Consent of the Governed

For Immediate Release:
September 7, 2006

Contact: Anna Givens 707-545-6286
Progressive Democrats Sonoma County
Web: www.pdsonoma.org

No Basis for Confidence in Election Results as currently Reported. What about the Consent of the Governed? National and internationally recognized author, Dave Berman will be the featured speaker Wednesday, September 13 in Santa Rosa at a meeting of Progressive Democrats Sonoma County.

WHERE: Round Table Pizza 1003 Guerneville Rd. Santa Rosa, CA

WHEN: Wednesday, September 13. 7:00 pm.

WHY: An extraordinary 92% of Americans believe that the public should have the right to observe vote counting and obtain information about it, according to a new Zogby poll of 1018 registered likely voters, taken August 11-15, 2006. Progressive Democrats Sonoma County, agrees with Attorney Paul Lehto, who commissioned the recent poll, that 'this flies in the face of electronic elections where vote counting is commonly considered a trade secret of the vendors of electronic voting machines.' We join the many CA citizens and organizations who are working to reclaim oversight and control of our elections. To do otherwise is, in the words of Lehto, "like the biggest step backwards for democracy imaginable."

Berman’s new book, 'We Do Not Consent: Peaceful Revolution and Other Provocations from the GuvWurld Blog' is a compilation of essays originally posted on his blog, http://guvwurld.blogspot.com The book is dedicated to "conscientious objectors everywhere" and covers topics such as election integrity, U.S. involvement in Iraq, media reform, propaganda, and strategies for large scale social change.

Berman's Voter Confidence Resolution, was adopted by the Arcata City Council in Humboldt Co. last year. It affirms that, "the Declaration of Independence refers to the Consent of the Governed as the self-evident truth from which Government derives 'just Power' .. elections are {currently} conducted under conditions that prevent conclusive outcomes, {therefore} the Consent of the Governed is not being sought. Absent this self-evident source of legitimacy, such Consent is not to be assumed or taken for granted."

Dave Berman has been a featured speaker on The Thom Hartmann Show, Peter B. Collins' Show and Air America. His articles have been published in the Eureka Times Standard, Eureka Reporter, Humboldt Advocate and Arcata Eye. Radio and TV stations in Northern CA, Portland, OR and Houston, TX have broadcast Dave's message about Voter Confidence, and publications as diverse as the Lone Star Iconoclast and New Zealand's Scoop.co.nz have reported on his work.

Posted by Dave Berman - 1:34 AM | Permalink
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Friday, September 08, 2006

Some notes on the fly

Last Friday I posted a very quick report on the Humboldt Supes' meeting I had just attended. I then promptly left town and haven't been able to post since. Local coverage of that same meeting appeared in the Eureka Reporter, Eureka Times-Standard, and Arcata Eye.

Last night I attended the monthly meeting of the citizens' Election Advisory Committee. Hart InterCivic regional sales manager James R. Suver was there to answer questions about and demo the eSlate. Rebecca S. Bender reports fairly here in today's Eureka Reporter.

Since I'm about to split again I want to drop a string of other quick announcements I might otherwise prefer to expand on.

Next Wednesday, 9/13, I will be speaking to the Progressive Democrats of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa, CA. Check out their press release.

I'll have to make a separate post about this, hopefully on Sunday, but I recently heard from Shauna Wilson, chairperson of the Human Relations Commission in Palo Alto. She shared an updated version of the Voter Confidence Resolution that has again been adopted by the HRC. She also included a letter submitted to the Palo Alto City Council acknowledging the changes made per Council's request. The agenda has not yet been published to confirm, but Shauna expects the Palo Alto City Council will again consider adopting the VCR on 9/18.

The same judicial cowardice displayed in San Diego recently, where the CA-50 lawsuit was dismissed, has now been seen in Nevada. There are concerns about Texas being next and the likelihood that the Constitution is now basically a weapon being used against us.

Has anybody ever told you that you look like a Peaceful revolution is necessary, NOW! ?

Not there yet? Would you say the same if you lived under the rule of someone literally claiming the power of a king?

Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/09/some-notes-on-fly.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 11:53 AM | Permalink
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Friday, September 01, 2006

Humboldt Succumbs To Fed, State Bullies

As expected, the Humboldt County Supervisors today authorized County Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich to negotiate a contract with Hart InterCivic for the purchase of eSlate DRE voting devices. See Monday's post for more details and links.

Bottom line, the Feds passed the Help America Vote Act in 2002. Across the country, Secretaries of State are now putting the final pinch on counties not yet in compliance with the law's requirements to provide an independent and private voting experience for disabled voters. Humboldt will now spend roughly $800,000 to buy machines that no voters here are asking for and hardly anyone here even knows anything about. Worse, these machines are wireless and can be hacked all at once (like most voting systems, I suppose). According to the Hart InterCivic website (as if this is something to boast about):

Centralized Polling Place Command and Control

Polling place officials can simultaneously activate all voting machines, monitor status of booths, receive requests for assistance from a voters, close polls and lock all voting devices. There is no need to manage multiple standalone voting machines. eSlate's simplified polling place set-up and management, results in a reduced risk of standalone machine failures and malfunctions.
I was pleasantly surprised that the Supes discussed this matter for about 30 minutes. They took seriously my proposition that they weigh the costs and benefits of HAVA compliance with those of non-compliance. It never really seemed like they were leaning my way, but they certainly validated the concerns and expressed their frustration at having their decisions so compelled by others. The motion to approve Crnich's request for authorization on the contract included an amendment to include a letter of protest directed to Secretary of State Bruce McPherson. The Supes approved 5-0.

Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/09/humboldt-succumbs-to-fed-state-bullies.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 11:50 AM | Permalink
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As shown on
Dave's new blog,
Manifest Positivity

We Do Not Consent, Volume 1 (left) and Volume 2 (right), feature essays from Dave Berman's previous blogs, GuvWurld and We Do Not Consent, respectively. Click the covers for FREE e-book versions (.pdf). As of April 2010, paperbacks are temporarily out of print. Click here for the author's bio.

Back Page Quotes

"Give a damn about the world you live in? Give a damn about what you and I both know is one of the most shameful and destructive periods in American history? If so, do something about it. You can start by reading We Do Not Consent."

— Brad Friedman, Creator/Editor, BradBlog.com; Co-Founder, VelvetRevolution.us


"If in the future we have vital elections, the "no basis for confidence" formulation that GuvWurld is popularizing will have been a historically important development. This is true because by implicitly insisting on verification and checks and balances instead of faith or trust in elections officials or machines as a basis for legitimacy, it encourages healthy transparent elections. It’s also rare that a political formulation approaches scientific certainty, but this formulation is backed up by scientific principles that teach that if you can’t repeat something (such as an election) and verify it by independent means, it doesn’t exist within the realm of what science will accept as established or proven truth."

— Paul Lehto, Attorney at Law, Everett, WA


"Dave Berman has been candid and confrontational in challenging all of us to be "ruthlessly honest" in answering his question, "What would be better?" He encourages us to build consensus definitions of "better," and to match our words with actions every day, even if we do only "the least we can do." Cumulatively and collectively, our actions will bring truth to light."

— Nezzie Wade, Sociology Professor, Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods


"Dave Berman's work is quietly brilliant and powerfully utilitarian. His Voter Confidence Resolution provides a fine, flexible tool whereby any community can reclaim and affirm a right relation to its franchise as a community of voters."

— Elizabeth Ferrari, San Francisco, Green Party of California


"This is an important collection of essays with a strong unitary theme: if you can't prove that you were elected, we can't take you seriously as elected officials. Simple, logical, comprehensive. 'Management' (aka, the 'powers that be') needs to get the message. 'The machines' are not legitimizers, they're an artful dodge and a path to deception. We've had enough...and we most certainly DO NOT consent."

— Michael Collins covers the election fraud beat for "Scoop" Independent Media


"What's special about this book (and it fits because there's nothing more fundamental to Democracy than our vote) is the raising of consciousness. Someone recognizing they have no basis for trusting elections may well ask what else is being taken for granted."

— Eddie Ajamian, Los Angeles, CA


"I urge everyone to read "We Do Not Consent", and distribute it as widely as possible."

— B Robert Franza MD, author of We the People ... Have No Clothes: A Pamphlet for every American