Tag Archives | Elections

Voting Machine Manufacturer Diebold Charged Over Bribery, Fraud, And “Worldwide Pattern Of Criminal Conduct”

dieboldNo big deal, they were just the company in charge of making sure that democracy happened. Via the BRAD BLOG:

One of the world’s largest ATM manufacturers and, formerly, one of the largest manufacturers of electronic voting systems, has been indicted by federal prosecutors for bribery and falsification of documents.

The charges represent only the latest in a long series of criminal and/or unethical misconduct by Diebold, Inc. and their executives over the past decade.

A U.S. Attorney says the latest charges are in response to “a worldwide pattern of criminal conduct” by the company…bribing government officials and falsifying documents in China, Indonesia and Russia to obtain and retain contracts to provide ATMs to banks in those countries.

In 2010 the company settled an SEC fraud suit for $25 million. They also admitted in 2008 that they had overstated 2007 election division revenue by some 300% in hopes of manipulating stock prices.

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The Tea Party Is Over

Reading the recent post about how Ted Cruz is some Biblically-prophecied “anointed king” caused me to have a severe horror flashback of the previous Republican administration, in which the commander-in-chief  of that time essentially declared the “divine right of kings” as the reason for his place in the Oval Office.

But then I come to read that our corporate overlords have decided to deprioritize the Tea Party as an electoral brand. It’s nice to know that fascists plutocrats won’t put just anybody in office.

VIA Yahoo! News:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A slice of corporate America thinks tea partyers have overstayed their welcome in Washington and should be shown the door in next year’s congressional elections[. . .]

Call it the wrath of establishment Republicans and corporate America, always considered the best of friends. Since the Republican takeover of the House in 2010, they’ve watched the GOP insurgents slow a transportation bill and reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, block a treaty governing the high seas and stand in the way of comprehensive immigration legislation.

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Non-Human Holders Of Political Office

mule_voteIs human status a requirement for holding the reigns of power? Via Wikipedia, a brief look at notable and heroic non-human electoral candidates:

Incitatus, the horse of Caligula, who it is alleged became a consul and a priest.

Boston Curtis, a brown mule, was offered as a candidate for a Republican precinct seat in Milton, Washington in 1938, winning 52 to zero.

In 1967, an Ecuadorian foot powder company advertised its product, Pulvapies, as a mayoral candidate in the town of Picoazá. Surprisingly, the foot powder won by a clear majority.

Pigasus the Immortal, a boar hog that the Yippies nominated as a candidate in the U.S. presidential election, 1968.

The mayor of Sunol, California was, for ten years (1981–1990), a black Labrador-Rottweiler named Bosco.

Tião, a bad-tempered chimpanzee, was put forward by the fictional Brazilian Banana Party (Partido Bananista Brasileiro, actually the satirical group Casseta & Planeta) as a candidate for the Rio de Janeiro mayoralty in 1988.

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Biometric Identity Verification Fails In Presidential Election – Loser Claims Vote Fraud

John Dramani Mahama

The twist to this increasingly common headline is that it doesn’t refer to the United States, but to Ghana, perhaps the most democratic of African nations when it comes to elections. Story from AP via the Houston Chronicle:

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — President John Dramani Mahama was declared the winner Sunday of Ghana’s recent presidential election, according to provisional results, despite widespread technical glitches with the machines used to identify voters, and over the protest of the country’s opposition, which alleges vote-rigging.

Armored tanks surrounded Ghana’s electoral commission and police barricaded the road around the electoral offices as the election body’s chairman Kwadwo Afari-Gyan announced that Mahama had polled 5.5 million votes, or 50.7 percent.

Opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo, who lost the 2008 election by less than 1 percent, came in second with 5.2 million votes, or 47.7 percent, Afari-Gyan said. Voter turnout was high, with more than 80 percent of the roughly 14 million registered voters casting ballots in Friday’s presidential and parliamentary election.

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How the Negative Trumps the Positive in Politics

Picture: John Etnier (CC)

Via ScienceDaily:

Negatively framed political attitudes (“I don’t like Romney”) are stronger than positively framed attitudes (“I like Romney”), and this effect is strengthened when people think more deeply about the issues involved.

That is the finding of a paper published October 25 in the British Journal of Social Psychology by Dr George Bizer (Union College, New York), Dr Iris Žeželj (University of Belgrade) and Jamie Luguri (Yale University).

The researchers presented participants with information about two fictional (though ostensibly real) candidates — one conservative, one liberal — for a position on a government board. After reading about the two candidates, some participants were asked if they ‘supported’ or ‘opposed’ the liberal candidate and some were asked if they ‘supported’ or ‘opposed’ the conservative. When the candidates were vying for a local government board, participants who were led to frame their opinions negatively — regardless of their underlying preference — expressed more certainty about their attitudes than did participants who were led frame their opinions positively.

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Occupy the Debates

Picture: Flickr/DonkeyHotey (CC)

Occupy the Debates is encouraging activists and critical thinkers in every American city to organize their own events around the Presidential debates this month, fostering dialogue and dissent. Already there are events scheduled in San Diego, Denver (with political comedian Lee Camp and live music by Junkyard Empire), and here in my own beautiful San Francisco, on Mutiny Radio:

We’ll not only be live-streaming the debates in our gallery space and on the air, but we’ll also open up our microphones to the public to rebut the Master Debaters, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Both of these politicians are renowned liars, who sit in denial of the voice of the people. Get live on the air with Mutiny Radio DJs for each of the debates in October, and make your voice heard against their campaign cash machines! Discuss the issues that most likely won’t be covered by either corporate candidate: public banking, suppression of protest, discrimination, net neutrality, climate change, the NDAA, and the drone program!… Read the rest

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Obama Trade Document Leaked, Revealing New Corporate Powers And Broken Campaign Promises

I know. I'm just as shocked as you are. No doubt Mitt Romney will be quick to turn this into an anti-Obama attack ad. Writes Zach Carter at the Huffington Post:
A critical document from President Barack Obama's free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations was leaked online early Wednesday morning, revealing that the administration intends to bestow radical new political powers upon multinational corporations, contradicting prior promises. The leaked document has been posted on the website of Public Citizen, a long-time critic of the administration's trade objectives. The new leak follows substantial controversy surrounding the secrecy of the talks, in which some members of Congress have complained they are not being given the same access to trade documents that corporate officials receive. "The outrageous stuff in this leaked text may well be why U.S. trade officials have been so extremely secretive about these past two years of [trade] negotiations," said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch in a written statement...
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