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NEWS AND ELECTIONS DIRECTOR, KPFK AND PACIFICA

During the Iraq War and the Election of 2004, I was news director and director of elections coverage for Pacifica Station KPFK, 90.7fm Los Angeles, 98.7fm Santa Barbara, California – the largest independent fm signal in the United States of America.

During the buildup to the war I increased news presence on the schedule by 200%.

For six months after that I increased it 150%.

I broke up Free Speech Radio News into segments and reproduced the evening news with one host rather than two. This allowed us to write more content and update the FSRN content with the latest news [hired PC Burke, managed ML Lopez]

In Los Angeles KPFK had long been a place for actors to volunteer to get air time. I fired the actors who were reading the news and pledged no others would be used – rather I would train a team of multi-disciplinary writers to read.

[I hand-picked JF Rosencrantz, Page Getz, Sister Charlene Mohammed, Aura Bogado, Walt Tanner, and many other voices for the newsroom and trained them to deliver on radio].

I added two reporters [both hires were women] and added music and breaks to make the news more listenable for a younger audience. I produced original art pieces, found-sound and cultural pieces.

I was the first News Director to go to Palestine and Israel via Amman, in late 2003 and to the UN, where I was credentialed for the Security Council during run up to war [early 2003]. I reported daily into the midday and evening news and this work is archived in the Pacifica Radio Archives [MTKintheOPT2003/04].

I was the only reporter at the United Nations Security Council on March 21st, 2003, to ask each Ambassador of the U.N. Security Council whether or not they would condemn the bombing of Baghdad by the United States and U.K. the previous night. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told me and all the press corps beside me in response that Putin spoke for all Russia when he said it “violates the U.N. Charter.”

I was the opening voice on Pacifica’s “Attack on Peace,” a nationwide broadcast to millions of listeners and, with Amy Goodman, co-hosted the first hour of what would be three days of historic nationwide broadcasting about Peace and opposing the War on Iraq as it was taking place.

KPFK and Pacifica gave me a chance to do something epic and we both benefited greatly from it. I stand behind my decision to give my time during the Iraq War and Election 2004 to Pacifica. I am exceptionally proud of the work we did.

A detailed description of our work and how it culminated, follows:

02102003 First Newscast with MTK as News Director
First time we ever cut FSRN into separate news pieces, removed the music and parsed the show across the hour. We only ran FSRN as a complete program three times over the next two years.

0210-02282003 The Immokalee Workers Hunger Strike

03012003 move to a single host for the one-hour KPFK Evening News
First hosted by MTK (02282003) and then briefly by Jennifer Hodges and Trevor David and subsequently Monica Lopez, Patrick C. Burke, Aura Bogado, Saman Assefi, Walt Tanner, Teresa Wierszbianska, Sister Charlene Mohammad and others, the one-host-one-hour newscast using FSRN as spliced features parsed across the hour, radically professionalized KPFK’s Evening News “sound”.

03052003 Student Walk Out
Coverage from high schools and universities throughout signal area.

03102003 The addition of the Morning and Mid-Day Reports
At this point, one month into my tenure I had increased News production by 250%, and was preparing to cover the opening of a U.S. Invasion.

0301-04112003 U.N. Security Council as it deliberated Res. 1441
MTK representing Pacifica and KPFK demanded live from the press pit  inside the U.N. Security Council chambers in New York, that each available Secretary of the Security Council respond to the bombing of Baghdad.

0318-03202003 Live coast-to-coast newscast hosted (NY/LA) during opening of US attack on Iraq with live reports from New York, Baghdad, Havana and San Francisco MTK with M. Lopez, T. David, P. Burke, J. Hodges, M. LePique, M. White, N. Thompson, volunteers and the Interns (Clark/Al Sarraf).

04082003 The Guardian of Britain singles out KPFK
http://www.guardian.co.uk/france/story/0,11882,932223,00.html
“If you live in LA, the Bay Area, New York, Washington or Houston, you can, for respite, tune in to one of the Pacifica network radio stations, which for more than 50 years have been broadcasting news from the left. Their war coverage is entitled “Assault on Peace” rather than “Showdown Iraq” and on an average day on my local station, KPFK, you can hear Gore Vidal, Noam Chomsky and members of the anti-war movement with a completely different take on the war and items of news not broadcast anywhere else.”

04102003 Pacifica’s National Dialogue for Peace
MTK opened the first hour of this nationwide radio program, co-hosting with Amy Goodman. “Pacifica’s National Dialogue for Peace,” was a three-hour radio broadcast that allowed calls from unscreened listeners to an electronic-audio panel that included Ohio Democrat and Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich live from a payphone at Congress, Global Village Activist Medea Benjamin live from Washington D.C., and Kani Xulan, a displaced Turkish Kurd, live from New York.

04242003 Occidental Petroleum and Airscan Sued by Colombian villager
Original investigative reporting by JFR and MLL and MTK on the lawsuit filed by Alberto Mujica against Occidental Petroleum and Airscan Security for the cluster-bombing of Santo Domingo, Colombia which murdered Mujica’s family and neighbors and destroyed their village on December 13, 1998.

0502003 MTK Hosts One Hour Special News Program Dialogue with Listeners

05052003 Audio Magazine Project element
The sound of birds on Mt. Washington used as an ambient newsbreak

05092003 Argentine Election Coverage with live results

05012003 Bush’s “End of the War/Victory” speech
Margaret Presscod and M.T. Karthik step on GWBush as he speaks from the deck of the U.S.S. Lincoln parked off the coast of San Diego. Analysis included timely news and information about what was happening in Iraq in Falluja in the last weeks of April and clearly points out actual lies by GWB in the speech. Khaled Abou El-Fadl, professor of Law at UCLA weighs in on Bush’s racist and historically regressive language in an incisive and brilliant post-speech analysis.

05152003 Vinnell Corporation
Vinnell – a local firm that built Dodger Stadium – has ties to the Saudi Arabian National Guard and the C.I.A., 19 Immigrants found suffocated to death in the back of a trailer truck in Texas. Both of these stories are important and represent the beginning of a split in the newsroom.

0515-06092003 Three Chechan Female Suicide Bombers in three weeks
Our Chechnya coverage began to get deeper and deeper after this. We worked our way up to the election in October with coverage from at least seven news sources, including sources from the region: Interfax, Pravda, The Moscow Times.

05182003 Argentine Runoff Election that elects Kirchner

05302003 Audio Magazine Project
A bright and exciting newscast with music by Sergio Mielnishenko

06032003 “9/11 Column” launched
Column investigating 9/11 runs every Tuesday for the entire summer ending on 9/11/2003. Interviews with Michel Chossodovsky, Don Paul, Mary Schiavo, Naseem Ahmed, Ralph Schoenman and Tony Taylor on the 9/11 Special.

06162003 Dominique deVillepin and Strawon defining Hamas as terrorist, live coverage of “People Over Politics” Rally Downtown with PCB
This cast is indicative of things we have been doing: in-depth international news with specific cultural and intellectual analysis (MTK) and coverage of local protests and rallies (PCB, MLL, volunteers). We became quite good at this actually with reporters in the field at many key events often phoning in live.

06182003 Iranian exiles self-immolations in Paris and GMO crops in California
Our GMO coverage pre-dated the media burst in summer and our Iranian self-immolation stories were like nothing done anywhere in English. We looked directly at the suicides as a political tool for communication.

06272003 Coverage of Protests against George W. Bush and Parvez Musharraf, military dictator of Pakistan and ally to Bush War.
Not only did we cover the several thousand anti-Bush and few dozen pro-Bush demonstrators on this night, but we had a credentialed reporter at the visit and lecture by Pakistani Coup Leader Parvez Musharraf (PCB).

07042003 Special News Programming on “4th of July” with editorial comment by MTK and “socio-political interstices” produced by AAB

This is was the only time I recorded an editorial for the KPFK Evening News. I had, by this time produced dozens of them and would go on to produce hundreds more. Just once, on the Fourth of July during the War Year, I allowed myself a luxury that is abused by most Pacifica Radio Hosts.

07112003 Live interview with State Assembly Member Judy Chu
Her bill sponsored to support multilingual contract language in California.
(with brief Mandarin Chinese-language exchange with MTK in the outcue)

0715-08152003 Liberian struggle, Iraq worsens
We began covering Subsaharan Africa and Liberia arose like a healthy distraction from the real issues in DRC and Nigeria and Sierra Leone so we began doing that as well. Live coverage from Nigerian elections led to live calls to Uganda as well.

07152003 New News Theme introduced, headline bumpers added

0720-07292003 Donovan Jackson beating verdict
live reports from Inglewood and the courthouse by volunteer Jordan Davis

07212003 Audio Magazine Project element
the sound of the Dodgers organ player and stadium announcer calling the final field and plate appearances of “Ricky Henderson” versus the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend

07252003 Napalm Use in Iraq
Detailed analysis of the admission by U.S. military of the use of napalm or incendiary bombs that are illegal on Iraqis. Mark 77 versus Napalm incendiaries in detail.

0801-11172003 Russian Federation and “breakaway republics”
We wrote and delivered original work on Chechnya which led to deeper coverage of Azerbaijan, Kzrygystan and Georgia as well as to coverage of The Russian Federation with original interviews of: Matt Bevins, Editor-in-Chief of the Moscow Times for 9 years. (DP), Ian Bremmer Director of the Eurasia Division of the World Policy Institute(DP/MTK), Professor Ronald Suny of the University of Chicago (DP), Giorgy Lomsadze of the Caspian Business Daily live from Tibilisi when as many as 20,000 Georgians descended on the governmental center. (MTK)

08062003 Launch of “Politics or Pedagogy” an education column
John Cromshow’s weekly spin at radio by, for and about kindergarten to high school teachers, students and administration

0806-08102003 Camisea Gas Project, Peru
Amazon Watch and Friends of the Earth take on Ex-Im Bank who want to finance a project that would jeopardize rainforest. We do in-depth interviews on the Paracas National Marine Reserve, home to the endangered Humboldt Penguin. Ex-Im backs off. (MTK)

0809-10072003 The California Recall Election
Complete coverage of all legal angles of lawsuits preceding the Recall and full coverage of three debates and the election, including post-election analysis and commentary and coverage from The Biltmore Hotel, Schwarzenegger’s HQ and Sacramento. Live radio and interviews with Peter Camejo, Terry McAuliffe, and press relations for Davis, Bustamante, Huffington and McClintock.

0808-08112003 Guantanamo Detainees
Focus on the Guantanamo detainees including interviews with attorney’s and family members

0812-09152003 Sherman Austin
Coverage ending with a piece from the field at the courthouse on the day Austin surrendered to authorities Interviews of tearful friends and family of Sherman Austin by Alan Minsky.

08082003 One Hour Special Program on the Recall
Volunteer Jordan Davis joined MTK to discuss the Recall with listeners

09032003 90-minute special program Recall Debate
MTK hosts coverage of debate between five major candidates and listener calls

09052003 Audio Magazine Project
Cast with music by Sergio Mielnishenko, new computers in the newsroom

09112003 M.T. Karthik’s 9/11 Special
a one hour program on covert U.S. Military operations and 9/11’s throughout history, including 9/11/2001.

0912-09162003 Josh Connole Arrest
Live breaking newsradio had KPFK collecting sound from ReGen Co-op as the arrest was occurring.

10012003 Launch of “The Mechanics of Voting” Column

10042003 Dreaming Our Future: If the Truth is Told, Griffith Park, Los Angeles
A Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs-sponsored youth conference organized by Fidel Rodriguez. MTK produced interviews and coverage with volunteer Joseph Lee, 16

1007-10082003 Recall Election coverage
one hour Election Recall Special with TZW

10082003 M on the BBC
MTK on California’s new Governor on morning radio in London

10092003 Use of audio from Radio Intifada
Cross-pollination of programming through shared interview resources

10132003 The Crossing
MLL at the U.S. Mexico Border on vigilantes and border crossings

10152003 Straw Poll of Midday News audience
Result: 96 callers in twenty minutes supported the program by saying they favor the Midday News.

1019-10312003 Fall Fund Drive
News raises $25,000, highest ever for a News Department at KPFK.

10202003 Organic Lounge launched (MLL, RM, LLC)
Food news and politics of organics and genetically-modified foods

10252003 One Hour Special Program Roundtable on Activism hosted by MTK

10302003 Political Prisoners column launched (TC)
Dedicated to political prisoners being held here in the U.S.A.

11132003 Audio Magazine Project element
the sound of thunder in Mt. Washington used as an ambient newsbreak

1212-12312003 Audible Palestine project
http://revolocien.com/zounds/audiblepalestine.php

and thus ended my first year as News Director of KPFK 90.7fm Los Angeles, for which I was rewarded with doubling listeners and a raise.

2004 News and Election Coverage Executive Producer

I was often accused of editorializing. Having studied journalism for years, I denied it with specific details. I countered that editorializing is rampant on the other side, so lies are being taken for fact. I believe I’ve been vindicated in recent years.

The two-paper town is so rare that journalism and the record no longer exist. Colin Powell could spend an hour and a half at the UN telling the world that Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons of mass destruction, that he is capable of delivering them to people and committing mass atrocity. Powell does this for 96 minutes and every paper presents it as fact.

What you got was a non-competitive view that said, “we think Saddam Hussein is this. We think Saddam Hussein is that.” They didn’t do “We observed Powell pitching such and such about Saddam Hussein.” Now how did we at KPFK? We played not one clip of Powell or Jack Straw – their ideas were already in all the papers. We let people hear other voices that favored and opposed war- the UN ambassadors from Pakistan, the Syrian, the Chilean. Others on the Security Council who you could not hear anywhere else. We provided the competitive journalism that allowed a comparison to what you got in every other paper.

“US American” is an example of something linguistic that I generated with much assistance from Patrick Burke. We’d say “US American” for all references to persons, entities or policies of the USA. The term was meant to replace and correct American. American President Bush, American this, American that. Well, Chile is in America, Canada is in America, Mexico is in America. Listeners got that. It’s an antidote for that broadcast idea of The Global North being the most important. It is also important because it contextualizes the USA, which I believe must be isolated. Only after we had done this on KPFK for two years did the stories ridiculing the beauty pageant entrant who used the term emerge. I defend the young woman here for the first time as possibly the first U.S. American to exist, thus placing me second, Patrick C. Burke, third and anyone else who chooses to identify in line beyond this point. As a journalist, I believe you should be extra-national – you should be outside of the state, like Neruda, like Paz. A journalist should be able to say, “I investigate your decision as a nation,” not reproduce the Pentagon line by printing the fax they just sent as news, which sadly happens now in many newsrooms.

KERRY WON
We had perhaps as many as half a million listeners during the Election Cycle. On November 23, 2004, three weeks after Election Day, I sent out an e-mail from my private e-mail account, which in any case I knew meant my termination.

In that e-mail I projected the winner of the 2004 U.S. Presidential race to be Democrat John Kerry by virtue of a true victory of the votes in Ohio and thus an electoral college delegate count of 270 to 267. I believe I would have been the only broadcast journalist in the United States to have made such a projection in the election month of November 2004 or before the Electoral College first met in early December – but I wasn’t able to make it on the air. It was and remains too radical in mainstream media circles to suggest that John Kerry won – not just on-air, but even in an e-mail. I stand by my projection. I believe the Bush campaign rigged the election of 2004 and negotiated a settlement with Kerry/McAuliffe and the DNC. There can be no other explanation for the mathematics or my personal experiences that night.

Nationwide exit polls for the 2004 Elections in the United States were conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International on contract with major national press and TV news services.  One of the unique things that KPFK radio did on Election Night that was different from other live broadcasts was to release results as confirmed only as they were broadcast by one particular television outlet that was a part of this contract. We chose to rely on C-SPAN as the lead media outlet for our broadcasts in announcing results.

This decision was made because it had been reported that the non-profit cable network was the only television outlet that had taken the extra precaution to create a special professional relationship with the Associated Press to allow them access to no less than 500 AP reporters around the country to confirm numbers as they came in on election night. This relationship was established as a reform after the television debacle of the 2000 Election in which Florida “flipped” from red to blue in the middle of the night. As members of the National Election Pool contracting Edison/Mitofsky, these AP reporters and C-SPAN, would have access to both exit polls and election results.

During KPFK’s election night broadcast we occasionally checked numbers being reported by the other networks and announced discrepancies to our listeners as a means of covering the media covering the election while covering the election itself. If a network announced a result before any other network or before C-SPAN, we let our listeners know which network (or network anchor) it was, what the result was and whether or not C-SPAN had confirmed it. I believe we were the only radio station in the U.S. to take this near-academic approach to covering the media while covering the election.

By this methodology, and by being in Los Angeles, in the western-most time zone, KPFK radio broadcast final results of exit polls and confirmed results as they were announced from east coast to west – although listeners to KPFK in L.A. sometimes received projections and actual results later than those posted on NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX, the results were hard, linear, continuous and directly linked to exit polling and to confirmed results as they came in. We told our listeners that we considered matters too close to call. We didn’t rush to judgement.

Edison/Mitofsky conducted exit polls in each state and a nationwide exit poll and, on the afternoon of Election Day, disclosed confidential poll data to the general public showing John Kerry ahead of George Bush in several key battleground states. At 8:27pmPST [11:30pmEST], despite widespread reports of voter disenfranchisement and massive problems with the mechanics of voting, it seemed clear in our broadcast booth that Kerry was winning the race for the presidency by a very slim margin of the electoral college delegate count based on exit poll results and confirmed numbers in states that were not too close to call. Florida polls had just closed for Bush. It had been out of our calculation for projecting a Kerry win, which at any rate we did not broadcast at that time.

It was exactly then that the numbers began to change; between the hours of 8:40 and 10:30 on the west coast. We ended our election night coverage at 10:30, with the position of “Too Close to Call,” but witnessed and reported a radical shift in numbers from 8:40 until the end of our broadcast. If, as has been alleged, there was e-vote cheating going on, I believe this is when it happened.

It is important to note that we were using one television source and not shifting our results in instances when a network announced their confirmed result. We stayed with C-SPAN throughout and as a result I am able to state unequivocally and with conviction that there was a radical change in numbers from confirmed sources with access to both exit polls and results in a very short amount of time at a specific hour on Election Night.

Immediately after the close of polls, at 10pm Eastern, Edwin/Mitofsky’s national exit poll showed Kerry had won the popular vote by a margin of 3%.  Less than fifteen hours later, on the morning of November 3, the official vote counts showed Bush defeating Kerry by 2.5% in the popular vote.

This discrepancy between exit polls and the official election results – a five and a half point swing, astronomical in historical terms – has never been statistically resolved. Several methods have been used to estimate the probability that the national exit poll results would be as different as they were from the national popular vote by random chance. These estimates range from 1 in 16.5 million to 1 in 1,240. No matter how it is calculated, the discrepancy cannot be attributed to chance.

In the absence of raw data, analyses were accomplished using “screen captures” of data published to the Internet on election night. One such analysis of unadjusted exit poll data, by Dr. Ron Baiman, a professor of statistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, found that statistically significant discrepancies of exit poll results from reported election outcomes were not randomly distributed but rather concentrated in five states, four of which were battleground states, long known to have been key to victory by electoral college vote.

This geographically biased error in exit polls against actual results seems too politically sensitive to be coincidence and indeed, Baiman concluded that the probability that these discrepancies would simultaneously occur in only the most critical states of Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania (rather than in any other randomly selected group of three states), is less than 1 in 330,000, an analysis that agreed with independent calculation by Dr. Steven Freeman, visiting faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, who calculated that the probability that random chance accounted for simultaneous exit poll discrepancies in the three battleground states was well outside of the realm of statistical plausibility.

On January 19, 2005, Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International released a 77-page report entitled “Evaluation of Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004,” acknowledging widespread discrepancies between their exit polls and official counts, admitting the differences were far greater than can be explained by sampling error, but asserting the disparity was “most likely due to Kerry voters participating in the exit polls at a higher rate than Bush voters.” The company did not, however, conduct any statistical tests to prove this likelihood of “reluctant Bush voters.” On March 31, a non-profit group called US Count Votes did just that, publishing: An Analysis of the 2004 Presidential Election Exit Poll Discrepancies as a part of its National Election Data Archive Project, in which the group addresses what it identifies as the only three possible explanations for the discrepancies: random sampling error, error in the exit polls, or error in the actual results.

Edwin/Mitofsky itself declared in admitting the immense discrepancies, that they could not be due to chance or random sampling error, with which the authors of the US Count Votes agree. But Edwin/Mitofsky takes the view that their own exit polls were incorrect and the official actual results are correct, while US Count Votes states that the consortium does not come any where near substantiating that position in its report noting that actually “the data that Edison/Mitofsky did offer in their report shows how implausible this theory is.”

The US Count Votes Analysis claims convincingly that Edison/Mitofsky “did not even consider” the hypothesis that the actual results could have been wrong, and “thus made no effort to contradict” this hypothesis, stating further that “some of Edison/Mitofsky’s exit poll data may be construed as affirmative evidence for inaccurate election results,” and concluding, “that the hypothesis that the voters’ intent was not accurately recorded or counted cannot be ruled out and needs further investigation.”

Many statisticians including Baiman and Freeman are signatories to the US Count Votes analysis and a summative report can be downloaded free from:

uscountvotes.org/ucvAnalysis/US/USCountVotes_Re_Mitofsky-Edison.pdf.

The report uses the data released by Edwin/Mitofsky to debunk its own “reluctant Bush responders” explanation and the results of the analysis are both very clear and very disturbing. A comparison of votes cast in the Presidential race with votes on the same ballots in other races or for or against various propositions and referenda around the country, reveals even greater unexplainable biases toward Bush in the official vote count as compared to the exit polls.

My experience as a journalist covering Election 2004 led me to these conjectures. My methodology covering the results on-air live from the west coast on election night and in the three weeks that followed confirmed for me a desperate need for someone in media to announce that they did not believe George W. Bush won the Election and, because of the radical transformation of the U.S. American elections process by the landmark Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore (2000), to announce it loudly before the Electoral College met in early December.

Frustrated by what I saw as a second contravention of democracy during a Presidential election, I hoped to induce investigation of the results by honestly reporting what was strongly suggested by conjecture. The media and John Kerry capitulated. We stayed in context.

MTK’s Elections Hotwired November10, 2004

That’s why I sent an e-mail from my position as Elections Coordinator for Pacifica Radio projecting John Kerry the President of the United States.

Immediately after sending that e-mail for which I was relieved of duty, I sent another e-mail, this time as a concerned voter, to my Senator:

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer:
Let me begin by saying I voted for you. And that you may now be the only person that we on the progressive left can approach, because you are in many ways a part of power and the ruling class in the United States and you are a well-respected member of one of the major parties.

We beseech you to ignore Republicans, Democrats and so-called Progressives who have conceded this election as accomplished fairly and to independently look into the matter.

Please, Senator Boxer, take up the call for Investigation of the Election of 2004. Do it now; before the Electoral College votes and before the Inauguration of the President.

At this moment – as in 2000 – colleagues of yours in the House are prepared to contest and investigate the election for fraud. One Senator willing to ask is all they need to achieve such a request. Only one single Senator who is politically safe, who has the support of a Progressive community, and who has the courage of conviction to stand up and say simply that:

decisions regarding how we vote and for whom are being made too quickly, and as a result carelessly, and perhaps erroneously; that our democratic processes are being rushed and hurried by the Republicans led by Karl Rove [called the “architect” of the re-election by Bush] and; that democracy in the U.S.A. is suffering terribly, if not critically.

As a woman and a progressive Democrat, you have won re-election easily. People here support you for your ideas and values. You are in a safe state among people who share your beliefs.

After hearing four weeks of testimony from key states [especially Ohio] and after reading horrifying stories from around the country as to what happened on Tuesday, November 2, I and many of your other constituents believe that the results of the 2004 election are significantly riddled with errors, many of which circumstantially point to the STRONG possibility of FRAUD and vote fixing.

Senator Boxer, changing the outcome of the election is NOT our interest in asking this of you. The desperate and fundamental need for a fair elections process and real democracy DEMANDS a slower, more measured, piece-by-piece investigation – conducted by Congress – of the Election of 2004 and in particular of the votes cast via electronic voting machines.

It is now clear that George W. Bush’s falsely named Help America Vote Act written to address the many issues that resulted from the 2000 election, served only to rush US counties and states into purchasing machines that have become black holes for American votes.

California’s Secretary of State Kevin Shelley was admired by people across the State for standing up to the manufacturers who were clearly complicit in rushing these devices past proper standards and though now he is being attacked within the system by the powers that be, it is clear he has TREMENDOUS public respect for his forward-looking actions on e-voting over the past year and a half. By setting an aggressive calendar for hearings and for public and private input, Secretary of State Shelley was able to decertify machines and to put out a detailed list of 23 conditions for the use of other machines to make them safer and more accurate for Californians. He said when doing this that cheating wasn’t going to happen on his watch. He then testified before the Election Assistance Commission and at both the Democratic and Republican Conventions, that other states should earnestly learn from California’s experience and institutionalize protections … but it was too little, too late.

Other states and indeed Bush’s White House and the GOP-controlled Congress, diminished the significance of Secretary of State Shelley’s very hard work. Senator Boxer, you will be greeted by a flood of support from the grassroots level if you take this on. You could revolutionize the argument.

As our Senator won’t you chastise them for what they did to our Secretary of State? Won’t you stop their stampeding toward re-election for long enough to examine the facts and the data? Won’t you please tell the rest of the country that Californians were very relieved to have had a Secretary of State who cared enough to demand protections against problems suffered in other parts of the country?

Please, Senator Boxer, look deep into the future of this country, summon the courage and do what you do so well. Stand with your colleagues in the House who believe a Congressional Investigation into the Election of 2004 is an absolute necessity before the U.S.A. can pass one more law or engage in one more battle. Only one Senator is required … it would make us all proud if you were first.

Respectfully,
M.T. Karthik

and to her credit, Senator Boxer made history, contesting the election and voting alone for the Election of 2004 to be investigated for fraud, a point since alleged by Representative Robert F Kennedy, Jr and several other congressional members.

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