10 September 2006

Either you're with us, against us, or you don't matter

I received an email from MoveOn.org today—yes, I am a member—in which they’ve asked me to pick a candidate in my US Congressional District, the 7th, for MoveOn.org to officially “endorse.”

Not sure why they sent the email.  It’s a waste of time and an unintended insult, if you’re a progressive but not necessarily a Democrat.

Here’s some of the text of the message:

Dear MoveOn member: Together, we've decided to make winning back the House our top priority. That's our national goal, but we wanted your input about a key district: yours.

Voting for the MoveOn endorsement in Colorado 07 is now open. We will endorse the candidate who wins the support of two-thirds of MoveOn members. (If no one wins two-thirds of the support, we won't endorse.)

The two candidates in your race are:

Democrat: Ed Perlmutter
Republican: Rick O'Donnell

I stopped there.  There are NOT two candidates in the race.  According to the highly esteemed Politics1 site, there are in fact four candidates and two write-ins for the 7th.  The candidate I support, and will vote for in November, is the Green Party’s Dave Chandler.  Yet he is not acknowledged by MoveOn.org, which won’t even allow for a write-in.  I’m fine with Ed Perlmutter, and I’ll be pleased if he gets elected, but he’s not my first choice.

So why the exclusionary MoveOn effort?  As my dad likes to say, I may be dumb but I’m not stupid.  I know that MoveOn doesn’t want to dilute support for Perlmutter by endorsing alternative candidates in the 7th, and I know that by cynically listing slimy Bushboy Rick O’Donnell, MoveOn guarantees a landslide for Perlmutter in their "endorsement" vote.

It’s like when you see one of those stupid online surveys on an obviously left-wing site (“Did Ann Coulter Cross the Line?”) or right-wing site (“Is Hill Too Shrill?”).  Waste of time, but it must do something for somebody.


Anonymous said...

Hey buddy, lighten up. I'm a Colorado voter also, but get real - Greens and Libertarians ( and I have friends who are those) have no chance (NO CHANCE) as a party. Sorry, but until the US gets parlimentary democracy, that's the way it it is. The best you can do is exert your influence on the nearest potentially successful cantidate, and get some concessions. Nader shot us in the foot in 2000, and we all know how that turned out. Single issue politics will never make it anyway, so become part of the coalition early on and let perlmutter know that you ant some of your issues to get some attention WHEN he is elected.

Almost the same as a parlimentarian system, just the timing is different...

Payne said...

As much as I enjoy what third parties bring to the table. The vote belongs to two parties- Dems and Reps. Hope you pick the Dems and get a chance to listen to third parties and get they messaage into the mainstream. good luck

Beast of Bourbon said...

>Greens and Libertarians have no chance (NO CHANCE) as a party. ... Nader shot us in the foot in 2000, and we all know how that turned out.<

Yeah, and the Dems really did a number on Nader in '04. Democrats have a lot of gall to bitch about Romanelli in PA getting support from Santorum's creeps when they did everything in their power to sabotage Nader's 2004 campaign. Who do you blame for Kerry's loss, the Mugwumps? Whigs? Prohibitionists? Communists? Know-Nothings? Bull Mooses?

If anyone shot "us" in the foot in 2000, it was the Democrats. Fix the problems in your fractured-ass, aimless party before you go sniping after the handful of third-partiers who have had it with two party bullshit. Even now you've got Harry Reid and Rahm Emanuel giving all sorts of crap to Howard Dean. Insiders vs. populists, old money vs. grassroots, liberals vs. progressives. Way to cohere, way to unite.

Anonymous said...

MoveOn is backing Holt's H.R.550 which essentially requires the evidence of paper ballots, but then does not count them (only 2% as a check) which was exactly the problem with Gore (who was found to have won, under all chad conditions) and Kerry (they are still counting Ohio's votes). It is hidden evidence counted so late that the winners are dismissed.

But, it turns out that H.R.550 has even bigger problems which MoveOn, VerifiedVoting and Democrats must recognize.



Stop the Executive Branch from Taking Over our Elections: Amend or End HR 550

What's wrong with the Holt Bill in three easy bullets

Common Cause, MoveOn.org, TrueMajority, VerifiedVoting.org, and many other large election reform groups are pushing - and pushing hard - for passage of HR550 (the Holt Bill), national legislation aimed to amend the Help America Vote Act. The bill is being sold as a way to put "auditable paper trails" into national law. Sounds like a great idea. But many activists disagree with the approach to support "paper trails" that might be audited when what we want are real paper ballots that are - not might be - counted.

The other problem with HR550 is that it is about much more than paper trails. Read below the dangerous details that the groups pushing for passage of HR550 "as written" aren't talking about.

The democratic processes of the American Republic are based on decentralized power. Centralized power led to the American Revolution. Centralized power is the antithesis of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

1. Centralization of Executive Power—White House Control over Counting the Votes: HR550 extends beyond the existing expiry date the power and authority of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), establishing a Presidential Commission authorized to control the counting of votes in every election--federal, state,and local--in the nation.

2. Centralization of Executive Power—Crony Appointments: The potential for stacking of the EAC is evident in the scenario already played out under the current Administration. In early 2006, the Bush White House made numerous recess appointments, putting political cronies into positions of power and authority without any Congressional oversight or checks and balances. Of the eight recess appointments made on January 4, 2006, three were Commissioners to the Federal Election Commission. Two of those appointed Commissioners are known for their opposition to voting rights and clean elections. The third is a political crony of Senate Minority Leader Reid of Nevada. (Nevada is now positioned to take a lead role in the Democratic presidential nomination process. For this privilege, Nevada has promised to play the nomination process by Party rules, financed by the Casino industry.)

3. Centralization of Executive Power—Regulatory Authority: Federal regulatory authority means the federal entity preempts state and local authorities. The EAC was created as an advisory commission with one exception: it was granted regulatory authority over the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). The EAC has been steadily positioning and even suing to assert its regulatory authority in other areas under its domain. Even if it does not succeed through litigation, the EAC could, with the insertion of a single line of text in ANY congressional act, become regulatory. This is how the FEC gained regulatory powers. A regulatory EAC means that a Presidential Commission—potentially stacked with political cronies—would have legal decision making and enforcement power over the following areas, for every state in the nation:

• Which voting systems are approved for use in our elections

• Who counts the votes in every election

• How votes are counted in every election

• How recounts are administered and how their outcomes are determined

A recent editorial in the New York Times, entitled "Strong Arming the Vote" (August 3, 2006) describes how the Department of Justice under the Bush Administration has been heavily involved in partisan ploys to negate necessary checks and balances in election practices. HR 550, if passed as written, will establish a whole new arm of Executive power with dangerous authority to subvert the entire democratic process of elections that supports our system of government. It would result, in effect, in a bloodless coup.

People often ask, so what DO you support?

Here's an amended bill that might gain grassroots support:

We, the grassroots, can support the Holt Bill when it is amended to remove those dangerous provisions that centralize Executive power and expand Judicial election decision making authority. A Holt Bill that amends HAVA and provides real solutions to the problems in our election system need only include three items:

• The incontrovertible and legally defensible system of verifiable elections through the use of real, voter-marked and verifiable paper ballots (as distinguished from paper trails)

• The elimination of secret vote counting through the use of black box voting products.

• An extension of all HAVA mandated deadlines pending a complete independent investigation, analysis, and audit of HAVA monies distributed and spent on electronic voting systems, the outcomes thereof, with said investigation including information on the most advanced system of checks and balances for elections: hand counted paper ballots.

What can you do?

Contact your Congressional representatives and tell them to amend or end HR550.

Anonymous said...

Don't act all indignant that Moveon left of the Green candidate, all there money comes from Republicans tring for an easy split, just like with Liber-douche in Conn.

Ron Brynaert said...

good look with this battle...

there's absolutely no argument to be made against you....including a Republican as a choice to MoveOn members makes it a bogus contest. i'd be surprised if Perlmutter doesn't get 100 percent of the vote.

but no one wants to hear this argument unless they're a Green, a Republican (hoping to split the vote) or an actual fucking liberal who believes in democracy and doesn't toss his/her ideology out the window just to score points.

auldblues said...

Since the "founding daddies" just were not quite smart enough to see it coming, we are stuck, for now, with a tyrannical "two-party system." This is because of our absurd "plurality" voting system (not to mention computer voting!), which contains the Black Hat Syndrome, which forces smart voters to opt for "anyone more reasonable than Hitler who seems to be more or less likely to win." So we never, ever, get to vote for who we really want, and are stuck with two lousy parties.

In the past, some have suggested so-called IRV voting. But that turns out to be just as bad. It's still a two party system since, all baloney aside, you must give that first rank vote to -- you guessed it -- "anyone more reasonable than Hitler who seems to be more or less likely to win." And it gets worse! There is basically only one way to vote in IRV, but there is absolutely no natural, obvious algorithm for counting those ranked votes. The methods that seem the most fair also seem to require the NSA's supercomputers!

There is a great alternative! The Sequential Approval Method! It's pretty easy, although it does require three discrete runoff votings. Well, that's got to be easier than a tour in Iraq. And the more input you ask of people, the more involved they're bound to feel. The first election is an approval election in which each voter can give one (only one) vote to as many candidates as she or he approves of (up to maybe 50, since we don't want people taking all day making endless lists!). Then, the (up to) 10 candidates who get the highest vote totals (via simple addition) get to contend in the second runoff. This second runoff is another approval election (voters can give one vote to as many of the 10 as they choose). The third runoff is simply between two remaining candidates who received the most approval votes in the second runoff. Of those two, the one who gets the majority wins.

There would be little need for political parties, and voters could never be forced to vote for two lousy but over-sponsored candidates to the detriment of, say, another candidate who might be reasonably good. The Big Blogs have always pretty much ignored calls for sequential approval voting, I think because they secretly love the two-party racket.

AlanSmithee said...

What were you expecting from a democrat front group like MoveOn? Did you really expect some fakeass George Soros funded astroturf organization to present a fair choice? Puh-leeze!

MoveOn exists to take your money and votes and elect democrats. Nothing else. It's no different from belonging to the democrat party. MoveOn 99.44% bullshit pwogwessive rhetoric. Now you know.

Beast of Bourbon said...

>Did you really expect some fakeass George Soros funded astroturf organization to present a fair choice?

Actually, yes. Or at least try.

Anonymous said...

Several here criticize disparage those who argue we need choices other than the two parties. Consider this: We are told that in many states as many or more people are registering as "independent" or "non-aligned". If that is true, than if those voters shared some key political views their numbers are clearly sufficient to form a viable third party.

What will it take to catalyze the reaction that leads the emergence of a new party?

Beast of Bourbon said...

>What will it take to catalyze the reaction that leads the emergence of a new party?<

For starters, they should be invited to televised debates. Whatever third party garners most in polls, however they want to do it.

Anonymous said...

Go ahead and vote for a third party candidate. Better yet stay home and don't vote as it will be better for the environment and a third party vote will only help the anti-environmental Reds get into office.

Anonymous said...

If MoveOn gave the republican as an option that should cover the Green Party choice. We all know the Greens are only on most ballots due to fraud and tainted GOP money.

Why vote for the slave when they give you the master as an option??

Anonymous said...

MoveOn's a Donk front. You'll get no interest in Greens or indys from those corporate party shills.

As you've correctly noted, you have more to choose from than lackluster lesser evilism. So why bother funding MoveOn? Why support an organization that deludes those who don't know as much as you?

Beast of Bourbon said...

>So why bother funding MoveOn?

Because they're a progressive organization, not necessarily a Democratic one. I know liberals who loathe MoveOn and accuse it of hijacking the Democratic Party.

I was moved to write the post because it was the first time I've seen them pull this kind of shenanigan.