Well, this isn’t frightening at all.
A proposed law scheduled for a vote next week in the Senate was originally written with the intent of increasing American’s e-mail privacy. A rewrite however, driven by complaints in law enforcement, has increased government access to your e-mails and other digital media.
A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans’ e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.
CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans’ e-mail, is scheduled for next week.
Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans’ e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge.
DailyTech calls the move a ‘bait and switch’, essentially charging Leahy with calling for a vote on a bill that is completely different from its original intent.
The irony here is that in 2008, Leahy was accusing the Bush administration of abusing their power regarding warrantless wiretaps, referring to the administration as “little children playing with matches”.
Looks like Leahy now has a lighter in his hands. Will the Senate put out the fire next week?
Leaving commentary to a minimum, since this guy is really only well known for his past in the local political scene.
Former political boss Jimmy Germano, a North Greenbush Democrat, apparently propositioned a boy for sex in Vero Beach Florida. When that plan didn’t go so well, Germano decided to proposition the mother who had confronted her son’s stalker.
Germano was arrested and released on $15,000 bail.
Via the Times Union:
Former North Greenbush Democratic political boss F. James “Jimmy” Germano was arrested in Vero Beach, Fla., for asking for sex from boy and his mother.
The Vero Beach Police Department confirmed that Germano, 83, who controlled the Democratic Party in the town for decades before retiring to Florida, was arrested Nov. 2 on felony charges of procuring a minor for prostitution and soliciting a prostitute. He also was charged with two misdemeanor counts of stalking.
He is free on $15,000 bail, officials said.
Germano was active in town Democratic politics and patronage for four decades and lead the town party for 31 years, before he stepped down Aug. 26, 2002.
According to a report by Vero Beach Detective James Kelly, Germano approached a 12-year-old boy who was walking to his bus stop at 6:54 a.m. that day. In a statement to police, the boy said an older, heavyset man approached him driving a black Cadillac with New York license plates.
“He stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride and sexual stuff and I kept walking to my bus stop,” the boy said in a written statement.
The boy then used his cellphone to call his mother, who rushed from her home to the bus stop. The mother, 31, said in the statement that she was then approached by Germano in his car and repeatedly propositioned for sex.
Jim Franco has a copy of the police report, and his own accounts of Germano’s erratic behavior dating back to the ’90s, including this gem:
While he was trying to take over the Democratic Party Committee back in the 1990s after Ed McDonough resigned there was a battle on the floor and one person called him a thug. He stood up and said: “You call me a thug again and I’m going to break their F***ing knees.”
Nothing quite says peacenik like a threat of knee-capping.
Regardless of your politics, if somebody calls 911 and says that a man at a polling station has told you to leave because he has a gun, is it not mandatory that the police arrive as soon as possible to check on the situation?
Not in Detroit apparently…
First, there was this tweet from Election Journal:
This morning, a legally credentialed poll watcher was threatened and intimidated while attempting to perform his legally allowed duties of observing the election process at precinct polling location 289 in Detroit.
The poll watcher, a lawyer, was confronted by a voter in line, who demanded the poll watcher produce his credentials, which he did.
However, the voter said that wasn’t good enough and that he had “a badge and a gun” and told the poll watcher get out of the precinct.
Rather than allow the situation to escalate, the poll watcher left before the voter produced a badge or brandished a gun.
Fearing for his safety, the poll watcher exited and called 911, however the Detroit Police refused to respond to the call – neglecting the fact that a voter alleged to have a ‘badge’ and a ‘gun’ in a precinct, putting other voters at risk.
Let’s see. A man threatens a voter with a badge and gun. Said voter calls more men with badges and guns. They don’t respond. Why? Was the first man allegedly holding a badge and gun professionally related to the other men with badges and guns?
Let’s hope the one doing the threatening wasn’t actually a police officer.
A pretty disturbing report coming out of U.S. Senate candidate, Wendy Long’s campaign. Apparently, a poll worker reviewed Long’s ballot and told her it would be rejected because she didn’t “fill in every space”.
When Long countered that you can indeed leave some sections of the ballot blank, the poll worker again indicated her ballot would be rejected.
Long correctly informed the worker that forcing a voter to vote in every race, would essentially result in that person being forced to vote for candidates they do not want.
The poll worker even went so far as to suggest Long should mark the Democratic line all the way down.
Here is a letter released by Long:
“This morning when I went to vote, a poll worker who was at the scanner, studied my private ballot and proceeded to tell me that it was rejected because I did not ‘fill in every space.’ She then proceeded to indicate that I should mark the Democratic line all the way down.
The poll worker said, ‘you have to fill in all of THESE, all the way down,” indicating the whole line at the far left of the ballot, saying ‘you can’t leave any blank.'”
I said, “I’m sorry, but that just can’t be the case …. that would force me to vote for people I don’t want to vote for.” She insisted again, that every office had to be filled out or the ballot would be rejected. And I said again “I don’t want to vote for those people!”
I protested again and said that I wanted to feed my ballot into the scanner as I had filled it out. She eventually relented saying ‘well you can TRY it’ — meaning she would allow me to put it in the scanner.
It obviously worked.
I had just remarked to all the poll workers, before I filled in my ballot, that we were all very fortunate to have heat and water and electricity.
It is heartbreaking, especially in these trying times for New York City with thousands of voters displaced from their homes and their polling locations, that poll workers would behave in this way, and through intent or ignorance, work to distort the outcome of an election and violate an individual’s right to vote for whomever he or she chooses.
I urge all voters to know your rights when you vote.
You can ask for help in how to operate the scanner, but your ballot is private and cannot and should not be inspected.
You do not have to vote in every office, or fill in every oval. Vote only for the candidates whom YOU want to vote for.
Finally, question authority – poll workers are there to help you to vote, not to tell you how vote. If one crosses the line, contact the Attorney General’s Office or your local Board of Elections.”
Poll workers shouldn’t be trying to persuade anybody to vote in a certain manner, but it is even more absurd when you try to coax a Republican candidate for office to vote straight Democrat.
So they fought back, and won the first battle –
Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released the following statement regarding the first court order issued by the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to seat Republican Minority Inspectors in Philadelphia Polling places:
“This was a shameless attempt from the Obama campaign to suppress our legally appointed Republican poll watchers in Philadelphia and they got caught,” Chairman Rob Gleason said.
“We’ve seen these shenanigans before and it’s clear that Democratic operatives and the Obama campaign are desperate; trying to shield Republican Minority Inspectors who are employees of the City of Philadelphia today from monitoring election activities. It certainly raises the question, what are Democrats doing in the polls that they are working so hard to shield folks from monitoring this election?”
So far this morning, Democratic operatives prohibited 75 legally credentialed Republican election workers from accessing polling places in heavily Democratic areas in Philadelphia. Incidents ranged from judges of elections refusing to seat Republican Minority Inspectors and Clerks, to reports of Democratic election operatives announcing that “No Republicans will be allowed in the polling place.”
As a result, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania petitioned the Court to issue formal orders to force Democratic judges of elections to seat Republican minority inspectors and clerks. The Court said that they will issue around 6-12 Orders with approximately 6 – 10 names per Order.
And so it begins…
Its happening in Philadelphia – Democrats are trying to steal the election.
The Philadelphia GOP is reporting that court appointed Minority (read GOP) Inspectors are being thrown out of polling locations in several Wards.
The Philadelphia Enquirer is on it:
These Inspectors are election officials – again, court appointed — and are reportedly being thrown out by the Head Judges of Elections (these Judges are elected Democrats).
Philadelphia is a liberal hot bed, and will no doubt see plenty of voter intimidation tactics. It isn’t an isolated incident either.
This has happened at the following locations:
Ward 32, Div 13
Ward 43, Div 14
Ward 56, Div 1
Ward 56, Div 22
Ward 32, Div 28
Ward 32, Div 28
Ward 12, Div 17
Ward 39, Div 1
Ward 24, Div 9
Ward 18, Div 25
Ward 43, Div 14
Ward 29, Div 18
Ward 65, Div 19
Ward 20, Div 1
Ward 6, Div 11
Please, if you see any signs of illegal activity today, contact True the Vote at their Election Integrity Hotline, (855) 444-6100.
Let the Fraud Begin: Colorado Voting Machines Stealing Votes, Absentee Ballot Issues Reported in Iowa
The last time there was a brutal get out the vote fight amongst Presidential candidates, Democrats resorted to trickery, pulling out all stops in an effort to get their candidate elected – as evidenced on page 54 of the 2004 Colorado Election Manual:
“If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a pre-emptive strike…“
And thus the pre-emptive strikes have already begun … in Colorado no less.
… it is troubling that we are hearing numerous reports of voting machines recording votes intended for Romney as votes for Obama.
Colorado’s KRDO NewsChannel 13 reports that the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office is investigating after more than a dozen Pueblo voters say voting machines switched their pick from Mitt Romney to Barack Obama.
One Romney voter, told KRDO that when she hit the touchscreen for Romney, a check mark appeared next to Obama’s name. She said she asked for help to fix the problem, but still feels unsure about her vote:
“I wonder where my vote really counted,” she said.
And there, in a nutshell, is why ensuring the integrity of the voting process is so vital. There is no worse feeling than being unsure if your vote really counted.
The problems don’t end there, as another key state, Iowa, is providing some disturbing reports.
From the Des Moines Register:
“Muscatine resident Craig White says a Democratic campaign worker somehow gave his 75-year-old mother the impression that it was OK for her to sign his name on an absentee ballot request form when he wasn’t home…”
“Elsewhere, reports of unauthorized absentee ballot paperwork have led to an investigation by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. Floyd County Attorney Normand Klemesrud, a Democrat, said the DCI is checking into cases in his county in which someone allegedly filled out the request paperwork for an absentee ballot without the voter’s consent or knowledge…”
“The DCI has approached paid Democratic Party staff to ask questions about allegations of unauthorized requests for absentee ballots in Floyd County, a party official confirmed. Norm Sterzenbach, the party’s executive director, said a DCI agent spoke briefly to three workers at the Organizing for America office in Charles City. The party’s attorneys then contacted the agent “and said if you need to talk to … any of our employees, have those conversations with our attorneys,” Sterzenbach said…”
ABC also added these comments:
“It is concerning to hear of cases of unauthorized absentee ballot paperwork being turned in by the Democrats in Iowa,” RNC Communications Director in Iowa Tom Szold wrote in a statement to ABC News. “Integrity of elections are critical and a full investigation of these irregularities should be conducted.”
The RNC has responded by submitting a letter to Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz. It reads:
Dear Secretary Schultz,
On behalf of the Republican National Committee, I am writing to express concern with what appears to be illegal activity involving Democratic and Obama campaign operatives engaged in absentee ballot canvassing. We understand that the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigations is investigating this matter. We request the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office do all it can to further that investigation and to ensure that any illegal activity conducted by Democratic operatives does not taint the fairness of the 2012 general election.
According to reputable media reports, Democratic operatives allegedly encouraged elderly persons to fill out and falsely sign absentee ballot requests for other family members.
Additionally, the same reports suggest that Democratic operatives themselves may have even falsely filled out and submitted absentee ballot requests without the permission of the Iowa voters on whose behalf the requests were submitted. As the Des Moines Register reported, “the [Department of Criminal Investigations] has approached paid Democratic Party staff to ask questions about allegations of unauthorized requests for absentee ballots in Floyd County . . . .” DCI agents have also spoken “to three workers at the Organizing for America office in Charles City.” The Iowa Democratic Party has now asked DCI to have conversations only with Democratic Party attorneys.
Fair and open elections are vital to our democracy. And the alleged conduct of Democratic and Obama operatives, if true, is highly disconcerting. Please keep us informed of the steps you are taking to ensure this alleged illegal activity does not affect the integrity of the election.
The integrity of the election needs to be preserved – on both sides of the aisle.
Democrat lawmaker Babette Josephs (D-Philadelphia) was asked to lead the House committee in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. She refused.
Her reasoning? The words ‘under God’ were inserted into the Pledge, making it a prayer in her eyes – and she doesn’t pray in public.
Of course, this is Philadelphia, where the liberals are willing to compare a Mitt Romney t-shirt to a KKK sheet, but are unwilling to utter the phrase ‘under God’ in public.
Politicians are often criticized for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time that’s taken the wrong way. But state Representative Babette Josephs (D-Philadelphia) is being criticized for what she refused to say.
The drama unfolded at what was billed as a non-controversial House State Government Committee meeting Wednesday morning. Republican Chairman Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) asked Josephs to lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance; a rather routine request that became anything but when Josephs refused.
“Based on my First Amendment rights and based on the fact that I really think it’s a prayer. I don’t pray in public,” she said as lawmakers were standing to recite the Pledge.
After an awkward moment, Metcalfe quickly called on another member to lead the group.
Afterward, Josephs was unapologetic. She said she was about 14 years old when Congress inserted the words ‘under God’ into the Pledge. She insists that makes it a prayer.
“How many years ago was 1954? I have not said the Pledge of Allegiance since and I will not say it into the future unless they take those words out and make it less of a prayer,” Josephs said.
Metcalfe concedes it is Josephs’ right to not say the Pledge. He just thinks it’s wrong.
Metcalf later added, “I’m glad she’s retiring.”
New tone alert…
According to a just released report from the San Francisco Chronicle, California Democratic Party Chair John Burton compared Paul Ryan and the GOP to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
Let’s see how – or if – the media reports this outrageous comment. Had this been a Republican, you would have already heard about it, as opposed to having to read it here.
From the Chronicle (who will be posting audio shortly):
Greetings from the California delegation breakfast at the DNC where before he had a cup of coffee Democratic Party Chair John Burton – much like his ol’ pal Guv Jerry Brown once did – just compared the Republicans to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, for “telling the big lie,” a reference to several falsehoods GOP VP nominee Paul Ryan recently told.
“They lie and they don’t care if people think they lie… Joseph Goebbels – it’s the big lie, you keep repeating it,” Burton said Monday before the Blake Hotel breakfast. He said Ryan told “a bold-faced lie and he doesn’t care that it was a lie. That was Goebbels, the big lie.”
Reminded that Brown drew heat for comparing the messaging of Meg Whitman’s 2010 GOP gubernatorial campaign to Goebbels, he said sarcastically, “(Bleep) that’s right, she won the election!
Burton shrugged at Brown getting in trouble. “He won it big. Goddam he was in trouble.”
Not only does he make the troubling comparison, but he shrugs it off and hints that it may be a good thing for his future political aspirations. Sadly, he may be right in a liberal cesspool like California.
Additionally, the Chronicle points out that Burton is wrong on his facts whilst accusing Ryan of lying. Liars lie.
This video shows Burton railing against Ryan on his alleged ‘lies’, and referring to the vice-presidential candidate as a “horse’s ass”.
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On September 13th, candidates Ben Akselrod and Steven Cymbrowitz will square off in a Democratic primary for a New York state Assembly seat in Sheepshead Bay.
As such, Akselrod’s campaign sent out a mailer trying to persuade voters that he is the right, competent, detail-oriented man for the job. The mailer included an inset which criticized his opponent for ‘allowing’ crime to spike on his watch.
The flyer, which was mailed out last week, had one major problem – apparently nobody proofread the material prior to its release.
The flier reads:
I am running for Assembly because I believe the number 1 job of that office is to keep the community safe. The current assemblyman has allowed crime to go up over 50% in our negrohood so far this year. I am fighting for video cameras throughout our community to protect our seniors who are the most vulnerable and cut down on anti-semitic attacks in our community. I will also make sure the mayor gives our community more police to patrol our streets.
It’s hard to tell how the word “negrohood” could have ended up in the final print. Was it a typo, an unfortunate auto-correct? Could it have been a Freudian slip on somebody’s part?
Whatever the reasoning, it would seem in the best interest of the candidate to immediately make a statement on the poor choice of words, admit to the error, and do one’s best to rectify the situation.
Amazingly however, three days after the discovery of the “negrohood” flier, Akselrod has yet to say anything on the matter.
The campaign mailer was distributed to thousands of potential voters.