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Former voting machine exec looking to become America's next Vice President?

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Hardly anyone seems to remember this, but in 2004, a trial balloon went up suggesting that Democrat John Kerry team up with Republican John McCain as his running mate.

Mixing Democrats and Republicans on a presidential ticket is an appalling idea. The two power-parties already have a tight fisted grip on American politics. Such semi-mergers will eliminate or manipulate such diversity of choice as we have left.

This weekend, another such merger has been testing public opinion waters. Republican Chuck Hagel is reported by the Associated Press as saying he will consider the Vice President slot with Barack Obama. This particular suggestion traces back to Hagel himself; there is no evidence that Obama has suggested this. The rumors may actually originate from the Republican Party, or could even come from one of the Democratic rivals wanting to get on the ticket with Obama.

As for the idea itself, it's great, if you are in favor of moving to a one-party system and allowing a presidential ticket with ties to the nation's largest voting machine company. Hagel was CEO of one of the nation's most problematic voting machine companies, Election Systems & Software*, before he ran for office. His votes were counted by the company he had been running, while he still had up to $5 million in ownership in it. His campaign finance manager, Michael McCarthy, owned another huge chunk through the McCarthy Group investiment firm.

*American Information Systems (AIS) changed its name to Election Systems & Software (ES&S) in 1997.

Details: http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-3.pdf


SLIPPERY SLOPE TOWARD A ONE-PARTY SYSTEM

I liked having slightly more illusion about this great nation of ours than this current trial balloon permits. The uniparty concept is perilous.

There is no doubt that this is testing the waters -- by someone. I'm fairly familiar with the characteristic media symptoms when power politics is testing a political idea. This one has been sneaking around quietly in the backwaters -- I first heard about it in May -- and there was quite a bit of talk about it around June 20. But this weekend, it was launched in full force, with three successive Associated Press stories, the last one appearing about midnight (Pacific time) Saturday night.

The story was pushed out as follows:

(Obama) "Obama has invited Chuck Hagel to accompany him to Iraq."
(He also invited a Democrat.)

(Hagel) "I will consider an offer to be Vice President for Obama"

Then, and this is always very creepy to me, these trial balloon stories were immediately set upon by the Internet political propaganda teams. These operatives are as obvious as a rhino in a tea room. After each Obama/Hagel story is posted, up pop half a dozen comment posts, all sounding very much the same. They look something like this:

Gail from Illinois: "I think Hagel would be the ideal running mate, Obama would win in 2008!
MichiganMike: Obama/Hagel 2008!
Sue from Florida: Hagel is exactly what Obama needs!
IndyJohn: Hagel has always been my hero, he'd be a perfect running mate.

Sometimes, the comments are closed off before counterbalance can appear.

CHUCK'S FAVORITE VOTING MACHINES

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http://www.blackboxvoting.org

Bev Harris is executive director of Black Box Voting, Inc. an advocacy group committed to restoring citizen oversight to elections.

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