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A Call for Democrats to Honor Stephanie Tubbs Jones by Spotlighting January 6, 2005

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Last week’s death of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones should have meant so much to every American. Unfortunately, her greatest gift to American citizens and Democracy was largely ignored in the eulogies and obituaries of the mainstream press. It is no wonder, since acknowledging her gift would also reveal their failure to tell us the story when it happened.

Even sadder, Democrats, too, have shied away from acknowledging the Congresswoman’s significance, because then they would have to face their greatest failure AND greatest vulnerability for the 2008 election.

Still, here we are in the week of the Democratic Convention, and the tragedy of Stephanie Tubbs Jones leaving us while still young must surely warrant a dedicated moment of Honor before the world, and this timing gives Democrats – who should be sick of having their votes and elected offices stolen – the opportunity to shine a light on that glorious day, January 6th, 2005, when Congresswoman Tubbs Jones dared to stand up 
before the joint session of Congress to challenge the Ohio electoral vote count from the November 2004 election.

"Mr. Vice-President, I seek to object to the electoral votes of the State of Ohio."

Unlike 2000, when Vice President Al Gore had to dismiss the challenges raised by many Representatives -- because no Senator was willing to provide the necessary signature -- this time Senator Barbara Boxer rose alongside the Congresswoman. And in that moment, according to one of the few functioning journalists of the time, Bob Fitrakis of the Columbia Free Press, the Voting Rights movement was born.

Congresswoman Tubbs Jones continued, speaking to the House (my emphasis):

I’m duty-bound to follow the law and apply the law to the facts as I find them, and it is on behalf of those millions of Americans who believe in and value our Democratic process, and the right to vote, that I put forth this objection today. If they’re willing to stand at polls for countless hours in the rain as many did in Ohio, then I should surely stand up for them here in the halls of Congress.

This objection does not have at its root the hope or even the hint of overturning the victory of the president, but it is a necessary, timely, and appropriate opportunity to review and remedy the most precious process in our democracy. I raise this objection neither to put the nation in the turmoil of a proposed overturned election, nor to provide cannon fodder or partisan demagoguery for my fellow members of Congress. I raise this objection because I am convinced that we as a body must conduct a formal and legitimate debate about election irregularities. I raise this objection to debate the process, and protect the integrity of the true will of the people.

With this action that day, the report written by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. and the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff, based on the hearings they held in Ohio throughout December 2004, entitled
Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio, was entered into the Congressional Record.

Still, the Voting Rights movement has been mostly an internet movement, and to this day, the most important issue facing us this November is still largely unknown to most Americans.

It is not Iraq (or Afghanistan, or Iran, or now Russia), nor the Economy, nor Healthcare – no, not even Global Warming.

It is Election Theft, as demonstrated so clearly in Ohio in 2004 (see report above).

While it is not a partisan issue, per se, because ultimately all sides lose if we forfeit the value of the vote, the evidence indicates the beneficiary of voting machine errors, voter intimidation tactics, voter registration list purging, etc., has consistently been Republican candidates, from Bush/Cheney in 2004 to Congressman Brian Bilbray in San Diego County in 2006. Karl Rove's RNC operatives, and their corporate partners, have been very busy and very effective. And the more they get away with, the harder it will be to stop this corruption of the one tool that gives Americans Hope - their vote.

Yet, despite evidence brought forward by courageous election officials and Secretaries of State, computer scientists, data experts, citizen activists, and a few remaining investigative journalists and communicators, such as Mark Crispin Miller, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.Greg Palast, Brad Friedman, Stephen Rosenfeld, Dan Rather, Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, most Americans have no idea how frightening real the problem of election theft is.

Why? Because the Democrats themselves have failed to demand fair and accurate elections. This is where they are, as accused, weak on National Defense.

You see, National Defense is not about weapons aimed at other countries. It’s not about wiretaps aimed at citizens.

National Defense needs to be about BRIGHT LIGHTS aimed at the treacherous actions of partisan operatives to manipulate election results.

National Defense should be about BROADCAST MICROPHONES aimed at those who have investigated, and those who have witnessed, and those who have been turned away when they tried to vote.

So, if the Democratic Convention this week has a goal of putting Barack Obama in the White House, then those Democratic leaders who stand before the world need to be willing to say,

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