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Election Integrity News: Tuesday, January 16, 2007

* Media Reform Conference in Memphis, Tennessee

** Away from Elections as Sporting Events

** Organization and Reorganization


Media Reform Conference in Memphis, Tennessee

This weekend I was in Memphis, Tennessee as a speaker at the Free Press National Conference for Media Reform. I was glad to participate because of the abysmal failure of the media to report election fraud. The conference drew together thousands of people actively working to change the way news is
selected and presented, some of whose stories can be found in the conference proceedings. The audio for the session in which I spoke, "Media and Elections," which was sponsored by Media Matters,is at http://freepress.net/conference/audio07/f1-elections.mp3



In addition to this scheduled session, Jon Simon, Paul Lehto, Harvey Wasserman, Bob Fitrakis and I led a well-attended ad hoc workshop on "The Media and Election Fraud." The session was organized and videotaped by Andi Novick and will be up on the www.electionintegrity.org website soon.


Away from Elections as Sporting Events

Among the worst disappointments that we have suffered in this movement has been the unwillingness of candidates to challenge potentially corrupt counts. One reason this happens is that we tend to view elections as something akin to sporting contests. There is tremendous preparation,followed by a total effort on game day, at the end of which we expect a
winner and a loser, both of whom accept the decision, shake hands and get back to the business of life.



In general election campaigns, as in sports championships, such behavior is practically mandated because everyone involved in the contest gives
everything they have. Neither candidates, nor journalists, nor election officials have the resources, energy, or stomach left for any protracted
struggle.



But those in power understand that the struggle goes on day in and day out. Power is furtively taken precisely when everyone else is resting or recuperating.



We must train ourselves - and others - to think of elections and democracy as a year-round endeavor. We must be careful not to over-extend ourselves in
the election season but rather to pace our efforts, working diligently throughout the year, election years and non-election years alike.


Organization and Reorganization

A related challenge is that whereas those who successfully steal an election reap untold rewards and thus have untold resources to pursue their goals, we must rely entirely on donations and volunteer efforts.



Such a battle may not be the gross mismatch it might appear to be because most people find our goals to be donation-worthy and those of our adversaries to be criminal. But we face a serious organizational challenge. Whereas the techniques of running a resource-rich, amoral - or even immoral- endeavor are well researched and time tested, the techniques for organizing an effort such as Election Integrity are undeveloped.



For the past six months, Stephanie Singer has been energetically leading our efforts, but she is now leaving the organization. She will continue to
collect and analyze election data for the Pennsylvania Election Transparency Project. For the present, I will directly manage Election Integrity in
addition to acting as principal investigator. Josh Mitteldorf will continue to assist in data analysis and Ken Warren will continue to manage exit-poll
operations. Keith Hourihan is a new addition to our team and will handle most administrative tasks. We will continue to work on alliances with like-minded groups and individuals. At present we are working closely with the Election Defense Alliance,
with whom we may seek a formal unification; Paul Lehto, who is becoming the foremost legal defender of election integrity; investigative journalists Bob
Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman of the Free Press; and the Velvet Revolution, who helped
support our 2006 exit poll. We are developing relations with many state-based, media, and scientific groups.



It is hard to overstate either the importance or challenge involved in ensuring fair elections in America, but with your support, we can prevail.



Sincerely yours, Steve Freeman










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Steven Freeman is a professor at University of Pennsylvania and the co-author of Was The 2004 Presidential Election Stolen? with Joel Bleifuss.

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