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The Good Democrat

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   6 comments
Message Mark E. Smith
Can a Green vote for a Democrat? As an election reform activist and a registered Green Party voter, I'd been planning to vote a straight Green Party ticket in the next election, with the exception of voting for California State Senator Debra Bowen, a Democrat who is running for Secretary of State. Bowen has taken the lead on election integrity, sponsoring important legislation and holding investigative hearings. Debra Bowen is exactly what I would call a good Democrat. Progressive, intelligent, a leader, and concerned about the things I care about.

But I keep remembering how John Kerry had raised millions of surplus dollars towards the end of his 2004 campaign by saying that he needed the money for lawyers and legal fees to challenge the election outcome if necessary. As it turned out, the lawyers all volunteered to work without pay, but Kerry conceded early and told them to go home. As for the money, he kept some of it for his war chest, and donated some of it to the Democratic Party and to Democratic candidates.

So along comes Debra Bowen who understands that we have a serious election integrity problem in California and sincerely wants to do something about it. Everybody seems to assume that once elected Secretary of State, Bowen will immediately move to decertify Diebold election systems in California. Everybody except me, that is.

You see, we used to have a Democratic Secretary of State, Kevin Shelley, and he actually did decertify Diebold. Then the Republicans mounted a recall campaign, removed him from office, and appointed someone who immediately recertified Diebold. The Democratic Party was unable to stop this from happening.

So, the way I see it, since Debra Bowen just got the endorsement of the Democratic Party at their recent convention, once elected Bowen will be unable to decertify Diebold.

My reasoning goes like this: Having secured the Democratic Party's endorsement, once elected Bowen will be beholden to them for their support and campaign contributions. And they really do want a Democrat as California Secretary of State, every bit as much as much as Bowen really wants to restore election integrity to California. But the moment Bowen moves to decertify Diebold, the Republicans will threaten a recall. And since the Democrats were unable to block the last recall, they'll pressure Bowen not to decertify Diebold, as that would only invoke the wrath of the Republicans. And owing the election to their support, and knowing that they are powerless to block a recall effort, Bowen will have to agree to drop the matter. It is important to understand that while Bowen understands the vulnerability of Diebold election systems to hacking and fraud, the Democratic Party leadership does not and is still referring to election integrity activists as wackos and conspiracy theorists. As far as the party leadership is concerned, having a Democratic Secretary of State in California is important, election reform is not.

So while I don't question Bowen's integrity and sincerity, I will be voting for Green Party candidate Forrest Hill for Secretary of State. Hill believes that "California's electoral system needs a complete overhaul," and he is beholden to noone. A Financial Advisor with a Ph.D. from MIT in ecosystems analysis, Hill recently coauthored the new book, "California Under Corporate Rule," with Peter Miguel Camejo, the Green Party candidate for Governor of California. Hill is an advocate of proportional representation, ranked voting, publicly-financed elections, and secure, accurate elections.

I expect Debra Bowen to win, even without my vote. But I recently offered to bet a friend fifty dollars that once elected, Bowen will not decertify the Diebold machines in California. My friend, who firmly believes that I'm wrong, hasn't taken me up on this yet. I'm not holding my breath.
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I'm an anti-civilizationist and election boycott advocate in San Diego. For reasons not to vote in faith-based elections with secret vote counts for candidates you cannot hold accountable if they fail to represent you, check out the discussions, (more...)
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