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US Rep McKinney Meets with Progressives at American Blackout Film Screening

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This article courtesy of Atlanta Progressive News.

(APN) DECATUR - US Congresswoman McKinney (D-GA) wowed a progressive audience here at the packed Push Push Theater during a forum following a screening of the film "American Blackout." "You are like a Malcolm X," one audience member said.

About 100 progressive activists and concerned citizens from Atlanta and Decatur had the opportunity to interact with the Congresswoman, who answered constituent questions for over an hour.

The screening was cosponsored by Atlanta Progressive News and Georgia For Democracy.

Congresswoman McKinney praised the work of Atlanta Progressive News in providing the truth to the people, and emphasized how important it is for the public to have good and accurate information.

The film, "American Blackout," made by independent producers, the Guerilla News Network, chronicles the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004 in the US, as well as the struggles of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney in recent years as she has come under attack by Republicans and the mega-corporate media.

Some of the election issues discussed in the movie include the faulty felon voter lists used in Florida; and long lines in minority districts. The film talks less about problems with electronic voting and provisional ballots, although Congresswoman McKinney highlighted these issues in her remarks.

While many people have become aware of the use of faulty felon voter purge lists in Florida in 2000, which were produced by Atlanta's own Choicepoint Corporation, the movie shows fascinating footage of Congresswoman McKinney interviewing representatives of Choicepoint, the Florida Elections Division, and former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris.

In the footage, Choicepoint admits to knowing the lists were faulty, but said Florida Elections Division said they only wanted 80% accuracy so it was okay. In the footage also, Katherine Harris defers all questions to the Elections Division and admits she was aware of the faulty lists. Harris is currently a US Congresswoman in Florida and is running an uphill race for US Senate.

Subsequent coverage of these lists by the Miami Herald led to greater scrutiny of the purge list in Florida. It is almost certain if everyone had been allowed to vote who was supposed to, Gore would have won Florida, and thus, the 2000 Presidency. Gore, however, chose not to fight it and asked Senator Boxer not to intervene at the time.

In the forum, Congresswoman McKinney urged constituents to work towards the reenfranchisement of ex-felons who have completed their sentences in Georgia. Many states are reevaluating their felon voting laws nationwide.

Another really interesting fact revealed by the movie is how the megacorporate media repeatedly made false assertions regarding the Congresswoman's comments concerning the Bush's administration's attempts to deflect questions concerning 9/11.

The movie shows she never stated the Bush administration planned 9/11; however, one news outlet after another has said she did.

The film also showed the behind-the-scenes work of McKinney's Congressional Campaign staff, who have monitored polling places all over Georgia for irregularities during elections.

In one instance, a member of McKinney's staff threatened federal action when the supervisor of a polling location refused to issue a provisional ballot to a voter. Provisional ballots were federally mandated after the 2000 election, and even though they weren't counted in 2004 in Ohio as Greg Palast as pointed out, Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox improperly insisted that her office be contacted for permission when a precinct requested one for a voter.

The film also featured compelling interviews with US Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, John Lewis, Bernie Sanders (who is currently running for US Senate in Vermont), and John Conyers.

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Matthew Cardinale is Editor of Atlanta Progressive News. He has written previously for the Sun-Sentinel Newspaper, Shelterforce Magazine, The Advocate Magazine, The San Francisco Bay View, and the Berkeley Daily Planet Newspaper. He has also (more...)
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