Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Libertarian David Chastain 1, democrat Sinkfield 0, republican Kemp 0

Thats the score for Liberty.

I just got an email from Garland Favorito on the state of the race for Secretary of State and David Chastain comes up with a win for Liberty. The complete text is below and you can get some additional info on the topics covered by a click trip to VoterGa.org.

Take it away Garland:

SECRETARY OF STATE BRIAN KEMP

On January 4, 2010 Gov. Perdue appointed former state senator, Brian Kemp, as Secretary of State (SOS) after Karen Handel resigned and Jim Cole withdrew from consideration. Brian immediately stated: "I will continue the honorable tradition of leadership demonstrated by Karen Handel, Cathy Cox, Lewis Massey, and others before them.” Cathy Cox acquired $54 million in voting machines that did not have an independent audit trail of the votes cast as required by law. (O.C.G.A. 21-2-301(b) of the 2001 GA Election Code) Her former boss, Lewis Massey, profited from that sale as the lobbyist for the equipment vendor, Diebold Elections Systems. Karen Handel reversed her position and supported the machines while receiving $25,000 in donations from people connected to the lobbying firm, Massey & Bowers. She also received untold thousands of dollars more in indirect contributions raised by their former partner Rob Simms, who she appointed as her deputy and campaign finance manager. Is this the tradition Georgians need?

On February 6 in the SOS debate at the Georgia Christian Alliance (GCA), Brian Kemp was asked what he would do if the legislature introduced a bill to replace the unverifiable voting machines. He replied: Now If they want to, I would be ready to lead the charge… On February 20, Tim Bearden introduced a bi-partisan bill with Karla Drenner to implement verifiable optical scan voting in Georgia. On February 22, Brian Kemp completely reversed his position when the AJC’s Jim Galloway asked him about the HB1215 bill. He refused to support it, stating that it “would be too much of a financial burden” even though his Elections Division had done no cost benefit analysis of the savings that optical scan equipment would have provided the state and its counties.

In early February, two Republican sponsored ballot access bills were introduced in the General Assembly and on March 1, Jason Pye asked Brian Kemp about them during an interview. He replied: “I haven’t even looked at those bills.” By March 18, four more ballot access bills were introduced, including two bi-partisan bills that would remove petitioning requirements throughout Georgia just as Florida did in 1999. Brian Kemp never supported any of them, thus thwarting all of them from getting hearings in the House Governmental Affairs Committee. http://www.jasonpye.com/blog/2010/03/podcast_with_brian_kemp.html

Brian Kemp consistently protected officials involved in the most serious of election fraud cases. In SEB case 2008-000133, a Lowndes Co. election official forced 947 test ballots into the actual 2008 totals, failed to reconcile those totals with the poll book totals to detect the discrepancy and blamed a voting machine technician when the state found out she certified incorrect results. In SEB case 2008-000136, a Douglas Co. Election Board member took home the 2008 election results overnight in a spreadsheet for manipulation, brought them back the next day and ordered a Diebold contractor to enter them into the county server before results were certified. Brian Kemp did not ensure that these officials were charged, or fined when the related cases were heard so they are free to count your votes again in November.

In March of 2010, the General Assembly filed impeachment articles against Kemp’s Inspector General (IG),Shawn LaGrua, for improperly handled investigations. On April 6, Walter Jones of Morris News, writing for the Florida Times Tribune and Jacksonville.com, asked about the impeachment resolution and Kemp replied: ”The filing of this resolution is a complete waste of the General Assembly’s time and Georgia taxpayers’ money.” Please read the details and tell me how any honest, unbiased, official could reach that conclusion.http://www.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/fulltext/hr1714.htm.


REPRESENTATIVE GEORGANNA SINKFIELD

Georganna Sinkfield handily won the Democratic primary run-off over Gail Buckner who was the only person in the entire legislature on record as opposing all 2006 statewide verifiable voting and precinct audit initiatives. I gladly helped her team with a debate question she used during her successful runoff bid just as I did for Darryl Hicks in 2006. I also came to her defense by exposing Michael Mills’ falsehoods when he claimed that she did not state his position on ballot access correctly in the primary debate. I will gladly help her team again if she wants but it is important to know that Georganna entered the SOS race at the last minute without a platform, web site or command of issues regarding the SOS office. When interviewed by Atlanta Progressive News (APN) in June, her answers were so weak that the board endorsed Gail Buckner in the run-off even though she voted against Karla Drenner’s 2006 SB500 audit restoration amendment and Georganna voted for it. http://www.atlantaprogressivenews.com/news/0654.html

During her APN interview, when Georganna was asked about the current voting equipment she replied: “I don't know of anything wrong with the current machines. Before we had the present machines we always had problems. We didn't have uniformity, and now we do.” She also stated that to replace the machines “the cost would be 100 million dollars” even though the cost would actually be about a third of that and the equipment could save millions of dollars annually in testing, certification, logistics and training. This may explain why she has not sponsored a bill to restore verifiable voting in Georgia.

When APN asked about the 2010 bi-partisan optical scan voting legislation introduced by Tim Bearden and Karla Drenner, Georganna was unaware of it. APN explicitly asked: “DID YOU SUPPORT HB 1215 IN THE GEORGIA LEGISLATURE TO GET OPTICAL SCAN MACHINES AND ELIMINATE DRE'S?” Georganna replied: “I don't remember it [the bill]” That comprehensive bill had been introduced four months earlier and it was mentioned on the Atlanta Journal Constitution web site. How could a highly experienced legislator running for Secretary of State not know about such a critical piece of elections legislation if she is committed to open and fair elections?

When APN asked: “Do you know about the blank votes in the Cobb County SPLOST?” Georganna replied: “No.” In that contest, 285 blank voted ballots were cast although the referendum was the only item on the ballot. It was decided by only 114 votes out of 39,780 votes cast. Over 800 million in new taxes were assessed, the majority being paid by Cobb residents. The contest was plagued by unexplained modem transmission difficulties, reporting delays and a shift in preliminary results that took the SPLOST from apparent defeat to a razor thin victory. Each of Georganna’s primary opponents had commented on the SPLOST in interviews previously published on the APN website so she has no excuse for not knowing. (SPLOST- Special Purpose Local Option Tax)

While strongly claiming that she is for removing Georgia’s archaic 1943 petitioning requirements, Georganna has never introduced a bill in her 28 year career to do so. If she was unwilling to attempt to correct the problem in 28 years why would anyone be na├»ve enough to believe she would do so now?

In the fight for impartial investigations, Georganna has been absent without leave (AWOL). I have never seen her present at any State Election Board (SEB) meeting in the last couple of years while we have been fighting for verifiable voting and consistent treatment of all citizens during election investigations.

DAVID CHASTAIN

David Chastain, the former Executive Director of the Libertarian Party, is also on the ballot for Secretary of State in November. He was the leading Libertarian vote getter in 2006 as an Education Secretary candidate and actually received more votes than Georganna and Brian did in their respective local General Assembly races. Presently he is a Senior Logistics Management Analyst in the defense industry.

David has been working to get ballot access for independent candidates for years. In March of 2010, he wrote an open public letter to Speaker of the House, David Ralston, in support of HB1257. He was also on the ballot access team that reviewed and helped draft HB1425. Both of these bi-partisan bills, introduced in the 2010 session, would have removed petitioning requirements in Georgia just as Florida did successfully in 1999. Neither of the bills got a hearing because Secretary Kemp did not support them.

David has also been working to restore verifiable voting for about five years. Just this year, he supported the HB1215 bill opposed by Secretary Kemp who contended that “the machines are trustworthy.” at the February 6 GCA debate. David Chastain stunned the secretary in his opening statement at the same debate when he asked the audience: “I would like to see a show of hands as to how many people think that the Diebold voting machines are accurately recording all of your votes?” In a full auditorium of about 300 people, NO ONE RAISED THEIR HANDS!

David provided most of the research into the dubious Cobb SPLOST referendum, one of several election controversies that still swirl around our current unverifiable voting equipment. In January, he explained some of the well known abnormalities at one of the State Election Board meetings he attended. Shortly after that, the Inspector General, Shawn LaGrua, opened an investigation without contacting him and then shut it down after claiming everything was in order. In October when he found out, David replied to the board with a list of his questions that were never answered. He was also one of three people who filed a complaint to the Georgia State Inspector General about improperly handled investigations in voting machine related cases. http://www.voterga.org/more/index.cfm?Fuseaction=more_15727

The State IG subsequently ruled that the techniques of an investigator were not within their domain of scope for the office. The State IG was later forced to recuse herself from investigations regarding voting machines because her husband was a partner in the same law firm with Michael Bowers, father of the co-founder Massey & Bowers, the voting machine vendor lobbyist. The complaints, including the one filed by David Chastain, eventually became the subject of some of the impeachment articles filed in the Georgia General Assembly against Shawn LaGrua, who was protected by Secretary Kemp.

The facts demonstrate that David Chastain has done everything within his power to further the cause of verifiable voting for Georgians, open ballot access for all candidates and impartial investigations that are free of influence from lobbyists and political motivations. He has done all of this as a volunteer without receiving a dime of taxpayer money. His opponents have taken no substantive action on any of these matters in their entire legislative careers all the while operating at the expense of the Georgia taxpayers. Worse yet, the current Secretary of State even helped prevent volunteer efforts on these causes from being successful.

2 comments:

  1. Good write up. There are several races where the Libertarian is obviously the best candidate in Georgia this year. And Chastain is clearly one of those candidates. If he doesn't at least hit 7-10% or more, I'll be very surprised...and disappointed...not with him or the LP, but with the voters of Georgia.

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  2. Hope he gets more than 10%. if GA is to have a future, we need him to win. Spread the word.

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