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Protect Our Elections
Washington, DC 20016
August 8, 2011
Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
Special Agent In Charge
330 E. Kilbourn Ave, Suite 600
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Re: Election Fraud By Americans For Prosperity, United Sportsmen Of Wisconsin, And John W. Connors In Wisconsin Recall Elections
Dear Director Mueller and SIC McNamara:
I am writing on behalf of ProtectOurElections.org to request a federal criminal investigation into the activities of groups controlled by or affiliated with John W. Connors, a Wisconsin resident and president and owner of J Connors and Company LLC, whose address is listed at 1126 South 70th St S240, Milwaukee WI 53214. In short, it has been reported that Mr. Connors has been engaged in misleading and fraudulent conduct with respect to the recent Wisconsin recall elections by creating mysterious front group(s) and sending out false mailings in order to suppress the Democratic vote. Investigative reporter Brad Freidman wrote about this earlier today at http://www.bradblog.com/?p=8659, a copy which is attached.
Specifically, two Connors affiliated groups, Americans for Prosperity (“AFP”) and United Sportsmen of Wisconsin, (“USW”) have sent out mailers and absentee ballots to Democrats falsely telling them the wrong date for the return of the ballots. In the case of AFP, the instructions stated that the ballots had to be returned by Aug 11, two days after the election, and in the case of USW, the instructions stated that they had to be returned on August 4, five days before the election. In the first case, the ballot would not be counted if not received by August 9, and in the second case, people who followed the instructions after August 4 may have not voted because they believed that they did not send their absentee ballot to elections officials in time. In both cases, the intent of the mailers was to defraud and mislead voters in order to suppress voter participation by Democrats.
Americans For Prosperity is a national organization under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. It appears that AFP is directly involved with these false mailings and is funding and facilitating the work of Jon Connors with respect to USW and other opaque front groups in order to fraudulently manipulate elections in Wisconsin. If so, this constitutes a federal violation of section 501(c)(4). Moreover, because these false mailings were sent through the United States Postal Service, the federal mail fraud statute, 18 USC 1341, appears to have been violated.
We strongly urge you to investigate and prosecute John Connors, Americans For Prosperity and his affiliated groups for violating these and other federal statutes.
Attorney at Law Make the jump»
I have heard enough about the debt ceiling to last a life time. I will probably feel the same way about the S&P downgrade of the U.S. by the end of next week too. But there is an opinion piece in the New York Times worth the time to read. I can't recall reading Drew Westen's work before yet after reading his piece What Happened to Obama?, I look forward to even more.
An excerpt to wet your appetite:
When Barack Obama rose to the lectern on Inauguration Day, the nation was in tatters. Americans were scared and angry. The economy was spinning in reverse. Three-quarters of a million people lost their jobs that month. Many had lost their homes, and with them the only nest eggs they had. Even the usually impervious upper middle class had seen a decade of stagnant or declining investment, with the stock market dropping in value with no end in sight. Hope was as scarce as credit.
In that context, Americans needed their president to tell them a story that made sense of what they had just been through, what caused it, and how it was going to end. They needed to hear that he understood what they were feeling, that he would track down those responsible for their pain and suffering, and that he would restore order and safety. What they were waiting for, in broad strokes, was a story something like this:
“I know you’re scared and angry. Many of you have lost your jobs, your homes, your hope. This was a disaster, but it was not a natural disaster. It was made by Wall Street gamblers who speculated with your lives and futures. It was made by conservative extremists who told us that if we just eliminated regulations and rewarded greed and recklessness, it would all work out. But it didn’t work out. And it didn’t work out 80 years ago, when the same people sold our grandparents the same bill of goods, with the same results. But we learned something from our grandparents about how to fix it, and we will draw on their wisdom. We will restore business confidence the old-fashioned way: by putting money back in the pockets of working Americans by putting them back to work, and by restoring integrity to our financial markets and demanding it of those who want to run them. I can’t promise that we won’t make mistakes along the way. But I can promise you that they will be honest mistakes, and that your government has your back again.” A story isn’t a policy. But that simple narrative — and the policies that would naturally have flowed from it — would have inoculated against much of what was to come in the intervening two and a half years of failed government, idled factories and idled hands. That story would have made clear that the president understood that the American people had given Democrats the presidency and majorities in both houses of Congress to fix the mess the Republicans and Wall Street had made of the country, and that this would not be a power-sharing arrangement. It would have made clear that the problem wasn’t tax-and-spend liberalism or the deficit — a deficit that didn’t exist until George W. Bush gave nearly $2 trillion in tax breaks largely to the wealthiest Americans and squandered $1 trillion in two wars.
The following is my opinion, and is not to be taken as synonymous with or supported by the staff, writers and editors of ePluribus Media. It is my own take on my personal observations. - GreyHawk, August 2011
Over the past decade, the GOP gutted the US infrastructure as well as the social safety net while simultaneously killing revenues from corporations and the "elite" - in addition to starting two wars, the second of which was started based on carefully manufactured lies and which was used to justify multiple constitutional violations as well as the implementation of and reliance upon crimes against humanity. The second war was kept "off books" for the most part, was highly mis-managed and lost TRILLIONS of dollars.
To fix this mess, another stimulus - this time grounded in a strong infrastructure program and new energy policy - is needed along with single-payer health care, Wall Street & banking reform, closing of loopholes and tax revenues from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.
Getting even 1 of those things will be a miracle with the current Congress.
The US people need to vote out the GOP and Tea Party from all levels of government - local, state & federal (and yank what they can from the judiciary - which is nigh impossible) - in order to foment effective change and positive growth.
Use this as an Open Thread, and add your comments below. Thank you.
October 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012 federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions.
"I pledge that if any U.S. troops, contractors, or mercenaries remain in Afghanistan on Thursday, October 6, 2011, as that occupation goes into its 11th year, I will commit to being in Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., with others on that day or the days immediately following, for as long as I can, with the intention of making it our Tahrir Square, Cairo, our Madison, Wisconsin, where we will NONVIOLENTLY resist the corporate machine by occupying Freedom Plaza to demand that America's resources be invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of war and exploitation. We can do this together. We will be the beginning."
During this week of great political frustration, perhaps it is best to turn our attention elsewhere for a moment. So...
The other day, I heard someone say that Aaron Copeland's Symphony No. 3 is the quintessential piece of American music. I couldn't agree. Classical music, even if it tries to incorporate "American" musical themes, never can be American at its core. It just doesn't grow out of the people here, no matter how much some of us may love it.
But the statement got me asking: Just who or what is best representative of American music? I flipped through a dozen or so answers, starting with Louis Armstrong and including Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Irving Berlin and Richard Rodgers. I wasn't looking necessarily for the best, or even the most influential, but for the one (or ones) who best exemplify this country, its good as well as its bad.
Eventually, I came up with two (I could not bring it down to one--America just isn't that simple), one male, one female. One black, one white. One exquisite songwriter, one stupendous performer. One from country & western, one from the blues. Make the jump»
It seems like an eon since I first learned of Bunny Greenhouse's work on the Defense Base Act. Most Americans best know her as the whistleblower who blew the lid off of KBR/Halliburton no-bid contracts in the run up to the Iraq War.
Few know that she is responsible today for ushering in significant reforms the Defense Base Act, the equivalent of workers compensation for overseas contractors. Over the years, I wondered if her work with the Defense Base Act played a part in the retaliation she faced. For too many insurance companies, the Defense Base Act was a cash cow.
Victory for Bunny Greenhouse
Press Release, Web Wire, July 26, 2011
Today, the National Whistleblowers Center announced that the United States District Court in Washington D.C. gave its final approval of a settlement between Bunnatine "Bunny" Greenhouse and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After a six year legal battle, the Army Corps agreed to pay Ms. Greenhouse $970,000 representing full restitution for lost wages, compensatory damages and attorneys fees. Ms. Greenhouse was notified that she was going to be removed from her position as the Army Corps chief contracting and procurement executive after being demoted out of the Senior Executive Service when she strongly objected, during the award of a secret contract granting Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root (“KBR”), a no-compete, sole source, cost-plus $7 Billion contract as the invasion of Iraq was about to commence.
Her work with the Defense Base Act will over time save the American taxpayer billions of dollars.
Iraq, Contingency Contracting and the Defense Base Act
By Susie Dow, ePluribus Media, March 4, 2007
I got a letter from my credit card company the other day ... it said:
Congratulations! We have increased your credit limit to $XX!
Apparently they thought increasing my spending limit was a good thing -- the CONGRATULATIONS! part was heavily emphasized (see below).
They didn't tell me that I could only spend the increase on DingDongs and that I had to curtial my spending at Old Navy. No, the letter simply said I could now spend more money. Make the jump»
I wrote this commentary in 2007, during the throes of the Bush Administration. It is, unfortunately, as appropriate today as it was 4 years ago.
We the People are in serious trouble if we can't get beyond our media-manufactured differences and take our country back.
In 1987 the mini-series Amerika aired on ABC amid much hype and controversy and then died a quick death. In 1995 there was a limited release on VHS. While the premise of the mini-series was to show the United States 10 years after a take-over by the Soviets, the story is hauntingly familiar to the America [Amerika] we are living in now.
For the most part, apathetic Americans let the coup progress with no resistance, resulting in an occupied America. Make the jump»
The ongoing game of charade in DC is continuing apace, with what appears to be the umpteenth act in a never-ending saga of "kabuki theater in a Potemkin village" over raising the debt ceiling.
The GOP has decided to use this as a tri-blade tool to finish the job of gutting the economy in their efforts to blame the collapse upon the Obama Administration, in spite of the facts & evidence that this whole fiasco began (and accelerated) under the previous Administration with the help of a GOP majority in both houses of Congress.
Unfortunately for them, the video of their efforts to avoid precisely what they're doing now exists - Think Progress posted about it.
Now we just need people to share it widely, and shout down those who are arguing about "compromise" - there needs to be a clean bill, no strings, and not for the short term.
Then the other hypocrisies can be dealt with.
Let's take our nation back and return control of it to the masses.
I'd planned to talk about the new evidence for election hacking during the 2004 Ohio vote but will, for the moment, defer to the discussion of that topic in the Jonaothon Turley Blog post, Dead Men Do Tell Tales (Of Rigged Elections).
Instead, I want to let the ever-so-sensible Senator Bernie Sanders describe in his ever so rational way about how angry Americans are, and why.
First, though, I want to be sure that anyone who's missed it, understands what seems to be among the most blatantly outrageous parts of the debt ceiling deal being discussed on TOP OF the insane demands of tea party gangsters. Make the jump»
Crossposted from the Daily Kos group CareGiving Kos.
As the population grows, the economy constricts and services face more serious challenges by the day, some of the options currently available to care-givers may change - some will fade as funding dollars for service programs dwindle, while other opportunities may arise to fill voids or address particularly troublesome unmet needs.1 It's often difficult to keep abreast of developments - navigating the state and federal options is usually a good starting point, but state options vary from state to state and region to region. Federal options aren't always easy to understand, or are limited.
One way we can improve this is to offer feedback and information about opportunities for help and support in our region, and provide feedback on those services and how they worked (or not) for our own care-giving needs. In some instances, we might note services and options that we weren't aware of but which are available - and anyone who has actually tried those services can offer their perspectives on them.
This particular diary is not meant to be a substantive start to that process, but an exploratory one: I'll touch on a couple of programs of national and state/regional scope, provide some information and commentary, and ask for any feedback or additional information. Ideally, folks will add other elements in comments (local/regional/state/federal services, etc.) and include what they know of them, and we'll be able to create a more substantive plan for a follow-up diary (or diaries). Ready?
Ok - jump the squiggle, and let's begin.
If we defaulted on our debt when we were perfectly capable of paying it, we would be be prosecuted for fraud. But when Congress does it, they call it politics.a
The crazies in the United States House of Representatives would have you believe it were so. They say fix that budget before we'll raise the debt ceiling. If we don't get our fix, they announce, there's no deal. We'll just default until things get straightened out. (Image: George Romero)
Let's see what would happen to you or me. We are unable to pay our bills, unless we tap a special line of credit that we've used in the past, one that has never failed us. We'll have to raise some money and cut some expenses too.
We're tired of paying bills and just want to stop for a while. We file for bankruptcy following all of the required procedures. The minute we file, we're granted an automatic stay on our debt. We are now protected, no bills to pay. Make the jump»
Down the rabbit hole. Over the rainbow.
Whatever you call it, we seem to have stepped beyond the solid ground of yesterday and into a fantasyland of our own imaginings.
Like everybody else, I've been watching the train wreck going on in Washington, where people are trying to impose their beliefs on reality, tailoring the latter to fit the former.
Yeah, I know: That's impossible. But that's what's going on. Make the jump»