RFK And Rolling Stone Nail Ohio's Stolen Election
RFK And Rolling Stone Nail Ohio's Stolen 2004 Election, But Much More Must Be Done
by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
June 3, 2006
The story of the stolen election of 2004 has FINALLY busted into the mainstream media, thanks to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Rolling Stone Magazine.
We all owe them great thanks.
Now we'll see if there's any further media follow-up. And if the Democratic Party actually DOES SOMETHING about the fact that America is about to be hijacked again in 2006, and then for the third straight presidential race in 2008.
The massive article in this week's RS focuses on the impossible contrast between exit polls showing a clear and overwhelming Kerry victory versus bogus "official" vote counts giving George W. Bush four more catastrophic years in the White House. It also details some of the horrific intimidation, manipulation and outright theft used by Ohio's GOP Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell to deny hundreds of thousands of mostly Democratic voters their right to a ballot. And it discusses in some depth the fact that Diebold and other electronic voting machine and software producers make it possible for any inside operator to use a laptop and a few keystrokes to flip an entire election in a matter of seconds.
It reminds us that the one good thing that can be said about George W. Bush is that the American people have never actually elected him president of the United States.
And it gets much of what the GOP really did in Ohio and around the US to steal this last election. With four years to prepare after stealing Florida 2000, the Rovian Republicans engineered a strategy of death by a thousand cuts. Having seen it unfold here firsthand, we must sadly predict that we expect to see much of it again---with many new twists---in 2006 and 2008. And that new laws have been put in place to make it even harder to fight these vote-stealing strategies.
In the meantime, two things:
In 1960, Bobby Kennedy's uncle Jack won what was until then the closest election in US history amidst charges that the vote count in Chicago----and thus the presidency----had been stolen. No doubt many Foxist rightwing bloviators will bring this up as Kennedy makes the talk show circuit.
But it's a lie. It is likely many graveyards voted in for JFK Chicago 1960. But many also voted for Nixon downstate. And though rightwingers have portrayed Nixon as a "great patriot" for (reluctantly) declining to fight that election's outcome, in fact he could have carried Illinois and still not won the presidency. JFK won the Electoral College that year 303 to 219. Illinois gave him 27 electoral votes. You do the math.
Secondly, it has been a long, torturous crawl to finally have someone with real media clout report in depth on what has happened to our electoral process. From Florida 2000 to Ohio 2004 and 2005, Bev Harris's Blackboxvoting.org and a few other stalwarts such as Danny Schechter, Joan Seckler, Greg Palast, Mark C. Miller, Ron Baiman, Steve Freeman, Richard Hayes Philips, the EON film group, and a precious handful of unsung, hard core activists have kept the story alive. It is almost exactly two years since Motherjones.com ran our piece warning that Ohio was about to be stolen with Diebold and other electronic machines. Frankly, it was not until the week of the election that we could conceive of the full scope of what was being thrown at the American electorate to guarantee a Bush victory. In the course of reporting on what happened here in Ohio, relentless indifference and scorn has come from the Democratic Party and the media, including much of the left press.
That must now stop. The future of American democracy depends how thoroughly those who believe in it take action on this vital piece of breakthrough reporting from RFK and Rolling Stone and the other evidence of what has been done to our right to vote and have those votes honestly counted.
In the past month, some coverage has finally surfaced in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek and other big media outlets on the vulnerability of electronic voting machines.
But we're still seeing just the tip of the iceberg. Most importantly, STRUCTURAL changes have been made to the electoral laws in Ohio and nationwide that virtually guarantee the ability of the GOP to steal our elections now and in the future.
We will report on more of that in our next piece. But what we now know about the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004 must be acted upon in great detail, with great force. Otherwise, there's no reason to doubt that every one of these dirty tricks---and much much more---will be used again here and nationwide in 2006 and 2008, to guarantee that this horrendous GOP reign of terror and error will plunge ever deeper into the American soul.
Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis are co-authors of HOW THE GOP STOLE AMERICA'S 2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008, available at www.freepress.org, as is their IMPRISON GEORGE W. BUSH: COMMENTARIES ON WHY THE PRESIDENT MUST BE IMPEACHED. They are co-editors, with Steve Rosenfeld, of WHAT HAPPENED IN OHIO? from the New Press.