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Elections News Stories
Excerpts of Key Elections News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important elections news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These elections news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of elections news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


The most important political story you haven’t heard about
2013-12-18, Washington Post blog
Posted: 2013-12-23 16:06:44
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/12/18/the-most-important-...

Money is flooding into federal elections in the post-Citizens United era. And yet the agency tasked with monitoring and regulating all of that activity is close to crippled due to staff cuts and partisan bickering. That’s according to Dave Levinthal of the Center for Public Integrity, which released a massive analysis on the Federal Election Commission and its problems earlier this week. Among the problems with the agency Levinthal identified include: * The commission over the past year has reached a paralyzing all-time low in its ability to reach consensus, stalling action on dozens of rulemaking, audit and enforcement matters, some of which are years old. * Despite an explosion in political spending hastened by key Supreme Court decisions, the agency’s funding has remained flat for five years and staffing levels have fallen to a 15-year low. * Analysts charged with scouring disclosure reports to ensure candidates and political committees are complying with laws have a nearly quarter-million-page backlog. This is the rule-making and rule-enforcing entity for all federal money in politics. We live in an age in which public financing of presidential elections is a thing of the past — 2012 is the first election since Watergate where neither major party nominee accepted public funds for the general election – and, thanks to super PACs, wealthy individuals have more power than ever. The price tag for the 2012 election topped $6 billion, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. As Levinthal puts it: “As the nation heads into what will undoubtedly be the most expensive midterm election in history and a 2016 presidential election that, in no small way, has already begun, the FEC is rotting from the inside out.”

Note: For more on deep problems in the US electoral system, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


Grocers' group spends record lobbying amid food-labeling fights
2013-12-03, Chicago Tribune/Bloomberg News
Posted: 2013-12-10 11:32:43
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-wp-blm-news-bc-grocers03-20131203,0,75...

A proposal to require labeling of genetically engineered foods and seeds in Washington state enjoyed broad public support in polls this summer. That was before some of the largest food companies swooped in to spend more so consumers would know less about what they are eating. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, a Washington-based trade group that represents companies such as ConAgra Foods and Kraft Foods, was responsible for $11 million of the $22 million campaign against the initiative, compared with about $9 million by pro-labeling advocates. The GMA's campaign made the difference. The initiative, which had 66 percent support in a September survey, was defeated by 51 percent to 49 percent. The grocers, who opposed the proposal as arbitrary and costly for businesses, raised more than $2.3 million from PepsiCo Inc. and about $1.5 million each from Coca-Cola Co., [and] Nestle USA. Those groups also were part of a $45 million campaign that defeated a labeling initiative in California last year. "Spending is not a problem" for organizations opposed to labeling requirements, said Colin O'Neil, director of government affairs for the Center for Food Safety, which backed the Washington state initiative. "These companies will spend whatever it takes to defeat labeling at the state level." If that's the case, the trade associations and their members will be issuing a lot more checks as fights over labeling food are breaking out in other states and advocates are pressing the matter in Congress with proposed legislation from both sides awaiting action.

Note: For more on the risks from genetically-modified organisms in food and the environment, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


Group Linked to Kochs Admits to Campaign Finance Violations
2013-10-25, New York Times
Posted: 2013-10-29 08:59:02
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/25/us/politics/group-linked-to-kochs-admits-to...

A secretive nonprofit group with ties to the billionaire conservative businessmen Charles and David Koch admitted to improperly failing to disclose more than $15 million in contributions it funneled into state referendum battles in California. The group, the Arizona-based Center to Protect Patient Rights, is one of the largest political nonprofits in the country, serving as a conduit for tens of millions of dollars in political spending, much of it raised by the Kochs and their political operation and spent by other nonprofits active in the 2010 and 2012 elections. The settlement, announced by Attorney General Kamala D. Harris of California and the Fair Political Practices Commission, which enforce California’s campaign finance laws, includes one of the largest penalties ever assessed on a political group for failing to disclose donations. The center and another Arizona group involved in the transactions, Americans for Responsible Leadership, will pay a $1 million fine, while two California groups must turn over $15 million in contributions they received. Together, the groups are part of an intricate, interlocking network of political nonprofits that have taken on a prominent role in state and national politics in recent years, bolstered by legal and regulatory shifts, including the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010. Records and documents uncovered during the California investigation provide a rare glimpse into how such groups closely coordinate transfers of money that mask the sources of the contributions and skirt state and federal disclosure rules. “This case highlights the nationwide scourge of dark money nonprofit networks hiding the identities of their contributors,” Ann Ravel, the commission’s chairwoman, said in a statement.

Note: For more on electoral corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


Oops: Azerbaijan released election results before voting had even started
2013-10-09, Washington Post
Posted: 2013-10-22 10:12:16
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/10/09/oops-azerbaijan-...

Azerbaijan's big presidential election ... was anticipated to be neither free nor fair. President Ilham Aliyev, who took over from his father 10 years ago, has stepped up intimidation of activists and journalists. Rights groups are complaining about free speech restrictions and one-sided state media coverage. The BBC's headline for its story on the election reads "The Pre-Determined President." So expectations were pretty low. [But] it was a bit awkward when Azerbaijan's election authorities released vote results – a full day before voting had even started. The vote counts ... were pushed out on an official smartphone app run by the Central Election Commission. It showed Aliyev as "winning" with 72.76 percent of the vote. That's on track with his official vote counts in previous elections: 76.84 percent of the vote in 2003 and 87 percent in 2008. In second place was opposition candidate Jamil Hasanli with 7.4 percent of the vote. The data were quickly recalled. The official story is that the app's developer had mistakenly sent out the 2008 election results as part of a test. But that's a bit flimsy, given that the released totals show the candidates from this week, not from 2008. As of this writing, Azerbaijan's election authorities say they've counted 80 percent of the ballots, with Aliyev winning just under 85 percent of the vote so far. He's been officially reelected.

Note: And for any who think elections manipulation only happens in smaller, corrupt countries, see undeniable evidence of major manipulation of elections in the U.S. and elsewhere at this link. For more on electoral corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


The Five Most Outrageous Facts About Our Broken Voting System
2013-04-09, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2013-04-16 08:36:32
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-five-most-outrageous-facts-abou...

So you think the American electoral system is broken? New research out of MIT lays bare just how bad it really is. Here are the five most outrageous facts from "Waiting to Vote," a forthcoming paper by Charles Stewart III for the Journal of Law and Politics, on long lines in the 2012 election. 1. African-American voters wait in line nearly twice as long as white voters. "Viewed nationally, African-Americans waited an average of 23 minutes to vote, compared to 12 minutes for whites." 2. Hispanic voters wait in line one-and-a-half times as long as white voters. "Hispanics waited 19 minutes" – again, compared to a 12-minute wait for whites. 3. Democrats wait in line 45 percent longer than ... Republicans. "Strong Democrats waited an average of 16 minutes, compared to an average of 11 minutes for strong Republicans." 4. Voting in Florida remains a [disgrace] – even compared to other big states. "Waiting times varied tremendously across the states in 2012, ranging from less than two minutes in Vermont to 39 minutes in Florida. 5. The federal Election Assistance Commission is on its last legs. It is supposed to have four commissioners. It currently has four vacancies."It is for answering questions such as this – how to shorten lines in urban areas and a few states where they exist statewide – that the Election Assistance Commission was created. Unfortunately, the EAC has become a 'zombie commission,' without commissioners and therefore without a clear agenda."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on electoral fraud, click here.


The Lyndon Johnson tapes: Richard Nixon's 'treason'
2013-03-22, BBC News
Posted: 2013-03-25 16:05:16
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21768668

Declassified tapes of President Lyndon Johnson's telephone calls provide a fresh insight into his world. Among the revelations - he caught Richard Nixon sabotaging the Vietnam peace talks... but said nothing. By the time of the election in November 1968, LBJ had evidence Nixon had sabotaged the Vietnam war peace talks - or, as he put it, that Nixon was guilty of treason and had "blood on his hands". Now, for the first time, the whole story can be told. It begins in the summer of 1968. Nixon feared a breakthrough at the Paris Peace talks designed to find a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war, and he knew this would derail his campaign. He therefore set up a clandestine back-channel involving Anna Chennault, a senior campaign adviser. At a July meeting in Nixon's New York apartment, the South Vietnamese ambassador was told Chennault represented Nixon and spoke for the campaign. If any message needed to be passed to the South Vietnamese president, Nguyen Van Thieu, it would come via Chennault. In late October 1968 there were major concessions from Hanoi which promised to allow meaningful talks to get underway in Paris - concessions that would justify Johnson calling for a complete bombing halt of North Vietnam. This was exactly what Nixon feared. Chennault was despatched to the South Vietnamese embassy with a clear message: the South Vietnamese government should withdraw from the talks, refuse to deal with Johnson, and if Nixon was elected, they would get a much better deal. So on the eve of his planned announcement of a halt to the bombing, Johnson learned the South Vietnamese were pulling out.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.


Waiting Times at Ballot Boxes Draw Scrutiny
2013-02-05, New York Times
Posted: 2013-02-19 09:48:29
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/05/us/politics/waiting-times-to-vote-at-polls-...

With studies suggesting that long lines at the polls cost Democrats hundreds of thousands of votes in November, party leaders are beginning a push to make voting and voter registration easier, setting up a likely new conflict with Republicans over a deeply polarizing issue. Democrats in the House and Senate have already introduced bills that would require states to provide online voter registration and allow at least 15 days of early voting, among other things. Fourteen states are also considering whether to expand early voting, including the battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and Virginia, according to FairVote, a nonprofit group that advocates electoral change. Several recent polls and studies suggest that long waiting times in some places depressed turnout in 2012 and that lines were longest in cities, where Democrats outnumber Republicans. In a New York Times/CBS News poll taken shortly after Election Day, 18 percent of Democrats said they waited at least a half-hour to vote, compared with 11 percent of independents and 9 percent of Republicans. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis determined that blacks and Hispanics waited nearly twice as long in line to vote on average than whites. Florida had the nation’s longest lines, at 45 minutes, followed by the District of Columbia, Maryland, South Carolina and Virginia, according to Charles Stewart III, the political science professor who conducted the analysis. A separate analysis, by an Ohio State University professor and The Orlando Sentinel, concluded that more than 200,000 voters in Florida “gave up in frustration” without voting.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on major inadequacies in US electoral procedures, click here.


Lost Votes, Problem Ballots, Long Waits? Flaws Are Widespread, Study Finds
2013-02-06, New York Times
Posted: 2013-02-19 09:46:52
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/us/politics/us-voting-flaws-are-widespread-...

The flaws in the American election system are deep and widespread, extending beyond isolated voting issues in a few locations and flaring up in states rich and poor, according to a major new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts. The group ranked all 50 states based on more than 15 criteria, including wait times, lost votes and problems with absentee and provisional ballots, and the order often confounds the conventional wisdom. In 2010, for instance, Mississippi ranked last over all. But it was preceded by two surprises: New York and California. “Poor Southern states perform well, and they perform badly,” said Heather K. Gerken, a law professor at Yale and a Pew adviser. “Rich New England states perform well and badly — mostly badly.” A main goal of the exercise, which grew out of Professor’s Gerken’s 2009 book, The Democracy Index, was to shame poor performers into doing better, she said. Some states ... lost very few votes because of shortcomings in voting technology and voter confusion, with the best 10 reporting failure rates of 0.5 percent or less in 2008. In West Virginia, by contrast, the rate was 3.2 percent. The Pew study focused on the 2008 and 2010 elections, the most recent ones for which comprehensive data were available. The study also found wide variation in how easy registering to vote can be. North Dakota does not even require it, and Alabama and Kansas reported rejecting less than 0.05 percent of registration applications in 2008. But Pennsylvania and Indiana each rejected more than half of the registration applications they received in 2010.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on major inadequacies in US electoral procedures, click here.


Chuck Hagel's Chevron tie not criticized
2013-01-15, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-01-22 10:05:20
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Chuck-Hagel-s-Chevron-tie-not-criticiz...

In his bid to become Secretary of Defense, former Sen. Chuck Hagel has come under fire from both the left and right for his comments on Iraq, Israel and gays. His membership on the board of one of America's largest oil companies, however, has caused barely a stir. Since 2010, Hagel has served on the board of Chevron Corp., a position he would have to leave if he wins Senate confirmation as defense secretary. He received $301,199 in compensation from the San Ramon company in 2011, including $184,000 in stock. Chevron is a major federal contractor, with more than $501 million in sales to the U.S. government in the last fiscal year. But critics of the "revolving door" between the federal government and the private sector haven't raised any complaints about Hagel. That's largely due to the nature of Chevron's federal contracts. Almost all the money Chevron made from the U.S. government in fiscal year 2012 came from selling fuel to the Pentagon, according to a government website that tracks federal spending. Chevron, the nation's second-largest oil company, has a history of politically connected board members. Condoleezza Rice served on the company's board before becoming national security adviser for President George W. Bush. The practice of former federal officials landing jobs with government contractors - and vice versa - has long angered many government watchdogs. They were appalled when Obama, early in his first term, nominated a lobbyist for the Raytheon Corp. to serve as deputy secretary of defense.

Note: US Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel has also been implicated in serious elections manipulations by none other than the New York Times. For more, see this link.


The Results Are in and the Winner Is . . . or Maybe Not
2004-02-29, New York Times
Posted: 2013-01-08 09:30:50
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/29/opinion/editorial-observer-the-results-are-...

Charlie Matulka, who lost to Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska [in 2002], does not trust the results in his election. Most of the votes were cast on paper ballots that were scanned into computerized vote-counting machines, which happen to have been manufactured by a company Mr. Hagel used to run. Mr. Matulka, suspicious of Senator Hagel's ties to the voting machine company, demanded a hand recount of the paper ballots. Nebraska law did not allow it, he was informed. In his primary race in 1996, Mr. Hagel, who had lived in Virginia for 20 years, beat the state attorney general by nearly two to one. In the general election, he defeated the governor, who had been elected two years earlier in a landslide. In 2002, against Mr. Matulka, he won more than 80 percent of the vote. What gets conspiracy theorists excited is not just Mr. Hagel's prodigious wins, but his job before jumping into the 1996 race: heading American Information Systems, the manufacturer of the machines that count 85 percent of Nebraska's votes. Rob Behler ... who helped prepare Georgia's machines for the 2002 election, says secret computer codes were installed late in the process. Votes ''could have been manipulated,'' he says, and the election thrown. Among the growing ranks of electronic-voting skeptics ... Mr. Hagel's wins in 1996 and 2002 have taken on mythic status. The problem is, there is no way to prove the right man was elected. A healthy democracy must avoid even the appearance of corruption. [The] Nebraska elections fail this test.

Note: For more clear evidence Hagel was directly involved in voting machine manipulation which lead to an illegal victory for him, click here and here.


Long lines at polls caused 49,000 not to vote
2012-12-29, Orlando Sentinel
Posted: 2013-01-08 09:12:14
http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-12-29/news/os-discouraged-voters-201...

After working a 10-hour shift on Election Day, painter Richard Jordan headed to his east Orange County polling place at about 4:30 p.m. Based on more than a decade of voting, he expected to be in and out in minutes. Three hours later, Jordan's back ached, he was hungry, thirsty — and nowhere near a voting booth. So he left. As it turned out, his Goldenrod Road precinct didn't close until 11 p.m. Like Jordan, as many as 49,000 people across Central Florida were discouraged from voting because of long lines on Election Day, according to a researcher at Ohio State University who analyzed election data compiled by the Orlando Sentinel. About 30,000 of those discouraged voters — most of them in Orange and Osceola counties — likely would have backed Democratic President Barack Obama, according to Theodore Allen, an associate professor of industrial engineering at OSU. Allen's first analysis of the impact of long lines at the polls was done in 2004, when he estimated that more than 20,000 voters in Franklin County, Ohio, where Ohio State is located, were discouraged from casting ballots in the razor-close contest between President George W. Bush and Democrat John Kerry. His review indicated that for every additional hour that a precinct stayed open past 7 p.m. — a good indicator of line length throughout the day — turnout dropped by as much as 4.8 percent. The precincts with the longest lines, he found, had some of the lowest turnouts.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on major problems with the US electoral system, click here.


Former Fla. GOP leaders: New election law meant to suppress vote
2012-11-26, Seattle Times (One of Seattle's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-12-04 09:27:13
http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2019771284_floridavoting28.html

A new Florida law that contributed to long voter lines and caused some to abandon voting altogether was intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters, former GOP officials and current GOP consultants have told The Palm Beach Post. Republican leaders said in proposing the law that it was meant to save money and fight voter fraud. But a former GOP chairman and former Gov. Charlie Crist, both of whom have been ousted from the party, now say that fraud concerns were advanced only as subterfuge for the law's main purpose: GOP victory. Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer says he attended various meetings, beginning in 2009, at which party staffers and consultants pushed for reductions in early voting days and hours. "The Republican Party, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates," Greer told The Post. "It's done for one reason and one reason only. ... 'We've got to cut down on early voting because early voting is not good for us,"' Greer said he was told by those staffers and consultants. "They never came in to see me and tell me we had a (voter) fraud issue," Greer said. "It's all a marketing ploy." Greer's statements about the motivations for the party's legislative efforts, implemented by a GOP-majority House and Senate in Tallahassee in 2011, are backed by Crist — also now on the outs with the party — and two veteran GOP campaign consultants.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption of the US electoral system, click here.


Anonymous, Karl Rove and 2012 Election Fix?
2012-11-19, Truthout
Posted: 2012-11-27 09:36:50
http://truth-out.org/news/item/12845-anonymous-karl-rove-and-2012-election-fix

At around 11:25 pm EST on election night, Karl Rove knew something had gone terribly wrong. Minutes earlier, Fox News called the key battleground state of Ohio for President Obama, sealing his re-election. But as the network took live shots of jubilant Obama supporters camped outside the Obama re-election headquarters in Chicago celebrating their victory, Karl Rove began building a case against the call his employer network had just made. Rove explained that when Fox called Ohio, only 74% of the vote was in, showing President Obama with a lead of roughly 30,000 votes. But, as Rove contended, with 77% reporting according to the Ohio Secretary of State office, the President’s lead had been slashed to just 991 votes. “We gotta be careful about calling the thing,” Rove said. Rove was supremely confident that the numbers coming in from Ohio throughout the night that favored President Obama weren’t indicative of who would win Ohio when all the votes were ultimately tabulated by the state's computers. With a quarter of the vote still out there, Rove was anticipating a shift to the Right just after 11 pm, which, coincidentally, is exactly what happened in 2004. So the question is: on election night this year, when Karl Rove was protesting the call his network had just made in Ohio, was Rove anticipating a wave of unpredicted vote totals to swing the election back to Mitt Romney after a statewide server crash, just as had happened in 2004? Just two days after Election Day ... Anonymous released a press statement claiming it did indeed prevent an attempt by Rove to steal the election for Mitt Romney.

Note: We don't normally use Truthout as a source, but as no major media sources covered this most important news, we've included it here. We have independent, reliable sources confirming that it is very likely that Rove tried to swing this election, as he did in 2004, but was stymied by an anonymous group. For another inspiring article describing how Karl Rove may have been stopped from manipulating the US elections, click here. And for a well researched articled suggesting that it was not Anonymous who stopped Karl Rove, but another group called "the protectors," click here.


Voting machine changes Obama to Romney
2012-11-07, Sydney Morning Herald/Agence France Presse
Posted: 2012-11-13 11:14:44
http://www.smh.com.au/world/us-election/voting-machine-changes-obama-to-romne...

Computer problems, as well as human ones, have drawn complaints across the US as millions of Americans go to the polls. One Pennsylvania voter highlighted a problem with voting machines on YouTube, complete with video, in which a touchscreen changed his choice from President Barack Obama to Republican Mitt Romney. "I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted," the man wrote. "I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney." This was not the first allegation of foul-ups with electronic machines. In Ohio, some Republicans claimed machines were changing Romney votes to Obama, while Democrats accused Republican state officials of installing untested "experimental" software at the last minute. In Florida, The Tampa Bay Times reported that hundreds of voters received automated "robo-calls" telling them the election was on Wednesday. An official told the paper a glitch in the phone system allowed the calls to go through early on Tuesday, telling voters the election was "tomorrow". A similar glitch was reported in the US capital Washington. The Arizona Republic reported that robo-calls directed voters to the wrong polling stations, and that Democrats claimed it was an intentional effort by Republicans to misdirect people amid a tight Senate race.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on elections corruption, click here.


Rove Biggest Super-PAC Loser
2012-11-07, Bloomberg Businessweek
Posted: 2012-11-13 11:13:21
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-11-07/rove-biggest-super-pac-loser-trum...

Karl Rove and his investors were the biggest losers on Election Day. The Republican strategist created the model for outside money groups that raised and spent more than $1 billion on the Nov. 6 elections -- many of which saw almost no return for their money. Rove, through his two political outfits, American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, backed unsuccessful Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney with $127 million on more than 82,000 television spots. Down the ballot, 10 of the 12 Senate candidates and four of the nine House candidates the Rove groups supported also lost their races. The Election Day results showed Rove’s strategy of bringing in huge donations from a few wealthy benefactors and spending that money almost completely on television advertising failed. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates the two Crossroads groups spent about $176 million, making them the top non-candidate and non-party spender of the election. Rove has bragged of raising more than $300 million for his groups. American Crossroads, a super-political action committee, discloses its contributors and spending to the Federal Election Commission. Its affiliate, Crossroads GPS, is organized as a nonprofit social-welfare group that conceals its donors and reports only a fraction of its political activities. The return on investment for American Crossroads donors was 1 percent, according to an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based group that advocates for open government.

Note: This article fails to mention Rove's highly disturbing involvement in clandestine manipulation of the vote count, which has been documented by excellent researchers such as Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman. For more on this most important news that never got reported in the major media, click here and here. And for an excellent, incisive essay showing how the elections integrity movement helped to protect the recent U.S. elections, click here.


California political watchdog names secret $11 million campaign contributors, claims they were 'money laundering'
2012-11-05, San Jose Mercury News (Silicon Valley's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-11-13 11:12:03
http://www.mercurynews.com/elections/ci_21932215/fppc-releases-names-donors-w...

Ending some but not all of the mystery behind an anonymous $11 million donation, an Arizona group revealed under court order ... that the money it pumped into California's ballot wars was funneled through two groups -- one tied to David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who have played a huge role in spreading anonymous political cash around the country. The two conservative groups, Americans for Job Security and the Center to Protect Patient Rights, are part of a tangled web of so-called dark donors who operate largely out of public view, shielded by their status as nonprofit advocacy groups that are supposedly not involved primarily in politics. While the groups have been identified, however, individual donors who have bankrolled them remain a mystery. "This isn't going to stop here," said Ann Ravel, chairwoman of the Fair Political Practices Commission, the state's political watchdog. "They admitted to money laundering." The FPPC determined that the Arizona group, Americans for Responsible Leadership, had violated California campaign law. Money laundering -- sending money through multiple sources to conceal the original donor -- is a misdemeanor. But a conspiracy to commit money laundering is a felony. The donation, the largest anonymous contribution to a ballot measure campaign in California history, was made to the Small Business Action Committee, a conservative PAC running a campaign for Proposition 32, the measure that would curb labor's ability to collect political cash, and against Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown's tax-hike initiative.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on elections corruption, click here.


A cure for America's corruptible voting system
2012-11-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-11-13 11:10:43
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/03/cure-america-corruptible-...

The secret vote was, in its time, a great idea. Before the secret ballot was popularized, it was standard practice to intimidate and threaten voters. But few know that America hasn't always had secret ballots. Indeed, the secret ballot didn't even originate in the US – the system we use is known, actually, as the "Australian ballot". The majority of US states did not move to that system – in which publicly-provided, printed ballots with the names of the candidates are marked in secret – until after 1884. By now, reams of solid reporting have documented the aberrations, high jinks, missing hard drives, voting machines that weirdly revert to one candidate, voting machines owned by friends of the candidate of one party, and other aspects of systematic corruption that attend America's voting. Solid reporting on the war on voting, and on the corruption of the voting infrastructure, continues to mount. It is crazy to ask Americans to have pure faith that the system is incorruptible, and to ask them to just drop their votes into a black hole and trust in the Lord – or Diebold. Here is my modest proposal: let us end the secret ballot, because we have reached a point, with the internet, in which transparency and accountability is more important than absolute secrecy. The votes get tallied and posted – with their corresponding numbers – online on a public site, and major media reproduce the lists. And I can check my number (unidentifiable to anyone else) to check whether my vote was correctly registered. This would allow, in one sweep, all citizens to watch the watchers.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on elections corruption, click here.


Full Speed Ahead for Food Movement, Despite GMO-Labeling Loss
2012-11-08, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2012-11-13 11:09:16
http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/full-speed-ahead-food-movement-despit...

Although a ballot initiative to label foods containing genetically modified organisms failed in California, the organizers behind the measure say their movement is better organized and larger than ever before. Supporters of California’s Proposition 37 are not giving up the fight after Tuesday’s rejection. In fact, they’re saying that the organizing around the initiative helped forge a diffuse group of individuals interested in healthy food into a powerful, organized movement. “The Organic Consumers Association is a million strong," said Ronnie Cummins, the founder and director of that group said. "We have 5 million people on our email list and we’re looking forward to continuing this battle.” While the initiative won urban coastal counties such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, it lost in the state’s central valleys. “We just didn't have the funds to compete on the air” in those regions, said Stacy Malkan, media director at California Right to Know. “Many of those voters were getting their news from TV and we couldn't compete with them.” Companies like Monsanto, DuPont, and Pepsi poured nearly $50 million dollars into opposing the measure—about seven times what its supporters were able to raise—and spent most of the money on television and radio ads. Throughout the campaign, the truthfulness of advertisements opposing the measure came into question. At one point, the No on 37 campaign ran an ad that identified Henry I. Miller, an opponent of the measure, as a professor at Stanford University. The campaign was forced to pull the ad after Stanford announced that Dr. Miller was not a professor there.

Note: Though polls have shown 90% of Americans want their food labeled if it contains GMOs, huge spending by big industry managed to defeat this California proposition by a narrow margin. Sometimes money does have a hugely disproportionate role in politics. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on elections corruption, click here.


Dark Money: The Rise of Outside Spending in 2012
2012-11-01, Time Magazine
Posted: 2012-11-08 09:55:17
http://swampland.time.com/2012/11/01/dark-money/

The moneymen behind the outfit spending the most on the Medicare attack ads ... will not show their faces. The money is being spent through a Washington-based group, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), that calls itself a “social welfare” nonprofit, so it does not need to reveal its donors to the public. This sort of thing has been happening a lot this year in House and Senate races around the country. Candidates have found their modest war chests, filled with checks for $2,500 or less, swamped by outside groups, which have no limits on the donations they can collect. In all, more than $800 million was spent through mid-October on election ads by outside groups, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Of that total, nearly 1 in 4 dollars is so-called dark money, meaning the identities of the donors remain a secret. Voters watching TV, listening to the radio or receiving direct-mail appeals know only the names of the front organizations that bought the ads. In the past two years, American politics has been transformed by a surge in spending. One fact tells the story: explicit political-ad spending by outside groups in 2012 is on track to double the combined total spent by outside groups in each of the four elections since 2002. Ads purchased with untraceable money tend to be among the most vicious. Nearly 9 in 10 dark-money spots are negative, and an analysis by the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that 26% of the ads are deceptive. Almost all of it — 83%, according to one review — has been directed against Democrats.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the corruption of the US electoral system, click here.


When corporations bankroll politics, we all pay the price
2012-10-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-11-08 09:53:36
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/29/capitalism-bankrolls-poli...

It's a revolting spectacle: the two presidential candidates engaged in a frantic and demeaning scramble for money. By 6 November, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will each have raised more than $1bn. Other groups have already spent a further billion. Every election costs more than the one before; every election, as a result, drags the United States deeper into cronyism and corruption. Is it conceivable, for instance, that Romney, whose top five donors are all Wall Street banks, would put the financial sector back in its cage? Or that Obama, who has received $700,000 from both Microsoft and Google, would challenge their monopolistic powers? Or, in the Senate, that the leading climate change denier James Inhofe, whose biggest donors are fossil fuel companies, could change his views, even when confronted by an overwhelming weight of evidence? The US feeding frenzy shows how the safeguards and structures of a nominal democracy can remain in place while the system they define mutates into plutocracy. Despite perpetual attempts to reform it, US campaign finance is now more corrupt and corrupting than it has been for decades. It is hard to see how it can be redeemed. If the corporate cronies and billionaires' bootlickers who currently hold office were to vote to change the system, they'd commit political suicide. We should see this system as a ghastly warning of what happens if a nation fails to purge the big money from politics.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the corruption of the US electoral system, click here.


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