While you were out... and while Bush's sleight-of-hand averted your eyes towards Iraq for a quick "democracy" fix, the real fight for democracy -- back here in America -- has made some important headway at years' end...Here's a few very notable developments you may have otherwise missed while you were busy sipping your yuletide egg nog:
THREE WEEKS AGO...
THURSDAY: I warned Diebold stockholders and lovers of democracy that a Securities Fraud Class Action Suit was coming.
TWO WEEKS AGO...
MONDAY: Walden O'Dell, CEO of Diebold (he, of 'committed to delivering the electoral votes of Ohio to George W. Bush' fame) suddenly resigned.
TUESDAY: Securities Fraud Litigation Class Action Suit filed against the once-great, now-disgraced Diebold, Inc. of North Canton, OH along with 8 current and former top execs (including both O'Dell and the new CEO Swidarski). Amongst the complaints: artificial manipulation/inflation of stock prices, insider trading, concealment of major flaws and security vulnerabilities in voting machines. Can't say we didn't warn ya!
TUESDAY: Test Election in Leon County, FL is hacked! Results completely reversed! Tally should have been 2 to 6, flipped to 7 to 1 without a trace! Elections Director vows Diebold will never be used in another election in the county (where state capital Tallahassee is) again, requests funds for new voting equipment. Can't say we didn't warn ya!
FRIDAY: In light of Leon County hack, and after long drawn out law suits, Volusia County, FL joins suit and dumps Diebold too!
SUNDAY: Jeb Bush's expresses concern about FL voting systems in light of Leon County hack (that, after both the acting FL SoS and Diebold tried to blame Leon County). Unspoken irony abounds.
SUNDAY: NY Times editorializes about Diebold's grave misunderstanding of democracy. They correctly point out that "The counting of votes is a public trust. Diebold, whose machines count many votes, has never acted as if it understood this." That's the good news from the editorial which led off buy mentioning the "tumultuous week for Diebold." Unfortunately, aside from this editorial, and a quick hit elsewhere in the paper by Dan Mitchell the day before mentioning all of this as "conspiracy theories" and "black helicopter" stuff, the NY Times failed to do any actual reporting of its own on any of the items mentioned above.
TUESDAY: CA Sec. of State sends Diebold packing! Delays re-certification of previous de-certified Diebold, "punts" machines back to Feds for further testing in light of what the SoS called "unresolved significant security concerns".
THURSDAY: Amidst Intense Last-Minute Drama, St. Louis County, MO Rejects Diebold! (Plus, a Diebold lobbyist is overheard inquiring to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter about me and my family!)
THURSDAY: After failure to get a court order for a special exemption from state law, Diebold sends a letter informing North Carolina they're pulling out of the state! They refuse to comply with a NC state law requiring submission of software source code! (Though they kindly offer again to help NC rewrite its law to accommodate Diebold.)
FRIDAY: CA Sec. of State discovered to have threatened ES&S (Diebold's evil twin) with decertification after documented failures in November Election: Touch-screen votes flipped, voters can't verify that ballot is accurate, incorrect reported counts of voter turnout -- but the problems were hidden from citizens until a letter discovered by AP!
What will this and the next week bring? Stay tuned...
Miss anything of note? You can catch up here...
Caught up now? Good...But from now on, please try to pay attention. How many times do I have to tell you? Democracy -- American democracy! You remember that dontcha? -- is at stake here and I can't do all the heavy lifting for you! Please join those of us who give a damn and make some noise, write some letters to the editor, donate to those organizations and blogs and websites fighting the good fight, call your politicians, annoy the crap out of your Boards of Elections and do anything you can to make a difference here.
We're still David. They're still Goliath. But -- like David -- we can win! But we're gonna need a much bigger boat! Please pay attention! It matters.
...And have a Happy New Year.