Thursday, March 22, 2007

People Have Died for the Right to Vote...

And stillmay be, as so many now are also having to work even harder for the right to also have our votes counted fairly, accurately, transparently and verifiably - to us!

Yesterday, in the midst of Bob Bennett's dramatically ridiculous finger-pointing-blame-away-from-self where-it-belongs statement, a citizen who had come to speak about "political nonsense" as he signed his subject matter on his request to speak, got sick in the board room, and shortly after, passed out outside the room.

Alan J. Bendzak, of North Royalton, a 52-year old father, could not be revived before the emergency workers, after CPR and defibrillation, carried him off from the CCBOE. His family reported at about 4:30 pm that he did in fact, pass away.

Though I've been at almost every meeting and know most of the few election integrity advocates and people who come to CCBOE meetings with other agendas in mind, I am not familiar with his name. But I understand he did want to address Bennett.

Though so few citizens come to speak to let the Cuyahoga board know that we know what is happening to our votes, or to try to offer help, or to present their own partisan agenda in this traditionally completely politically driven mess we call "elections" here, that man, had in fact come to be heard.

Few realize how debilitating, frustrating, sickening, and completely disempowering it can be to sit in meetings of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. No clear minutes of past meetings to think about; usually rubber stamped official sounding but purposefully mumbo-jumbo motions which no one but those familiar with CCBOE history can understand, still presented in "board-speak"; demeaning treatment and comments about their created unknowledgeable voters, pollworkers and even staff.

It is understandably too "boring" for most purposefully kept under the mythical "voter confidence" spin, to listen to things not understood, but definitely sensed as something majorly wrong. It is too hopeless for many to witness oneself or another, the subject of Mr. Bennett's continued arrogance, bullying and intimidation, and not be listened to, but lied about later to the press. It is unbelievably financially debilitating to try to take the massive amounts of non-paid time to try to find and follow the dangerous shenanigans of these often well-paid at the top, tax-paid people to be able to speak factually to tell them to stop it - until they might listen enough to make up another cover-up story to the press. They make sure of that. And too often the mainstream press have just followed their spins.

People have died for the right to have our elections express our majority will.
Though I am NOT in any way inferring here, that the Cuyahoga BOE "killed" Mr. Bendzak - with undue stress or otherwise - it is certain that the entire board building and culture within, needs to shed it's crazy political over- and undertones to become a place of much greater health for all - one of truth, openness, honor and healthy progress.

My deepest sympathy to Alan Bendzak's family.

Kudos to Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, for taking the necessary action to make the this county BOE board room a place of hope for us all.

1 comment:

Steven Hertzberg said...

My heartfelt sympathies to the family of Mr. Alan Bendzak.

Now, on to Bob I'll-do-anything-to-stay-in-power Bennett. Mr. Bennett's incompetence is only exceeded by his arrogance. Not only should Bob go, but its time for a thorough investigation of his activities while in charge of the CCBOE. For example:

Who actually ordered the "manipulation" of the 2004 recount?

Was a financial or other mutually beneficial "back-hand" relationship negotiated between Diebold and Bennett BEFORE Cuyahoga spent millions on Diebold election equipment?

It is good to see that the investigations are beginning. It is important not only to thoroughly punish any wrongdoing, but it is also important to send a strong message to others who would contemplate similar frauds on the public.

But most importantly, it is time for the trash to be thrown out and for the healing to begin. Cuyahoga can have an election system that Ohioans will be proud of, and it is time to move aggressively in that direction.