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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Alas - MORE about Vu in San Diego & CA Secretary of State Bowen's reply to my letter re: Vu's appointment as Assistant Registrar of Voters

From the 7/28/06 rally in front of the CCBOE

In the 4/11/07 San Diego North County Times article that started this concept-thread, and prompted my 4/15 letter to California Secretary of State, Deborah Bowen, urging her to thoroughly review Vu's appointment before allowing it to stand

Gig Conaughton the article's author stated:
San Diego County officials declined to make Vu available for an interview Wednesday. However, Vu was quoted in previous interviews as saying it was his decision to resign, based upon his belief that the Cuyahoga board wanted new leadership.

Vu's decision? His belief?? Like it was a choice, as in Santa Claus?
Try a few of these Cuyahoga examples below, and see what you believe about Vu's honesty and competence, even after he left Cuyahoga, apparently still thinking that all he had to do was to say it, and everyone would believe him - and the lack of truth of his words about other lacks, would never catch up with him:

1. A handheld, thus shaky video that speaks for itself. On 7/28/06 people gathered in front of the CCBOE to demand Vu's leaving.

2. The above was a result of the Cuyahoga Election Review Panel's (CERP) report, from the panel that the board had chosen following the debacle May,'06 election under Vu, that was published on 7/21/06. Links to that report, pointing out Section 7 the most concentrated section about Vu, under "Management" and referred to as a "scathing review" in the above video; and the Election Science Institute (ESI) report were both noted in the letter sent to CA SoS for her review.

The morning of CERP's release, July 21,2006 the board held a meeting, which ended in a 2-2 split about Vu's ouster, split along party lines (the 4-person framework, 2-D's and 2-R's of Ohio BOEs seem almost to prevent ability to move forward, rather than help.)
You can download a copy of the official transcript of that
7/21/06 meeting here.
After you read it, see if you think there was any doubt that it was NOT Vu's choice to leave. He was demanded out.

Though Bennett wanted him to stay - since the recount rigging trial was still upcoming, and Bennett was still trying to make the whole thing covered AND gone away; AND be able to get more money into Diebold's pockets - Bennett needed a "satisfied Vu", to continue the business as usual for charade cover. Seeing how bad Vu was, even Bennett, however, was asking for Vu's staying only through the November election. (It DID turn out that Vu was able to stay, and was given the political out to "resign," until right after the trial's sentencing.)

Start at the bottom of page 4 of the transcript, then through page 8 then mixed throughout the transcript, you will find demands that Vu leave.
The following exerpt is from page 8, starting end line 5, with Mr. Coaxum speaking.
Later, Mr. Soggs also spoke a number of times, just as directly.
Vu "believed" they wanted new leadership? I'm not sure how much clearer it could get...:

5 (starting my quote...) in
6 view of the performance of the executive

7 management over the past two years and

8 specifically on May 2nd, it is clear to me

9 that these individuals cannot provide

10 innovative responses and sensitive

11 leadership in Cuyahoga County to implement

12 the recommendations of the panel in order

13 to restore the confidence of the electors

14 in Cuyahoga County in a transparent and

15 efficient election process. Mr. Chairman

16 and members of this Board, the hemorrhaging

17 must stop now.

18 Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I move that

19 this Board request the immediate

20 resignation of Michael Vu as director and

21 Gwen Dillingham as deputy director and

22 project manager for e-voting conversion.

23 Should the director and the deputy director

24 decline to resign, then I move that they be

25 terminated forthwith. Mr. Chairman.
3. And here is a short clip toward the end of that 7/21 meeting where board member, Loree Soggs again demanded Vu's resignation, calling him "dangerous."

4. Then we go to the transcript of the next meeting, 8/7, the day before the August 8 special election. This was almost 3 weeks after the previous meeting.

As the public was there waiting to find out about SoS Blackwell's breaking the tie (actually for the public, an unsure decision, since rumor also had it that not only did the Commissioners essentially dislike Vu - look what he was doing to the county's reputation - but neither was even Mr. Blackwell any great fan of his.)

Starting on 48 of this transcript, you will find that, to everyone's surprise (because Bennett kept it that way...then feigned apology for "overlooking") Bennett hadn't even sent the tie vote to Blackwell for breaking, as was demanded by law, and as clarified by the Prosecutor!

Rather he sent two letters to Blackwell telling him why he didn't think he needed to send the tie vote to him, and why he didn't think the Proscutor was right - a typical duplicitous and devious Bennett tactic - this time for delay. (Notice how he also, in his subtle digging way, started to attempt to diminish Assistant Prosecutor Reno Oradini, by starting to call him "Mr. Reno" - like calling him "boy!") Then at each meeting, Bennett began counting down the days until November, always saying it was now really too close to the election to force Vu out, while both he and Vu kept rushing to ridiculously put more and more unnecessary taxpayer millions into Diebold's pockets. (Re: the latter see the following posts about Summer '06 meetings and their pouring millions ridiculously into Diebold's pockets.)

5. Then we can read more articles from the North County Times in San Diego:

a. Here we have a 4/2 article, where Mischelle Townsend magnanimously stepped back into the Registrar role, just in time to hire Vu, (4/11) then again leaving a month later to make way for Deborah Seiler, the Diebold Rep.
Notice that Townsend, like Vu in Cuyahoga, was not even a resident of San Diego when she became the Registrar of Voters again there.

b. Here we have San Diego County Administrator Ekard, a few days later defending Vu. Notice they don't let Vu talk to the press. (Maybe they're on to his untruths and purposefully roundabout "Vu-babble.")
Ekard also off-point for an Assist. Registrar of Voters, calls Vu a "young family man." (So they had a baby. What does that have to do with character and competence for this important job?)
Ekard also refers to telling of the facts about Vu, as "character assassination." However, the person assassinating Vu's character, has been unfortunately, Vu himself in his actions.

c. And there is this little opinion ditty:
Roses and raspberries
By: North County Times Opinion staff -

The 'Premature Consternation' award

A raspberry to those who are already lambasting former Cuyahoga County, Ohio, elections chief Michael Vu, who was recently hired as San Diego County's new assistant registrar of voters.

The county's difficulty in finding a permanent registrar, and that it had to go halfway across the country to find someone to fill the assistant registrar position ---- which pays $130,000 a year ---- is an indication of just how impossible the job of running elections in San Diego County is becoming, at least to qualified applicants.
Qualified applicants? Vu never got it right, and only looked like he got closer with the assistance of a $4,000/week former director who ran Cuyahoga's November's election for him.

On the other hand, check out Cuyahoga's Smoothly Run May 8, 2007 Election, which took place finally without him.

d. This NCTimes article is about San Diego trying to also offer paper ballots at the polls because of activist insistence. Despite workers not offering them and in some cases discouraging their use, still over 8% of people requested and used them, in lieu of untrustworthy machines.

e. This is the 4/27 article about Bowen actually looking into lawyer activist Ken Simpkin's charges of wrongdoing in the November, '06 election.

f. And finally this article is about CA SoS Bowen starting testing of e-voting devices this week to consider the questions of problems, re-certification, etc. in that state.

SoS Brunner is the midst of conducting the same concept in Ohio, though I have not yet heard to date, whom they have hired, nor what the specific goals of the study will be.
Again, I'm not sure why Brunner and Bowen are not working together on this issue, combining resources, and information to cover the vast amount of ground that needs scrutiny. Hopefully they will each clearly lay out what dangers vs. benefits they are looking for before beginning.

Just because of the secret nature of the counting software and the lack of transparency and verifiability of the results, the machines should be not allowed in a democratic election. Vendors like Diebold need to bear financial liability for selling often faulty equipment, that has been obviously unfit for and incapable of conducting a fair, transparent, democratic, efficient and cost-efficient elections.

But What Did SoS Bowen Reply About the Vu Problem in San Diego?

The salient part of the May 2, reply reads:
"Unlike other states, county elections offices in California are not under the direct authority and control of the Secretary of State’s office.

If you would like to contact the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, which has the ultimate authority over the elections officials who serve the county...."

No "direct" control? As the Chief Elections Officer of the state? What about indirect control?

When things inevitably fall apart there, at least election integrity activists can say we properly warned her....
This is a poor reproduction of the reply:
It says in full:
Subj: RE: CORRECTION toletter
Re: Michael Vu's Appointment to Assistant San Diego Registrar Post Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2007 12:51:00 PM
Dear Ms. Eisner:
Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about San Diego County recently appointing Mr. Michael Vu as Assistant Deputy Registrar.

Unlike other states, county elections offices in California are not under the direct authority and control of the Secretary of State’s office.

If you would like to contact the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, which has the ultimate authority over the elections officials who serve the county, you can reach the Board at:
San Diego County Board of Supervisors
County Administration Center
1600 Pacific Highway
San Diego, CA 92101

Thank you for taking the time to contact me. I hope this information is helpful to you. If you have any questions, or if I can assist you on another matter related to the Secretary of State's office, please contact my office at (916) 653-7244.

Debra Bowen Secretary of State


It says re: "Correction to Letter", because I needed to correct a typo for correctness and had resent the original with the correciton.

My first email cover said:

via email

The Honorable Debra Bowen
California Secretary of State
1500 11th Street
Sacramento, California 95814

Dear Secretary of State Bowen:

I am writing to make you aware of my grave concerns regarding the hiring of Michael Vu as Assistant Deputy Registrar of Voters in San Diego County. As a long time Cleveland, Ohio resident, election integrity advocate, and citizen watchdog of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections (Mr. Vu's previous employer,) I urge you to review the attached letter regarding some of the many documented, serious issues involved with Mr. Vu's tenure here, relating to both his competence and integrity, and which ultimately forced his resignation.

As a courtesy, I also want to let you know that I am sending the attached to a few media outlets.

Thank you,
Adele Eisner
Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118

The second body of email-cover letter read:
Yesterday, I sent you a letter expressing my grave concern regarding Michael Vu's Appointment to
Assistant San Diego Registrar Post.
A typographical error may have caused an inaccuracy in the point reflecting the large budget overruns that occurred under Mr. Vu's directorship for Cuyahoga County's 2006 elections.
Though by the time of this sending I have not had the opportunity to go beyond the Cuyahoga Board of Election's provided information, (which was also under his directorship) to attempt to obtain actual totals, in the interest of accuracy and caution that bullet point can more accurately read as below.
I have also provided the corrected letter in full, which is attached.

"Director Vu oversaw a budget overrun for the 2006 elections in excess of 100% of the original 2006 election budget. Though totals have been difficult to determine from the election board's confused records and/or withholding of clear public information, overruns are estimated at more than $7M. This overrun included the necessary contracting with a former Cuyahoga County
elections director to assist director Vu’s management of the November 2006 election, at the approximate cost of $50,000."

Thank you,
Adele Eisner

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