Friday, March 23, 2007

And Now for Some FACTS Added to Bennett's "Campaign of Disinformation"

The video below shows Chair Bennett's opening remarks at the 3/21/07 board meeting, the rest of the board's public refutation of agreement with him (for one of the first times in almost 3 years;) and Mr. Coaxum's, the most dedicated and wisest there, resignation.
As to Bennett's opening remarks, any truly random sample of video on this blog with him in it, demonstrates the absolute opposite nature of the real, not created picture Bennett puts forth about his "dedication" to open and fair elections, and "open mindedness" in working with colleagues."

(Dave Lambert
- the direct superior of Reno Oradini, Assist. Cnty. Prosecutor, who normally handles board legal matters - was sitting directly in front of Bennett, as he was in attendance instead of Oradini. When you see the film, you'll understand why.)

Regarding '04 recount whistleblower, Fran Lally, Lally's testimony as I remember from the trial, (until I get a copy of the transcript which Bennett ordered without board approval for $2500.00, but is now public record), Lally stated that days before the recount, he accidentally walked in on was later determined to be the illegal pre-count process.
He saw as I remember, at least 5 board employees there handling the '04 ballots (which law states are not to be unsealed until the time of the recount.) From their immediately quieted demeanor when he entered, and their handling the ballots, he sensed something was wrong.

It was on the day after the main recount, which happened on December 16, 2004, when witnesses were first present, when a smaller group of witnesses returned to check for proper ballot books being used in precincts, when Lally heard those witnesses talking about how so many had noticed that the ballots had been presorted and pre-counted, when his previous suspicions seemed more confirmed. (Those 12/17 witnesses were looking to see if the proper ballot book per ballot rotation had been included per precinct. BTW, they did find that the proper book was not always included, which would have made voters cast votes/punch holes for non-intended candidates.)
Lally stated clearly that he did not tell his boss, Michael Vu, but went to the prosecutor on December 17, that same day, for legal help, because he believed that his boss, Michael Vu actually knew about whatever was going on. Lally was Vu's Executive Assistant. He had daily, firsthand knowledge of Vu's and the deputy director's work and ethics.

Regarding Candice Hoke, that Bennett now claims he didn't know what legal guidance roles Hoke and her husband took for the '04 recount, demonstrates either a major hearing impairment or completely not listening, or lying. Hers was not a role that was hidden from the board.
Hoke in fact had been in conversation with Vu in her guidance role about the negative legal implications of Vu's insistence that the board was not going to use as first sample, a 3% random selection of all ballots done before witnesses, per the law - but that they were going to do the sample selection themselves, by themselves, of a supposed "random" selection of precincts with 550 votes or more cast - which includes then only 8% of all precincts - before any witnesses got there.

And George Taylor, Hoke's husband, stood before the board on December 22, at the recount certification meeting, and told them of the anomalies the witnesses had found, making us suspect the foul play that later got convicted.
But did the board do anything about it? Take him seriously?
Or did they tell him like they tell everyone else "they'd look into it" - before this matter, like all others citizens have brought to them, got shoved into their very large black hole? Take a guess.

Bennett said that had they known they would have gotten a court order to do a "redo!" HAH! We've actually witnessed them schedule board meetings around their own other engagements. They would have added to their "business as usual" only 3 days before Christmas, with board vacations waiting too? HAH!

Though Hoke's role as principal of her own "Center for Election Integrity," as "the Public Monitor", is in my opinion also a highly questionable one for democracy, the public, and transparency - and with the access, control of even activist information and volunteer labor, and some public funding for staff she was able to garner, all mostly before the public even became aware - she did nevertheless, produce some good and revelatory reports for citizens and for the name of the usually-paid Center.
Those special access, public revelations, apparently are NOT what Bennett expected from the deal. (I will consider in a future post more facts about why I firmly believe this "Public Monitor" role should also be resigned in the name of excellent election integrity.)

As to Reno Oradini, the Assistant County Prosecutor, who normally handles legal matters for the board of elections - unlike what Bennett describes, once informed of what they were really doing, not just handed old written procedures where ballot pre-counting and swapping were NOT included, Oradini DID do something.
He, according to procedure, prepared a memo with his knowledge, and took it to his bosses in the Prosecutor's office, who decided to proceed with an investigation of the CCBOE. He could not have stopped the certification. And it's been long publicly long apparent that when Mr. Bennett does not like Oradini's findings of actual law (he starts calling him "Mr. Reno" - like "boy!")) he hardly remains open to hearing Oradini's decisions about the right things to do.

It seems that the prosecutor's office, headed by William Mason, is still investigating, still trying to "smoke out" in this traditional culture of political appointments, cover-up and don't tell on superiors - the truth of what happened in '04 and '06, and who all knew about it.

In the next video you'll see Lambert excellently reply about Bennett's continuing the "campaign of disinformation." (Bennett's repetitive disinformation themes actually seem eerily similar to, and an extension of, the tacts and tactics used by the defense in the trial and sentencing hearing.)

Next, Bennett goes on and on and on to the press after the meeting. Some say he obviously "protests far too greatly" to not obviously have his own personal investment in these previous board employees "getting off."

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