New Security Concerns For Feds

Another embarrassing example of the Federal Government caught with their pants down also serves as another reason why trusting them to protect your privacy could be disastrous despite delusions of government and businesses safeguarding people’s private communications and financial information.

The Los Angeles Times reported that an illegal immigrant from Lebanon with relatives linked to the militant Islamic group Hezbollah forged her way to citizenship by paying a U.S. citizen to marry her, lied her way through national security background checks, joined the FBI and the CIA, then accessed government computers for restricted information relating to her relatives and a U.S. investigation into the group.

Nada Nadim Prouty, a 37-year-old Lebanese national pleaded guilty to conspiracy, unauthorized computer access and naturalization fraud, agreeing to cooperate with authorities in an ongoing investigation into the security breaches. Court papers were unsealed Tuesday providing the details.

The FBI and the CIA had tightened personnel screening and monitoring a few years ago after a CIA officer and an FBI agent were caught selling secrets to foreign governments.

Hard To Imagine A Greater Threat

A multi-agency investigation is underway to determine how the breaches occurred, what Prouty did with the information and whether she improperly obtained information from the CIA.

“It is hard to imagine a greater threat than the situation where a foreign national uses fraud to attain citizenship and then, based on that fraud, insinuates herself into a sensitive position in the U.S. government,” said U.S. Atty. Stephen J. Murphy in Detroit.

In her signed plea agreement, Prouty admitted accessing FBI computer files on Hezbollah in 2000 and in 2003. Prouty was also accused of improperly taking classified information home while employed with the FBI and of working with other Lebanese nationals in an apparent conspiracy to gain U.S. citizenship through fraudulent marriages, then getting government law enforcement, intelligence and military jobs with security clearances.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau, with assistance from the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service and the Internal Revenue Service are conducting the investigation.

Though Prouty could face a maximum penalty of 16 years in prison and $600,000 in fines, as well as the loss of her U.S. citizenship, under the terms of her plea deal she only faces six to twelve months if she cooperates fully.

Two Thorough Background Checks Were Done

To join the FBI and the CIA, Prouty had to be a U.S. citizen and undergo a background check. Both agencies insisted thorough background checks had been done. The FBI said agents interviewed family, friends and associates in the U.S. and Lebanon to make sure Prouty did not pose a security risk, and that Prouty had passed a polygraph test.

In 1999, Prouty was hired by the FBI as a sworn agent and sent to its Washington field office where she worked on a squad that investigates crimes against citizens working overseas. The FBI said she was not assigned to work on investigations involving Hezbollah. Prouty was a midlevel operations officer at the CIA who used her Lebanese background and language skills to work on Middle East issues. She has worked at the CIA since 2003 until recently resigning.

An October report from the Justice Department’s inspector general concluded that the FBI is still vulnerable to espionage since it has not implemented several key security measures, including improvements in its background check system.

FBI and CIA Downplayed Potential Damages

Information revealed by NBC News indicates that Prouty had a much bigger role than officials at the FBI and the CIA originally acknowledged. Prouty was assigned to the CIA’s most sensitive post in Baghdad, and she participated in the debriefings of high-ranking al-Qaida detainees.

According to national security experts, the combination of her being at one of the CIA’s most sensitive stations, working on some of the CIA’s most sensitive cases and having her relatives under investigation put her in a vulnerable position — making the potential damage she could have caused much greater than either the FBI or the CIA has admitted.

Quick recap: an illegal immigrant illegally gains U.S. citizenship, lies her way through two national security background checks (including passing a polygraph test) conducted by both seperate federal ‘intelligence’ departments and was able to access restricted information from their computers…while one rotten agent doesn’t mean the whole bunch is bad, the federal government has a lousy track record as far as security and security breaches are concerned…and we’re supposed to trust them to safeguard our personal information and privacy. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Links to More Information

Links to the above information and a lot more interesting tidbits can be found below:

The agent with a secret past article from The Los Angeles Times

Ex-FBI Employee’s Case Raises New Security Concerns article from The Washington Post

Disgraced CIA officer worked in Iraq article from MSNBC News

Sensitive Guantanamo Bay Manual Leaked Through Wiki Site article from Wired.com

Where Are the E-mails? article from The Washington Post:

“Why is it taking White House officials so long to restore millions of deleted e-mails from the backup tapes they claim to have?

The e-mails in question date from March 2003 to October 2005 — a crucial period that includes the Iraq invasion, a presidential election and Hurricane Katrina.

“The missing records at issue span critical events in U.S. policy, including the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the Abu Ghraib scandal, release of a congressional report detailing the flawed intelligence that was relied upon concerning weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and the handling of Hurricane Katrina. If the deletions go beyond 2005, they may also involve records concerning the renewal of the highly controversial U.S.A. Patriot Act, a major administration initiative concerning immigration policy, and the White House role in the firing of a number of U.S. Attorneys. These are the kinds of records that the Federal Records Act seeks to preserve because they document our history and facilitate an informed American public.”

Intel Chief Blasts ‘Cherry Picked’ Intel article from Salon News:

I don’t know why he would be concerned about it now since it never bothered him in the past…

“Nov 13th, 2007 | WASHINGTON — National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell said Tuesday he would resign if administration officials mischaracterized or “cherry-picked” intelligence to support their own political agenda.

“If it were cherry-picked in an inappropriate way, then for me, that’s a professional obligation to object, and I would submit my resignation,” McConnell said at a conference with journalists.

Bush administration officials have been accused of selectively releasing intelligence that supported the case for an invasion of Iraq prior to the war.

McConnell also said a new national intelligence estimate on Iran should be complete in about a month, but its key findings will not be released publicly. He says doing so could alert Iran to its intelligence vulnerabilities.”

Bush Still Refuses to Admit Ever Making An Error As President article and video from AlterNet:

The king of delusion sat down in an interview (scripted, you can be sure) with Fox Business Channel.

“Yesterday, President Bush sat down for an approximately 30-minute interview with Fox Business Channel. Toward the end of the interview, host David Asman asked Bush, “What do you think, looking back, your greatest hit was? Where you really hit one out of the park. And what do you think your greatest error was?”

Bush replied, “Success, there’s been a lot.” But he refused to reveal his greatest error, instead saying that he was disappointed Congress blocked his Social Security plan:”

Privacy watchdog questions ‘opague’ federal no-fly list article from Canada.com:

“Canada’s privacy commissioner says there was very little consultation with her office before the Conservative government introduced a no-fly list for air travellers last June.

And Jennifer Stoddart told the Air India inquiry Tuesday that she has so far seen little rationale for the list, part of the so-called Passenger Protect Program.

Stoddart told inquiry Commissioner John Major she is concerned that people could be placed on the list in error and face dire consequences if their identities are then disclosed to the RCMP or passed on to police agencies in other countries.

And she questioned why, if people are so dangerous that they can’t get on a plane, they are deemed safe to travel by other means in Canada.”

CIA admits to recording interrogations of top al Qaida captives article from McClatchy News

Drowning the economy in the bathtub article from The Smirking Chimp

Dominatrice Who Claimed to Have S&M Sex with Bush Is Rumored to Be Missing article from Pensito Review:

“Leola McConnell, the former dominatrice and militant for civil equality for people of all sexual orientations — who claimed in her memoir, “Lustful Utterances,” to have had S&M sex with George Bush in the 1980s — is feared by friends to be missing, according to this unsubstantiated report:

Several people who regularly communicate with her have told us they have not heard from her in a few weeks, and attempts by us to reach her have been unsuccessful to date. McConnell had told friends recently that she was growing increasingly concerned that her allegations about politicos who had used her services would somehow cause her harm.

In an article about McConnell’s book last month, I wrote, “What is evident is that McConnell has no hard copy evidence that she whipped the future president and called him bad names. Proof of this: She is neither fabulously wealthy and quiet, nor dead.”

I hope I was wrong — on all counts.”

That’s a lot of fraud article from CNET News

Bush promises to rebuild Justice Dept. article from Yahoo! News

(Don’t hold your breath!)

Is the Military Our Last, Best Hope for Averting War with Iran? article from AlterNet

Blackwater Mercenaries Poised to Get Fat New Pentagon Contract for “Drug War” article from AlterNet:

“They’re being thrown out of Iraq, they carry a reputation of being brutal and undisciplined killers, but the DoD may have something sweet lined up for Blackwater.”

Katie Couric mirrors the media and their avoidance of the Giuliani/Kerik story article and video from Crooks and Liars:

“Couric: …Can I make a suggestion. I guess we have to follow the Kerik story, but does the rest of the country care that much? I mean if we’re really in time trouble…we’re so tight for time, do you think the whole country really cares that much about Bernard Kerik. I don’t know, I’m just curious?”

Rudy Giuliani’s “War With Iran” Team article from The Nation

Judge orders White House to hold e-mails article from Yahoo! News and The Associated Press

Kucinich On His Cheney Impeachment Measure: “It’s Not Over” article and video from AlterNet:

“Our country is at risk and it’s time for our Democratic leaders to take a stand,” says Rep. Kucinich, “This administration will be in power for 14 more months, and they can do a lot of damage in that time.”

John Edwards says there are “two Americas”. He’s almost correct. Though there is indeed a huge economic gap between rich and poor, the greater disparity is between the people and their so-called representative government. Public support and political support are so incongruent on issues like the war, health care, the environment, government spending, and impeachment that it’s all too obvious whose interests congress is really looking out for.

The vast majority of Americans have been in favor of impeaching Vice President Cheney for quite some time. The recent attempt to kill Kucinich’s impeachment resolution earlier this week was nothing less than an attempt to kill democracy; to kill the voice of the American people. And that economic gap Edwards talks about? It too would cease to exist if we had real representation. Once again, that small percentage at the top has decided not to listen to us because they claim to know better than we do what is best for their party… oops, I mean what is best for the country.”

Veterans’ Suicides: a Hidden Cost of Bush’s Wars article from AlterNet

How Bush’s GOP Embraced the ‘Science of Lying’ article from OpEdNews:

“Successful lying has become a science. Highly paid consultants taught Bush officials the new science of effective lying at the outset of Bush’s new regime. The cost, however, will be picked up by US taxpayers; it is no coincidence that new studies show US prestige declining as the world learns the truth about Bush’s hidden agenda.

Typically, the US responds with promises of more spin and PR, more ludicrous attempts to put a smiley face on torture, lies, and aggressive war. The US will try to spread the guilt around and “reframe” the issue.

They’ve wasted no time. As I write this, Colleen Graffy, of the US State Department, is telling Stephen Sackur, of BBC’s Hard Talk, that other nations maintained GITMO-like facilities where people are held indefinitely in legal limbo. She failed to name one. It’s unfortunate, she says, that some people ought not be afforded what Americans have always called Due Process of Law.

Because the GOP often thinks backward from conclusions to premises, GOP types have failed to grasp the essential nature of “Due Process of Law”, that is, either it applies to everyone or it doesn’t apply at all. Any exception is arbitrary and no one may be presumed guilty in advance of Due Process. It just doesn’t work that way. The GOP has apparently institutionalized post hoc ergo propter hoc.

America has an “image problem” because the rest of the world knows America by the lies Bush tells the world.”

Pelosi, Feinstein Betraying Dems article from The Niagara Falls Reporter

Presto! CNN Edits Pelosi’s Quote To Make Her Say Dem Congress “Hasn’t Done Anything” article from TPMmuckraker

Another shining example of how CNN lies about being the most reliable source for news.

America’s most powerful spy agency article from BBC News

Not enough coverage, pro-impeachment Dem launches KucinichTV article from Raw Story:

“Largely ignored by the mainstream media, a dark-horse Democratic presidential candidate has decided to create his own coverage with a new online TV station set to launch Wednesday.

While the media seems more focused on Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s alien encounters than his universal healthcare proposal or warnings about the march to war with Iran, the feisty Ohio Democrat is using the Internet to side-step the normal gatekeepers of presidential campaign coverage. KucinichTV will feature a live town hall meeting at 9 p.m. Wednesday as part of a series of broadcasts planned for the next 10 weeks, the campaign says.”

State Dept official’s brother linked to Blackwater article from Reuters

Sane Officers Oppose Cheney article from TruthDig:

“The Pentagon has launched a preventive strike against a target that military chiefs presumably regard as one of the most active current threats to U.S. and world security-namely, the office of the vice president of the United States. Thrusting back hard against Vice President Dick Cheney’s warmongering, the head of U.S. forces in the Mideast declared that an attack on Iran “is not in the offing,” and more or less urged the vice president and his political allies to shut up.

In a front-page interview published on Nov. 12 by the Financial Times, Admiral William Fallon, who heads the U.S. Central Command, spoke in diplomatic tones, as top military officers usually tend to do when they make strong political statements. Yet there was no mistaking the admiral’s message. While Iran certainly poses a “challenge,” he said, U.S. policymakers must engage Tehran to encourage changes in the regime’s behavior. But the Iranians won’t “come to their senses” while under threat of bombardment, invasion or worse.

“None of this is helped by the stories that just keep going around and around and around that any day now there will be another war, which is just not where we want to go,” he said with a degree of exasperation. “It seems to me that we don’t need more problems. It astounds me that so many pundits and others are spending so much time yakking about this topic [of war against Iran].”

Morose America bemoans the quality of its leaders article from Yahoo! News and AFP:

“WASHINGTON (AFP) – Americans are morose about the caliber of their elected leaders and pessimistic about the country’s future, according to a spate of polls released one year before the 2008 presidential election.

One survey this week by the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government found three in four Americans profoundly frustrated by a “crisis” in US leadership — the result should raise concern with America’s political class, the poll-takers said.

“These new results should be a wake-up call for the nation,” said David Gergen, director of the center and an editor at US News and World Report, which also had a hand in the study.”

Bush was planning to invade Iraq within 3 weeks of 9-11 article from Daily Kos:

More evidence of Bush’s Iraq lies from someone who was there.

George W. Musharraf article from The Smirking Chimp:

“The leader says the nation must crack down on liberties to fight the war against terrorism.

The leader is surrounded by profiteers who make huge sums of money corrupting military budgets and political power.

The leader believes he is specially ordained from above to pursue his policies, which he believes are endorsed by higher authorities that exempt him from the rules of law and conduct that define democratic nations and democratic values.

This is the logic of the George W. Bushes and the Pervez Musharrafs of the world, who fail to respect democratic values, in the name of democratic values, with results that only help the enemy.

Let’s be clear: A Pakistani election conducted during a state of emergency is a fraud and a sham against freedom and democracy. An election during which media is closed, lawyers are imprisoned, dissidents are jailed, opposition leaders are put under house arrest, protesters are beaten up, voices are silenced and the people are held in contempt is not an election but a dictatorship without even a disguise.”

Rudy Giuliani’s ties to Fox News article from Salon News

Homeland Security Links 9/11 Truthers to Taliban article from Prison Planet:

I don’t know what the Homeland Security’s sub-committee on terroris risk assessment is smoking, but I wish they’d start sharing with the rest of us.

The ‘terrorist’ batting average article from The Boston Globe

Giuliani=Police State article from Wake Up From Your Slumber

Just because you don’t hear about it on CNN or FOX doesn’t mean it isn’t happening article from Wake Up From Your Slumber

Burnout on the God beat – second top religion writer calls it quits article from Reuters:

“Covering religion may be harmful to your faith. Two leading religion journalists – one in Britain, one in the United States – have quit the beat in recent months, saying they had acquired such a close look at such scandalous behaviour by Christians that they lost their faith and had to leave.”

CA Dem insider re: Feinstein: “you don’t get the big picture” [UPDATE] article from Daily Kos

Info on voting flaws not shared article from the Daytona Beach News

Bush Stuffs Spending Bills With Earmarks For Dad’s Foundation, Wife’s Librarian Program article from Think Progress:

“On Monday, President Bush explained his veto of the recent Labor-HHS bill, claiming the “majority” in Congress had abandoned his “clear goals for the Congress to reform the earmarking process” and was “acting like a teenager with a new credit card.”

In reality, Bush “stuffs the budget with billions for pet projects.” According to Senate Democrats, Bush placed 580 earmarks worth $15.6 billion in a recent military and veterans appropriations request, along with “billions” in the energy and water spending bill:

Some presidential earmarks have obvious roots, such as $24 million for the L aura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. The president earmarked a billion dollars for the Reading First program, which was criticized by government auditors for steering contracts to favored companies. He also sought $8.9 million for the Points of Light foundation, a pet project started by his father, former President George H.W. Bush.”

Unauthorized vote alterations on Texas iVotronic voting machine article from OpEdNews

Ron Paul: US Should Disentangle Itself From Pakistan article from News and Policy

Is the Roll-Out Sputtering? article from Harper’s Magazine

The Dog that Didn’t Bark: The Story I’d Like Bill Moyers to Cover article from OpEdNews:

“· Why is it that the corporate media spent vastly more investigative energy reporting to the American people about a sexual indiscretion by an American president than in investigating abundant signs that a sitting president has been conducting a coordinated and comprehensive assault on the rule of law?

· What accounts for the fact that the press treated Nixon’s crimes which, in comparison with today’s, were relatively limited and minor, as a matter of great national importance, but has refused to give to today’s altogether unprecedented presidential assault on the Constitution any such front-and-center attention?

· Did the mainstream American system of journalism fail to grasp the importance of the story or did they choose to ignore or minimize it? And how, and why?

· President Bush just set a record in the history of American polling: fully 50 percent of the American people now “strongly disapprove” of this president, even more than was the case with Nixon during Watergate. In earlier times, the mainstream media would make much more of such a historic development, and would flesh out the story by going out, for example and actually asking people just what it is generates their strong disapproval. But of course there’s been no such coverage. Why is that?

· Just this past week, the number of Americans who think the nation to be on the right track got down to just one in five. One would think that such a plunge in a vital sign of our democracy would be an important piece of news. Shouldn’t the mainstream media be asking the American people just what track they think the nation is on and what there is about it they regard as wrong? Where are they?”

Army Memo Reiterates Ban On Waterboarding To Clear Up ‘Confusion’ From Mukasey’s Testimony article from Think Progress

Judith Regan Sues Murdoch Empire article from The Smoking Gun:

“Publisher claims firing done to protect Giuliani presidential bid

In a blistering $100 million lawsuit filed today in New York State Supreme Court, Regan, 54, accuses several defendants, including Murdoch’s News Corporation and HarperCollins Publishers, of orchestrating a smear campaign that was intended to advance the Murdoch political agenda and protect “Rudy Giuliani’s presidential ambitions.”

Questions That Won’t Be Asked About Iraq article from LewRockwell.com:

35 questions written by Ron Paul. Some very good questions that it would be nice to have an honest answer to.

Kennedy, Cleland: Stop Messing with Vets’ Jobs article from Wired.com:

“The transition back to civilian life is never easy. Returning soldiers face a host of difficulties, from physical injuries to post-traumatic stress disorder. But reclaiming their civilian jobs shouldn’t be one of them.

It’s a disgrace that tens of thousands of National Guard troops and Reservists return home and find they’ve been laid off, demoted, or denied salary and benefit increases they should have received. It’s wrong for employers to turn their backs on those who risk their lives for our country.

Last Thursday, the Senate Labor Committee held a hearing on these problems. Previously withheld Pentagon information on reemployment difficulties was released, and the information was troubling. Since 9/11, nearly 11,000 National Guard and Reserve troops have been denied prompt reemployment. 20,000 service men and women had their pensions cut, and another 11,000 lost their health insurance.”

Planting Paranoia article and video from Open Left

Michael Winship: TV Baghdad Diary’s Troubling, Firsthand Look at War article from Buzz Flash:

“But “firsthand” is quite a stretch, especially for a chief executive whose lack of a credible military record has always been a source of embarrassment, and whose trips to “the front” have been brief and safely removed far from the cannon’s roar. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

This weekend, if the president wants to witness a revealing, truly firsthand look at the Iraq war without placing himself in harm’s way, I have a television program for him. I’d recommend it even if I weren’t one of its producers.

“Baghdad Diary” premieres on The History Channel this Saturday night, November 17, at 10 pm, ET (check local listings). The documentary tells the parallel stories of two cameramen — one Iraqi, one American — each of whom chronicled events before, during, and after the war with a discerning eye for devastating detail.

Craig White is a cameraman with NBC News who, with correspondent David Bloom, was embedded with the 3-15 Battalion of the United States Army’s Third Infantry Division as they pounded across the desert from Kuwait to Baghdad.

“Modern warfare as I saw it in Iraq is not what people see on television,” White recalls. “It’s not someone being shot, a big red spot, they fall backwards and die. People come apart. People explode.”

Is World War III on Hold? article from AntiWar.com

The Reverse Shock Doctrine article from The Smirking Chimp:

“I wonder what would happen if the people and their representatives were to shock the powerful and their funders for a change? What if on November 16th, the Iraq Moratorium day, everybody together took major actions? What if everyone with a job took the day off work? What if everyone wore orange? What if everyone with a tax bill wrote to the IRS to say not to expect another dollar of that portion of taxes that goes to war? What if everyone who gives money to Democrats wrote to them to say not one more dime before impeachment? What if everyone left their homes in the morning and went straight to the nearest district office of their congress member, sat down, and picnicked on the floor, refusing to leave without two written commitments: 1. to vote no on any more money to occupy Iraq, and 2. to cosponsor articles of impeachment against Cheney and Bush? What if everyone brought cell phones and media lists and spent all day phoning the media from their congress member’s office?

If everyone did these things, the congress members would be shocked, the police would be shocked, the media would be shocked, and the White House would be in a state of total panic. The risk to the millions taking action would be minimized by the numbers involved, and the agenda in Congress would be a blank slate for the public to write its will upon. Illegal reactions from the White House would aggravate the crisis, to the disadvantage of those in power.”

Millions Funneled To Rural Pregnancy Centers That Promote Religion, False Information article from The Huffington Post

Bush, Congress and MAD article from Daily Kos:

“The public is sour on the Congressional Democrats because they haven’t ended the war and because they are seen as ineffective and unwilling to sustain confrontation with Bush.  Unfortunately, there are still too many Democrats afraid of confrontation over Iraq.  But Democrats tend to be much more confident of their ability to win PR battles over domestic issues, and with Bush vetoing modest spending increases on popular programs while pushing through massive spending increases on defense and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we may finally see the Congressional Democrats embrace confrontation with Bush.

The goal of a showdown over the federal appropriations bills may not be to prompt a government shutdown like the one Bill Clinton masterfully used against the Republicans in 1995.  But the Democrats need to be unafraid of that outcome to achieve their real goal, which is to inextricably link in the minds of voters every single potentially vulnerable Republican in Congress with the despised George W. Bush.

Bush has already destroyed his presidency.  The damage he can do to the Democrats at this point is minimal.  What damage is done to them will largely be of their own doing, mostly by not being bold, by not offering a combative alternative to a nihilistic and hated President.   They can’t allow themselves to get dragged down by Bush’s political death wish, and they will do that by assuming they can bargain with him as if he’s a rational actor seeking a shared goal.  They will gain nothing by trying to bargain in good faith with Bush.  But if the Democrats are bold, if they are unafraid of a massive retaliation by Bush—a series of vetos leading possibly leading to a government shutdown—they can inflict massive damage on their Republican counterparts, and possibly lead to a landslide win next November, not because voters will be enamored with the Democrats, but because they will be so repulsed by the Republicans that they vote against them in even greater numbers than they did in 2006.”

American Patriotism Crushed By Republican SUVs article from The Huffington Post:

“The actual retail price of the Bush Wars: $1.6 trillion, according to a congressional report released yesterday. And this generation of (civilian) Americans has never been asked to sacrifice a single damn thing in order to help ameliorate the cost of these historically expensive war efforts.

Somehow, according to the most-excellent marketing strategies of Roger Ailes and Karl Rove, it’s more patriotic to go around saying you’re patriotic than it actually is to be patriotic. The most trenchant right-wing tools among us are proud and grateful to receive the president’s unpatriotic and irresponsible rich-man welfare checks during a time of war. In fact, President Bush yesterday listed his tax cuts for the super-rich as one of his successes, while later in the day he accused the Democrats of spending like teenagers with a new credit card.

The Democrats. Spending. Like teenagers. Okay, compared to whom, Mr. President? And yet today the Wall Street Journal — the economic newspaper of record — had the old-man nards to editorialize that opponents of the president are insane.”

That’s rich. The president’s ideologically-driven policies have bankrupted America, both financially and morally, and you and I are insane for being vocal about it?”

Possible *Ballot Petition* Fraud in California: Electoral Vote Initiative article from Daily Kos:

“First, I should explain that I’m a graduate student at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Today I witnessed what I think is an incidence of voter fraud relating to the electoral vote apportionment initiative – the proposal to apportion California’s electoral votes by congressional district, unilaterally giving 19 of California’s electoral votes to the Republicans in 2008.

Outside the UCEN (student center plus bookstore plus food court) at UC Santa Barbara, there were a number of people with cardboard clipboards soliciting people to sign ballot petitions for a proposal to spend $1 billion on cancer hospitals for kids. If you agree to sign, they tell you “you need to sign 4 times.” What they do not tell you is that the three pages after the ballot initiative on cancer hospitals are different ballot initiatives: the second proposes to abolish eminent domain, the third proposals to abolish rent control, and the fourth is the proposal to apportion California’s electoral votes by district (the so-called Dirty Tricks Initiative).”

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