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Friday, June 16, 2006

A Vote of No Confidence

"Before his swearing-in, Bilbray said he looked forward to replacing the images of airplanes that used to decorate the walls with photos of surfboards and sailboats.” — USA Today

Unfortunately, the immigrant-bashing Brian Bilbray wasn’t talking about decorating his dorm room. California’s newest congressman is moving into the Rayburn House Office Building, specifically the office vacated by Randall “Duke” Cunningham, bribe taker extraordinaire, who is now serving eight years in prison. Bilbray edged past Democrat Francine Busby in a special, allegedly closely watched election on June 6, allowing Republicans to hold the 50th District in traditionally conservative San Diego County.

And the folksy detail about Bilbray’s taste in poster art, in lieu of reportorial outrage, seems to signal that, once again, America has moved on from a shoddily conducted election — making Congress seem about as trustworthy as a New Orleans rebuilt atop the toxic waste stirred up by Hurricane Katrina. Somebody’s going to get sick from this sooner or later.

Indeed, the “democracy extremists” out there — the ones who take procedural integrity seriously, especially in the era of electronic voting — are sick already.

Let’s forget for a moment the political significance of Bilbray vs. Busby, or even who won, and pare the contest down to one essential fact: The use of Diebold optical-scan and touchscreen machines in last week’s voting in San Diego County was subject to rigid procedural standards set down both by the California Secretary of State’s office and the National Association of State Election Directors, the point of which was to guarantee that the machines arrived at their polling places untampered with and inviolate.--------------

read the rest here...

A Vote of No Confidence

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