Write a comment to lawyers suing over the elections. Theirs is an unAmerican effort to destroy public confidence in our elections.
(wapo) “Law is a profession, but these mega-law firms are also big businesses. Like any business, they can be held accountable by the public — and by their other customers — for how they choose to deploy their considerable resources. It’s not out of bounds to criticize those who agree to bring cases that could be so damaging to our democracy.“
“Of course, there is something painful and unpleasant about making life uncomfortable for someone familiar, especially a professional colleague. There is also something deeply uncomfortable about calling out someone you know for immoral conduct. But our constitutional order depends on people doing just that. Scholars have identified professional networks as important guardians of norms: Government officials and elites abide by norms in part because they fear approbation or repudiation by their professional and social networks if they do not. Yet those networks are now sending the signal that their members have nothing to fear at all—because they will never be held accountable for participating in cruel and destructive policies.” – U. of Michigan law professor Leah Litman.
The lawyers know it’s wrong.Many lawyers in these large firms know these nuisance suits are wrong, possibly sanctionable, but at the very least embarassing to their reputation, but their bosses are deeply intertwined with the Trump administration. What they are doing cannot be compared as participating in a criminal defense. But you can’t run a law office if everybody leaves.
(The Hill) “The newspaper (New York Times) interviewed several lawyers at Jones Day and Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, firms representing Trump’s campaign. According to the report, lawyers from the latter law firm have held meetings to voice their discomfort with what they are being tasked to do (i.e. create election lawsuits.) The Times reported that one lawyer quite his job in protest.“
Quote:For those of us only remember part of the first line of Roosevelt’s inauguration speech of 1933 (our hand is up!), it’s worth reading the whole thing, which sounds like it could have been written yesterday.
#1 – Let’s take a breath here…
Our email and media feeds are flooded with potential election stealing and violence at the polls. Not only may these visions be overblown, but they may, in fact, be turning fear into a weapon against us, intimidating us from voting this criminal administration out of office.
Today, we were given permission from writer/observer R. Hubbell, to reprint his Oct. 28th article, to remind us the safeguards even a tyrant like Trump can’t touch. (You can subscribe to his great newsletter here.)
“It is a sad reality that our president is not elected directly by the citizens of the United States. For good or ill, the Framers of the Constitution created a body that we now refer to as the “Electoral College.” The Electoral College elects the president and vice president, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and enabling legislation. The Constitution and statutes provide that states may count votes from November 4th through December 8, 2020, with the latter date serving as the deadline for states to certify the selection of their Electors to the National Archivist. Six days later (December 14), the Electors meet in their respective states to cast their ballots in accordance with their state’s election results. For a general description of the timeline, see Congressional Research Service, “The Electoral College: A 2020 Presidential Election Timeline.” The election of the president becomes official on January 6, 2021 when Congress counts the votes cast by the Electors in their respective state meetings.
Impose strong new ethics rules on members of Congress.
Action – Call your senator and remind them that we want this brought to the Senate floor now.
All the Democratic senators have already signed on. Get your family and friends in red states to pick up their phones too. We need GOP senators to get this done.
Minimal Script for Democratic Senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want to thank Sen. [___] for [his/her] support of S.949 and to tell Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that his constituents aren’t accepting corruption-as-usual nonsense anymore and to bring S.949 – “For the People Act” to the floor for a vote.
Action – Call your senator and tell them that we don’t accept McConnell’s edict.
Minimal Script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen. [___] to tell Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that your constituents aren’t accepting corruption-as-usual nonsense anymore and to bring H.R. 1 to the floor for a vote.
Come on, Senator McConnell…
We’ve written some of the big points so a 5th grader could explain them to you. Tell us why you won’t bring the anti-corruption bill that America is waiting for to a vote. If you want more “grownup” references, here’s a quick overview of H.R.1, an easy-to-read section-by-section breakdown and the bill’s full text.
Link to McConnell’s statements here.
(Here are its supporters in the House. If your rep. isn’t listed, call them along with your senators. Contact information for legislators at the bottom. Thank Carbajal and Brownley for being cosponsors!)
Tomorrow, Wednesday 8/22/18 , the Senate Rules Committee will deliberate on the Secure Elections Act [S. 2261]. It certainly will provide a more secure infrastructure against cybersecurity threats than our current state, but it is missing two of the most important and effective ways to secure elections; paper records to detect and quickly correct for cyberattacks and automatic risk limiting audits to ensure that such detection actually happens. Otherwise this bill is like going on a picnic with buns, condiments, and napkins, and then realizing you left the burgers at home.
Action – Call your committee members and ask them to amend the bill!
Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Senator [___] to demand that the Committee amend S. 2261– “Secure Elections Act” to require states to give voters the option to mark their ballots by HAND, or provide a voter-verifiable paper trail and to conduct “Risk Limiting Audits”.
(Check here to see if your senator is on the committee. Dianne Feinstein is a member.)
(from Loyal Opposition) Yesterday, we posted a call to action AGAINST many of the toxic riders the GOP has attached to the Omnibus Spending Bill.
Today, we’re asking you to ask your legislators to attach something good. Like protecting our own elections against Russian interference.
House Democrats issued a comprehensive review of state voter system vulnerabilities and want $400 million in the Omnibus Appropriations bill which could be voted on as early as next week to help states convert to paper ballots and harden their systems against cyber-attacks.
The evidence behind their request is irrefutable. Russia hacked into state voter systems in the 2016 election, successfully penetrating several of the systems in the 21 states they attempted to hack.
The heads of U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia is determined to interfere with our mid-term elections and could cause havoc by tampering with state voter systems.
Our state election systems desperately need to be upgraded: one in four U.S. voters vote on a system with no paper trail, and many others vote on systems that give the voter a receipt, but leave no paper trail that would allow the state to audit the accuracy of the vote count.
Most states have been attempting to harden their systems against cyber-attacks, but many lack the funds and expertise to get it done before the 2018 elections.
A group of teenagers in Macedonia built a large network of sites spreading false information shortly before the 2016 election because making outrageous statements drove a lot of traffic to them, which translate to a lot of ad revenue.
Others do it for power.
(Washington Post) “…there’s direct political value in spreading misinformation. Setting aside the value that Trump himself sees in misrepresenting reality, there has been a deliberate effort to spread inaccurate information about political candidates and issues — Hillary Clinton, Brexit, etc. — to both shape public opinion and to make it harder to discern real from fake. If you see one article claiming that millions of people were caught voting illegally and another reporting (correctly) that there is no evidence at all of widespread voter fraud, the issue may seem as though it’s still being litigated.”
Most of us realize that still photos can be manipulated with tools like Photoshop. However, technology now allows motivated users to alter videos as well.
Ultimately, it’s our thoughts, opinions and core beliefs that are being Photoshopped and reshaped.
A person’s facial expressions can be altered in a video. This can change anyone into a real-life marionette, seemingly saying words that are supplied by the video creator.
“We saw a targeting of 21 states and an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated.” – nbc news
Wait a minute…what?
#1 – Support the DETER Act: Defend Our Elections from Foreign Interference
With the 2018 midterm elections only 9 months away, it is urgent that stronger security measures are put in place to protect the integrity of our elections from foreign interference. The DETER Act (Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines Act) (S. 2313/ HR 4884) will require monitoring, reporting, and imposing of severe penalties and sanctions on foreign governments that engage in actions interfering in our elections.
Action:Call your rep. (HR 4884) and both senators (S. 2313). How-to-call information at bottom.
Minimal Script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask that Rep./Sen. [___] co-sponsor the bipartisan DETER Act (HR 4884,S. 2313).
Bi-partisans senators move to deter future election interference (theHill)
Russians penetrated US voter systems, says top US officials (nbc news)
#2 – Going old-school – remove the paperless voting machines
The more we learn about voting hacks and other problems, the notion of going back to paper ballots is gaining attention. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) has introduced the SAVE Act (S. 2035) but his bill is stuck in the Rules and Administration Committee. Let’s ask our own senators to sign on as co-sponsors.
Minimal Script: I’m calling from zip code […] to urge Senator [__] to co-sponsor and vote YES on the SAVE Act. We need to protect voting systems in the US against intrusion, theft, manipulation, and deletion of voter registration data and ballots, and prevent cyberattacks from malicious computer hacker
Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884