On the Radio 06.30.12

June 29, 2012

UPDATE 06.30.12:  AT END

Join us on Saturday when TX citizen/activist Kelly Canon and I discuss alternative ways to keep off the 2012 general election ballot the name of the Presidential candidate who documentary evidence exposes was never federally qualified for the job.  Call in number is 714.242.5220. (If you cannot tune in tomorrow; you can listen to the archived show, by visiting the same link.)

Texas, We Have a Solution (Maybe)!

UPDATE 06.30.12:  We just finished the show and, having listened to the entire playback, I must say; it is absolutely fabulous. It offers a comprehensive synthesis of our work on ballot eligibility issues, from who determines whether a candidate is “federally qualified” to appear on the ballot; to how the executive branch carries out the express intention of the legislative branch for ballot entitlement; to how joining the National Popular Vote Initiative can subvert the strongest ballot eligibility laws.

(Or, as Kelly would say, we covered everything ‘from soup to nuts.’)


PAYDIRT

April 14, 2012

© 2012 jbjd

I have been saying for years now that, in those states which by law only allow on the ballot the names of candidates qualified to fill the offices they seek; political party officers certified to election officials that Barack Obama’s name should be placed on the ballot notwithstanding no documentary evidence available in the public domain established he was Constitutionally eligible for the job and, therefore, such certification was made without verification.

Not everyone agreed.

I first posted OUT of the MOUTHS of BABES in January 2010; it has remained one of the most popular posts on the “jbjd” blog. It describes my exchange with 9th graders in a U.S. History I class, during a lecture in which I detailed the interplay between the requirements for President found in Article II, section 1 of the Constitution; and real life, as played out with respect to the 2008 general election. Basically, I told the students that the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and Chairperson of the 2008 DNC Services Corporation Presidential nominating convention; ignored public requests to disclose the documentary basis for her certification that Barack Obama met the Constitutional qualifications for the job. And DNC Corporation’s general counsel, Joseph Sandler, responded to such inquiries by reminding petitioners, his was not a public agency and so, did not have to disclose the basis for that certification. The students concluded in the first instance, no one checked. In the second instance, they assumed, someone had but, did not like the results.

Others have based their interminable claims that Mr. Obama’s Constitutional eligibility for President is a ‘given’ on such nebulous evidence as contemporaneous newspaper birth announcements (supposedly) available on microfilm or microfiche; or a birth certificate or certification (presumably) indexed in a government record. My response has always been to acknowledge that, I hear what others think establishes the man’s eligibility; but I want answers from party officials who are legally responsible for placing his name on my state ballot. Further, I insisted that if these often cited ‘alternative’ sources actually provided a standard of authentication; then when they were asked, those same officials would have asserted these sources as the basis for their certification.

Indeed, all along I have maintained that none of those party officials who swore to election officials in a ballot eligibility state, Barack Obama was eligible to have his name placed on the ballot since he met the federal requirements of the job; had verified the truth of that certification. I have finally obtained the evidence that proves, all along, I was right.

I will post this evidence in a few days, after all the ‘i’s’ are dotted and the ‘t’s’ crossed on the document for which such evidence was an integral component.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Freedom costs.


IT WAS A GOOD TIME; IT WAS THE BEST TIME; IT WAS A PARTY

January 28, 2012

©2012 jbjd

The party in Georgia is over. And now, having been asked several times both here and on other blogs, what I predict will be the outcome of Thursday’s OSAH hearing in Georgia before Administrative Law Judge Malihi and, further, how Secretary Kemp will proceed in light of the ALJ’s determination; I will tell you what I think.

However, I am not privy to the record in this case and so, I am basing any speculation as to the posture of this case; on publicly available documentation. And I have no contact with anyone else who has privy to the record in this case (although this probably makes no difference as to the caliber of my prediction).

(Having access to the people directly involved would not mean that I would obtain reliable information from them, a fact made unambiguously clear when several people directly involved with the case instigated a massive public campaign of misinformation with a self-serving pronouncement that, the judge in a court of law had ordered President Obama to appear, when he had only refused to grant Respondent’s Motion to Quash Petitioner’s Subpoena. Yes, I agree the press can be blamed for their role in disseminating this propaganda by failing to investigate these claims before streamiing them into syndication; but in my opinion, this makes the attorneys involved doubly culpable for ‘blowing’ this incredible opportunity thereby provided, to educate people, instead, converting it into their personal platform to spread paranoid, error laden, hyperbolic rants.)

Finally, of course, is the fact that, notwithstanding all other considerations, when it comes to predicting a decision by any ruling authority; in fact, your guess is as good as mine.

RUMOR ALERT: Some people have insisted that before the hearing, the lawyers present met with the ALJ, who offered to “Default” Obama for not showing up. At that point, any one of the Petitioners – not just Farrar, who had issued a subpoena for him to appear so as to give “sworn” testimony – could have made a request to the ALJ, in the form of a motion, as prescribed by Rule 11; to default Obama. Or, the ALJ could default Respondent, sua sponte, that is, on its own.

But let’s say, an ordinary citizen files a complaint with the SoS that ends up in the OSAH and the Respondent bails the fact-finding hearing. S/he is likely to look up, IN ADVANCE, how this conduct would impact the proceedings.

Starting from the OSAH home page, I first found the hearing calendar and, from there, a link to Frequently Asked Questions (by parties to these proceedings).

In particular, consider that these guidelines indicate, if the Complainant is late to the hearing; the case “can be” dismissed; and if the Respondent doesn’t appear; the case “can be” decided without his input. In other words, where the burden is on Petitioner; showing up late could mean, the case was dismissed before you arrived. (More on “burden” soon.)

I, of course, looked up the section of the Administrative Procedure rule regarding default, which, again, are accessed from the OSAH home page. But before I post this, understand the meaning of the word “party” as used in the statute and corresponding rules. (Note: the statute creating the OSAH is written by the legislature, and signed into law by the governor. A provision of that law tells the head of OSAH to promulgate rules and regulations necessary for that office to carry out its legal mandate, as spelled out in the statute.)

O.C.G.A. § 50-13-2
GEORGIA CODE
Copyright 2011 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.
*** Current Through the 2011 Extraordinary Session ***
TITLE 50.  STATE GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER 13.  ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE
ARTICLE 1.  GENERAL PROVISIONS
O.C.G.A. § 50-13-2  (2011)

§ 50-13-2.  Definitions

As used in this chapter, the term:

(2) “Contested case” means a proceeding, including, but not restricted to, rate making, price fixing, and licensing, in which the legal rights, duties, or privileges of a party are required by law to be determined by an agency after an opportunity for hearing.

(4) “Party” means each person or agency named or admitted as a party or properly seeking and entitled as of right to be admitted as a party.

(5) “Person” means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, governmental subdivision, or public or private organization of any character other than an agency.

(5.1) “Record” means information created, transmitted, received, or stored either in human perceivable form or in a form that is retrievable in human perceivable form.

(6) “Rule” means each agency regulation, standard, or statement of general applicability that implements, interprets, or prescribes law or policy or describes the organization, procedure, or practice requirements of any agency.

Now, here is the Administrative rule on Default. (Again, I reached these rules through the OSAH home page.) All emphasis is mine.

RULES
OF
OFFICE OF STATE ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS
CHAPTER 616-1-2
ADMINISTRATIVE RULES OF PROCEDURE

616-1-2-.30 Default. Amended.
(1) A default order may be entered against a party that fails to participate in any stage of a proceeding, a party that fails to file any required pleading, or a party that fails to comply with an order issued by the Administrative Law Judge. Any default order shall specify the grounds for the order.
(2) Any default order may provide for a default as to all issues, a default as to specific issues, or other limitations, including limitations on the presentation of evidence and on the defaulting party’s continued participation in the proceeding. After issuing a default order, the Administrative Law Judge shall proceed as necessary to resolve the case without the participation of the defaulting party, or with such limited participation as the Administrative Law Judge deems appropriate, and shall determine all issues in the proceeding, including those affecting the party in default.
(3) Within ten (10) days of the entry of a default order, the party against whom the default order was issued may file a written motion requesting that the order be vacated or modified, and stating the grounds for the motion.
(4) The Administrative Law Judge may decline to enter a default or may open a default previously entered if the party’s failure was the result of providential cause or excusable neglect, or if the Administrative Law Judge determines from all of the facts that a proper case has been made to deny or open the default.
(5) If a party fails to attend an evidentiary hearing after having been given written notice, the Administrative Law Judge may proceed with the hearing in the absence of the party unless the absent party is the party who requested the hearing, in which case the Administrative Law Judge may dismiss the action. Failure of a party to appear at the time set for hearing shall constitute a failure to appear, unless excused for good cause.

Respondent’s absence from this hearing despite an in effect subpoena to appear could have triggered the sanction of Default, but only with respect to Respondent. This would mean, the record would have been foreclosed as to him, absent a successful appeal of the Default Order. And all of Petitoners’ evidence would have been submitted into the record without objection from the other side.

(Or, in the alternative, Petitioners could have sought an Order to Appear. We already know that only the Superior Court can issue such an Order, on Motion of Plaintiff (who in the OSAH is the Petitioner). Petitioner’s/Plaintiff’s Motion to the Superior Court can be accompanied by the ALJ’s certification as to the facts which led to this point.)

616-1-2-.22 Hearing Procedure. Amended.

(5) Upon application by a party, the Administrative Law Judge shall certify the facts to the
superior court of the county in which a party, agent, or employee of a party:
(a) disobeys or resists any lawful order or process;
(b) neglects to produce, after having been ordered to do so, any pertinent book, paper, or
document;
(c) refuses to appear after having been subpoenaed;
(d) upon appearing, refuses to take the oath or affirmation as a witness;
(e) after taking the oath or affirmation, refuses to testify; or
(f) disobeys any other order issued by an Administrative Law Judge
for a determination of the appropriate action, including a finding of contempt.

Rumor is, ALJ Malihi asked whether Petitioners wanted him to enter such Default; but, reportedly, they said, ‘No.’

Supposedly, although they have entered this same ‘evidence’ into dozens of other records, they did not want to waste this opportunity to submit testimonial evidence into this record, providing ALJ Malihi with a first-hand opportunity to gauge the credibility of their witnesses, under some mistaken belief, submitting this evidence into the record of this administrative hearing without objection from Respondent, automatically validated their submissions. Then, if they won, they could file yet another suit in a real judicial court based on ‘evidence’ certified by the OSAH (but which was outside of the scope of that forum’s expertise or authority) President Obama is Constitutionally ineligible for the job.

616-1-2-.22 Hearing Procedure. Amended.
(1) The Administrative Law Judge shall conduct a fair and impartial hearing, take action to
avoid unnecessary delay in the disposition of the proceedings, and maintain order. The
Administrative Law Judge may, among other things:


(3) Whenever any party raises issues under either the Georgia or United States Constitution,
the sections of any laws or rules constitutionally challenged and any constitutional provisions
such laws or rules are alleged to violate must be stated with specificity. In addition, an allegation
of unconstitutionality must be supported by a statement either of the basis for the claim of
unconstitutionality as a matter of law or of the facts under which the party alleges that the law or
rule is unconstitutional as applied to the party. Although the Administrative Law Judge is not
authorized to resolve constitutional challenges to statutes or rules, the Administrative Law Judge
may, in the Administrative Law Judge’s discretion, take evidence and make findings of fact
relating to such challenges.

Or, if they lost; they could use this record as the basis for an appeal filed in a subsequent judicial proceedings.

616-1-2-.39 Judicial Review. Amended.
Pursuant to the APA, a copy of any petition for judicial review of a Final Decision shall be filed
with the Office of State Administrative Hearings by the party seeking judicial review
simultaneously with the service of the petition upon the Referring Agency. The Referring
Agency shall submit the hearing record as compiled and certified by the Clerk to the reviewing
court.

Of course, they would be very very wrong.

Assume the ALJ allowed all of Petitioners’ materials into the record AND, believing their witnesses genuinely believed everything they said AND reviewing the record, took all evidence as true, and issued findings of fact based on this record. And assume Petitioners subsequently used this administrative record in a real judicial proceeding. Any judge would toss this tripe based on a finding, by crediting this ‘evidence’ the previous tribunal had acted in a manner that was both “capricious and arbitrary” and “contrary to law.”

Then again, maybe petitioners didn’t end the proceedings when ALJ Malihi gave them the option; just so as not to let the cameras go to waste.

At any rate, if this rumor is true that Petitioners could have moved for an Order of Default which would have been granted and which still would not have foreclosed the opportunity to provide live testimony as well as additional documentation then, these people are more incompetent than even I thought. More about that below.

Now,  about what actually happened and what will be the result.

When state law requires that all candidates whose names are printed on the ballot must be qualified for office; in theory, exercising a state ballot challenge will work to keep off the ballot the name of an unqualified candidate in that state, depending on the language of the laws in that state. That’s why I proposed this venue for redress (in those states with candidate eligibility laws) in the first place. And, by using a ballot challenge, the crazies who appeared at the OSAH hearing in Georgia yesterday before Administrative Law Judge Malihi, for the first time were not barred from proceeding because of a procedural flaw, such as lack of standing. Indeed, it was this new-found feeling of not being kicked out before the proceeding which produced this nonsensical elation from Petitioner Farrar’s counsel – “I won!!! I won!!!”

But the ballot challenge they presented in this case won’t work not just because they have no idea what they are doing; but because they made the wrong case.

For example, as I have been saying for years now, you cannot win an eligibility case based on a claim Barack Obama is not a NBC. Instead, you can only claim no documentary evidence available in the public record evidences he is a NBC; or that others, including D party officials who claimed he was a NBC refuse to disclose the documentary basis for such claim..(Even better, you can charge that such official with a duty to disclose refused your request!) You cannot charge Barack Obama is not a NBC because his father was not a U.S. citizen. (As I recall, this ‘legal’ fiction originated in 2008 or 9 with Leo Donofrio.) You cannot use non-experts as experts; or printouts of internet postings as documentary evidence. (You CAN, however, use these postings as evidence of other claims in your case, such as the fact, the candidate posted an image.)

A ballot challenge will not succeed where the Petitioner mistakes the forum (referring to the Executive session as a Judicial proceeding); or where he misstates the law (the court in Minor v. Happersett does not limit a definition of NBC to citizens with 2 citizen parents). It won’t succeed where Petitioner or his associates, colleagues, and attorneys have filed multiple challenges; or have a history of failure at such challenges; or a history of bizarre conduct in public; or have earned a reputation as kooks. (Give up, if your lawyer puts herself on the stand.)

But let’s assume, in Thursday’s hearing, Petitioners had miraculously cured all of these infirmities. The question then is, what does it mean to Farrar’s ballot challenge that President Obama ignored his subpoena to appear as his – Farrar’s – witness – I already told you, that’s exactly what he did – and to bring documents that presumably would tend to support his – Farrar’s – case, after ALJ Malahi denied Obama’s Motion to Quash (that subpoena)? Here goes.

Again, I want to clarify who are the parties in that Georgia ballot challenge case heard Thursday by Administrative Law Judge Malihi. Complainant Farrar, Respondent Obama, and the GA Office of Secretary are all parties.  Here’s a picture of the docket (calendar) for Thursday’s OSAH hearing. Notice, it lists the Case Name as David Farrar, and not Farrar v. Obama. It provides a box for the name of the Non-Agency Attorney, that is, Farrar’s attorney. That space is empty. It also has a box for the Case Official.  Know who that is? The person from the agency who is responsible for representing the (position of the) agency at the hearing. That box is also empty. (Note: I checked the docket for other hearings; the caption for Case Name was always the person seeking redress; and, usually, both the names of non-agency attorneys and case officials were filled in.)

Here is the downloadable subpoena from the GA OSAH web site. Notice in the case caption, that is, the section in the beginning listing the forum – OSAH – and the attached administrative agency – Secretary of State – the words “Petitioner” and “Respondent” appear in lieu of “Plaintiff” and “Defendant.”

http://www.osah.ga.gov/#

Notice that the heading lists the parties as Petitioner and Respondent. Further down, in the section beginning with “YOU ARE HEREBY COMMANDED, to appear in court on behalf of” notice that the party issuing the subpoena, Petitioner or Respondent, identifies itself to the recipient by checking the appropriate box. Also notice, ALJ Malihi’s signature and the OSAH seal are pre-stamped on the downloadable document. (Finally, notice the word “court” as used here refers to this administrative hearing of the Executive branch and not to a Judicial proceeding.)

Notice in particular that the party issuing the subpoena selects whether s/he commands the recipient either to appear and testify as a witness; or to produce a document; or both. (The word “document” here is singular.) Thus, the subpoena allows the party to compel this witness, presumably possessing knowledge as to a specific matter which will help to support his case, to provide such aid, either in the form of sworn testimony, or a document, or both.)

Now, here is the subpoena as filled in by Petitioner Farrar directed to Respondent Obama.

View this document on Scribd

Notice here, Petitioner has checked off, he is both Petitioner and Respondent. And, he is commanding Mr. Obama, who actually is the Respondent; to both be sworn in as a Witness on his – Petitioner’s behalf – but also to produce the several (categories of) documents he lists to support his case.

(On the other hand, when Complainant Swensson wanted documents, he produced a Notice to Produce, as provided for by OSHA Rules of Procedure, cited in his notice.) (Notice that like his fellow Petitioners, he asks for numerous documents, too. Also, see that in the caption he refers to the parties as Plaintiff and Defendant. But, he correctly lists the SoS office as the applicable agency attached to this OSHA hearing.)

View this document on Scribd

Here is Respondent’s Motion to Quash (Petitioner Farrar’s subpoena). (Notice in the caption that, he, too refers to the parties as Plaintiff and Defendant. But, he also correctly lists the SoS office as the applicable agency attached to this OSHA hearing.) Also notice that while the heading is Motion to Quash Subpoenas, plural; Respondent only addresses one Petitioner, Farrar; and mentions the only subpoena issued in this case, by Petitioner Farrar.

View this document on Scribd

And here is ALJ Malahi’s denial of that Motion. Notice he raises only 2 narrow grounds: failure to cite support to claim of hardship to attend; and 2) failure to establish grounds to find improper service. Interestingly, he calls the Petitioners “Plaintiffs,” and Respondent, “Defendant.” But he gets the SoS office right. Notice that he copies the plural Subpoenas in his heading. But, for some reason, he lists all Petitioners in the caption, whereas by this time, the cases had been severed.

View this document on Scribd

(I will not comment in depth as to whether ALJ Malahi should have granted the Motion to Quash except to say, given the limited purpose for which the OSHA subpoena form was obviously intended, that is, to compel a witness to testify as to a specific fact or circumstance supported perhaps by a corresponding document under his or her control; and given Petitioner’s obvious attempt to expand that scope; I think ALJ Malihi had ample grounds to support a decision to quash based on Obama’s objections, Petitioner was impermissably trying to bolster its case by subverting the narrow aim of the subpoena in order to circumvent rules prohibiting Discovery.)

616-1-2-.38 Discovery. Amended.
Discovery shall not be available in any proceeding before an Administrative Law Judge except to
the extent specifically authorized by law. Nothing in this Rule is intended to limit the provisions
of Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50 or Rule 37.

So, when Respondent/Witness (Obama), ignoring a subpoena still in force; absented himself from these proceedings; in what way did this failure to appear impact Petitioner’s case? In other words, just because he didn’t show up; did Farrar win?

Well, that depends on a lot of things, including who bears the burden of proof. That is, in a proceeding the purpose of which is to obtain a (non-binding) recommendation from the ALJ to the SoS to take Obama’s name off the ballot; did Farrar need to prove, he is not a NBC? Or did Obama need to prove he is a NBC?  Or, did the SoS need to prove it had acted in accordance with existing rules and regulations with respect to preparing the ballot?

(Note: For the sake of argument, I assumed that ALJ Malihi was so upset with being ‘dissed’ by counsel for Respondent, he would exercise whatever authority available to lock him out of these proceedings.)

Let’s look at the Administrative Rules.

616-1-2-.07 Burden of Proof. Amended.
(1) The agency shall bear the burden of proof in all matters except that:
(a) in any case involving the imposition of civil penalties, an administrative enforcement order,
or the revocation, suspension, amendment, or non-renewal of a license, the holder of the license
and the person from whom civil penalties are sought or against whom an order is issued shall
bear the burden as to any affirmative defenses raised;
(b) a party challenging the issuance, revocation, suspension, amendment, or non-renewal of a
license who is not the licensee shall bear the burden;
(c) an applicant for a license that has been denied shall bear the burden;
(d) any licensee that appeals the conditions, requirements, or restrictions placed on a license
shall bear the burden; and
(e) an applicant or recipient of a public assistance benefit shall bear the burden unless the case
involves an agency action reducing, suspending, or terminating a benefit.
(2) Prior to the commencement of the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge may determine
that law or justice requires a different placement of the burden of proof.

http://www.osah.ga.gov/documents/procedures/administrative-rules-osah.pdf

Petitioners’ original complaint is that SoS Kemp should not have allowed the name of Barack Obama on the GA D Presidential preference primary ballot because under GA law, only the names of candidates who are qualified for office may be printed on the ballot; AND President Obama is Constitutionally unqualified for the job. Well, (1) says, the agency bears the burden of proof (as to why it acted as it did, in this case, determining to keep Obama’s name on the ballot). Only, the SoS, while a party; was not the named Respondent. And no one from the office of SoS was listed as participating in the hearing. But (2) says, the ALJ can shift that burden before the hearing begins. By naming Obama the Respondent/Defendant, is this what ALJ Malahi did? In other words, did he make Petitioner bear the burden of proof that Obama is not a NBC? If so, Petitioners alone failed to meet that burden.

But what if the office of the SoS had been named the Respondent and, therefore, bore the burden of proof in the case? Watch this.

Look at this rule on Nature of Proceedings.

616-1-2-.21 Nature of Proceedings. Amended.

(1) In a hearing conducted under this Chapter, the Administrative Law Judge shall make an
independent determination on the basis of the competent evidence presented at the hearing.
Except as provided in Rule 29, the Administrative Law Judge may make any disposition of the
matter available to the Referring Agency.
(2) If a party includes in its pleadings a challenge to the regularity of the process by which the
Referring Agency reached a decision, the Administrative Law Judge shall take evidence and
reach a determination on such a challenge at the outset of the hearing. The party making such a
challenge shall have the burden of proof. If the Administrative Law Judge finds the challenge
meritorious, the Administrative Law Judge may remand the matter to the Referring Agency.
(3) The hearing shall be de novo in nature, and the evidence on the issues in a hearing shall not
be limited to the evidence presented to or considered by the Referring Agency prior to its
decision.
(4) Unless otherwise provided by law, the standard of proof on all issues in a hearing shall be a
preponderance of the evidence.

Recall the definition of “rules,” above: “Rule” means each agency regulation, standard, or statement of general applicability that implements, interprets, or prescribes law or policy or describes the organization, procedure, or practice requirements of any agency.”

Petitioners’ original complaint, supported by all of the materials they produced to make their case, is that SoS Kemp should not have allowed the name of Barack Obama on the GA D Presidential preference primary ballot because under GA law, only the names of candidates who are qualified for office may be printed on the ballot; AND President Obama is Constitutionally unqualified for the job. That was a fatal mistake. Instead – and I am borrowing this from my work on those citizen complaints of election fraud to state A’sG, in the sidebar – they should have argued this.

The SoS allowed the name of Barack Obama on the ballot using bad rules. That is, he carried out his ministerial duty to oversee elections by using rules that allowed onto the ballot the name of a candidate for whom even the D’s refuse to provide documentary evidence available in the public record; is Constitutionally qualified for the job. Under the Nature of Proceedings, above, this would place the burden of proof back on Petitioner; the standard, a preponderance of the evidence (>50%). And that’s a good thing. If the burden remained on the SoS, he would argue, the rules are fine, and no one could demonstrate they haven’t worked to keep an unqualified candidate off the ballot. (Remember, nothing Petitioners argued could ever establish Obama is not a NBC.)

But with the burden of proof shifted to them, Petitioners could have made their case merely by issuing subpoenas for all of those officials involved in signing the 2008 Certification of Nomination from the DNC Services Corporation swearing the then nominee Obama was “duly nominated,” that is, vetted for Constitutional eligibility under the DNC Charter; and submitting this to the GA SoS in 2008 to get his name printed on the ballot. Again, the blueprint for this argument and the evidence which Petitioners could have submitted into the record to support this argument; is laid out in those citizen complaints.

Do you suppose any of the D witnesses would have shown up?  Again, under the Administrative Procedure rule regarding default (above), if a default issued, this means, the ALJ has the authority to ignore any input from these witnesses. But this absence would actually speak volumes. It would demonstrate for everyone to see what we – I -have been saying all along: everyone else is willing to explain why Barack Obama is a NBC but the official members of the D party. Not when it comes to answering the question for voters and constituents – see the evidence compiled in the citizen complaints to state A’sG – and not  when it comes to explaining his eligibility to an official judicial or administrative body.  No reasonable person could be expected to trust the word of people who refuse to back up their word with their presence at this proceeding.

The Case Official representing the Respondent SoS could only argue back, ‘We did what we always do; accept the representation of the candidate’s (presumptive) qualification, from the Party.’

Finally, GA Petitioners could have asked that the SoS immediately promulgate appropriate rules so as to ensure that from now on, only the names of qualified candidates will appear on the state ballot.

GEORGIA CODE
Copyright 2011 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.
*** Current Through the 2011 Extraordinary Session ***
TITLE 50.  STATE GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER 13.  ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE
ARTICLE 1.  GENERAL PROVISIONS
O.C.G.A. § 50-13-9  (2011)

§ 50-13-9.  Petition for promulgation, amendment, or repeal of rule; agency response

An interested person may petition an agency requesting the promulgation, amendment, or repeal of a rule. Each agency shall prescribe by rule the form for petitions and the procedure for their submission, consideration, and disposition. Within 30 days after submission of a petition, the agency either shall deny the petition in writing, stating its reasons for the denial, or shall initiate rule-making proceedings in accordance with Code Section 50-13-4.

And, under the timetable provided for, by law, these rules could be in place in time for the 2012 general election ballot.

That’s my analysis, for what it’s worth.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Freedom costs.


ALOHA OBAMA and SHALOM

January 29, 2011

©2011 jbjd

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Benjamin Franklin

“A citizenry that cannot compel its current elected officials to carry out those laws already in effect, cannot change this outcome by electing new officials or enacting new laws.”

jbjd

 

If Barack Obama is not Constitutionally eligible to hold the office of President then, those members of the D party broke the law in 2008 who swore to state election officials he was, to get them to print his name on the ballot in those states that only print the names of candidates qualified for the job.  Many people who believe he is ineligible advocate we should shore up state election laws to forestall another round of fraud in 2012.  Meanwhile, others urge we should not let off the hook those members of the D party who fraudulently pulled off his election in 2008.

The problem of establishing candidate eligibility for office can be rectified on two fronts.

Those of you in states without existing ballot eligibility laws can focus on drafting smart candidate ballot eligibility laws for 2012.  The rest of you can work to persuade your A’sG to enforce existing laws.  In this way, that is, by concentrating on eliminating election fraud viz a viz the ballot using both prevention AND remediation, we can get at the problem of candidate eligibility coming AND going.

For residents of HI, here are updated citizen complaints of election fraud for the State of Hawaii.  Please, whether you have already filed a complaint, file this current updated one now. Note that Brian Schatz, formerly Chair of the Democratic Party of HI, is now the Lt. Gov.  And the new AG, David Louie, only assumed office a couple of weeks ago.  (Mr. Louie graduated from Occidental College, said to be one of Mr. Obama’s alma maters.)

All filers, old and new, make sure to read and understand the complaint before signing with real names and addresses, and sending.

View this document on Scribd

HOW ADOPTING the “NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE INITIATIVE” CAN STEAL an ELECTION ‘BY HOOK’ and ‘BY CROOK’

July 24, 2010

UPDATE 07.27.10: Matt Drudge posted this title in red on his blog:  Mass. legislature approves plan to bypass Electoral College…, which links to the story at http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/07/mass_legislatur.html?p1=News_links

I posted a comment on Boston.com along with the link to this article posted on my blog.  Given Mr. Drudge’s prominent placement of the topic, he would likely enjoy reading this article, too.  Please send him the link, HOW ADOPTING the “NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE INITIATIVE” CAN STEAL an ELECTION ‘BY HOOK’ and ‘BY CROOK’ http://jbjd.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/npvi-by-hook-and-by-crook/ in the space provided at the bottom right-hand corner of his front page.

Thank you.

© 2010 jbjd

Two (2) years ago, even before the DNC Services Corporation held their August 2008 Presidential Nominating Convention, I began posting this warning throughout the blogosphere for the benefit of my fellow citizens who were raising concerns as to whether Barack Obama, Presidential Nominee wannabe of the Democratic Party, was Constitutionally qualified for the job:

The only way to prevent any candidate Constitutionally unqualified for office  from presiding over our Constitutional Republic is to keep his name off the general election ballot.

True, as I explained in NEVER LESS THAN a TREASON (1 of 2) and (2 of 2), technically, this made no sense.  First of all, while citizens in most states have designed their ballots so that the only names to appear for the top jobs are the Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees of the political party, in fact, we only elect Presidential Electors in the general election. (That’s why sometimes you will see me refer to that contest as the general (Electors) election.) And the Constitution permits these Electors to vote for anyone they want, even someone who lost the party nomination.  (This only makes sense since the Constitution is silent as to political parties.) (Sure, some states enacted laws saying, the Electors must vote for the nominee of the party but, as I pointed out previously, no ‘faithless’ Elector has ever been disciplined for breaking the law; and no vote of Electors has ever failed to receive Congressional Certification just because a state Elector violated an oath to vote for the nominee of the party.)  Nevertheless, I assured you, enacting and enforcing state election laws to keep Constitutionally ineligible candidates off November’s Presidential (Electors) ballot would prevent Electors from exercising their discretion to elect a Constitutionally unqualified candidate in December because as long as people mistakenly think they vote for President in the general election, Electors would never dare to vote for someone whose name had not appeared on that state’s ballot.

Scratch that.  Because now, they might have to.  That is, if John R. Koza’s National Popular Vote Initiative (“NPVI”) is adopted by the requisite number of states.  And proponents of the NPV are poised to pull off passage by enough states, before 2012.  Because most Americans remain clueless as to exactly how we elected our President in 2008.  Especially when it comes to the role of our Presidential Electors.  If this means you, do those of us who are concerned about maintaining the Constitutional integrity of our Republic a favor, and re-visit  http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/faq.html or,  review these 3 (three) short videos that will illuminate the role of the Electors as likely envisioned by the Drafters of the U.S. Constitution.) (Please keep in mind, none of these videos is a .gov production.)

(When you think you have the hang of Electors, see if you can wade through this great discussion on “The Green Papers” web site.  Specifically, this exchange reaffirms the seminal role of the Congress in validating any process prescribed by the several state legislatures with respect to Electors, inasmuch as Congress may or may not Certify the votes of all of the Electors based on a rejection of the vote of the Electors in any one state. http://www.thegreenpapers.com/Vox/?20031114-0)

All right, so what is the NPVI, anyway?

The National Popular Vote initiative is a lobbying campaign funded by John Koza, an engineering professor at Stanford University, that aims to make the Electoral College irrelevant without going through the arduous process of amending the Constitution.

States are asked to enact laws pledging their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, no matter who wins the state. The pledge takes effect only when states holding at least 270 electoral votes — a decisive margin in the Electoral College — agree to participate. That would ensure that the winner of the popular vote would take the election.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123820597603563361.html

Like I said, in order to understand how the changes to the function of the Electors proposed by the NPVI will adversely affect the integrity of the Presidential election, you first need to understand the role of Electors in that election.

Okay, so the NPVI proposes some sort of legal compact among several states which will govern the conduct of their Electors in relation to the national popular vote.  Here is the text of that compact, posted on the website of National Popular Vote.com.

http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/pages/misc/888wordcompact.php

The literature is already filled with well crafted opposition.  For example, there’s the practical problem of recounts.

David Lublin, a professor of government at American University, raises yet another concern: Chaotic recounts. Precise vote tallies don’t matter much with the Electoral College; winning a state with 51% is as good as winning with 80%. But in a national popular vote, losing candidates might be tempted to go to the mat in state after state, demanding recounts or challenging how voting was run.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123820597603563361.htmlhttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB123820597603563361.html

Here’s a short clip entitled, “5 Reasons to Keep the Electoral College,” featuring UCLA Law Professor Daniel Lowenstein, in which he characterizes retaining Electors is valuable in that it “orients elections around the states” and reminds Americans “states are the component parts of our federal system.”

(Note:  This is part of a much longer exchange at the Commonwealth Club which I highly recommend watching for a great synopsis of all of the issues involved except for the ones I raise below).  There is an easy to access table of contents which divides the debate into shorter clips.  Panelists include Professor Lowenstein (against); Professor Koza, Stanford Engineering, Father of NPVI; and Professor Clyde Spillenger, UCLA Law, who speaks about the origins of the system of Electors.) http://fora.tv/2008/10/24/The_Electoral_College_and_National_Popular_Vote

I have several objections to implementing the changes proposed by this NPV compact.  Not surprisingly, most of these objections directly relate to the ongoing efforts on this blog to ‘out’ and redress the fraud that tainted the 2008 general election cycle; and to prevent this fraud from ever happening again.  See whether you share my objections.

(Note:  While you read, please keep in mind, this article was not intended to provide an exhaustive legal analysis of the pros and cons of the NPVI.  Rather, I wanted to register my opposition to this legislation and to present reasoned arguments that support this opposition with the hope not only that you would agree with my opinions but also that, agreeing with my opinions, you would take the steps necessary to impede or, in some cases, to reverse the passage of this legislation in your state.) (Plus, I want to get on the record the one objection that hasn’t appeared (yet) in the literature I have thus far reviewed.)

Here are some of the reasons I oppose the NPVI.

1.  We are a union of individual states, and not of individuals. Therefore, I object to the NPVI’s implicit use of this pretense that we are a Democracy and not a Constitutional Republic in its advocacy campaign.

The genius inherent in the system of Electors as it was originally conceived is that it provides a means by which individual states, notwithstanding their geographic size or population, achieve relatively equal per unit weight to each other, in choosing the head of the Executive branch of the federal government.  Sure, dividing the population of a less populous state versus a more populous state so as to determine how many people it takes to equal one Elector, shows that less citizens are required per Elector in those smaller states; but   on the other hand, larger states have more Electors!

2.  Compelling states to adopt the vote tallies that resulted from the use of voting systems they have previously rejected violates the principles of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution. http://topics.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleiv Therefore, I object to any law that could compel any one state to adopt the flawed voting apparatus of another state.

For example, suppose states enter into this NPV compact.  Then, after extensive and expensive investigation, these states become convinced that electronic voting machines produce inaccurate results and, endeavoring to protect the integrity of the votes of their citizens, adopt a 100% paper ballot vote.  Other more populous states in the compact vote using these rejected machines.  Under the ‘opt out’ clause* in the compact, states would be compelled to defer to the voting protocol they had previously rejected.  Effectively, this imposes national standards on the traditional state function of carrying out elections.

*Any member state may withdraw from this agreement, except that a withdrawal occurring six months or less before the end of a President’s term shall not become effective until a President or Vice President shall have been qualified to serve the next term. Id.

3.  Compelling states to adopt the vote tallies for a particular candidate whose name was omitted from their ballots for failure to establish qualification for office according to the laws enacted in those states; violates the principles of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution. Id. Therefore, I object to any law that could compel any one state to adopt the eligibility neutral ballots of another state.

CA and NY have no ballot eligibility requirement.  AL, GA, HI, MD, MO, SC, and VA do.  Assuming these 2 (two) large states vote overwhelmingly for one candidate cut from the ballots of those other 7 (seven) states, at least theoretically, Electors in those 7 (seven) states could be compelled to vote for a President who election officials in those states found unqualified to appear on the ballot.  Again, this sounds more like a national election, imposing national standards on the state function of carrying out elections.  (This same result could occur where states have similar ballot eligibility laws but different levels of enforcement.)  (Note:  The opt out clause necessarily quashes those existing laws which entitle citizens in certain states to challenge the ballot eligibility of the nominee of the party, chosen at a summer nominating convention that is within the 6-month bar to state withdrawal from the compact.) Id.

BUT MY MAIN OBJECTION TO ADOPTING THE NPVI IS THIS:  IT WILL BLOCK STATES FROM ENACTING LAWS THAT WOULD REQUIRE ELECTORS TO CAST THEIR VOTES FOR PRESIDENT ONLY FOR THOSE CANDIDATES THEY HAVE ASCERTAINED ARE CONSTITUTIONALLY QUALIFIED FOR OFFICE, AND THE VIOLATION OF WHICH LAWS WILL BE MET WITH STEEP CRIMINAL SANCTIONS. As we here at “jbjd” have learned from experience, such laws respecting the conduct of Electors are necessary to prevent a repeat of events of the 2008 election in which Electors for the Democratic State Parties elected as President a man no documentary evidence available in the public record had established was even a citizen, let alone natural born.

Right now, no state has enacted a law requiring Electors to vote only for a President who is Constitutionally qualified for the job.  But look at how many states enacted laws before the 2008 election, requiring Electors in those states – remember, Electors are party faithfuls including big money contributors chosen by the party – to vote for the party nominee as a matter of law.  http://www.thegreenpapers.com/G00/Electors.html Ha, even states like AL, HI, and MD, which require candidate eligibility to get on the ballot, throw Presidential eligibility to the wind when it comes to the  fealty of their Electors to the political party!  Id. (Recall that none of these states requiring ballot eligibility has a corresponding law requiring any public official to check.) Even in SC, where the ballot eligibility law requires specific eligibility language to accompany the candidate’s ballot registration; when it comes to the law of Electors, they only have to promise to vote for the party.  And what if an Elector violates that oath?  Criminal prosecution! Id.

So who is John Koza and why is he determined to fundamentally alter the Constitutional role of Presidential Electors without bothering to amend the Constitution?   (In a 2006 NYT article entitled “Innovator Devises Way Around Electoral College,” Rick Lyman described Mr. Koza’s efforts as “an end run on the Constitution.”  Mr. Koza replied, “When people complain that it’s an end run, I just tell them, ‘Hey, an end run is a legal play in football.’ ’’)

John R. Koza received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan in 1972.  He was co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Scientific Games Inc. from 1973 through 1987.  He is the holder of 25 patents in fields ranging from genetic programming to video games, and a venture capitalist. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2008/07/21/105711245/?postversion=2008072111 He founded NPVI in 2005.  Id.

He is also a long-time fairy godfather to both the DNC Services Corporation and various committees organized under the D Corporation banner, as well as individual Democratic candidates and their PAC’s (Political Action Committees).  Spend a minute or two perusing FEC records for the hundreds of thousands of dollars he has bestowed to the D’s over the years.    (Click on this link and in the name search field, fill in (Last) Koza (First) John R. http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/norindsea.shtml Mr. Koza also served as a Democratic Elector in CA in 1992 and 2000.  http://articles.sfgate.com/2006-07-24/news/17301996_1_electoral-college-electoral-votes-popular-vote

And where did Dr. Koza get all of this money to fund his pet projects?   Well, as the head of Scientific Games, he co-invented the rub-off instant lottery ticket used by state lotteries. http://www.stanford.edu/class/ee380/Abstracts/041124.html That’s right; he invented the scratch ticket.  And as the NYT article points out, “Working with state lotteries as chief executive of Scientific Games in Atlanta, he had learned how interstate compacts work. Multistate lotteries like Powerball are based on such compacts.”  Id.

In sum, for the past 2 (two) years, we here at “jbjd,” operating on a ‘wing and a prayer,’ have been meticulously de-constructing and documenting the fraud that tainted the 2008 election cycle throughout the states in order that having identified and published this fraud, citizens could work with state and federal officials not only to redress that fraud but also to shore up legislation and enforcement mechanisms, efforts which could effectively prevent such fraud from occurring again.  On the other hand, since 2006, John Koza, using the windfall he received from inventing the lottery scratch ticket, has been selling his pet project, NPVI, to state legislatures throughout the country, promoting this system that not only fails to address these past problems with the electoral process which we have identified but also effectively ensures, these problems likely will never be exposed or remedied, again.

(Thankfully, Professor Lowenstein has identified what I agree is a fatal Constitutional flaw in the NPV plan, which certainly would forestall implementation of such a plan at least until after the 2012 elections.  Phew!  Id.)

With all this in mind, here is my new mantra about maintaining the President’s Constitutional qualifications for office throughout the electoral process:

If the requisite number of states pass the National Popular Vote law before the 2012 Presidential election; even keeping the name of an unqualified candidate off the ballot no longer guarantees he will not get the job, unless the courts forestall implementation.


CLUBS RULE

February 19, 2010

UPDATE 04.14.12: As of today, neither the Texas Democratic Party nor the Republican Party of Texas is registered with the Secretary of State as a corporation; limited partnership; or limited liability company. In other words, they remain private clubs.


NOTE: Reading this article in conjunction with TEXAS TWO-STEP enhances its significance.

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In the summer of 2008, before I knew half as much about the political process as I have learned since that time, I submitted a comment to the PUMA PAC blog, containing this epiphany:  the Democratic Party is only a club.

See, I had just ‘learned’ there exists a category of states I dubbed ‘vote binding states,’ which are those states that have enacted laws essentially saying, ‘In our state, being a “pledged delegate” means, you must vote for the person voters elected you to represent, on the roll call vote on the floor of the party Convention.’  (Did you know, DNC rules only require pledged delegates to use their “good conscience”?)  (“All delegates to the National Convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them.”)  (http://s3.amazonaws.com/apache.3cdn.net/fb3fa279c88bf1094b_qom6bei0o.pdf, p. 23.)

I saw that BO’s people were harassing HRC pledged delegates to change their votes to him, in advance of the Convention.  In other words, in these vote binding states, BO’s people were enticing HRC’s people to break the law.  So, I drafted letters to state Attorneys General in the 13 (thirteen) vote binding states I identified, complaining about this illegal conduct from BO’s camp.  Next, I needed to recruit voters from those vote binding states to send these letters.  But first, I had to explain to these recruits, in lay terms, what I was talking about.  For this, I developed a primer.  And in the primer, here is how I summarized the hierarchy of commandments applying to pledged delegates: state laws trump the rules made up by the political party, every time.  http://jbjd.wordpress.com/to-stop-harassment-of-clinton-pledged-delegates-in-vote-binding-states/

That’s when it hit me: the Democrats (and Republicans) are nothing more than private clubs.

#309 jbjd on 08.18.08 at 3:59 am

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT COMMENT I HAVE EVER WRITTEN OR WILL EVER WRITE ON THIS BLOG… PLEASE REFER OTHERS TO THIS COMMENT THROUGHOUT THE DAY, IN SUBSEQUENT COMMENTS… I AM BUSY WRITING YOUR STATE-SPECIFIC LETTERS TO THE ATTORNEYS GENERAL, TO BE COPIED TO OUR DEAR STATE DELEGATES PLEDGED TO HRC, TO LET THEM KNOW, WE HAVE THEIR BACKS…

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DECONSTRUCTING DEMOCRACY AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

My Dear Fellow PUMAs,

If you are going crazy trying to figure out what’s happening with the Democratic Party, join the club. I’m not kidding. Join the club. Because it just hit me, the way to understand this Democratic nominating process is to think of The Democratic Party as what it is – a club. And the only thing that makes this club so special is that it was able to get permission from each of the 50 states to collect campaign contributions and put the names of the candidates it wants to hold office onto the state’s election ballot. That’s it. That’s all there is. Let me explain.

According to Party – or rather, club rules, presidential candidates are chosen at the club’s nominating convention. Afterward, the club submits the name of its candidate for POTUS to the appropriate state official in each state – usually the Secretary of State – as part of an application to get onto the state’s general election ballot, in compliance with that state’s laws. In fact, states only allow the candidate for POTUS chosen by a “major political party” to submit ballot papers so late in the game because club rules and by-laws require their candidates to be chosen at a “nominating convention.”

The club determines who will be its candidate for POTUS on the general election ballot through a vote at the convention by people it calls “delegates,” which delegates obtained that status through an allocation process set by the club. That is, the club places the names of its proposed candidates on state ballots in the primary and caucus elections and then, in exchange for receiving a specific number of votes in that process, the candidates are assigned a delegate to vote for them at the convention. Most state delegates are given a special status, called “pledged.” According to club rules, when these pledged delegates cast their votes at the convention, they should use their best judgment to represent the wishes of the voters based on whose votes they were elected. Historically, by counting these delegates pledged to each candidate, the club has usually been able to predict which of its candidates will end up with the nomination at the end of the primary and caucus process, since one candidate usually garners enough pledged delegates to surpass the number the club set as the requirement at the convention. But not this year. Neither club candidate – BO or HRC – was assigned enough delegates through the primary and caucus process to secure the nomination at the convention. Luckily, the club had in place rules whereby this deficit in delegates could be made up by special delegates commonly referred to as super delegates who get to cast their votes for either candidate at the convention.

The Democratic Party set up volumes of rules and by-laws that govern all these operations, with auspicious sounding titles like “Charter,” “Constitution,” “Model Rules to Delegate Selection Process,” and “Call to the Convention.” But here’s the thing about all these club rules: they can be changed at any time. According to club rules. So, if like me, you have read club rules and believe, as I do, that members of the club have not played fair throughout this presidential nominating process, am I saying there is nothing you can do about it? Hardly.

Remember what I said in the beginning: the state only lets the club get onto official state ballots as long as they follow state rules. And unlike club rules, when states make rules, they’re called laws. (TO BE CONTINUED…)
©jbjd

(In the interest of full disclosure, let me say, I was banned from that blog just days after this comment was posted.)

In the 1 1/2 years since I experienced this 3:00 AM epiphany that ‘club’ is just another word for ‘political party,’ I have learned (and written) volumes about the DNC.  Now, I know it by its official name:  the Democratic National Committee Services Corporation.  That’s right; it’s a corporation.  That’s why I now regularly refer to this business entity as the D Corporation (in case you hadn’t noticed).

Before I initiated the present campaign to submit document requests to the Texas Democratic Party (“TDP”) under the Texas open records law, I had to determine whether the TDP was a covered entity under that law.  First, I tried to ascertain its legal construct. I hit a brick wall.  Luckily, through other means, I was able to conclude, the TDP is subject to provisions of the open records law, regardless of its organizational construct.  Then, after the campaign to obtain records was underway, a loyal Texan and I continued to research the nature of the TDP until we got answers.

So, what is the legal construct of the TDP?  Let me give you a hint what it’s not.

Here are the documents returned by the TX Secretary of State web site after a paid on-line search of documents held by that office, for an entity called Texas Democratic Party (“Find Entity Name Search”).  (Recall that the Certification of BO’s Nomination signed by TDP Chair, Attorney Boyd Richie, and submitted to state election officials to get them to print the name of Barack Obama next to the D on the general election ballot; was printed on letterhead showing the name, “Texas Democratic Party.”) (See this document and Mr. Richie’s accompanying letter, also on TDP letterhead, on p. 3 of the citizen complaint of election fraud to AG, in REMEMBER the ALAMO )

Did you notice what name is missing?  Yep; the Texas Democratic  Party.  In the words of Randall Dillard, Director of Communications, Office of the TX SoS:  “There is no requirement in state law that political parties organize as a business entity and since the parties are not found in a search of our records, they are not organized as corporations, limited partnerships or limited liability companies.”

Whoa!  If the TDP is none of these then, what is it?

Well, I tried a Google search for “clubs in Texas.”  And look at what showed up at the bottom of page 6  (not to be confused with Page Six, the NY Post scandal column, http://www.nypost.com/pagesix): Clubs and Organizations:  Texas Democratic Party

So, I clicked on that link, which led me to all of the Clubs and Organizations organized under the big top of the TDP.

I clicked on the link in the lower right-hand corner, txdemocrats.org.  Look who was staring me in the face.

Boyd Richie, Chair of the Texas Democratic Party.

In sum, here is the answer to the question, what is the TDP.  It is the club mystically possessed with the power to get TX election officials to print the name of Barack Obama next to the D on the state’s 2008 general election ballot based only on the word of its Chair that he is Constitutionally eligible for POTUS, notwithstanding no one in the club is willing to disclose, why.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Freedom costs.


OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES

January 6, 2010

UPDATED 04.17.10: In the cite linked to President Washington’s papers (below), the date of his swearing in is correctly given as April 1789.  I incorrectly wrote he was sworn in, in March. (Here is another historical reference to that event.  http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/pihtml/pinotable.html )

UPDATED 01.06.10: In a parenthetical comment below, I mistakenly said the first selection of Presidential Electors occurred in November 1788. However, the states first Appointed Electors in January 1789; and these Electors voted for George Washington for President in February. I correctly stated, Mr. Washington was inaugurated in March. http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents/presidential/electoral.html
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Students attending this inner city high school not only are racially and ethnically diverse but also hail from several other native countries. For the most part, the students supported the Presidential candidacy of Barack Obama. Some of them even met the future Commander in Chief when he came to town during the primary campaign, their encounters captured forever in photographs proudly displayed in the lobby of the building. Pictures of Michelle appear there, too, under a banner proclaiming her, “Our Queen.”

At the last minute, I was asked to teach American History to 3 (three) classes of 9th graders deep in this heart of Obama territory.

Freshmen are a separate breed. Cocky and in your face, they virtually dare you to successfully re-direct their terrific energy to academic pursuit. But nothing equals the thrill of watching them learn, once you get their attention.

Here is how I got their attention.

I wrote my name on the board, billing myself as a “Guest Lecturer.” This was the provocative title for my presentation: “You Will Never Vote for President of the United States.”

The reaction from my students was boisterous and anticipated. ‘Oh yeah? I’m gonna vote for President as soon as I turn 18.’ And, ‘I thought you were allowed to vote for President as long as you were a citizen!’ I calmed the crowd by repeating the history lesson I was sure they had already been taught but forgot: the President of the United States is not elected directly by the people but by the Electors. In the general election on the next Tuesday after the first Monday in November, voters only select these Electors; but Appointed Electors don’t vote for President until the 15th of December, the dates set for these events in the Constitution.

For approximately the next 45 minutes, I walked my students through the election process spelled out by the Drafters of our Constitution and re-printed in their history books, barely recognizable as it was carried out in the 2008 general election.

‘What are the 3 Constitutional qualifications to be POTUS?’ The students proudly listed all three without prompting. 1) You have to be 35 years old. 2) You have to live in the United States for 14 years. 3) You have to be a Natural Born Citizen. I wrote these on the board. (I went into a side discussion about that 14-year requirement – I have discussed this issue previously on this blog, as well as other blogs – reasoning, the Drafters wanted to ensure that as much as possible, the President, also fulfilling the role of Commander in Chief, was completely intertwined with being American, attached to both her ideals and to the country. They envisioned such loyalty could only derive from being immersed for a fixed time in the American experience. So, why 14 years? Well, the first Continental Congress convened in 1774, establishing the first time (representatives from) the original 13 (thirteen) colonies came together to ponder mutual concerns viz a viz the British, thus evidencing their psychological mindset as a unified ‘nation.’ (One year later, the “shot heard round the world” was fired between British troops and American rebels at Lexington Green, MA, in 1775; and the Declaration of Independence was written in Philadelphia, PA in 1776.) The drafting of the Constitution occurred in 1787 and, allowing for ratification by the requisite 9 (nine) states, the Drafters anticipated Electors would, for the first time, vote for President in November 1788. (The swearing-in would take place in March of 1789.) Thus, 14 (fourteen) years had passed between the time the mindset of ‘being American’ first coalesced, and election of the first President (1788 minus 1774).)

I charted the modern process of electing the President through the intervention of political parties, stressing the fact political parties are not mentioned in the Constitution. I described the mission of the party is to get the name of the person they want fronting for the party or, club, printed onto state general election ballots, an indispensible step to getting the public to forget, they are not voting for the candidate but for the Electors in the general election. Because only the name of the nominee of the political party appears on the ballot next to the party designation. This means, casting a vote for the ‘person’ whose name appears on the ballot next to the D or the R is more correctly characterized as voting for the Electors for that person.

So, who are these Electors we vote for who go on to elect our President? Well, generally speaking, they are chosen by the political party based on their demonstrated loyalty to the party, as evidenced in terms of hours spent supporting party activities such as hosting fundraisers for party backed candidates; or providing financial support to the party. The names of these Elector candidates are then submitted to state election officials by each political party. The number of Electors each party gets to submit is based on the number of Congressional districts in that state, plus 2 more for the number of US Senators. And in states like CA, in the 2008 election, this meant, 55 names. Obviously, printing the names on the ballot all of the candidates for Presidential Elector put forward by the parties is prohibitive. So, in each state, only the name of the party nominee is printed on the ballot, and not the names of the party Electors. (I pointed out; each state enacts the election laws prescribing what names may be printed on its ballots.)

How is the party’s Presidential nominee chosen? Usually, s/he is selected according to the results of party contests called primaries and caucuses held in each state to elect delegates who will vote at the party convention; and, finally, the party convention. Summing up the results for the D candidates for POTUS in the 2008 Presidential preference primaries and caucuses, I reported, on June 3, 2008 when all of the primaries and caucuses were over, Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama had failed to reach the requisite number of pledged delegates set by the Democratic National Committee Services Corporation – DNC for short – to guarantee the nomination for their club – of course I inform them, she won more popular votes AND pledged delegates as the result of primary and caucus votes cast directly for her – so the rules called for the difference to be made up at the floor roll call at the Convention held in Denver, CO, in August 2008, by votes cast by party ‘elders’ called Superdelegates, who could vote for anyone they wanted. But for some reason, the Corporation backed Barack Obama well in advance of the Convention, even foregoing the traditional floor vote at the Convention in order to make his nomination a fait accompli. I repeated several times, the DNC Services Corporation is not a government agency but more like a private club, which means, they can make or break their own rules with impunity.

Once the DNC selected Barack Obama as their candidate for President, they had to get state election officials to print his name next to the D on the general election ballot. The DNC (and, in some states, the Chair of the state D party) submitted these Certifications of Nomination to election officials in each state swearing Barack Obama was the duly nominated DNC candidate for President and was Constitutionally qualified for the job.

I pointed out that, the Constitution says Electors will be appointed by the Governors of the states. I reconciled how electing Electors through a popular vote in the general election ends up in an Appointment. That is, the final vote tallies in the general election (for Electors for the candidate whose name appears on the ballot) are Certified by the Governors, who send Certificates of Ascertainment listing the names of the Electors (previously submitted to state election officials by the political parties) and the number of votes cast for them, as well as for the losing candidates for Elector, to the National Archivist, effectively making that Certification of popular votes cast for Electors in the general election, the Constitutional act of Appointment.

More D than R Electors were elected and, therefore, Appointed in the November 2008 general election. And all of the D Electors who voted in December 2008 cast their votes for Barack Obama, the nominee for President of the D party. But this was hardly surprising. Because the only way they got to be Electors for the party in the first place was by promising the party, if Appointed, they would cast their votes for the party nominee. However, I emphasized that nothing in the Constitution requires Electors to vote for the nominee of the political party, which only made sense since, as I said, the Drafters never mentioned political parties in the Constitution.

Congress ratified the vote of the Electors in January and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court swore in Barack Obama as President of the United States days after that. All prescribed precisely by the Constitution.

At this point, the students think the lecture is done. But I am just getting to the best part.

‘Wait a minute,’ I challenged, looking back at the board. ‘At the beginning of this lecture, we listed these 3 qualifications for President spelled out in the Constitution, right? You have to be 35 years of age; you have to live in the U.S. for 14 years; and you have to be a NBC.’ Yes. ‘Well, throughout this whole election process we just described, when did we mention that anyone vetted the candidates for President to ensure they satisfied this Constitutional eligibility for the job?’ Silence.

Now, I taught the class, no provision found in any law, state or federal; or in the Constitution requires any state official to determine whether the candidate for President is Constitutionally eligible for the job. None. The Constitution says, the Electors have to elect the President but remains silent as to vetting for Constitutional qualifications. The Constitution requires Congress to ratify the Electors’ vote for President but says nothing about verifying beforehand that the the person they elect is Constitutionally qualified for the job. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court swears the President into office, under no Constitutional obligation to determine beforehand whether s/he was qualified for office.

And that led me to the states that require in order to get the candidate’s name printed on the ballot; s/he must be eligible for the job.

I described that some states enacted election laws that only allow the names of eligible candidates to be printed on state election ballots. And some of these states, like HI and SC, enacted laws saying the party must swear, in writing, their nominee for President meets all Constitutional qualifications for the job. (I point out; requiring this statement from the party is kind of superfluous because, according to the operating rules of the DNC Services Corporation, the Presidential nominee of the party must be Constitutionally qualified for the job. Then again, given their exhibited propensity to break their own rules…) I also reiterated, while the law says the candidate has to be eligible for the job to appear on the ballot, no corresponding law requires any government official to check.

The students were aware that Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-California) was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; several knew the position of Speaker is 3rd in line of Presidential succession. They were unaware that in 2008, the DNC Services Corporation gave Ms. Pelosi the civilian job of Chair of the 2008 DNC Convention. Acting in the non-governmental role of Chair, her chief responsibility was to sign those official DNC Certifications of Nomination swearing Barack Obama was Constitutionally qualified for the job of President of the United States, and send these sworn Certifications to state election officials to print the name of Barack Obama next to the D on their general election ballots.

I reported that questions had arisen during the primary campaign as to whether Barack Obama was a Natural Born Citizen. Students were aware of the controversy. I informed them that several people had even concluded, the documentation available in the public record failed to establish that he is a U.S Citizen, let alone that he was Natural Born. Yet, Ms. Pelosi signed those Certifications of Nomination and sent these to state election officials to get them to print his name on the general election ballot.

‘Some of us wondered; given this controversy about the circumstances of Mr. Obama’s birth, on what documentary basis did Ms. Pelosi ascertain he was a Natural Born Citizen before swearing he was Constitutionally eligible for the job? So, we wrote to Ms. Pelosi and asked her. I even arranged to have one of these letters hand-delivered to her office in Washington. Know what she said?’ Every pair of eyes was now on me. ‘Actually, she didn’t say anything. She ignored us.’ A knowing sound of ‘ooooo’ filled the room. ‘What do you think that means?’ The students smiled. ‘That means, she’s busted; she didn’t check whether he is a Natural Born Citizen before she swore he was.’

I shrugged my shoulders. ’Could be. But people wanted to know for sure. So, now they wrote to Alice Germond, the Secretary to the DNC Services Corporation, who had co-signed those Certifications. Again, they asked on what documentary basis she had determined Barack Obama is a Natural Born Citizen before sending those Certifications of Nomination swearing he was, to state election officials to get his name printed on the ballot. But this time they asserted the right to view whatever documentation the party used, under what’s called the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), the federal law that gives the public the right to see the documents our government has on file.’

‘Did she answer the question?’ ‘No; but she didn’t ignore the voters, either. Ms. Germond forwarded the letters addressed to her, to the General Counsel or, lawyer for the DNC Services Corporation, Joseph Sandler. And he did write back.’ The kids were at the edge of their seats. ‘What did he say!’ ‘Well, he explained that the DNC is not a government agency but rather a private club and, as such, is not subject to state or federal document disclosure laws. He advised people to direct their questions about the qualifications of candidates whose names appear on the ballot, to their state election officials. And he still didn’t answer the question.’ Now, a loud gasp rose up around the room. ‘What do you think that means?’ Without missing a beat, they blurted out, ‘That means they did check whether Barack Obama is a Natural Born Citizen; and he’s not!’

This illustrates another reason I love teaching 9th graders: they are not yet sophisticated enough to abandon their common sense.


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