IT’S NOT OFFICIAL UNLESS IT’S SIGNED on the DOTTED LINE

October 29, 2011

©2011 jbjd

(UPDATE 10.30.11, AT BOTTOM)

I make mistakes; but if, after several defenses of my work over time, I continue to insist I am right then, you likely waste your time betting against me that I am wrong.  Especially when the person insisting I am wrong is one of the usual ‘suspects.’

I received an email from PJRieke, the contents of which appeared to be a wholesale copy of a lengthy post from the site naturalborncitizen, authored by Leo Donofrio.  The crux of the email and the post was this.  Since 2006, either the on-line publisher, Justia.com or, as Leo concedes, perhaps a hacker, ostensibly altered versions of the ‘legal’ cases appearing on the Justia.com web site so as to eliminate all references to Minor v. Happersett, the case Leo (wrongly) insists points to the ‘fact,’ Barack Obama cannot be said to be a NBC.

Here was my email response.

From: jbjd
To: PJR…
Sent: 10/22/2011 7:45:24 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Re: JUSTIA.COM SURGICALLY REMOVED “MINOR v HAPPERSETT” FROM 25 SUPREME COURT OPINION

PJR,

Justia.com is a commercial web site and not the official publisher of court cases in any state or the federal bench.  Therefore, crying ‘the sky is falling’ even assuming they are intentionally doctoring the text of ‘actual’ court cases by editing out certain references to force their point of view  is like complaining Bayer is intentionally over-simplifying the human digestive system in the rudimentary diagrams featured in its commercials for Alka-Seltzer.

And I have been saying this about Justia, for months… Do a search for “jbjd” and “Justia”..

jbjd

Well, this prompted an even lengthier email response from PJR, again, imported wholesale from Leo.  But this time, he defended against Leo’s baseless assertion that Justia.com or the hacker did something wrong, by elevating their alleged manipulation of electronically posted court cases into a criminal act, citing a portion of the U.S. Code relating to false publication. (Please note, I am only leaving in these excerpts from Leo’s blog so as to show to what lengths both PJR and he have gone trying to prove the falsehood they are peddling, is true.  Clearly, I neither support not endorse this ‘research.’)

On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 12:39 PM, <PJRieke@aol.com> wrote:

jbjd,
Just sayin’…,
and OH, BTW, it appears that “other” (than “most”) folks (that would be the lawyerly types - no offense intended) DO make use of it – also.
As for your comment
“… crying ‘the sky is falling’ even assuming they are intentionally doctoring the text of ‘actual’ court cases by editing out certain references to force their point of view  is like complaining Bayer is intentionally over-simplifying the human digestive system in the rudimentary diagrams featured in its commercials for Alka-Seltzer. “,
it’s considered a crime / felony to conceal, obfuscate or otherwise alter legal renderings…as I’m sure you’re well aware ofTAMPERING WITH OFFICIAL WRITINGS IS A CRIME UNDER 18 U.S.C. 1018.

§1018. Official certificates or writings

Whoever, being a public officer or other person authorized by any law of the United States to make or give a certificate or other writing, knowingly makes and delivers as true such a certificate or writing, containing any statement which he knows to be false, in a case where the punishment thereof is not elsewhere expressly provided by law, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

The statute covers a “person” authorized by any law of the US to make or give official writings.  Justia.com is authorized – according to the federal Public Domain laws – to re-publish US Supreme Court opinions.
(source):
pjr
“…AUDIO INTERVIEW CONCERNING THE TECH DESIGN OF JUSTIA FROM JAN. 2007

Justia CEO Tim Stanley gave a 21 minute podcast interview to Ken Chan of “Law And Legal Research” in Jan. ’07 after Tim was awarded the Google Enterprise Search Superstar award.  In that interview, Stanley was asked who Justia was created to benefit.  Here is Stanley’s candid reply:

Stanley: The primary users of it tend to be lawyers or attorneys looking for legal information or looking for case-law, or looking for information from some of the legal blogs that are online. And the other sort of major group of users tends to be law students or other students in the college environment or high schools that are looking for information on the US Government and sort of how the court system works.

Chan: The homepage, if you will, mentions the indexing of all of the Supreme Court cases… What would you say is the primary piece of information that somebody is coming to your web site to find, or is there one?  Is it a wide basis of information or is there a particular type of information that somebody is coming to find?

Stanley:  In most cases they’re looking for a variety of types of legal information.There is a large percentage though that are looking for Supreme Court information, and looking at particular Supreme Court cases.  And one of the nice things we’ve done using the Google Mini is we’ve indexed all the Supreme Court cases, and we have a nice sort of inter-linking among the cases, so you can go from one case, you know, quickly link over to a previous case.  And the Google algorithm when it’s indexing the cases does a very good job in terms of prioritizing the cases based on those that sort of have more value to the legal community.

Stanley tells us that the primary users are lawyers, not lay people.  Also, keep in mind that when he gave this interview in ’07, none of the cases had been sabotaged yet.  The cases were in the database with full case names, citations, and no text had been removed.

Here is my response.

PJR,

I am so glad you sent this email, which affords me the opportunity to 1) clarify the misconception you share with several others over the role of “official” publishers of state and federal court decisions versus commercial re-’printers’; and 2) remind you about the uselessness of self-authentication.

Federal law (U.S. Code) governs that U.S. Reports is the official publisher of decisions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.  http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/info_opinions.aspx State laws which govern the operation of state courts, include language that mandates court decisions will be published.  http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/ Official publishers of court decisions, such as Lexis/Nexis work under contract with the state. http://www.lexisnexis.com/clients/CACourts/ States may also contract with publishers such as West to print digests of cases. http://www.courts.alaska.gov/aklegal.htm  While both Lexis/Nexis and West are commercial concerns, when publishing state court materials under state contracts, each is bound by strict protocols and standards imposed by the state, which may include allowing the state to retain rights to prior consultation and approval.

Remember, appellate decisions have precedential effect. That is, what happened in the past sets the standard for conduct in the future. Thus, in order for both judges and lawyers to determine how to present and rule on subsequent cases, they must be able to research prior cases.  Looking through court records is prohibitive and so, these cases are compiled in official publications intended to streamline the process.  In effect, by contracting with legal publishers, the state is actually providing services to state actors, including not only these judges and lawyers but also state legislators.

It is no exaggeration to say, misrepresenting the content of a case, whether by changing the words in the judge’s ruling or, omitting a comma; may mean the difference between life and death.  Ensuring the accurate reproduction of the original court ruling is, therefore, a solemn responsibility.  Only those publishers officially contracted with the state have been given that responsibility.  It is their work which can be trusted, and their work which, therefore, can be cited in subsequent submissions to the court.

Justicia.com is not an official publisher of court cases in any state or issuing from the federal bench.  Therefore, the law you cite related to false publication of official documents, does not apply to them.

The second point I want to make seems to me would have been self-evident.  In the same way we urge people not to look to, say, Barack Obama for self-authentication – after all, he said he was Constitutionally eligible for the job of President but, we don’t just believe him - you are now urging me to believe Justia has some innate value because its owner says, the product his company offers is so good, even lawyers use it (along with high school students).

Again, I want to thank you for this second email insisting I was wrong to fob off hyperbolic charges against Justia.com raised by you and Leo, among others. Because in the past, I had only supported my dismissal of these ridiculous charges against the company by saying, they are not official publishers of state or federal court decisions and so, can post anything they want.  Now, I have taken the time to explain myself more fully and thereby not only validated my position but also, undoubtedly, educated people as to how our government works.

jbjd

Imagine, all of this time spent just to prove the fallacy that a legal definition exists as to what is a NBC; while, since 2008, no new state election laws mandating that the state may only print on the ballot the names of those candidates it determines are qualified for the job; or requiring that Electors may only elect a President whose name the state has printed on the ballot.

UPDATE 10.30.11:  Well, it would appear Leo read my post, which establishes that his hyperbolic campaign of moral outrage against Justia is misplaced.  Then, instead of honing his methodology, he sought to discredit my criticism.

I tried to assuage readers ostensibly outraged by the ‘conspiracy’ Leo has been championing involving Justia, namely, that various on-line versions of Justia cases appear to have edited out references or links which he claims support what I insist is his mistaken opinion, under the language of Minor v. Happersett, President Obama cannot be said to be a NBC. I said that, citations to Justia are not even allowed in legal submissions to the court, as Justia is not an “official” publisher of court cases in any state.  Following my post, Leo posted another article on the subject, vainly trying to shore up his baseless argument by artificially inflating Justia’s position within the legal community.  Specifically, in order to ‘prove’ that lawyers really do count on Justia, he cited to a reference he claims appeared on the web site operated by Perkins Coie, Bob Bauer’s firm, which Leo characterizes as first class legal practitioners. (Of course, notwithstanding the lawyers at PC might be bright, this does not mean, they are honest; or that, if Leo is correct, that is, if Justia is rigging its cases so as to benefit Obama, Perkins Coie would never have assisted such subterfuge by touting their services! (See, for example, COUNSEL for DNC SERVICES CORPORATION PERFORMS 3 CARD MONTE* for FEDERAL COURT; and COUNSEL for DNC SERVICES CORPORATION PERFORMS 3 CARD MONTE* for FEDERAL COURT)  It certainly does not mean, anyone from Perkins Coie would cite to a case published in Justia as legal precedent in a document prepared for submission to the court.)

Yes, Leo, lawyers tout whatever legal publication services they want.  Indeed, I have often steered readers to both cases and statutes which appear on the web site maintained by Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. But even cases and laws posted on Cornell’s site may not be cited (as precedent) in legal briefs.  Of course, if Attorney Courtney Minick, Product Manager at Justia has her way, states will one day abandon their rigid filing requirements and allow citations to their on-line product, abandoning the current practice of allowing into court only citations to those cases published officially by companies contracted with the state.

In his recent post, Fastcase CEO Ed Walters called on American states to tear down the copyright paywall for statutes. States that assert copyright over public laws limit their citizens’ access to such laws and impede a free and educated society. Convincing states (and publishers) to surrender these claims, however, is going to take some time.

A parallel problem involves The Bluebook and the courts that endorse it as a citation authority. By requiring parties to cite to an official published version of a statutory code, the courts are effectively restricting participants in the legal research market. Nowhere is this more evident than in those states where the government has delegated the publishing of the official code to a private publisher, as is the situation in more than half of the states.  Thus, even if the state itself or another company, such as Justia, publishes the law online for free, a brief cannot cite to these versions of the code.

http://blog.law.cornell.edu/voxpop/2011/09/01/universal-citation-for-state-codes/

See, even Attorney Minick isn’t saying, Justia’s work merits the award of such state contracts!


HOW to WRITE SMART CANDIDATE ELIGIBILITY LAWS in your STATE (and make applying to get on the ballot harder than applying to get into Harvard)

January 24, 2011

©2011 jbjd

In August 2009 I replied to a Comment here on the “jbjd” blog:

At some point, I will switch my primary focus to drafting model legislation for the several states, to include state verification of the parties’ nominees. For now, I want to use existing laws. After all, this is why we enacted them!

2009/08/08 at 20:37

Due to circumstances beyond my control, this is that “point.”

As you know, several blogosphere pundits have historically scurried to secure for themselves a spot at the head of the eligibility advocacy pack by hyperbolically focusing readers’ attention on one hair-brain epiphany or scheme after another;  alternately raising and quashing the hopes and expectations of millions of citizens desperate for a definitive resolution to the question of Obama’s Constitutional eligibility for POTUS.  They  have managed to capture unearned credibility (and augment their financial coffers) by stealing bits and pieces of the sound solutions proposed here on the “jbjd” blog, recycled under their monikers, without proper accreditation and with mistakes.

For example, there is the tale referenced below, falsifying and exaggerating the significance of differences in Certifications of Nomination submitted to election officials in various states.  In the year-and-a-half since hatched, this one lie has polluted the blogosphere, effectively depriving millions of citizens from learning the facts about our electoral system, facts which could forestall the chance that those of us who know more about ‘how things work’ will ever again get away with using that superior knowledge to steal power from the rest of us.

Magna Carta says: The Canada Press story is also on Obama File blog. I was trying to figure out how to get to the guy running this blog to notify about your efforts over the last several months.If anyone knows…tell me where to click.

Magna Carta: Before I forget, I had inadvertently held one of your comments in Moderation, even though I had responded with quite a lengthy reply. Have you seen it?

Please, people, if you see my work repeated without attribution, tell the owners of the blog! The integrity of the information I post here can be destroyed by one bogus presentation. It’s like inadvertently buying a knock-off Gucci bag that falls apart after one use; luckily, the name Gucci has been well-established to mean quality, and can survive random usurpation. But these issues I am presenting represent first impressions, that is, situations that have not been examined before. As one commenter wrote, I discuss these issues “sans” the drama. Because once these issues become mired in hyperbolic rant, they lose their import and we who discuss these issues and seek explanations and solutions lose our credibility outright. For example, knowing the Certifications of Nomination presented by the D party to elections officials in SC and HI were different, could be explained by screaming words like conspiracy, or cover-up. Or, noticing the difference in the forms could lead to a discussion that each state legislates the process by which the political parties can get the name of their nominee for POTUS onto the state’s general election ballot. (This means, the people in that state determined how the party would submit the name of its nominee to state elections officials.)

You get what I mean. ADMINISTRATOR

2009/09/12 at 22:03

Or the selfish gambit by those unscrupulous attention junkies to usurp the  strategy we devised that could finally resolve the eligibility question by compelling state A’sG in those states that require candidate eligibility to appear on the ballot; to investigate citizen complaints of election fraud against various members of the D party.

Sheila says: jbjd I have been following your blog for a while now and have seen the work you and other people are putting into this effort and I wanted to inform that there is an article written in THE POST AND EMAIL out of New Hampshire about the NH SOS investigating election fraud by NP,BO and the DEMS. In article they were crediting the Canadian Free Press with all of your work. I sent them an e-mail to inform them they had it wrong. Thought you might be interested!!!

Sheila: Thank you so much. (Remember, Justin Riggs put in the work to obtain the HI documents; I merely noted the difference with other Certifications and ‘interpreted’ that difference to be required by state law.) Are you from NH? Does NH law require the candidate to be eligible to get onto the ballot? ADMINISTRATOR

09.13.09
OMG. This theft of my intellectual property could completely undermine all of our hard work.

CFP copied my blog, making a big deal about the ‘newly’ discovered difference in signatures on Certifications of Nomination, concluding these differences in Certifications meant, the party had committed fraud. They failed to mention, state law dictates what goes on each Certification; and whether the Certification must originate with the DNC or the state D party Chair. Of course, all of this information is on my blog. No; for CFP, the fraud was proven merely by the different versions of the Certification. Then, WND copied my work wholesale, and credited Mr. Williams from CFP but not me. Just like CFP, WND also omitted the fact, HI law required the extra line in the Certification. (This makes sense, since in the same way that CFP is the front for Douglas Hagmann; Center for Western Journalism is the front for WND and Farah. They can label their propaganda however they want; but essentially, they are in the business of shaping opinions and not investigating and analyzing hard ‘news.’)

Now, a state Rep. in NH – he is a Plaintiff in one of Orly’s cases – was given the information from CFP. He contacted the SoS in NH to look into fraud; evidently, she agreed. But no fraud occurred in NH. As I have been saying since last summer, no provision of any law, federal or state, requires any state official to check whether the nominee for POTUS from the major political party is Constitutionally eligible for the job. This is the reason that any lawsuit predicated on Mandamus was doomed to fail. That is, the court – judicial branch – will not order the SoS – executive branch – to perform a specific job function unless such function is spelled out in the law – legislative branch. Most state laws also fail to require the nominee to be Constitutionally eligible for the job. In fact, most laws entitle the name of the nominee to appear on the ballot. All the party is required to do is to Certify the name of its nominee, to appropriate state officials. And since NH law does not require the nominee to be a NBC, having legally Certified he is the nominee, no fraud occurred.

We have begun filing election fraud complaints with A’sG in those states with laws requiring the candidate must be eligible for office to appear on the ballot. The complaints make clear, the D party submitted the Certifications that were required for the SoS to place BO’s name on the ballot. And the SoS did exactly what she was supposed to do, by placing his name on the ballot. In fact, by law, the party nominee is entitled to be on the ballot. However, the law in this state also requires the candidate to be eligible for the job. Now, we have no idea whether BO is eligible for the job; but we have a pretty good idea that based on the documentation in the public domain, as well as admissions by both the candidate and the party, the person signing the Certification on behalf of the party could not have ascertained whether BO is a NBC before signing the Certification submitted to the state.

It is this false meaning underlying the true Certification that is the election fraud; and the job of the AG is to investigate that fraud.

But let’s say, the SoS of NH reports, no fraud occurred. A’sG in other states will hear this and figure, no fraud occurred. So, what are these people filing these 4-page complaints of election fraud talking about?

Does this mean, the D’s did not commit election fraud in states other than NH? Absolutely not. But, tragically, because of the malfeasance of people associated with CFP and WND, and Leo and the NH state Rep., only readers of my blog will ‘get’ that distinction.

Leo Donofrio also posted this stolen information about the NH Rep., AFTER I alerted him CFP had stolen this from me. Here are the first two lines of the comment I sent him today, which comment he refuses to post. No surprise there.

“I cannot believe you posted this after I alerted you that CFP had stolen my work.”

“By stealing my work, CFP and WND have jeopardized the success of the project.”

By the way, NH has no law requiring the nominee from the major political party to be eligible for the job in order to appear on the ballot. ADMINISTRATOR

2009/09/13 at 17:33

Well, these same charlatans are now fabricating equally faulty prescriptions for preventing the problems that plagued the 2008 election cycle from repeating themselves in 2012.  Again, 1) they are stealing from me; and, as usual, 2) they don’t know what they are talking about.  So, in the best interest of enabling a well informed electorate, I am compelled to shift the immediate focus of the work I have been pouring into the “jbjd” blog away from mitigating and remediating the problems I have identified which infected the 2008 election cycle, and toward preventing these same anomalies I originally identified here on this blog 2 1/2 years ago, in the summer of 2008, from infecting the electoral cycle again in 2012.

From now on, those readers who have been emailing proposed legislation in individual states for my comment and review, should now direct all such correspondence to the Comments section of the blog so that our collaboration can benefit everyone who visits “jbjd.”

Okay, here goes.

When it comes to crafting proposals affecting legislation with respect to the electoral process for  the 2012 general election cycle that are intended to ensure we elect a President who is Constitutionally eligible for the job, such proposals cannot achieve this desired outcome which contain provisions contradicting the broad tenets spelled out below, in no particular order.

1. IN STATES WHERE CITIZENS HAVE NOT ENACTED LAWS SPECIFICALLY MANDATING ONLY THE NAMES OF CANDIDATES ELIGIBLE* FOR THE OFFICES THEY SEEK TO FILL MAY APPEAR ON THE BALLOT, THEY NEED TO ENACT THESE LAWS.

*(The word “eligible” is used in Article II, section 1, with respect to the President; neither the word “eligible” nor the word “qualified” appears in Article I, sections 2 and 3 to define who may be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives or U.S. Senate.)

2. IN STATES WHERE CITIZENS HAVE ENACTED LAWS SPECIFICALLY MANDATING ONLY THE NAMES OF CANDIDATES ELIGIBLE FOR THE OFFICES THEY SEEK TO FILL MAY APPEAR ON THE BALLOT, THE NAMES OF INELIGIBLE CANDIDATES MUST BE KEPT OFF THE BALLOT. Such ballot eligibility laws must be expanded to include verification mechanisms, either by promulgating regulations to carry out existing laws, a state function allocated to the official in charge of elections or, by tweaking the original legislation so as to allow expedited challenges of ballot eligibility; along with stiff criminal and civil penalties for violations. (These solutions to the eligibility problem were first discussed on the “jbjd” blog way back in August 2008.  See CHALLENGING BO’S ELIGIBILITY TO GET ONTO THE GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT AS THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR POTUS)

(Please note, objections raised that the state cannot interfere with the rights of political parties to choose their candidates can be countered with this rationale:  a decision by any state that, one candidate or another is not eligible under state law to have his or her name printed on the ballot does not mean that political parties are  not entitled to ‘run’ a candidate who fails to meet ballot eligibility. Not at all!  Failing to meet the state’s standard for ballot eligibility (or, refusing to subject party nominees to the scrutiny of vetting by the state) in no way implicates the right of the party to the nominee of its choice.  It only relieves the state of the burden to put that person’s name on the general election ballot. People who still want to vote for candidates who have failed to establish state confirmed ballot eligibility must be offered the option to write in the names of these candidates in a space provided!)

(Please note, the portion of the U.S. Code addressing criminal conduct associated with the production, transfer, possession, and use of identification documents – DE-CODER RINGS (1 of 2) and DE-CODER RINGS (2 of 2) – should be incorporated into state law, for this reason.  Breaches of federal law must be investigated and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney, whose discretion to proceed may be influenced by factors outside of the state; whereas violations of state law can be addressed by appropriate law enforcement officials within the state, and subject to the direct influences of its citizens.  Such legislation should in no way prevent federal prosecution of document related fraud.)  (Of course, if we are as lax about persuading our elected officials to exercise their discretion to enforce news laws as we have been when it comes to enforcing laws already on the books, well, scofflaws will have as little to worry about then as they do now.)

3. IN STATES WHERE CITIZENS HAVE ENACTED LAWS SPECIFICALLY MANDATING ONLY THE NAMES OF CANDIDATES ELIGIBLE FOR THE OFFICES THEY SEEK TO FILL MAY APPEAR ON THE BALLOT, THE WAY TO PREVENT ELECTORS FROM ELECTING AN INELIGIBLE PRESIDENT IS TO ENACT LAWS PROHIBITING THEM FROM ELECTING ANYONE WHOSE NAME DID NOT APPEAR ON THE GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT IN THEIR STATE. As we now know, laws mandating that Electors must vote for the Presidential nominee of the political party exist in several states.   NEVER LESS THAN a TREASON (2 of 2) Thus, we can also write laws mandating Electors only elect Presidents Constitutionally eligible for the job.  But Electors cannot be charged with determining eligibility, for several reasons.  As we have discussed, the names of Electors are proposed by the political parties, and are usually long-time party contributors and loyalists. But this innate bias on the part of Electors is only one barrier to requiring such scrutiny of the candidates.  More importantly, Electors are not public officials answerable to the electorate.  Thus, all mandates involving candidate eligibility must be implemented by state election officials.

(Please note, requiring Electors to elect only a President whose name appeared on that state’s ballot cures another problem I previously identified with the National Popular Vote Initiative (“NPVI”).  That is, as it stands now, in a ballot eligibility state whose legislature has already voted to join the NPVI compact, Electors could be compelled to vote for the Presidential candidate who amassed the most votes in the compact states, notwithstanding s/he failed to qualify to appear on the ballot in that eligibility state.  Under my proposal, Electors are prohibited from violating their state’s ballot eligibility law.) (Other arguments have been raised questioning the Constitutionality of the NPVI. Id.)

4. IN STATES WHERE VOTERS HAVE ENACTED LAWS SPECIFICALLY MANDATING ONLY THE NAMES OF CANDIDATES ELIGIBLE FOR THE OFFICES THEY SEEK TO FILL MAY APPEAR ON THE BALLOT, THEY MUST DEFINE THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR CANDIDATES TO APPEAR ON THE BALLOT. That’s right, ballot eligibility. Because this is the only eligibility issue which is justiciable, or capable of being addressed by the courts.  Hopefully, everyone even marginally familiar with the numerous futile attempts to foist the issue of candidate eligibility for office on the judicial branch of government has learned this lesson by now.  It makes sense, therefore, the only legally cognizable interest the public can protect viz a viz enforcing existing laws with respect to candidate eligibility derives from laws passed in several states demanding that only candidates qualified for office are entitled to have the state print their names on the ballot.

4a.  IN STATES WHERE VOTERS HAVE ENACTED LAWS SPECIFICALLY MANDATING ONLY THE NAMES OF CANDIDATES ELIGIBLE FOR THE OFFICES THEY SEEK TO FILL MAY APPEAR ON THE BALLOT AND DEFINED THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR CANDIDATES TO APPEAR ON THE BALLOT, SUCH BALLOT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS CANNOT CONFLICT WITH THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR FEDERAL OFFICE WHICH ARE FOUND IN THE U.S. CONSTITUTION. This only makes sense.  Because otherwise, that is, by insisting states get to pass laws defining the eligibility for office; citizens would be attempting to ‘amend’ through state legislation (or regulation) the eligibility found in the Constitution  notwithstanding the only legal way to change the Constitution is through the process of Constitutional amendments prescribed in the Constitution! (And this legal truism has previously been discussed several times on the “jbjd” blog.  See, for example, CLOWNS to the LEFT of ME; JOKERS to the RIGHT (1 of 2) and (2 of 2); and JUDGE ABBOTT WOULD ORDER TDP CHAIR BOYD RICHIE TO DECLARE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA IS INELIGIBLE FOR THE JOB.)

On the other hand, states get to decide (for the most part) the rational ways to spend their finite resources.  Thus, they can decide to print on the ballot (and tabulate the votes for) only the names of those candidates eligible for office   And to keep off the ballot the names of any candidates who are not.  Anyone aggrieved at being kept off the ballot for failing to meet the state definition of eligibility, can sue.  Defining NBC in any way we want, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, could likely result in a federal appellate court ruling that would establish a legally binding definition of NBC.

(Please note, anyone aggrieved that the definition of eligibility to appear on the ballot conflicts with the definition of eligibility found in the U.S. Constitution, resulting in the exclusion from the ballot a candidate presumed eligible, can file suit against the state in either state or federal court contesting such ballot exclusion.  Eventually, such case will be heard by a federal appeals court and, in this way, we could achieve a legally binding definition of the Constitutional terms of eligibility.)

Here are some prior Comments on the subject containing issues drafters should consider.

bob strauss:  Know what’s funny? When we set up eligibility panels in the states, we can define NBC any way we want. If the party wants to use our state ballots then, their candidate has to fulfill our definition of NBC. If they don’t like our definition, they can take us to court; or stay off our ballots. Because until the federal appeals court defines NBC then, one definition is as good as another. And we will do this by the next general election. But at a minimum, NBC certainly means, born in the U.S.A. ADMINISTRATOR

2009/09/23 at 19:42


Texas Voter:  Great questions.  I have addressed these issues tangentially throughout the blog, while not dedicating an entire article to the subject of vetting candidates for POTUS as to Constitutional eligibility for the job. In short, this discussion can be divided into 2 (two) categories: 1) the Constitutional qualifications for POTUS; and 2) qualifications to get on state ballots.

1) Does the Constitution set a floor or a ceiling on qualifications for POTUS? That is, can Congress pass a law requiring the Electors to vet as to, say, NBC status, where the Constitution does not compel this factor into their deliberations? If the document set a floor for qualifications then, we can expand on these. If it set a ceiling then, we cannot add to the requirements for deliberation.

2) Can states set whatever requirements they want to get on the ballot, notwithstanding requirements for the actual job are prescribed by the Constitution? That is, can states define ‘qualifications for POTUS’ to get on the ballot, such as, for example, saying, NBC means, born in the U.S. to 2 (two) citizen parents?

The good thing about having the states define NBC is that, we could envision, a party (person or political organization) thereby excluded from appearing on the ballot would file suit against the state for being wrongfully excluded from the political process. And through this process, we would achieve the federal court definition of NBC! ADMINISTRATOR

2010/02/18 at 16:49

5. NO MECHANISM INTENDED TO ESTABLISH ONLY ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES WILL BE ELECTED PRESIDENT WILL SUCCEED, WHICH RELIES ON CANDIDATE SELF-AUTHENTICATION. This has always seemed to me to be self-explanatory.

I refuse to focus on BO to establish HIS OWN eligibility. On FTS, the web site he started and for which he paid before becoming the D Corporation nominee for POTUS; he posted the COLB he said is an official document, which proves he is eligible for POTUS. ADMINISTRATOR

2010/01/05 at 20:33

In other words, stop asking Obama or anyone acting on his behalf but not in an official capacity; to get the man to produce anything! And do not under any circumstances accept as true, any document or facsimile any of these representatives not acting as the “issuing authority” introduces and claims is real! azgo has provided this anecdote with respect to producing an original birth certificate that illustrates why.

If a state law requires a B/C as documentation for ballot access, the state should require the candidate to request from the lawful authority of the candidate’s ‘place of birth’ state to issue that identification document and in that request, the document must be sent directly to the state official (SoS, state election official) and this would be similar to applying for a passport.

I went to apply for a passport in 1979 at the county office (so much younger and not so much money). I brought my hospital issued birth paper with my little footprint on it which my mom kept for so many years. The clerk said that’s no good and you have to use the one from the the department agency in the state where were born. I wanted a copy of my birth certificate so I said to the county clerk, “I want a copy of my B/C so can I get the B/C from my state and make a copy for myself (being thrifty) and then send it to the them (Office of Passport Services/Customer Service).” She said, ” No, you can’t, the certified B/C must go directly to them from the state agency where you were born who keeps those records, they won’t accept one from you”. (I thought to myself, ‘What! don’t they trust me?’) So I had to send off another request of my own to get a certified copy (that blew my budget.) In other words the federal government who issues passports requires the certified B/C copy to go directly to them from the state agency who keeps the B/C record.

So the states with eligibility laws requiring documentation should do the same by requiring the candidate to request a certified original B/C copy from the candidate’s place of birth state agency and send it directly to the SoS or state election official. The SoS and/or state election officials would and should respect the candidate applicant’s personal information and not release any copies of the certified B/C copy to the public but the state could require the document to be available for public viewing only at the office of the SoS (no copies made). This would preserve the integrity of a genuine birth identification document. (I think once that the act of making a copy of the an official certified original or short form B/C copy, then that copy instantly becomes a false identification document, no embossed state seal, no original signature, -”altered”. There are only two types of identification documents, “genuine” and “false”, http://www.justice.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm01507.htm ) Then it would be up to the candidate to choose whether he wants the public to see it or not, …and that answer may conclude whether or not he wants to be able to achieve ballot access.

The SoS and/or state election officials should not accept a certified B/C copy, original or not, from the candidate or anyone else except from “lawful authority” as defined in U.S. Code 1028.

Even Harvard advises applicants to its Freshman class, “Please note that in order for your application to be considered complete, your official test scores must (sic) submitted directly to Harvard by the testing agency on your behalf.”

http://www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/apply/application_process/index.html

Finally, for those of you who would prefer to allow the political parties to authenticate the eligibility of their candidates, I recommend this additional caveat.

6. ANY MECHANISM INTENDED TO ESTABLISH ONLY THE NAMES OF ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES WILL APPEAR ON THE BALLOT, WHICH RELIES ON A POLITICAL PARTY TO AUTHENTICATE ITS CANDIDATES MUST INCLUDE CORRESPONDING LEGISLATION THAT TREATS PARTY OFFICIALS AS PUBLIC OFFICIALS WITH RESPECT TO MANDAMUS AND PUBLIC RECORDS LAWS. This points to the reason I emphasize TX is the state in which prosecution for election fraud viz a viz Certifying Barack Obama was eligible to appear on the 2008 ballot, could succeed.  TX requires candidate eligibility for office in order to appear on the ballot; as Chair of the Texas Democratic Party (“TDP”), Boyd Richie fulfilled a traditional state function when he determined candidate Barack Obama was eligible to appear on the ballot.  Under TX law, this makes Mr. Richie subject to both Mandamus and the Open Records Law.  See, for example, CLOWNS to the LEFT of ME; JOKERS to the RIGHT (1 of 2)CLOWNS to the LEFT of ME; JOKERS to the RIGHT (2 of 2)OPEN LETTER to GREG ABBOTT, ATTORNEY GENERAL of TEXAS , JUDGE ABBOTT WOULD ORDER TDP CHAIR BOYD RICHIE TO DECLARE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA IS INELIGIBLE FOR THE JOB, IDIOMS! …..

There.  Any questions?  Ask “jbjd.”

P.S.  I still maintain we can prevent future problems simply by remediating past problems, for example, focusing our collective attention and efforts on enforcing existing ballot eligibility laws.



If a state law requires a B/C as documentation for ballot access, the state should require the candidate to request from the lawful authority of the candidate’s ‘place of birth’ state to issue that identification document and in that request, the document must be sent directly to the state official (SoS, state election official) and this would be similar to applying for a passport.I went to apply for a passport in 1979 at the county office (so much younger and not so much money). I brought my hospital issued birth paper with my little footprint on it which my mom kept for so many years. The clerk said that’s no good and you have to use the one from the the department agency in the state where were born.  I wanted a copy of my birth certificate so I said to the county clerk, “I want a copy of my B/C so can I get the B/C from my state and make a copy for myself (being thrifty) and then send it to the them (Office of Passport Services/Customer Service).”  She said, ” No, you can’t, the certified B/C must go directly to them from the state agency where you were born who keeps those records, they won’t accept one from you”.  (I thought to myself, ‘What! don’t they trust me?’)  So I had to send off another request of my own to get a certified copy (that blew my budget.)  In other words the federal government who issues passports requires the certified B/C copy to go directly to them from the state agency who keeps the B/C record.So the states with eligibility laws requiring documentation should do the same by requiring the candidate to request a certified original B/C copy from the candidate’s place of birth state agency and send it directly to the SoS or state election official.  The SoS and/or state election officials would and should respect the candidate applicant’s personal information and not release any copies of the certified B/C copy to the public but the state could require the document to be available for public viewing only at the office of the SoS (no copies made).  This would preserve the integrity of a genuine birth identification document. (I think once that the act of making a copy of the an official certified original or short form B/C copy, then that copy instantly becomes a false identification document, no embossed state seal, no original signature, -”altered”.  There are only two types of identification documents, “genuine” and “false”, http://www.justice.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm01507.htm )  Then it would be up to the candidate to choose whether he wants the public to see it or not, …and that answer may conclude whether or not he wants to be able to achieve ballot access. The SoS and/or state election officials should not accept a certified B/C copy, original or not, from the candidate or anyone else except from “lawful authority” as defined in U.S. Code 1028.

QUALIFIED ≠ ELIGIBLE

December 31, 2010

© 2010 jbjd

Words matter.  Interpretation of the words found in a legal treatise cannot be dependent only on ‘plain meaning’ but must be considered in context.  Especially where these words appear in the context of the U.S. Constitution.

For example, the definition of the word “qualified” in the 20th Amendment (the Norris Lame Duck Amendment) ≠ the definition of the word “eligible” in Article II, section 1.

Here is the 20th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  (All emphasis is added by jbjd.)

(Keep in mind, at the time the 20th Amendment was ratified in 1933, Electors cast their votes for President and Vice President separately notwithstanding after the 12th Amendment, the President and Vice President ran and campaigned for office, as a team. Id.)

20th Amendment

Section 1.The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Section 2.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Section 3.

If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

Section 4.

The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

Section 5.

Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

Section 6.

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states within seven years from the date of its submission.

Without getting into a whole legal dissertation, this amendment can be summed up as fixing new dates for the terms of office of the President and Vice President; and members of Congress so as to minimize the length of time these public officials not re-elected to office – lame ducks – would sit before being replaced by their successors.

Because its history points to the time between the Elector voting and the Congressional and Presidential terms, which once were several months apart, when, lacking a sufficient vote by the Electors for either President or Vice President, the vote was thrown to this lame duck Congress.  The word “qualified” relative to the President in this case only refers to having obtained the requisite number of Elector votes to win office, or, lacking those votes, having been ‘elected’ by the votes of Congress.  If no such President had qualified, the Vice President who had qualified by receiving the requisite Elector votes or, lacking that, sufficient votes in Congress would act as President until all voting was completed for that office.  Otherwise, this Amendment makes absolutely no sense.

Remember, no public actor previous to the passage of this Amendment was required through either the Constitution or the U.S. Code, to vet either the President or Vice-President as to Constitutional eligibility; and no law required Electors (or Congress) to elect only a President or Vice President eligible under Article II, section 1 of the Constitution, anyway.  Now, ask yourself:  what sense does it presently make to assume the pre-existence of such mandatory-election-of-eligible-candidates laws, just so as to usurp the word “qualified” to suit an otherwise perverted interpretation of the law?

In sum, the definition of the word “qualified” in the 20th Amendment (the Norris Lame Duck Amendment) ≠ the definition of the word “eligible” in Article II, section 1.  Never.  Ever.  This means, a person can be qualified to be President under Amendment XX and still be ineligible under Article II for the job.  And all the convoluted legal tomes (or foot stomping or arm twisting) in the world cannot change this unalterable truth.

For a full explanation of the purpose of this Lame Duck Amendment, see http://www.law.cornell.edu/anncon/html/amdt20_user.html#amdt20_hd4.

For more interesting reading on the 20th Amendment, see “Investigating the “Norris Thesis”: Presidential Influence, Party Power, and Lame-Duck Sessions of Congress, 1877-1933” (arguing that no evidence supports Sen. Norris’ fears that a lame duck Congress would wreak havoc on the democratic process); and “Is the lame duck Congress constitutional,” at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/11/AR2010111106075.html (suggesting some legislative tweaking to restrict the lame duck Congress might be in order).


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.


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