Tag Archives: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Replacing Congress – The Obama Administration

We seem to be unable to get enough of the election of Barack Obama. The media has been analyzing the type of presidency he will have, will he act Lincolnian and reach across the aisle to fill cabinet positions and will he be able to restore the country after 8 disastrous years.

Analysis is on-going over the Democratic swing in Congress (including the 3 Senatorial races yet to be decided in Alaska, Georgia and Minnesota).

What has not been talked about as much is who will step into the Congressional seats for the new administration. Illinois will be losing one Congressional seat as Rahm Emanuel becomes Obama’s Chief of Staff. This is in addition to the seat vacated by Senator Obama over the weekend (full text of Obama’s letter to the people of Illinois to follow).

Add to that the Delaware Senate seat soon to be vacated by Vice President-elect Joe Biden (still love saying this) and any elected officials selected by Obama for his cabinet. We know that New York Senator Hillary Clinton is among the names being considered for Secretary of State.

Tammy Duckworth

Tammy Duckworth

So who would replace Obama and Emanuel in Illinois? State law says that the governor will appoint a replacement to the Senate seat that is up for election in 2010. Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich has set up a panel that will vet the candidates.

The list includes – Representatives Jesse Jackson Jr., son of Rev. Jesse Jackson and Jan Schakowsky. If selected, this would vacate another Illinois congressional seat and the process would begin again. Also on the list are Illinois State Comptroller Dan Hynes, retiring state Senate President Emil Jones, state Senator Kwame Raoul, and Dan Seals, a marketing consultant.

My personal favorite is Illinois Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth who is a wounded Iraq War veteran. Duckworth is a decorated officer who lost both of her legs in Iraq. She would bring leadership and a passion for our troops to the Senate. She would be a spectacular choice to replace President-elect Obama.

On November 4th, Joe Biden was re-elected to a 7th term in the U.S. Senate. When Biden resigns his seat, it will be filled either by out-going two-term Governor Ruth Ann Minner or the in-coming Governor-elect Jack A. Markell. Both governors are Democrats and will be able appoint someone to fill the vacancy until a Special Election in 2010.

Beau Biden

Beau Biden

The name that is floating around and my personal choice is Joe Biden’s son, Beau.

Beau Biden (Joe Biden III) is the Attorney General of Delaware and is currently a captain in the Delaware Army National Guard serving in Iraq. The latter role is one of the obstacles in the process. According to military law, someone may not serve in elected office while serving in the military. Beau Biden has also indicated that he would prefer to win elected office rather than be appointed to it. He declined an appointment to Attorney General opting instead to run for the post.

Another option is Lt. Governor John Carney who lost the Democratic Party nomination for governor this year. He has already indicated an interest in the position as well as a desire to continue in the Senate beyond the 2010 special election.

Illinois Representative Rahm Emanuel would be vacating his leadership in the House of Representatives to serve as Obama’s chief of staff. Blagojevich will have to set a special election to replace Emanuel. Rumors have circulated that Emanuel wants to serve as Obama’s chief of staff for just 2 years and then return to Congress.

It will be interesting to see who throws their hat into ring for this seat. A few names I have heard are former Emanuel aide, John Borovicka, Bill Dailey Jr. and Illinois state representative Sara Feigenholtz.

Finally, if Hillary Clinton is selected as Secretary of State or any other cabinet position, she will vacate her Senate seat. As a result, New York Governor David Paterson will have to select a replacement for Clinton until a Special Election in 2010 that would fill her seat for the final 2 years of her current term.

While I could sit here and wrack my brain over who the candidates are, I can really only come up with 2 suitable names. Actually, it is 2 people with only 1 suitable name: Kennedy. The leading choice is Caroline Kennedy, daughter of John F. Kennedy. She is an attorney and an author who had endorsed Obama early in the campaign. Rumors have circulated that she may be selected for a post in Obama’s cabinet.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The other Kennedy is Robert Jr. Kennedy is an attorney and co-host of the Air America radio program, Ring of Fire. He had endorsed Hillary Clinton during the primaries. The seat Clinton current holds once belonged Kennedy’s father. He has 2 great political passions – the climate / environment and election integrity. Rumors have circulated that he is being looked at for a position on the Obama cabinet as well. Kennedy has said that the only way he would be interested in Clinton’s seat is if she became the president. I do believe that it would be fitting for RFK Jr. to hold the seat once held by his father.

As Obama’s administration takes shape over the coming weeks, it will be interesting to see what seats / positions open up along the way.


Illinois Governor Eyes Obama Replacement –  RollCall.com

Sara Feigenholz’s letter of interest in Emanuel’s seat – posted on the Daily Kos


Today, I am ending one journey to begin another. After serving the people of Illinois in the United States Senate — one of the highest honors and privileges of my life — I am stepping down as senator to prepare for the responsibilities I will assume as our nation’s next president. But I will never forget, and will forever be grateful, to the men and women of this great state who made my life in public service possible.

More than two decades ago, I arrived in Illinois as a young man eager to do my part in building a better America. On the South Side of Chicago, I worked with families who had lost jobs and lost hope when the local steel plant closed. It wasn’t easy, but we slowly rebuilt those neighborhoods one block at a time, and in the process I received the best education I ever had. It’s an education that led me to organize a voter registration project in Chicago, stand up for the rights of Illinois families as an attorney and eventually run for the Illinois state Senate.

It was in Springfield, in the heartland of America, where I saw all that is America converge — farmers and teachers, businessmen and laborers, all of them with a story to tell, all of them seeking a seat at the table, all of them clamoring to be heard. It was there that I learned to disagree without being disagreeable; to seek compromise while holding fast to those principles that can never be compromised, and to always assume the best in people instead of the worst. Later, when I made the decision to run for the United States Senate, the core decency and generosity of the American people is exactly what I saw as I traveled across our great state — from Chicago to Cairo; from Decatur to Quincy.

I still remember the young woman in East St. Louis who had the grades, the drive and the will but not the money to go to college. I remember the young men and women I met at VFW halls across the state who serve our nation bravely in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I will never forget the workers in Galesburg who faced the closing of a plant they had given their lives to, who wondered how they would provide health care to their sick children with no job and little savings.

Stories like these are why I came to Illinois all those years ago, and they will stay with me when I go to the White House in January. The challenges we face as a nation are now more numerous and difficult than when I first arrived in Chicago, but I have no doubt that we can meet them. For throughout my years in Illinois, I have heard hope as often as I have heard heartache. Where I have seen struggle, I have seen great strength. And in a state as broad and diverse in background and belief as any in our nation, I have found a spirit of unity and purpose that can steer us through the most troubled waters.

It was long ago that another son of Illinois left for Washington. A greater man who spoke to a nation far more divided, Abraham Lincoln, said of his home, “To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything.” Today, I feel the same, and like Lincoln, I ask for your support, your prayers, and for us to “confidently hope that all will yet be well.”

With your help, along with the service and sacrifice of Americans across the nation who are hungry for change and ready to bring it about, I have faith that all will in fact be well. And it is with that faith, and the high hopes I have for the enduring power of the American idea, that I offer the people of my beloved home a very affectionate thanks.


Voter problems – Videoing your vote

Expectations are high that there will be problems at voting precincts on the day of the election.  Early voting states are already reporting problems. 

West Virginia:  Numerous people, voting on touch screen machines, have claimed that they attempted to vote for Obama – Biden only to have McCain – Palin selected as their choice.  This issue was also highly reported in 2004 on touch screens.  Interestingly all reports were from people who attempted to vote for the Democratic candidate, John Kerry, only to see their vote come up for George Bush.  Not one instance in 2004 nor so far in 2008 have come up the other way.  I find that curious. 

Does it appear that Homer Simpson attempted to vote in West Virginia?

Colorado:  If reports are true, more than 10 million voters have been purged from rolls across the United States between 2004 an 2006 based on questionable grounds.   In Colorado, Republican secretary of state, Donetta Davidson – who has since been appointed by George Bush to the Election Assistance Commission – and her successor Republican Mike Coffman oversaw the purging of almost one-sixth of Colorado’s registered voters.  They’ll be sure to have a surprise when they attempt to vote.

The Denver Post recently ran a story where Coffman rejected claims of voter purging, yet he didn’t dispute the claims on an individual basis.  He admitted that 2,454 voters had been purged within 90 days of an election and Coffman is determining whether this violates federal law.

Four thousand voters were given bad information, thus they won’t appear on the rolls.  Coffman admits that this is the fault of his office.  Another 37,000 were removed during a 3-week period in July which exceeds the number of deaths and people moving out of Colorado.

Where voter registration for this election is at an all-time high, how can Colorado see a net loss of 100,000 voters since 2004?  There is much more to this story – Colorado disputes voter purge.

Florida:  After the 2000 debacle of the ‘hanging chads’, Florida quickly implemented the touch screen voting machines which brought in a new wave of problems.  The biggest complaint is that these machines did not provide a paper trail so there was no way to verify the accuracy of the counting of the votes.  It also prevented any chance of a recount and put control of our elections into the company that provided the machines.

This year, the touch screen voting is gone.  Now, many will have to bubble their selections directly on the ballot.  Once completed, the voter inserts the ballot into a machine which counts the votes.  This will open up an entire new slew of issues.  First of all, since these are new voting procedures, there will invariably be delays causing people to leave rather than wait.  Second, paper being inserted into a machine ultimately jams, causing delays and possibly lost votes.

What you can do:  One of the thoughts I had was to go to the precinct near my home ready to tape anything that looked suspicious.  If theft was occurring, I’m sure everything was being done to prevent anyone from capturing it.  As it turns out, you cannot bring video equipment into the polling place in many locations, which is exactly where all the problems are occurring. 

But if someone is disenfranchised, they will come out of the polling place angry.   So if you follow the rules, you may be able to get an interview with a disenfranchised voter.  Watch this video:  Videoing your vote.


All McCain has left is theft

Watch this video from TPMTV and you will see just how difficult a task it is for John McCain to win this election fairly.  As it stands, Barack Obama should easily have 252 electoral votes which would be the same states won by John Kerry in 2004. 

Add Iowa and Obama is up to 259.  It has been reported that McCain has conceded Colorado and New Mexico.  If that is true, then this puts Obama over the top.

That means if McCain wins every other battleground state, most of which he currently trails, he still would lose this election.  The only option that would leave is McCain winning a solid Obama state. 

In order for McCain to win, he would either have to win Pennsylvania (a state McCain is heavily targeting and trailing) or Virginia and, say, New Hampshire.



Realistically, this would leave theft as the only viable option available for a McCain victory.  (We can also add scare tactics as McCain is obviously intent on making us scared of Barack Obama.)  Reports of problems are already coming in from early voting sites which I will address in an upcoming post. 

To get a heads up, go to Steal Back Your Vote – a site by Greg Palast and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.  The two wrote an article for this week’s Rolling Stone magazine called Block the Vote.  This is mandatory reading. 

Watch this report by Greg Palast from Democracy Now! 

The Election is Stolen – Here’s how we win

Robert F Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast released an article today for Rolling Stone called – Block the Vote.  

They had released a preview of what we will be able to expect with It’s Already Stolen.  Of course they are referring to the 2008 Presidential election.  All of the key battleground states seem to have plans in place in order to manipulate the outcome of this election.

Don’t worry about Mickey Mouse or ACORN stealing the election.  According to an investigative report out today in Rolling Stone magazine, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast, after a year-long investigation, reveal a systematic program of “GOP vote tampering” on a massive scale.

– Republican Secretaries of State of swing-state Colorado have quietly purged one in six names from their voter rolls.

Over several months, the GOP politicos in Colorado stonewalled every attempt by Rolling Stone to get an answer to the massive purge – ten times the average state’s rate of removal.

– While Obama dreams of riding to the White House on a wave of new voters, more than 2.7 million have had their registrations REJECTED under new procedures signed into law by George Bush.
Kennedy, a voting rights lawyer, charges this is a resurgence of ‘Jim Crow’ tactics to wrongly block Black and Hispanic voters.

– A fired US prosecutor levels new charges – accusing leaders of his own party, Republicans, with criminal acts in an attempt to block legal voters as “fraudulent.”

– Digging through government records, the Kennedy-Palast team discovered that, in 2004, a GOP scheme called “caging” ultimately took away the rights of 1.1 million voters.  The Rolling Stone duo predict that, this November 4, it will be far worse.

There’s more:

– Since the last presidential race, “States used dubious ‘list management’ rules to scrub at least 10 million voters from their rolls.”

Among those was Paul Maez of Las Vegas, New Mexico – a victim of an unreported but devastating purge of voters in that state that left as many as one in nine Democrats without a vote.  For Maez, the state’s purging his registration was particularly shocking – he’s the county elections supervisor.

The Kennedy-Palast revelations go far beyond the sum of questionably purged voters recently reported by the New York Times.

“Republican operatives – the party’s elite commandos of bare-knuckle politics,” report Kennedy and Palast, under the cover of fighting fraudulent voting, are “systematically disenfranchis[ing] Democrats.”

The investigators level a deadly serious charge:

“If Democrats are to win the 2008 election, they must not simply beat McCain at the polls – they must beat him by a margin that exceeds the level of GOP vote tampering.”

Block the Vote by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. & Greg Palast in the current issue (#1064) of Rolling Stone.

To win the election on November 4th, Democrats must not get complacent.  We must overwhelm at the polling precincts.  The more people who vote, the more difficult it becomes to steal an election.

Kennedy and Palast have teamed up to present a comic book called Steal Back Your Vote.  I have downloaded it and it is really good reading.  They will also be releasing a movie that will be available for download. 

Key links:

Greg Palast

Steal Back Your Vote

Steal Back Your Vote – [Video]

Greg Palast and Robert Kennedy Jr. are investigating the schemes that are currently in place to steal our votes this November. 

Palast describes one technique used by Karl Rove during the George Bush 2004 re-election campaign.

There is still time to steal back YOUR vote.

Watch this clip. 

Go to Steal Back Your Vote.org. 

Get the word out.

Steal Back Your Vote

As a Floridian, I had a front row seat while the 2000 election was stolen from Al Gore. I saw the Democratic governor’s primary altered in 2002 in order to give the primary to Bill McBride over the much more formidable opponent – Janet Reno. As a result, Jeb Bush slid right back into the governor’s mansion for a second term.

I watched again in 2004 as black box voting gave George W Bush his second term and that supposed mandate. We all looked away when former Diebold CEO Wally O’Dell said the following: “I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.”

I am tired of looking the other way.

I am tired of doing nothing about this.

Greg Palast and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are doing something about it. I have signed on to help do my part.

Palast and Kennedy have compiled a voter’s guide called ‘Steal Back Your Vote.’ There will be videos and articles coming as well. I will be bringing them to you also.

*  *  *  *  *  *

Here is an excerpt from Steal Back Your Vote

Night of the Living Vote-snatchers – from Steal Back Your Vote!
by Greg Palast

Excerpted from the Greg Palast, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Robert F. Kennedy’s comic book voter guide. See www.StealBackYourVote.org for more.

In 2002, George W. Bush signed the Help America Vote Act.

When a Bush tells you he’s going to “help” you vote – look out!

The result: in the 2004 presidential election, over three million votes – 3,006,080 – were cast and not counted. Like, what the !@#!?

That’s from the official data from an agency created by George Bush called the “Elections Assistance Commission.”  When a Bush tells you he’s going to “assist” our elections… (well, you get it).

Three MILLION ballots disappeared – Pfft!

And not just anyone’s ballots.  U.S. government experts reported, for example, that a black voter’s ballot is 900% more likely than a white voter’s ballot to get “lost” in the machine. Bush fired the experts.

Three million voters went missing in ‘04 – but that ain’t nuthin’!

Law professor and voting law expert Robert F. Kennedy Jr. warns that it’s about to get a whole lot worse.  Nasty new spores of the “Help” America Vote Act went into effect since the last election that have turned the process into a vicious game of “Chutes and Ladders,” with traps and tricks between you and your vote…

Example: the Republican Secretary of State of Colorado “helped” her state vote by eliminating 19.4% of the voters from the voter rolls.  That’s one in five !@#$#@ voters!

Over three million missing ballots – and now the voters themselves are disappearing by the millions.  Where the hell did they go?