Below is a copy of a letter I sent to the names listed asking them to stop this part of a bill being proposed by Secretary of State Kate Brown to change Oregon Election laws by ending the current law which requires the county elections offices to immediately destroy all unused ballots when the polls close at 8pm on election day. Why would anyone think it would be appropiate to not destroy those ballots? and why all of the secrecy and sleazy political tricks she used when she slid this new law into a healthcare bill hoping it would go unnoticed and pass? here is that letter which I editted to my own tastes prior to sending it but that was originally written by Mhicheil Daily….Here is a copy of my letter … feel free to copy it in full or in part but please send an email to these people and tell them to leave this bad law out!
Feb 13th, 2011
Mr. Jim Stembridge
Rep. Andy Olson
Rep. Dave Hunt
RE: State of Oregon – HB 2256
“The integrity of the vote is something we can never be too careful with. As Stalin made clear in one of his famous quotes:
“It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.”
Stalin di…dn’t care who people voted for so long as he controlled the vote tabulation process. The reasons are obvious. Our election laws were set up to provide legitimacy and integrity to our elections, and to safeguard the process. That brings me to the current efforts to change this process by removing one of those safeguards and in doing so to open the door allowing for the suggestion and appearance of impropriety whether it’s justified or not.
I understand Oregon Secretary of State, Kate Brown, has used her influence to change a KEY provision on the 2nd page of HB 2256. Currently, it is the law in Oregon that all blank and unused ballots be destroyed at 8pm immediately after the polls close. The reasoning behind this is both intuitive and obvious. The change she has proposed, and has slid into the fine print of a health care bill (of all places) changes this requirement and makes it the law that they NOT be destroyed. Why? What sense does this make? What purpose could possibly be served by having a law that creates the opportunity for blank ballots to be cast after the voting has ended and the results are being determined. There is no reason; and even if there were, there certainly is no reason great enough that it would trump the additional safeguards destroying these ballots provides. Destroying these ballots takes away any chance and any suggestion they could be used for mischief (ballot stuffing). What possible legitimate reason can be brought to keep blank ballots after the polls are closed?
Objections to making fraud more difficult are a clarion call for intense scrutiny of the current voting process and procedures going forward. Perhaps a look back in history is in order. In 1934, at the 17th Soviet Congress, there was a vote against Stalin’s leadership. At the congressional sessions members voted for who they wanted to head the party by voting against who they did not want. Stalin received the most votes against him. However, Stalin had the loyalty of those who were counting the ballots and Stalin had the ballots against him destroyed. It was Sergei Kirov who actually won the election. Stalin then proceeded to have Kirov and most of the other 1300 members of the 17th congress (who were all Communists) murdered. Pretty dramatic I know but true nonetheless.
I am very suspicious of the desire by Secretary Brown to make it legal to hold onto blank ballots after the poll closes… it simply invites and encourages fraud. We cannot abide this risk. Don’t we have enough real financial and systemic problems that need to be dealt with without opening the door and changing laws that do nothing more than create new ones? I would like to see that this provision in the proposed law eliminated and that we be required to continue to destroying the unused ballots at 8pm on Election Day and if we make any changes to this part of the law that they be to add some teeth for violating it and nothing else.
Have you ever seen something…and had this nagging feeling that there was something about it that wasn’t quite right …but you couldn’t put your finger on what it was? Well that’s what happened to me earlier this week when I went to watch a basketball game one of our friend’s daughters was playing in. I am still young enough to remember my own skill level at the age of 8 so I wasn’t expecting much more than the fun of seeing her play and spending time chatting with a friend while we watched the game and listened to each other talk about our feelings (lol). Well, the game was slightly better than I expected it to be but not by much. I am not a big basketball fan, and I know less than most people about coaching basketball, or offensive or defensive strategies as my knowledge of the game starts and ends with the need to make the “ball go through the hoop in order to score” and of course “the team that scores the most points wins? …right? Wrong!
What do I mean?
What I mean is …No one kept score!
It’s not like the gym didn’t have a scoreboard …it did.
It’s also not like there wasn’t at least someone keeping the score at the scorer’s table …they weren’t!
I asked my friend where I could see what the score was and she told me: “Oh they don’t keep score”
I said “what? Why not? How do they determine the winner if no one keeps the score?”
She said “oh that’s the whole point … if they kept score then one team would win and the other team would lose and not only would the losing team have their feelings hurt, and their self esteem and confidence bruised, we don’t want too much emphasis put on winning versus losing because it takes away from the kids just having fun…what happens when you make it real competitive like that is you get coaches who will only play their best kids and not give everyone on the team equal playing time AND when you keep score then often times you get parents who don’t behave well at the games.”
I sort of nodded my head like I understood and agreed. In the back of my mind things like the coaches substitution decisions started to make more sense along with some of the other things I saw the year before when I watched other grade school and middle school athletic events, and on one occasion went to the end of season pizza celebration afterwards. Back then I noticed that every single member of the team had gotten a small trophy for every single thing you could imagine…”most inspirational” most improved” “best game snacks”, you name it…and one of the players got a trophy for it.
I was thinking about all of that earlier today and it dawned on me that one of the problems in our culture today: Our children are being raised and have been raised with little or no knowledge or understanding of what it means to compete and more importantly, what it means (and how it feels) to win and lose. When we keep them insulated from competing as they grow up then when they need those skills in the real world years later …they don’t have a clue.
From what I have been told by several people, there are many elementary schools who no longer give grades for the same reasons? Huh?
People! People! People! We do our children no favors at all by trying to insulate them from the realities and survival skills necessary for them to make their way in the world today. By feeding And developing the competitive side of who they are in a healthy and honest way we produce better people who are more likely to take responsibility for themselves and their lives than those who constantly get trophies and ribbons for losing. Losing is much different than failing….if we go through life afraid to lose, what we lose is a huge part of real life. When I look at my own life I realize that I have competed for every important thing I have done and I worked hard to do it because I learned early on that I didn’t like the feeling of losing. In order to learn how to deal with, and learn, and grow from diversity …you first need to experience some diversity to practice on. How can you learn coping skills if you are never required to cope?
Besides, when you take the score and the thrill of winning and the agony of losing out of the game …you have taken away its very essence. If you play badminton or tennis with someone and you don’t play to win then you aren’t playing badminton or tennis. All great accomplishments require great effort, and a strong desire to conquer and win…there is no better incentive to work harder to win than the feeling you get when you lose. Not only that, going forth in the world today whether it be in the competition for grades, or the competition to get into a good school, or competition on the playing field…We can choose to compete or not but rest assured the rest of the people are competing with you no matter what you choose to do. This is one more example to add to the list of the various ways that political correctness is ruining this country. Stop it!
I was born about 1/2 way through Ronald Reagans 8 year run in the White House. As a young libertarian/conservative female surrounded by left wingers through 6 years of university studies in the Bay Area (No not Coos Bay) I have listened to more than my share of mindless, senseless, stunningly ignorant progressive drivel …that’s for sure. What caught my attention from the early going was the special hate, and anger filled venom they reserved for their rants about Ronald Reagan. He was the target they saved their best manufactured outrage for, and after reading the recent newspapers and blogs, it’s clear that he still scares them, and haunts them from the grave.
This past week marked what would have been President Reagan’s 100th birthday. You would think after his death, and the passage of so many years, the left, and their handmaidens in the media, would have had the good breeding and manners to be able to allow this historical moment to pass without the need to distort his record, insult his personage, and rewrite a little bit more of our history. Not surpringly, and almost without exception, newspapers, and the talking heads of network news stations, chose to take the low road. Rather than take this opportunity to compliment him and thank him for his years of leadership and service to this country. From Jacob Heilbrunn; the LA Times columnist; who’s column was reprinted in the Sunday Oregonian who went so far as too suggest that of all of the leaders we have today the one who was most like Reagan politically was socialist, US apologist Barrack Obama. (No I am not kidding) He wrote:
“It may well be that Obama is much closer to the Gipper’s true spirit than those seeking to burnish his posthumous reputation.”
Our own columnist; David Sarasohn didn’t think that devoting just one of his installmentsn of left wing lunacy was sufficient, so he went after Reagan’s legacy in two consecutive columns. Offering up what he called “a decidedly new view of Reagan’s 100th” and followed it up with “Time to live up to Reagan’s Social Security Deal” two days later.
Blueoregon.com; a.k.a. “40 angry progressives, left of the left in Oregon” was too busy railing against the mere suggestion that we pass a law that would keep taxpayers from paying the bill everytime a woman decided she wanted to kill her own child. Carla Axtman demonstrated her own stunning ignorance of the proposed law by harping that making women take financial responsibility for the abortions they have due to their own irresponsible reproductive decisions was tantamount to “standing between a woman and her Dr.” Both Wyden and Merkely were equally lost on the issue; all unwilling or incapable of believing that most of us don’t want our tax dollars being spent to kill children regardless of who’s they are…all of this but NO mention of the Gipper.
Here is one of the better treatments of the Reagan legacy and a good explanation of why the left still fears Reagan
…even from the grave.