Report from Salem, V.O.T.E. rally and Oregon's Electors Cast their votes
At 11am, about 200 people gathered in Salem for a rally highlighting fraud and mistakes in the Presidential election. The Electors met at 12pm at a formal process in the state capitol witnessed by about 250 people.
I attended a rally today and spoke on behald of the Pacific Green Party. The crowd was about 100 people when the rally started and grew to about 200 just before noon when we went and witnessed Bill Bradbury oversee the Electoral Process.
There were tons of High School students around the capitol performing a holiday concert in the Rotunda so the place was pretty active. Corporate media was represented by a few radio and TV stations. OPB was there. KBOO too.
Here is the speaker schedule
11:00 Peter Chabarek and Carol Melia, Enemy Combatants
11:05 Mike Swaim, Former Mayorč Salem, Oregon
11:10 Professor Roberta Hall, OSU, Election Protection Volunteer
11:15 Jim Edmunson, Chair Oregon Democratic Party, Oregon Elector
11:35 Peter Bergel, Oregon Peaceworks, Dr. Atomic's Medicine Show
11:40 Andi Miller, Common Cause
11:45 Brian Setzler, Oregon Green Party
11:50 Nancy Matela, Alliance for Democracy
I thought Peter and Carol were delightful musicians. Very funny, very original. They hail from Eugene. They write great political stuff like the new ABC song they where B was for bombs, H for haliburton, etc....
Peter Bergel gave a hillarious speach reversing all the first letters of his talk thus putting "backspin" on the discussion. Al Gore became Gal Ore for instance. In the end he had a call and response with him asking "What do we want?" and a loud reply "Ush Bout", followed by "When do we want it?", "Night Row!!" we thundered. Very clever work from Peter.
There were a number of chuckles when Jim Edumunson, the Democratic Party chair, touted the even handedness of Oregon's Secretary of State Bill Bradbury.
Big chears went up when Andi Miller of Common Cause announced they had just filled suit in Ohio to overturn the Ohio Election.
I'm not real big on public speaking so I was nervous. But I got lots of cheers during my 2 minute address and and it seemed lots of people in attendance were excited about the Green Party. I saw many old Green friends as well.
Here is the text of my speech:
"Thank you for the introduction and Thank you for the invitation to address this crowd at such a historic time. I am honored to be with all of you today.
I am proud to be Green and proud of the Green Party's commitment to democracy. Today, Greens and other activists are gathering in every state capitol and the District of Columbia demanding that EVERY VOTE be counted.
It is worth noting that the Green Party raised the money for the Ohio Recount in 2 days, while John Kerry and the Democrats sat idly watching events unfold with $51 million in the bank.
I am honored to represent the only political party founded on the interrelated principles and values of peace, justice, ecology and Grassroots Democracy.
Our goals are simple: First, we want to make sure every vote is accurately counted.
Second, we want to ensure that our elections cannot be stolen through rigged counting machines, touch-screen computers, illegally discouraged or purged voters, long voting lines, hanging chads, or any of the other problems encountered by citizens exercising their right to vote.
The Green Party has taken a lead role on voting reform and we will continue to push this issue at all levels of government until we have free and fair elections. To this end we support the Voting Bill of Rights.
1. Guarantee a Voter-Verified Paper Trail for All Voting Machines
2. Replace Partisan Oversight with Non-Partisan Election Commissions
3. Celebrate Democracy: Make Election Day a National Holiday
4. Make it Easier to Vote
5. Count Every Vote!
6. Re-Enfranchise Ex-Felons & Non-Felons
7. Implement Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) and Proportional Representation (PR)
8. Replace Big Money Control With Public Financing and Equal Air-Time
9. Guarantee Equal Access to the Ballot and Debates
10. Abolish the Electoral College and Enact Statehood for the District of Colombia
Before leaving, I have a message from David Cobb that I'd like to share:
'I want to thank the people of Oregon for gathering to protest the assembly of the presidential electors who are meeting today under a cloud of suspicion. I am with you in spirit. Today, I am in Columbus Ohio, presenting testimony to members of Congress and like you, I will be protesting this fraudulent election at the Ohio Statehouse.
I am honored that the Green Party and my campaign have taken a leading role in challenging both the process and the results of this election. We are demanding recounts in New Mexico and Ohio to protect and restore the integrity of the voting process. Voting is the heart and soul of any participatory democracy.
The right to vote must include the right to have our votes counted.
Thank you for participating in our democracy and in the fundamental constitutional right of protest and dissent. Peace.' David Cobb
Thank you and please, register Green, Vote Green, and Be Green.
Finally, as predicted, Oregon's electors cast 7 votes for Kerry and 7 votes for Edwards. There were 4 men and 3 women, all were white. Certain documents will now go to the National Archives, according to Bill Bradbury who oversaw the process.
Bradbury spoke for a few minutes and spoke about his support for this process and the Electoral College and how it benefited Oregon and other small states.
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