There WILL Be a Challenge of Electors in the Congress on January 6th that Needs YOUR Support
Come to Herbst Theater, San Francisco, Tuesday January 4th, 7:00 p.m. to Rally for the Republic!
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Washington, DC December 31, 2004: Yesterday Michigan Congressman John Conyers showed more of the tactical brilliance and moral leadership that have marked his illustrious 40-year Congressional career. Conyers is the second most senior Member of Congress, and throughout his tenure has shown clarity of thought and a willingness to act that puts him head and shoulders above most of his timid and hesitant colleagues. Conyers called for Nixon's impeachment in May of 1972, a month before the Watergate burglary, because he could see that Nixon's prosecution of the war in Vietnam and its expansion into other countries was illegal.
Yesterday Rep. Conyers released copies of his letter sent to each member of the Senate, announcing a Constitutional challenge to the electors from Ohio and asking the Senators to join him. Not only has Conyers established a reward for the first Senator to step foward, but he's started the clock on the construction of perhaps his most important coalition and given it enough time to grow to sizable proportions.
I have met and spoken many times in the past week with key Congressional staff from the offices of key Senators (Durbin, Jeffords) and Representatives (Conyers, Tubbs-Jones) and what follows is what I expect to see in the momentous week ahead of us.
But first let me say that this activity inside Congress must be met with a mobilization of public support or it will not succeed.
We need you to join us at the Herbst Theater on Tuesday 1/4 at 7:00 for an examination of this illegitimate election and a declaration of intent to reclaim our republic. Emily Levin, project coordinator for Richard Hayes Phillips' precinct-level analysis of Ohio voting anomalies, will describe findings entered as evidence in Moss v. Bush showing that Ohio's 20 electoral votes were won by John Kerry. In Linda Byrket's documentary Video the Vote you will witness the shameful voter suppression tactics deployed to deny predominantly African American communities of Ohio their right to vote. Researcher-analyst Warren Stewart will describe the mysteries of New Mexico's national record for undervotes and phantom voters that resulted in a 1% margin awarding the state's electors to Bush.
ReDefeat Bush founder David Lytel will provide an insightful preview of the crucial electoral contest starting just days from now.
We will have an abundance of factsheets and petitions to activate you and your Congressional representatives. And for levity to keep us sane, we've invited wards of the Ronald Reagan Home for the Criminally Insane to sell us on Verifyagra, the cure for electile dysfunction. We continue to add speakers and performers for this not-to-be-missed event. See RallyfortheRepublic.org. for updates.
Please join us Tuesday January 4 in Herbst Theater. We need you to stand up for democracy NOW, not after it is all over.
401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco Civic Center. Map and directions. Admission is free, but our expense is major and we will be asking donations (suggested $5-$10).
What the coming week will bring: On Monday there will be a staff-level strategy session, and although I cannot promise our plan will be adopted or set in motion, what I foresee is that on Wednesday afternoon former Florida Congressman Peter Deutsch will present to an informal yet televised hearing on Capitol Hill his understanding of what happened in Florida. Deutsch is the ideal for this for his intellect and integrity and his standing with his former colleagues. He is taking an active role in studying the facts of the case and is being backed up by Wayne Madsen, an experienced analyst and investigator who previously worked for the National Security Agency, by Bev Harris and the team at Blackboxvoting.org, and by Clint Curtis, the Florida whistleblower who has exposed Congressman Tom Feeney's actions to rig Florida elections by changing the distribution of votes on electronic voting machines. I can tell you that we have the active collaboration of all of these people.
We are hoping that former Congressman Tom Sawyer, previously the third-ranking member of the House Democratic leadership, will present the facts on Ohio. He will be briefed and backed up by a host of people, including Washington election law attorney Cynthia Butler and Ohio attorney Steve Chaffin, both of whom have been engaged for this purpose. It is not clear yet who may present the facts of the case for NM, NV, or IN although I have approached former Senate candidate and White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles to talk to us about what happened in North Carolina.
At the end of the afternoon, in a scene meant to be evocative of the signing of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, I would hope to see Members walk over to a table and sign the actual challenge that will be handed to Vice President Cheney who will be presiding over the joint session. This dramatic flourish for the cameras of C-SPAN and the foreign press -- you should expect Viacom (CBS), Disney (ABC), General Electric (NBC) and News Corp. (Fox) to remain resolute in their refusal to cover this news -- will lend symbolic dimension to our coalition. This is crucial because if we have about 8 Senators and about 50 Representatives by the time the sun comes up on 1/6 we have a shot at holding the Democratic caucuses of both the House and Senate united on the key challenges. That would make Nancy Pelosi our leader in the House and represent an achievement of historic proportions even before the session begins at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday 1/6.
The rules for a challenge come from the disputed election of 1876 but have never yet been used. There will be an alphabetical rollcall of the states, and if there are objections they must be in writing and signed by at least one member of each chamber, whereupon the House and Senate return to their respective houses and engage in a two-hour debate in which each Member may speak for no longer than 5 minutes. After both houses vote they return to joint session. If both houses agree, then the electors for that state are set aside. Then the joint session returns to the rollcall and to further objections, if there are any. The legislators may recess each night until the fifth day, when the rules say they must remain in continuous 24-hour session. If at the end of the process of counting electoral votes no one has a majority of the whole number of possible votes, then the House of Representatives gets to decide, with each state casting one vote. If that happens Bush gets reinaugurated since there are just too many of those underpopulated rectangular states in the middle of the country, even though half the country's population lives in states that voted for Kerry.
However, the longer the dispute goes on the better off we are for some truly dramatic change. If the contest enters a third day it should surely occur to 16 or so moderate Republicans in the House and 5 in the Senate that if they bargained with the Democrats they could control the U.S. government. While that is unlikely it is not implausible, since they are the most abused and underappreciated faction in the Congress and they have no greater tolerance for the brutal tactics of the Bush faction of the Republican Party than you do.
Please join us on Tuesday 1/4 at 7:00 at the Herbst Theater. Bring friends and questions and laughter since we will always need more of each of those things. Don't settle for symbolic victories until it is certain that you cannot have a real, substantive victory. And thanks to the leadership of John Conyers, if I can borrow the words of Pete Townsend, "the bids have all got longer overnight."
Help ReDefeat Bush Rally the Republic! (After all, who else would bring you an event like this?)
As you might expect, we're as hung out there on the edge financially as we are rhetorically, tactically, strategically and in every other way you can think of. But we believe in what we are doing and that you will reward us for being your advocate, emissary, and messenger in Washington. Here is a list of what we spend your money on so you can see where it goes. If you can contribute $5,000 or more please do so at the new Robert Morris Fund and if you have less than $5,000 you can contribute you can do that at the standard ReDefeatBush contribution page. Every dollar is worth a dollar, no matter how many you have to give. And if you are still not convinced we merit a financial contribution check out this list of 30 things we have done for you since election day when virtually every other national-level progressive group has disbanded or gone silent. If you want us to keep doing more of what we're doing, please contribute and we will put the money into the cause.
-- David Lytel for ReDefeatBush
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SF Bay Area Field Organizer
cell: (415) 595-1289
National ReDefeat Bush Website
Concise presentation of why we think Bush did not win the election
How to support the Challenge of Florida and Ohio's electors on January 6, 2005
How to talk to our friends and neighbors about the coming Constitutional insurrection
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