Several tricks that replaced water-hoses
by Chris Stevenson
Tim Kennedy has been declared the victor in the highly-disputed 63rd District State Senator race against Betty Jean Grant… so says errrrr… ahhh… Tim Kennedy, the Buffalo Board of Elections and the Buffalo News. Now who’s gonna argue that? Answer, Betty. Or at least she needs to.
The last report I heard had Kennedy extending his 91 vote lead back up to almost 300. Kennedy has the pull and juice to demand not just a recount, but a State Supreme Court Justice too (Joseph R. Glownia) will supervise the computer votes. Some have asked why the need for a Judge appointed when there’s already voting machines? When I was there Monday, the process was split into three stages in three rooms: “We don’t know if they’re on the up-and-up,” said community activist Cariol Horne as she was seated in the room where several were popping open to be scanned by the two voting machines located in the room at the rear of the 3rd-floor office area past the cubicles. I asked her where would she prefer to be if granted a choice to make sure the count was fair? “Where would I go? Right there where they are opening them.”
This picture tells it all for the 63rd thus far-cs
While Kennedy had his high-priced attorneys helping him, Grant’s experts came from within the community, well-known figures who know what it’s like to be on the wrong-end of local plots to oust or out-vote them; Horne, former State Senator Antione Thompson, former head of Human Resources Karla Thomas, a who’s who of Brown/Casey victims and the boots used to kick them out. Most of them are pro-bono activists, or close to it. They would help Betty for free, after all, Kennedy was on the money side before while backing former County Executive Chris Collins. Who knows what Kennedy, Brown, Collins, and co., are planning, especially since most of Bufflao’s black officials are backing Kennedy. I find it quite funny really, Buffalo tries it’s best to have a Boule, what Buffalo has got is a BS-lay. Truth be told this national secret society of so-called powerful blacks isn’t worth one quark of your thoughts if they can’t make a dent on the problems facing urban youth. My suspicion is they aren’t even trying.
There is no record of white politicians getting funny with white voters as black politicians like Byron Brown or Barbara Miller-Williams, and others have with black voters. The moment that you do see this, that individual will have packed his suitcase and been at the toll-booth 30-minutes later. White voters ain’t havin’ it. Buffalo is a political recycle paradise, it probably leads the nation in remodified elected officials black and white. Today’s state senator could be tomorrow’s councilman or assemblyman. Whenever political figures run for various offices in different years, your ticket becomes a soap opera. Tim Kennedy is a relative novice to this, but he’s learning quick since his appointment to Erie County Legislature in 12/04 and election in ’05 and ’07. He jumped into the State Senate race and was elected in 2011. He was one of 3 local Democratic Party defectors to form a collusion with 6 republicans against Poloncarze, Grant etc., to keep Collins in office and continue the cuts to urban programs.
Another case in point is Mark Poloncarze, back in 9/09 I voted against Poloncarze for re-election to Erie County Comptroller mainly out of protest against then-Democratic Party Chairman Len Lenihan, who was very sparse on appointing black males, especially when it came to the NY Supreme Court bench. Three years later I had no problem endorsing Poloncarze for County Executive over incumbent Chris Collins who was fiscally running roughshod over the county. Today I find myself opposed to Poloncarze’ efforts to get a new lease agreement between the county and Ralph Wilson Stadium in favor of a new state-of-the-art downtown retractable-domed stadium. In fact I’m the one who did the initial research for sports talk show host Pat Freeman in terms of the original blueprints of past proposed downtown stadiums, and the acreage for a couple of targeted sites. But I digress, this is a topic for my next column, lol.
I’ve watched Ms. Grant hold or seek more offices than this column has room to review, but there’s no denying her following. In fact it’s her following that’s at issue. It seems what the Kennedy group is doing is trying to de-legitamize Grants voters, too many of them are VWB (voting while black). Of most concern to the Kennedy camp is absentee votes (between 1137-42 as of Monday) and something called affidavit votes (478). Thus far Kennedy seems to have been successful in getting 500 or so of them eliminated. This seems like a setup from day one with the switching of voting booths without effective prior notification. There is no record of blacks doing all this moving and shifting poll locations around Buffalo. Betty’s votes, Kennedy’s lawyer, Kennedy’s Judge. There’s one more wrinkle; who owns the voting machines?
New voting machines have replaced the original voter-suppression-cs
According to an ’09 report there are 3 companies that make voting machines; Diebold, Sequoia, and Election Systems and Software (ES&S). All three firms are said to be big GOP contributers, and they have been known to have fixed elections in republicans favor ever since the Bush/Gore 2000 presidential election. It’s basically impossible to discover voter-tampering since “using election equipment under proprietary contract makes it illegal to examine the equipment.”
Buffalo uses the intElect DS200, the BOE bought this machine after leasing it 2-3 years ago. It was used at the polls and during the voter recount. If The BOE owns it outright-just as in the case of the national machine-it may be illegal to have it checked out. The inElect DS200 is made by ES&S (formerly Diebold) and is a highly suspect voter-machine. FFEC urged Florida to rescind certification of the inElect DS200. It seems what’s not good enough any longer for Florida, is great for Buffalo. One site added “The DS200 accepts a voted ballet, but does not record the ballet on it’s internal counter. In addition the marks of the 2nd ballot are not recorded.” Make no mistake about it, it would behoove Betty Jean to continue this fight. All of this counts as voter-suppression, most blacks will fall asleep on this because Kennedy didn’t use the water-hoses. Voter-suppression springs eternal.
Chris Stevenson is a regular columnist for blackcommentator, Political Affairs Magazine, and a syndicated columnist. Follow him on Twitter, and Facebook, you don’t have to join any of them. Watch his video commentary Policy & Prejudice and The Network for clbTV. Sign his Petition to permanently Abolish the Death Penalty @ Change.org. Respond to him on the link below.