9AM: I approach a small crowd outside the front of the Secretary of State building. I stand and hold my giant sign, proclaiming ‘Massive Voter Fraud’, and ‘Voter Fraud is Treason’, and make eye contact with people passing. Mostly smiles and thumbs-up, some deep grimaces.
10AM: In we go. No signs allowed, except for the cool ‘file folder’ signs passed out. I sign a speaker card.
The meeting opened with Assistant Secretary of State Wood launching a political diatribe (accusing the prior administration of gross mismanagement) that met with outrage from the audience. Shouts of “Don’t Even!!” and “Get on with the business!!” erupted. It became apparent to me at that point that the hearing was going to be useless, and that the panel fully intended to certify all machines and ram them down the throats of California. Wood was supercilious, contempuous, and acting like an evil molesting stepfather who relishes the growing complaints of his victim. Sorry, but that’s what I saw. Evil.
After the useless beginning stuff came expert testimony. Many obviously well-informed programmers and people with election experience. I thought it was great, informative, and moving — one in particular: the guy in the flowered shirt proposing that we simply ask the UC Berkley Computer Science department to whip up a little code for the hardware. It was a great idea. Cheap, and using current resources. No wireless parts, no modem transmission. He was so damned right. That guy for Governor.
Public comment after lunch. All of it heartfelt, all of it absolutely the best demonstration of True American Spirit I have seen in a long time. One of my favorites:
–the Really Old Guy: ‘I don’t trust my government one bit!’
Everyone had something relevant to say. The psychologist who laid it out so clearly: If people can’t trust that their vote is counted, then revolution becomes necessary. The guy in the white polo who demanded that Panel member Clark recuse himself because he had personally purchased Diebold machines for Alameda County. He was great; loud, full of truth — “There is no Free Press in this country!!” The black woman who spoke with a moving voice about how her ancestors had been murdered for trying to vote — “I will never give up!” I was on my feet, shouting “Never!”. The many, many voices of reason — Registrars, former election organizers, citizens — it was great.
Bev Harris and her investigator spoke. We were all limited to two minutes, and were prohibited from lending our minutes to others by a last-minute procedural crime, typically Republican behavior. Someone tried — Wood would have none of it. Weasel in a suit. Damn.
When my turn came, I talked about a sticker I had seen, “Five Million Fake Votes”. I tried to speak to their hearts, as a patriotic American — but they couldn’t hear me through the flameproof suits.
Later, another expert witness, who identified herself as such and spoke eloquently about past investigations was interrupted by Wood, who apparently did not like her message and attempted to reclassify her status down to public comment (two minutes) in the middle of her presentation. She bravely refused; Wood tried to talk her down. She again refused, and they called in security. When one security guard walked towards her, the crowd rose as one — “DON’T YOU DARE!!” and “LET HER SPEAK!!”. He backed off, and they allowed her to finish. I believe that if the security guard had touched her, we would have stormed the stage. I’ve never been part of civil violence in the Cause of American Justice before. I have to admit — I was ready.
That’s about it. Wood had to hold the hearing by law, but I’m certain that not a word was heard by these ur-people. I was looking at the heart of the beast. I’m afraid California may be doomed. We must throw these criminals out of office, and drive them back under the rocks from which they came. I witnessed The Gangster at work. Damn them to hell. May they all experience Instant Karma.
Anyway. I’m glad I was there.