Friday, October 06, 2006

The revolution has been PRIVATIZED

(i've been wanting to write about the hellride we're all on right now, but i've not had the energy. everyday brings another outrage... another revelation... another reason to want to crawl under a rock in new zealand. enjoy this and enjoy the upcoming republican "victory." the following was written by Paul Lehto, election fraud-fightin' hero -- brook)

I've Had Enough With Privatization; THE CONSTITUTION IS NOT NEGOTIABLE!!!

The following is based on the Appellant's Brief in Lehto v Sequoia, Washington State Court of Appeals, filed September, 2006. See (Opening Brief of Appellants Lehto and Wells)

This brief (which I helped work on the underlying arguments for) led me to a new (as far as I know) and politically powerful argument against all privatization efforts that are based on outsourcing or contracting away governmental functions, particularly "core governmental functions."

At issue here is not the government's ability to contract for copying services, but the ability to contract away fundamental things like elections and voting and prisons and parks and health care, etc. In this particular case, the ultimate delegation of a core governmental function is at issue, the delegation of the right and duty to count the vote.

These privatization contracts of core governmental functions necessarily result in fundamental changes to the structure of government, whether they concern elections or not.

Thus, the arguments made here against privatization are a way to unite all anti-privatization movements around a rallying cry of protecting our constitution!

The bottom line and the basic argument against these types of outsourcing, whether outsourcing democracy or outsourcing police or prisons, and against all forms of privatization of core governmental functions generally, is the following:

Taking the governmental function out to the private sector via "outsourcing" removes that function from the protections of the Constitution, which doesn't apply to protect citizens against the private sector such as corporations, beacuse of the "state action" doctrine and related legal concepts. As a result, Lawyers then argue that the constitution must follow the outsourced governmental function to the private sector, and lots of complicated litigation gives us, in the end, a mixed bag. When you think about it, however, at bottom these lawyers are, in effect, suing to get our constitution back. Yet, the only way the constitution is supposed to be able to change is by AMENDMENT, not by CONTRACT.

OUR CONSTITUTION IS NOT NEGOTIABLE!! (via contract or otherwise)

We can say this, we can demand this, we can INSIST on this, and we can say it quite forcefully: HANDS OFF OUR CONSTITUTION and our republic!

Thus, all of these privatization efforts, whether e-voting or private prisons or private police, are end-arounds of the Constitution,
and should be held to violate the constitution for that reason. We should NOT have to litigate (with mixed results) to get our Constitution back!

In that sense, the issue with electronic voting contracts is the same as with other types of privatization that people are fighting. Various anti-privatization efforts should make common cause, and rally around the slogan: OUR CONSTITUTION IS NOT NEGOTIABLE!!

And, not only is the argument powerful, but also I think different political persuasions will also respond to that type of argument.

At least, I think it's powerful since I'm sick of researching the ENTIRE constitution in these kinds of cases just trying to get it back! My level of fatigue finally told me that HAS to be wrong. Then I realized it WAS wrong. Maybe I'm a slow learner in that way. : ) Lawyers can get caught in the minutiae and miss the big picture, which is what this post attempts to show.

----Paul Lehto, Attorney at Law

Below is an excerpt from my own personal lawsuit in Washington state against Sequoia Voting Systems.

The brief is finalized/written by my attorney Randy Gordon based on arguments we worked closely together on. While there are other arguments made, including those related to the standing of voters to sue regarding any election, perhaps the main one attacks the delegation of a core government function (voting) into conditions of secrecy and trade secret vote counting.

The summary of the argument goes like the following:

Unconstitutional Delegation; Sequoia Performing Core Governmental Functions.

The Contract {between Sequoia Voting Systems and the County} instantiates a wholesale delegation by the government to a private company of the conduct of a core governmental function, the counting of votes in public elections. In light of the County’s undisputed lack of access to the source code governing the vote-counting algorithm and lack of access sufficient to ascertain whether tampering has occurred, invocation of “trade secret” protection in this context places the conduct of elections effectively outside of the power of the County or the public to review.

Sequoia has, in effect, assumed the obligation of the state by engaging in such a governmental function, yet, by virtue of its insistence on trade secret status and protection has refused to subject itself to the same limitations on its freedom of action as would be imposed upon the state itself and insists, with County support, on counting votes in a secret way. Such status and protection interferes with the ability of the Appellants specifically to review and verify the accuracy of the casting, tabulation, and counting of their votes and is inimical to the Constitutional and statutory regime governing the conduct of elections in the State of Washington. App. 2.

When, as here, a private contractor assumes the obligation of the state by engaging in such a governmental function, it subjects itself to the same limitations on its freedom of action as would be imposed upon the state itself. Put another way, when a citizen’s vote comes into contact with “trade secret” soft-ware, it is the secrecy, not the public’s right to know that must yield.

So, I say, hit 'em with the Constitution, THE WHOLE DAMN THING, so they can't STEAL the Constitution from us!

I'm getting REALLY tired, you know, of guys who "won't negotiate with terrorists" but WILL negotiate with our Constitution!!

A few last little nuggets or rocks, for your throwing pleasure:

1. At the center of democracy or any republic is elections. At the center of elections is the counting of the vote. The counting of the electronic vote in the US is a complete trade secret, that no citizen is allowed to witness or obtain information on. But it is downright chilling that the very core of our democracy is claimed as PRIVATE CORPORATE PROPERTY. (trade secrets are commonly considered intellectual property interests)

2. The above trade secrecy certainly violates the views of 92% of all Americans who when polled by Zogby in August 2006, favored the right of the public to witness vote counting and obtain information about vote counting.

3. The picture of tyranny is votes being counted in secret by your political enemy. The picture of corruption is votes being counted in secret by your political friends.

4. NOW LET ME SPELL IT OUT 10000%: Reading the above brief excerpt, it's clear that Diebold, Sequoia Voting Systems, ES&S, Triad, Hart Intercivic and the general corporate consortium of vote counters ARE, LITERALLY, OUR GOVERNMENT.

5. The electronic voting vendors own the heart of democracy, or purport to, as their private property. If a foreign nation made a modest proposal and forsook all of our forests, mines, cities, and military bases in exchange for the simple right to count our votes in secret, that proposal would be resisted "by all means necessary" including but not limited to the military, don't you think? So, ask the question: Who made these corporations KING?

6. It just keeps getting worse. The Bush administration's HAVA enforcement and local jurisdictions will negotiate away our Constitution, but we're "not going to negotiate with terrorists."

Time to talk to all the men and women who swore oaths to uphold the Constitution, and see where they stand!!

I think all real Americans who believe in the Constitution will stand with us, and those who don't stand with us simply don't believe in the Constitution. At least then, we will know what the issues are!

Terms of Use: this post is freely distributable in fully intact form with attribution to Paul Lehto, Attorney at law, contact is lehtolawyer at the domain name of if necessary.


Blogger monkeyfist777 said...

In an unrelated note the horrible, Phelps church people are coming to my town to raise heck at a soldiers funeral tomorrow. I honestly don't know what to think about this... I mean, I will never put a guideline on "free speech", but this seems to go too far and I would not lose a minutes sleep if these people were severely beaten. Am I wrong to condone violence in a situation like this?

Friday, October 06, 2006 9:42:00 PM  

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