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West Side Showdown
The Austin Chronicle (TX)
by Amy Smith
January 13, 2006
The new political year begins with a four-way speed race for House District 48
The 2006 election cycle in Texas will be given an early test run Tuesday, Jan. 17, as voters in House District 48 go to the polls to choose a successor to Republican Rep. Todd Baxter, who resigned abruptly on Nov. 1. (Officially, Baxter stepped down to spend more time with his family; two weeks after his resignation, he was hired as a lobbyist by the Texas Cable and Telecommunications Association.)
Home schooling a "Form of Child Abuse" says South Surrey Liberal Candidate
Life Site (Canada)
by Hilary White
January 10, 2006
SURREY - B.C home schooling parents are dismayed after discovering harsh comments about home schooling made by Jim McMurtry, Liberal party candidate for South Surrey, B.C., in the September/October 2003 edition of Teacher Magazine.
McMurtry wrote that parents who educate their children at home are "condemning their children to an impoverished, friendless, and segregated learning environment." Home schooling parents, he said, "participate in what can be perceived as a form of child abuse."
ITAA President Quits, May Run For Senate
by Eric Chabrow
January 5, 2006
The chief voice for American IT Outsourcing and Offshoring vendors in Washington is seeking to switch sides and become a target of Capitol Hill lobbyists.
As head of the ITAA, Miller has lobbied Congress to liberalize laws such as the H-1B visa program to allow a greater number of foreign IT workers to be employed in the United States, as well as opposed efforts to penalize American businesses from outsourcing work overseas. Miller's positions on these matters have been attacked by some members of the liberal wing of the Democrat Party who seek to limit the importing of IT workers and the exporting of IT jobs as a way to protect American jobs.
But Miller suggests his views have been misinterpreted by critics, saying he isn't pro- or anti-outsourcing, but recognizes that American businesses operate worldwide and have the right to hire workers in countries where they conduct business. Placing limits on outsourcing could hurt efforts to open foreign markets to American IT wares, he contends.
A 'no' vote on machines
by Edwin Garcia
December 23, 2005
Suggesting the ''security and integrity'' of electronic voting could be at risk, Secretary of State Bruce McPherson on Tuesday refused to approve the use of thousands of electronic voting machines pending a federal evaluation.
The touch-screen and optical-scan machines, made by Diebold Election Systems, are used in 17 counties, including Alameda. They were found to have "unresolved significant security concerns" with a memory card that stores votes in each machine, McPherson's elections chief, Caren Daniels-Meade, said in a letter to the company's vice president, David Byrd.
At issue is whether the removable cards, which are used to program and configure the machines and count their votes, will keep data secure.
The Secretary of State's office is asking Diebold to submit the machine's source code for review by the federal Independent Testing Authorities before resubmitting the company's application for certification in California.
Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in U.S. After 9/11, Officials Say
New York Times
by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau
December 15, 2005
WASHINGTON -- Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States.
While many details about the program remain secret, officials familiar with it said the N.S.A. eavesdropped without warrants on up to 500 people in the United States at any given time. The list changes as some names are added and others dropped, so the number monitored in this country may have reached into the thousands over the past three years, several officials said. Overseas, about 5,000 to 7,000 people suspected of terrorist ties are monitored at one time, according to those officials.
Devastating hack proven - Leon County dumps Diebold
Black Box Voting Forums
by Jim March
December 13, 2005
Due to contractual non-performance and security design issues, Leon County (Florida) supervisor of elections Ion Sancho told Black Box Voting that he will never again use Diebold in an election.
He has requested funds to replace the Diebold system from the county. He will issue a formal announcement to this effect shortly. Finnish security expert Harri Hursti proved that Diebold lied to Secretaries of State across the nation when Diebold claimed votes could not be changed on the memory card.
Campaign 2006: 'Meathead' Is at It Again
Opinion Journal - The Wall Street Journal
by Shikha Dalmia and Lisa Snell
December 11, 2005
LOS ANGELES -- Celebrities with a social conscience are a growing breed in Hollywood. But it would be nice if they'd stick to whales and landmines and leave our children alone.
Unfortunately, California parents have no such luck. Movie director turned child advocate Rob Reiner--best known for playing the role of "Meathead" on "All in the Family"--recently acquired a million signatures to put his Preschool for All initiative on the California ballot next June, his second attempt to launch a "universal" preschool program. The initiative would impose a 1.7% income tax on couples making over $800,000 a year ($400,000 for individuals) to offer three hours of free preschool for all the state's 4-year-olds.
Diebold insider alleges company plagued by technical woes, Diebold defends 'sterling' record
The Raw Story
by Miriam Raftery
December 6, 2005
In an exclusive interview with Raw, a whistleblower from electronic voting heavyweight Diebold Election Systems Inc. raised grave concerns about the company's electronic voting technology and of electronic voting in general.
"Shortly before the election, ten days to two weeks, we were told that the date in the machine was malfunctioning," the source recalled. "So we were told 'Apply this patch in a big rush.'" Later, the Diebold insider learned that the patches were never certified by the state of Georgia, as required by law.
In a Rebuke of Governor, Calif. Voters Reject Spending Cap
The New York Times
by John M. Broder
November 9, 2005
Voters rejected the centerpiece of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's efforts to change the balance of power in Sacramento.
LOS ANGELES, - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was dealt a stinging rebuke on Tuesday by voters who rejected the centerpiece of his efforts to change the balance of power in Sacramento, an initiative to cap state spending and grant sweeping new budget powers to the governor.
THE SPECIAL ELECTION / CALIFORNIANS SAY NO TO SCHWARZENEGGER / STATE MEASURES: Governor reaches out, doesn't concede
San Francisco Chronicle
California voters were rejecting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's special election agenda Tuesday, handing the governor a humbling loss after he gambled on a high-stakes plan to reshape state government.
With more than three-quarters of the votes counted, the four initiatives that Schwarzenegger said were needed to reform California were all losing.
The centerpiece of the governor's agenda, Proposition 76, which would limit state spending, was trailing badly.
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