By Doug Porter
In the middle of all the anger and sadness I was feeling about the death and destruction in Orlando, I received an email that should have never been sent.
The sender, a long-time political activist in San Diego, was hoping for attention. I don’t think he’s going to like what I’m going to say.
Here’s the relevant quote, in the same all caps format as it was sent: PLEASE COME TO THIS RALLY. NEED BIG TURNOUT TO GET THROUGH MEDIA BLACKOUT DUE TO NIGHTCLUB MASSACRE IN FLORIDA!!
Hair on Fire
What was so important that “the media” conspired to ignore?
A variant on the claim by Bernie Sanders’ diehards that the California primary was somehow stolen from their candidate.
If you’ve read any Facebook feeds populated by the Bernie faithful, everybody but the mass media has seen the headline: “Bernie Sanders Wins California Landslide But ⅔ of his Votes Aren’t Counted.”
Publications of dubious distinction nobody had ever heard of just a few weeks back are now repositories for the “truth.” This information, stripped of its authoritative voice, amounts to ‘Someone told somebody who reported to somebody else who’s third cousin twice removed knows somebody important that….’
I’ll take a pause for the cause here to restate for the umpteenth time that I voted for Bernie Sanders… wrote and published numerous articles in support of his candidacy… that the San Diego Free Press endorsed him… …that I’m not saying anybody has to vote for Hillary Clinton. I’m not even saying that Bernie Sanders has lost. The convention will make that call, for better or worse. And exposing ‘conspiracies’ only changes the world in movies.
The Truth is Out There…
The Sanders campaign hasn’t contested the election. The Clinton campaign, as far as I can tell, won the election by virtue of hard work in actually getting voters to actually cast their ballots.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Large numbers of Californians cast ballots by mail, starting a month before election day. At the time, Sanders was coming off a string of East Coast losses and was working hard to win in Indiana, West Virginia and Oregon to change the narrative of the race and to boost fundraising, said Ben Tulchin, Sanders’ San Francisco-based pollster.
They were successful in those states, but it came at a cost. Clinton’s California campaign used that time to aggressively target people likely to vote by mail, who already skew toward Clinton because they tend to be older and frequent voters. Clinton banked a large lead among these voters before polls showed a tightening race in California.
“There was a massive effort starting weeks before people even received their ballots, a really sophisticated vote chase where we had gone through and figured out who were our voters and we really relentlessly pursued them,” said Ace Smith, a senior advisor to Clinton’s California effort. “We had a list and we checked it twice. Actually way more than twice.”
The Sanders campaign was unable to translate Big Rallies into Big Turnout. None-the-less, there are still people saying Bernie won and The Establishment stole the election.
Politifact, which rates this claim to be a Pants on Fire falsehood says:
Neither during his speech in Santa Monica on election night, nor since, has Sanders protested the California results. A representative for the Sanders campaign said it had no affiliation with the Justice Gazette story.
“No one’s questioning the fundamental integrity of the election,” Ben Tulchin, Sanders’ national pollster, told PolitiFact California, in an interview on June 10, 2016.
Tulchin added that the campaign believes California can do more to make it easier for independents to vote in a Democratic primary.
The Sanders pollster said the campaign expects the California “race to close substantially,” perhaps “to low single digits,” once all the votes are counted.
As for overtaking Clinton’s lead, Tulchin said “there’s a small chance. But it would be highly unlikely.”
As Snopes.com reports, there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between reporting on votes cast as opposed to votes counted.
A lengthy certification period is part and parcel of California’s vote certification process. Counties have a month to submit finalized tallies in early July 2016, and that 30-day period is a well-publicized aspect of the process. An 8 June 2016 article from the Justice Gazette (reproduced by the unreliable web site USA Daily Politics) exacerbated the confusion by making unsupported claims that poll workers reported “vote flipping” in parts of the California. Those claims were peppered with language like “it has been learned” and estimates without citations…
Keeping Michael Vu Honest
The event subject to the aforementioned media blackout was a protest at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters for Monday morning at 7:30am. I have no problem with keeping Vu honest. Just how it was pitched to me.
Underneath with every conspiracy theory–and that’s exactly what the media blackout bullshit was–there IS a kernel of truth.
San Diego County’s Registrar of Voters, Michael Vu, has a track record of questionable election practices going back to the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, right up to a 2014 City Council election in Chula Vista…
The 1% sample of ballots used to audit the accuracy of voting tallying machines was selected on June 8th. Provisional and uncounted ballots won’t be included in the audit and they should be. It’s also true that there were problems a balloting places throughout the state, concerning provisional ballots erroneously given out.
Like every Rube Goldberg apparatus constructed via bureaucratic interpretation of legislative intent, there’s much to be critical of in the way voting in the Golden State is conducted.
There IS something YOU can do about keeping the Registrars of Voters honest:
Every voter who casts a provisional ballot has the right to find out from their county elections official if the ballot was counted and, if not, the reason why it was not counted.
Visit http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-status for a list of county contacts and information on how to check the status of your provisional ballot.
Under the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, every voter who casts a provisional ballot is entitled to find out from his/her county elections official if the ballot was counted and if not, the reason why it was not counted.
I’d like to congratulate the folks who paid attention this time around. And I’d like to point out that it isn’t a conspiracy against their candidate. It’s just business as usual. And when the ‘top of the ticket’ is viewed as the only vote that counts, ‘business as usual’ will continue. As Usual.
The five County Supervisors who serve as the ultimate authority over who gets hired as Registrar of Voters have yet to see a significant challenge at the ballot box worthy of reconsidering their actions.
(Do I need to mention all the social services money they’re sitting on?)
Orlando, Orlando, Orlando
Forty-nine people were slaughtered at a Gay nightclub in Orlando. Another fifty-three were injured. Hundreds more were traumatized. Most of these humans were Latinos. Many of these humans thought they were in one of few really safe places they could be.
The man who did the shooting, using a legally purchased assault rifle, is dead. He beat his former wife. He regularly used racial and homophobic slurs around his co-workers. He talked a lot about violence, to the point where his co-workers reported him to the FBI.
Officials in Washington say the attack was ‘was inspired by extremist information disseminated over the internet.’
Hillary Clinton has called for a ban on assault rifles.
From the Guardian:
In forthright comments a day after the massacre at the Pulse Club, the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic party issued a call for a return to “commonsense gun safety reform” and lambasted the Republican-controlled Congress for what she called a “totally incomprehensible” refusal to address the country’s lax gun laws.
“We can’t fall into the trap set up by the gun lobby that says if you cannot stop every shooting you shouldn’t try to stop any,” she said….
Rattling off all the ways that Florida allows the proliferation of guns – the state doesn’t regulate assault weapons or large-capacity magazines, doesn’t require a permit to buy a gun or oblige owners of weapons to be licensed – she said: “That’s a lot of ‘nots’. I believe strongly that commonsense gun safety reform across our country would make a difference. We know the gunman used a weapon of war to shoot down at least 50 innocent Americans.”
The Donald says Obama should resign. And it goes downhill from there.
Hold Your Nose
Yesterday, Donald Trump responded to the mass shooting in Orlando in indefensible ways. This morning, as Politico reported, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee actually managed to make matters slightly worse.
“He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands. It’s one or the other,” Trump said of Obama on “Fox & Friends,” speaking on the phone. “And either one is unacceptable.” […]
And Trump again implied that the president was not a trustworthy leader when it comes to fighting terrorism. “We’re led by a man who is a very – look, we’re led by a man that either is, is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump said. “And the something else in mind, you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot – they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the ways he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable.”
There isn’t much in the way of ambiguity here. As Politico’s Blake Hounshell summarized, “This morning, Trump implied President Obama is a terrorist sympathizer.” Politico’s Jake Sherman added, “The Republican Party’s nominee for president seems to be saying its possible the POTUS is in cahoots with terrorists.”
Here is Trump’s actual answer to a question on whether the Orlando shooting requires a military response. pic.twitter.com/UHLk8yMyWl
— James Skylar Gerrond (@JimmySky) June 13, 2016
Carl DeMaio says it’s the liberals’ fault:
The Obama Administration and partisan Democrats (including their presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton) have refused to call out “Islamic Extremism” for fueling these attacks. They have also refused to consider policies to improve our safety against terrorists (i.e. closing Gitmo, releasing terrorists, refusing to hit ISIS harder, opening the doors to Syrian refugees, Iranian nuclear deal, etc.)
Perhaps now that the Islamic Extremists have hit the LGBT community things will change? Don’t hold your breath. Obama and friends will continue to pay lip service to protecting LGBT safety and rights, but they will remain silent about the treatment of gays in the Middle East and they will continue to play politics with the Muslim community here in the US by refusing to advance serious policies against Islamic extremists.
The far left politicians in this country say they want to protect the LGBT community from hate and discrimination. Yet they spend their time focusing on changing policies for bathroom usage.
Meanwhile, Carl DeMaio’s fellow travelers may have some bad news for those lucky enough to have survived the attack.
From Talking Points Memo:
The state’s governor, Rick Scott (R), quickly offered his condolences to the families of those who were hurt and killed. “It’s devastating when you see how many people lost their life, and just the impact it’s gonna have on their families — I mean, I’ve got kids and grandkids — can’t imagine,” he said, as well as, “This a wonderful community… right now this is the time to grieve.”
Yet any gay, lesbian, bisexual, and/or transgender survivors of the deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman on U.S. soil could show up at work on Monday morning, only to be fired from their jobs for their identity and find themselves without any protection from their state’s laws.
Florida is one of the many states that doesn’t have many legislative protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. The state has no laws prohibiting employers from unfairly firing, discriminating against, or refusing to hire LGBT people. The state also lacks any laws prohibiting discrimination in housing — such as unfair eviction, the denial of housing, or the refusal to rent or sell housing — or in public accommodations and credit and lending.
A vigil was held Sunday night beside the San Diego Pride Flag in Hillcrest. Another is planned for Monday at 6:30 p.m. at The Center, 3909 Centre St.
The doors to The Center will open at 6:30 pm, with a short program, followed by a candlelit vigil stopping at the Hillcrest Pride Flag and ending at Rich’s nightclub. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join us to stand together and unite in support of all those affected by this tragedy. For more information, call (619) 692-2077.
Local Islamic leaders held a press conference on Sunday. (Mostly because they know there will be the Trump types around town demanding it of them.)
Faith leaders gathered together at the Council on American Islamic Relations San Diego office Sunday condemning the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida where at least 50 were killed, and more than 50 were injured.
“There are no words that can describe the feeling, and we stand today united. Hate is not accepted in our community. Our hearts, minds and prayers are with victims, families and the LGBTQ community,” said Hanif Mohebi, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The Orlando Sentinel reported local blood banks were temporarily overwhelmed with people wishing to give blood for victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. Donors were asked donors to stop coming Sunday and schedule appointments over the next few days.
In December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relaxed a lifetime ban that had forbid gay and bisexual men from donating blood. That ban stemmed from the early days of the AIDS epidemic to guard against the transmission of the AIDS virus through a medical blood transfusion.
Despite the FDA’s action, OneBlood has not yet completed an update of its policies.
Donors are evaluated to determine eligibility to give blood, and gay and bisexual men who acknowledge they have previously been sexually active cannot donate. Other donors could be turned away, for instance, if they have been in a country where they were exposed to risk of infection for malaria, the zika virus and other pathogens that could be transmitted through transfusion.
A crowdfunding campaign to support the Orlando Pulse shooting victims and their families has pulled in more than $1.3 million.
Equality Florida, the largest LGBT rights group in the state, posted the GoFundMe fundraisershortly after a gunman killed 49 people and injured dozens more at a gay club in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history Sunday morning. An earlier death toll of 50, released by officials, had included the gunman.
By Monday morning, more than 33,000 people had made contributions.
Pride Events Impacted
Security for the upcoming San Diego Pride events has been stepped up, according to a report at SDGLN News:
“Although there are no known threats here in San Diego,” said Sergeant Lisa McKean of San Diego Police Dept. Media Services, “we are working closely with all our Federal, State, and local law enforcement partners to ensure we remain safe as a region. As a precautionary measure and until further information is known, we have increased our security posture in the city.”
As far as San Diego Pride, Sergeant McKean says they are going to step up their presence in situations where there are large crowds.
“We will focus particularly in mass gathering locations,” she said. “We want all San Diegans and their guests to feel safe. This is yet another reminder for us all to remain vigilant and to stand together in protecting our community. We ask if you see, hear, or know something, to please say something. Working together as a community, we will protect our safety and our freedom.”
An Indiana man was arrested in Los Angeles on Sunday, and initial reports that he intended to attack Pride events in Los Angeles have proven to be exaggerated.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks initially said on Twitter that the 20-year-old man told one of her officers after he was arrested that he wanted “to harm Gay Pride event.”
But Lt. Saul Rodriguez said later the tweet was a misstatement. He said the suspect told investigators that he was going to the Pride festival but said he did not make additional statements about his intentions.
“It was a misstatement,” Rodriguez said. “Unfortunately, she was given incorrect information initially, which indicated that that statement was made; however, that statement never was made. He did indicate that he was planning on going to the Pride festival but beyond anything as far as motives or his intentions that statement was never made nor did any officer receive that statement.”
On This Day: 1884 – Congress creates a Bureau of Labor, under the Interior Department. It later became independent as a Department of Labor without executive status in the Department of Commerce and Labor; in 1913 it became the Department of Labor we know today. 1966 – The landmark “Miranda v. Arizona” decision was issued by the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision ruled that criminal suspects had to be informed of their constitutional rights before being questioned by police. 1971 – The New York Times began publishing the “Pentagon Papers”. The articles were a secret study of America’s involvement in Vietnam.
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