Re: [OVC-discuss] Barbara Simons on Holt

From: Edward Cherlin <echerlin_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Wed Jul 01 2009 - 13:01:07 CDT

Actually, we are discussing not only what we would want in a perfect
world, but what are the minimum changes that will allow us to proceed.
If Holt mandates expensive hardware on voting systems that will almost
never be used, so that disabled voters can vote without assistance of
any kind, it is a deal-breaker for our COTS hardware proposal, which
could use old computers just before they get recycled. That is our
focus. It is the minimum acceptable change.

Everything else us up for discussion.

Now, Barbara and Alan, no more shouting, please. Alan, either document
your conspiracy theory, or withdraw it. Barbara, don't teach your
grandmother to suck eggs.

On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 10:27 AM, Barbara Simons<simons@acm.org> wrote:
> Hi, Alan.  I have been traveling, which is why I have not responded earlier.
>
> My initial posting was made on the private League of Women Voters Topics
> list in response to a posting that someone else made of your comments.  I
> had not intended to debate the Holt Bill on the OVC list, especially when I
> see absurd and offensive charges going unchallenged, such as that Holt is
> working hand-in-hand with ES&S or the EAC.
>
> My point, which Hamilton Richards explained perfectly, is that politics is
> the art of the possible.  If you want a perfect bill, you will get nothing,
> which is precisely what we have been getting for the past several years.  My
> references to health care and climate legislation were intended as examples
> of the need to make compromises in order to achieve anything in politics.  I
> know that many people who have been working for years on climate change
> would have preferred a much cleaner and stronger bill than the one that
> passed the House.  But, if that is what they had insisted on, nothing would
> have passed.
>
> In the 60s during the Civil Rights Movement, the various voting rights
> groups debated strongly among themselves as to what a voting rights bill
> should contain and how they would get such a bill through Congress.  The
> final bill was not what any of the groups would have written.  But when it
> came time to support the bill that they could get, as opposed to precisely
> the bill that they wanted, everyone got behind the legislation.  That is how
> they managed to get the bill passed.  The Voting Rights Act was and is not
> perfect, but it's far better than no bill at all.
>
> It is my view that the Holt Bill is far far better than no bill at all.  It
> seems that there are some people on this list who are holding out for the
> perfect bill.  I wish them and you well in your endeavors.  Alan, if you can
> get a perfect voting systems bill passed by Congress this year, I shall be
> delighted to treat you to dinner at the best restaurant in Los Angeles.
>
> Regards,
> Barbara
>
> Alan Dechert wrote:
>>
>> Barbara Simons wrote,
>>
>>> Apparently, Alan Dechert is planning to do his own
>>> rewrite of the Holt bill by eliminating sections he doesn't
>>> like. He then plans to distribute his version to Congress,
>>> and ask them to pass it. I find Dechert's political naivety
>>> overwhelming. One can hold out for the perfect bill, and get
>>> nothing - which is precisely what we have gotten for the past
>>> several years. Or, one can make the necessary compromises
>>> needed to get an improved, if not perfect, bill passed.
>>>
>> Barbara,
>>
>> We don't need an election reform bill for the sake of having an election
>> reform bill.  We need a trustworthy, verifiable, transparent, usable,
>> cost-effective, accessible, accurate,  easy-to-use, and bug-free voting
>> system.  The system needs to be owned, operated, and maintained by The
>> People.  The system must be based on non-proprietary technology.
>>
>> If the bill doesn't give us that, then we don't need it.  The system I
>> speak of is quite attainable technically.  Why settle for ES&S?
>>
>>> Using Dechert's philosophy, there is no way that any kind of
>>> climate or healthy care legislation would pass Congress this year
>>> or for the foreseeable future.
>>>
>> This comment is idiotic and insulting.  Heath care legislation and climate
>> legislation will not be impacted negatively  by moving to a public-owned
>> voting system.  On the contrary, the Holt/ES&S bill enshrines the concept
>> that solutions have to come via corporate partnership with the federal
>> government.  Little people are powerless to do anything, so we have to look
>> to our big daddies for salvation.
>>
>> Alan D.
>
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-- 
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And Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place, The Truth my destination.
http://earthtreasury.org/worknet (Edward Mokurai Cherlin)
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Received on Fri Jul 31 23:17:02 2009

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