Re: GO for March Demo

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Fri Mar 05 2004 - 11:41:23 CST


> Next to it is a hammer
> labelled $500 hammer (we need to get the exact amounts from old
> newspaper articles).
That reminds me of something I wrote to "the list" back in May 03 (that list
was the precursor of the voting-project list, which you set up once the list
reached a dozen or so).


The other day I was thinking about that story about the $450 hammer and $600
toilet seat (DOD was it?) that the media made such a fuss about some years
ago. I did a google search on "$450 hammer" and got three hits. For the
heck of it, I tried "$500 hammer" and got quite a few more hits. Then I
tried "$600 hammer" and got an even larger number of hits. The number of
hits tapered off as I tried 700, 800, and 900 but still had 14 hits on "$900
hammer." It wasn't until "$1000 hammer" that I got back down to 3 hits.

I could swear it was originally a $450 hammer, but maybe they did find more
expensive hammers in government accounting documents. I'm not sure of the
details but the "$600 hammer" became an icon of government waste and fraud.
Also interesting: the fact that the hammer seemed to get more expensive as
the story went along.

Could the $4,000 voting machine become the new $600 hammer -- the new icon
of government waste, fraud, and stupidity? What will happen when the media
gets wind of the fact that the Australians pay $50 per unit for a machine
that does all the same things the Americans pay $3,000 - $5,000 for?

On the nightly news, Brokaw has a regular segment called "The Fleecing of

Just thinking out loud.... this could be a big story. What if someone went
to the media with this "$600 hammer" story?

-- Alan Dechert
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Received on Wed Mar 31 23:17:01 2004

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