Re: Stealing an Election: What's it worth?

From: Jim March <jmarch_at_prodigy_dot_net>
Date: Tue May 31 2005 - 15:24:15 CDT

Ed, you can't talk about relative gains without ALSO talking about
relative risk.

In my "stock fraud scenario", the "vote hackers" DO NOT have to interact
with any OTHER parties who are also acting maliciously, such as a
crooked candidate!

The hacking crew interacts only with their own team of people they've
all known for years and/or are related to, thus radically reducing risk.

I would agree that the sort of "more direct fraud" you lay out below
might have bigger initial income potential, although it's not a
"given". But the vote-hack crew within Global/Diebold would have to
interact with two outside parties: a construction firm or whatever who
are going to gain big and then pay off the vote-hackers, and the
candidate who also gains and then pays the construction firm with the
juicy discretionary contract.

Those two outside parties could ALSO get disgusted with the whole thing
(one member of either is an actual Patriot in the traditional sense),
wears a wire for the Feds, it all comes crashing down muy pronto.

The reduced risk element is worth noting as a key to possible motives.

That and the fact that all three original Global founders were known
stock scammers...

Jim

Edmund R. Kennedy wrote:

>Hello Jim:
>
>Yes, the stock markets seem to not be particularly
>rational. However, setting aside your interesting
>case of potential 3rd party beneficiaries, I'm
>wondering how a person elected through less than
>honest or competent elections would directly benefit?
>I'm trying to match apples and apples here. The
>original argument is that the person running for
>election could buy the election and there was even a
>per vote and election machine rate regarding the
>costs. To complete the argument, I want to see
>clearly how the person doing the cheating would
>directly benefit. Then I'd like to see it reduced
>down to a per vote rate the same as the cost of
>subverting the election was. That way, it would be
>easier to show a clear cost/benefit ratio to the
>malfactor involved. Right now, the argument while
>somehwat persuasive is weak, IMHO, because it doesn't
>close the loop.
>
>One obvious way to get income from an election is that
>the newly elected official would be able to award
>non-competive, government contracts to interested
>parties in exchange for favors received. (Full
>disclosure, I'm a civil servant.) Also, an elected
>official could also tip the balance towards granting a
>permit to a privately funded project that would not
>otherwise be allowed, again for favors received or
>anticipated. However, this needs to be quantified to
>make a direct relationship. While I used to be a land
>butcher that was 15 years ago and things have changed
>a lot.
>
>Thanks, Ed Kennedy
>
>--- Jim March <jmarch@prodigy.net> wrote:
>
>
>>Ed Kennedy wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>>Hello Jim:
>>>
>>>I can't necessarily see a huge advantage there but
>>>
>>>
>>I'm not a
>>
>>
>>>professional investor. The reason I kind of doubt
>>>
>>>
>>this is that polls
>>
>>
>>>usually predict election results pretty accurately
>>>
>>>
>>(setting aside
>>
>>
>>>Ohio) so this doesn't seem like most elections
>>>
>>>
>>would have results
>>
>>
>>>different from what was polled previous to the
>>>
>>>
>>election or even during
>>
>>
>>>the elections. via exit polls. Obviously if you
>>>
>>>
>>knew the results were
>>
>>
>>>going to be radically different from what pre
>>>
>>>
>>election polling and
>>
>>
>>>exit polls you might be able to have some edge.
>>>
>>>
>>Otherwise, I can't
>>
>>
>>>see much or a systematic advantage to an investor.
>>>
>>>
>>Well that's precisely it, isn't it?
>>
>>Make the results go a different way than predicted,
>>bingo.
>>
>>But even discounting that: stock markets are VERY
>>volitile. They go
>>back and forth on "group whims". Take the fairly
>>extreme (for defense
>>spending purposes) Reagan/Mondale race. Even though
>>Reagan was expected
>>to win, when he did there was a "sigh of market
>>relief" where defense
>>tech stocks were concerned.
>>
>>It's all very emotional, not very rational.
>>
>>If you KNOW for certain how things are going to go
>>several hours early
>>and you have solid historical data backing up your
>>predicted outcome, I
>>remain convinced you could make good coin even
>>without actual tampering.
>>
>>It's a bit like card-counting at Blackjack tables.
>>A good counter can
>>shift the odds from 4% - 5% against 'em to 1% or 2%
>>in their favor.
>>Which is enough to make serious money with and get
>>you kicked out of
>>Vegas for life.
>>
>>In other words, don't look at it as a "sure thing in
>>progress", look at
>>it as a "subtle shift in odds"...an entirely
>>different matter as far as
>>difficulty is concerned.
>>
>>These odds are so carefully stacked that the SEC has
>>to stomp HARD on
>>any possible whiff of insider trading that would
>>make the odds useless.
>>
>>Jim
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>>
>>
>
>
>

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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:50 2005

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