Hacking the Vote

Let’s say you’re an extremely wealthy member of a secretive religious cult that’s been running for election for about 6 years and you really, really want to do that one thing your father never could–become president. Let’s say you know that you’re extremely unlikable and that you were unsuccessful and disliked at the one elected office that you held. Let’s also say that it’s pretty obvious your money came via your father’s connections, your church connections, and by doing things that basically have ruined the US economy. So, you’re very good at using your connections to get what you want at other’s expense. Let’s also say that you have spawned a bunch of sons that appear to be as shallow and callow but ambitious and greedy as you. What would you do to win an election besides saying anything to any one and being on any side of any issue just to further your own career?

Let’s just start this discussion with one with Forbes article and move on from there. The article in question is called “Romney Family Investment Ties To Voting Machine Company That Could Decide The Election Causing Concern”.  Yes.  We should be concerned.  We should be very concerned.

Numerous media sources, including Truthout, are reporting that Solamere Capital—the investment firm run by Mitt Romney’s son, Tagg, and the home of money put into the closely held firm by Tagg’s uncle Scott, mother Anne and, of course, the dad who might just be the next President of the United States—depending upon how the vote count turns out, in our little tale, in the State of Ohio—have shared business interests with H.I.G. either directly or via Solamere Advisors which is owned, in part, by Solamere Capital, including a reported investment in H.I.G. by either Solamere Capital or Solamere Advisors.

Lee Fang, in his piece for The Nation exploring the government related activities of various companies in which Solamere has an interest writes-

“Meanwhile, HIG Capital—one of the largest Solamere partners, with nearly $10 billion of equity capital—owns a number of other firms that are closely monitoring the federal government. ”

While the Cincinnati scenario is —at this point—fiction, the rest of this story is all too true, including the part where the voting machines to be used in Hamilton County will be those provided by Hart Intercivic.

Making investments that pay for Romneys and hurt just about everybody else is basically the Romney way.  Nothing would surprise me from a man who lies with extreme ease and a son that has no shame announcing he’d sucker punch a president if only there weren’t secret service in the way.

Tony Tamer, H.I.G.’s founder, turns out to be a major bundler for the Mitt Romney campaign,  along with three other directors of H.I.G. who are also big-time money raisers for Romney.

Indeed, as fate would have it, two of those directors—Douglas Berman and Brian Schwartz— were actually in attendance at the now infamous “47 percent” fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida.

With that news, voters everywhere start to get this queasy feeling in the pits of their stomach.

But wait—if you’re feeling a bit ill now, you’ll want to get the anti-acids ready to go because it’s about get really strange.

To everyone’s amazement, we learn that two members of the Hart Intercivic board of directorsNeil Tuch and Jeff Bohl, have made direct contributions to the Romney campaign. This, despite the fact that they represent 40 percent of the full board of directors of a company whose independent, disinterested and studiously non-partisan status in any election taking place on their voting machines would seemingly be a ‘no brainer’.

Then, there’s the relationship between H.I.G. and Solamere. You know, interlocking directorates are such a integral part of crony capitalism and the Romney wealth interlocks neatly.  Solamere is Tagg’s company founded in 2008 with Romney Chief Fund Raiser Spencer Zwick. Solamere is hard to track because Tagg has used his father’s model of offshoring banking and business.  We know a few things Solamere does because of law suits against the company and its partner HIG Capital.

Meanwhile, HIG Capital—one of the largest Solamere partners, with nearly $10 billion of equity capital—owns a number of other firms that are closely monitoring the federal government. One area where private equity firms have made lucrative investments is the new industry of dental management companies that bill Medicaid. In November 2011, Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Max Baucus of Montana opened an investigation in response to allegations that these corporate-controlled dentists have abused children. As PBS’s Frontline reported, several private equity–owned dental management firms have illegally coerced dentists to perform unnecessary and expensive procedures on low-income children, because Medicaid will reimburse such work. The scandal has provoked a flurry of congressional activity, as well as legislative reforms at the state level. In North Carolina, for example, the legislature debated a highly contentious bill that sought to curtail the ownership of dentists’ offices by private equity firms.

HIG Capital, betting that it could beat the controversy, purchased the dental management firm InterDent for an undisclosed sum in August of this year. InterDent hasn’t been named in the current fraud investigation, but the company has been implicated in other ethics problems in the past. In 2008, InterDent signed a corporate integrity agreement after it was caught overbilling the government at some of its offices in California. This year, the company provided $50,000 for an effort to lobby legislators against the dental management reform bill in North Carolina.

The Brad Blog has been following this story closely. There are a lot of juicy links embedded in this short post.

Late last month, Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis at FreePress.org broke the story of the Mitt Romney/Bain Capital investment team involved in H.I.G. Capital which, in July of 2011, completed a “strategic investment” to take over a fair share of the Austin-based e-voting machine company Hart Intercivic.

“Several tanker trucks full of political ink have been spilled on Mitt Romney’s tenure as a vulture capitalist at Bain Capital,” Bello and Fitrakis wrote. “A more important story, however, is the fact that Bain alumni, now raising big money as Romney bundlers are also in the electronic voting machine business. This appears to be a repeat of the infamous former CEO of Diebold Wally O’Dell, who raised money for Bush while his company supplied voting machines and election management software in the 2004 election.”

Lee Fang at The Nation recently confirmed the FreePress reporting in a story of his own on the “crony capitalism” of Tagg Romney, whose father’s money and high-profile connections present a number of troubling corporate conflicts of interest should Mitt Romney become President. The Daily Dolt also followed up with a very well-documented article on the H.I.G. group, their connections to Bain, and their takeover of Hart Intercivic.

Hart’s announcement of the deal describes H.I.G.’s role as as “co-investors”, though the financial services firm which brokered the deal described it in their own announcement as a full-fledged acquisition: “Hart Intercivic was acquired by HIG Capital late last week. The deal caps off a 2+ year relationship with Hart! Congrats to both Hart and the HIG team….its going to be a great partnership!”

Also this week, in a video that has gone a bit viral, The David Pakman Show expressed understandable concerns about Romney’s close business partners having this type of corporate control over a large e-voting company whose, extremely vulnerable and insecure [PDF] — and often 100% unverifiable — voting and tabulation systems are now used, according to VerifiedVoting.org’s database, in all or parts of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Bain-linked voting machines have been found all over the place.  These are machines that cannot be monitored by the public. The companies–in fact– cannot be closely monitored by the public either with all that patented Romney offshoring of vital functions and courts protecting the sanctity of voting machine software instead of protecting the public interest.

In other words, a candidate for the presidency of the United States, and his brother, wife and son, have a straight-line financial interest in the voting machines that could decide this fall’s election. These machines cannot be monitored by the public. But they will help decide who “owns” the White House.

Also see: Will Bain-Linked E-Voting Machines Give Romney the White House?

They are especially crucial in Ohio, without which no Republican candidate has ever won the White House. In 2004, in the dead of election night, an electronic swing of more than 300,000 votes switched Ohio from the John Kerry column to George W. Bush, giving him a second term. A virtual statistical impossibility, the 6-plus% shift occurred between 12:20 and 2am election night as votes were being tallied by a GOP-controlled information technology firm on servers in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In defiance of a federal injunction, 56 of Ohio’s 88 counties destroyed all election records, making a recount impossible. Ohio’s governor and secretary of state in 2004 were both Republicans, as are the governors and secretaries of state in nine key swing states this year.

As we have previously reported, H.I.G. Capital has on its board of directors at least three close associates of the Romney family. H.I.G. Capital directors John P. Bolduk and Douglas Berman are major Romney fundraisers. So is former Bain and H.I.G. manager Brian Shortsleeve. H.I.G. employees have contributed at least $338,000 to Romney’s campaign. Fully a third of H.I.G.’s leadership previously worked at Romney’s old Bain firm.

But new research now shows that the association doesn’t stop with mere friendship and business associations. Mitt Romney, his wife Ann Romney, and their son Tagg Romney are also invested in H.I.G. Capital, as is Mitt’s brother G. Scott Romney.

The investment comes in part through the privately held family equity firm called Solamere, which bears the name of the posh Utah ski community where the Romney family retreats to slide down the slopes.

Unlike other private equity firms, Solamere does not invest in companies directly. Instead, Solamere invests in other private equity funds, like H.I.G. Capital. Solamere calls them partners. These partners, like H.I.G., then invest in various enterprises, like Hart Intercivic, the nation’s third-largest voting machine manufacturer.

I would venture to say that it is not at all coincidental that the state that has a lot of these machines is Ohio. The Ohio GOP has been working hard to purge voter rolls and set up barriers to voting for sometime.  Will Ohio be the perfect storm of voter suppression and hacked machines?

    1. Since 2009, the Ohio GOP has purged roughly a million citizens from the state’s voter rolls. This accounts for some 15% of the roughly 5.2 million votes counted for president in the state in 2008. The purge focuses on counties that are predominantly urban and Democratic.
    2. Electronic voting machines have been installed throughout the state which are owned, operated, programmed and maintained – and will be tallied – by Republican-connected firms.
    3. The GOP controls both houses of the Ohio Legislature, the governorship, the secretary of state’s office, and the state Supreme Court. Soon after the 2008 election, it imposed a draconian photo ID law designed to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of suspected Democrats, as is being done throughout the US. But Ohio is a referendum state. A statewide grassroots movement recently crushed a GOP-pushed anti-labor law, and many Republicans feared the photo ID law would also go down. Then GOP stalwart Jon Husted (now the secretary of state) was ruled ineligible to hold office over a residency conflict. Ohio’s Supreme Court re-instated his eligibility, but he was prompted to oppose the photo ID law. Today a prospective Ohio voter can use 17 different kinds of ID, but in recent elections some poll workers have demanded photo ID anyway. Without a grassroots army of independent election monitors to protect them, many more Ohioans are likely to be disenfranchised.
    4. In 2004, 10.6% of the votes cast in Ohio were so-called “early votes” via absentee ballots. A voter had to be absent from the county to vote absentee. In-person Election Day voters at the 42 predominantly black inner-city precincts in Columbus waited between 3-7 hours to vote.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman–authors of WILL THE GOP STEAL AMERICA’S 2012 ELECTION–explain how government rulings that software on voting machines is proprietary to owners makes hacking an easy act. They have more documentation on the interlocking directorates and the relationship of investors to the Romney campaign.

Hart Intercivic, on whose machines the key votes will be cast in Hamilton County, which includes Cincinnati, was taken over last year by H.I.G. Capital. Prominent partners and directors on the H.I.G. board hail from Bain Company or Bain Capital, both connected to Mitt Romney. H.I.G. employees have contributed at least $338,000 to Romney’s campaign. H.I.G. Directors John P. Bolduk and Douglas Berman are major Romney fundraisers, as is former Bain and H.I.G. manager Brian Shortsleeve.

US courts have consistently ruled that the software in electronic voting machines is proprietary to the manufacturer, even though individual election boards may own the actual machines. Thus there will be no vote count transparency on election night in Ohio. The tally will be conducted by Hart Intercivic and controlled by Husted and Kasich, with no public recourse or accountability. As federal testimony from the deceased Michael Connell made clear in 2008, electronically flipping an election is relatively cheap and easy to do, especially if you or your compatriots programmed the machines.

So as the corporate media swarm through Ohio, reporting breathlessly from “ground zero” in Cincinnati, don’t hold your own breath waiting for them to also clarify that the voting machines in what may once again be America’s decisive swing state are owned, programmed and tabulated by some of the Romney campaign’s closest associates.

It is amazing to me the number of ways our democracy is being highjacked by rich plutocrats who are out to get their associates into high office any way they can.  I’m also amazed at the duplicity of the judiciary in letting virtual racketeering go unchecked.  Like I said, be very afraid. This could make Florida 2000 look like child’s play.

Let me repeat my mantra in case any one has forgotten: VOTE ANYONE BUT Romney/Ryan in November.


80 Comments on “Hacking the Vote”

  1. NW Luna says:

    Important and well-written post, dak. The “black box” problem far outweighs the voter-suppresion problem, as troubling as that is in itself. Voters should look closely at their states’ Secretary of State candidates, since the SoS investigates and certifies elections.

    We need verified voting and non-proprietary e-vote software and hardware.

    “It’s not the votes that count — it’s who counts the votes.”

    • dakinikat says:

      I can’t believe that we had that debacle in 2000 and most states haven’t really done anything about the problem. Ohio had problems 4 years ago and it appears the republicans have just been working to make things worse instead of better.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Nice job, Dak. What I want to know is if the Obama campaign is going to do anything about this. They must be aware of it by now.

      • dakinikat says:

        Thanks for the links BB!!

      • RalphB says:

        Great post Dak.

        BB, I don’t know what the Obama campaign could do about it. Elections are decided by state laws etc. Maybe get UN monitors in every back room in Ohio?

      • bostonboomer says:

        Ralph,

        I read yesterday that several civil rights groups have requested UN election monitors. I just wondered if there is any law against having a serious conflict of interest like this. Maybe Obama needs to assume he’s going to lose Ohio and Colorado then.

      • RalphB says:

        The problem is not just Colorado and Ohio. It’s spread a lot further and I think Obama needs to keep Ohio any way he can. Same for Wisconsin.

      • Red Dragon says:

        Wow! Any wonder why more and more folks are refusing to participate in elections. It seems ( and rightly so I may add ) that the game has been changed, the rules thrown out and only a select few get to participate!

  2. Pilgrim says:

    Would these infernal machines also account for the changes we are seeing in the many polls just now?

  3. Fannie says:

    Thank Dak, this is seriously going to wreck the elections. We need to hold this against them, now.

    If a person has these e-voting machines, can you request a written form instead from your district?

  4. Prolix says:

    This subject has gotten far too little attention — thanks for writing about it. When you have 33 states engaging in systematic voter suppression schemes that are essentially carbon copies of one another, a successor company hired by the RNC that has knowingly engaged in voter fraud, and the use of tax money to perpetrate voter suppression — where is the DoJ?

    A little discovery and I’m sure there are enough RNC memos detailing the conspiratorial tactics that could eventually lodge a block of cheddar up old Reinse’s bum and serve him up as an hors d’oeuvre.

    • dakinikat says:

      It’s like racketeering. Also consider the crap the RNC gave Ron Paul and all the libertarians. There were signs of voter suppression within the party and there still are there too and I’m not fan of those groups at all.

  5. peregrine says:

    If he’s rigging the vote count in an essential state, Romney is a Communist for sure. sn/

  6. NW Luna says:

    An impressive group of university statistics profs did this analysis. I recall reading about it 8 years ago. It’s maddening and alarming that our “democracy” is still threatened by corporate vote-hacking.

    Scientific Analysis Suggests Presidential Vote Counts May Have Been Altered Group of University Professors Urges Investigation of 2004 Election

    Officially, President Bush won November’s election by 2.5%, yet exit polls showed Kerry winning by 3%[1]. According to a report to be released today by a group of university statisticians, the odds of a discrepancy this large between the national exit poll and election results happening by accident are close to 1 in a million.

    In other words, by random chance alone, it could not have happened. But it did.

    Two alternatives remain. Either something was wrong with the exit polling, or something was wrong with the vote count.

    https://www.commondreams.org/news2005/0331-02.htm

    (sorry if this was already referred to in your links up above.)

    • RalphB says:

      Remember, in 2004, the Republican governor and secretary of state destroyed election records from a bunch of Ohio counties in defiance of a federal court order. That made any kind of a recount impossible.

  7. RalphB says:

    OT but I’ve been thinking about the polls/coverage and this sounds right considering what we’ve seen since the first debate. Obama’s performance in the first debate mattered less than Romney’s spiel.

    SteveM: IT MAY NOW BE NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR MITT ROMNEY TO UN-CROSS THE CREDIBILITY THRESHOLD

    Nate Silver continues to believe that Barack Obama is a favorite to win the Electoral College, but he doesn’t think the second debate helped Obama
    [...]
    Obama blew it in the first debate, but the more important event was that Romney didn’t blow it. These were separate events that happened simultaneously. Voters fell for the phony rollout of Moderate, Feel-Your-Pain Mitt. I think even if Obama had had a strong debate performance, Romney would have seemed decent and competent to the gullible public, and likely to bring positive change. It was an impressive act.
    [...]
    Romney is generally getting the benefit of every doubt now. Obama isn’t. For Romney to be hurt by a gaffe (or a poor debate performance) now, it’s going to have to be monumentally bad. He’s going to get a pass on a lot of stuff that would have hurt him a month ago.

    • NW Luna says:

      How can anyone believe that insincere, entitled, megalomaniac weathervane?

      • dakinikat says:

        They’re basically cut of the same cloth is all I can say or they are completely ignorant if you want to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    • bostonboomer says:

      So Romney will win despite being a lying crook who plans to use the presidency to get richer and probably to make his church richer and more powerful? I wish I could leave the country, but I’m too poor, being a 47-percenter.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I’m not reading anymore of the media analysis. I don’t want to become clinically depressed. I can’t control what is going to happen, but I still think Obama will win. Maybe I’m just stupid or blind.

      • RalphB says:

        SteveM thinks Obama will win but that it’s gonna be a lot closer than it should be. I think Obama is going to win!

  8. pdgrey says:

    Someone tell me HOW he is losing Florida? The Democrats lost Florida in 2010 by not defending Medicare and in my mind they are doing it again. Are they once again taking it for granted.Do they think people know who has been trying the get rid of Social Security and Medicare? If you guys could here the commercials you would not believe it. The poll in Florida says Romney is leading 60% to 30% from seniors. I can’t believe it.

    • bostonboomer says:

      That’s unbelievable. Do all the elderly people in FL watch Fox News or something?

      • pdgrey says:

        I guess, and really upset. I don’t think i can watch tonight. I will just follow you guys to still be sane.

      • dakinikat says:

        My dad will probably vote for Romney. He’s about the only one I will still deal with because I know he’s just a knee jerk republican from way back and he’s 89. He spends a lot of time on Fox and they just continually upset him and he believes everything they say.

        Any one else I know that says they are voting for Romney is outta my life. That just says something about their lack of values, imho and I don’t want them around the rest of my family or my animals for that matter. Any one that could vote for Romney/Ryan is stupid & clueless or evil. I’ve ever warmed up to my two crazy libertarian sangha because they’re at least not voting for Romney.

  9. pdgrey says:

    Well here is the Cannon fire link to the Gloria scoop.

    http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2012/10/is-carrel-hilton-sheldon-surprise.html

  10. pdgrey says:

    And another thing, Ohio! You would think after Romney wrote that Op-Ed on letting Detroit go bankrupt they would be grateful to Obama. I guess this country really is nuts. Just look at women who vote against themselves. I just tired.

    • dakinikat says:

      again, the number of women and gay former Hillary supporters supporting that Romney/Ryan abomination is the thing that has me freaked … I want to take a shower every time I think about it.

      • NW Luna says:

        Something else I will never understand. How could they be Hillary supporters in the first place if they then turn to a politician who’s about her complete opposite? They’re not rational. I do not want to pay them any more attention.

    • dakinikat says:

      Gloria Steinam is on Hardball she’s calling Romney the most destructive candidate on equality EVER …

    • dakinikat says:

      omigawsh … and yeah, that’s in the right part of the state … my GLBT friends up there lay low because the environment is so bad

      • pdgrey says:

        This country has pulled itself back before Civil Rights and into the 1920’s of the Gilded Age. Do we really need to fight this again? I will be dead before that happens.

        • dakinikat says:

          I guess so. A bunch of religious nuts have taken over the republican party and until the party rights itself or gets sent to oblivion, we’re stuck with their neoconderate teahadi rantings and candidates.

    • pdgrey says:

      I had to go looking for good news. Although this country is watching a relitaty show.

      http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/10/22/1063181/obama-anti-business-charts/

    • bostonboomer says:

      Winnsboro Police Chief Kevin Cobb said that the FBI was investigating whether the incident was a hate crime, but authorities declined to classify the attack as racially motivated on Monday. The Franklin Parish Sheriff, Louisiana State Police and the state fire Marshall’s office were also participating in the investigation.

      They sprayed KKK on her car hood! What more do they need to know to call it a hate crime?!

      • pdgrey says:

        How about, I HATE YOUR BLACK ASS! I am starting to hate this country, Is that a hate crime?

      • dakinikat says:

        A young black woman that I used to work with went to LU at Monroe and was continually water ballooned and spit down on from white frat houses on the campus. This was about 10 years ago just so you think it wasn’t back ‘in the day’.

      • RalphB says:

        Personally, if I had somewhere else to go I would be packing! It’s almost time to say “fuck it”.

      • pdgrey says:

        Dak, If I told the story of my childhood in the south it would be a civil rights saga like the movie “The Help”, I lived it as a child and because of my parents to whom I’m am forever grateful, and it was hard, I was on the right side. I am not religious, but i know I will be in animal heaven because of the way I have helped abused animals and my firm ideals on equal human rights. So I’ve got that going for me. :)

  11. Fannie says:

    Yes, you said a mouthful when you started out talking about wealthy secrective religious cults………Not twenty minutes from me, the Mormons renovated a 28 year old temple, and it is estimated to have cost $13 million. But keep it a secret they don’t want you to know how much those stained glass windows, and granite, and marble floors, and african mahogany trim, and how much the swarovskis Crystal chandliers cost, especially those in the bathrooms. Oh, my, lets not forget the wool rugs, don’t worry they weren’t made in America. Not to mention all the elegant furniture, and the water fountains, and all the landscaping and sidewalks, and how much energy the temple will use. They even have a hugh painting of Jesus who showed himself to the church founder, Joseph Smith at the temple in Kirtland, Ohio 1836. So yeah they are part of the giant corporations that are in place for the right wing political action committees of this country, and all doing business tax free. Don’t tell anyone but the poor women can’t even walk in the church with a male present.

    I mean I walked down by the river belt, and had a very good and spiritual feeling just looking at the fall colors in the trees, watching the birds in the water, and watching all of God’s children playing in the sand…………didn’t cost me nothing.

    • pdgrey says:

      You and me Fannie! Tonight I’m just pissed about everything, I can’t live long enough to know if the Democrats will finally grow a spine. I’m mad, sorry to the Sykdancers, I will not post tonight because I so mad about the Florida numbers, I will let the people I know best tell me what the hell happened, Skydancers.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I hope you change your mind, PD.

      • Fannie says:

        We understand pdgrey, they are basking in the numbers. Somebody asked Ryan, when he was referring to his 84 year old mother who is on socail security & medicare, why, if the plan was so damn good, that he impose the plan right now instead of waiting ten years out, fucker just stumbled and couldn’t say boo boo ………………

        Correction, women CAN NOT be in the temple/church without a male present.

      • pdgrey says:

        Thanks, BB, but that senior number and that hate crime has really opened my eyes to this country. I will get over my over reaction anger but at this moment I feel like I am living through my childhood of calling school mates on race.

  12. RalphB says:

    From a commenter at Sam Wang’s…

    Almost 4.5 million votes cast. Here are three highlights:

    In Iowa 21% have voted, with a 48–31 edge for Democrats (21% independent).

    In Nevada 12.8% have voted, with a 49–35 edge for Democrats.

    In North Carolina 11.2% have voted, with a 51–31 edge for Democrats.

    http://elections.gmu.edu/early_vote_2012.html

    In Florida 8.8% have voted so far, with Republicans holding a 45–40 edge. However, at this point only absentee ballots have been cast so far, and the 5.3% edge is far less than the 17% lead Republicans had in 2008.
    Early in-person voting starts on Saturday, so be prepared to see that figure change fast!

    http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2012/10/more-than-750000-floridians-have-already-voted-by-absentee-ballot-gop-still-holds-6-point-edge-.html

    • pdgrey says:

      Good news, Ralph, and I’m not trying to be a downer. But that senior number from Florida pissed me off BAD!

      • RalphB says:

        This may help more. This bit from a Mark Blumenthal update is interesting. I didn’t know automated polls like Rasmussen, PPP, and most others couldn’t call cell phones.

        pollster.com: Oh, no wonder polls wander all over

        In Ohio, for example, a new survey released on Monday morning by CBS News and Quinnipiac University shows Obama holding a lead of 5 percentage points over Romney (50 to 45 percent). …

        Obama’s Ohio margin was much closer, however, on several automated telephone surveys conducted in the past week, polls that are banned by federal law from dialing cell phones. According to a recent government survey, more than half of the adults in Ohio either have only a mobile phone (33 percent) or use their mobile phone to answer most of their calls (18 percent).

      • bostonboomer says:

        I knew that. Nate Silver said he doesn’t consider a poll to be a quality survey unless they do in person interviews and call cell phones. That’s huge, because so many younger people don’t even have land lines anymore. I got rid of mine years ago.

        • dakinikat says:

          me too … I use to get called all the time and my land line has been gone for a year now and I don’t answer anything on my cell that I can’t identify.

      • RalphB says:

        But, those low quality polls are in everyone’s average including Nate’s even Gravis. I assume he does some weighting but am not sure.

  13. peregrine says:

    An anecdote like Pat Johnson’s: This afternoon I invited a cousin to lunch on Wednesday and mentioned that I thought Romney might win. She shot off that she hoped so in order that taxes and gas prices will come down, and we can get rid of Obamacare. She says that in Obamacare is a provision to refuse medical procedures for old people, (definitely false!).

    God almighty, what people believe! She’s a solid republican living in a solid republican state. I won’t be able to argue her out of her convictions, but Wednesday I do plan to ask her if she listens to fox news and Limbaugh. I am reading up on Obamacare and haven’t found anything I don’t like.

    The churches and the far right media may have won the hearts and minds of the vassals without one iota of fact-checking or critical thinking occurring. Now, add a little voter-fraud and some voting machine rigging. Their color is appropriately “red.”

    • dakinikat says:

      My dad was off on Obamacare stealing money from medicare. I told him I’d look into it and found it was not true at all and that Ryan’s budget included the same number. I told my dad I had researched it and that it wasn’t true. He eventually quit harping on that. I said look Dad, I am an economist. Do you really think any journalist on fox can understand anything better than me? You also know I used to be a Republican and that I’m an independent. Do you really think I am spreading lies for the Democrats? You even know I didn’t vote for Obama last time. Why on earth would I say I would research something, do it, and then tell you something wrong? I finally got him off that one. I also had to email him the Forbes article that said it wasn’t true just to back it up.

    • RalphB says:

      Whole damn bunch are scum!!!!!

      • Fannie says:

        They are, my question is she an official part of his campaign? That would be political suicide………..I’d like to know, because that is something we can all jump on, and get her (Ronna) the fuck out of politics for good.

      • RalphB says:

        from tpm:

        I guess this is what happens late in the tight presidential race. Ronna Romney is the ex-sister-in-law of Mitt Romney. She’s apparently remained close to the Romney family. She has a minor role in the Romney campaign in Florida and has recently appeared at campaign events in Michigan with her daughter.

  14. Beata says:

    This presidential race is all about competence! Mitt proves he’s ready to hit the ground running from day one.

  15. American voters have known for almost 20 years that our elections are a farce. Until we have open source code and paper ballots in all states, along with auditable voting machines, we will never know who actually wins elections. What can we as individuals do? I’ve written about it on my blog, I’ve given talks, and I’ve concluded that the American people just don’t care. it’s disheartening.