October 8, 2003

Plans In Place to Buy Next Election

Outrageous: CEO lobbies for Bush while seeking contract to sell voting machines
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

Republicans have sunk to a stunning new low.

First there was Florida and the theft of the 2000 presidential election by the Supreme Court. Then there was the California recall. And of course, there is Tom DeLay trying to rig the Congressional elections in Texas to ensure that the Republicans keep the majority in the U.S. House so they can advance their radical agenda.

Now - to show that Republicans will truly stop at next to nothing to win elections and hand the keys of the national treasury over to their fat cat donors - there is Walden O'Dell, the CEO of Diebold Inc. Diebold is the company that wants to get the contract to provide and program voting machines in every state for the 2004 election and O'Dell is raising money exclusively for President Bush and the Republican National Committee (RNC). O'Dell, in a fundraising letter on August 14th, committed "to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year" according to the Associated Press. In the 2002 election cycle, O'Dell gave $5,965 to the RNC while Diebold gave the RNC $95,000.

This is outrageous!! Not only does Mr. O'Dell want the contract to provide every voting machine in the nation for the next election - he wants to "DELIVER" the election to Mr. Bush. In fact, Mr. O'Dell's fundraising appeal on behalf of President Bush came one day before Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, also a Republican, was set to qualify Diebold as one of three companies eligible to sell upgraded electronic voting machines to Ohio counties in time for the 2004 election. INCREDIBLE!! On the day before the Ohio Secretary of State was set to qualify Diebold to provide voting machines for the state of Ohio, its CEO said in a letter he will "DELIVER" Ohio for President Bush.

There are enough conflicts in this story to fill an ethics manual - but suffice it to say - when it comes to an issue as sensitive as how and who tabulates the votes of the American people - this episode is truly outrageous. Either Diebold should cease seeking the contracts for voting machines or Mr. Bush, the RNC and its affiliated committees should return the campaign cash they have received from Mr. O'Dell and his fundraising appeals and from Diebold.

HELP US STOP ANOTHER ELECTION FROM BEING STOLEN! Today, I'm asking you to sign a petition to the Chairman of the DSCC, Senator Corzine, to show your support for fighting back. Republicans must stop trying to steal elections. Sign our petition and send them a message today:
After you sign the petition, forward this to everyone you know. People MUST be educated about the tactics Republicans embrace. Their sickening attempts to hijack fair elections must be stopped. Florida 2000, California 2003, Texas redistricting - I could go on and on. Don't let Republicans get away with it. Sign the petition today.

Andrew Grossman,
Executive Director, DSCC

Copyright 2003 The Ohioan, Inc