Quoth the Youtube description:
I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted. I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney. Being a software developer, I immediately went into troubleshoot mode. I first thought the calibration was off and tried selecting Jill Stein to actually highlight Obama. Nope. Jill Stein was selected just fine. Next I deselected her and started at the top of Romney's name and started tapping very closely together to find the 'active areas'. From the top of Romney's button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama's name was all active for Romney. From the bottom of that same checkbox to the bottom of the Obama button (basically a small white sliver) is what let me choose Obama. Stein's button was fine. All other buttons worked fine.
I asked the voters on either side of me if they had any problems and they reported they did not. I then called over a volunteer to have a look at it. She him hawed for a bit then calmly said "It's nothing to worry about, everything will be OK." and went back to what she was doing. I then recorded this video
Reddit claims this video is from Pennsylvania, and the video poster's name — centralpavote — seems to back that up. I'm still waiting for confirmation, though the guy is currently answering questions on Reddit. [UPDATE: I heard back from our mystery voteographer. He says it was Perry County.] Now, here it is for your consideration: a machine that mistakes votes for Obama as votes for Romney.
“Oh no they didn't” is Daniel Denvir's weekly blog post on last week's state politics. Philadelphians know precious little about the legislature or governor, but pretending that Tom Corbett doesn't exist will not make him go away. Follow on Twitter @DanielDenvir.
Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's administration has signed a $249,660 contract with a company run by Mitt Romney fundraiser, former state GOP party executive director, pharmaceutical lobbyist, and school voucher advocate Chris Bravacos to direct a media campaign promoting the state's Voter ID law.
Yes, that very same law, requiring that voters present identification at the polls, which critics contend will suppress Democratic-leaning non-white, poor, elderly and youth voters and which House Majority Leader Mike Turzai recently boasted (video) is “gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”
Tuesday’s primary wasn’t just a school-voucher showdown or a biennial chance to crack open the local political machine and peer inside. It was also the dry run for Pennsylvania’s brand-new voter-ID law, touted by Pennsylvania Republicans as a voter-fraud deterrent. The legislation, signed in March, drew outrage from Democrats and civil-rights groups who say there’s paltry evidence that voter fraud exists in significant amounts and call the law a naked attempt to suppress the votes of Democratic-leaning poor people, minorities and students.
This primary was supposed to be a practice run for November, when a state driver’s license, passport or other specified ID will be required to vote in Pennsylvania. Poll workers were supposed to ask for photo ID and inform those without it that they’ll need it next time, but confusion was abundant across the state. The Committee of Seventy reported poll workers “in many locations” in Philly weren’t asking at all, while some in other areas were overzealous. According to the ACLU, some poll workers in Pittsburgh erroneously told voters ID was required, a sign at one Harrisburg polling place read “Be prepared to show photo identification” and another in Cumberland County erroneously declared, “ID required to vote."
In Philadelphia, some Democrats took the opportunity to show their distaste for the measure.
“As you know, the Republicans in Harrisburg recently passed a new voter ID law,” began a letter distributed at polling places in the 5th Ward, which stretches from Society Hill through Midtown Village, Chinatown and Northern Liberties. “The law is scheduled for a test run in the primary. We advise you to decline to present a photo ID for this election if requested. ... The new law is being challenged in state and federal court. We think there is a good chance that it will be struck down.”
The campaign for Philadelphia attorney Brian Sims, who is challenging long-time incumbent State Rep. Babette Josephs in this Spring's primary election, says that Sims has raised $72,000 so far — by contrast, the Josephs campaign reported about $48,700 two weeks before her last primary challenge in 2010.
Josephs, whose district encompasses Rittenhouse Square, Fitler Square, the Gayborhood, and other parts of Center City, has long been a progressive voice in Harrisburg and has maintained a solid constituency among progressive Center City democrats.
But she might find a significant challenge in Sims, a former NCAA college football captain who is openly gay and also touts a progressive agenda. Sims was recently endorsed by the National Gay and Lesbian Victory fund, which supports the campaigns of LGBT candidates for office.
Rep. Joseph's campaign could not immediately be reached for comment.
If elected, Sims would be the first ever openly gay member of the Pennsylvania legislature.
This year's primary elections will be held on April 24.
Last week, Hall Monitor noted that corporations appeared to have donated to several local political campaigns — even though state law explicitly forbids corporations to donate to political campaigns.
In a state that imposes no limits — nope, none — on individual campaign contributions, the law forbidding corporate donations is one of the few barriers (nominal though it often is) in Pennsylvania to the outright buying of elections by corporate interests.
But there appear to be some holes even in that thin wall. And the closer you look, the stranger the whole thing gets.
Take the case I posed last week, of a $10,000 donation by "United Homes Builder, LLC" to the campaign of City Councilman (and, now, Council President) Darrell Clarke.
State law dictates that:
It is unlawful for any National or State bank, or any corporation, incorporated under the laws of this or any other state or any foreign country or any unincorporated association, except those corporations formed primarily for political purposes or as a political committee, to make a contribution or expenditure in connection with the election of any candidate or for any political purpose whatever ...
But a small clause in the state's election campaign laws (Section 1634 (25 P.S. § 3253), paragraph D) adds this tidbit to the equation:
A limited liability company that makes a contribution shall affirm to the recipient candidate or committee that the limited liability company is treated as a partnership for federal tax purposes and that the contribution from the limited liability company does not contain corporate funds.
Head spinning? So is Hall Monitor's. Apparently — and as confirmed by City Commissioners campaign finance specialist Tim Dowling and an official at the Department of State — a corporation can make a donation, as long as the money isn't the corporation's itself. It has to be an individual contribution, and the corporation must "affirm" in a written statement that this is the case.
But wait a minute — if the contribution is an individual (you might say "personal") contribution, why doesn't the "person" whose money is actually being donated have to disclose his or her name? Moreover, if the contribution isn't from the corporation itself, why shouldn't it be subject to the $2,600 limit on individual contributions instead of the $10,000 limit applied to political committees like PACs (which have to disclose their own finances)?
Hall Monitor doesn't have an answer yet.
And who's checking that these contributions are not, in fact, corporations? Nobody: neither the state, nor the city's Board of Ethics nor the City Commissioners require these "affirmations" that the money is personal be submitted along with campaign finance disclosures.
What I do have is a list of several contributions made in the name of LLCs that exceed the $2,600 individual limit for 2011.
NOTE: None of this is to say these contributions are illegal, unethical, or anything of the sort: according to the City Commissioner's Tim Dowling, as long as these donations have been accompanied by (accurate) "affirmations" that the money itself doesn't belong to a corporation, they're within the state guidelines.
Ok, Ready? (Source: Phila Dept. of Records)
— Mercator Advisors, LLC 1629 Locust Street Philadelphia, PA 19103 $8,000.00 May 5, 2011 Nutter for Mayor
— First Republic Abstract LLC 509 Swede Street Norristown, PA 19401 $80,000.00 May 25, 2011 Philadelphia Democratic Campaign Committee
— United Homes Builder LLC 6633 N. Broad St Philadelphia, PA 19126 $10,000.00 May 16, 2011 Friends of Darrell L. Clarke
— PHILADELPHIA RIVERBOAT LLC 870 N. Military Hwy - Suite 202 Norfolk, VA 23502-3650 $9,000.00 Jul 28, 2011 DONATUCCI 2007 COMMITTEE
— THE TASTY BRAONS LLC 301 59TH ST OCEAN CITY, NJ 8226 $25,250.00 Apr 28, 2011 FRIENDS OF GIOVANNI CAMPBELL —— * Correction/Clarification: Mr. Cambell informed CP that the above donation represented an in-kind, rather than cash donation. The company mentioned produced a video for Mr. Campbell at no cost. It should also be noted that as a candidate for a state-wide (versus City-wide) position, Mr. Campbell is not subject to the city's campaign donation limits.
— Cosan LLC 920 Wayland Circle Bensalem, PA 19020 $5,200.00 Apr 4, 2011 Friends of Maria
— R. Burns LLC 8321 New Second St Elkins Park, PA 19027-1732 $4,000.00 May 2, 2011 Friends of Maria
— Dan Onorato for Governor LLC 310 Grant Street 17th Fl Pittsburgh, PA 15219 $4,000.00 Feb 28, 2011 Waste Management Employees Better Government Fund
Last night’s election seems to signal a defeat for the Philadelphia left: Green Party candidate for Sheriff and anti-poverty activist Cheri Honkala received just 7 percent of the vote, crushed by Democrat Jewell Williams; and Uhuru’s black nationalist-socialist candidate Wali “Diop” Rahman got destroyed, receiving less than 4 percent.
Honkala’s candidacy never took off into anything resembling the grassroots movement that would have been necessary to overcome the huge number of Philadelphians who likely vote a straight Democratic ticket, and Diop’s message of “revolutionary resistance” made his self-imposed political isolation a forgone conclusion. But while this might be a defeat for the self-proclaimed leftist candidates in Philly, the city’s left, some of whom are camped out at City Hall, largely sat this election out.
Keystone Progress, a statewide progressive organization, is responsible to so many constituencies that their voting guide was effectively useless: nearly every candidate in the state was endorsed by at least one union or liberal group, making it impossible to discern any clear progressive standard bearers.
Three-way race for mayor? Looks like it: radical activist Diop Olugbala will likely be on the ballot.
Unless a sudden (and successful) challenge to his filing petition emerges, International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate Diop Olugbala, also known as Wali Rahman, will be on the ballot with Mayor Nutter and Republican candidate Karen Brown this November, affirms Tim Dowling of the City Commissioners office.
Rahman will hold a press conference tomorrow to "respond to Mayor Nutter’s announced escalation of aggressive police action targeting black youth, including 9pm curfews with threats of fines and jail time for youth and parents," according to a press release from his campaign.
Philadelphians might know the of the Uhuru Movement because of its Center City furniture store, which raises money for the group. City Paper freelancer Tom Dreisbach wrote about the group, and its controversial stance on shootings of police officers, a couple of years ago. (Uhuru members called Daniel Giddings, the alleged killer of police officer Patrick McDonald, a "warrior.")
Or you might remember Olugbala from an incident, also a few years ago, in which he was arrested after allegedly attacking a security guard inside city hall.
See below for a list of Independent and third-party candidates who met Monday's deadline to file enough signatures to get on the ballot this fall. Thanks in advance, candidates, for making the upcoming (and usually altogether non-competitive) election a little more interesting ... that is, if you don't get knocked off the ballot with a petition challenge first!
Cheri Honkala — Green Party candidate for Sheriff
Richie Antipuna — Green Party candidate for City Commissioner
Richard Johnson — Independent candidate for Council at-large
Brian Rudnick — Green Party candidate for the 8th Council District
Jim Foster — Independent candidate for the 8th Council District
Bobby Curry — Independent candidate for the 9th Council District
Rahim Dawkins — Independent candidate for the 9th Council District
When Jim Foster ran as an Independent in the 8th Council District race in 2007, he cobbled together enough signatures to get on the ballot in just 10 days. That challenge wasn't formidable enough, apparently. This Tuesday, Foster began collecting signatures to join the race for the 8th as an Independent — that's just six days before Monday's deadline.
Foster, who is the publisher of Germantown Newspapers, says he made the last-minute decision at the behest of community members. He claims that Democrat Cindy Bass — the winner of this year's seven-way primary race for the 8th Council District seat — is "not responding to anybody's communication" and therefore is "using the [current Councilwoman Donna Reed] Miller playbook."
"From what we can discern," Foster wrote in an email to community members this morning, "the future for the citizens of the 8th Council District will be another developer-financed, inside dealing, public-be-damned operation with most decisions done in the dark."
Joe Corrigan, a spokesman for Bass, responded, "We look forward to running just as robust a campaign this fall" as they did earlier this year, and "building on our broad base of support."
Foster will need to collect 750 signatures by Monday to run as an Independent.
The Republican party is looking for a Municipal Court judge candidate to appoint to the ballot, since judge Jimmie Moore has retired to challenge Bob Brady for his Congressional seat. Michael Meehan, general counsel of the Republican City Committee, sent an email this week to ward leaders asking for recommendations.
Is Jim DiVergilis — the Common Pleas judge candidate who, while campaigning earlier this year, said he'd have "no problem" hitting people on the bench — being considered?
Vito Canuso, chairman of the Republican City Committee, says, "I would assume that he is." He declined to say who else is in the running. DiVergilis is a long shot in the Common Pleas race, and he would also be a long shot if he got the Republican nomination for Municipal Court.
A Democratic City Committee staff member declined to say who it is considering to put on the ballot. Relatedly, today's PhillyClout reports that local Democratic party chief Brady says that Teamsters Local 830 leader Dan Grace "expressed interest" in having DiVergilis appointed to the seat left empty by Common Pleas judge Renee Cardwell Hughes.
In the email, Meehan also noted that Francis Shield, a Republican nominee for Court of Common Pleas, has withdrawn.
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