John Conyers on Paul Krugman’s OP/ED

Yesterday I posted a copy of John Conyers’ letter to Kerry/Edwards regarding the Ohio Voter Fraud cases. Unfortunately Conyers’ letter started a firestorm. Anyone on PDA’s email list or frequents DU, knows what I am talking about. Today John Conyers’ posted a piece on his blog about Paul Krugman’s OP/ED, which Ron posted about earlier today. I found that post from John Conyers’ to be particularly helpful in sorting this mess out (more on that below).

I tried to get clarification on this issue yesterday from Kerry’s Senate office, after posting the letter and was directed to Kerry’s PAC, who I have been told, handle all correspondence regarding the Kerry/Edwards campaign. John Kerry was in Seattle today for a fundraiser for the 2006 cycle, so I hope to hear more soon on this subject.

Other concerned friends of Kerry/Edwards stepped up to the plate as well, to try to quell the firestorm. Please see this post from Karen on Democracy Cell Project: “Posted by: karen at August 19, 2005 05:38 PM (scroll down to the timestamp linked to the thread)” Here’s part of Karen’s post:

There were, apparently, three lawsuits in Ohio. The one that PDA is asking people to complain about is the first–the Badnarik-Green lawsuit. It is not a strong case. Lawyers have advised that this one is not winnable.

There are TWO MORE LAWSUITS and THEY are going forward. The second and third lawsuits are, according to my sources, based more on the civil rights issues and Kerry-Edwards are indeed part of these suits

What I got from reading John Conyers’ letter yesterday was that he was trying to verify some rumors. Unfortunately his letter was blown out of proportion and in my opinion, he as much as says so in his post today regarding Paul Krugman’s column.

The problem with answering my fellow progressives’ challenge for numbers is that so much of what happened in Ohio centered on unquantifiable events that makes counting the number of disenfranchised voters impossible. How can we determine exactly how many Kerry voters turned around and went home facing hopelessly long lines at the polls? Or how many voters were never registered, and were turned away on election day, because of bizarre and conflicting Ken Blackwell edits about the weight of voter registration forms? Or how many votes were lost because of machine defects or manipulation?

What I can say is what the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff said best in the Conyers report: “We have found numerous, serious election irregularities in the Ohio presidential election, which resulted in a significant disenfranchisement of voters. Cumulatively, these irregularities, which affected hundreds of thousand of votes and voters in Ohio, raise grave doubts regarding whether it can be said the Ohio electors selected on December 13, 2004, were chosen in a manner that conforms to Ohio law, let alone federal requirements and constitutional standards.”* Is there an exact number? No. Was it potentially a net loss of more than 100,000 Democratic votes? I think so. I continue to investigate what happened in Ohio and in the rest of the nation in the 2004 election and maybe someday the evidence will be sufficiently irrefutable to convince every fair-minded person of the extent and effect of electoral wrongdoing in 2004.

In the meantime, my fellow progressives and I, agreeing with each other on so many things, could go back and forth arguing with one another — not about whether the GOP played dirty — but about whether there was ENOUGH fraud to shift the outcome of the election. I see this happen over and over between progressives, sometimes in a civil tone and sometimes not.^ In doing so, however, we would be losing sight of the fact that we actually disagree about very little. Krugman’s column brings that home.

Most telling of all from John Conyers today was his final comment about this subject which has been blown out of proportion on many blogs…

On some blogs, my staff advises me that the critique of allegations of irregularities has been so angry and accusatory, and allegations of irregularities so wild and unsubstantiated, that I could be banned for posting this entry — the topic itself is forbidden.

In a nutshell, friends, we need to all come to the table and work together for the future. Something else that John Conyers stressed in his post today and something that John Kerry has stressed over and over again since the election. Squabbling over this or any subject or issue is more harmful to the Democratic Party, than helpful.

Sure we can all disagree on things, but there comes a time when we all need to put our disagreements aside and work towards the greater good. This is one of those times. The 2006 elections are critical to the Democratic Party.

Rest assured that Kerry/Edwards and John Conyers are STILL investigating the voter fraud issue and as John Conyers said “maybe someday the evidence will be sufficiently irrefutable to convince every fair-minded person of the extent and effect of electoral wrongdoing in 2004.”

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8 Responses to John Conyers on Paul Krugman’s OP/ED

  1. Indie Liberal says:

    Thanks Pam for the clearer picture. 🙂

  2. Marjorie G says:

    The lawyer for PDA, whose suit is affected, is the one who started the firstorm, upset about his suit. He is also the very smart, articulate guy at After Downing Street memo hearing that gave such firm case for impeachment.

    I do remember hearing that one of the lawsuits, maybe this, is weak, and others were better. Maybe because of the lack of proof he had to work with, as they still don’t have discovery on the machines. Evidence of disenfranchisement, civil rights abuse, stronger.

    Thanks to both Pam and Karen.

  3. Indie

    Glad I could and very glad that John Conyers himself actually seemed to clear some of this up.

  4. Marjorie

    You are correct on the PDA lawyer…

    It’s not JK’s fault that they don’t have enough evidence. Granted they’ve done some great stuff, but HELLO… the PDA was really a bit much.

  5. Ginny in Co says:


    I loved this scenario from Conyers’ post. It is exactly why we need to stop wasting time on useless arguments and ’08 speculation . This is what we need to be working for, NOW. This can be real in 19 months:

    “Republicans find themselves with plunging poll numbers and an uncertain electoral landscape in 2006. Failure for them in their drive to keep control of the House of Representatives, and one party rule in Washington, means that, if reelected, I will become Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Henry Waxman will become Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, Louise Slaughter will become Chair of the Rules Committee, Charlie Rangel will Chair the Ways and Means Committee, and Nancy Pelosi will be the first woman to be Speaker of the House. That means accountability for this Administration with a stiff dose of the truth.”

    {Then, as Ron pointed out yesterday, it would be possible to impeach Bush and Cheney, making Nancy Pelosi the first woman president. 😮 }

    Back to Conyers, the GOP has been working on ’06 since 11 or 12/04. We haven’t been idle by any means – but it’s time to get in a higher gear.

  6. Ginny

    We definately need to kick it into higher gear. I got from Conyers post that he was none to happy with the mess that came out of his letter the day before. Question: how do we get the far leftists to agree to work for the good of all and not on single issues that appeal to them?

  7. Ginny in Co says:


    Do we really have to wait for them to get down to earth? Seems like there’s a good base of people to start working on this. Being left out of the game is a passiive way to find out you either join the group or sit on the bench. This is not to say they aren’t welcome when they want to be on the team. They just have to accept the left outfield if that’s where they are.
    Maybe I have a different perspective of the far left. This is another reason to have some way of articulating what we value, believe, etc. I would even quibble with Kerry’s comment on redefining the party. Did we ever define it? If we think we did, was the definition received and understood? I don’t like hearing the GOP swill over and over, doesn’t make it go away. Getting our own common ground would help bring us together as a team. I don’t care about fancy uniforms, we do need strategy and some good key players. And a lot of practice.

    And you’d better not answer this tonight!!! I am on my regular schedule. It is just after 2 am MST and time for me to go to bed.

  8. Ginny

    We do some good definitions, points that everyone can come together on. My fear is that some won’t ever be able to do that though. Sometimes it seems like a whole group of chickens are running around with their heads cut off and finding common ground is so tough.