Let the Lawsuits Begin: State Sued Over Illegal Certification of Diebold

In an earlier post, I talked about the State certifying Diebold voting machines despite the fact that Diebold would not disclose their source code as required by North Carolina law. Now the Electronic Frontier Foundation has sued the Board of Elections to make them follow the law, which was passed to ensure the security of votes cast on electronic voting machines. From EFF:

"This is about the rule of law," said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. "The Board of Elections has simply ignored its mandatory obligations under North Carolina election law. This statute was enacted to require election officials to investigate the quality and security of voting systems before approval, and only approve those that are safe and secure. By certifying without a full review of all relevant code, the Board of Elections has now opened the door for North Carolina counties to purchase untested and potentially insecure voting equipment."

(EFF's press release is here)
I am going to watch this closely. But it is sad that an outside group has to sue to get the Board of Elections to follow the law.

Lack of Military Experience of North Carolina Senators and Representatives

The Southern Dem was rehashing his anger at the Murtha madness in November when he began a list of the military experience of North Carolinians in Washington. It is an interesting list:

NC Senators
Elizabeth Dole, R-NC - No military experience
Richard Burr, R-NC - No military experience

NC Representatives
G.K. Butterfield, D-NC - No military experience
Bob Etheridge, D-NC - Served in the United States Army 1965-1967
Walter B. Jones, R-NC - North Carolina National Guard 1967-1971
David Price, D-NC - No military experience
Virginia Foxx, R-NC - No military experience
Howard Coble, R-NC - 5 1/2 years in the United States Coast Guard and 18 years in the Coast Guard Reserve.
Mike McIntyre, D-NC - No military service
Robin Hayes, R-NC - No military service
Sue Myrick, R-NC - No military service
Pat McHenry, R-NC - No military service
Charles Taylor, R-NC - No military service
Mel Watt, D-NC - No military service
Brad Miller, D-NC - No military service

Foxx: "Heath Shuler has no chance of winning."

Hm. I wonder what those words will taste like in November. Ashes, I suppose. That sentence is from an article in The Hill all about Shuler's run for the 11th. Also in there:

At the end of the third quarter, Shuler had $248,957 in the bank while Taylor had just $19,369, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

During the same period, Shuler raised $263,642; Taylor took in $134,791. In recent months, prominent Democratic Reps. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), who is running for Senate, Steny Hoyer (Md.) and Robert Menendez (N.J.) donated to the Shuler campaign.

Robin Hayes Really Just Does Not Get It

Rep. Robin Hayes yesterday advocated for new laws that would help out North Carolina's textile industry (a good thing) and in the process revealed that he doesn't understand the importance of fair trade policies (a much bigger bad thing). Until politicians like Hayes get the message, North Carolina's economy will continue to suffer.

From The Business Journal:

U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) wants to require federal agencies to buy uniforms and other supplies from domestic manufacturers in an effort to boost the U.S. textile industry.

Hayes pushes for 'buy American' rules - 2005-12-06

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the 109th Congress*

You may want to click the "permalink" below and bookmark this entry. The Washington Post has started a US Congress Votes Database that anyone can access. There's a page for each member containing a list of their votes (alongside the Democrat and Republican positions), and an RSS feed for each member so that you can find out quickly each time that person votes. (Find out more about RSS feeds.)

To save you some trouble, I compiled the links for each of North Carolina's members below. Clicking the name gets you to the member's page, while "RSS" links to the feed. (Here are some maps in case you're not sure which district you're in.) These feeds won't do anything to help you write more persuasively to your representatives, but they will make sure that your emails of praise/derision are the very first they see! (Thanks to beSpacific for the link.)

Moderates vs. Zealots in NC-03

Real Conservatives (read: War lovin' Democrat hatin' Republicans) who don't like Congressman Walter B. Jones will have someone else to vote for in a Republican primary. I guess they weren't too happy about Jones agreeing that getting out of Iraq is a good idea. (NC-3, Jones's district, is the northern coastal district and extends inland to pick up Jacksonville and parts of Greenville; get a map in a new window.) According to NC Rumors, Greg Dority, who once ran for the NC-1 seat, is on the case:

"Every time these news agencies spotlight Democrats," Dority said," whose blind hatred of President Bush allows them to rationalize undermining the War on Terror and endangering the morale and lives of our troops, they replay Walter’s Press Conference with the liberal Democrats from last summer. They use him, and the people, including the military families he is supposed to represent, as their pet American conservative who opposes the War."

NC Rumors-News

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There's a story in the N&O today that, if accurate and complete, is pretty sad. Luther Hodges Jr. served on Jimmy Carter's cabinet, was chairman of NC National Bank, and CEO of the First Bank of Washington. When he came back to NC, he'd switched parties to become a Republican, and was appointed to a term of service on the Ports Authority. The N&O says that he did good work there. Now that Democrats are back in control of the state legislature, Hodges can't get his Ports Authority gig renewed. He also wanted to be considered for a spot on the UNC System board, but couldn't even get his name on the list. Hodges thinks its because he's a Republican.

Cafta Strikes Again

North Carolina continues to lose jobs because of CAFTA:

A long-time textile plant in Edenton will lay off 203 workers starting in April.

And Edenton Town Manager Anne-Marie Knighton says the recently
adopted Central American Free Trade Agreement is to blame.

Last week, Weyerhaeuser Company said it will shut down its plant
in nearby Plymouth after 57 years, which is expected to displace
another 200 workers.

Local agencies are developing ways to help families impacted by
the layoffs.

abc11tv.com: CAFTA Blamed for Layoffs at Edenton Textile Plant

Merry Christmas, OK?

In case you haven't noticed, let me fill you in: there are people out there who believe in a "War on Christmas." Their logic: every time you say "happy holidays," you could be saying "Merry Christmas," so you've decided to leave Christ out of the holidays. It's called a "War" because it's orchestrated by a sinister cabal of crazed left-wing communist secularists like, oh, Target and Home Depot. The save-Christmas crowd even has its own book, written by a Fox News anchor.

Internation Reaction to 1,000th Execution

I'd be interested to read more—anyone have any good links? Here's a rough (Google) translation of an Italian blog post about the execution of Kenneth Lee Boyd:

We admire and we love the United states for innnumerevoli things. But the capital punishment succeeds, to times, to make us to forget them all. ("Ammiriamo e amiamo gli Stati Uniti d’America per innnumerevoli cose. Ma la pena di morte riesce, a volte, a farcele dimenticare tutte.")

Thanks, TarGator, for all of your excellent coverage of this issue.

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