Democrat in the Ohio Secretary of State's Office in the person of the Profile in Courage Award winner Jennifer Brunner will be key for helping to turn around voter disenfranchisement in her state.
Today, the sided with Ohio's top elections official in a dispute with the state Republican Party over voter registrations.According to Ohio GOP Chairman Bob Bennett "They didn't deal with the merits of the case, What they dealt with was a technicality on whether we had standing or not to bring the action."
-- The Huffington Post, Supreme Court's Ohio Decision Rejects GOP Voting Dispute
Decided on a technicality or not, unreasonable measures ostensibly designed to prevent voter fraud under the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which lays out requirements for verifying voter eligibility, but which are far more likely to punish unsuspecting voters, and likely changed the fate of the 2004 presidential election, will not be allowed to expunge voters from the state's rolls before the November 4 election.
According to the story as reported in various news sources, including The Huffington Post and MSNBC, about "200,000 of 666,000 voters who have registered in Ohio since Jan. 1 have records that don't match. Brunner has said the discrepancies most likely stem from innocent clerical errors rather than fraud but has set up a verification plan."
McCain campaign chief strategist Rick Davis was hopping mad that the verifications haven't been done before now, but he wouldn't want to lose Joe the Plumber's, I mean Mr. Worzelbacher's -- excuse me, -- Mr. Wurzelbacher's vote from Lucas County, Ohio now would they?
After all, he knows as well as anyone that the accidental misspelling of Joe the Plumber's name on the voter rolls can happen to anyone.
Republican Presidential Nominee
October 16, 2008
By Mike Barnicle
Now, with less than three weeks to the end, he comes to the country staggering toward defeat, his pride and honor certainly diminished by the incoherence of his campaign and the absurdity of the choice he agreed to when it came to picking someone who would share a national ticket charged with talking, coaxing, massaging the country through a tough and turbulent time. And as the clock winds toward the conclusion, America looks and listens to a different John McCain than the man who captured so many hearts when he first ran for president, only eight years ago.
That guy is MIA, missing in action, held captive by ideologues who dominate his strategy sessions and what is left of the Republican party. So John McCain sat there on the stage at Hofstra Wednesday night, looking and sounding like an angry old man, bitter at the lack of traction -- or belief -- in his candidacy, uncomfortable with what he has allowed himself to become: a cranky senior citizen seething with resentment over how his glory days are lost in the long shadow cast by youth and change.
It is a sad story: a proud and independent man permits a handful of advisers to take his hard-earned reputation and alter it to such an extent that the original is now hard to recognize, nearly invisible behind a curtain of cynical ads and the preposterous pronouncements of a woman whose candidacy is an insult to intelligence.
John McCain used to know that the country was larger than any crowd he could ever draw; that it was filled with ordinary people who live their lives in the middle of a political spectrum, too busy making ends meet, to be driven to extremes by the fevers and fears that consume so many of the talk-radio set. He used to be aware that in order to win, a candidate could not simply preach to the converted, snarl and run with a resentment aimed at the fringe, the mixed mobs of the curious and angry that turn out for Palin.
Now, with time running out, he has only a few days left to try and reclaim himself, to find the man he once was, the whole man who could charm a crowd with his version of the truth. He criss-crosses a country filling up with fear and debt, a land fighting two wars as it fights for a weekly paycheck, a nation where more people worry about General Motors than think about General Petraeus. Political campaigns, like much of life itself, often revolve around one universal issue: the absence of money.
So, when John McCain tosses out a name from yesterday, William Ayers, it means nothing to people who want only to be told about tomorrow. These are the people who vote, the people who have seen the distant dream of retirement crushed by the collapse of so many 401K's in -- what? -- less than a month. They have no time for spite or a candidate's smirk or snarl. They are consumed with concern for the value of their home, the stability of their job, the immediate future of their family.
Unfortunately for McCain, he did little to stop the thieves who took his honor and reputation and tossed it out like so many discarded items for a yard sale, figuring that Americans could once again -- one more time -- be fooled into voting their fears. But what they really did was take the one Republican who may have had a legitimate shot at surviving the disaster that has been the Bush administration and strip him of the basic appeal he once had for people looking for someone who could lead.
The dreary dialogue of the past few weeks has finally managed to make the man look his age, look old and tired and embarrassed to be defending Palin while awkwardly injecting the absurd -- Ayers -- into the national dialogue when nearly everyone is riveted on the obvious: the family budget.
Soon, the 'Straight Talk Express' will bank west and head for the Arizona desert and election eve. And John McCain will sit up front, staring out the window, exhausted, as the plane crosses the land he loves and the people -- millions of them -- he failed to connect with because while he was once indeed a prisoner of war, he has spent the last ten weeks letting himself become a prisoner of the past.
While nodding to Hillary and walking the walk, did he want Obama to win? Is that his parting gift to the Republican party, to force their failure and renewal?
Conservatives Endorsing Obama
We are witnessing nothing less than the historic beginning of the Republican reclamation of their party from the neocons -- by voting Democrat in 2008.
Philadelphia talk radio host Michael Smerconish:
"I've decided," he said. "My conclusion comes after reading the candidates' memoirs and campaign platforms, attending both party conventions, interviewing both men multiple times, and watching all primary and general election debates.
"John McCain is an honorable man who has served his country well. But he will not get my vote. For the first time since registering as a Republican 28 years ago, I'm voting for a Democrat for president.
"I may have been an appointee in the George H.W. Bush administration, and master of ceremonies for George W. Bush in 2004, but last Saturday I stood amidst the crowd at an Obama event in North Philadelphia."
-- The Huffington Post, October 17, 2008, "Conservative Talk Radio Host Endorses Obama"
And, from the same article, the report that The Chicago Tribune offers comfort, solace and reassurance for Republicans concerning the man who will be their next president, Democratic Senator Barack Obama, endorsing a Democrat for the office of president of the United States of America for the first time since their founding in 1847:
Many Americans say they're uneasy about Obama. He's pretty new to them.
We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party's nominee for president.
We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready.
It may have seemed audacious for Obama to start his campaign in Springfield, invoking Lincoln. We think, given the opportunity to hold this nation's most powerful office, he will prove it wasn't so audacious after all. We are proud to add Barack Obama's name to Lincoln's in the list of people the Tribune has endorsed for president of the United States.
That deserves a second reading. It deserves framing.
I know I am proud, and I could only be prouder and happier were I Michelle Obama this day, or their daughters. You did good, Ann Dunham.
Who knew, back then at Columbia? Look what can happen when you follow your intelligence, your heart and your inner compass. You say it isn't about you, Barack, that it is about us, but we needed a focal point, the voice and the means, you have given us these, and we have used them to help you build a movement to help our country renew herself and fulfill her promise, for our generation and to make sure we can pass along a stronger and better America to our children.