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Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Jill Carroll * The Lobbying Bill * Diebold,Inc.

A Mixed Bag on a Cloudy Thursday Morning

First the good news. Jill Carroll,the free-lance reporter who was kidnapped on January 7th while on assignment for the Christian Science Monitor in Baghdad, has been freed, unharmed. "I was treated very well. That's important people know that," she said in an interview broadcast by the Iraqi Islamic Party. "They never said they would hit me, never threatened me in any way. I was just happy to be free, and I want to be with my family." Good news indeed.

The Lobbying Bill

After making a lot of noise the Senate produced a mouse---a toothless one at that. The legislation could be further watered down in the House. Democrats proved to be as unwilling as the Republicans to give up the rewards that lobbyists provide. They have become addicts. "On Tuesday, the Senate rejected a bipartisan plan to create an independent investigative office designed to help the Senate's ethics committee enforce lobbying and ethics laws. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), one of the authors of the Democrats' lobbying proposals, voted against the Senate bill in part because it did not contain the office of public integrity."

Remember Diebold,Inc. ?

Diebold, the voting machine manufacturer was mentioned in 2004 for being involved in voting fraud by rigging the machines. This is from Naperville Sun 3/15/06: "Shortly after North Canton Ohio-based Diebold Inc. bought the voting equipment company Global Election Systems Inc., past chairman and CEO Walden O'Dell allegedly told Republican fundraisers he would help Ohio deliver the electoral votes to President Bush in the 2004 election. O'Dell resigned from Diebold in December." Now the attorney general of Florida has subpoenaed Diebold and two other voting machine manufacturers for refusing "to sell equipment to let disabled voters cast ballots without help in Leon County."

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