Tag Archives: Bob Balink

Ballot Caging and the real difference between D and R

The R’s don’t want people to vote. More people politically active, means they lose. Very simple.

You might ask yourself

Self, what’s the worst that could happen?

What’s the difference between a D and an R?

What real difference does it make if large groups of

people are disenfranchised?

Why not ask the R’s?

I mean, they’re the ones who spend lots of effort making sure people don’t vote, right?
Like County Clerk Williams and his lapdog Kathryn Young making sure people who didn’t vote in Nov can’t vote in Apr. Mr Williams was elected in a mudslide last anointed High Priest of Republican Vote Suppression, and made sure as many people as possible couldn’t vote.
It’s his “official” job to do the opposite, but since he only represents Republican Voters the Official Version went out the window.
One of the things his term-limited former fuhrer Bob Balink (doesn’t that sound a lot like a Quayle?) did was move the Polling Place on the Westside, a strong Democratic district, across the Great Barrier Highway, to a warehouse district as far removed from a bus stop as you can get in this town, the only way you could get to it is up two streets, 21st street and Busch, UP A STEEP HILL with no sidewalks. Does that sound much to you like they actually wanted for instance DISABLED people to vote, especially when they were trying to rig the election in favor of people who want DISABLED Americans to just curl up and die? Hmmmm…
How many people who have no difficulty walking actually go by their polling place weeks or days early to make sure that nobody sneaked away with their polling place, which WAS conveniently located in the middle of the population center of the West Side and a short block away from a bus stop?

Miss Johnnie and I didn’t find out until election day in the afternoon. Fortunately at that point we had just gotten a car. I would have a great deal of difficulty navigating up that hill, Miss Johnnie would never have made it, somebody in a wheelchair would never have made it… somebody just getting off work, going to the West Middle School location and discovering the neat little signs that Boob Balink had put up saying “Ha ha, we SCREWED you out of an opportunity to vote, too bad so sad, you should have been born rich like the only people I represent were!”

Elections are held in April and November. Many people unfamiliar to Colorado Springs wouldn’t know that there is a strong statistical chance of SNOW in April and definitely in November. Can you imagine trying to get up that hill in the snow, especially with the usual weekday traffic of Redneck Ignorant Asshole Republicans driving by in their SUVs thinking that having a gas guzzler entitles them to every square inch of the road, every drop of oil in the world and every drop of blood from the people who object and the soldiers ordered to put down those “insurgents”? They’re the ones who think Disabled Americans don’t deserve to live in the first place. Their crackwhore mommas taught them that.

So now, if you missed your shot at voting in November, Bob-alongs’ appointed Heir to the Throne Williams and his lap-dog sellout Kathryn Young, get to suppress your vote once more by simply refusing to provide you with a ballot.

But, say some, marking a D instead of an R or simply not voting altogether, what could possibly go wrong with that?

Yeah, contrary to the whining and sniveling and pure racist hate speech the Tea Potty shrieks out about Obama, he did in fact continue Mr Bush’s Crime Spree,

But think… what if there had been no war for Mr Obama to take over the management thereof?

The West Side rejected the Tea Party Murderous Hate Freaks in November.
Even WITH the RepubliKlan repression and vote suppression (unofficial of course, but officially they didn’t arrange the murders of the Kennedy’s, Martin L King, 6 people in Tucson, Two people in Arivaca Arizona, Bill Sparkman in Kentucky, two more AMERICANS in Knoxville, the shooting at the Holocaust Museum… or the beating of Lauren Valle by Klan members for the benefit and amusement of Rand Paul)

Another challenge…

Bob Balink, and any other City/County/State official who made the idiot decision OR WAS IT? to move the West Side polling place from the center of population, 20th and Pikes Peak, into a warehouse district on the far side of the highway from where most people live and as far away from a bus route as you can possibly get and still be in the Springs. I’d like to see, especially Balink with his long history of Vote Suppression and Voter Intimidation, strapped into a wheelchair and see if HE can maneuver that sucker up 21st street to Busch street, from say, Cucharras street. Have him try it on a day when there’s high traffic load and construction closing off lanes, remember there’s no sidewalk up either road. Not continuous anyway and the parts that exist haven’t been repaired in a couple of decades at least. Thank You Doug Bruce. See if any of you Republican Tea-Bag THIEVES can actually do it. Then try to get down to the polling place.

Want to try it even more? do any of the above walking with a rock in your shoe to approximate the pain of walking with orthopaedic injuries.
Have your socially Retarded supporters who drive up 21st and attempt to run over pedestrians, bicyclists and even people in wheelchairs and hurl obscenities and even objects at us as they thunder by in their oversized Replacement Penis SUVs and status-symbol pickups that never saw the inside of a real job site. I know they’re your Supporters because they have bumper stickers all over their “cars” that loudly proclaim themselves to be “conservatives” (while wasting everything) and that Yellow Tea Party Flag that matches their Yellow Tea Party Bellies. Try it, Balink, Bruce, any other Republican Retards

Then try real hard to explain how that’s not an attempt to suppress the vote on the most Democratic part of town.

Judge-shooter Bruce Nozolino indicted before Facebook friends can jump ship

Bob Balink, Jeff Crank, Bob Beauprez, Kent Lambert and Dave SchulteisConservative petition-circulator Bruce Nozolino warned would-be litigants that he had a reputation, “a propensity to shoot judges and lawyers” and it turns out whoever got in his way. He poses with a rifle on his Facebook profile. Today a local grand jury indicted Nozolino for murder. While Nozolino loitered outside the courthouse beyond a boundary court-ordered by the judge, his associate Doug Bruce was granted immunity for testifying against him. Other Republican friends were not so lucky. Local cronies Bob Balink and Jeff Crank and state crazies Bob Beauprez, Kent Lambert and Dave Schulteis have ties to the self-styled gun-toting avenger, and Facebook has the paper trail! There’s also Robin Coran, whose profile pic features attack-mite Michelle Malkin, local Tea Party heavies Crista Huff and Michelle Morin (Who unfriended Nozolino as I typed this), and other locals who I’ll list here for posterity: “Bob” Clark, Andy McElhany, Carolyn Borgwardt, Jim Pfaff, Judy Rydberg Reyher, Kathy Peterson, Kay Rendleman, Mark H. Barker, Robert J. Lane, Shawn Mitchell, Tom Wiens. This “Likes Cooking bacon with a machine-gun” profile is almost too perfect to be believed, but you can’t claim a Facebook friendship without being accepted.

UNDO THE COUP begins at home

COLORADO SPRINGS- Rita wants to remind local Democrats about which way to push Barack Obama, come January 20 after the inauguration, and before then, at the local Democratic Party precinct meetings. Whether we have expectations of Obama or not, if he doesn’t know what we want, how’s he supposed to deliver?

Here’s the full text of her latest communique:

CHANGE AND MORE CHANGE
by Rita Walpole Ague

With the Obama inauguration about to happen, may we all come to rest and live in peace and justice and true democracy. Recent comments made by Obama coordinator Bob Nemanich re. the anti-democratic stance certain of his old friends, do not surprise me in the least. Failures of our democracy to function as a democracy are not new, and have been around for awhile – some say since 1947. I recall when the FBI was doing warrantless wiretapping of the Kennedys and MLK, plus countless of their supporters and followers. Such blatant anti-democracy tactics have now reached new levels of power lust and greed under the oh so fascist, manipulative Neocons.

Consider Neocon “spook” surveillance and infiltration into so many organizations and efforts, certainly including numerous peace, and justice, and political and governmental organizations and operations The first such governmental operation that comes to my mind is the democratic and fundamental act of voting and having that vote count. No big secret – vote fraud’s gone broad based and high tech.

Here’s reality, as painful as it may be to face – we’ve lost democracy. And the “change” our almost president Obama has promised to render must first and foremost address this loss of democracy, and all the constitutional violations that go and have gone unchallenged and all too often hide and have been hidden under the guise of “security against terrorism.” In the words of the head of Grandmothers for Peace International, we must become our own media, a job Bob Nemanich did so well following the Democratic assembly when he, acting in his co-ordinator position with the Obama campaign, sent out an email far and wide with a request for info. on the intimidation and disenfranchisement that occurred at the Democratic county assembly in February, 2007.

Bob wanted identified who it was who had stood at the door and turned away countless elected delegates and alternates, many of whom had dangerously been kept standing outside in the bitter cold for hours. How tragic it is that question even had to be asked by Bob and the party vice chair Jay Ferguson, since the Democratic party chair, John Morris, was most certainly aware who this person at the door was – former NSA operative and then current chair of the local A.C.L.U., and now chair of the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission, William Durland. Certainly Morris knew who Durland was and what he’d been assigned to do, just as Morris knew and knows who Durland is and what he does when Morris recently authorized that complaints re. voting “irregularities” be sent to Durland.

And how tragic it was and is that Morris, supposedly a staunch Democrat and chair of the local party, praises people such as El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Bob Balink, the same official who ousted me from his office in Oct. of 2006 as I attempted to cast an early vote and refused to take off my small “Grandmothers for Peace” button. Very recently and far more outrageously, Balink attempted to disenfranchise Colorado College students and keep them from voting, attempting to intimidate their parents with a threat of IRS involvement. Disenfranchisement and intimidation. Isn’t there a pattern?

And what role has and does Colorado Springs being a major “fusion center” play in these and all the other totally undemocratic and unconscionable incidents we’ve experienced here in Colorado Springs – for example, the tear gassing of peaceful demonstrators as they gathered prior to our entry into the Iraq war? Similar tear gassing occurred at that time only in one other city on earth – Athens, Greece. Then there was the brutalizing of the peace demonstrators during the 2007 St. Patrick’s Day Parade – their offense was wearing a uniform of sorts, green shirts with peace signs. They peacefully marched and rode under permit in the parade, and suddenly were brutalized beyond belief. Guess what? No national press coverage, even though one of the top stories of the year happened that day – the dragging in the street by a cop of Elizabeth Fineron, a physically disabled former nun, until she was raw and bleeding on her thigh and stomach, an act of torture still available for view on the internet and in photos which appeared in the Independent. Talk about terror!

Cursed until the day of her death with post traumatic stress disorder following her being so brutalized, Elizabeth died a year and a month later, the victim of a fully “infused” Colorado Springs Police Department. Next came the arrest, handcuffing and removal of two peace demonstrators at the 2008 Democratic State Convention, along with the destruction by police of the support poles for the banner. Their true offense was standing outside police lines, holding up a banner that asked: “Dems, please stop funding the war in Iraq.” Waiting to enter the arena to take part in the convention, elected delegates and alternates cheered the demonstrators, as simultaneously, unidentified persons, standing on a nearby hotel roof with a hyperbolic dish, surveilled and recorded the entire arrest incident. The official offense the police initially charged the peace demonstrators with was “obstruction,” but that charge was almost immediately abandoned and replaced with the charge of “trespass.” Guess who would be the party to bring and pursue such a complaint of trespass? You guessed it – the leaseholder of the convention site, the Colorado state Democratic party!

And then came the request by the head of the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission, at that time but no longer located behind the Independent in a building which the Indy owns, for police to appear and question and possible place under arrest four individuals, myself included, who sat in folding chairs in a streetside parkway outside the J&P office for an hour one spring evening and discussed the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Denver. We considered what “infusion” style police tactics might be (and unfortunately were) used on peace demonstrators. Once again, it’s difficult to miss the pattern of disenfranchisement and intimidation.

Rather than standing watch on the constitution and democracy and asking the hard but vital questions that are the basis of all good critical thinking, the U.S. has allowed itself to be spun by the greed and power mongers and their corporate controlled mass media into a state of “La La Land.” Not only was Elizabeth Fineron a victim of a fully “infused” Colorado Springs Police Department, but the peaceful older disabled woman, an Obama supporter, a teacher who dedicated herself to peace and justice for all, was a victim also of a naive, consumption preoccupied, unquestioning and not sufficiently concerned U.S. populace.

It’s increasingly apparent that what all this spells: COUP! Certainly we all, under the leadership of our man Obama, need to address the Neocon-insurged “IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID” peril we find ourselves in. But until we place as our number one priority the return of true vs. token democracy, and do what it takes to “UNDO THE COUP,” we’ll continue to be at the mercy of the military/industrial/corporate power and greed mongers who, like Bob’s old school friends, think we Americans are stupid, should not be able to vote, and believe democracy is a quaint, antiquated, naive institution. Our democracy, which has been tortured, waterboarded, and all but done away with over the years, will be beyond resuscitation if we don’t clearly concentrate on the root of the problems underlying the economic and total undemocratic mess we’re in today.

Let’s keep the faith, and Obama-style hope. Let’s honor of all our U.S. brothers and sisters who, along with Elizabeth Fineron, have donned a uniform and fought and died for their country – for democracy and the constitution, for lasting peace and fundamental justice. Let’s rejoice in the not so minor miracle that’s happened – the election of Barak Obama. Let’s celebrate his inauguration. Let’s push hard and fight peacefully but firmly for the change we so desperately need. And let’s never stop reminding our soon to be President Obama that we’re counting on him to bring about the change he’s promised – the change we so need and long for.

President Obama, congratulations, and never forget – we want to help you and your appointees to UNDO THE COUP!

Rita Ague

Election day fire alarm at Centennial Hall

Centennial Hall fire alarmCOLORADO SPRINGS- The Gazette has video footage of city firefighters arriving at the El Paso County election offices at Centennial Hall on the evening of election day, Nov. 4th, just as Clerk and Recorder Bob Balink exits the building. RNC delegate Balink’s possibly illegal ban of news crews from all county polling places, did not prevent cameras outside from documenting the 8:20pm fire alarm which delayed the tabulation of election results. Here’s the official CSFD DUTY REPORT for UNIT E1C.

Incident No. 838997
Alarm Time: 20:20
Dispatched: 20:21
Arrived: 20:24
In-Service: 20:54

ATAL-Detector Operated Due to Particle Contamination

E1 to scene for automatic fire alarm sounding, unknown further.

E1 arrival to a single story government building, fire resistive construction, no visible signs of emergency, evacuation completed. Investigation of fire alarm panel, activation of detector in zone 5. Further investigation shows activation of detector, apparently due to dust, in basement level electrical closet. Facilities maintenance on scene completed successful reset of system after cleaning out detector. No further action required, E1 return to service.

El Paso County resists blue trend how?

Two articles caught my eye in this morning’s Gazette, and I’d like to thank the editors for putting them side by side. The first lauded El Paso County’s strong Republican push-back to the Obama landslide, the other illuminated Clerk and Recorder Bob Balink’s dubiously legal measures at the EPC polling stations. Do the Gazette editors think, as I, that one of these stories could have a bearing on the other?

The first article was written with the partisanship we’re used to from the Gazette. In face of this election’s “blue tsunami,” El Paso County remained high and dry. Can we read this any other way than meaning “safe” and Republican (red), in the face of the Obama danger? The article detailed how El Paso County voted against the prevailing tide. Even the Democratic candidates who won elsewhere were “stomped” here. Stomped –like cockroaches?

The adjacent article was about the Clerk and Recorder. It reported that on election day, the media had been banned from the local polling places. This measure was in defiance of common practice and, the question was raised, even election law. Apparently, lawsuits may follow.

Mention was also made of Balink’s attempt to intimidate Colorado College students.

Did the media ban mask inappropriate election worker activity? Had the CC letter deterred student voters?

The article did not mention a yet-to-be investigated story, the mysterious fire alarm at Centennial Hall, a half hour after voting closed. Everyone had to leave the building. By the way, the fire alarm tactic is a recurring theme if you’ve watched video reports of past election irregularities, in this new age of the self-deputized citizen poll watcher.

Centennial Hall was not only the main poll station downtown, and the chief early voting location, it was the central office into which all the El Paso County precincts reported their election results. Might there be a story here?

The article also didn’t address why in El Paso County, paper ballots were not permitted for early voters. Only Diebold touch-screen machines were available for the early birds, who one might guess would have been the most activated of the new wave.

RIGGED!

indy event
COLORADO SPRINGS- I attended the Every Vote Matters town hall symposium and I can cut through the unselfconscious evasiveness for you. The El Paso County election is RIGGED. The Republicans in charge are already folding their arms smugly behind locked glass doors. Many of the major bureaucrats showed up today to be seen smiling about it.

County Commissioner Dennis Hisey introduced the event with this assurance on behalf of the agency: “All those eligible to vote will be able to do so.” Give Hisey credit for taking straight aim to muddy the chief point of contention. Both the State of Colorado and El Paso County have been caught hindering voter registration. Promising to respect voting rights reserved for eligible citizens is a sick joke.

El Paso County’s purposeful mishandling of voter registrations has already excluded thousands who Hisey may well consider now ineligible.

What else? Here’s what else:

1. No redress for voter participation already suppressed.
2. Many newly registered will not be notified of their eligibility.
3. More will be sidelined with provisional ballots.
4. No early voting facility for voters more likely Democrats.
5. No paper ballot alternative to Diebold for early voters.
6. No nonpartisan oversight of Republican data technicians.

Neither Clerk and Recorder Bob Balink nor Secretary of State Mike Coffman showed up to answer the current accusations. Instead two representatives from the election staff were put forward to offer attendees the same reassurances crafted for the county website. Every vote matters, regardless the election, partisanship aside, yada yada.

The two women were besieged by complaints and worries from public at large, and though they had no answers, they were applauded by the Republicans in the room, most of whom were men in suits, many of whom were county employees. So much for partisanship. You’ve never seen such smug assholes.

In fairness, I’d guess neither Liz Olsen nor Terry Sholdt know the partisan shenanigans being pulled by their bosses. Probably the two are fully qualified office managers who enforce the rules they are given. Without a hint of awareness of the big picture. “Anyone with concerns should feel free to call us anytime.” I’m paraphrasing Olsen. Their office is eager to resolve any issue, so long as it’s brought to their attention. Fortunately someone was on hand in the audience to tell them trying to reach their office by phone was often impossible.

And is that your understanding of a voter’s rights? So long as a voter knows to call the Office of the County Clerk and Recorder, or try, he needn’t feel disenfranchised.

NOTE: Mark Lewis provides some video of the meeting:

Confront GOP vote fixers Monday Oct 27

Every Vote Matters
EVERY VOTE MATTERS “Election Protection” Town Hall featuring Office of El Paso County Clerk & Recorder (confirmed) and Sec. of State (invited)
Monday, Oct. 27, 2-3:30 p.m. Carnegie Room, Penrose Library,

20 N. Cascade Ave. Downtown. If you cannot attend, watch live at koaa.com or on Comcast Channel 9 (CS) or Channel 247 (Pueblo). Email questions you want asked by Oct 26 to jweiss (at) csindy.com
town hall meeting

Latest vote suppression from El Paso County Bob Balink should land him in jail

colorado-absentee-ballots
COLORADO SPRINGS- The Colorado Independent has reported a new salvo in El Paso County’s Clerk & Recorder Bob Balink’s usual anti-election measures. Balink is IN CHARGE of all local polling outlets, he’s partisan as GOP SHIT, he’s faced accusations before, and this latest move seems to betray what he thinks he can get away with. Though Balink’s election-year tradition of intimidating Colorado College students was this time rebuked, his comeback should land him in jail.

Every election year, Colorado College are warned by El Paso County administrators that if they try to register in the county, they might be breaking the law. When the same strategy was tried this year, the students struck back with a newspaper article dispelling the untruthful scare tactic. Bob Balink’s staff had to backpedal in public, but the CC journalists have received another salvo.

This letter was sent to CC on behalf of El Paso County, drafted by a Denver attorney. It explained that registering in El Paso County:
“can have cascading effects”
“could affect the students and their parents financially.”
have “ramifications that go far beyond where they cast their ballot.”
“could result in criminal penalties.”
“can jeopardize their parents’ ability to claim the student as a dependent”
“could end up costing the parents the $3,500 tax deduction.”
“could impact … health insurance plan or auto insurance policy.”
“could have a rough awakening”

Here is the full text of the letter:

The September 24th article [in the Colorado Springs Gazette], “Balink under fire for error on CC voter registration”, gives significant attention to whether Colorado College students are able to register to vote, yet little attention is given to the consequences of doing so.

Advocates, such as Senator John Morse, Martha Tierney, and Pat Waak, are correct in stating that there are no prohibitions on Colorado College students registering to vote. Nevertheless, out-of-state students should do so with their eyes wide open. Registering to vote in Colorado can have cascading effects that could affect the students and their parents financially.

When an individual registers to vote in Colorado, they make an affirmation that they are a resident of Colorado. The statement of residency exceeds merely being present in the state. The affirmation also includes abandoning prior residency in other states. Additionally, it makes departure from the student’s home permanent rather than temporary.

This distinction of a student living here temporarily or establishing a domicile has ramifications that go far beyond where they cast their ballot. Colorado law allows students who are here temporarily to maintain vehicle registration and drivers licenses in their home state. Once an out-of-state student registers to vote and declares Colorado as their state of residency, all the additional obligations of residency attach. These obligations include both vehicle registration and obtaining a Colorado drivers license. Failure to do either of these acts could result in criminal penalties. Are the students who are the targets of voter registration drives informed of these consequences? Are they aware of the big picture impact of signing the voter registration form?

Beyond the student’s new obligations related to Colorado state residency, there are other potential consequences to establishing residency as a student. Out-of-state students who are claimed as dependents by their parents can jeopardize their parents’ ability to claim the student as a dependent on their taxes. Establishing a new domicile outside of the parents’ home state could end up costing the parents the $3,500 tax deduction. The establishment of a new domicile could impact the student’s dependency status that is required for eligibility under the parents’ health insurance plan or auto insurance policy. Students who intend to return to a state school in their home state for graduate school could have a rough awakening when they find out that they have to pay out-of-state tuition because they have lost their previous in-state status. These are complex issues that must be addressed.

It is worth noting that an out-of-state student can still participate in the election by requesting an absentee ballot from their home state, if that is where they are registered. The voter registration drives that are targeting Colorado College students have a moral obligation to inform them of the impacts of their voter registration and to suggest that they consult with their parents prior to registering.

While groups that work to increase involvement in the electoral process should be applauded, blindly pushing students to register in Colorado, even when doing so could be to their detriment, is wrong. Registering out-of-state students in Colorado without fully disclosing the potential impacts of such registration borders on exploitation.

For further information contact:
Zakhem-Atherton LLC
303-228-1200
Mr. Erik Groves
Denver, CO

Come march in favor of elections for all

ON MONDAY OCTOBER 20th, at 12:30pm, Colorado College students will hold a PUBLIC MARCH to mark the first day of EARLY VOTING in the 2008 presidential election. Students will assemble at Worner Center, and march straight downtown to the El Paso County Registrar. This action will call attention to the need to go early to the polls, in case voters encounter challenges to their registrations. I’m more encouraged simply that students are taking to the streets because I believe, like Emma Goldman, “If voting could change anything, it would be illegal.” Would Goldman be so revered a social reformer if people didn’t recognize, deep down, the wisdom of her words?

Students at Colorado College have in years past faced regular disenfranchisement at the voting booth because local election administrators chose to muddy the qualifications for whether out-of-state students could vote in El Paso County. This year, plans to enforce a similar policy were leaked, and the county was forced to deny its intentions. As yet, student organizers do not know what to expect on November 4.

In the past, El Paso County has been such a God-forsaken Republican bastion that election rigging was probably unnecessary. It’s conjectured that this year, facing a growing Democratic electorate, local officials will be so eager for the region to hold to its conservative-idiot tradition that they will justify any means to do it.

I’ve seen the Republican partisanship on display at even ordinary county meetings. The Clerk and Recorder, Bob Balink for example, wears his Republican allegiance like a soccer fan. It would be no exaggeration I’m sure to speculate that Bob Balink will bite off your left foot sooner than let progressive ideas contaminate his hillbilly heaven. He travels to the Denver legislature on a regular basis to report back about what the crazy Democrats are trying to do. Every county commission meeting begins with his scouting tips about what progressive threats his Republican colleagues face over the horizon.

Conservatism in Colorado Springs stands for cronies, imbecilic cretins and the clan. In the 1930s the Pikes Peak region was the Colorado stronghold of the Klan. I’ve no doubt a lot of these guys still have their clan robes. In fact most recently the Minutemen, the post-9/11 incarnation of the KKK, held its recruitment meetings in a Colorado Springs Police Substation community room. It included, I kid you not, a recruiting inducement lifted verbatim and without irony, from the KKK.

Maybe a daylight demonstration of public unwillingness to be represented by bigots –who continue to parade about as if their support is unanimous– will push their politics back into the stagnant backwater of their fenced no-immigrants-welcome backyards where it belongs.