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KPBS Commentaries

Getting Ready for February 5th

KPBS Commentaries

Its called Super Tuesday. Actually, some enthusiasts are calling it Super Duper Tuesday because on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 22 states will hold primaries or caucuses to determine their political parties nominees for president of the United States. Many believe that on that day, the final decision will be made and that by Wednesday morning, we will know the names to be put forth at the Republican and Democratic presidential nominating conventions during the summer. While we voters are feeling some pressure to make up our minds on how we will vote on Super Tuesday, its the folks responsible for recording, protecting, and counting our votes who are really under pressure these days to get ready for the big day. At the head of that team is Deborah Seiler, who became the County Registrar of Voters last May amidst hot controversy over her background as a former sales representative for the company that sold electronic voting machines to the County a few years ago for $31 million. Last August, the California Secretary of State Debra Bowen decertified them , concerned that they were not secure.

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Today, I asked Ms. Seiler who, in addition to her job representing electronic voting systems, served on the California Fair Political Practices Commission (1993-1997), was editor and publisher of California Elections Report , a monthly newsletter, and held several other appointed offices, about whether we can feel comfortable now that we are back to paper ballots. We also clarified some questions about whether, if you vote by mail-in ballot, and you change your mind after youve mailed in that ballot, you can rescind that vote and show up at a polling place. We talked about the countys lawsuit against the California secretary of state who wants a random sampling of ballots when the results are really, really close, and what choices non-partisan voters have in the presidential primary.

And, those exit polls we hear about the registrar has nothing to do with them. Thats strictly orchestrated by the media. But when the polls close at 8 p.m., the mail-in vote should give us some idea who the winners will be. Between now and then, you can vote by going to the registrars office, mailing in your ballot, or you can wait for the big day.

Greg Duch
January 18, 2008 at 01:10 AM
Gloria: A piece of trivia about current public servants; specifically U.S. Senators. How many of the current members of the U.S. Senate served in World War II? a) none b) two c) five d) nine Let's see... Sen. Akaka-- Democrat of Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, Democrat of Hawaii Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey Sen. Ted Stevens, Republican of Alaska Sen. John Warner, Republican of Virginia (retiring after this session). Looks like five to me!! Keep the boys of ER on their toes tomorrow! RY, Greg -----

Patrick of Lemon Grove
January 18, 2008 at 06:47 PM
I've been getting a bit frustrated at the focus that KBPS has been giving too the Republican party lately. You bring in primarily Republican Guests and tend to lean towards giving the republican party the main voice. Time and time again I have heard this station say that they try and give voice to both sides of the story so we can make the opinion based upon what everyone has to say. What I have also heard time and time again is Guests brought in who rip into a democratic ideal or person, without ever giving the chance to a democrat to defend themselves. I love KPBS. I am 22 years old and I have been listening to it for as long as I can remember. But every time this station goes down this road, I end up getting fed up with Gloria Penner and would rather listen to silence. Please choose a different game to play, otherwise you may loose me, And I'm sure that I am not the only one who feels this way.

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Gregory Duch
January 20, 2008 at 01:28 AM
Dear Patrick: Power is composed of THREE indispensable ingredients. This is true in Baghdad. This is true in San Diego. The THREE requisite ingredients for power are MONEY, INFORMATION, AND INFLUENCE. In San Diego, Republicans have lots of money. They can buy lots of information, and then use it to their advantage to set their "AGENDA" in any political, economic, or social dispute. Armed with money and the "right" information, Republicans can and will INFLUENCE the course of events in San Diego. Mass media serves as the main means of influencing the public. That is why in a one-newspaper town, that newspaper has a great deal of power to influence the public, which is assumed to be passive and/or ignorant. Other local media outlets are forced to "play ball" with this mass media 800lb.gorilla, to gain access to news and information, themselves. So, you tee that if you want power, publish your own monopoly newspaper.... You are then able to crown kings, and mock fools--and influence an entire community. Anytime you hear that a daily newspaper is referred to, as "THE PAPER", then you know that this newspaper is tacitly acknowledged to be THE ONLY SOURCE OF LOCAL NEWS. As a result, "THE PAPER" takes on a mantle of omnipotence and infallibility much as "THE BIBLE" does. This is journalistic fundamentalism. You cannot argue with a fundamentalist, of any sort. "THE PAPER", JUST LIKE "THE BIBLE" contains nothing but "THE TRUTH". So here in San Diego, we all must read from the same "journalistic BIBLE". This include individual citizens and other media outlets. I hope you tee what I mean.

Greg Duch
January 21, 2008 at 01:00 AM
I share Patrick's frustration. The three "regular" co-hosts of the "Editor's Roundtable" are thoroughly predictable in their comments and didactic in their style. Bob, John, and Tim neither report news, nor are they newsmakers. Their positions do not consist of news reporting nor newsmaking. They are three guys whose job it is to shape the news to fit a particular viewpoint. They are editorialists (propagandists). Therefore the comments that the three make on Editor's Roundtable can be expected to reflect the positions that they have already espoused in their own publications. As a result, E.R. takes on the character of a three-man Rush Limbaugh-like show consisting of partisan venting and ranting of personal opinions. John, as an ordained minister, occasionally throws in a bit of pulpit moralizing, as well. The show has become more of a one-sided harangue by the three musketeers of media, than an open and diverse discussion of issues, by truly knowledgeable reporters/correspondents. This is a shame. There are SO MANY well-informed, expert voices in the community, whose ideas and opinions would provide fresh, stimulating, thought-provoking, eye-opening dialogues. KPBS does itself no favor, and it provides no service to the community by building a second platform for Bob, John and Tim from which to propagandize. They each have their own community-wide platforms from which to proseletyze apart from KPBS (their own well known publications). Do they speak for KPBS on Editor's Roundtable? In the absence of a disclaimer by KPBS, it must be assumed that they DO have carte blanche to speak for KPBS. Most especially in this election year, the community needs objective and diverse airing of issues, and not subtle (or overt) campaigning in favor of particular policies and candidates favored by the three wisemen. That is truly a disservice to the community. Respectfully yours, Greg

Downtown Toronto Condos
April 20, 2008 at 08:18 PM
I’ve been getting a bit frustrated at the focus that KBPS has been giving too the Republican party lately. You bring in primarily Republican Guests and tend to lean towards giving the republican party the main voice. Downtown Toronto condos

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