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Fox Caught in Mexico's Election Henhouse

by XicanoPwr Wed Aug 23rd, 2006 at 08:41:58 AM EST

It have been over seven weeks after the July 2 elections, Mexico still does not know who will be their new president. What is certain, the coalition Por el Bien de Todos (For the Good of All) continues to denounce the pro-government fraud, while maintaining their protests to defend democracy.

The partial recount ordered by Mexico's Federal Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF) has uncovered evidence of widespread irregularities. While the tribunal has not released any official results, judges discovered there were 49,000 more votes cast than there were people who actually voted in 11,839 polling places; ballot boxes were illegally opened; votes for coalition candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) had not been counted; and National Action Party (PAN) presidential candidate Felipe Calderon was credited with 14,847 more votes than he should have been. In Mexico, building an access road on disputed property is a minor offense, but enough to disqualify AMLO from running. It is obvious PAN and PRI that López Obrador is a master at self-promotion. AMLO turn the tables around and the used the situation to his advantage. He played the martyr and the victim of the power elite and the enemies of democracy, which resonated well with the people.

According to online newspaper, People's Weekly World, the tribunal will begin examining unclear ballots on Aug 21 with the goal of deciding whom to award the votes. The tribunal will also try to resolve other election disputes involving the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.

From the diaries - whataboutbob


However, it seems, the only reason tribunal called for a partial recount was to give an illusion that the TRIFE are actually investigating the election in hopes to satisfy those who are calling for an investigation. World also reported:

A source in Mexico's intelligence services told the World in an interview that four of the seven judges on the tribunal "respond to the interests of Calderon."

In addition, the government of President Vicente Fox was able to pressure the tribunal into not ordering a full vote recount, telling judges that their careers would go nowhere if they made the wrong decision. Six of the seven judges are set to retire from the tribunal next year, their terms coming to an end, said the source.

Recently (via the Unapologetic Mexican), Mex Files reported that CNN journalist Carmen Aristegui released a two-year-old interview of now-convicted Argentine businessman Carlos Ahumada. The video supports the claims made by AMLO that President Fox including National Action Party (PAN) member Federico Döring and senator Diego Fernandez de Cevallos have conspired with Mexico's ultra wealthy to block him from campaigning for Mexico's top spot.

According to El Universal (via dKos diariest, el cid), Ahumada fled the country when soon after he was convicted for bribing Mexico City officials and department heads.

He had fled to Havana to escape arrest on the graft charges. The Cuban government detected his presence and ultimately deported him back to Mexico, but not before questioning him and releasing tapes containing snippets of those conversations.
While being interrogated for 40 hours by Cuban authorities, Ahumada told investigators about the plot against AMLO. According to transcripts (via Charles at Mercury Rising), Ahumada tell investigators that the plan was formulated by former Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, two Mexican Cabinet Ministers from the Fox Administration - Secretary of the Interior Santiago Creel and Attorney General Rafael Macedo de la Concha - and Senator Diego Fernández de Cevallos, a member in President Fox's party.

The plan was to release videos of prominent politicians with AMLO's administration taking bribes form Carlos Ahumada. The videos were taken with hidden cameras were made public. Those involved were his finance chief, Gustavo Ponce; his right-hand man René Bejarano; former Mexico City mayor and a former PRD president, Rosario Robles; borough mayor of Tlalpan mayor, Carlos Imaz; and borough mayor of Gustavo A. Madero, Octavio Flores.

It is interesting to note, Rosario Robles provided Ahumada access to the party and the city administration's hierarchy so he could obtain government contracts. Once Ahumada was alone with party members, Ahumada would then video tape his conversations with them.

The first video occurred in March 2004, when Lopez Obrador's former finance chief, Gustavo Ponce was filmed gambling at the Bellagio Hotel (video) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The videos showed Ponce betting with huge sums of money, and information was given about Ponce depositing and spending thousands of US dollars at the Bellagio. Ponce was arrested on October 6 in Tepoztlán, an hour from Mexico City in the state of Morelos. Ironicly, Ponce, was part of an anti-corruption program during President Ernesto Zedillo's (1994-2000) administration. López Obrador named him Mexico City's Secretary of Finance in July of 2003.

The second video scandal came when René Bejarano, AMLO's former personal secretary, was aired on Víctor Trujillo's morning news show, "El Mañanero;" where he is best known for his Brozo the Clown character. The videotape shows Bejarano is caught live stuffing thousands of dollars (US$320,000) into his pockets and a briefcase. (video 1 and video 2). The video also shows a conversation taking place between Ahumada and René Bejarano. Interestingly, the video tape was presented by Federico Döring, an up and coming PANista.

Bejarano claimed the money was a cash contribution for Leticia Robles's political campaign for city borough mayor of Álvaro Obregón. Robles, denied any involvement in illegal campaign financing.

During and after the videos were released, AMLO held several press conferences denying any wrongdoing and accusing the Fox administration, first lady Marta Fox, former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari, US government agents, the DEA, and the Bellagio Hotel of Las Vegas, among others, for taking part of a plot to implicate him in a fabricated money laundering operation. The timing of the videos was very close to the desafuero scandal, the failed attempt to knock AMLO out of Presidential contention. Interestingly, there are common players involved in the two scandals - President Fox, Attorney General Rafael Macedo de la Concha, Secretary of the Interior, Santiago Creel, and Rosario Robles.

Plan B
After the first scheme to broadcast the videos didn't work, the next plan (the desafuero scandal) was to strip López Obrador of his parliamentary privileges for alleged contempt of judicial authority. Desafuero is the process, which the Mexican Congress votes to strip a government official's immunity in order to prosecute them. Mexican law forbids anyone under indictment from seeking the presidency. Once AMLO is striped of his immunity and taken to trial, if things go according to plan it would ultimately disqualify him as a presidential candidate.

In early 2005, AMLO was stripped of his immunity from prosecution by the PAN and PRI party members of Congress so that he can be charged for ignoring a court injunction to stop building an access road to a hospital.

One thing Lopez Obrador is good at is taking a bad situation and using this to his advantage. Before AMLO was formally charged, AMLO used the media to compare his situation to those of other famous international civil rights activists, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, who also had suffered in prison fighting against injustice. In the end, two PAN Senators posted López Obrador's bail.

The problem began in November 2000 when the city attempted to buy the land needed to build the access roads. AMLO's predecessor, Rosario Robles, expropriated by two segments of a piece of land called El Encino in order to extend an avenue to reach a hospital when the deal could not be reached.

El predio fue expropiado por el gobierno de Rosario Robles el 10 de noviembre de 2000. El 4 de diciembre de ese mismo año, la empresa Promotora Internacional Santa Fe interpuso un amparo.
Shortly after López Obrador took office, La Promotora Internacional Santa Fe filed a claim against the expropriation, arguing that it owned the land. In 2001, the federal judge ruled against La Promotora's petition to suspend the roadwork, naturally, the company appealed the ruling to a higher court. There, La Promotora had won a federal judicial order to suspend construction to an area that would not block access to the land. Faced with the courts ruling, Mexico City was now forced to cut a new stretch of road to provide access to the hospital.

In August 2001, the same judge, noted that the construction company still had equipment on the parcel and thus blocked the owner's use of it. The judge then asks the attorney general to charge various city officials, including the governor, with contempt of court for disobeying his order. What makes this suspicious, Fox's Attorney General Macedo de la Concha did nothing for four years. It was not until January 2005, that AG Rafael Macedo resurrected the case and started the desafuero process. Macedo not only started the desafuero process, but he did not seek charges against any of the city officials directly involved with the case.

One interesting fact, AMLO is the first person the desafuero process is used for ignoring a court order in Mexico's history. According to a 2005 article from the Los Angles Times:

Constitutional expert Lorenzo Cordova of Mexico's National Autonomous University ... said many judicial orders are issued every day across Mexico and that a significant proportion are ignored by public officials without prosecution. He said he knew of no previous case in which a public official had been prosecuted for ignoring a court order. "This would be a first in Mexican history," said Cordova, a former advisor to the Federal Election Institute. "This is a case of selective justice and one that is eminently political in its application." (LA Times, March 19, 2005).
Another interesting fact, according to  El Universal (via Narco News), a City government document questioned Escobedo's, ownership of the land.
The document outlined that Federico Escobedo, supposed owner of "El Encino," has twice been to prison. The first time was for a fraud of more than seven million pesos in (the public housing program) INFONAVIT in 1993, and the second time for tax evasion, in 1995.

"This is the person who says he is owner of the property, although he's not the only one who claims it. At least two other people claim ownership of this land in the Santa Fe neighborhood," the document stated.

La Jornada provides how La Promotora Internacional Santa Fe played into this scandal. La Promotora acted as a proxy for Escobedo from the time Escobedo and the city tried to negotiate a deal.

During March of 2005, the President Fox and his Secretary of the Interior, Santiago Creel ran a negative media campaign trying to draw comparisons between López Obrador and common criminals.

To convince the public that President Fox had no hand in failed desafuero coup plot; Fox suddenly backed down his "desafuero" crusade after days of defending the case against López Obrador. Fox defended the desafuero because it was necessary to preserve the rule of law that he had ushered in, insuring that "no one is above the law."

Surprisingly, Fox announced on TV that Attorney General Rafael, Macedo resigned from office had "resigned," clearing a sign that Fox was trying to save face and using it as a way to drop the contempt of court charges.

With the recent events surrounding the July 2 election, it is clear Fox has now lost what ever credibility he had left and PAN is beginning to lose their with the recent revelations provided by CNN journalist Carmen Aristegui. The PAN has let down and continues to let down its democratic mask. During Fox's tenure, PAN showed that it too suffers from the same authoritarian virus that infected the PRI. It completely forgot the teachings of one of its founders, Efraín González Luna, who was politically persecuted and firmly opposed to the partisan use of power.

It appeared that the 2000 elections put an end to the state-party era. However, the current events appear to be a warning that the country might not have changed and that it might remain a one-party authoritarian regime, but just with a different party. At most, it might be a two-party authoritarian regime, with the PAN and the PRI running the show. A couple of signs might indicate Mexico is head towards this path. One was the agreement between the PAN and the PRI to bump AMLO from running for president during President Fox's 2004 "desafuero" crusade.

The other sign was the formation of the Federal Election Institute (IFE) and the right to serve on IFE's General Council. In 2003, it is obvious there was pack between the PRI and the PAN on who would serve on IFE's General Council because there is a clear indication that López Obrador's party was excluded.

...the appointment of the IFE's current General Council (2003) has raised questions about the Institute's overall impartiality by comparison with that of its predecessor because it was structured without the active participation of the PRD. (National Democratic Institute, Pre-Election Observation)
Recent development also point that this might be the case. El Universal just reported that the Federal Electoral Tribunal accepted a citizens' petition the Court to review the performance of the IFE during the July 2nd elections.

It does not seem to matter to President Fox, Felipe Calderon, or any of the PAN Representatives that a majority of the country's citizens are demanding a full recount. They were trying to revive the old tradition whereby the President handpicks his successor - in this case as in others, by means of fraud. By refusing to listen to its citizens, they are clearly calling into question Mexico's democracy.

The government's current and past actions constituted an attack against the citizenry and against a true, complete democracy. It is unfortunate that People's Weekly World is not one of Mexico's news source because if what the online newspaper's source said is true - four of the seven judges on the tribunal "respond to the interests of Calderon" - it is this kind of information the public has the right to know. Without a doubt, this is a blatant attack on Mexico's social and electoral democracy. If this attack against Mexico's democracy were to succeed, it will shut the door on the one person who can bring calm to Mexico's rough waters and the only one who would have proposed an alternative to the current neoliberal economic model that is in place.

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Thanks for keeping everyone (me too) informed Xicano Pwr.  I've left Mexico for a few months, so news is harder to come by.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Mon Aug 21st, 2006 at 08:41:22 PM EST
Tell me about it. I don't know about you, but it just seems that most of the MSM are not very concern about Mexico or any of the Latin American countries. The only two that receives any type of coverage is Cuba and Venezuela.

And the ones that do cover Mexico is just too one sided.

Look at the headlines from Google News only 1 when it used to be more.

Financial Times - Mexico's leftwing leader plots as he sulks in his tent (Headline used on Google News)
Mexico's leftwing leader protests from his tent (Headline used on FT's website)

Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today. - Gandhi

by XicanoPwr (chicanopwr at gmail.com) on Tue Aug 22nd, 2006 at 07:48:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Many thanks for this diary!

Just a question, I've seen this bit of information everywhere: "judges discovered there were 49,000 more votes cast than there were people who actually voted in 11,839 polling places;", but what I'd like to know is what was the total number of votes at 11,839 polling places so that 49,000 can be interpreted meaningfully :).

by Laurent GUERBY on Tue Aug 22nd, 2006 at 04:39:23 AM EST
Rough guess: those polling places were 9% of the total, 41-42 million voted in total, thus total votes could be around 3.5-4 million. So 1%. But I seem to remember that the overvotes are concentrated in a smaller faction of those 11,839.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 22nd, 2006 at 08:21:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. Details from a 14 August Narco News article:

...the recount has been completed in 10,679 precincts of the 11,839 ordered by the court (about 9 percent of Mexico's 130,000 precincts)...

  • In 3,074 precincts (29 percent of those recounted), 45,890 illegal votes [That's 5% on average -- DoDo], above the number of voters who cast ballots in each polling place, were found stuffed inside the ballot boxes (an average of 15 for each of these precincts, primarily in strongholds of the National Action Party, known as the PAN, of President Vicente Fox and his candidate, Felipe Calderón).
  • In 4,368 precincts (41 percent of those recounted), 80,392 ballots of citizens who did vote are missing [About 6% -- DoDo] (an average of 18 votes in each of these precincts).
  • Together, these 7,442 precincts contain about 70 percent of the ballots recounted. The total amount of ballots either stolen or forged adds up to 126,282 votes altered.
  • If the recount results of these 10,679 precincts (8.2 percent of the nation's 130,000 polling places) are projected nationwide, it would mean that more than 1.5 million votes were either stolen or stuffed in an election that the first official count claimed was won by Calderon by only 243,000 votes.
  • Among the findings of this very limited partial recount are that in 3,079 precincts where the PAN party is strong and where, in many cases, the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) of candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador did not count with election night poll watchers, one or more of three things occurred: Either the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE, in its Spanish initials) illegally provided more ballots than there are voters in those precincts, or the PAN party stole those extra ballots, or ballots were forged.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 22nd, 2006 at 08:29:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ya beat me to it. :)

Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today. - Gandhi
by XicanoPwr (chicanopwr at gmail.com) on Tue Aug 22nd, 2006 at 09:59:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks!
by Laurent GUERBY on Tue Aug 22nd, 2006 at 12:46:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have tried looking for that data. I have the same question.

This is what Al Giordano reported: I will try to break it into chunks.

Total # of precincts in Mexico = 130,000
# of precincts court ordered = 11,839
# of precincts court recounted = 10,679

In 70% of the recounted precincts (7,442 precincts), 126,282 votes were altered either stolen/missing or added to the total.

Breakdown of the 70%
In 29% of the recounted precincts (3,074 precincts)

  • 45,890 votes = were illegally added (stuffed ballot boxes)
  • an average of 15 votes added per precinct in primarily strongholds of the PAN

In 41% of the recounted precincts (4,368 precincts)
  • 80,392 votes = were missing
  • an average of 18 votes per precinct were missing

Since 10,679 precincts were only recounted (8.2% of the nation's 130,000 polling places) Giordano calculated  that it would mean that more than 1.5 million votes were either stolen or stuffed in an election that claimed to have 4 million votes.

Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today. - Gandhi
by XicanoPwr (chicanopwr at gmail.com) on Tue Aug 22nd, 2006 at 09:59:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since 10,679 precincts were only recounted (8.2% of the nation's 130,000 polling places) Giordano calculated  that it would mean that more than 1.5 million votes were either stolen or stuffed in an election that claimed to have 4 million votes.

I assume you meant to say 40 million, not 4 million.  The relevant number is 1.5 million votes in an election where the margin was about a quarter million.

Quick questions - is the fraud slash 'errors' all in favour of PAN and against AMLO? PRI doesn't have a particularly good record on election fraud - is  there any evidence that they diverted votes in their strongholds and if so from whom - equally from both opponents or just from AMLO? How does the situation look in AMLO strongholds, assuming that those have been checked? (your comments indicate that the adding of votes took place in PAN precints, but doesn't breakdown those where votes went missing, nor whose votes went missing there)

In any case with that scale of discrepancies compared to the margin, wouldn't it make the most sense to just hold the elections again? It is logical to infer that Lopez was the real winner, but barring more evidence than we're likely to get it's impossible to know for certain.

by MarekNYC on Tue Aug 22nd, 2006 at 03:25:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is the fraud slash 'errors' all in favour of PAN and against AMLO?

There are five different kinds of errors:

  1. more ballots in the box than the counted number of voters (ballot stuffing)
  2. less ballots in the box than the counted number of voters (throwing out ballots)
  3. more votes for a candidate in the recount than in the summary submitted by the local election board in the original count (up-correction of one candidate's figures)
  4. less votes for a candidate in the recount than in the summary submitted by the local election board in the original count (down-correction of another candidate's figures)
  5. ballots apparently tampered with

Of these, your question can't be answered about the first two, because we can't identify the false resp. check the missing votes. But the figures discussed upthread concern these. However, the claim is that these 'anomalies' usually happened in areas without PRD observers in the electoral board and/or with local PAN domination -- that would imply an AMLO->Calderón swing.

Regarding the other three kinds of 'errors', I haven't found fresh figures (maybe XicanoPwr can help dig in the Spanish-language press?), nor any overall numbers, but when the recount was about halfway through, and 'errors' of types 1) and 2) counted 100,000, the others summed up to 30,000, and there were overall swings for AMLO numbering thousands in some states.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Aug 22nd, 2006 at 03:49:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding the net change from errors type 3-5, I found this:

With results from the partial recount of the contested presidential election still pending, on Tuesday the National Action Party (PAN) and Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) continued to promote widely differing statistics in the battle for public opinion.

According to officials from the conservative PAN, the maximum possible number of votes that their candidate Felipe Calderón could lose or gain following the recount is 1,500 votes...

PRD representatives, meanwhile, have argued in recent days that the recount of 9 percent of the 41 million ballots cast will lead to a reduction in Calderón´s margin by 14,000 votes.

Regarding what the other two types of errors could entail, one tangential example is a ballot box for which the count was 182 Calderón, 77 AMLO, but the recount found the box empty. So a very crude minimum guess would be one third of the missing/surplus votes as swing. That would be some 40,000 for the recount.

By extrapolation, we'd get an AMLO minus Calderón difference change of 16,500 [PAN figure] or 154,000 [PRD figure] plus 440,000 for all of Mexico.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Aug 22nd, 2006 at 04:28:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is extrapolation valid, or is there a selection bias in the sample that was chosen for the recount? If the precincts chosen for the recount are those where fraud was more strongly suspected, as opposed to a random sample, extrapolation would not be earranted.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 22nd, 2006 at 04:45:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, but again I have read nothing about how and why those 9% were selected. (Can you or XicanoPwr find something on that?)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 22nd, 2006 at 05:19:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From Proceso
Highlights (found in bold in the Spanish text, my emphasis):

  1. Ballot boxes that were open 49% came from Electoral Districts and 83% came from the states. (This means, at least one package will be open in each district/state belonging to these percentages. It does not mean that 49% of the polls will be recounted)

  2. All states where Calderon won will be subjected to a total or partial recount.

  3. The states with the hugh inconsistencies - Jalisco, Veracruz, Mexico, Nuevo Leon, Michoacan and Distrito Federal.

  4. The only criteria used to order the openning of a package where there is evidence of ballot stuffing. For example - if there are 320 votes listed, but there suppose to be only 300 registered voters voting at that designated poll station, "faith" in the process disappears.


Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today. - Gandhi
by XicanoPwr (chicanopwr at gmail.com) on Tue Aug 22nd, 2006 at 08:35:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So it is not justified to extrapolate.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 23rd, 2006 at 06:09:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure -- see my two comments below.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 23rd, 2006 at 06:21:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't understand this completely.

  1. You mean that 49% of electoral districts, distributed in 83% of states, had tampered-with ballot boxes? As opposed to 9% recounted?

  2. Is that because Calderón won, or because the election districts fitting the electoral commission's criteria were all in PAN states?

  3. Are these states recounted in full?

  4. If ballot stuffing is the only criteria, how come that only  3074 of 10,679 recounted districts show ballot stuffing, but 4,368 show less votes than on the tally, and the remaining 3,237 don't show such an anomaly?


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 23rd, 2006 at 06:20:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am sorry if I confused you sometimes I too got lost in translation...lol

There are approximately 131,000 polls around the country divided into 300 districts. The reason the Tribunal did not do a full recount is because it only consider the districts that the PRD challenged. In other words, not all of country's 300 districts are included within Mexico's 31 states.

AMLO challenged 230 of the 300 districts
15,000 polls not challenge

My understanding is that, it 83% is from 230 challenged districts will be recounted and 49% of the total polls that AMLO challenged

Electoral Tribunal recounted
26 states to be recounted
11,838 Polls recounted
Results on Aug 15
Calderon: -6769 votes
López Obrador: +304 votes
AMLO gain: +7073 votes
Avg. gain per poll: +0.5975 votes

How the electoral commission decided:
In these polling stations the errors were really bad, that even a simple mathematical operation could have realized and that the IFE should have picked up on it without the need for the Por el Bien de Todos coalition to challenged them.

For example: 55 of the 170 polls in District Council 15 of Jalisco were recounted because the number of votes totaled exceeded the number of actual voters. In some polls some errors ranged from 1 to 100+ extra votes. Such as precinct #236 which had 130 people who voted that day, but the precinct reported 223 votes.

As to your last question. That is a very good question, because from everything I read and had translated to double check, that does seem to be the only criteria to do a recount. I think there was more to what the Tribunal decided but either they left that part out when they made their announcement or the press left that part out. I still can not find out how that came to be. Or I am lost in translation on that one too...lol

Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today. - Gandhi

by XicanoPwr (chicanopwr at gmail.com) on Wed Aug 23rd, 2006 at 12:07:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Adding to XicanoPwr, there are some numbers for consideration in an earlier comment of his: in all of Mexico, a review by a newspaper (or someone reported by that newspaper?) found 30,000 precincts with surplus votes totalling 898,000, and 42,000 precincts with missing votes totalling 722,000, that would imply that the share of affected precints in both categories and of missing votes in the recount is only slightly above the national average, while the precints with the more crude examples of ballot stuffing were even left out.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 23rd, 2006 at 05:53:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't forgoten your request on the Texas Tran Corridor, I just wanted to make sure I got this information out there.

Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today. - Gandhi
by XicanoPwr (chicanopwr at gmail.com) on Wed Aug 23rd, 2006 at 08:59:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I strayed to el cid's dKos diaries, where I found the story of the Chiapas governor race. Here is a live-updated graph of the count (when I checked, it was 94.33% counted) -- another close race:

From left to right, blue is votes for the candidate of PAN (President Fox's party), green is PRI (the former long-time ruling party), yellow is PRD (AMLO's party), then two small parties.

Scandals are hot in this race, too: on one side, a taped conversation seems to prove that PAN funneled money to help PRI's candidate; on the other side, PRD officials are accused of vote-buying in the form of issuing hurricane relief; if I read the news tright, the election board acted on both accusations.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Aug 22nd, 2006 at 04:04:48 PM EST
I posted a link about the Chiapas govs race several weeks ago.  The PAN and PRI publically and openly agreed to join forces there and support one candidate, the PRI candidate in order to defeat the PRD candidate.  This was front page news in the Diaria de Tabasco.  Don't know what a taped telephone conversation could add to that.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Tue Aug 22nd, 2006 at 10:52:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now that you say it, I recall it -- for some reason I thought you were speaking about a governors' race in Tabasco.

Reading up again, the tape is about pumping money into the campaign after the campaign silence deadline. You can read an account of both the inverted situation in Chiapas (with the present PRD candidate, who like his predecessor used to be in the PRI, as the incumbent trying to manipulate the vote count) and this tape at NarcoNews.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Aug 23rd, 2006 at 05:40:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, gotcha.  I misunderstood the issue (as usual).

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Wed Aug 23rd, 2006 at 11:27:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fault was in my imprecise reporting :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 23rd, 2006 at 11:53:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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