Clinton Campaign Joins Vote Challenge

As millions of dollars have poured in for Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s three-state recount, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is now joining the effort to investigate possible vote tampering, reports Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria

Although lacking “actionable evidence of hacking,” Hillary Clinton’s campaign has decided to join the recount of votes from the presidential election in the state of Wisconsin that was launched by Jill Stein, the presidential candidate from the U.S. Green Party.

Marc Elias, the Clinton campaign counsel, said the campaign decided to take part in the recount to discover whether there was “outside interference” in the election results. He said the campaign had been inundated with messages from Clinton supporters to do “something, anything, to investigate claims that the election results were hacked and altered in a way to disadvantage Secretary Clinton,” particularly in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Donald Trump narrowly beat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, where the margin was only 11,612 votes, the closet presidential contest in that state’s history.

Clinton would have to win all three states in the recount to receive 276 electoral votes to Trump’s 260. A total of 270 votes are needed to win the presidency. Trump now leads 306 to 232. The electors will vote in their state capitals on Dec. 19. It is not clear if the three recounts would be finished by then.

“This election cycle was unique in the degree of foreign interference witnessed throughout the campaign: the U.S. government concluded that Russian state actors were behind the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and the personal email accounts of Hillary for America campaign officials,” Elias wrote in an online message.

“We have quietly taken a number of steps in the last two weeks to rule in or out any possibility of outside interference in the vote tally in these critical battleground states,” he said, adding that since the day after the election the campaign had lawyers and data scientists “combing over the results to spot anomalies that would suggest a hacked result.”

But because the Clinton campaign “had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves.” But now that Stein had initiated a recount in Wisconsin, “we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides,” Elias wrote.

Stein’s Cash

Stein has raised $6 million in just three days to pay for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. She filed with Wisconsin on Friday, where officials said the recount would soon begin and plans to file in the other states next week.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

“If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well,” Elias said.

There is no evidence of prior coordination between Stein and the Clinton campaign in the recount effort. But Stein’s call for the recounts in the three states that could reverse the results of the election in Clinton’s favor raised a number of questions about her motives, which she responded to in an online video and several television interviews.

Stein said she is not activating the recounts to either help Clinton or hurt Trump but to ensure the reliability of the country’s voting systems. She said she did not believe the recount would change the election’s result.

“You wouldn’t get into an airplane and wait for it to crash to decide you need quality assurance and a backup system,” Stein told the PBS News Hour. “Our voting system is no less important and we’re basically calling for a system to verify voting. We shouldn’t have to show there’s been a disaster in order to safeguard a very vulnerable voting system.”

Stein told PBS there is “not a smoking gun here,” but that this was an election “in which we saw hacking all over the place, we saw hacking into the Democratic Party database and hacking into voter database in Illinois and Arizona and evidence that it was attempted much more broadly.”

In her fundraising appeal on her campaign website, Stein was quoted blaming the hacking on “foreign agents.” A press release on the same site carried the same quote but without the words “foreign agents.” The first quote was later altered to remove reference to foreign agents. [The original can be seen archived here.]

During the campaign, Clinton had repeatedly made the accusation that Russian agents were trying to influence the election and had hacked into the Democratic Party database and the emails of her campaign chairman, John Podesta.

But at his last testimony to Congress as Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper admitted there was no proof about who was behind the supposed hacks into email accounts of Democratic leaders, which proved embarrassing to the Clinton campaign.

Obama-Clinton Split

Asked in the online video why she chose recounts in the three states won by Trump that could swing the election, Stein said because the results in those states were close. But there were other closely contested states won by Clinton that Stein has not asked to be recounted.

President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office, Nov. 10, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office, Nov. 10, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

While Stein is keeping the donor list secret, it is unlikely she would have been able to raise so much money in so short a time without the help of Clinton supporters who would not have backed a recount in states Clinton had already won. Stein only raised $3.5 million for her entire campaign, about half of what has poured in for the recount.

Stein may have chosen those states knowing she could get Clinton supporters to pay for her fight for electoral integrity without any intention of deliberately helping Clinton. As Stein and election analysts say, a recount overturning the election result is unlikely.

But with the Clinton campaign now joining in a supposed search for evidence that hackers, especially “foreign agents,” tampered with election computers, the controversy may be useful for the Clinton team in their effort to lobby electors to change their vote, which previously had centered on Clinton’s two-million-vote plurality in the national popular vote.

Clinton supporters have so far apparently made little headway in their efforts to get Republican electors to vote for Clinton instead. Twenty-four states do not legally bind electors who are awarded to the candidate who wins the popular vote in each state.

On Friday, the Obama administration said there was no evidence that Russia or anyone else had hacked the election. An article in The Hill newspaper said there was a split within the Democratic Party about whether to go for a recount between the Clinton camp, which was for it, and Obama’s camp, which was not.

Meanwhile, the national Green Party distanced itself from the recount effort led by Stein. Scott McLarty, the Green Party’s national media coordinator, told me via email on Friday that, “The recount is a project of the Stein/Baraka campaign.”

McLarty said the national party’s steering committee was never asked by Stein to endorse the recount. But he said she asked the committee to act as the financial agent for the flood of donations, which the committee declined to do.

Some Green Party officials have individually supported the recount. But McLarty said on Saturday, “The Green Party of the United States has not taken an official position on the recount yet.” His comment came hours before the Clinton campaign, which had remained silent on Stein’s move, said it would join the effort to recount the votes.

Trump’s Response

On Twitter, Trump dismissed the significance of the recount efforts. “Hillary Clinton conceded the election when she called me just prior to the victory speech and after the results were in,” Trump said in a tweet Sunday. “Nothing will change.”

President-elect Donald Trump

President-elect Donald Trump

He dismissed the recount bid as a “Green Party scam to fill up their coffers by asking for impossible recounts … now being joined by the badly defeated & demoralized Dems.”

Stein is not welcoming the Clinton camp to the recount. “Why would Hillary Clinton — who conceded the election to Donald Trump — want #Recount2016? You cannot be on-again, off-again about democracy,” Stein tweeted. “Why would Hillary Clinton — who holds ‘public’ and ‘private’ positions — want to engage in something as transparent as #Recount2016?”

Stein came under heavy criticism from her own supporters for choosing the three states that could give Clinton the presidency, should the count be overturned. Clearly feeling the sting of this criticism, and now with $6 million to work with, Stein said she is open to recounts in other states, perhaps even those won narrowly by Clinton.

“I will do a recount in any state where the deadline has not passed. Help my staff find state deadlines,” she tweeted. “We’re open to hearing from experts regarding any state & pursuing voting integrity if deadlines permit.”

Stein also hit back with a series of sarcastic tweets against allegations that she was in cahoots with the Democrats from the beginning and specifically to charges reverberating online that she is part of a plot by Democratic financier and political mastermind George Soros:

“#IfSorosPaidForTheRecount, my staffers say they’d … buy a better Obamacare plan. #IfSorosPaidForTheRecount, my staffers say they’d … pay off their student loans. #IfSorosPaidForTheRecount, my staffers say they’d … buy a new car.”

Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist based at the U.N. since 1990. He has written for the Boston Globe, the London Daily Telegraph, the Johannesburg Star, the Montreal Gazette, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers. He can be reached [email protected]  and followed on Twitter at @unjoe.

49 comments for “Clinton Campaign Joins Vote Challenge

  1. Vincent Castigliola
    December 5, 2016 at 10:03

    Millions for Suspicion, Not one Cent for Common Sense
    Said Jill Stein regarding the requirement for a bond for her PA recount quest:
    “The judge’s outrageous demand that voters pay such an exorbitant figure is a shameful, unacceptable barrier to democratic participation,” Stein said in a statement. “… Pennsylvania’s antiquated election law is stacked against voters. By demanding a $1 million bond from voters yesterday, the court made clear it has no interest in giving a fair hearing to these voters’ legitimate concerns over the accuracy, security and fairness of an election tainted by suspicion.”
    How many PA voters share Ms Stein’s “Suspicion” Unless Stein and her financial supporters pay for the recount, the PA taxpayers do. Voters are/ should be taxpayers. Should not the party seeking the recount use their/Soros/DNC funds to pay for the recount rather than PA taxpayers?
    We had election. The Russians did not “hack it” Should we not, accept the rules and the results.

  2. Bill Bodden
    November 28, 2016 at 22:40

    The Guardian has an update on the recount: US election recount: how it began – and what effect it could have: Jill Stein has raised millions of dollars for recounts in three states after election integrity activists flagged concerns. But it remains unclear whether the costly process will make a difference after Donald Trump’s victory – (My emphases below)

    Key Points:

    How did this start? Following Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the presidential election, voter security experts began privately discussing their concerns about whether the results might have been tampered with, according to John Bonifaz, the founder of the National Voting Rights Institute.

    It was decided that this loose coalition would push for a full audit or recount in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – three states critical to Trump’s electoral college win that pollsters had previously thought safe for Clinton. To do this, they needed to persuade one of the candidates who was actually on the presidential ballot to ask state authorities to review the results

    What does Jill Stein say about it? Stein, the Green party’s candidate for president, agreed to spearhead the effort to secure recounts following requests from Bonifaz and the security experts. Having been reluctant initially due to financial concerns, Stein was persuaded that the cost could be met via crowdfunding. On Wednesday, the Guardian first reported that she had decided to act..

    What does Hillary Clinton say about it? Clinton has said nothing publicly. Her campaign was approached by Bonifaz and his coalition earlier this month, and listened during a conference call as election experts laid out their various concerns. But the campaign gave no official response on whether they would request recounts, leaving Bonifaz and his allies to turn to Stein and the Green party.

    How much will it cost? The recount effort has so far raised $6.3m of its $7m funding goal. That budget is based on estimates of filing fees ($1.1m in Wisconsin, $0.5m in Pennsylvania and $0.6m in Michigan) plus an estimated $2m-$3m in attorney’s fees as well as the money required to hire recount observers across all three states.

    “This is going to be a very costly campaign,” said Bonifaz, adding that the average contribution from the tens of thousands of supporters who had donated was about $42. “But it is something that a lot of people clearly want.”

    The final paragraph of this article suggests the recount is unlikely to change who will become president.

    Accordingly, it might be a good idea to continue paying attention to how this recount plays out for what we can learn. Instead of bashing Jill Stein, we would be more gainfully employed preparing to face the ominous challenges a Trump/Pence presidency will present to the US and many other parts of the world.

  3. Bill Bodden
    November 28, 2016 at 17:37

    There is a running theme through this article and its predecessor on the same topic that suggests many of the comments are inspired by negative feelings towards Hillary Clinton. Having said on several occasions on this website and elsewhere that when it comes to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump there is no lesser evil I can readily understand the antipathy towards the former. Nevertheless, we would do well to remember why so many are equally negative towards Trump.

    Consider this article by one of the most respected and knowledgeable reporters covering the Middle East: Of Course, Trump Still Favors Torture by Patrick Cockburn –

    The long-standing American tradition of voting for the lesser evil reached its ultimate point on election day when there was no lesser evil as far as Clinton and Trump were concerned, but more than 120 million American voters said one or the other would be acceptable to them.

    • Bill Bodden
      November 28, 2016 at 19:27

      The long-standing American tradition of voting for the lesser evil reached its ultimate point on election day when there was no lesser evil as far as Clinton and Trump were concerned, but more than 120 million American voters said one or the other would be acceptable to them.

      Think about that for a while. If it doesn’t drive you off the deep end, also consider that the American people have for decades sent and will continue to send, with very few exceptions, 535 senators and representatives to Congress and two politicians to the White House who have sold their souls to the Israel Lobby so that they have endorsed and will continue to endorse crimes against humanity and violations of international law.

    • Bill Bodden
      November 28, 2016 at 19:50

      We might have dodged Hillary Clinton’s frying pan, but the price was landing in Donald Trump’s fire:

      “The Center for Constitutional Rights election statement was stark. “The dangers of a Trump presidency go beyond the attacks on people of color, women, Muslims, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQI people, and people with disabilities. His campaign was marked by the strategies and tactics of authoritarian regimes: endorsing and encouraging violence against political protesters, threatening to jail his opponent, refusing to say he would accept the results of the election if he lost, punishing critical press. Together with all those who value freedom, justice, and self-determination, we must resist and prevent at all costs a slide into American fascism.” They concluded “Resistance is our civic duty.”” –

  4. Bill Bodden
    November 28, 2016 at 15:48

    For what it is worth this is from the HuffPost (My emphases):

    As most of you here know, we ran two petitions last week, giving people the choice to either 1) call for Hillary to demand a recount or 2) ask her not to, and to move on instead. Just over 80,000 people signed the one calling for a recount,while a bit over 4,000 joined one calling for her to stand down.

    Subsequently, as we reported, Jill Stein began a fundraising drive to collect around $2 million to fund the recount. My guess is that a big chunk of that 80,000 gave money to the effort. She has, in just a few days, stunningly raised more than $6 million –and Clinton has announced she’ll participate in the process.

    Stein’s still raising money here — to hire lawyers, recount watchers, etc., and Wisconsin officials have scheduled a recount to begin Thursday. No American recount has ever overturned an election with such a wide gap — more than 20,000 votes — and both the Clinton and Stein camps are predicting that the recount will not change the outcome. Only a forensic audit that uncovered some type of widespread hack or fraud could change a tally of that size, and it’s unclear if anything like that will be conducted.

    Either way, the more sunshine that hits our broken voting system, the better, so I’m glad it’s being done, even if the outcome doesn’t change, and we’ll report on it closely.

  5. Bill Bodden
    November 28, 2016 at 13:51

    If the Electoral College meets and must decide on December 19th, it doesn’t appear likely these recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania can be completed by then so, if that is the case, Trump will remain in the saddle.

    Trump appears to be more at risk by this: ” ‘A recipe for scandal’: Trump conflicts of interest point to constitutional crisis: Experts say president-elect does not understand the law and must sell businesses to avoid electoral college disaster. He seems loath to do so” –

  6. Zachary Smith
    November 28, 2016 at 11:17

    The American Thinker site has a theory about the Stein/Hillary recount:

    “The Democrats’ real strategy in launching recounts”

    If this goes to the US House and Senate, and the result is the same as result from the Electoral College without the recounts, why do it? The answer is to make Trump seem even more illegitimate, that he did not win the popular vote (he lost by over 2.1 million), he did not win the Electoral College (did not reach 270), and was elected by being inserted into the presidency by members of his own party in Congress.

    I really ought to add that I found this link at the Putin-agent commie site Naked Capitalism. That’s one of many (like here) known to the Israel-first newspapers NYT and WP to be not quite True American. You have been warned


  7. Exiled off mainstreet
    November 28, 2016 at 03:14

    Pennsylvania’s semi-official returns indicate a lead of greater than one per cent, over 70,000 votes to Trump. No way this could be reversed except for outright fraud. Hopefully the court will throw it out since some proof has to be proffered this late in the game. It appears to be an effort to put a cloud on the election by making timely filing of the electoral college votes impossible. The Florida recounts,as I recall, started immediately in 2000 and kept going for weeks. This fear of timely results may have been what gave Sandra Day O’Connor’s fifth vote to the anointing of Bush (for which she later apparently felt buyer’s remorse. ) The existence of this precedent, flawed though it is, may also play a role in this obviously phony effort which totally discredits Stein. Was it an ad hoc effort or planned from the beginning, or was she convinced by Soros to act as the initiator? In my view, there is no way things could be reversed without creating serious unrest if not a quasi-civil war situation. There is also no way a GOP controlled congress would accede to the overturning of the clear election results. The whole thing also unmasks Soros, Clinton, and the establishment media and their patsies such as, now, disappointingly, Stein, as the sort of inverted fascism they are, particularly with the new shitlist of websites published by the Washington Post and criticised elsewhere on this website, one of those designated, and others.

  8. Realist
    November 28, 2016 at 01:11

    There is far more evidence for the existence of Santa Claus and his North Pole workshop than Russian hacking influencing this election.

    It is far more plausible that any possible hacking was done by American operatives. Since three weeks have gone by since the election, any hacking discovered may well have been done AFTER the election to change the outcome. How does one preclude that?

    The solution for ending this fiasco is simple enough, based on the precedence of the 2000 election. Trump sues to stop the recounts and the Supreme Court does exactly that claiming that altering the results would be prejudicial to Mr. Trump’s interests–same reasoning they used to assure Dubya the presidency. I know what they say about precedence at the time (that contrary to every other decision they had ever made in the past, precedence would not apply to any similar action in the future), but to ignore precedence is to renounce the foundation of American jurisprudence based in English Common Law, plus to contradict precedence would be to invite chaos. (See what you did, Scalia?)

    • Joe Tedesky
      November 28, 2016 at 17:17

      Well comrade you just wrecked my year, by telling me there is no Santa Claus…thanks for that!

  9. Wm. Boyce
    November 27, 2016 at 22:54

    Jill Stein has gone up a 1000% in my respect for her. The fact that Republicans, through the “Crosscheck” program, have been working on stealing the election for years before it occurred, is enough to view the results with suspicion. The exit polls didn’t agree with the results in four states that decided the election. George Soros my behind, we have some Trumpbots on this site.

    • Kiza
      November 27, 2016 at 23:05

      Russian Trumpbots Mr Boyce.

    • Zachary Smith
      November 27, 2016 at 23:10

      If Stein had such highfalutin values and concerns about US elections, I’ve got to wonder why she didn’t file some kind of recount in one or another of the stomp-jobs Hillary did on Sanders.

      It’s my firm opinion that the Democratic Candidate would have been elected President except for GOP interference and fraud in the 2016 election. It’s also perfectly obvious to me that the Democratic Candidate would have been Bernard Sanders except for DNC/Hillary interference and fraud in the 2016 Primary.

      The sudden surge of conscience shown by Jill Stein does seem to be somewhat strained.

      • Bill Bodden
        November 27, 2016 at 23:56

        I’ve got to wonder why she didn’t file some kind of recount in one or another of the stomp-jobs Hillary did on Sanders.

        For the sake of perception, it would have been better for Jill Stein to have checked states where Clinton won by a narrow edge. Perhaps,she can explain that. Time and resources might be plausible explanations. As for the squalid tactics against Sanders that has little to no relevance at this stage.

        I hope Ms. Stein recognizes the questions raised about her funding and will reveal the details.

        The tragedy of this exercise, however, will be another failure of Congress to correct the corruption in our voting system no matter how egregious this project proves it to be.

        • Joe Tedesky
          November 28, 2016 at 17:15

          What Jill is saying by her actions, is that it is okay to cheat during the primary race, but not in the general election. It’s also odd how upset Bernie supporters are over the DNC cheating, but Bernie seems perfectly fine with it. Our so called leaders are bumping into each other with all their lying. My Mother was right, one lie just leads to another lie.

          • Bill Bodden
            November 28, 2016 at 19:17

            What Jill is saying by her actions, is that it is okay to cheat during the primary race …

            Joe: I’ll have to disagree with you on this one. It is very unlikely that Jill Stein (and the Green Party) had the time and resources to worry about Bernie’s campaign while occupied with their own, especially when he didn’t seem to be overly upset about getting stabbed in the back in the long-term.

  10. John M. Morgan
    November 27, 2016 at 21:38

    Please consider this before condeming Stein:
    “So Why is the Green Party’s Jill Stein Filing For Recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania?”

    • Zachary Smith
      November 27, 2016 at 22:59

      So Why is the Green Party’s Jill Stein Filing For Recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania?

      So far as I can determine, the title of your link is accurate. Unfortunately Mr. Dixon goes on to say this:

      “The Stein campaign and the Green Party are filing for recounts because persuasive evidence exists that the vote totals were tampered with in several states. “

      I can locate no evidence this isn’t deliberately misleading to the point of being a lie. Every google search I’ve made indicates this recount is Jill Stein’s personal project, and the fundraising site is her very own –

      Mr. Dixon burned a whole lot of credibility with me on this one.

      • Joe Tedesky
        November 27, 2016 at 23:56

        Another thing, if the Green Party is concerned due to down ballot candidates being assured that elections aren’t fixed, then why is Jill Stein not recounting Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. Let’s all get real Jill is on the take. You can believe she is on the up, and then after you get through skipping along the galaxy of the naive, see me about a bridge in Brooklyn that’s for sale…boy, do I have a deal for you. Don’t be fooled, this is a Clinton move if there ever was one…seriously people, get your heads out from your asses, and see this for what it is! We’re being played, big time.

        Ps my comment here wasn’t directed against Zachary, it was directed to whom it may concern.

        • Realist
          November 28, 2016 at 01:48

          I read somewhere that they DID recounts in Iowa and Minnesota and found ZERO deviance from the original counts. Iowa flipped from Dem in 2012 to Rep in 2016, and Minnesota, which is reliably Dem just squeaked by for them this year, which is what put the focus on those states. So far, no evidence of cheating but dig we must from now on.

          I don’t know how anyone can make these claims of Russian hacking the election with a straight face. Greater likelyhood of domestic hacking if you ask me. Both sides play that game but this year the GOPer establishment was opposed to its own candidate. So, if anything, they hacked for Hillary.

          If no election using mechanical or electronic devices can ever be trusted again because Hillary lost, let’s go back to dropping black stones or white stones into a jar. Oh, wait, they can always hire Penn & Teller to do some prestidigitation with that even. Looks like we are doomed.

          If this effort reverses the result, look out, America, the voters will not believe it. If not, look out Democrats, you’re just digging a deeper hole as sore losers. The 2020 elections will be an even greater challenge for you based on all your vulnerable seats in the Senate. Better to focus on blocking extremist GOP legislation using the filibuster and quit the whining.

          • Joe Tedesky
            November 28, 2016 at 02:55

            Dragging out this 2016 presidential election results may prove how decent it was of Nixon, and then later Gore, for their concessions to end their campaigns for (get this) ‘the Good of the Country’. Whether this recount is Jill’s idea, or Hillary hidden hand manipulations from behind the curtain, all of this doubt and recount isn’t good for a country so divided. Let’s hope for the good of the people that something really awful doesn’t come out of this. If Jill is genuine (as I doubt) then God bless her fair of heart, but even Jill must contemplate various people’s reactions against one another over debating the results. Although deep down I feel there is something going on here. I just don’t know what.

            See you later comrades!

          • Kiza
            November 28, 2016 at 07:53

            Why Stein picked three states to challenge the vote, when the purity of the election system could have been checked on any two out of these three states?
            Because picking all three states is a magical number which brings Trump below 270.

            Why not pick some larger states, such as Florida with 29 electors, for the recount?
            Because if you wanted to find the election boxes in the trunk of somebody’s car you would have to find too many of them to cover 120,000 vote difference.

            But maybe this is all a coincidence (lol).

          • Realist
            November 28, 2016 at 20:18

            Exactly so, Joe. I say let’s get the next administration up and running and try to get these WARS ended first off!! Then let’s see what Trump’s domestic agenda is going to be and oppose him whenever he threatens civil liberties and social safety nets, or gives the rich even greater privileges. That won’t be accomplished by burning our now scarce fuel (so to speak) by whining and fighting monsters from our own imaginations rather than his articulated policies. Let’s pick our battles in the real world and prioritize our efforts. Schumer ought to be farming out portfolios that match the strength of every remaining Democratic senator. Or give the job to someone who will.

      • Brad Owen
        November 28, 2016 at 15:16

        Brandy Baker has an article on Counterpunch; “The Stein Campaign and the fight for Green Party independence” that sheds a lot of insight on what’s up with the rift. It boils down to what side of the divide one is on, in the Green Party: safe-state , D-lite, NGOer deep pockets careerist experts who look down their noses at rank-and-file membership in general (think limosine liberal here) VS a dues-paying membership of commoners, 99%ers, holding Green Party officers accountable, keeping clean of big donors in general, to-hell-with-safe-state strategy, knock the R and D Parties down (they’re self-destructing anyway), the people are ready for a people’s Party of the 99%, that’s the eco-democratic-socialist Greens. I know if the first group prevails, then the Greens “are not IT”, and time to move on…maybe the Progressive Populist newspaper can be persuaded to put a people-owned Peoples Party behind their newspaper? as a “Plan B”, should the Greens go the “gentrification route”?

    • Brad Owen
      November 28, 2016 at 08:29

      Thank you. I personally don’t care about Stein’s op here. Who doesn’t already believe our elections don’t already stink to high-heaven with rigging, manipulation and fraud. I mean come on people. They get lost in cheer leading for these two miserable dogs-for-candidates Trump and Clinton. I’ve started sending Green Party U.S. a monthly $10 donation. Hopefully millions of citizens will follow suit, and the Greens can field an army of activist/organizers lawyers and social workers to outflank and attack the oligarchy without let-up, in court, in the press, in elections, on the streets helping people directly to survive the immiseration imposed upon them by the oligarchy.

  11. evelync
    November 27, 2016 at 20:47

    hoo boy!

    1. up till now nobody running for office including Secretary Clinton and the other presidential candidates complained about electronic voting without a paper trail because it does not offer an audit mechanism.

    2. nobody that is, except for a few toilers in the backwaters of our election process – namely, for example, Travis Co, Tx Clerk, Dana Debeauvoir.
    “DeBeauvoir, the Clerk of Travis County, home to Austin, is among a group of technologists, designers and cryptologists who say we need to scrap the old voting machines entirely and start fresh if we want to make our democracy work securely. Now they’re garnering the attention of federal officials, spooked by the Democratic National Committee hack.”
    3. Dan Wallach, Rice University computer science prof and manager of the Rice University Computer Security Lab and who Dana Debeauvoir asked to design an affordable voting machine with a paper trail
    testified before the House Committee on Space, Science & Technology Hearing, “Protecting the 2016 Elections from Cyber and Voting Machine Attacks”
    September 13, 2016
    VIDEO of hearing:
    Dan Wallach’s VIDEO of the affordable hard to hack voting machine with paper trail produced by Dan and his team at Rice University for Travis Co TX Clerk Dana Debeauvoir:
    They hope to have this machine integrated into Travis County for the 2018 election.

    • Bill Bodden
      November 27, 2016 at 23:45

      “DeBeauvoir, the Clerk of Travis County, home to Austin, is among a group of technologists, designers and cryptologists who say we need to scrap the old voting machines entirely and start fresh if we want to make our democracy work securely. Now they’re garnering the attention of federal officials, spooked by the Democratic National Committee hack.”

      Congress has had a plethora of evidence in the past for not trusting many of the electronic voting system in the United States, but the oligarchs of both parties have ensured nothing was done to keep the applicable states honest. They prefer to retain the option to corrupt the vote.

      Oregon has a very good system on which to build a national model. Paper ballots are mailed to eligible voters before the election. Voters can return them by mail or for free at secure drop boxes. Computers can then read the ballots for a quick tally. If anyone questions the results, the county clerks and the secretary of state have the paper ballots to audit the vote.

  12. Kiza
    November 27, 2016 at 19:57

    “#IfSorosPaidForTheRecount, my staffers say they’d … buy a better Obamacare plan. #IfSorosPaidForTheRecount, my staffers say they’d … pay off their student loans. #IfSorosPaidForTheRecount, my staffers say they’d … buy a new car.”

    Interesting that Stein mentions what her staff would buy from Soros’ money, but nothing about what she would buy from it. Who says that Soros only contributed to the recount fund and could not have opened his checkbook for Stein personally? What about other possibilities – that Clinton promised her a position in her future government, as head of EPA or of the whole Health and Environment portfolio?

    All Stein’s justifications for the recount are quite wobbly, that is they will be believed only by those who are already-believers. Any non-believers would have a hard-time accepting them.

    1) Why should anybody give rats’ if Stein thinks her effort will change the outcome of the election or not, because the recount she initiated is a chance for a new manipulation of the election results regardless of what she thinks or wants.

    2) The analogy with checking an airplane is totally inappropriate because this is checking the plane after the flight and this check could ultimately lead to a civil war and cost many more lives than those of the people on the plane she checked.

    3) Similarly, suggesting now possible recounts in the states were Hillary won is completely disingenuous because those deadlines have mostly passed and she purposefully made effort only on states where Trump won. Has she already accepted that the airliner crashed in Hillary states? If this was a genuine effort to check the election system, she would have been prepared for the check even before the election outcome was published, with a clear plan to check all states where the count was close.

    4) Repeating all the campaigning points of the Democrats about hacking and foreign agents and then claiming that you have nothing to do with the Democrats substantially diminishes your credibility, even if this was used solely to attract money. You cannot dance to a devil’s tune and then claim that you are an angel.

    Only time will tell what really transpired here, but it stinks to high heaven.

    • Bill Bodden
      November 27, 2016 at 23:35

      Only time will tell what really transpired here …

      Which is a very good reason to not engage in wild speculation.

      • Kiza
        November 28, 2016 at 02:16

        The four points of analysis of Stein statements above, do you consider them speculation? Why did Stein not pick one state where Clinton won and one state where Trump won for the check up, because this would appear more like a genuine effort to kick the tyres of the election system?

        It is virtually impossible that the manual recount Stein requested will be completed before 19 December in any of the three states. Therefore, the consensus in the Trump camp appears to be that the most likely goal of the recount is to reduce legitimacy of the Trump’s win as a minimum, or to get the Congress to elect Hillary as the President by getting the Republicans Against Trump (RATs) to cross bench as a maximum. It is a relatively cheap way to throw a spanner into the cogwheels of Trump Presidency. There could be also further actions against Trump electors before 19 December.

        The previous time the Greens requested a manual recount in Ohio in 2004, it took almost two months, found no major irregularities and even increased the W Bush lead over Kerry by all of 285 votes.

        If I wrote that I was waiting for the snipers to show up at some stage, just like at Maidan Square, maybe this would be your “wild speculation”.

        • Bill Bodden
          November 28, 2016 at 13:39

          The four points of analysis of Stein statements above, do you consider them speculation?

          As you said, “Only time will tell.”

  13. jaycee
    November 27, 2016 at 19:40

    “… the U.S. government concluded that Russian state actors were behind the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and the personal email accounts of Hillary for America campaign officials,”

    That is not a statement of fact, but people from the Clinton campaign continue to assert it. To many it has already become a fake fact which carries the imprimatur of verifiable veracity. That is, these spokespersons are not expressing an opinion but rather making a deliberate assertion by always saying, falsely, the the US government has reached this conclusion. That Stein originally also referred to “foreign agents” may suggest that part of what’s up here is finding more reason to pressure the new administration to continue the anti-Russia program.

  14. Kiza
    November 27, 2016 at 19:06

    “This election cycle was unique in the degree of foreign interference witnessed throughout the campaign: the U.S. government concluded that Russian state actors were behind the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and the personal email accounts of Hillary for America campaign officials,” Elias wrote in an online message.

    I used to work in information security and liked to compare home to a computer to help people understand issues. Using the same analogy, the Democratic Party officials have installed a latch on the door instead of a Jimmy Proof Deadbolt Lock, then when somebody broke in (supposedly, could have been an inside job), got their information out to the world and now they endlessly harp and blame the neighbor who they hate for the crime of break-in which was never even proven. In other words, instead of feeling shame for being so stupid and irresponsible, they are on the offensive to blame somebody else and thus justify more of their own unconscionable behavior.

  15. Hal
    November 27, 2016 at 18:45

    Since none, none of the election machines or paper ballots are connected to the internet how can you hack the election……I’m not talking about the DNC or some voter registration records, I speaking of election machines. Pa has many or debolt machines but each machine would have to be hacked. Like thousands. As for hacking a paper ballot would be a real deal.

    And when we found out about the DNC hacking which proved that the DNC was cheating again Sanders, instead the fake main street media just kept up the chant…….The Russians did it and spoke not a word of about the content of the emails.

    • Bill Bodden
      November 27, 2016 at 23:31

      Since none, none of the election machines or paper ballots are connected to the internet how can you hack the election

      My understanding is that the right person with the right skills having access to the (states’) secretaries of states computer systems could make changes to the software to provide a desired result.

      • November 28, 2016 at 09:51

        I’m not entirely sure that none of the election machines are connected to the internet. Perhaps not the voting machines, but I’m less sure of the central tally machines.

        But I think “hacking” is a term that should be interpreted broadly here. What I worry less about is outsider (e.g., Chinese or Russian government) hacking but I do worry about insider hacking by Republican officials who “hack” the voting rolls before the election or demand to see hard-to-obtain identification cards. And of course there are the other insiders in companies who “support” the operation of the voting machines.

        It’s not clear how many of the shenanigans of this sort can be uncovered by a re-count and even if they are uncovered is is not clear that anything would be done. What is needed is a thorough reform of our voting systems. Surely we will not see this kind of reform from Trump or the Republican Congress so we may be locked into hacked elections for the indefinite future – sort of like Mexico has traditionally enjoyed.

    • LJ
      November 29, 2016 at 17:21

      Hal what happened in Ohio in 2004 is the results were routed through a process , some kind of server, that altered the results and some joker actually went to jail because of it. You can research this. It is a matter of public record. By now of course any attempt at subversion would be much more sophisticated because we all know how clever those Russians at FSB are. I know that when I voted on a Diebold machine in California in 2004 there was no paper trail but they did give you a cute little sticker of an American flag that said I Voted on it. It felt so good I stuck it on my amp, it’s still there. Good glue.

  16. LJ
    November 27, 2016 at 18:04

    This does not help the Green Party which is on the ropes , irrelevant and has no hope to gain traction in the future. The Green Party did not approve it or fund it. It does not help Stein either unless she gets a little love elsewhere because of it. . It is ironic that she only spent $3.5 million on the campaign and she’s throwing down $5 million plus for a recount. Our elections and the two party system are in a decadent spiral and if she had the right message and was the right candidate for the Green Party I do not see how she couldn’t do better in this election than less than 1 %. This recount is Stupid. She should be trying to help those few people who believed in her with their student loans and car payments, etc. . Better yet, maybe she should have told them to work for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primaries instead. Maybe there could have been a better outcome.

    • November 27, 2016 at 21:36

      I live in New Hampshire. The vote was also very close here – Hillary took the state with just 0.4% more popular vote than Trump. No recount here. If Jill Stein’s effort was for a sincere recount, it would include states like NH, not just certain states which were a squeaker for Trump. Smells really bad.

      By the way, we are neither Trump nor Clinton fans. My wife and I voted for Jill Stein on the basis of the lesser evil (as usual), but wish now we just left the slot blank. The DNC, by their inattention to the plight of the average citizen, are entirely responsible for Trump. All we can hope is that he won’t be as bad as the advanced billing. His appointments so far are not promising.

    • Bill Bodden
      November 27, 2016 at 23:27

      … she’s throwing down $5 million plus for a recount. … She should be trying to help those few people who believed in her with their student loans and car payments, etc.

      If Jill Stein had asked for donations to help students with their loans and car payments she would, at best, only have received a small fraction of what she has collected for this project.

    • Peter Loeb
      November 28, 2016 at 07:31


      As one who voted Green, the Stein recount is either surreal or absurd.
      Or both.

      The reason main reason I voted Green was to keep Hillary Clinton
      OUT of the White House and thereby to block her murderous foreign
      policies. As any discussion of foreign policy disasters was out-of -bounds
      for the Clinton campaign (and the Democratic elite) most people know
      little of these , readers of Consortium excepted.

      I am convinced that programs and promises of Democrats have been
      empty for generations.

      I vigorously oppose a candidate with ultimate fealty to Zionist Israel.

      I supported a party which could support Black Lives Matter,
      Boycot Divest Sanction, Palestinian Rights etc. . As a white
      I marched with Dr. King, I was a member of Harlem
      Core (we picketted the NYPD for a Police Civilian Review Board
      in those ancient days), I was in Mississippi in 1965 and
      so on and so forth. The realities for people of color in
      the US is not much different than it was over 50 years
      ago, but the elites once more fail to face the
      life and death significance for those 30 and under.

      The similarity with the attacks on Palestinians by Israeli authorities
      is striking and it is no wonder that Israeli firms have “advised”
      US police forces in “riot control” and what should be called
      oppression. (Of interest: Barack Obama while praising
      the old civil rights movement, the one of which I was
      a faithful member, never dared to acknowledge the anger
      and justice of BLM, of today’s fear, anger and inequality.

      Where have the millions of dollars come from, Dr. Stein?
      Let’s not play three blind mice! This is the
      big time. (Would Stein have permitted the Trump
      campaign to collect similar unidentified sums? Of course

      It is difficult for many to admit that Donald Trump is right:
      The election is over. Had H. Clinton won in the electoral college
      I am certain the position of her now non-existent “campaign” would
      have been different. She would, of course, claimed “victory” “mandate”…..

      If a constitutional amendment is needed, it should be
      introduced and discussed in a few years. Not following
      a vote by other rules and processes. (I doubt it would
      win, but that is honest timing.) It takes years to pass a
      Constitutional Amendment.

      Like it or not, Donald Trump will be the next President.

      And if nothing else, I am, thankful it will not be Hillary Clinton.
      Good riddance to Hillary.

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Bill Bodden
      November 28, 2016 at 16:45

      This does not help the Green Party which is on the ropes

      This article – The Stein Campaign and the Fight for Green Party Independence by Brandy Baker – appears to support both points. It also begs the question, “Why do so many parties on the left have so much trouble with internal dissension?”

  17. David F., N.A.
    November 27, 2016 at 16:17

    Excellent report.

    Now is the time for the GP to show its true colors. Sitting on their thumbs isn’t doing them any favors. Are they an extension of the neoliberalism duopoly or not?

  18. Tristan
    November 27, 2016 at 15:49

    Great googly moogly! Democracy in action, serving the well being of the citizens. Oh, now don’t lament the confusion, political power is bought and sold, as it (corruption) has been legalized in the U.S. to benefit those few who play in that exclusive sandbox. We see how democracy in action, in the hyper capitalist system represented by our oligarchs playing nice pretending to further a democracy which truely serves only those select few, is nothing but a vehicle to preserve the status quo of these oligarchs at the expense of all the “others”.

  19. Zachary Smith
    November 27, 2016 at 15:33

    Two parts here I view as key ones:

    The electors will vote in their state capitals on Dec. 9. It is not clear if the three recounts would be finished by then.

    If the recounts can’t be finished in time, it seems to me that Stein or Hillary will ask the courts for a delay in the Electoral College vote. It’s a first step in stirring up Trump supporters, and any delay will be useful for other reasons.

    Clinton supporters have so far apparently made little headway in their efforts to get Republican electors to vote for Clinton instead. Twenty-four states do not legally bind electors who are awarded to the candidate who wins the popular vote in each state.

    Since National Intelligence has been privatized for quite a long time, all the police state information vacuumed up in the US for a great many years is going to be for sale, especially if the price is right and the risks are few. Those 538 electors are citizens who – like the rest of us – have few secrets from the US police state. Acquiring their files will 1) discourage defections from Hillary’s ranks and 2) allow immense leverage to be applied on Trump’s electors.

    If I were doing this, I’d look for financial difficulties. Unfulfilled ambitions. And naturally, under-reported sins and crimes. Children might luck into amazing education opportunities. Acquisition of great jobs. Unexpected promotions. Lots of new business might flow into companies owned by the electors. And any unfortunate incidents connected with underaged sheep or children might be buried forever.

    The big uproar around the inevitable discoveries of sleazy electioneering as well as carefully arranged death threats would give electors cover for their “flips”. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania are simply a way to keep things fuzzy. Every single elector can expect to be targeted if I’m not in an ugly pipe dream.

    Then there is the evil Russian connection. The fact that I’m writing on Consortium News and any random citizen is here reading at the site makes both of us highly suspect as Russian Agents who are attempting to destroy American Democracy.

    Yes, the New York Times and the Washington Post and assorted fellow travelers define any opposition of Hillary as evidence of Anti-Americanism. Naturally their rabid devotion to Holy Israel at the expense of all former US values makes them the purest of Americans.

    Finally, so far as my limited search skills can determine, the state limits on the EC electors are both toothless and meaningless in legal terms.

    • backwardsevolution
      November 27, 2016 at 18:44

      Zachary Smith – actually the Electoral College vote is December 19th, not the 9th.

    • Kiza
      November 27, 2016 at 22:07

      Simply put, this recount is the beginning of the Ukrainization of United States.

      • backwardsevolution
        November 28, 2016 at 01:40

        Kiza – yes, great parallels between the U.S. and Ukraine, aren’t there? I read something yesterday about what was happening in the U.S., and right away I thought of Ukraine. It’s the same playbook. These are very dangerous people.

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