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you worried about this election? VoteSwingers

Dear friends – I am a photojournalist with a personal grudge against George W. Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush, Jeb Bush, Laura Bush, Prescott Bush and the whole castes of right-wing idealogues who want to decide our futures.

In the year 2000, I covered the Florida election fiasco for TIME, asd spent 63 days observing it unfold up close. There is no doubt whatsoever that fraud was perpetrated there, mostly by throwng out thousands of votes of African -Americans in mid_Florida as “over-votes” (ie, when the voter votes for two different candidates) when in fact they checked Gore’s name and then wrote in his name to be sure.) I lost a piece of myself when I learned that my country, for the first time in its history, was to be run by an illegitmate president.

Then, on September 11th, I was arrested at Ground Zero and prosecuted by a DA – who had a signed picture of Newt Gingrich behind his desk – for supposedly dressing up as a firefighter to gain access to Ground Zero. The accusation was absolutely false, as my own photographs showed, but the DA insisted in destroying my images because he assumed any freelance photgrapher would be there only to gain money and fame off the bodies of his heroes. The DA falsified evidence and got police officers to perjure themselves in court as to what ID I had on me at the time, and I finally took a plea for a felony count of having a forged driver’s license. It took over a year of my life to safeguard the images, and I accepted the plea only after he dropped all charges of impersonation.

Anyway, that is a petty matter compared to what many suffered from 9-11, but it taught me the same lesson as Florida: the right wing has no respect for democratic values ,and
they will use the machinery of the State to cheat, lie and dispose of anybody who stands in the way of the society they mean to build . As photographers with a smidgeon of social conscience we are, like the african-americans in mid-florida, an automatic choice for the hostility of the Republican idealogues that are entrenched in the government, the corporate world and in the big media.

The only way that I, and a number of friends, can handle the anxiety of the possibility that Bush will be elected for a second term, is to try to do something about it. Ive held off on taking a number of assignments these last weeks to work on setting up VoteSwingers, a group project to register new voters in the swing states. Our only hope lies with using the internet to contact the young people in the “Swing States” who are angry with the fact that the US military practiced widespread torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gitmo, ashamed that old people are being systematically cheated out of their health benefits through “medicare reform.” and distressed that they cant get any job besides serving up fries . There are many young people out there who see Bush for the crook that he is, but who havent registered to vote. We can use the strength of the internet, and our skill with using it, to get those young people to the polls.

Here is the URL for VoteSwingers.

http://earth.prohosting.com/farbundo/

Please read the materials and get to work. Time is short and the stakes are very high.
Thanks, Stephen

by [a former member] at 2004-09-07 05:38:33 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) | Bookmark | | Report spam→

I don’t live in a swing state, but I will pass on the word.

by [unverified member] | 07 Sep 2004 06:09 | | Report spam→
Thanks a lot, Matt. This thing is taking on a lot of momentum. feel free to be in contact if you have nay questions. Cheers, Stephen

by [former member] | 07 Sep 2004 08:09 | | Report spam→
although it seems clear that the election will indeed be decided by a handful of swing states, voters in red/blue states still need to mobilize and stay in the game. there is a very real possibility of a repeat of the 2000 election, where Bush wins the electoral vote but not the popular vote — that scenario will at the very least challenge the legitimacy of his regime, and the completely ass backwards electoral system we are currently operating under. it will also send a message to the rest of the world that Bush absolutely does not have a mandate from the American people.

whether or not your vote elects a president, it does count.

let’s roll.

by teru kuwayama | 07 Sep 2004 12:09 | | Report spam→
comment

by teru kuwayama | 07 Sep 2004 12:09 (ed. Sep 7 2004) | | Report spam→
Hey Teru,

youre absolutely right that we shuldnt let our bizarre elctoral college system make us feel that the popular vote isnt important. We just structured VoteSwingers around the swing states so as to be as efficient as possible at using the web for what it does best — communicating over distance. And there is the possibilty that, with or without fraud, Bush will again lose the popular vote and win the electoral college – an outcome that wont look good for him, but hell be in power again and he doesnt care how he gets there.

Thanks for your support in this effort. Chris told me youve been trolling MySpace for prospects. I have a list of the URL’s of all the professed anti-Bush clubs on MySpace (there are like 35). Shall I send you some for your trolling pleasure?

la lucha continua, stephen

by [former member] | 07 Sep 2004 13:09 | | Report spam→
yes, please…

and much respect for organizing this thing.

I would also say though, some care should be taken in talking about the US military practicing widespread torture — I totally understand what you are saying, and what happened at Abu Ghraib and other places were horrific and shameful human rights abuses, and totally unfucking american…(and also endanger americans soldiers and civilians all over the world) … it’s just that almost without exception, the soldiers I met in Iraq were decent and well meaning people, and they are really getting screwed badly, and the republicans should not be allowed to monopolize the concept of supporting the troops. also, there’s a lot of military on friendster and myspace, and it would be a shame if this effort was mistakenly percieved as hostile to them.

cheers, bub.

by teru kuwayama | 07 Sep 2004 14:09 | | Report spam→
aw, I went to this posting since I thought that you were referring to swingers voting. I can’t beging to express my disappointment. I’m looking for a swingers-swing vote-party, if anyone hears of one!

by [former member] | 09 Sep 2004 20:09 | | Report spam→
former republican candidate Jack Ryan aside, your swinger friends should get their bare asses in gear as well. the reds have declared a “culture war”, and your people are on the wrong side of the law.

by teru kuwayama | 11 Sep 2004 10:09 (ed. Sep 12 2004) | | Report spam→
I thought Minnesota was one of the states since I did a story for Mother Jones about this very thing in the Twin Cities. Might want to add that one to your list. There are a lot of farmers there who will swing depending on who is the “best” towards farmers.

by [former member] | 11 Sep 2004 16:09 | | Report spam→
http://slate.msn.com/id/2105268/

this article has a map that shows a lot more swing states than I was aware of.

by teru kuwayama | 12 Sep 2004 05:09 | | Report spam→
Here’s another one:
http://votepair.org/

by Shinji Kuwayama | 17 Oct 2004 13:10 | | Report spam→

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Participants

Matt Ipcar, Matt Ipcar
Washington, Dc , United States ( DCA )
teru kuwayama, I/O teru kuwayama
I/O
New York , United States
Shinji Kuwayama, Software Engineer Shinji Kuwayama
Software Engineer
Chicago , United States ( ORD )


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