By Rady Ananda
Oct 4, 2006 (Movie Review) In less than an hour, no doubt remains that 04 was stolen, without being bludgeoned with the mountain of evidence available. Producer Dorothy Fadiman draws the connection that across the country, electronic voting machines fail to accurately report vote totals, and coupled with that, vote suppression of Blacks, Latinos and liberal Democrats is being orchestrated.
“I truly believe that if Americans, in large, large numbers really called for reform, whether it be hand-counted paper ballots or finding another solution, we could shake off the corrupt people in our electoral process like a Great Dane shakes off fleas.” Chuck Herrin, Republican and Computer Security Testing Analyst, works with Fortune 500 companies.
Just like most U.S. citizens haven’t fully embraced all the implications of election control. It is those people this tender film addresses. Corporate TV talking heads are shown describing, repeatedly, the 2004 election, as “going very smoothly.” Fadiman contrasts this with later reports, and shows clips of Linda Byrket’s footage from Columbus, Ohio.
In its unfinished preview version, Stealing America balances evidence of the 2004 theft with lawmakers from both parties, and citizens who speak to the fact that election integrity is a non-partisan issue. Footage has been gathered since prior to November 2, 2004, through 2005 with Clint Curtis’ whistleblower testimony before Congress, and into 2006 with RFK, Jr.’s media appearances on his investigation into Ohio, and even includes reference to the San Diego lawsuit currently under appeal in California’s 4th Appellate District (Div. 1).
Stealing America is presented in a quiet, intelligent and thoughtful manner, similar to the talking-heads style used in “What the Bleep.” But Fadiman intersperses Comedy Central schtiks that give comic relief for the audience, and also link two major media efforts to breach the media iron curtain. It’s sometimes brilliant, sometimes comic.
It would be a trifecta to include the August episode of Comedy Central which showed a 3-D animated map of San Diego falling into the ocean, after the lower court ruled it has no jurisdiction to hear Jacobson v. Haas.
The gist of “Jacobson” is that Congress seized control of “jurisdiction” of the election process weeks before the results were certified and, reports Collins, “deprived the San Diego Superior Court and everyone else except the House of Representatives of all power and jurisdiction to do anything about it, and especially to count or recount the ballots, or examine any mistakes, fraud or irregularity in the ‘election’ of Bilbray.” It’s on appeal in the capable hands of Paul Lehto and Ken Simpkins. (See
Fadiman references many of the legal challenges at the end of the film, as part of her overall message
In less than an hour, no doubt remains that 04 was stolen, without being bludgeoned with the mountain of evidence available. Fadiman simply draws the connection that across the country, electronic voting machines fail to accurately report vote totals, and coupled with that, vote suppression of Blacks, Latinos and liberal Democrats is orchestrated in recent elections.
The film acknowledges that to embrace this terrible “secret” critical issue, and all its terrible implications, is difficult for anyone who believes in free and fair elections. Each person faces it privately, and alone. A gentle acoustic guitar and claves are used sparingly, a style not given to rallying people to the streets. Instead, Fadiman appeals to the basic belief in democracy and fairness.
As awareness grows, become involved. She urges viewers to join with others in litigating and legislating our way back to democracy.
Self-governance is the critical right from which all other rights flow. Bruce O’Dell (security consultant and computer system architect) explains it this way, “Voting is the right that secures all of our other rights.”
Stealing America will have much appeal to all social justice activists, as well as the professional working class of middle-America who is beginning to doubt the wisdom of being led by plutocrats.