Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?
Were Elections Being Held Hostage?
By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
Add "Wikipedia Contributing Editor" to the list of things I do that I don't get paid for. It started around mid-November of last year, with me noticing that a certain biographical page really needed to be updated with recent events, which I initially did anonymously (before realizing that I might as well create an account if I'm going to be doing this regularly). Of course, I'm now at the point where there's just under three dozen Wikipedia articles on my watchlist (which is steadily expanding), and the pages for Michigan gubernatorial election, 2014 and United States Senate election in Michigan, 2014 currently sit in the "top eight" on the most frequently visited pages that show up every time I open a new tab in my Google Chrome browser (right now at positions #6 and #7, respectively). I'm also doing the heavy lifting for a major restructuring of the United States House of Representatives elections in Michigan, 2014 article.
And go figure that, in the process of researching for a project that's only tangentially related, I learned a little something yesterday about yet another unnecessary snag created by the recent federal shutdown.
The administrators and supervising editors of Wikipedia take their "cite your source" policy for contributions seriously . . . and they're pretty anal about it on articles involving either current events or biographies of living persons. Any unsourced submission or edit isn't likely to survive until the next sunrise without being removed, as I've learned the hard way.
When it comes to articles on the current election cycle, the guidelines to be listed as a candidate are pretty clear. What's required is a bona fide media citation (such as mention in a recognized newspaper or television source), or verifiable documentation with the appropriate election official, to be listed as a "declared" or "potential" candidate, or even as a "declined" one. Self-promotion and unsourced blog articles don't cut it . . . which is why former Vassar Township Board member Charles A. Stadler still isn't listed as an official democrat challenger to Candice Miller (because the only sources currently supporting that claim are his own website and a Daily Kos article that references only that website). Sourced blog diaries, by the way, will receive a note to use the actual source, about 96 hours before the admins make the correction for you.
Personal correspondence and poll inclusion doesn't work either. For example, the quote from Saul Anuzis in private correspondence ("I will NOT be a candidate for Governor" - 23 Jun 2013) is worthless to Wikipedia, unless that quote is somehow fed to recognized media and subsequently circulated as newsworthy. Likewise, the seven hypothetical challengers that iCaucus Michigan used in its Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference Survey don't, on that alone, merit official inclusion as "potential" challengers to Snyder's re-nomination, but Mike Bishop's quote to the Oakland Press gets him promptly filed officially as "declined." By the same token, the fact that Rick Snyder is openly circulating nominating petitions for re-election doesn't, by itself, merit his mention as a "declared" candidate for Governor, but mention of such in a recognized media source should qualify. (Quick sidebar: does anyone here have such a reference handy?)
For federal candidates, Wikipedia recognizes FEC Disclosure Form 2 (Statement Of Candidacy) as a bona fide citation that the candidate is question has "declared" his or her intention to seek the office in question. This is why, like it or not, on paper Gary Peters has a primary challenge to fend off (in the form of technology executive Terry Whitney), before proceeding to the general campaign against presumptive Republican nominee Terri Lynn Land and presumptive Libertarian nominee R. James Fulner. This is also why I can honestly report that the campaign to fill the Peters vacancy has already generated a busy Democrat Primary (four "declared" candidates to date, according to statements on file with the FEC), that has the potential to get downright crowded (potentially four more candidates, according to one Roll Call article).
What prompted me to initiate the renovation on the 2014 U. S. House of Representatives Elections in Michigan Wikipedia Article was some research that I was doing for iCaucus Michigan. See, rather than wait for candidates for office to come to us for our vetting process and endorsement (which assumes that they know how to contact us in the first place), I figure that it might be useful to track them down, reach out to them, explain our process and its benefits, and make it easy for them to get started. It made sense to me that the most usable starting point would be to take notes from the aforementioned Wikipedia article, as well as the Green Papers page regarding the pending election cycle . . . not a be-all, end-all, but useful as a launching pad, at least as regards federal candidates for office.
Lo and behold, the Wikipedia article left a bit to be desired. Three districts (the 5th, 12th, and 13th) weren't mentioned at all, and the rest only had sketchy information, very loosely developed from media reports. Also, where incumbents were cited as standing for re-election, the cited reference was their second quarter FEC Disclosure Form 3 (Report of Receipts and Disbursements). Killing two birds with the same stone has its uses, so I proceeded to fill out a list of "to contact" while cleaning up the wiki.
This got me to thinking about the quarterly filings for Land and Peters, and that it'd be a great idea to include them in the respective primary categories in the 2014 U. S. Senate election in Michigan article. Peters for Michigan's Report of Receipts and Disbursements was readily available on the FEC website, but outside of a couple of newspaper reports (MLive Network and Detroit News) there was, at the time, no actual data available regarding Terri Lynn Land for Senate's third quarter reports. I found it odd, to say the least, that a former chief election official, who is well aware of the importance of filing campaign reports on time, would be lax in her responsibilities. So I reached out to her to find out what had happened.
First, as TLL reminded me, candidates for the U. S. Senate file their paperwork with the Secretary of the Senate; the Secretary then transmits the received paperwork to the Federal Election Commission. Second, due to the recent federal shutdown, the normal flow of information between the two offices was interrupted . . . because the FEC was closed down . . . and according to the commission's Campaign Finance Disclosure Portal, apparently they're still playing catch-up. I also noticed around lunchtime today that Land for Senate's Report of Receipts and Disbursements is finally available online at the FEC website. It was filed on time, as the signature line on the bottom of page one clearly shows, but the appropriate bureaucrat didn't get around to processing it until three days ago, and it wasn't available online until today.
So, class, quick show of hands: How many of you knew that the federal shutdown suspended the routine operations of this branch of the Federal Executive Department? How many of you knew that this particular executive commission is an independent regulatory agency that doesn't answer to a cabinet secretary? Yeah, I thought as much.
When it comes to conspiracy theories, I've learned to take my approach straight out of Isaiah (8:12, specifically). Just because others view it as a conspiracy or rebellious plot doesn't mean I do, and just because others are afraid of something (or someone) doesn't mean that I am.
But I gotta tell you, given what we've learned earlier this year (and are still leaning) about the IRS persecution of various patriot groups, to ensure that they wouldn't be able to get involved in the 2012 election cycle, I'm wondering. This (yet another) unnecessary inconvenience created by the federal shutdown has created significant delays in routine processing of FEC Disclosure Form paperwork for federal office candidates, with to-be-determined collateral damage and fallout that was no doubt intended to disrupt critical preparation work for the 2014 election cycle. If, as we observe from comparing the processing dates to the submission dates for both the Land and Peters quarterly reports, democrat federal candidates were treated differently from republican candidates with regard to the timely processing of routine quarterly reports, then what about processing statements of candidacy and statements of organization for new federal candidates? What might we learn if we were to test that theory, and how badly do we want the answer to that question?
According to a quote misattributed to Franklin D. Roosevelt, "In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way." Think about that concept for just a moment.
The current occupant of the Oval Office is someone who so despises America that he actually wants us to believe that he's foreign born, and he's been so effective at executing this fraud that the term "birther" now has a permanent place in the American lexicon, and that's also why no proof will ever be found of Barry Soetoro being born anywhere other than in Honolulu. He also wants the United States dismantled as a unified republic so badly that he is actively seeking to collapse the American economy. Toward this goal, ObamaCare is currently functioning precisely as designed, and we are dangerously close to "Mission Accomplished" in that regard.
Those of you familiar with the name Yuri Bezmenov are likely also familiar with his explanation of the four stages of a Marxist-Leninist takeover of a free nation. In America, the "demoralization" phase is effectively a done deal, and the "destabilization" phase is very nearly so. The economic, financial, and/or national security "crisis" needed to complete the takeover hasn't happened yet, and the reason that I can say that with confidence is that the status quo can still be corrected by something other than an armed revolt or external military intervention. But that window is indeed closing . . . and quickly.
You'd think that, with it becoming increasingly obvious the damage that ObamaCare is doing to the economy, that congressional republican leadership would have held their ground on the shutdown and the debt ceiling. But what if a behind-closed-doors conversation during the final hours of the shutdown made it clear to Boehner and McConnell that the price of standing pat would be to cripple the Republican Party's chances of holding the House and flipping the Senate?
Were Elections Being Held Hostage? | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden)
Were Elections Being Held Hostage? | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden)
Related Links+ Michigan gubernatorial election, 2014
+ United States Senate election in Michigan, 2014
+ United States House of Representatives elections in Michigan, 2014
+ Mike Bishop's quote to the Oakland Press
+ Gary Peters
+ Terry Whitney
+ Terri Lynn Land
+ R. James Fulner
+ Green Papers page regarding the pending election cycle
+ Peters for Michigan's Report of Receipts and Disbursements
+ MLive Network
+ Detroit News
+ Campaign Finance Disclosure Portal
+ Land for Senate's Report of Receipts and Disbursements
+ to ensure that they wouldn't be able to get involved in the 2012 election cycle
+ that he actually wants us to believe that he's foreign born
+ ObamaCare is currently functioning precisely as designed
+ Mission Accomplished
+ his explanation of the four stages of a Marxist-Leninist takeover of a free nation
+ Also by Kevin Rex Heine