June 1, 2010
Cabell Election Canvass Video Now on Subject of Black Box Voting Discussion
Organization Links 2000 Bush/McConnell Interference with MESA Massey Energy Investigation in Martin County, Kentucky
By Tony Rutherford
Huntingtonnews.net Reporter
Huntington, WV (HNN) – A video of preparations for the canvass of Cabell County primary precincts has appeared on the “watchdog” Black Box Voting website. Black Box is a non partisan, non-profit 501.3(c) election watching organization.
Founded in 2004, the group’s website states that it’s mission is to ensure fair and accurate elections “through citizen oversight.”
Featured on the Emmy Award winning HBO documentary, “Hacking Democracy,” Black Box Voting “helped produce two criminal conviction in Ohio and $2.6 million in restitution payments by Diebold Election Systems to the state of California.” Black Box investigations have been reported by the Washington Post, Time Magazine, Newsweek and the Associated Press.
Their general election guidebook for 2008 determined Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia as “problem states,” and at that time identified Berkeley , Lincoln, Logan and Wayne as “local watch counties and municipalities.”
Black Box’s Bev Harris compiled and wrote the organization’s “Moonshine Elections Series --- Family Run Government.” The counties controlled by the family members were Mingo County, WV (Hatfields) and Pike County, Ky.( McCoys).
After a lengthy explanation of how nepotism laws fail to combat family and dynasty control in counties, Ms. Harris asserted that “drug running and coal mining” have powerful interests in outcomes. She wrote: “In rural areas, a limited number of industries control the economy, provide the jobs, and consider themselves stakeholders in election outcomes. Many Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wyoming counties are heavily vested in mining.”
Examining the 2000 Presidential election, the article asserts that “George W. Bush was assisted into office by mining industry moguls and a disgruntled union boss who stressed that an environmentally friendly president “would cost them their jobs.”
Considering the scrutiny of the Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) after the Upper Big Branch disaster, the investigative article asserts that the inbreeding of mining companies and government officials began in 2000 after Bush’s election. After naming three Peabody Energy executives to assist him on the transition team, he appointed Sen. Mitch McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chau, to his cabinet as Secretary of Labor.
Bush and McConnell (who sponsored “the first bill to muscle in voting machines by force”) now had a friendly mining industry investigation foe.
250 million gallons of “black gunk swallowed backyards, gardens and driveways, and annihilated life in the waterways” on October 11, 2000 at a Martin County mine.
University of Kentucky lecturer Erik Reece detailed how the findings of Jack Spadaro, who investigated West Virginia’s Buffalo Creek disaster, a MSHA appointee to the Martin County investigation unraveled due to the Bush election.
First, Sen. McConnell received $100,000 in contributions from Massey Energy. Both he and Bush received millions of dollars in big coal contributions.
Second, Spadaro found two days after his appointment, that the same impoundment pond spilled 100 million gallons of slurry in 1994. Nothing was done. “Spadaro found that at least five Martin County Coal executives were aware of . . . the risk of another slurry flood, but did nothing.
“By the end of 2000, Spadaro and the other investigators thought they had collected enough evidence to charge Massey Energy of Richmond, Virginia, the parent company of Martin County Coal, with willful and criminal negligence,” the lecturer wrote. Days after Bush took office, Spadaro wanted to cite Martin County Coal for eight violations including willful negligence.
Spadaro resigned from the team after the new MSHA “whittled” his recommendation to two “menial charges.”
Spadaro refused to sign the report, resigned the team and was placed on administrative leave on June 3, 2003. While he was in D.C., the locks were federal officials searched his Beckley office and changed the locks.
Though not involved in mining, Bullitt County had issues with drug trafficking and conflict of interest. The Mooney family ran elections for decades. When Nina Mooney was county clerk, “the Mooney family kept the voting machines in a warehouse they owned, rent paid by Bullitt County taxpayers. Bullitt County no longer houses its voting machines in the Mooney family's warehouse, but 2007 Bullitt County financial documents show thousands of dollars in taxpayer money going to "Mooney's Auto Supply." In February 2007 alone, while Kevin Mooney owned it and while he worked for the county, over $2600 was disbursed by Bullitt County to Mooney Auto Supplies,” Harris reported.
Her son, Kevin Mooney, now holds the clerk position. http://www.blackboxvoting.org/moonshine2.pdf and http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/1954/47065.html
Citizens invited Black Box to the county before the May primary to speak about election protections. According to Harris many of those in attendance told her they had been threatened with arrest “if they hosted or attended the meeting.”
On May 12, Kevin Mooney told Harris:
“… “that the husband of one of the people hosting the meeting was a candidate, and said there was an appearance of impropriety because it might look like a candidate is trying to gain influence over poll workers and therefore he objected to the meeting.
“He was incorrect on his facts -- no wife of any candidate on the May ballot was organizing the meeting, and the county elections chief should know who's on the ballot -- but even if Mooney had been correct, this would not have been sufficient cause for blocking a meeting.
“The meeting was nonpartisan and open to the public. Invitations were given to both Democrats and Republicans.
“Kevin Mooney was concerned that Pioneer Village Police Chief David Greenwell (who will be a candidate for sheriff in November) might be perceived to be attempting to manipulate poll workers if -- in May -- his wife (Kathy Greenwell*) helped organize a public meeting about election protection. This statement makes even less sense when we realize that Mooney himself will be on the November ballot, and he has extensive direct access to poll workers and helps select them!
*Kathy Greenwell was one of the election protection advocates who traveled to New Hampshire in 2008 to help monitor chain of custody in the presidential primary,” Harris wrote.
Patterns such as that observed in the Kentucky county are possible, more broadly, due to electronic voting machines and lack of meaningful oversight on the results.
“Given that PUBLIC elections cease to be PUBLIC if you bar the PUBLIC from observing or attending meetings about elections, the trend towards increasing obstruction and intimidation is disturbing,” Harris wrote. “When our right to meet and talk openly of such things is met with threats of arrest, we need to kick up a fuss and meet these attempts with BIGGER venues and MORE open discussion than ever.”
No matter what videographer/citizen Terri Smith determines regarding the video, the “lack of’’s” and questions raised by viewers brought hints of sunshine perspectives into the mix.
Smith wrote, “The good news is that no one, and I mean know one, in Cabell County had any clue that this type of thing was going on, even when it was right in front of their faces. Now, alot of people have opened their eyes. There are still a few who watch the video and can't see anything wrong. Mainly, the completely naive and trusting type, and the people at the SOS's office.”
Editor’s Note: Rand Paul, son of former presidential candidate Ron Paul, defeated the GOP and McConnell designee in the May race to face a Democratic challenger to fill the retiring McConnell’s senate seat.

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