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November 10th, 2016

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

WAS THE ELECTION RIGGED?

So was our recent presidential election rigged as winner Donald charged repeatedly throughout his campaign? Maybe there were no shenanigans on Election Day. But the election process itself was either unduly influenced or rigged from the get-go.

Mainstream news organizations played a less than noble role by interfering in the process. Rules were arbitrarily set as to who could join in the televised debates. Lesser-known candidates from both parties were either kept out of the presidential debates or relegated to a “kiddie table debate” that was never shown in prime time.

From the beginning, Trump was a creation of the media. Campbell Brown, a former anchor for CNN and NBC News, recently wrote: “Early on, even before he was the front-runner, TV news was giving Trump far more attention than other candidates. The coverage itself helped create him and has exposed those systemic weaknesses in television journalism. It needs to be understood how important it is for Trump’s rallies to be shown live and, in substantial part, uninterrupted. When the networks did that, they turned their programming into a Trump infomercial.” (Disclaimer: my oldest daughter).

In Louisiana, the statewide public television network, paid for by taxpayer dollars, has allowed an outside private organization to pick and choose who would be allowed to be part of a public debate. Twenty-four candidates qualified for U.S. Senate in the Bayou State, yet only five were “blessed” to participate. The other candidates weren’t even given a “kiddie table” option. So the tax dollars of 19 candidates were used to deny them the right to be part of the debate.

We even had charges that the Russians were involved in hacking into both campaigns. And Louisiana was one of three states where the Russians wanted to come in and “observe” the election process. We know we aren’t able to keep the Russians from meddling in Syria. But infiltrating Louisiana? Give us a break.

And speaking of meddling, the Director of the F.B.I. injected himself into the Clinton email allegations by going public days before the election, something that has never happened by the F.B.I before. Both the Trump and the Clinton campaigns blasted Director James Comey’s intervention.

Third parties were kept on the presidential debate sidelines by archaic rules that set the bar way too high for their participation. Both the Democrats and the GOP wanted no part in giving any exposure to third parties, at a time when the country needs feasible options. Polls showed that both major candidates had huge negatives, and a majority of voters voted against rather for. There is certainly room for a viable third and even fourth choice in political parties.

Down in Jefferson Parish, just outside of New Orleans, there were secret voting machines for VIPs, a direct violation of state law. The registrar of voters who allowed the secret voting process was quoted as saying: “It’s really a convenience for those whose time is, for lack of better word, maybe more valuable than others.” So you and I play by the rules, but VIP politicians get special treatment. Makes you wonder what other perks are given out in the voting process.

And we could write a whole column on who came up with the idea of holding a Louisiana Senate debate at predominately black Dillard University, where David Duke would be a participant. The Dillard president charged that the rules allowing Duke to debate were “rigged,” but he still sanctioned the debate to continue as rioters were pepper sprayed. It was ugly.

As a former Secretary of State and chief elections officer, I can tell you that every election has its share of glitches. But this recent presidential election was a doozer and the whole process needs to be reviewed for improvements in the current system.

Donald Trump is our new president to the delight of his many supporters. If you don’t like the results, you just have to wait another 1453 days until the next presidential election. So get ready.

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Win or lose, we go shopping after the election.” Imelda Marcos

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownla.com.  You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am Central Time on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownla.com.

 

 

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