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To Cuba With Love, Report Back, Bob Fitrakis and Suzanne Patzer

To Cuba with Love
Report Back by Bob Fitrakis and Suzanne Patzer

Monday, August 24, 2015 – Central Ohioans for Peace meeting
Columbus Mennonite Church
35 Oakland Park Avenue
BobWPic
The Central Ohioans for Peace meet regularly on Monday evenings at 7pm at the Columbus Mennonite Church, 35 Oakland Park Avenue. Each meeting has a different peace-oriented presentation. On August 24, Columbus Free Press Editors Bob Fitrakis and Suzanne Patzer will present on their week-long “To Cuba with Love” delegation with Code Pink. In February they joined in the first large U.S. people-to-people visit to Cuba since the warming of relations last December. They will share their experiences touring the country, meeting with public officials including Mariela Castro, visits with Cuban people and impressions of the state of the nation under the U.S. embargo. Also presenting will be Lisa Valanti, longtime Pastors for Peace activist. They will lead a discussion on the future of U.S.-Cuban relations.
Free and open to the public.
614-253-2571 or colsfreepress@gmail.com

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Quiet Newsday? There Is Always Something going on in Alternative Media

WCRSscrcap

The Other Side Of The News / FightBack

http://www.talktainmentradio.com/shows/fightback.html

The Columbus Free Press . Com

http://freepress.org/

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Police abuse in Columbus, The Other Side of the News August 10, 2015

A must listen. Two friends try to help an Asthmatic get treatment at OSU ER. All of them get arrested. This is their excruciating story in person. Bob interviews three young people who were detained, harassed and arrested by Columbus police.

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The June Free Press Second Saturday Salon

Join us for the June Free Press Second Saturday Salon
Saturday, June 13, 2015
6:30 – 11 PM

Pressing Columbus, Ohio, Not Bought Out By US Investment Firm

The June Free Press Second Saturday Salon
Saturday, June 13, 6:30-11pm @ 1021 E. Broad St.
Free. No RSVP necessary.
Socialize and network with progressive friends for hors-d’oeuvres, drink, art and music. Meeting both inside and outside weather permitting.
colsfreepress@gmail.com, (614) 253-2571.

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Drinking Water Is A Human Right, Ohio Must Go Green In Agriculture

Bob Fitrakis
Aug, 3, 2014

In response to the water crisis in Toledo this weekend, Ohio Green Party Lt. Governor candidate Bob Fitrakis says that Ohio must move away from petrochemical fertilizers and adopt a new green agricultural economy.

“The harmful algae bloom has been going for more than decade and has gotten substantially worse under Kasich’s administration” Fitrakis said. According to the Ohio Sea Grant college program, during Kasich’s first year, 2011, the algae bloom was rated at its most severe — ranking 10 on a 10 point scale.
The poisonous toxins that have shut down the use of tap water in four Ohio counties and stopped the flow of water for half a million people in the Toledo area are primarily caused by commercial fertilizer runoff from factories and farmer’s fields. This situation has put Lake Erie at risk, just like it was back in the 1970s.

The Green Party calls for new regulations that would halt the flow of phosphorus from fertilizers into Lake Erie and incentives for Ohio farmers to adopt organic agriculture methods. Instead of spending millions of dollars to clean poisonous water we need to subsidize farmers to go green. We need to create a buffer zone to protect the Lake Erie ecosystem from those that spew chemicals without regard to people’s right to drinking water.

The polluters must be fined and forced to pay the cost of the cleanup. Local communities must be allowed to sue the polluters and send those to jail who are knowingly spewing these toxins.
We applaud the people of Mansfield who passed a Community Bill of Rights that guarantees clean air and clean water, and support the efforts to pass a Columbus Community Bill of Rights. We are calling upon the people of Toledo to adopt the same kind of Community Bill of Rights.

But, if voters want to send John Kasich a message this fall, they need to support the Green Party that will take on these polluters and put positive solutions in place.
On people’s right to clean water, Kasich has been a complete failure. Not only has he allowed the people of Toledo to be afflicted by toxic water, he has also permitted radioactive fracking water to be dumped in our state from Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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Greens appear to have achieved historic victory Statewide write-in effort leaves the Greens as the only alternative in Ohio’s governor race

May 24, 2014
By Bob Fitrakis
The Green Party is fighting for its political life in Ohio. The gerrymandered, Republican-controlled state legislature outlawed all minor parties in Ohio in 2013 while both the Libertarian and Green Parties were in the middle of the petition drives for their gubernatorial candidates. Neither the Libertarians nor the Greens achieved ballot status by submitting signatures. While the Libertarian Party sued to maintain ballot status and lost in federal court, the Green Party invoked a seldom used state law that allows a statewide candidate to gain ballot status by getting 500 write-in votes.
The initial canvas of precincts showed the Green Party with 766 write-in votes for their gubernatorial candidate. The number, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, has now dwindled to 628 votes. By state law, all county boards of elections must certify their vote total and forward it to the Secretary of State’s office by May 27. The Secretary of State must post the actual results 30 days after the May 6 election.
Anita Rios, the gubernatorial candidate, is currently showing 4% in SurveyUSA’s statewide poll. In order for the Green Party to survive under the current Republican law, still being challenged in federal court, their gubernatorial candidate must get 2% in the November election.
The Green Party of Ohio has played a key role in Ohio election protection activities. In 2004, they sued to recount the controversial Bush victory in the Buckeye state. In 2008, the Green Party ran an extensive election protection effort and their 2006 gubernatorial candidate Bob Fitrakis (this writer) was involved in deposing the Bush family’s election IT specialist, Michael Connell. In 2012, this writer, then a Green Party congressional candidate, sued the Ohio Secretary of State in both state and federal court to halt secret, untested, experimental software patches from being placed on 20 county central tabulators.
Whether Rios and the Green Party appear on the ballot with the legal standing to sue and the right to certify election observers throughout the state on the upcoming election day depends on the 128 vote surplus that may be certified on May 27.
Green Party voters found it difficult in many counties, particularly Franklin County, to cast a write-in vote on the electronic voting machines. When voters pulled a Green Party ballot the voting machine would give them the option for a write-in without it mentioning what race it was for and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted issued a directive preventing pollworkers from handing voters a list of official statewide write-in candidates unless the voter specifically requested it.
In Franklin County, 454 people voted Green and only 130 write-in votes were counted the day after the election. That number has since fallen to 122 write-in votes. In Cuyahoga County, that initially reported 141 write-in votes, the number declined to 79. With 100% of the counties reporting and the unofficial county canvas being reported by the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, it is hard to imagine that the Ohio Green Party would lose another 128 votes.
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Bob Fitrakis ran as the Green Party-endorsed Governor candidate in 2006, as a Green Party candidate for U.S. Congress in 2012 and is currently the Lt. Governor candidate.

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October Social/Film Events

Monday, October 21, 2013
50 Years: Project Film Festival
7:00 pm. Our first film in this series is “A Place at the Table,” which weaves personal stories and policy-level issues to tell the story of U.S. hunger and its serious economic, social and cultural implications. It further makes the case that ensuring healthy food is available and affordable is in the best interest of us all and discusses the nature of policies impacting our food system. For more information, contact Keith Kilty at kilty.1@osu.edu
Location: 100 Stillman Hall (1947 College Road) on the Ohio State campus

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 – 7:30pm
Free Press Fourth Tuesdays Free Films return to the Drexel!
Love Hate & Propaganda: The War On Terror Propaganda, the weapon of mass persuasion, is a powerful force and has helped shape events of the 20th century. This film examines how propaganda influenced significant moments in history, and the lives of the people who lived through them. Hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos, Love, Hate & Propaganda is a primer on the art of mass persuasion, aimed directly at a media-savvy generation. Nine days after the 9-11 attacks on America, President George Bush declared War on Terror. This film examines the role propaganda played leading up to Bush’s declaration and the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Co-sponsored by The Columbus Film Council. Admission is free, donations encouraged. 90 min film followed by discussion.
Location: Drexel Theater, 2254 E. Main Street, Bexley

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Free Press Second Saturday Salon

Free Press Second Saturday Salon
Saturday, March 9
6:30-pm-midnight
1021 E. Broad St., east side door, parking in front or rear

Welcoming progressive friends with refreshments, music, art, networking, presentations, and socializing.
Presentations on Re-examining Lucasville conference, efforts to reform Columbus City Council and more.
truth@freepress.org, 253-2571

Green Party Presiodential Candidate Jill Stein At Ohio Statehouse

Green Party Presiodential Candidate Jill Stein At Ohio Statehouse

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Bob interviews Jill Stein on www.WVKO1580.com

Podcast below pictures or click here!

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The Free Press confirms installation, secret justification of uncertified last minute election tabulation reporting software in Ohio


by Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis
November 2, 2012

The Free Press has obtained internal memos from the senior staff of the Ohio Secretary of State’s office confirming the installation of untested and uncertified election tabulation software. Yesterday, the Free Press reported that “experimental” software patches were installed on ES&S voting machines in 39 Ohio counties. (see Will “experimental” software patches affect the Ohio vote?).

Election Counsel Brandi Laser Seske circulated a memo dated November 1st renewing the already shaky justification for installing software made by Election Systems and Solutions on vote tabulation equipment used in 39 Ohio counties. The letter to Ohio Secretary of State personnel Matt Masterson, Danielle Sellars, Myra Hawkins, Betsy Schuster, and Ohio’s Director of Elections Matthew Damschroder, clarified the dubious justification for not complying with the legal requirements for the examination of all election related equipment.

Seske begins by explaining what she purports to be the purpose of the software patch: “Its function is to aid in the reporting of results that are already uploaded into the county’s system. The software formats results that have already been uploaded by the county into a format that can be read by the Secretary of State’s election night reporting system.”

According to the contract between the Ohio Secretary of State’s office and ES&S, this last minute “experimental” software update will supposedly transmit custom election night reports to the Secretary of State’s office from the county boards of elections, bypassing the normal election night reporting methods.

In order to justify this unusual parallel reporting method, Seske explains “It is not part of the certified Unity system, so it did not require federal testing.” This attempt to skirt federal and state law from one of the most partisan Secretary of State offices in the nation ignores basic facts of how modern information systems function.

Seske continues “Because the software is not 1) involved in the tabulation or casting of ballots (or in communicating between systems involved in the tabulation or casting of ballots) or 2) a modification to a certified system, the BVME [Board of Voting Machine Examiners] was not required to review the software.” These claims are factually unsound. The software, although not communicating actual ballot information, facilitates communication between systems upon which votes are tabulated and stored. Although the software purports to not modify the tabulation system software, it is itself a modification to the whole tabulation system. This is why certification and testing is required in all cases.

Just as in 2004, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office has enabled the possibility of a “man in the middle” attack. This software, functioning on a network through which votes are transmitted could act to intercept, alter or destroy votes from counties where it is not even installed, hence the “man in the middle” nickname.

On September 19, the last minute contract between ES&S and the Ohio Secretary of State’s office was inked. Within a week, Seske wrote “He [Matt Masterson] has reviewed and approved the changes.” Masterson is the Deputy Director of Elections. After Masterson’s approval, Seske acted to bypass the Ohio Board of Voting Machine Examiners required review.

“Pursuant to the board’s policy, each change will be approved unless three members of the BVME request a meeting to review a change within 15 days of today’s date. Given the proximately of the upcoming election, please let me know as soon as possible whether you will be requesting a meeting to review the changes,” wrote Seske.

Government reports such as Ohio’s Everest study document that any single change to the system could corrupt the whole voting process.

An unelected, partisan group of attorneys appears to have conspired to install election software without testing and certification that they are professionally unqualified to pass judgment upon. These types of last minute installations of software patches on voting machines are considered suspect by knowledgeable and experienced election protection attorneys, in light of all the voting machine irregularities exposed during the 2004 election in Ohio.

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Gerry Bello is the chief researcher at the Columbus Free Press. He holds a degree in computer security from Antioch College. Bob Fitrakis is the Editor of the Free Press. He holds Ph.D. in Political Science and a J.D. from the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University.