Sunday, March 27, 2005

Laura Flanders and Steve Rosnefeld cover the Ohio Congressional field hearing

Laura Flanders and Steve Rosenfeld cover the Ohio Congressional field hearing
(Rosenfeld's name misspelled in title as Marci points out; fixing it in the title changes the "address" for the post. My apologies to Rosenfeld.)
On The Laura Flanders Show tonight Laura Flanders and her executive producer discussed the issue of the Ohio vote. As she noted at the top, "we" have been on this from the start. That would absolutely apply to her show which was on this issue immediately after the election and I'm sure she'd include The Randi Rhodes Show which was also on the Ohio vote from the start -- Flanders and her producer Steve Rosenfeld were both guests on The Randi Rhodes Show to discuss the Ohio vote early on.

What follows is a summary of the coverage of Ohio. Note, that if it is in italics, it is a direct quote.

Flanders: "Leading Democrats challenged the certification, there was an investigation."
Steve Rosenfeld went to Ohio to report on the Congressional field hearing.

Rosenfeld: "I think he [Blackwell] so angered the chairman . . . [Bob Ney] that he allowed the Democrats there to really grill him. That's what this tape shows."

Clip played of Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA) questioning Blackwell.

Millender-McDonald: "You knew ahead of time that these members were going to come to the floor, why didn't you then write a letter to clarify?"

Blackwell responds in a condescending drone regarding what is and isn't owed.

Rosenfeld: "That just gives you a snippet of what his personality is really like."

Flanders: "Blech."

Another clip of Millender-McDonald and Blackwell is played.

Millender-McDonald questions Blackwell on the issue of voting machines ("There wasn't enough voting machines.") and notes the areas that were short on machines.

Blackwell responds to her questions of how this was allowed to happen with a dismissive "In your brilliance would you tell me who would have paid for it?"

Millender-McDonald: "You know what, you are the chief elections officer of the state."

Flanders: "He is taking no responsibility for failing to provide these machines?"

Rosenfeld agrees and adds that Blackewell stated, "And that if people wanted to see how elections were done right, they should" come to Ohio.

Flanders: "Where were the media on this story, if I can ask?"

Rosenfeld: "There was AP, I didn't see the national press, of course there was the Cleaveland press."

Flanders: "And the cameras, were the cameras there?"

Rosenfeld: "There was public access."

Flanders: "God bless, public access."

A clip is played of Blackwell and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-Ohio).In the next clip.

Blackwell greets Tubbs-Jones with "good to see you."

Tubbs-Jones replies, "It was so 'good to see you' that you chose not to shake my hand in the anteroom."

Blackwell responds that he didn't shake her hand because he wanted to wait to see how she was going to conduct herself at this hearing.

Tubbs-Jones: "Well you know what? Watch me sir."

After that clip, Rosenfeld said, "That was the beginning of her questioning period and it only got hotter."

Flanders: "Just tell me how that played out, his greasy 'I wouldn't shake your hand'" until I knew how you were going to conduct yourself?

Rosenfeld: "Well this guy feels he's accountable to no one. . . . He said to her at one point, more people voted for me than voted for you."

Flanders: "This is the guy they want to run for governor!"

Flanders then mentioned Maggie's Boy on The Laura Flanders Show blog. We'll quote Maggie's Boy's comments (he's the twenty-third comment):

The last time a bunch of religious fundamentalists took over a government we invaded the country and chased them out. That was the Taliban. Now, who will come save us from the Talibush?
It’s getting really scary here in Ohio now.
Sadly all the religious fundies, are down with Blackwell’s ways.
Posted by MaggiesBoy on 03/27 at 07:17 PM

Rosenfeld sets up another clip, "I think that in this clip, it's the fourth one there, what happens is he spent" money on advertisements that didn't really inform "and what happened was people got in line" long lines that weren't moving due to the shortage of machines "and said well I have to vote here so forget it. She was asking him "why he didn't tell them that they could vote at their board of elections?"

A clip of Tubbs-Jones and Blackwell is played.

Tubbs-Jones: "And in this ad you said 'Vote your precinct,' but you didn’t say 'Vote in your board of elections,' did you sir?"

Blackwell: "I sure didn't."

Tubbs-Jones: "Excuse me."

Blackwell: "Can you hear? I said I sure didn't."

Blackwell now claimed that it was too information to get into a thirty second ad (because "or vote at your board of elections" is apparently a mouthful).

After that clip played, Flanders said, "That is so juicy I want to play it again."

After the clip was played again, Flanders noted "What a bully boy this is, what a bully boy this Kenneth Blackwell is? Was there any reaction in the audience, Steve Rosenfeld . . . was he [Boy Ney] more fed up at the end of this little performance?"

Rosenfeld: "Well he let the performance go on. So as a Republican who let a fellow Republican" go on and embarass himself, that says something. And the reaction in the audience during this was that "the reporters just stopped taking notes. Their jaws dropped. There's one more clip. It's very, very short. . . ."

Clip of Blackwell and Tubbs-Jones is played.

Blackwell: "I refuse to sit here and be harangued by you."

Tubbs-Jones: "You know what, Mr. Blackwell, I'm not trying to harangue you, sir. But if you choose not to have me ask questions, haul butt. Go on, see you."

After that clip (which was played again because Flanders enjoyed hearing Tubbs-Jones tell Blackwell to "haul butt") Flanders noted, "I believe in miracles Steve, and that is a miracle right there." And then Flanders and Rosenfeld went on to note that Tubbs-Jones and Juanita Millender-McDonald showed fighting spirit.

Rosenfeld noted that they were brave, "Well they really are. They have the courage. They have the courage we wish more Democrats would show."

Rosenfeld will have a book coming out on the Ohio vote. He noted that, "We raised money on this show. We were able to get hundreds of first person statements. And what happens is the focus shifts to Congress and maybe there will be [reform] or maybe there won't be."

Rosenfeld then referenced when Representative Jesse Jackson came on The Laura Flanders Show and noted that you couldn't have different standards in every voting area, that you needed one set of standards.

Flanders wound down the segments with, "I believe in miracles, this is one of the great benefits to having this network that we didn't have a year ago." She noted that grassroots drove this issue and that "gradually" grassroots activists were able to grab "the attention of Congress" and we ended up with the certification questions in Congress and now a field hearing in Ohio.

Remember that Steve Rosenfeld (along with Bob Fitrakis, and Harvey Wasserman) wrote the article "As Blackwell Says, Ohio’s in 2004 was a National Model" that's available online at The Free Press.

Also note that the program will be archived at Air America Place. So check that tomorrow and later in the week if it's not up tomorrow. The interview with Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. is from an interview that features him and his father Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. To hear Laura Flanders interview them, you can go to Air America Place, click on the archived version of that March 6, 2005 show to download it and listen to it.

Finally, I hope that the italics weren't confusing but I wanted to note what was a genuine quote versus a summary on my part. I had intended to do a transcript. Failed to realize that I only had one stereo that had a tape player on it. But I found a tape a friend sent me of a radio interview he gave, figured he would understand my taping over it, and attempted to tape.
I took notes throughout to know which parts I wanted to emphasize. After the segements were over, I go to play tape and I've got some other radio station bleeding in playing Disney Kids music. With the tape being worthless, I went to my notes that weren't intended to be a backup but ended up being that.

If you listen to the archived version and find something important that I've missed (or just something you wanted highlighted or highlighted further) please e-mail the site ( and we'll get up here for the community to share.

Last note. Laura Flanders just stated that the clips played (there are highlights above) will be made available on the Air America home page as best ofs. So you can also look for them there.