Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fact Checkers at Snopes Cover-Up Scytl Scandal


For years it has been clear that Snopes.com, FactCheck.org, PolitiFact.com and Wikipedia.com are sources of misinformation, partisanship, and bias. Snopes is the worst. Wikipedia is about as biased, Politifact.com is a joke, and FactCheck.org has a personal agenda. These sites do not scrub the internet of good information but they do confuse and bury the truth. It is now so difficult to research online that many people have given up, including professional journalists.

FACT CHECKING THE FACT CHECKERS

FactCheck.org is run by Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. FactCheck.org Director, Brooks Jackson is widely touted as fair and unbiased. In reality, the site is run with a personal agenda. One of the worst examples surrounds Brooks Jackson's treatment of the Obama Birth Certificate. He repeatedly misrepresented the badly forged Certification of Live Birth as a Birth Certificate (more information). Additionally, The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action says:
FactCheck cherry-picks “facts” to suit its anti-NRA, anti-gun, anti-self-defense agenda—an agenda that the American people do not share.
FactCheck.org changed how it financed its operations in 2010. Their About Us page now includes some revealing information about staff and finances. Donations from the left-leaning Pew Charitable Trusts, Carnegie Corporation of New York and Obama donors from the Flora Family Foundation. Regardless, FactCheck.org is superior to Snopes, Politifact or Wikipedia.

Politifact.com is so biased that it has spawned Facebook pagesblogs, twitter accounts and even a Worse Politifact Lie of the Year Award to track all of the misinformation. Even Politifact.com brother-in-left-wing-bias-arms Wikipedia.com takes note of the bias.

Wikipedia.com is edited by an army of paid left-wing operatives and ignorant kids who reference bad sources. It is useful for very basic information and links to vocabulary definitions. It is also useful to see the progressive revision of historical events. Lets move on...

Snopes.com is the big daddy of politically biased propaganda and misinformation.  David and Barbara Mikkelson are the owners of Snopes and do much of their own research from their home in the San Fernando Valley. Researching into Snopes bias has revealed problems with how they handled many issues. However, financial contributions to Barack Obama were not uncovered nor was private financing from George Soros. It may be that the Mikkelson family has an natural left-wing bias and do not require or report compensation.

One reason that you should not trust snopes.com is that the site disables users ability to cut and paste text from the webpage. Users cannot take text and check it against other sources via a search engine like Google.com. Maybe the Mikkelsons were worried about intellectual property rights as they generate their own research content. However, they gather most of their information from available online resources.

SCYTL aka SKYTL

Another reason not to trust snopes.com is the clear left-wing bias. Consider the story of Scytl (pdf), the Spanish (Michelle Obama vacationed in Spain privately and away from Barack on his birthday in 2010.) company which purchased SOE and now will process U.S. election results overseas. SOE touts:
Over 900 jurisdictions in 26 states across the United States, including 14 state-wide customers, currently use SOE Software solutions in their electoral processes
These numbers include 2008 competitive states Indiana, Arizona, North Carolina and South Carolina. Scytl's News and Events page lists multiple online ballot contracts with states including Mississippi and Virginia. Scytl's Customers page does not seem to be updated.  SOE's customer list of states and counties is also of note. Additionally, a BusinessWire press release details:
The Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act of 2009 mandates that U.S. jurisdictions allow its uniformed and overseas citizens to receive and track their ballots electronically. As a result, many jurisdictions now allow their uniformed and overseas citizens to mark their ballots using online platforms. 
Digging deeper into the 2012 vote count controversy by Examiner.com  adds:
Critics say that the machines and software the company provides are too vulnerable to hackers and to those intent on perpetrating voter fraud. In 2010, Washington, D.C.'s new electronic voting system installed by SCYTL was hacked. And during the South Carolina Republican Primary this year there were numerous reports of irregularities associated with the company's electronic system.
The problems associated with electronic voting led to a major complaint being filed with the Election Assistance Commission by Voter Action. 
Prior to 2012 much of the software being used for voting system upgrades came from a company called SOE. However, SCYTL acquired SOE in a purchase agreement in late 2011 and early 2012. The platform that SCYTL currently uses actually originated with SOE before the acquisition.
But herein lies yet another problem inherent with the software, according to critics. Elections and vote fraud expert Bev Harris of Black Box Voting says that the uniform system SCYTL now uses makes it nearly impossible to check for accuracy, given that it does not mandate a paper trail of votes. There is no proof, no written record, no documentation.
If the company utilized two separate counting systems, the two could be compared and contrasted to test for accuracy. But such a system of checks and balances is not being implemented by the company, and some states no longer require a paper record of votes.
Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of systems like that of SCYTL, however, is the fact that it is possible for elections officials in government, and the computer programmers who work with the machines and software, to see how each individual citizen votes. According to Harris, such a system is a direct threat to voter privacy.
We add to the Examiner.com article with the information that SOE software developer David Condon was a Obama donor in 2008.

CandidateContributorEmployerDateAmount
Obama, BarackCONDON, DAVID
SAINT PETERSBURG,FL 33703
SOE SOFTWARE CORPORATION/SOFTWARE D2/21/08$250 (Fundrace shows $266)

More information can be found at USAmericanFreedom.com:
Harris’ online vote watch venture, BlackBoxVoting, contains a disturbingly lengthy list of an assortment of problems associated with elections and voter fraud in the U.S., including widespread evidence that government officials can now see exactly how an individual citizen voted. The site also delineates how state and local elections officials in certain states routinely mislead the public and outright violate the law.
The concerns do not stop at the technical level. Scytl CEO Pere Valles is reported to be a socialist and a major Obama donor. Valles may be one of 5340 deleted donors from the Federal Election Commission's April 22 database update which is the basis of Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org donor list. Donor deletions exploded off the FEC donor list under the Obama administration:

Election Year Donor Deletions Donor Changes Donor Additions
2003-200485159
2005-20061191122
2007-2008534005275
2009-20107424274
2011-2012703661995794991

This is not adequate information and additional investigation was required.

From the Scytl About page and confirmed here:
Prior to joining Scytl, Mr. Valles was Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of GlobalNet, a NASDAQ publicly-traded telecommunications company headquartered in Chicago.
Mr. Valles had worked as Senior Manager for KPMG's Mergers & Acquisitions group in Los Angeles and Miami providing financial and strategic consulting services to private equity groups and corporations involved in acquisitions in the United States, Latin America and Europe. 
Mr. Valles has a bachelor degree in Economics and a bachelor degree in Law from the University of Barcelona and a MBA (summa cum laude) from Indiana University.
A quick look at Obama donors from KPMG hits the jackpot. Four pages of Obama donors is definitive of Senior Manager Pere Valles' team. Anyone who has worked in a consulting company can attest to the "birds of a feather" associations. While not a direct connection to Barack Obama, this is circumstantial evidence.

Indiana University, of which I have a B.S. in Business Finance, is one of the most liberal institutions in America. Mr. Valles was unlikely to graduate Summa Cum Laude from Indiana University's heavily progressive MBA program without buying into the ideology.

From personal experience in the mid-nineties, Kelley School of Management "Business Ethics" classes pushed an anti-traditional values agenda with intolerance of dissent.  Questioning the agenda during class discussions led to derision and affected how essay questions were graded. The professor's humiliation tactics affected other students' perceptions when they evaluated members of group projects. Disagreeing with socialist professors affects GPA.

The Scytl's Investors page lists three companies: Nauta CapitalBalderton Capital, and Spinnaker SCR. Closer inspection reveals that Balderton Capital is linked to an Obama donation source, Benchmark Capital:
Balderton was founded in 2000 by Benchmark Capital, the leading US venture firm. In 2007 Balderton formally became independent, although Balderton maintain close ties with their Silicon Valley sibling.

Candidate Contributor Employer Date Amount
Obama, Barack Cohler, Matt
Portola Valley,CA 94028
Benchmark Capital 10/24/08 $2,300
Obama, Barack GOLDBERG, DAVID
ATHERTON,CA 94027
BENCHMARK CAPITAL/VENTURE CAPITAL 3/18/08 $2,300
Obama, Barack LASKY, MITCHELL
LOS ANGELES,CA 90064
BENCHMARK CAPITAL/VENTURE CAPITALIS 1/3/08 $2,300
Obama, Barack LASKY, MITCHELL
LOS ANGELES,CA 90064
BENCHMARK CAPITAL/VENTURE CAPITALIS 6/3/08 $2,300
Obama, Barack LASKY, MITCHELL
LOS ANGELES,CA 90064
BENCHMARK CAPITAL/VENTURE CAPITALIS 6/3/08 $2,300
Romney, Mitt KAGLE, ROBERT C
WOODSIDE,CA 94062
BENCHMARK CAPITAL/VENTURE CAPITALIS 2/5/07 $2,100
Obama, Barack TAYLOR, BRET
LOS GATOS,CA 95032
BENCHMARK CAPITAL/ENTREPRENEUR IN R 8/1/07 $250
Obama, Barack LASKY, MITCHELL
LOS ANGELES,CA 90064
BENCHMARK CAPITAL/VENTURE CAPITALIS 6/3/08 $-2,300

SNOPES MISLEADS ABOUT SCYTL

Snopes attempts to cover-up for Scytl with misinformation and misdirection. They first focus on the wrong question:
Claim:   President Obama has sold the tabulating of votes in U.S. national elections to Scytl, a Spanish company run by a donor to his campaign.
The answers to this straw-man question are superficial at best. Let's review their three talking points:
  1. The Obama administration could not possibly have "sold the processing rights of our votes in the general election" to Scytl, as the federal government does not run elections: individual states do. It's up to each state to determine on its own how to conduct its elections and what voting systems to use.
    Moreover, it's highly unlikely any states will be choosing to use systems like Scytl's to implement online voting on anything more than a very limited basis in the 2012 general election. Scytl's current list of customers includes only four U.S. states plus the District of Columbia, all of whom have so far limited their use of Scytl systems to providing a means for overseas (i.e., military and absentee) voters to cast their ballots remotely. According to Discovery News, even those scant initial uses of online voting failed to pan out in some cases, and those systems will not be re-used in 2012:

    The Truth

    This is misleading because Scytl purchased all SOE contracts with states and counties. Judging by Sctyl's recent press releases, many states are choosing these systems. Military and overseas voters are another focus:
    full ballot access for U.S. military & overseas voters and blank ballot delivery & marking via iPad, tablet or computer.
    Snopes' contention that the Obama administration did not grant the contracts at the federal level is misdirection. It has not been stated that Barack Obama used some official channel to grant the contracts. The Obama administration failed to live up to its' oath of defending the U.S. Constitution by allowing the troubling purchase.

    MISDIRECTION

  2. The security and auditability of online voting systems remains a subject of debate, which, as noted above, makes it quite improbable there will be any statewide (much less nationwide) use of systems like Scytl's in tabulating votes for the 2012 presidential election. Steve Wildstrom, writing in Tech.pinions, outlined the difficulties of implementing such systems securely: [see remainder at snopes.com]

    The Truth

    Again, Sctyl's recent press releases show that the "improbability" opinion is wrong.

    WRONG OR MISINFORMATION
  3. The current CEO of Scytl is Pere Vallés, whose résumé states: [see above]

    Despite claims that Pere Vallés "donated heavily to the 2008 Obama campaign," a search of all donors to the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama does not turn up a contribution (of any size) from anyone with that name. (Likewise, we found no evidence supporting the common rumor that financier George Soros holds an ownership stake in Scytl.)

    The Truth

    Pere Valles is not shown on the donor list, but his history clearly points to the conclusion that he is an Obama supporter. It is odd that so many of his underlings would contribute to the Obama campaign without his buy in. It is possible that Valles name was removed from the donor list as one of 5340 deleted records but everyone's contributions could not be deleted. Further, we have uncovered significant financial ties between Scytl investors and the Obama administration.

    Scytl is a private foreign company and involvement by George Soros would be difficult to prove. Saying that this is false is misleading, it is simply unproven. It will take time to come to a conclusion whether Soros, The Muslim Brotherhood, China, North Korea, Venezuala or Iran have ownership or infiltration at Scytl. Implying these connections to be false dissuades the public from uncovering the truth.

    DANGEROUSLY MISLEADING

Conclusion

Voting is key in our system. Everyone should contribute to the effort for fair and secure elections. This includes fact checkers being intellectually curious enough to do the difficult research required to answer important questions. Snopes has failed in the instance of Scytl due to a bias in favor of Barack Obama.

Instances such as this are a danger to our country. The public has a deluge of information sources but searches of fact checking organizations that lead to misinformation are particularly harmful. When the misinformation undermines our entire process of election by delaying the resolution of problems and public debate of the facts, it goes beyond partisanship or bias.

Scytl processing votes in Spain is unacceptable. The transparent tabulation of votes is critical to free elections. In the SOE/Scytl system, local precincts will no longer count the votes. The task will be completed by a foreign company which we do not control. Once the votes are merged, local officials will be unable to check or recheck their integrity.
Its not who votes that counts, it's who counts the votes!

Other resources:

http://ncrenegade.com/editorial/2012-election/
#Scytl on Twitter
FOLLOW UP ARTICLE:Scytl Voting via Mobile Phones: iFraud

12 comments:

Shane Atwell said...

Wow. That's going to take a while to digest. Nice work.

Doo Doo Econ said...

This post should be in the dictionary under: bury the lead

Chris K said...

All voting needs to be by paper ballots which can be reviewed and read manually if necessary. But why the panic over a $250 contribution by a software developer when a single anonymous donor gave Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS $10,000,000 to run smear ads against President Obama. Who are THEY and what is THEIR agenda?

Doo Doo Econ said...

Chris, I found out more http://blog.doodooecon.com/2012/05/scytl-voting-via-mobile-phone-ifraud.html

The reason it matters is that these people want to completely control the voting and they have the technology and connections to do it.

The man who wrote the software and who could verify the results died in a car accident at 35.

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Anonymous said...

This article is probably the biggest load of crap I've ever read.

Trying to say that Obama has ties to some Spanish company because his wife went on vacation in Spain is just absurd. I couldn't make it past that part.

Just because the facts are not in your favor doesn't mean they're lies. It means you're wrong.

Mike said...

Just because you put out a ton of information, it doesn't mean you're correct. You mention Snopes is the worst of the fact checkers but then give absolutely no real backing to why they are. You talk about the company Scytl but everything you say about it is anecdotal and shows nothing about why they'd be biased or what that has to do with Snopes itself. The Mikkelsons are about as apolitical as you can get. Barbara is a Canadian citizen who can't vote in this country and David was registerd Republican who voted for Reagen and is now unaffiliated with a political party.

I certainly don't have enough time in the day to go over every piece of info. you yave on here but I had to respond to the Snopes piece as I've seen the same tired arguement from right wing sites over and over again.

Anyone can take any piece of info. from any source and twist it in any way they want, that doesn't mean that it's true.

Anonymous said...

Those long winded left wing ignorant comments are all the same. It doesn't matter what he does or who his connections are or what his past is, it will continued to be ignored and brushed off. Wake up people and smell the crap he is shoveling down your throat!!!!!!!!!!

Doo Doo Econ said...

Thanks for the comments. Investigating voter fraud is not my profession, but it everyone's duty. This voting scandal needs more investigation. I hope that even if you disagree with me or my facts, you can see that this is a starting point in finding the truth.

Anonymous said...

I have to give you credit for having done some homework and putting together a piece to advocate for your conclusion, but let's make sure no one is confusing this with journalism. Conspiratorial inferences abound on the Internet, but facts seem to be really hard to come by. Attacking the messenger, like Snopes or you, is misguided. Unfortunately I don't see how your content here stands up to any intellectual rigor.

Anonymous said...

It's not journalism or anything even remotely close to it. Using words like "may", "could", "might" and so on is essentially fearmongering. I might be struck by lightening the minute I step out the door. I could die of a heart attack. I might actually be a spy for the Government. Is this all true? Maybe. Maybe not. The bottom line is that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is substantiated. It's trash or even worst it's lying. And, THAT, my friends, is the ONLY fact that you can bank on reading this article.

Anonymous said...

If you said i MIGHT get struck by lightning in a lightning storm that word will hold some merit will it not? What about "i eat shit grease food and red meat every meal so i COULD die from heart attack". When shit smells like shit in the litter box,its probably shit...........wake up jackass

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