There WAS a recount on the Prop 37 vote, and it was stopped cold

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Prop 37, the ballot measure that would have mandated labeling of all GMO food sold in California, went down to defeat last November, under suspicious circumstances.

So a small group, headed by Tom Courbat, former senior budget analyst for LA County, decided to challenge the vote.

In California, any voter can do that, if they’re willing to pay for it. And they have to pay for the recount county by county. They pick the counties they want to start with, they contact the county registrars, and they’re told what the price is. It’s different in each county.

So the group picked Orange and Sierra Counties. They paid the fee. The votes were recounted, and there was no appreciable change in the numbers.

The group decided Fresno County should be next. That’s when trouble came and whole thing blew up. The county clerk in Fresno, in charge of all voting processes, is Brandi Orth.

As The Brad Blog reveals, Orth came up with a staggering price for a vote recount. Here are a few of the details:

Orth stated there would be an up-front fee, due before the recount even started, of $18,000.

The cost per DAY of doing the recount? $4,000. This included five vote counters who would each be paid $46 an hour—to sit and count. Then there would be a three-person executive staff, each of whom would be paid an astonishing $92 an hour.

Note: In Orange County, the Prop 37 recount didn’t cost $4,000 a day. The fee? Only $600 a day!

But here is the best part. As Tom Courbat, the leader of the Prop 37 recount group, spoke with Fresno County Clerk, Brandi Orth, he suddenly learned he was being charged for the phone conversation—and also for Orth’s staff “getting ready” for a recount!

Understand this. No recount had begun. Courbat hadn’t given the green light for a recount. But, he was informed, he was already $4000 in the hole.

Courbat estimated a vote recount in Fresno County was going to cost his group $78,000 by the end of three weeks worth of work. They didn’t have the money.

The Fresno County recount was toast. And with it went any chance (even if one assumes a recount would be honest) that Prop 37 could be fairly reviewed in California.

At this point, I ran down a few facts about Fresno County. It’s the number-one county in the US for agricultural production; in 2007, $5.3 billion. Major employers? Kraft Foods, Del Monte Foods, Foster Farms, Zacky Farms, Sun-Maid. A local outfit, David Sunflower Seeds, is owned by the giant ConAgra.

Beginning to form a picture? Fresno is Big Agriculture, and the last time I looked, Big Ag isn’t rushing to support GMO labeling. They love Monsanto, crime boss of the GMO world.

Brandi Orth, who blocked the recount, was installed as Fresno county clerk a mere 10 months before Prop 37 went up before California voters. This happened, as The Brad Blog points out, because the previous county clerk, Victor Salazar, suddenly announced his retirement with three years left on his contract.

Who picked Orth as the new county clerk? The five members of the Fresno board of supervisors. I noticed that two of them, Phil Larson and Debbie Poochigian, were members of the Fresno County Farm Bureau.

That’s quite interesting, because in the run-up to the November Prop 37 vote, the Farm Bureau was one of the organizations that signed on to a large NO on 37 print ad.


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Contributed by Jon Rappoport of No More Fake News.

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALEDEXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

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  • Patriot


  • LegionFoxtrot5Niner

    If voting actually changed anything meaningful it would be illegal.
    >>My name is Legion, for we are many. Expect us. <<<

    • Mavrick


  • Locus

    In 1998 “Initiative 59” in public referendum was approved for the ballot in Washington DC to ask DC voters if they would allow the use of medical marijuana. As soon as it was announced, Robert Barr (R-Ga.) sponsored an amendment to DC’s appropriations bill that prohibited the District from “using federal money to conduct any ballot initiative that would decriminalize marijuana use.”

    This might have prevented the elections board from even placing the question on the ballot. But the ballots had already been printed. So they decided to go ahead with the election.

    On election night all the results were announced — all except those for the marijuana referendum. The Board had refused to count or certify them because to use their resources to do so would “violate the Barr amendment.”

    However the Board of Elections DID protest and actively join with ACLU and supporters of the initiative to file suit against the Federal Government. It took most of a year but District Judge Roberts ruled that the Barr amendment did NOT have the authority to prevent them from counting or certifying the results.

    Turner v. D.C. Bd. of Elections and Ethics

    Three days after the opinion, the Board released the results that had been DENIED THE PUBLIC FOR ALMOST A YEAR — that it had in fact passed, 69% in favor of 137,000 votes cast.

    Was the end of it then? Well no, not yet. A long series of dirty tricks and foot-dragging, 14 years’ worth up to now. But that is another story.


    But the morals of MY story is

    1. Not all ‘failed’ initiatives are doomed.

    2. Not all Board of Elections are corrupt.

    3. If you’re shopping around for an outright show of malicious contempt for Constitutionally guaranteed due process — and contempt for the citizen electorate in general — Robert Barr (R-Ga.) is your man.