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if you read any number of glowing reports and fanboy interviews on the recent Oathkeeper presence in Ferguson, you might easily believe Oathkeepers are  just  civic minded professionals, helping protect local businesses against  rable rousing molotov cocktail tossing street criminals . Helping  business board up, filling water buckets, and ,oh yes, keeping an armed rooftop presence in the town. Kind of like " Chamber of Commerce fuerte", so full of good will and protection they are. Recent interviews reveal Ferguson Oathkeeper spokesman Sam Andrews to be a placid looking ,soft spoken man who presents an air of assuring ,reasoned authority. He is the man who has the overview, who sees what no one else sees from his rooftop perch, whom businesses turned to for protection. He assures us the Ferguson grand jury was racially diverse, that Officer Wilson did the right thing, that the local police forces did an excellent job but were simply no match for the unruly street criminals ..until ,of course , the Oathkeepers arrived to save the day. Makes you feel so safe. Andrews is so reassuring. How nice, the former defense contractor wants to protect the weakest among us, right? Or wait, in Ferguson, wasn't he  working to provide back up for the already armed police forces? He has said he radioed police about things he observed from the rooftop. In fact he is pretty sure he saved the police as well as the businesses..He is such a comfort to have around, good ol Sam and the boys.
but what lies under the placid , polished veneer of the new oathkeepers? have a look under the orange Gadsen rattler for a clue:

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Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 07:31 AM PST

Scott Peters , D, prevails in CA-52

by manyamile

In California's 52nd district, the race was called Friday night for Scott Peters, who prevailed over Republican candidate Carl DeMaio  by 4,491 votes, 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent.
Peters first gained the  lead  Thursday night during the post election day count of  provisional and  late arriving absentee ballots.

Read more:112701.html#ixzz3IUVVcpsF


Chris Deschene statement:"Supporters, I’m very disappointed in today’s Supreme Court decisions. This isn’t about the $6,130.83 I was absurdly ordered to pay to remove myself from the ballot by covering my opponents legal fees. Or the presidency I was striving to earn. This is about the message the court sent to you.

This ruling could have a chilling effect on the future of our elections. It sends a dangerous message that your vote doesn’t count.

This upsets me most. Because as Dine, we have an election Tuesday, despite the uncertainty of my candidacy. We have a congressional representative to elect. We have a governor to choose. We have council positions to fill. We have school board and chapter positions to fill. It’s our responsibility to vote.

As far as the future of my presidency, we have one remaining option, and that’s the pending veto override. Call your delegates. Voice your support.

And know that regardless of the outcome, I appreciate your ongoing support. I’m proud of what we have accomplished, together.

Vote Tuesday. It's critical."


Just finished watching  Justice Herb Yazzie deliver judgement.
Court states that The Board of Election Supervisors and the Elections Commission is in contempt for not immediately and totally complying with last week's court order to delay next week's election and remove the name of Chris Deschene from the ballot, (last week's ruling based on  a post- primary hearing stemming from complaints by 2 losing primary candidates that Deschene did not speak Navajo fluently enough. )

The court rules that the commission has "no authority to review laws and declare them invalid". Last weeks's court decision to postone the  election and remove Deschene is law and is mandatory. period.

Yazzie  managed to get reluctant agreement to proceed as ordered, from  Mr. Edison Wauneka, head of the Navajo Election Administration,who said though he  agreed with the Board of Election Supervisors in principle,  he  is bound to obey the law. it sounds like this means continuing with Tuesday's election, but not counting ANY of the votes for president.  Wauneka  will request money to hold a new election for president.
 The court ruled that  Wauneka should declare the supervisors' positions vacant and disqualify them from any elected offices they are seeking because of the contempt finding.
(now former)Board member Lenora Fulton:"We accomplished what we set out to do as a united board, and if it means being stripped of our duties and not being able to run for office for another five years, it's worth it to me," she said. "I'd do it again. A person's right to vote is important, and we were not willing to invalidate that."

My glitchy internet  streaming did not allow me to hear all of  the sanctions Yazzie is imposing on the Elections Commisssion, but    the court has effectively eliminated the Board of election Supervisors and hogtied the the head of Election administration, so it will not arrest and detain them. How generous.

UPDATE: Yazzie has REMOVED the members of the Board of Election Supervisors from office. he has totally disbanded the group responsible for  ensuring fair elections.
 Deschene is ordered to pay the court costs  of the two plaintiffs, about $6,000.00 Over 300  Deschene supporters were outside the courtroom in Chinle and have set up a website to help him raise the money to do that.
forgive me if i share the website.

Well played, entrenched  guard , you went for broke and the voice of the voters will not be heard. not in this round anyway.

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Background: Last week The Navajo Nation Supreme court ruled in favor of two plaintiffs who sought  to have Chris Deschene removed from the ballot for Navajo Nation president . The Navajo Board of Elections Supervisors  asked for legal clarification on the matter.
One week later , Monday October 29, the two plaintiffs  asked that the Supreme court hold the Election Board  and the Deschene campaign in contempt for failing to immediately remove Deschene from the ballot, failing to select a new Presidential candidate and running mate, failing to delay and reschedule the Nov. 4 election,  and failing to print new ballots, ( voting has been ongoing since October 9.)

Tuesday ,October 30,, the Navajo Nation Election Board Commissioner, Wallace Charley, announced that Deschene's name would not be removed from the ballot, stating

"The Navajo are citizens of the United States; there is a constitution that gives the principle that people have a right to vote, and their votes cannot be denied," Charley told reporters at KOB 4 in Albuquerque. "So based on that, the Navajo Board of Elections Supervisors will not back off on this principle. Whether that means going to jail – fine. We'll go to jail and see what comes out of this."

Wednesday, Deschene posted a photo of his grandfather , a WWII Navajo Code talker, who was taking the podium for Chris at a Kayenta rally.

From Deschene, " He defended our country with our language, and it’s being used to divide the Diné. Tonight, he used our language to share the truth with hundreds of people.

Many of you have asked why I didn’t take the fluency test. It’s time for me to tell you. I will not allow any member of our nation to be singled out. To be set up for failure. To be tested unfairly. To be left to defend ourselves to the outside. This has happened to us before. It will not happen under my watch. This test was flawed. This test was designed to divide the nation. This test was unacceptable. I am proficient in Diné Bizaad. I am qualified to be your president. I want to be your president.

I am still on the ballot. I have not conceded. I will never stop defending our fundamental rights. I’m told I’ll get in trouble for campaigning. But you won’t get in trouble for voting. You need to vote now"

Navajo Nation Arizona votes are also crucial in the AZ CD-01 race and may well make the difference for Dem Rep Anne Kirkpatrick in the Nov. 4 election. Deschene has run as a Democrat in years past and has been invigorating voter inclusion and participation throughout the  campaign.

More details on the specific motion before the Navajo Nation Supremem Court below the fold

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Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 09:26 AM PDT

Canvassing neighborhoods in SE AZ

by manyamile

Last night 20 people gathered in Benson. From Cochise Stronghold, Sunsites, Dragoon, Cascabel, Saint David, Mescal, Benson  and , as one woman put it, 'the middle of nowhere'.We were moderate democrats, progressive minded Democrats, independent minded democrats and democrats from the 'Elizabeth Warren branch' of the Democratic party .
 Two energetic young staffers from Sierra Vista talked about how to knock on doors  and why personal engagement matters. Jim Burton ,   a bearded man who looks more like an old prospector than a politician, and who has  worked at all of the jobs a lot of us have worked at all of our lives, is running for state rep. in LD 14. No one else had stepped up, so he is giving it a go, thinking things have gotten so crazy extreme in the statehouse, we have to at least try to slow it down.

About halfway through, there was a knock on the door and Rep. Ron Barber , AZ CD-02, stepped in, returning to Tucson after a long day, having just finished interviewing with newspaper editors over in Willcox. After introductions he plunked down on the couch right next to me and people started asking questions and conversing.
My first impression was that Barber is down to earth, sensible, without the typical glossy politician affectations you might expect. He answered a lot of questions,  then  wanted to to point out  the main differences between he and opponent McSally. He talked about the massive Koch money dump which has gone into trying to remake McSally into looking like a moderate after her 2012 loss. I realize that Barber is seen as too willing to negotiate and too moderate for many, and I myself have bellowed about some of his votes. but I also realized i have actually agreed with most of his positions and votes.

One of my  strong issues is reproductive rights.
Barber supports  a woman's right to choose. No exceptions. He supports access to birth control. He opposes citizens united. McSally is on record as opposing abortion even in cases of rape ,incest or health of the mother. her only campaign stop in these parts will be to sing at a big baptist church somewhere near Sierra Vista  next sunday. we wished her a good future career as a church singer.
My assessment is that Barber is a reliable Democrat in almost all issues,  and he has my vote.

After 20 minutes or so , he headed out and so did we, to knock on doors in Benson. I partnered with a ranchwoman from Dragoon who was too shy to talk. She drove ,I knocked and talked. We had 22 households. About half were not home. Out of the 10 who were home I was surprised how many had misplaced their mail- in ballots or could not remember if they had gotten one yet. I believe we made a difference in most of those homes. Many had not even thought about  the races or did not know the names but  when given the information ,were positive about candidates and resolved to vote. Many were elderly and had just not yet focused on who was running. Many actually said they had not paid attention to 'the ads' yet. I thought everyone would have been solidly opinionated by now. Not true.

Even so, they were concerned about education, and glad to know about David Garcia running for Superintendent of public instruction. they were niot happy with the state GOP, and were happy to learn about Fred DuVal for governor, Terry Goddard for Sect'y of State, Felecia Rotellini for Attorney General, Holway and Kennedy for corporation Commission, as well as the legislative races. Rotellini is being heavily outspent by corporate money. why? because  she would make a great state AG who would not be in their pocket.

A thing I realized last night was that when you live in an area  where you feel like you are a minority, knowing there are other like minded people matters, even if you have disagreements on the finer points.The fact that you recognize each other as another blue dot on the landscape is enormously encouraging and it strengthens  one's own resolve and helps dissolve that urge to just hide in a dark corner and hope it all gets better.

We have a great slate of Arizona candidates on the ballot . The money pouring in to defeat them has been huge and relentless. Team blue is either in a close race or down in all of these contests. matters. Democrats are making pushes in Nogales and Douglas this week, and everywhere possible in all of the districts. What I saw last night is that many undecided but willing votes are out there and that personal contact makes a difference. Please, Please, Please help GOTV this week. Help walk the neighborhoods and drive the lanes wherever you are.


after hours of deliberation, the council, in the wee hours after midnight, passed a  resolution dissolving the Navajo language fluency requirement for presidential candidates.
The Council reports, with a vote of 11-10, the Council approves Legislation No. 0298-14, amending language requirements in the Navajo Nation Election Code. The resolution now goes to the Office of the President for consideration.

the bill passed would be retroactive to the 2014 election so it seems this would validate the candidacy of Christopher Deschene.

The issue is not yet settled, as president Ben Shelly has 10 days to  approve or veto the measure

More statements from candidates coming later today on the heels of this  dramatic , heavily debated decision by the full council.

link here:

and here:

additional info from a Capitol times Article as follows:
"An attorney representing a group of Navajos who support Deschene sent a letter to the board Thursday threatening a lawsuit if the Nov. 4 election is stopped or the official ballot is changed. The group said a general election can be postponed before it begins but not halted once Navajos begin casting ballots.
Election officials asked attorneys Thursday for clarification on the Supreme Court order, including whether the entire general election should be postponed or just the presidential election. The order requires that the third-place finisher from the presidential primary be moved up to replace Deschene.
The Navajo Board of Election Supervisors was scheduled to reconvene Friday.
“This really has set the stage for a battle between the legislative and the judicial branches, and certainly Chris is hopeful that the legislative branch enacts a fix, and he prevails,” Deschene spokeswoman Stacy Pearson said."

Read more:


The Navajo Nation supreme court has today,Thursday Oct. 23, ordered tribal election officials to postpone the Navajo Nation's November 4 presidential election and reprint ballots without the name of  candidate Christopher Deschene.

A new date has not been set.
The Navajo Nation board of election supervisers has supported the validity of Deschene's candidacy.

Still unknown is the outcome of a bill  scheduled to come before the Tribal council today  and how it  would affect  or be affected by this ruling.  
The full Council begins meeting today and will consider the  bill , Legislation # 0298-14, entitled " An Action Relating To An Emergency; To Address A Matter Which Directly Threatens The Sovereignty Of The Navajo Nation; Amending Language Requirements Of The Navajo Nation". The bill states, in part that,
 "language proficiency shall be determined by the people voting in favor of the person upon the right and freedom of the Dine to choose their leaders."
If passed, this  bill would apply  retroactively to 2014 elections .It needs only a simple majority from  the 24 member council to pass.
  Current  Navajo Nation president Ben Shelly, would then have 20 days to approve or veto the bill.
Today's  Navajo Nation Supreme Court ruling seems unlikely to settle the matter clearly for NN voters.

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The Supreme court of the Navajo Nation has ruled today that Christopher Deschene is disqualified as a candidate for president . This despite the fact that the tribal Board of election supervisors has supported  Deschene in his quest to remain on the ballot for the Nov. 4 election. Deschene was certified as the second place winner in the August primary and moved on to the Nov. 4th runoff, with  9,831 votes, (19%) compared to the winner , who had 11,052, (21%). the court ruled that the third place finisher must be reinstated as a candidate, (third place finisher had about 7,453 votes, 14%)

From the AP:"The tribe's highest court did not rule on the merits of the case. Instead, the justices dismissed it over lack of jurisdiction because Deschene did not include a copy of his disqualification order with his notice of appeal. They ruled out any possibility to have the appeal reconsidered."

To date, Deschene remains on the ballot. A large number of  absentee and early voting ballots have already been submitted . Deschene encourages his supporters  to continue to vote for him by ballot.

Original complaints were filed against Deschene by two losing primary candidates, Hank Whitehorse,  398 votes, and Dale Tsosie, 1,120 votes. Their complaints spurred the October Hearing and subsequent disagreement between the Board of Election supervisors and the office of hearings.

(My Comment: it reads to me like the supreme court ignored the larger issues, whether the voice of  Navajo voters should be heard, and even ignored the secondary issue, whether  and how 'fluency ' in the Navajo language figures into a candidate's qualification. Instead it  would seem that it based its ruling on the most  minute technicality: that in last week's appeal,  Deschene did not include the   record of  disqualification handed down by the tribal board of appeals on October 6, (after Deschene refused to submit to a language test a test given to no other candidate). Especially odd, because it would seem that the plaintiffs  would have certainly included a copy of that Oct 6 disqualification. Well, what do I know? but this has made things difficult for the voters in the upcoming election)

From Deschene, today:
I respect the Supreme Court, but they simply got this one wrong. I want to be your president. I am qualified to be your president. And I remain on the ballot as a presidential candidate. You must continue to vote. The Board of Election Supervisors continues to protect your vote. They have continued to do the right thing, and I am grateful. They have not conceded to this flawed, biased legal process. And neither will I. Your council is also considering legislative remedy this week. You can support that effort with calls and emails. We are not surprised by today's ruling, and we assure you, this is NOT over. Don't quit on me. I will continue to fight for you. For us. I'm committed to solving the real problems facing our nation. You can help by staying the course and voting. Let's win this."

earlier diary on this election:

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Tom Horne issues letter instructing all AZ  clerks of county Superior courts they "cannot deny a marriage license to any otherwise eligible licensees on the ground that the license permits the marriage between persons of the same sex. "
 They can begin issuing licenses IMMEDIATELY

Arizona now becomes the 31st state to allow same-sex couples to marry.

letter, article  linked below


Thu Oct 16, 2014 at 07:00 PM PDT

Everyone can say 'I do' in AZ! Soon!

by manyamile

AZ BLue Meanie at Blog for Arizona reports that  AZ attorney General Tom Horne (R-jerk) has conceded that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling striking down same sex marriage bans  will apply to Arizona, when the Ninth Circuit Court issues its mandate. Horne 's office has filed their brief.

From the blog: "His brief is only two pages. Arizona is conceding the cases. Marriage equality in Arizona is only a technicality away"
 here is the link:

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Christopher Deschene, who has represented the Navajo Nation in the past as an AZ state rep , and who was the statewide Democratic candidate for Secretary of State in 2010, has been running for the office of president of the Navajo Nation. Deschene prevailed in an earlier primary with the second highest number of votes and has been facing Joe Shirley Jr, who served as NN president from 2003-2011 , in the runoff. Late last week, only a few weeks from Nov. 4 election, Deschene was disqualified as a candidate by the Navajo Office of Hearings and Appeals in Window Rock, Ariz, because he refused to submit to a Navajo language test at the  official  hearing, held on October 6.
more below the fold..

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