Actually, fuck it. I'll just post it here. Sorry that the best part of it has nothing to do with the actual Orly meltdown. I can fix that in answering questions.
Please try not to bury this thread in troll shit and troll-response shit.
In the interests of getting this report done quickly, I may perpetrate gibberish. If so, ask me questions to clear it up. I refer a lot to things in the agenda, so if you want to follow, get a copy here
. I've basically expanded on the notes I was taking on my laptop during the hearing. Therefore, there will be some incomplete sentences or possibly incoherent material. Also, don't expect tenses to match up. If my hearing report is markedly inferior to the great hearing reports done by others, please pretend you don't notice or point it out, because if you do, I will sulk.
Also, don't take quotes literally, either. Some things in quotes are, at best, incomplete. For literal, go to the actual transcript, or watch the video.
I got up this morning at 5:30 a.m. to get to Indianapolis by 8:40 a.m. I wore a Brooks Brothers suit with a salmon shirt and tie densely populated with small salmon asterisks on a dark purple background. I did not, in fact, get to Indianapolis by 8:40 a.m., but more around 9:00 a.m. After the mandatory screening, I entered the chamber probably around 9:07 a.m. The proceedings had not started, which didn't surprise me and was part of why I was rather lackadaisical about getting there on time.
I sat in Seat 97, which was at the back of the chamber on the right as one enters. This is a very nice chamber, and the participants, members of the public and interested parties all had very comfortable rolling chairs and sat side by side at tables complete with "Aye/Nay/Clear" buttons for legislators to vote, as well as network cable jacks, AC outlets and lamps. The chandelier is truly ornate and probably was visible in some of the video. All in all, this was a first class experience compared to most visits to courts, which involve sitting in benches like church pews.
They opened with administrivia described in the agenda for the meeting, so I won't duplicate that. This did not take long.
Then, in opening the candidate challenges part of the meeting, the Chairman outlined the rules for presenting the challenges. These were, as I summarized them, as follows:
- When each is called hearing will begin by recognizing ED staff to provide information about docs provided and candidate challenge forms.
- Unless objection, entered into record.
- After ED staff completes presentation, challenger recognized first, except when more than one challenger. No more than 5 minutes unless commission votes to allow more. (THEN EMPHASIZES THIS IS CRITICAL, NO REPETITION. I note that there was, nevertheless, lots of repetition.
I noticed Orly upon entering the room. She was at the front row, also on the right, with a small cluster of her "plaintiffs" and associated people. After going into the procedural aspects of the meeting, the Chair asked that the oath be administered to those who were planning on testifying. Orly stood up to take the oath she will soon be breaking, as well as her "plaintiffs."
The Commission opened with the Wallace challenge at the request of an esteemed legislator whose name I missed. 2012-169. E. Mitchell Roob was the challenger and requested 20 minutes and 3 witnesses. After a few minutes of not easily comprehensible presentation, the Commission asked what the basic nature of the challenge was. It's basically a challenge to the sufficiency of petition signatures, and according to the challenger, "the signatures don't match."
About 40 minutes in, the Chair commented that the 5 minutes had turned into an hour. The hearing continued. I wasn't there at this point, since I realized that my parking meter in front of the State House was going to expire before even getting to Orly, and for that matter, the two hour maximum would not be sufficient, so I went to move my car to a more long-term parking garage. When I came back, the first challenge was still ongoing. It took about an hour total, with fairly convoluted arguments, before concluding with a 3-1 vote sustaining the challenge.
Next came Item L, Leonard Compton. The challenger here promises to stick more closely to the 5 minute rule.
The challenger argues the candidate voted as a Democrat in the last election. IC § 3-8-2-7. Th candidate should have contacted the party chairman (this challenger is
the county chairperson). The candidate did not however do this. Thus, the chair argues the candidate is ineligible. She actually did finish her argument in barely two minutes.
Good question by a commissioner as to whether the party chair's veto prevents the candidate from running at all, or just from running as a Republican. The candidate is challenging the statute's constitutionality under a Supreme Court case I missed, as well as the Indiana Privileges and Immunities Act, if I caught it correctly. Last time candidate voted as a Republican was years ago.
Then a 30 second rebuttal. He checked the wrong mark. He certified it as correct. He voted in the "Democrat primary." Amusing moment. He stated he did not intend to deceive but believed he had in fact voted in the Republican primary. He then went on floundering around and was advised he'd be best to leave it at stating he believed he was telling the truth, drawing laughter.
Moving to sustain the challenge. 4-0 ayes have it.
Next comes M, Keith Hardin, challenging a Chris Grider, who is not present. His argument is quite simple. The candidate's address is not in the district where he is trying to run. This does not take 5 minutes.
Next, Item G. Mike Pence. Jason Sharp challenges the candidate. One panel member recuses herself due to association with the law firm representing the candidate. Jason Sharp does not show up. They call out his name a couple times. "Bueller? Bueller?" Pence's counsel moves to dismiss the challenge on that basis, citing code. Notice was sent to the challenger at the proper address.
Jason Sharp is also a challenger in another subsequent challenge, mentioned later, and also did not show up for that.
Okay, now Item A, the most interesting non-birther-related challenge. Rick Santorum. As you can see from the agenda, about 29 people have challenged Santorum for not having the requisite number of signatures in a district entirely contained within Marion County. Beau Branson shows up first. Predictable argument, 492 out of 500 signatures only. Introduces news stories to that effect. He says 24 short. Signatures submitted after the deadline. Cindy Mowrey would take a look at this, she said she didn't think that it mattered.
Supposedly now he has the requisite number of signatures. The state chairman of Romney for President states he does not have to recuse himself. He has no pecuniary interest, nor is anything he did the subject of the investigation. Anyone on the Election Commission is probably involved in partisan politics and is not required to recuse just because of that.
Cindy Mowery identifies herself.
Apparently, Mowery has made inconsistent statements to the press about the validity of the signatures, in quotes read by anyone who's followed this story.
Apparently 49 signatures were identified as invalid and disqualified. These included people who were not registered voters.
They refer back to the Wallace case. The chair emphasizes that Mowery could have come in this morning saying she certified the signatures and it would not be invalid on that basis. Some bozo's phone rang. Not Orly.
Another challenger whose name I missed.
Next, Perry Sheetz on Santorum. Sheetz is apparently challenging the process by which the signatures were certified. The chair briefly describes the burden of proof as being on the challenger, and that unless the challenger carries that burden, the candidate remains on the ballot.
At this time, Orly suddenly turned around and looked at me. I flashed her a grin, and she rolled her eyes. I think she made me. At least, that's what I thought at the time, although later, she seemed not to recognize me.
Santorum's attorney, Tobin McClamrock [ph], then argued. I'm sure that is a ghastly misrepresentation of his name. His argument was basically that the challengers have not met burden of proof to present proper challenge. Santorum rests on that. Offers to authenticate certification further. Certification of Mowery accepted into record. Cindy Mowery and Donna Freeman and Charlene King, who testified earlier, did an outstanding job. Appreciate their cooperation. Thanks the commission.
Asks for rebuttal.
Beau Branson rebuts. "Not a rebuttal, but. . ." Wants copies made available to the public. Relevant CAN forms. Which signatures were changed from invalid to valid.
The chair says he's entitled to whatever is public record. Chair is not certain whether records would have been kept of the process. (Sounds like a potential "deliberative process privilege" or some sort.)
D. Robert Thayer attempts to speak. He's too late. It is now time only for rebuttal to be addressed to what Santorum's counsel stated. He complains that he was cut off and attempts to continue further. They let him talk for a bit. January 31 is the specific deadling for presenting the petitions. Certification is different. Mowery testifies all these signatures (500) were in her control as of that date.
Then they close the record. Motion to deny the challenge. Seconded. Each and all challenges. Open for discussion. The chair argues that once Marion County Board of Voters Registration has certified a final number, that is prima facie evidence that he has the required signatures. The board votes. "There is a remedy past us, but at this point in time, I would be inclined to let Santorum on the ballot, even though I am Romney's state chair." Laughter. 4-0 the ayes have it.
The Santorum challengers and personnel slowly clear out.
Now, it is Patricia Sandifer, who is not present. Item B. 2012-158 and 159. Apparently, she is a candidate with only a single signature.
"Will the challenger in this matter please come forward." This is Ben Prickel. It's a simple claim of insufficiency of petition signatures.
"Is Patricia Inez Sandifer present?" "Sandifer, Sandifer, Sandifer. Calling you down front. No? Okay."
Staff report. Materials are in evidence in the commission's binders. Single document. Already closed. Move to sustain the challenges. Seconded. No discussion. 4-0 ayes have it.
Next, Item C, Newt 2012-160. Scott Kainrath. Filing appearance on behalf of Gingrich. Jason Sharp again. Chair asks counsel if he has any objection to Romney chair holding hearing. He says "I'd rather you didn't." This is inadvertent and he meant he had no objection. There is laughter. Gingrich counsel moves to dismiss, petitions are on file.
Motion on floor to dismiss. Cause number 2012-160. Seconded. 4-0, ayes have it.
Now, there is a ten minute recess before the Orly carnival, which is Item D on the agenda. The big enchilada. I take a trip to the restroom so I don't piss myself laughing in what is to come. This is a wise choice. As I am returning, Orly is leaving. Perhaps she too had too much coffee this morning. She does not appear to recognize me. Interestingly, as I sit and wait for the event to start, an older gentleman from Orly's camp walks back to where I am sitting and asks me to look up a statute. After some fumbling with Lexis, I bring it up for him. I know what it was, but since he perhaps didn't know he was talking to an Obot spy, I'm not going to give any details about that, other than that I remain annoyed at how Lexis handles Indiana statutes and their official annotator. In any event, I couldn't bring myself to be rude to someone who hadn't been anything but polite to me.
At some other point in the hearing, I also gave someone my printed copy of the agenda, since I had it in PDF form on my laptop. It's not like I went out for Thai food with any of them.
The chair calls causes Nos. 2012-161, 162, 163 and 176. In the matter of the challenge to Barack Obama, candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States. This section is, unfortunately, more disjointed than the rest. However, there is video of it. Frankly, the video gives a better view of the events than I could see looking at the back of a screeching head, so to some extent, I'll just try to add what I noticed in person. After all, you can watch video of the rest.
I apologize that after rather coherent descriptions of a bunch of prior cases that I was so flabbergasted by the main event that I failed to take adequate notes. The video is better than what I saw, which was mostly the backs of various people's heads. The main people I did watch, the Commissioners, were dumbfounded by the bizarre behavior of Orly, who melted down to an unprecedented extent and, frankly, was one ill-considered remark away from being hauled off by security.
Orly stands. She sits to the right of her client.
Staff report, challenges, notices and documents are in commission's binders.
Orly asks him to repeat this sentence. Member challenges.
Edward Kessler is the one who speaks. For some reason, Kessler lists "Dr. Orly Taitz" as counsel. There's already something hinky going on.
Asks to cite some law in Indiana or the United States that makes candidacy on Indiana ballot for POTUS. Anything, any reference to a Social Security number. Does the constitution require a Social Security number? No?
He shuts down the challenger. "An illegal alien from Mexico wouldn't need to have one either." "Are you saying the President is an illegal alien from Mexico?'
HE BRINGS UP ANKENY.
He also reminds the challenger: "You're under oath." He reminds that he may certify this guy's testimony to the prosecutor if it is false. The challenger states: "None of us were really given a proper chance to vet this gentleman the last time around."
They move on to Orly. "Ms. Taitz, are you licensed in Indiana." She responds to the implied accusation of UPL and claims to be a witness. She did in fact stand up and take the oath earlier, so may have been contemplating this tactic earlier on. The commission is not interested in hearing a "five minute dissertation" from Taitz.
Now she's not talking into the mike and nobody can hear her.
Carl Swihart is next. Swihart now examines his "attorney." Indiana Code 3-8-1-6 and 3-8-1-2-14 (?). Has to be natural born citizen, according to Art. II sec. 1.
She tries to argue what natural born citizen means. First of all, the evidence shows that Obama is not his legal name, and I brought forward, umm, umm, declaration that was obtained under FOIA showing that, and you have it in your packets, that in Mr. Obama's mother's passport records, he is listed under last name Soebarkah. They lived in Indonesia, and in his school records, he is listed under last name Soetoro. Contrary to the rules outlined at the beginning of the challenges, she can't repeat this nonsense enough times.
"You have no legal right to put on ballot bla bla bla." It's on the video. How much of this imbecilic screeching can one hear without mentally blanking it out in the psychological equivalent of an animal chewing off its own paw to escape a trap? I'd chew off the left hemisphere of my brain rather than listen to this crap. Then she goes too far, and accuses the Election Commission itself of being involved in a "cover-up." Note that the Chairman of the Commission is Romney's campaign chair. This gentleman interrupts, clearly angered.
The chairman states: "I will treat you with the respect you deserve." (Actually, he treated her with more respect than she deserves, and she's lucky she didn't end up in the county jail with this pathetic and despicable performance.)
He demands that Orly only introduce evidence. Properly certified, authenticated records, that you're identifying. She keeps trying to interrupt. He is not having any of it and increasingly impatient with her apparent total inability to adhere to procedural norms.
USDOJ, the same pile of crap as before. FOIA. The usual idiotic Soebarkah/Soetoro nonsense. Now, she complains Obama didn't show up, demands default judgment, some people in the back start laughing. The general demeanor of people present, at least those who are not consulting their Blackberries and laptops and ignoring the proceedings in favor of whatever paying work has them here this morning, is incredulous. I don't really catch more than a few snatches of conversation, but the general tenor is this kind of lunatic behavior is completely out of the norm for what is normally a very boring hearing.
Orly is reminded she is a witness. What she is saying it totally irrelevant. The Commission attempts to enforce the rule that Orly is a "witness," despite the fact that Orly is obviously incapable of even understanding what that means. This forces the challenger to try to "examine" her, and in his first attempt, te challenger asks "Why is there not a default judgment against Obama?" My impression at the moment was that he was asking Orly this, but a commissioner interrupts: "You don't ask questions to us?" "Why isn't there a default against Mr. Obama?"
Then Swihart intones something like "I DEMAND a default judgment."
Hearing language they can act on immediately, the Chair moves that the motion be denied. Seconded. Denined.
This is turning into the usual Orly train wreck. Denied. "I wonder why" says Orly.
She refers to her 300 page packet. "I, as an attorney," provided them with 300 pages of garbage from her failed Georgia case "where seven witnesses testified under oath." "There is nothing to rebut by Mr. Obama."
"You hold yourself out as an attorney." "These are not certified court records." Several hundred pages of whatever it is.
They refuse to admit it as evidence.
Motion to deny admission of evidence. Move for discussion. Riordan reviewed these materials. They are not 300 pages of sworn testimony. She then describes the material, 100% inadmissible hearsay. Many illegible documents, of completely unknown provenance. Some random other source. Just off the Internet. No personal authentication.
Here's the actual text from the transcript, since I think it's a hell of a lot better than the crap I typed in in the stray instants when I wasn't sitting, slack-jawed, at Orly being smacked around in every conceivable way.
MS. RIORDAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I've reviewed these materials, and actually they're not 300 pages of sworn testimony. There are several unnumbered pages of proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, which is a so-called legal document that you drafted, no grounds for admission, 100 percent hearsay. And then we have several pages of typed transcript, which I've read some of, and it's actually pretty ridiculous, but again, 100 percent hearsay, inadmissible, and there are a number of other many illegible documents, totally unclear where they came from, whether they were printed off the internet or just some random other source. Nothing that is appropriately before the commission. There's been no personal authentication or certification or any reason put forth why this body should be taking the public's time to even review these documents for a minute. And so with that, I would ask that unless there's any more discussion, I'd like to call the question on the motion to deny the admission of this evidence so that we can move forward to looking at this on the merits.
"I have more evidence."
Then they proceed to rip this case to shreds, say it isn't worth even a minute of their time.
Orly sounds like she's about to cry. She's melting down! Now, she's yelling and shouting "what is ridiculous about me authenticating my own affidavit?"
Someone jumps up out of order and starts yelling. Orly has an Al Pacino moment, and screeches: "You're all out of order!" Someone's disrupting the meeting and being escorted out by security. Actually, he leaves on his own before security shows up to remove him.
"And you don't let us speak." And similar nonsense, even though these idiots have been spewing gibberish mostly uninterrupted since the proceedings started.
Now they're whining. "It's FRAUD!" Chair points out the proper remedy is impeachment.
They call a five minute recess.
I think Orly practically cried.
People are highly amused by the proceedings, and commenting on how unusual it is for these proceedings to be anything but dull.
Quiet, please, says the chair.
Getting ready to reconvene.
The Chair explains that the EC is not accepting Orly's garbage into evidence, but that it will be "lodged" with the EC. Essentially, this means that while the EC will not consider Orly's pile of shit as evidence or base their decision on it, they will make it part of the record so that in future judicial proceedings, the parties can use it in their arguments. This is, frankly, more than Orly deserves and more than the rules require. They could have hurled it at Orly and demanded that she, and her zibits, vacate the jurisdiction immediately without any great fear of being reversed.
Orly tries to interrupt again.
One person talks at a time. "This is not the Spanish Inquisition here, where people are arguing back and forth." They basically give her five minutes to screech uninterrupted. The first time Orly opens her mouth, her broken voice shows that she's either about to cry or actually has cried after the spanking she received.
Orly tries to have the other people give her their time. She wants 20 minutes. The EC, in an abundance of generosity, says all she can go is 10 minutes. Unlike any other "witness," they put her on a clock.
You'll see this spiel later. Members are ignoring her, looking away, rolling their eyes.
She presents and "authenticates" an affidavit that she went online to Selective Service, and basically illegally accessed Obama's records. At this point, it's dull and all on video.
Now the everify fraud.
Move to deny challenge. Seconded. ALl in favor to deny, please indicate by saying aye. Aye. Nay. 4-0, ayes have it. Obama stays on the ballot.
Now, they move on in the proper order for a change to a legitimate challenger. The circus rolls out. The one birthed I talked to earlier goes with it, and looks at me as he yells "What a load of shit!" as he leaves the proceedings.
The proceedings then move on to a very interesting case about Lugar. It involves a challenge based essentially on the difference in definition between being a "resident" and an "inhabitant" and the legal issues remind me of the case last year about Rahm Emanuel's eligibility to run for mayor of Chicago. Since my meter was running out again, and weather reports indicated sleet and snow and other bad weather, I left during the final rebuttals and sur-rebuttals. I found when I got back home that Lugar stays on the ballot. I agree with that result.
The one amusing moment from the Lugar arguments was when one challenger made otherwise reasonable arguments and then called Lugar a "liar." The Chair, as he always did when personal attacks became an issue, questioned the wisdom of such language and basically shut down the challenger.
All in all, this Commission runs a tight ship and brooks no bullshit.