Thursday, January 04, 2007

Maybe NYS should just leave that federal HAVA money on the table.

U.S. Bars Lab From Testing Electronic Voting
A laboratory that has tested most of the nation’s electronic voting systems has been temporarily barred from approving new machines after federal officials found that it was not following its quality-control procedures and could not document that it was conducting all the required tests.

The company, Ciber Inc. of Greenwood Village, Colo., has also come under fire from analysts hired by New York State over its plans to test new voting machines for the state. New York could eventually spend $200 million to replace its aging lever devices.


Ciber, a large information technology company, also has a $3 million contract to help New York test proposed systems from six manufacturers. Nystec, a consulting firm in Rome, N.Y., that the state hired, filed a report in late September criticizing Ciber for creating a plan to test the software security that “did not specify any test methods or procedures for the majority of the requirements.” The report said the plan did not detail how Ciber would look for bugs in the computer code or check hacking defenses.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Epilogue I, the John Sweeney story

Via TPMMuckraker.

Wage Bill To Undo Abramoff-Era Mariana Islands Loophole
[...] Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) [...] plans to include language raising wages in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in a broader bill increasing the U.S. minimum wage.

[...] The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) hired Abramoff in 1994 to work with GOP leaders to prevent the extension of the federal minimum-wage and immigration laws to the islands.

Sweeney visited the Marianas in 2001 with Tony Rudy, who worked for Tom DeLay, then went to work for Abramoff.
Sweeney was quoted in the Saipan Tribune on Jan. 15 as saying reports of poor working conditions in the CNMI were overblown, and that he had seen worse sweatshops back home in New York. Carlson said Sweeney was "absolutely not" aware of any severe mistreatment of workers or forced prostitution before he made these comments.

U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., a longtime champion of legislation to change CNMI wage and immigration laws, traveled to the islands in 1998 on a fact-finding mission to document abuses there.

Problems were obvious "unless you choose not to look at the facts on the ground," Miller said, adding: "A blind pig could run into the human rights violations and the exploitation of workers on the islands."

Sweeney will be reflecting on his selective eyesight as an ex-Congresscritter. I wonder what kind of substances a guy needs to get past the fact that he enabled sweatshops. Just curious.