Disclaimer: This site is *not* affiliated with AIPAC, Ahmed Chalabi, K Street, ClearChannel, or Urban Moving Systems of Weehawken, NJ. In case you were curious. Full disclosure: I have a "long Apple position" and therefore I have an Apple bias.
If secret federal aviation is the Big Lebowski, Bristow is the rug that really ties the room together.
It's been thrilling to watch one of my favorite topics, aviation in covert operations, hit the bigtime over the last few news cycles.A few tweets about suspicious plane hovering over Baltimore 'disturbances' registered to a ghostly "NG Research" at a Bristow, Virginia PO Box cued the story. The FBI conceding to Washington Post that it was their flight set the stage for this. These stories have quietly been leaching out for years. As far back as 2003 (or 2006 in WIRED) references to small aircraft doing domestic surveillance have been popping up. After the Boston Marathon bombing, a small aircraft was traced to the same Bristow VA cluster. Today the story hit turbo with a big AP story, FBI behind mysterious surveillance aircraft over US cities, but there are lots more to find because the AP didn't really go outside of Bristow. You'll find plenty of N Numbers to snoop on below - and cool new tracking techniques too!! Quote of the year?
The FBI asked the AP not to disclose the names of the fake companies it uncovered, saying that would saddle taxpayers with the expense of creating new cover companies to shield the government's involvement, and could endanger the planes and integrity of the surveillance missions. The AP declined the FBI's request because the companies' names — as well as common addresses linked to the Justice Department — are listed on public documents and in government databases.
In my own scoping in the last week or so it appears that these shell company registration were mostly set up around 2010 or 2011, making this an Obama operation through and through. I apologize for not tipping yall more quickly to this impending development but I have been too busy!
This story shows that secret airlines are becoming an obsolete method for the [deep] state, because with the Internet and planespotters it becomes possible to observe and end-run around the secrecy of the networks, as the last big wave of awareness around secret detainee flights in the Bush years really revealed (though mostly in Eurasia, not North America). (2007 Cryptome Story and Category:Alleged CIA pilots - SourceWatch)
.......As the C.I.A. tries to veil such air operations, aviation regulations pose a major obstacle. Planes must have visible tail numbers, and their ownership can be easily checked by entering the number into the Federal Aviation Administration's online registry. So, rather than purchase aircraft outright, the C.I.A. uses shell companies whose names appear unremarkable in casual checks of F.A.A. registrations.
Years ago I asked a staff research person at the Minnesota Department of Transportation if there was something weird about how FAA registration works, if it is designed to hide ownership, and he assured me it had been that way since the FAA had been set up - and went on to tell me that when he was much younger, in the late 1980s he had traced a disappeared pilot to Texas, then found that someone had pulled the flight plans from the FAA file. This shadowy story was literally the first thing I heard from a government employee when I went asking, confirming my long-running theory that everyone has some kind of story that touches on the corrupt secret government or deep state.
Naturally the FBI/DOJ also has its own similar shells. Due to incredible laziness the feds registered tons of them with the same name pattern at the same locale in Bristow VA. Here, have some original art I made on May 25, well before the Star Tribune and Associated Press picked up this story!
Several independent parties put these pieces together and triggered the massive news snowball today. Probably the first to catch a large section of it was john wiseman (@lemonodor), who figured out good methods for tracing the transmitters and radio traffic. My friend Sam Richards (@MinneapoliSam) was the first as far as I know to put together the larger data set about the Bristow VA node, after getting a tip about a sketchy spy flight over Minneapolis, although Wiseman verifiably came up with a whole bunch of the shells in early May. Wiseman explains his narrative in new post: Tracking FBI aerial surveillance (with images, tweets) · jjwiseman · Storify
Below is a listing of 100 aircraft registered to shell companies that do not exist. The US Department of Justice can claim plausible deniability for owning and operating these aircraft however that is a flimsy defense. At the time of posting, a number of these aircraft may be airborne over American cities, equipped with surveillance, stingray, or other hardware. FOIAs are being drafted and will be submitted so it is only a matter of time before a brighter light is shined upon these secretive operations.
For examples of the flight patterns conducted by many of these aircraft within the last few days, check:
Here's an article by the ACLU highlighting why these operations are of concern https://www.aclu.org/blog/ohio-aerial-surveillance-system-moving-forward... "ARGUS, the high-flying drone technology capable of capturing super-high-definition video of a 15-square mile area and automatically tracking all moving vehicles and people within that area. I pointed out that this makes possible our nightmare scenario for drones: wide-area mass surveillance and location tracking of entire cities and towns."
Now the FBI is an onerous position where they have to turn over, de-register or re-register all of these planes, somehow reconciling rebuilding the secrecy of the fleet exposed above with the FAA's registration system, and the hordes of planespotters out there now reinforced by tons of interested activists cued into the national scope of this operation. Good luck Feds!
SOURCE: View image: image5. This plane has been flagged as using the JENA code which seems to be the usual code until probably around now. Images scaled down, resize to see more. N959JT is of course registered in Bristow VA. Bonus points awarded for pink toenails in spotting this secret aircraft machinery which seems to resemble the gear spotted on the recent Minneapolis plane.
I live in Phoenix and my coworker was telling me she's been noticing this plane circling around their neighborhood the past 12 days. They started tracking the planes on Flightradar24 and she sent me these screenshots of some of their flight paths: http://postimg.org/image/tpdhpd789/http://postimg.org/image/o2h4rw4pl/http://postimg.org/image/uuc58hj2x/ She even had a pilot friend go down to the airport that they've been flying out of and do some snooping. He found took this photo of the camera equipment mounted to the bottom of the plane: http://postimg.org/image/hm861sw61/ She said that it's always the same 3 tail fin numbers which take turns doing the same flight path. They start at daybreak and only stop late in the night.
Update: Here's another pic my coworker got of one of the planes parked at the Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix. You can see the camera equipment on the side: http://postimg.org/image/oj5bwlcjn/
She also said over the past couple days all the tail fin numbers changed on Flightradar24 and they are now all showing up as some variation of "JENA". Screenshot: http://postimg.org/image/n3ahqjgql/
Finally it is worth noting it has been difficult but not impossible to get credit to independent journalists for blowing up this story. I appreciate Bob Collins at Minnesota Public Radio's Newscut for engaging on Twitter when we pressed him on the issue of crediting the story, and including references to Sam's original medium.com story, while the Star Tribune and AP did not credit Sam at all. (Although the Strib has been communicative recently and I have some hope they will circle back within a few days).
Additionally I suspect "CHAPPARRAL AIR GROUP" may be another front, they got a craft from the DEA: N540DB. seeHelicopter Flying Above Claycord on Thursday Afternoon —claycord CLAYCORD.com: "A google search of the tail ID can help you confirm this also, where you will find no shortage of photographs of this specific aircraft operating out of Concord and San Jose. Note that the federal government recently (2011) transferred registration of 15 Federal law enforcement helicopters out of the names of the Department of Justice, DEA, to an entity in Texas called the Chaparral Air Group."
Before the story broke we had a bunch of diggings, now it's time to share! MORE RELATED RAW DATA:
NOTE there are some false positives and general "NOISE" in here, please proceed with discernment!!!
In broader context, the Obama administration has continuted to expand the use of intelligence tracking, including fusion centers and electronic intelligence, to keep rebellious groups under control, as addressed here
On April 29, a Cessna 206H registered to National Aircraft Leasing Corporation circled overhead for hours at about 3,500 feet, flying repetitively over western Baltimore. On the nights of April 30, May 1 and May 2, another aircraft, a Cessna Model 182T registered to a company named NG Research in Bristow, Virginia, flew over the same areas at a similar low altitude.
Also on May 1 and May 2, an unidentified Cessna Citation V jet made similar nighttime flights, orbiting Baltimore at the relatively low altitudes (for a jet aircraft) of 6,400 and 9,400 feet, based on records from Flightradar24.
Kind of vague hit comes up for the google search on National Aircraft Leasing Corporation
Edit 3: After looking through the list of aircraft registered in Bristow, VA for a town of 15,000 there are 64 aircraft registered including one owned by the Department of Justice. All within the past decade most within the past 3 years. Most of them are owned by companies with 3 letters then what they do RKT Productions, PSL Surveying, KQM Aviation, LCB Leasing, NBY productions etc. They also all are operation 182t Cessna’s. All of the companies only have a PO Box in Bristow. Looks like an FBI airport.
The one tail number that the initial Washington Post article linked to is N39MY, which is a Cessna 182T registered to NG Research, PO Box 722 in Bristow, VA. That company's web presence is close to zero, basically below the noise floor.
If you google [po box bristow va] you find FAA records for a bunch of other oddly named companies that all have similarly close-to-zero web presence and addresses that are PO Boxes in Bristow: FVX Research, NBR Aviation, NBY Productions, OBR Leasing, OTV Leasing, PSL Surveys, PXW Services. They all seem to like Cessna 182Ts.
If you Google the tail numbers of aircraft registered to those companies, you start to find forum and mailing list posts (often at sites that tilt toward paranoid/conspiracy/right wing, but not always) with people discussing these specific tail numbers and linking them to the FBI. Some of the supposed evidence includes details of radio communications that people have heard, e.g. talking about "being on station" or using callsigns that start with JENNA, JENA or ROSS, which are supposedly used by the FBI. Other posts claim that DOJ/FBI surveillance aircraft often squawk 4414 or 4415 on their transponders.
I monitor aircraft in Los Angeles using an RTL-SDR dongle. I keep a database of almost every transponder ping I receive. You can see some more info, analysis and examples of stuff I've seen (U-2, AF1, AF2, EXEC-1F, E-6 "Doomsday" planes) at
I decided to check my database for planes that have squawked 4414/4415 or used one of the suspicious callsigns: I found 8 aircraft in the past 2 months, several of which exhibit suspicious behavior: Flying for hours at a time without going anywhere in particular (I don't have position information for them, but I know they're in the air and not leaving the LA area), flying almost every day for months at a time, squawking 4414 or 4415, and one that used a JENNA callsign. 2 of them are registered to companies with PO Boxes in Bristow, VA. Another is registered to AEROGRAPHICS INC. 10678 AVIATION LN, MANASSAS VIRGINIA, which googling shows has also been linked to the FBI/DOJ. Several others are registered to WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP and NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP in Delaware, similar to other suspected FBI front companies (e.g. Northwest Aircraft Leasing Corp. in Newark, Delaware).
(I call what I'm doing "persistent sousveillance": using historical sensor data to retroactively identify and track new subjects, it's just that my subjects are the government. One of the surprising things I've found is that all you need to do is look: the weird stuff jumps out right away, e.g. Cessnas registered to fake-sounding companies that loiter overhead for hours every day.)
It's a lot of circumstantial evidence, but at this point it doesn't seem far-fetched that I'm monitoring aircraft involved in persistent FBI aerial surveillance.
Edit: One other thing worth mentioning is that I was surprised at how many local news stories I turned up while googling these planes & companies that fit the template of "Citizens complain about mystery Cessna flying low, circling over their neighborhood".)
The FAA manages this program and NBAA no longer has any policy or administrative control over the FAA ASDI Block program. However, if you have general questions or concerns about the FAA process, contact NBAA's Operations Service Group email@example.com (202) 783-9250.
The FAA’s primary electronic mailbox for all aircraft blocking and unblocking requests and for related inquiries directed to the ASDI blocking program isASDIBlock@faa.gov.
102BR 18282264 OTV LEASING PO BOX 636BRISTOW, VA 20136-06361176R 18281688 CARTER JOHN B 190 CAMPUS BLVD # 320WINCHESTER, VA 22601-287214205 18281889 ANESTHESIA AVIATION LLC 206 ROSEMEADE PLACELEESBURG, VA 20175142LJ 18282272 OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA 20136-07251725L 18282019 MEYER FRANK 3025 NATHANIELS GRNWILLIAMSBURG, VA 23185-7505182EM 18282233 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-0802223EM 18282252 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-07212451Z 18280949 MASCIOLA MICHAEL J 8138 QUINN TERVIENNA, VA 22180-7467267RH 18282208 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-0802274BB 18282270 LCB LEASING PO BOX 726BRISTOW, VA 20136-0726290RM 18282215 NG RESEARCH PO BOX 655BRISTOW, VA 20136-0655302MP 18282273 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-0721311SB 18282246 NBR AVIATION PO BOX 752BRISTOW, VA 20136-0752318SJ 18282251 OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA 20136-0725319KS 18282243 FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 554BRISTOW, VA 20136-0554323LP 18282244 RKT PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 926BRISTOW, VA 20136-092633HA 18282279 HORIZON AIRCRAFT SALES & LEASING INC 2801 AIRPORT DRCHESAPEAKE, VA 23323-6411361DB 18282245 LCB LEASING PO BOX 726BRISTOW, VA 20136-0726404KR 18282203 OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA 20136-0725411CP 18282232 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-072141DL 18281142 LDAIR INC 7198 HOLLYBERRY RDROANOKE, VA 24018-5510428MT 18282234 NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 656BRISTOW, VA 20136-0656444VB 18281034 YOUNG REGINALD S 1218 HITE DRBUFFALO JUNCTION, VA 24529-3110461AJ 18282225 RKT PR
ODUCTIONS PO BOX 615BRISTOW, VA 20136-0615467TS 18282239 PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756BRISTOW, VA 20136-07565101U 18282156 SYCOLIN ENTERPRISES LLC 18930 LOUDOUN ORCHARD RDLEESBURG, VA 20175-68575141Y 18281077 COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA 2600 WASHINGTON AVE FL 3NEWPORT NEWS, VA 23607-4317514NY 18282271 NBR AVIATION PO BOX 752BRISTOW, VA 20136-0752520EP 18282274 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-08025273F 18282193 PSC LEASING LLC 9500 INNOVATION DRMANASSAS, VA 20110-2210527KM 18282260 NG RESEARCH PO BOX 655BRISTOW, VA 20136-06555340X 18281207 AGVEST LLC 1210 HILLMAN HWY NEABINGDON, VA 24210-4137539MY 18282238 NG RESEARCH PO BOX 722BRISTOW, VA 20136-0722562CB 18282207 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-0721576DS 18282229 LCB LEASING PO BOX 726BRISTOW, VA 20136-072660430 18281839 COUNTY OF HENRICO VIRGINIA PO BOX 90775HENRICO, VA 23273-0775657TP 18282253 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-0802731CL 18282256 NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 656BRISTOW, VA 20136-0656747GK 18282029 EASTERN STEARMAN INC TRUSTEE 42061 BALD HILL RDLEESBURG, VA 20176-6020806TH 18282266 FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 632BRISTOW, VA 20136-0632811AH 18282240 OTV LEASING PO BOX 831BRISTOW, VA 20136-0831824HA 18281824 VAJ COMPANY LLC 3850 FIELDCREST DRRINER, VA 24149-2590879WM 18282216 PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756BRISTOW, VA 20136-07569036B 18282258 HELSLEY WILLIAM W 10350 BELLA LNMC GAHEYSVILLE, VA 22840-2435906TM 18282269 RKT PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 615BRISTOW, VA 20136-0615910LF 18282284 NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 502BRISTOW,VA 20136-0502912EX 18282231
OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA 20136-0725916WR 18282262 PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756BRISTOW, VA 20136-0756981MR 18282212 NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 502BRISTOW, VA 20136-0502984JS 18282218 FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 632BRISTOW, VA 20136-0632
N-Number Serial Number Name Address102BR 18282264 OTV LEASING PO BOX 636BRISTOW, VA 20136-06361176R 18281688 CARTER JOHN B 190 CAMPUS BLVD # 320WINCHESTER, VA 22601-287214205 18281889 ANESTHESIA AVIATION LLC 206 ROSEMEADE PLACELEESBURG, VA 20175142LJ 18282272 OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA 20136-07251725L 18282019 MEYER FRANK 3025 NATHANIELS GRNWILLIAMSBURG, VA 23185-7505182EM 18282233 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-0802223EM 18282252 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-07212451Z 18280949 MASCIOLA MICHAEL J 8138 QUINN TERVIENNA, VA 22180-7467267RH 18282208 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-0802274BB 18282270 LCB LEASING PO BOX 726BRISTOW, VA 20136-0726290RM 18282215 NG RESEARCH PO BOX 655BRISTOW, VA 20136-0655302MP 18282273 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-0721311SB 18282246 NBR AVIATION PO BOX 752BRISTOW, VA 20136-0752318SJ 18282251 OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA20136-0725319KS 18282243 FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 554BRISTOW, VA 20136-0554323LP 18282244 RKT PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 926BRISTOW, VA 20136-092633HA 18282279 HORIZON AIRCRAFT SALES & LEASING INC 2801 AIRPORT DRCHESAPEAKE, VA 23323-6411361DB 18282245 LCB LEASING PO BOX 726BRISTOW, VA 20136-0726404KR 18282203 OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA 20136-0725411CP 18282232 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-072141DL 18281142 LDAIR INC 7198 HOLLYBERRY RDROANOKE, VA 24018-5510428MT 18282234 NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 656BRISTOW, VA 20136-0656444VB 18281034 YOUNG REGINALD S 1218 HITE DRBUFFALO JU
NCTION, VA 24529-3110461AJ 18282225 RKT PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 615BRISTOW, VA 20136-0615467TS 18282239 PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756BRISTOW, VA 20136-07565101U 18282156 SYCOLIN ENTERPRISES LLC 18930 LOUDOUN ORCHARD RDLEESBURG, VA 20175-68575141Y 18281077 COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA 2600 WASHINGTON AVE FL 3NEWPORT NEWS, VA 23607-4317514NY 18282271 NBR AVIATION PO BOX 752BRISTOW, VA 20136-0752520EP 18282274 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-08025273F 18282193 PSC LEASING LLC 9500 INNOVATION DRMANASSAS, VA 20110-2210527KM 18282260 NG RESEARCH PO BOX 655BRISTOW, VA 20136-06555340X 18281207 AGVEST LLC 1210 HILLMAN HWY NEABINGDON, VA 24210-4137539MY 18282238 NG RESEARCH PO BOX 722BRISTOW, VA 20136-0722562CB 18282207 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-0721576DS 18282229 LCB LEASING PO BOX 726BRISTOW, VA 20136-072660430 18281839 COUNTY OF HENRICO VIRGINIA PO BOX 90775HENRICO, VA 23273-0775657TP 18282253 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-0802731CL 18282256 NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 656BRISTOW, VA 20136-0656747GK 18282029 EASTERN STEARMAN INC TRUSTEE 42061 BALD HILL RDLEESBURG, VA 20176-6020806TH 18282266 FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 632BRISTOW, VA 20136-0632811AH 18282240 OTV LEASING PO BOX 831BRISTOW, VA20136-0831824HA 18281824 VAJ COMPANY LLC 3850 FIELDCREST DRRINER, VA 24149-2590879WM 18282216 PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756BRISTOW, VA 20136-07569036B 18282258 HELSLEY WILLIAM W 10350 BELLA LNMC GAHEYSVILLE, VA 22840-2435906TM 18282269 RKT PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 615BRISTOW, VA 20136-0615910LF 18282284 NBY PRODUCTIONS
similarly there are some hits here. for entire listing in LOUDOUN county
PO BOX 502BRISTOW, VA 20136-0502912EX 18282231 OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA 20136-0725916WR 18282262 PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756BRISTOW, VA 20136-0756981MR 18282212 NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 502BRISTOW, VA 20136-0502984JS 18282218 FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 632BRISTOW, VA 20136-063
Possible tech or similar
PERSISTENT REAL-TIME INTELLIGENCE OVER A WIDE AREA -- DAY & NIGHT
The Black Liberation Project organized a #MPLS2Madison rally in solidarity with Tony Robinson, an unarmed black man killed in Madison, and other black lives taken by the police.
The night rally started at the Government Center in downtown Minneapolis and turned into a march that snaked through the streets stopping at the First Precinct. The police repressed the march with pepper spray as it marched back to the Government Center. Victims of the pepper spray included 10 year old Taye.
Quick post to roust people on another impending political disaster in Minnesota. Nationwide the American Legislative Exchange Council politicians (ALEC - a corporate establishment coordinating body, essentially) are trying to kill decentralized rooftop solar panel systems and the policy apparatus that lets them trade extra electrons into the grid for cash.
Now this plan is in Full Effect in Minnesota and at least on social media, almost everyone has been asleep at the switch (although this is changing).
In Minnesota the new energy omnibus bill here (PDF) which was composed by GOP Rep. Pat Garofalo, one of ALEC's point men, is trying to thrash the entire renewable energy standards system which sets clear targets for carbon reduction and deters utilities from buying environmentally dirty power from the region. It also obliterates the current program to promote "made in Minnesota" local solar companies. (energy committee homepage)
I just heard from a friend that "Fresh Energy, MN350 are all testifying….. The hearings on the bill are extended now Wednesday evening, Thursday AM, Friday from noon until midnight. That sounds to me like lots of folks are registering to testify." Hit up the committee administrator at the link above if you want to testify this week too.
Rep. Pat Garofalo has introduced his draft Omnibus Energy Bill. d0b80283-da3f-4839-baf9-551613c2b6d9.pdf Since he is Chair of the House Jobs Creation and Energy Affordability Committee, his bill is the Republican bill.
The Garofalo bill incorporates the energy-related ideas and bills that had been heard in his committee. Rep. Garofalo then found more bad ideas to include. This post would be much too long if it did more than scratch the surface. So it just covers the worst of the worst. Two of the worst of the worst were presented earlier in committee so there are earlier and more detailed posts about them. The earlier posts are noted below.
In summary, Rep. Garofalo’s bill would dismantle most of Minnesota’s efforts to promote renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by repealing the laws that support these efforts. He totally sabotages solar.
In 62 pages he does a lot more, like proposing to make gifts to coal, the Koch brothers, and people wealthy enough to buy electric cars.
Before the worst of the worst, the back story needs to be told. The fight brewing in Minnesota is just one of many happening across the U.S. In anarticle entitled “Utilities wage campaign against rooftop solar,” The Washington Post reported on the campaign by utitlites and its fossil-fuel supporters to stop residential solar. The Post says that legislation to make net metering illegal or more expensive has been introduced in legislatures in nearly two dozen states. The Los Angeles Times article, “Koch brothers, big utilities attack solar, green energy policies” links the effort against net metering to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Koch brothers.
… meanwhile virtually nothing has been published by 'energy watchdogs' about it. (note her post is about the 3/27 draft, while the newest is the 4/6 draft but the same in most important respects.)
Here, can you see Garofalo's political economy? Smells like fracksauce to me...
Unfortunately various energy watchdogs such as www.midwestenergynews.com are 100% asleep at the switch [on this issue in a very bad session] so it's up to you to try and intervene. Get crackin or you'll be fracked!!
Update 1: The section about appropriations for low income energy assistance, as I understand it is something that is usually included in energy omnibus bills in years past, it is not a novel addition really. The fossil fuels and striking of all renewable language, giveaways to nuclear, dumping carbon/emission reduction targets etc are all major policy shifts that need our full attention.
Update 2 - 5:40pm: I was sent over this bulletin that went out an hour ago from MNIPL. It is encouraging to see more groups are nudging the issue but they need to get it accelerated in public as soon as possible, not just action alerts that are hard to discover:
From: Claire Curran - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 3:44 PM
Subject: Tell Your Representatives to Do the Right Thing!
Key people within the Minnesota House of Representatives are working to gut Minnesota’s successful landmark clean energy policies, but people of faith are stepping up and calling on them to do the right thing.
Over the past twenty years, Minnesotans have built a responsible transition beyond fossil fuels to a clean, renewable energy, and a thriving industry that employs >15,300 people. Faith actors have been at the forefront of these successful steps forward.
But the Minnesota House bill would:
Eliminate Minnesota’s science-based goals aimed to reduce and offset climate pollution;
Repeal Minnesota’s energy savings program that has saved the energy equivalent of 8 Prairie Island nuclear plants;
Repeal the nuclear moratorium;
Destroy the progress made on solar energy in 2013
Roll back Minnesota’s renewable goals by watering down standard renewable energy by allowing existing, large hydro from Canada.
The right thing to do is to continue to make progress by supporting the Senate clean energy package that sets Minnesota’s renewable energy benchmark to achieve at least 40% renewables by 2030 and increases energy savings.
Thanks for all you do to build the climate movement!
Bankruptcy is a process that the modern banking establishment has made a point of hiding in plain sight these days, since it lets regular people cut loose tons of debt that would otherwise make a mess of their life. Unfortunately student loans are not dischargeable this way, because it's better to keep graduates on the hamster wheel and prop up the higher ed debt bubble.
One of the major parts of my law practice is consumer bankruptcy and litigation in bankruptcy court related to consumer bankruptcy. I am a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) and have been for several years.
Bankruptcy is a Federal proceeding that a debtor can bring to absolve themselves of their debts. At the end of a bankruptcy proceeding, an honest debtor receives a "discharge" order signed by a United States Bankruptcy Judge. This discharge order absolves a debtor of most debts (there are exceptions to this, but such a discussion is beyond the scope of this post). For example, credit card debts are generally dischargeable in bankruptcy.
I routinely communicate with my fellow members of NACBA in Minnesota. These are excellent attorneys with varying political beliefs as diverse as the general population. For the past few years, a serious issue has been plaguing bankruptcy debtors in Minnesota, our clients. The issue is debtors having to pay exorbitant filing fees to state court administrators to remove state court money judgments entered on debts that were already discharged in bankruptcy. While Minnesota Statute 548.181 Subd. 1 states that this removal of judgments should only cost $5.00 payable to the court administrator, the Minnesota State Court Administrator has taken the position thatdebtors with "default judgments" against them need to pay the full filing fee for an answer to a lawsuit in addition to the $5.00. In my home County of Ramsey, this extra fee is $327.00, for a total of $332.00 per judgment to be removed. If a debtor had several judgments, they could easily be forced to pay $1,000 to $2,000 or more to remove their judgments for debts that have already been discharged by the bankruptcy court. Regardless of political beliefs, almost anyone can run into financial troubles for any number of reasons.
Representative Mary Franson (R- Alexandria)listened to the concerns of Minnesota NACBA members about this common sense issue affecting all kinds of people in Minnesota. She introduced a bill today,HF 652, to address the bipartisan concerns of NACBA members for their clients. This bill will prohibit Minnesota Court Administration from charging these exorbitant filing fees to debtors for filing their applications for discharge of judgments, and keeps the fee at the $5.00 originally set forth by the Legislature.
My fellow NACBA members are absolutely elated that a bill has been brought to fix this injustice that keeps people from getting their fresh start to which honest debtors are entitled. Bankruptcy is specifically mentioned in the Constitution, so I do mean entitled. On behalf of Minnesota NACBA members who are my friends and colleagues, our sincere thanks to Rep. Franson for taking a leadership role on this issue.
Please contact your Representative and Senator and ask them to co-sponsor and support this very important bill that will have a very positive effect on Minnesotans trying to get back on their feet. If you want to know who represents you in the Minnesota Legislature, here is alinkto a tool for finding out from the Minnesota Legislature's website. If anyone has any questions about this issue, please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com.
Also disclosure note I did some professional work w Hansen back in the day - nice guy to work with. You can say hi to him at twitter.com/nathanmhansen .
A tough fight is brewing at both the state and federal level over the direction of environmental policies. In Minnesota, Republicans are totally committed to expanding fracked gas, shale oil from Bakken, and genocidal tar sands bitumen pipelines from Canada.
Pipelines in the MN political economy: To capture the House in 2014, Minnesota Republicans leaned heavily on independent expenditures from the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, which in turn leaned heavily on Northern Oil & Gas Co., a shale oil finance shop in run by a colorful family in suburban Wayzata, to pay for it all.
The joke's on Northern (NOG): as the international oil price war has taken hold their stock plummeted, but if they're going to salvage any of this they need new pipelines more than ever.
The MN House GOP isn't wasting any time fighting for their backers' needs. One of the first House bills posted in St Paul this year, HF21 would slash pipeline review to 150 days up or down - just enough time to get ahead of ticked off locals before they know what's going on.
Democrats are split over the pro-pipeline agenda in Minnesota, and the pro-industry crowd has a plan this year. The Iron Rangers are trying to wheel out "streamlining" mining regulations, willing to work with ALEC-friendly GOP. Key players here include DFL Sen. Tom Bakk, GOP Rep. Rod Hamilton for Big Ag (especially hog corporations) & the affable GOP Rep. Paul Garofalo for twitter-friendly ALEC corporate agendas.
For the top circles of people pushing this agenda, ideally environmental concerns will get flipped around — usually pollution affects poor people & people of color (POC) communities the worst — to make it appear a hobby of oblivious, elite metro consultant people. They are interested in reframing environmental justice as an elitist hobby, all the better to roll queasy and/or suburban Democrats.
They've also tried running meetings without public notice (see Rural Task Force and AURI in Sept 2014 via Bluestem Prairie) in order to reconfigure obscure government organizations to their agenda.
In this context we have to wonder what you're supposed to do when your member in Congress peddles blatantly deceptive spin (Nolan represents an area where a lot of my family is from). I will highlight some major chestnuts in bold. Source from a friend on FB:
Thank you for contacting me regarding your views on the Keystone Pipeline project.
The simple truth we must deal with is that the Alberta tar sands are already being developed and producing roughly two million barrels of oil per day which are then shipped by truck and rail. Additionally, the U.S. State Department and the government of Canada have confirmed these tar sands will continue to be developed regardless of this project's approval. Therefore, those of us who care about saving the environment must ensure that the heavy crudes are transported in the safest and most environmentally sensitive way possible. Pipelines – while not immune from accidents – have been shown to be a safer energy transportation method than truck and rail, producing a lower carbon footprint and preventing further rail and highway congestion. The fact is, the State Department concluded alternative rail transportation options to move the heavy crude from the tar sands would result in the release of 28-42% more carbon emissions than through the pipeline.
Moreover, the Keystone project will provide access to additional oil reserves not subject to the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, while supporting more than 42,000 good-paying jobs across our nation, translating to $2 billion in earnings for workers, substantial local and state tax revenue, and an additional $3.4 billion to our gross domestic product.
The Keystone XL Pipeline has been rigorously studied and will generate urgently needed jobs and economic development across our nation. To that end, I recently joined the majority of the House in voting to pass legislation (H.R.3) to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline project. Unlike previous Keystone legislation I opposed in the past, this legislation requires that Keystone be compliant with all other existing EPA and other US federal agency requirements that would need to be met by a domestic pipeline application.
I am disappointed we were not permitted to amend the bill to require use of 100 percent American steel in construction because it is proven to be better and less accident prone. Nonetheless, this legislation puts an end to almost seven years of gridlock, requires the pipeline operators to comply with tough U.S. environmental protections, and allows for a route change in Nebraska that will avoid the environmentally sensitive Sandhills region.
Please know I have long been a strong supporter of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Water Act, as well as other laws and regulations to protect our precious environment. To that end, during the 113th Congress I proudly cosponsored H.R.3674, the End Polluter Welfare Act of 2013 which would eliminate tax loopholes and subsidies that support the oil, gas and coal industries. Additionally, H.R.3674 would end taxpayer-funded fossil fuel research and prevent companies from escaping liability for spills or deducting cleanup costs. At a time when energy companies are making record profits, we should not be providing them with generous subsidies.
Rest assured I will keep your concerns in mind as I continue to look for ways to protect our precious environment here in the Congress.
Thank you again for sharing your views with me. I truly appreciate your advice and counsel and hope that you will contact me in the future whenever I can be of assistance.
I encourage you to follow me on Facebook and Twitter and visit my website at nolan.house.gov to receive daily updates.
Richard M. Nolan
Member of Congress
"Heavy Crude": Nolan distributes disinformation here. The product thrown down these pipelines is superheated tar sands diluted bitumen ('dilbit' - wiki). It is a trade-secret laden petrochemical mixture which makes the bitumen (essentially raw asphalt - wiki) just slick enough to move along. In order to smooth the political process, diluted bitumen is reframed as "heavy crude oil (wiki)" and occludes the presence of environmentally dangerous secret diluent ingredients.
The bitumen also contains tiny quartz (sand) particles which steadily etch the pipeline interiors, as NRDC/Sierra Club mention (PDF). Whenever this mixture leaks, the bitumen sinks in water while much of the more volatile diluents tend to float - making cleanups a far messier affair than with conventional or "light crude", which does actually float and is pretty familiar in Hazmat training world. See: The Dangers of Diluted Bitumen Oil - NYTimes.com (OpEd Aug 2012) re Kalamazoo River in Michigan:
After the dilbit gushed into the river, it began separating into its constituent parts. The heavy bitumen sank to the river bottom, leaving a mess that is still being cleaned up. Meanwhile, the chemical additives evaporated, creating a foul smell that lingered for days. People reported headaches, dizziness and nausea. No one could say with certainty what they should do. Federal officials at the scene didn’t know until weeks later that the pipeline was carrying dilbit, because federal law doesn’t require pipeline operators to reveal that information.
Transcanada has its view on dilbit: "Is it really crude oil? Yes." but… "Dilbit and synbit approximate the characteristics of typical conventional heavy crude oil." Seems like they're having it both ways. And they're blatantly lying here: "Does it float or sink if it spills in water? Oil sands-derived crudes behave the same way as conventional crude oil, which floats in still or slow-moving water."
Here is the actual Keystone XL State Dept thing on Dilbit:
Dilbit is bitumen mixed with a diluent so it can be transported by pipeline. The composition of the dilbit is only provided here generically because the particular type of bitumen and diluents blend produced is variable and is typically a trade secret. A common condensate stream (liquids derived from natural gas) is currently the primary type of diluent used for Canadian heavy crude. Diluent consists of condensates, ultra-light sweet crudes, and refinery and upgrader naphtha streams from several supply sources. Typically, dilbit uses approximately 25 percent of condensate, where companies use either their own supply sources of light hydrocarbons or purchase the above condensate stream. According to the Saskatchewan Condensate Monthly Report dated September 1, 2012 (Crudemonitor 2012b), the composition of gas condensate is mainly light hydrocarbons such as iso-butene, n-butane, iso-pentane, n-pentane, and hexanes. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) (for informational/planning purposes only) for two types of diluents, naphtha and natural gas condensate, assuming a maximum diluent mix, are provided in Appendix Q. It is important to note that the chemical make-up of the diluents can vary greatly from source to source. The bitumen-diluent mixture with bitumen from the oil sands is generally similar to heavy sour crude, which is discussed in more detail. SCO may also be used as a diluent for bitumen, in which case the commodity is known as synbit (bitumen diluted with SCO). Properties of generic dilbit are shown in Table 3.13-1.
Huh Toxicity is Class D Division 2 Subdivision A: Very Toxic Material. Interesting, didn't see that on Transcanada's page. Also "BTEX = benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes". Benzene is definitely carcinogenic.
"supporting more than 42,000 good-paying jobs": This is another block of disinformation and reaches into the more dishonest level by adding "good-paying". This has been heavily debated since it counts temporary and partial work, and general economic ripples, as partial equivalents to a full job.
This figure comes from the State Department study which, for example, claims that 300+ entertainment jobs indirectly get supported by pipeline construction, and assumes that the actual construction jobs last 19.5 weeks. These are batched together to count as one full "job", and the totals for the physical pipes that have already been completed are also included in this figure.
"these tar sands will continue to be developed regardless of this project's approval": That is not necessarily true - on two levels. The projects have been hitting the skids and losing investors, and funding is getting pulled as rapidly as they can from early-stage projects. Saying they "will continue to be developed" when they're losing investors is inaccurate. And of course, the projects only move if they are financially feasible. If they get priced out from transportation due to lack of capacity, then the overall statement is also false.
There is not some magic way to make these projects profitable without export capacity - and even with more export capacity the whole thing is going over the cliff anyway. See:
Tar sands industry faces 'existential' $246 billion loss - The Ecologist- Nov 27 2014: "The report suggests that that investors are being misled about the economic viability of oil sands production… CTI calculate that 92% of future oil sands production will only viable if oil prices are $95 per barrel. However, prices stand at only $85, so producers are losing money for every barrel of oil they sell - unless they are cushioned by existing higher-priced contracts, which will sooner or later expire."
It is also worth noting that the anti-pipeline candidate, Green Party American Indian elder Skip Sandman got 4.3% or 11,450 votes. The diligent efforts of many at least forced Nolan to cover his flank with some better votes — frustrating but hardly wasted. Nolan received 48.5%, narrowly edging Stewart Mills at 47.1%. (Side note: the cheesy DCCC messaging to pigeonhole Mills as a rich guy seems to have backfired, this district shouldn't be that close really.)
On Nov. 13th another KSTP reporter tried to extend the segment which grabbed national attention by blithely erasing a young Northside guy's life context, framing him as so many before, simply "felon". KSTP turns its attention to his Instagram, and no snarky quips from Minneapolis Police Federation's Delmonico this time. They're turning away from Hodges and only cited a few bullet points from her most recent #Pointergate statement, a nicely hard hitting item when most politicians would stay boring.
Bruce Ferrell, president of the Midwest Gang Investigators Association talks at length about how scary finger pointing is. They never come up with any evidence associating the young man w any specific gangs. Nor did he ever deny having trouble staying on the right side of the law in his life, but KSTP triples down on it anyway.
Anyway a couple angles were flagged to me by a hawkeyed friend. Ferrell's organization has a familiar figure as it's Minnesota lead member, Mike Martin. Inquiring souls might want to ask Martin where he fits in this scheme.
The other angle here is the "political economy" depth of the grudge match between Mayor Hodges and MPD elites because Hodges spearheaded a successful effort to take away perhaps the greatest police goodie jar of all, the Minneapolis police pension fund. She was chair of the City Council’s Ways and Means/Budget Committee the four years prior to becoming mayor.
In my days poking through campaign finance records at Politics in Minnesota I was always a little surprised by the generously minded pension funds, pouring money into local and legislative races. These taxpayer-supported funds also let managers walk out with fat percentages. Hodges led the effort to roll these into the more efficient state fund, which neatly took away a huge political carrot, the Minneapolis Police Relief Association, for the Delmonico ... gang. I mean affinity group like a local brass SuperPAC.
The police fund had been closed to new officers for 30 years but still gave profusely to politicians. How dare she take the cookie jar!
In 2010, she helped cut Rybak’s proposed budget by $6 million. She also spent several years working on pension reform, and she helped engineer a plan to merge the city’s pension system for retired police officers with a state fund.
“It is not sexy to talk about fighting for six years for pension reform. It is not sexy, until I tell you that in 2012, fighting hard for pension reform saved you a $20 million tax levy bill,” she told supporters when she launched her campaign in April.
On the other hand, you need to know how to take on a tough fight and win. I’ve done that, too.
I worked on pensions for six years. [The merger of the Minneapolis Employee Retirement Fund with the state Public Employee Retirement Association]. I was told it would never happen. I was told I was ruining my career, but I knew it was the right thing to do and I kept fighting and I won.
We saved the taxpayers of Minneapolis a $20 million bill in 2012. It was a fight worth taking on, and it was a fight I’m glad we won.
Rybak said his fight isn't with pensioners but with fund leaders, "the middlemen who have wrongly taken money from taxpayers." Relations soured so far that the funds used member political dues to disparage Rybak's role in the lawsuit in a mailing to DFL delegates last year when he sought party endorsement for governor. The police fund also asked the Democratic National Committee to not choose Minneapolis for its 2012 convention, citing the pension cuts....
Merger prospects in the past were blocked by the clout of the police and fire funds at the Capitol. Their political arms donate liberally, and fund leaders assiduously attend political fundraisers.
Schirmer has breakfasted with governors Mark Dayton and Tim Pawlenty. Minneapolis police and fire retirees reported contributing at least $180,000 in state political races last year. Most legislative pension commission members got the $500 maximum. The political arm of retired firefighters gave $44,500 to the House DFL caucus but also $11,500 to the new Republican House majority.
That's one reason leadership of both parties pays heed to the pension funds and that the city had trouble finding bill sponsors from among Republicans this year.
"They have some power there," Rybak conceded. "But the growing understanding that people have has made it easier to take some of the positions I have that are tough politics but are right."
In the last election Hodges' lead opponent, Mark Andrew, represented the police-aligned side of the city's political economy and Brian Rice, longtime attorney for fire and police, was a close ally. An embarrassing story, Sept 2013 in SW Journal: "Brian Rice: Mark Andrew has said ‘no’ to me many times". LOL, just imagine how much leverage Rice lost when the police pension fund was taken outta the game. It's ok, this year he got AFSCME Council 5.
Hodges won the Editorial Board’s endorsement for mayor in October 2013, in part because of her work reining in fiscally irresponsible city pension funds while serving on the City Council. Those efforts no doubt labeled Hodges as an enemy at police union headquarters, and she failed to win the union’s backing for mayor. Delmonico’s comments on Pointergate confirm why that’s a badge of honor.
Council Member Betsy Hodges, who has championed pension reform at City Hall, explained that the conditions of the pension were written into state statute, and therefore needed to be adjusted by the legislature. The city is also embroiled in a court battle with the pension fund.
Councilwoman Betsy Hodges says the old police and fire pensions are unique. Not only do pensioners control the board, but benefits are determined not by what the retiree made while working, but what the oldest and highest paid still on the force are making.
Sep 14, 2011. Yesterday was a good day for Minneapolis property tax payers: the police pension fund voted to merge with the state fund, the biggest ramining step to finalizing the deal that will end one of the biggest and unfair drivers of Minneapolis property tax increases, and I voted on the Board of Estimate and Taxation for a 0% maximum property tax levy increase. It passed 5-0, with Carol Becker abstaining.
Hodges won her first four-year term on the Minneapolis City Council in 2005, and not long after started work on what would become her most notable accomplishment: reform of fiscally irresponsible pension funds in the face of a fierce counterattack by the powerful police and firefighter unions. The reforms saved city taxpayers from $20 million in potential property tax increases in 2012 but were politically costly for Hodges when mayoral endorsements were handed out. Taking on special interest groups has never bothered Hodges — an attribute that helps her stand out in the field of top mayoral contenders.
MIKE MARTIN: NEXUS MPD / MIDWEST POLICE GANG INTEL ORG: Mike Martin from MGIA is available as an expert witness these days and his organization jumped into the #pointergate fray with KSTP. Check out this page:: http://www.minnesotagangs.com/training.html
Fourth Precinct at forefront of MPD terrorism - MN Spokesman Recorder March 2010:
we ask how Mike Martin continues as the inspector in charge of the precinct compared to why Black inspectors Dan Battum and Lee Edwards were dismissed.... I say "rogue," for how else are we to explain that over half of the lawsuits and millions of dollars paid out these past 14 months came out of the Fourth Precinct? http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2010/03/13/opinion-fourth-precinct-for...
This is not Rugel’s first endeavor into gang territory. He was a member of both the Minnesota Gang Strike Force in the late 1990s and the original Minneapolis Police Gang Unit in the mid 1990s.
Minneapolis police Inspector Mike Martin worked closely with Rugel in the Minneapolis Police Gang Unit. Martin said he and Rugel were sergeants at the time; Martin supervised patrols, Rugel intelligence and both handled investigations.
Assistant Director, Department of Emergency Management at University of Minnesota
Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
University of Minnesota,
National Gang Center,
Minneapolis Police Department
Senior Management Institute for Police - Police Executive Research Forum
I joined the Department of Emergency Management after serving as a licensed police officer for 23 years. During this time I rose in rank from being a Police Officer to being a Civil Service Captain. I also worked for five years as the appointed Inspector, Commander, of the Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct.
During my career I had the opportunity to be awarded and recognized for my work as the Investigative Commander and Acting Incident Commander for the 35W Bridge Collapse, for leading the MPD as the Incident Commander for the Northside Tornado response, and for coordinating the response and recovery efforts of the MPD as the Incident Commander during the active workplace shooter incident at Accent Signage Systems. I have completed FEMA and DHS certifications for NIMS and ICS.
In my current position I work to protect the students, faculty, staff, and visitors on all of the University of Minnesota campuses and properties.
Police Chief William McManus suspended Lt. Mike Carlson, Capt. Mike Martin and Deputy Chief Lucy Gerold, and asked for a BCA investigation into allegations that the officers ordered the destruction of an internal memo.
The memo was critical of the department's handling of the shooting of officer Duy Ngo by another officer. Ngo was shot last Feburary while Ngo was working undercover. The memo details mistakes by officers investigating the shooting.
Fourth Precinct Inspector Mike Martin says girls in the past were more likely to be auxiliary members of gangs through their boyfriends or brothers. Now they are increasingly independent, and their violence is escalating as they fight other girls with mace, padlocks, and knives.
"We've been fortunate that not a lot of serious violence has been associated with girls in gangs or cliques, but that's a natural evolution we might be seeing in the future," Martin says.
Inspector Mike Martin, commander of the 4th Precinct in north Minneapolis, says the increase in gang activity is due in part to a volatile mix of gang members on the streets.
"Some career offenders, even young people who've been in prison or juvenile detention facilities, are getting back out and who are acting on revenge and retaliation for incidents that have occurred in the past," said Martin.
“One of the problems traditionally has been these individuals feel they can commit crimes in the city or on one reservation and then go hide in another reservation or another state,” said Minneapolis Police Inspector Mike Martin, a department gang expert. “I think the federal authorities and state authorities here have sent a message to them that you can run but you can’t hide and we will bring them to justice.”
Hybrid gangs harder for police to track: " Capt. Mike Martin of the Minnesota Gang Strike Force said hybrid gangs are a major cause of that state's increase in violence. Nearly half of their gangs are now hybrid, he said. "
Then "Lieutenant" Mike Martin once stood in front of our community meeting and told a hundred people that he had once been charged with moving the drug dealers out of Whittier and across the bridges over I-35, and now he was promising to move the drug dealers out of the Third Precinct. That he "did not care what bridge they went across, but they were going to be moved some where out of "His " community, or they were going to be going to jail". If Minneapolis wants to clean up the Northside and keep the Drug-Gangs from coming back to the Central or Phillips Neighborhoods then allow Capt. Mike Martin to have the man-power, and just as important, the "Command" he needs. Then the bridge Mike will move the drug dealers across will be the I-94 St Croix bridge, or the I-35 bridge over the Minnesota.
Authorities are still investigating at least 10 unsolved homicides in Minnesota that may be linked to the Native Mob, said Mike Martin, a gang expert with the Minneapolis Police Department.
He said gang members in custody are under pressure to talk. Most of the defendants are in their 20s. If convicted in federal court, they face sentences between 20 years to life in prison, with no chance of parole.
"In a case like this, it's not unusual for some of the defendants to cooperate and provide information that would lead to other arrests or indictments in the case," Martin said. "The ones who are still out and about are going to be worried that they're going to be next. ... They should be worried."
This training session promises to be the most comprehensive overview of gangs you can attend. Designed for teachers, police officers, corrections, probation, social workers, and others who work with kids, the curriculum will cover gang definitions and statutes in Minnesota, why kids join gangs, factors that predispose kids to be involved in gangs, and varying levels of gang involvement. The instructor will then conduct a thorough overview of gangs operating in Minnesota, from the larger Chicago and L.A.-based gangs, to homegrown gangs, and modern hybrid gangs. In addition, participants will receive an overview of Latino gangs, White Supremacist gangs, and Minnesota’s unique brand of Native Gangs. Questions will be encouraged and participants will be exposed to additional sources of information available to them.
Event entered on: April 11, 2013
Event entered by: Basecamp Business via Eventbrite
"They consider it to be kind of a fact of life that people get killed, that houses get shot up, that adults go to prison, and therefore those things are not a deterrent," said Inspector Mike Martin, who wrote the department's internal report. Though he agreed to discuss the report, Martin was not the newspaper's source in obtaining it.
Anyway if Martin's obscure regional police organization is jumping in with KSTP then that strongly suggests he's involved in the story's momentum somehow.
Maybe it's just me, but I am still reeling from that #pointergate @KSTP "news" story and feeling a little queasy. It is sickening to see a news station quadruple down on their original story and attempt to undermine our intelligence about the intent and meaning of the original photo and story by working to show Navell in a negative light. They also once again tried to connect him with throwing gang signs, even though the original story said, "There is no evidence that Navell is in a gang." As someone who grew up in a neighborhood with gangs in Los Angeles and who currently works with young men who have been involved in gangs and the criminal justice system, I am appalled and deeply disgusted by KSTP once again and their demonization of young black men; as well as their attempts to have us believe their word and law enforcement's word over what our own eyes and common sense tells us. They just don't get it. We do not see Navell Gordon as evil. He is a young man working hard to turn his life around.
The other aspect that is troubling about this story is the fact that in Minnesota, there have been major concerns about the conduct of certain law enforcement officers in racially profiling and abusing people of color, and mischaracterizing them as gang members. Anyone remember the Metro Gang Strike Force and the ways in which they used fear tactics to gain a license to engage in lawless behavior and assaults of people of color as well as theft of their belongings? I was part of a group that challenged their conduct between 2009-2010, which ultimately resulted in the state's largest gang database being shut down because of racial profiling, a failure to follow the law, and abusive practices. The first link below is an article about their conduct. The second link is the legislative auditor's report. The third link is an evaluation that one of my colleagues, law students, and I conducted in collaboration with the St. Paul NAACP about the use of gang databases in Minnesota.
We have to take a stand and hold the police accountable for abusive practices and demand transparency and accountability. The bad apples make the entire force look bad, and this has to stop. We also must continue to hold KSTP responsible for their racist reporting and irresponsible journalism. They also personally owe Navell Gordon an apology for running a smear campaign against him.......It's time for change.
An improbable source told me from some insider that Wells Fargo Bank is trying to gobble up TCF Bank. This is congruent with a number of stories in recent years including Bill Cooper's retirement plans. Presumably longtime GOP bankroller Cooper will go be a talking head on Fox News a couple times a month, obtain a Star Tribune web column and sip daiquiris in Wayzata for the rest of his days. Cooper is apparently over 70 now and it's kind of hard to see anyone else really taking the helm into another century.
Analyst: TCF is regional bank most likely to be sold this year - February 26 Twin Cities Business magazine: http://tcbmag.com/News/Recent-News/2013/February/Analyst-TCF-Is-Regional... - according to Deutsche Bank analyst. Quote: "But the report said TCF is the most likely to be sold this year because of 'uncertainty over CEO succession and a net interest margin that is likely to be more pressured than peers starting in one to two years.'"
Still, there is always a chance TCF could instead decide to sell itself, industry experts say. They note that Cooper has admitted to coming close to selling TCF once in the past, and he has often acknowledged that he could sell if the right offer came along.
Selling a bank of TCF's size might be tough because it could potentially push the acquiring institution above $50 billion of assets, McGratty says. At that size, a bank would be considered a systemically important financial institution under the Dodd-Frank Act and face heightened regulatory scrutiny.
TCF has also had past regulatory issues that could make a buyer wary, particularly issues with the Bank Secrecy Act. Last year, the company agreed to pay a $10 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency after the OCC found that TCF had failed to file reports on more than $7 million of suspicious transactions over a nearly two-year period. The OCC removed an October 2010 order tied to BSA issues in December.
Changes to TCF CEO's contract could make bank sale more palatable - Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal Feb 2013: http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/blog/banking/2013/02/changes-to-tc... "...the changes, which would boost his payout if he leaves and pay him even more if he leaves after someone buys TCF Financial Corp.... But the new agreement could make a sale of the Wayzata bank more palatable to Cooper, who owns around 2 percent of shares outstanding, making him one of the lender's largest stockholders."
This is a good spot to point out that 'fractional reserve banking', the mode of banking which took hold in the US with the creation of the Federal Reserve System and above it, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) in Basel Switzerland, is an enormous confidence scam, possibly the largest scam in the world in sheer economic magnitude. [See the wikipedia page for a reasonable explanation].
In Minnesota, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, a independent private entity with unknown major shareholders presumably including TCF itself, regulates the hamster wheel. The elite get to loan out large sums of 'commercial money' they don't actually have, which regular people have to pay back with interest. This allows them to create a rentier economy where people commodify and destroy the natural world to try and cover the interest on money the banks never actually had.
Perhaps cryptocurrencies and fully reserved local currencies as well as mutual aid and barter networks can displace this disgusting system before it destroys earth's biosphere. Just remember, Bill Cooper & Wells Fargo execs, as you stack millions on the misery of your customers through totally unnecessary overdraft fees and fraudulent interest: ultimately, you can't take it with you.
It's been dawning on Americans this year that their everyday electronic devices are used by law enforcement for investigations. However the lawmen and the county attorneys are withholding the policy information about the Harris Corporation Kingfish system which is a device that can alter the electronic behavior in a cell phone, also known as a CDMA Interrogator or cell phone interceptor.
The MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has declined to share any policy information about Kingfish. I have also heard that Hennepin County Sheriffs Office and their legal counsel are putting up rather high barriers to disclosing anything at all about Kingfish. The whole case is weirdly parallel to the 1978 Rockford Files episode House on Willis Avenue, which ended with this unprecedented title card:
We still have "no legal right" to know about who in Minnesota is building dossiers and how. The main question: what is Hennepin County and the BCA hiding in their versions of the House on Willis Avenue?
At the Hennepin County level in the 2010 they earlier promised to come up with sensible and clear policies about if and when law enforcement uses these devices to interfere with cell phones. Now they are claiming that stuff is non-public data - which of course precludes informed public debate at the Legislature in 2014 about electronic law enforcement interference in technical devices.
Several people including Rich Neumeister are looking into this nasty Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) mess. Follow @RichNeumeister - he is helpful answering about the details on this via Twitter.
In a shocking surprise Harris Corporation is a major contractor with the National Security Agency and KingFish is part of the domestic-grade apparatus for local but still unchecked NSA-style electronic snooping. The NSA didn't seem like a big deal when KingFish was approved, but now everyone has finally started noticing the tremendous power of unchecked electronic data collection. It's a much Hotter Potato than in 2012!
The Kingfish is a surveillance transceiver that allows authorities to track and mine information from mobile phones over a targeted area. The device does not appear to enable interception of communications; instead, it can covertly gather unique identity codes and show connections between phones and numbers being dialed. It is smaller than the Stingray, black and gray in color, and can be controlled wirelessly by a conventional notebook PC using Bluetooth. You can even conceal it in a discreet-looking briefcase, according to marketing brochures.
First used: Trademark records show that a registration for the Kingfish was filed in August 2001. Its “first use anywhere” is listed in records as December 2003.
Agencies: Government agencies have spent about $13 million on Kingfish technology since 2006, sometimes as part of what is described in procurement documents as a “vehicular package” deal that includes a Stingray. The US Marshals Service; Secret Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Army; Air Force; state cops in Florida; county cops in Maricopa, Arizona; and Special Operations Command have all purchased a Kingfish in recent years.
[…]The code of silence shrouding the above tools, however, is highly contentious. Their use by law enforcement agencies is in a legal gray zone, particularly because interference with communications signals is supposed to be prohibited under the federal Communications Act. In May, an Arizona court ruled that the FBI's use of a Stingray was lawful in a case involving conspiracy, wire fraud, and identity theft. But according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), when seeking authorization for the use of the Stingray tool, the feds have sometimes unlawfully withheld information from judges about the full scope of its capabilities. This means that judges across the country are potentially authorizing the use of the technology without even knowing what it actually does. [But in MN who needs judges?? LOL]
That's not all. There is another significant issue raised by the Harris spy devices: security. According to Christopher Soghoian, chief technologist at the ACLU, similar covert surveillance technology is being manufactured by a host of companies in other countries like China and Russia. He believes the US government’s “state secrecy” on the subject is putting Americans at risk.
"Our government is sitting on a security flaw that impacts every phone in the country," Soghoian says. "If we don't talk about Stingray-style tools and the flaws that they exploit, we can't defend ourselves against foreign governments and criminals using this equipment, too."
Soghoian makes an excellent point - the vulnerabilities exploited by KingFish are in some ways a major public safety threat, and the security establishment is accruing power by hiding the flaws as usual instead of forcing society to deal with the overall crappiness of today's telecom technology.
"Security by obscurity" is the dominant principle of political accountability here, and of course it is doomed to fail. Responsible disclosure of the flaws exploited by KingFish and their granular legal circumstances are what we need, not moar domestic SIGINT fog and mystification.
All of these cell phone attack avenues should be known because similar tech to KingFish would be more widely available soon. The disruption under the federal Communications Act is also relevant.
Some time back I pointed out the problems with MN statutes about these kind of cell interceptor technology at a Senate committee and former Sen. Mee Moua suggested that if I wanted to go fishing for KingFish I might need to find some alternate way. At least these days more people care about this stuff!! [It should be recalled Moua - a Hmong war refugee - was hounded by law enforcement at the tail end of her service. See MPR clip below]
Thank you for your data request. You ask "to inspect and review all government data about the cell phone location tool known as the (Kingfish) including, but not limited to, such items as protocols, procedures, legal thresholds, Attorney opinions, evaluations, correspondence, and results of use."
The BCA does possess cellular exploitation equipment; however, we cannot provide details about the equipment because it would compromise ongoing and future criminal investigations including AMBER Alerts, kidnapping cases, fugitive searches and homicides.
In addition, any disclosure regarding the manufacturer, model, capabilities, functionality or other specifics about the equipment could be used by criminals and fugitives to defeat the technology and render the system useless.
As a result, any data regarding this equipment is confidential or protected non-public under Statutes 13.82 Subd. 25 and 13.37 Subd. l (a).
Portions of the data are also trade secret data not subject to dissemination. The contracting company has taken efforts to protect the data from disclosure. As you are aware, a corporation supplying trade secret data to a government entity may claim portions are trade secret. The contractor in this case has appropriately made such a claim as it relates to portions of the data, pursuant to Minn. Statute 13.37 Subd. 1(b).
Again, thank you for your data request. Should you care to discuss it further please contact me.
E. Joseph Newton
Lol "any disclosure regarding the manufacturer, model, capabilities, functionality or other specifics about the equipment could be used by criminals and fugitives to defeat the technology" - so they are counting on ignorance to succeed in controlling society. A perfectly sound way to invest public Debt-Dollars, counting on perpetual confusion over some metal box's legal & technical specifications. Perhaps this kind of clever spending theory contributed to the federal government shut down - it's not like millions haven't vanished on deficient & wasteful Homeland Security gear :-/
"Subd. 25.Deliberative processes. Data that reflect deliberative processes or investigative techniques of law enforcement agencies are confidential data on individuals or protected nonpublic data; provided that information, reports, or memoranda that have been adopted as the final opinion or justification for a decision of a law enforcement agency are public data."
Justification for a decision of a law enforcement agency are public data and that would really seem to include the legal memos about the process for when to fire up Kingfish to poke at cell phones.
Subdivision 1.Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms have the meanings given them.
(a) "Security information" means government data the disclosure of which the responsible authority determines would be likely to substantially jeopardize the security of information, possessions, individuals or property against theft, tampering, improper use, attempted escape, illegal disclosure, trespass, or physical injury. "Security information" includes crime prevention block maps and lists of volunteers who participate in community crime prevention programs and their home and mailing addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail or other digital addresses, Internet communication services accounts information or similar accounts information, and global positioning system locations.
It seems like this is worded to mean that the "information" would be subjected to "theft, tampering, improper use, attempted escape, illegal disclosure, trespass, or physical injury". "Defeat the technology" is not on that list, and indeed the question of who the technology has been used on remains decidedly open.
Some of the few questions I am trying to get answered are as follows: In what situations are the cellular exploitation devices used?
Are the BCA/Hennepin Co Sheriff invading people's privacy and liberty at a low legal threshold or no threshold rather than get a search warrant?
Who oversees and approves the use of the equipment? Where is the accountability?
How many innocent people have been within sights of the Kingfish or similar device, the data collected and those subjects of the surveillance who may not even know about it,? How many arrests have happened with the use of this device?
Kip Carver, an official in the Hennepin County Sheriff's office stated to the county's commissioners three years ago that the cellular exploitation device may be used hundreds of times a year.
How frequently are the cellular exploitation devices used and the number of subjects?
Depending if the cops are using a low threshold or none at all in using this device are they doing so to avoid an appearance before a judge where a search warrant (top standard to protect our privacy & liberty) needs to be issued and where questions can be asked?
What is the role of the prosecutors in situations when this equipment is used?
In my data request I asked for the legal thresholds that the agencies must go by in order to use the Kingfish? What is so secret about that?
At this time, the attitude that both agencies have taken with my data requests give the Minnesota Legislature and most important the public no idea how this tool has been used, is being used, how an individual or individuals get chosen to be pursued, and who is accountable.
As some people may currently know I have been working to possibly update our state laws so that the rule of law applies to whats happening now in 2013 not in 1988-1989 when 626A had its last major update.
Even though the Department of Public Safety and the Hennepin County Sheriff do not want to tell me or the public their protocols, policies, procedures of accountability, legal thresholds, and other appropriate public data I will still push on and I hope others will. I am not interested to live in a state where law enforcement rules and not the people.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St. Paul has a KingFish device and makes it available to local agencies, said Jill Oliveira, a BCA spokeswoman. Only a few people know how to use it because the training is expensive, she said.
Stanek couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday. Kip Carver, a Sheriff's Office inspector who heads the investigations bureau, told commissioners that the device would track only cell phone numbers obtained through a search warrant, and couldn't be used without a court order.
The KingFish can't eavesdrop on phone conversations, Carver said. Instead, it locates cell phones that might be in the possession of an abduction victim, he said, or a robber making a getaway.
"I truly believe [we] would be very busy using that," Carver said. Asked how many times a year the device might be used, he said it could be in the hundreds.
Commissioner Jan Callison agreed to table the request to get more information, but added she was not as troubled by the device as some of her colleagues. "It seems to me that there are certainly ways to make sure this technology is deployed legally. ... It's really the sort of law enforcement that we want," she said.
Yet Moua made waves with some law-enforcement officials this year when she proposed legislation that would ban police departments from sharing secret files on gang members and activities. Moua said she had concerns about racial profiling, especially of young African-Americans who she says could be entered into the database simply for being photographed with a known gang member. The proposal came after a series of scandals involving the now-defunct Metro Gang Strike Force.
"So she saw abuse in law enforcement, and I think that's why she wrote the bills she did," Limmer said. "Was it an overreach? Hmm. Some people might say so, but you could understand where she was coming from."
Some law-enforcement officials, though, painted Moua as a gang sympathizer. And Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said at the time that Moua was overreacting to isolated problems with the strike force.
"I think that overreaction has caused her to introduce reckless legislation that will jeopardize the safety of citizens, officers and case prosecutions," Fletcher said.
Moua said she was taken aback by the reaction from law enforcement.
"They wanted to make this about cops vs. dangerous criminals," she said. "But the actuality is it's about cops vs. people in the community who haven't done anything [wrong] and who were being profiled in these databases."
Chaska Police Chief Scott Knight said Moua has been known to question police practices -- which may have irked some law enforcement officials.
"While sometimes some of my peers had some frustrations, I thought she was very healthy for the global approach to law enforcement, and the balance with community and citizens' rights and fairness," Knight said.
To paraphrase Rockford Files Jim says: "You can stomp someone into the ground using computer technology as a club"… Evil CEO guy: "To my knowledge none of this is illegal." Jim: "It should be!" The House on Willis Avenue is easily the most applicable episode to this scenario, with its combination of unregulated electronic spying and shady local government operations:
Finally I would add there are several candidates for Pirate Party in Minneapolis in November - if you want to send the signal that these issues matter, consider voting for them. The two parties are almost certainly not going to help you and the other minor parties are all over the map.
The mayor of the City of Crystal locked the doors on locals & people speaking out against improper actions by city executive officials against two local police officers. Our friends at Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) have been organizing around the case.
I am very disappointed in the end result of your article. When I read the article it feels to me that it is in favor of Revering & Norris.
First of all, my husband did not commit the minor policy violation, Officer Watt did. Revering was trying to say that Rob failed to supervise him and that is why she had placed him on leave and then demoted him but Rob clearly proved by the schedule that he was not even present at the department when the minor policy violation occurred. That is in the report that she refuses to release.
Also, this minor policy violation has been committed by many other officers (including Revering) and there has never been any discipline given.
Norris' claim of Watt misinterpreting the letter is not true. You can read the letter for yourself. She also claims that Rob's termination isn't final. His letter states midnight on August 27, 2013. There is NO private employee data at this point. Every investigation has been completed which makes everything public.
Every time there was misconduct on the part of Revering and/or others in the administration there was never any discipline given. This does not mean the act was not committed and yes, this is retaliation because a lot of the misconduct was reported by Rob and this is how she is paying him back.
A lot of the article focuses on the Ramirez case and that is a big issue which you need to get more of those facts correct i.e. Brandon Johnson's investigation or forced lack of but how can not being present while something occurred and then speaking vaguely to people about being put on leave as you are upset and being sent away from your job of over 27 years in this country where we have freedom of speech- he was not given any kind of court ordered gag order, cause for termination. Why wasn't that asked in your article?
Thanks for your time.
Maybe do more investigating before your next article.
The Pirate Party in Minnesota is starting to cruise along with several candidates for Minneapolis mayor, city council and Board of Estimate & Taxation -- a part of a larger network which includes three national parliament seats in Iceland and one in the EU parliament from Sweden.
Here are some infos from the Pirate Party of Australia including I thought an interesting set of deals with other Australian political party and friendly member support for the new Wikileaks Party as well.
Australian politics is strange, and controlled partially by outside powers such as the US/British coup-de-etat in 1975 over resistance from a labor prime minister's opposition or at least some kind of scrutiny to the NSA SIGINT bases. The classic CIA Nugan Hand bank was involved and the mini-series Counter-Intelligence by Metanoia Films - metanoia-films.org does a fantastic job exposing this underappreciated intervention against a major English-speaking ally.
In this context perhaps the Pirate Party and Wikileaks Party movements might get a good response from the electorate - improved also by general paralysis and failsauce among more recent prime ministers.
.....The self-styled “anti-piracy” movement invariably seeks to impose cultural and informational hierarchies and undermine civil liberties and technology. Pirates, in the political sense, seek to take the exact opposite stance.
Pirates oppose abusive hierarchies in every form. They stand with ‒ and surpass ‒ narrower groups, which oppose only government or corporate over-reach (copyright law being the fusion of both). The Internet ‒ liberator of potential and destroyer of scarcity that it is ‒ needs strong defense against control, censorship, and monitoring.
Pirates are advocating patent laws that safeguard inventions under development rather than strangling them and entrenching market domination for large players. The time has surely come to stop recognising patents on human genes. Support for science and technology puts pirates in a strong position to advocate meaningful action against climate change and many of the other scientific challenges of our age.
Abusive hierarchies melt in the face of scrutiny, openness and accountability, and whistle-blowers should always find help and support among political pirates. Free speech and privacy always need defense against perpetual undermining conducted in the guise of “striking a balance”. Pirates often advocate the withdrawal of heavy-handed state interventions in marriage rights, euthanasia and the war on drugs.
The values of pirates apply across many different areas of law and policy, but copyright law needs particular scrutiny. Copyright needs reform to protect “fair use”, and the right of artists to re-use and sample earlier works. The moral rights of creators to be identified with their work should never change. Crown copyright should be abolished to ensure the public has access to the work it has paid for. Copyright duration should be reduced to a level more consistent with supporting creative output. Non-commercial use of copyrighted material cannot be stopped, and the futile campaign of abuse against the general public should end. And the state should shift to a supportive stance with regard to live venues and facilities that provide a path for emerging artists.
Ultimately, political pirates believe that business models which must violate civil liberties in order to make money should not exist. Criminalising normal behavior in the name of anti-piracy is self-defeating: it simply makes pirates of everyone.
Preferencing Statement in open process provides pretty solid basis for forming alliances with other groups in a transparent fashion.
After publishing the statements publicly, the members of Pirate Party Australia ranked all 53 registered parties according to how they should be preferenced.
A rundown of the process is as follows:
Party members were given a ballot listing the parties to be preferenced in an order predetermined by the Party’s Election Committee to be a good general order of preferences based on the Committee’s research. They were given three days to respond to the ballot.
The Committee used the preferencing order prior to the closing of the ballot in order to determine how to best go about negotiating preferences with other parties in order to get them to reciprocate the preference order determined by our members.
As soon as the GVT ballot closed, the deals ballot was put to our members.
24 hours later, the deal results were determined and the other parties were informed.
The Election Committee met as soon as possible after receiving the Group Voting Tickets for each state and democratically determined any changes necessary to the GVT that were not possible to determine in advance.
These results are now being published in this statement.
An example of the digital ballot that the members of the Party used to determine their preference order can be found here!
Member-determined Preference Order
The member determined preference order can be found below:
(1) Pirate Party Australia
(2) Australian Greens
(3) The Wikileaks Party
(4) Australian Democrats
(5) Secular Party of Australia
(6) Senator Online (Internet Voting Bills/Issues)
(7) Australian Sex Party
(8) Future Party
(9) Australian Independents
(10) Drug Law Reform Party
(11) Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party
(12) Voluntary Euthanasia Party
(13) Stop CSG Party
(14) Liberal Democratic Party
(15) Animal Justice Party
(16) Nick Xenophon Group
(17) Australian First Nations Political Party
(18) Australian Stable Population Party
(19) Carers Alliance
(20) Bullet Train For Australia
(21) Coke in the Bubblers Party
(22) Republican Party of Australia
(23) Bank Reform Party
(24) Building Australia Party
(25) Australian Sports Party
(26) Socialist Alliance
(27) Australian Voice Party
(28) Socialist Equality Party
(29) Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party
(30) The 23 Million
(31) Democratic Labour Party (DLP)
(32) Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting)
(33) Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party
(34) Australian Labor Party (ALP)
(35) Uniting Australia Party
(36) Country Alliance
(37) National Party of Australia
(38) Shooters and Fishers Party
(39) Liberal Party of Australia
(40) Katter's Australian Party
(41) Australian Sovereignty Party
(42) Smokers Rights Party
(43) Palmer United Party
(44) Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop The Greens)
(45) Australian Protectionist Party
(46) No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics
(47) Australian Christians
(48) Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
(49) Family First Party
(50) Citizens Electoral Council of Australia
(51) Rise Up Australia Party
(52) One Nation
(53) Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated
In line with the preference order determined by the membership, the Election Committee attempted to forge deals with other parties that would result in the reciprocation of preferences as closely as possible to the decision made by the members. These deals were then put to a majority vote of the membership before they would be put in place.
The deals as put to the members that were agreed to are as follows:
The Greens offer:
3rd preference in Queensland
2nd preference in NSW
4th preference in Victoria
2nd preference in Tasmania
We offer in exchange:
3rd preference in Queensland
2nd preference in NSW
4th preference in Victoria
2nd preference in Tasmania
The Wikileaks Party offer:
3rd preference in NSW
3rd preference in Victoria
We offer in exchange:
3rd preference in NSW
3rd preference in Victoria
The Australian Democrats offer:
2nd preference in Queensland
4th preference in NSW
2nd preference in Victoria
4th preference in Tasmania
We offer in exchange:
2nd preference in Queensland
4th preference in NSW
2nd preference in Victoria
4th preference in Tasmania
The Sex Party offer:
8th preference in Queensland
7th preference in NSW
8th preference in Victoria
3rd preference in Tasmania
We offer in exchange:
8th preference in Queensland
7th preference in NSW
8th preference in Victoria
3rd preference in Tasmania
Australian Democrats deal considered null and void ¶
Due to an apparent misrepresentation by a group claiming to be representatives of the Australian Democrats as registered with the Australian Electoral Commission, the reciprocation deal between the Pirate Party and the Australian Democrats is considered null and void.
We received a phone call from Mr McMillan at 7:39pm on August 12 to discuss a reciprocation deal based on the preference decisions made by our members. The phone call lasted approximately 10 minutes. We roughly agreed to some terms and continued our discussions with other groups.
Unfortunately, the preferencing deal was not held up by the Australian Democrats, as can be seen by the group voting tickets for each state. It has become apparent that Mr McMillan and Mr Horrex do not represent the registered political party Australian Democrats, and as such, this deal is considered null and void. They seem to have falsely claimed that they represented the Australian Democrats from day one, including having a strong Twitter presence and having the first result in Google for Australian Democrats. Nothing in our communications led us to believe that these individuals were acting fraudulently, as they even provided a response to our initial email asking for information on why our members should preference them in the upcoming elections. Not only did these individuals apparently misrepresent themselves to the Election Committee, they have misrepresented themselves to over 700 members of the Pirate Party.
The real Australian Democrats can be found at http://australian-democrats.org.au. We took part in these negotiations in good faith and we were misled. The Election Committee apologises to the members of the Pirate Party for this entire situation.
At least one thing has been proven in this preferencing debacle: the Pirate Party can be trusted to follow through with the deals democratically and transparently determined by our members.
Update (22 Aug 2013): the original group we discussed preferences with has sent us an email. We are publishing it and our response to it here.
Update (22 Aug 2013): a follow up email has been received, confirming that the period of time we negotiated was between the time they knew the AEC had denied their request and before they had filed their new appeal.
How other parties have ordered their preferences
All parties have submitted their preferencing order to the Australian Electoral Commission and can be viewed here.
Voting below the line
The Pirate Party wholeheartedly recommends that if you wish to vote below the line in this election, to assist you in limiting your chance of accidentally voting informally:
Place a 1 above the line for the Pirate Party. In the case where your below the line is considered informal, the above the line will take precedence and your vote will still be counted.
Use a service such as belowtheline.org.au or senate.io to prepare your below the line ballot in advance. (These websites are not endorsed by the Party and you should consider your privacy before entering any information into these websites)