James Ridgeway

James Ridgeway

In 1965, James Ridgeway helped launch the modern muckraking era by revealing that General Motors had hired private eyes to spy on an obscure consumer advocate named Ralph Nader. He worked for many years at the Village Voice, has written 16 books, and has codirected Blood in the Face, a film about the far right. In 2012, he was named a Soros Justice Media Fellow.

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New Jersey Slime Fest

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 4:32 PM EST

Tom Kean Republicans in New Jersey are claiming they are being screwed by voter irregularities caused by Dems. Party officials formally notified the New Jersey attorney general and U.S. attorney Chris Cristie that in Hudson, Middlesex, Camden, and Passaic counties, voters were running into machines where Democrat Bob Menendez's name appeared to have been pre-selected. WNYC's Bob Hennelly is reporting the turnout in Jersey is strong, with the Democrats running the only visible get out the vote operations there.

New Jersey is the scene of one of the nation's slimiest slugfests with Tom Kean Jr. trying to topple the incumbent Menendez by calling him a crook.

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States with Voting Problems

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 1:50 PM EST

People for the American Way reports the election incident reporting system (EIRS) "is experiencing enormous traffic and is difficult to access. We are working to solve the problem." Some of the hotspots this morning:

Ohio: Confusion over photo ID requirements, delays because of voting machine problems.

Pennsylania: Long lines in Allegheny county where machines did not work this morning. Machine failures resulted in some leaving the polling place without having voted. Voting machine-related delays also in Philadelphia and Lebanon county.

Illinois: In Will County, an election judge failed to show up and a polling place was still closed an hour after polls were supposed to open.

Florida: Voting machine problems and the failure of an election judge to show up in Broward County cause delays. Also, "In Deerfield Beach, one predominantly African American precinct did not open for at least two hours when machines failed, and no paper ballots were available,'' says People.

Indiana: Electronic voting machines were causing problems in Delaware County and Marion County. In Delaware County, computer errors were causing problems in 75 precincts, and in Marion County, touch-screen machines were not working in more than 10 percent of the county's precincts, and voters were using paper ballots instead.

Virginia Voters Speak Their Minds

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 12:05 PM EST

At the Westgate elementary school in Manassas, another northern Virginia Washington suburb, voters are put out because some have been re-routed through two precincts before landing in a third where their names are listed on the books. There were reports of heavy voting in the early morning hours here, but by mid morning there was but a trickle of voters going in and out of the school.

People were not shy in expressing their opinions on who they voted for and why.

Thomas Hamilton, 70, said, "I am better off today than I was four or eight years ago." He cast his ballot for Allen.

Roger Johnson, 58, a plumber, doesn't like the war and thinks the Dems "are a step in the right direction." Johnson adds, "Bring the babies home."

Linda Gerkin, 46, a receptionist, said the war was a major issue. "I support the troops and what we're doing but I'd like to get them out of there," she said, adding the Republicans -- "they'll get them out."

Luis Unana, 26, a student at George Mason University who works full time in a security firm, said he wanted to see traffic improvement and improved higher education. He was against the war, and voted straight Democrat.

Virginia Early Morning Voting

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 11:02 AM EST

Polling was relatively light in early morning voting in the key swing northern Virginia suburbs in the Webb/Allen Senate race. At a community center in Dale City, down the Potomac from Washington, there was a small line by 8:30 with officials claiming 155 people having already voted. "I was a veteran," said Clyde Lawrence, who voted for Allen. "You've got to back the troops regardless of what's going on."

The actual voting process is taking somewhat longer than expected because there are three amendments on the ballot, including one on marriage

Heavy rain is predicted for parts of Virginia and Tennessee.

Storm Clouds in Kentucky 2nd

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 10:22 AM EST

The race for Conress in Kentucky's second district is not only hotly competitive, but is already embroiled in voting rights irregularities. According to Warren Stewart of VotetrustUSA "callers are complaining that the name of the candidate that shows up on the review screen is not the candidate they voted for." In the end run the irregulaities may amount to nothing, but the contest is well worth keeping an eye on.

In the 2nd district Ron Lewis, the incumbent with 12 years in the House, looked like a shoo-in. But Democratic challenger Mike Weaver is hard on his tail and has pulled up enough for CQ last night to change the ratings from Favored Republican to Leans Republican. Weaver's success in the campaign can be attributed to his conservative stance on issues, which have helped keep him from getting tabbed as yet another left wing Democrat. He shies clear of Nancy Pelosi, plays up his background as a vet, but has been criticized as being too conservative. Lewis looked bad when he didn't show up for eight consecutive debates.

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