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JC’s crusade



Detroit’s own John Conyers received a nice little holiday gift from the good folks at the online mag Salon last week. Writer Tim Grieve heaped much gift-wrapped praise on JC for leading a probe into problems that marred the recent Ohio presidential vote.

“For those who believe that the 2004 election was stolen by George Bush, Karl Rove and an unholy alliance of party operatives and voting-machine impresarios, a 75-year-old Democratic congressman from Detroit has emerged as the last best hope for American democracy,” Grieve writes in his intro to a Q & A with the dean of the Congressional Black Caucus. “Almost alone in official Washington, Rep. John Conyers has insisted that the nation understand — and then correct — the problems that plagued the 2004 vote.”

While careful to refrain from alleging that the election was filched, Conyers is adamant about the need to conduct a thorough inquiry into the Buckeye State’s electoral snafu this past November.

Inevitably, the word “conspiracy” surfaces. Noting that “dozens and dozens of things went wrong” — from a technician for a private company allegedly tampering with the results of electronic elections equipment to seven-hour waits at the polls in some heavily minority (that is to say, Democratic) districts — Conyers nonetheless shies away from declaring outright that the Ohio fiasco was some sort of coordinated larceny.

“Well, you know,” Conyers says in reply to the conspiracy question, “orchestrated attempts don’t always require a conspiracy.”

With a wink and a nod and a nudge, like-minded people working toward a common goal can do whatever it takes to get the job done without a conspiratorial word ever being whispered.

It’s a good, thorough interview (check out the news archives at to give it a read). The only question missing is the one regarding the House Ethics Committee and the investigation it’s been conducting since January into allegations the congressman used government resources (i.e. his staff) to solicit both campaign cash and votes on the taxpayers’ dime.

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