Friday, December 4, 2015
Trump is Dancing on Victim's Graves
Unless you live under a rock, you know another mass shooting took place in America last week, this time in San Bernardino, California. Like you, I am very troubled, scared, and disgusted over these events. My feelings turned to heartbreak when I heard Lt. Mike Madden of the San Bernadino Police Department share his account as a first responder to the scene. This physically strong man, with a quiver in his voice and tears threatening his eyes, described the sheer horror and carnage that he witnessed that day. He spoke of hearing the wounded moaning and whaling. He described his sensory overload. Clearly, he was grieving.
Contrast that to what Donald Trump said after the horrific killing of 14 and wounding of 22. He said, “When things like this happen, my poll numbers go up.” He may as well have taken out his tap shoes and danced on their graves. Trump went on to disparage the Muslim faith and President Obama. He stated, “There’s something wrong with him.” I submit there’s something wrong with you, Mr. Trump, and you are unworthy to be President of this nation. Your rhetoric is flaming the fire of Islamophobia and possibly endangering the life of our President.
Attention all 6.2 million registered voters in Georgia! Your most personal identifying information, including your date of birth and social security number, was released to twelve organizations in October by the office of Secretary of State, Brian Kemp.
You may wonder if this happened in October, why are we just now hearing about this unprecedented data breach? After all, when data of this sort is released by “clerical error” or by a hack, Georgia laws require victims to be notified and offered free credit-monitoring service for a year to defend against identity theft. The answer is simple…Brian Kemp decided to do nothing unless the voters found out. It nearly worked!
Lucky for the Secretary of State, other matters over-shadowed what should have been a front-page news story in Georgia. After all, this is the largest breach of voters’ personal data in any state in this country. However, unlucky for Brian Kemp, two concerned citizens filed a class-action lawsuit last week that exposed this data breach.
In case you were concentrating on the mass murder stories and have not heard about the threat of your identity being stolen, I will enlighten you. In October, The Secretary of State’s office released 12 data disks to various organizations that are subscribers of the voters’ registration list. These lists are distributed once a month to anyone wishing to purchase it. The Atlanta Journal Constitution is the organization that reported receipt of this confidential information to the Secretary of State’s Office and returned their disk immediately. A comprehensive list of those receiving these disks has not been reported, other than to say, political parties, news media, and Georgia Gun Owner Magazine received it. I don’t have to tell you how distraught I am that a gun magazine was given my social security number!
The Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, explained the release of this information as a “clerical error” and that he had taken administrative steps to correct it. It wasn’t until an outcry from watchdog groups that he decided to provide the required credit monitoring services. The question now is, do we, the victims and taxpayers of Georgia have to pay for Brian Kemp’s colossal screw-up?
The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy. The person charged with protecting that process is an elected constitutional officer, Secretary of State. This is not the first time Brian Kemp has been cavalier about his duties and responsibilities as the highest election official in Georgia. You may recall the incident in 2014, concerning 51,000 voter registration forms that were submitted to his office and only 9,000 were processed. The other 42,000 were unaccounted for. At the time, I thought it was blatant partisanship on his part since the registration forms not processed were predominately Democrats. Now I think it was gross incompetence.
Come on Democrats! In 2018, let’s return the Secretary of State’s Office to the stature it had under the leadership of the Honorable Ben Fortson, David Poythress, and Max Cleland.