BTS 11/6/06: Election Day Coverage

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On the evening before what will be an historic mid-term election in an embattled and troubled democracy, we look at races in the nation and the state with John Nichols and Jamie Court; and later in the hour we look at challenges to our democracy that are not about voting machines or voter suppression – but about the level of domestic surveillance and control already in effect that pose de facto challenges to conventional notions about what constitutes a free society. Our guest, Stanford Professor Laura Donohue, has written on privacy and surveillance in both Britain and the US and her work uncovering just how far data mining and domestic spying have gone is chilling.

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1. John Nichols writes about politics for The Nation magazine as its Washington correspondent. He is a contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times and the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin. Nichols is the author of the upcoming book The Genius of Impeachment (The New Press), as well as a critically-acclaimed analysis of the Florida recount fight of 2000, Jews for Buchanan (The New Press) and a best-selling biography of Vice President Dick Cheney, Dick: The Man Who is President (The New Press), which has recently been published in French and Arabic. He edited Against the Beast: A Documentary History of American Opposition to Empire (Nation Books.) With Robert W. McChesney, Nichols has co-authored It's the Media, Stupid! (Seven Stories), Our Media, Not Theirs (Seven Stories) and Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy (The New Press). McChesney and Nichols are the co-founders of Free Press, the nation's media-reform network, which organized the 2003 and 2005 National Conferences on Media Reform. Of Nichols, author Gore Vidal says: "Of all the giant slayers now afoot in the great American desert, John Nichols’s sword is the sharpest."

2. Jamie Court is President of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica, author of Corporateering: How Corporate Power Steals Your Personal Freedom...and What You Can Do About It, and co-author of Making A Killing: HMOs and the Threat To Your Health. Court helped to pioneer the HMO patients' rights movement in the United States, sponsoring successful laws in California and aiding them elsewhere. He also inspired the nation's first flat-rate, low-cost auto insurance program for the poor and other consumer protection laws.

3. Laura Donohue is a fellow at CISAC (Center for International Security And Cooperation) and at Stanford Law School's Center for Constitutional Law. Donohue's research focuses on national security and counterterrorist law in the United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Israel, and the Republic of Turkey. Prior to Stanford, Donohue was a fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she served on the Executive Session for Domestic Preparedness and the International Security Program. In 2001 the Carnegie Corporation named her to its Scholars Program, funding the project, "Security and Freedom in the Face of Terrorism." At Stanford, Donohue directed a project for the United States Departments of Justice and State and, later, Homeland Security, on mass-casualty terrorist incidents. She has written numerous articles on counterterrorism in liberal, democratic states.