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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 11/18/2004 11:16pm PT  

...Comes DUBYA: The Movie!

(via Krup's Just Sayin')

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Another American Citizen Stands Up for Democracy
By Brad Friedman on 11/18/2004 11:06pm PT  

Speaking of Russ Baker (see the previous item), he's got an interesting story today in The Nation about Ralph Nader's recount in New Hampshire. Which began today, by the way.

Baker's piece explains the optical-scan concerns which drew Nader's attention and lead to the recount demand after they were noticed by citizen Ida Briggs, a software designer and statistical analyst in Michigan who --- unlike those covering Scott Peterson in the MSM --- decided to investigate the numbers in New Hampshire:

In general, according to Briggs, the "Diebold precincts" showed larger and more frequent deviations from expected voting trends than precincts relying strictly on hand counts, and even than those using an optical-scan counting system from another manufacturer. Creating trend patterns by looking at the 2000 and 2004 elections, she found rural, typically conservative precincts that hand-counted ballots as voting more for Kerry than they did for Gore, while larger, urban precincts using Diebold's AccuVote machines often did the opposite. Of the precincts where Kerry did less well than expected, according to Briggs, 73 percent used optical-scan technology and 62 percent used Diebold machines. Fully 92 percent of all out-of-trend votes were optically scanned. New Hampshire has 301 precincts; 126 of them use Diebold's AccuVote technology.

American citizen does it again. I look forward to what the hand recount may or may not show in the coming days. Though Baker also sagely notes:

Even a hand recount won't satisfy everyone--and shouldn't. The efficacy of the American voting system is dependent on a lot of things going right--and anecdotal evidence suggests many fruitful avenues of inquiry into things that may have gone wrong. Among these: whether ballots were improperly cast (fraud), and whether legitimate voters were prevented or discouraged from voting. To say nothing of whether, in a country where many people vote based on the most effective television commercials, people really understand what they are voting on and the stakes involved.

(Gracias to amigo Fin for the link!)

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...Sometimes There's Just Smoke.
By Brad Friedman on 11/18/2004 8:51pm PT  

I've been receiving tips and links concerning the odd story of Jeff Fisher, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate down in Florida ever since Thom Hartmann's Nov. 6th article at CommonDreams.org spoke of Fisher "waiting for the FBI to show up" because he had evidence to prove "the Florida election was hacked" along with "who hacked it and how".

Fisher's story was and is compelling at first blush, though convoluted and spare in key details. He writes at varying lengths and coherency on his own website about mysterious meetings in McDonald's parking lots, a conspiracy played out to hack the vote from a computer lab at the Bay Point School for delinquent boys in Florida, wiretaps, computer professors and informants who feared for their own life.

Wild stuff. But then again, so was the idea that three cuban exiles broke into the Democratic campaign headquarters in a Washington D.C. hotel at the instruction of an ex-CIA guy with funding from an eccentric millionaire down in Key West, Florida that was said to lead all the way up to the President of the United States.

I hadn't reported on the Fisher story at all on these pages, despite many who had emailed me about him, because something in the story just wasn't adding up for me yet. And then I had begun hearing accounts of late about various folks distancing themselves from Fisher.

Both Ralph Nader and investigative journalist Russ Baker had recently been cited --- by Fisher on his website --- as working along with him in pursuing his troubling tale. But Nader's camp has publicly disavowed such a relationship, and an associate of mine who spoke with Baker has told me that Baker also finds Fisher's story to be incredible and that he's not currently pursuing it.

My associate had spoken with Dr. Piotr Blass (a prominent figure in Fisher's story) and encouraged me to call him. With Fisher's phone number in hand as well --- his is posted on his website --- I decided to give them both a call to see what I could learn...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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UC Berkley Analysis Announced Today!
By Brad Friedman on 11/18/2004 12:44pm PT  

More details on this shortly and notes we took during the Press Conference...

For the moment, see:

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By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2004 11:31pm PT  

AP is reporting tonight that some 2,600 ballots in Sandusky County, OH were double-counted on Election Night. Once again, the error occurred in a strong Bush county where the ersatz "President" won 56% of the vote (if my bad math is correct, totals from the Ohio website are Bush: 17,824 Kerry: 13,909 in that county.)

According to the AP story:

2,600 ballots from nine precincts were counted twice, likely because of worker error, elections director Barb Tuckerman said.

Tuckerman believes the votes were counted twice when they were mistakenly placed alongside a pile of uncounted ballots. The room where the ballots were being fed into optical-scan machines on election night was so crowded that ballots had to be placed on the floor, Tuckerman said.

"It was totally hectic," she said.

The problem was discovered when Tuckerman found that one precinct showed 131 percent of registered voters had cast ballots.

So the original 136,000 vote advantage for Bush keeps dwindling by the day. And soon, a full recount of the entire state.

Getting, fun, huh? Here's some speculative --- yet interesting --- math about what could happen in that coming Ohio recount from "jsmdlawyer" at DailyKos. But by all means, Mainstream Media? There's nothing to see here...Move along...Let's see that hilarious Turkey pardoning footage again! That was a riot!

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(Might I suggest 'Journalism' as a good new addition to your prime-time schedule!)
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2004 11:08pm PT  

I chanced across one of the CNN transcripts from a report on Nov. 10 that likely included screenshots from The BRAD BLOG as seen by several different folks on several different CNN programs that day.

This instance was from Newsnight with Aaron Brown where the blog of yours truly was probably shown under this text from Dan Lothian: [emphasis mine]

LOTHIAN: From e-mails to blogs screaming grand theft America, some believe massive fraud cost Senator Kerry a critical number of votes. Here's why...

Blah, blah, he goes on. Setting aside the fact that I don't believe this blog has ever charged "massive fraud", though we have in fact looked closely at the possibilities thereof, (and no, they didn't bother to contact me to find out if that's what I actually "believe") it was the end of the report that I found demonstrative of the typically maddening laziness from the bulk of the Mainstream Media. Especially now in the wake of one "massively" fucked up electoral system. Here was their closer: [emphasis once again mine]

BROWN: ...I've probably only gotten 2,000 e-mails on this particular one. One of the things that people say is that in those counties where e-machines were used, electronic voting machines were used, tended for one reason or another to favor President Bush, as opposed to counties where paper ballots or punch card ballots or old style voting machines were used. Is there, in fact, any evidence if that is true?

LOTHIAN: There's no widespread evidence of that. There's sort of anecdotal evidence. There were some places in Florida, for instance, where people complained that they went up, touched the screens, tried to vote for Senator Kerry and instead all of their votes were switched to Republicans. Those behind the machines, the companies that put out those machines said that those were sort of isolated incidents not widespread --- Aaron.

Ah, gotcha. The companies that make the machines then, the one's whose livelihood implodes based on documented evidence of widespread problems with those machines say that such reports "were sort of isolated incidents not widespread".

Well, that clears that up then! Thanks for the legwork, Dan! For a second I was worried that those machines might have been a problem!

To his (almost) credit, however, Brown replied with this:

BROWN: I suppose one person's isolated incident is another person's widespread. Dan, thank you very much, Dan Lothian in Boston tonight.

And since that time, a full week ago, I've not heard tell of a single follow-up report by Brown, or anyone else at CNN on the entire matter. I guess it was just "isolated incidents" after all.

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By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2004 10:50pm PT  

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POST-SHOW UPDATE
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2004 1:50pm PT  

Well, that was fun. Just finished up the interview on the Pacifica Network's LA/Santa Barbara affilliate KPFK with host Jerry Quickley about blogging the whole story of the Election 2004/Voting Irregularity, Fraud, Mistabulation mess.

A fairly wide ranging conversation about how the blogs have played a key part in the story, the nap the mainstream media is largely taking, and how important it is that bloggers (aka CITIZENS!) are willing to examine what the corporate media, by and large, is apparently afraid to touch until the actual smoking gun shows up in their lap for them.

Quickley, by the way, is a madman. He also rocks. I look forward to doing it again soon.

I was able to nab the live stream from KPFK's site, so listen if ya like. About 17 minutes in your choice of 3 deliciously flavored formats:

God save Public Radio.

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By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2004 10:37am PT  

Justice Through Music (jtmp.org) has just announced this morning that they have doubled their previously announced $100,000 reward offer for evidence of voter fraud to $200,000!

Sources have also informed the BRAD BLOG that even that amount may be rising in the future, but I'm not prepared to confirm those details here yet.

For specific details on reward requirements, please see the Justice Through Music website.

All information and evidence should be submitted ASAP to reward@jtmp.org, while any questions about the reward or offer should be sent to questions@jtmp.org.

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Bev Harris' Breaking Report from Volusia County!
A Smoking Gun in the Trash?
By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2004 6:17pm PT  

Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org is posting some interesting information from their "Fraud Audit" in Florida.

They're currently in Volusia County, FL and seem to have found some...oddities.

Markusd from DailyKos has a nice roundup of Harris' troubling postings, today on Democratic Underground.

UPDATE: More on this as I've had a better chance to plow through a lot of the postings on this. Bev Harris' main report may be easier to read via her original Democratic Underground posting version. The same information has also just been posted to the front page of BlackBoxVoting.org

Apparently there was missing poll data, discovered "poll tapes" (still trying to determine exactly what those are), differing counts on the differing tapes for atleast one precint in Volusia (Precinct 215, reportedly an "African-American" one where there were extra votes for Bush and other Republicans), items found in a trashbin ready for shredding instead of given to Harris in compliance with their "Freedom of Information Act" and Public Records requests, attorneys, cops, and the eventual "lockdown" of the central GEMS tabulation system in Volusia County and other information.

The bulk of it, perhaps as importantly, caught on film by the cameras of the VoterGate.tv folks who, Harris mentions later in the thread, are "running on fumes" and could use either money, or additional hands on deck as they also hope to cover the coming action in both Ohio and New Hampshire.

While the folks at DU seem to consider this as a "smoking gun" found, I will be waiting and watching for further, more specific details. It's certainly interesting and bears close watching.

And then, this rather tantalizing morsel, a short reply on the thread from Andy Stephenson, one of Bev's partners down there, who posts at DU under the name "God_bush_n_cheney". Here it is in total:

You aint seen nothing yet....trust me on this.
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By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2004 6:09pm PT  

AP reports that the Sec. of State in New Hampshire has given the go ahead for the first look at the Diebold "accuvote" machine totals in several counties. It will begin on Thursday, and Nader will then have the right to ask for recounts in more counties as needed.

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Stunning reports of illegally installed software from April of 2004 add to already-horrific mess!
Still waiting for the
By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2004 4:22pm PT  

A series of investigative stories (here, here, and here) by WISHTV.com in Indianapolis from April of this year, have just come to my attention (sent by several different readers).

They concern yet more troubling reports about the Election Systems & Software (ES&S) company, who's software and tabulating machines, along with Diebold's, are responsible for tabulating about 80% of the votes in America. Both companies were founded by the same man, who just happens, along with the rest of their Boards of Directors to be big donor/supporters of the Republican Party.

The series of reports from WISH-TV earlier this year tell of ES&S employees surreptitiously installing illegal, uncertified software, into the voting and tabulating machines in Marion County, Indiana. They then ordered their regional ES&S project manager to lie about it to county officials. She refused. As had her husband in a previous ES&S incident, where he was also a project manager, in a different Indiana county. He was fired for his refusal.

In one of the reports, the Marion County Clerk Doris Anne Sadler is quoted as saying that ES&S "has willfully and purposely deceived me and the Marion County election board...[W]ith complete disregard for business ethics and with intent to deceive, [ES&S] deliberately worked to keep their actions from the Marion County election board and its employees."

The county's election board vice chair added, "Throughout the process, there have been missteps and outright fabrications and mistruths given to us by the vendor implementing the election process."

The assiduous BRAD BLOG readers will note that ES&S has popped up time and time again in so many of these stories of "irregularities" related to electronic voting and tabulating machines. Amongst the many troubling incidents so far reported here:

Additionally, DailyKos reported late last night on yet another Indiana county where the U.S. Congressional results are now in doubt and a recount may be coming shortly due to revelations from nearby Franklin County where a recount was already held after it was discovered that the optical-scan tabulating machine was counting straight Democratic ticket votes as Libertarian votes!

I've been hearing more and more drumbeating lately for either an entire national audit of all the votes in this year's election, or even more drastically, a re-vote of the whole damn thing. The more I learn about what an ungodly mess we have on our hands, the more I am beginning to think such ideas may not be crazy after all.

And along with all of these continuing reports I'm still left to ask, where the hell is the mainstream media who should be all over these stories that rock the very core of our democracy?! This is about our voting system for christsake! Clearly we can't count --- for now --- on the Republican cronies at the Justice Department to look into these matters. This time, it's up to the citizenry it seems, and we sure as hell could use an assist from that supposedly "Liberal" Media right about now!

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Questioning the Results, Wondering what he Missed...
And Calling for Audit and Reform!
By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2004 1:39pm PT  

An attorney for John Kerry and associate dean at Yale Law School asks in a Nashua Telegraph editorial, "Did lawyer-observers on Election Day miss fraud incidents?". A few highlights...

Could we have been so naive?

Thousands of the country's most credentialed lawyers flocked to Florida to guarantee a fair election. Did we inadvertently miss an election debacle even greater than that of 2000 and negligently allow our client to concede?
...
There was the sense that the data from the precincts where I had worked understated what felt like a Kerry landslide.
...
And that's when I realized that I might have been an unwitting accessory to fraud.

Like every other Democrat, I had prepared to avoid the problems of 2000 only to be blindsided by new problems in 2004. We had been so worried about the safekeeping of paper ballots that we neglected the security of digital memory devices.
...
We should have had trained observers - computer scientists, not lawyers! - verifying the integrity of polling data from machine upload through the tabulation of countywide and statewide results.

Somehow we neglected the most vulnerable step in the vote-counting process, leaving a gaping hole for error and fraud, casting in doubt the validity of election results in many states.
...
My client conceded the race on the belief that the results were clear. The results are anything but clear, however, and American democratic legitimacy requires an honest reappraisal of the events in Florida and around the country.
...
The mainstream media must immediately realize that this issue rises above partisanship and demands attention.

The time is now for voters from all states that used electronic voting machines to request an audit of results and a manual recount of ballots if possible.

We have a duty as Americans to fix these problems for the future and make sure there is a transparent and trustworthy voting system.

What's at stake is not merely the outcome of a close election; what's at stake is our faith in democratic government and the rule of law.

Hear, hear!

(Thanks tipster Mazelle for the link!)

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By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2004 1:15pm PT  

A good Presidential Library represents both the man and his Presidency. The new Clinton Library seems even more fitting than I might have thought. Tell me...is it just me?

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A Nation on the Brink.
By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2004 11:33am PT  

Sure, there's a bloodbath purge going on in the Administration. From cabinet positions ("See ya, Colin! And thanks for nothin'!") being populated with hardline Bush sycophants like Alberto "Torture's Fine With Me, thanks!" Gonzales and Condoleezza "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, Lie me a River" Rice to the incidiously overt KGB-like politicalization of the previously and historically nonpartisan CIA. (By the way, all of America's failures in the last four years? They weren't the CIA's fault, no matter what your political leaders / radio talk show hosts are selling you.)

While American Moderates/Undecideds had hoped for about two minutes that "we might all come together now", I have a feeling that it won't be long before even those ostriches will soon begin to see that Bush 43 v2.0 will do little but solidify his aptly-deserved legacy of "Worst President Ever".

Which is just one reason to make sure he actually won this time.

In any case, my hope is that it won't take a full four more years, incurring irreconcilable international damage to our country, or increase the already scandalously-under-reported body count and human carnage to record proportions before the American sheeple finally "get it" and demand better for themselves and their country which deserves so much more. But this morning, I'm not particularly optimistic.

In the meantime however, now that Condi's moving to State and the position of NSA is therefore currently wide open, I'd just like to toss the idea out there that I'm available.

Don't make me beg, people. You have my number. Just get it out of my FBI file.

I'll be happy to speak with you any time.

Though I fully realize I'll probably be overlooked yet again. Bastards.

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