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Senate GOP Twists Law to Gut Decades-Old Regs (Forever): 'BradCast' 4/20/18
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VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

Kept From Inspecting Voting Machines as Promised
Process So Far Has Revealed Votes Changed from One Candidate to Another, Disappearing All Together...
By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2005 5:19pm PT  

We've failed to report too terribly much on it to date, but there is a very important lawsuit quietly proceeding in New Mexico which is challenging the results of the 2004 Presidential Election there. The final result of that election was very close, and Election Reform advocates --- and indeed a great deal of evidence --- suggest that something was amiss there. Michael Collins wrote a good article about the suit a couple of weeks ago for New Zealand's SCOOP.

Yesterday, VoterAction.org sent out an email about some roadblocks that the plaintiffs are suddenly facing in the discovery phase of the trial. They were supposed to have been allowed to have experts inspect --- for the first time --- the Electronic Voting Machines that were used in the '04 Election, along with the actual results that they gave.

All of a sudden, Voter Action says, the county clerks have flat-out refused to permit the inspections by the plaintiffs' experts. That, after some interesting evidence has already been found by the experts during discovery, like tests where they were able to see votes for one candidate being registered for their opponent (as has been so widely reported as happening in so many elections of late!) and ballots being confirmed with NO choice for President at all, which wasn't supposed to have been possible on at least one of the machine types being looked at.

Voter Action didn't post the article from their email on their website, so we'll post it here in its entirety. Check it out...

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




And He's Still on the GOP Payroll!
By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2005 3:16pm PT  

From LA Times...

GOP Voting Obstruction Case Bound for Trial

A former national Republican Party official will stand trial on charges he conspired to jam Democratic get-out-the-vote phone lines on election day 2002, a federal judge said in Concord.

Judge Steven McAuliffe rejected an argument by James Tobin that the conspiracy charges should be dismissed because the government's allegations were insufficient. A trial for Tobin, who in 2002 was political director of the national committee working to get Republican senators elected, is scheduled for Dec. 6.

Josh Marshall has been doing some excellent reporting on this case as it's developed over the last year or so. This link should get you caught up.

Of note here, keep in mind that a) Tobin was working for the national Republican Party, he wasn't some loose-cannon, bad apple, lone agent, b) The phone-jamming scandal was in the '02 election, yet the RNC hired Tobin to head their '04 Northeastern Regional Campaign even after they knew he was in trouble for the '02 shenanigans and c) The RNC, as of August, had so far covered his $700k legal bills, that much before the trial had even begun.

Next time a wingnut tosses you the canard about some tires slashed in Milwaukee by a couple of kids, remind them of this guy, still on the RNC's payroll.




And Curtis Speaks in Orlando this Weekend...
By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2005 11:15am PT  

While I was up recently to speak at the "National Summit to Save Our Elections" in Portland, OR, I was asked to sit down for a few minutes with Clint Curtis to do a quick interview for "SourceCode" on Free Speech TV. Apparently their episode devoted to Election Fraud has been airing all week to folks who have satellite TV (which I don't).

I haven't yet had time to watch the entire episode, but here's the specific segment in which I interview Curtis. It's a quickie (about 4 minutes), so we don't get into too much detail for folks who already know the story, but hopefully the interview is worthwhile nonetheless.

The longer audio and text transcript of the interview I did with him onstage at the conference (as noted previously) is available here.

ALSO...I've just been informed --- at the very last minute, sorry --- that Curtis will be speaking at an E.R. event near Orlando today and tomorrow. Info follows...

What: "Achieving Election Reform: A Florida Statewide Conference"
Where: SeraLago Hotel & Suites, Kissimmee (just south of Orlando)
When: Saturday and Sunday, November 12-13, 2005
Time: 10 a.m. Saturday until 1 p.m. Sunday
Hosted by: Florida Fair Elections Coalition (FFEC)
Cost: Free (donations accepted)

Clint will be speaking at 4pm ET Saturday the 12th (that's today!) and will be available to meet with conference goers from 9a to Noon on Sunday the 13th. Go say hello if your read this in time and happen to be in the 'hood!

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far. -
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.



By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2005 9:06pm PT  

In today's Veterans' Day speech, Bush attempted to send the latest Talking Points out to his troops. Not the ones that fight, the ones that talk. Judging from Carol Platt Liebau's latest at HuffPo, the message was received from Dear Leader and is even now being delivered to whoever is left to buy it.

Here was "the message":

While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began.

In other words, after years of questioning the patriotism of those who criticized his decision or the conduct of the war, he'll give up on that battle as long as we all stay away from the one point that is likely to bring the entire house of cards crumbling down, namely; How the war began. Or more aptly, how he began it.

It is, of course, the latest last-ditch effort (and there have been plenty of late) to save his Presidency. And of course, the way to do that...is to blame everybody else.

So who is actually the one rewriting history today? Bush (and Liebau and the other dead-enders) mislead yet again by claiming "More than 100 Democrats in the House and Senate who had access to the same intelligence voted to remove Saddam Hussein from power."

Setting aside that those Democrats didn't have "access to the same intelligence" that Bush did, Atrios helpfully points up Bush's condensed re-written history on that "vote to remove Saddam Hussein from power." We condense Atrios' work still further...

Bush today:

"It is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how the war began...More than 100 Democrats in the House and Senate who had access to the same intelligence voted to remove Saddam Hussein from power," the president said.

Bush, 10/1/2002:

Of course, I haven't made up my mind we're going to war with Iraq.

Bush, 10/14/2002 (two days after the "Iraq War Resolution"):

I am very firm in my desire to make sure that Saddam is disarmed. Hopefully, we can do this peacefully.

McClellan, 11/2/2002:

This is about disarmament and this is a final opportunity for Saddam Hussein to disarm. ... the President continues to seek a peaceful resolution. War is a last resort.

Bush, 11/7/2002:

Hopefully, we can do this peacefully --- don't get me wrong. And if the world were to collectively come together to do so, and to put pressure on Saddam Hussein and convince him to disarm, there's a chance he may decide to do that. ... And war is not my first choice

The "Iraq War Resolution" gave him the authority. It was not a vote to "remove Saddam Hussein from power" as Bush made clear at the time.

Got that? Good. Now let the next last-ditch Talking Point commence...bring it on.

UPDATE: Josh Marshall drops an elegantly concise case on Bush's latest "Rewritten History" gambit and his now-lost causes gone astray. It begins this way:

What a sorry, sorry, unfortunate president --- caught in his lies, his half-truths, his reckless disregard ... caught with, well ... caught with time. Time has finally caught up to him. And now he doesn't have the popularity to beat back all the people trying to call him to account.

...And ends this way:

In any case, he must sense now that he's blowing into a fierce wind. The judgement of history hangs over this guy like a sharp, heavy knife. His desperation betrays him. He knows it too.

Go read the middle.




By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2005 7:38pm PT  

From Reuters...

The California governor, looking tired, held one of his infrequent news conferences after voters rejected all eight initiatives offered on Tuesday in a special election he called to advance what he called "the year of reform."

"If I would do another 'Terminator' movie I would have Terminator travel back in time and tell Arnold not to have a special election," the former action film star joked. "I should have also listened to my wife who said don't do it."




Demands Support for Troops from Commander-in-Chief and a 'Real Investigation Into Prewar Intelligence'
By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2005 10:55am PT  

In a response just issued by OpTruth.org, "the nation's first and largest organization for Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," their Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff expressed disappointment in George W. Bush's just-completed Veterans' Day speech to troops in Pennsylvania.

"Those of us who fought in Iraq deserve to know why we became Veterans in the first place," Reickhoff said in a statement that went on to call for a "real investigation into prewar intelligence."

In a speech staged in front of military gear to an audience of enlisted men and women at the Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania, Bush took the opportunity to take a few swipes at his political opposition. "Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and mislead the American people about why we went to war," Bush said before taking the opportunity to manipulate those listening with the Administration's latest misleading talking point to deflect criticism of their use of prewar intelligence.

As reported by AP...

He said those critics have made those allegations although they know that a Senate investigation 'found no evidence' of political pressure to change the intelligence community's assessments related to Saddam's weapons program.

"More than 100 Democrats in the House and the Senate who had access to the same intelligence voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power," Bush went on to say. Leaving out the nuance that the intelligence those Democrats were allowed to see was gathered and selected by the Administration's own intelligence agencies. He further failed to mention that the vote by Congress to give Bush the power to wage war, was based on promises to exhaust all diplomatic options before doing so.

Recent investigations into prewar intelligence, indeed, has not shown that the Administration applied pressure to intelligence agencies. However, the investigations that led to those reports specifically avoided examining the Administration's use (and/or misuse) of the intelligence available to them. The Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KA) had promised to look into those matters two years ago but, to date, have failed to do so. That failure resulted last week in Senate Minority Leader Harry Ried's (D-NV) invoking of Senate Rule 21 to force the Senate into a closed session in order to pressure the committee to deliver their promised investigation.

Rieckhoff, who gave up his job on Wall Street after 9/11 to join the active army in the "War on Terror," expressed disappointment at Bush's failure in his speech to support veterans by calling for a thorough investigation into the way intelligence was used to sell Congress and the American people on the war that they are now stuck fighting. "It's unfortunate," he said, "that the President doesn't think he owes that to the people who have been unwavering in their bravery while carrying out his plans.”

The Iraq War veteran, who led troops into Baghdad at the start of the war, is dismayed at Bush's lack of support for those who still fight the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. "On Veterans' Day, the President spoke a lot about the reasons for the war in Iraq, but very little about how he plans to take care of the people fighting that war, and what the future holds for them."




By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2005 8:26pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

More and more scattered voting problems are being reported. Of course, almost all are being blamed on people and not the machines. In some locations where they are using op-scan but elections officials want to use DREs there are complaints about how slow op-scans are. It's also very strange that Ohio's SoS has announced what a great success the machines were in his state while counties are reporting wide-spread problems and his deputy is promising to investigate problems in Lucas County. Diebold and AccuPoll have both put out press releases bragging about successful elections on their machines...

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




Big Rightwing Babies Welcome Wrath of God and Al-Qaeda For Election Results That Don't Go Their Way
By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2005 7:28pm PT  

The mind boggles at how Fox "News" and the rest of the Rightwing Echosphere would attempt to destroy the lives and livelihoods of any Non-Rightwing clergymen or TV commentators were they to invite the wrath of God and/or al-Qaeda on Republican voters who didn't vote the way they would have preferred, but that's exactly what wingnuts Bill O'Reilly and Pat Robertson have done today.

O'Reilly welcomed al-Qaeda destruction of San Francisco, because their citizens had the temerity to vote against military recruitment in public high schools and colleges.

Robertson may have topped him, however, by warning citizens of Dover, Pennsylvania, not to ask for God's help in the case of disaster there. All because the rather intelligent voters of Dover tossed out all eight school board members who were up for re-election last Tuesday after they'd tried to force the teaching of "Intelligent Design" in public school science classes.

On his radio show today, as reported by Media Matters, the smear merchant and media mogul O'Reilly spun last Tuesday's rejection by the voters of San Francisco of military recruiters in their public schools as worthy of denial of all federal funds, and even the destruction of the entire city by al-Qaeda [emphasis added]:

O'REILLY: Hey, you know, if you want to ban military recruiting, fine, but I'm not going to give you another nickel of federal money. You know, if I'm the president of the United States, I walk right into Union Square, I set up my little presidential podium, and I say, "Listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you vote against military recruiting, you're not going to get another nickel in federal funds. Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead."

And if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.

Meanwhile, as CNN reported today, man of God and "conservative" "Christian" Pat Robertson warned Dover, PA residents not to be surprised if disaster stikes them since they chose to express their will at the voting booth that Science classes should teach science, not religious theory. If disaster does strike, Robertson warned, the citizens of Dover shouldn't turn to God for any help:

"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city," Robertson said on his daily television show broadcast from Virginia, "The 700 Club."

"And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there," he said.

We're reminded of all the wingnuts who declared Democrats "cry babies" after the Presidential Elections in 2000 (and again in 2004) simply because they felt that all the votes should actually be counted, and the winner of the election should be the candidate who ended up with the most votes. In contrast now, we've got elections with decisive losses to the wingnuts' initiatives and candidates and in return they order up hopes for destruction and annihilation for entire cities --- presumably even for the voters in those cities who voted the way they would have wanted them to.

We'd love to call folks like O'Reilly and Robertson sore losers and cry-babies, but that seems rather trite given how morally loathesome and reprehensible in fact they actually seem to be.

UPDATE 11/12/05: Despite his cursing me, Joseph Cannon has, as usual, some worthwhile thoughts on all of the above.




Newly Discovered Document Echoes Previous DIA Documents
By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2005 2:21pm PT  

Isikoff and Hosenball are reporting in NEWSWEEK today that the CIA had raised doubts about the information that the Bush Administration (and indeed Bush, himself) relied on to sell the War on Iraq to the American People and to Congress.

The newly uncovered CIA document seems to echo a DIA document previously released that similarly expressed doubts about the information received from Al Qaeda detainee, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi who recanted his claims that Iraq was training Al Qaeda members. That, however, didn't keep the Bush Administration from using the bad intelligence anway...

A CIA document shows the agency in January 2003 raised questions about an Al Qaeda detainee's claims that Saddam Hussein's government provided chemical and biological weapons training to terrorists—weeks before President George W. Bush and other top officials flatly used those same claims to make their case for war against Iraq.

Lots of meat in the piece, but the following graf speaks to those wingnuts who still enjoy describing Harry Reid's invokation of Senate Rule 21 last week as "a stunt" after two years have passed without Sen. Pat Robert's (R-KA) promised investigation into the Administration's use and/or mis-use of prewar intel matters [emphasis added]:

For their part, [Sen. Carl] Levin [(D-MI)] and Sen. Jay Rockefeller [(D-WV)] want the Senate Intelligence Committee, as part of its reinvigorated Phase II investigation into the handling of Iraq pre-war intelligence, to answer key questions about al-Libi: What happened to the February 2002 DIA report questioning al-Libi's credibility? Were the CIA's caveats circulated to the White House before President Bush made his assertions? And why did the intelligence community declassify the substance of al-Libi's original claims so they could be used in Powell's speech in February 2003—but fail to publicly acknowledge that he had recanted until NEWSWEEK reported on it more than a year later?

They all sound like good questions to us and about which the American People and Congress deserve answers...as the wars...all of them...rage on.




From the Bizarre File...
By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2005 7:08pm PT  

This is a day or two old, but I'm in the mood for a bit of lighter fare at the moment after the last couple of days of various mayhem, so I thought I'd share it with you. From yesterday's LA Times account of Charles and Camilla's visit to San Francisco...

Sunday night the couple, following in the footsteps of thousands of tourists over the past three decades (including Queen Elizabeth), took in a zany and flamboyant performance of the city's beloved musical revue, "Beach Blanket Babylon," touted as the longest-running musical revue in the history of time.
...
And for the finale, San Francisco chief of protocol Charlotte Maillard Shultz donned a Wonder Woman costume and flew briefly on a wire over the theater before her husband, former Secretary of State George Shultz appeared, ripped open his dress shirt to reveal a Superman T-shirt and "saves" her from the wire.

Afterward, the former secretary of State spoke directly to the audience about his respect for the British and then gushed, "So hats off to the British!"

If the news was like this every day, I could retire.

(Hat tip to Desi, who just can't get enough of those lovable royals...and the Schultzes)




By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2005 1:47pm PT  

Arnold's personally-declared Special Election (only the fifth one ever in history of state) was a multi-million dollar disaster for the Governator. Fortunately, California has plenty of money to spend on such larks, so no harm done just because every measure on the ballot was rejected. Every. Single. One.

Busy day today otherwise, so I'll throw it open to your thoughts on yesterday's election.

And a request to you folks in Ohio: Why do you suppose the Election Reform Initiatives failed so soundly in your state, while anti-Republican candidates and measures did so well every where else in the country? Is it because Ohio really really likes the way their elections have been handled up until now by SoS J. Kenneth Blackwell? Also, did you vote on Ohio's brand-spanking new Diebold Accuvote TSx machines (the ones that California's Sec. of State rejected because they failed 20% of the time in a recent massive mock election test)?




Election Day!
By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2005 5:54pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of Voters Unite.org

(NOTE FROM BRAD: I've asked John to post VotersUnite.org's excellent "Daily Voting News", a comprehensive list of the days major election and voting related stories, directly on BRAD BLOG each day. He's agreed to do so. And today's busy Election Day seems a great day to start. The articles that John chooses to include in the DVN are not necessarily opinions that we agree with, but rather, they're meant as a comprehensive listing of the each day's major Voting-related news, no matter which side of the political aisle they may fall on. I'd like to thank both John and Ellen Theissen, of VotersUnite.org for agreeing to share the listings each day with BRAD BLOG readers!)

Today has been a normally busy election day. There have been spotty problems reported in the media all over the country. Of course, almost every machine failure/error has been blamed on the voter or poll worker...

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




Governator First Instructed to Use a Provisional Ballot, Given Normal Ballot Anyway!
LA County Registrar, Diebold Supporter Admits 'Protocol Breached in Advance of Election'
By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2005 2:01pm PT  

Due to a problem with Electronic Voting Machines in Los Angeles County, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was told he had already voted when he showed up at the polls today to cast his ballot in the Special Election that he himself declared for California today!

He was told he'd have to use a provisional ballot, but unlike most American voters, he was eventually allowed to use a regular ballot anyway.

Los Angeles County Registrar, Conny McCormack (a huge fan of Diebold machines, and a very good friend of their sales rep here in Southern California) is trying to mitigate the damage...big time...Though she admits that someone "breached protocol in advance of the election"

It should be further noted, that the Governator was attempting to vote in Brentwood (in Los Angeles County), but the "breach" --- which would have kept a normal non-Gubernatorial citizen from voting on anything but a provisional ballot --- occurred in Pasadena, about a 30 to 45 minute drive from Brentwood. Early voting, on paperless Diebold Touch-Screen Voting Machines, has been occurring in Los Angles County for the last several weeks.

From Los Angeles Times... [emphasis added]

Schwarzenegger Hits Snag at Polling Place

SACRAMENTO --- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger showed up to his Brentwood neighborhood polling station today to cast his ballot in the special election --- and was told he had already voted.

Elections officials said a Los Angeles County poll worker had entered Schwarzenegger's name into an electronic voting touch screen station in Pasadena on Oct. 25. The worker, who was not identified, was testing the voting machine in preparation for early voting that began the next day.
...
Schwarzenegger's aides were informed of the problem when they arrived this morning to survey the governor's polling station. The poll worker told the governor's staff he would have to use a "provisional" ballot that allows elections workers to verify if two votes were made by the same person. McCormack said the poll worker did the correct thing.

The governor, however, was allowed to use a regular ballot.
...
"This is someone who breached our protocol and was playing around in advance of the election," she said.

Tom Hiltachk, the governor's attorney, said: "I have no reason to believe anything nefarious occurred.

But Kim Alexander, president of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation, said the problem highlights the need for better verification of electronic voting.

"If the governor is going to have a mix-up on his ballot," she said, "it will make other voters wonder what is going to happen with their ballots."

(Thanks to John Gideon of www.votersunite.org for alerting us about this one!)

CORRECTION: The original version of this article had said that Schwarzenegger had voted in Sacramento. Schwarzenegger had, in fact, voted at his Brentwood precinct, which is in Los Angeles County. The BRAD BLOG regrets the error.




By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2005 1:33pm PT  

From Dayton Daily News... [emphasis added]

Election Day got off to a rough start Tuesday in some precincts in Montgomery County, where new touch-screen voting machines are being used for the first time.

The machines, which officials said are more accurate and are expected to speed up the vote-counting process, are being used in about half of Ohio's 88 counties, including Greene and Miami.
...
Mike Petkus, 47, of Dayton said that when he went to cast his ballot at Kiser Middle School in north Dayton, he had the Northridge school board candidates on his touch screen rather than the Dayton school board.

He thought, ‘I don't have time to play games but this isn't right,' ” he said. As he was leaving the polling place to get to work, he said, “another guy was raising that same red flag.” “I think there was some very poor checking,” he said. Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Steve Harsman acknowledged there were some expected and unexpected problems, though he was pleased overall with the way things were running.
...
His office received 30 to 40 calls from precincts reporting a “low paper error” on some of the machines even though each contained a new roll of paper.

Harsman believes the machines got jostled while moved to the polling locations, shaking a bracket and causing a sensor to go off.
...
At one Washington Twp. precinct, two of the eight voting machines were reportedly taken out of service in the morning because of snafus.

In Miamisburg, a voter who went to cast his ballot at a precinct in the Miamisburg library at 7 a.m. said he wasn't able to vote because the new machines were displaying ballots for a Warren County precinct.

He said poll operators told him they had to cancel all the ballots of people who had tried to vote there earlier because they all said the wrong ballots were displayed.




Voters Complain Attempts to Vote for Democratic Candidate Recorded for Republican...
By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2005 1:05pm PT  

From WDBJ7... (video report included at link):

Election day voting is going on across the Old Dominion, but everything has not gone smoothly in Roanoke County.

News 7 has received calls from several voters in at least four different precincts who say their votes for Tim Kaine were not recorded or took several attempts to go through.

They contend the electronic touch screens repeatedly indicated they were voting for Republican candidate Jerry Kilgore instead of registering their intended vote for his Democratic opponent Tim Kaine.

Roanoke Co. Registrar Judy Stokes says she doesn't want to say the problem is operator error on the part of the voters, but she points out the touch screens are sensitive. She says anyone who is having difficulty voting should ask one of the poll workers for assistance.

State election officials have been told of the problem. They believe if there is a problem, it could have been caused by the way the machines were stored.




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