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'A Terrible Idea': E-Voting, E-Counting, 'Open Source' and Internet Voting
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


'Fair or unfair...You gotta plow through that. You have to know what you're gettin' into'...
By Brad Friedman on 7/10/2009 10:23am PT  


We hate to pile on, but we've been on the roll much of this week, and haven't had time to post this until today. But it's worth noting it here, if only for the historical record.

The soon-to-be Community Organizer, then Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, in March 2008, was critical of then Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's complaints about perceived unfair media bias against her. Here's what she had to say about it back then (video above right):

PALIN: Fair or unfair, I think she does herself a disservice to even mention it, really. I mean you gotta plow through that. You have to know what you're gettin' into, which --- I say this with all due respect to Hillary Clinton, and to her experience and to her passion for changing the status quo also --- but when I hear a statement like that, coming from a woman candidate, with any kind of perceived whine about that excess criticism, or maybe a sharper microscope put on her, I think 'Man, that doesn't do us any good'. Women in politics, women in general, wanting to progress this country, I don't think it bodes well for her, a statement like that.

Because, again, fair or unfair, it is there. I think that's reality. And I think it's a given. I think people can just accept that she is going to be under that sharper microscope. So be it. I mean, work harder. Prove yourself to an even greater degree that you're capable, that you're going to be the best candidate and that, of course, is what she wants us to believe at this point.

So, it bothers me a little bit hearing her bring that attention to herself on that level.

Palin seems to have had a change of heart since her video-taped apperance early last year criticizing Clinton for not sucking it up in the face of "fair or unfair" media scrutiny, since she is now "bring[ing] that attention to herself on that level" by "whin[ing] about that excess criticism, or maybe a sharper microscope put on her" by media, and even local bloggers, who she has now threatened with defamation lawsuits in a statement issued by her private attorney on the Fourth of July.

We don't think it bodes well for her, a statement like that, or for her passion for changing the status quo also.

[Hat-tip Paul Rosenberg at Open Left via BRAD BLOG commenter "Another Joe"]

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By Brad Friedman on 7/8/2009 8:51pm PT  

[Hat-tip, BRAD BLOG toon sherpa Pokey Anderson]

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Misleading 'FBI denial' also cited, as if friend's disbelief wasn't enough to dismiss any and all such speculation...
By Brad Friedman on 7/7/2009 5:03pm PT  

The once-great ABC News' Nightline decided on Monday night's show that they would take a look at the possible reasons for Sarah Palin's decision to cut and run from her first term as Alaska Governor. They promised to take a look at the leading theories, so as to help "separate fact from fiction."

How did they do it? First, they asked two of Palin's friends who both generally agreed she decided to abort the job largely because she was tired of it. Then, they presented five possible theories that have been floated.

"Those explanations from people who know Palin haven't been enough for Internet bloggers and conspiracy theorists," Nightline's Vicky Mabrey reads over screenshots of The BRAD BLOG, The Daily Beast, and others sites that reported on the possibility of a criminal investigation. "They've had a field day over the holiday weekend, speculating on a host of other theories why Palin would leave office"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 7/7/2009 2:45pm PT  

Wayne Barret, the Village Voice reporter who wrote the original investigative report on questions surrounding the contracting of Sarah Palin's house on Lake Lucille and the concurrently contracted Wasilla Sports Complex, responds to the weekend legal threats issued by Palin's attorney Thomas Van Flein...

Sarah Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein spent his July 4 in Fairbanks, Alaska, issuing a four-page statement warning news organizations not to investigate allegations printed by the Voice last October.

Talk about waving a red flag in front of a bull.

Van Flein's famous client had announced her upcoming resignation as Alaska's governor the day before, and the attorney wanted everyone to know that Palin's sudden and unexpected withdrawal had nothing to do with our story, 'The Book of Sarah' [October 7, 2008] which, of course, made many wonder just the opposite.

Barret goes on to offer point-by-point rebuttal to Van Flein's legal jujitsu, which the Voice reporter says, "does not challenge a single fact actually presented in our story"...

Recently related at The BRAD BLOG...
7/3/09: Is Palin's Resignation Due to a Federal Investigation?
7/4/09: Palin Responds, Takes Offensive, Issues Legal Threats
7/5/09: AK Bloggers Push Back, Scoff at Outgoing Gov's Threats
7/6/09: Fox Discusses 'HouseGate'; Will Palin Sue Them?

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By Brad Friedman on 7/6/2009 4:11pm PT  

Will Palin now have to threaten a lawsuit against Fox "News" too?! Oh, the tangled webs...


By way of reminder, Palin's private attorney, Thomas Van Flein, had issued a legal threat on the 4th of July to those in the media (seemingly only the perceived left-leaning media) who discussed questions about the Palin's contracting of their house in Wasilla, and the Wasilla Sports Complex, both built while the state's soon-to-be-former Governor was mayor of the small Alaskan town.

"This is to provide notice to [Alaska blogger and radio host Shannyn] Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law," Van Flein wrote for Palin over the weekend.

Of the outlets named above, only MSNBC had actually discussed the controversy (video here), during a telephone interview with Moore following her Huffington Post blog item referencing a potential "iceberg scandal," and the further details we followed up with on that here.

When asked why the other outlets, which hadn't reported on the matter, had been targetted as well in the statement,"Van Flein said he believed they were asking questions," according to the Anchorage Daily News. "What I've been informed is that they've been interviewing people in Wasilla about this, and have tried to interview the governor's parents about it," Palin's attorney told the paper.

For her part, Moore quickly shot back in her own defense, against the Van Flein/Palin legal threats, assailing the outgoing Governor as "a coward and a bully."

So does Fox "News" now need to lawyer up too?

[Via HuffPo, hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter "IDontGetIt"]

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Threatened by litigation from Palin camp, AK bloggers close ranks, scoff at intimidation effort by cutting-and-running Governor...
By Brad Friedman on 7/6/2009 2:24am PT  

Alaska blogger and radio host Shannyn Moore isn't taking the attempted strong-arming by soon-to-be-former Governor Sarah Palin lightly. Moore shot back quickly on her radio show and in the mainstream media on Saturday, in response to Palin's Fourth of July Declaration of Litigation.

Palin's legal threat, issued for her by her private attorney, Thomas Van Flein, earlier in the day, was itself in response to Moore, and other Alaska constituents, who publicly detailed long-whispered local rumors of a federal investigation and/or impending indictments against the former Republican Veep nominee.

The BRAD BLOG broke details of those allegations, citing Moore as one of our sources, on Friday, following Palin's manic press conference in which she announced plans to cut and run from her elected position of public service, a year and a half early --- seemingly to become a community organizer.

Alaska bloggers quickly circled their wagons in defense of Moore, who spoke out herself over the weekend, describing Palin as a "coward and a bully" whose defamation lawsuit she would welcome, at a press conference in front of the Governor's Anchorage office...

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

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ALSO: LA Times rebuts 'rumored FBI investigation into...public corruption charges'
By Brad Friedman on 7/5/2009 1:53am PT  

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin marked the Independence Day holiday by firing back at "false and defamatory allegations" made over the past twenty-four hours; noting limits on the "right of free speech"; declaring herself a victim; and issuing threats of potential litigation against a number of journalists and media outlets.

Through her private attorney, Thomas Van Flein, Palin issued a statement on Saturday in response to stories concerning suggestions of a federal investigation into the contracting and building of her house on Lake Lucille in Wasilla and the Wasilla Sports Complex, both constructed during her tenure as Mayor of the small town.

The four page response [posted in full at the end of this article] rebuts allegations as discussed on this blog and other news sites on Friday following the former Republican Vice Presidential nominee's surprise announcement that she would be resigning from office with a year and a half still remaining in her first term as Governor.

The defiant statement includes a warning "to provide notice" to journalists and media outlets that she "will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation."

The statement opens by charging that following her stunning, and often beguiling, hastily called press conference at the beginning of the holiday weekend, "several unscrupulous people have asserted false and defamatory allegations that the 'real' reasons for Governor Palin's resignation stem from an alleged criminal investigation pertaining to the construction of the Wasilla Sports Complex."

Also, late tonight, the Los Angeles Times has filed a short article featuring a response from an FBI spokesperson in Alaska who denies that the agency is investigating the Palins on those matters...

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

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UPDATED: Alaskan reporter Shannyn Moore offers The BRAD BLOG hints about reasons for Alaska Gov's resignation
FURTHER UPDATE: Sources say embezzlement scandal, federal indictments may soon break concerning use of Wasilla Sport Complex building materials for Palin's home...
By Brad Friedman on 7/3/2009 1:53pm PT  

[See update below for exclusive source details from Alaska...FURTHER UPDATE now added below: AK sources say 'embezzlement' scandal related to Palin's house, federal indictments may be in offing. MUCH MORE now added below... UPDATE 7/4: Palin issues rebuttals, legal threats... ... UPDATE 7/5: Moore, local bloggers, push back at Palin threats]

Palin resigns. She was to have been in office until 2010. Something else is going on here above and beyond what she's saying, though I don't know what yet. Josh Marshall seems to agree, noting in his "first signs of what happened" coverage:

[T]his clearly happened so quickly that Palin hasn't even had a chance to come up with a coherent cover story for her resignation. ... Remember that based on the public record, Palin is a wildly unethical public official, guilty at a minimum of numerous instances of abusing her authority as governor. And a lot of very damaging information has come out about her in the last few days --- though mainly embarrassing information about her character rather than new evidence of bad acts. I would not be surprised if this latest round of revelations shook something else loose that we haven't heard about yet."

I'd expect another shoe to drop very soon here...Looking into it...More shortly...

UPDATE: Alaskan Sarah Palin authority (and occasional BRAD BLOG guest blogger) Shannyn Moore, who broke the news at HuffPo today, tells me she believes, with good reason, that there is an "iceberg scandal that's about to break. She's doing damage control."

She says Palin is "resigning as part of damage control" due to a scandal that is "not of a family nature." ...

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

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Earlier Today: Felonious Senator Says Will Not Ask Bush for Pardon, Still Has 'Faith' He's Going to Win Re-Election
Final Update: Stevens Concedes to Begich...
By Brad Friedman on 11/18/2008 5:01pm PT  

UPDATE: AP calls race for Begich...

Mark Begich, the Democratic Anchorage mayor, has defeated Sen. Ted Stevens in a closely contested, see-saw race for the United States Senate, according to Associated Press projections.

The Division of Elections has almost concluded an initial count of absentee, early in-person and questioned ballots Tuesday. That, coupled with the numbers culled from Election Day, gave Begich a 3,724-vote lead over Stevens, the 40-year Republican incumbent, with about 2,500 ballots left to count.

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

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Only Three Out of the Last 45 Losing V.P. Nominees Have Gone on to Lead Tickets
Only One of Them Won the Presidency...
By Jon Ponder on 11/18/2008 12:50pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Within hours after Election Day 2008 was over, the punditocracy had moved on to speculation about 2012 and the political future of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, whom many conservatives consider to be the next GOP frontrunner.

If history is a guide, however, chances are next to nil that Palin will survive the primaries in four years, and even if she does, her odds of winning the presidency are even slimmer. In fact, based on past performances of losing vice presidential nominees over the last 180 years (see chart below), Sarah Palin's chances of becoming president at any point in the future are 45 to 1, at best.

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

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By Shannyn Moore on 11/18/2008 5:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Shannyn Moore

ANCHORAGE - If democracy were a religion, voting would be the sacrament.

I grew up in what I call “The First Free-Range Organic Christian Church of Homer.” Sundays brought a message, fellowship, and a line of repentant souls taking communion-a remembrance of sacrifice.

The first time I cast my vote, it struck me as similar. The blood shed for my right to stand at a flag draped table and make my choice part of the collective wasn’t lost on me. I had one of those “Come to Jesus” moments and in 20 years I haven’t missed an opportunity to vote. Unlike Christ, the idea of democracy has never shed a drop of blood; patriots did. The same cannot be said of the suffragettes. Unlike the sacrament celebrated in religious ritual, elections should not be faith-based. The framers never intended our government to be run on trust; hence the myriad of checks and balances. “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

Election integrity is not about restoring faith in the system. Checks and balances are...

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

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UPDATE: Lead Widens for the Democrat over the Felon, With Remaining Votes Still to Come From Largely Democratic Districts...
By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2008 7:46pm PT  

As the counting continued of the 90,000 previously uncounted votes in Alaska today (a full third of the total votes cast had remained untabulated), Democratic Anchorage mayor Mark Begich has now taken a three vote lead over the convicted Republican felon Sen. Ted Stevens who had previously led by some 3,200 votes.

From Public Record:

Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is dangerously close to losing his senate seat as Democratic challenger Mark Begich now leads the closely watched race by 3 votes with thousands more absentee ballots still to be counted.

The latest vote tally from the Alaska Division of Elections shows Begich, the mayor of Anchorage, leading Stevens with 125,019 votes to 125,016. If Begich prevails he would be the first Democrat in Alaska elected to the Senate since the 1970s.

As predicted, the previously-uncounted early and absentee ballots were likely to favor the Democrat. Looks like they have. RAW STORY has MSNBC's video coverage here...

Three U.S. Senate seats remain up for grabs still, in Alaska, Minnesota, and Georgia. Should all three go to the Democrats --- and at least two of them, AK and MN, are looking increasingly likely --- they would have the 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority in the next Congress (as long as you include Joe Lieberman) that we first discussed last week.

UPDATE 11/13/08, 10:10am PT: We're playing catchup on the numbers this morning, but as of late last night, Nate Silver reports at FiveThirtyEight.com, Begitch had opened up an 814 vote lead over Stevens with the remaining, uncounted ballots largely from Dem districts. Details...

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

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Isn't It Time for the U.S. to Consider a Secretary of Election Integrity?
By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2008 5:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Shannyn Moore

ANCHORAGE - It doesn't bother me to have fundamental differences with people. If it did, I'd never get out of bed. The person I most respected growing up, my Pop, was and is a conservative ideologue. I'm crazy about him. Disagreeing with facts is fair and healthy. Arguing from a place lacking intellectual curiosity is quite another as nothing is learned nor gained.

Since my first post questioning the voter turnout and other anomalies in Alaska's election, I've been accused of all sorts of things. I have been misquoted in the Anchorage Daily News. They claimed I wrote the election was "stolen." I wrote "Stolen Election in Alaska?" It wasn't the word, it was the punctuation.

But there is good reason to be concerned. A lawsuit filed in 2006 in State Superior Court to release the Diebold GEMS Software from 2004 revealed the database had been tampered with. Unfortunately, the user log-in and password were set to the default settings so it was impossible to tell who had edited the software numerous times post election, since all entries were made by "administrator" with password: "password". So it's not too outrageous for anybody to believe it's important, this time, to pay very close attention to the results of last Tuesday's election...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2008 4:27pm PT  

This just in from Alaska, where thousands of new ballots continue to be found each day, since it was first reported that turnout in 2008 was 11% lower than in 2004. Thousands of ballots, nearly a third of them, remain uncounted nearly a week after the election. Their numbers could explain the strange results so far in races --- such as those of the felonious Sen. Ted Stevens (R) and the under-investigation Rep. Don Young (R) --- for which pollsters had predicted decisive losses for the Republicans.

Even with the newly acknowledged ballots and even with Alaska's once-popular Gov. Sarah Palin and popular Sen. Barack Obama both on the Presidential ballot this year, turnout numbers still remain slightly below those from 2004. The Anchorage Daily News, with numbers somewhat out of date from those now posted below, called it all "puzzling" over the weekend, and pointed out much of what we've detailed here in previous posts.

The following updated numbers come from the DNC's Alaska Communications Director, Kay Brown late this afternoon [emphasis in the original]...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2008 9:40pm PT  

The election results being reported in Alaska still stink from top to bottom. While it may be true that fewer voters turned out to vote for Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Barack Obama on this year's Presidential tickets than turned out to vote for Bush and Kerry in 2004 --- even with Alaska's record increases in voter registration and voter participation during their primaries and unprecedented turnout during early voting --- it does strain credulity, as noted by Anchorage's Shannyn Moore, by poll analysist/expert Nate Silver and others.

There could be some reasonable explanation for poll-shattering upset victories by Republicans in Alaska's U.S. House and Senate contests, despite pre-election polls predicting near-certain defeat for convicted 7-time felon Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young, who is currently under FBI investigation on corruption charges.

The state senator I spoke with --- who can't understand how it could be that polls predicted Democrats would gain 4 to 6 U.S. House seats in Alaska, but instead, according to Diebold and state election officials, currently seem to have lost 2 seats instead --- could simply be wrong in his belief that something strange is going on up there.

But, as always, rather than speculating on any of it, I suggest another way: Find out for certain who won and who lost, in such a way that no party or citizen would have reason to question the final results, by, among other things, counting the ballots --- all of them.

I've come to learn that's a nutty idea that only crazy people would advocate, but for all of you crazy people out there, here's what can be done to try and find out who really won or lost any particular race...

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

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