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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Congresswoman Sets Impeachment Deadline for Federal Judge Mark Fuller
ALSO: Court unseals divorce docs from first marriage, Fuller attorney dismisses abuse allegations as 'rhetorical questions'...
SCOTUS ALLOWS TEXAS' DISCRIMINATORY GOP PHOTO ID LAW TO USED IN MIDTERMS
Despite uncontested findings striking down the law as a racially-motivated, 'unconstitutional poll tax', it will be implemented this year...
'Dead Heat' and 'Dirty Tricks': The Nightmare Scenario
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Standalone video of 911 call; First comment on case by imprisoned former AL Gov.; MORE...
Emergency Appeals Filed at SCOTUS to Restore Voting Rights to 600,000 in TX
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'Green News Report' 10/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Ryan backs away (sort of) from climate change denial; NatGas isn't a bridge to lower-emissions; PLUS: Did Lockheed-Martin really invent a compact nuclear fusion reactor?...
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Bloomberg on BRAD BLOG on Judge Richard Posner on Photo ID Voting Laws...
'By the sounds of it, the floor that supported voter-ID laws has just given way'...
'BradCast': Special Coverage of WI, TX, AR Photo ID Rulings
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WTF?!: FL Gov. Rick Scott Refuses To Appear at Debate With Gov. Charlie Crist
Watch the video. They're calling it 'FanGate'. We're just calling it Florida...
Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down State GOP's Photo ID Voting Law
Court determines law, passed over Dem Governor's veto, violates explicit right to vote in state Constitution...
5th Circuit Appeals Panel Restores Texas GOP's 'Discriminatory' Photo ID Law
While not contesting lower court's finding of law's unconstitutionality, judges cite SCOTUS precedent on last minute voting changes...
'Green News Report' 10/14/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Coal wins U.S. Senate debate in KY!; Pentagon: climate change threat to NatSec; Wind power cheapest source of energy; PLUS: September 2014 was hottest ever...
Previous GNRs: 10/9/14 - 10/7/14 - Archives...
Strange But True: Minority Ruled in WI Photo ID Case
A bizarre sidebar to the federal court's ruling in WI, thanks to a quirk in the law and Dems' inability to fill a vacant seat on the 7th Circuit...
Repub Judge Who Approved Nation's 1st Photo ID Law in 2008 Writes Devastating Dissent Against Them
Reagan-appointed Richard Posner pens best case ever against Photo ID voting restrictions...
Liar, Liar: Father and Son Reps Duncan Hunter Just Make Shit Up
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SCOTUS BLOCKS WI PHOTO ID VOTING LAW
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U.S. District Court judge permanently enjoins GOP law, finds it discriminates, amounts to a poll tax...
ACLU on 'Photo ID Needed to Fly' Canard
They nailed federal Judge Easterbrook's lies about WI's Photo ID voting restriction much more succinctly than we did: 'Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again'...
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McConnell & other GOP candidates dodge and retreat from climate denial; U.S. auto fleet achieves record fuel efficiency; PLUS: 'Clean Coal' in Canada?...
Non-KPFK 'BradCast': Special Election Coverage/Primal Scream Edition
This year's elections may be decided by the courts even before Election Day: A BradCast special...
SCOTUS Overturns 4th Circ, Allows NC to End Same-Day Registration, Counting of 'Wrong Precinct' Ballots
100s already disenfranchised; Nation's worst suppression law to have full trial next year...
GAO: Republican Photo ID Voting Restriction Laws Lowered Turnout in KS, TN
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'Green News Report' 10/7/14
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7th Circuit Offers Blatant FALSEHOODS in Ruling on WI Photo ID Voting Law
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NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
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VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
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FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
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CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
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RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
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VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

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


You're a Great American, Thor Hearne...
By Brad Friedman on 5/12/2008 2:56pm PT  

The parade of disenfranchised and/or soon-to-be-disenfranchised elderly, nuns, U.S. veterans (even those disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan), hurricane victims, and other Democratic-leaning voters continues this week, following the recent Supreme Court decision to allow the disenfranchisement of thousands of such (previously) legal voters in Indiana.

While much of the coverage --- such as today's report by Art Levine at HuffPo --- has been intelligent and serious, the New York Times took the lazy way out in a front page story today, lending credence to the discredited GOP "voter fraud" huckster, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, with quotes and reference to his defunct, sham organization, The American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR).

Writing about him and it, as if he were legit, and as if the ACVR were still in operation, the article's author, Ian Urbina --- who has written very good reports in the past --- didn't bother to mention the controversy surrounding Hearne and his group, that they had disappeared themselves under the glare of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal, that they had lied on federal tax forms claiming that the group had not "attempted to influence national, state, or local legislation, including any attempt to influence public opinion on a legislative matter or referendum" (fraudulent tax form here), that Hearne himself has been behind every step of the systematic and dishonest scheme to get laws of this sort on the books across the country, and finally, Urbina didn't even bother to note that Hearne had been the national general counsel to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. and remains the top election lawyer for the Republican National Lawyer's Association.

It's all easy to find, of course. We've even set up a Special Coverage page at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR so folks like Urbina --- and NPR who similarly quoted Hearne as if he were legit recently --- wouldn't have to look too far.

But darn that "liberal media" again. For the record, we sought comment from Urbina, who we've been a source for in the past, and who has done good work over the years, but he declined to comment on our criticism here.

In the days immediately following the horrible SCOTUS decision, we quickly turned to our old home state of Missouri, where the huckster Hearne has been basing his well-funded voter suppression operation on behalf of the White House and the RNC for years, going back at least as far as the moment we originally outed him in 2005 just after he had created the not "non-partisan," tax-exempt front group, ACVR, and testified just days later at a Congressional hearing, led by Ohio's felonious Rep. Bob Ney. Hearne told of fraud having been committed in Ohio in 2004, but by John Kerry's campaign, after Hearne described himself to legislatures only as a "longtime advocate of voter rights and an attorney experienced in election law."

We called on MO's Sec. of State Robin Carnahan for an exclusive interview, while we were hosting KPFK's "Special Election Year Coverage" last week (audio here), and took the opportunity to inform her, if she didn't already know, that Hearne's group lied on his federal tax form, and has, to this day, illegally failed to discose the source of his group's $1 million in start-up funding.

Our interview with Carnahan took place even as Missouri's Republican legislature was in mid-debate on the House floor about a new state Constitutional Amendment to require proof of citizenship in order to register to vote and for a similarly draconian Photo ID requirement as those approved by the SCOTUS for the polling places in the Hoosier State.

Kansas City Star reporter Dave Helling noticed our interview with Carnahan, and wrote a quick item about it, noting her characterization of these anti-voter efforts as "absurd," and alleging that she has not been quite as available to "reporters in the state"...

Appearing yesterday on the radio with well-known voting machine critic and blogger Brad Friedman, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan called the push for photo ID "absurd."

(Carnahan's discussion --- by telephone --- was rare. Her office usually refuses to make her available for questions from reporters in the state.)

...But whether the MO SoS has been available to Helling or not, she has been making quite a bit of noise ever since, concerning what a study by her office has found to be some 240,000 largely Democrati-leaning voters in the Show-Me State who would be disenfranchised by the Republican law as she explained to us on air.

Meanwhile, over in Arizona, a law that has already made it on to the books will similarly be keeping legal Americans from casting their legal votes this year.

Thor Hearne deserves a raise...

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

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On Air Today (Wed.) at 2pm PT in L.A. and Santa Barbara, and Around the World via the Internets!
Call-In at: 818-985-5735...
By Brad Friedman on 5/7/2008 10:20am PT  

[Updated post-show, with archive of show at bottom of article.]

Once again today, I'll be hosting an hour of "Special Election Year Coverage" for the good folks at L.A.'s Pacifica Radio affiliate, KPFK 90.7 FM, from 2p-3p PT this afternoon.

And, once again, we'll be looking less at the election "horse race" and much more at the "track conditions," with a special eye on the Supreme Court's unconstitutional support of polling place Photo ID restrictions such as the one that disenfranchised a bunch of 80 & 90 year-old nuns (along with many others) yesterday in Indiana.

My special guest will be MO Sec. of State ROBIN CARNAHAN, joining us to discuss the effect of the SCOTUS ruling in her state, which has been called "Ground Zero" for the phony GOP voter fraud scam. It's no coincidence that MO is the home of GOP Scammer-in-Chief Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, btw, as he's the democracy-hating front-man most single-handedly responsible for the Republican Photo ID/Voter Suppression effort.

We'll also be giving away some stuff to callers, such as a signed Duhmocracy CD and a signed Uncounted DVD. So join us, and call in with your questions at: 818-985-5735.

Tune in live from 2p-3p PT (4p-5p CT, 5p-6p ET) on air in Los Angeles at 90.7 FM, in Santa Barbara at 98.7 FM, or listen live online right here.

P.S. After the show, I'll be a guest on Voice of the Voters w/ Mary Ann Gould at 4pm PT, and then on People Speak Radio w/ David Swanson at 5pm PT. So it'll be a full day of BradCasting today! Hope you'll tune in...


Post-Show Update: We had another very lively show on KPFK with Sec. Carnahan, and loads of callers. Here's the full archive (appx 55 mins) for MP3 download, or you can listen online right here...

Prices now slashed in The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive! Please support our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available starting at just $5!
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Where 'Last Ninja II' Was Cracked in Minutes, Warez Like 'Diebold GEMS/Accuvote' Will Surely Confound an Infamous Pirate Like 'Strider,' Right?
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2008 6:05am PT  
Any job applicant knows that background checks are routine – especially for jobs involving authority or oversight of money. So why didn’t the San Diego Republican Party do a simple Google search before naming Tony Krvaric as its chairman?

...Or did they?...

Online research reveals that Krvaric is the co-founder of Fairlight, a band of software crackers which later evolved into an international video and software piracy group that law enforcement authorities say is among the world’s largest such crime rings.

...Well, go figure.

That skill set should come in very handy down there in, of all places, San Diego, where the far-right Republican Board of Supes, and the far-right Republican Registrar of Voters office, have never met a hackable Diebold electronic voting system they didn't love.

I recall "Strider" (Krvaric) and the "Fairlight" boyz from my own C-64 and BBS "warez" swapping days in the late 80's. Those guys, and the other incredibly competitive pirate crews, could crack anything, anytime, usually within minutes after a new piece of software hit the market (and often, even before it did!).

But no doubt, the air-tight, mission-critical, impenetrable security in Diebold's voting systems would be beyond the reach of d00dz like Strider and friends. And, of course, there's far more to gain by a 17-year-old "Strider" cracking the codes of, say, International Karate Plus and Shoot 'em Up Construction Kit than there ever would be for him, as county GOP chair, to hack an election in San Diego, right? I mean, what would possibly be the upside to that?

Miriam Raftery's excellent two-part investigative exclusive for RAW STORY (and for me, at least, a trip down memory lane) is here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).

Prices now slashed in The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive! Please support our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available starting at just $5!
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PLUS: Time to Watch Dan Rather's Report With the Sequoia Paper Ballot Whistleblowers Again...
By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2008 8:30am PT  

We've never been contacted by the makers of HBO's upcoming Recount film, which promises to be a theatrical re-telling of the 2000 Presidential Election Debacle in Florida. Yet, we'll chalk it up to one helluva/swelluva coincidence, that the preview for the film, as seen below, happens to use The BRAD BLOG's own personal "theme song," Stuck in the Middle With You. Go figure...


HBO's film begins airing May 25, and while we hate to give away the ending, Al Gore won [PDF].

Of course, that's only if one bothers to count all of the ballots actually successfully cast (if not counted) in the state of Florida, as a media and academic consortium did, as seen at the link above, revealing that by every possible chad-counting standard (hanging, pregnant, swinging, etc.) Al Gore received more votes than George W. Bush. Period.

That might help to explain why Bush had to go to his friends on the Supreme Court to get them not to allow the ballots to be counted, in one of the most remarkably liberal acts of judicial activism, undercutting states' rights, in the history of this nation.

But we're guessing the film has that other, less accurate ending, implying that Bush actual "won" Florida (which he didn't).

In either case, since the myths of the FL 2000 election are likely to be re-debated afresh with the release of HBO's film, we wanted to a) Offer the link above (showing that Gore received more votes in FL than Bush) and b) Remind you, and the entirety of the corporate mainstream media, which ignored it when the following report first aired, that the chads on those ballots in Florida hung for a reason. As 7 former employees of Sequoia Voting Systems, the company which produced FL's paper ballots in 2000, attest on-camera, they were forced by company superiors to use inferior paper for those ballots, only the ones going to Florida, and were further ordered to misalign the chads on those paper ballots, but only for those going to Dem stronghold Palm Beach County.

That, after decades of producing ballots which never featured a hanging chad.

If you've yet to see it, here's the mind-blowing section of Dan Rather's remarkable HDNet report which aired last summer, but was picked up by absolutely nobody in the CMSM thereafter. If you can't watch the following, the transcript is posted here. But if you've not seen this one yet, please prepare to be amazed, and appalled...

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

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The Perfect Gift for the Careful, Discriminating Hacker...
By Brad Friedman on 4/29/2008 12:24pm PT  

Sure, Diebold voting systems have been easily hacked again and again. Sure, they use the same hotel mini-bar key for all of them. Sure, they posted the key online so folks could make their own at home. Sure, they leave their poorly written source code on the Internet for folks to download and study it. And, sure, there are many videos (e.g., here and here) to help you through those final steps, in order to successfully hack them yourself.

Still, there's nothing like hands-on practice, in the privacy of your home, to make sure you get everything just right before the big day comes. So, might we suggest this lovely new Diebold/Premier Accuvote OSx voting system, currently available to the highest bidder at eBay?

Hey Election Officials and Voting Machines Companies: How's that whole "security by obscurity" thing going? Might we suggest security by transparency and full citizen oversight instead? Oh, that's right. We have. Many times. But please feel free to continue to ignore us.

(Hat-tip to Melissa Urda, of the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project, where, btw, almost the exact same Diebold Accuvote systems are currently used in 64 of Illinois' 111 counties, not to mention thousands more around the country. So, run don't walk over to eBay, sez us!)

Prices now slashed in The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive! Please support our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available starting at just $5!
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Polling Place Photo ID Restrictions in Indiana Upheld by SCOTUS in Courageous and Historic Dredd Scott-like Decision
But Why Stop at Keeping Black and Elderly Fraudsters from Stealing Elections?...
By Brad Friedman on 4/28/2008 3:22pm PT  

As the great voting rights advocate, Rush Limbaugh, trumpeted at the beginning of his radio show this morning, today's 6 to 3 Supreme Court ruling allowing new, modern restrictions regarding which citizens may or may not cast votes at American polling places on Election Day, is "a huge, huge, huge move forward to undercut Democrat efforts to commit voter fraud this fall."

Fortunately, instead of coming in June as expected, this decision on an Indiana Photo ID restriction case comes just in time to prevent massive voter fraud at the polls in Indiana's Democratic Primary two weeks from now, when millions of fraudulent Democratic voters were almost certainly plotting to try and show up to vote on electronic voting systems on which it's impossible to prove one way or another whether they did or didn't vote the way the machines will tell us they did. With voting systems like those in use across the Hoosier State, and elsewhere around the country, it's all the more reason to ensure those Democrats can't show up and commit the fraud they were probably planning to engage in on May 6th!

The news is certainly the most important SCOTUS decision pertaining to elections since the triumphant, well-considered, and much-beloved Bush v. Gore decision of 2000. Today's verdict will undoubtedly be heralded and taught at American institutions of learning for decades to come, with the same reverence as that dedicated to landmark Supreme Court decisions like 1857's Dredd Scott v. Sandford ruling, which thankfully found that "people of African descent imported into the United States and held as slaves, or their descendants --- whether or not they were slaves --- could never be citizens of the United States, and that the United States Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories."

The Supremes have done it again! But no such important American political battle like that which was won today is ever fought alone. Due thanks must go to the long-fought efforts of countable simple citizens around our nation, concerned about the integrity of voting. We'd be remiss without noting some of the selfless freedom fighters who helped make today's great news a reality: Courageous, unheralded voices, such as those of "longtime advocate of voter rights" and Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, tireless Republican "voter fraud" information-wareness man John Fund, and Bush-appointed DoJ Civil Rights Division guardians of the ballot box, like Hans von Spakovsky, Bradley Schlozman and its former Voting Section chief, John "Minorities Die First" Tanner.

Thanks to brave men like them, and Mr. Limbaugh, of course, it'll be a new day at the polling place this fall! One in which, if Republicans legislators around the country hurry up and get on the anti-voter fraud ball, they can assure that millions of Democratic-leaning citizens won't be fraudulently mistaken for actual voters when they show up at their polling places this November.

But are restrictions that may keep just blacks and the elderly from casting a ballot enough to ensure the true integrity of our vote? Shouldn't we keep fighting to ensure that legitimate voters like you and me don't have our voices diluted by even more fraudulent groups out there, like gays, communists, and dead people, who every year change the results of election after election through their insidious anti-American efforts, because I say they do?

Read on for a couple of new ideas. Clearly, today's SCOTUS decision is a good start, but it hardly goes far enough to ensure that the right American voices are heard, as our founders intended! 14th Amendment, equal protection, blah, blah, blah, my ass!...

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

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Systems Made by Diebold, Sequoia and Hart InterCivic Are 'Still Going to Have Same Viral Vulnerabilities Found' During California's 2007 Study...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2008 3:29pm PT  

A bunch of world-class computer scientists testified publicly this week that "U.S. Presidential Election Can Be Hacked".

As stunning as that sounds, there's nothing new here necessarily to readers of The BRAD BLOG, other than the fact that outlets like the IDG News Service and PCWorld are reporting it --- out loud --- and that the computer scientist community, specifically those who have been studying these systems, are now out and out saying it --- in public...and out loud.

"The three systems we looked at are three of the most widely used around the nation," warned professor David Wagner of the University of California, "They're going to be using them in the 2008 elections; they're still going to have the same vulnerabilities we found."

Wagner was speaking about e-voting system made by Diebold, Sequoia Voting Systems and Hart InterCivic which he examined during CA Sec. of State Debra Bowen's independent "Top to Bottom" review last year. He "and his team found that they could introduce a computer virus to any of the three systems, which would then spread throughout the county and ultimately skew the vote count," the IDG News Service reports.

While our readers may be familiar with the above, our friend "DHinMI" and his fellow misinformed DailyKos front pagers may want to give this short article a quick look sometime soon. Particularly the part about paper ballots, and that simply having them is not enough...if nobody bothers to actually count them.

Here's the key grafs from the article...Along with a special clip for the dangerously misinformed/misleading dKos boys and girls...

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

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Has Given Story to 60 Minutes, Dan Abrams, LA Times, WaPo...All Have Failed to Report His Allegations While Covering Other Aspects of His Story...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2008 11:17am PT  

Still paging Dan Abrams...

The following email comes from Mark Crispin Miller, NYU media professor, and author of the landmark election integrity book, FOOLED AGAIN.

It includes an email exchange from yesterday with the finally-free-on-bond former Democratic Governor of Alabama Don Siegelman, concerning his allegations that his 2002 election was electronically flipped. (A rarely seen video interview, featuring Siegelman in 2004 discussing details of what he believes happened, is at posted at end of this article.)

Yesterday I emailed Don Siegelman, as I had a few matters to discuss with him.

Here's the crucial part:

At 12:12 AM -0400 4/9/08, Mark Crispin Miller wrote:

The other, more important thing is this: As you may or may not know, the one aspect of your long ordeal that the press has stubbornly refused to mention--or, I think, even to perceive--is the theft of that election in 2002. Like you, I believe that that was crucial; but the press, quite typically, won't mention it. Frankly, I believe that they, and most leading Democrats, are in denial about it, as its implications are too frightening. Just as they've looked away from all the evidence of vast election fraud throughout Bush/Cheney's reign, therefore, they've also looked away from the subversion of that gubernatorial race in Alabama. And so that chapter of your story is unknown to most Americans, even those who've lately heard the rest of it.

Here is his reply:

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

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Desperate to Stop the Deal, Sequoia's Owners Frantically Seek Funding, Legal Options, All of Which Have so Far Failed Enough to Lead the Judge Working on the Case to Regard One Such Legal Argument as a 'Conspiracy Theory'
Merger of Two Companies Would Likely Create New E-Voting Powerhouse, Face Federal Scrutiny, Come as Surprise to Sequoia's Current Clients...
By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2008 12:55pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman

As if Sequoia Voting Systems doesn't have enough trouble already, the company now needs some $2 million dollars in cash...quickly. Without it, it is likely to be subsumed by one of its nearest competitors, Hart InterCivic of Austin, TX, as soon as next Tuesday, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

In what could well be a major shift on the American election industry landscape --- and certainly on elections themselves in dozens of states across the country --- voting machine company Hart InterCivic informed the current owners of the beleaguered Sequoia of their intention to acquire ownership of the company in a move which could take effect as early as next week.

The attempted hostile takeover --- which, we've learned, has been quietly in the works behind the scenes since mid-February --- has set off a building panic among the senior management and owners at Sequoia, whose money woes had already led them to schedule a shut-down of their Oakland headquarters. That shop is to close within a matter of months, as the operations for the company are to be consolidated at its Denver offices.

The takeover by Hart is made possible in the wake of a deal made by Sequoia's current owners, SVS Holdings, Inc., with its former owners, the off-shore consortium Smartmatic. Smartmatic was forced to give up control of the company after the media and Congress noticed in 2006 that the company had ties to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. The officers and owners of SVS are comprised largely of previous Sequoia officials who took over the company after Smartmatic's failed attempt to find an outside buyer in 2006. The deal resulted in an agreement between SVS and Smartmatic for the latter to hold a $2 million note from the purchase. Smartmatic now appears ready to sell that note to Hart as part of a $16 million dollar deal which SVS has a contractual right to match within a 60-day period, ending on April 15th.

Sequoia is believed by election experts to be this country's third largest voting machine company, followed by Hart. The combined operation, should the takeover be completed, could well create a new powerhouse in the industry, displacing #2 Diebold/Premier, and coming up just behind the country's currently largest election vendor, ES&S.

Court documents obtained by The BRAD BLOG reveal that Hart notified SVS of its intention to purchase the $2 million note held by Smartmatic on February 15th, giving the group of owners and share holders of SVS --- including CEO and President Jack Blaine, and VPs Michelle Shafer and Edwin Smith (whose names BRAD BLOG readers may recognize) --- just 60 days to match the offer Hart had given to Smartmatic. As the deadline nears, Due Dilligence processes have begun, and are near the final phases of completion at Sequoia...whether company management likes it or not.

Hart's move has sent Sequoia/SVS executives into a legal and financial tizzy and --- perhaps taking a page from Hillary Clinton's campaign book --- the company seems to be throwing the legal kitchen sink at both Hart and Smartmatic in an attempt to nullify Hart's offer. Court documents reveal arguments that Hart's is not a "bona fide" offer that SVS is legally required to match. So far, however, those legal maneuvers, reflected by a dizzying array of motions and cross-motions, suits and counter-suits --- completely unreported by anyone in the media until now --- have all been summarily and soundly rejected by the Delaware magistrate adjudicating the matter.

Every legal effort by Sequoia and SVS to dispatch with the hostile takeover attempt has failed miserably so far, leading Vice Chancellor Stephen P. Lamb of the Court of Chancery in Delaware to even describe one such legal theory of SVS' as...(big irony alert!)...a "conspiracy theory"!

But while Sequoia faces a plethora of legal liabilities concerning their oft-failed voting systems, Hart InterCivic faces its own share of challenges with a pending --- and damning --- federal fraud/qui tam suit against the company, as unsealed late last month. Moreover, Hart's acquisition plan could face scrutiny from members of Congress and Treasury Department officials, as well as states across the country who thought they had turned over control of their elections to Sequoia, only to soon learn there will be a new owner, not of their choosing, of the secret software and devices which determine the results of their public elections.

While litigation over claims of fraud and failure in both company's voting systems await, so does at least one major prize to the victor of this grudge match: New York state's soon-to-be-completed $100 million deal with Sequoia...or maybe now with Hart...or...whoever...

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

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The American Prospect's Investigation Into The GOP 'Myth Of Voter Fraud To Purge The [Voter] Rolls Of Non-Republicans'
ALSO: The DoJ's John 'Minorities Die First' Tanner Has Found a New Job...
By Alan Breslauer on 4/5/2008 3:07pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Art Levine at The American Prospect has a new must read piece titled, “The Republican War on Voting: Using the Department of Justice, friendly governors, and its usual propaganda outlets, the GOP has propagated the myth of voter fraud to purge the rolls of non-Republicans.” Here's a small taste of it...

"Sharrard's cautionary tone was a response to the Republican Party's ongoing nationwide campaign to suppress the low-income minority vote by propagating the myth of voter fraud. Using various tactics --- including media smears, bogus lawsuits, restrictive new voting laws and policies, and flimsy prosecutions --- Republican operatives, election officials, and the GOP-controlled Justice Department have limited voting access and gone after voter-registration groups such as ACORN..."

"Unfortunately, progressives have tended to pay more attention to Election Day dirty tricks and to electronic voting machines than to a more systemic threat: the Republican campaign to suppress the votes of low-income, young, and minority voters through restrictive legislation and rulings, all based on the mythic specter of voter fraud..."

"Unfortunately, the public hasn't heard just how nonexistent the voter fraud epidemic actually is. While progressives have successfully challenged some of the most restrictive laws in court, they're still playing catch-up when it comes to combating the glib sound bites of voter-fraud alarmists. Republicans and the Bush Justice Department have cloaked their schemes under such noble-sounding concepts as "ballot integrity." The GOP's vote-suppression playbook features everything from phony lawsuits to questionable investigations to authoritative-seeming reports, all with the aim of promoting restrictive laws."

Levine also draws quite a bit (and links to some) of The BRAD BLOG's years-long exposé coverage of high-ranking Republican vote-suppression cappo Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and his GOP front-group "American Center for Voting Rights" elsewhere in his detailed report.

In related news, John Tanner, the man in charge of the Justice Department's efforts to disenfranchise millions of voters until he was forced to resign after The BRAD BLOG captured and exposed him making crazy offensive comments on video (see below), has a new job, apparently. Tanner is reportedly now a fellow with the Alabama Law Institute - which provides the Legislature with legal expertise in drafting and revising laws.

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

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Along With Some Very Kind Words About The BRAD BLOG...
By Brad Friedman on 4/4/2008 10:43am PT  

Sitting in this week for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, David Bender joins Ring of Fire co-host/attorney Mike Papantonio to discuss, in the first five minutes of the show, the finally-unsealed qui tam fraud suit brought by Pap and RFK Jr's law firms against voting machine company Hart InterCivic, on behalf of former employee/computer technician turned whistleblower William Singer.

In the following clip, which will air this weekend on Air America's Ring of Fire program, both Bender and Pap offer exceedingly kind words for The BRAD BLOG and yours truly. (Thank you kindly, gents.)

We had originally broken Singer's remarkable story back in 2006. Our conversations shortly thereafter with Kennedy, and then with Papantonio's lawfirm, led to the filing of the suit, alleging a host of improprieties and criminally fraudulent behavior by the voting machine company as they dummied up voting machines during sales presentations, and concealed known failures, such as the possibilities of lost and miscounted votes, in their systems.

Pap also notes, during discussion of the case, that the nearly-two years it had to stay sealed by law --- while the DoJ ate up time in deciding whether or not to join the case --- is unusual in and of itself. Normally, in such qui tam cases, the DoJ is given just 60 days to decide whether or not to join with the whistleblower on behalf of the United States. Pap also goes on to note what may, or may not, be a coincidence: the US Attorney in CO, where the suit was filed, was removed shortly after this case was brought in his district, but before the decision was ultimately made by the DoJ not to join the suit...For now...


UPDATE: Here is an audio version of the first five minutes of the show, for those who had problems using the video player above...

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Company Employee Performance Review, Included in Complaint Itself, Dispels Assertion Made by Company Spokesperson
Other Replies from Defendant Similarly Debunked by Documents Obtained by The BRAD BLOG...
By Brad Friedman on 3/31/2008 4:28pm PT  

-- By Brad Friedman

In a statement given to the media last week, in response to a federal fraud/false claims act qui tam suit finally unsealed last week, a representative from the defendant, voting machine company, Hart InterCivic, alleged the suit's whistleblower, William Singer, was a "disgruntled employee."

Employee "Performance Evaluation" records written by company management, included in the complaint itself, however, would seem to strongly contradict the claims of company spokesperson Pete Lichtenheld, as given to a reporter last week.

Additional claims by Lichtenheld, as reported by Kim Zetter at Wired's Threat Level blog on Thursday, are also dispelled by a document from the U.S. Dept. of Justice, obtained by The BRAD BLOG. The DoJ, after requesting and receiving extensions for two years, has finally decided against joining the federal qui tam suit, for the time being, allowing it to become unsealed last week, so that it may now move forward in federal district court.

The lawsuit, posted in full by The BRAD BLOG after it became unsealed last Thursday, details an extraordinary list of fraudulent behavior by Hart InterCivic, as related by one-time employee Singer, who alleges the company deceived Election Officials in Texas, Ohio, Colorado, and elsewhere in hopes of receiving federal monies as distributed via the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Allegations made in the suit include stunning revelations that Hart failed to test its products properly, and frequently at all, withheld information from prospective clients about the potential loss of votes in its voting systems, dummied-up machines, reports, and test results presented to clients in sales presentations, and much more in an attempt to win state and county contracts.

Much of the response to the suit by company spokesperson Lichtenheld, however, is easily dismissed upon examination of the evidence so far available in the case...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/27/2008 4:45pm PT  

Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman, at the center of an alleged conspiracy to take him down --- a conspiracy with an extraordinary body of bi-partisan evidence to support it, and Karl Rove's direct involvement in it --- has finally been released from jail pending appeal.

We're on a few other beats for the moment, so for the latest, we'll refer you to RAW STORY's coverage, where Larisa Alexandrovna has done a great deal of heavy lifting on this story over the past several months.

Our own numerous stories on this woeful tale, including an occasional exclusive or two --- and some still grossly-undercovered aspects of Siegelman's story, such as the electronic election fraud he alleges was employed by state Republicans to unseat him --- can be read here.

UPDATE: Dan Abrams' coverage of Siegelman's pending release below...


(Hat-tip for the heads up to The BRAD BLOG's Alan Breslauer, with balls the size of Alabama, as seen in the photo at top-left.)

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After Two Years, the Qui Tam Suit Against Hart InterCivic, Brought by Whistleblower William Singer with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mike Papantonio, May Proceed After DoJ Declines to Join Case
Download the Full Complaint here...
By Brad Friedman on 3/27/2008 2:50pm PT  

"The most serious thing any software company can do is not fully test its products," William Singer told The BRAD BLOG this afternoon about the federal fraud case he filed nearly two years ago, which has finally been unsealed by a judge as of today.

"To release a product for important purposes that has not been tested at all is quite shocking, I would say. Especially since it indicates that nobody can predict what, when, or how it might fail," Singer explained about the e-voting systems made by Hart InterCivic, for which he worked as a technician several years ago. "It would make a mockery of any certification."

Despite having some direct involvement in the case from the beginning, The BRAD BLOG has been unable to report any details on it for going on two years --- we haven't even been able to offer the names of the plaintiff or defendant in the case --- since originally reporting that it had been filed in federal court, due to the fact that it was under seal, waiting for the U.S. Attorney General to decide whether the DoJ would join the suit or not.

Singer's suit is the fraud case which originally made waves when it was first filed two years ago, with the aid of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Florida attorney Mike Papantonio, until it then went "underground" due to the legally mandated seal disallowing the plaintiff and his attorneys from offering any specific details to the public.

As AP reported today, the seal on that federal qui tam (fraud, false claims) complaint, brought on behalf of the United States by Singer against Hart, one of the big four American voting machines companies, has now been lifted, and the case may finally proceed as originally filed.

The BRAD BLOG has obtained the complete complaint and the judge's order lifting the seal...

• The full complaint may be downloaded here [PDF, 45 pages].
• The judge's order unsealing the case as of last night is here [PDF, 2 pages]

The second page of the complaint, which we are still plowing through, sets the initial grounding for the case...

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

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Checking 'Paper Trail' Receipts Against Touch-Screen Numbers, However, May Offer Deceptive Findings
ALSO: Random Audit Must Actually be Random This Time...
By Brad Friedman on 3/25/2008 12:35pm PT  

Ohio's Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is planning "a first-of-its-kind audit of votes from the March 4 presidential primaries, saying the outcome should help ensure the integrity of future elections," according to a report this morning from the Columbus Dispatch.

"Brunner is calling on 11 counties to volunteer for the audit, in which at least 7 percent of the votes cast in each county would be rechecked by hand," the paper reports.

That's good. But there are a couple of points that we hope she is well aware of, since such post-election audits can offer a deceptive result in a number of cases...especially on touch-screen machines...and especially in Ohio...

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

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