The story for which The BRAD BLOG was awarded a 2010 Project Censored award for "Excellence in Investigative Journalism" is "censored" no more. From the February 2010 issue of Maxim hitting mag racks this week...
w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
The story for which The BRAD BLOG was awarded a 2010 Project Censored award for "Excellence in Investigative Journalism" is "censored" no more. From the February 2010 issue of Maxim hitting mag racks this week...
In the November 2008 election, the tabulation of votes for California's Proposition 8 --- the controversial ballot measure which resulted in the repeal of marriage equality by, for the first time, amending the state's constitution to deny the rights of Californians --- was "probably corrupted".
That's the finding of a newly released study issued by a coalition of election integrity organizations, as based on their analysis of an Election Verification Exit Poll conducted in Los Angeles on the day of the 2008 general election. "An investigation is warranted," the study concludes, into the evidence which suggests a likelihood that either "fraud or gross errors" occurred in the tabulation of that specific ballot measure.
The poll was conducted on Election Day by Election Defense Alliance, Protect California Ballots, and ElectionIntegrity.org and was designed and researched with the help of at least one well known exit pollster, Ken Warren of St. Louis University's The Warren Poll, for the express purpose of measuring the accuracy of the reported vote count. It functioned beautifully in general, by confirming the results of most of the issues and races on the ballot. On Proposition 4, for example, which concerned a similar hot-button issue --- parental notification for abortion --- polling results and official election results matched within 2%, well within the expected margin of error.
However, for Proposition 8 only, the official results varied from the Election Verification Exit Poll by an average of 7.75% in the 19 precincts polled. In some cases, the discrepancy was as high as 17.7%. That is, of course, far outside of the margin of expected error and certainly worthy of further investigation by officials.
The creators of the poll, along with the analysts of the results and the authors of the study, seem to have gone out of their way to preempt the usual reasons for questioning and/or dismissing the methodology and findings of such polls. For example, as noted in the group's press release [emphasis added]...
The BRAD BLOG has long endeavored to fight back against the disinformation being put forward by the GOP "voter fraud" charlatans and fraudsters contending that massive fraud is being carried out by voters at the polls, requiring the institution of disenfranchising Photo ID restrictions at the polling place which would result in some 21 million Americans being unable to cast their legal votes, according to the League of Women Voters and most other serious experts on these matters.
Once again, a story out of Kentucky helps us highlight that it's election insiders, not voters themselves, who are, by far, the greatest threat to the integrity of elections.
We reported early last year on the passel of election officials in Clay County, KY, arrested for buying and selling votes, manipulating ES&S electronic voting machines without the knowledge of voters, and otherwise fixing elections from 2002 to 2006.
As their January 19 trial date nears, more motions are being filed by federal prosecutors. The latest, filed last week, alleges that two of the top officials charged --- one, a circuit court judge and the other, the county school Superintendent --- had been fixing elections for decades before their recent indictments...
Earlier this month, a two-month independent investigation of ACORN, by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, found incidents of mismanagement, but no criminal wrongdoing by ACORN, the favorite whipping boy of Republican scammers such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Fox "News" and the GOP itself. That investigation (full report here [PDF]) also found that the "sting videos" used recently against ACORN were highly doctored and manipulated.
Of course, readers of The BRAD BLOG know the Republicans' entire, long, sad, anti-democratic (small "d" and large "d" both) campaign is based on little more than the fact that ACORN registers millions of legal low and middle income voters who tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic (large "d") rather than Republican, and the GOP and their democracy-hating proxies will go to any lengths to keep those legal voters from exercising their legal franchise.
And today, once again, ACORN is cleared of wrongdoing vis a vis yet another independent investigation, this one by the Congressional Research Service [PDF], as noted in a press release from U.S. House Judiciary Chair John Conyers this afternoon (posted in full below).
Of most note to our readers, Conyers' statement points out what we've been pointing out - over and over and over again for years: "There were no instances of individuals who were allegedly registered to vote improperly by ACORN or its employees and who were reported 'attempting to vote at the polls.'" Who knew?! What a surprise! (At least to Fox "News" viewers, who probably won't hear about this report either.)
Also: "No instances were identified in which ACORN 'violated the terms of federal funding in the last five years.'"
And: "Recently enacted federal legislation to prohibit funding to ACORN raises significant constitutional concerns. The courts 'may have a sufficient basis' to conclude that the legislation 'violates the prohibition against bills of attainder.'" That finding is one that a federal judge also recently concurred with, when she issued an injunction earlier this month to keep the law from taking affect since ACORN had "been singled out by Congress for punishment that directly and immediately affects their ability to continue to obtain federal funding, in the absence of any judicial, or even administrative, process of adjudicating guilt."
Finally, according to today's report, Andrew "Drudge's Poodle" Breitbart's phony video-taped "sting operation" against ACORN may, itself, have violated the law in both California and Maryland, about which we might ironically recommend to prosecutors: "Capital punishment" for Andrew Breitbart!
The short press release from Conyers, announcing the new report's bullet points, follows below...
UPDATE: And coverage of the NYTimes burial of this report, now follows below it...
I'll be appearing for a Q&A in St. Louis on Tuesday (12/15 @ 7:30pm), after a screening of Patty Sharaf's award-winning documentary, Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story featuring both myself, and our reporting here at The BRAD BLOG on the Republican computer programmer turned vote-rigging whistleblower.
The screening is part of the traveling Burning Fuse Film Festival which hits Webster University's Film Series this week. Murder, Spies... will screen Tuesday, December 15 @ 7:30 in St. Louis at Webster's Winifred Moore Auditorium, 470 E. Lockwood, Webster Groves, MO, Directions/Map, More info: 314-968-7487.
Hope you'll stop by and say hello! Here's a flier [PDF] if you're in the hood and feel like helping to spread the word!
(NOTE: If you're not near St. Louis, or even if you are, but would like to support our work, we are still offering DVDs of the film, as signed by both myself and Sharaf, as premiums to supporters of The BRAD BLOG. We enjoy no corporate or foundational funding, so we appreciate whatever you are able to offer to help us continue our work. See this item for details...)
On Thursday, Nathan Barker of upstate New York's Gouverneur Times --- a far-Right online publication (featuring columns by the likes of Michelle Malkin, Oliver North, Chuck Norris, and all the rest of the wingnutters) --- filed a lengthy, and somewhat breathless, report alleging a computer virus had infected several of the new e-voting systems in first-time use during the November 7th Special Election in NY's 23rd Congressional district between Democratic candidate Bill Owens, Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, and Republican Dede Scozzafava (who dropped out of the race just prior to Election Day and threw her support to the Democrat).
Barker charged that a "VIRUS in the VOTING MACHINES" [his caps] resulted in "tainted results," "casting doubt on the accuracy of counts retrieved from any of the machines" used in the election.
Owens was reported to have won the election by a small margin on Election Night --- made smaller as errors were discovered during the post-election canvass --- before being hastily sworn in to the U.S. House just a few days later, in time to provide a crucial Democratic vote in favor of the health care insurance reform bill.
Barker's detailed report clearly offers a hard-right undertone, obviously in support of the Conservative Party candidate Hoffman. The article also advances several unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and features a number of out-and-out inaccuracies as well. A number of the piece's key allegations, though important, are also disputed by election officials, and at least one lead member of New York's election integrity community --- which is, itself, split between supporters of the new optical-scan e-voting systems and those calling for the retention of the Empire State's long-used mechanical lever voting machines.
Nonetheless, Barker raises a number of significant points and important concerns, about which The BRAD BLOG has been warning for years, often in the face of derision, notably from the same Rightwing circles crying foul now, who had previously dismissed such concerns as those of 'tin-foil hat wearing, sore losers and conspiracy theorists' despite actual hard evidence and scientifically-sound details proffered about such concerns.
It's somewhat amusing to see some on the Right, now that they have concerns about a close election, suddenly find religion on the very issues they'd derided as nonsense so stridently in the past. It's very tempting to either disregard them now entirely, or torture them mercilessly on that point. But we'll try to take the high road here since their central concerns, now that they've finally arrived and no matter how long overdue, have been ones that we've shared for years, whether or not they might have stood to adversely affect Democrats, Republicans or independents.
The bottom line is that whether a computer virus, malicious or otherwise, affected the results of the NY-23 Special Election or not --- we've seen no actual evidence that it did, and state officials offer a differing explanation for the e-voting system failures that did occur --- it certainly could have. The direct threat to democracy inherent in the concerns expressed by Barker (whether substantiated or not), underscore the foolishness of using such secret vote-counting systems at all. In New York --- where voters, in real elections, are essentially being forced to serve as beta testers of these new, federally-uncertified systems, made by a company with a long track-record of failure, lies, obfuscation, near-bankruptcy, secretive foreign ownership, election disaster after disaster, and dissembling to the media, as well as federal, state and local officials --- the foolishness is all the more apparent, unnecessary, unfortunate and a clear and present threat to democracy itself...
NY-23's failed Conservative Party Congressional candidate, Doug Hoffman, now says he was "forced to concede" (though it's not clear who forced him, and the concession, as BRAD BLOG readers know, has no legal standing in any case, and, as we noted last week, neither do the voters of New York for the most part, at this point).
But now, as it turns out, Hoffman has also discovered that ACORN stole the election! Not a surprise, given that a new public opinion poll finds that a majority of Republicans think ACORN stole the Presidential election, too! [Hat-tip Digby]:
But NY-23 and the 2008 Presidential election is not all that ACORN did! You can learn more about their stunning crimes (e.g., "ACORN is behind the Eggo Waffle shortage!!!") via #AcornFacts, the new topic that's taking Twitter by storm today...
Guest Blogged by Rebecca M. Abrahams
On December 18, 2008, Bush IT expert Mike Connell, a highly skilled pilot, was killed in a sudden crash while flying his small aircraft from Washington DC to his Akron/Canton home airport. The cause of the crash is still unknown and under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
For more than ten months, Connell's family has been coping with feelings of disbelief, anger and confusion and has many unanswered questions about the man they knew and loved.
For Connell's widow Heather, holding her husband's New Media consulting firm together is a daily struggle.
"The more I learn about the crash the more sick it makes me - the destruction of the plane. I found a pack of the I-pod ear buds in a tree. I'm obsessed with the Blackberry. I don't have the Blackberry. I have his backpack. I have his paperwork, his schedule. None of his paperwork is burned up. One of his prayer books burned on the outside. I think there was a lot thrown from the plane."
Although mainly un-reported, there's a great deal of controversy surrounding Connell's death - largely in part because he was the architect of many Republican websites including GeorgeWBush.com and GWB43.com, the site Karl Rove used for 95% of his email correspondence. Connell was also considered a key witness in the election fraud lawsuit King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association v. Blackwell. The suit implicates Former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth J. Blackwell, Karl Rove and others of 2004 election night vote rigging.
Attorneys in the case believe that Connell, who had not been accused of any wrongdoing, had firsthand knowledge about the missing White House emails and Rove's alleged wrongdoing with respect to the 2004 Presidential election.
His wife, and those attorneys, are not the only ones still focused on questions about what actually happened to Mike Connell nearly one year ago, and in the years prior...
The Wall Street Journal's cowardly liar and "voter fraud" fraudster John Fund appears to be running out of fresh "voter fraud" lies to feed to Fox "News" viewers. According to Media Matters today, in advance of tomorrow's gubernatorial election in New Jersey, expected to be a very close race, Fund appeared on Fox's Glenn Beck show and related an anecdote of supposed fraud now going on in the Hispanic community in Camden.
"People are going door to door in parts of Camden with Hispanics that don't have very much knowledge of English, and they're saying, 'We have a new way for you to vote, la nueva forma de votar; just fill out these papers.'"
Trouble is, the incident that Fund claims is going on right now actually happened in Philadelphia 16 years ago, as even Fund himself admitted in his own WSJ column published just hours before his appearance on Fox today...
For various reasons, now seems a good moment to mention that The BRAD BLOG was honored this year with a prestigious Project Censored 2010 award for our coverage of the mysterious death of the GOP's IT guru Mike Connell. Connell, for those unfamiliar with the story (see background links at bottom of this article) was in the process of testifying about his rumored role in helping the GOP carry out fraud in Ohio's '04 Presidential Election when he was then reportedly threatened by Karl Rove. Weeks later he suddenly plunged to his death in a single-engine plane crash just before Christmas last year as he was preparing to land near Akron, on his way home from one of his frequent trips to D.C..
Project Censored, based out of Sonoma State University, has been highlighting overlooked stories each year since 1976, and was recognized by Walter Cronkite as "one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured our newspaper and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism."
In addition to our "Excellence in Investigative Journalism" award from PC this year, as highlighted in their annual "Top 25 Censored Stories for 2010," I was also asked to write a chapter on problems faced by voters in Election 2008 for this year's book, Censored 2010: The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2008-09.
Co-Editors Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff have been kind enough to offer us a number of signed copies at a reduced rate so that we can offer them as premiums to readers of The BRAD BLOG to help continue our work here.
The 9,000 word chapter I wrote for the book is titled "Election 2008: Vanishing Votes, Disappearing Democracy and Media Misdirection" and includes sections named "And You Lose Your Vote! And You Lose Your Vote! And You Lose Your Vote!..."; "
First Worst in the Nation"; "America Flips Out, Media Barely Notices, Parties Barely Care"; "Democrats Nowhere to be Found"; and "Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain."
If you'd like a copy of this great book (Makes a great holiday gift! I'll sign it as well, if you wish!), chocked full of important, overlooked stories from the last year or so, along with follow-ups to them --- and a lot of real information on the story of Election 2008 seen here for the first time in print --- please do one of the following:
Your support is greatly appreciated, and tremendously needed, as we receive no foundational or corporate support for our work here! Your contributions are largely the only thing that keep us going! So thank you in advance for any help here!
Links to The BRAD BLOG's most recent coverage of the Mike Connell story follows below...
Guest Blogged by Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us
Notorious electronic voting company Diebold, which has been hiding its election division under the name Premier Election Solutions, has bilked California taxpayers out of more than $100 million dollars for its failed, faulty, illegally certified electronic voting systems.
California officials recently discovered that ALL of Diebold/Premier's voting systems violate federal, and thus state, certifications guidelines! These systems do some or all of the following in violation of those certification standards and laws:
Yet Diebold has falsely claimed, for years, they their systems meet all federal voting system standards. Accordingly, VR demands that:
1) DIEBOLD: RETURN OUR MONEY!: Diebold/Premier has accepted well over $100 million in county, state and federal taxpayer funds in California for services which the company knew it could not perform. With California's devastating budget shortfall of $ 45.5 billion dollars, we demand the return of these funds from Diebold. The purchase price for hardware, software licenses, and maintenance fees should be returned to the State within 90 days. If Diebold's announced sale to Election Systems and Software, Inc. (ES&S) becomes final, California must be fully reimbursed nonetheless, whether from Diebold or ES&S.
2) SOS DEBRA BOWEN: DECERTIFY DIEBOLD!: Diebold/Premier products, currently used in 20 California counties (and some 34 states across the country, by the way), violate federal voting system standards and must be immediately and permanently decertified for use in the state by Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
3) AG JERRY BROWN: PROSECUTE DIEBOLD!: California's Attorney General Jerry Brown must immediately launch a comprehensive criminal investigation into Diebold/Premier's knowing use and sale of faulty election systems that have undermined our elections. Further, unless Diebold/Premier, within 90 days, refunds to California all monies paid for its fraudulent software and equipment, we call on the State of California to file suit against Diebold/Premier seeking the return of funds for breach of contract and fraud.
Visit the campaign page at DieboldReturnOurMoney.com to send a quick email to Diebold (c/o the aptly-named company rep Chris Riggall), SoS Bowen and AG Brown. Over 400 emails have already been sent in the first 48 hours of this campaign...
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow continued her series last night, on the "purely political smear campaign" which ACORN has faced since registering nearly 2 million legal voters over the last decade. In the third installment of her continuing series, she focused on the ACORN smears over non-existent "voter fraud," which were at the heart of the U.S. Attorney scandal.
Before being joined by former Republican U.S. Attorney from New Mexico David Iglesias --- fired by the Bush White House because he refused to bring fraudulent voter fraud cases against Democrats, as we covered in exclusive detail in March of 2007 --- Maddow notes accurately: "No accusation has ever been substantiated that anyone ever registered by ACORN ever voted fraudulently."
She added astutely: "The Bush White House viewed voter fraud as the mother of all wedge issues. It's paying its dividends today, and remarkably, Democrats are playing right along with it."...
Maddow's excellent previous reports in this series are here:
Thursday: The truth about the extraordinary GOP lies and media failure concerning ACORN.
Friday: The hypocrisy (and unconstitutionality) of defunding ACORN while groups like Halliburton and Blackwater, which committed actual crimes, like murder and real fraud, still receive more federal funding in a day than ACORN has in its lifetime.
This is all much like watching a broadcast news version replay of the last 5 years here at The BRAD BLOG. And we're lovin' it. Thank you again, Rachel! Please keep it up! As "Annie" said in It's a Wonderful Life: "'Bout time one of you lunkheads said it!"
On film in Burlington, VT...
Though I won't be there in person, the travelling Burning Fuse Film Festival hits Burlington, VT's Roxy Theater beginning today through October 1, and continues to feature Patty Sharaf's award-winning documentary, Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story in which I'm featured quite prominently. Remaining screenings are: Fri 9/25 @ 1:15p, Sat 9/26 @ 1:00p, Sun 9/27 @ 5:00p, Mon, 9/28 @ 7:00p and Thu 10/1 @ 3:30p. If you've yet to see it, we'll strongly recommend you check out this entertaining and enlightening (if horrifying at times) documentary, based on our own years-long investigation of the Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney vote-rigging scandal. More details on screenings and passes available here...
(NOTE: If you're not near Burlington, or even if you are, but would like to support our work, we are still offering DVD's of the film, as signed by both myself and Sharaf, as premiums to supporters of The BRAD BLOG. We enjoy no corporate or foundational funding, so we appreciate whatever you are able to offer to help us continue our work. See this item for details...)
We spent a fair amount of time earlier this year reporting on the election fraud conspiracy scandal in Clay County, KY, where seven election officials were indicted on charges of conspiracy for rigging elections, changing votes on voting machines without voters' knowledge, and more during elections from 2002 through 2006. The officials included the district court judge, the county clerk, the school superintendent, and other election officials and judges.
As you've likely read by now, Bill Sparkman, a part-time census worker, substitute teacher, and local Boy Scout director was found hanged on 9/12 in Clay County's Daniel Boone National Forest (though the story wasn't made public until last night) with the word "fed" written across his chest.
According to AP, "The Census Bureau has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, pending the outcome of the investigation," and the incident has drawn many to believe it may be related to recent distrust of the Census Bureau by elements of the Teabaggers, as sparked by comments made earlier this year by folks like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Glenn Beck, and many of the other personalities who advanced paranoia about the possibility of 2010 Census workers being hired from places such as favorite wingnut whipping-boy ACORN, via outlets like Fox "News."
Despite fomenting by comments like Bachmann's "enough is enough" (as seen in the video at right), Sparkman's death having come on September 12 (the day which Beck had called for his "9/12 Movement" Teabagger protests in D.C.), and the letters scrawled on Sparkman's chest, there is not yet definitive evidence that the hanging was tied to the Bachmann/Beck movement, though the blogosphere is understandably abuzz about it today.
As we spent quite a bit of time speaking to folks in Clay County last March while covering the election fraud scandal, we learned a bit about what's been going on there over the last several years. The hanging could be as much related to those events, and more that preceded them, as to Bachmann/Beck's ill-considered fear-mongering, even as that recent fear-mongering may well have served to inflame the local residents' already-inherent distrust of federal authorities...
The FBI and state authorities were making arrests Wednesday. The workers being sought were hired to register voters by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.
Prosecutors say they were first notified by ACORN about problems with workers in June 2008.
Republicans and conservative activists have accused ACORN of fraud in voter registration drives around the country. ACORN officials say the Florida case proves the organization is committed to an honest process.
The case involved nearly 900 fraudulent voter cards in the Homestead area.
Prosecutors notified in June of 2008? But nobody bothered to point that out publicly until now? Go figure.
Of course, for those Fox "News" viewers who don't already know, virtually every one of the handful of ACORN workers (out of some 13,000 employees) who were arrested for defrauding the organization, were turned in to officials by ACORN themselves. Here's some help for disinformed Glenn Beck fans. Yes, ACORN is the one that flags voter registrations themselves as fraudulent before turning them into officials, as they are required to do by law.
Contrast this case (and all the other ACORN-smear cases) with the one, among many, that Fox "News" (and the others) forgot to report and/or become outraged about: The arrest, and subsequent guilty plea of the head of the California GOP's own voter registration firm, Mark Anthony Jacoby of Young Political Majors (YPM), for voter registration fraud.
Yes, I had to personally break that news on Fox.
Oh, yeah, and for good measure, there's well-documented felony vote fraudster Ann Coulter who is even paid by Fox "News" to appear on their network regularly, even to this day.
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