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UPDATE: Compared Vote Caging With 'Caging Animals'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2007 10:28pm PT  

Tim Griffin, former Karl Rove protege, former interim US Attorney from Arkansas and felonious vote cager, finally answered some charges in a speech yesterday in Arkansas. Apparently, he welled up with tears at various points in his presentation --- "crying as he said he had no plans to return to politics," reported AP --- to the point that the person who forwarded us the articles on the matter, said we should "call him a wahhhhmbulance."

We'd never be so cruel as to say or report any such thing, of course. That, despite the thousands of voters that Griffin sought to keep from exercising their franchise in America in 2004. During a time of war, no less. All to benefit his Republican paymasters.

AP reports that Timmy says that he plans to stay in Little Rock to "open a 'bipartisan' public affairs firm." We're sure he does.

Concerning the vote caging charges --- the ones based on the pre-2004 emails he sent, with the subject line "Re: caging," which included spreadsheet attachments with the names of thousands of minority (read: Democratic-leaning) voters he'd hoped the GOP would challenge at the polls, including folks in the military serving overseas, by the way --- Arkansas Business reports the former US Attorney is in denial:

"Griffin’s remarks about reports that he participated in effort to suppress Democratic votes, using a technique called "caging," came in response to a question at the end of his speech."This is all made up of whole cloth," he said. "I didn’t cage votes."

Some evidence for the "made up of whole cloth" charges, including some of Griffin's email, is available in this earlier BRAD BLOG exclusive from Greg Palast, who tells us he may have some more comments for us tomorrow on all of this. (UPDATE: Palast's comments on "Tears of a Clone" now here...)

The audio of Griffin's full speech (bring kleenex) is below...

UPDATE: 6/15/07 ThinkProgress quotes more from Griffin's speech in which he refers to the "Internet stuff" about vote caging, and "made jokes comparing caging to tending zoo animals" [emphasis TP's]:

Obviously, I’ve seen the Internet stuff about caging. First of all, the allegations that are on the Internet and have spread through the tabloids are completely and absolutely false, number one. And ridiculous. Caging, as you may know, I had it looked up, is a direct-mail term for basically organizing returned mail. … And I’ll just say that it’s so untrue. … This is all made up and faux pas. I didn’t cage votes, I didn’t cage mail, I didn’t cage animals, I’m not a zookeeper.

UPDATE: 6/26/07 Video of part of Griffin's speech is now available at BRAD BLOG.

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Refers to GOP Operative, Mark 'Thor' Hearne, by Name as Source of 'Information'
Hearne and His Disinfo Operatives Need to be Subpeonaed Immediately...
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2007 8:05am PT  


This is exactly why Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and his "voter fraud" scamming buddies need to be called in, under oath --- with subpoenas if necessary --- before a Congressional committee. And pronto. The garbage they've been circulating for years is still taken "as gospel" by the Bush Dead Enders.

Here's one of them. Peter Kirsanow, appointed by Bush in 2001 to the US Commission on Civil Rights. Laura McGann has more details on this clown. But at left is the video of this clown's Senate testimony from last Thursday --- even after all of this stuff has been completely discredited --- repeating the same garbage, known well enough for him to repeat it a mile-a-minute, in a hearing concerning intimidation at the polls.

And yes, you read that right. This guy is on the US Commission on Civil Rights. The entire system has been compromised. It's time to haul in the ACVR bunch and get them on the record, to find out exactly "whodunnit." For example, the ACVR had nearly a million dollars to operate their "non-partisan" tax-exempt outfit in order to generate propaganda for chumps like Kirsanow to puke up in official hearings. That was the plan --- even while they lied about it on their tax forms --- and it's still working like a charm.

Before he became a "non-partisan" "voting rights" advocate, Hearne was the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04, Inc. He was recognized --- by name --- by Karl Rove when he spoke at a Republic National Lawyers Association event in April of 2006, thanking them for their "work on clean elections" in 2000, 2002, and 2004.

So where did Thor get his million dollars for his now shut down and discredited organization? We still don't know, because nobody has ever asked them under oath.

Anybody in the House or Senate Judiciary Committees paying attention here and feel like finding out?

...CONTACT...
House Judiciary Committee
Senate Judiciary Committee

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR "Voter Fraud" scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2007 6:11pm PT  

Voter Fraud zealot Bradley Schlozman takes his do-over concerning testimony he gave last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning his assertion (made 10 times in all), that it was Craig Donsanto of the Election Crimes division at the DoJ's Public Integrity unit who gave him the go ahead to bring voter fraud charges in Missouri days before last November's election. The indictments were in strict violation of the DoJ's written policies --- written by Donsanto, in fact --- that bar such indictments at times that they may have an impact on an election.

Says Schlozzie, in his freshly-filed and obviously-forced about face: "I want to be clear that, while I relied on the consultation with, and suggestions of, the Election Crimes Branch in bringing the indictments when I did, I take full responsibility for the decision to move forward with the prosecutions related to ACORN while I was the interim U.S. Attorney."


To which Sen. Leahy --- who pressed Schlozman hard on this precise point in a memorably heated exchange during the hearing (see angry video at left)-- says: "It is deeply troubling that after weeks of preparation Mr. Schlozman appears to have misled the Committee and the public about his decision to file an election eve lawsuit in direct conflict with longstanding Justice Department policy."

Also related...Hans von Spakovsky, Schlozman's GOP "voter fraud" partner at DoJ, comes before the Senate tomorrow for a hearing concerning his appointment as chair of the FEC. He had been previously recess-appointed to the position by Bush, but his Get Out of Jail Free Card is now up, and tomorrow he'll finally face questions on his role in gutting the Voting Rights Act at the DoJ against the advice of the decades-long experience of civil rights attorneys in the Voting Unit there. Five of those former DoJ staffers have written a letter to Congress urging them to reject von Spakovsky's nomination.

Paul Kiel at TPM Muck has many more details on both the Schlozman do-over and von Spakovsky's DoJ chicanery in advance of tomorrow's hearing.

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While Aggressively Enforcing Minor Provision of Law to Rework Voter Rolls, Purge 'Ineligible' and 'Dead' Voters
400 'Dead' Voters in Michigan Alone Complained About Being Kicked off the Rolls...
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2007 6:21pm PT  

McClatchy's Greg Gordon today:

Representatives of three liberal-leaning groups came to the Justice Department in 2004, armed with evidence that hundreds of public-assistance agencies had illegally failed to offer voter registration to their mostly poor and minority clients.Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act, which imposed the requirement, in 1993. But after these agencies registered 2.6 million people to vote in 1995-1996, the total registered plunged to about 1 million in 2003-2004.

Michael Slater, the Oregon-based deputy director of the national registration group Project Vote, said officials of the Justice Department's civil rights division showed little interest in enforcing that part of the law.
...
He said the groups' representatives told the Justice Department officials: "Look, we have physical hard evidence that states aren't doing this. They're taking their eye off the ball. We want to see some enforcement."

Slater said [Bush-appointee to the DoJ Civil Rights division, Hans] von Spakovsky listened quietly and then made comments to the effect of "hmmm" and "that's interesting," but took no action.

Emails from Von Spakovsky recently revealed that he was also busy strong-arming and attempting "deals" with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) on a number of issues concerning disenfranchising Photo ID poll restrictions around that same time. For his efforts in all of the above, of course, von Spakovsky would later be recess-appointed by Bush to chair the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). We yelled about that appointment back in January of 2006 when nobody was listening.

A sampling of the extraordinary disparity in numbers of voter registrations taken by government agencies under the Clinton DoJ v. Bush DoJ...

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

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(Imagine What We Could Have Done if the GOP Gave US the Million Dollars That Thor Had?!)
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2007 3:12pm PT  

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter/columnist Jo Mannies follows up on her report from yesterday on the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) "voter fraud" scamster Thor Hearne, the high-level GOP muckety-muck, below-the-radar "grass roots" propagandist, Bush/Cheney '04 national general counsel, and top-order Democratic vote suppressor.

You'll recall that yesterday's report from Mannies had paraphrased Hearne's comment to the effect of his "most vocal critics also are Web-based liberal blog sites." As it turns out, Hearne had actually mentioned The BRAD BLOG by name in her interview with him, according to what Mannies told us yesterday when she called seeking comment. As she hadn't been able to reach me the day before, she didn't want to mention us in that piece specifically until she was able to get comment in response.

For whatever reason, Mannies is the only member of the media right now to whom Hearne seems willing to talk since his operation was forced underground in the glare of the U.S. Attorney Purge spotlight. Hearne has refused comment to all manner of MSM-types seeking interviews --- even begging off, along with his other ACVR partners in crime, from an NPR piece yesterday which covered Hearne and his scam. (Their report kindly included a brief clip from an interview with us, pointing out that we broke the story on these cretins two years ago and have been keeping up the drumbeat ever since.)

Mannies told us yesterday that "Thor says he's in the spotlight because some of the blogs, particularly yours, which he mentioned by name, have put him there." So much for the old Republican saw about taking personal responsibility for oneself. But whatever. While she was unable to find the direct quote from her interview with him for her follow-up piece today, she did manage to name a few names in it --- ours.

Here's that entire follow-up from today's Post-Dispatch...

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

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'Liberal Blogger Brad Friedman' Interviewed in Report on Disappearance of GOP 'Vote Fraud' Fraudsters and Their White House Connections
Nobody from ACVR Agrees to Speak to Them on the Record, But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Says Thor Hearne Has Some Complaints About The BRAD BLOG...
By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2007 12:06pm PT  

Much more rolling still as the story continues to build on Thor Hearne and the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) scam that we've been covering since March of 2005 here at The BRAD BLOG.

Today NPR finally jumped into the game on the heels of last week's superb and detailed exposé of Hearne by Murray Waas at National Journal. (We've yet to cover that report, and some other ACVR items of late in detail, but we hope to soon).

I was contacted last week by NPR's Peter Overby and spoke to him on the record for about 30 minutes. Part of that interview was used in a report today on NPR's Morning Edition.

"One of the administration's staunchest advocates in the voter-fraud debate has simply disappeared," begins the report that details the ACVR's "short but busy life" and includes an interview with "Liberal blogger Brad Friedman [who] has been following the center since March 2005."

Overby was unable to get any of ACVR's formerly media-friendly spokesmen to speak to them on the record, and they report how the group seems to have scurried back underground since the U.S. Attorney purge scandal began to shine a spotlight on their vote-suppression activities and direct connections to the White House. NPR also notes purged NM US Attotrney David Iglesias's claims that ACVR "worked with the White House to forward allegations of voter fraud" and quotes Loyola election law professor Rick Hasen, who picked up on much of our reporting for his own widely-noted recent article on "The incredible, disappearing American Center for Voting Rights" as published last month by Slate.

Click below to listen to the NPR report in full, which is just over 4 minutes...

And again, we'll have much more on ACVR and Thor soon, as I was contacted today by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which ran a story on them today with references to "Some of Hearne's most vocal critics also are Web-based liberal blog sites, which several months ago began pointing to his ties to Blunt and a link to one of the fired U.S. attorneys — Bud Cummins of Arkansas."

Can't imagine which "Web-based liberal blog sites" they may be referring to, but, oh, wait...yes, we can. Post reporter Jo Mannies says Hearne complained about us by name, and though she wasn't able to contact me for comment before today's report, she hopes to have more on all of this tomorrow. And, most likely, so will we.

Until then, here's one of our initial reports connecting Thor to the Bud Cummins slice of the U.S. Attorney purge. It hardly takes a "Web-based liberal blog site" to connect the dots. But whatever they need to say is fine by us, as long as they bother to report it. At least it hasn't taken two and a half years this time.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR "Voter Fraud" scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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Once Again Removes References to GOP Gaming of 2000 Voter Rolls, Discredited GOP Claims of Democratic Fraud...
By Howard Beale on 6/5/2007 10:11am PT  

Guest Blogged by Howard Beale of Fired Up! Missouri

The Kansas City Star just can't help itself. When it comes to high-level reporting on the issue of the national GOP's attempts to politicize justice and steal elections with its phony "voter fraud" project, it seems there's no story that the Star's editors can't make mushier and more GOP-friendly.

Today the Star again does with a piece by Greg Gordon of news syndicate McClatchy what it did to a Gordon story from some weeks ago, refusing to print some of the most important facts underlying the lack of factual basis for GOP allegations of voter fraud.

Most notable in the Kansas City Star version of today's Greg Gordon piece for McClatchy is the treatment of the disposition of the Department of Justice lawsuit against the state of Missouri regarding voter rolls. Of the suit, Gordon writes (emphasis added):

In late 2005, the department sued Missouri's Democratic secretary of state, Robin Carnahan, charging that her state had failed to eliminate ineligible voters from registration rolls. A federal judge threw out the suit this spring, noting that the registration lists were controlled by county registrars over whom Carnahan had little authority and the Justice Department had presented no evidence of fraud.

The KCStar's rewrite of that graf rips out its substantive guts. The McClatchy-owned Star goes with this GOP-friendlier construction instead...

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

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'These Republican schemes are not just undemocratic, they're un-American,' Says Statement Released Today
Troops 'shouldn't have to fight for their right to vote when they come home'
By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2007 7:25pm PT  

Following up on our earlier piece, praising the DNC for their media release concerning vote caging issues, we find this superb and scathing condemnation also released today by the DNC, headlined "Bush Administration Owes Apology Over Assault on Voting Rights"...

Donna Brazile, Chair of the Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute, joined the Chairs of the DNC's Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, AAPI Caucus, Seniors Coordinating Council, and Native American Coordinating Council in condemning the Bush Administration's assault on voting rights and its politicization of the Department of Justice.
...
"The assault on voting rights is easily the most disturbing and inexcusable example of the Bush Administration's unbridled willingness to use the American government for the benefit of narrow partisan interests. The same voters targeted by these Republican efforts, whether Hispanic, African American, AAPI, or Native American, are all among those serving with honor in Iraq and Afghanistan. They shouldn't have to fight for their right to vote when they come home.

"The list of tools that Republicans have used to enhance their electoral prospects at the expense of our right to vote reads like a shameful litany from past eras: restricting access to voter registration, improper attempts to purge voter lists, the use of voting machines that leave no verifiable audit trails, criminal phone jamming schemes, discriminatory voter ID laws, inconsistently administered elections, and now we find out, politicizing the Department of Justice. These Republican schemes are not just undemocratic, they're un-American. The time has come for Republicans to stop playing politics with our fundamental right to vote, and for President Bush, Mitch McConnell, and the Republican Party to apologize to the American people."

The release goes on to list a panoply of Republican voter disenfranchisement efforts from FL to WI to OH to CO to NV and more. Kudos. Had they been as aggressive in their report on Ohio after the '04 Election, we might not be fighting our way out of the nightmare we now find ourselves in.

(Listen to my '05 radio interview with the report's Exec. Dir. Vincent Frey [MP3] admitting that they didn't find any fraud in Ohio, essentially, because they didn't look for any!)

And sadly, as Democrats seem destined to shoot themselves in the face with ill-conceived Election Reform bills in both the House and Senate, the nightmare will likely continue no matter what. As we've tried to explain to DNC folks many times, you can fight to ensure every legal voter who wants to vote gets to vote, but if those aren't counted correctly, it ultimately means absolutely nothing.

Nonetheless, we'll keep our eyes forward for the moment, and hope the DNC continues to realize the breadth of what has been going on, and what will continue to go on unless they do something about it and finally stand up once and for all for both American values and voters.

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Links to Slate Article in Media Release...
By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2007 4:55pm PT  

Even the DNC seems to finally have taken notice of the vote caging as mentioned in last week's testimony by Monica Goodling (and subsequently covered in some detail here --- most recently in this late-breaker last night --- if almost nowhere else, until yesterday's excellent Slate article by Dahlia Lithwick).

Describing her piece as a "MUST READ," the DNC issued an alert this morning linking to and quoting several excerpts from her piece. The alert begins this way...

MUST READ: Raging Caging

Washington, DC – Little attention has been paid to Monica Goodling’s revelation of Republican “vote caging” in her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last week. Goodling identified former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty and former interim US Attorney Tim Griffin, a former deputy to Karl Rove who was among the replacements for eight federal prosecutors fired by the Bush Administration and put in place without going through the Senate confirmation process, are believed to have been involved in the illegal practice of attempting to derail the voting rights of thousands of Americans. As Slate noted, “Vote caging is an illegal trick to suppress minority voters (who tend to vote Democrat) by getting them knocked off the voter rolls if they fail to answer registered mail sent to homes they aren't living at (because they are, say, at college or at war).”

No new information here really, other than the fact that the DNC itself is at least partially getting into the game. They have, of course, notoriously stayed far far away from aggressively contesting or questioning election fraud issues --- including even this vote caging business, which was first reported back in 2004 --- until (perhaps?) now. Even this much took them more than a week, since Goodling's bombshell admissions during her testimony occurred a week ago last Wednesday.

But now that a Republican has acknowledged it, we guess it's safe waters for the DNC to wade into.

What, us snarky? Anyway, we'll take what we can get, and are happy to see them finally on it. A little. Let's hope they continue...

UPDATE: Dems issue scathing release, 'Bush Administration Owes Apology Over Assault on Voting Rights." Good for them. Details here...

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House Judiciary Chair Tells Palast in Interview: 'We're Not Through With Griffin by Any Means'
Indicates Caging Operation Could Not Have Been Done Without Knowledge of Rove, According to Palast Team...
By Brad Friedman on 5/31/2007 9:58pm PT  

As reported previously, investigative journalist Greg Palast was scheduled to meet with John Conyers this evening for an on-camera interview for the BBC. His team, just out from the interview, sends this dispatch to The BRAD BLOG...

Rove Pick for US Attorney Resigns After Conyers Seeks Evidence from BBC

Tim Griffin, formerly right hand man to Karl Rove, resigned Thursday as US Attorney for Arkansas hours after BBC Television 'Newsnight' reported that Congressman John Conyers requested the network's evidence on Griffin's involvement in 'caging voters.' Greg Palast, reporting for both BBC Newsnight and Democracy Now, obtained a series of confidential emails dating from the 2004 presidential election in which the GOP operative transmitted so-called 'caging lists' of voters to state party leaders.

Experts have concluded the caging lists were designed for a mass challenge voters right to cast ballots. The caging lists were heavily weighted with minority voters including African-American homeless men, students and soldiers sent overseas.

Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee investigating the firing of US Attorneys, met Thursday evening in New York with Palast. After reviewing key documents, Conyers stated that, despite Griffin's resignation, "we're not through with him by any means."

Conyers indicated that he thought it unlikely that Griffin could carry out this massive 'caging' operation without the knowledge of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rove.

Griffin, who was chosen as US Attorney at Rove's request, has not responded to requests by BBC to explain the 'caging' memos.

For more on the caging lists, see Palast's BRAD BLOG Exclusive from last week, just after Monica Goodling's stunning admissions concerning vote caging allegations about Griffin in her House Judiciary Committee testimony.

Also see our coverage of Slate's article late this afternoon as they become the first MSM-ish outlet to give a serious look at Goodling's overlooked-by-the-MSM, yet bombshell statement.

Palast first reported on the emails from Griffin containing vote caging lists for BBC's Newsnight, prior to the 2004 Presidential Election.

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Admits MSM, Congress Inexcusably Clueless About 'Vote Caging', Draws Bead on White House, Gives Palast His Due
Says 'Last week was the first time most of us heard about vote caging. It shouldn't be the last.'
By Brad Friedman on 5/31/2007 7:07pm PT  

UPDATE: Late breaking news on Griffin's resignation from a Palast interview with Conyers Thursday night, now posted here...

As Tim Griffin, the former Karl Rove aide and "interim"-installed Arkansas U.S. Attorney replacement for Bud Cummins became the latest Loyal Bushie to take an indignant fall in announcing his resignation yesterday, the mainstream media --- well, Slate anyway --- finally stopped to take at look at what all this "vote caging" stuff is all about. You know, the stuff that we've been running around with our hair on fire about at least since Monica Goodling dropped her bomb in last week's House Judiciary testimony.

Slate's Dahlia Lithwick asks this afternoon, "What the heck is vote caging, and why should we care?" Actually, though that's the story's headline, the title bar in our browser when viewing the article indicates the original headline was likely the more apropos, "What the heck is vote caging, and why does nobody care?"

Following up on Greg Palast's Exclusive at BRAD BLOG, on the heels of Monica's otherwise-unreported bombshell, and the noise that Palast has otherwise been trying to make about Griffin's vote caging emails for at least three years, Lithwick's candid self and media appraisal is refreshing and appreciated.

Goodling was questioned about this almost not at all, nor did the media do much more than report the words of the former liaison between the White House and Alberto Gonzales...Meanwhile, liberal talk radio, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and the blogosphere went nuts. So, which is it: Is vote caging the most underreported part of this U.S. attorneys scandal or the most over-hyped?

One of the reasons the mainstream news reports (including mine) barely touched the vote-caging story was that nobody had any idea what Goodling was talking about. "Vote caging, what's that?" we e-mailed each other at Slate.

Sigh..."Nobody" may be an overstatement, as The BRAD BLOG scrambled to report the stunning revelation moments after Goodling's utterance. But perhaps we're still a "nobody" to Slate, even if we've been mentioned by name of late on their pages. And credit where it's due, that report was the first by an MSM-ish outlet to give the GOP's snake-oil front-group, the American Center for Voting Rights, its two-a-half-years-overdue due.

Still, given the rest of Lithwick's coverage today, we're happy to let bygones be bygones as slowly, but surely, the media begins to understand the import of so much that we've been reporting here --- with as much siren-worthy urgency as we could muster --- over these past many years...

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

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By Greg Palast on 5/28/2007 12:53pm PT  

*** Investigative Journalist Greg Palast replies to Internet commentary following his Exclusive Report filed here at The BRAD BLOG on Monica Goodling's testimony to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee last week, including her admissions concerning "Vote Caging" by former Karl Rove aide, now Arkansas U.S. Attorney, Tim Griffin.

Saturday morning, when most sensible folks were unfurling flags or taking their setters and children for a Memorial Day frisbee toss on the beach, someone using the nom d’puter of “DRATIONAL” was in his big sister’s bedroom furiously typing, “Greg Palast is Dangerous!” on her iMac.

Drat is quite right: I am dangerous, though not for the reasons in Drat’s screed.

So while the twins are off with the dog, let me respond between bites of this bagel, beginning with this immutable distinction:

There’s two kinds of illiterates in this world: those who can’t read, for whom I’m entirely sympathetic — and those who CAN read but WON’T, for whom I have no sympathy whatsoever.

Drat is of the latter. He (she/them/it?) has mounted a full-scale assault on the seven-year-long effort of my BBC and Guardian team investigating systematic suppression of the minority vote by the Republican Party and our latest revelation: ‘caging voters.’ His “evidence” is 100% limited to snippets of my conversations on talk radio or phone interviews, second-hand reports on websites and some musings of one of my good researchers, Zach Roberts, posted to this site.

Nowhere does he suggest he’s bothered reading the one hundred-page description of the attack on voters, including caging, in the new edition of Armed Madhouse. Shame that. Law professor Robert F. Kennedy Jr., using the book as a source, verified by his own corroborative work, found the matter therein convincing enough to call for putting Rove’s right hand man, Tim Griffin, “in prison, not in office.”

Picking up a book won’t hurt you, Mr. Drat, at least until Patriot Act IV goes into effect...

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

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And The No Longer 'Missing' Rove Emails Revealing the Cagey Scheme to Steal 2008...
By Greg Palast on 5/24/2007 12:20am PT  

UPDATE 5/31/07: Late breaking news on Griffin resignation from Palast interview with Conyers, now posted here...

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG by Greg Palast

This Monica revealed something hotter --- much hotter --- than a stained blue dress. In her opening testimony yesterday before the House Judiciary Committee, Monica Goodling, the blonde-ling underling to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Department of Justice Liaison to the White House, dropped The Big One....And the Committee members didn't even know it.

Goodling testified that Gonzales' Deputy AG, Paul McNulty, perjured himself, lying to the committee in earlier testimony. The lie: McNulty denied Monica had told him about Tim Griffin's "involvement in 'caging' voters" in 2004.

Huh?? Tim Griffin? "Caging"???

The perplexed committee members hadn't a clue --- and asked no substantive questions about it thereafter. Karl Rove is still smiling. If the members had gotten the clue, and asked the right questions, they would have found "the keys to the kingdom," they thought they were looking for. They dangled right in front of their perplexed faces.

The keys: the missing emails --- and missing link --- that could send Griffin and his boss, Rove, to the slammer for a long, long time.

Kingdom enough for ya?

But what's 'caging' and why is it such a dreadful secret that lawyer McNulty put his license to practice and his freedom on the line to cover Tim Griffin's involvement in it? Because it's a felony. And a big one.

Here's how caging worked, and along with Griffin's thoughtful emails themselves you'll understand it all in no time.

The Bush-Cheney operatives sent hundreds of thousands of letters marked "Do not forward" to voters' homes. Letters returned ("caged") were used as evidence to block these voters' right to cast a ballot on grounds they were registered at phony addresses. Who were the evil fakers? Homeless men, students on vacation and --- you got to love this --- American soldiers. Oh yeah: most of them are Black voters.

Why weren't these African-American voters home when the Republican letters arrived? The homeless men were on park benches, the students were on vacation --- and the soldiers were overseas. Go to Baghdad, lose your vote. Mission Accomplished.

How do I know? I have the caging lists...

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

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Says DAG Paul McNulty Withheld Knowledge of Tim Griffin's Involvement in Challenging Minority Voter Registration in 2004
Former Rove Aide Griffin Posted to U.S. Attorney Position in Arkansas...
By Brad Friedman on 5/23/2007 11:46am PT  

From Monica Goodling's opening statement to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee this morning [emphasis added]:

Despite my and others' best efforts, [Deputy Attorney General, Paul McNulty]'s public testimony was incomplete or inaccurate in a number of respects. As explained in more detail in my written remarks, I believe that the Deputy was not fully candid about his knowledge of White House involvement in the replacement decision, failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of the White House's interest in selecting Tim Griffin as Interim U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, inaccurately described the Department's internal assessment of the Parsky Commission, and failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in vote "caging" during his work on the President's 2004 campaign.

For the record, it's the practice of sending registered mail to minority voters, asking for a reply, and if one doesn't come back, the voter's right to vote is challenged either at the polls, or attempts are made to remove them from the voter rolls --- usually without their knowledge. Allegations have been made that this was done, based on race, in 2004, when registered letters were sent to the home addresses of African-Americans in Ohio, Florida and elsewhere. Most insidiously, letters were said to have been sent to U.S. troops who were away, serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, and thus did not (and could not) answer the registered mail. Their registrations were then reportedly challenged.

The RNC agreed to cease the practice in a 1986 consent decree in a court case brought after they had "tried to have 31,000 voters, most of them black, removed from the rolls in Louisiana when a party mailer was returned, " according to the Washington Post.

"The consent decrees that resulted prohibited the party from engaging in anti-fraud initiatives that target minorities or conduct mail campaigns to 'compile voter challenge lists.'"

Hopefully one of the Judiciary Committee Members will follow up on this, with either Goodling or in further interviews with McNulty or Griffin, who was Karl Rove's aide at the time, before he was later shoved into Bud Cummins' position as Arkansas U.S. Attorney.

UPDATE 2:45pm PT: The DoJ released a statement this afternoon from McNulty, in response to Goodling's testimony and her claims that his "public testimony was incomplete or inaccurate in a number of respects":

"I testified truthfully at the Feb. 6, 2007, hearing based on what I knew at that time. Ms. Goodling's characterization of my testimony is wrong and not supported by the extensive record of documents and testimony already provided to Congress."

More on Vote Caging Lists at Wikipedia. The key details follow below...

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

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Then-DoJ Appointee in Civil Rights Unit, Now Recess-Appointed FEC Chair, Tried to Influence EAC Reports on 'Voter Fraud'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/22/2007 12:50pm PT  

Following up on Greg Gordon's Sunday piece on former DoJ operative turned recess-appointed FEC chair Hans von Spakovsky, McClatchy has now posted the emails referred to in the article in full [PDF].

As you'll recall, the point we focused on when we covered Gordon's article was the apparent attempted strong-arming, suggested by the emails, of U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) chair Paul DeGregorio. Von Spakovsky was attempting to influence the EAC's reports and positions on GOP claims of massive "voter fraud" and the effects of legislation for Photo ID restrictions at the polls.

Von Spakovsky was concerned about the EAC's position and the "proper balance" (code word) being brought to bi-partisan reports on "voter fraud" and Photo ID, both of which eventually failed to give evidence of GOP claims of massive Democratic voter fraud. Such claims were being used by Bush's operatives at DoJ and out in the "grass roots" by their boy Thor Hearne and his "non-partisan" front group, the American Center for Voting Rights to game elections and media, and push for Photo ID laws (which have been found to be unconstitutional time and again.)

Both reports would eventually be altered and/or buried.

BRAD BLOG readers will also recall the many reports filed here concerning the partisanship and/or incompetence of the EAC, the White House controlled federal body which supposedly oversees our nation's electoral system. These emails highlight many of the claims we've made about inappropriate influence by the White House on the failed commission.

One thing which catches our eye in the emails right away is that von Spakovsky's emails were sent to the Republican members of the commission including DeGregorio, Donnetta Davidson (now EAC chair), and Tom Wilkey (EAC Exec Dir.), but not to the Democratic members. (Ed Note: See 5/24/07 UPDATE at bottom of article on this point.) We've covered both Davidson and Wilkey, and the failings of each, in some detail here at The BRAD BLOG in the past.

The notes were also sent to Republican aides of Sen. Christopher Bond in Missouri (home of the ACVR's Hearne), as well as Doug Lewis of the Election Center, a voting machine industry front group, which "the Dean of the DC press corp," WaPo's David Broder, recently referred to in a column as his favorite expert on elections, forgetting to mention that he's an industry/Republican shill. Can someone please put Broder out to pasture at this point?! And can the media stop quoting Lewis as if he's a disinterested, non-partisan "expert" on elections?!

Little time for the moment to report on the new specifics found in the emails, so we'll encourage you to give them a quick read (just 5 pages) and leave your thoughts here in comments. As time allows, we'll update this item with our own thoughts if possible.

But one quick point that we haven't highlighted enough lately: Voter Fraud is the term used to describe voters gaming the system on a retail level by voting twice, etc. It's extremely rare, as bi-partisan reports have shown time and again, despite GOP claims (that includes the EAC's own buried and altered reports that von Spakovsky hoped to influence).

Election Fraud, on the other hand, is the defrauding of elections through the administration of those elections, from inappropriate voter roll purges to gaming of voting equipment, etc. Evidence strongly suggests that the GOP's unevidenced claims of a "voter fraud" epidemic by Democrats may well have been forwarded after 2004 in order to deflect from the now-well-documented evidence showing GOP election fraud in Ohio and elsewhere.

Hope that reminder helps to clarify.

UPDATE 5/24/07: McClatchy's Greg Gordon writes to say that he believes that all of the commissioners, not just the Republican ones, were CC'd on the emails in question, but that those CC's somehow ended up on a second page and didn't get included when they created their PDF's of the actual emails. Due to the holiday weekend, unfortunately, he won't be able to try to find them in order to check for sure until next week at earliest. But he wanted us to note that there is a question about whether or not all of the EAC commissioners were actually CC'd, and to note his recollection that they were, at least on some of the notes. We'll update further if we can learn definitively one way or the other.

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