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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
Maddow warns: 'With this many top of ticket races tied, turnout will be everything...Now we watch for the ways that people will try to stop voters from turning out or from having their votes counted, by hook or by crook'...
Judge Fuller's Attorney Says Wife Beating Thing No Big Deal; 911 AUDIO and Gov. Don Siegelman Disagree
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
GOP Photo ID law, which lower court found intentionally discriminatory, is different from recent cases before High Court, say plaintiffs...
'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?...
Previous GNRs: 10/14/14 - 10/9/14 - Archives...
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
Trouble keeping up with the on-again/off-again court rulings on GOP voter suppression laws? Brad tries to make sense of it all for ya...
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
Son claims ISIS agents nabbed at Mexican border! Father, as BRAD BLOG reported in 2007, said non-citizens 'rounded up' and 'herded' to vote in CA!...
SCOTUS BLOCKS WI PHOTO ID VOTING LAW
Bad news for GOP and Gov. Scott Walker, good news for voters, as U.S. Supreme Court restores demoracy at last minute to the Badger State...
FEDERAL JUDGE STRIKES DOWN TX GOP'S 'UNCONSTITUTIONAL, DISCRIMINATORY' PHOTO ID VOTING LAW
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'...
'Green News Report' 10/9/14
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
Dems tout non-partisan government report to underscore need to fix Voting Rights Act, but there's more to story they aren't mentioning...
Federal Court Tosses VA's Ridiculously Gerrymandered Congressional Map
Ruling by GW Bush appointee is too late for 2014 election, but redrawn map could result in 2 to 3 new Dem U.S. House seats in 2016...
'Green News Report' 10/7/14
LED inventors win Nobel Prize; EPA regs slashed cancer risk 65% in CA; L.A. builds all-electric highway; PLUS: SCOTUS upholds (GW Bush's) EPA ozone regulations...
7th Circuit Offers Blatant FALSEHOODS in Ruling on WI Photo ID Voting Law
No, Photo ID is NOT required for boarding an airplane, no matter how many times wingnuts make the claim to influence a SCOTUS ruling...
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...
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
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

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
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

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
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

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
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Anonymous Blogger Offers Evidence-Free Claim That 'Left-Wing Activist' Academics and SoS Brunner 'Cooked Up' Report Results Showing All Buckeye State E-Voting Systems Vulnerable to Failure, Fraud, Easy Tampering...
By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2007 2:21pm PT  

The anti-democracy faction of Ohio's GOP party launched an extraordinary assault on the state's elected Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, following the release (BRAD BLOG's full coverage here) of her landmark, independent study of e-voting systems on Friday.

Shamelessly (an inaccurately) writing on the Ohio Republican Party's blogsite, an unnamed writer posted the following opening to a critique of the $1.9 million bi-partisan study [strikethrough included in the original]:

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner found some left-wing activists academics to issue an expensive taxpayer-funded "study" criticizing Ohio's election system.

"Left-wing activists"? Incredible. And wrong. And slimy enough on its own --- never mind the rest of the blog item, which gets even worse, as posted by an unnamed election terrorist from the Ohio GOP --- to merit an immediate apology and retraction by the Ohio Republican party, along with the outing and firing of whoever the official was who wrote it...

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

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Result of State's First Ever Testing of E-Voting Systems Find All Systems 'Vulnerable' to Manipulation and Theft by 'Simple Techniques'
SoS Brunner Recommends Paper Ballots Optically-Scanned at County Headquarters for Buckeye State...
By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2007 2:35pm PT  

The results of new, unprecedented testing of e-voting machines in the state of Ohio are in, and the findings mirror the landmark results of a similar test carried out earlier this year in California.

"Ohio's electronic voting systems have 'critical security failures' which could impact the integrity of elections in the Buckeye State," says Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in a statement which accompanied the release of the report today on the SoS' website. Brunner, a Democrat, was joined in her press conference (video now here), called today to discuss the results of the testing, by Ohio's Republican House Speaker, Jon Husted.

Brunner is calling for a ban on all Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems in the state, along with a ban on precinct-based optical-scan paper based systems, charging that the central counting of ballots at the county would eliminate "points of entry creating unnecessary voting system risk."

The State's bi-partisan "Evaluation & Validation of Election-Related Equipment, Standards & Testing" (EVEREST) report finds, as did California's study, as did virtually every other independent test of such systems, that violating the security and manipulating the "federal approved" electronic voting systems, is a breeze.

"To put it in every-day terms," Brunner said, "the tools needed to compromise an accurate vote count could be as simple as tampering with the paper audit trail connector or using a magnet and a personal digital assistant."

"The results underscore the need for a fundamental change in the structure of Ohio’s election system to ensure ballot and voting system security while still making voting convenient and accessible to all Ohio voters," said Brunner, who has come under fire from Election Integrity advocates for failing to act quickly enough concerning the voting systems to be used in next year's crucial election, as well as for failing to seek accountability for the exceedingly well-documented and now-infamous charges of election fraud and voter suppression in the 2004 Presidential election under her predecessor J. Kenneth Blackwell.

While the effort is long overdue in Ohio, actions being taken by Brunner, in light of the test results, are less stringent than those taken by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen after tests in her state. Brunner's recommendations, some of them quite puzzling, are likely to come under some fire in the bargain, from Election Integrity advocates in Ohio and elsewhere...

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

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The 'Diebold Whistleblower' Sees His Charges Reduced to a Misdemeanor, But Unlike Republicans Who Have Committed Far More Serious Crimes, Heller Continues to Pay
Reflections on Selective Criminal Punishment in Bush's America...
By Steve Heller on 12/2/2007 5:57pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Stephen Heller

I am no longer a felon.

In brief, I became known to some as the "Diebold Whistleblower" when, in January of 2004, I stole and exposed legal documents [PDF] proving that Diebold Election Systems, Inc. was using and planned to continue using illegal, uncertified software in their California voting machines. (By the way, Diebold recently changed its name to Premier Election Solutions, but don't let that fool you; it's still the same bunch of idiots.) Details about my case can be found here and here [PDF].

The documents I stole were covered under attorney-client privilege, so my theft was a serious crime. In February of 2006 I was charged with three felonies. On November 20, 2006, I plead guilty to one felony count of unauthorized access to a computer, and in exchange for my guilty plea and a restitution payment of $10,000 to the law firm from which I stole the documents, the law firm promised they wouldn't bring a civil suit against me, and I was put on felony probation instead of being sent to jail. The term of probation was to be at least one year, and as much as three years.

Now, one year after my guilty plea, because I've stayed out of trouble and because I'm a first offender, the judge has reduced my felony to a misdemeanor. Sometime in 2008, my lawyers will petition the court to have my misdemeanor expunged.

The bad part is that the most troublesome aspect of my probation is still in force. Before I can accept a job at which I would use a computer networked to one or more other computers (basically any job for which I'd be qualified), any potential employer must write to the judge in my case, tell him that they know about my conviction and that they still want to hire me, and then we have to wait until the judge responds with a "yes" or a "no" before I can accept the job and start work (and then only if the judge says "yes"). So as you can see, employers will be falling all over themselves to hire me.

Yeah, right.

Meanwhile, my wife (an actor, filmmaker and writer) certainly hasn't lost her sense of humor. She had been calling me Felonious Punk, but now that I'm no longer a felon, she's switched to Mister Meanor. Ain't it great being married to a comedy writer?

To be clear, breaking attorney-client privilege is a very serious crime, and I accept responsibility for what I did. I'm still being punished for it, and so far the punishment has cost my wife and me over $210,000 - and counting. $210,000 is an enormous amount of money to us. My wife and I have paid and are continuing to pay a very high price for my crime.

But, as we're not Republicans, we might have expected that.

Which got me thinking about other crimes in America that have recently been committed or alleged, and what's happened to those involved. Among the first of many, Lewis "Scooter" Libby comes to mind...

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

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From DREs to the ACVR to the DOJ, The Republican Alphabet Soup Blueprint for Disenfranchisement and Miscounting in Next Year's Election Has Been a Well-Crafted and Well-Funded Work, Long in the Planning...
By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman on 10/21/2007 5:04pm PT  

Special to The BRAD BLOG by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman of The Columbus Free Press

ED NOTE: The following feature was originally published in the Autumn '07 print version of the Columbus Free Press. The comprehensive aerial overview --- connecting dots from 2000 to 2004 to the outlook for 2008, as based on a wide body of years-long investigative reportage and exposés as collected from a variety of sources, including The BRAD BLOG and many others --- offers such a useful round-up of "our story until now" that we thought running the piece in its entirety here would be a very good idea. We hope you agree.

With record low approval ratings for the Bush/Cheney regime and the albatross of an unpopular war hanging from the GOP's neck, do you think that a Democratic presidential candidate will win the White House, get us out of Iraq, and end our long national nightmare?

Think again – the mighty election theft machine Karl Rove used to steal the US presidency in 2000 and 2004 may be under attack, but it is still in place for the upcoming 2008 election.

With his usual devious mastery, Rove has seized upon the national outrage sparked by his electoral larceny and used it as smokescreen while he makes the American electoral system even MORE unfair, and even EASIER to rig. Thus the administration has fired federal attorneys when they would not participate in a nationwide campaign to deny minorities and the poor their access to the polls. It has spent millions of taxpayer dollars to install electronic voting machines that can be "flipped" with a few keystrokes. And under the guise of "reforming" our busted electoral system, it is setting us up for another presidential theft in 2008.

Thus it should come as no surprise that our exclusive investigations into the firings of eight federal prosecutors who refused to execute Rove’s plans for massive disenfranchisement of Democratic voters reveal a pattern of illegalities and fraud aimed at reducing the number of minority, poor and young voters at the core of Democratic support. In the wake of major news breaks, two felony convictions have come from the rigging of the illegal Ohio 2004 vote count and recount that gave George W. Bush a second illegitimate term. Stunning new admissions from county election boards that illegally destroyed voter records will almost certainly lead to new convictions. And the multi-million-dollar electronic voting machine scam that made possible the biggest electoral frauds in US history is under massive new attack, with key states moving to scrap the machines altogether in a desperate attempt to restore American democracy – but with the job far from done.

Rove, Ney and the Undead

Indeed, the Rovian theft engine is far from dead. The media groundwork has already been laid out for the Republicans to claim that hordes of illegal aliens have registered to vote. The Bush administration has been caught ordering public agencies – possibly in violation of the law – to cease registering voters. In an April, 2006 speech to the Republican National Lawyers Association, Rove openly alluded to the strategy of demanding photo ID and purging voter roles of poor, minority voters just as had been done in 2000 and 2004. And, as always with Bush/Rove, there is much more beneath the surface.

All that has happened to challenge the GOP death grip on the American vote count has been reported in the pages of Hustler and on the internet at FreePress.org, The BRAD BLOG and elsewhere, and is being seized upon by a national grassroots movement determined to restore American democracy next year.

Nowhere has that movement been more in evidence than with the high profile firestorm surrounding Bush administration Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ firing of eight federal prosecutors without legitimate cause.

Evidence continues to surface from throughout the United States about this blatant Bush abuse of executive power. But we have traced the roots of the firings to an obscure Congressional hearing held at the statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, on March 21, 2005, and to a shadowy GOP operative named Mark F. "Thor" Hearne.

The hearing was conducted by none other than former US Rep. Bob Ney (R-18th OH). The once-powerful Ohio Congressman (who is now behind bars) was the godfather of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), the national boondoggle that mandated electronic voting machines for the American electoral process.

That the machines would cost taxpayers billions was a big plus for Ney. They would come from Diebold and other companies that poured money into Republican coffers. Thanks largely to the manipulations of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, these e-voting machine companies would help guarantee the GOP’s ability to steal elections.

Ney’s hearing featured a marquee appearance by J. Kenneth Blackwell, the Secretary of State responsible for delivering Ohio’s decisive 2004 electoral votes to Bush. Blackwell was a key operative for the Bush election campaign in Florida in 2000 and co-chaired the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign in Ohio...

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

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Five False Voter Signatures Gathered for 75 Cents a Piece in 2006...And Why It Matters in 2008 (And in Ohio!)
By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2007 5:32pm PT  

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen's Election Fraud Unit has just announced that felony charges have been filed against a Sacramento woman who appears to have forged the names of five voters while gathering signatures for a 2006 ballot initiative.

The initiative was sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), which hired the woman to gather signatures for a petition to get the initiative onto the ballot. She earned 75 cents per signature, netting her a total of $3.75 from the allegedly fraudulent signatures, according to the press release just sent to The BRAD BLOG by the SoS's office. (Complete press release posted at end of article.)

The signatures were excluded before the initiative qualified for the ballot, which eventually passed during the June 2006 election.

So why all the effort and resources expended to bring felony charges for such a paltry sum, for an election that's already over, particularly when the signatures weren't even used?

The reason, as we see it, is two-fold. And there are lessons to be learned from both explanations. And not just in California where powerful GOP operatives are hoping to gain enough signatures to put an Electoral College busting measure on the June 2008 ballot in desperate and cynical hopes of splitting the Golden State's electoral vote on a proportional basis in order to game the 2008 Presidential Election.

The new Secretary of State of Ohio would do well to take away the important lesson, once again from her sister in Sacramento...

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

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Is Ken Blackwell's Rape of American Democracy - as Enabled by the Corporate Mainstream Media - Now a Full Fait Accompli?
By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2007 1:34pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from somewhere in TX...

We've been largely off the grid for the last 24, and will likely continue to be over the next two or three days. At least. (On the road, with frustratingly spotty net access and several article deadlines looming.) So for now, we're happy to point over to AlterNet's coverage of the story listeners may have heard us cursorily break during a phone call from Ohio's Paddy Schaeffer on the air the Friday before last while we were Guest Hosting the Peter B. Collins Show from Houston.

Here's the lede...

Two-thirds of Ohio counties have destroyed or lost their 2004 presidential ballots and related election records, according to letters from county election officials to the Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner.

The lost records violate Ohio law, which states federal election records must be kept for 22 months after Election Day, and a U.S. District Court order issued last September that the 2004 ballots be preserved while the court hears a civil rights lawsuit alleging voter suppression of African-American voters in Columbus.

The destruction of the election records also frustrates efforts by the media and historians to determine the accuracy of Ohio's 2004 vote count, because in county after county the key evidence needed to understand vote count anomalies apparently no longer exists.

"The extent of the destruction of records is consistent with the covering up of the fraud that we believe occurred in the presidential election," said Cliff Arnebeck, a Columbus attorney representing the King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association, which filed voter suppression suit. "We're in the process of addressing where to go from here with the Ohio Attorney General's office."

Read Steve Rosenfeld's excellent report in full for much more detail and reminders of the raft of apparently fraudulent cases which these missing ballots may have helped to explain one way or another. Such as the "10,000 voters from several Bible belt counties who voted for Bush and voted in favor of gay marriage, if the results are true," along with the "dozen rural counties, [where] virtually unknown Democrats at the bottom of the ballot received more votes than Kerry."

As well, we're given a few jarring reminders of where else these missing ballots might otherwise have filled in so many still-unexplained gaps (all, of course, completely ignored by the corporate mainstream media for years)...

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

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Vote Caging Schemes, Plans to Challenge Voters Part of High-Level Bush/Cheney 'Voter Fraud Strategy'...
By Brad Friedman on 7/26/2007 2:16pm PT  

Blogged by Brad...breaking as I must head over to the studio to the Peter B. Collins Show today...

Bad news for the RNC. New emails reveal their "Voter Fraud Strategy Conference Call" just prior to the 2004 Presidential elections, with plans to use Vote Caging lists to challenge voters in swings states from OH to PA to FL to NM. The effort seems to have been spearheaded by Tim Griffin.

Truthout gets the scoop and the collections of emails, as based on a report from PBS's NOW to air tomorrow night. Here's the skinny...

Previously undisclosed documents detail how Republican operatives, with the knowledge of several White House officials, engaged in an illegal, racially-motivated effort to suppress tens of thousands of votes during the 2004 presidential campaign in a state where George W. Bush was trailing his Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry.

The documents also contain details describing how Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign officials, and at least one individual who worked for White House political adviser Karl Rove, planned to stop minorities residing in Cuyahoga County from voting on election day.

The efforts to purge voters from registration rolls was spearheaded by Tim Griffin, a former Republican National Committee opposition researcher. Griffin recently resigned from his post as interim US attorney for Little Rock Arkansas. His predecessor, Bud Cummins, was forced out to make way for Griffin.

Another set of documents, 43 pages of emails, provided to Truthout by the PBS news program "NOW," contains blueprints for a massive effort undertaken by RNC operatives in 2004, to challenge the eligibility of voters expected to support Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in states such as Nevada, New Mexico, Florida and Pennsylvania.

One email, dated September 30, 2004, and sent to a dozen or so staffers on the Bush-Cheney campaign and the RNC, under the subject line "voter fraud strategy conference call," describes how campaign staffers planned to challenge the veracity of votes in a handful of battleground states in the event of a Democratic victory.

Furthermore, the emails show the Bush-Cheney campaign and RNC staffers compiled voter-challenge lists that targeted probable Democratic voters in at least five states: New Mexico, Ohio, Florida, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Voting rights lawyers have made allegations of so called "vote caging," against Republicans previously. These emails provide more evidence. One Republican operative involved in the planning wrote "we can do this in NV, FL, PA and NM because we have a list to run against the Absentee Ballot requests, and should."

Truthout has a bevy of emails that I haven't been able to review, but we'll have the producer of tomorrow's NOW story on the Peter B. Collins Show tomorrow (which I'm still Guest Hosting through the end of the week) to discuss this story.

And yes, Bush/Cheney '04 Inc's national general counsel, who would later go on to create the phony "grassroots" GOP front-group, American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), was right there in the thick of it all...

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

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Another Resignation Leaves Only the Chair of Both the Ohio Republican Party and Cuyahoga's Election Board After SoS Demands All Resign in State's Most Democratic County...
By Brad Friedman on 3/27/2007 7:36pm PT  

One more of the Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), Ohio, Board of Elections directors, Republican Sally Florkiewicz, has stepped down this afternoon. Her resignation leaves just one member, the board's chairman, Bob Bennett, left to fight the demand by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner that all board members resign in the wake of a years-long string of elections disasters, two criminal convictions related to the recount of the 2004 Presidential Election, and a new criminal investigation which was launched last week into newly-revealed administrative election improprieties and irregularities in the county.

The resignation of Florkiewicz from the board of Ohio's most Democratic county leaves only Bennett --- who is the chair of both the Election Board and the state's Republican party --- to fight the order by Brunner. A hearing will be held next Monday concerning the complaint filed along with the SoS's resignation demands, after which Brunner is free to fire Bennett directly, according to state law. As ever, the members of Ohio's supposedly "bi-partisan" boards of election have always served at the pleasure of the SoS, who, for years, was the highly partisan right-winger and co-chair of Ohio's Bush/Cheney 2004 committee, J. Kenneth Blackwell.

Brunner replaced Blackwell last November after the former SoS was thoroughly rejected by Ohio voters in his bid for Governor.

"Regrettably, the lone board member who has refused to resign will face removal," Brunner said in a statement posted to the SoS website late this afternoon. As to today's resignation, she added, "It's unfortunate that Ms. Florkiewicz was unable to resign until faced with a complaint to remove her from the board."

While the board's two Democratic members resigned last week not long after receiving Brunner's request, an official in Ohio closely following the matter has told The BRAD BLOG that Florkiewicz exited her post today with anything but grace.

"The Secretary of State has decided to use the Cuyahoga County Board of Election to advance a partisan agenda," Florkiewicz contended in her resignation letter, "and I am not willing to be used as a political statement."

But one of our sources wonders how the request to remove "2 D's and 2 R's demonstrates a partisan agenda"...

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

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Robert Bennett, Ohio's GOP Chair and President of the Board of Elections in Ohio's Most Democratic County, Vows to Stay On
Growing Battle Underscores a Host of Other Myths, Disinfo Campaigns Concerning Buckeye State Election Administration...
By Brad Friedman on 3/19/2007 12:21pm PT  

Just out from AP...

CLEVELAND (AP) - All four election board members for Cuyahoga County, troubled by recount rigging charges and voting machine problems, have been told to resign or face being fired, a state official said Monday.

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said she called the four board members of Ohio's most populous county late Sunday, asking them to leave by close of business Wednesday.
...
Brunner, a Democrat, said new leadership is needed in the county before the 2008 presidential election. She said that if the board members don't resign by her deadline, they would face public hearings and removal.

The board's chairman, Robert Bennett, is also chairman of the state GOP in Ohio. His term on the board ends in 2010. The other board members are two Democrats and one Republican.
...
Bennett said Monday he plans to finish his term.

"We are making progress on our major goal, which is to restore voter confidence in Cuyahoga County elections," he said at a news conference

The issue comes in the wake of two Cuyahoga County Election Officials recently found guilty of rigging the 2004 Presidential Election recount and subsequently sentenced to the maximum 18 months in prison after they refused to cooperate with the state's special prosecutor, Kevin Baxter.

Both Baxter and the district court judge, Peter J. Corrigan, indicated they believed the conspiracy to game the recount was part of a larger, higher-reaching conspiracy. "It seems unlikely that your superiors wouldn't know what you were doing," Corrigan declared during the sentencing.

Brunner told the Plain-Dealer this morning that the convictions were "so serious that I don't think I had any alternative" but to request the resignations of the entire board. "It has to do with public confidence and perception," she said.

In a news conference this morning, Bennett vowed to fight Brunner in court rather than leave on his own accord.

Cuyahoga County's then-Election Director, Michael Vu, who was not charged in the incident but has since resigned, had previously admitted that sealed ballot boxes were opened and secretly counted prior to the state-mandated recount in order to assure the recount would not reveal any inconsistencies with the officially reported results. He has since recanted his original story.

After the recent sentencing, Bennett, who was ultimately responsible for overseeing the convicted elections officials --- supposedly one Republican and one Democrat --- who rigged a presidential election recount in his county said, incredibly enough, "the convictions are a travesty of justice."

The issue also underscores an important point we've been trying to make for years: Despite the claims by disgraced former Buckeye State SoS J. Kenneth Blackwell and his operatives (including Bennett) for the travesty that occurred in 2004, which suggest that Ohio's supposedly "bi-partisan" structure of county elections boards --- theoretically all comprised of two Republicans and two Democrats each --- prevents any partisan malfeasance, those boards and the officials who work under them have always served ultimately at the pleasure of the state SoS. That power and pressure were wielded frequently by Blackwell during his tenure, resulting in a host of not-so-bipartisan decisions and oversight from Ohio elections officials in 2004 and beyond.

UPDATE: We heartily recommend "OhioRebel's" superb citizen journalist coverage at ePluribus Media, with many useful additional details. Would that the non-citizen journalists were as thorough!

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Judge Says He Believes the Conspiracy Goes Higher...
By Brad Friedman on 3/13/2007 6:20pm PT  

From AP...

CLEVELAND (AP) - Two county election workers were sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for rigging a recount of 2004 presidential election ballots so they could avoid a longer, detailed review.

Jacqueline Maiden, 60, a Cuyahoga County election coordinator who was the board's third-highest ranking employee, and ballot manager Kathleen Dreamer, 40, each were convicted of a felony count of negligent misconduct of an elections employee.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Peter Corrigan allowed the women to remain free on bail pending appeal, but indicated he thought there was a more widespread conspiracy among election officials.

"I can't help but feel there's more to this story," Corrigan said.

And I can't help but feel the two election officials should have been sentenced to 18 years instead of months (though we understand that to be the max sentence), given the number of folks who have died in Bush's War since the 2004 Election and the fact that there were enough votes in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) alone to give the race to Kerry instead of Bush had the election been administered legitimately.

Just for the record, only 6 votes registered for Kerry instead of Bush in each of Ohio's precincts would have changed the result of that election.

Must run, so we'll refer you to our previous coverage when the two Ohio elections officials were found guilty in January for more details.

NOTE: Hat-Tip to "Ninepatch" over at DailyKos for tipping us off to the news of the sentencing. It's a rather sigh-inducing irony to get the news from dKos given it's proprietor Markos Moulitsas Zúniga had once shamefully banned all diarists, and purged their diaries, for daring to discuss and/or investigate the Ohio 2004 Presidential Election conspiracy. Thank you for continuing to make noise on these matters anyway those of you who have done so at dKos!

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Big Doings in the Buckeye Today...
By Brad Friedman on 2/6/2007 3:48pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

As is too often the case, the proverbial shit seems most likely to hit the erstwhile fan whenever we're on the road and unable to cover the splatter sufficiently. This week has been no exception.

There is much movement in Ohio today as Michael Vu, the Election Director for Cuyahoga County, where two Election Officials were convicted two weeks ago of having rigged the 2004 Presidential recount, has now finally resigned from the Board of Elections after what is hopefully his last failed election.

The official BoE statement generously says: "Michael Vu has chosen to pursue future career growth and will resign as director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections March 1 of this year."

In related news --- and speaking of failed elections and "future career growth" --- the office of the new Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, has now officially requested an audit of the SoS's office over the last two years as it was led by the corrupt former SoS and democracy-hater J. Kenneth Blackwell.

In addition to the $80,000 in bonuses given to employees on the way out the door, and the $250,000 settlement Blackwell agreed to concerning the 2004 Election last December (as we reported two weeks ago), Brunner expressed a new concern in her hand-delivered letter to the Republican State Auditor Mary Taylor: Shredded documents.

As reported today by the Columbus Dispatch:

Brunner cites five major concerns that prompted her request, including the revelation that a member of her transition team witnessed "many shredding machines in operation" while Blackwell was in office — and those machines are no longer in the office.

"We hope that this does not affect your ability to perform the complete and thorough audit that we request," Brunner wrote.

Blackwell shredding documents?! We're shocked! Shocked!

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Will be Questioned by Special Prosecutor Before Sentencing to Learn if Higher Ups Involved
RELATED: Kerry Drops Out of 2008 Race. In Advance This Time.
By Brad Friedman on 1/24/2007 6:21pm PT  

From AP...

CLEVELAND (AP) — Two election workers in the state's most populous county were convicted Wednesday of illegally rigging the 2004 presidential election recount so they could avoid a more thorough review of the votes.

A third employee who had been charged was acquitted on all counts.

Jacqueline Maiden, the elections' coordinator who was the board's third-highest ranking employee when she was indicted last March, and ballot manager Kathleen Dreamer each were convicted of a felony count of negligent misconduct of an elections employee.

Maiden and Dreamer also were convicted of one misdemeanor count each of failure of elections employees to perform their duty.

Golly. We're shocked. We wish we would have paid closer attention to that whole 2004 Ohio Presidential Election scam thing instead of ignoring it all these years.

Oh, wait, that was just about everyone else other than The BRAD BLOG, across the near-entirety of both the MSM and the bulk of the Progressive blogosphere.

That aside...as pointed out in the article, the two who were convicted in Cuyahoga County were still pretty small fish...

[Special prosecutor Kevin] Baxter said he intends to speak with Maiden and Dreamer before their scheduled sentencing on Feb. 26 to see if they wish to make any statements that might influence the sentence.

"We'd like to listen to them if they had anything to say, if anyone else was involved with this. We still haven't been able to determine that," he said.

A message was left Wednesday with elections board director Michael Vu.

By way of reminder, the recount --- the one that was rigged by Ohio Elections Officials --- came by way of the Green and Libertarian Party candidates, not by way of the Democrats or John Kerry. As well, the money to pay for the gamed recount was raised by folks on the Internet, not paid for out of the $15 million or so that Kerry reportedly had left in his campaign war chest after the "Election" in Ohio.

All of that, despite Kerry's continued and then broken promise to "Count Every Vote" in 2004.

These convictions occurred in Cuyahoga County, a Democratic stronghold of some 600,000 voters. Kerry "lost" the state of Ohio, according to the history books anyway, by just 118,000 out of some 5.5 million votes cast in the Buckeye State.

In related news, today Kerry decided to quit the 2008 Election, mercifully this time before it instead of afterwards.

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Another Suprise: $250k in Legal Settlements for 2004 Election, Helping to Leave Office $1 Million Short as New SoS Takes Helm
BRAD BLOG EXCLUSIVE: Memo Listing Bonus Payments to 19 of the Outgoing Buckeye State SoS' Office Pals, Legal Action May Follow...
By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2007 2:25pm PT  

Former Republican Ohio Secretary of State and failed Gubernatorial candidate, J. Kenneth Blackwell may be mercifully out of office in the Buckeye State, but it looks as if his former constituents will continue to pay for his atrocious tenure in the SoS office for some time to come. That, in addition to the price they are already paying, along with the rest of the country, by suffering George W. Bush who remains in office due, in no small part, to Blackwell's abhorrent mis-administration of the 2004 Presidential Election.

Last week it was revealed by the office of the new SoS, Democrat Jennifer Brunner, that Blackwell got in his last licks by authorizing some $80,000 in year-end bonus payments to 19 different staffers in his office. The BRAD BLOG has obtained a copy of that memo (posted in full at end of this article) which includes type-written payment amounts to 18 now-former employees, along with the hand-written addition of a payment to be made to Blackwell's obnoxious press spokesman and noted democracy-hater, Charles "Carlo" LoParo.

The previously unannounced bonuses, along with the additional surprise revelation that payment for a $225,000 litigation settlement made by Blackwell last December was suddenly due just after Brunner took office in January, has left the new SoS with a $1 million shortfall to meet standing obligations for the office between now and the end of the fiscal year on June 30th.

Both matters were a shock to the incoming SoS who said the discoveries made her "kind of sick, really" as her office has suggested to The BRAD BLOG that there may be administrative and/or legal follow-ups to the issues. The Toledo Blade's coverage of the news as it was revealed last week is excellent.

The legal settlement, according to the Columbus Dispatch, was apparently "related to a lawsuit filed in November 2004 against Blackwell and the Lucas County Board of Elections on behalf of voters who did not receive an absentee ballot and were not allowed to cast provisional ballots."

All of that, of course, as the trial began last week against three Cuyahoga County Elections Officials who are accused of having rigged the 2004 Presidential Election recount while serving at the pleasure of Blackwell under County Election Director Michael Vu. Despite massive failures in 2004 and just about every election in the county since then, Vu has yet to be charged for that incident or any others.

The Bonus Memo

The memo detailing Blackwell's farewell bonuses was signed by his former chief financial officer, Dilip Mehta, who approved $7,765 --- a full extra month's pay --- for himself in the bargain. LoParo's payment of $1,702, one of the lowest amounts listed, was added in what appears to be a handwriting other than Mehta's. That payment is earmarked, according to the memo, for "Carlo."

Naturally, it was LoParo who mouthed off to the media in defense of his old boss and the free, tax-payer largess he received from the state. He claimed the payments were "severance packages offered to members of senior staff," and that "depending on the severance package received, 10 members of the staff agreed not to accept unemployment benefits, which is a net savings for the office in terms of total pay-outs."

But a Brunner staffer has told us last week that 3 former employees had already filed for unemployment benefits. While they had been initially unable to locate any such "severance packages" last week, as based on the 'executive transition document' received from Blackwell, a spokesperson today has informed The BRAD BLOG they have now discovered the elusive "mutual separation agreements" that were signed by Blackwell and the former employees.

The office is currently uncertain whether they will be honored or not.

We're told the letters of 'agreement of mutual separation' also counter LoParo's claims that there would be a net savings for the SoS office for unemployment compensation that wouldn't have to be paid. The letters signed by the three employees who have already applied for such benefits, stated "that it is not intended to affect an employee's eligibility for unemployment compensation," according to Brunner's office.

"It seems Carlo and Ken are telling two tales that don't jive," the staffer wrote in a recent email in reply to our query.

The comments to the media by LoParo --- who also signed one of the "mutual separation agreements" himself --- are quite directly contradicted in the final graf of the agreement which speaks to the matter explicitly as follows:

This voluntary agreement allows for separation without a record of termination and is not intended to affect an employee's eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits should these benefits be needed.

As far as we know, however, LaParo has yet to apply himself for unemployment benefits.

For 'Outstanding Service Through the Years'

LoParo went on to tell a number of media sources that the money was "given because the secretary felt taxpayers had been given outstanding service through the years, and it was within his prerogative to dispense. It's not unusual and not unprecedented in the private or public sector."

It was unclear whether the disastrous administration by Blackwell of Ohio's 2004 and 2005 and 2006 elections were a part of that "outstanding service through the years."

LoParo took his usual cheap shots at anybody with the temerity to catch the office, yet again, with their hand in the cookie jar or thumb on the scale. "I would just have to chalk (Brunner’s comments) up to overall inexperience," he was quoted as mouthing off to several media outlets.

The staffer we spoke with from Brunner's office noted that the public sector is different from the private sector where such bonuses might be more run of the mill. "While these bonuses are not illegal," the staffer wrote, "in contrast to Carlo's contention that they are appropriate and customary, that is pure unadulterated balderdash."

Ben Piscatelli, a spokesman from the Ohio Dept. of Administrative Services backed up the assertions of Brunner's office. "It is not common for a state agency or elected official to pay bonuses, but there is no state law or policy that forbids it," Piscatelli was reported as telling the Columbus Dispatch today.

Despite LoParo's claims, however, The Blade reported they were unable to confirm any such similar bonuses handed out to officials in 2006 throughout the rest of Ohio's government at year's end:

The governor's and state auditor's offices said no bonuses were paid by outgoing officials at the end of 2006. A spokesman for the attorney general's office was still checking, but said he was unaware of any.

The treasurer's office did not return a call. With one minor exception in the Senate, there were no year-end bonuses for legislative staff in 2006.

While there were no such bonuses to speak of in 2006, other than from Blackwell's office, a report by Ohio's 10TV last week, said that 65 state employees at the State House received a total of $89,000 in bonuses in 2005. That, in contrast with the more than $80,000 in bonuses handed out by Blackwell to just 19 of his own staffers on his way out the door.

Legal Action Against Blackwell May Be Coming

Brunner's office has told us they intend to request an audit from Ohio's new Republican State Auditor, Mary Taylor "to assess the state of our agency now that Blackwell is gone." Whether or not Taylor will be willing to potentially take on one of her party's own local titans remains to be seen. Today's Dispatch article also quotes a spokesperson from the office of Attorney General Marc Dann, saying their "would look into the matter if someone asks."

We imagine "someone" will.

The memo containing Blackwell's $80,000 bonus list for 19 now-former staffers follows in full below...

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

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Devasting Video Editorial on the 'Unprecedented Scandal Threating to Turn us into a Banana Republic'
'If we are willing to send troops around the world to secure freedom at the ballot box, shouldn't we fight for that right here at home?'
By Brad Friedman on 7/7/2006 4:52pm PT  

I missed this a week or so ago when it originally aired, but caught it just now (hat tip Mary Macelveen).

Catherine Crier offered a devasting editorial recently on Court TV in regard to election integrity. Her piece was spurred by RFK's Jr.'s Rolling Stone exposé on the theft of the '04 Presidential Election, but covers a panoply of current threats to our electoral system --- described as "a full frontal attack on Democracy" --- including guys like Ohio's J. Kenneth Blackwell, convicted RNC/White House phone-jammer James Tobin and the Electronic Voting Machine Menace of Diebold and other private companies who have usurped our public election system.

Links to the highly-recommended video editorial titled "Defending Democracy: Can we promote democracy in Iraq while our own is under attack?" are at the bottom of this article, courtesy of David Edwards.

Here's a selection of extremely choice quotes from Crier's report...

Is this not an attack on Democracy? If 357,000 Americans were killed by al Qaeda, we would call that an attack on democracy and freedom. The press would headline such an event and it would shape our policies for decades to come. In a democracy, when 357,000 votes are effectively killed at the voting booth, what do you call it?
...
The national character of this scandal is unprecedented and threatens to turn us into little more than a banana republic, where candidates appear on the ballot in name only because the election has already been determined.

If we are willing to send our troops around the world to secure freedom at the ballot box for others, shouldn't we fight for that right here at home?

Partisanship has no place in this battle. For the sake of democracy...for the sake of America...it is time all citizens demand the sanctity of our election process.

With the November elections almost upon us, we haven't a moment to lose.

It looks like American democracy has yet another new champion in the mainstream media!


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

...CONTACT...
Email: Crier Live

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By Brad Friedman on 6/10/2006 1:36pm PT  

One might have thought that Ohio's blatantly partisan state election administrator, Republican Sec. of State and now-gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell would have hit his ethical rock-bottom long ago. But think again...

COLUMBUS (AP) --- Forty-nine of the 85 people who this year have given Ohio secretary of state Kenneth Blackwell the maximum $10,000 allowed an individual donor have done so since May 2. Members of Cincinnati financier Carl Lindner's family led the way by combining for $90,000. The maximum-donor list also includes Mitch Given, who is a registered lobbyist for Diebold Election Systems, one of the vendors of voting machines for election boards in Ohio.

In related recent news concerning the morally and ethically bankrupt Blackwell:

  • Yesterday he refused to recuse himself from administering his own election against Democratic Rep. Ted Strickland in November's upcoming gubernatorial race.
  • A month or two ago it was revealed that he had purchased stock in Diebold around the time he was deciding which voting systems would be used in Ohio (suprise, Diebold was one of the winning bidders!)
  • We'd list more, but we'd hate to crash your system with the impossibly long download of crimes that Blackwell has committed against the very voters that he was elected to serve.

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