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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, July 28, 2014
Bi-Partisan House to Obama: Get Out of Iraq
Overwhelming, if largely symbolic vote in the U.S. House, directs the President to pull U.S. troops back out of Iraq. Directive seen as stinging rebuke to GOP war haws in Senate..
'Green News Report' 7/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
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Record wildfires burn the Pacific Northwest; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
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Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A RW caller's admission to Brad on NC radio underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
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CA Ballot Prop to Overturn 'Citizens United'
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: CA gets tough on water wasters...
Kochs Radical 'Libertarianism' Broke KA
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George W. Bush appointee rules state system violates Constitution's ban of 'cruel and unusual punishments'...
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Divesting from fossil fuels; Germany gives $1b to climate fund; Australia carbon tax repeal; All-electric Formula E racing revs up; PLUS: Climate denier Murdoch...
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VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
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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
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DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
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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
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


'Blackwell Should Hand Over Reins of Election'
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2006 2:02am PT  

From NY Times' Op/Ed Wednesday...

Florida's Legislature, like Ohio's, is controlled by Republicans. Throughout American history both parties have shown a willingness to try to use election law to get results they might otherwise not win at the polls. But right now it is clearly the Republicans who believe they have an interest in keeping the voter base small. Mr. Blackwell and other politicians who insist on making it harder to vote never say, of course, that they are worried that get-out-the-vote drives will bring too many poor and minority voters into the system. They say that they want to reduce fraud. However, there is virtually no evidence that registration drives are leading to fraud at the polls.

But there is one clear way that Ohio's election system is corrupt. Decisions about who can vote are being made by a candidate for governor. Mr. Blackwell should hand over responsibility for elections to a decision maker whose only loyalty is to the voters and the law.

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By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2006 11:43am PT  

As reported yesterday exclusively by BRAD BLOG, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s exposé "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" on the gaming of the 2004 Presidential Election is now live at Rolling Stone's website.

The online version of the article has detailed footnotes for sourcing, etc., which Rolling Stone tells us are not available in the published articles to hit stands tomorrow around the country. The issue is currently available on newsstands in both NYC and LA, according to an RS spokesman.

Here are extended excerpts from the article...

###

Republicans derided anyone who expressed doubts about Bush's victory as nut cases in "tinfoil hats," while the national media, with few exceptions, did little to question the validity of the election. The Washington Post immediately dismissed allegations of fraud as "conspiracy theories," and The New York Times declared that "there is no evidence of vote theft or errors on a large scale." But despite the media blackout, indications continued to emerge that something deeply troubling had taken place in 2004.

Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad never received their ballots ? or received them too late to vote ? after the Pentagon unaccountably shut down a state-of-the-art Web site used to file overseas registrations. A consulting firm called Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states, was discovered shredding Democratic registrations. In New Mexico, which was decided by 5,988 votes, malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots. Nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment ? roughly one for every 100 cast.

The reports were especially disturbing in Ohio, the critical battleground state that clinched Bush's victory in the Electoral College. Officials there purged tens of thousands of eligible voters from the rolls, neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency. A precinct in an evangelical church in Miami County recorded an impossibly high turnout of ninety-eight percent, while a polling place in inner-city Cleveland recorded an equally impossible turnout of only seven percent. In Warren County, GOP election officials even invented a nonexistent terrorist threat to bar the media from monitoring the official vote count.
...
But what is most anomalous about the irregularities in 2004 was their decidedly partisan bent: Almost without exception they hurt John Kerry and benefited George Bush. After carefully examining the evidence, I've become convinced that the president's party mounted a massive, coordinated campaign to subvert the will of the people in 2004. Across the country, Republican election officials and party stalwarts employed a wide range of illegal and unethical tactics to fix the election.
...
In what may be the single most astounding fact from the election, one in every four Ohio citizens who registered to vote in 2004 showed up at the polls only to discover that they were not listed on the rolls, thanks to GOP efforts to stem the unprecedented flood of Democrats eager to cast ballots. And that doesn't even take into account the troubling evidence of outright fraud, which indicates that upwards of 80,000 votes for Kerry were counted instead for Bush. That alone is a swing of more than 160,000 votes ? enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.
...
Indeed, the extent of the GOP's effort to rig the vote shocked even the most experienced observers of American elections. "Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen," Lou Harris, the father of modern political polling, told me. "You look at the turnout and votes in individual precincts, compared to the historic patterns in those counties, and you can tell where the discrepancies are. They stand out like a sore thumb."

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2006 3:55pm PT  

The word "glitch" takes a rest, as the AP uses "hiccups" instead to minimize what happened in Ohio's Primary Election mess last Tuesday.

Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, who was on the Republican Primary ballot for the Governor's race, refuses to step down from the investigation which is just now beginning since manual hand-counting of ballots in Cuyahoga County was just completed yesterday (Sunday), after Diebold machines failed to be able to read 17,000 absentee ballots...

CLEVELAND (AP) --- The Ohio Democratic Party on Monday called on Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to remove himself from investigating what went wrong with the primary election in Ohio's largest county, saying the Republican gubernatorial candidate faces too many conflicts of interest to properly oversee the probe.

More...

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By David Edwards on 5/2/2006 1:13pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...
Audio in MP3 format...

After his major role in the theft of the 2004 Presidential Election, Secretary of State Kenneth J. Blackwell should be in jail instead of on today's primary ticket for Ohio Governor. If Blackwell wins in the primary today it will largely be because of the illegal use of religious organizations to manipulate the opinion of voters.

The latest edition of PBS Now maps out how the Republican National Committee and Republican operatives are using "patriot pastors", mega-churches, polarizing rhetoric and tax exemptions to create an illegal and unfair advantage against their competitors.

Due to complaints from more established liberal churches, the Internal Revenue Service is now investigating the illegal activities being conducted by the Republicans who have hijacked the beliefs of many Christian's for corrupt political purposes. The IRS has promised to step up its' prosecution of these abuses.

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(While Election Results Themselves Continue Un-Investigated)
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2005 2:27pm PT  

The oft-cited pollster Mark Blumenthal, who writes about all matters related to polling and its methodology on his Mystery Pollster blog, has posted the results of his analysis/investigation into what he feels may have gone awry in the Columbus Dispatch polling just prior to the November 8th election in Ohio.

We've previously reported on the final results of the five initiatives on the ballot in the Buckeye State two weeks ago - four of them part of an Election Reform package --- and the "staggeringly impossible" disparities, as we described them, revealed by those results when compared to the results of the Dispatch's final pre-election polling. To catch anybody up who hasn't seen the numbers, here's one set of them:

ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No

Blumenthal deserves kudos for his serious and detailed investigation into both the Dispatch survey's "long and remarkable history of success," as he describes it, and where he feels they might have gone so astoundingly wrong this year for the very first time. He points to a few changes in the methodology for the poll; the Dispatch didn't use the precise text of the initiatives in its survey; included an "Undecided" option for the first time; an examination of the data seems to show the poll occurred at a time that the electorate was in the process of changing its opinions on the issues; and finally that many voters found the text of the actual ballot initiatives to be long and confusing leading them to take the safer vote of "No" when they were not clear about what they were actually voting for.

Where he doesn't deserve credit is in his approach which presumes from the start that there must be something wrong with the polling itself --- but not the Election Results --- to explain the unprecedented disparity between the polling and the final results of the actual election.

As a pollster himself, he surely knows that it's quite simple to construct a poll in such a way that one can get back results which match just about any pre-determined outcome an unscrupulous pollster may hope for. Similarly, as with Blumenthal's earlier efforts to examine the disparity of Exit Poll Results vs. Final Election Results in last November's Presidential Election, his approach presumes from the get-go that the polling, not the results, are incorrect...and now we just need to figure out why.

Fair enough, in general. No doubt the articles we've written about the Ohio '05 election results, as well as the one from Fitrakis and Wasserman at Free Press, tend to presume that the election results are suspect, more so than the polling or its methodology.

The difference, however, is that while we welcome the search for reasons why the Dispatch's historically accurate poll might suddenly have failed for the first time in such an unprecedented matter, we have as much or more reason to be skeptical of Ohio's Electoral System which has been documented as full of unquestionable corruption and all-sorts of top-to-bottom malfeasance. Particularly over the last year or so since the Presidential Election.

In other words: Sure, we can, and should, go looking for reasons why the Dispatch poll might have failed so mightily for the first time in its history, as others (including Blumenthal) did with the Exit Polls from November '04 which also --- just a coincidence, we know --- failed so hugely for the first time in their history. We can likely find anomalies to somewhat explain what might justify a pre-determined conclusion that Election Results are right and Pre-Election Polling must be wrong. But why would Blumenthal, or anybody else, have reason to believe that scientifically run polls with methodologies developed and honed over decades, run by pollsters with (theoretically) no dog in the hunt, should be less reliable than an Electoral System being run on newly developed, newly introduced technology employing secret software that nobody inspects for validity or integrity? All of which is run on machines which have a tremendous and documented known failure rate and are run by partisan officials with not just a stake in the outcome, but whose very livelihoods (in the case of the recent Ohio initiatives, as well as last November's election) are at stake in the final results. ...

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

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More on Ohio's Staggeringly Impossible '05 Results
The Corporate Media Continues to Not Care, But a Rightwing Blogger Finally Does...
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2005 12:16pm PT  

The Corporate Mainstream Media may not give a damn about our democracy. Neither might the bulk of our politicians on both the Left and Right side of the aisle. But clearly the citizens do, and even one rightwing blogger who has recently seen at least some of the light...

The response to our article on the "staggeringly impossible" results of last week's election in Ohio on several Election Reform initiatives which would have struck deep into the heart of far-right Republican Ohio Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has been notable to say the least.

We felt the report was notable enough that we decided to cross-post it both at BRAD BLOG and at HuffPo, where --- though it was never added to the front page as a "featured blog" --- it has already received an extraordinary 93 comments as of this posting.

To give you an idea of what that story documented, here are the numbers from just one of the four Election Reform initiatives which all ended up failing by numbers which defy reasonable explanation when compared to the historically accurate Columbus Dispatch poll, completed and published just days before the Election in the Buckeye state:

ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No

The results on that issue alone was so far askew that it was enough to give the usually dubious Mark Blumenthal of Mystery Pollster pause enough to comment, "These results had MP seriously wondering whether the pollsters or election officials had mistakenly transposed 'yes' and 'no' in their tables."

See the original post for a comparison of Polling vs Final Results for all of the initatives, but suffice to say while the one above was the most inexplicably out-of-whack, the others, with the exception of Issue 1 --- which was the only one supported by Ohio's Republican Governor and on which the Dispatch poll was virtually right on the money on "Yes" voters --- all of the initiative Final Results bring the entire election machinery in Ohio once again under deservedly fresh scrutiny.

(We'll remind you that Ohio's results in the '04 Presidential Election squeeker, where just 6 votes for Kerry instead of Bush at each precinct would have changed the entire result for the nation. And also that the results from that election remain completely suspect, largely uncounted, and never recounted according to state law even while several elections officials have either been indicted or remain under investigation for their role in gaming that fiasco...the one in the state which gave Bush enough electoral votes to claim the Presidency).

The original report we filed, discussed an article by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman of the Free Press in Columbus where they've been detailing an extraordinary amount of the election chicanery and "irregularities" under the iron-fisted rule of Blackwell, the Ohio elections arbiter and Bush/Cheney '04 Co-Chair in a state which is currently a snakepit of Republican machinery and out-and-out corruption.

Amongst the comments at both BRAD BLOG and HuffPo where the blog item was posted, a few, as expected, have knee-jerked that it must have been the Columbus Dispatch polling that was wrong, rather than the Final Results reported by the State which added brand-spankin' new, and wholly unaccountable, unrecountable, untransparent, and undemocratic Electronic Voting Machines for the first time in this election to 44 of its 88 counties. Machines which use secret software on which voters are asked to trust --- but not verify --- that their votes will be recorded accurately...or at all.

In addition to those 44 counties (41 of them using the same machines by Diebold, Inc. that the Republican Sec. of State in California recently decertified for their 20% failure rate), several other counties already use Electronic Voting Machines, and nearly all of them use electronic tabulating machines of one brand or another to count those votes.

We spoke yesterday to Fitrakis about the Dispatch poll's "historic accuracy" (which he described as "legendary" in our phone call) and about the various wingnuts who predictably presume the polling, instead of the election results, were wrong...

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

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By Winter Patriot on 7/9/2005 9:41am PT  

Guest blogged by Bob Fitrakis

INTRODUCTION {by Winter Patriot}: On behalf of the BradBlog and the Blogathon I am pleased and proud to introduce Dr. Robert J. Fitrakis. According to his biography at freepress.org, Dr. Fitrakis is a professor of political science and a lawyer. He served as an international election observer in the 1994 presidential elections in El Salvador and as a dual-Ward legal advisor for the Election Protection Coalition during the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election. Dr. Fitrakis is also co-editor, with Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, of DID GEORGE W. BUSH STEAL AMERICA'S 2004 ELECTION? This essential volume is currently available from freepress.org, as well as through The BRAD STORE.

It's great to have Dr. Fitrakis here with us. And I think we can even call him "Bob".

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

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As Bob Fitrakis of the Columbus Free Press Pops Out Momentarily from his Book-Writing Foxhole...
By Brad Friedman on 4/27/2005 10:21am PT  

The mighty Bob Fitrakis of the Columbus Free Press --- responsible for boatloads of tremendous investigative reporting on the ground from Ohio in Election 2004 and one of the participants in the Moss v. Bush lawsuit seeking to set aside the election results in the Buckeye State --- has been mostly quiet of late while working on an upcoming book on all of the above to be published soon.

Today, however, it looks like he's unleashed quite a bit of what he hasn't been able to report on over the last several weeks while hard at work writing the historical record. His new article on the "rise of the right wing juggernaut in Ohio" sheds fresh light on several key points on the insidious Election Night machinations, and even those to this day, of Ohio's Election Viceroy, Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell (also the Co-Chair of Ohio's Committee to Re-Elect Bush/Cheney '04).

Amongst the several noteworthy new items Fitrakis catches up on today is some inside skinny on the now-infamous Warren County lockdown on Election Night when an apparently phony "Homeland Security Alert" led Board of Elections officials to issue an unprecedented scheme that shut out all press and witnesses from late-night vote counting in the county's election center.

Free Press has received an insider's account of what happened that night. Here's a sample:

With the media and independent election observers "walled off," as the Cincinnati Enquirer described, the employee claims that "some ballot boxes were taken to the holding area" where they were not monitored by election officials. The Warren County employee referred to the person supervising the unauthorized warehouse as a "Republican Party hack."

The employee is concerned that it would have been easy to "stuff" the ballot boxes or that "signatures could have been forged in the unauthorized holding area."

The anonymous employee told the Free Press that testimony would be provided if subpoenaed. A list of questions that remain unanswered in Warren County was also supplied: Which precinct ballot boxes were taken to the unauthorized holding area? Were officials from the Board of Elections present in the holding area? When were the ballots taken from the holding area to the check-in tent that was erected temporarily to count ballots? If Warren County was under a state of emergency, then why weren't any metal detectors engaged? The FBI has denied that there was any homeland security threat on Election Day.

As well, in a section of the article sub-headed as "Whitewash with a black face", Fitrakis connects a few more interesting dots on the phony GOP front-group busy conning America and hoping to derail true Electoral Reform. Fitrakis ties together the "non-partisan" hoaxsters of the "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) --- the group we originally exposed several weeks ago exclusively here --- with some of the other folks who testified recently at Rep. Bob Ney's hastily convened U.S. House Administrative Hearings on Electoral problems in OH...

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

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Senator's Office Confirms use of Great Seal in Fundraising Letter Violates FEDERAL Law!
(His Ohio STATE Law Violation in Letter is Last Week's News)
By Brad Friedman on 1/12/2005 1:10am PT  

It appears that Ohio Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell (who served as both the state's Election chief and Co-Chair of the state's Bush/Cheney Re-Elect Committee) may not only have violated Ohio state law by asking for illegal corporate contributions in a recent fundraising letter for his gubernatorial bid, but it appears that he may have broken the federal Rule of Law as well!

Blackwell's use of a facsimile of The Great Seal of the United States in his constituent fundraising letterhead and on its envelope (both shown in the graphic at the bottom of this article) is in apparent violation of Title 18 of the U.S. Code which states, according to an official U.S. State Department publication [PDF] available on its website, that "all* uses of the Great Seal and the design...are official"

The State Dept. document discusses the Great Seal, its history, and is quite clear on its illegal uses according to United States Code:

Title 18 of the U.S. Code, as revised in January 1971, prohibits use of the likeness of the Great Seal or any facsimile in...any advertisement, circular, book, pamphlet, or other publication, play, motion picture, telecast, or other production...for the purpose of conveying a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the U.S. Government under threat of a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both.

Though the version of the seal used by Blackwell, is modified in the slightest of ways from the official version of the seal (there is a solid ring around the official version, instead of ring of stars for example), the use of its "likeness" or "facsimile" clearly seems intended to endow his fundraising letter with the appearance of an official notice.

The seal, in its proper and legal use, is meant to convey the authority of the President of the United States, a fact which may raise the eyebrows of those who have suggested that alleged malfeasance in the Ohio elections by Blackwell was done in favor of his candidate and President, George W. Bush.

However, the official State Dept. document states, "The seal can be affixed only by an officer of the Department of State, under the authority of its custodian, the Secretary of State."

We will presume that refers to the United States Secretary of State, as opposed to the one from Ohio.

Further the State Department document discusses requests for uses of the seal for nonofficial business (which would seem to exclude candidates seeking funds for quixotic gubernatorial bids):

Requests To Use the Great Seal and Coat of Arms

All of these uses of the Great Seal die and the design, or coat of arms, are official. Often private, nonofficial requests to use one or the other come to the Department of State. The Great Seal can be affixed only as provided by law [P.L. 91-651, Title 18 USC], and impressions of the seal cannot be made for display purposes or in response to requests for souvenirs or samples. This position has been applied not only to impressions made from the present die but also to impressions from earlier dies still in existence.

The sorts of documents on which the seal may be used by the U.S. Secretary of State after countersigning along with the President of the United States include:

  • Instruments of ratification of treaties and other international agreements;
  • Proclamations of treaties and other international instruments;
  • Appointment commissions of ambassadors, Foreign Service officers, Cabinet officers, and all other civil officers appointed by the President whose commissions are not required by law to issue under another seal; and
  • Assignment commissions for consular officers.
  • Our work load of late has kept us from being able to contact Blackwell's office for comment on this second apparent disregard for the Rule of Law in a single fundraising letter. We hope, however, that other media outlets may be able to do so shortly, and The BRAD BLOG will report on any explanation Blackwell's office may have when and if they do.

    It should be noted that it was AP who originally reported on the letter's illegal request for corporate funds in violation of Ohio state law. Blackwell's campaign office attributed the illegal request to "a printers mistake." In that same article, Blackwell is quoted as saying, "I have an obligation to follow the law."

    It was, however, the Internet-only RAW STORY who exposed the letter originally even though AP failed to give them credit for their exclusive.

    An original scan of the controversial Blackwell letter, composed while the Ohio recount was still underway, can be seen at RAW STORY with both uses of the Great Seal facsimile.

    A text-only version of the full letter can be read in our earlier story on the matter.

    Ken Blackwell's conscience and regard for the Rule of Law are still elusive at this time.

    UPDATE: Confirming our report, Sen. Lautenberg (D-NJ) office says use of Great Seal in campaign letter is illegal. RAW STORY has the story. Natch. Also, Stephen Koff of the Cleveland Plain Dealer seems to have been working on the same issue concurrently as The BRAD BLOG and they published their story on it this morning, which was in turn picked up by the Subscription-Only newsletter National Journal.

    A Blackwell representative is quoted in the reports as explaining that the seal is "official-enough looking to grab the letter recipient's attention" but "different enough to be legal."

    The Dept. of Justice would seem to disagree with that since they gave warnings about using the seal in this way to several Democrats and Republicans as many as 21 years ago according to the above reports. We'd urge you to read them both.

    As well, The BRAD BLOG has learned that that DoJ warning doesn't seem to have stopped the campaigns and PACS of J.C. Watts, Bob Barr and several others from using the fake seal recently on their own fundraising letters.

    One reporter with whom we spoke about this issue, when asked about the triviality of this apparently breach of Federal law has told us, "I have three words for you: 80-Pound Paper."

    UPDATE 1/14/05: HOUSE DEMS REQUEST DOJ CRIMINAL PROBE OF BLACKWELL! Requesting Special Prosecutor for Illegal Use of Great Seal as Originally Reported by BRAD BLOG! Click here for details!

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    ...And other weekend points of note...
    By Brad Friedman on 12/11/2004 4:06pm PT  

    As you've likely imagined, I'm currently working on a number of items related to the Curtis/Feeney/Yang affair. Some small items I'll pop here shortly this evening, some larger fairly breathtaking items will be coming tomorrow or Monday. As well, I'm trying to get the original BradBlog.com moved over to a new server that can better handle the traffic so we can resume reporting back at home sweet home in the not too distant future.

    Because of all of that, I have been unable to give the proper attention to the affairs on the ground relating to the recount in Ohio.

    There have been some notable, and some disturbing developments over the last day or so however, and to that end, I associate myself with the good Mr. Joseph Cannon's coverage of some of those troubling events seeping out of the Buckeye State...

    Another lockdown in Ohio. The Ohio recount effort quickly ran into an obstacle, and his name is Ken Blackwell. From the Ohio Election Fraud site:

    On Friday December 10 two certified volunteers for the Ohio Recount team assigned to Greene County were in process recording voting information from minority precincts in Greene County, and were stopped mid-count by a surprise order from Secretary of State Blackwell's office. The Director Board of Elections stated that "all voter records for the state of Ohio were "locked-down," and now they are not considered public records."

    A voter record is not public? How can a recount take place without access to the data?

    A poll book, apparently, was physically yanked out of the hands of a recount volunteer.

    Ohio Revised Code Title XXXV Elections, Sec. 3503.26 that requires all election records to be made available for public inspection and copying. ORC Sec. 3599.161 makes it a crime for any employee of the Board of Elections to knowingly prevent or prohibit any person from inspecting the public records filed in the office of the Board of Elections. Finally, ORC Sec. 3599.42 clearly states: "A violation of any provision of Title XXXV (35) of the Revised Code constitutes a prima facie case of election fraud within the purview of such Title."

    Blackwell's outrageous attempt to impede a legal recount not only makes him a candidate for what used to be called "the big house," he has also created further grounds for a revote. The law is there; only the political will to enforce it remains missing.

    Alas, Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro seems to be a Republican ideologue; don't expect anything from an elephant except elephant crap. Perhaps we will get better results from the lawsuit Democrats filed against Blackwell.

    It gets worse: A recount volunteer named Katrina Sumner told a writer at Democratic Underground that the Board of Elections offices were kept unlocked during last night's "lockdown." Someone must have made his way into the place, because in the morning she found that a light was on that had not been on the night before.

    A janitor? Maybe. Even so, we can't rest easily knowing that anyone could have walked in and tampered with the evidence.

    Check back for more soon...

    [Originally published at BRAD BLOG TOO while The BRAD BLOG server was down.
    Comments left by readers on the original article can be read at the above link.]
    ReddIt this story!



    Need $113,000 to pay for it!
    Paging Mr. Soros...Paging Mr. Soros...
    By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2004 4:10pm PT  

    In a bit of exciting news (which also tends on personal-level to give me some confidence that I I voted correctly), Green Party presidential candidate, David Cobb --- who was on the ballot in all 50 states, I'm sure you're surprised to learn --- and Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik will likely be calling for a full recount in the state of Ohio!

    KPFK (90.7 FM in Los Angeles) broke the news yesterday in an interview with Mr. Cobb...

    Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb declared that in all likelihood he would demand a recount of all the votes in the Presidential election in the state of Ohio. Since David Cobb's name appeared on the Ohio ballot, it is his legal right to ask for a statewide recount.
    ...
    In order for a statewide recount to proceed in Ohio, candidate Cobb will have to raise approximately $113,000; or ten dollars per precinct. The deadline to demand a recount occurs after the State's results are deemed official by Ohio's Secretary of State, which won't take place for a few days.

    The full radio interview can be heard here...

    They have issued a Press Release on the matter this morning with further details.

    Well, this could be it folks! As a presidential candidates in Ohio, Cobb and Badnark are within their rights to demand a recount! And I'd hope that there's enough folks with a few dollars left in their pockets to cover those costs for the Ohio recount!

    This is big (and very encouraging) news for a number of reasons, the least of which will be the ability to give all of the many punch-card ballots in the state a fresh look.

    One of the stories I haven't covered here, while many others have, is Greg Palast's "Kerry Won..." article. Palast discussed the sizeable number of potentially "spoiled" ballots that were not counted for Kerry in Ohio during the initial count. A recount, and I don't know yet if that means it'll be a "manual" recount or not, may likely shake out as many as 93,000 possible new Kerry votes (by Palasts reckoning anyway). It's unlikely that all of the spoiled ballots would go for Kerry, of course, many are likely for Bush, or have no vote or more than one vote on them and "spoiled" for good reason. But the idea of a carefully monitored recount is good news by any definition.

    (Perhaps we'll even get to figure out what the hell went on in Warren County on Election Night!)

    On this blog, I've mainly been focusing on the many computer-related counting errors and/or possible cases of fraud, since those are the issues that I find most haunting as the country moves towards its mandated 2006 deadline for all-electronic voting. So, I've not bothered to point out the more speculative nature of reports like Palast's until now, because until a re-count possibility came into play, his theory was mostly unprovable speculation. That may all now be changing...

    DONATIONS can be made for the recount to either of the following sites. They're working together...Can you imagine that?!:

  • David Cobb's website: www.votecobb.org
  • Michael Badnarik's website: www.badnarik.org
  • Third parties are good for America...don't ya think?

    UPDATE: 11/15/04 Recount fundraising goal has been met! Now seeking funds for "mobilization" costs and also volunteers to serve as "recount witnesses"! Click here for more info...

    ReddIt this story!



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