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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Critical Mass:
'BradCast' 10/12/15
Guest host Nicole Sandler discusses the tragic, U.S. gun epidemic with author Cliff Schecter and the 'Populist Candidate Scorecard' with CAF's Robert Borosage...
Sunday Toons: 'Not Feeling Safer' Edition
This week's collection of the week's best toons is grim and often gruesome...From the new outbreaks of gun violence to disaster's in Syria, Afghanistan and the U.S. House...
GOP's U.S. House Soap Opera & Enough w/ the Shootings!: 'BradCast' 10/9/15
Guest host Nicole Sandler welcomes Huffington Post's Ryan Grim and Australia's former Dep. Prime Minister Tim Fischer...
Caught on Tape: FL GOP's Race-Based Scheme To Dilute Minority Representation
State Rep is heard revealing plot to oust black U.S. Congresswoman with gerrymandering scheme, as a somewhat related landmark U.S. Supreme Court hearing looms...
Speaker Interrupted: 'BradCast' 10/8/15
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) joins guest host Nicole Sandler to discuss stunning turns of events in GOP plan to replace Boehner; Also: Emptywheel's Marcy Wheeler on U.S. bombing of hospitcal in Afghanistan...
'Green News Report' 10/8/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Sen. Graham wants aid for SC flooding, voted against it for Hurricane Sandy!; Enviros slam TPP; New pesticide rules; Fracking waste; PLUS: Obama creates new sanctuaries...
Previous GNRs: 10/1/15 - 10/6/15 - Archives...
Shredding the NRA's 'Good Guy With a Gun' Myth:
'BradCast' 10/7/15
The Nation's Joshua Holland explains why combat vets laugh at the ridiculous lie. Also: GOP Rep. who defunded gun research regrets it; Boehner could stay Speaker; and more!...
Electric BUG-Aloo: How VW Can Save Itself and the World: 'BradCast' 10/6/15
Author Steve LaVine on e-cars and our battery-powered near-future; ALSO: Sen. Lindsey Graham's short memory; GOP bum fight for U.S. House Speaker; and Jeb's 'death rattle'...
'Green News Report' 10/6/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record rain, flooding in South Carolina -- is this the new normal?; India will cut its carbon emissions; PLUS: EPA announces new ozone rules to cut dangerous air pollution...
Previous GNRs: 10/1/15 - 9/29/15 - Archives...
'New Normal': Climate Change and SC's '1000-Year Flood': 'BradCast' 10/5/15
Climate scientist Dr. Michael E. Mann joins us to discuss that and much more. Plus: Updates on AL vote suppression; NM's indicted SoS; OR's school massacre...
Sunday Toons: 'Not Making Sense' Edition
A grim week in the Toons, though 'PDiddie' manages to find a few laughs in his latest curated collection of the week's best...
AL Shuts Down Photo ID Offices; IA Blocks Former Felons: 'BradCast' 10/1/15
With ACLU voting rights attorney Julie Ebenstein; PLUS: All of today's grim breaking news to remind us why voting matters...
'Green News Report' 10/1/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Jeb wants more oil and gas in US; Alberta, home of tar sands oil, wants to phase it out; New standards for refineries; PLUS: Tesla unveils world's first all-electric SUV...
Previous GNRs: 9/29/15 - 9/24/15 - Archives...
Hand-Counting Paper Ballots in Columbia County, NY: 'BradCast' 9/29/15
Guests: Both the Democratic and Republican Election Commissioners of Columbia County! Plus: Rush on Mars; MSNBC snubs Bernie...
'Green News Report' 9/29/15
China to launch cap and trade system; Pope calls for UN climate treaty; Report: World can move to 100% renewables in just 35 years; PLUS: Shell quits the Arctic...
Exxon Knew All Along: 'BradCast' 9/28/15
Neela Banerjee on Exxon's long knowledge of global warming and their efforts to obscure it. Also: Shell quits the Arctic; NASA's big discovery; Obama, Putin at U.N....
Sunday Toons: 'Political Climate Change'
PDiddie's latest curated collection of an explosive week in political toonery...
Bye, Bye, Boehner; Hello (Again), Florida Vote Suppression: 'BradCast' 9/25/15
And many other breaking world affairs at the end of an insanely busy news week...
Sanders' Three-Phase 'Political Revolution'
Ernest Canning on Bernie's battle for the 2016 Dem nomination, what happens if he receives it, and how he'd be able to govern as President of the United States...
The Pope & the Dopes - Francis Goes to Congress: 'BradCast' 9/24/15
Guest: Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network...
'Green News Report' 9/24/15
Pope delivers climate change message in D.C.; 11 House GOPers call for climate action; Big biz pledges to go renewable; PLUS: Hillary finally announces KXL position...
Pope Francis and the GOP! VW and the Voting Scam!: 'BradCast' 9/23/15
Plus a bunch of callers on all of the above (some quite amusing) and much more!...
Walker's Failed Campaign; Fuller's Serial Spousal Abuse: 'BradCast' 9/22/15
Guest: WI native John Nichols of The Nation. PLUS: Hillary finally takes a position Keystone XL!...
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...
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...

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...

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...

The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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

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...

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

Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

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...

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...

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...

Desperate Campaign Ad Features Corrupt Florida Congressman Hoping to Fool Voters
Real Story Available Here at The BRAD BLOG and in New Documentary Film...
By Brad Friedman on 9/23/2008 11:49am PT  

Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) --- cited for the third year in a row by a public interest watchdog as one of the "Most Corrupt Members of Congress" --- has finally decided to "apologize" for going on that $75,000 lobbyist-funded junket to play golf in Scotland in 2003, along with the disgraced, and convicted, Jack Abramoff. The "apology" comes in the form of a desperate, 30-second campaign ad (at left.)

Feeney is the last remaining member of Congress to have gone on one of those Abramoff-funded private jet trips to hit the links in St. Andrews. The other two, Tom Delay (R-TX), who went in 2001, and Bob Ney (R-OH), who went in 2002, have both left Congress in disgrace and under indictment.

You'll note that the ad --- in which Feeney never bothers to mention that he's a Republican --- ends, laughably, with: "Because public service is about being honest, even when you make a mistake."

That line might more appropriately, at least for Feeney, have been: "Public service is about admitting that you broke the law, five years after you took a huge favor from a corrupt lobbyist and were finally forced to admit it outloud in a desperate, last-ditch attempt, to save your Congressional meal ticket."

But he might have had trouble getting all of that into his :30 spot.

The ad also says, on screen: "Get the facts: Tom" Might we suggest if you really want the facts on Tom Feeney, one of the filthiest players remaining in Congress, that you see instead our special coverage page about him, and former Republican computer programmer Clint Curtis. Curtis worked at the same company as Feeney, back when Feeney was both the powerful Speaker of the Florida House and a lobbyist for the software firm with millions of dollars in state contracts. The same company also employed undocumented Chinese aliens working on systems for NASA and others, even as Feeney has continued to protect that company to this day (he was also their one-time general counsel) and has housed his campaign headquarters in their building.

It was back then, when they both worked at Yang Enterprises in 2000, when Curtis alleges, via sworn affidavit, video-taped testimony to Congress, and lie-detector test, that Feeney asked him to create vote-rigging software for touch-screen voting machines.

A remarkable documentary film, Murder, Spies & Voting Lies, covering that story, and The BRAD BLOG's attempts to tell it over the last four years, has just been released. If you'd rather learn the facts in movie form, please check out that film! NOTE: It's terrifying and includes untold details on at least two grizzly deaths related to the Curtis/Feeney scandal.

Curtis himself eventually switched to the Democratic Party following the incident and, after Congress refused to take action on Feeney, he ran unsuccessfully against him in 2006. His attempts to do so again this year were derailed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which backed wealthy opponent Suzanne Kosmas in the primary. With polls showing the well-funded Kosmas in a tight race with Feeney, clearly, one of the dirtiest Republicans in America is now running very scared.

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
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Along with Filmmaker David Earnhardt, 'Diebold Document Whistleblower' Steve Heller, PDA's Mimi Kennedy, KPFK's Jerry Quickley and More!
By Brad Friedman on 9/23/2008 6:15am PT  

In or near Los Angeles tonight (Tuesday)? Please come on by the Fairfax Cinemas (7907 Beverly Blvd.) at 7:30pm for a special screening of Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections. I'll be speaking at a Q&A afterwards, along with filmmaker David Earnhardt, "Diebold Document Whistleblower" Steve Heller (who is both featured in the film and now also an occassional BRAD BLOG guest blogger!), Mimi "Dharma & Greg" Kennedy of PDA, and all of it hosted by the good Jerry Quickley of KPFK/Pacifica.

Oh, and psst...say the super-secret password "NO DIEBOLD!" at the box office tonight, and get $3 off your ticket! But don't tell anyone! We'd like to keep that as much of a secret as Diebold's own passwords for all of their voting systems ("1111").

If you can't make it tonight (for some crazy reason), and if you've yet to see Uncounted (for some crazy reason), and you haven't helped support The BRAD BLOG lately (for some crazy reason), special editions of the DVD, as signed by the filmmaker, are still available for online donations of $50 or more. Snail mail works as well, to: Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594, Los Angeles, CA 90028.

We'd love the support, and you'll love the film. And we'd all love to see you tonight if you happen to be in the hood.

P.S. The film is also screening at the San Diego Film Festival this Thursday and Saturday at 5pm. I'll be heading down for a Q&A following the Saturday showing there, so I expect to see everybody in person by the end of this week! Thank you.

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'If You Want Our Votes, We Want Your Pledge,' Says New Campaign Launched Today by Velvet Revolution
By Emily Levy on 8/26/2008 7:47pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Emily Levy of

Velvet Revolution - co-founded by Brad Friedman - today launched its newest campaign at, calling on candidates across the country to pledge to challenge elections when necessary.

"This election, let's make democracy the winner!" the Standing For Voters site proclaims. Readers of The BRAD BLOG know that's quite a stretch, that we're a long way from having a true democracy in this country. Yet challenges by candidates --- before, during and after the elections --- could be an important step in the right direction. In many situations, only candidates have standing to challenge elections. is primarily directed towards candidates themselves and serves to educate them about election integrity issues, types of election challenges, and recent history of candidates who challenged elections. Voters are encouraged to participate by finding candidates who will pledge; tips about how to do this are provided on the site, including:

Print out this card [PDF] and get it to every candidate you can reach, whether or not you plan to vote for them.

  • Attend candidates' nights or other campaign activities. During the Q&A portion of the program, make a statement about the importance of election integrity and ask the candidates publicly if they will sign the Standing for Voters pledge.
  • Call in to radio shows where candidates are being interviewed. Ask the candidates on the air to sign the pledge.
  • Write a letter to the editor or an op-ed piece in the local newspaper urging candidates to pledge. (You can also encourage the paper only to endorse candidates who have made the pledge.)
  • Visit candidates' websites and send them emails asking them to sign the pledge. Include a link to
  • Talk to your local political clubs. Find out who has direct contact with candidates and enlist their help.
  • Once one candidate for a particular office has signed on, call their opponents and ask them to match that pledge.
  • More tips

    The first two candidates to sign the site's more robust pledge, "The Super Pledge," are no strangers to election integrity issues. Ellen Brodsky, candidate for Supervisor of Elections in notorious Broward County, Florida is a long-time election integrity advocate, founding Broward Election Reform Coalition. Brodsky was thrilled to pledge, saying, "You can count on me to speak about fair, accurate and transparent elections in every breath I take."...

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

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    Spends Thousands on Robocalls On Behalf of Clint Curtis in Hopes of Defeating the Vote-Rigging Whistleblower's Primary Opponent...
    By Brad Friedman on 8/20/2008 7:35pm PT  

    Blogged quickly from the road by Brad Friedman...

    If folks in Florida's 24th Congressional district don't dump this sleaze bucket (presuming he's not tossed in jail first for his involvement with Jack Abramoff, for which he's under FBI investigation), I can't even imagine what they'd be thinking,

    Orlando Sentinel details the robocalls the slimy Rep. Tom Feeney is now making in favor of Democrat Clint Curtis, the software programmer who has sworn on video to a congressional panel, via affidavit, and polygraph test, that Feeney asked him to create vote-rigging software in 2000. Curtis is running against the Democratic party's hand-picked wealthy millionaire Suzanne Kosmas --- whom Curtis regards as "Republican light" --- in next week's primary in Florida.

    Here's most of the 30-second robocall, as posted by the Sentinel, in which a Feeney volunteer endorses Curtis on behalf of Feeney's filthy campaign...

    Just when you think he's hit rock-bottom, it turns out there is no dirty trick too unseemly for Feeney. Can there be any more question about Curtis' claims about him? What wouldn't Feeney do to try and gain an advantage in an election? Gaming the system again. As ever. (As he also did when Curtis ran against him in '06). What an appalling little --- very little --- figure of a man.

    For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
    - A Quick Summary of the story so far.
    - An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
    - Curtis is hoping to run against Feeney for U.S. Congress again in 2008.
    For more info, see:
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    Howie Klein Has Had Enough of the Party's 'Democrats in Name Only'...
    By Brad Friedman on 8/12/2008 1:44pm PT  

    Apropos of our article on Friday describing the "Rovian dirty tricks" that FL-24 Congressional candidate, Clint Curtis, alleges his primary opponent, former State Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, has been using to mislead local voters an article in today's DeLand-Deltona Beacon highlights again Curtis' criticism of his opponent as no more than a Democrat In Name Only (DINO).

    Curtis called Kosmas a "conservative blue-dog Democrat." He said "She could change her name to Republican and never have to change a vote."

    Kosmas, in return, might ask, "Curtis who?"

    She said she doesn't know Curtis.

    "I am running as a Democrat," Kosmas said.

    "Running as a Democrat." A telling phrase, that.

    While Kosmas claims to be against the war, it turns out she co-sponsored a resolution, adopted on March 21, 2003, while in the Florida legislature that pledged "support of President Bush in his stand against Saddam Hussein".

    Unfortunately, Kosmas isn't the only hand-picked Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) candidate being put up this year almost solely on the basis of the DCCC's short-sighted conjecture that they can win in a previously "red" district because the candidate either has lots of their own money, or is damned-near a Republican.

    Curtis, the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)-endorsed candidate, has been courageously opposing head-on the hopelessly corrupt Republican incumbent Tom Feeney for years. (See this clip from Uncounted to get an idea, or this BRAD BLOG Special Coverage page.) Yet, he's been fighting an uphill battle trying to raise money to defeat the DCCC's candidate, the wealthy real estate developer, Kosmas, ever since he told them he'd vote with his constituents who put him in office, rather than as per the directives of Nancy Pelosi.

    Yesterday, our buddy Howie Klein - who knows more about on-the-ground politics and the real positions of Congressional candidates than anyone we know --- decimated the DCCC for their drive to put "Democrats" in office, at any cost. The "Stalinist" effort, as he describes it, to put such candidates as Kosmas in office (whether or not they end up voting with Republicans more often than Democrats!) has been the basis of the DCCC's "Red to Blue" program launched under the previous DCCC chair Rep. Rahm Emanuel and still in play under its new chair, Chris Van Hollen....

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

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    Congressional Candidate/Whistleblower Clint Curtis Says Primary Opponent Suzanne Kosmas Staffers Made Illegal, Deceptive Campaign Calls from Dem Party Offices, Phone Lines
    Precinct Captain Email Says Kosmas Staffers Claimed to be from FDP, Deceptive Scheme Revealed by Caller ID...
    By Brad Friedman on 8/8/2008 3:22pm PT  

    [UPDATED: Florida Democratic Party responds to this report. See bottom of article for details.]

    A Democratic candidate running in a contested primary for the U.S. House seat representing Florida's 24th Congressional District has filed an official complaint with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), alleging that his opponent has been making illegal and deceptive campaign calls from within the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) offices, on party phone lines.

    In a statement sent to The BRAD BLOG blasting his opponent, Clint Curtis described the tactics being used by the Suzanne Kosmas campaign as "the worst example of Rovian dirty tricks."

    Curtis, a Florida computer programmer turned well-known vote-rigging/anti-corruption whistleblower (see BRAD BLOG's years-long coverage of Curtis here) has filed a complaint charging that paid campaign staffers for his opponent in the August 26th Democratic Primary, former state Rep. Kosmas, "have been contacting Democratic primary election voters and fraudulently identifying themselves as calling on behalf of the Florida Democratic Party," according to the campaign's press release.

    "The callers then go on to solicit votes for Kosmas in the Aug. 26 Democratic primary," the Curtis camp alleges.

    The press release is posted in full at the end of this article, with a link to download the complete FEC complaint. Also at the end of the article is the full text of an email sent to Curtis and campaign manager Jerry Halberg, from a Curtis campaign staffer who also serves as a local Florida precinct captain. The precinct captain claims to have received one of the deceptive phone calls.

    The email notes that the Caller ID recorded showed the call as having come from "KOSMAS FOR CONG" with the phone number 407-365-7808. A call made by The BRAD BLOG to that number this afternoon, was answered by someone identifying the number as belonging to "The Campaign for Florida of the Florida Democratic Party."

    The Curtis campaign press release, issued yesterday, details the main points of Curtis' complaint to the FEC:

    * Kosmas and her committee knowingly misled the democratic primary election voters as to the origination of her telephonic communications and utilized state Democratic Party offices and telephone equipment for her federal campaign.

    * The Kosmas campaign claimed the state offices, which are leased by the Florida State Democratic Party, as her campaign offices in public communications with Democratic voters.

    * She knowingly led the voters to believe that the communication asking for support in the primary was from the Florida Democratic Party when in fact it was from paid staffers.

    "The unlawful calls continued even after the Kosmas campaign was notified of the problem," the release continues, with Curtis adding, "Her campaign was given the opportunity to rectify the violations prior to the submission of FEC charges but apparently chose not to."

    The Curtis campaign says photos taken of the Democratic Party offices in Oviedo reveal how the evidence of FDP support for Kosmas was "scrubbed" after they complained. Photos said to have been taken on July 31, before Curtis complained to both the FDP and the Kosmas camp, show campaign signs for Kosmas plastered throughout the local Democratic Party facility. After the initial complaints on Aug 3rd, as the following photos purport to show, the signs were removed...

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

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    By Alan Breslauer on 7/16/2008 1:20pm PT  

    Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

    Earlier this month, writer, director, producer, and actor John Wellington Ennis released a free online election documentary titled Free For All. The trailer (4:21, at right) for the smart, informative, and hugely entertaining flick is below (with none other than Brad Friedman serving as the video thumbnail) while the entire movie can be downloaded here.

    Meanwhile, today David Earnhardt, who brought us the excellent election integrity documentary Uncounted, The New Math of American Elections, released a clip (7:04, below right) from the movie about Clint Curtis. The clip also features Brad.

    [Ed Note: Help support The BRAD BLOG! Special premium offer for DVD of Uncounted, signed by the filmmaker, is available only to BRAD BLOG readers here.]

    For more on Curtis see The BRAD BLOG's special Clint Curtis coverage.

    It is also worth noting that Brad Friedman figures prominently in both documentaries.

    [Ed Note: ...But they're worth watching anyway!]

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    By Brad Friedman on 6/28/2008 11:41am PT  

    As I've been on the road this week, Steve Heller (a.k.a. the "Diebold Document Whistleblower") was kind enough to step in for me during my regular Friday guest stint on the Peter B. Collins Show.

    While it's perhaps a bit of a busman's vacation, I made the mistake of quickly checking out the podcast of yesterday's hour from my motel room after I got off the road last night, and though I've heard (and even told [PDF]) Heller's remarkable and heroic story a million times, I couldn't stop listening to the interview. Heller --- who, in addition to putting his life on the line for fair elections, is also now a colleague of mine, helping to head up our Velvet Revolution Election Strike Force --- is a helluva gifted and articulate spokesman on the issues of Election Integrity.

    Feel free to listen up. You'll not regret the time well-spent. Download the MP3, or listen online below (about 40 mins, w/ commercials removed courtesy of PBC affiliate Green960)...

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    Complaint Against Hart InterCivic Withdrawn Following Adverse Ruling Limiting Whistleblower Claims
    VIDEO/AUDIO: Brad on This Weekend's 'Ring of Fire' Discussing Latest Case Developments with Attorneys Papantonio and Schultz...
    By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2008 12:35pm PT  

    Reported by Brad Friedman, from the road...

    The whistleblower lawsuit against voting machine company Hart InterCivic, as filed in federal court on behalf of former employee William Singer, has been withdrawn following a decision by the Supreme Court that makes pursuing the case nearly impossible, according to the law firm who originally filed the complaint.

    The suit had been sealed for nearly two years as the Dept. of Justice asked for extension after extension during their decision on whether or not to join the case. Earlier this year, they ultimately decided not to join the case, as we reported last March, leaving the firm of Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Echsner & Proctor, P.A to proceed on their own. The DoJ declines to join some 76% of such cases.

    In the interim, while waiting for the DoJ, the case of Rockwell Intl Corp. v. U.S. [PDF] came before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the findings in that decision, as attorney Mike Papantonio told The BRAD BLOG, has "made it next to impossible to proceed with any and all federal whistleblower (qui tam) cases."

    The decision found that Rockwell was required to pay millions of dollars under the federal False Claims Act to the federal government, but that the relator of the case --- the insider who blew the whistle --- was not entitled to any of that money, nor even for the millions of dollars accrued in legal costs since the amended complaint, filed with the Justice Dept., included information about which the relator did not have direct inside knowledge.

    The SCOTUS finding, as expressed for the majority by Justice Antonin Scalia, may well hamstring future whistleblower cases in federal courts, according to legal experts.

    "I used to think qui tam was the way to go," Papantonio told me as his firm was weighing their decision on how to proceed after the case was finally unsealed, "but now I just don't know anymore."

    Papantonio's Florida law firm has used the qui tam laws successfully in the past, and has taken on giants such as the Tobacco Industry. After he and his radio partner Robert F. Kennedy Jr. had learned about Singer's case from The BRAD BLOG --- we originally reported Singer's extraordinary saga back in early 2006 --- they decided to launch the federal fraud suit on his behalf later that year.

    (I was interviewed about the withdrawal of the federal case by Mike Papantonio for this weekend's Ring of Fire radio program, which he co-hosts with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.. A video version of the interview is also posted on their GoLeft.TV site. Both versions are now posted in full at the end of this article.)

    Though the attorneys working on the case have gone out of their way to express their faith in both Singer and his remarkable complaint --- detailing more than 40 federal fraud allegations, and accusing Hart of doctoring voting machines, covering up system failures, including the loss and miscounting of votes, and other malfeasance, in order to attain contracts and payment under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 --- the chance that millions of dollars spent pursuing the case might be unrecoverable at the end of the process, even if successful, in light of the Rockwell decision, forced them to withdraw the complaint from federal court...

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

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    Florida's Whistleblowing Programmer Demonstrates for House Committee on Elections How Simple it is to Hack an Election
    Predicts Texas, Like Florida, Will 'Get Rid of E-Voting'....
    By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2008 11:28am PT  

    Blogged by Brad from the road...

    From yesterday's Daily Texan...

    Committee weighs risks, benefits of electronic voting machines
    Fla. 'vote-flipping' programmer voices doubts about tool

    Clint Curtis touched a hidden button on the screen of a simulated electronic voting machine as onlookers witnessed votes switch from one candidate to another.

    The House Committee on Elections invited Curtis, a computer programmer from Florida, to testify Wednesday on the accuracy, risks, benefits and security of electronic voting technology. The committee also heard from other expert witnesses, election officials and the Texas secretary of state.

    Curtis said a Florida representative approached him in 2000 to design "vote-flipping" software to help the congressman win an election. Requesting a fraudulent program for a machine is not illegal in Florida, but using one is.

    "You cannot trust electronic machines, no matter how many honest people you have. It only takes one person with access to the machine," said Curtis, an advocate for hand-counted paper ballots. "Programmers can be bought."

    The committee watched as Curtis clicked on an invisible button that suddenly placed the losing candidate of his mock election safely in the lead.

    "24 lines of code can flip an election," Curtis said.

    He offered to write a new code from scratch in less than three minutes, emphasizing the ease of creating a "flipping" code.

    On Wednesday, coverage of his testimony by the Dayton-Beach News-Journal (who endorsed Curtis during his 2006 run against Tom Feeney, the Republican U.S. House Rep who Curtis alleges asked him to create vote-rigging software) included this:

    "They seem to understand," Curtis said in a telephone interview afterwards. "They seem to get it. I think they'll do what Florida did, get rid of (electronic touch screens) and get something voters can count on."

    For those who don't know Curtis, where have you been? You can read his remarkable story, first broken by The BRAD BLOG back in late 2004, summarized here. He is now hoping to run against Feeney again in Florida again this year, though he must first win his Primary against a Democratic Party-backed candidate. If you'd like to help him beat the millionaire chosen by the short-sighted Dem insiders, please stop by (and feel free to donate!!!) at

    DISCLOSURE: We were invited, by the Republican who heads the committee, to testify at the hearing this week as well. Due to prior travel plans, unfortunately, we were unable to be there, but happy that Curtis, and several others who we recommended, were able to show up and speak truth to power.

    (Hat-tip to John Gideon's "Daily Voting News" from yesterday.)

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    New Job Seen as Payoff for 'Services Rendered'...
    By Luke Ryland on 6/2/2008 11:45am PT  

    Guest Blogged by Luke Ryland of Let Sibel Edmonds Speak...

    So, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds is again proven right. For more than a year Sibel has been predicting that Dennis Hastert will join a lobbying firm involved with Turkey, and now we learn that Hastert is joining Dickstein Shapiro.

    In the "Representative Engagements" section of Dickstein's website, we learn that they represented "the government of Turkey in connection with the development and financing by private sponsors of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and TransCaspian gas pipeline spanning from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean."

    Dennis Hastert, who is listed in Sibel's "Rogues Gallery," was referred to in FBI wiretaps as apparently accepting bribes from Turkish criminal elements associated with the Turkish government, as documented in Vanity Fair in 2005 and elsewhere.

    The short clip at left is from Kill The Messenger, a documentary about Sibel's case, where they discuss some of Hastert's involvement as mentioned in Vanity Fair.

    In researching the Vanity Fair article, as mentioned in the clip, journalist David Rose interviewed various congressional staffers and counter-intelligence officials who are familiar with the case. He reported that there were three separate types of bribes allegedly paid to Hastert:

    1. "(T)ens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks."
    2. "(T)ens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information."
    3. "(A)t least $500,000"

    Hastert was lucky that there was literally zero follow-up in the mainstream media to these most serious charges. Hastert did not sue Vanity Fair for libel; instead, Hastert got his spokesman to send Vanity Fair a bizarre Letter to the Editor in response, 6 months later. The BRAD BLOG has the letter here, along with Sibel's effective debunking of Hastert's response.

    The only action taken in response to the startling revelations in Vanity Fair was by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) which filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asking them to investigate the "(T)ens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks"...

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    Retelling of Florida's 2000 Election Debacle Condenses 36 Days of Aborted Democracy into 2 Hours of Taut, Heartbreaking Political Suspense
    ...And Yet, the Lessons Continue to be Ignored...
    By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2008 1:05am PT  

    I don't mind admitting it. For an Election Integrity journalist, HBO's Recount is pure pornography. Anticipation for Sunday's Memorial Day premiere showing was at the top of last weekend's holiday agenda. And the excitement grew still more late Friday when the good folks of PDA Florida made my week (my month? my year? my last four eight years?) by sending me an actual Palm Beach County "CES Votomatic III" voting booth, one which they tell me was among the 24 used in HBO's film itself.

    Since I have a very difficult time paying the bills around here --- contrary to popular opinion, election integrity blogging isn't the windfall it might otherwise appear --- perhaps I'll consider the kind gift a reward for my too-many years on this beat. Though perhaps my consolation prize would be a better way to look at it.

    When I first opened it, actual chads (HBO's film advises the plural of "chad" is actually "chad") from the 2000 election spilled out of the machine all over the office floor. The gods of democracy and the goddess of the Butterfly Ballot were taunting me. I rather enjoyed it. I learned long ago that I'd have little choice.

    So it was with great anticipation that I sat down on Sunday night to watch the film as it premiered, along with the "Diebold Document Whistleblower" (and my new colleague at Steven Heller and his wife, and Robert Carillo Cohen, one of the filmmakers of HBO's landmark documentary, the Emmy-nominated Hacking Democracy which enjoyed a re-airing earlier in the day, as the cable net set the stage for its newest democracy thriller/heart-breaker, Recount.

    None of us, including Heller, who anticipated hating the fictionalized re-telling of America's crushing democratic abortion of 2000, would be disappointed...

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    HBO's Retelling of the 2000 Florida Election Debacle on Sunday Raises Interesting Questions about 2008 Certain to be Ignored as Quickly as Possible by the American Corporate Mainstream Media...
    By Brad Friedman on 5/23/2008 6:35am PT  

    "The recount never really happened," notes Kevin Spacey, correctly, about the 2000 Florida election debacle in his interview Wednesday night on Countdown, in advance of Recount, HBO's theatrical retelling of the nightmare. The film premieres this Sunday.

    Some weeks ago, we ran an item which included the theatrical trailer for the film and noted that we've neither seen it, nor been contacted by anybody from the production (they didn't purchase an ad here either, boo hoo) but that they did manage to use our "Stuck in the Middle With You" theme song for the film, curiously enough, as you'll see in the trailer. We'll take it as a compliment, as if we have a choice.

    We also noted, with evidence, that Al Gore received more votes than George W. Bush in the state of Florida in 2000, and that seven whistleblowers from the company, Sequoia Voting Systems, who produced the paper ballots for Florida, have come forward to reveal that they were forced by someone to use bad paper on those ballots (only in Florida) against their objections, and to misalign the chads on them (only in Palm Beach County). To this day, other than Dan Rather at HDNet, who originally ran the report, nobody in the corporate media has found that story worthy of following up, or even merely reporting.

    But for the third in our countdown of productions with the word "count" in its title, we turn to our friend Mary Mancini, who smartly blogs at the website of the documentary film Uncounted (We're in it, so see FULL DISCLOSURE at end of this article). Mancini notes that Olbermann, during his interview with Spacey (at left, including clip from film), joined so many other journalists who have taken the opportunity of the premiere of HBO's film to miss more than a few good journalistic opportunities...

    With all the publicity surrounding this movie, now would be the perfect time for journalists to take the national conversation to the next level and ask the most logical follow up questions:

    1) Why wasn’t our electoral process equipped, as Kevin Spacey says in the interview, “to handle margins of victory so small and margins of error so big” in 2000?
    2) Are we equipped to do so now?
    Another great opportunity was lost last night when during the interview Spacey explains the punch-card recount process:

    That when you have a margin of victory so small, you have to go to what is called an automatic machine recount and yet, 18 counties, over 1,500,00 votes, didn’t bother to put their ballots back through the machine. They just re-tabulated the memory card, and you always get a different count when you do a machine recount. So, when you kind of realize that, well, that’s ’cause people just couldn’t bother to do it, um, it’s pretty stunning that…that…so..when Baker and Bush kept coming out and saying, “The votes have been counted, and they’ve been counted again, and Gore wants to count them a third time,” they were actually never counted.

    No, they weren't. And the Supreme Court demanded that they remain uncounted, so Bush could be named "President."

    Only the media and academic consortium who actually did bother to count all of those ballots [PDF] afterwards in Florida would know that Gore received more votes than Bush. Period. Even if they've done a superb job of keeping that little fact to themselves ever since. Whether HBO's Recount tells that truth, we'll have to wait until Sunday to find out.

    Following below, for your convenience, are both the HBO trailer for Recount and, once again, the breathtaking Dan Rather report on the gaming of the paper ballots in Florida's 2000 election...

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    By Brad Friedman on 5/6/2008 12:02pm PT  

    More power to you if you can figure out who the actual bad guys are here, versus the actual good guys (if any) in the following news, breaking this afternoon. At this point, the corruption across so many federal agencies has become so pervasive we couldn't even begin to guess at what's actually going on here, and who, if anyone anymore, can be trusted.

    Call it the unintended (or, the intended) consequences of the Bush Era of Shame and Criminality.

    Wall Street Journal's coverage is posted in full below, since it's otherwise behind their pay wall. Good luck...

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    By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2008 9:15pm PT  

    From Friday's Austin Chronicle...

    County ClerkDana DeBeauvoir said she is committed to a point-by-point review of the county's eSlate machines, in the wake of a federal whistle-blower's lawsuit alleging that Hart InterCivic overpromised and underdelivered on the machines. The organization Vote Rescue was on hand at Tuesday's Commissioners Court meeting to provide copies of Hart technician William Singer's lawsuit, which alleges that Hart stretched reports of the performance of the eSlate in Ohio in order to secure its share of the $4 billion set aside in the Help America Vote Act. DeBeauvoir said she's not yet willing to pull the plug on the machines but would if she found significant problems in light of the lawsuit's allegations. Vote Rescue would prefer the county return its machines and choose to count ballots by hand.

    Singer's futile July 2004 efforts, attempting to notify the Secretaries of State in both Texas and Ohio, were originally reported in exclusive detail by The BRAD BLOG in March of 2006.

    Following discussions we had with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. after our report, he and his radio co-host, Florida attorney Mike Papantonio, filed a federal qui tam whistleblower suit [PDF] on behalf of Singer.

    The complaint charges fraud and other violations of the False Claims Act by Hart, including allegations the company failed to test its products properly, and frequently at all; withheld information from prospective clients about the potential loss of votes in its voting systems; dummied-up machines, reports, and test results presented to clients in sales presentations; and much more in an attempt to win state and county contracts and the federal money that came with them...

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