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An In-Depth, In-Person Interview from the Hometown of GOP Vote-Fraudster Thor Hearne's Lawfirm, Lathrop & Gage...
By Brad Friedman on 8/27/2007 10:10am PT  

Here's an in-depth, in-person interview I did with Tom Klammer for his Tell Somebody show last week in Kansas City, MO, on KKFI. This is the first part of the interview, and he promises to run the rest next week. The conversation was on Election and Media issues in Missouri and across the country, including more on GOP anti-democracy, vote-suppressor Thor Hearne from the hometown of the headquarters for his law firm, Lathrop & Gage. A bit of drama is added, as if it's needed, as thunder is heard throughout the interview. :-)

Brad Friedman interviewed on Tell Somebody with Tom Klammer, aired 8/24/07 (appx. 35 mins):

UPDATE: Part Two of my interview with Klammer was run on the following Friday. Here is that show, featuring the rest of our in-depth interview, focusing on the failures of touch-screen voting and duplicity by the voting machine companies.

Brad Friedman interviewed on Tell Somebody with Tom Klammer, Part Two aired 8/31/07 (appx. 39 mins):

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Some Nice Press Coverage --- Including the Obligatory Lies from an Election Official --- Out of My Old Hometown...
By Brad Friedman on 8/25/2007 8:41am PT  

Blogged by Brad Friedman from Salina, KS...

There was some pretty decent press coverage of my speaking event last week in St. Louis as sponsored by Missourians for Honest Elections.

The full front-page feature article "Voter Beware", by Fran Mannino of the Webster Times, was the most complete in describing the "packed house" event, offering a very good description of some of the issues we face, and featuring a bunch of good quotes from myself and other sources as well.

It also offered a pathetic and shamelessly untrue quote (an out and out lie actually) from St. Louis County Election Director John Diehl, who was invited to share the podium, as were St. Louisans Thor Hearne of the GOP voter-suppression front-group ACVR and Paul DeGregorio, the former chair of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) who parlayed the gig into his next one as chief of an Internet Voting Company. All three were no shows, but that didn't stop Diehl from trying to bullshit the voters he's supposed to be serving, as revealed in Mannino's report...

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

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Yet Another One Bites the Dust in Continuing U.S. Attorney Purge Scandal...
By Brad Friedman on 8/20/2007 4:07pm PT  

TPMMuckraker has the scoop on the latest now-former U.S. Attorney to resign entirely from the DoJ in the wake of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal. Bradley Schlozman had reportedly been under investigation by the DoJ's inspector general. Schlozman had been moved into the U.S. Attorney position in Western Missouri before subsequently bringing bogus "voter fraud" indictments in the state just prior to the November 2006 general election.

The MO indictments were in violation of the DoJ's own written rules, which disallowed such cases being brought during an election period. After leaving his post in Kansas City recently, Schlozman had been reassigned at DoJ in the office which oversees all U.S. Attorneys. He was recently called to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he was on the receiving end of angry disbelieving questions by Sen. Patrick Leahy (video of the exchange here). After the testimony, a DoJ insider told The BRAD BLOG that he found testimony to be "on the razor's edge of purjury." Schlozman would later send clarification of his testimony to the Senate Committee.

Schlozzie --- along with Hans von Spakovsky, who still awaits Senate confirmation for appointment as head the FEC, after he'd previously been recess-appointed by Bush last year --- have been much criticized by DoJ insiders for helping to gut the Voting Rights section of the department's Civil Rights division.

While dozens of DoJ and White House officials have been forced to quit in the wake of the scandal, the White House and DoJ continue to insist that no illegalities or improprieties were committed.

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By Brad Friedman on 8/17/2007 6:19pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from St. Louis...

Last night's event out here in Kirkwood, sponsored by Missourians for Honest Elections, was terrific. A packed house, and a bunch of fired up folks --- hopefully ready to go out and fight for their democracy --- by the time we were done, I do believe. Speaking of "fired up," I was particularly honored to have ace bloggers, reporters, muckrakers Thomas Charles and Howard Beale from the Fired Up! Missouri blog in the house.

As well, between my remarks and the Q&A period, I was informed that a full contingent of officials from the City of St. Louis Board of Elections had come out as well. Though I offered them the opportunity to respond at the top of the Q&A to any of my comments, e.g., "tell me where I was full of it," they all declined, saying instead they had "just come to listen." After encouraging them to bring a lawsuit against Diebold (the voting machine vendor foolishly relied upon in the city of St. Louis) for fraud, we moved on to some great questions from the very enthusiastic group of folks who turned out on another sweltering St. Louis evening. Afterwards, one of the Republican members of the St. Louis City BoE bothered to come up, introduce himself, and swap business cards. Which is very much appreciated.

I'm told that the Democrats on the board are also appointed by Republican Governor Matt Blunt (former SoS and ACVR founder/scammer Thor Hearne's partner in crime), so it's said that they may or may not be actual Democrats. I'll stay agnostic, since I don't know either way, and just appreciative that they bothered to come and at least one came by afterwards to make contact.

On the other hand, Thor Hearne, Paul DiGregorio (former St. Louis County Election Director, turned EAC Chair, turned Voting Company chief), and John Diehl (current St. Louis County Election Director) declined to show despite the invitation sent to them to speak at the event along with me. Oh, well.

The biggest honor of the week for me here in St. Louis, no doubt, was an invitation I received by phone on Tuesday afternoon to come in and meet with the Editorial Board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the once-great paper founded by Joseph Pulitzer in 1878. It's now the city's only major daily.

The hour and a half chat on Wednesday, with some six or so folks, including commentary editor Eric Mink, editorial writer Jim Gallagher, letters editor Jamie Riley, editorial cartoonist R.J. Matson, and reporter Jo Mannies (the last remaining reporter to whom vote-suppressor Thor Hearne will speak, apparently), was a good one. They had tough questions for me, which I'd like to think I handled well-enough and, as you may have guessed, I had some tough questions and/or challenges for them in return. Specifically, in reference to their dearth of coverage on these most important issues, particularly here in Missouri, where Thor (whose first name they all sang out in chorus when I mentioned "one of the nation's top 'voter fraud' guys lives right here in St. Louis") lives, and in the state regarded aptly by Greg Gordon of McClatchy as "Ground Zero" for the GOP in the 2006 Election.

By the way, everyone here seems to know Thor in some way and has a strong opinion about him. Most not necessarily kind.

Little time for more details right now, other than I was struck by the words, plastered on the wall across from the elevator doors, in the lobby of the old Post building downtown where we met. The words greet everyone as they leave the elevator, just above the promotion for the Post's "Millionaire Money" promotion (see photo below.)

Given some who have charged me with being less than polite from time to time in my reporting, the 1904 quote from Joseph Pulitzer was notable for its bluntness and lack of "diplomacy." If I'm "coarse" enough to follow in his tradition, I will wear that label proudly. Here's the photo of the quote, but if it's difficult to read, so the text of Pulitzer's comments are reprinted below it:

"Our republic and its press will rise or fall together. An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it, can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery. A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself. The power to mould the future of the republic will be in the hands of the journalists of future generations."
-- From North American Review, Written by Joseph Pulitzer in 1904

I've got absolutely nothing to add to that.

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Speaking Thursday Night in Kirkwood After Screening of 'Stealing America: Vote by Vote'
By Brad Friedman on 8/15/2007 10:28am PT  

If you're within driving, walking, running distance of St. Louis, Missouri, please consider coming out Thursday Night to the Eliot Unitarian Chapel in Kirkwood (216 East Argonne) for an Election Integrity evening.

I'll be speaking and answering questions and heckles, right here in Thor Hearne Country, after a screening of Dorothy Fadiman's excellent documentary, Stealing America: Vote by Vote (which is being submitted for an Academy Award nomination, btw).

The sponsors of the free event, Missourians for Honest Elections, have also invited to speak both Thor Hearne, chief Bush/Cheney/GOP voter disenfranchiser and founder of the "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR), as well Paul DiGregorio, former St. Louis County Election Director turned chair of the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) who parlayed those jobs into his current position at the ironically named Internet voting company Everyone Counts. Those St. Louisans, and several others currently serving on the county's Board of Elections have all so far declined the invitation to show up, speak, and answer questions.

So I guess I'll have to talk about them instead.

WHEN: Thursday, August 16, 2007. Film at 6:30pm CT, I speak at 7:30pm CT.
WHERE: Eliot Unitarian Chapel, 216 E. Argonne, Kirkwood, MO (map)
MORE DETAILS: Here and here, along with some kind words from the Fired Up! Missouri folks right here.

Hoping to help get folks "fired up" indeed, here at "Ground Zero" in Missouri. So please come out if ya can.

Here's an in-studio radio appearance I did yesterday with the great newsman, Don Marsh on KWMU, St. Louis' NPR station. Exit pollster and political scientist Ken Warren also joined us by phone for the 45 minute interview with callers, etc. St. Louis County Election Director, John Diehl was supposed to call in late in the program. He never showed. Go figure.

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Incidentally: We'll Be Speaking in St. Louis Next Week!
By Brad Friedman on 8/10/2007 6:31pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from the Show Me State...

Looks like the Republican National Committee is getting a particularly early start in their attempts to steal next year's election. And from the looks of Paul Kiel's report on the deceptive RNC letter sent to a life-long Democratic voter in the Show Me State, once again Missouri may be ground zero in 2008.

All of which is swell, because we happen to be in Missouri this week, and plan to speak to folks in St. Louis next Thursday at an event sponsored by Missourians for Honest Elections (yes, there still are a few, including MO SoS Robin Carnahan, whose office contacted us to chat a bit yesterday upon seeing we'd be in town). We'll be causing trouble in Thor Hearne Country, firing up the troops, and taking questions, after a showing of Dorothy Fadiman's superb documentary Stealing America: Vote by Vote (which we're told is being submitted for Academy Award nomination).

See Kiel's story for the details on the GOP's latest efforts to game democracy and fool voters, instead of impressing them with actual ideas and policy, as that's what this quick item was meant to be about. But otherwise, if you're in or near St. Louis, please stop by Eliot Church in Kirkwood next Thursday night! More details are available here.

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Tells Paper It Was Marketing Department at His Lawfirm, Lathrop & Gage, Who Dunnit
Beyond That, Has No Idea Why His 'Client' ACVR's Website Disappeared...PLUS: More on Todd Graves & Tim Griffin...
By Brad Friedman on 6/15/2007 4:08pm PT  

Accomplished liar Mark. F. "Thor" Hearne told Jo Mannies at the Post-Dispatch (the only reporter he'll speak to of late) that there is absolutely nothing nefarious behind the continuing attempts by "someone" at his Missouri law firm, Lathrop & Gage, to scrub references to his discredited GOP "voter fraud" group, American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), from his page at Wikipedia, as we discussed Tuesday, and again Wednesday, as the Wiki War continued, and as it became apparent that the ACVR had lied about their involvement in political activities on their federal 990 tax forms.

Mannies asked Thor about the ACVR references, now several times expunged from the page, and about what happened to the amazing, disappearing "voter fraud" hucksters. Incredibly, this is what she reports old Thor as having to say about it...

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

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Group Was Run by Another Shady Character Involved in Missouri Fee Office Scandal, Connected to Jack Abramoff Groups...
By Howard Beale on 6/15/2007 1:20pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Howard Beale of Fired Up! Missouri

On Wednesday The BRAD BLOG pointed out just one of the reasons he may be trying, as much as he is, to make his American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) past disappear. It seems the group lied about their activities on their federal 990 public tax disclosure forms. But here comes another reason he may be hoping to hide his sordid past.

More so than ever before, the interconnected nature of the national and Missouri-based efforts to advance specious "voter fraud" claims and bend the operation of government entities to specific partisan political advantage is becoming clear. And the centrality of Mark F. "Thor" Hearne II to all of those efforts has never been more obvious than it is after the aggregation of a number of key facts.

State corporate and federal tax filings indicate that Thor Hearne --the undisputed mastermind and ringleader of the now-defunct and "disappeared" ACVR --- was responsible for the creation of a Missouri-based front group that issued public "reports" about topics like voter registration fraud which echoed messages being pushed at the national level by prominent GOP officials and ACVR itself. The Missouri organization, the Center for Ethics and the Free Market, was partially funded with one of the only (if not the only) monetary grants awarded by the ACVR and had its bookkeeping and non-profit filings done by Garrett Lott, a key figure in the Missouri fee office management company scheme overseen by Show-Me State Governor Matt Blunt and run out of Hearne's powerful Missouri law firm, Lathrop & Gage.

­While the ACVR was likely not even a gleam in his eye, back in February 2003, Thor Hearne filed paperwork with Missouri's Secretary of State to create a non-profit corporation called Center for Research of Ethics in Public Policy and the Free Market. Those records indicate that Hearne --addressed at the St. Louis office of his Lathrop & Gage law firm --- is the registered agent for the outfit. That organization, either for purposes of brevity or for throwing researchers off the trail, uses a slightly modified version of that name --- the Center for Ethics and the Free Market-- for its operations.

Among the work done by the Center for Ethics and the Free Market is "research" that tracks very closely with the "voter fraud" and "voter registration fraud" fearmongering that had been undertaken nationally by the American Center for Voting Rights. In June 2004, just months in advance of a presidential-year general election, the Center for Ethics and the Free Market issued a report that purportedly pointed to "concerns" with Missouri voter registration efforts [PDF] undertaken by progressive groups like America Coming Together and Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition. That report included language intended to inflate the potential for "voter fraud" --- language that has become familiar via various national voter suppression efforts...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2007 3:04pm PT  

(On the imaginary premise that Paris doesn't matter...)

Schlozman may be revising his Senate testimony in which he blamed Craig Donsanto, of DoJ's Public Integrity Unit (responsible for Election Crimes), for giving him the "all clear" to bring indictments for "voter fraud" in Missouri just days before the '06 election. The move was in violation of written DoJ policy which specifies that such cases that may have a political effect on elections are not to be filed until after such elections. In his testimony, Schlozman admitted (great video here) that he could have waited, but didn't.

Background and video on his previous testimony here, with a follow-up including details from a BRAD BLOG DoJ source here.

In not necessarily unrelated news, Bush lawyers up with nine additional attorneys today. Must be gettin' hot in there.

(Hat-tip to TPM for both items!)

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The Loyal Bushies at DoJ 'Wanted to Emasculate' the Voting Rights Act, Says Our Source...
By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2007 6:55pm PT  

Despite the spotlight being shone on the DoJ's politicization of the electoral system in Missouri and similar "swing" states all across the country, and despite a crushing defeat to their frivolous prosecution against the Show-Me State's Sec. of State Robin Carnahan, which was damn near laughed out of court last April, the DoJ has now signed the paperwork to file an appeal in the very same case.

We were tipped off to the appeal by one of our insider DoJ sources who yesterday had referred to Bradley Schlozman's Senate Judiciary Committee testimony as being "on the razor's edge of perjury." We've got some follow up details on that comment in a moment from the source we'll now call DoJ-Throat.

But as to the Missouri case --- in which Schlozman and the DoJ charged improper voters on the registration rolls, and "voter fraud" of all un-evidenced sorts --- rising yet again from the dead, there is little reported so far, other than a blog in Columbia, MO, quoting SoS Carnahan decrying the appeal.

"The judge who heard this case was clear and unequivocal that the Office of Secretary of State had done its job," says Carnahan, according to the Politics Blog at the Columbia Tribune.

Indeed, as we reported last April, after the case was dismissed, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey pulled few punches in her criticism of the case. "It is also telling that the United States has not shown that any Missouri resident was denied his or her right to vote as a result of deficiencies alleged by the United States," Laughrey decided. "Nor has the United States shown that any voter fraud has occurred."

But, as Republicans are wont to do, apparently, it's time to fire up the judicial system yet again for more partisan, frivolous litigation, we suppose. They refuse to go away. Like Jason, in yet another bad Friday the 13th movie. If they continue their forum shopping all the way up to the Supreme Court perhaps they'll find some Bush-appointed judges who are more friendly to the Bush-appointed US Attorneys bringing the action.

For clarity, this is not the "voter fraud" case that Schlozzie brought just days before the '06 election against several ACORN workers in Missouri. You know, the one which was brought in violation of the DoJ's own written rules mandating such cases not be brought when they might have a political impact on elections. The one which was made to look as if ACORN had done something wrong when, in fact, it was ACORN themselves who had alerted the state to concerns about registration forms submitted by their own workers, and with which nobody had ever actually cast a fraudulent vote. That's the case which Schlozzie admitted, in his testimony yesterday to Sen. Patrick Leahy, could have just as well been brought two weeks after the election instead of just days before it. (If you haven't seen the video of the Leahy/Schlozman exchange on this, we strongly recommend it.)

Rather, the case being appealed by DoJ is the one which former Missouri USA Todd Graves refused to bring in 2005, but which Schlozman insisted on bringing. The one alleging improper maintenance of the voter registration rolls by the state, no doubt, at the recommendation of the GOP's St. Louis "voter fraud" scammer in chief, Thor Hearne of the ACVR, as NPR finally reported on this morning.

As to the former "voter fraud" zealot/chipmunk Schlozman --- who moved from his inappropriate position overseeing the DoJ Voting Rights unit to his inappropriate position replacing Graves as US Attorney for Missouri's Western District in order to bring more frivolous and inappropriately timed "voter fraud" cases in to intimidate Democratic voters during a very close Senate election last year --- our DoJ source had some additional thoughts after yesterday's "razor's edge of perjury" testimony in the Senate...

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

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DOJ SOURCE TO BRAD BLOG: Schlozman's Senate Judiciary Testimony 'On the Razor's Edge of Perjury,' Says Tanner Promoted at DoJ to 'Take Hit for Schlozzie' on Photo ID/'Voter Fraud' Cases...
CONFIRMED: No Republican Senators Bothered to Show Up For Hearings
By Brad Friedman on 6/5/2007 12:18pm PT  

Oh, my god. Brad Schlozman is testifying right now before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Former US Attorney Todd Graves, whom Schlozman replaced after Graves was pushed out, will testify later.)

I don't usually care to cast personal aspersions, but this guy sounds exactly like a chipmunk. Not kidding.

He's being questioned on his partisan 'Voter Fraud'/ACORN prosecutions right now, and Feingold is currently asking a line of questioning that could lead to Thor Hearne and the ACVR scam. We'll see...

Listen/watch for yourself at C-SPAN 3 online...

UPDATES/LIVE OBSERVATIONS...
[NOW UPDATED WITH COMMENTS FROM A DOJ SOURCE]

• Leahy: "Mr. Schlozman, you seem to have broken AG Gonzales's record for saying 'I do not recall' in your testimony so far."

• Schlozman says he spent "25 to 30 hours" preparing for this testimony today.

• ...Says he doesn't think 'Voter Fraud' indictment brought in Missouri just days before '06 election (in violation of DoJ written guidelines) influenced the election, despite MO RNC press release issued in wake of the indictments. A previous case Schlozman/DoJ brought against the Democratic Missouri SoS alleging problems with voter rolls was later dismissed as the judge found "that the United States has not shown that any Missouri resident was denied his or her right to vote as a result of deficiencies alleged by the United States...Nor has the United States shown that any voter fraud has occurred." - Video of the exchange, with an angry Leahy, now here...

12:41pm PT - Committee takes a recess...

1:10pm PT - Committee now back in session. Live observations continue below...

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

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Once Again Removes References to GOP Gaming of 2000 Voter Rolls, Discredited GOP Claims of Democratic Fraud...
By Howard Beale on 6/5/2007 10:11am PT  

Guest Blogged by Howard Beale of Fired Up! Missouri

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Is the Noose Tightening Around Lathrop & Gage, Thor Hearne, Gov. Matt Blunt and the American Center for Voting Rights Corrupt Law Firm?
By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2007 3:46pm PT  

BREAKING from Kansas City Business Journal:

In early April, Tom Stewart announced that he would leave his position as chief executive at Lathrop & Gage LC to become chairman, effective July 1. Instead, he has left the firm altogether.

KC Star's breaking coverage reports that "Stewart held the top job at the firm for 18 years. During his tenure the firm grew from about 60 attorneys to 280."

What might all of this have to do with our coverage of Lathrop & Gage's connection to the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal, as we recently reported in some detail here, with followup here?

Given that BizJournal reports the longtime L&G CEO was slated to become Chairman of the firm, before he recently requested a 90-day sabbatical on April 23rd "for matters having to do with personal and family health," before announcing today's sudden departure, the timing --- and excuses --- are certainly notable.

We'll also note here that April 23rd also happens to be the day of our first report tying L&G to the U.S. Attorney scandal.

L&G is the powerful MO law firm of Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, the high-level GOP operative, friend of Rove, national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04, and co-founder of the now-defunct "non-partisan" Republican "voter fraud" disinfo group known as the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR). Hearne, in his capacity at L&G, was also Missouri Governor Matt Blunt's long-time right-hand legal man and vote suppression guy. Both Blunt and L&G were being investigated by the Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins in association with the privatization of the lucrative state licensing fee offices when Cummins was axed by DoJ in what may have been the first of the notorious U.S. Attorney purges.

Recently, Cummins was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying "Now I keep asking myself: 'What about the Blunt deal?'"

Blunt's sister Amy was also recently hired as an associate at the firm, but there are more L&G shenanigans and tie-ins to all of this that we've been working on for an upcoming report.

Stay tuned for that, and whatever else we can dig up concerning Stewart's surprise resignation today.

(Hat-tip to "overlander" at dKos)

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR "Voter Fraud" scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR. Your donation to The BRAD BLOG in order to help us continue this investigation and many others, is much appreciated!
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Machines Now Go Unused, But the Gov Stands by His Use of Tax-Payer Dollars, According to Local TV Report...
By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2007 12:25pm PT  


Missouri (or as we call our old homestate around here "Thor Hearne Country") wasted more than $600k on special high-tech, high-security computer systems to run their Voter ID system before the Republican's new vote-suppressing legislation was found to be unconstitutional. But never mind that, because the high-level, WH-connected GOP operative Thor Hearne's client, Gov. Matt Blunt, still believes it was all well worth it.

KTVI, the local Fox affiliate, reports:

State officials thought a voter id law was a good idea at the time, but it meant buying half a million dollars worth of high tech equipment that is now sitting idle. Taxpayers are stuck with the bill and Missouri state law makers are scratching their heads over the questionable call. Investigator Elliott Davis confronts Governor Matt Blunt in this edition of You Paid For It.

Check out Davis' video report on the boondoggle up there on the left, including his confrontation with the not-yet-resigned Missouri Governor.

(Hat-tip to the fine folks of Fired Up! Missouri for tipping us off to this report!)

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Says Their Legal Firm, Lathrop & Gage, Not Consulted Before Running Altered McClatchy Piece Related to Several Clients, Employees of Firm
Star's Deputy National Editor Explains, Offers BRAD BLOG Contradicted Reason for Delayed Publication...
By Chris Tackett on 5/10/2007 5:39pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Chris Tackett

After reading Greg Gordon’s excellent piece for McClatchy discussing Missouri’s place as "ground zero" for the GOP "voter fraud" scam, we – along with others – were surprised to learn that of all of McClatchy’s papers, The Kansas City Star had failed to run the piece when others, in different states, had done so on the first day it was filed.

When the piece finally ran at KC Star, FiredUp! Missouri's Howard Beale pointed out, it was greatly altered and had become what one could argue was a much different story. Their edited version of the story greatly downplayed failed Republican attempts to prove claims of massive Democratic "voter fraud," and excised references to many GOP politicians, such as Karl Rove, and perhaps most notably, a number of powerful Missouri politicians.

We wanted to allow the paper an opportunity to respond to those criticisms. We were able to receive such a response from The Star's Deputy National Editor, Keith Chrostowski. But later yesterday, the reason he gave to The BRAD BLOG for the delayed publication was directly contradicted in a public post Chrostowski made on the KC Star's own blogsite.

While originally waiting for him to respond to our numerous calls, we spotted Beale’s follow-up post from Tuesday morning revealing that The Star happens to be a client of the powerful Missouri GOP law firm Lathrop & Gage.

As BRAD BLOG readers surely know by now, Lathrop & Gage is the law firm of Mark F. “Thor” Hearne, who has been a central figure involved in the ongoing "voter fraud" scam in his role as founder of the GOP front group known as "American Center for Voting Rights" (our ACVR Special Coverage Page is here).

Missouri's Governor Matt Blunt is also a client of L&G, and has been represented for years by Hearne. Blunt, Hearne, and the ACVR were all central to the McClatchy piece as originally filed by Gordon and the role of each of them in the Star's altered version of the story was subsequently removed or otherwise greatly watered down.

Of course, there's no way of knowing if the editors at the Star were directly or indirectly influenced by this connection. But even if they are given the benefit of the doubt and the presumption that there was no influence on their delayed publication and editing of the McClatchy piece, the issue still remains that they failed to disclose the relationship to L&G to their readers. Such disclosure would seem to be a common sense journalistic principle.

On Tuesday afternoon, Chrostowski finally returned our call to provide a statement and an explanation. A transcript of the pertinent portion our conversation, along with his later posted contradiction, follows…

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

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