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Legislative Session Ends This Friday at 6pm CT!
By Brad Friedman on 5/14/2008 4:45pm PT  

Jason Leopold over at The Public Record has more goods today on GOP Vote-Suppressor Extraordinaire Thor Hearne, including confirmation that he is working behind the scenes with the Missouri state Congressman (Rep. Stanley Cox) who drafted the Constitutional Amendment currently barreling through the state Senate to require proof of citizenship and Photo ID proof of residency before voting.

For the record, MO already has a Voter ID requirement, so this new restriction is meant to do nothing more than keep Democratic-leaning voters from being able to vote. Period.

The Senate session goes on hiatus as of this Friday, so the question is whether the Dem majority can hold off the effort to disenfranchise some 240,000 state voters, according to the MO SoS, who could be affected by this cynical attempt at stealing November. Failure to fight off the effort could result in the Show-Me state, a crucial swing state, in going to the Republicans this November simply by virtue of voters turned away for lack of specific types of Photo ID in the City of St. Louis alone.

An urgent call has been put out for MO residents to call their Senators immediately and urge them to vote against HJR 48, Thor's latest move, the Constitutional amendment to require incredibly draconian proof of citizenship and state residency with Photo ID before you're allowed to cast your legal ballot!

So for those in Missouri, please take action NOW to fight for your democracy and Constitutional rights! Call your Senators, and defeat this amendment! Here are some helpful tools for you, courtesy of PDA...

  • Find your Missouri State Senator online here.
  • Find your Senator's phone number online here.
  • Or call the Senate Communications Office toll-free at (800) 88-GAVEL or (800) 877-5982.

Recently related BRAD BLOG stories:

LATE UPDATE 5/16/08: Details on HJR48 status, on the final day of Senate session!

LATER UPDATE 5/16/08: The good guys win one for a change! Measure fails to be passed by the MO Senate before they completed this year's session! Details now here...

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR "Voter Fraud" scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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You're a Great American, Thor Hearne...
By Brad Friedman on 5/12/2008 2:56pm PT  

The parade of disenfranchised and/or soon-to-be-disenfranchised elderly, nuns, U.S. veterans (even those disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan), hurricane victims, and other Democratic-leaning voters continues this week, following the recent Supreme Court decision to allow the disenfranchisement of thousands of such (previously) legal voters in Indiana.

While much of the coverage --- such as today's report by Art Levine at HuffPo --- has been intelligent and serious, the New York Times took the lazy way out in a front page story today, lending credence to the discredited GOP "voter fraud" huckster, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, with quotes and reference to his defunct, sham organization, The American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR).

Writing about him and it, as if he were legit, and as if the ACVR were still in operation, the article's author, Ian Urbina --- who has written very good reports in the past --- didn't bother to mention the controversy surrounding Hearne and his group, that they had disappeared themselves under the glare of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal, that they had lied on federal tax forms claiming that the group had not "attempted to influence national, state, or local legislation, including any attempt to influence public opinion on a legislative matter or referendum" (fraudulent tax form here), that Hearne himself has been behind every step of the systematic and dishonest scheme to get laws of this sort on the books across the country, and finally, Urbina didn't even bother to note that Hearne had been the national general counsel to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. and remains the top election lawyer for the Republican National Lawyer's Association.

It's all easy to find, of course. We've even set up a Special Coverage page at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR so folks like Urbina --- and NPR who similarly quoted Hearne as if he were legit recently --- wouldn't have to look too far.

But darn that "liberal media" again. For the record, we sought comment from Urbina, who we've been a source for in the past, and who has done good work over the years, but he declined to comment on our criticism here.

In the days immediately following the horrible SCOTUS decision, we quickly turned to our old home state of Missouri, where the huckster Hearne has been basing his well-funded voter suppression operation on behalf of the White House and the RNC for years, going back at least as far as the moment we originally outed him in 2005 just after he had created the not "non-partisan," tax-exempt front group, ACVR, and testified just days later at a Congressional hearing, led by Ohio's felonious Rep. Bob Ney. Hearne told of fraud having been committed in Ohio in 2004, but by John Kerry's campaign, after Hearne described himself to legislatures only as a "longtime advocate of voter rights and an attorney experienced in election law."

We called on MO's Sec. of State Robin Carnahan for an exclusive interview, while we were hosting KPFK's "Special Election Year Coverage" last week (audio here), and took the opportunity to inform her, if she didn't already know, that Hearne's group lied on his federal tax form, and has, to this day, illegally failed to discose the source of his group's $1 million in start-up funding.

Our interview with Carnahan took place even as Missouri's Republican legislature was in mid-debate on the House floor about a new state Constitutional Amendment to require proof of citizenship in order to register to vote and for a similarly draconian Photo ID requirement as those approved by the SCOTUS for the polling places in the Hoosier State.

Kansas City Star reporter Dave Helling noticed our interview with Carnahan, and wrote a quick item about it, noting her characterization of these anti-voter efforts as "absurd," and alleging that she has not been quite as available to "reporters in the state"...

Appearing yesterday on the radio with well-known voting machine critic and blogger Brad Friedman, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan called the push for photo ID "absurd."

(Carnahan's discussion --- by telephone --- was rare. Her office usually refuses to make her available for questions from reporters in the state.)

...But whether the MO SoS has been available to Helling or not, she has been making quite a bit of noise ever since, concerning what a study by her office has found to be some 240,000 largely Democrati-leaning voters in the Show-Me State who would be disenfranchised by the Republican law as she explained to us on air.

Meanwhile, over in Arizona, a law that has already made it on to the books will similarly be keeping legal Americans from casting their legal votes this year.

Thor Hearne deserves a raise...

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

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UPDATE: KC Paper Editorial Says 'Immature' Gov 'May Need to Resign for Good of State'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2008 12:04pm PT  

Who says investigative journalism in the corporate media is dead? Oh, yeah, that was us. Many times.

Nonetheless, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Tony Messenger proves the ability still exists for actual muckraking, watchdog-style investigative reporting (when the CMSM actually feels like it) in his exposé today concerning the unfolding scandal surrounding the downfall of professional GOP vote suppressor Thor Hearne's longtime benefactor, Gov. Matt Blunt of Missouri.

In January, Blunt shocked Show-Me Staters, and left local Republican officials "dumbfounded" and "speechless" with his surprise declaration, via YouTube, that he had changed his mind about running for a second term.

"After a great deal of thought and prayer, and with the knowledge that we have achieved virtually everything I set out to accomplish, and more, I will not seek a second term in the upcoming election," Blunt said, with a straight face, in his video-taped announcement.

As his re-election campaign had previously begun to organize and raise money, the claim of the first term Governor having finished his work wasn't taken very seriously by most. Trouble down the short road, from several ongoing criminal investigations, on the other hand, was largely believed to be the reason for his stunning duck and cover.

Today, the Post's Messenger reveals more details on just one aspect of what Blunt was likely hiding from: An investigation into the improper destruction of official e-mails, and the inappropriate termination of one of his attorneys who had allegedly advised that destroying the public documents would be neither legal nor proper.

Sound familiar? We'll remind you, a fish rots from the head down.

Messenger's investigative report is here, along with links to a secretly recorded audio tape. Audio tape?! Where does he think he works, at a blog?! We welcome the return of real journalism to a corporate mainstream media outlet. Hope they keep it up. We'd love to be put out of our "job."

UPDATE: KC Blue Blog tips us off to a Kansas City Star editorial today, calling for Blunt to step down. "It's time to start using the 'R' word with Missouri's immature governor, Matt Blunt," the Star editorial board's Yael T. Abouhalkah writes. "Yes, he may need to resign for the good of the state."

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On Air Today (Wed.) at 2pm PT in L.A. and Santa Barbara, and Around the World via the Internets!
Call-In at: 818-985-5735...
By Brad Friedman on 5/7/2008 10:20am PT  

[Updated post-show, with archive of show at bottom of article.]

Once again today, I'll be hosting an hour of "Special Election Year Coverage" for the good folks at L.A.'s Pacifica Radio affiliate, KPFK 90.7 FM, from 2p-3p PT this afternoon.

And, once again, we'll be looking less at the election "horse race" and much more at the "track conditions," with a special eye on the Supreme Court's unconstitutional support of polling place Photo ID restrictions such as the one that disenfranchised a bunch of 80 & 90 year-old nuns (along with many others) yesterday in Indiana.

My special guest will be MO Sec. of State ROBIN CARNAHAN, joining us to discuss the effect of the SCOTUS ruling in her state, which has been called "Ground Zero" for the phony GOP voter fraud scam. It's no coincidence that MO is the home of GOP Scammer-in-Chief Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, btw, as he's the democracy-hating front-man most single-handedly responsible for the Republican Photo ID/Voter Suppression effort.

We'll also be giving away some stuff to callers, such as a signed Duhmocracy CD and a signed Uncounted DVD. So join us, and call in with your questions at: 818-985-5735.

Tune in live from 2p-3p PT (4p-5p CT, 5p-6p ET) on air in Los Angeles at 90.7 FM, in Santa Barbara at 98.7 FM, or listen live online right here.

P.S. After the show, I'll be a guest on Voice of the Voters w/ Mary Ann Gould at 4pm PT, and then on People Speak Radio w/ David Swanson at 5pm PT. So it'll be a full day of BradCasting today! Hope you'll tune in...


Post-Show Update: We had another very lively show on KPFK with Sec. Carnahan, and loads of callers. Here's the full archive (appx 55 mins) for MP3 download, or you can listen online right here...

Prices now slashed in The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive! Please support our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available starting at just $5!
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Proposes 28th Amendment to US Constitution to Disallow Privatized Corporate Vote Counting in Secret, Standardize Nation's Voting Systems for 'Equal Protection'...
By Alan Breslauer on 5/5/2008 9:46am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Yesterday The BRAD BLOG interviewed Byron DeLear who is running for Congress in Missouri's 2nd District. The current holder of the seat is the ultra-conservative war supporter and Bush crony, Todd Akin (R-MO), who last year infamously argued to keep sending reinforcements to Iraq by invoking Davy Crockett at the Alamo.

We found the intellectual DeLear, who supports the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq and the impeachment of Bush and Cheney, extremely knowledgeable on a wide range of issues including election integrity. DeLear even goes so far as to call for the 28th Amendment to the US Constitution to secure the vote.

Says DeLear during our exclusive interview...

"I talk about the necessity for the 28th Amendment to the US Constitution to be securing the most sacrosanct institution of our Republic which is the vote – the cornerstone of our democracy. And how is it that we can allow corporations to own the source code that instructs voting machines how to count the vote? How is it that in our supposedly popular and public owned electoral system can we have privatization occurring where the basic functions of our elections are in secret and are not available to the scrutiny of the American people?

"So I think the 28th Amendment to the US Constitution should be securing the vote, providing for independent verification of ballot results and I think we should explore the idea of perhaps standardizing the American voting experience. Because when you have 13,000 different methods of counting the vote littered across the landscape of our Republic – that essentially violates the essence of equal protection under the law. And I don’t think it’s fair that you can have African Americans waiting six hours in the rain in Ohio and then other people in other parts of the country just walk in and get their votes cast and there is no problem whatsoever.

"So we got to end this kind of unequal, unfair playing field that is occurring in regards to counting our votes and getting our voice heard."

Our complete interview (appx 4 mins), shot Sunday during a fund raising even here in Los Angeles, follows below. You can find out more about DeLear at his DeLear for Congress website...


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Why Do Republicans Hate our Troops? And the U.S. Constitution?
By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2008 11:54am PT  

As I've been trying to help people understand, this Indiana polling place Photo ID restriction law, as upheld last week by the Supreme Court, is so much worse than most folks realize right now.

It is, as previously predicted, already beginning to spread like wildfire to other states, such as Missouri, where the Republicans control both legislature and state house, and where even a few thousand legal Democratic votes, shaved cynically off of the results in places like the city of St. Louis next November, can be the difference between the state going "red" instead of "blue."

The following remarkable tale of a U.S. Army vet who has fought in three conflicts for our country, and who has won multiple medals for his service, including two bronze stars, purple heart, etc., who has been registered to vote since 1968, but who is now having a helluva time being able to cast a ballot in Indiana, will likely become all too typical now. The report comes from from the Nuvo weekly in the Hoosier state, and was sent in by BRAD BLOG reader "RC."

It is absolutely maddening, at least to those of us who give a damn about American values, such as democracy, the U.S. Constitution, patriotism, love of country, etc., so it may mean little to the vast majority of Republicans out there today. Please, at least, read the lede to the story below and --- if you're a Republican who supports this anti-American bullshit --- please let us know, in comments, why why this sort of treatment of our troops is okay with you. All of this, despite Indiana's own admission during the SCOTUS hearing, that there has never been, in the state's entire history, a single known instance of polling place voter impersonation fraud of the type this law is supposedly meant to keep from happening...

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

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Focus Likely to be on GOP Voter Fraud Front Group 'American Center for Voting Rights' as New Mexico's Fired US Attorney David Iglesias, Missouri's SoS Robin Carnahan and Others Are Set to Testify on the Republican-Run Voter Disenfranchisement Scheme...
By Brad Friedman on 3/10/2008 2:15pm PT  

Blogged by Brad Friedman from the road...

The insidious nexus between phony GOP charges of "voter fraud" and the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal will finally be explored in a Senate Hearing on "In-Person Voter Fraud: Myth and Trigger for Disenfranchisement?" this Wednesday in Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) Rules Committee. The complete witness list and press release from Feinstein's office, announcing the hearings, is posted at the end of this article.

Witnesses will include, among others, former NM U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, believed to have been fired for his unwillingness to bring phony voter fraud charges in the state despite pressure from folks such as Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM), Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM), and a representative of Republican operative Thor Hearne's now-defunct "American Center for Voting Rights," (ACVR) which The BRAD BLOG originally outed as a White House/GOP front group in a long series of investigative reports dating back to 2005, which began just after the supposedly non-partisan group (co-founded by two very high level White House/GOP operatives) first appeared on the scene...

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

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The Discredited ACVR's Disgraced GOP 'Voter Fraud' Fraudster Reviving His Once-Popular Huckster Routine...
By Howard Beale on 12/17/2007 11:50am PT  

Guest Blogged by Howard Beale of Fired Up! Missouri...

In an irony of ironies, the man famous for fabricating --and then suddenly disappearing-- an organization expressly for purposes of spreading misinformation about "voter fraud" in order to suppress Democratic vote counts, is now hitting classrooms to teach Missouri lawyers about campaign finance laws and lobbyist disclosure.

Thor Hearne is apparently set to headline an event next week sponsored by the Missouri Bar which is titled "Then and Now: Update on Campaign Finance and Lobbying Laws."

Perhaps Hearne will lovingly detail all the steps that one can take --hypothetically, of course-- to concoct front organizations that serve as proxies for partisan interests and then lobby legislatures for needless statutory changes that will strip away rights from legal voters and provide their party with structural electoral advantages.

This appearance by Hearne seems to be the latest in a series of contrived efforts to re-enter the public sphere after several months in hiding. Hearne largely disappeared from the scene after he became a touchstone of the actions of a corrupt and politically motivated Department of Justice --- who brought "voter fraud" prosecutions timed to coincide with elections, in violation of written DoJ procedures, etc. --- and suffered well-deserved beatings at the hands of Congressional investigators.

Hearne has recently surfaced, comically, as an election "expert" in a silly piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jo Mannies and as the author of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of 41 Congressional supporters, including Missouri GOP nuts Sen. Kit Bond and Rep. Roy Blunt, of Indiana's anti-voter voter identification law which is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. Presumably, Hearne believes that people have somehow forgotten that he was proven to be a charlatan and laughingstock just a few months ago. Neither FiredUp! Missouri nor The BRAD BLOG has forgotten.

The one saving grace of the Missouri Bar's seminar may be that Hearne's anti-rights ranting will be balanced out by one of his co-presenters, attorney Rob Heggie, who possesses a long record of standing up in favor of protecting the rights of Missouri voters.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR "Voter Fraud" scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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Gives Details to BRAD BLOG Alleging Testimony from Chief of DoJ Civil Rights Division Voting Section 'Not Believable,' Full of 'Evasion and Prevarication'
'He Lost No Time in Twisting the Truth,' Says 'Anonymous' Staffer in E-Mailed Rebuttal...
By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2007 3:01pm PT  

During yesterday morning's contentious hearings in the House Judiciary subcommittee, featuring DoJ Voting Chief, John "Minorities Die First" Tanner, a staffer in that division who we've come to know contacted The BRAD BLOG to say "Tanner is lying through his teeth."

We asked the staffer --- who has requested to remain "anonymous" for obvious reasons --- to elucidate with details, which are now posted in full below...

I welcome the opportunity to respond to John Tanner's testimony yesterday in front of the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

We in the Voting Section were amazed to watch John Tanner's evasion and prevarication. He lost no time in twisting the truth. In his opening statement, he gives his usual litany about all the suits the [DoJ Civil Rights Division Voting] Section has filed. A huge percentage of them have been meaningless, the kinds of suits that never would have been filed under previous leadership. In the past, the Section Chief would pick up the phone, call the jurisdiction, and the jurisdiction would change its procedures. Only truly intransigent jurisdictions got sued. Now, the protocol is that even if we negotiate with the jurisdiction, we sue them, and many times, a previously negotiated consent decree is filed with the court the very same day the complaint is filed. The only possible justification for doing this is to pad the numbers of lawsuits we're filing.

Tanner says "The Section is so productive because of the energy, the enthusiasm, and the commitment of the Section staff." At this point, the only thing that the Section staff could conceivably be said to be energetic and enthusiastic about and committed to is the departure of John Tanner and his handpicked acting deputies, Susana Lorenzo-Giguere and Yvette Rivera. Tanner's ineptitude has done something most of the committed supporters of civil rights in the Section never thought possible: it's given us common cause with people across the aisle. We disagree with their ideology, but as one of them told me only today, Tanner has few supporters even over there. We are united in our belief in their inability to manage the Section. Aside from this, morale is at an ebb that even falls below that which existed when Hans von Spakovsky and Brad Schlozman ran roughshod over the Section.

The letter continues below...

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

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From the 'You Must Be Kidding Me' File...
By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2007 1:03pm PT  

Must get to Laguna to speak tonight, so not much time to do much today, but this video is certainly worth a pop, quickly. As described by the original poster, it may be "The Worst Example of Media Relations EVER."

As it comes from my home state of Missouri, I'll go ahead and apologize on behalf of all Show-Me Staters for this idiot, even though he's "from the other side of the river" in St. Charles.

Oh, and the headline for the video where it's originally posted, "Gotta Love Jesus. And the South," isn't altogether fair. St. Charles is essentially St. Louis, and it kinda went both ways during the Civil War. Plus, I suspect many of the folks who live there, as those in St. Louis, don't necessarily consider it "The South."

(Hat-tip to the good folks at ePluribus Media for giving me the heads up!)

UPDATE 7/1/09: As this video seems to have gone 'missing', here's a link to a more detailed description of what happened. Thanks to the reader who notified me. I'll work to find a copy of the original video and repost it here if I can find it...

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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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