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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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KC Star's Corporate Attorney is Lathrop & Gage of Thor Hearne/ACVR (and Much More) Fame
Failed to Make Disclosure When Re-Writing About Corrupt Firm's Corrupt Clients...
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2007 1:23pm PT  

If you've yet to notice, the latest daily must-read covering the very heart and soul of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal is Fired Up ! Missouri.

They have been reporting on the nub of the issue --- the resounding corruption and/or cover-ups emanating out of Thor Hearne's MO law firm Lathrop & Gage --- in a way that even the good folks at TPMMuckracker have yet to fully comprehend and/or adequately cover.

Anyway, Howard Beale at FU!MO (an interesting acronym, now that we write it) has a notable follow-up today to his Friday story on the KC Star having re-written the excellent McClatchy story on Missouri as "Ground Zero" for the GOP "Voter Fraud" fraud.

The KC Star, ironically enough, owned by McClatchy's parent company, had rewritten the piece to make it far more GOP/Missouri Politico-friendly as we subsequently covered here.

Beale today, has a suggestion as to why the Star may have gone out of their way to whitewash a previously brilliant piece of investigative reporting by McClatchy's Greg Gordon when they reran it (a day after McClatchy's other papers had done so): KC Star's corporate attorney is none other than Hearne's Lathrop & Gage, the very firm that is at the absolutely epi-center of this entire matter in many more ways than one, including representing a number of the subjects of Gordon's story, such as Hearne, Gov. Matt Blunt, etc.

All of which begs another important question which Beale forgot to ask in his coverage: Why did the Star fail to make that disclosure for readers when they reran even the whitewashed version of the McClatchy piece?

After bullet-pointing several of the L&G connections to all of these coming out of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal, Beale concludes:

It has, in some ways, always been puzzling that the Star has been so far behind other news outlets in reporting on the DOJ/U.S. Attorney scheme despite its connection to the Kansas City area and the region's own U.S. Attorney. Makes you wonder about just what sort of counsel the paper's been keeping.

Indeed. But readers shouldn't have to "wonder". The paper ought to be disclosing it in every article --- if they still have any journalistic ethics left at the joint, in any case.

Go figure...

UPDATE: What is disclosed by the Star at the end of their re-written McClatchy hatchett job, btw, is this: "McClatchy Newspapers correspondent Margaret Talev, and The Star’s Steve Kraske and Mark Morris contributed to this report." McClatchy's Talev was listed as a contributor on the original version of the piece. As to the others, we don't yet know much about Morris personally, but Kraske's GOP leanings and Fox "News"-style tactics of "journalism" are well-dissected in this Sunday piece from Beale, covering Kraske's own whitewashing of the duplicitous, anti-democratic, politicization of the DoJ under the guise of the GOP's "Voter Fraud" canard as run at the Star over the weekend.

Why even one reporter would be needed to rewrite such a story is already worth questioning. Putting two on the case, especially in light of the grotesque rewrites, is certainly notable. Especially when one of them is Kraske.

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Removes References to Republican Missouri Politicians, Karl Rove, Thor Hearne, ACVR, Lack of 'Voter Fraud' Evidence and More
Yet Another Mind-Blowing Mainstream Media Embarrassment...
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2007 12:54pm PT  

Howard Beale at the Show-Me State's watchdog, Fired Up! Missouri, hits another home run on Friday with a devastating piece comparing the Kansas City Star's altered version of Greg Gordon's recent brilliant piece at McClatchy exposing Missouri as "Ground Zero" for the GOP's widespread, well-funded national "voter fraud" scam. As Thor Hearne, of the now-defunct American Center for Voting Rights (BRAD BLOG's Special Coverage Page here) and his Missouri law firm Lathrop & Gage were at the epicenter of "Ground Zero," the Star's actions in butchering the original piece --- in order to save GOP/Missouri face and deceive their own readers in the bargain --- is all the more scandalous.

The Star, it seems, after waiting a day to run the story in their pages at all, managed to hack up Gordon's excellent exposé to effectively excise as much GOP culpability as possible. With a particular eye towards removing anything that could be seen as embarrassing to local GOP'ers, like Thor Hearne, Gov. Matt Blunt, etc.

"Every change made to the story has the clear effect of reducing the exposure of the GOP," writes Beale, who calls the hatchet job "a total embarrassment" for the once-distinguished KC newspaper which is, ironically enough, actually owned by McClatchy!

See Beale's full piece for the undeniable sham exposed when the two versions of the story are compared side-by-side.

By way of just one example, the headline of Gordon/McClatchy's original was changed from "2006 Missouri's election was ground zero for GOP" to the Fox "News"-like "GOP sought to suppress votes in Missouri, critics say."

As Beale points out, this not-so-subtle change has the effect of turning the detailed, fact-based reporting by Gordon into a "he-said-she-said" difference of opinion:

The story was obviously not initiated by --nor is it at all about-- the claims of "critics" nor anyone else. Gordon was not reporting on some press event by Democrats who were making claims of voter suppression. Rather he did real reporting and wrote about how, as the facts indicate, the GOP historically undertook specific actions on the issue of voter fraud in Missouri with the intent of helping Republican candidates.

The Star's editorial decision, via its headline, to turn the story into some sort of he-said-she-said difference of opinion is an insult to the intelligence of its readers as well as a slap in the face to Greg Gordon, whose remarkable reporting their headline trivializes.

Ditto. But it gets far worse throughout the altered and excised text of the article itself where entire passages are re-written and phrases such as "No significant voter fraud was ever proved" and "inquiries found little evidence to support the claims" and "the government had produced no evidence of fraud" have been entirely removed.

KC Star ought to be absolutely ashamed of themselves, McClatchy ought to bust out some pink slips, and subscribers would do well to raise holy hell and/or cancel subscriptions as quickly as possible while letting them know why.

Where the hell have all of the real newspapers gone in this country?

Thor Hearne is no doubt smiling in his grave (or, more accurately, his mansion in Ladue...but if the facts don't matter to KC Star why should we give a damn either?).

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National Mainstream Media FINALLY Picks up on, Exposes the 'Non-Partisan' 'American Center for Voting Rights' Fraud...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2007 3:12pm PT  

After more than two years of banging the drum here at The BRAD BLOG, it looks as if the national MSM have finally picked up on the fraud perpetrated by Missouri's White House operative Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and his high-level, democracy-hating GOP scammer pals in Missouri, at the Department of Justice, and in the White House.

In a McClatchy article just out today, reporter Greg Gordon correctly identifies Missouri as "Ground Zero" in the Republican attempt to establish phony claims of Democratic "voter fraud" in order to institute new restrictions at the polls as part of an insidious ploy to Democratic-leaning voters from being able to cast their vote.

Gordon reports on a number of issues out of Missouri that we've covered here over the years, including; the unsubstantiated claims of "voter registration fraud" against ACORN filed just prior to the '06 election in the Show-Me state; the unsuccessful lawsuit brought by the DoJ against MO SoS Robyn Carnahan alleging more voters on the rolls than actual eligible voters; and the unconstitutional Voter ID law as pushed through the MO legislature as drafted by the slime-ball Hearne.

As well, McClatchy finally outs the supposedly "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), as created by Hearne and RNC Communications director, Jim Dyke. We began reporting on ACVR just three days after they went public on March 22, 2005 to testify before then-Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) House Administration Committee on Democratic attempts at "vote supression" during Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election.

Gordon finally exposes the ACVR in the mainstream media for what it actually was: Little more than a well-coordinated, (and still-mysteriously-funded) scam to produce public propaganda to support the GOP's insider push in swing states for voter suppression legislation and tactics by Republican officials.

Though the ACVR claimed tax-exempt 501(c)3 status from the beginning (despite their inability to show evidence of same), their "non-partisan" status was neatly embellished several months after they formed when they added "Democrat" Brian Lunde as their Executive Director. As Gordon writes...

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

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Powerful GOP Missouri Lawyer at Powerful GOP Missouri Law Firm Admits Bringing Powerful GOP Attorney William Mateja in to Manage DoJ Investigaton of Lathrop & Gage, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt
Firm Also Recently Hired Governor's Sister Amy... More is Still to Come...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2007 11:39am PT  

"[T]he aspens...turn in clusters, because their roots connect them."
-- I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby

A high-level GOP operative and master "voter fraud" snake-oil salesman, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne of Missouri, was in charge of hiring a high-level White House/DoJ operative to help put out the fire in an investigation by former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins, according to a recent interview.

The investigation by Cummins, who was fired without cause shortly after the matter came to public attention, was said to have been looking into a multi-million dollar state fee-office scheme, carried out by Hearne's own Missouri law firm, Lathrop & Gage (L&G), and their client, Missouri's Gov. Matt Blunt.

Since revelations of the U.S. Attorney Purge, Cummins has publicly questioned what exactly it was that went on during "the Blunt deal."

The revelation of Hearne's hiring of the powerful White House/DoJ-connected operative, William B. Mateja, a Dallas-based attorney from a Texas/DC law firm, comes via admissions by Hearne in a report filed last week by Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Mannies's article followed on the heels of several related reports here at The BRAD BLOG in the days prior and included inquiries with Hearne about details in those reports.

In carefully parsed comments to Mannies, Hearne denies having "a discussion with anybody, in the White House or otherwise, about any U.S. attorneys being fired or resigning."

Mannies did not report on whether Hearne denied having conversations with "anybody in the White House or otherwise" about the investigation his firm and his client, the Governor, were said to be facing at the time.

The BRAD BLOG has also learned the Governor's sister, Amy Blunt, has been hired by Lathrop & Gage.

"Blunt said she came to Lathrop & Gage because of the firm's extensive focus on campaign and election law," according to the August 2006 press release announcing her arrival at L&G. She's also quoted in the release specifically mentioning that she was "particularly pleased to join Thor Hearne" at the firm.

These details all come in advance of more seemingly-related and contemporaneous WH/DoJ/L&G chicanery, which we are currently investigating and hope to be reporting on in the coming days.

Last week we filed detailed reports on what we see as a serious "underlying crime" and the specific, direct connection to the White House between the case in Missouri, the GOP's #1 "voter fraud" scam artist/operative Hearne, and the firing of Cummins. Cummins was the Arkansas U.S. Attorney assigned to the case after Todd Graves, the USA in Missouri's Western District, was forced to recuse himself due to family involvement in the fee-office scheme to the tune of millions of dollars. Graves's own involvement in the scandal, which Cummins was investigating, has been largely omitted in recent coverage by the Kansas City Star and others.

Graves eventually was allowed to save face by resigning his position shortly after he showed up on the now-infamous DoJ hit list of U.S. Attorneys to be fired; he was replaced by one of DoJ's top "voter fraud" zealots, Brad Schlozman. Cummins would be replaced by Karl Rove's right-hand Tim Griffin. Neither replacement had the prosecutorial experience for the job, even if they had the White House/GOP political hackery down cold.

Hearne was the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04, creator of the "non-partisan" GOP "voter fraud" front group American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) --- a phony "grass roots" operation set up to create propaganda in order to lead to new, restrictive Voter ID laws at the polls --- and a very good, and powerful, friend of Karl Rove's and the Bush/Cheney White House....

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

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High-Level White House, DoJ, Rove Operatives Went to Work While now-Fired Prosecutor Bud Cummins Was Building a Case Against Missouri Governor Matt Blunt and the WH Connected MO Law Firm Lathrope & Gage...
By Brad Friedman on 4/23/2007 4:20am PT  

"You have to firewall politics out of the Department of Justice. Because once it gets in, people question every decision you make," the former U.S. Attorney from Arkansas, Bud Cummins, told the Los Angeles Times in March. "Now I keep asking myself: 'What about the Blunt deal?'"

What about the Blunt deal, indeed.

{Ed Note: See the 5/8/97 update at the end of this story concerning Cummins denial that he ever made that comment to the LATimes}

Last Thursday we began piecing together a few previously unconnected dots in the firing of Cummins. The dots connected appear to lay out a fairly straight arrow into the the highest levels of the White House. At least if you're familiar with some of the players, whom they know, and what they do for a living.

Since we've been reporting on the high-level (just about as high as they get) GOP operative, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, for some years now at The BRAD BLOG, the connection was made quite easily once we tripped upon a key fact: Hearne's Missouri law firm, Lathrop & Gage LC, was at the center of a criminal investigation by Cummins's office. That investigation had come to public light just before Cummins's sudden --- and still unexplained --- dismissal. He was replaced by Karl Rove aide Timothy Griffin.

While the Republican Punditocracy has been running around desperately repeating the old Scooter Libby-era chestnut "No Underlying Crime!" over the days since Gonzales's woeful testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, we've been looking more into the Cummins/Hearne/Rove/White House nexus, which seems to fairly scream out "Underlying Crime!" on just its face.

And others in the blogosphere, it seems, appear to be quite ready to burst as well with news on this element of the U.S. Attorney firings....

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

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Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins Was Fired Just After Reports Surfaced of Investigation into Law Firm of Top Level White House/GOP Operative and Close-Friend-of-Rove, Thor Hearne
Prosecutor Was Replaced by Rove Aide Timothy Griffin...
By Brad Friedman on 4/19/2007 10:53am PT  

[NOTE: SEVERAL UPDATES NOW ADDED INCLUDE ADDITIONAL DETAILS]

One quick observation concerning Gonzales's sorry "don't attack our troops" defense, and another --- much more important note --- on a so far unreported aspect of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal that seems to reach straight into the White House and about which someone on the Senate Judiciary Committee needs to ask some questions.

First, just the observation that Gonzales has been continuously suggesting today that questioning him is actually an attack on the career attorneys at DoJ. Nothing could be more disingenuous, yet familiar as a now-routine defense for this bunch. The reprehensible defense is identical to the oft-employed White House/GOP response to criticism of George W. Bush's handling of the Iraq War. "Stop attacking our troops!" they say, whenever someone is critical of Bush's horrendous war management.

Gonzales's "Stop attacking our career DoJ attorneys!" defense is no different and equally as disingenuous, particularly considering the now-long documented history that this White House has for its unprecedented politicization of the DoJ, its direct attacks on career attorneys in the civil rights division and elsewhere, its overruling of positions of those employees by Bush's political appointees, and so much more.

Thankfully, just before the lunch break, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) pointed out exactly that, and likewise compared it to the "Stop attacking our troops!" defense. It brought a round of applause from the audience in the room. (UPDATE: TPMMuckracker now has video of the exchange.)

Secondly, but certainly of far more importance, there is the so far ignored --- yet as I see it, direct --- connection to the White House concerning the firing of Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins...

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

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Since the EAC Refuses to Notify Them, We Hope You Will...
By Brad Friedman on 4/16/2007 4:32pm PT  

A commenter over at DU asked which states used the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting system found vulnerable to an undetectable countywide vote-flipping virus which can be implanted by a single person, as we reported this morning.

Based on our quick review of a county-by-county database of voting systems, sorted by state, as made available by Common Cause (EXCEL spreadsheet downloadable here) just prior to the November 2006 elections, it looks like the answer is 16 states in total.

Since the EAC refuses, as our report detailed, to do their job in notifying Elections Officials about this incredibly serious vulnerability, it looks like it's up to you to notify your state's Secretary of State and/or county Election Officials! Details on the vulnerability and mitigating steps that may be taken are detailed in this brief report at VotersUnite.org as written by a computer scientist and voting system expert well familiar with the newly discovered flaw. Please refer your voting officials to both our original article, and that scientific report for more details at the following URLs:

The states which use the ES&S iVotronic affected (with firmware versions either 8 or 9, with or without a so-called "Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail") are as follows:

  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • New jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

If we've missed any, or any of the states above do not use the system in at least one county, please let us know and we'll amend the list.

The BRAD BLOG and You - Doing the EAC's job for them. But without the $15 million budget (or the incomprehensible incompetence).

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Democratic Secretary of State Acted Properly, Voter Registration Database Meets Federal Standards, No 'Voter Fraud' Found...
By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2007 10:05pm PT  

Whaddaya know? A federal judge has found no "voter fraud" in Missouri, finding in favor of the Secretary of State, and against the Department of Justice in their continuing attempt to game the election system and keep voters from voting via bogus claims of "voter fraud".

Missouri’s chief election officer has fulfilled her legal obligations toward keeping local election authorities’ voter registration rolls up to date, a federal judge ruled yesterday in a defeat for the U.S. Department of Justice
...
"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," [U.S. District Judge Nanette] Laughrey wrote [in her ruling]. "Nor has the United States shown that any voter fraud has occurred."

Yesterday in a statement, Carnahan said the ruling "concluded that my office not only complied with federal law but also went beyond its requirements through our many efforts to assist the county clerks and election boards with their responsibilities. The ruling also confirmed that there is no evidence of voter fraud in Missouri.

"This is the culmination of 18 months of an unnecessary, unwise and costly lawsuit by the Department of Justice," Carnahan added, "and I am glad my office can now direct all of its attention on continuing to ensure fair and accurate elections in Missouri."

This is what your Dept. of Justice has been wasting their time on, at the behest of the most criminally politicized bunch who has ever occupied the White House.

As BRAD BLOG readers likely know, Missouri is "Thor" Hearne country. The St. Louisan Hearne was the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. and the cofounder of the currently-defunct "non-partisan" "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR). The ACVR was ground zero for entire GOP "voter fraud" scam and Hearne cut his teeth disenfranchising Missouri voters on behalf of Gov. Matt Blunt (and his father Roy, who once served as MO Sec. of State, and now serves as Minority Whip in the U.S. House).

See this page for more on the snakeoil salesemen of the ACVR --- who have, since the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal broke, slithered back underground. For now anyway...

The judge's full ruling in the trumped up MO "Voter Fraud" case is here [PDF].

(Hat-tip Victoria Parks!)

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Merry Christmas. God Bless America.
By Brad Friedman on 12/15/2006 6:23pm PT  

Good news. It's getting a little harder, at least for the moment, for our government to kill our own citizens. From the AP coverage...

OCALA, Fla. - Gov. Jeb Bush suspended all executions in Florida after a medical examiner said Friday that prison officials botched the insertion of the needles when a convicted killer was put to death earlier this week.
...
In Florida, medical examiner Dr. William Hamilton said Wednesday's execution of Angel Nieves Diaz took 34 minutes — twice as long as usual — and required a rare second dose of lethal chemicals because the needles were inserted clear through his veins and into the flesh in his arms. The chemicals are supposed to go into the veins.
...
The governor said he wants to ensure the process does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment, as some death penalty foes argued bitterly after Diaz's execution.

No. It's not cruel and unusual. It's very kind and thoughtful. Idiot.

The government in the state of Florida can't seem to get anything right. According to one of the anti-Death Penalty advocates quoted in the story, "Florida has certainly deservedly earned a reputation for being a state that conducts botched executions."

Go ahead and replace "executions" with "elections" (as you probably already have) and the sentence is equally true. Although, as far as we know, nobody's head has caught fire while voting in Florida, as apparently occurred twice during electric-chair executions in the state during the 90's. Lovely.

Meanwhile, good news on the Government Not Murdering Its Own Citizens front in both California, and even Missouri...

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

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Brad's Dad Again Holds Feet to the Fire at the Polling Place...This Time Over Unconstitutional Photo ID Restrictions...
By Harvey Friedman on 11/20/2006 10:05am PT  

Guest Blogged by Harvey Friedman (Brad's father)

ED NOTE: My dad previously guest blogged his amusing experience at the polls in St. Louis County during their primary election in August held on new touch-screen and/or optical-scan systems made by ES&S. Prior to that, it was reported he that he was instrumental in encouraging the county to not choose Diebold systems (they chose ES&S instead, for good or bad). Today, he shares his anectodes of again holding election officials' feet to the fire during the recent general election there. As he's never been an activist, or even political in anyway prior to all of this, I couldn't be prouder.

As I reviewed the St. Louis Post Dispatch on the day after the November 7th election, I was drawn to an article titled "Secretary of State Blasts County on IDs". The article said, in part:

The Missouri secretary of state says St. Louis County election officials may have confused voters — even intimidated them — by asking for identification that went beyond what is required.

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's office notified the county as early as last week about her concerns and alerted the U.S. attorney's office, which handles voter obstruction cases.

The state Supreme Court last month threw out a law stating that a voter needed a photo identification to cast a ballot. But some county election workers still were asking voters on Tuesday whether they had a photo or signature ID.

The article went on to say that "The St. Louis County Board of Elections, which oversees the largest jurisdiction of voters in the state, is appointed by Gov. Matt Blunt."

As BRAD BLOG readers may know, Blunt's right-hand man for years on voting issues was none other than "Thor" Hearne, the self-declared "non-partisan" founder of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR). The ACVR has been pushing for restrictive Photo ID requirement laws all across the country since the 2004 election. Most of those laws have been found to be unconstitutional, despite Hearne – the "non-partisan" who was the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. – and the ACVR's continuing attempt to convince America that there is a massive problem with voters voting twice and illegal aliens voting and so forth.

After reading the article and talking to Brad about my election day experience, it seems that perhaps others might be interested in my interesting personal experience while voting during the November 7th election here in St. Louis County....

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2006 11:40am PT  

Missourians for Honest Elections reports more incoming reports of votes-flipping on touch-screen systems in the Show-Me State. All polls in MO should have paper ballots (we are told), so voters can choose to vote that way instead. Their news release, with specific details of where the reports are coming from, follows in full...

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

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...Despite Supreme Court Ruling Which Overturned Restrictive, Unconstitutional Photo ID Law!
By Brad Friedman on 11/6/2006 3:05pm PT  

Incredible. Despite the Missouri Supreme Court having overturned the states unconstitional Photo ID law, a poll worker tried to force MO Sec. of State Robin Carnahan to show hers before she would be allowed to vote!

Carnahan told The Associated Press on Monday that a worker at the St. Louis Election Board asked her three times to show a photo identification when she voted absentee last Friday - despite a Missouri Supreme Court ruling striking down the photo requirement.

The poll worker apparently did not recognize that Carnahan was Missouri's chief elections official when Carnahan showed a paper voter card mailed out by the local election authority. The card does not have a picture but is an acceptable form of identification under Missouri law.

Carnahan said she tried to explain a photo ID was not necessary, but the election worker replied that she was instructed to ask for one anyway. Carnahan said she eventually was allowed to vote without displaying a photo identification.

Keep in mind, Missouri is "Thor" Hearne country. He's the high-level GOP operative, Bush/Cheney general counsel and overall democracy-hater whose been pushing the Photo ID efforts in every state around the country via his frontgroup, the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights.

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