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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, September 21, 2014
Resignation or Impeachment Would Be a Gift for Wife- Beating Judge Mark Fuller
2012 documents suggest years of repeated domestic abuse, of two wives and children by federal judge with lifetime appointment...
ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
Seeks full 7th Circuit hearing after remarkable three-GOP judge ruling reinstating Photo ID restrictions just weeks before election...
'Green News Report' 9/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
DiCaprio takes climate role at UN; Jindal plays dumbest role yet; Fracking confirmed (again) to contaminate; Black lung coal disease on rise; PLUS: Polluter front groups newest attack...
Previous GNRs: 9/16/14 - 9/11/14 - Archives...
Oil & Water: KPFK 'BradCast'
BRAD BLOG's Desi Doyen sits in for Brad with guests Matthew Heberger on water wars, David O. Atkins on CA's latest fracking fight, and Margot Paez on Mars!...
Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
MSNBC's Chris Hayes plays horrifying audio from the wife-beating incident of Federal Judge Mark Fuller; ALSO: calls for accountability from two Alabama U.S. Congresswoman...
Bobby Jindal: Climate Denier, Boy Genius
Louisiana's governor and pretend 2016 GOP Presidential hopeful pulls the old 'I know you are, but what am I?' maneuver by calling the Obama Administration 'climate deniers'...
'Green News Report' 9/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Hottest year on record in CA, hottest Aug. on record for planet; Record hurricane hits Cabo San Lucas; Warm-water fish found in Alaska; PLUS: Burlington, VT now 100% renewable!...
Previous GNRs: 9/11/14 - 9/9/14 - Archives...
Wife-Beating Federal Judge Finally Mentioned on MSNBC
MSNBC contributor asks about lack of outrage, impeachment for federal judge Mark Fuller who beat his wife bloody in August...
Outrage Slowly Grows After Wife-Beating Federal Judge Avoids Prosecution
Fellow GOP District Court judge calls for accountability, says 'no one should trust Mark Fuller's judgment in a federal trial courtroom'...
GOP PHOTO ID RESTRICTION LAW RESTORED IN WI
Republican voter suppression laws getting huge boosts from GOP-appointed federal judges in NC, where 100s recently disenfranchised, and now in WI, in advance of critical mid-terms...
Not Taking the ISIS Bait
The media and the U.S. Government have decided to give the latest barbaric idiots to rise up in the Middle East all the publicity they crave, despite the 'exaggerated' threat posed to the U.S., or even in the region. We're not interested in playing along...
'Green News Report' 9/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Greenhouse gas emissions jump at record rate; Australia's emissions soar after carbon tax axed; Oceans acidifying at historic rate; PLUS: Some good news: Ozone Hole begone!...
Previous GNRs: 9/9/14 - 9/4/14 - Archives...
Accountability for Judge Fuller?; O, Mighty ISIS!:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Will Alabama's wife-beating U.S. District Court Judge face impeachment? Plus: Callers, lots of 'em, on what to do about ISIS...
Wife-Beaters: Rice Loses Job; Judge Fuller Continues Lifetime Appointment
America was outraged by the NFL superstar. So, what about Alabama's federal judge who beat his wife bloody and is now off scot-free?...
'Green News Report' 9/9/14
Floods: Catastrophic in Pakistan, Historic in Phoenix; Hillary on Global Warming; Rand Paul dismisses; PLUS: Lobster Boat Blockade wins!...
GA GOP State Senator: Too Many Black People Will Vote in DeKalb County!
Vows to close 'election loophole' allowing convenient Early Voting in area 'dominated by African Americans'; UPDATE: Says just wants 'more educated voters'...
GOP Allows 'Citizens United' Amendment to Move Forward, Will Vote Against
Koch Brothers' beneficiary Sen. Rand Paul wouldn't even allow that much...
NYT Public Editor Calls Out Paper for Phony 'Balance' on 'Voter Fraud', Global Warming
Margaret Sullivan's no weasel (unlike a predecessor). She's calling out the 'paper of record' again for misreporting on GOP myths...
Siegelman's Judge Strikes Deal to Avoid Trial After Beating Wife Bloody
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller to have record expunged following drug/alcohol evaluation, domestic abuse counseling...
ObamaCare 'Nightmare': 2015 Premiums Rates to DECLINE in Many Major Cities
This whole 'tyrannical government takeover of health care' thing is really a disaster...for Republicans...
Federal Judge Orders Restoration of Early Voting Hours in OH -- Again
'Ohio GOP keeps trying to cut early voting and federal courts keep striking the cuts down'...
'Green News Report' 9/4/14
Accountability for BP in Gulf Oil Spill Disaster and for PG&E in deadly pipeline explosion; CA bans plastic bags, regulates groundwater for first time in history...
The Corruption of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman: KPFK 'BradCast'
GUEST: Attorney and BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernest A. Canning...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Along with Filmmaker David Earnhardt, 'Diebold Document Whistleblower' Steve Heller, PDA's Mimi Kennedy, KPFK's Jerry Quickley and More!
By Brad Friedman on 9/23/2008 6:15am PT  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The 'Diebold Whistleblower' Sees His Charges Reduced to a Misdemeanor, But Unlike Republicans Who Have Committed Far More Serious Crimes, Heller Continues to Pay
Reflections on Selective Criminal Punishment in Bush's America...
By Steve Heller on 12/2/2007 5:57pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Stephen Heller

I am no longer a felon.

In brief, I became known to some as the "Diebold Whistleblower" when, in January of 2004, I stole and exposed legal documents [PDF] proving that Diebold Election Systems, Inc. was using and planned to continue using illegal, uncertified software in their California voting machines. (By the way, Diebold recently changed its name to Premier Election Solutions, but don't let that fool you; it's still the same bunch of idiots.) Details about my case can be found here and here [PDF].

The documents I stole were covered under attorney-client privilege, so my theft was a serious crime. In February of 2006 I was charged with three felonies. On November 20, 2006, I plead guilty to one felony count of unauthorized access to a computer, and in exchange for my guilty plea and a restitution payment of $10,000 to the law firm from which I stole the documents, the law firm promised they wouldn't bring a civil suit against me, and I was put on felony probation instead of being sent to jail. The term of probation was to be at least one year, and as much as three years.

Now, one year after my guilty plea, because I've stayed out of trouble and because I'm a first offender, the judge has reduced my felony to a misdemeanor. Sometime in 2008, my lawyers will petition the court to have my misdemeanor expunged.

The bad part is that the most troublesome aspect of my probation is still in force. Before I can accept a job at which I would use a computer networked to one or more other computers (basically any job for which I'd be qualified), any potential employer must write to the judge in my case, tell him that they know about my conviction and that they still want to hire me, and then we have to wait until the judge responds with a "yes" or a "no" before I can accept the job and start work (and then only if the judge says "yes"). So as you can see, employers will be falling all over themselves to hire me.

Yeah, right.

Meanwhile, my wife (an actor, filmmaker and writer) certainly hasn't lost her sense of humor. She had been calling me Felonious Punk, but now that I'm no longer a felon, she's switched to Mister Meanor. Ain't it great being married to a comedy writer?

To be clear, breaking attorney-client privilege is a very serious crime, and I accept responsibility for what I did. I'm still being punished for it, and so far the punishment has cost my wife and me over $210,000 - and counting. $210,000 is an enormous amount of money to us. My wife and I have paid and are continuing to pay a very high price for my crime.

But, as we're not Republicans, we might have expected that.

Which got me thinking about other crimes in America that have recently been committed or alleged, and what's happened to those involved. Among the first of many, Lewis "Scooter" Libby comes to mind...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 7/22/2007 2:58pm PT  

Not enough time today to give more than the quickest of notes on this, but I'm sitting in this evening on the Sunday Monitor as Guest Host here on Houston's Pacifica Affiliate, KPFT 90.1 FM.

I'll be taking the place of the good Pokey Anderson and interviewing "Diebold Document Whistleblower" Stephen Heller on both his plight and his feelings on the latest Election Reform issues.

Tune in, if ya can, via http://www.KPFT.org at 4pm PT (7pm ET, or 6pm CT locally here in Houston).


POST-SHOW UPDATE: Here's the audio archive of the full hour-long show. Including a new round-up of the week, my interview with Stephen Heller, and an interview on legal and impeachment issues with Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild...

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A Whistleblower on Why Whistleblowing Matters, and Why You Should Be One...No Matter the Price...
By Steve Heller on 4/15/2007 5:22pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Stephen Heller

The truest act of patriotism is to protect the public from a corrupt and wasteful government.
--
TheFirstWhistleblower.org

The United States government and American corporations are counting on you to keep your mouth shut.

According to Transparency International's Peter Eigen, the World Bank estimates that every year corruption costs one trillion dollars. Here in the United States, billions of our tax dollars are stolen every year due to corruption, bribery, fraud, willful malfeasance and misfeasance, and plain old greed. And if you come across evidence of this fraud and corruption, you are expected to keep quiet about it.

The government and the corporations want you to shut up. Stay asleep, people. Nothing to see here, just move along. Go to work, earn your pay, watch TV so you'll know what products you should be buying, then go to the mall and buy them. Don't worry about what your government is doing, don't think about what the corporations are doing, just trust us and be good little "sheeple." Just. Shut. Up.

To hell with 'em.

Don't shut up. Don't let the bastards win. When you see something, say something. Take a deep breath, and blow that whistle HARD!

You should know that you'll probably get hammered for it. You'll likely lose your job, get harassed and threatened, you might even be charged with a crime.

I know whereof I speak...

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

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On Felonies, Diebold, Paper Ballots, Secret Software, Lies, George W. Bush and More
COMPLETE AUDIO/TEXT TRANSCRIPT NOW POSTED...
By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2007 1:24am PT  

I recently interviewed whistleblower Stephen Heller, while guest hosting Cynthia Black's Action Point on Air America/Nova M Pheonix.

It was Heller's first live broadcast interview and his wife Michelle Gregory also joined us for a bit. A documentary film crew was on hand to capture the event.

Heller is the Los Angeles actor who stole incriminating documents while working as a temp at Diebold's powerful law firm Jones Day and turned them over to Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org who, in turn, gave them to Ian Hoffman at the Oakland Tribune where many of them were published. The documents showed that Diebold had illegally installed uncertified hardware and software in California during the 2004 primary, which led to the decertification of their touch-screen DRE voting systems in the state.

Incredibly, Heller was many years later --- notably, long after the 2004 Election --- charged with three felony counts. He eventually pled guilty in a deal to one of the charges, as he discussed during our interview, to protect his family. As well, he was given the assurance that he'd serve no jail time and the charges would likely be removed entirely from his record after a year or so.

The complete audio and text transcript of the half hour interview is now posted here.

Here's just a few of the highlights from Heller's first live interview:

On why he took the documents in the first place...

Ultimately I took them because dishonorable people at Diebold were trying to turn our Democracy into a facade. They were trying to turn our elections into a mockery, into a lie. Lies must be challenged.

On the privatization of our public election system...

I think it's a horrible idea. I just can't understand why anyone would think that in the United States, it's a good idea to let a private corporation run our elections for us, in secret, using secret machines and secret software. That's insanity. We should never allow that. All votes must be on a paper ballot and there must be complete transparency in all machines used to process or tabulate those votes.

On not being able to talk while he was under indictment:

It was frustrating as I saw elections come and go and I had to keep my mouth shut and I knew what these election machine companies, Diebold and ES&S and Sequoia were doing, and at least I knew for a fact what Diebold had been doing and I was assuming the others were doing the same, or similar. It was very frustrating

On whether he believes himself to be a whistleblower:

I think I am a whistleblower. I also think I'm a thief. I stole attorney - client privileged documents. That's a serious crime. I pled guilty to the crime and I'm taking responsibility for it. But what is a crime is not necessarily wrong. And in fact, I believe that I exposed something that all Americans needed to know about. So I do think I'm a whistleblower.

On the legitimacy of Diebold elections and George W. Bush...

I think anywhere that Diebold's running an election, you have to be very suspicious of what they're doing and what their machines are doing. In terms of the President being illegitimate, or well, being the President on an illegitimate basis - I'm sure his parents were married - but in terms of him being the illegitimate President, yes, absolutely. I believe the man who is now serving his second term in the White House has yet to be elected.

All of that, plus what happened when police raided his home, why it took so long for charges to be brought, his wife Michelle's plan to write a book on the life of a wife of a whistleblower (check the full interview to learn the planned title :-) ) and much more.

We'll soon be publishing a guest blog from Heller here at The BRAD BLOG, on whistleblowing and why those thinking about doing it, should.

The complete 3/25/07 interview with Stephen Heller, both the audio and text transcript, is now posted here...

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Diebold Document Exposer in First Broadcast Interview! Plus CODEPINK's Jodie Evans! As we Guest Host 'Action Point w/ Cynthia Black' on AAR/Nova M Phoenix
Listen Up Sunday @ 12noon PT (3pm ET) on 1480kphx.com
By Brad Friedman on 3/25/2007 8:59am PT  

I'll be sitting in again this week as Guest Host on Sunday for the good Cynthia Black Nova M and Air America Phoenix' Action Point with Cynthia Black on 1480am KPHX.

This week, we'll have a live broadcast exclusive first as Diebold document whistleblower Stephen Heller will be LIVE in studio to be interviewed on air for the first time! We'll also take your calls! As well, CODEPINK's Jodie Evans will join us to discuss the Democrats courageous Iraq Policy, or lack thereof. Don't miss it! More details follow...

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

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The Diebold Whistleblower Looks Back with Gratitude and Forward with Hope...
By Steve Heller on 12/17/2006 7:13pm PT  

Special to The BRAD BLOG by Guest Blogger Stephen Heller

Hi, my name is Steve Heller. Some have referred to me as the "Diebold Whistleblower." For those unfamiliar with my case, you can find a good summation here. You can read articles about the resolution of the case http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3826\">here, here and here.

Brad has been kind enough to allow me this chance to thank you, the progressive community, for all the help and support you gave my wife and me during this very difficult time. We could hardly believe the incredible amount of emotional sustenance and encouragement, as well as all the financial donations to my defense fund, that we received.

We heard from people from all parts of the United States (including Guam and Puerto Rico), and from many parts of the world; the United Kingdom, Japan, Holland, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Brazil, New Zealand, and quite a handful from Canada. Of particular pride to us were the handful of notes and even donations from U.S. military personnel; those really meant a lot to us. We know that soldiers don't make any money, and for some of them to kick in a few bucks for my defense fund really touched me. They're being asked to give so much, and here they were trying to help me and my wife. Truly, we were astounded at the support we received, and I cannot begin to thank all of you enough. Thank you so very, very much. A thousand, million times over, I thank you, and my wife thanks you.

I can't find the words to express our appreciation and thanks to all who donated to the defense fund. In mostly small amounts, the donations added up to enough to cover all the legal expenses we incurred after the fund was established, and that was an astounding thing. Such an outpouring from the world wide progressive community was humbling. I don't know if I would have been as generous to someone in my situation as people were to me, and for me that's a lesson learned.

In many ways, the smaller donations meant more to us than the larger ones. I'll never forget getting a card with a crumpled $5 bill inside and a note written in the quavery handwriting of an elderly person. The note said "I'm sorry this donation is so small, but my monthly check will only go so far. Good luck and God bless you." I can't even begin to describe how much that note, and so many notes and emails like it, whether accompanied by a donation or not, meant to me and my wife. Everyone who contacted us received a reply, either by email or letter, but please allow me to thank you all yet again.

At the risk of embarrassing some people, I want to mention a few names of those who really were exceptionally kind and generous with their time and in many cases even with their hard-earned money…

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

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Plea Deal for 'Wobbly Felony' Conviction, 3-Years Probation, May be Reduced to Misdemeanor after One Year of Good Behavior
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2006 4:54pm PT  

In an exclusive statement sent to The BRAD BLOG earlier today excoriating the privatization of America's voting system, whistleblower Stephen Heller says, "Diebold has shown they cannot be trusted to run elections in America."

He oughta know.

As we reported last night, Heller pled guilty yesterday in an agreement with Los Angeles prosecutors, after his arrest earlier this year on felony charges related to his release of attorney-client privileged documents he obtained while working as a temporary word-processor at Diebold's law firm, Jones Day.

The agreement, which required him to sign an apology, pay $10,000 in restitution, and not discuss the documents he released, may also allow Heller's felony conviction to be reduced to a misdemeanor charge after one year of "good behavior."

As well, in exchange for Heller's signed apology and commitment not to discuss the documents themselves (which are already publicly available since he released them originally to both the media and Election Integrity activists), Jones Day signed an agreement that they would not sue him in civil court in the matter.

In a phone call this afternoon, Heller explained Diebold's enormously powerful law firm --- where he had worked at night while pursuing an acting career by day --- had informed him that they'd planned to convert any criminal felony conviction in the case into a civil suit. Had the case gone to trial, he explained, and been successful, Jones Day had promised a lawsuit claiming losses of "well over a million dollars." Such a suit "would have left my wife and I impoverished for the rest of our lives," Heller says.

He went on to tell us that the plea deal conviction was characterized by his attorneys as a "wobbly felony" --- one that will likely be reduced to a misdemeanor after a year, as long as he "doesn't do anything bad." He quickly added, "which I have no intention of doing."

A court date of Nov. 15th, 2007, has been set to review the case in order to determine if the sentence will be reduced and, among other things, allow Heller to have his right to vote in California restored!

"Yes, I am now a disenfranchised voter as a convicted felon," he told us today with no small amount of irony in his voice.

Despite California having decertified Diebold voting systems in 2004 after Heller's release of documents showing the voting machine company had violated state law and that they may have been planning to lie about it to state officials --- and even after the state and election watchdog BlackBoxVoting.org eventually agreed to settle a fraud complaint with Diebold for $2.8 million dollars in the bargain --- Heller is, for the moment, unable to vote in the Golden State due to his conviction.

All of this, of course, despite those who've denounced the arrest of Heller on the grounds that they believe, as we do, that he is an heroic whistleblower who exposed important information --- illegally or otherwise --- because it was in the best public interest of the country.

California does have a "Whistleblower Law," which prevents employers from exacting retribution against an employee who "has reasonable cause to believe that the information [being released] discloses a violation of state or federal statute." That law, unfortunately, doesn't seem to apply to apparently over-zealous County Prosecutors such as Los Angeles's Steve Cooley.

Heller has promised that he will share "the whole story" with us in a Guest Blog special to The BRAD BLOG after the holidays.

In the meantime, however, his agreement at least does not keep him from speaking his mind about Diebold, electronic voting, or the private corporatization of our public democracy. Earlier today, Heller followed up on his promise of last night and emailed us the following statement with his opinions of the current state of our electoral system in America:

In my view, Diebold has shown they cannot be trusted to run elections in America. We must not allow a private corporation to run our elections for us in secret, using secret machines and secret software. The only thing secret about our elections should be the secret ballot.

I urge all Americans to insist Congress enact Federal legislation requiring that all voting machines must have a voter verifiable paper ballot, be run on open source software code, be subject to inspection by independent computer experts, and that each election have a random sample ballot recount. Only then will we have a chance of restoring true integrity to American elections.

The BRAD BLOG wishes to express our deepest and most heart-felt gratitude to Heller for his courageous and selfless act of civil disobedience. As bad as our electoral system is now...and make no mistake, it is in tatters...we shudder to ponder the state we'd currently be in without patriots like Heller who continue to fight for free, fair, honest, and transparent elections in America --- at no small cost to either themselves or their families.

On behalf of The BRAD BLOG and likely millions of democracy-lovin' Americans: Thank you, Mr. Heller.

UPDATE 8:48pm PT: Oakland Tribune's Ian Hoffman is the first MSM'er out of the box to pick up on this story. Hoffman first reported on Heller when when the Trib ran the Diebold documents given to them while Jones Day sued to stop them. His coverage tonight is quite good and worth the read.

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Stephen Heller Agrees to Plead Guilty, Pay $10,000, Apologize and Receive Three Years Probation After Being Charged with 'Burglary' for Sharing Diebold Lawfirm's Privileged Documents with Newspaper, Election Integrity Activists
Tells BRAD BLOG He Has 'No Assets Left, Other Than House' and Deal is Meant to Protect Him and His Wife as 'Best Deal I Could Get Based on the Circumstances'
By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2006 8:53pm PT  

Stephen Heller, the Los Angeles whistleblower who turned over documents from Diebold's attorney, Jones Day, in 2004 showing the Voting Machine Company had illegally installed uncertified hardware and software in California --- and was preparing to lie about it --- has pled guilty, according to a statement tonight from the LA County District Attorney's office.

In an email moments ago from Heller, he tells us that he and his wife "are very happy it is over."

Heller, whose story we detailed in an article [PDF] published by Hustler some months ago, was a temporary worker at the voting machine company law firm when he stumbled across the troubling documents.

At the time, we quoted Michael Kohn, general counsel for the National Whistleblower Center, as saying, "This is a very rare instance. In fact, the only one of which I’m aware, in which a whistleblower has been charged with a felony. I find it outrageous."

Outrageous indeed --- especially considering Diebold voting systems were decertified by the state when it was found the company was attempting to game the certification process, shortly after Heller shared the documents with the Oakland Tribune and election watchdog BlackBoxVoting.org.

But Heller doesn't have the same kind of money for high-priced attorneys that Diebold does (that would be your money that Diebold uses for this sort of thing, by the way); we're not suprised he opted for the deal.

In an email message from Heller sent to The BRAD BLOG tonight, he wrote:

"My wife and I are very happy it is over. The deal will protect me and my wife and our assets (we have no assets left, other than our house, but whatever we are able to accumulate in the future cannot be taken away from us in civil court). My attorneys and I think this is the best deal I could get based on the circumstances."

The LA County DA's statement says Heller pled to "unlawfully accessing the company computer in connection with its legal representation of Diebold Inc." and they quote his formal "apology" as follows:

"Today, I pled guilty to unlawfully taking Jones Day's privileged documents without its permission while I worked there. There was no excuse for my conduct. I very much regret taking the documents. I also regret any disparaging statements suggesting that Jones Day committed any wrongful acts. Upon reflection, I now believe and understand that such statements were unjustified. I apologize to Jones Day and its client."

A notice added tonight to the Stephen Heller Defense Fund website says "The case has been resolved! More details will follow soon." It goes on to thank supporters, urging them to "check back soon because Stephen is going to post the entire story here soon."

Heller tells us he's being contacted by the media tonight and plans to send a more detailed statement to The BRAD BLOG by morning.

UPDATE: 11/21/06 5:00pm PT: As promised, a new story, including a fresh exclusive statement from Heller --- concerning his thoughts on Diebold, American Elections and that he may have his sentenced reduced in a year --- is now posted here.

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If You're Near Chicago This Weekend, Please Stop by and Say Hello!
By Brad Friedman on 8/16/2006 4:59pm PT  

Blogged by Brad on the still long and winding road...

Yes, I'm still on the road and will continue to be until at least the end of this month. Still travelling across the country for various double-super-secret meetings and projects, and even the occasional (very occasional, unfortunately) day spent off the grid entirely to catch up on some rest and enjoy the waning days of summer. There's a lot going on in the background --- fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you may see it --- so despite my best efforts, I haven't found much peace and quiet, even while not blogging here regularly. Oh, well. At least I've got it better than Stephen Heller, who really may be "taking one for his country" (see below.) Much to come on those background developments in the coming weeks and months in either case.

For now though, a couple of quick points...

-- HARTMANN ON THURSDAY...

I'll be checking in with Thom Hartmann's radio show for a very brief catch-up on Thursday, 2pm Eastern Time. See the "Media Appearances" section in the red box above for details.

-- HELLER IN HUSTLER NOW...

My article for Hustler on Diebold whistleblower Stephen Heller --- who is now thanklessly facing trial for three felony counts concerning documents he released from Diebold's California law firm, Jones Day, just prior to Diebold being decertified in the state back in 2004 --- is now on newsstands. So consider that an excuse to go out and buy this month's issue, or you may download the article right here in pornography-free PDF format instead.

-- CHICAGO ON FRIDAY & SATURDAY...

Heading to Chicago this weekend to a) attend the DNC's annual gathering of state party chairs and other such officials who may or may not wish to see me on Friday (this should be interesting,) and b) emcee Illinois Ballot Integrity Project's big Take Back the Vote, election protection event outside of the city, in DuPage County, on Saturday. Speakers at the event, other than yours truly, to include our old friends Fooled Again author Mark Crispin Miller, Bob Fitrakis of the Columbus FreePress and Robert Koehler of Tribune Media. It is one of several upcoming Election Protection events around the country being sponsored in part by VelvetRevolution.us (see VR's homepage for a number of other events, some of which I'll also be attending, with more on the way in California, Ohio and elsewhere.)

In the Chicago 'hood this weekend? Please stop by and say hello! More details and info on the event right here. I'll be the bedraggled one, with only slightly more of a tan than I had before I left, but with a happy-to-see-ya smile nonetheless...so please come on by!

8/17/2006: UPDATE! POSSIBLE SCHEDULE CHANGE!: Incredibly late in the game, the DNC has now invited me to address some of their people at a Saturday afternoon round table, which occurs at the same time as the event in DuPage County! Having not (yet) figured out how to clone myself, and now making the difficult decision that a few minutes time speaking directly to the DNC about the mess on our hands may ultimately be more fruitful than emceeing the DuPage event, I may now be either late or a no-show at the Illinois Ballot Integrity Event! Depending on what time I finish with the DNC event in downtown Chicago, I'll then speed out to the DuPage event to make it for at least some of that event...if at all humanly possible. If it's not possible for me to make it out there at all, I hope I'll be forgiven... Yeesh... What a mess... Here's a 53-second video of Thom Hartmann underscoring why this matters... (Hat-tip to Ginny Ross of Election Defense Alliance!)

...And now, back to your regularly scheduled BRAD BLOG sans Brad (for the most part)...

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Damning Complaints of New Troubles and Old Problems in Texas and Ohio...
PLUS: The BRAD BLOG Week in Review and Other Sunday Notables...
By Brad Friedman on 3/12/2006 3:21pm PT  

Tomorrow (Monday) The BRAD BLOG will feature yet another Voting Machine Industry insider who is stepping forward with yet more troubling information and documented accusations about the way his company --- and at least one county in Texas, where there were notable problems in last Tuesday's primary --- have been running elections. Damning complaints about Fraud, Mismanagement, and possible Criminal Behavior were made about many of the alleged problems as long ago as July 2004. We'll have the documentation. The complaints were all but ignored, surprisingly enough (irony inserted there), by both public and company officials. We'll have a full feature on those complaints and warnings on Monday...We believe you'll not want to miss it!

It's been an incredibly busy time here at The BRAD BLOG, in case you haven't noticed. Just scroll down last week's list of stories to get an idea of what's been going on --- at a furious pace. And there is much more on the way. For an audio review of some of last week's best stories, you may wish to listen to my weekly appearance last Friday with the good Peter B. Collins of KRXA 540am wherein we discussed as many of last week's stories as we could fit into one 40 minute appearance [MP3].

A few other quick Sunday items of note...

VoteTrustUSA has begun a campaign in support of Ion Sancho... Sancho, as readers here know, is the Election Supervisor in Leon County who exposed the security flaw in Diebold's optical-scan voting equipment which allows a hacker to completely flip the results of an election without a trace being left behind. Sancho is under attack for this good deed by the State of Florida themselves and yet he's fighting back as best as he can. Click here to send email support for Sancho's efforts!

Stephen Heller, the whistleblower who revealed Diebold's plan... to break the law in California has set up a legal defense fund since being charged with three felony counts. We wrote about Heller previously and the excellent Tribune Media Services columnist, Bob Koehler, covered his story this week as well in a great column. Here are some comments from Heller's wife. He is in need of funds to fight against the bad guys. So, donations can now be made via the Stephen Heller Defense Fund website.

Lastly, for now... and not important at all, but kind of fun. Please Vote for BRAD BLOG in any or all of the 6 categories for which we've been nominated in the Koufax 2005 Weblog Awards! If you're so inclined. We'd much appreciate it! And thanks, as ever, for all the great support!

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Huffington Post Picks Up the Cause...
Please take action!
By Brad Friedman on 2/27/2006 10:36am PT  

Last week we briefly discussed Stephen Heller who, out here in Los Angeles, is now facing three felony charges for exposing the illegal scheme by Diebold to use uncertified software on their voting machines in the state several years ago. The LA Times coverage is here.

Heller blew the whistle on the company's plan to defraud California voters when he exposed documents he saw while working as a temp worker at Diebold's California law firm, Jones Day. The courageous act, from which Heller stood to gain nothing (he, in fact, was fired for it) led to the decertification of Diebold in the state by former Sec. of State Kevin Shelley, and then to the eventual settlement between the company and the state of California for $2.6 million in 2004.

Today, several Huffington Post blogger take up on Heller's behalf, along with issuing some calls to action to contact the LA District Attorney's office to encourage tell them to drop this appalling case of punishing the patriot, Heller at the behest of the the bullies at Diebold.

Peter Soby Jr.'s coverage is the most complete. Here's a snippet:

Let's make this clear, folks. The docs Heller is accused of exposing were important evidence. First, they show that Diebold and their attorneys, Jones Day, conspired to mislead the California secretary of state, and that the lie they told was material, and resulted directly in the disenfranchisement of voters. Second, another document demonstrates that Diebold lied to the secretary of state when it represented that certain problems with its software were "fixed." This document, the release notes for the new software, showed that the problems were not fixed. Third, the documents showed that Diebold had been advised by Jones Day that what it had been doing with its uncertified software was illegal. Fourth, the documents show that Jones Day advised Diebold that it was subject to criminal prosecution. So in a nutshell, Diebold was defrauding the state government and taxpayers of California, and disenfranchising the voters of California. And the documents PROVE it.

And for allegedly exposing Diebold's felonious behavior (which led directly to Diebold being de-certified in California), for allegedly helping protect the taxpayers and voters of California, for allegedly helping to keep elections clean and fair, what happens? Diebold, the true criminal in this case, and their powerful international law firm Jones Day, press the L.A. District Attorney's office to hammer Heller, a whistleblower. Three felonies! Diebold was (and probably still is) screwing California voters, Heller is alleged to have seen the smoking gun evidence of Diebold's crimes, and, like a true patriot and whistleblower, allegedly exposed that smoking gun evidence, and now HE'S the one facing jail time. Only in Bush's America!

Soby goes on to offer some talking points and helpful contact information for the LA District attorney. Please check them out and take action.

As well, Lyn Davis Lear (Norman's wife), speaks up in support as well.

...CONTACT...
District Attorney's Office
County of Los Angeles
210 West Temple Street, Suite 18000
Los Angeles, CA 90012-3210

Email: lada@co.la.ca.us

Telephone: (213) 974-3512
Fax: (213) 974-1484
TTY: (800) 457-7778 (8:30am - 5:00pm M-F)

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