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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, July 27, 2016
'That's What Democracy is About': 'BradCast' 7/26/16
The Nation's John Nichols from Philadelphia, on Sanders, his supporters, their movement and future. Plus: Highlights from Sanders, Michelle Obama and others on DNC Day 1...
'Green News Report' 7/19/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump and Pence promise to roll back enviro protection, bring back dirty coal; PLUS: U.S. walloped by deadly heat wave, as June 2016 breaks yet another new temp record...
Previous GNRs: 7/19/16 - 7/14/16 - Archives...
DNC Chair Out Amid Hacks, Protests; Plus: Fox After Ailes: 'BradCast' 7/25/16
Eric Boehlert on the firing of FNC's founder, propaganda mastermind: Also: Deadly heat; Trump 'bump'; Clinton taps Kaine as Veep...
Sunday Toons of the Conscientious Moment
'PDiddie' rounds up the week's best toons following a chaotic week at the RNC in Cleveland and much more...
Trump's RNC Acceptance Speech and the GOP's Dark Future: 'BradCast' 7/22/16
Salon's Heather Digby Parton on the rise of a 'demagogue' and the fall of 'conservatism' after the GOP's 'dystopian hellscape convention'...
Ailes Out, Cruz Booed, and a World on Edge With 'President Trump': 'BradCast' 7/21/16
Guest: Longtime GOP campaign adviser, 2012 Presidential candidate, 2016 Cruz booer, Fred Karger from Cleveland...
5th Circuit Court Finds TX Photo ID Law Violates Federal Law: 'BradCast' 7/20/16
Also: 'Liars, Lucifer & Jail!' - RNC Day 2 coverage w/ Jimmy Dore in Cleveland, and why he believes Trump is no worse than Clinton...
Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth: 'BradCast' 7/19/16
ALSO: New insider election fraud warnings, worry, woes in several states as another national poll finds Trump and Clinton tied...
Happy Birthday to Me?
It's a pretty big birthday over here. Not that we'll much be able to enjoy it all that much this year, unfortunately. But you can help!...
'Green News Report' 7/19/16
Trump's Veep pick is also a science denier; UK's new PM abolishes climate dept.; AK heat wave breaks records; PLUS: India breaks amazing record for tree planting...
CIA Vet on Turkey Coup, Declassified 9/11 Pages: 'BradCast' 7/18/16
Guest: 27-year analyst, briefer of Presidents Ray McGovern; Also: RNC kicks off; Ailes 'out' at Fox?!...
Sunday Toons of the Moment
Trump hearts Pence; Ginsburg and Christie are sorry; and 'bomb delivery robots'?! Yes, all of those toons and more in PDiddie's latest collection of the week's best...
After Nice; Pence Tapped by Trump; Dem Poll 'Freak Out': 'BradCast' 7/15/16
Not hijacked by fear or terror. A science denier will be the GOP Veep nom. Trump leads Clinton in new poll...
'Feeding at the Pig Trough': What to Expect at the Cleveland RNC: 'BradCast' 7/14/16
GOP Presidential historian, adviser Doug Wead; Also: More bad poll news for Clinton...
'Green News Report' 7/14/16
Porn: dirty, Coal: clean!, says GOP; Senate Dems call out 'web' of professional deniers; June 2016 was hottest on record in U.S.; PLUS: Another fracking explosion...
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...


Plus: Ready for Warren?...
By Brad Friedman on 6/10/2016 5:27pm PT  

On today's BradCast, while the Democratic Party and the mainstream corporate media may have moved on --- and Elizabeth Warren may feel ready to be Commander-in-Chief if tapped as Vice President --- there are millions of still-untallied ballots in the state of California. Meanwhile, in the key Presidential swing-state of Ohio, Democrats are being disproportionately purged from the voting rolls by state Republicans in advance of the 2016 general election. [Audio link posted below.]

Yes, democracy actually still matters, and that includes counting the ballots of all the legal voters who wish to vote, counting them accurately, and in a way that we can know they have been counted accurately. While we've been reporting this week, often exclusively, on the huge number of still untallied ballots --- both Provisional and Vote-by-Mail ballots --- here in Los Angeles County, ever since Tuesday's Presidential Primary, new data now reveals the totals are even higher than we've so far reported, both in L.A. and across the state. With some 3.5 million ballots now tallied in the Democratic Primary, and a 500,000 vote (appx. 13%) margin for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, there are still some 2.5 million ballots that have yet to be tallied at all. We discuss what that means and why it matters on today's program.

We also discuss the necessity of taking action on issues that effect elections before your candidate is announced as having lost one. While it's a message we've been shouting from the rooftops at BradBlog.com and on The BradCast for more years than we care to remember, perhaps Sanders supporters will now take note and action. And perhaps Clinton supporters will join them now, rather than waiting until the media declare President-elect Trump has sewn up the race. As one of the cell phone companies used to say: Can ya hear me now?

Speaking of taking action before it's too late, it appears that the state of Ohio is purging voters from the rolls at an alarming rate. Specifically, Democratic-leaning voters in urban areas won by Obama in 2008 and 2012 are being purged at a disproportionate rate to more Republican voters in suburban, whiter areas. To date, more Democratic-leaning voters have been removed in the state's three largest counties in OH than Obama's margin of victory in the state in 2012. Can ya hear me yet?

But, there is also some good news for voting rights and democracy advocates out of the Buckeye State on today's show, as a federal judge has found this week that a number of election reforms enacted by the Republican state legislature and signed by its Republican Gov. John Kasich in 2014 are unconstitutional. That good news, however, comes a bit too late for those voters who had their otherwise legitimate provisional ballots unconstitutionally rejected, thanks to those GOP provisions. Naturally, the state's Republican Sec. of State Jon Husted plans to appeal the federal court's ruling.

Finally today, Desi Doyen joins us with the latest Green News Report which, as luck would have it, includes a number of encouraging new laws passed this week to help save the environment, underscoring once again that, yes, elections really do matter. You can hear us now by simply clicking on one of the links below. Enjoy!

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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TPM's John Judis on recent history of convention floor fights; Los Angeles Registrar Dean Logan on 240k provisional ballots cast Tuesday...
By Brad Friedman on 6/9/2016 6:25pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Bernie Sanders meets with President Obama, who endorses Hillary Clinton; A look at recent convention battles and whether they suggest Sanders should drop out before the DNC's July convention; And we receive comment from Los Angeles County's chief election official on the seemingly alarming number of Provisional Ballots handed out to voters on Tuesday in the nation's largest voting jurisdiction.

First up, some breaking news from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which has now upheld the Constitutionality of restrictions on concealed carry weapons. Then, Bernie Sanders meets with President Obama at the White House, vows to work with Hillary Clinton to defeat Trump, but promises once again to continue his fight through next week's primary in D.C. and all the way through the Democratic National Convention in July. And President Obama finally endorses Hillary Clinton.

Next, we're joined by John Judis, formerly of The New Republic, now a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of seven books, included his latest, The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics. Judis, who voted for Sanders, nonetheless argues that it's now time for Sanders to bow out and endorse Clinton. He cites two recent historic examples of convention floor fights (Ford/Reagan in 1976 and Carter/Kennedy in 1980, not to mention the mess in 1968) to buttress his case.

Earlier this week at Talking Points Memo, Judis, who acknowledges "Clinton has a lot of weaknesses", nonetheless argued that Sanders should get out after California and endorse Clinton no matter who ended up winning the primary here. "What concerned me was that the Sanders people would take a win in California as a reason to really go fight it out at the convention, and I thought that that would be a terrible mistake for the party and for the country, because of what I've seen happen at those kind of conventions," he tells me today. "It's in the interest of people who are Democrats, liberals who are queasy about Donald Trump becoming our next President, to do what they can to help her. And having a big convention battle will not help her." He offers much more on today's show.

Finally today, the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan offers us response to concerns about the seemingly huge number of Provisional Ballots cast during Tuesday's primary. As we reported in detail on yesterday's BradCast (which included a bonus second hour of callers from across Southern California, both voters and poll workers alike, describing problems at the polling place on Tuesday), voters cast some 240,000 provisionals in L.A. County alone. Between those and the still-untallied Vote-by-Mail ballots, there still more than half a million untallied ballots in the County.

But, following yesterday's program and my query to Logan about the large number of provisionals, he conceded the number does appear "high, but not disproportionately so, compared to other major elections and given the Primary-specific elements everyone was dealing with." Today, as he had promised, he sent more details with provisional ballot numbers from recent comparable elections in 2008 and 2012, which he believes supports the case that the numbers from Tuesday aren't as disturbing as they may seem at first glance.

Logan also responds to concerns about the many reports we've been receiving and reporting on since Tuesday regarding voters being told they had requested a Vote-by-Mail ballot when they attempted to vote at the polling place, even though the voters say they had made no such request. He explains that he's found a number of such voters had registered online and --- either accidentally or due to poor "design of the original online registration application" --- had selected the box that would have made them a Permanent Vote-by-Mail "without intention or understanding". He adds, however, "that is speculative" at the moment, as more investigation and counting of those ballots moves forward. He has told me that L.A. County generally is able to verify and include about 85 to 90 percent of provisional ballots in their final certified results.

His complete response, and a few thoughts of my own in regard to this latest mess --- and so many before it --- now serving to mar confidence in the results of another important election, on today's BradCast...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guest: Prof. Jonathan H. Adler on 'Baptists, Bootleggers and E-Cigs'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2016 5:10pm PT  

I usually try to avoid talk about elections on election days themselves, but the AP, NBC, CNN and all the rest in the corporate media gave me little choice on today's BradCast, even as millions of voters go to the polls today in California, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Last night, just after we got off air, Associated Press decided to declare that Hillary Clinton had "clinched" the Democratic nomination. Their reporting was based on conversations with unpledged Super Delegates who do not actually cast their vote in the nominating process until the end of July (July 25th, to be specific), at the Democratic National Convention. So, with their misleading, inaccurate pronouncements of the Democrats having 'selected a female nominee for the first time in history' (they haven't --- yet), I offer a word or two today --- okay, a rant or two --- on the amazing disservice those news organizations have done to voters (not to mention the Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns, their supporters, the DNC and American democracy itself) with their inaccurate and misleading misreporting.

Then, I'm joined by Jonathan H. Adler, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law & Regulation at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, to discuss the strange bedfellows who've joined forces in support of onerous new FDA regulations on life-saving vaping (e-cigarette) technology. We've discussed the topic on the show on a number of occasions in the past (most recently here), not only because half a million Americans still die each year, unnecessarily, from cigarette smoking, but because, bizarrely, it has largely been Democrats and other supposedly anti-tobacco crusaders who have been leading the deadly campaign against vaping, making it much harder for smokers to quit smoking in the bargain.

Why would Dems be fighting --- alongside Big Tobacco(!) --- to kill the vaping industry, despite scientific studies finding e-cigarettes to be at least 95% safer than smoking and the UK's Royal College of Physicians (the equivalent of the office of the Surgeon General in the U.S.) recent pronouncement: "in the interests of public health it is important to promote the use of e-cigarettes...as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking"?

In her recent article, "Democrats Work With Big Tobacco and Big Pharma to Choke the Vaping Industry," at the American Media Institute (and at the NY Observer), journalist Monica Showalter offers an answer. She details the "strange bedfellows against vaping," citing both Big Tobacco's support of the crippling new FDA regulations, along with massive donations given by Big Pharma to big name Democrats in the U.S. Senate, just as those politicians came out in favor of restrictions on vaping. The Big Pharma companies include those which control the multi-billion dollar smoking-cessation nicotine industry that produces products such as nicotine gums, patches and, yes, inhalers!

Adler, the co-author of a study titled "Baptists, Bootleggers and E-Cigarettes", joins us to explain the strange coalition, and the powerful history of the "Baptist and Bootleggers" political/economic theory, where seemingly opposing groups, such as bootleggers and religious opponents of alcohol, worked together to keep Prohibition going as long as possible in the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century.

A similarly fascinating and powerful (and bizarre) political and financial coalition seems to be at work here, as Adler explains, to blunt the nascent and life-saving e-cigarette industry, despite recent studies showing, for example, "that when restrictions are imposed upon electronic cigarettes that either make them harder to get or make them more expensive, teen smoking rates go up. The idea that we could adopt policies in the name of public health that increase teen smoking rates should really be frightening."

Also, what should be similarly frightening to Democrats and others who claim to be against smoking, according to Adler, is that the Big Tobacco companies have been very supportive of the onerous FDA regulations no being applied to vaping products. Those are costly new rules that Big Tobacco can afford to comply with, but Mom and Pop vaping shops, currently leading the industry in the U.S., simply cannot. "The major tobacco companies asked [for] and supported the FDA's proposals to regulate e-cigarettes," Adler tells me. "Indeed, Phillip Morris is largely credited with helping to write the statute under which these regulations were adopted."

Finally, we end another very busy BradCast today with our latest very busy Green News Report!...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Mitch McConnell: 'There are no serious barriers to voting anymore anywhere in America' and, oh, yeah, global warming is still 'a hoax'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/3/2016 5:55pm PT  

On today's BradCast, denial, denial, denial. It's not just a river in Egypt. Though, if it were, that river would likely be either drying up about now or rising at a record pace and threatening the lives of everyone who lives near it. [Audio link for show posted below.]

First on today's program, a word or two about the violence outside (and inside) Donald Trump's rally on Thursday in San Jose, CA, and about the anti-American freedom of the press denied reporters covering his campaign.

Then, speaking of denial, the planet's climate crisis continues to worsen and the body count continues to mount from Houston to Fort Hood to Paris and beyond. But, while GOPers continue to pretend that climate science is a "hoax" or "pseudoscience", at least the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is finally warning about the increasing costs of federal spending that it will cause. Will Republicans bother to listen now?

And, while we're at it, GOPers continue to deny the voter suppression they are working very hard to carry out in 2016, even if it requires them to make a fraudulent case about 'voter fraud', as Tom Mechler, the Chair of the Republican Party of Texas, did this week, when he used cases of absentee fraud to fraudulently make the case for polling place Photo ID restrictions in the Lone Star State. He's hardly alone, however. GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also recently lied about voter suppression, telling USA Today: "There are no serious barriers to voting anymore anywhere in America."

Really, Senator? Hope you'll let the disenfranchised Native Americans in North Dakota and elsewhere know about that before this Tuesday's primary --- not to the mention the millions of Americans who do not have the very specific type of Photo ID now required to vote at the polling place in many states controlled by Republicans. As the Brennan Center for Justice notes, some 17 states have made it more difficult for legal (disproportionately Democratic-leaning) voters to cast their legal vote since the last Presidential election, many of those states passing new restrictions on voting since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the most important section of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. (But, if all goes well, at least registering to vote may soon become a bit easier in Illinois. Maybe. If their Republican Governor plays along.)

Finally on today's BradCast, another oil train derails and explodes in Oregon, and the massive wildfire in the tar sands oil region of Alberta, Canada continues to burn nearly a month after record hot and dry conditions initially sparked the blaze that sent tens of thousands of residents of Fort McMurray scrambling for their lives. Now, some relief has finally arrived, at least in Canada, where 300 South African firefighters have made a 24-hour flight to Edmonton to give exhausted firefighters there a bit of a break. But will the residents of Fort McMurray, a town built to support the tar sands oil industry, continue to deny the damage they have helped cause to their own town and planet?

All of that and much more on today's BradCast...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Or, 'Making Our Country Look Ridiculous Again'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2016 5:45pm PT  

We're happy to keep informing the electorate, one important fact, data-point and reality-based story at a time, so that we might all be better prepared to do our job as voters. That, even as one young woman heard on today's show charges, correctly, that so much of what is going in our country of late "reflects back on our nation and makes us look ridiculous."

With all of that in mind, among the many reality-based stories covered on today's BradCast [Audio link for the full show posted below.]...

  • Thanks to some excellent reporting by the LA Times, tens of thousands of CA voters who might not have been able to cast a ballot in the party primary of their choosing on June 7th, will now be able to do so;
  • Donald Trump is endorsed by the terrorist-supporting NRA, lies about Hillary Clinton, and vows no more "gun-free zones" (even though his own major properties are "gun-free zones");
  • Republican voters, party leaders and major funders continue to coalesce behind the presumptive GOP nominee;
  • Clinton continues to struggle in still more state and national polls against Trump, even as Sanders continues to outperform her against Trump in the same polls;
  • Revisiting some of Clinton's reasons from 2008 for staying in the race against then-Senator Obama, long after it was clear she was unlikely to win the Presidential nomination;
  • Oklahoma's GOP governor vetoes a bill that would have criminalized abortions, even as her Republican state legislature passes an "emergency" anti-LGBT bathroom bill;
  • A brilliant Connecticut woman smacks down anti-LGBT laws and hate, after she is harassed in a public restroom for being transgender (which she isn't);
  • And, our latest Green News Report with a startling number of victories this week for environmental champions...

Enjoy!...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Also: Climate disaster in Sri Lanka; CT institutes automatic voter registration; Federal judge orders KS to restore voting rights to 18,000...
By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2016 5:59pm PT  

Yes, the Democratic Primary cycle continues to continue, as Bernie Sanders wins in Oregon, obtains a "virtual tie" with Hillary Clinton in Kentucky, and the less-than-transparent electoral process in both states triggers more cries of "election fraud!" from Sanders supporters.

On today's BradCast, we look at the results and the concerns about them (debunking some, though not all), along with several important breaking news items. [Audio link to the complete show is below.]

Before diving into Tuesday's primary, we start with the horrific climate change-related mudslides that have buried hundreds in Sri Lanka. Then, some encouraging news for all voters as Connecticut becomes the fifth state to institute automatic voter registration and as a federal judge orders GOP "voter fraud" fraudster and Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach to restore full voting rights to 18,000 state voters "suspended" by Kobach's "proof of citizenship" requirement.

Then, the battle between Clinton and Sanders grinds on through two more primary states, with Sanders earning a reported 12 point victory in OR, while battling to a reported margin of less than one-half-of-one percent in KY and vowing to stay in the race through the July convention. We warned earlier this week about the possibilities of a close race in KY, where the state (shamefully) still uses enough 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems that it will now be impossible to know who the voters actually hoped to be the winner. The same was true, as we reported at the time, after the Missouri Primaries on both the Republican and Democratic sides, and the same is true in KY whether Clinton or Sanders ultimately end up being declared the official winner in the Bluegrass State. As of airtime today, though AP has appropriately refused to call the state, Clinton is reportedly ahead of Sanders by just under 2,000 votes.

But throughout Primary night on Tuesday, and continuing today, concerns of "fraud" are being heard very loudly from Sanders supporters once again. Some of their concerns are justified, as we explain. Others are decidedly not. For example, some news outlets irresponsibly reported "More than 76 reports of election fraud from 31 counties were called into the Kentucky Attorney General's hotline". That is incorrect. (Happily WSAZ NewsChannel 3 has finally modified their initial bad reporting. Others, like Bipartisan Report, have not.)

Other concerns we examine are from Pike County, KY, where results were, in fact, "zeroed out" for a time last night, resulting in thousands of "disappearing" votes for both Sanders and Clinton, as well as 11,000 thousands votes said to have been added to Clinton's totals in Marion County, OR. (Evidence suggests a typo by AP, as I explain on today's show.) Some concerns, however, for example the evidence from little-known Democratic candidate Rocky de la Fuente suggesting some of his votes simply vanished in recent Democratic contests in NH, MI and SC, cannot be so easily explained away.

We cover, explain and/or debunk all of those concerns and more on today's BradCast, before closing out with our latest Green News Report and the hottest April ever recorded (the 12th such month in a row to set such a record)...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Guest: Mary Anne Hitt of Sierra Club's BeyondCoal.org...
By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2016 4:48pm PT  

On today's BradCast, voting is underway in Oregon and Kentucky and new polling shows Donald Trump continuing to gain momentum against Hillary Clinton, even as Bernie Sanders remains more popular than either of them (and is still outpacing Clinton against Trump --- not that the corporate media reports on much of that.)

Then, as more oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and worldwide protests demanding action on climate change go largely ignored by the U.S. corporate media, we talk with Mary Anne Hitt, director of the the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, about how sustained grassroots activism has succeeded, once again, this time by blocking a major coal export facility on Native American tribal lands in Washington state.

"Yes, grassroots activism is working and accomplishing amazing things," Hitt tells me as she describes last week's huge victory when "the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a landmark decision to deny federal permits for the biggest proposed coal export terminal in North America." The successful 5-year effort to block the proposed coal export facility at Xwe’chi’eXen (also known as Cherry Point), is also a major victory for the Lummi Nation and native Americans in general, because the facility would have violated U.S. treaty obligations to protect the tribe's fisheries and ancestral lands.

"Our reliance on coal here in the U.S. has been dropping dramatically thanks to a lot of grassroots activism. We've got a third of the coal plants in the U.S. already announced to retire and we're not building any new ones. We have the biggest coal reserves in the world. Shipping that to Asia was the grand plan of some of these mining companies, and they needed to get the coal out through the Northwest, and they needed these big new coal export terminals to make that happen. It's a big deal," she explains, before adding: "It's demonstrating the power of advocacy. In addition to the Lummi Nation, we had hundreds of thousands of people across the Northwest speaking out against these export terminals. The voices of the people were heard. It's a victory for our climate, it's a victory for our treaty obligations, and it's a victory for democracy."

Environmentalists have had a number of major victories in the U.S. of late, from Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline last year to NY Governor Andrew Cuomo's rejection of a major natural gas pipeline more recently. "I think the worst thing you can do for the climate is give up on the power of grassroots advocacy, because I have seen it again and again. I have seen these David and Goliath campaigns where David has won. The Cherry Point export terminal is a perfect example," says Hitt.

The West Virginia native goes on to offer her thoughts on the future of Coal Country and its miners, as well as an opinion or two on whether President Obama has done enough to fight for the environment, against fossil fuel, and in favor of renewable energy.

Finally today, Bernie Sanders offers some candid thoughts on how the corporate media continues to fail in their obligations to the electorate, and a wingnut hissy fit over transgender people and bathrooms takes an ugly turn at a Connecticut Walmart...

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Guest: Constitutional law expert and author, Ian Millhiser...
By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2016 6:24pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the U.S. Supreme Court's remarkable decision to punt on a 'religious freedom' case (for now) following the death of Scalia, and all hell breaks lose in Vegas over the weekend as Sanders supporters clash with party officials at the Nevada State Democratic Convention.

First up, some very encouraging news today about renewable energy use over the weekend in Germany. Everything else today is not quite as encouraging, beginning with SCOTUS' extraordinary decision to not decide Zubik v. Burwell, a case related to the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)'s mandate requiring contraceptive coverage by employers or health insurers.

Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser, author of Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, joins us to explain the Court's latest "punt", sending the case back to the lower courts in search of a compromise, and in hopes of avoiding another 4 to 4 split decision on the High Court as they wait for Republicans in Congress to fill the vacancy left on the Court in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia's death in February.

Millhiser details both the case itself and the Court's 3-page non-opinion opinion [PDF] today which will, for the moment anyway, help to save access to birth control for thousands of women. He also describes why the Court made the ruling, the havoc that is expected to come from it, and why it underscores, yet again, the desperate need for a 9th Justice on the Court, despite the Senate GOP's unprecedented decision to block hearings on any nominee from President Obama.

Then, speaking of healthcare, while Sanders' policy for a single-payer universal healthcare program remains more popular than the policies of both Clinton and Trump, his supporters are growing increasingly frustrated with what they regard as unfair treatment by the Democratic Party establishment.

That frustration turned to fury over the weekend in Las Vegas, where the Democrats' state party delegate nominating convention devolved into chaos as a number of Sanders supporters were disqualified, party officials denied parliamentary procedure on rules amendments, and officials from the County Sheriff's office were brought in to clear the room as the convention was gavelled to a premature close. All in a huge fight over what might have resulted in 2 more Sanders delegates at the national convention in July.

We try to make sense of all of that (wish us luck!), before offering a preview of tomorrow's Presidential Primary elections in both Kentucky and Oregon...

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By Brad Friedman on 5/13/2016 4:51pm PT  

It's getting stranger and stranger around here. On today's BradCast, I find myself a momentary bedfellow with both lobbyists and the pharmaceutical industry. But it won't last for long.

Among the stories covered on today's program [audio link posted below]...

  • Tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (again). But Shell Oil is on the job, so why worry?;
  • Speaking of oily, perhaps the plainest (if most bizarre) evidence yet that Donald Trump is a pathological liar, and why that actually matters;
  • Exclusive details from the head of Maryland's State Elections Board, on the specific "irregularities" that triggered Thursday's remarkable decertification of election results from Baltimore in the state's April 26 Primary Election;
  • The Obama Administration advises school districts across the nation on the rights of transgender students, and wingnut Republicans in Texas predictable freak out, even as GOP lawmakers in North Carolina allegedly threaten businesses and lobbyists;
  • Pfizer blocks the use of its drugs for executions in the U.S.;
  • And, finally, listeners ring in on our recent episode on the FDA's deadly new regulations for the vaping (e-cigarette) industry that run counter to scientists and doctors, but benefit Big Tobacco, Big Pharma and make it harder for smokers to quit smoking...

Strange days, indeed...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guest: Vape shop owner Chris Hughes of Smoke Free Alternatives
Also: Trump beating, tied with Clinton in key swing-states; Philippines elects own 'Trump'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2016 4:48pm PT  

On today's BradCast, voters head to the polls in West Virginia and Nebraska; The Philippines elects its own version of Trump (but worse); and the FDA issues deadly new rules that may wipe out an industry and help kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of American. [Link to full audio below.]

First up, it's Primary Election day again, this time in West Virginia and Nebraska (Republicans only). In WV, many voters will be forced to vote once again on 100% unverifiable touch-screen systems, though Donald Trump tells voters not to vote at all, at least until the general election. At the same time, new polling from Quinnipiac [PDF] shows Hillary Clinton virtually tied with or losing to Trump in three key swing-states (OH, FL and PA), while Sanders outpaces Clinton in each, beating Trump in all three crucial states.

Meanwhile, in elections overseas, London elects its first Muslim as Mayor, though he's worried he may not be able to visit other Mayors in the U.S. if Trump becomes President and, in The Philippines, it looks as if they have elected a new President who is even more disturbing than Donald Trump. So, yes, it can happen.

Then: the FDA issues insane new rules for electronic cigarette and e-liquid manufacturers which could end up killing the vaping industry that is currently helping to prevent the tobacco-related deaths of some 500k Americans each year. Chris Hughes, President of the PA Chapter of the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association, and owner of the Fat Cat Vapor Shop, explains the new onerous regulations and how Democrats are supporting them despite scientists and experts, such as those at UK's Royal College of Physicians who recently announced: "in the interests of public health it is important to promote the use of e-cigarettes...as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking."

If the misguided FDA rules are finalized, it could cost as much as $1 million to receive approval for every single vaping product, e-liquid flavor (including each level of nicotine). The only companies likely to afford that process are the Big Tobacco companies that the bulk of the vaping industry is hoping to put out of business. In turn, millions of folks who have quit smoking by moving to vaping (which has almost none of the dangers of tobacco cigarettes) are likely to begin smoking again. "People smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar," explains Hughes, adding, "there are over 7,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. And many of them act in concert with nicotine to make it more addictive." That is not the case for vaping products!

As someone who, thanks to vaping, was able to quit the deadly habit after decades of smoking myself, this is a very disturbing development. It's made even more disturbing by the particular big name Democrats (some of the otherwise best Dems --- Hughes names names!) who support the new regulations that will only help both Big Tobacco and, as Hughes notes, "the same giant pharmaceutical corporations that make nicotine patches, lozenges and gums [and inhalers!] and view my business, and thousands of other small businesses in the country, as competitors."

"This plan, if its fully implemented," he says, "will close every vape shop like mine in the United States. The only other thing we can say certainly will happen is smoking rates will skyrocket again across all demographics. There are currently over 9 million adults using these products regularly in the U.S. and those people will seek an alternative product. The alternative for them may be to go back to smoking in many instance. Half of those people will die prematurely as a result of smoking. And that's the catastrophe."

While I try to contain my rage here, even in writing this item, Hughes suggests those who would like to support the effort to kill smoking by saving vaping should stop by the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA.org). They offer a number of things you can do immediately. He also suggest you "call your representatives and tell them --- politely --- that you feel very strongly that the Senators should re-evaluate their stance on vapor products."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with disturbing climate change news and, thankfully, even a bit of hope...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guest: NC State Rep. Chris Sgro of Equality NC; Also: Fires devastate Canada's oil sands region; MO passes new Photo ID law; MUCH MORE...
By Brad Friedman on 5/9/2016 6:16pm PT  

The fires in the tar sands oil region of Canada and the lawsuits (yes, two of them filed today) result in a busy breaking news edition of The BradCast today. [Audio posted below.]

First up, Desi Doyen joins us for an update on the devastating climate-driven wildfires that have devastated the town of Fort McMurray, Alberta, in the heart of Canada's oil sands region where many workers from the oil sands mines live and work. Cooler weather, and even a bit of rain, helped keep the fires from growing to a full half-a-billion acres, as feared on Saturday. Still, the scenes of neighborhoods completely destroyed from the fire are heartbreaking. Some 88,000 residents remain evacuated, even as the irony of this particular region being devastated by climate-induced fires remains palpable.

Then, on to North Carolina Republicans' latest self-induced disaster. Late last week, the U.S. Dept. of Justice warned the state that their anti-LGBT law (HB2) was in violation of the federal Civil Rights Act. They were given until today (Monday) to let the DoJ know how they planned to respond in order to avoid the potential loss of more than $2 billion dollars in federal education funding. That response came today in the form of a suit filed against the DoJ by NC. The DoJ quickly responded in kind, with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announcing a lawsuit against NC for violation of the Civil Rights Act. She described HB2 as "state-sponsored discrimination," and told the transgendered community: "We see you. We stand with you…And please know that history is on your side."

Democratic NC state Rep. Chris Sgro, who also serves as president of Equality NC, joins us today to talk about the entire fine mess, even as news of the various suits were still breaking. He tells me that the state has already lost about half a billion to their economy, even before the potential loss of federal education funding, as businesses react to the "terrible anti-LGBT, anti-worker, anti-education bill that we know is in violation of the Civil Rights Act".

"This is not pro-business conservatism," Sgro tells me. "This bill wasn't about enabling local government. They went in and they were the big government who stripped local rights. And they are the anti-business party right now. If they really want to be pro-business, pro-growth, they have to act as quickly as possible to overturn House Bill 2. That's the only answer at this point."

Also on today's program: Surprising polling news out of Georgia (and another warning for Democrats along with it); Missouri Republicans pass a new Photo ID restriction law, with a compromise that leads to some Democrats joining; Democratic voter registration numbers skyrocket in California (and in Oregon); and the Dumbest Story of the Day as a photograph of female black cadets at West Point generates an official investigation...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guest: CNN columnist John D. Sutter | Also: Tar sands oil country on fire; NC violates U.S. law; Trump finds new way to offend Latinos...
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2016 5:19pm PT  

Are Republican voters 'warming up' to the science of climate change? A new study suggests as much, as CNN columnist and environmental reporter John D. Sutter details on today's BradCast. [See link to audio of today's show at end of article.]

That news comes not a moment too soon, as record high temps in Alberta, Canada's tar sands oil region (ironically enough) sets the town of Fort McMurray on fire and sends some 80,000 residents scrambling for their lives amidst "apocalyptic" devastation. But are the attitudes of GOP voters on the planet's climate crisis changing quickly enough to prevent the worst effects of global warming, even as the Republican Party's apparent standard-bearer this year, Donald Trump, regards the science as little more than a massive "hoax"?

"I think there's a lot less division on this issue than gets made out in the media," Sutter tells me on today's show. "The skeptical voices, especially on the conservative side, are often heard the loudest. They come through the loudest on blogs. They have big media platforms and they get attention. But I don't think that's representative of what the actual American public thinks, and what the voters think. I do think there's a lot more room for agreement on climate change between conservatives and liberals than is often made out in the media."

In fact, as Sutter notes in his column on the new survey from the Yale and George Mason University's programs on on Climate Change Communication, "The percentage of conservative Republicans (not just Republicans but conservative Republicans) who believes climate change is happening has jumped 19 percentage points in the last two years, to 47%." He goes on to explain why that movement seems to be occurring now and to offer his explanation for the apparent contradiction between a huge majority of GOPers who support research into clean, renewable energy, even as so many of them remain climate crisis deniers.

"I think there's a disconnect between what people believe out there in reality and what politicians are willing to say. Because for them to propose regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant, for example, they'd have to go up against some pretty monied special interests," he says. "There's a difference between real people and what politicians are willing to take up."

We also discuss Sutter's very encouraging recent reporting on the upcoming Washington state Initiative-732, which would put a price on carbon emissions --- "this often gets called the 'Holy Grail' of climate change policies," he says --- so that polluters will no longer be allowed to pollute for free. Just over the border in British Columbia, where a carbon tax was implemented in 2008, he explains, "the sky didn't fall" as predicted by fossil fuel industry opponents. In fact, "their economy has actually been out-pacing the rest of Canada" and "the level of support for the carbon tax has grown over time."

While Sutter's reporting on these issues at the CNN website is fantastic, I felt I still needed to ask him about the dearth of climate reporting on CNN's airwaves where, as a study last month found, viewers "see far more fossil fuel advertising than climate change reporting."

Also on today's BradCast: The U.S. Dept. of Justice notifies of North Carolina that their new law to discriminate against the LGBT community is a violation of the federal Civil Rights Act and may cost the state more than $2 billion in federal education funding; and Donald Trump, who will desperately need Hispanic voters if he hopes to win the Presidency this November, offers a remarkably offensive tweet on Cinco De Mayo. Because, of course he does.

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Plus: Obama's mic drop White House Correspondents Dinner remarks...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2016 5:28pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, we catch up on a number of stories --- amusing, disturbing and otherwise --- from late last week, over the weekend, and today, in advance of tomorrow's big Primary election in Indiana. [Audio link to the show follows below.]

Among the stories covered on today's program...

  • Satan's minions are offended by the comparison of Lucifer to Ted Cruz;
  • Last week's outbreak of mass shootings around the country surpassed the number killed in similar shootings in all of Europe for the entire year;
  • The GOP promises legal push-back against the VA Democratic Governor's executive order last week allowing some 200,000 former felons the right to register and vote;
  • Dumb Democrats gleeful about a Clinton "landslide" if Trump wins the GOP nomination (Talking to you, Rob Reiner!);
  • Bernie Sanders believes there will be a "contested" Democratic Presidential nominating convention this summer.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court's (somewhat encouraging?) order late last week on the TX Republicans' unlawful Photo ID voting law;
  • Senate Democrats call for their Republican counterparts to hold hearings on the Voting Rights Act (before millions of more legal voters are disenfranchised this November), as well as on Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court;
  • And finally, a few words on the White House Correspondents Dinner over the weekend, which is, on the whole, a dreadful affair, some excerpts from Obama's amusing final speech there, and the fisticuffs that broke out afterward.

Also, my great thanks to the awesome Danielle and Shane-O from the Thom Hartmann Program for expertly filling in for Desi and me on Friday! Thanks, guys!

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guest: GOP operative turned gay rights activist Fred Karger
By Brad Friedman on 4/26/2016 5:20pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, as voters head to the polls in MD, CT, RI, DE and PA (where there are already reports of problems on the state's 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems), some voters are petitioning NY for a partial hand-count of the paper ballots from last week's troubled Presidential Primary in the state. Meanwhile, blowback continues in NC against the state Republicans' pro-discrimination and anti-voting rights laws. [Audio link for the show is at bottom of article.]

The election season grinds on, with more lawsuits, legal investigations and challenges then I ever recall seeing at this point in the cycle. In New York, where last week's Presidential Primary was plagued with problems such as questionable voter purges, closed polling places and failed optical-scan computer tabulation systems, Election Justice USA, which filed a suit against NY the day before the DNC (and Clinton and Sanders campaigns) did so, is now calling for a partial hand-count of paper ballots across the state.

The group's petition cites those problems and others for the lack of confidence that many voters now have in the results as reported by NY's paper-ballot optical-scan computer tabulators which have failed in the past, as the NY Daily News found in 2012, to count an enormous percentage of ballots in some precincts. Their petition also includes a video clip from an award-winning 2008 documentary film, HOLLER BACK - [not] VOTING IN AN AMERICAN TOWN, in which I appeared discussing the reasons for hand-counting paper ballots, rather than merely trusting in oft-failed, easily hacked computer tabulators. (But its an excellent film anyway!)

I explain all of the above today, as well as why Bernie Sanders supporters are both overstating their current argument of "fraud" in the NY election, even as the lack of transparency in the state's electronic counting system leaves voters with every reason to have uncertainty in the computer-tallied results. (In somewhat related news, also discussed today, hand-counts in DuPage County, IL recently resulted in three different write-in candidates, 2 Republicans and 1 Democrat, being found to have won their races after originally being announced "losers" following last month's primary elections there.)

Also today, before moving on to our interview, a federal judge has upheld NC's massive voter restriction law which mandates Photo ID voting restrictions, bans same-day registration, restricts early voting and registration and much more. I've previously described that law, enacted by state Republicans just days after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, as "the most extreme anti-voter bill passed by any state since the Jim Crow Era." Opponents of the law, including the NAACP, ACLU and U.S. Dept. of Justice, have now appealed the District Court's 485-page ruling which argues that "there is little official discrimination" in NC anymore.

That ruling, by a George W. Bush appointed judge, is difficult to square with the state's GOP nominee for Attorney General, who told a crowd at a rally in support of NC's controversial anti-LGBT law yesterday that "we must fight to keep our state straight."

Joining us today to discuss that "deeply unpopular" law and others like it --- as well as massive blowback it has engendered for the state --- is gay rights activist, Fred Karger, a former GOP operative, campaign official for Presidents Reagan and Ford, and the first openly gay Presidential candidate. (His run for the 2012 Republican nomination is the subject of the documentary film FRED.)

On the heels of his successful campaign against CA's Prop 8, the Mormon Church and the National Organization for Marriage, Karger recently described at Huffington Post how boycotts can work against such measures. We discuss that, the continuing disintegration of his formerly Grand Old Party, and his thoughts on the reasons for the sudden spate of discriminatory laws, mostly in the South.

"I think it's because they're sore losers," he tells me. "It's not even been a year since the Supreme Court allowed marriage equality to be the law of the land in all fifty states. So we're seeing tens of thousands of very happy same-sex couples getting married. And there's a backlash because there are a lot of people very unhappy about that." He goes on to explain why GOP politicians, "when they're running for re-election or moving up for another post," see the gay and transgender community as "an easy target".

Finally today, we close today with a fascinating and previously unknown fact about the dearly departed Prince...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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GUEST: Doug Hughes has 'no regrets' in his fight for election reform
ALSO: 200k former felons re-enfranchised by executive order in VA; Former felons head to polls in MD; Brooklyn election official suspended; Good news on Earth Day...
By Brad Friedman on 4/22/2016 6:14pm PT  

On today's BradCast, 200k former felons get their voting rights back in Virginia, even as one protester for campaign finance reform loses his right to vote after being sentenced for a federal felony.

In a surprise announcement today, citing long-standing post-Civil War restrictions meant to keep African-American voters away from the ballot box, VA's Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) issued an executive order to re-enfranchise more than 200,000 former felons who have completed their prison sentences as well as their parole and probation periods. That good news comes even as former felons in Maryland are voting for the first time in decades, in advance of next week's primary, following that state legislative override of a veto by Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

Meanwhile, Brooklyn's top Board of Elections official is suspended amidst the NY Attorney General's new investigation into the still-unexplained purge of more than 100,000 Democratic voters in the months leading up to last Tuesday's disastrous Presidential Primary in NY.

Then, we are joined again by Florida postal worker Doug Hughes, who was sentenced on Thursday to four months in federal prison as part of a plea deal following his infamous demonstration for campaign finance reform last year when he landed his homemade gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol to raise awareness for the problem of money in politics following disastrous U.S. Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United and other related cases.

Hughes tells me, as he told the U.S. District Court Judge in federal court yesterday, that he has "no regrets" for his protest, despite the high costs he is being forced to pay, including, ironically enough, the loss of his voting rights in the state of Florida.

"I will never do this again, but I have no regrets over having done it," he says. "Judge Kotelly said my flight was a stunt. And it was a stunt, because it didn't change anything as far as the laws were concerned. It didn't do anything. Except it changed the perception that resistance is futile. People now believe that they can change [the campaign finance system], and a lot of people are getting engaged in changing it."

Hughes shares his thoughts on the 'Democracy Spring' protests for election and campaign finance reform that have resulted in more than 1,000 arrests over the past two weeks at the nation's capitol, even as the mainstream corporate media barely covered any of it. He describes his remarkable conversation with a CNN producer who called him yesterday after his sentencing. He says he told the CNN staffer that Democracy Spring protesters "were chanting 'Where is CNN?' You get thousands of people together and not a single CNN camera! There was no coverage of what was going on. I said, 'What kind of ghouls are running the organization that you've got to have to have somebody dead before the media will cover it?'"

The colorful and impassioned Hughes also comments on the absurdity of big banks and other major corporations getting away with tax-deductible financial settlements for actual crimes (including murder), while their executives get off scot-free. But, he argues, there is a way to change what seems like an unbeatable system, and he says it involves taking on both Democrats and Republicans alike in primary elections if they refuse to join forces to move campaign finance reform forward. "Like 4% of the population of any district is more than enough to beat the incumbent in the primary."

There is much more to hear from my discussion with Hughes (his website is here if you'd like to help him), before I am finally joined by Desi Doyen with our latest Green News Report. This one, on Earth Day --- and a very significant one at that...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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