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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, August 23, 2014
Ryan Ignores, Dismisses Elderly Voter's Question About His Medicare Cuts
2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 Presidential hopeful has charming way of winning friends and influencing elderly voters in FL...
Perry Tells NH Businessmen His Felony Indictment Was for a 'Bribery' Charge
Huh?! It wasn't. Is this another 'oops' moment from the Republican TX Governor and 2016 hopeful? Or something else entirely?...
'Green News Report' 8/21/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Too much rain in AZ desert; Another toxic spill in Ohio River; New solar breakthrough; Wind energy prices hit all-time low; PLUS: Auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor...
Previous GNRs: 8/19/14 - 8/14/14 - Archives...
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and His Bill to Stop Police Militarization:
KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Brad...
Republicans Call Ferguson Voter Registration 'Disgusting'
Rightwingers decry effort 'to register Democratic voters' following the killing of Michael Brown. But who said anything about 'Democratic voters'?...
Seriously, Ferguson Police?
The front page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reminds again how ridiculous the era of post-9/11 Wars has become, as does yet another comparison to the Bundy Bunch...
'Green News Report' 8/19/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Oregon nixes coal export facility; July 2014 4th hottest; Fracking industry illegally using diesel fuel, threatening water; PLUS GOP officials secretly accept climate science...
Previous GNRs: 8/14/14 - 8/12/14 - Archives...
Tale of Two Protests
The armed Bundy Bunch and the unarmed peaceful protesters of Ferguson -- one group was courageous enough to have possibly brought substantive, positive change to the nation...
Yes, Elections Still Matter: Brad on 'David Pakman Show'
With so many corrupt, corporatist politicians, even on the Democratic side, does voting and fighting voter suppression still even matter?...
97-Year Old Loses Right to Vote in KS for Lack of Photo ID
KS Sec. of State and long-time GOP 'voter fraud' fraudster Kris Kobach wins another one, as senior citizens turned away without voting on Primary Election Day...
'Green News Report' 8/14/14
Historic storms, floods from NE to MI to NY, as CA breaks more heat records; China dumps coal, breaks solar records; PLUS: Jimmy Carter slams denier 'nutcases'...
News Summer from Hell Continues:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Peace activist and author David Swanson joins Brad to explain why using military force in Iraq, even to stop a genocide, is a terrible idea. PLUS: Much more...
Journalists Now Being Arrested in Ferguson
Reporters pulled out of a McDonald's by militarized police while covering protests of police killing of Michael Brown. Freedom-fighting 'Tea Party' 'patriots' still AWOL...
'Green News Report' 8/12/14
Is weather now more extreme?; ExxonMobil begins drilling with Russia in the Arctic; Methane rising; PLUS: U.S. underestimated Keystone XL emissions...
CA Supremes Nix Corporate Personhood 'Advisory Measure' from 2014 Ballot
Prop 49, a CA ballot initiative calling on Congress to amend the Constitution, will not be allowed on this year's ballot after all...
SIEGELMAN JUDGE ARRESTED FOR BATTERY
Controversial Republican federal judge Mark Fuller charged with beating wife; Daughter of AL's former, now-jailed Governor calls news 'shocking', 'karma'...
Keystone XL Emissions Vastly Underestimated by State Dept.: New Report
Independent study finds carbon pollution may increase four times the amount previously predicted by U.S....
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...


By Ernest A. Canning on 10/12/2011 7:05am PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

While both phenomena --- Occupy Wall Street and the "Tea Party" --- have emerged at a time of acute economic distress and a sense of alienation, disenchantment and betrayal brought on by an increasingly authoritarian corporate capitalism, they are as different as night is to day.

Occupy Wall Street is a genuine, organic, knowledge-driven democratic uprising. Its source, as perceptively described by Ben Manski, Executive Director of the Liberty Tree Foundation, is to be found in a profound "contradiction." "The promise of the Unites States is democracy," he writes, yet "The reality is that corporate elites rule."

The American "promise" is embodied in the lofty, egalitarian principles of the Declaration of Independence, in the recognition provided by the U.S. Constitution that the purpose of government is to "promote the general welfare," and in the concept inscribed above the portico of the U.S. Supreme Court --- "EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW." The "reality," as noted by former New York Times reporter, Chris Hedges, is that political power in the U.S. has been seized by a "criminal class" of rapacious oligarchs, whose radical goal is not merely the ability to carry out their criminal pillage of the economy and the environment with impunity, but the decimation of "all impediments to the creation of a neo-feudalistic corporate state."

The goal of Occupy Wall Street, Manski observes, is "to make the promise the new reality." It is, in that sense, a broader movement than both the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, for it is not limited to a rejection of Jim Crow and imperial conquest, but a total rejection of the authoritarian corporate security state that the rapacious oligarchs have erected.

Like the occupiers, the indoctrinated followers of the "Tea Party" are experiencing a profound sense of fear, alienation and betrayal. But what the latter do not realize is that theirs is a misdirected anger --- the product of an Orwellian manipulation by the same reactionary billionaires (aka "economic royalists" per FDR) who, in reality, are the source of their economic insecurity and political oppression.

But, before exploring the Orwellian manipulations of billionaire sociopaths, let's examine the underlying political and economic conditions that have given rise to Occupy Wall Street...

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

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PLUS: Citizen journalist coverage of Occupy LA...
By Ernest A. Canning on 10/7/2011 3:59pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Los Angeles is no New York City. Following a torrential down pour on Wednesday, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sent a hundred rain ponchos over to those who had been encamped outside of L.A. City Hall since last weekend, as the core of the Occupy Los Angeles movement.

Later that same day, the Los Angeles City Council filed an extraordinary Resolution [PDF] in support of the L.A. "occupiers" and of the larger "Occupy Wall Street" movement as a whole.

The resolution, to be adopted "with the concurrence of the Mayor" (and supported by the L.A. County Federation of Labor), comes very close to a formal governmental endorsement of "Occupy Wall Street," a movement which Michael Moore describes plainly enough as "an uprising of people who have had it."

Amongst the powerful WHEREAS statements in support of the L.A. City Council Resolution, adopted "with the concurrence of the Mayor," was a recognition that "corporations hold undue influence and power;" that wealth disparity in the U.S. is greater than many of the nations in the Middle East that have been racked by "violent revolutionary protests;" that "our economic system" is "broken," creating an "economic crisis" that is "eroding the very social contract upon which the Constitution of the United States of America was founded"...

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

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TONIGHT: Malloy checks in from OccupyDC, Joshua Holland on OccupySF, Nanci Tobi on Hand-Counted Paper Ballots(!) & more!
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 10/6/2011 4:16pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with audio archives below!]

The occupation of your public airwaves continues tonight as I guest-host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show one again (and again tomorrow) while Mike is in D.C. rallying with the October2011.org / OccupyWashingtonDC.org demonstrations kicking off today.

Once again we'll be BradCasting LIVE 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the uprising globe from the studios of L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

Scheduled tonight (so far):

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on SiriusXM Ch. 127. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or at WhiteRose Society or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: The uprising continues. And it's all heard in audio archives below, with the commercials removed for your uprising pleasure! (The chat room archives are there too.) Enjoy!...

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

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TONIGHT: Malloy checks in from D.C. protests, Jesse LaGreca from 'Occupy Wall Street', Dr. Roger Johnston from Argonne National Labs & much more!
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 10/5/2011 2:42pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with tonight's audio archives below!]

The revolution may not be televised...but it will be radio-active as we #OccupyYOURPublicAirwaves!

I'll be guest-hosting the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show tonight, tomorrow and Friday as Mike heads to D.C. to emcee the kick off of the October2011.org demonstration and we'll be

As ever, we'll be BradCasting LIVE 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the uprising globe from the studios of L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

Scheduled tonight (so far):

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on SiriusXM Ch. 127. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or at WhiteRose Society or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: The uprising begins. A helluva show tonight. You can check it all out below in the commercial-free audio archives (along with the chat room archives). Enjoy!...

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

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Deal includes cop 'training on First Amendment rights'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/5/2011 11:57am PT  

The St. Paul and Minneapolis police departments, along with the U.S. Secret Service, have agreed to pay $100,000 in compensation as part of a settlement in a federal lawsuit filed after the inappropriate arrests and detentions of journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and two of her producers at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

The settlement also includes an agreement that the St. Paul police department will "implement a training program aimed at educating officers regarding the First Amendment rights of the press and public."

As we originally reported in September of 2008, the three journalists were arrested (along with other members of the media) while covering protests and mass arrests outside the GOP convention, despite clearly identifying themselves to the police as members of the media.

In addition to the mass arrests of active protesters, footage later emerged showing an absolutely bizarre, and seemingly indiscriminate, police crackdown on peaceful citizens otherwise having gathered in a nearby city park (See video below.)

Democracy Now! producer Nicole Salazar was even roughed up by police in the course of her apprehension. Goodman, who had rushed out from the convention floor after hearing of the arrests of her producers, was cuffed and taken in despite no hint of inappropriate behavior, as seen in the two short video clips below...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 10/2/2011 7:47pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Perhaps the only positive thing one can say about GOP voter suppression is that it is relentless.

In 2008 the ME Legislature killed a Republican-backed bill designed to prohibit out-of-state college students from voting in the communities in which their schools were located. The state's Democratic Attorney General Steven Rowe said at the time, that the proposal was unconstitutional under the 1979 ruling in Symm vs. United States, establishing the right of college students to treat their dorms as their residence for voting purposes.

This year, on July 25th, the clueless ME GOP Chairman Charlie Webster asked Maine's Republican Sec. of State Charles E. Summers, Jr. to investigate 206 out-of-state college students whom he believed committed "voter fraud" because they registered and voted in the Pine Tree State.

Summers, after a two month investigation, was forced to admit that every one of the students was lawfully registered to vote in ME; that there was no evidence that any one of them committed voter fraud.

But why let a little thing like the absence of evidence of any crime get in the way of dissuading college students from exercising their right to vote? That's exactly what Summers decided to do...

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

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With cameo appearance by Kirsten Powers of Fox 'News'
UPDATED: Previously 'amusing' conversation, now just pathetic as Jared Roberts sends us a terrorist threat...
By Brad Friedman on 10/2/2011 7:35am PT  

It started with a Tweet yesterday morning from Kirsten Powers, Democratic contributor to Fox "News", in response to President Barack Obama having killed U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki after targeting him for assassination with no due process whatsoever --- not even a court order, as would have been needed to wiretap someone.

It seems like that's something Rightwingers pretending to be concerned about abuse of U.S. citizens by "Big Government" would have some objections to. But they don't. It's also seems like something that those who had been critical of George W. Bush's outrageously illegal and unconstitutional excesses and war crimes would similarly decry. But too many don't.

Nonetheless, soon, our hero in this story --- @ShortGo, otherwise known as Jared Roberts, self-identified "OUTLAW Cowboy" --- rode in to the conversation between Kirsten and me, to save the nation...

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

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PLUS: Local media outlet reports story accurately!...
By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2011 3:40pm PT  

The civil trial against Republican propagandist and con-artist Andrew Breitbart's salaried employee James O'Keefe --- a convicted federal criminal as well as propagandist and con-artist in his own right --- continues in San Diego where a former ACORN employee has sued both O'Keefe and his partner Hannah Giles for violations of California's privacy act.

The case arises from the secret video taping by O'Keefe and Giles of then ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera, as part of the deceptively edited hit videos the pair would later release on Breitbart's several propaganda websites. Vera was terminated after the release of the videos, despite having committed no wrongdoing --- he had even notified local police about the pair, after he suspected they were up to no good --- as confirmed in a detailed report by the California Attorney General last year. O'Keefe and Giles, on the other hand, as the CA AG found, most likely "violated state privacy laws." While they were given criminal immunity by the AG in exchange for the raw, unedited video tapes, they remain liable for civil violations of the that law.

Now it appears Breitbart himself may be pulled into the case, and we're likely to soon learn how much he paid O'Keefe and Giles for their hit tapes.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin has adjudicated a discovery dispute by ordering both O'Keefe and Giles to disclose payments Breitbart made to them, as well as email communications and other relevant documents concerning the illicit video taping of Vera.

While that is likely to offer an interesting expansion of this story soon (and we'll offer a few more details from the court's ruling below), more than anything what caught our eye in this story for the moment, was the reporting by local journalist Heather Johnson of Courthouse News. She broke the story this week, and managed to actually report accurately on the details of O'Keefe and Giles' ACORN hoax.

On the other hand, the "paper of record" New York Times is still unable to do similarly. Even though we'd already forced a number of other corrections to their repeated misreporting on this, they've still managed to misreport the facts of O'Keefe's ACORN "pimp" hoax as recently as late last June and then again in late July.

So, to offer you (and, actually, the New York Times) an idea of what accurate reporting on O'Keefe --- a man who has, since his ACORN con, also pled guilty to a scheme involving an attempted wire-tap plot of a sitting U.S. Senator --- looks like, just read the first three grafs of Johnson's coverage this week...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/26/2011 12:02pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Since taking power in statehouses across the nation in 2010, Republicans have been feverishly implementing new restrictions on democracy in advance of the 2012 Presidential election. A number of those laws, clearly --- and often deceptively --- designed to carve out blatant partisan advantage for the GOP next year, were examined during a recent hearing by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. The video of the hearing on "New State Voting Laws: Barriers to the Ballot" can be viewed here.

This is the second of our two-part analysis of the hearing.

In Part 1, we covered the subcommittee's examination of new polling place photo ID restrictions designed to make it more difficult for lawfully registered (and disproportionately Democratic-leaning) voters to cast their ballots at the precincts on Election Day. That issue --- which included some devastating cross-examination of long-time GOP "voter fraud" front-man Hans Von Spakovsky by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) --- was the first of three categories, as defined by committee chair Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) of new state voting laws covered in the hearings. All of the new voter suppression laws have been recently rammed through Republican-majority statehouses across the country.

In this concluding piece, we will cover the two additional categories examined: laws erecting barriers to the ability of individuals and non-partisan, non-governmental organizations to offer convenient registration for new voters and laws imposing significant reductions on early voting periods. Both are likely to restrict the number of voters able to cast their lawful vote in 2012 and, again, each is likely to disproportionately affect Democratic-leaning voters.

Finally, We'll also touch upon the status of legal challenges to these new laws by democracy proponents and challenges to the Voting Rights Act itself by operatives on the Right. Moreover, it's impossible to look at any of these issues without drawing inferences about what the combination of new laws in all three categories means, particularly in light of the fact that the models for these new laws were drafted by the billionaire Koch brothers-funded, Paul Weyrich co-founded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/23/2011 5:41pm PT  

There are two important late Friday announcements from the newly revived, post-Bush Voting Unit at U.S. Dept. of Justice's Civil Rights Division this afternoon. In both cases, they've raised serious concerns about discrimination by Republican Presidential front-runner Rick Perry's Texas against Hispanic and African-American voters.

Given the Lone Star State's history of discrimination against racial minorities, new laws and regulations which relate to elections and voting must be pre-cleared by the Dept. of Justice before they can be put into effect, as per Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act.

In one finding, the DoJ sees purposeful discrimination against minorities in the state's redistricting plans [PDF] for apportioning both new statehouse districts, as well as four new U.S. House seats being added in the wake of the 2010 census. The new seats are being added due to an increase in the TX population, thanks in no small part, ironically enough, to huge growth in the state's Hispanic population. The DoJ finds the proposed statehouse plan violates Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, stating that it "was adopted, at least in part, for the purpose of diminishing the ability of citizens of the United States, on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, to elect their preferred candidates of choice to the Texas House of Representatives."

The TX plan for the U.S. House didn't fare much better (see below), with similar findings that minorities are likely to see a "retrogressive effect" in their ability "to elect their preferred candidates of choice to the United States House of Representatives" under Perry's approved scheme.

Moreover, in a letter that echoes questions recently sent by the DoJ to the state of South Carolina about their new polling place Photo ID restrictions, as The BRAD BLOG detailed earlier this month, the DoJ has a series of questions concerning Texas' new, very similar restrictions. As the law mirrors the one in South Carolina --- and in many of the other states where the GOP has been able to ram through similar voter suppression bills over the past year --- many of the questions from the DoJ to TX also ask about the their plans for notification about the law, and issuance of free IDs to the more than 600,000 otherwise-legally qualified voters who don't currently own state-issued ID that would meet the strict new requirements to cast a vote at the polls on Election Day.

In TX, the DoJ voting unit is curious about how many of those residents who don't have such IDs also happen to have Spanish surnames...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/23/2011 7:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

A nearly two-hour hearing in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights earlier this month (full video available here), carefully examined the partisan, multi-state effort by the billionaire Koch brothers-funded, Paul Weyrich co-founded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-fueled GOP effort to enact new state voting laws across the country.

The coordinated, nationwide GOP voter suppression effort was aptly described by Judith Browne Dianis, a civil rights litigator at The Advancement Project, and a witness in the second three-member panel, as "the largest legislative effort to roll back voting rights since the post-Reconstruction era."

"Our country has not seen such widespread attempts to disenfranchise voters as we have seen this year in more than a century. Inclusive democracy is under attack," she testified, while Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) described the "brazen" GOP attempts to undermine the right to vote.

Subcommittee Chair and Senate Majority Whip, Dick Durbin (D-IL) broke the new state voting laws into three major categories, and the discussions of each are worth covering here over two different articles. In Part 1 here, we'll cover the first category: Polling place Photo ID laws restricting the ability of lawfully registered voters to cast their ballot on Election Day. The hearing produced several remarkable face-offs, including between Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and long-time GOP "voter fraud" front man Hans von Spakovsky (cue James Bond villain music), as detailed below.

In Part 2, we will cover the discussion of the other two categories at the hearing --- draconian new restrictions on voter registration, and laws which significantly reduce early voting periods --- plus a very troubling event that "reactionaries" have planned for the 2012 election, according to Dianis' testimony [UPDATE: Part 2 is now posted here]...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2011 3:08pm PT  

Reuters in 2008:

The parole board in the state of Georgia spared a convicted killer from execution hours before he was due to die by lethal injection on Thursday and commuted his sentence to life in prison.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles made its decision less than three hours before Samuel David Crowe, 47, was to be executed, according to a spokeswoman for the state's prisons.

"After careful and exhaustive consideration of the requests, the board voted to grant clemency. The board voted to commute the sentence to life without parole," the parole board said.
...
In March 1988, Crowe killed store manager Joseph Pala during a robbery at the lumber company in Douglas County, west of Atlanta. Crowe, who had previously worked at the store, shot Pala three times with a pistol, beat him with a crowbar and a pot of paint.

Crowe pleaded guilty to armed robbery and murder and was sentenced to death the following year.

"David (Crowe) takes full responsibility for his crime and experiences profound remorse," according to Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, an advocacy group, who welcomed the board's decision.

The BRAD BLOG last night, after the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles had denied clemency to a different prisoner:

Despite 20 years asserting his own innocence; 7 of 9 witnesses having recanted their testimony, claiming police coercion; 3 jurors in the death penalty case having filed affidavits retracting their votes for "guilty" verdict; the murder weapon used in the killing of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail never having been found; no physical evidence tying Davis to the murder; hosts of luminaries from Republicans Bob Barr and Michael Steele to Democrats like President Jimmy Carter to a former GA Supreme Court Justice to a former FBI Director and many more calling for him to be spared; and after 3.5 hours of secret deliberation by the U.S. Supreme Court who temporarily reprieved his execution at the last moment before denying a stay without explanation, Davis was killed tonight by the big government state of Georgia at 11:08pm ET.

In his last words, according to witnesses to the execution, Davis spoke to the family of Officer MacPhail in the front row, and told them again he was sorry for their loss, but that he was innocent, did not have a gun, and did not kill their "son, father, brother."

Other than the confessed murderer being spared, and the man who maintained his innocence for 20 years being killed, I wonder if the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles saw any other significant differences between the cases of Samuel David Crowe and Troy Anthony Davis.

[Hat-tip @AngryBlackLady on Twitter.]

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By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2011 8:26pm PT  


Troy Anthony Davis, 1968 - 2011

Despite 20 years asserting his own innocence; 7 of 9 witnesses having recanted their testimony, claiming police coercion; 3 jurors in the death penalty case having filed affidavits retracting their votes for "guilty" verdict; the murder weapon used in the killing of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail never having been found; no physical evidence tying Davis to the murder; hosts of luminaries from Republicans Bob Barr and Michael Steele to Democrats like President Jimmy Carter to a former GA Supreme Court Justice to a former FBI Director and many more calling for him to be spared; and after 3.5 hours of secret deliberation by the U.S. Supreme Court who temporarily reprieved his execution at the last moment before denying a stay without explanation, Davis was killed tonight by the big government state of Georgia at 11:08pm ET.

In his last words, according to witnesses to the execution, Davis spoke to the family of Officer MacPhail in the front row, and told them again he was sorry for their loss, but that he was innocent, did not have a gun, and did not kill their "son, father, brother."

Finally, he said to the prison officials: "May God have mercy on your souls and may God bless your souls."

* * *

Davis' letter today to supporters...

I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness, in the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith. It is because of all of you that I am alive today, as I look at my sister Martina I am marveled by the love she has for me and of course I worry about her and her health, but as she tells me she is the eldest and she will not back down from this fight to save my life and prove to the world that I am innocent of this terrible crime.

As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand. I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail.

* * *

Our previous coverage of the Troy Davis case, including our 2007 interview with the "forgotten victim", Larry Young, is here.

Some of our coverage via Twitter, of the last minute drama as it unfolded live over the last 5 hours in Georgia tonight, can be perused here.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2011 7:05pm PT  

UPDATE 9/20/11, 9:48am PT: Despite all that we have detailed below --- including witnesses who've recanted their testimony, jurors who've retracted their 'guilty' verdicts, scores of luminaries, former Presidents, current Popes, prosecutors, elected officials (both Republican and Democratic), judges, and law-enforcement officials who've called for Troy Anthony Davis to be spared, along with Amnesty International's description of the state's decision today as "unconscionable" --- the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied Davis' final appeal for clemency this morning.

Barring a last minute intervention from someone, somehow, somewhere (please see and sign this), the Big Government lethal injection killing of Georgia's citizen Davis will proceed at 7pm local time Wednesday night.

The "Tea Party" protests over the outrage are scheduled to begin never.

* * *

In August of 2007, Troy Anthony Davis was just weeks away from his then scheduled execution in the state of Georgia when The BRAD BLOG ran the following article, including an exclusive interview with Larry Young, the "forgotten victim" in the Davis case who now, like 7 of the 9 witnesses in the case, has recanted his testimony. Young says, as you'll read, that he was left to bleed while the police coerced him into identifying Davis as the assailant, even though he had never seen him before.

One of the only witnesses to not retract his testimony is Sylvester "Redd" Coles, who was with Davis before the 1989 murder of Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail, whom Davis has been convicted of killing. During a party in June of 2009, Coles reportedly claimed to have been the actual assailant.

Davis' execution was delayed in 2007 as new evidence was presented, but he is now, once again, scheduled to be killed at 7pm local time on Wednesday, pending a grant of clemency by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles (BPP), the sole authority able to commute his death sentence to life in prison with or without the possibility of parole.

Since Emily Levy's exclusive article below ran on August 3rd, 2007, citing both the Indigo Girls and the Pope in calling for Davis to be spared, a host of dignitaries, such as President Jimmy Carter, former FBI Director William Sessions, former far-right Republican U.S. Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia, and former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher, have all asked the BPP to grant clemency to Davis.

Moreover, among witnesses heard during today's impassioned hearing before the board was Brenda Forrest, a juror who voted to sentence Davis to death at his 1991 trial. According to to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tonight, Forrest "now says she has doubt about her verdict and is asking the board to grant clemency. Two other jurors who voted to sentence Davis to death have signed affidavits asking the board to spare Davis from execution."

In her affidavit, Forrest says "she learned information that makes her no longer believe the case against Davis was ironclad. 'I feel, emphatically, that Mr. Davis cannot be executed under these circumstances,' she said."

The BPP has adjourned for the evening, having postponed deliberation until tomorrow on the fate of the man who has maintained his innocence without fail for 20 years now. (It had been only 17 years at the time of Levy's original article for The BRAD BLOG). In light of the possibility of the ultimate Big Government abuse of power being exercised against a citizen on Wednesday, it seems an appropriate moment to revisit Levy's original, and disturbing, exclusive...

* * *

The Indigo Girls and The Pope Agree: Troy Davis Should Not Be Executed
After 17 Years on Death Row, Davis Will Have Opportunity To Present New Evidence
The 'Forgotten Victim' Speaks in a BRAD BLOG Exclusive...

Special to The BRAD BLOG by Emily Levy - Originally published 8/3/2007

"The part what really makes me mad is the part that I don't know who hit me. You know, it might sound weird, but that'd be a little bit of closure for me to know who done it. You know, because when I got hit, and I hearin' somebody clicking a gun by my head about three, four times, and that gun not going off. You know, for a lot of years I've been hearing that click and I've been hearing that gun going off. Jumping up out of my sleep."
--Larry Young, July 2007, 18 years after he was attacked in the parking lot of a Savannah, Georgia Burger King.

You might think Larry Young would know who hit him, because two weeks ago the man who was convicted in the case came within 24 hours of being executed by the State of Georgia. But Larry Young doesn't know because he, like nearly all the witnesses whose testimony originally convicted Troy Anthony Davis of the assault on Young and the murder of a white police officer that night, doesn't believe Davis is guilty. Next week, the testimony these witnesses want to give, testimony that will show their original "witness statements" were coerced by police, will finally be heard...

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

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Ghoulish love for premature death permeates GOP debates...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/15/2011 8:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

It's bad enough that CNN surrendered what little credibility it had as a "news" organization by adopting the name and sponsorship of a mega-billionaire Koch Brothers' funded and controlled, pseudo-grass-roots organization to partner with on Monday's GOP Presidential debate in California.

Now, in the midst of this Los Angeles Times front-page headline, U.S. poverty totals hit a 50-year high, comes the loud “yes” (several, actually) from the audience at the CNN 'Tea Party' debate, applauding the prospect of simply letting those who can’t afford healthcare insurance die...

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

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