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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, August 1, 2014
'Green News Report' 7/31/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
20m gallon water main break in L.A. exposes decrepit U.S. water sytem; Record wildfires depleting budgets; Repubs fiddle as West burns; PLUS: Flesh-eating bacteria in Florida...
Previous GNRs: 7/24/14 - 7/29/14 - Archives...
FEC Commissioners at War Over Rove's Campaign Finance Violations
Deadlock vote, ignoring federal agencies own attorneys, leads to lawsuit and scathing attack of Dem Commissioners by GOP colleagues...
'A Kind of Propaganda War'
After U.N. denial, NBC's David Gregory apologized for use of unverified Israeli video claiming to show rockets fired from U.N. refugee shelter in Gaza where at least 15 were killed by Israel last week...
'Green News Report' 7/29/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Obama Admin approves sonic cannons for offshore oil exploration; Bizarre weather across U.S.; CO judge nixes fracking ban; PLUS: Neil Young wants your help in the rainforest...
Previous GNRs: 7/24/14 - 7/22/14 - Archives...
Bi-Partisan House to Obama: Get Out of Iraq
Overwhelming, if largely symbolic vote in the U.S. House, directs the President to pull U.S. troops back out of Iraq. Directive seen as stinging rebuke to GOP war haws in Senate..
'Green News Report' 7/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
Previous GNRs: 7/22/14 - 7/17/14 - Archives...
Israeli Attack on UN Shelter Kills At Least 15 in Gaza
The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
The Good Fight Continues: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad speaks with John Wellington Ennis, documentarian and activist, on his newest film and his decade-long fight for election integrity...
What We Do Now
"It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time"..."Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died"...
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
Record wildfires in Pacific NW; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A RW caller's admission to Brad on NC radio underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal 1960 From Nixon
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
CA Ballot Prop to Overturn 'Citizens United'
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: CA gets tough on water wasters...
Kochs Radical 'Libertarianism' Broke KA
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Brownback's Dem opponent after tax cuts for wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
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...


Rulings could have major impact on looming recall elections...
By Ernest A. Canning on 3/17/2012 6:05am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

On Friday, an intermediate Wisconsin appellate court denied a request made by WI Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (R), on behalf of Gov. Scott Walker's administration, to stay an order issued earlier this month by a Dane County Circuit Court that temporarily suspended the state GOP's polling place Photo ID law.

In Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP v. Walker --- the first of two cases within the past two weeks to result in an injunction on the voting restrictions, known as "Act 23," enacted by a Republican-majority last year --- Judge David Flanagan temporarily enjoined [PDF] enforcement of the law on the grounds that it was in violation of the WI Constitution's guaranteed right to vote.

As of now, that injunction will still stand. In the bargain, local election officials are now seeking to comply with Judge Flanagan's order, so that Photo ID will not be required at the polls in the statewide April primary elections, upcoming recall elections scheduled for May and June, or for the 2012 general election this November.

Unless the denial of a stay is promptly reversed by the partisan Republican majority on the WI Supreme Court, the ruling could have an immediate adverse impact on the ability of the state's controversial Governor, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and the Republican state Senators facing upcoming recall elections to retain office...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2012 2:23pm PT  

State Sen. Pam Galloway --- one of four Wisconsin Senate Republicans scheduled to face upcoming recall elections in the still-redounding blowback from the state GOP's assault on collective bargaining rights last year --- has announced her resignation today.

The result is that GOP's 17-16 majority over Democrats in the chamber prior to today (it had been a 19-14 majority until the first round of recall elections last year) is now gone.

For the moment, the chamber is now evenly split at 16-16. The GOP has lost sole control of the chamber.

Galloway is citing family health issues as the reason for her surprise resignation today. According to TPM's Eric Kleefeld, "Galloway won her Senate seat by a five-point margin in the 2010 Republican wave, defeating the incumbent state Senate Majority Leader in the traditionally Democratic Wausau district." She had been scheduled to face Assistant state Assembly Minority Leader Donna Seidel in the upcoming recall.

As per WI recall rules, the contest for her seat, the three other Senators and the offices of Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, will move forward as planned. The GOP will be allowed to replace Galloway on the ballot.

The dates for those elections are now set for May 8th and June 5th. The first date will be a recall primary for those races in which there is a contested nomination, otherwise that will be the actual recall election for that seat. The second date would then be the actual recall elections. As the race for the nomination to take on Walker himself is currently being contested by several Democrats, that historic election will be held on June 5th --- coincidentally, the same day as the California Presidential primary elections.

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Finds registered Hispanic voters anywhere from 46% to 120% more likely than non-Hispanics to lack state-issued ID needed to vote under the new law...
By Brad Friedman on 3/12/2012 8:02pm PT  

The good news for voters, of late, keeps coming --- at least against the title wave of GOP voter suppression laws instituted around the country by Republicans since taking over legislatures and executive branches in 2010.

In addition to last week's temporary injunction of the Wisconsin's GOP polling place Photo ID restriction, and today's permanent injunction of the same law by a second judge in a separate complaint (both judges found the law in strict violation of the state Constitution's ironclad guarantee of the right to vote), today also saw the U.S. Dept. of Justice blocking a similarly disenfranchising Photo ID restriction enacted last year by Texas Republicans.

Currently, according to data supplied to the DoJ by the state of TX, more than 600,000 legally registered voters do not possess the type of ID that would be required to vote under the law passed last year, as previously set to take effect before this year's Presidential Election.

But it is the discriminatory effect of the new law which led the DoJ to nix the new changes to TX' voting laws.

Finding that the state's own statistics reveal legally registered Hispanic voters will be disproportionately disenfranchised by the TX law --- by anywhere from 46% to 120% over non-Hispanics, depending upon which set of a data submitted by TX is used for the analysis --- the DoJ rejected the statute under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. That section of the federal law requires preclearance for new election laws in certain jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination. Texas is one of those covered jurisdiction.

Today, the DoJ objected to the new law after determining that the state had not met it's "burden of showing that a submitted change [to an election law] has neither a discriminatory purpose nor a discriminatory effect"...

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

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Republicans also face setback on similarly disenfranchising law in TX, as DoJ files Voting Rights Act objection...
By Brad Friedman on 3/12/2012 4:04pm PT  

In an unambiguous finding stating that "the legislature and governor have exceeded their constitutional authority" and that "voter fraud is no more poisonous to our democracy than voter suppression," a second Dane County Circuit court in less than a week, has determined that the Wisconsin GOP's polling place Photo ID restriction on voters is in strict violation of the state Constitution.

Today, in his 12-page ruling on the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess found that "Act 23," the new law which strips voters of their right to vote unless they are able to produce a state-issued Photo ID at the polling place violates the WI Constitution's Article III which guarantees the right to vote to all state residents who are 18 and over (Section 1) other than in cases where the legislature may place restrictions on convicted felons and those adjudicated to be incompetent (Section 2).

Niess has issued a permanent injunction on the law today, in a complaint filed last October by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin arguing that legally registered voters would be unconstitutionally barred from exercising their guaranteed right to vote under the Republican's new restrictive law.

"The motion documents reveal no disputed issue of material fact requiring further evidentiary proceedings. [The plaintiffs] present a purely legal issue ripe for decision," Niess declared in his ruling, stating that Article III of the state Constitution "is unambiguous, and means exactly what it says."

Last week, in response to a complaint filed the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP, another Dane County Circuit Court Judge, Richard Flanagan, also ruled "Act 23" to be unconstitutional on a similar basis. He had issued a temporary injunction on the law in that case, in advance of the state's April primary elections. A trial is currently scheduled to begin on that complaint next month.

In response to both rulings now, the Republican State Attorney General has vowed to appeal, though both his legal and political basis for doing so may be quickly fading with today's second, nearly-identical finding from a second court.

There are also two complaints pending on a federal basis against the same Republican law in Wisconsin. In none of them has the GOP so far been able to demonstrate a case of voter fraud which might have been prevented by the new law. On the other hand, opponents have detailed a mountain of fact-based evidence demonstrating that otherwise legal voters will ultimately be disenfranchised if the law is allowed to take full effect in advance of this year's Presidential election, and as the state gears up for a new round of recall elections meant to unseat the very Republicans responsible for creating the state's new barrier to voting...

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

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The Wisconsin Governor's creation of a 'legal defense fund' suggests as much...
By Ernest A. Canning on 3/11/2012 9:13pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Wisconsin's embattled Governor Scott Walker (R) will almost certainly face a recall election soon, but he is not - repeat - not a target of an ongoing criminal investigation in Milwaukee County...even though last month he hired two criminal defense attorneys to represent him and, on Friday, he announced the creation of an official legal defense fund, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Daniel Bice.

The no-uncertain-terms denial about his status in the criminal probe comes from Walker spokeswoman Ciara Matthews who took pains to note on Friday, as the creation of his legal defense fund was announced: "We reiterate that Gov. Walker has been told that he is not a target of this investigation."

On the other hand, state law only allows for such funds to be created under certain circumstances. Bice notes that according to the state's Government Accountability Board [PDF], "Wisconsin Statutes permit a state government official who is being investigated for or charged with a violation of campaign finance laws or prohibited election practices to establish a 'legal defense fund' for expenditures supporting or defending the candidate while that person is being investigated for, or charged with, or convicted of a violation of those chapters."

So who is telling the truth? There's at least one person who may have an inside track to the Milwaukee prosecutors' long-time investigation, in which four top officials of Walker's have already been snagged, and that insider suggests Walker is likely in trouble...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/9/2012 1:33pm PT  

Last night, Rachel Maddow ran an update on the GOP War on Voting. Her report included a number of items we've covered here recently --- such as the protest by former U.S. Marine Tim Thompson who refused to show a Photo ID when trying to vote under TN's new voter suppression law on Tuesday, the Wisconsin court ruling temporarily blocking the state's Photo ID restrictions after finding it likely violates the WI Constitution's "right to vote" clause.

Here's Maddow's full report...


Maddow also covers several stories that we haven't been able to cover at The BRAD BLOG yet. Among them, the new Photo ID restriction law that was passed yesterday in the Pennsylvania Senate and is likely to become law, if not stopped somehow, this November. As Pennsylvania is not one of the "covered jurisdictions" subject to preclearance of new election laws by Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act, it would be another excellent candidate, like the one in Wisconsin, for challenge by the DoJ under Section 2 of that act, as our own legal analyst Ernie Canning persuasively argued recently.

Another story in Maddow's otherwise excellent report, however, is the one about the 86-year old WWII Vet in Ohio who was unable to vote on a normal ballot Tuesday, because his Veteran's ID didn't have his address on it. According to the The Plain Dealer's coverage:

“My beef is that I had to pay a driver to take me up there because I don’t walk so well and have to use this cane and now I can’t even vote,” said Paul Carroll, 86, who has lived in Aurora nearly 40 years, running his own business, Carroll Tire, until 1975.

“I had to stop driving, but I got the photo ID from the Veterans Affairs instead, just a month or so ago. You would think that would count for something. I went to war for this country, but now I can’t vote in this country.”

It's a horrible story, but on this one, Maddow appears to have been in slight error in her coverage...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/7/2012 8:09pm PT  

After a month off for KPFK's latest fund drive, The BradCast was finally back today in its normal Wednesday 3pm slot on Pacifica Radio's L.A. affiliate (and on other fine networks as well.)

On today's show I was joined by Marcy Wheeler of Emptywheel.net to discuss the madness of Obama's policies for targeting U.S. citizens as "terrorists" without due process, as discussed by AG Eric Holder earlier this week; a Green News Report segment with a major audio glitch and Desi Doyen live in studio; PLUS: the story of IN Sec. of State Charlie White getting off virtually scot-free for three counts of felony voter fraud, the former U.S. Marine who pushed back against the GOP's polling place Photo ID restrictions in TN this week, the good news out of WI concerning that state GOP's own attempt to suppress Democratic-leaning voters and MUCH MORE! Enjoy!

Download MP3 or listen online right here [appx 58 mins]...

P.S. I don't always get to post archive for The BradCast here, but you can subscribe to the RSS feed for free right here, or otherwise check the KPFK archive page for the show right here.

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Judge issues temporary injunction; Describes law as 'unconstitutional,' 'restrictive,' 'extremely broad and largely needless'...
By Brad Friedman on 3/6/2012 7:50pm PT  

Great news for voters today in Wisconsin, via Project Vote...

Wisconsin voters will not need to show ID to vote in the April 3 primary and local general election, thanks to a Dane County judge who granted a temporary injunction against the new law today.

Circuit Judge David Flanagan called the voter ID measure “the single most restrictive voter eligibility law” in the nation, according to the Associated Press.

“The NAACP’s Milwaukee branch and immigration rights group Voces de la Frontera sued over the law last year. A trial on whether to grant a permanent injunction is scheduled for April 16,” AP reports.

The groups asserted that more than 220,000 eligible voters would be unable to prove identity to vote under the new law.

“The scope of the impairment has been shown to be serious, extremely broad and largely needless,” Flanagan wrote in his court order. “There is no doubt that the plaintiffs have shown a very substantial likelihood of success on the merits.”

The state is expected to appeal the decision.

“It’s a solid victory for voting rights and all voters in the state of Wisconsin,” said Richard Saks, attorney for the NAACP. “It’s a win for the hundreds of thousands who have difficulty or find it impossible to get voter ID under Act. 23,” Saks said.

In granting the temporary injunction, Flanagan's 11-page order [PDF] "concludes that the plaintiffs have demonstrated the probability of success as well as the likelihood of irreperable harm," in their original complaint which is set for trial beginning next month. The case, Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP v. Scott Walker, is based solely on the argument that Act 23 is in violation of the WI state constitution. Flanagan's ruling is grounded in a fundamentally conservative interpretation of the state constitution's guaranteed right to vote, and on historic precendents where the state Supreme Court has decided in favor of that right over legislative laws affecting that right to the disadvantage of the voter.

Today's ruling is the first judicial blow against the vote suppressing law passed by Republicans in the wake of their 2010 electoral victory in the Badger State. There are now at least four different legal complaints filed against Wisconsin's Act 23 challenging both the state and federal Constitutionality of the law. The most recent suit was filed late last month, and detailed by our own Ernest Canning who also calls for the U.S. Dept. of Justice to intervene in the case in order to enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act in Wisconsin, on the basis of racial discrimination.

Late last year the ACLU filed a 54-page federal class action complaint on behalf of some 17 named plaintiffs, including elderly, student, minority and even veteran voters, all of whom may otherwise be unable to cast their once-legal vote under the state's new law passed by its GOP legislature and signed into law by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2011.

The lead plaintiff in that case, 86-year old Ruthelle Frank, is disabled and was born at home. She never had a birth certificate. Though she's been legally voting in every election since 1948 and is an elected member of the Brokaw Village Board, she may have to pay more than $200 in order to have a birth certificate created and typos in her name, as recorded by the state registrar, corrected before she can receive the "free" state-issued Photo ID that would allow her to vote under the new law.

Even younger, more able-bodied voters have had problems jumping through some of the hoops required to obtain a so-called "free" ID in Wisconsin, as documented on video tape last summer by a woman attempting to help her son obtain one from the state DMV.

In a small primary in the state late last month, the first full implementation of the statute, a number of voters were reportedly denied their right to vote --- at polling places where they had legally voted for years prior --- after they were unable to present Photo ID which met the state's new draconian restrictions. For now, at least for the upcoming April primary in Wisconsin, those restrictions will mercifully be on hold.

* * *

UPDATE: Flanagan's ruling was extremely powerful and likely very difficult to rebut, short of an out-and-out activist ruling by the Right-leaning state Supreme Court. (They've done it before, so I wouldn't put it past them.) I've posted a few additional snippets from Flanagan's must-read decision in comments below. Our legal analyst Ernest Canning, who has been closely covering the WI challenges to Act 23, has also now rung in with a few more thoughts on Flanagan's decision there as well.

* * *
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'I took the oath to prevent these kinds of laws'...
By Brad Friedman on 3/6/2012 11:48am PT  

55-year old former U.S. Marine Tim Thompson was turned away from the polls today, Super Tuesday 2012, in the state of Tennessee, after refusing to present a photo ID before voting, as required by a new law recently passed by Republicans.

Thompson was documented by videographers attempting to cast his vote under the new polling place Photo ID restrictions instituted by TN's Republican-majority legislature and signed into law last year by the state's Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

The former Lance Corporal, who left the service in 1978, has lived in Nashville since 2004 when he first cast his vote at the same precinct where he was turned away today. In an act of protest, planned in advance and video-taped by a number of media outlets, Thompson refused to show any more than the voter registration card he has previously used for voting in the state.

Video of the confrontation that ensued is posted below.

"This is my voter registration card," Thompson said as he challenged the poll supervisor. "I've used this for 37 years. This was good enough for my father. This was good enough for my grandfather, and I refuse to show you a picture ID"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2012 3:12pm PT  

Late on Friday, the U.S. Dept. of Justice filed an objection in Washington D.C. federal court to new laws limiting voting and voter registration rights in the state of Florida. TPM's Ryan Reilly broke the news just before midnight last night.

The DoJ is said to be calling for a trial in the D.C. court, where the state of Florida had previously filed suit in order to avoid the federal "preclearance" process under the Voting Rights Process for its new restrictive election laws. The new laws institute harsh penalties for third-party voter registration organizations and individuals who fail to turn in new voter registration forms to elections officials within 48 hours of them being completed. The statute would also cut early voting hours nearly in half.

The new voter registration restrictions, passed by Republicans in the state following the 2010 election, has led groups like the non-partisan Florida League of Women Voters, which had been registering new voters in the state for some 70 years, to cancel their registration program citing stiff new penalties which, they say, put the organization and its registration workers at great legal risk. Both the Florida LWV and Rock the Vote, which focuses on voter registration for young voters, have previously filed their own lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of the new voter registration laws in the state of Florida.

Over the past several months, a number of high-school teachers, incredibly enough, have been charged under the new law for registering their own students to vote. Last November, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow covered the topic in an interview with the Supervisor of Elections of Volusia County, FL, who, though she is a Republican, said she felt "sick to her stomach" after being forced to turn in one of those teachers to law enforcement officials.

On Thursday night, Comedy Central's The Colbert Report ran a somewhat more amusing, if equally disturbing, take on the issue, focusing on one of the teacher's snagged by Florida law enforcement for "voter registration fraud" under the draconian new restrictions...

Section 5 the Voting Rights Act (VRA), requires certain jurisdictions, including parts or all of 16 different states with a history of racial discrimination, to receive "preclearance" from the DoJ for all new election-related laws, or otherwise receive approval for the new laws from the federal district court in D.C. During the DoJ preclearance process for Florida's new laws, the agency requested more information about them from the state, which includes five difference "covered" counties. Instead of responding, Florida decided to avoid DoJ judgment all together by taking their case directly to the D.C. court instead.

According to TPM's Reilly, the DoJ stated in their filing in that same court last night...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 2/29/2012 3:35pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

Last September's hearings before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights established that polling place photo ID restriction laws have nothing to do with eliminating "voter fraud."

They are, instead, part of what Judith Browne Dianis, a civil rights litigator at The Advancement Project, described at the time as the "largest legislative effort to roll back voting rights since the post-Reconstruction era" --- part of the partisan, multi-state effort by the billionaire Koch brothers-funded, Paul Weyrich co-founded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-fueled GOP exercise in voter suppression. Her testimony established, yet again, that such laws have a disparate impact upon minorities, the poor, the elderly and students (all of whom happen to have the unfortunate tendency of voting Democratic).

Despite the national nature of this coordinated, well-documented and well-funded assault on minority voting rights, so far the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has confined its legal response to such newly-enacted laws to only the small number of "covered" jurisdictions, for example, South Carolina, that are subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). That section of the law requires federal preclearance for new election-related laws in those "covered" jurisdictions, since they each have demonstrated a long history of racial discrimination.

The narrow action taken by the DoJ to date, as based only on Section 5 of the VRA, could all change if they took the time to study the content of the new complaint, Jones v. Deininger [PDF], as filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The complaint alleges that Wisconsin's new polling place photo ID law ("Act 23") "is a voter suppression law that burdens African-American and Latino voters most heavily [which]...results in them having 'less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice,' and, thereby, constitutes a denial and abridgment of their right to vote in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act."

The complaint in Jones, which was signed by attorney Charles T. Curtis, Jr. of Arnold & Porter, LLP, seeks to enjoin the implementation of Wisconsin's Act 23 and a declaration that it violates Section 2 of the VRA. When asked whether he contemplates seeking a preliminary injunction on the new law prior to the next election, Curtis was only able to tell The BRAD BLOG at this time that they "want to move the case as quickly as the Court will allow, and plan to request a pretrial conference to discuss motion and briefing schedules."

The additional question remains, however, will the U.S. DoJ defend federal law by opting to join this lawsuit as a plaintiff?...

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

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TONIGHT: MI & AZ Primaries, PLUS GUESTS: Gov. Buddy Roemer & Fred Karger (both of whom are on MI's ballot today!)
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 2/28/2012 3:46pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with audio archives below! Enjoy 'em!]

Mike has the night off! So we're back tonight guest-hosting the nationally-syndicated Mike Malloy Show! And it's primary night in MI and AZ and we'll have not one, but two Presidential candidates as guests tonight!

We'll be BradCasting, as usual, LIVE from 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the globe from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE chat 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 KPTR 1450 in Palm Springs or at WhiteRose Society or via MikeMalloy.com.

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POST-SHOW UPDATE: Maybe someone had a bit too much caffeine today. Well, in any case, it led to a pretty high energy show! And lots of circus music! You can check it all out now for yourself, sans commercials, in the high-octane archives now posted below. Enjoy!...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 2/28/2012 3:24pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

We recently detailed how legal documents reveal that prosecutors in Wisconsin are painstakingly examining evidence that may well place Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) at the center of a criminal conspiracy to illegally utilize employees within the Milwaukee County Executive Office to engage in fundraising and campaign activities. We observed that a recall may therefore be the least of Walker's worries.

The relationship between Walker's potential criminal liability and his recall vulnerability has not gone unnoticed by the WI Democratic Party. Asserting that Walker "has given a blizzard of contradictory statements about what he knew and when he knew it," WI Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate released an ad which refers to the pending criminal scandal as "Walkergate" (see video below) and draws an analogy to Richard Nixon's role in Watergate.

Simultaneously, the embattled governor on Monday abandoned his effort to challenge the more than one million signatures submitted on the Recall Walker petition...

Recall Walker ad comparing Scott Walker to Richard Nixon follows...

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By Brad Friedman on 2/27/2012 11:21am PT  

My full story on this is at Salon today. But, here's the skinny.

It looks like Indiana's now-former Republican Sec. of State, Charlie White, who was found guilty of three voter fraud felonies and three other felonies early this month, has now been sentenced.

And it also looks like the old adage --- It's Okay If You're a Republican (IOKIYAR) --- continues to ring true in the Hoosier State. Despite being the top election official in the very first state in the union to institute disenfranchising polling place Photo ID restrictions, Charlie White has gotten off with a slap on the wrist, essentially, for three intentional voter fraud felonies, and the three others he was found guilty of as well.

His sentencing hearing was held last week. He pretended to be contrite before the judge (unlike when he appeared days earlier on Fox "News"), so it turns out he'll serve just one year in home detention for all of his crimes. The sentencing, naturally, has left him "elated."

The fates of other, less Republican, less high-ranking folks however, such as those who were prosecuted with the full force of the federal government during the George W. Bush Administration's unprecedented, if failed attempt to ferret out "voter fraud" crimes, were not quite as lucky. Unfortunately, they were used as fodder to help Republicans push for those polling place Photo ID laws (which would have failed to deter either them or White from committing voter fraud) by Bush's wholly politicized Dept. of Justice.

For folks like Wisconsin's Kimberly Prude and Florida's Usman Ali, to name just two examples of those who were caught in that buzz-saw, and who each committed far less egregious --- far far far less egregious --- crimes than those intentionally committed by White, the legal system was not nearly as kind.

Prude, who tried to rescind her own absentee vote before the 2004 election, immediately after learning from her probation officer that she was not allowed to vote --- despite never having served time in jail and being on felony probation for having passed a bad check four years earlier --- was forced to serve more than a year in prison. Ali, who never even voted at all, had it even worse. He was deported to Pakistan where he hadn't live in more than 10 years, destroying his life in this country for not just himself, but for his American wife and daughter as well.

I tell the whole story --- of White's virtually scot-free sentencing, as compared to Prude's and Ali's --- in my story today at Salon. Please give it a read.

As you might expect, the moral, once again, is: IOKIYAR.

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Vet told Veteran's ID invalid for voting, others completely disenfranchised in first roll-out of Republican anti-voter law...
By Brad Friedman on 2/23/2012 2:55pm PT  

Well, golly, who coulda seen this coming? And I suspect it's just the beginning...

Tuesday was the official launch of Wisconsin’s new Voter-I.D. law, with citizens now required to present a photo-identification card in order to cast a ballot in the primaries for local elections. And as it turns out, one man refused to vote, because he was so angry that his card from the Department of Veterans Affairs was not on the approved list.

As the Racine Journal Times reported, 69-year old veteran Gil Paar was shocked when poll workers told him his photo I.D. from the V.A. wasn’t on the accepted list. They then asked him if he had a driver’s license — which he did — but he instead refused to show it and left the precinct. “Basically I was trying to make a point,” Paar told the paper. “I gave them four years of my life, why shouldn’t I be able to use my vet’s card?”

As the paper reports, the state election officials explain that the way the law was written, a military-related I.D. must be issued by a uniform service — which does not include the Department of Veterans Affairs. The bottom line: For whatever the reason might be, whether intentional or an accident, V.A. cards were not included on the list.
...
Paar also explained that he sees a serious problem: “There’s a possibility that a veteran could have only this type of I.D., because he’s had a stroke, let’s say, up at the V.A. hospital. And because of that, he had his driver’s license taken away. So case in point, he would have only this Veterans Administration I.D. through the hospital.

“And they’re telling me I can’t use it, I couldn’t use it. this is not right. you’ve got a guy who serves, does his time in the Air Force, or Army or the Navy, and then he comes home and can’t vote? What the f—- did I go in for?”

There were other similar stories Tuesday, during the first full roll-out of the Wisconsin GOP's new anti-voter law, passed disingenuously under the guise of curbing "voter fraud". And Tuesday's was just a tiny election. For example, this from Isthmus' The Daily Page...

Melanie Sax and other poll workers recognized the longtime voter. They also found her name and address in the poll book. But she did not have a photo ID for Tuesday's primary so she could not vote.

"She was fairly recently in a car accident and couldn't make it to the DOT to get a Wisconsin ID," said Sax, the chief elections inspector at the polling location at Trinity United Methodist Church on Vilas Avenue. The woman, who does not drive, has neither a driver's license nor a state ID.

That woman was Marge Curtin, 62, who has been living and voting in the Vilas Avenue area for some 40 years. In fact, one of her good friends, whom she met while a nursing student at St. Marys in the 1960s, was working the polls Tuesday.

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

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