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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, September 1, 2014
Erick Erickson's Global Warming Denialist Tantrum
Latest barometer of denialist desperation: The rightwing 'thought leader', as usual, is wrong on the facts and science, so he's just taking his ball and going home...
Video Captures GA Family Disowning, Assaulting 20-Year Old Gay Son
But there is a "happy" ending, of sorts, to this heartbreaking and disturbing story...
'Green News Report' 8/28/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
BP refinery explodes. Again.; UN report warns of 'irreversible' warming; Fines for oil, chem spills; 22% of world elec. is now green; PLUS: People's Climate March coming to NYC...
Previous GNRs: 8/26/14 - 8/21/14 - Archives...
Faking the Ferguson Docs:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad interviews open records advocate Charlie Grapski on his evidence that Ferguson and St. Louis County police are illegally withholding evidence in the killing of Michael Brown; Plus MUCH more...
Records Requests Suggest Ferguson, St. Louis County Police Involved in Cover-Up
How else to explain the missing details and required documentation of Officer Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown?...
'Green News Report' 8/26/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Napa earthquake is a warning for CA's nuke plants; Another coal plant bites the dust; Cutting emissions will save $$$; PLUS: Fighting drought with a 'salmon cannon'...Yep...
Previous GNRs: 8/21/14 - 8/19/14 - Archives...
Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Trouble keeping up with all the court cases barring, then allowing, then barring the GOP's Photo ID voting restrictions in Wisconsin? Let us catch you up quickly with the latest...
Siegelman Judge, Arrested For Beating His Wife, May Avoid Prosecution Altogether
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller checks in for 'treatment', may be able to duck prosecution...
Obama Orders Review of Police Militarization Program
In response to bi-partisan calls for reform and disturbing display by militarized local police in Ferguson, MO, the President takes aim at controversial Pentagon program...
Ryan Dismisses Elderly Voter's Question About His Medicare Cuts
2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 hopeful 'charms' elderly voters in FL, by ignoring them...
Perry Tells NH Businessmen His Felony Indictment Was for a 'Bribery' Charge
Is this another 'oops' moment from the Repub TX Governor and 2016 hopeful? Or something else entirely?...
'Green News Report' 8/21/14
Too much rain in AZ desert; Another toxic spill in Ohio River; Solar breakthrough; Wind energy prices hit all-time low; PLUS: Auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor...
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and Demilitarizing the Police: KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Bradto discuss his new bill...
Republicans Call Ferguson Voter Registration 'Disgusting'
Rightwingers decry effort 'to register Democratic voters' following the killing of Michael Brown...
Seriously, Ferguson Police?
The front page of the Post-Dispatch reminds again how ridiculous the era of post-9/11 Wars has become; Plus: another comparison to the Bundy Bunch...
'Green News Report' 8/19/14
OR nixes coal export facility; July 2014 4th hottest; Fracking industry illegally using diesel, threatening water; PLUS GOP officials secretly accept climate science...
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: Updates on previously-reported petition sabotage claims...
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2011 12:31pm PT  

Several opponents of WI's Gov. Scott Walker have been receiving middle-of-the-night death threats, as they've been circulating petitions to gather signatures in an effort to recall the state's controversial anti-union Republican Governor.

According to WISC-TV/Channel 3000 in Madison...

The threats involved phone calls from an area code in Minnesota. The calls came overnight after Walker's opponents began the recall, said Madison resident Tom Peer, who said he received a call at 2 a.m. on Thursday.

"They said, 'If you don't stop circulating recall petitions, we will kill you,'" said Peer.

A similar call came to Heather DuBois Bourenane, of Sun Prairie. The United Wisconsin recall worker jumped out of bed when her phone rang around 4 a.m. on Thursday.

"He said I had attracted the attention of some very bad people, and my life and the lives of my family were in danger," Bourenane said.

She called Sun Prairie police, who confirmed investigators were working on the case.

The news outlet also reports that yard signs supporting the Recall Walker effort have repeatedly been stolen off the property of several home owners.

Last week, we reported on the plans to sabotage the signature gathering effort being discussed openly on a number of Facebook pages. Walker supporters on those pages had been seen talking about their plans to gather signatures in liberal areas of the state and then burn or shred the petitions, rather than turn them in. One person had claimed he'd "be able to destroy 15-20k signatures" or, if granted access to even more petitions, he'd "be able to destroy upwards of 15-20% of the entire collected ballots in the state of Wisconsin."

Reid Magney, the Public Information Officer for the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), the state's top election authority, told The BRAD BLOG via email late last week that defrauding petitions is a felony crime, and that his agency has been in touch with law enforcement about the purported sabotage schemes...

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

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TONIGHT: Reporters Josh Harkinson and Denise Lockwood; And the Occupation's revelation of a U.S. Military State!...
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 11/18/2011 3:38pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with audio archives below!]

We're back! We're guest hosting the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show every weeknight tonight through next Wednesday!

As usual, 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:

  • JOSH HARKINSON, of Mother Jones from Occupy Wall Street in NYC where he's been bringing us some remarkable live reporting on the scene, including this harrowing description of an NYPD cop threatening his life during the eviction at Zuccotti Park last Monday night/Tuesday morning.
  • DENISE LOCKWOOD, of the Caledonia Patch, on the alleged plans by supporters of WI Gov. Scott Walker to sabotage the recently launched RECALL WALKER effort. We'll discuss her recent reports of a source who claims there are some 1,000 folks working on the effort to game the effort, and some of the journalistic questions surrounding her reporting.
  • PLUS! Has Occupy Wall Street now revealed this nation to be a full blown Military State? We'll have plenty to say on that, along with your calls, more news on "Occupation Nation" and anything else you might want to use your public airwaves for at 877-520-1150 and with your tweets to @TheBradBlog!...

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: Great show tonight, I think. Nice to be back. Very lively, great guests, great callers...just fun (and infuriating) all around! Don't believe me? Listen to the commercial-free audio archives now posted below (along with chat room archives). Enjoy!...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2011 12:05pm PT  

The effort to recall Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker begins in earnest tomorrow, November 15. As TPM's Eric Kleefeld reports, Democrats and other opponents of the WI GOP's big government removal of public union collective bargaining rights will have just 60 days to collect more than 540,000 signatures in order to put the controversial Governor onto a recall election ballot early next year.

It won't be easy, as the initiative must succeed in gathering an average of more than 9,000 signatures each day between now and the 60-day deadline in January. To make matters worse, if indications on a number of Facebook pages are to be believed, some Walker supporters are planning to sabotage the effort with a number of dirty tricks, including collecting signatures under cover and then burning and shredding the petitions...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2011 12:01pm PT  

Breakfast in America on Thursday, in Chicago, with WI's Republican Gov. Scott Walker, after Occupiers had recently been rounded up and mass arrested, with the approval of Chicago's Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel, for exercising their First Amendment rights.

They made up for that on Thursday...

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By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2011 12:55pm PT  

Al Jazeera English's Bob Abeshouse and Yasmeen Qureishi have put together an investigative report on the out-sized influence of the Koch Brothers on American democracy. The documentary premiered on AJE this week, and both starts and ends with the "Secret Koch Tapes" we exclusively published last month in a series of articles at Mother Jones and here at The BRAD BLOG.

There are a number of noteworthy points in this investigative look at the Kochs, co-owners of Koch Industries, the nation's second largest private corporation (the giant oil conglomerate inherited from their father), and how they are spending just some of the extraordinary $18 billion increase in personal wealth they've enjoyed over just the last three years under the tyranny of the Obama administration.

But among the interesting points revealed here, is the fact that this detailed exposé, a behind-the-scenes examination of two of the most powerful puppeteers behind American democracy, comes not from the far larger and better funded corporate news networks here in the U.S., but from from Al Jazeera. Go figure...

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By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2011 4:15pm PT  

Just in from Reuters...

The League of Women Voters sued on Thursday to block a new Wisconsin law requiring voters to present identification such as a drivers license at polling places, saying it would disenfranchise eligible voters.

The lawsuit, filed in Dane County Circuit Court, argues the state constitution allows only convicted felons and the mentally incompetent to be excluded from voting.

The new law creates a third class of people, those who do not have ID, said Andrea Kaminski, Wisconsin League of Women Voters Executive Director. Critics of the law say it would mainly affect minorities and the elderly, who may not have ID.

Not mentioned in the Reuters article is the effect the law is likely to have on student voters, as most WI student IDs have been disallowed for use as voting identification at the polling place, though some of those restrictions are being challenged via the WI Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), the state's top election authority, which is interpreting the new measure.

Though the WI bill that was jammed through the state legislature by the Republicans who control it and signed by Gov. Scott Walker (R) allows for voters to receive "free" Photo ID at state DMV offices, many of the state's office are infrequently open, and some voters have documented difficulties in obtaining the free IDs even where they were able to take time from work or school and find a way to get to the DMV to go through the tedious process.

In July we reported on the story of a new voter whose residency was challenged after DMV officials rifled through his bank statement to determine whether there had been enough "activity" in the bank account to assure his residency. We also reported in the same story that state officials had explicitly instructed DMV workers to not notify applicants that their ID would be given to them for free, unless they specifically asked for it for the express purpose of voting. Otherwise, a $28 fee would be assessed on top of any costs incurred by the applicant, such as purchasing a copy of their birth certificate or passport or making their way to the DMV.

Kristina Boardman, Director of WisDOT's Bureau of Field Services explained to The BRAD BLOG at the time that the reason they've instructed DMV staffers to not ask applicants if the ID is to be used for voting purposes is because "the statutory language specifically puts the onus on the customer for getting the ID for free for voting."

The frustrating experience of the hopeful voter at the DMV was documented in a video tape recorded during the process which we posted along with our story.

As we also detailed previously, a 2005 study [PDF] by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Employment and Training Institute found that Democratic-leaning voters such as the elderly, ethnic minorities and college students are likely to be hit much harder by the new law than middle and upper-class white voters...

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

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Wonder if he'll even be allowed to vote next year
UPDATE: Hopper to arresting officer: 'Don't ever run for office'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2011 12:44pm PT  

Remember WI's 45-year old Republican state Sen. Randy Hopper? The one whose own wife revealed, during signature gathering for his recall election earlier this year, that he was no longer even living in his own district after he'd split to move in with a 25-year old Republican aide?

Last August, Hopper lost his seat during those Badger State recall elections.

Last night, he was spotted driving "all over the road" --- with the aide/girlfriend in his car --- and ended up spending the night in jail for driving while intoxicated.

If his driver's license is taken away, will Hopper now even be able to cast a vote next year in Wisconsin, in the wake of the polling place Photo ID restrictions that Hopper and the Republican Party jammed through the legislature as part of their new voter suppression laws? Will he have to face the same ridiculous hoops that other citizens have been met with in order to do so?

* * *

UPDATE 10/19/11: More details on Hopper's drunken comments as he was hauled away after his arrest, including his warning to the arresting officer: "Don’t ever run for office, by the way"...

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Prosser says hands on Bradley's neck just 'total reflex'...
By Brad Friedman on 8/26/2011 3:56pm PT  

The Republican special prosecutor recently appointed to investigate allegations by WI Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley that her fellow anger-management challenged Justice David Prosser had placed her in a "choke-hold" during recent deliberations over the anti-union legislation of Prosser's former colleague Gov. Scott Walker.

See Milwaukee's Journal-Sentinel coverage of this news yesterday for the complete, insane details.

In a terse announcement from the prosecutor, Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett would say only that she had "determined that no criminal charges will be filed against either Justice Bradley or Justice Prosser for the incident on June 13, 2011."

The letter notes that Barrett reviewed transcribed reports from law enforcement officials given to her after Dane County Democratic District Attorney Ismael Ozanne recused himself from the case, as the matter over which the Supreme Dispute took place was a lawsuit he had brought charging that the anti-union bill in question was passed by Republican legislators in violation of the state's open meetings law. The newly-assigned prosecutor also reviewed an audiotape interview with Prosser who was, apparently, the only one who had a taped interview. In addition to Bradley, four of the other Justices were said to have been witness to the fracas.

According to the Journal-Sentinel, "Barrett declined to say whether she had rejected charges because no criminal conduct had occurred or because no crime could be proven to a jury. She would say only that a case must meet both those standards before a prosecutor could bring charges"...

In a written statement following word that there would be no criminal charges, Prosser said Bradley "made the decision to sensationalize an incident that occurred at the Supreme Court." He said he "was confident the truth would come out and it did. I am gratified that the prosecutor found these scurrilous charges were without merit."

That is not, of course, what the prosecutor actually stated that she found...

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

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Can case receive fair hearing before WI's partisan Supreme Court?
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/24/2011 11:13am PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

The League of Women Voters in Wisconsin announced it will file a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court charging that the Badger State's newly-enacted polling place photo ID restriction law violates the state's Constitution.

From a strictly legal perspective, the decision by the League's attorney Lester Pines to challenge the new photo ID law pursuant to the state's Constitution is significant.

Under Equal Protection analysis, any impartial jurist would readily understand that the statute does not meet the heightened scrutiny that accompanies the fact that, under the WI Constitution, voting is deemed a "fundamental right."

While certain exclusions are allowed in the Constitution, such as laws which exclude felons or those whom the state deems "mentally incompetent," the language explicitly notes that "every United States citizen age 18 or older who is a resident" of Wisconsin may cast a vote.

But therein lies the rub. Absent the removal of Justice David Prosser in connection with the allegations that he choked Justice Ann Walsh-Bradley, as is currently being investigated by a special prosecutor, the League's constitutional challenge will run smack dab into a WI Supreme Court that sports a 4-3 majority of partisan ideologues in robes...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/20/2011 2:37pm PT  

Wisconsin's old State Elections Board website (http://elections.state.wi.us/) appears to have been "hacked by Sovalye"...

[Hat-tip Election Integrity advocates Jeannie Dean, Neal Schulz and the folks at the Facebook Election Integrity group.]

[Update 7:19p CT: It looks as if officials have now restored the site. Sort of. Hat-tip again to Neal Schulz.]

The State Elections Board was replaced by the WI Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.) in 2008 as the state's top election authority, combining responsibilities of both the Elections Board and the State Ethics Board into the agency. The G.A.B.'s website (http://gab.wi.gov/) does not appear to be hacked. For now.

Of course, that's just a website, not an actual election or e-voting database. So just because the state's Elections Board website proved to be insecure and was hacked does not mean their actual elections are vulnerable to hacking in any way, shape or form, right? That, even though the state, shamefully, does not bother to check even a single ballot to make sure it has been tallied accurately during an election by its computer op-scanners made by Diebold, Sequoia, and ES&S.

Why worry?

The BRAD BLOG has been warning about the manipulation of e-voting systems for years, along with members of the world's computer science and cyber security communities, and even the CIA, as our own Ernie Canning noted just last week. And yet, our nation continues to use the same vulnerable e-voting systems to tally our elections, rather than bothering to count them with our own, far more reliable and verifiable, hands and eyes, as per Democracy's Gold Standard.

I could link back to all sorts of e-voting hacks we've reported on over the years here, like this one from Princeton in 2006 or this one from the U. of MI in 2010 or this bone-chilling warning from the CIA in 2009, but they'll mostly likely just be ignored. Again.

Instead, we'll just tease you for now with news of yet another new e-voting hack --- perhaps the most disturbing one yet in a number of ways --- that we'll be reporting on very soon. Let's call that one a special delivery for election officials like Jones County, MS, Circuit Clerk Bart Gavin, who reportedly told his county Board of Supervisors this past week that the Diebold touch-screen voting machines used by the entire county "record every vote and there is no way for them to be tampered with."

Really, Bart? You're gonna stick with that, are ya?

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

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State Senate Dems reportedly win both contests today, 5 overall, compared to 4 wins by GOP...
By Brad Friedman on 8/16/2011 9:12pm PT  

The final round of state Senate recalls in Wisconsin, brought on in response to anti-union legislation by Gov. Scott Walker and state Republicans, have completed today. AP is reporting tonight that the two Democrats up for recall in the state's 12th and 22nd have each retained their seats. TPM has the numbers by district here.

By way of reminder, in Wisconsin most votes are cast by hand-marked paper ballot though tallied secretly by optical-scanners made by Diebold, Sequoia and ES&S. The state does not examine any optically-scanned ballots to assure the machines have tallied accurately after they've already been scanned, other than in the even of a recount if permission is granted by the courts to hand-count ballots. I'm told, but haven't been able to confirm today, that some of the municipalities in the two districts where elections were held today, may have been hand-counting ballots, though centrally, after they've been transported, rather than at the precincts. Given there was only one single race on the ballot today and hand-counting would consist largely of making two separate piles, it seems as if it would have been cheaper and easier (and certainly more reliable and transparent) to hand-count all of the ballots in these recounts. But, sadly, that's not the case. So we're forced to rely, in most cases, on the oft-failed, easily-manipulated computer-reported results from the Badger State. Mack Trucks, if you will, used to deliver pizzas.

Once again, election watchdog Election Defense Alliance (EDA) and a number of other organizations were carrying out Exit Polls at the several sites today, as one of the few weapons left to help avoid and/or ferret out potential election fraud or vote tabulation error. I spoke with EDA's National Coordinator Sally Castleman earlier this evening, and --- unlike during the July primaries and during last week's GOP recalls, no problems have been reported by the Exit Poll teams at the wards.

By way of another reminder, problems with vote tabulation often do not come to light until days, or even longer, after elections. So far, however, there have been pleasantly few reports of problems that I've heard about or been able to find today. There was this odd incident at a Kenosha ward and at another ward there where they reportedly ran out of ballots for a short time (is that report accurate, where it says the County "printed up 300 additional ballots" in a pinch? They can print up ballots just like that??) as turnout was reportedly heavy in most areas today, said to have been on par with a gubernatorial election. That's some good news to report at this hour. If anything changes, of course, we'll let you know.

If the largely unverified results stand as currently reported, there will have been 5 wins total for Democrats --- 2 tonight, 2 last Tuesday, and 1 in July --- in these state Senate recalls. Republicans will have won just 4 of the races, all last week, and will have lost 2 seats, while the Democrats lost none.

Despite their victories, however, the Dems will have fallen one short of re-taking the majority in the state Senate, where the GOP will still enjoy a slim 17-16 advantage. One moderate Republican, however, state Senator Dale Schultz, who voted against the GOP anti-union agenda, may well serve as a firewall against continued radical Republicanism in the state. Nonetheless, after last week's recalls of 6 Republicans, where Democrats picked up 2 seats from the Republicans, the GOP sent out statements declaring "victory" in Wisconsin.

Until Walker's own recall election, which could happen early next year if Democrats are able to gather enough signatures beginning in November, we may be done with the wild string of elections in Wisconsin...at least for now.

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By Ernest A. Canning on 8/16/2011 11:16am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Controversial Wisconsin state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser has a new special investigator looking into allegations of assault made against him by another sitting Supreme Court Justice.

At the request of Dane County Circuit Judge William Faust, Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett (R) agreed to serve as a special prosecutor regarding the physical assault and battery allegations made by WI Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley. Bradley claims that Prosser placed her in a "chokehold" during a contentious argument about the overturning of a lower court ruling on Gov. Scott Walker's controversial and hastily enacted union-busting legislation. The lower court found that it was passed in violation of the state's open meeting law and is therefore null and void. Prosser and his 3 colleagues on the bench who enjoy a 4 to 3 Right-leaning majority on the state's high court, eventually overturned the lower court's ruling. Bradley was in the minority.

According to Tim McCumber, the head of the Sauk County GOP, Barrett is essentially an independent who ran for DA in 1994 as a Republican to get onto the ballot in a GOP-dominated county. Barrett, who is 62 and plans to retire in the fall of 2012, stated that she does not see either the sheriff's or prosecutor's jobs as a partisan one.

Justice Bradley's allegations are also the subject of of an internal investigation by the WI Judicial Commission.

The key question is whether Barrett and the WI Judicial Commission can proceed in their investigations on the basis of the facts and the law? What is at stake is not simply a possible Class A Misdemeanor Battery charge against a sitting Supreme Court Justice. The very survival of the rule of law in the Badger state is spotlighted here. All if this happens with a backdrop of a billionaire-funded, partisan onslaught on fundamental fairness and democracy, not only as it pertains to the electoral process, but in how the state's executive, legislative and judicial branches of government function...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/11/2011 9:59pm PT  

Okay, so it's Nicole Sandler, not "Micole", but it makes for a more alliterative headline, so too bad.

I'm back on deadline on the exclusive series I've been working on for a few weeks. So, for the moment, here's just a few of the more fun media appearances I've done lately, in the wake of Tuesday's recall elections in Wisconsin. Looks like I was able to help, if only momentarily, to turn the topic --- on a few Progressive airwaves anyway --- away from the idiotically premature horse race nonsense (Iowa Straw Poll anyone?), to the far more important track conditions that otherwise almost never get discussed on air at all...until it's too late...

Stephanie Miller Show (this morning, appx 17 mins total)

Includes my appearance in the first few minutes and then, after I'm gone, continuing discussion of the points raised during it by callers throughout various moments during the rest of the show. One of those moments was a caller who identified himself as Derek Woodward from Alton, PA who was clearly (and purposely) misinformed about the GOP push for disenfranchising polling place Photo ID restrictions.

"Why would you not want to ensure that only the people that can vote are eligible to vote?," asked the Woodward. The responses he received from Stephanie and Jim Ward and a caller or two were great. My work here is done!

Okay, not really. So here's just a couple of articles to support their responses on that question which arises in light of the Rightwing disinformation masters who purposely misinform gullible folks like Woodward...

Ed Schultz Show (this morning, w/ Guest Host Mike Papantonio of Ring of Fire, appx 13 mins)...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/10/2011 6:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast on Pacifica Radio's KPFK here in Los Angeles, I picked up on all that's transpired over the last several days in the Wisconsin recall mess, as reported at The BRAD BLOG of late, including yesterday's late-night concerns about our old friend Kathy Nickolaus, the GOP activist and County Clerk of Waukesha County which played a key role in last night's drama and reported results.

Other links of note, as quickly referenced during the show, the blocking of exit polls (only) in Waukesha yesterday, the miselading absentee mailers from the Kochs' Americans for Prosperity and the Kochs' AFP front group front man in WI.

After an opening rant or three, my guest, straight from Wisconsin, was former Green Party chair Ben Manski of LibertyTreeFDR.org, MoveToAmend.org, WisconsinWave.org and DemocracyConvention.org on what happened yesterday in the Badger State and how to move the democracy ball forward in the future against the enormous forces working to crush it (even more than they already have.)

As discussed, democracy is now under direct assault, very generally, in at least three and seemingly insurmountable areas:

  • Access to the polls (Photo ID restrictions, etc.)
  • Overseeing tabulation of votes (E-voting issues)
  • Corporate control (Citizens United and the obscene flood of corporate $ bastardizing the entire electoral/democratic system)

Luckily, we were able to solve all three of those issues in 28 minutes of commercial-free radio, the archive of which follows below for your listening pleasure...

Download MP3, or listen online below...

P.S. I'll be live on Stephanie Miller's show tomorrow (Thursday) at 8am PT, and then on Ed Schultz radio show at 10am PT. Tune in if you're inclined!

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By Brad Friedman on 8/9/2011 7:41pm PT  

AP's running totals are here. TPM's "scoreboard", which breaks down by race, but not by county, but does offer percentage of vote reported, is here. Some pre-election poll results for comparison are here.

* * *

1:32am CT: State Democrats now retract their previous charge of "election tampering" (as posted in the 11:54a update below). The full statement/retraction from WI Democratic Party chair Mike Tate, via TPM:

On Tuesday night, Wisconsin spoke loud and clear with the recall of two entrenched Republicans. This is an accomplishment of historic proportions that I do not wish to be overshadowed by statements regarding results in the 8th Senate District. Though we believe that Sandy Pasch was able to battle Alberta Darling to a virtual tie, on her turf, we will not pursue questions of irregularities. Those heat-of-the-moment statements came in light of the uncertainties that arose from a recent election, known too well.

Lame, Dems. You don't charge election tampering and evidence of fraud when you ain't got none. Want some? Try counting the actual ballots in Wisconsin rather than relying on oft-failed, easily-manipulated computers to do so. You might be amazed at what you find.

12:51a CT: AP is now calling it for Darling (R) over Pasch (D) in the 8th district, 39,471 to 34,096 (54% to 46%) with all but one counting unit in Milwaukee County reporting. That means if tonight's unverified results do not change, the Democrats failed to win enough seats for a takeover of the majority in the Wisconsin state Senate. Republicans are reported to have retained 4 of their seats tonight, while Democrats are said to have taken over 2 in today's unprecedented, historic recall elections.

Pasch has said (see 12:09a update below) she would not be conceding tonight and neither her nor the state Democratic Party would have any further comments for the evening, even in response to the Dems claims of "tampering" in Kathy Nickolaus' Waukesha County (see 11:54p update below).

For night owls & election integrity mavens: I'll be on KGO am810 in San Francisco tonight (Tuesday) at 11:30p PT (1:30a CT) with Peter B. Collins to discuss what we know about Wisconsin results tonight, today's shut down of exit polling only in Waukesha, the Koch's Americans for Prosperity dirty tricks leading up to today, and undoubtedly a bit on Kathy Nickolaus' long and storied history. If you're not in SF, you can listen live online here.

(For "morning owls", I'll be on Nicole Sandler's Radio or Not Wednesday morning at 8:30am PT/10:30a CT. And for "afternoon owls", I'll be on my own show on KPFK/Pacifica 90.7FM here in Los Angeles at 3:30p PT/5:30p CT Wednesday. You can listen to that one live online here. I suspect we'll be talking about WI on all of the above.)

12:16a CT: As she told me she would (see 11:54p update below), Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus has just updated her results with the final counting unit now included. Her totals in Waukesha are now, Darling (R): 9,449 - Pasch (D): 4,767.

That last (previously) unreported counting unit was the largest of the 11 total in the 8th District section of Waukesha County. It was the Village of Menomonee Falls, Wards 14, 15 & 21. They report a total of 1,956 votes from the three wards making up that unit.

I've posted a copy of those results here [PDF], just in case Nickolaus forgot to hit the save button.

12:09a CT: 8th District Democratic candidate Sandy Pasch told supporters an hour or so ago that the race would be too close for her to call tonight. Her @SandyforSenate account just now tweeted: "Neither Sandy or the Democratic Party will issues any statements tonight. Thank you very much for your support tonight."

11:54p CT: I just spoke with Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus to ask her why there was one outstanding reporting unit still unreported (Village of Menomonee Falls, Wards 14, 15 & 21) in her posted results (reposted here [PDF]).

She told me: "They were absentee ballots, I just got it in, I'm just printing it. The municipal clerk just faxed it to me 5 minutes ago."

I asked why they were so late in coming, she said: "They were so busy they didn't get their absentee ballots done during the night, so they had to get them done after that."

Within the past hour, the WI Democratic Party issued a statement, accusing Nickolaus of "tampering" with the results. Here is their full statement:

Waukesha County Tampering

MADISON-Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate following evidence of election tampering in the 8th State Senate District race.

"The race to determine control of the Wisconsin Senate has fallen in the hands of the Waukesha County clerk, who has already distinguished herself as incompetent, if not worse. She is once more tampering with the results of a consequential election and in the next hours we will determine our next course of action. For now, Wisconsin should know that a dark cloud hangs over these important results."

Tate offers no additional evidence to support his claim of "tampering".

At this hour, according to AP, based on computer-reported results, the Rs have held 3 seats, Ds have picked up 1, but the last, in state Senate District 8, is still too close to call. Here are their numbers at this hour (and prior to Nickolaus posting the last unreported unit in her county.):

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

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