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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, October 20, 2014
Congresswoman Sets Impeachment Deadline for Federal Judge Mark Fuller
ALSO: Court unseals divorce docs from first marriage, Fuller attorney dismisses abuse allegations as 'rhetorical questions'...
SCOTUS ALLOWS TEXAS' DISCRIMINATORY GOP PHOTO ID LAW TO USED IN MIDTERMS
Despite uncontested findings striking down the law as a racially-motivated, 'unconstitutional poll tax', it will be implemented this year...
'Dead Heat' and 'Dirty Tricks': The Nightmare Scenario
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Standalone video of 911 call; First comment on case by imprisoned former AL Gov.; MORE...
Emergency Appeals Filed at SCOTUS to Restore Voting Rights to 600,000 in TX
GOP Photo ID law, which lower court found intentionally discriminatory, is different from recent cases before High Court, say plaintiffs...
'Green News Report' 10/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Ryan backs away (sort of) from climate change denial; NatGas isn't a bridge to lower-emissions; PLUS: Did Lockheed-Martin really invent a compact nuclear fusion reactor?...
Previous GNRs: 10/14/14 - 10/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg on BRAD BLOG on Judge Richard Posner on Photo ID Voting Laws...
'By the sounds of it, the floor that supported voter-ID laws has just given way'...
'BradCast': Special Coverage of WI, TX, AR Photo ID Rulings
Trouble keeping up with the on-again/off-again court rulings on GOP voter suppression laws? Brad tries to make sense of it all for ya...
WTF?!: FL Gov. Rick Scott Refuses To Appear at Debate With Gov. Charlie Crist
Watch the video. They're calling it 'FanGate'. We're just calling it Florida...
Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down State GOP's Photo ID Voting Law
Court determines law, passed over Dem Governor's veto, violates explicit right to vote in state Constitution...
5th Circuit Appeals Panel Restores Texas GOP's 'Discriminatory' Photo ID Law
While not contesting lower court's finding of law's unconstitutionality, judges cite SCOTUS precedent on last minute voting changes...
'Green News Report' 10/14/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Coal wins U.S. Senate debate in KY!; Pentagon: climate change threat to NatSec; Wind power cheapest source of energy; PLUS: September 2014 was hottest ever...
Previous GNRs: 10/9/14 - 10/7/14 - Archives...
Strange But True: Minority Ruled in WI Photo ID Case
A bizarre sidebar to the federal court's ruling in WI, thanks to a quirk in the law and Dems' inability to fill a vacant seat on the 7th Circuit...
Repub Judge Who Approved Nation's 1st Photo ID Law in 2008 Writes Devastating Dissent Against Them
Reagan-appointed Richard Posner pens best case ever against Photo ID voting restrictions...
Liar, Liar: Father and Son Reps Duncan Hunter Just Make Shit Up
Son claims ISIS agents nabbed at Mexican border! Father, as BRAD BLOG reported in 2007, said non-citizens 'rounded up' and 'herded' to vote in CA!...
SCOTUS BLOCKS WI PHOTO ID VOTING LAW
Bad news for GOP and Gov. Scott Walker, good news for voters, as U.S. Supreme Court restores demoracy at last minute to the Badger State...
FEDERAL JUDGE STRIKES DOWN TX GOP'S 'UNCONSTITUTIONAL, DISCRIMINATORY' PHOTO ID VOTING LAW
U.S. District Court judge permanently enjoins GOP law, finds it discriminates, amounts to a poll tax...
ACLU on 'Photo ID Needed to Fly' Canard
They nailed federal Judge Easterbrook's lies about WI's Photo ID voting restriction much more succinctly than we did: 'Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again'...
'Green News Report' 10/9/14
McConnell & other GOP candidates dodge and retreat from climate denial; U.S. auto fleet achieves record fuel efficiency; PLUS: 'Clean Coal' in Canada?...
Non-KPFK 'BradCast': Special Election Coverage/Primal Scream Edition
This year's elections may be decided by the courts even before Election Day: A BradCast special...
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100s already disenfranchised; Nation's worst suppression law to have full trial next year...
GAO: Republican Photo ID Voting Restriction Laws Lowered Turnout in KS, TN
Dems tout non-partisan government report to underscore need to fix Voting Rights Act, but there's more to story they aren't mentioning...
Federal Court Tosses VA's Ridiculously Gerrymandered Congressional Map
Ruling by GW Bush appointee is too late for 2014 election, but redrawn map could result in 2 to 3 new Dem U.S. House seats in 2016...
'Green News Report' 10/7/14
LED inventors win Nobel Prize; EPA regs slashed cancer risk 65% in CA; L.A. builds all-electric highway; PLUS: SCOTUS upholds (GW Bush's) EPA ozone regulations...
7th Circuit Offers Blatant FALSEHOODS in Ruling on WI Photo ID Voting Law
No, Photo ID is NOT required for boarding an airplane, no matter how many times wingnuts make the claim to influence a SCOTUS ruling...
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...


UPDATE: Assailant arrested; Also, two others arrested for spitting on recall workers in separate incident...
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2011 7:45am PT  

Thanks to the Rightwing's unshakable lock on our national media, had the Governor of Wisconsin now up for a potential recall been a Democrat, the photo above might have been among the most familiar photos in the nation this week.

However, since WI's governor Scott Walker is a Republican, this is likely the first time you've seen the photograph, or even heard that there has been yet another violent assault on a citizen petitioner seeking signatures for his recall.

Add this one to the Rightwingers found openly discussing collecting signatures for the "Recall Walker" campaign, only so they could then burn and shred them, and to the death threats received in the middle of the night and to the 30-year old West Bend man, Jeffery Karnitz, who's been charged with two counts of election fraud for defacing petitions.

The story of what happened to the camera above begins this way:

This camera was three weeks old. It was stripped off of my wrist, and thrown full force into the street by a crazy rightwing bastard. The card and battery are missing, which I learned when I tried to retrieve the day's photos and video.

It includes this:

My winter coat was ripped. My camera was destroyed. My hand is badly bruised and hurts like hell. The police left after taking all of our stories, and the three of us went back to the intersection to retrieve our signs so as not to leave litter. As we walked back, a wizened old man came up his front walk and let us know how happy he was we were hurt, and how much he hated us. He drooled positively fecal invective. Another car whizzed by and gave us the finger. Earlier, a man in a passing car slowed down and pantomimed shooting at Angela with an imaginary rifle. This is life in Walker's Wisconsin. I don't see it getting any better real soon.

The story ends with the police finding the man who did it and promising criminal charges, before this thought from the person whose camera was destroyed by a political supporter of Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin:

We don't want trouble. We don't want debates. We don't want to convince anyone of anything. We merely want to give people the opportunity to sign a legally prescribed petition derived from constitutionally defined laws whose intention is to allow redress of an aggrieved population if an elected official is off the rails.

Read the full story of what happened from "noise of rain" at dKos here. And then remind yourself how everyone in the nation would likely have heard about this incident, over and over again, days ago, had the violence in this story been carried out by a Democrat against a Republican. And keep all of that in mind next time you hear one of Andrew Breitbart and Rush Limbaugh's pathetic brainwashed zombies complaining, once again, about that dastardly biased "Liberal Media."

* * *

UPDATE 12/20/11, 11:52pm PT: The local NBC affiliate, TMJ-4 in Mequon, reveals the identity of dKos blogger "noise of rain" as Dave Hakman and reports that the man who destroyed his camera has now been arrested. Details from TMJ-4's coverage follow below...

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

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TONIGHT: Getting the stories straight! All of 'em! From Rightwing disinfo to Democratic smokescreens! PLUS: A big War on Democracy update and Much More!
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2011 4:15pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with audio archives below...]

We're drafted into duty tonight, once again, to guest host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show! (We'll also be filling in next Friday and the Thursday and Friday after that.) Hope you can join us tonight!

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 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):

  • LOTS TO CATCH UP ON! I've got too many stories and not enough time to list them all here. But we'll try to get the stories straight on everything from the Budget Compromise (heading to a deadline tonight), the controversial NDAA bill, the nonsense on the Keystone XL pipeline from last night's idiotic GOP Debate on Fox "News" to a bevy of voting and election related stories, from the Recall Walker effort in WI to the amazing story of Venango County, PA's disturbing discoveries from their landmark forensic analysis of their 100% unverifiable ES&S touch-screen voting systems! We'll also have the latest news on whether Clear Channel will allow progressive Green960 to stay on our public airwaves in San Francisco.
  • A FEW FRIENDS Our own DESI DOYEN of the Green News Report will be joining us to sort some of this all out! And we'll also be checking in for a special simulcast with Thom Hartmann's producer JACOB DEAN, host of Filter Free Radio and one of many hosts from Nicole Sandler's RadioOrNot.com network's 24-hour OccuThon, kicking off tonight in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement!
  • PLUS! Your calls over your public airwaves at 877-520-1150 and 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: Tonight's show flew by! At least for me. Buckle up and see if it does for you as well! The commercial-free audio archives (as well as the chat room archives) are now posted below! Enjoy!...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 12/15/2011 2:27pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Arsenic and other tasty toxins contaminate groundwater near coal plants; Use less gas, pay more!; Bizarre meltdown at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; BP gets a license to drill --- again --- in the Gulf of Mexico; Solar surges in 2011; PLUS: "Human oil spill" outside House Speaker John Boehner's office ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

Link:
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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): What the Frack?: Add Quakes to Natural Gas Rush; Wisconsin Mine Plan Prompts Backlash; Exxon Mobil predicts surge in hybrid vehicles; Putting US Farmland on a Fertilizer Diet; Killing of Wolves From Air Draws Fire ... PLUS: Facebook Unfriends Coal, Partners with Greenpeace for Clean Energy Future ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 12/15/2011 6:29am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Election laws in Wisconsin are not covered by Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act, which would otherwise require the Dept. of Justice or a federal panel of judges to "preclear" such laws to assure they are not discriminatory. Thus, it falls to non-governmental organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), to take legal action in hopes of protecting Constitutional voting rights for citizens of the Badger State.

That's exactly what the organization did this week, in filing a 54-page federal complaint on behalf of some 17 named plaintiffs --- including elderly, student, minority and even veteran voters --- who may well be unable to cast their once-legal vote under the state's new voter suppression bill passed earlier this year by its GOP legislature and signed into law by its Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

The lead plaintiff in Frank vs. Walker [PDF], the ACLU's class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District, seeking to halt enforcement of the state's new photo ID voting restrictions, is 84-year old Ruthelle Frank.

As we previously reported, Frank has been a lawful resident of Brokaw, WI since her home birth in 1927. Although she has voted in every election since 1948 and is an elected member of the Brokaw Village Board, she learned that she may be barred from voting come February 2012 because she lacks one of the official photo IDs mandated by that state's new vote-suppressing photo ID law.

She was born at home, without a birth certificate, and will be forced to pay $20 to get one in order to get her supposedly "free" ID to vote. But even that may not be enough. Frank recently learned she may not be able to comply with the state GOP's Photo ID restriction unless she coughs up upwards of $200 to amend the Register of Deeds record of her home, which had misspelled her maiden name.

The feisty octogenarian, however, was not about to quietly accept this assault on a right she had exercised without interference for the past 63 years (see a video interview with her below), and so she agreed to lead the ACLU suit.

The ACLU complaint, however, may serve to be larger than just the 17 voters (and thousands of others included as part of 6 different classes) in the state of Wisconsin. If it succeeds, the lawsuit could have national implications that would go well beyond the question of who gets to vote in Wisconsin in the 2012 Presidential election. The case could serve to reverse the bevy of voter-suppression laws being enacted by Republicans in state after state in the wake of their take-over of statehouses across the nation in November of 2010...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2011 3:10pm PT  

I missed this last week, but as we'd previously covered the stated intentions of Rightwingers to sabotage the 'Recall Walker' effort in Wisconsin by shredding and burning petitions and the death threats reportedly received by supporters of the effort to remove Wisconsin's anti-union Republican governor Scott Walker, I wanted to get this on record here.

Jeffery Karnitz, a 30-year old Wisconsinite, has now been cited with two felony election fraud counts for defacing recall petitions in the Badger State. He now faces a year and half in prison and a $10,000 fine for each count. This genius already has a fairly long wrap-sheet, but more on that in a moment...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/5/2011 4:30pm PT  

Via Tanya Somanader at ThinkProgress...

For 63 years, Brokaw, Wisconsin native Ruthelle Frank went to the polls to vote. Though paralyzed on her left side since birth, the 84-year-old “fiery woman” voted in every election since 1948 and even got elected herself as a member of the Brokaw Village Board. But because of the state’s new voter ID law, 2012 will be the first year Frank can’t vote. Born after a difficult birth at her home in 1927, Frank never received an official birth certificate. Her mother recorded it in her family Bible and Frank has a certification of baptism from a few months later, along with a Social Security card, a Medicare statement, and a checkbook. But without the official document, she can’t secure the state ID card that the new law requires to vote next year.

“It’s really crazy,” she added. “I’ve got all this proof. You mean to tell me that I’m not a U.S. citizen?” But state officials have informed Frank that, because the state Register of Deeds does have a record of her birth, they can issue her a new birth certificate — for a fee. And because of a spelling error, that fee may be as high as $200

Add Frank's to the stories of 96-year old Dorothy Cooper in TN who has voted in every election since woman were granted the right to vote, but who no longer may be able to cast her vote on Election Day next year, and 86-year old WWII veteran Darwin Sparks in the same state; along with hundreds of thousands of others who are likely to find themselves unable to cast their legal vote on Election Day next year thanks to new voter suppression laws implemented in about a dozen states by GOP legislatures and governor's since they took control in 2010.

In Wisconsin, where "an estimated 177,399 Wisconsin residents 65 and older do not have a driver’s license or state photo ID — 23 percent of that population," and where Frank may have to pay as much as $200 to cast her legal vote under the GOP's new anti-democratic and anti-Democratic polling place Photo ID restrictions, the non-partisan League of Women Voters has filed suit charging the law is in violation of the state's constitution, as The BRAD BLOG detailed in October. That case is still pending.

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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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