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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, June 26, 2016
Brexit: If it Could Happen There...: 'BradCast' 6/24/16
Also: NC voter suppression back in court; TX spending millions on unlawful Photo ID law; Did NY voter purge hurt Sanders or Clinton more?; Climate change death toll rising in WV, China...
SCOTUS on Immigration, Aff-Action; Dems End Gun 'Sit-in': 'BradCast' 6/23/16
Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser explains new Court rulings; and we cover far more breaking news than we can even fit here...
'Green News Report' 6/23/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Last CA nuke plant will close; Judge nixes Obama's fracking rules; Study: Toxic chemicals found in residents near fracking sites; PLUS: Researchers turn carbon emissions into stone...
Previous GNRs: 6/21/16 - 6/16/16 - Archives...
FL Rep.: Dems to 'Sit-In' Until Vote or GOP 'Hauls People Off Floor': 'BradCast' 6/22/16
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) explains House protest, calls GOP shutdown of C-SPAN 'astonishing', lack of vote on guns 'disgusting'...
Was Orlando the 'Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History?': 'BradCast' 6/21/16
Guest: USC historian Ariela J. Gross | ALSO: Trump's disastrous fundraising numbers; New polls; And our 700th 'Green News Report'!...
'Green News Report' 6/21/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
OUR 700TH EPISODE!!! Record heat in S.W.; CA snowpack gone; Bernie wants YOU to fight climate change; PLUS: Obama warns climate change coming for national parks...
Previous GNRs: 6/16/16 - 6/14/16 - Archives...
About That 'Stolen' Democratic Primary: 'BradCast' 6/20/16
Plus: Sanders' call for progressive candidates, the GOP/NRA/Trump lies and obstruction on guns, and more evidence elections matter...
Sunday Keepin' Bear Toons
As you might imagine, the nation's political cartoonists have a few thoughts following Orlando. 'PDiddie' rounds up the best of them on that topic and more at the end of Primary season...
Broken Party; Bernie's Message; Hillary Rising: 'BradCast' 6/17/16
A year into Trump and GOP wheels are now off. Meanwhile, Sanders 'revolution' could just be starting and 'red' states could turn 'blue'...
Former CDC Injury Chief on Federal Gun Research 'Ban': 'BradCast' 6/16/16
Dr. Mark Rosenberg explains his 1996 'Dickey Amendment' showdown w/ Congress, NRA; Also: Dem 'filibuster' forces Senate gun votes, Obama speaks to Orlando victims' families...
'Green News Report' 6/16/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
House GOP to roll back pollution standards; May 2016 was hottest on record; Clean Power Plan saves U.S. $38b/year; PLUS: Trump was for climate action before he was against it...
Previous GNRs: 6/14/16 - 6/9/16 - Archives...
Bullets and Ballots:
'BradCast' 6/15/16
The fights over both continue, after the Orlando Massacre and the end of Presidential primary voting following the D.C. Primary. We cover the latest on both, take listener calls, and more...
Nearing an End to SCOTUS' Willful Misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment?
With carnage piling ever higher and the death of Scalia, the Court needs to overturn Heller...
It's the Guns, Stupid: Falling for Trump's 'Islam' Bait: 'BradCast' 6/14/16
Plus: D.C. Statehood and 'political slavery' with Anise Jenkins of FreeDC.org...
'Green News Report' 6/14/16
India PM in U.S. Congress; Bankrupt coal co. secretly funded deniers; U.S. coal use plunges; More oil cos. abandon Arctic; PLUS: Norway first to ban deforestation...
'An Act of Terror and Hate':
'BradCast' 6/13/2016
How the NRA and GOP fought to help assure the Orlando Massacre...
Sunday Toons of the Broken Glass Moment
'PDiddie' rounds up the week's best toons as Hillary rises, Sanders falls and Trump...gets trumped...
Should Sanders Quit?; L.A. Responds to Provisional Ballot Nos.: 'BradCast' 6/9/16
TPM's John Judis on history of convention floor fights; L.A. Election Chief on 240k provisional ballots...
'Green News Report' 6/9/16
S.F. adopts climate tax; Alberta, Canada adopts carbon tax; Congress updates toxic chem regs; Britain's solar crushes coal; PLUS: Artificial leaf breakthrough...
Special Coverage: CA, NJ, ND, SD, NM, MT Primary Results, Fallout & Voting Probs: 'BradCast' 6/8/16
PLUS: Bonus SECOND hour of calls from SoCal voters and poll workers, live from KPFK!
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: NC suppression law back in court; TX spending millions on unlawful Photo ID law; NY voter purge data; Climate change death toll rising...
By Brad Friedman on 6/24/2016 6:26pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the bombshell passage of Britain's EU 'Brexit' Referendum is shaking both world markets and politics. Is the rise of nationalism and anti-immigration sentiment in the UK a disturbing omen for the U.S. Presidential election this fall? [Audio link to complete show is below.]

Donald Trump certainly hopes so, as he's changed his position on European unity from just three years ago, when he was for it, to today, when he's apparently against it, now that he's running for President. On today's show we discuss a number of things that Americans can and should learn from both the dishonest politics of the Brexit vote and the way the election itself was carried out (on publicly hand-counted, hand-marked paper ballots.)

Meanwhile, back here across the pond, the fight to count votes from the June 7th primary in California continues, and the fight to keep (certain) voters from voting at all continues as well in a federal courtroom in North Carolina (No, Washington Post, Photo ID is not required to board an airplane and you should let your readers know as much), and in the great state of Texas, where so-called 'conservatives' have spent millions of taxpayer dollars attempting to defend their illegal, discriminatory and unconstitutional Photo ID voting restriction year after year in case after case. (Texit, anyone?)

Finally, we look at details from the unlawful purge of voters in Brooklyn, which came to light after the NY state primary in April. Were Sanders voters purged at a higher rate than Clinton voters, as Sanders supporters have been charging? We look at some of the actual evidence now in, which suggests otherwise (and as we've previously argued.) Plus: Death toll rising along with flood waters in West Virginia and in China; And Bluegrass fans lose a legend...

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

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Plus: Sanders' call for progressive candidates, the GOP/NRA/Trump lies and obstructionism on guns, and other evidence that elections matter...
By Brad Friedman on 6/20/2016 6:21pm PT  

On today's BradCast, have Bernie Sanders supporters been responsible in their attempts to oversee voting and vote tabulation during this year's Democratic Primary? How about long time Election Integrity advocates and journalists? Are cries of "FRAUD!!!" in the race between Sanders and Hillary Clinton misguided and misleading? Or are they on-point? [Audio link to show is posted below.]

From a sweltering Los Angeles, on the first official day of Summer, I speak to some of the many claims and allegations that this year's Democratic primary was "stolen" --- either by Hillary Clinton, the DNC, or anybody else. Just a few thoughts on all of this from someone who has investigated and covered issues of Election Integrity and fraud and voter suppression and non-overseeable computer voting systems and tabulators, often in excruciating detail, for more than a decade at The BRAD BLOG, on The BradCast, and anywhere else that would have me. As part of today's epic rant on all of this, I also offer some advice to those who believe California was "stolen", and how state law allows them to actually try and find out...if they really want to.

Also today, the Sanders campaign says supporters are answering his call from last week for fresh candidates to step up and run for office with progressive platforms at the local, state and federal level.

Meanwhile, the NRA-funded Republicans continue to obstruct any meaningful legislative action to try and help prevent gun violence following last week's massacre in Orlando, as the U.S. Senate blocks attempts to bar suspected terrorists from buying weapons of mass destruction at local gun shops, gun shows and online. All of that is playing out, as Donald Trump, the GOP's presumptive nominee for President, offers a particularly egregious lie in hopes of backpedaling from his repeated statements last week that he would have liked to have seen club patrons with many more guns in that dark, crowded LGBT nightclub in Orlando. It's a position that even the terrorist-enabling NRA no longer seems to fully agree with.

Finally, with firearm violence plummeting in California --- while it remains steady nationally --- the state legislature takes some action on scientific gun research in the wake of the federal government's effective twenty-year ban on same. And, before we close, with triple-digit temps shattering records out here today, a few climate scientists remind us that their own research concerning global warming, finds it to be anything but a bleeping "hoax"...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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PLUS: A bonus SECOND hour of special coverage with calls from tons of Southern California voters and poll workers, all live from KPFK!
By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2016 6:23pm PT  

On today's very busy, very lively BradCast (and extra, special, surprise, bonus hour of The BradCast!), we cover the results of the latest (and, thankfully, final for this cycle) 'Super Tuesday' primary contests in California, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico and Montana yesterday. [Audio links to both hours posted below!]

After coverage of responses from all three remaining candidates (Trump, Clinton and Sanders) to last night's reported results, and where they will each go from here, we take a look at some of the reported problems that folks had casting their votes, particularly here in Los Angeles County (the nation's largest voting jurisdiction).

Are the problems being reported in California as "just chaos" (LATimes) and "mired in voting problems" (HuffPo) as bad as some are reporting them to be? The main concerns, at this hour, seem to involve failed electronic ballot readers at L.A. polling places (which don't actually tabulate votes anyway) and voters forced to cast Provisional Ballots (some 240k in LA County alone) for a variety of reasons, some legit, some a bit more troubling.

Both voters and poll workers --- lots of them! --- call in today to report on polling problems from Tuesday, views on the primary in general, on AP reporting the Democratic contest as over on Monday before voters even voted on Tuesday, and much much more on today's show. In fact, the phone lines were so busy, with so many callers, that KPFK asked us to continue on for an unprecedented second hour of our special coverage! Both of which are now posted below...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

Download MP3 (BONUS HOUR!) or listen online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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By Brad Friedman on 5/13/2016 4:51pm PT  

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

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

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

Strange days, indeed...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Guest: Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder (R)...
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2016 4:21pm PT  

On today's BradCast, as voters head to the polls for the big Presidential Primary in Indiana --- where many of them will again cast 100% unverifiable votes on touch-screen voting systems --- a Republican State Senator from Missouri joins us to explain his bill to do away with such systems in the Show-Me State. [Link to audio of the show at bottom of article.]

In April, St. Louis County held a disastrous local primary election in which, for the first time in years, they used only paper ballots at the polling places, since election officials said they did not have enough time, following the state's Presidential Primary in March, to reprogram the County's touch-screen systems. The County has long given voters the option to vote on hand-marked, optically-scanned paper ballots or on unverifiable touch-screen systems, with more and more voters choosing paper, even as local election officials encouraged them to vote on the oft-failed, easily-manipulated touch-screen machines.

The April disaster occurred when the County's co-Election Directors (one Democrat and one Republican, both of whom have gone on record to state they love the touch-screens and regard them as virtually infallible) failed to provide the correct paper ballots to some 60 precincts. There are now multiple ongoing investigations into the disaster from the state level on down. The Democratic Director has now been suspended and the Republican has tendered his resignation.

It's hardly the first time St. Louis County has screwed up their elections, but those human errors can be corrected with competent personnel. What can never be corrected is the fact that, for example, in the state's Presidential Primary in March, the reported margins of victory were so small (just over a thousand votes on each side), and the number of votes cast on unverifiable touch-screens in MO so large, that it is impossible to know if Trump actually beat Cruz on the Republican side and if Clinton actually beat Sanders on the Democratic side. Not a great way to run elections in the once-key swing state of Missouri.

Republican state Senator Bob Onder joins me on today's program to discuss his bill (SB 771) that calls for doing away with the state's touch-screen voting systems all together. Acknowledging the recent paper ballot foul-ups, Onder explains why the touch-screens are still worse: "you can't audit an electron."

"Only with a paper ballot can we have an auditable, verifiable record of a voter's intent as he or she casts a vote and exercises their most sacred privilege in our democratic republic, which is the right to vote," he says, going on to recall another local election in 2014 "in which the margin was very tight" and where "the loser in that election" is "not really sure he lost."

The GOP's Asst. Majority Floor Leader in the State Senate tells me about the various obstacles his legislation is facing, including from the state's Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander who, he says, "is a big fan of electronic voting machines" and "an enemy of paper ballots."

It's a fascinating and encouraging conversation over all...at least until we discuss the MO Republicans' continuing push for disenfranchising Photo ID voting restrictions in the state, which Onder, unfortunately, supports (though apparently based on fraudulent information provided to him by some notorious GOP "voter fraud" hucksters, as I explain during the program.)

But, hey, we'll take what we can get! And if Republicans are willing to work with the long-time Election Integrity champions at Missourians for Honest Elections on the issue of banning touch-screens, I'll take it! We can try to get Dems on board and fight with Republicans about everything else on another day.

Also on today BradCast: Republican officials in WI and in KS continue their effort to suppress the vote and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report' with good news for lions, elephants and children, but not so good for opponents of fracking...

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

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Plus: 'Serial child molester' Hastert sentenced; Encouraging green news; And listener calls...
By Brad Friedman on 4/27/2016 5:39pm PT  

On today's BradCast, following the Northeastern Primaries on Tuesday in PA, CT, MD, DE and RI, the 2016 cycle gets even stranger, if that's even possible. But, first, the longest serving Republican U.S. House Speaker in U.S. history is sentenced to 15 months in prison for a crime related to being a "serial child molester," according to the judge.

74-year old former Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) will serve more than a year in jail after pleading guilty in a hush-money case related to payments to one of his 14-17 year old victims during the time he served a high school wrestling coach years earlier. "Nothing is worse than using serial child molester and Speaker of the House in the same sentence," U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin said during today's sentencing in Chicago, marking yet another shameful disgrace from the years of GOP control of Congress during the Presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Then, as if the 2016 Presidential race couldn't get any more bizarre, imaginary GOP nominee Ted Cruz today named his imaginary Vice-Presidential running mate, who promptly broke into song. Really.

Then, results from Donald Trump's reported crushing landslide victories in five states yesterday, Hillary Clinton's huge reported wins in four of those five states, what Bernie Sanders plans to do do now, and some concerns about the accuracy of Tuesday's reported results (some debunked, some not.)

Then, phone calls from listeners on all of the above.

And, as if all of that's not enough, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown and, other than that, some actually encouraging green news, believe it or not!

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Guest: GOP operative turned gay rights activist Fred Karger
By Brad Friedman on 4/26/2016 5:20pm PT  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUEST: John Opdycke of OpenPrimaries.org | PLUS: Prince dead at 57; 'Outrage' over Harriet Tubman; Paper ballots finally return to MD...
By Brad Friedman on 4/21/2016 5:57pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Tragic breaking news, ridiculous wingnut 'outrage', good news for Maryland voters, and, perhaps, a better way to nominate public officials. [Audio link to the full show is posted below.]

First up, coverage of the shocking loss of musical icon Prince, whose death today at age 57 at his home in Minnesota has stunned the world; Then, Rightwing "outrage" about U.S. President Andrew Jackson, the racist, slave holding, "genocidal maniac" (as Desi Doyen describes him today, with good reason) being replaced on the $20 bill by African-American abolitionist and former slave Harriet Tubman; And some (hopefully) good news about next week's Presidential Primary elections in MD, where voters will, for the first time in more than 15 years, finally be allowed to vote on hand-marked paper ballots instead of 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting machines.

[Some of our exclusive reporting referenced on today's show in regard MD's Diebold touch-screen systems: "DIEB-THROAT" (2005), MD's SAIC Report (2006), MD Election Director storms out of interview (2008), Argonne Lab's remote Diebold hack (2011)]

Then, I'm joined by John Opdycke, President of OpenPrimaries.org, for a fascinating discussion about the anti-democratic (small "d") problem of primary nomination contests that are closed to non-party affiliated voters. The conversation kicks off following concerns about Tuesday's primary in New York, where voters faced voter registration purges and other problems at the polling place, along with the nation's earliest voter deadline for changing party affiliation in order to be allowed to participate in the state's closed primary elections. (Voters had to change party affiliation by October 9th of last year to be able to vote in this year's Presidential Primary on April 19th!)

Opdycke explains why shutting non-party affiliated voters out of the process is of particular concern in primaries that are run with tax-payer funding and resources. But, he explains, the problem is larger than that. "This is a very serious question. Who does the political process belong to? Does the process itself belong to the people, or does it belong to the political parties? Right now, our democracy belongs lock, stock and barrel to the political parties, from top to bottom. And that is a very big problem and it is beginning to come to light."

"What the open primaries movement is pushing for is public primaries, not partisan primaries," he tells me, citing states like California, Nebraska and Washington that hold "Top Two" primaries (also known as "Cajun" or "Jungle" primaries) for many elected public offices, allowing candidates of all (or no) parties to compete against each other to run in the general election. "This is a fundamentally different conception of what a primary is. It's a public primary. Not a partisan primary."

While recognizing that political parties are private organizations with a First Amendment right to organize as they see fit, Opdycke explains how the result blocks people from the process and makes it nearly impossible to change the system. "They control the political process. They control the boards of elections. They control how redistricting is done. They control the primaries. They control voter registration. They control every aspect. They even control the Presidential debates. And we Americans, we've participated in that. We have in some ways ceded our power to these political organizations and I think the time has come to take that back. Not abolish political parties, but simply return them to an appropriate place."

He goes on to respond to various concerns and critiques of "Top Two" primary systems, as we have reported on them in years past (here and here, for example) at The BRAD BLOG, in what I hope is a very enlightening conversation and one that needs to be continued in the months and years ahead, all over the country.

Finally, we finish up with a much-needed laugh, courtesy of Stephen Colbert, on a day when we could all really use one...

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PLUS: Accountability in Flint and for Volkswagen, Tubman on the $20, and listener calls on the latest state of the Democratic Presidential contest...
By Brad Friedman on 4/20/2016 5:34pm PT  

On today's BradCast we cover Tuesday's Presidential Primary in New York, from the reported results (huge margins for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton), to concerns about the accuracy of results, to the multiple official probes that have now been promised by the state Attorney General and the NYC Comptroller.

Those officials have stated they plan to look into reported mass voter purges, failed tabulation computers and other completely predictable problems faced by voters at polling places in the Empire State yesterday.

We also open the phone lines to callers ringing in on those results and concerns, and where Democrats should (and shouldn't) go from here as the nomination race moves forward to PA, MD, DE, CT and RI next week and ultimately out here to CA in June.

Also today: Breaking news on criminal indictments in Flint, MI; a billion dollar settlement for Volkswagen; Harriet Tubman to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill; the hottest March in recorded history in our latest Green News Report; and much more about which our own Desi Doyen has a word or three to share.

That's a very short description of a very busy program today, but I hope you'll give it a listen anyway!

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

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GUEST: HuffPo Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim...
By Brad Friedman on 4/19/2016 4:52pm PT  

On today's BradCast, voter head to the polls in the New York Presidential Primary and encounter yet another electoral mess, while down in Mississippi, the decades-long false 'promises' of the Prison Industrial Complex come back to bite local jurisdictions in the ass.

First up, it's like clockwork, and just as we predicted on yesterday's BradCast. As voting began today in NYC, reports of problems began immediately rolling in. Some of them, concerning vote-flipping, are complete hoaxes (which I won't link to, but I explain on the show), while others --- concerning tens of thousands of voters purged from the rolls in Brooklyn, optical-scan computer tabulators breaking down around the city, and polling places that failed to open on time --- are quite real and, once again, it is voters who are paying the price.

We'll have much more on those problems in the days ahead, I suspect, as reports have continued to emerge upstate and elsewhere, as predicted, since putting today's show to bed.

Then, we're joined by Huffington Post Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim on the newly emerging failures of the "conservative" budget scam concerning private prisons and reliance on the Prison Industrial Complex. With Republican unwillingness to raise taxes to increase revenue to pay for services, coupled with a decreasing prison population, some county and local budgets in Mississippi are now suddenly "devastated" thanks to broken promises from state officials.

"In the late 90s," Grim tells me, "the state was facing massive over-crowding issues as the era of mass incarceration was really hitting its peak and starting to plateau. The state reached out to the counties and said, we would love to help you build regional facilities, and we will then send you state prisoners. That's gravy for you. You got empty beds, we're going fill 'em, and every time we fill them you get money."

Those payments, however, didn't last. Grim has been reporting on how small towns and counties which fell for that scam and promises of high prison capacities are now unable to meet budget requirements, sometimes even for the most basic of services, as private for-profit prison companies continue to make money from tax-payers.

"Local officials are also talking quite openly about how this exposes the state and federal government's conservatism as bankrupt, and not true conservatism," Grim explains. That's also a problem which more and more states are discovering (hello, Kansas!) on a number of fronts as tax cuts and an unwillingness to raise taxes when necessary to meet budget shortfalls is now hurting many smaller jurisdictions around the country.

Speaking of folks who "fell for it", we finish up today with a bunch of Republican voters in a bunch of counties in one state who are now calling for seceding from the Union! Sounds good to me!...

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

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GUEST: Author, journalist David Dayen of Salon, Fiscal Times
PLUS: Polls open, lines begin in WI; Polls open, ballots gone in St. Louis, MO; And MSNBC tells us why Sanders was slighted on air on eve of crucial primary...
By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2016 5:44pm PT  

On today's BradCast: All too predictable voting problems in the state of Wisconsin and in St. Louis, MO today; MSNBC responds to our request for comment on why Bernie Sanders received short shrift on Rachel Maddow's show last night, on the eve of the crucial Badger State primary; And we debunk wingnut nonsense concerning the minimum wage as $15/hour victories come to California, New York and elsewhere. [Link to audio for complete show below.]

First, while voters wait on line to try and obtain new Photo IDs so they can vote at all today under the GOP's new voting restrictions in WI, many St. Louis County voters showed up for local elections in MO, only to find no ballots at all to vote on. Then, we explain what happened last night on Maddow's show to suggest that Hillary Clinton was polling ahead of Sanders in WI by 6 points, when the vast majority of pre-election polls in the state suggest the exact opposite. MSNBC responds to our query late today, to tell us that the issue was due to a technical error later corrected for the Midnight re-run and online versions of her show. Full details on that in today's program.

Then, in the wake of bills signed into law this week by the Governors of both NY and CA to raise the minimum wage to $15, we speak to financial journalist David Dayen about the Right's feigned concern about job loss (but only when it comes to raising the Minimum Wage), as well as the real concerns about the increase, and activists have had an extraordinary impact on the entire conversation about the decades long wealth gap between the rich and everyone else in the U.S.

Dayen explains why the new law, in CA alone, as he also reported at Salon last week, is a very big deal: "1 in every 8 workers in America is a Californian. Under this proposal, over 33% of them are going to get a raise at some point along the way between now and 2022. And thereafter, because after 2022, the minimum wage gets tied to inflation, so it keeps going up."

"It's really a testament to the power of activism. Before the 'Fight For 15' inaugurated in 2012, nobody would have believed that you could get a $15 an hour living wage, minimum, in a state as big as California. So, really, hats off to the #FightFor15 workers, who really pushed this," he says, offering kudos at the same time to both the Occupy movement and the Sanders campaign. "All of this is rumbling forward and moving Democrats who control states like California and New York into places that they were uncomfortable to go previously. And that is a testament to how this issue of inequality has become the functional, primary issue in American politics today."

Dayen, author of the upcoming book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud, also responds to the "hand-wringing on the part of economists and business leaders," when it comes to potential job loss in the wake of raised wages.

"We see all kinds of experiments" with the economy, he argues. "We see workers used as guinea pigs all the time by businesses" in all matter of schemes that may benefit those businesses, but not their workers. "These same economists are so worried about the fate of workers with this experiment with the minimum wage have never said a darn thing about all of these experiments that hurt workers --- that we knew were going to hurt workers at the time --- because it was literally about cutting their wages and getting rid of their benefits and putting them in hazardous workplaces. Spare me this rhetoric that you care about workers when you've sat by idly over 40 years as work has become more and more and more devalued."

But will raising the minimum wage, in fact, cost jobs? And, if so, does it even matter? Tune in for his answers to that and much more in a fascinating conversation on today's show --- one which you won't hear, for some reason, on Fox "News" or CNN...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/1/2016 5:32pm PT  

On today's BradCast, several ominous signs for the days ahead --- for Wisconsin voters, for RNC convention goers, and for all the rest of us...

In WI, voter registration and DMV computers go down just days before the crucial primary elections when some 300,000 legally registered voters could find themselves unable to vote at all under state Republicans' disenfranchising Photo ID voting restriction, implemented for the first time in a major election this Tuesday.

Similarly ominous signs for the GOP, with growing evidence to suggest the party may be locked and loaded for a contentious and contested national nominating convention in Cleveland, as Trump may be fading and one (once?) powerful Republican calling for the nomination to go to a "fresh face". Good luck with that.

But there's some good news amongst the omens. An encouraging March jobs report; An infamous 'Wall Street Godfather' explains why he believes Bernie Sanders would be best for the economy; St. Louis, MO is set to use only paper ballots in their local elections on Tuesday (that's a mixed omen); A federal judge kills Mississippi's ban on adoption by same-sex couples; And there's even some encouraging news today amongst more ominous signs in our latest Green News Report today with Desi Doyen. What are the odds of that? Good luck, world!...

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

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PLUS: More on voting probs in IL and NC, and now UT and AZ...
By Brad Friedman on 3/22/2016 6:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast we cover what is known, so far, about the unfolding terror attacks in Brussels this morning, even as they serve as yet another reminder of why elections matter.

With ISIS now claiming responsibility for the horrific attacks which killed dozens and injured hundreds in Belgium, including a number of Americans, Iraq war correspondent Michael Ware's recent account of the creation of ISIS, thanks to the U.S.-launched war there over a decade ago, underscores how the choices we make at the ballot box reverberate for generations.

Vote wisely! If you are able to vote at all...Our coverage of the problems faced by voters merely trying to cast a vote during last week's primaries continues today, with new reports of Photo ID voter suppression in NC, student voters illegally turned away at Wheaton College in IL, and the continuing court battle over thousands of voters turned away from the polls in Adams County (though we have a small slice of encouraging news to report there today!)

Then, we turn to new problems and serious concerns beginning to emerge in primaries and caucuses underway today in AZ and UT, including reports of up to four-hour lines and registration problems in AZ and the Republican Party in UT laughing in the face of computer scientist warnings by using some 60,000 of their voters as guinea pigs during in a live experiment with 100% unverifiable and easily hackable Internet Voting for tonight's GOP caucuses! (What could possibly go wrong?)

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

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GUEST: Mother Jones' Kevin Drum on the not-much-angrier-than-usual electorate and a bunch of things that are actually 'going great' in the U.S....
By Brad Friedman on 3/21/2016 5:54pm PT  

I realize it's strictly verboten in talk radio and, probably, against an FCC rule somewhere, but, today, we've got nothing but good news on The BradCast! Well, mostly. Well, at least compared to the bulk of what you'll hear from the corporate media and the bulk of the political campaigns they bother to report on where outrage earns listeners, viewers and readers. [Audio link to the full show is below.]

First up, a number of a relatively encouraging stories, including: Obama goes to Cuba as the first American President to visit the Cold War-ravaged island nation in more than 50 years; An update (with some good news and some bad) on the Illinois county where thousands of voters were turned away without voting last week due to ballot shortages (which we covered in detail on last Friday's show); A new poll finds Utah (Utah!) could go Democratic this year if Trump is the GOP nominee. (And guess which Democrat does best against him?); Bernie Sanders holds a huge event in Seattle in advance of several primaries and caucuses this week in western states, about which his campaign is reportedly very optimistic; and Rush Limbaugh freaks out and misinforms listeners because a new film documents how his business model is about freaking people out and misinforming listeners.

Then, I'm joined by the intolerably reasonable blogger Kevin Drum of Mother Jones, who argues that the electorate isn't nearly as "angry" as the corporate media continue to (mis)report them to be (speaking of "business models"), before he goes on to offer his (apparently controversial) list of the "Top Ten Things That Are Going Great in America".

Really? Many things are going great?! That's simply outrageous! Drum explains how such outrage --- even over legitimate concerns --- can sometimes keep very real problems (such as high lead levels in places around the country other than Flint, for example) from being reported, noticed and even fixed at all.

On the "outrage" from this year's voters, Drum explains: "Anybody who has been watching elections in the United States for awhile knows that we hear this every four years. Every four years the voters are 'angrier than they've ever been'. You think that Donald Trump's rallies have gotten a little bit violent? Been a few arrests? It's nothing compared to what was going on with George Wallace back in 1968."

"This year, you've got a guy, Donald Trump, who's feeding on it. It's really the candidates more than it is the people themselves. You've got a candidate who can really gin up the anger that's already out there, and make it seem worse than it's been before." Drum makes the case as to why it's not voter "anger" about politics and the economy that driving them to someone like Trump, as the media suggest, but something else very specific. But, you'll have to listen to find out what that is.

"I sort of blame talk radio --- present company excluded, of course --- but conservative talk radio and Fox News, for leading the way on this outrage politics," he says. "And, I think, as time goes by, a lot of other sources, including those of us on the left, see it happening on our side as well."

On the left?! That's infuriating! Please enjoy the show below. No outrage necessary...

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

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GUEST: Jon Barnard on why he sued for the unprecedented remedy: 'People couldn't vote, because of a government failure. They have the right to vote, it needs to be restored, it needs to be protected.'
By Brad Friedman on 3/18/2016 5:48pm PT  

I'm joined on today's BradCast by Adams County, IL State's Attorney Jon Barnard to discuss the extraordinary court order [PDF] issued just last night to mandate the county allow voters turned away from the polls last Tuesday, due to ballot shortages, to cast a "late vote" in that election Monday through Friday of next week. [Audio link to the complete show is at the end of this article.]

I've never seen a court-ordered remedy like it and, apparently, neither have any of the experts I spoke to. That's for good reason: this may be a national precedent, certainly one in the state of Illinois. It's also one that, as I learned from Barnard --- who was just out of another court hearing on this matter today --- the Illinois state Attorney General is now moving to block.

As I noted (okay, ranted about) on Wednesday's program, an untold number of voters were unable to cast a vote at all across precincts in Adams (Quincy) and other counties around the state on Tuesday, thanks to local election officials underestimating the number of paper ballots that would be needed, despite huge voter turnout elsewhere around the country during this Presidential Primary season so far.

"People couldn't vote because of, essentially, a government failure," Barnard charges. "They have the right to vote. It needs to be restored. It needs to be protected."

He explained how he came up with the idea for this extraordinary remedy after an estimated 3,400 voters were turned away on Tuesday, and why he believes it's so important. "Yes, it is unprecedented, at least to my knowledge, that someone has sought this remedy," he says. "But you know what, Brad? In a situation like this, we've got to do something. And there's got to be a first time. It might as well be here, it might as well be now. This is an emergency. It's not an exaggeration to say that we ask people to die to protect this right. I don't think it's going too far or doing too much that we have instituted an emergency measure with sufficient safeguards to restore that right to people who have been denied that right. When we ask people, quite literally, to dive on grenades so that we can have this right, I'm going to do everything I think we ought to do to protect that right. And if this is the first time, then so be it."

The County's long-time Republican prosecutor describes the safeguards that will be implemented --- including an affidavit that voters must sign under penalty of perjury, attesting that they had attempted but were unable to vote on Tuesday, due to the shortages --- which he believes are "more than sufficient to minimize the opportunity for mischief in the process." He also explains why he "didn't buy" the argument raised in court that allowing voters to vote, after preliminary results have already been announced, would be unfair. That, even in the wake of close elections in the state, like the one between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

He offers details of the state AG's current motion to deny the "extended voting" now scheduled to take place next week at the County Clerk's office in the County Courthouse, even while the court order is under appeal. (The "late ballots," he says, will be segregated from the others in the event that another court orders they not be included in the final certified results.)

"The lessons that the County Clerk has and may learn in the future, as a result of this, are painful and real," Barnard tells me as I ask him about the "money-saving" decision to lowball the number of ballots that were originally printed. "But, I think we have to keep our eye on the ball. What we're attempting to deal with here is a problem of monumental proportions, going right to heart of our system, right to the heart of our democracy. Look, if I'm wrong about this, if the procedure we have established to restore those rights to these voters is flawed and some appellate court tells me so, so be it. But I'd rather be wrong about the process while attempting to restore the right to vote than do nothing"

Also, midway through today's program, I received comment via email from Adams County Clerk Chuck Venvertloh, with answers to my queries sent earlier about why precinct judges weren't simply instructed to photocopy blank ballots immediately so that people would not have been turned away at all. Venvertloh was responsible for the decision to print ballots for just 27% of eligible voters, despite the state statute requiring 110% at each precinct. He is hardly the only County Clerk in the state to ignore the rarely-enforced requirement due to cost-cutting reasons. Venvertloh also offers an answer to my query about why he is choosing to "remake" the 1,162 ballots that were cast on photocopies, onto actual ballots --- so that they can be run through the county's computer optical-scanner --- rather than simply counting them by hand, which is an issue that Barnard also responds to (and joins me in taking offense) during the interview.

For those who don't bother to listen to the full show (and you really should!), allow me to note here that I don't believe Venvertloh was attempting anything nefarious in his decisions. But they were costly ones for voters, should never have occurred, and he should have had better procedures in place in the event that they failed. It's difficult enough to get voters to the polls. Yes, mistakes happen. But turning voters away or forcing them to wait in line for hours (as also happened elsewhere in the state on Tuesday, as it did in NC, FL and other states this cycle and in the past) needs to stop. It's outrageous and completely predictable by now.

Also on today's program: Some encouraging electoral justice news from last Tuesday's elections in both Chicago and Cleveland; Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report; and some listener mail in response to a number of stories we've been covering on The BradCast over the past week. Please buckle up and listen responsibly!...

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

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