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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, May 3, 2016
'Green News Report' 5/3/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Ad wars: Clean energy v. fossil fuel indstry; CO kills local fracking bans; Big climate win for kids win WA court; Victories for lions, elephants; PLUS: Kenya's bonfire of the ivories...
Previous GNRs: 4/28/16 - 4/26/16 - Archives...
Lawyers, Guns, and Voting: 'BradCast' 5/2/16
Mass shootings continue; 2016 Presidential election cycle continues; Fight for and against voting rights continue; Obama's final mic drop WH Correspondents Dinner speech...
Sunday Toons of the Hellish Moment
Even Satan is unhappy with the 2016 Presidential Election cycle, as 'PDiddie' demonstrates in his latest collection of the week's best toons...
Sneaky SCOTUS, Sad Establishment, & What The World Says About Trump!: 'BradCast' 4/29/16
Guest hosts Danielle and Shane-o are joined by John Nichols of The Nation!...
AZ Primary Lawsuit Dismissed; 'Disappearing' Votes in DE?: 'BradCast' 4/28/16
Emily Levy on court ruling against Phoenix election complaint; DE State Election Commissioner on 4,000 'lost' Sanders votes...
'Green News Report' 4/28/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump goes nuclear over climate; CNN fossil fuel ads beat climate stories; VW docs reveal test fraud; Mitsubishi cheated fuel tests; PLUS: US city mandates solar for new buildings...
Previous GNRs: 4/26/16 - 4/21/16 - Archives...
Primary Landslides for Trump and Clinton and What's Next: 'BradCast' 4/27/16
Also: 'Serial child molester' Hastert sentenced; Encouraging green news; And listener calls...
Blowback in NC, Calls for Hand-Counts in NY:
'BradCast' 4/26/16
GOP operative turned gay rights activist Fred Karger on GOP anti-LGBT lawss; Why voters should support hand-count of NY Primary...
'Green News Report' 4/26/16
30 years after Chernobyl, efforts to contain it; Record signing of Paris Agreement; World Bank calls for global carbon price; PLUS: Solar plane halfway round world...
Cruz, Kasich Join Forces and Some News That Actually Matters: 'BradCast' 4/25/16
Amanda Marcotte on new GOP 'conspiracy'; Plus: Paris Agreement; Mass shooting weekend; Thinking big...
Sunday Toons of the Moment
An 'unplanned' Pulitzer winner and a whole bunch of other worthy toons from the past week, as collected by 'PDiddie'...
'Gyrocopter Guy' Loses Voting Rights Protesting Elections: 'BradCast' 4/22/16
Guest Doug Hughes will go to jail, has 'no regrets'; Also: Former felons re-enfranchised in VA; NY election official suspended for purge...
Time to Open Our Nomination System to All Voters?: 'BradCast' 4/21/16
John Opdycke on 'Open Primaries'; Also: Prince dead at 57; 'Outrage' over Tubman; Paper ballots return to MD...
'Green News Report' 4/21/16
Criminal charges in Flint; BP victims protest new leases; Mexican oil facility explosion kills 3; U.S. air pollution; PLUS: World leaders to sign Paris Agreement...
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: '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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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...

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

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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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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: 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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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: 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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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 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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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: 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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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: 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...

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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!...

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Accurate coverage of results in MS, ID, HI, MI and even KY!
PLUS: Listener calls and more!...
By Brad Friedman on 3/9/2016 5:32pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we are live from Pacifica Radio's KPFK studios in Los Angeles, for coverage of last night's amazing nominating contests in MS, ID, HI and, mostly, MI, where Bernie Sanders reportedly overcame a 20pt deficit, according to the pre-election polls, to defeat Hillary Clinton.

Of course, Donald Trump wiped out his GOP competition again almost everywhere (including in Michigan, where there was no polling disparity on the GOP side), leaving Ted Cruz as his only real challenger as John Kasich and, especially, Marco Rubio, fade into near-certain oblivion.

So, how did Sanders' remarkable "win" in MI come about? What does it bode for next Tuesday's big primaries in neighboring (similarly industrial and neighboring) states? Should his supporters worry about reports of "irregularities" already in Chicago? How is it that Sanders ended up losing the delegate count (the real one, not the fake "SuperDelegate" count) anyway yesterday to Clinton? And will the mainstream corporate media continue to ill-inform voters by blatantly misreporting the race?

Also today: Democrats also won three special elections in KY yesterday to maintain control of that state's legislature, and we open the phone line to listener callers to ring in on all of the above and much more today, before Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on another very busy and very lively BradCast!

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

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GUEST: Author and UNC political scientist Jonathan Weiler...
By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2016 5:43pm PT  

On today's BradCast, more Super Tuesday election results clean up, the GOP in full panic mode, and a political scientists' explanation for Trump's ascendancy. [Audio link to the complete show is below.]

First up, more information on some of the seemingly inexplicable computer-reported election results from Super Tuesday that we discussed in more detail on yesterday's program. The MA city which originally reported Jim Gilmore as "winning" the GOP primary in a landslide has "corrected" results, with little explanation. Though I was able to receive an an explanation from Roanoke County VA's General Registrar who responded to our query about why Bernie Sanders seemed to lose 600 votes in the county on election night, moving him from the "win" to the "loss" column there.

Next up, Mitt Romney's remarkable speech attacking Donald Trump as a "phony" and a "fraud" today, and how it may be as likely to help Trump as hurt him.

Then, my fascinating and even chilling conversation with Jonathan Weiler, author, blogger and UNC Chapel Hill political scientist, on the one trait that academics have recently identified to be most predictive of whether you will be a Trump supporter. It isn't racism, education level or economic concerns, as some might have guessed. It's authoritarianism.

As described in his recent article, "Understanding Trump: It's the Authoritarianism, Stupid" and in his 2009 book with Marc Hetherington, Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics --- published long before the rise of Trump --- authoritarianism, as defined by political scientists, is distinct from both racism and conservatism, even as the ideas can cross over in a number of ways.

Weiler explains how political scientists are able to determine who has such tendencies and who does not, based on survey questions regarding not political matters, but on family and child rearing. He goes on to note that authoritarianism, which had fallen out of favor somewhat in the 20th century, had been prevalent in the Democratic Party as well as the GOP, as recently as 1992.

"In 1992, there was really no difference in terms of the level of authoritarianism of the average Democrat and the average Republican," he tells me. "What's happened over the past quarter century is what a lot of political scientists call a 'sorting process,' where the non-authoritarians have increasingly gravitated from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party, and a lot of authoritarians have gravitated from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. In a nutshell, this has been a long complicated process that has played out over 40 years."

Authoritarians, he says, are not "particularly interested in the conservative economic agenda. They [are] not necessarily in favor of smaller government or lower taxes. The pieces of what has become modern conservatism that attracted them are more these kind of 'Us vs. Them' issues" and "Trump has really zeroed in, quite precisely, on what authoritarians care about, and what they don't care about."

While Weiler says he doesn't believe the GOP has been specifically targeting such followers, the gravitation to the Republican Party for authoritarians is the results of the party's specific messages about fear and division over recent decades. "Trump feels like he is the Republican id come to life. In that regard, he is in many ways a kind of logical extension of a dynamic that's been underway for a long time," he explains. "There's a kind of dance that goes on between elites and their followers. Elites come up with these 'Us vs. Them' messages --- these messages that attract authoritarians --- and they cultivate a base. And then that base turns around and says, 'all right, you've got our attention, you've promised to deliver on these issues, and now we expect you to'. So the monster, if you will, that the Republican Party created was in a very strongly authoritarian base that Donald Trump --- whether by instinct or consciously, I don't really know --- he's been the guy who's really taken advantage of that."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report covering, among a bunch of other stuff, the shocking death of a Big Oil CEO on the day after he was indicted on criminal conspiracy charges...

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

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GUEST: Wichita University's Beth Clarkson on her case and continuing concerns about 'manipulation' of 2014 touch-screen election results
ALSO: Trump wins again in NV, are Dems getting worried yet?...
By Brad Friedman on 2/24/2016 6:11pm PT  

It's another very busy show on today's BradCast! [Audio link to the complete show is at bottom of this article.]

First up, Trump crushes his competition in the Nevada Caucuses in every single demographic. Are Dems getting concerned yet? If not, they should be, as I explain today.

Speaking of those caucuses: I detail why they are far more transparent than a primary system would be in the state of NV, which still uses the same 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems that were certified in violation of state and federal law in 2004 by NV's then Sec. of State, now U.S. Senator Dean Heller. (See my exclusive with Michael Richardson in the 2008 book Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008, in which we detail how, based on public records obtained during our six-month investigation, Heller blatantly lied to the media and the public about the failed status of the machine's federal testing results, yet certified them for use in the 2004 election anyway.)

As we saw last night, the Nevada GOP, wisely, used hand-marked paper ballots, publicly counted at each caucus precinct. And now, Wichita University mathematician Beth Clarkson, PhD, head of the school's National Institute for Aviation Research, is calling for the same thing for Kansas elections, in light of a state court ruling last week barring her from accessing so-called "paper trails" from the state's touch-screen voting systems as used in their 2014 elections.

"I am becoming more and more convinced that we need to go with an entirely paper ballot system --- and hand-counted," she tells me, while noting that optical-scan computers may "provide fast results, but you have to verify them --- which we're not doing. I think to have full transparency for all citizens, you need to have a hand-count of paper ballots."

Clarkson notes that while post-election audits or "sampling" of optically-scanned paper ballots could be done, it would not solve the growing problem of the electorate questioning results. "As a statistician, I love sampling. It's faster and it'll get you excellent results, but it can also be manipulated just like any other system. And you can't really manipulate hand-counted paper ballots. It's the transparency issue that's convinced me."

She details the basis for her lawsuit which attempts a recount of a ballot measure from the 2014 election following a statistical analysis of the results which, says she, confirms a theory initially reported by two other statisticians in 2012 [PDF]. According to their study, computer-reported results from larger precincts, with more than 500 voters, reveal a "consistent" statistical increase in votes for the Republican candidates in general elections. That increase in votes runs counter to expectations for more densly populated jurisdictions. (Clarkson explains the theory in more detail during my previous BradCast interview with her from August 2015.)

Last week a state Judge allowed her recount case to move forward, but denied the motion by her new lawyer, former US Attorney Randy Rathbun, to allow her to review the "Real Time Audit Logs" (RTALs, also known as "Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails" or VVPATs in other states) from the voting machines used in the 2014 election, thus defeating the entire point of her challenge.

"[My] analysis only shows that there's something there we don't understand. It does not show cause. I think that manipulation of voting machines is the most probable cause, but I could be wrong on that. But the only way to know is to look. And not being allowed to look is, in many ways, a more serious issue." Clarkson has now been blocked from viewing the RTAL's now in both her public records request and recount lawsuit. "It seems to me that either I should be able to look at them under the Open Records Act or I should be able to examine them as part of a recount. You can't have it both ways, but apparently they can."

She goes on to offer her thoughts on why the state, including GOP "voter fraud" fraudster turned Sec. of State Kris Kobach, would be working so hard to block her attempt at oversight of election results; the unprecedented support she has received from the public for her case; and whether last week's state court ruling will now be appealed.

By the way, the very same, oft-failed, unverifiable touch-screens in question --- the ES&S iVotronics --- will be used once again across the state of South Carolina during this weekend's Democratic Presidential Primary. You can follow Clarkson's progress on her case at her ShowMeTheVotes.org website.

Finally, good news for former TX Gov. Rick Perry who is now, apparently, off the hook for both of the felony indictments filed against him last year...

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By Brad Friedman on 2/9/2016 4:45pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we catch up with a number of breaking items, as well as items from the last several days (while we were otherwise covering the GOP and Democratic debates), even as voters in New Hampshire finally head to the polls for the First-in-the-Nation primary today.

Among the stories we hit today, as we await the completely unverified results from NH tonight...

  • Democratic party officials "unilaterally" changed Iowa Caucus results;
  • Why nobody should simply 'trust' unverified computer-tallied results that will be reported in NH (or anywhere else);
  • How NH's new Photo ID voting restriction law could affect turnout;
  • Rubio-bot does it again;
  • Another mysterious Republican dirty trick in NH;
  • Jeb now wants to "eliminate" the Citizens United ruling;
  • Voting Rights restored to 40,000 in MD;
  • MD forced to ditch new touch-screen systems for paper ballots;

Plus much more --- including our latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen!...

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

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ALSO: 'Hero of Democracy' Tom Courbat, In Memoriam...
By Brad Friedman on 2/4/2016 5:38pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the Des Moines Register joins the fray to declare "something smells" in Iowa's Democratic caucus results and procedures. Bev Harris of Black Box Voting joins us to examine the concerns about "caucus integrity" on both the Democratic and Republican sides --- what we know, what we don't, and what we should. [Link to the complete audio of the program is at the bottom of this article.]

With partisans on the Right and Left now charging, appropriately or not, that the caucuses were "stolen", and both the Register and Sanders' camp calling for state Democrats to release raw vote totals, Harris notes: "Really, the bottom line is, if they won't disclose stuff, then it smells. If they disclose it, everybody can see for themselves."

"People say, well, there's problems in every election," she continues. "My mantra is: That may be true, but let's see the problems. All I'm saying is let us see them, and let us address them. Most people I talk to --- even if they're very partisan --- they say, 'If I can see it and we lost fair and square, I will accept that.' It really ticks people off when you say, 'we won, and we aren't going to show you how.'"

I ask her about the (now infamous, for some reason) coin tosses, videos revealing chaos and/or miscounts at certain locations, charges that the election was "stolen" for Hillary Clinton and much more, including Donald Trump's charge that Ted Cruz "stole" the election from him and that it amounted to "voter fraud".

"They call everything voter fraud!," Harris tells me. "It's so odd! Even Trump is claiming that when one of the candidates spreads some gossip that wasn't true about another candidate, that that was voter fraud! How is this voter fraud? Can we just call it was it is, which is a problem with election integrity, or in some cases election tampering. But it's not about the voters. Why are we pointing fingers at the most idealistic level, the voters?"

We go on to discuss worries about the even less transparent New Hampshire Primary, where most of the state still uses the same Diebold paper ballot optical-scan computer systems to tally votes that were seen flipping a mock election in HBO's Emmy-nominated 2006 documentary Hacking Democracy. (Watch how it was done right here, and feel free to be concerned when the 100% unverified results are reported next Tuesday night.)

Among the recommendations Harris offers for those concerned about Election Integrity next week (and for the rest of the year, frankly): "One thing I think is really important --- is for people to get out their mobile phones, take a picture of the results at the polling place [at the end of the night] and they can text it to themselves, to a friend, put 'em on Facebook, Tweet it." She says that puts a timestamp on the graphic image of results as they were produced by computers at the precinct, which can later be compared to the results reported by the state on the web. "I think that's one thing that's pretty important this time. Just photograph the paperwork. It's not hard. Ship it off electronically somewhere, which will automatically timestamp it."

That's particularly important in places like New Hampshire where, she explains, the state "very quietly, and actually wrongfully, passed a law in 2003 so that we cannot go back and look at [paper ballots after the election] ... In New Hampshire, they put an amendment on an unrelated bill, the dark of night, and quietly said 'ballots are not a public record anymore'. So while they may say, 'we have ballots and anyone can look', that's not true. I tried."

Finally, we discuss another heartbreaking loss this week to the Election Integrity community. Last night, we lost Riverside County, California's longtime EI champion, Tom Courbat. A Vietnam-era vet stationed in South Korea, Tom heroically battled multiple myeloma related to Agent Orange exposure for years. As I note on today's show, I spoke with Tom on the phone several times throughout those years about EI issues, even when he was literally in the hospital receiving chemo therapy.

Tom appeared on air with me on a number of occasions over the years, and was often an important source for many blockbuster stories here at The BRAD BLOG. (For example, the 2006 discovery of the infamous "Yellow Button" on the back of Sequoia touch-screen systems that allow voters to cast as many votes as they like until physically restrained from doing so; the 2007 "hack" challenge to the cowardly Riverside County Board of Supervisors who fought in favor of 100% unverifiable voting systems; the blocked recount of CA's anti-GMO initiative, Prop 37, in 2013; And the 2013 law he successfully shepherded through the CA legislature to require that counties release election results in downloadable formats; Those are just some of the reasons why, in 2007, we called Tom a "Hero of Democracy" who is "one of many such quiet, and usually unrecognized, heroes around the country, to whom our nation owes a debt of gratitude which can never be adequately repaid.")

Rest in peace, my friend. You deserve it. I miss you already, but will always remain inspired by you...

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

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