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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, December 22, 2014
'Green News Report' 12/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Nothin' but good news for a change! - NY bans fracking!; Obama protects AK's Bristol Bay!; PLUS: More indictments for 'Freedom Industries' in WV toxic chemical spill!...
Previous GNRs: 12/16/14 - 12/11/14 - Archives...
Brad on Hartmann Radio: Wrapping Up a Few More Election 2014 Races
Yes, some of us are still paying attention.
Plus: A BRAD BLOG 'Programming Note'...
'Green News Report' 12/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Congress wraps for year w/ GOP anti-enviro initiatives to be signed by Prez; UN summit wraps up in Peru - ALL nations are in for Paris; PLUS: Another Bush, another climate denier...
Previous GNRs: 12/11/14 - 12/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg Editors Refuse to Correct Inaccurate, Misleading Photo ID Editorial
Read the 'mind-boggling' responses to BRAD BLOG's emailed explanation of blatant errors and inaccuracies in Francis Barry's op-ed...
Proponents of Oregon GMO Measure 92 Concede Defeat
Adverse court ruling, barring inclusion of 4,600 rejected ballots, signals end of road (for now) of state's most expensive campaign, decided by just 800 votes out of 1.5 million cast...
'Green News Report' 12/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP anti-enviro wish list in "Cromnibus" bill; Crunch time at UN climate talks; Calls for an end to fossil fuels; Australia goaded into action; PLUS: CEO indicted for WV chemical spill...
Previous GNRs: 12/9/14 - 12/4/14 - Archives...
The Clint Curtis Story, Ten Years Later: A KPFK 'BradCast' Special Edition
It's been 10 years since we broke the whistleblower's claim about vote-rigging software, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and more. So it seemed a good time to catch up with him...
SOLVED: Mystery that Flipped Maine Senate Election!
21 'phantom ballots' flipped the results of a Nov. 4th state Senate election from D to R. But a dramatic turn of events and hand-counted paper ballots have now resolved the mystery...
'Green News Report' 12/9/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into record books; Doesn't look good for KXL, if Obama on Colbert Report can be believed; PLUS: Rich v. Poor divisions stall UN climate talks...
Previous GNRs: 12/4/14 - 12/2/14 - Archives...
Bad News for Fox 'News' Viewers: 'Fox & Friends' Calls for Voter Literacy Tests
If they had to pass a test on American history and government, Fox 'News' viewers, as studies show, would be in big, big trouble...
Thousands of Ballots Excluded from Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure 'Recount'
Proponents charge interference by out-of-state corporate opponents, state's failure to count legal ballots due to 'signature problems'...
NC Repubs Trying to Run-Out Clock on Voter Suppression Lawsuit (Again)?
Plaintiffs charge state attempt to reschedule next summer's federal trial 'unsupportable', 'disingenuous'...
'Green News Report' 12/4/14
Biggest German utility spins off fossil fuel assets; Fossil fuel biz running scared? FL punishes homeowners for not polluting; PLUS: MSNBC's Big Coal infomercial...
House Judiciary Letter Suggests Impeachment for Wife-Beating Judge
Bi-partisan congressmen seek update from 11th Circuit Court, cite potential impeachment of Judge Mark Fuller...
'Green News Report' 12/2/14
New UN summit underway; Record rain, drought in CA; Global cost of falling oil prices; PLUS: Legacy of world's worst industrial disaster, 30 years later...
'Recount', Concerns in AZ U.S. House Race
Razor-thin computer-reported margin, failed paper-ballot tabulators, untallied provisionals, terrible 'recount' rules leave Barber-McSally contest in AZ-2 unsettled...
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seems'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in tiny Maine town, reverse results of very close state contest...
'Recount' for Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank's dire warning...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting
A few thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice in the killing of Michael Brown...
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...


After Two Years, the Qui Tam Suit Against Hart InterCivic, Brought by Whistleblower William Singer with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mike Papantonio, May Proceed After DoJ Declines to Join Case
Download the Full Complaint here...
By Brad Friedman on 3/27/2008 2:50pm PT  

"The most serious thing any software company can do is not fully test its products," William Singer told The BRAD BLOG this afternoon about the federal fraud case he filed nearly two years ago, which has finally been unsealed by a judge as of today.

"To release a product for important purposes that has not been tested at all is quite shocking, I would say. Especially since it indicates that nobody can predict what, when, or how it might fail," Singer explained about the e-voting systems made by Hart InterCivic, for which he worked as a technician several years ago. "It would make a mockery of any certification."

Despite having some direct involvement in the case from the beginning, The BRAD BLOG has been unable to report any details on it for going on two years --- we haven't even been able to offer the names of the plaintiff or defendant in the case --- since originally reporting that it had been filed in federal court, due to the fact that it was under seal, waiting for the U.S. Attorney General to decide whether the DoJ would join the suit or not.

Singer's suit is the fraud case which originally made waves when it was first filed two years ago, with the aid of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Florida attorney Mike Papantonio, until it then went "underground" due to the legally mandated seal disallowing the plaintiff and his attorneys from offering any specific details to the public.

As AP reported today, the seal on that federal qui tam (fraud, false claims) complaint, brought on behalf of the United States by Singer against Hart, one of the big four American voting machines companies, has now been lifted, and the case may finally proceed as originally filed.

The BRAD BLOG has obtained the complete complaint and the judge's order lifting the seal...

• The full complaint may be downloaded here [PDF, 45 pages].
• The judge's order unsealing the case as of last night is here [PDF, 2 pages]

The second page of the complaint, which we are still plowing through, sets the initial grounding for the case...

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

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Checking 'Paper Trail' Receipts Against Touch-Screen Numbers, However, May Offer Deceptive Findings
ALSO: Random Audit Must Actually be Random This Time...
By Brad Friedman on 3/25/2008 12:35pm PT  

Ohio's Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is planning "a first-of-its-kind audit of votes from the March 4 presidential primaries, saying the outcome should help ensure the integrity of future elections," according to a report this morning from the Columbus Dispatch.

"Brunner is calling on 11 counties to volunteer for the audit, in which at least 7 percent of the votes cast in each county would be rechecked by hand," the paper reports.

That's good. But there are a couple of points that we hope she is well aware of, since such post-election audits can offer a deceptive result in a number of cases...especially on touch-screen machines...and especially in Ohio...

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

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FBI: 'There was no information given to Warren County of an imminent terrorist threat to that county or to Southern Ohio'
Kerry Campaign Stands by Decision to Not Challenge Election...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2008 12:56pm PT  

By Brad Friedman from Phoenix, AZ...

With more than 3,000 counties in the United States of America, only heavily Republican Warren County, Ohio --- one of the last to report election results in the Buckeye State that night --- took action on Election Night 2004 to lock out members of the public and the media from their tabulation room.

The president of the county's Board of Commissioners claimed at the time that during a "face-to-face meeting between the FBI and our director of emergency services we were informed that on a scale from one to 10...Warren County in particular was rated at 10, 10 being the top highest risk."

Nobody, however, in Warren County has ever named the supposed FBI official who gave the warning, and to this day, the director of the county's Department of Emergency Services, Frank R. Young, will not reveal the name of the official with whom he claims he spoke, even as the FBI maintains "there was no information given to Warren County of an imminent terrorist threat to that county or to Southern Ohio," and that "None of our agents...advised of any type of any terrorist threat or anything like that."

Additionally, no one has ever been held accountable for what happened.

During The BRAD BLOG's exclusive interview last December with Ohio's new Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, she was asked about the infamous Warren County Lockdown and encouraged to investigate the matter to ensure something similar would not be allowed to occur during the 2008 election. She noted that she was still "troubled" by the '04 incident and "[couldn't] find any justification for it."

"We'll look again at that situation and see what the best course of action is to prevent it from happening in the future," she promised at the time.

The Cincinnati Enquirer picked up on that section of our interview at the time, and now, going on four years since the Lockdown occurred --- first reported by The BRAD BLOG on November 8, 2004 --- a mainstream corporate media outlet has finally taken the issue seriously enough to devote some resources to a legitimate investigation.

Jon Craig's investigative report in Sunday's Cincinnati Enquirer notes: "Among those locked out were an Enquirer reporter, a TV reporter, and a stringer from the Associated Press." He goes on to report that "(t)he AP had stringers at all 88 boards of elections, and only in Warren County were they not allowed in."

Despite a misleading summary early in Craig's article, asserting the paper has "learned...A casual conversation about terrorism between the county emergency services director and a friendly FBI agent in a parking lot may have been the final trigger for the lockdown," what's clear is that to this day, no one from the FBI has ever come forward to substantiate Young's claims. Even today, while Young is taking responsibility for recommending the lockdown, he's sticking to his story that it was his conversation with an FBI official --- whom he still refuses to name --- that led him to his decision.

Both the FBI and the Warren County Sheriff tell Craig that Young's claims, essentially, are complete bullshit...

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

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...and Other Quick Election Integrity Items of Note...
UPDATE: Dem Wins Hastert's Seat, Time to Impound Those Machines!
By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2008 2:34pm PT  

Another Election Day, another Diebold election "failure" or two.

And a few other quick Election Integrity items of note as I try to get outta here today to head to Arizona where I'll be appearing next week at Q&A's for a couple of Uncounted screenings. (See the "Media Appearances" box on top-right for details, if you're in Phoenix or Tuscon, or thereabouts!)...

  • In Illinois today, they are holding an election to replace Denny Hastert. On the Diebold touch-screen machines used by the hopelessly partisan Republican DuPage County Election Commission, the word "REPUBLICAN" is popping on to the screen, such that some precincts have reportedly taken to placing tape over the screen where that occurs. The DuPage board is extraordinarily slimy, hopelessly corrupt, overtly willing to break the law, have hired Republican operatives to do "PR" for them (both overtly and covertly), and have recently launched an all out effort, with the help of their corrupt friends in the local media, to to swiftboat the non-partisan citizen Election Integrity advocate citizen volunteers of the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project (IBIP).
  • Nothing illegal about Republicanists dutifully following Rush's orders to cross over to the Dem side in order to vote for Hillary in the recent Ohio Primary. Or is there?
  • Diebold op-scan machines cause more trouble than they're worth. Again. This time in Vermont. And perhaps to the advantage of a Democrat over a Republican for a change. Someone needs to be fired for that.
  • 0 Republican votes recorded in 21 Texas counties during last week's Primaries? Yes. But here's why.

Backatcha from the road (see below if you feel like helping us with some gas money! We could much use it!)...

UPDATE FROM THE ROAD, FROM SOME MOTEL 6 SOMEWHERE... The Democratic candidate, Bill Foster has been announced as the winner of Hastert's once formidable seat (yes, pun intended.) Good. Now it's time to impound those machines and memory cards from DuPage County immediately. Both the machines that flashed "REPUBLICAN" and those that didn't need to be impounded by the AG, so they can be tested to find out what happened and why it happened.

And because the Dem candidate won, Election Integrity advocates can't be labeled as "sore losers" for taking this action immediately. Hopefully the good folks at IBIP will take swift action. Lord knows the DuPage County Election Commission won't.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Related. It looks like Foster's Democratic Primary Election opponent, John Laesch is asking for a recount of the February primary. Haven't gotten to speak to him or his camp, so not familiar with what the issues of concern are yet, but thought I'd drop a quick link here to put it on your radar. The BRAD BLOG, of course, supports any and all recount requests deemed necessary by any candidates or their supporters who feel they need to find confidence in any given election results, particularly as we currently --- and absurdly --- use so many non-transparent, wholly faith-based voting systems which have robbed the country of the ability to have the oversight needed to ensure confidence in our democratic system.

Please support The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive and our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available for new contributors!
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'40-50 People in Line...4 of 8 Machines Not Working...Poll Workers Didn't Offer Paper Ballots...Get Rid of These Diebold Machines and Get Something That Works!' Declares one Buckeye Voter
Switch to Paper Ballots Reportedly Going 'Exceptionally Well' in Cuyahoga (Cleveland), So Far, According to New Election Director...
By Brad Friedman on 3/4/2008 3:41pm PT  

The ever-necessary caveat: Most problems and failures with election systems don't fully begin to reveal themselves until the night of, and, more often, the days and weeks following the elections.

That said, this from RAW STORY's compilation article of various reports of trouble so far today, coming out of Ohio...

In southwest Ohio, the Dayton Daily News was collecting voters' tales from the voting booths on Tuesday. Most voters reported a pleasant experience, although some trouble persisted.

"About 40-50 people in line and 1 of the voting machine were down," one commenter wrote. "Waited to 7:00 AM and the line didn’t move 3 more machine went down, now 4 0f the 8 machine not working. The poll worker didn’t offer paper ballot and seemed overhelmed by the process. Let get rid of these Diebold machines and get something that works! I will be back tonite to vote, hope the machines are working by then."

"The district I am in had a line the full length of the gymnasium and there were 4 voting machines down that had been report[ed] 1 1/2 [sic] before but no one had been there to look at [them]," said a commenter from Beavercreek, Ohio. "I talked to several people in line, and everyone seemed to be enthusiastic."

On the other hand, for some good news --- at least for now --- Cuyahoga County (Cleveland)'s new Election Director Jane Platten reports that things were going well there so far today, in the county which has been the center of much controversy for a number of reasons, not the least of which was its recent switch from Diebold touch-screen machines to paper ballots to be scanned at the county by ES&S machines. As of noon today, Platten said things were going "exceptionally good" and that all precincts had been able to open on time. For a change.

In Dayton's Montgomery County, where the report of Diebold touch-screen machine failures above comes from, things are not going quite as well...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2008 9:40pm PT  

Hannity & Colmes' guest lineup tonight, there to give us the inside skinny on tomorrow's "do or die" Democratic Primaries in Ohio and Texas on "America's Election HQ"...

Yup. Rove, Coulter, Morris, and Luntz. Guess they're needed to add balance to the Democratic powerhouse that is Alan Colmes?

BRAD BLOG FLASHBACK: Long time readers may remember the guest lineup announced for H&C's 2004 Presidential Election Eve show, as we reported at the time...

ON THE RIGHT: Karl Rove, Dick Morris, William Weld (UPDATE!) Jeb Bush just added!!!
ON THE LEFT: Bill Richardson

We ran an email campaign back then, haranguing them to add at least something resembling balance, which they eventually did by dumping Weld and adding Terry McAuliffe. Even though the clever little liars at Fox "News" still managed to figure out how to tilt it Right anyway.

Please support The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive and our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available for new contributors!
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UPDATE: Third Test Attempt a Success for New Op-Scan Machines in State's Most Populous County...
By Brad Friedman on 2/29/2008 4:36pm PT  

Bad news and/or good news, depending on how you wish to look at it...

First this...

POSTED: 5:06 pm EST February 29, 2008
UPDATED: 5:22 pm EST February 29, 2008

CLEVELAND --- The first public tests of the new optical scanners at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections have failed.

Chief Investigator Duane Pohlman reported that the board ran two tests of the scanners on Friday, and during both tests, the computer repeatedly showed an error message.

Followed by this reassuring(?) update to the same article, posted 57 minutes later...

POSTED: 5:06 pm EST February 29, 2008
UPDATED: 6:19 pm EST February 29, 2008

CLEVELAND --- The third time was the charm for pretest of the new optical ballot scanners at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

Chief Investigator Duane Pohlman reported that the board ran two tests of the scanners on Friday, and during both tests, the computer repeatedly showed an error message.

However, a third test ran successfully.

The Board of Elections said previous tests of the scanners were successful, and officials do not know why the scanners did not initially read the ballots.

Pohlman reported that the BOE is looking into possibly having a batch of bad disks.

Friday's tests were public pretests that are required by law.

Why must it always come down to Ohio?

Please support The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive and our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available for new contributors!
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30-Year Summit County Republican Boss Alex Arshinkoff Latest in Series of Ohio Election Officials to Face Reprimand, Criminal Charges
'Ran Local GOP Machine Out of Election Board Office,' Says Democrat SoS Brunner; 'Abused Power, Position, Employees,' Says Republican State Senator Vying for Party Chair...
By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2008 8:04pm PT  

Breaking late tonight on the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's blog comes news that the Summit County, Ohio, Republican Party Chair, Alex Arshinkoff, is being removed from his position on the county Elections Board by Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

According to the report, Boss Arshinkoff has been running the party machine out of the county election office, which even Republican State Senator Kevin Coughlin --- who is currently the first to vie for Arshinkoff's job as party chairman during his 30-year reign --- says has led to his having "abused his power...abused his position [and his having] abused employees at the board to strengthen his grip on the local party apparatus."

Arshinkoff becomes the latest in a series of Board of Elections officials who served under former Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell to face either criminal sentences or disciplinary action since Brunner has taken office.

Writes Michael O'Malley and Laura Johnston at the P-D tonight...

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

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Legislative Restrictions Found Unconstitutional...
By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2008 8:05pm PT  

The good guys win one for a change, in the never-ending battle against those who don't want you to vote.

This time, it was the Blackwellian Republican legislature of Ohio which got slapped down by a federal judge who found their 2006 restrictions on voter registration drives to be unconstitutional.

John Michael Spinelli has the details...

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Sources Suggest John Conyers May Move to Compel Testimony on Ohio Voter Suppression from Ohio Vote Suppressor J. Kenneth Blackwell...
By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2008 4:43pm PT  

Last week, Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), both of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to the former Ohio Secretary of State and Co-Chair of the state's Bush/Cheney '04 campaign committee, J. Kenneth Blackwell, inviting him to appear next week at a subcommittee oversight hearing on voter suppression issues.

To the surprise of almost nobody, Blackwell has refused the invitation to testify, claiming his "schedule [would] not permit" him to attend the hearings.

The snub, according to both the following report from Jon Craig at the Cincinnati Enquirer and additional indications given to The BRAD BLOG by a Judiciary staffer other than the one quoted by Craig, may lead to an escalation of the longtime standoff between Conyers and Blackwell. A congressional subpoena requiring an appearance by the controversial former SoS, who presided over one of the worst-run Presidential Elections in American history, may well be in the offing.

As Craig reports today at the Enquirer's political blog...

Blackwell, a Republican from Cincinnati, said he received the invitation, "however, my schedule will not permit me to attend the hearings."

Jonathan Godfrey, a Conyers spokesman, said Blackwell has not responded and could be subpoenaed if he doesn't appear voluntarily.

"I don't think it's unlikely," Godfrey said today of a subpoena.

Though our own Judiciary source spoke to the same point, if not quite as directly, the comments above from Godfrey offer an additional indication that we may be headed to a showdown.

Such a subpoena would require a majority vote of the committee, which likely wouldn't come in time for the hearings currently scheduled for next Friday, according to Craig's report.

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All Eyes on Diebold's Man in Franklin, the Dirty Matt Damschroeder...
By Brad Friedman on 1/9/2008 11:09pm PT  

Is Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner finally getting serious about accountability? This could be a good sign...

COLUMBUS, Ohio --- Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said her office is investigating the Franklin County Board of Elections for possible voting problems.

The announcement was made after Franklin County Elections Director Matthew Damschroder criticized Brunner for directing counties to print additional paper ballots for the March primary voters who don't trust electronic voting machines, NBC 4's Patrick Preston reported.

Brunner told NBC 4 on Wednesday that her office is looking into several issues within Franklin County, including ballots that did not match in the November election and voting machines that could not be audited for accuracy.

Related previous BRAD BLOG coverage of Damschroder:

  • 7/16/05: Franklin County's Damschroder 'Accepts Bribe' from Diebold Lobbyist
  • 7/20/05: Damschroder 'Docked' for Accepting $10,000 Check from Diebold Rep
  • 1/3/08: OH SoS Announces Paper Ballots for All; Damschroder Objects
  • 1/3/08: Damschroder Deputy Pleads Guilty to 'Profiting from Contracts for Voting Machines'
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    Criminal Charges Lead to Sentencing of 180 Days in Jail; Prison Time Suspended by Judge; Defendant 'Very Sorry'...
    By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2008 4:47pm PT  

    Speaking of Ohio, and Franklin County, and their corrupt election officials (such as Matt Damshroder, all noted in today's earlier piece), and the ridiculous continuing notion that we should, for some reason, trust in election officials...and the dubious symbiotic relationship they have with private election vendors...This just in from the Ohio Ethics Commission...

    FORMER BOARD OF ELECTIONS DEPUTY DIRECTOR PLEADS GUILTY

    Former Franklin County Board of Elections (Board) Deputy Director Michael Hackett plead guilty today to three Ethics charges in Franklin County Municipal Court from profiting from Board of Elections’ contracts for voting machines. Judge Ann Taylor sentenced Hackett to 180 days in jail on the three criminal offenses. Judge Taylor suspended the jail time, placing Hackett on a year’s probation, and under conditions that he perform 45 hours of community service, make $2500 restitution to Franklin County on behalf of the Board, and pay a total of $750 in fines, plus court costs. Hackett told the court that he was “very sorry” for his misconduct.

    The complete press release follows below in full...

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

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    Brunner's New Directive Also Requires Such Ballots Actually Be Counted Before Unofficial Results are Released to the Public, Media
    Concerns Remain About Centralized County Tabulation, However...
    By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2008 11:01am PT  

    Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner issued a short, unambiguous and to-the-point directive [PDF] last night, to all 56 counties in Ohio still employing unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting machines, that they must make a paper ballot available at the polling place to any voter who wishes to vote on one.

    Brava!

    Her directive even goes so far as to require those paper ballots actually be counted "on election night as part of the unofficial canvass."

    Brava again! The requirement to actually count those paper ballots before unofficial results are release to the public and media is a key component that has been missing from the various federal legislative efforts, including Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) latest bill as currently drafted, as well as his previous one (HR811), that would begin to put paper back into the polling place.

    Every state in the country should follow suit! As well, we recommend that, at the very least, Brunner issue a further directive that signs shall be conspicuously and clearly posted in each polling place to inform voters of their right to vote on paper, if they wish. Better still, a directive that requires every voter to be asked by voting officials, before they vote, if they wish to vote on paper. We have previously recommended such a "paper or plastic?" requirement for any jurisdiction in America that still allows for the use of horrible DRE systems (including those with or without a useless, so-called "paper trail").

    Until then, Democracy advocates in the Buckeye state will need to launch an important, and potentially expensive (but crucial), education campaign to inform voters of their right to vote on paper!

    With the very good general news from Brunner, let's hope she soon realizes the underlying reasons for serious concerns about, and the great dangers of, not counting and posting precinct voting results at the precinct, before they are sent back to county headquarters for central tabulation.

    Brunner's recent independent testing of Ohio's e-voting systems (known as EVEREST) led her to recommend the abolishment of all DRE systems in the state, although she did not issue a binding directive to that end. At the same time, her recommendation to ban precinct-based counting, in favor of central-based counting, has drawn a great deal of criticism from Election Integrity advocates. Rightly so, in our opinion, even if she came to her recommendation through well-meaning advice from some of the folks who advised on the study, including computer security experts, and election officials of the sort who would be inappropriately entrusted with complete control over that dangerously centralized counting process.

    (You can read our direct challenges to Brunner on that point, and her explanations for the decision, in our recent exclusive interview with her, just after the release of EVEREST.)

    One quick note to Mark Niquette and Columbus Dispatch concerning their coverage of this issue in this morning's paper...

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

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 12/30/2007 4:53pm PT  

    Worth remembering as 2008 is about to begin...


    (Hat-tip Neil Young and our buddy Brett Kimberlin of Justice Through Music and Op-Critical)

    ReddIt this story!



    Paper That Originally Reported Disturbing Matter Asks for Fresh Tips, Notes SoS Brunner Claims Concern About Situation as 2008 Elections Loom
    FLASHBACK: Details of the Warren County Lockdown as Reported in 2004...
    By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2007 3:39pm PT  

    The Cincinnati Enquirer, the paper that originally reported on the still-unresolved case of Warren County, Ohio's tabulation room lockdown on Election Night in 2004, has taken note of the comments made by OH Sec. of State, Jennifer Brunner in The BRAD BLOG's exclusive interview with her last week.

    They highlight our exchange with the Secretary, concerning the lack of investigation, by her office, or any other, into the specious "Homeland Security warning" that county officials claimed had forced them to impose an unprecedented lock out, of both the media and public, denying them the ability to observe the tabulation in the counting room on Election Night. Warren County was one of the last counties in the Buckeye State to report their results in 2004 and went overwhelmingly for George W. Bush.

    Brunner told us during our interview last week that she found the issue "troubling," and said that she still "can't find any justification for it."

    "We'll look again at that situation and see what the best course of action is to prevent it from happening in the future," she promised us.

    We argued that the best course of action is to bring accountability in order to send the message that such behavior will not be tolerated again.

    At this time, the issue remains uninvestigated, the FBI and Dept. of Homeland Security deny issuing any such warnings to Warren or any other county in Ohio, and many of the county officials responsible for the unprecedented lockdown in 2004, in violation of state law, as well as the same county prosecutor, all remain in charge as another Presidential Election is set to begin in 2008.

    Two of the Enquirer's original reports on the disturbing matter are posted here and here.

    A very quick review of the reportage at the time, naming the names of those who were complicit, and the federal agencies that denied any such threat, follows...

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

    ReddIt this story!



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