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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, August 21, 2014
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and His Bill to Stop Police Militarization:
KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Brad...
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Oregon nixes coal export facility; July 2014 4th hottest; Fracking industry illegally using diesel fuel, threatening water; PLUS GOP officials secretly accept climate science...
Previous GNRs: 8/14/14 - 8/12/14 - Archives...
Yes, Elections Still Matter: Brad on 'David Pakman Show'
With so many corrupt, corporatist politicians, even on the Democratic side, does voting and fighting voter suppression still even matter?...
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Historic storms, floods from NE to MI to NY, as CA breaks more heat records; China dumping coal, breaking solar records; PLUS: Jimmy Carter slams climate-denying 'nutcases'...
Previous GNRs: 8/12/14 - 8/5/14 - Archives...
News Summer from Hell Continues:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Peace activist and author David Swanson joins Brad to explain why using military force in Iraq, even to stop a genocide, is a terrible idea. PLUS: Much more...
Journalists Now Being Arrested in Ferguson
Reporters pulled out of a McDonald's by militarized police while covering protests of police killing of Michael Brown. Freedom-fighting 'Tea Party' 'patriots' still AWOL...
'Green News Report' 8/12/14
Is weather now more extreme?; ExxonMobil begins drilling with Russia in the Arctic; Methane rising; PLUS: U.S. underestimated Keystone XL emissions...
CA Supremes Nix Corporate Personhood 'Advisory Measure' from 2014 Ballot
Prop 49, a CA ballot initiative calling on Congress to amend the Constitution, will not be allowed on this year's ballot after all...
SIEGELMAN JUDGE ARRESTED FOR BATTERY
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1 BILLION Votes, 31 POSSIBLE Cases of Fraud
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Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
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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...

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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...

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'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
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The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
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RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
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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...

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GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Noe remains free on bond pending his other trial --- for 48 felony counts in the rare-coin scandal!
Mike Wilkinson has the goods at the Toledo Blade
By Winter Patriot on 9/12/2006 8:14pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Regular BRAD BLOG readers will know that Thomas Noe has been in big trouble for a long time. As reported previously on these pages, the former head of the Lucas County, OH GOP and a "Pioneer" level (responsible for more than $100,000 in contributions) fundraiser for Bush/Cheney '04, pled guilty to three charges including funnelling more than $45,000 in illegal contributions to the Bush/Cheney re-election effort in Ohio. Noe's wife, Bernadette, was the head of the Lucas County board of elections and was forced to step down after "irregularities" were found in their management of the 2004 election. Some of those points are discussed in Bobby Kennedy's Rolling Stone article on the gaming of the 2004 election.

Today we got the first meaningful indication of how much time Tom Noe is going to spend in prison. The Toledo Blade has very good coverage, and more than I can quote here. So hurrry on over and get yourself some of this: Noe gets 27 months in federal prison for illegal Bush contributions

Tom Noe, the GOP fund-raiser at the heart of Ohio's biggest political scandal in a generation, was sentenced today to 27 months in a federal prison for illegally funneling money into President Bush’s re-election campaign.

U.S. District Court Judge David Katz also ordered Noe to pay $136,200 in fines for sending more than $45,000 into a 2003 Bush fund-raiser by using two dozen friends and associates — including several current and former local Republican elected officials — in violation of federal election laws.

Noe, 52, remains free on bond until the conclusion of his trial next month on 48 felony counts in state court related to allegations that he stole millions from a $50 million rare-coin fund that he managed for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

Noe, a former Maumee rare-coin dealer whose large donations made him a powerful political figure, apologized in court for the scheme to give friends money to donate to Bush to fulfill his promise to generate $50,000 for a presidential fund-raiser.

Noe said he arranged the scheme because “in 2003 I was pressured by Bush-Cheney officials to become a Pioneer,” a name the campaign gives to people who raise $100,000.

It's an incredible tale in the American-dream mold: rags-to-riches-to-prison!
And Mike Wilkinson has done a fine job on the story so I really want you to read it all.

But I can't resist this bit:

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

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By John Gideon on 9/1/2006 7:54pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Tonight we had two segments on voting issues. The first on the lawsuit in Ohio against Ken Blackwell, will help to ensure the 2004 voting records are saved for longer than may be the whim of Blackwell. The suit also asks that Blackwell be removed from the ability to oversee his own election for governor. Also HR-550 is discussed by Congressman Rush Holt and a representative of Election Science Institute.
Note: While they reported that the bill has 159 co-sponsors the number is actually 211 or 209 when you discount one co-sponsor who is now a Senator and the District of Columbia delegate who has no real vote.

The text-transcript of tonight's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

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

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By Winter Patriot on 8/31/2006 1:20pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Today's New York Times has a front-page article called Ohio to Delay Destruction of Presidential Ballots, which starts like this:

With paper ballots from the 2004 presidential election in Ohio scheduled to be destroyed next week, the secretary of state in Columbus, under pressure from critics, said yesterday that he would move to delay the destruction at least for several months.

The article gets around to mentioning the secretary of state in Columbus by name, but it never quite manages to point out that in addition to supervising the electoral process, Kenneth Blackwell co-chaired the Bush/Cheney '04 Ohio campaign.

Can the NYT spell "conflict of interest"?

Since the election, questions have been raised about how votes were tallied in Ohio, a battleground state that helped deliver the election to President Bush over Senator John Kerry.

The critics, including an independent candidate for governor and a team of statisticians and lawyers, say preliminary results from their ballot inspections show signs of more widespread irregularities than previously known.

The critics say the ballots should be saved pending an investigation. They also say the secretary of state’s proposal to delay the destruction does not go far enough, and they intend to sue to preserve the ballots.

More widespread irregularities than previously known? Yikes! We already knew so much!

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

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No, Not Diebold, But the Election Sciences Institute... To Whom They Paid More than $300,000 to Tell Them What Went Wrong in Their Recent Primary
Diebold & the County Call for Federally Certified Inspectors from Now On...Never Mind That There Aren't Any!
By John Gideon on 8/24/2006 7:00am PT  

Guest Blogged By John Gideon

Election Science Institute (ESI) of San Francisco, California was paid $341,000 by Cuyahoga Co., OH to investigate why the county had so many problems with their voting system in the May 2006 election. Were the problems really all human or were the machines at fault? ESI finally issued a report last week that had plenty of blame to go around between poll worker training problems to voting machines that could not add votes, counting devices that didn't match up on the same machine and, in several cases, machines that registered no votes at all.

Of course Diebold Elections Systems Inc. immediately denied that there were any voting machine problems at all as they blamed all problems on voters, poll workers, and election administrators. As reported earlier on The BRAD BLOG, Diebold also received nearly instantaneous assistance from "outside" sources who obfuscated in their reporting of the problems, singling out the issues concerning the voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) and ignoring everything else that was in the report.

Now county elections officials seem to have decided that they don't like the results from the investigation they paid for, as done by ESI, so they are throwing ESI under the bus while they run to defend Diebold. Suprised? Apparently they don't want to have to explain why they spent millions of dollars for a voting system that is flawed. Or perhaps Diebold applied pressure to their partners in crime at the Cuyahoga Board of Elections.

In either case, Columbus Dispatch reported yesterday morning that Diebold and the County have worked everything out, and it's all just fine after all...

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

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'Experts' Ignore All But a Few Pages of a 240-Page Report
By John Gideon on 8/23/2006 9:31am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Election Science Institute (ESI) of San Francisco California was hired to investigate and report on problems with the May primary election in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The 240-page report was just released this month (August), and some in the elections community have ignored a large majority of the report and zeroed in on a single aspect that supports their thesis that voters don't need any paper, even when voting on a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine.

Daniel Tokaji is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law and the Associate Director of Election Law at Moritz. He has testified against a voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) to a US House committee and the Election Assistance Commission..

In his paper on the ESI report, Tokaji ignores many significant findings of the report and distorts the overall findings by highlighting only the compromised VVPAT. As pointed out by VotersUnite.Org in their analysis of the ESI report, there was much more substance from ESI than just VVPAT printer problems:

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

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They're looking for a few facts about electronic voting, Diebold, and such
Do we have any we can share?
By Winter Patriot on 8/18/2006 7:53am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Regular BRAD BLOG readers will remember reading about Election Science Institute (ESI) and the report they prepared on the May 2 primary in Cuyahoga (Cleveland) County, because John Gideon blogged about it on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, at the Columbus Dispatch, Public Affairs reporter Mark Niquette and Senior editor Joe Hallett wrote about it too: Cleveland study questions accuracy of Diebold voting machines.

We have a few excerpts below the fold. We also have another piece, written by Mr. Niquette, which appeared on the front page of the Dispatch on Thursday, and in which the Dispatch asked for comments from readers.

I think Mr. Niquette and Mr. Hallett and their colleagues should hear from 6 or 7 green-and-yellow bloggers.

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

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Scientific Report Commissioned by County says Numbers Don't Match Up: 'The current election system, if left unchanged, contains significant threats'
OH Sec. of State's Response: 'The machines work. There is nothing wrong with the machines.'
By John Gideon on 8/16/2006 5:22pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Tonight Lou revisits the world of electronic voting in Ohio, where the evidence points to voting machine problems, but the vendors, especially Diebold, and the state want everyone to believe that the poll and election workers are just too dumb to do the work and all of the problems are their fault. For more on this story see the recent BRAD BLOG article regarding the Cuyahoga County investigation.

Here's a quick sample from the text transcript:

PILGRIM: The report found the machine's four sources of vote totals, individual ballots, paper trail summary, election archives, and the memory cards, did not all match up. The totals were all different.

The report concludes, "These shortcomings merit urgent attention. Relying on the system in its present state should be viewed as a calculated risk."

But the secretary of state of Ohio, Kenneth Blackwell, is still in denial. His office saying today, "The machines work. There is nothing wrong with the machines."

That is not what the report concludes.


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

The text-transcript of tonight's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

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

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Report Done For Cuyahoga Co. Ohio Finds The System May Be Unrepairable Before Nov. 2008
By John Gideon on 8/16/2006 11:03am PT  

Election Science Institute (ESI), a San Francisco based non-profit, was contracted for $341,000 to do a complete study of the May 2 primary in Cuyahoga (Cleveland) County. The study was just released to the public and it is another scathing report against Diebold and their voting machines.

Ohio requires a voter verified paper audit trail printer on every Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that ESI found:

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

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Salon's Election Integrity Coverage Takes A Turn For The Better
but it couldn't have got much worse!
By Winter Patriot on 8/15/2006 7:55pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Art Levine's new piece at Salon raises their election integrity bar quite a bit --- not a difficult task considering where that bar has been lately.

Prior to the 2004 "election", Salon's coverage was generally quite good; since then it's been dismal, thanks mostly to some outrageous smear pieces from Farhad Manjoo. In fact, Salon's coverage has been so dreadful that the site has been referred to in some quarters as "Saloon", which of course rhymes with "buffoon", which gives me a good way to remember "Manjoo", whose name just wouldn't stick in my frozen brain any other way.

But let's not dwell on those sad times.

Levine's article, "Salon's shameful six", looks at six states --- Arizona, Indiana, California, Missouri, Ohio and Florida --- where vote suppression could cause serious problems in 2006.

If you're not a Salon subscriber, you'll have to watch a short ad to read the whole article. I did; it was well worth the time and effort. But just in case you don't believe me, we have a few short excerpts, below the fold.

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

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Had Vowed To Fight On, Even If Indicted; Now Says He's Quitting For The Good Of His Family
Flip-Flopper?? ... In the meantime, with DeLay and Ney gone, Tom Feeney is the only remaining congressman to have accompanied Jack Abramoff to Scotland!
By Winter Patriot on 8/7/2006 9:57am PT  



Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

According to ABC News and AP: Bob Ney Won't Seek Re-Election

COLUMBUS, Ohio Aug 7, 2006 (AP)— U.S. Rep. Bob Ney, dogged by an influence peddling probe in Washington, will not seek re-election, state Sen. Joy Padgett said early Monday.

AP writer Joe Danborn has some other details, including:

The six-term congressman from Heath in central Ohio had insisted he would not resign even if indicted over his dealings with now-convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In his first primary test in a decade, Ney won 68 percent of the vote May 2 against a little-known opponent.

However, he faced a tough challenge in November from Democrat Zack Space, who had made the Justice Department's investigation into Ney a focus of his campaign.

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review has more, including some quotes from an exclusive interview with Ney: Ney drops out of fall race

Ney has not been charged with a crime, and he insists he did nothing wrong. But his former chief of staff, Neil Volz, who left to join Abramoff's team, pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to use gifts and trips to influence Ney's official activities. Volz said he and other Abramoff associates provided Ney and members of his staff with free or reduced-price trips to England, Scotland and the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Ariz.

Who went on that trip to Scotland? Let's see ...

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

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By John Gideon on 7/28/2006 9:07am PT  

Dobbs has this to say (tongue in cheek) when talking about Diebold's denial of any problems while there is evidence of vote tallying problems, "A minor, minor consideration when one is holding an election is to be able to count the vote."

A written transcript follows...


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

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

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Just Published Report Condemns The Election Director and His Top Assistant
County Elections Board Decides, On a 2 To 2 Vote, To Keep The Director In His Job
By John Gideon on 7/21/2006 8:46pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

According to an article in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer the recent Cuyahoga County primary fiasco was the result of widespread dysfunction in the county's election offices, where officials ignored specific warnings of the looming calamity, according to a report also released today that blames election chief Michael Vu and deputy chief Gwen Dillingham.

According to the paper:

In the 394-page report, a three-member panel concludes its investigation of the flawed May 2 primary with descriptions of breakdown after breakdown at every level of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. The problems included poorly trained poll workers, too few workers, the rehiring of poll workers with histories of poor performance, a lack of crucial supplies, error-filled and ambiguous manuals for poll workers, a careless or reckless disregard for security of the voting machines, and the refusal to accept help from outsiders with expertise.

The dysfunction was made worse by a rushed changeover from punch-card voting to electronic machines.

"Director Vu and [Deputy Director] Dillingham effectively ordered workers to do the impossible, or nearly impossible, with inadequate resources," the report says. "This is an across-the-board failure to plan and manage the first countywide endeavor in electronic voting."

The panel found that even when presented with 13 warnings of potential crises four months before the election, Vu forged ahead. In June, after most of the 13 predicted problems came to pass, Vu "had yet to grasp the enormity of the issues. . . . During a recent interview with panel members he said, "There's not much that I would change at all."

In a companion article the Plain Dealer reports on the 13 warnings and gives some examples:

Scanning machines might be unable to read thousands of absentee ballots.

Votng machine memory cards might not get to the election headquarters for counting.

Election workers might be unable to operate the machines.

Vu's system for counting votes might break down.

All of that came to pass.

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

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Tape of Live Appearance Discussing Election Integrity, Ohio 2004, E-Voting Crime 2006...
By David Edwards on 7/20/2006 7:42pm PT  


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

NOTE FROM BRAD: I'm still out on the road, will be for a while, and thus unable to check into the net with much frequency! Not getting all of my email either because of it, so my apologies. Thanks Dave for getting this up! More when I am able to check back in from a location with net access and enough time to get caught up-ish.

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Devasting Video Editorial on the 'Unprecedented Scandal Threating to Turn us into a Banana Republic'
'If we are willing to send troops around the world to secure freedom at the ballot box, shouldn't we fight for that right here at home?'
By Brad Friedman on 7/7/2006 4:52pm PT  

I missed this a week or so ago when it originally aired, but caught it just now (hat tip Mary Macelveen).

Catherine Crier offered a devasting editorial recently on Court TV in regard to election integrity. Her piece was spurred by RFK's Jr.'s Rolling Stone exposé on the theft of the '04 Presidential Election, but covers a panoply of current threats to our electoral system --- described as "a full frontal attack on Democracy" --- including guys like Ohio's J. Kenneth Blackwell, convicted RNC/White House phone-jammer James Tobin and the Electronic Voting Machine Menace of Diebold and other private companies who have usurped our public election system.

Links to the highly-recommended video editorial titled "Defending Democracy: Can we promote democracy in Iraq while our own is under attack?" are at the bottom of this article, courtesy of David Edwards.

Here's a selection of extremely choice quotes from Crier's report...

Is this not an attack on Democracy? If 357,000 Americans were killed by al Qaeda, we would call that an attack on democracy and freedom. The press would headline such an event and it would shape our policies for decades to come. In a democracy, when 357,000 votes are effectively killed at the voting booth, what do you call it?
...
The national character of this scandal is unprecedented and threatens to turn us into little more than a banana republic, where candidates appear on the ballot in name only because the election has already been determined.

If we are willing to send our troops around the world to secure freedom at the ballot box for others, shouldn't we fight for that right here at home?

Partisanship has no place in this battle. For the sake of democracy...for the sake of America...it is time all citizens demand the sanctity of our election process.

With the November elections almost upon us, we haven't a moment to lose.

It looks like American democracy has yet another new champion in the mainstream media!


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

...CONTACT...
Email: Crier Live

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HAVA Author, Abramoff Buddy, Diebold's Best Friend in Congress, Apparently in Dieb Dieb Doo Doo...
By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2006 7:38pm PT  

Just one of the many recent, yet notable, items I was unable to cover over the past week...

On Thursday, Roll Call reported that all three of the major staffers for Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), the lead author/co-sponsor of the disastrous Help America Vote Act (HAVA), are running for the hills.

The departures are described as "the latest sign that Ney’s legal and ethical troubles stemming from the Jack Abramoff scandal are growing worse with each passing day."

Josh Marshall covered the exits of his "troika" --- his Chief of Staff, Legislative Director and Communications Director --- all scramming on the same day.

We first referred to Ney as "the soon-to-be-indicted" back in January when we published our exposé connecting the dots between Ney, Abramoff, Diebold, HAVA and Ney's even-more-former chief of staff, David DiStefano, who became Diebold's main congressional lobbyist. That exposé has been wholly ignored by the mainstream media ever since. (Except for Matt Taibbi who referenced the info, but without attribution, in an April Rolling Stone piece on Abramoff.)

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