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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Records Requests Suggest Ferguson, St. Louis County Police Involved in Cover-Up
How else to explain the missing details and required documentation of Officer Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown?...
'Green News Report' 8/26/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Napa earthquake is a warning for CA's nuke plants; Another coal plant bites the dust; Cutting emissions will save $$$; PLUS: Fighting drought with a 'salmon cannon'...Yep...
Previous GNRs: 8/21/14 - 8/19/14 - Archives...
Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
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Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and Demilitarizing the Police: KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Bradto discuss his new bill...
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Rightwingers decry effort 'to register Democratic voters' following the killing of Michael Brown...
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The front page of the Post-Dispatch reminds again how ridiculous the era of post-9/11 Wars has become; Plus: another comparison to the Bundy Bunch...
'Green News Report' 8/19/14
OR nixes coal export facility; July 2014 4th hottest; Fracking industry illegally using diesel, threatening water; PLUS GOP officials secretly accept climate science...
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Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
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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
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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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...

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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...

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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


(While Election Results Themselves Continue Un-Investigated)
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2005 2:27pm PT  

The oft-cited pollster Mark Blumenthal, who writes about all matters related to polling and its methodology on his Mystery Pollster blog, has posted the results of his analysis/investigation into what he feels may have gone awry in the Columbus Dispatch polling just prior to the November 8th election in Ohio.

We've previously reported on the final results of the five initiatives on the ballot in the Buckeye State two weeks ago - four of them part of an Election Reform package --- and the "staggeringly impossible" disparities, as we described them, revealed by those results when compared to the results of the Dispatch's final pre-election polling. To catch anybody up who hasn't seen the numbers, here's one set of them:

ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No

Blumenthal deserves kudos for his serious and detailed investigation into both the Dispatch survey's "long and remarkable history of success," as he describes it, and where he feels they might have gone so astoundingly wrong this year for the very first time. He points to a few changes in the methodology for the poll; the Dispatch didn't use the precise text of the initiatives in its survey; included an "Undecided" option for the first time; an examination of the data seems to show the poll occurred at a time that the electorate was in the process of changing its opinions on the issues; and finally that many voters found the text of the actual ballot initiatives to be long and confusing leading them to take the safer vote of "No" when they were not clear about what they were actually voting for.

Where he doesn't deserve credit is in his approach which presumes from the start that there must be something wrong with the polling itself --- but not the Election Results --- to explain the unprecedented disparity between the polling and the final results of the actual election.

As a pollster himself, he surely knows that it's quite simple to construct a poll in such a way that one can get back results which match just about any pre-determined outcome an unscrupulous pollster may hope for. Similarly, as with Blumenthal's earlier efforts to examine the disparity of Exit Poll Results vs. Final Election Results in last November's Presidential Election, his approach presumes from the get-go that the polling, not the results, are incorrect...and now we just need to figure out why.

Fair enough, in general. No doubt the articles we've written about the Ohio '05 election results, as well as the one from Fitrakis and Wasserman at Free Press, tend to presume that the election results are suspect, more so than the polling or its methodology.

The difference, however, is that while we welcome the search for reasons why the Dispatch's historically accurate poll might suddenly have failed for the first time in such an unprecedented matter, we have as much or more reason to be skeptical of Ohio's Electoral System which has been documented as full of unquestionable corruption and all-sorts of top-to-bottom malfeasance. Particularly over the last year or so since the Presidential Election.

In other words: Sure, we can, and should, go looking for reasons why the Dispatch poll might have failed so mightily for the first time in its history, as others (including Blumenthal) did with the Exit Polls from November '04 which also --- just a coincidence, we know --- failed so hugely for the first time in their history. We can likely find anomalies to somewhat explain what might justify a pre-determined conclusion that Election Results are right and Pre-Election Polling must be wrong. But why would Blumenthal, or anybody else, have reason to believe that scientifically run polls with methodologies developed and honed over decades, run by pollsters with (theoretically) no dog in the hunt, should be less reliable than an Electoral System being run on newly developed, newly introduced technology employing secret software that nobody inspects for validity or integrity? All of which is run on machines which have a tremendous and documented known failure rate and are run by partisan officials with not just a stake in the outcome, but whose very livelihoods (in the case of the recent Ohio initiatives, as well as last November's election) are at stake in the final results. ...

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

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More on Ohio's Staggeringly Impossible '05 Results
The Corporate Media Continues to Not Care, But a Rightwing Blogger Finally Does...
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2005 12:16pm PT  

The Corporate Mainstream Media may not give a damn about our democracy. Neither might the bulk of our politicians on both the Left and Right side of the aisle. But clearly the citizens do, and even one rightwing blogger who has recently seen at least some of the light...

The response to our article on the "staggeringly impossible" results of last week's election in Ohio on several Election Reform initiatives which would have struck deep into the heart of far-right Republican Ohio Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has been notable to say the least.

We felt the report was notable enough that we decided to cross-post it both at BRAD BLOG and at HuffPo, where --- though it was never added to the front page as a "featured blog" --- it has already received an extraordinary 93 comments as of this posting.

To give you an idea of what that story documented, here are the numbers from just one of the four Election Reform initiatives which all ended up failing by numbers which defy reasonable explanation when compared to the historically accurate Columbus Dispatch poll, completed and published just days before the Election in the Buckeye state:

ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No

The results on that issue alone was so far askew that it was enough to give the usually dubious Mark Blumenthal of Mystery Pollster pause enough to comment, "These results had MP seriously wondering whether the pollsters or election officials had mistakenly transposed 'yes' and 'no' in their tables."

See the original post for a comparison of Polling vs Final Results for all of the initatives, but suffice to say while the one above was the most inexplicably out-of-whack, the others, with the exception of Issue 1 --- which was the only one supported by Ohio's Republican Governor and on which the Dispatch poll was virtually right on the money on "Yes" voters --- all of the initiative Final Results bring the entire election machinery in Ohio once again under deservedly fresh scrutiny.

(We'll remind you that Ohio's results in the '04 Presidential Election squeeker, where just 6 votes for Kerry instead of Bush at each precinct would have changed the entire result for the nation. And also that the results from that election remain completely suspect, largely uncounted, and never recounted according to state law even while several elections officials have either been indicted or remain under investigation for their role in gaming that fiasco...the one in the state which gave Bush enough electoral votes to claim the Presidency).

The original report we filed, discussed an article by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman of the Free Press in Columbus where they've been detailing an extraordinary amount of the election chicanery and "irregularities" under the iron-fisted rule of Blackwell, the Ohio elections arbiter and Bush/Cheney '04 Co-Chair in a state which is currently a snakepit of Republican machinery and out-and-out corruption.

Amongst the comments at both BRAD BLOG and HuffPo where the blog item was posted, a few, as expected, have knee-jerked that it must have been the Columbus Dispatch polling that was wrong, rather than the Final Results reported by the State which added brand-spankin' new, and wholly unaccountable, unrecountable, untransparent, and undemocratic Electronic Voting Machines for the first time in this election to 44 of its 88 counties. Machines which use secret software on which voters are asked to trust --- but not verify --- that their votes will be recorded accurately...or at all.

In addition to those 44 counties (41 of them using the same machines by Diebold, Inc. that the Republican Sec. of State in California recently decertified for their 20% failure rate), several other counties already use Electronic Voting Machines, and nearly all of them use electronic tabulating machines of one brand or another to count those votes.

We spoke yesterday to Fitrakis about the Dispatch poll's "historic accuracy" (which he described as "legendary" in our phone call) and about the various wingnuts who predictably presume the polling, instead of the election results, were wrong...

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

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Charged for Violating State Law in Attempt to Assure Hand Recount Wouldn't Occur
Each Face Six Counts, 18 Months in Prison
By Brad Friedman on 8/31/2005 9:45am PT  

As The BRAD BLOG has been reporting for months, the recount of the 2004 Ohio Presidential Election was gamed by Ohio elections officials and voting machine company employees who violated state laws requiring a random recount of precincts in order to determine if a hand recount of entire counties would be necessary.

Reports that county officials and voting machine companies colluded to assure the hand recount would match with the initial machine recount have been reported for months and yesterday the first indictments were handed down.

According to today's Cleveland Plain Dealer...

Two Cuyahoga County elections officials were indicted Tuesday on charges of not handling ballots correctly during the recount of the 2004 presidential election.

Kathleen Dreamer, manager of the board's ballot department, and the assistant manager, Rosie Grier, were each charged with six counts of failing to follow Ohio laws that spell out how ballots are selected and reviewed during a recount.

The most serious charges carry a maximum of 18 months in prison.

Erie County Prosecutor Kevin J. Baxter conducted the investigation at the behest of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason, who recused himself from the case because his office represents the elections board.

The charges stem from a complaint first raised last December by Toledo lawyer Richard Kerger, who watched over the recount on behalf of two third-party candidates.

Kerger charged that elections officials failed to randomly select precincts that were supposed to be counted by hand and compared against ballots tabulated by a machine; conduct test-runs before witnesses; and investigate discrepancies between vote totals.

Baxter would not offer details of his investigation but said he examined allegations that officials took "measures in order to all but assure that there would not be a countywide hand count."

Amongst the reports on this matter that The BRAD BLOG has carried since last November, is the case of Hocking County election board worker Sherole Eaton, who filed a sworn affidavit that an employee from voting machine company, Triad had offered a "cheat sheet" to her and other county officials on how the recount might be carried off to assure the entire county would not need to be recounted by hand. He also allegedly removed and restored a harddrive from the county's central tabulating machine prior to the recount, according to Eaton, also in violation of Ohio state law. Eaton is currently challenging her firing as improprer.

Ohio law calls for a random selection of 3% of a county's precincts to be carried out by hand. If that random recount doesn't match the initially reported count, a full recount of the county would then be necessary. Eaton was subsequently fired from the board after making her claim public (our BRAD SHOW interview with Eaton is here [mp3]).

As well, RAW STORY had reported last January that several recount witnesses had testified to stickers having been placed over Kerry/Edwards votes on ballots before they were fed into vote tabulators during the recount in that county. (Our BRAD SHOW interview with two of those witnesses, Stephen Spraley and Eric Gifford, is here [mp3]).

(Hat tip Ray Beckerman!)

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Even Rightwingers are Beginning to Ask Real Questions...
By Brad Friedman on 8/5/2005 1:27pm PT  

Apparently there are some brave Republicans out there who are willing to display some intellectual honesty in regards to Election Fraud. It's only the root of democracy at stake after all.

The following is from the Rightwing "Red State" blog and surprisingly asks some real questions and expresses an honest concern about what the hell may have happened in Clermont County during last Tuesday's OH-2 U.S. House Special Election race between Democrat Paul Hackett and Republican Jean Schmidt [emphasis in the original]...

While you may think Democrats cry wolf on election fraud at the drop of the hat, and I agree, suspicion of the results from Clermont County in Ohio is reasonable based on what's happened there in the last year. What am I talking about? Within the last year, in this one county, there has been; an FBI investigation, a "second draft" of voting results, and yesterday's "machine breakdown".

I am one of those "kossacks" who thinks that the election irregularities in Clermont county are not a fluke. Before you write me off as a lunatic, please just look at the following situation;

1. The FBI investigated allegations of fraud made by some involved in the vote counting process in this county in 2004.
[Link to Cincinatti Enquirer article]

2. There were also irregularities in this county in the GOP primary this year, favoring Schmidt. From the Enquirer:

"When all seven counties had reported their votes to the Hamilton County Board of Elections Tuesday night, Schmidt led McEwen by 705 votes. But when Hamilton County Elections Director John Williams came to work Wednesday morning, he found a second corrected version of Clermont County's final results on his fax machine.

The new totals increased Schmidt's lead to 2,667 votes. Williams said Clermont County officials explained to him that one of their workers accidentally marked an earlier report with the word "final'' and sent it to the Hamilton County board, where all the county reports were being collected."
[Link to Cincinatti Enquirer article]

3. The "ballot sticking" explanation may indeed be a true one; however, it does sound fishy, you have to admit. You have to ask, why was this the only county with this problem, and why did the problem only materialize halfway through the vote counting process?

4. Why did the live-updating vote counting website go down immediately before the new results were posted?

You may not think that anything fraudulent happened, but I think it's understandable that there's suspicion. Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to make clear that just because we yell "fraud" doesn't mean it's not there. I think we all agree that fraud does occur, in some places; for some reason, this one county has had three serious irregularities in the last year. I think it's obvious there's a possibility that a county in which there are 3 irregularities in the space of a year is doing something wrong.

One item not mentioned by the blogger "bed4j" in the above, is the report filed by Larisa Alexandrovna last January about affidavits from several Election workers concerning unexplaned stickers placed on ballots during the gamed and illegally conducted Ohio recount.

We're glad to see however, that more and more people are beginning to ask questions.

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10% of Screens Freeze, Printers Jam in 'Massive Mock Election Test'
Ohio Unconcerned, Sticking with Diebold
By Brad Friedman on 7/29/2005 1:00pm PT  

Great news from today's Oakland Tribune! California, the country's largest voting "market" rejects Diebold. Again...And hopefully for the last time...

After possibly the most extensive testing ever on a voting system, California has rejected Diebold's flagship electronic voting machine because of printer jams and screen freezes, sending local elections officials scrambling for other means of voting.

"There was a failure rate of about 10 percent, and that's not good enough for the voters of California and not good enough for me," Secretary of State Bruce McPherson said.
...
"We certainly can't take any kind of risk like that with this kind of device on California voters," McPherson said.

Rejection of the TSx by California, the nation's largest voting-system market, could influence local elections officials from Utah, Mississippi and Ohio, home of Diebold corporate headquarters, where dozens of counties are poised to purchase the latest Diebold touch screens.

State elections officials in Ohio say they still have confidence in the machines.

"Absolutely," said Carlo LoParo, spokesman for the Ohio Secretary of State's Office.
...
McPherson denied approval of the TSx after a series of failed tests, culminating in a massive, mock election conducted on 96 of the machines in a San Joaquin County warehouse. San Joaquin is one of three California counties that purchased a total of 13,000 TSx machines in 2003 for more than $40 million and have paid to warehouse them ever since.
...
Elections officials and voting activists said they had never heard of more extensive testing for a single voting system, outside of an actual election.
...
Ordinarily, states and the National Association of State Elections Directors approve voting systems after labs hired by the manufacturers perform tests on a handful of machines. The Diebold TSx managed to get through those tests ? twice. But none of the testing standards addresses printers on electronic voting machines, even though more than 20 states either require a so-called paper trail or are debating such a requirement.

For years, voters have reported frozen screens and other glitches in the polling place.

"It's always been the voters' word against election officials' and the vendors'," Alexander said. "Now we have real proof right before the eyes of state elections officials."

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30 Days Pay 'Wrist Slap' for Matt Damschroder who Retains $97k/year Job
Not 'Illegal' in Ohio (Apparently) for Elections Officials to Take Pay-Offs from Voting Machine Companies
By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2005 8:03pm PT  

Just back in town after a day off, and man do I have a lot to catch up with...While I'm doing that, if you haven't noticed already, the Franklin County, Ohio Elections Director, Matt Damschroder, who last week acknowledged accepting a $10,000 check from a lobbyist for Diebold, was given a slap on the wrist yesterday and docked 30 days pay from his yearly $97,240 salary.

He has also claimed that the Diebold lobbyist, Pasquale "Pat" Gallina, told him that he'd made $50,000 in donations to groups that support Ohio's Secretary of State (and, coincidentally, the Co-Chair of the Bush/Cheney Re-Elect Committee) J. Kenneth Blackwell.

All of this has come about amidst a lawsuit filed by voting machine company, ES&S in Ohio against Blackwell for giving the entire state to Diebold. This should be very interesting to watch. Depositions are upcoming.

In the meantime, while Franklin County's head of election, who seems to have accepted a $10,000 bribe gets off virtually scot-free, Sherole Eaton --- the courageous whistleblower from Hocking County, OH, who gave testimony in an affidavit of employees from voting machine company, Triad gaming the Ohio recount --- has been accused of absolutely nothing. Nonetheless, she is still fired from the Hocking County Board of Elections.

Ohio. Retaining its slim edge over Florida for now...as the filthiest fucking state in the union.

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We're shocked...shocked!
Board of Elections' Matt Damschroder Continues his impressive 'bi-partisan' record in Ohio.
By Brad Friedman on 7/16/2005 10:50am PT  

From Cleveland Plain Dealer this morning...

A member of the Franklin County election board said Friday that prosecutors are investigating whether a GOP political consultant tried to bribe the board's director to buy voting equipment made by his client, Diebold Inc.

The director, Matthew Damschroder, has told prosecutors that the consultant, Pat Gallina, came to his office in early 2004, offering him $10,000.

"Pat Gallina came into my office at the Board of Elections and said, 'I'm here to give you $10,000. Who should I direct it to?' " Damschroder recalled. "I said, 'Certainly not to me. But I'm sure the Franklin County Republican Party would appreciate a voluntary donation. That was my first mistake."

The law prohibits Damschroder from accepting political contributions on county property. He said he took the check home and mailed it to the party, where he had just completed a stint as executive director.
...
Damschroder told prosecutor O'Brien of Gallina's visit after his testimony was sought in a civil suit filed by one of Diebold's competitors, Election Systems and Software.

ES&S charges in that suit that Secretary of State Ken Blackwell improperly favored Diebold in selecting electronic voting machines for use statewide.
...
Gallina told him that he and Cummings agreed on the cut-rate price Diebold would charge the state for its machines, and that Gallina promised in return to give $50,000 to "Blackwell interests."

Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for Blackwell, called the claim "absolutely ridiculous," and that Cummings has not negotiated any part of the state's voting machine contracts.
...
Diebold executives had ceased contributing directly to political campaigns in October 2003, after the company president sparked an uproar by saying he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes" to secure President Bush's re-election.

Spokesman Mike Jacobsen said the firm pays Gallina - through Celebrezze & Associates - to work as a liaison on state and county government contracts.

"It's a separate company," he said. "Just because we contract with a lobbyist and they make a contribution doesn't mean, in any way, that we use them as some sort of political back door to curry political favor."

(Hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter, KestrelBrighteyes for the catch via RAW STORY)

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By Winter Patriot on 7/9/2005 9:41am PT  

Guest blogged by Bob Fitrakis

INTRODUCTION {by Winter Patriot}: On behalf of the BradBlog and the Blogathon I am pleased and proud to introduce Dr. Robert J. Fitrakis. According to his biography at freepress.org, Dr. Fitrakis is a professor of political science and a lawyer. He served as an international election observer in the 1994 presidential elections in El Salvador and as a dual-Ward legal advisor for the Election Protection Coalition during the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election. Dr. Fitrakis is also co-editor, with Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, of DID GEORGE W. BUSH STEAL AMERICA'S 2004 ELECTION? This essential volume is currently available from freepress.org, as well as through The BRAD STORE.

It's great to have Dr. Fitrakis here with us. And I think we can even call him "Bob".

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

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By Winter Patriot on 7/8/2005 5:05pm PT  

Guest Blogged by David Cobb.

INTRODUCTION {by Winter Patriot}: We are thrilled to announce that David Cobb will be with us for some live blogging on Saturday morning [late Saturday morning in the East, early Saturday morning in the West]. As most of you probably know, Mr. Cobb represented the Green Party in the 2004 Presidential 'Election'. He has indicated that he wishes to blog about two subjects, and he has sent us some very interesting links and text. So there's plenty to absorb before Mr. Cobb takes the hot seat as the first live blogger of the weekend.

Mr. Cobb's first subject:

The growing "New Voting Rights Movement" demands that we fully "democratize" US elections by implementing the Voter Bill of Rights. (This will necessarily include a discussion of the need for multi-party democracy and why the progressive movement actually *needs* the Green Party).

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

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Court Order Delivered at Dramatic Board of Elections Meeting as Eaton Supporters Rally
ALSO: A Republican Board Member Admits Fundraising Work Done on BoE Property
By Brad Friedman on 7/6/2005 1:42pm PT  

Hocking County, Ohio's recount whistleblower, Sherole Eaton --- who was recently fired without explanation in the wake of having reported on a voting company employee tampering with the hard-drive of a central tabulating computer and offering "cheat-sheets" prior to the recount of the November 2004 Presidential Election --- received some support yesterday from both a Court Order and several dozen backers at a dramatic Board of Elections meeting.

Attorney Cliff Arnebeck, one of the attorneys who filed a case in Ohio to have the November Election results set aside due to evidence of fraud, served County Board of Elections officials with a court order mandating Eaton not be replaced until further court orders are issued.

"Yesterday was the first of what I hope are many victories for Sherole," Karla VanBibber told us via Email earlier today. VanBibber, who is Sherole's niece attended the meeting, and described the moment when Arnebeck arrived with the court order: "The expressions on the board members faces when given the court injunction was priceless."

VanBibber also gave us her take on the reactions from the Board Members in the face of questions from supporters about Eaton's dismissal, which she says is illegal under Ohio law. "Their sputtering and faultering and lying was unbelievable," she said. "It's amazing how the arrogance we see in the Bush administrations has filtered down to the local level as it has."

Apparently, they won't be giving up the fight for Eaton, who is recovering from recent brain surgery, but attended the hearing "in apparently good spirits and seemingly good health - full of energy and zeal and very appreciative of the support," according to Evan Davis's detailed account of the meeting at Ray Beckerman's blog.

Said VanBibber, "We knocked them down a few notches yesterday, we won't give up until they're on their knees and Sherole has her job back."

Eaton's firing, and her dramatic appearance at another recent Board of Election hearing, just two days surgery, was covered in this previous BRAD BLOG report.

Hocking County's Logan Daily News also had a report today on yesterday's meeting. "[Sherole] was so happy this morning when she received her paper," VanBibber said, "she came over and was so excited and for the first time in awhile was optomistic."

Logan Daily News described Arnebeck's dramatic appearance at the meeting...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 7/5/2005 2:04pm PT  

In an open letter to John Tanner, Chief of the Voting Section of the Dept. of Justice, Bob Fitrakis of the Columbus Free Press responds to the unrequested and blatant whitewash "report" that the DoJ published last week on disenfranchisement (or a lack thereof, as the the DoJ "report" characterized it) in Franklin County, OH.

Fitrakis has been on the ground since Day 1 (and before) in Ohio, and knows whereof he speaks.

The more one looks at the outrageous "report" from the DoJ, the clearer it becomes what a despicable obfuscation that particular piece of propaganda was meant to be. For our money, the DoJ "report" represents perhaps one of the most chilling set of tea-leaves we've seen so far as an indication of just how cooked this DoJ now is, and to what lengths they are prepared to go in order to mislead the American public and media away from the truth.

We're not particularly prone to hyperbole, but we find this small indication of what the DoJ is now made of to be particularly troubling. Anyway, read Fitrakis' rebuttal to get a sense of how outrageous that "report" actually was...

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Unrequested 'Report' Dismisses, Ignores Evidence of Discrimination, Disenfranchisement!
DoJ Report Also Reveals More than 100,000 Voters NEWLY 'Purged' from Rolls in One Ohio County Alone!
By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2005 3:57pm PT  

There is almost no other way to put this, but we are simply floored by the report just released by the Department of Justice concerning the Franklin County, OH elections.

If there ever was a report which could be called a whitewash, this would be the very dictionary definition --- with the emphasis on WHITE.

The DoJ four-page report, based on dodgy figures, uninvestigated charges and undocumented information and details, simply concludes that "Franklin County assigned voting machines in a non-discriminatory manner", that "no violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act" was found and they "are thus closing our file."

In truth, a detailed analysis of the flaws in this report, and an unwaivering condemnation of this reprehensible piece of "official documentation" is needed. But as folks are disappearing for the Holiday Weekend, we're afraid any analysis we took the time to compile right now would likely get lost in the holiday news-hole. So, for the moment, we're gonna dump these documents here and leave the detailed analysis and shouts of outrage and condemnation to BRAD BLOG readers. If we can follow up a bit more after the holiday, we will.

Essentially, John Conyers' office requested a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice investigation back in January on a number of very troubling matters related to Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election on behalf of the minority members of the Judiciary Committee. (Letter requesting a Special Prosecutor from the DoJ is here [PDF]. Coverage of it by RAW STORY is here, and BRAD BLOG's own reporting at the time, which led to one of the complaints in the letter to the DoJ, is here.)

Amongst the items for which Conyers' January 14, 2005 had requested an investigation at the time --- according to the response to the report Conyers sent on Wednesday --- were "serious charges concerning Voter Intimidation and Misinformation; Improper Purging and other Misconduct; Caging of New Minority Voters; Misuse of HAVA Funds; Tampering of Voting Machinery and Records; Perjury by a County Board of Election Official; and the Misuse of the Great Seal of the United States on Secretary of State Blackwell's Personal Campaign Materials."

While no "substantive response to the many instances of voting irregularities and civil rights violations in the state of Ohio" about which Conyers' submitted evidence has been forthcoming by the DoJ since that January letter, apparently someone within the DoJ took it upon themselves to conduct --- and as we've said WHITEWASH --- an investigation concerning what happened in just one county in Ohio.

The DoJ's resulting four-page report, conducted by "The Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division" and sent to Franklin County officials on Wednesday, is a masterwork of obfuscation, disinformation, misinformation, smoke and mirrors and out and out lies. And remember, it comes directly from your Department of Justice.

As we've said, a more detailed point-by-point analysis of the outrage is called for. But for now, we feel it's important to get the information out as is so folks can see with their own eyes what has "flabbergasted" Conyers' as according to the response he sent in reply to the DoJ yesterday.

There is, however, at least one paragraph which jumped out at us, but that Conyers' reply does not deal with directly (understandably, frankly, since there is so much to be "flabbergasted" about in this DoJ report!). We feel this one is important to point out as we find it particularly disconcerting for what the future may hold in Ohio [emphasis added]:

A major complicating factor in the appropriate allocation of voting machines was the artificially inflated voter registration rolls in the county. The 845,720 registered voters in 2004 actually exceeded the 2000 total voting age population of Franklin County (800,657) by 45,063 persons. This unsettling disparity resulted from the loss, during preparation for computer system changes in anticipation of the year 2000, of voter history data necessary for purging the voter rolls of ineligible voters as required by the National Voter Registration Act. The County chose to start fresh with new voter histories, with the result that there had been no voter purge since 1999. The County resumed regular purging of its voter list only after the 2004 election, and on June 20, 2005 removed approximately 114,000 ineligible individuals from its voter registration list. The 2005 purge brings the voter registration total well below the 2000 voting age population in the county.

Yes, you read that right. Franklin County's "bi-partisan" Board of Election has just now "purged" 114,000 voters from the rolls! Tee-ing things up nicely, it would seem, for many more thousands of voters to find themselves suddenly ineligible to vote when they show up at the polling place in 2006!

Over one hundred thousand voters scrubbed from the voting rolls in just one Ohio County alone by their presumably "bi-partisan" BoE. That, while we have learned over the past several months how these Ohio BoE's are certainly not "bi-partisan" as Blackwell and their other defenders continue to maintain since a) There are "Democrats" on these boards who are specifically plants, in other words, "Democrats" in name only and b) All BoE members serve at the partisan pleasure of the distinctly partisan Secretary of State and Bush/Cheney Co-Chair, J. Kenneth Blackwell, who has routinely threatened BoE members with dismissal if and when they refuse to follow his personal partisan edicts.

But that's just one of the outrages. We'll let Conyers' handle a few more. Here is his response to the DoJ report first, followed by the complete report itself by John Tanner, the Chief of the DoJ's Voting Section. Prepare to be appalled...

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

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Issue Smokescreen Press Release in Reply to DNC Election 2004 Report
Preparing to release their own report --- on phony issue of 'Voter Fraud'; Exec Director Lies on Video Tape.
By Brad Friedman on 6/22/2005 6:38pm PT  

The liars and hucksters of the "American Center for Voting Rights" are at it again.

As those who remember our series exposing this phony Republican front-group will recall, the ACVR calls themselves a "non-partisan" group and claims a tax-exempt status in exchange for it.

They are, however, comprised of two key high-level GOP operatives: Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, the General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04, Inc., and Jim Dyke, the Communications Director for the RNC.

ACVR has yet to produce their legal 501(c)3 paperwork --- which allows them tax-exempt status --- to us as they had promised, and when Thor Hearne testified at a Congressional hearing just three days after the creation of his phony organization in March, he identified himself only as a "long time voting rights advocate". Apparently he forgot to mention his or Dyke's direct connection with Bush/Cheney and the RNC.

In response to today's long-await report, "Democracy at Risk: The 2004 Election in Ohio", from the DNC on the problems, including massive voter disenfranchisement and other chicanery in Ohio during the 2004 Presidential Election, the ACVR has just released another smokescreen in favor of Voter Disenfranchisement, this time in the form of a Press Release in response to the DNC report.

Get a load (and we do mean load) of this:

"At the same time the number of voting Americans is at a historic high, confidence in our electoral system is at a historic low. Today's report is consistent with the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) findings that voters experienced long lines not just in Ohio but also in twenty-eight other states including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and Wisconsin. And while the debate over the need for systematic reforms in our electoral system is important, Americans will not regain confidence in the integrity of elections until those who are abusing the system are exposed and punished. ACVR calls on both political parties to support a zero tolerance fraud policy that commits to pursuing and fully prosecuting individuals and organizations who committed fraud and intimidation in the last election. No amount of systematic reform can effectively deter those who commit acts of fraud if there is no punishment for the crime and these acts continue to be tolerated."

It must be made clear that these guys are snake-oil salesman of the highest order. Note how they disingenously make the point to appear as if they are in general agreement with the DNC report, but quickly slide the focus elsewhere, away from Ohio where the disenfranchisement and electoral chicanery was at maximum impact courtesy of a crooked Secretary of State and Ohio Bush/Cheney Co-Chair (both in the name of J. Kenneth Blackwell). In Ohio, Blackwell still refuses any real investigations of the machinery or of the criminal allegations.

From there, the press release slithers predictably over to the notion of voter fraud which, by our count, has resulted in two --- that's two --- cases in the entire state of Ohio of anyone fraudulently casting a vote last November. Contrast that to the thousands of documented cases of provisional ballots discarded, electronic votes flipped from Kerry to Bush, hours-long lines and too few machines in Democratic precincts only, and legitimate voters surprised to find they'd been purged entirely from the voting rolls.

(CORRECTION: It was not two cases of voter fraud in the state of Ohio as we originally suggested above. We've found the information we had recalled, but couldn't find at the time we filed this report originally. According to a June 15, 2005 story headlined "Rampant Voter Fraud a Myth" from Cleveland Plain Dealer, the actual number of fraudulent votes in the state of Ohio was not two. It was four. The article begins: "Of 9,078,728 votes cast in Ohio in 2002 and 2004, only four were fraudulent, according to a new review by a pair of voter advocacy groups." The BRAD BLOG regrets the error.)

Nonetheless, as these operatives move to encourage the enactment of Voter ID laws which will disproportionately disenfranchise millions of minority, elderly and urban Americans (read: Democratic voters), through backchannel political manipulation, they continue to misrepresent their phony "non-partisan" creds. More from Dyke's release...


The American Center for Voting Rights will soon release a national report on Voter Fraud, Intimidation and Suppression in the 2004 Presidential Election. The ACVR was founded in February 2005 to protect the election process and guard the constitutional right of all citizens to participate in deciding elections in a fair and equal manner free from discrimination, intimidation and fraud. ACVR is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that neither supports nor endorses any political party or candidate.

In this 40th Anniversary year of the Voting Rights Act, there are few Americans as despicable as those who use the cynical veneer of presenting themselves as "Voting Rights Advocates" when they are anything but. The are, in fact, the complete antithesis of those brave advocates and activists who have given so much --- including their lives --- in the fight for a right to vote in America. Not to mention those Americans who have been sent to fight and die right now around the globe under the premise of "spreading democracy" by the paymasters of Hearne and Dyke of the ACVR.

The ACVR clearly has both the money and political pull, however, to make great strides in this area. Real Voting Rights groups were not called as witnesses by Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) trumped up Congressional Hearing on the Ohio Irregularities, but Hearne was. That, just three days after his organization appeared on the World Wide Web with a snailmail address at a P.O. Box in a UPS Mailbox Etc. store in Houston, TX, which nobody for the organization has yet to claim as their own. (Hearne is from St. Louis, MO, Dyke now lives in North Carolina).

As well, the cooked Baker/Carter Commission on Election Reform --- headed appallingly by Bush Family crony, James Baker, who successfully ensured that American citizens would not be allowed to have their votes counted in 2000 --- has Thor Hearne sitting as a member of their "Advisory Panel". No real Voting Rights groups have been invited to sit on that commission or its advisory panel.

It pays to have unscrupulous friends in high places.

And, just in case you have any further questions about the sort of unrepentant, un-American, opportunistic phonies these guys really are, take a look at this short video clip --- from ACVR's own website --- of Hearne testifying to Ney's committee last March wherein he avers that it was John Kerry's team that systematically attempted to misinform voters about when Election Day actually was.

Perhaps this is one of the letters (courtesy of FreePress.org's book "Did George W. Bush Steal America's 2004 Election: Essential Documents") that Hearne suggests, in his video testimony, that the Kerry campaign was sending out to trick voters into not voting:

These guys --- both the sort who would send the letter above and those who make up the ACVR --- are vermin. And it all serves as a good reminder of why it's so important to continue everything that we're doing here. There is a special place in hell waiting for these creeps. May God save America from cretins like these.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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As Bob Fitrakis of the Columbus Free Press Pops Out Momentarily from his Book-Writing Foxhole...
By Brad Friedman on 4/27/2005 10:21am PT  

The mighty Bob Fitrakis of the Columbus Free Press --- responsible for boatloads of tremendous investigative reporting on the ground from Ohio in Election 2004 and one of the participants in the Moss v. Bush lawsuit seeking to set aside the election results in the Buckeye State --- has been mostly quiet of late while working on an upcoming book on all of the above to be published soon.

Today, however, it looks like he's unleashed quite a bit of what he hasn't been able to report on over the last several weeks while hard at work writing the historical record. His new article on the "rise of the right wing juggernaut in Ohio" sheds fresh light on several key points on the insidious Election Night machinations, and even those to this day, of Ohio's Election Viceroy, Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell (also the Co-Chair of Ohio's Committee to Re-Elect Bush/Cheney '04).

Amongst the several noteworthy new items Fitrakis catches up on today is some inside skinny on the now-infamous Warren County lockdown on Election Night when an apparently phony "Homeland Security Alert" led Board of Elections officials to issue an unprecedented scheme that shut out all press and witnesses from late-night vote counting in the county's election center.

Free Press has received an insider's account of what happened that night. Here's a sample:

With the media and independent election observers "walled off," as the Cincinnati Enquirer described, the employee claims that "some ballot boxes were taken to the holding area" where they were not monitored by election officials. The Warren County employee referred to the person supervising the unauthorized warehouse as a "Republican Party hack."

The employee is concerned that it would have been easy to "stuff" the ballot boxes or that "signatures could have been forged in the unauthorized holding area."

The anonymous employee told the Free Press that testimony would be provided if subpoenaed. A list of questions that remain unanswered in Warren County was also supplied: Which precinct ballot boxes were taken to the unauthorized holding area? Were officials from the Board of Elections present in the holding area? When were the ballots taken from the holding area to the check-in tent that was erected temporarily to count ballots? If Warren County was under a state of emergency, then why weren't any metal detectors engaged? The FBI has denied that there was any homeland security threat on Election Day.

As well, in a section of the article sub-headed as "Whitewash with a black face", Fitrakis connects a few more interesting dots on the phony GOP front-group busy conning America and hoping to derail true Electoral Reform. Fitrakis ties together the "non-partisan" hoaxsters of the "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) --- the group we originally exposed several weeks ago exclusively here --- with some of the other folks who testified recently at Rep. Bob Ney's hastily convened U.S. House Administrative Hearings on Electoral problems in OH...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/28/2005 3:42pm PT  

The National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc., Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II gave testimony on behalf of his three-day old "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) last Monday at a U.S. Congressional Hearing. He represented the only "Voting Rights" group at the hearing --- called by Republican Bob Ney (R-FL), Chairman of the U.S. House Administration Committee --- purportedly investigating the '04 Ohio Presidential Election mess.

Hearne didn't bother to mention that he worked for Bush/Cheney '04 as their top attorney in his testimony. We're not positive, but fairly certain that no high-level Kerry/Edwards employees were invited to testify, whether they represented a phony "non-partisan" group like the ACVR or not.

Despite the claims of tax-exempt non-partisan status by this Talon News-like outta-nowhere GOP front group, the two known ring-leaders (that we've been able to identify so far) of this phony "Voters Rights" organization masquerading as if they are not-an-insult-to-real-Voters-Rights-groups-everwhere, are both currently veryactive partisans.

Jim Dyke, the group's press spokesman and website administrative and technical contact who, as well as being the 2004 Communications Director for the Republican National Committee, is also a current Fox News GOP Analyst according to Joseph Cannon (though he mentioned to us that, so far, he was unable to confirm that information). He does, however, offer a fine analysis of just one of the likely true missions for this group, and why they have suddenly appeared. And for the record, Cannon made note of this nascient and suspicious ACVR popping up the day before we did!

Meanwhile, Ron Brynaert, a frequent BRAD BLOG commenter, and editor of Why Are We Back in Iraq? has been digging into more on our friend Thor (here and then here) and has uncovered, amongst other chestnuts, Hearne's featured speaking engagement at the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) shindig down at the Florida Chapter's 2005 kick-off on April 14th!

According to the Republican Party-sponsored RNLA's website...

The RNLA is pleased to announce the Florida RNLA Chapter's 2005 Kickoff Reception featuring special guest speaker Thor Hearne, Counsel to Bush Cheney '04 Inc. This Reception will honor the lawyer volunteers who worked diligently in the 2004 elections to ensure that the voters, not the courts decided the election.

The Coral Gables reception --- where they will no doubt continue the fiction that it was voters not lawyers who who decided the election --- is said to be "free" on the RNLA website! Wanna go and say hello to the non-partisan Thor and his Republican National Lawyers Association friends? The website says, "Please RSVP by emailing despain@republicanlawyer.net or calling 703-719-6335 by April 12th"

We might suggest you actually call or email prior to April 12th, as we have a feeling this "free" event is about to become a very closed-to-the-public event.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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