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Daily Show Must-Watch: 'The Broads Must Be Crazy'
Cuz you know how these gals are! Jon Stewart takes on the media-enforced double-standard faced by female politicians. (Worth watching just for the crying clips!)...
'Green News Report' 4/22/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
It's our 500th episode! Coincidentally, it's also Earth Day! So, we look both back and forward at climate coverage & the GNR in a very special Green News Report!...
Previous GNRs: 4/17/14 - 4/15/14 - Archives...
CA Green Party SoS Candidate Excluded from Sacramento Press Club Debate
Despite a recent poll showing he leads two candidates who were invited, David Curtis gets snubbed by press group, and he's not happy...
'In Your Heart, You Know He's Right'
Barry Goldwater, the GOP's most conservative Presidential nominee ever, was a leftist, tree-hugging, Big Govt environmentalist whacko hell-bent on destroying the economy...
More Good 'Obamacare' News for Terrified Dems
Will Democrats continue to run scared, or will they embrace the unrelenting string of encouraging Affordable Care Act successes as we head into the 2014 mid-terms?...
'Green News Report' 4/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
Previous GNRs: 4/15/14 - 4/10/14 - Archives...
The Climate Is Invading the Earth!
If only the climate was a person that could be defeated with guns -- the world might finally take the threat we face with the seriousness it deserves....
'Green News Report' 4/15/14
GNR Special Coverage: The UN Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Mitigation: costs, risks, and opportunities. Is it too late avoid climate catastrophe?...
'Conservative' RW 'Legal' Blogger Defends Freeloading Nevada Rancher
PowerLine's hyper-partisan Hinderaker admits Cliven Bundy 'doesn't have a [legal] leg to stand on', but digs deep to find any reason to defend the scofflaw anyway...
Sunday News Shows Fail to Mention U.S. Senate CIA Torture & Detention Report
Despite U.S. and international crimes outlined in the findings, based on first-hand CIA docs, not a single Sunday show even brought it up...
NSA Knew About, Exploited Internet Open Source Bug for Years
What part of "national security' does the National Security Agency not understand?!...
Destroying America: 'Obamacare' Kills Another Business
Free medical clinic in rural Arkansas to close doors after health insurance reform law leads to lack of customers...
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...


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!... ---

ReddIt this story!



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.
ReddIt this story!



Photos Suggest ACVR Website Developers Most Likely Very Very Tiny Republicans!
Funders for the so-far undocumented 501(c)3 organization and apparent GOP front group still unknown!
By Brad Friedman on 3/24/2005 8:01pm PT  

Thanks to the dilligence and footwork of a few BRAD BLOG readers and foot-soldiers, we are now able to offer an Exclusive photographic look at the location of the mysterious "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR)! Or at least a look at the mysterious and unnamed Dallas, TX company who is said by ACVR press spokesman, Jim Dyke, to have developed their website.

After recently reporting that the newly-formed, tax-exempt, "non-partisan", "voters rights" group, calling themselves the ACVR, is apparently little more than a GOP front group run by Dyke (the 2004 Communications Director for the Republican National Committee), Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II (the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc.) and others, we sought to learn more about them.

In our exclusive BRAD BLOG interview yesterday with Dyke, the "contact" person for the group --- which suddenly appeared on the Internet last Thursday and was then called to give expert testimony last Monday before a U.S. Congressional House committee on the November Election Irregularties in Ohio --- we had asked Dyke about the location of the ACVR.

The hard-right Republican (responsible, among other things, for posting folks in "Flipper" dolphin costumes at John Kerry events in 2004) instructed us that, though he personally was in Charleston SC, the Dallas TX address on the Internic record for the new group --- the one which shows they just purchased their website domain just last week --- belonged to "the company that designed the website".

Here's the clip from yesterday's interview where we asked about that Dallas TX address on the Internetic record for the AC4VR.com, the group's Internet domain:

JIM DYKE: That's the company that designed the website.

BRAD BLOG: I see. What company is that?

DYKE: I'd have to look into and get back to you.

BB: You don't recall their name?

DYKE: I'll have to check and get back to you on that.

We've yet to hear back from Dyke, but by way of a reminder, here again is the screenshot from the ACVR's Internic registration which has, as of this posting, now been locked from public view:

As you'll note, Dyke himself is listed on that record as both the group's "Administrative" and "Technical" contact at the address of "jim@dykeassociates.com".

Further, this morning a BRAD BLOG commenter noted that the Internic record for the domain name of DykeAssociates.com itself shows that the domain was established by Dyke in December of '04. By this afternoon, however, the information from dykeassociates.com's Internic record has also been made private as the one from AC4VR.com. Here is the information available before it was hidden by the owners from public view:

Registrant:
Jim Dyke
5029 Macomb St
Washington, District of Columbia 20016
United States

Registered through: GoDaddy.com
Domain Name: DYKEASSOCIATES.COM
Created on: 06-Dec-04
Expires on: 06-Dec-06
Last Updated on: 06-Dec-04

Administrative Contact:
Dyke, Jim jim@dykeassociates.com
5029 Macomb St
Washington, District of Columbia 20016
United States
2022443558 Fax ---
Technical Contact:
Dyke, Jim jim@dykeassociates.com
5029 Macomb St
Washington, District of Columbia 20016
United States
2022443558 Fax ---

Domain servers in listed order:
WSC1.JOMAX.NET
WSC2.JOMAX.NET

So if Dyke himself is in South Carolina, and his own company is established as being in Washington D.C., who or what is "the company that designed the website" whom Dyke couldn't remember the name of, and who is described as working out of "8409 Pickwick Lane 299" in Dallas TX?

An intrepid BRAD BLOG reader took a field trip to that address this morning to find out for us and has now sent back Exclusive photographs!

Here now --- for the first time on the Internets --- is an Exclusive BRAD BLOG look at "8409 Pickwick Lane 299", the address for the Dallas, TX company who designed the website for the ACVR or --- perhaps even more likely --- the headquarters for the American Center for Voting Rights itself!...

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

ReddIt this story!



Describes Himself as 'Advocate of Voter Rights' But Not as Bush/Cheney '04 General Counsel!
By Brad Friedman on 3/24/2005 4:58pm PT  

Monday's testimony to a U.S. House Committee by Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, the leader of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) --- who also happens to be the National Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04, Inc. --- has just been added to the website of the "non-partisan", tax-exempt, one-week old "Voting Rights" group.

In his testimony, Hearne failed to mention to the U.S. House members, either his connection to Bush/Cheney or his long roots in the Republican party going back to the Reagan Administration. The testimony was given last Monday to the U.S. House Administration Committee at hearings held on the Ohio Election problems. The hearings to which Hearne was invited were held just 3 business days after the ACVR suddenly appeared for the first time on the Internet...or anywhere else that we've been able to find. More on that here.

In Hearne's testimony, as seen via the page posted today on the ACVR's website [UPDATE 2007: the testimony may now be found here in the Interenet archives, since ACVR has deleted their site], he describes himself as a "a longtime advocate of voter rights and an attorney experience in election law". No mention of his long-term pedigree as a high-level GOP operative...

Testimony of Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II
Committee On Administration
Columbus, Ohio --- April 21, 2005 [ed note: Misdated on the website]
Chairman Ney, Members of the House Administration Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today.

My name is Thor Hearne. I am a principle in the law firm of Lathrop & Gage and a longtime advocate of voter rights and an attorney experienced in election law. I was appointed a member of the Missouri HAVA advisory committee advising the Missouri Secretary of State on Missouri's implementation of HAVA and suggesting appropriate amendments to Missouri election law.

Today I am here in my capacity as counsel to the American Center for Voting Rights. The ACVR is a non-partisan watchdog ? voting rights legal defense and education center committed to defending the rights of voters and working to increase public confidence in the fairness of the outcome of elections. I am joined in this endeavor by the almost a dozen Ohio lawyers from several of this states' prestigious law firms that have submitted a report detailing concerns that have come to our attention in connection with the Ohio 2004 general election...

The rest of his testimony is available at the ACVR website. [UPDATE 2007: ACVR's website has been removed from the Internet, browse their old site here via the Internet Archives.]

Here again is a photo of Hearne taken a few weeks ago at a Republican National Lawyers Association reception in Ohio:

We've learned more about both the mysterious outta-nowhere election experts at the ACVR and Mr. Hearne's "non-partisan" activities which we hope to report later this evening as we've got to do a couple of radio interviews for the next several hours, beginning in just a few minutes.

So check back shortly, and for now...we'll just say...DEVELOPING...

UPDATE: The ACVR National Headquarters! Uncovered! BRAD BLOG has the exclusive photographs!

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.
ReddIt this story!



Um...Sort of.
By Brad Friedman on 3/23/2005 5:43pm PT  

Today we attempted to get some more information about the "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR), a group who suddenly appeared on the Internet last Thursday. On Monday, they gave testimony to U.S. Congressman Bob Ney's (R-OH) House Administrative Committee during hearings held in Columbus, OH on the 2004 Election mess in the state.

(Please see this previous BRAD BLOG article for the emerging background on this supposedly "non-partisan" tax-exempt organization which was the only such "Voting Rights" group invited to give testimony at the hearings. And, oh yes, every single name attached to this group so far seems to also be attached to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. and/or the Republican National Committee and/or the Ohio Republican party.)

Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II --- the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. --- gave testimony for the group and is listed on the U.S. House Administrative Committee website as simply "National Counsel, American Center for Voting Rights". No mention of his current high-level connections to Bush/Cheney and his long history of working with other powerful Republican officials all the way back to his time working for the Reagan Administration.

We called him this morning to see if we could ask him a few questions about the ACVR, his involvement as their apparent-organizer and his role as lead contributor for the 31-Page report [PDF] on the Ohio Election produced by the ACVR in time for Monday's hearings.

Hearne's response, "Not right now...Send me some information about who you're involved with and I'll give you a call back."

We persisted nonetheless, and asked if he could describe any of the "voter education and outreach" programs which the "About Us" page at the ACVR website describes as one of their activities. Or if he could tell us about any of the "symposiums and conferences" the group claims to be sponsoring as also mentioned on the site.

His response, "We certainly anticipate those. You keep an eye on our website."

We pressed on...

BRAD BLOG: How is it that you guys were invited to testify for a U.S. House Committee hearing after just forming so recently?

MARK F. (THOR) HEARNE, II: You'd have to ask the [House] committee...

BB: But to be invited as the only such organization so quickly after being formed? How did that happen?

HEARNE: I couldn't tell you. We're out here doing what we're doing and we accepted the offer.

He was, indeed, rather terse in the answers to our attempted questions, and so we wondered why he didn't wish to be more forthcoming about his "non-partisan" group.

"Sounds to me like your coming from the Left," he told us.

We informed him that --- though we think didn't think any of our questions were particularly partisan or Left-like --- he might well say that we are indeed coming from the Left. Nonetheless, we consider free and fair elections to be a non-partisan issue. As his website claims to be a non-partisan organization, we figured he wouldn't mind answering some questions about it.

Mr. Hearne told us to "Email me some information on who you are and I'll get back to you."

We have done so and look forward to his call and a report here on his answers to some of our many concerns.

Next we tried a call to Jim Dyke who is listed as the "contact" in a press release issued Monday by AVCR.

Dyke, we have subsequently learned, also happened to have been the Communications Director for the Republican National Committee during the 2004 Election.

Perhaps he would be more open with us about this nascient group and their seemingly newfound concern for "Voting Rights" in America. Indeed, Dyke was much more willing than was Hearne to speak at length with us...

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

ReddIt this story!



6-Day Old Tax-Exempt Group Run by High Level GOP Operatives!
(GOPUSA/Talon News, Anyone?)
By Brad Friedman on 3/22/2005 7:01pm PT  

Republicans seem to have a new found interest in the Electoral Reform movement. An article today from the extremist rightwing web publication WorldNetDaily attacks Sen. Hillary Clinton's election reform bill with quotes from several critics, but none from either Clinton or other supporters of the bill.

In Ohio, state Republican legislators are attempting to raise the cost for candidates seeking a recount after an election. While in Georgia, Republican legislators are trying to pass laws requiring voters to produce Photo ID at the polls.

And yesterday, Ohio Republican Congressman, Bob Ney, chairman of the U.S. House Administrative Committee held hearings in Columbus on the massive reported problems during the 2004 Presidential Election in the Buckeye state.

Perhaps something is suddenly causing Republicans to try and get on the offensive when it comes to the drumbeat of Election Reform now surging across America.

But it's a brand-spanking new, outta-nowhere, just-in-time-for-yesterday's-hearings, Talon News-like "Voting Rights" organization that has caught our eye for the moment.

As reported here earlier today, the U.S. House Administrative Committee hearings yesterday in Columbus featured testimony from St. Louis attorney, Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II of the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR).

According to Internic records, the ACVR was established on the web just last Thursday and early investigation into this group would seem to indicate that it is little more than a front group for Republican operatives with little or no interest in actual "Voting Rights" at all.

While Hearne is listed as a witness for yesterday's hearings on the U.S. Committee for House Administration website as "National Counsel, American Center for Voting Rights", there is no mention of his affiliation or extensive work for Bush/Cheney '00, '04 and other Republicans.

Hearne, a former Reagan Administration official, is the National Election Counsel to Bush-Cheney '04 Inc. and was Missouri counsel to Bush-Cheney ?00 Inc. As well, he was General Counsel to Republican Missouri Governor Blunt.

He is pictured, at a March 5, 2005 Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) reception in Ohio, at the bottom of this article. The RNLA is an off-shoot of the national Republican Party.

But Hearne is not the only high-level Republican operative working for the tax-exempt "non-partisan" 501(c)3 organization...

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

ReddIt this story!



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