Standing up to the NRA after Roanoke, horrifying U.S. gun death toll; PLUS: Denying global warming on Katrina's 10th anniversary; Trump's ugly nativism; Good news for Dems; Marriage dead-enders in KY...
The Nation's John Nichols on new revelations of Scott Walker lying about a criminal investigation and on the Black Lives Matter movement and Sanders a better candidate; Plus: Big news for Bernie & more!
Catching up on a lot that fell through the cracks during last week's busy news week. From Jon Stewart to new toxic spill in SW to sentencing verdict for Aurora shooter to GOP debate answers media aren't discussing & more...
Another check of the accuracy of Diebold/Premier voting machines has found that they fail in that department. While performing a state mandated audit Montgomery Co, Ohio, elections officials found that a memory card from one DRE voting machine read five more votes when read a second time during the audit. The county and state are investigating.
What does Diebold/Premier have to say? "We have not seen this particular condition anywhere else in Ohio or anywhere else in the country,” according to spokesman Chris Riggall. Clearly Riggall is joking. Of course they haven’t seen this condition in Ohio because Ohio has not done these audits in the past and the lack of audits across most of the rest of the country would ensure that no problems would have been found in the past.
Where there are audits that may have found this condition, the condition is ignored or just shrugged-off. What they ignore is that there is a federal law that dictates accuracy of voting systems and even the loss of these 5 ballots in a county that saw over 280,000 ballots cast is a violation of that law. ...
Disgraced former Ohio Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell believes he's qualified to be the next Chairman of the RNC and is in the process of pitching himself to that end.
Among the qualifications offered by Blackwell --- who may someday find himself facing conspiracy charges for his part in overseeing the criminally mis-administered 2004 Presidential Election in the Buckeye State --- is the rather imaginative claim that he "prevented voter fraud from overturning the results of a U.S. presidential election and fought the left in federal court more times than you can imagine."
In terms of future plans for the RNC, the one-time-Democrat-turned-unapologetically-far-rightwinger says: "Voter registration must be a major emphasis for the Republican Party. Of course, we start at a competitive disadvantage with the Democrats and ACORN since we are strictly limited to registering people who actually exist."
This has got to be a joke. I'm afraid, however, that it isn't.
Diebold Touch-Screen Memory Cards and Other Documents Sought for Retention as Allegations of Racketeering Scheme 'to Corrupt Elections in the U.S. Over the Course of This Decade' Spread to Encompass '02 and '08 Senate Races in the Peach State...
The lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the civil RICO lawsuit King Lincoln v. Blackwell in Ohio has served a document hold request to Georgia Sec. of State Karen Handel in advance of the December 2nd run-off election between incumbent U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) and his opponent, Jim Martin (D).
Today's letter from attorney Cliff Arnebeck (posted in full at the end of this article) requests "any records of official investigation of the reported use of uncertified patches by Diebold in two Democratic Georgia counties in 2002, reported by former Diebold consultant Chris Hood."
It also requests "protocols, inspection and audit procedures that have been prescribed to protect against other introductions of uncertified patches into federal elections in Georgia."
And, in an effort to preempt any planned improprieties in the upcoming Georgia run-off election between incumbent Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) and his opponent, Jim Martin (D) --- particularly given the 2002 history of Diebold-run Senate elections featuring Chambliss --- Arnebeck also requests Handel's "confirmation that all … records for the runoff election will be retained for the federally prescribed 22 month period."
That last request, echoing a call for same made recently by The BRAD BLOG, comes at a moment when the stakes for the Georgia election could hardly be higher. The 22-month retention of memory cards and hard drives from electronic voting systems is frequently ignored by election officials, despite the federal statute requiring all materials from elections be securely stored for that full period. Unfortunately, memory cards and hard drives are routinely erased and re-used, despite the federal law.
In Georgia, that has been a peach of a problem for those concerned with election integrity...
The electronic voting problems in the 2008 election are broader than recently-publicized snafus such as machines not turning on, voter databases omitting names, or touch screens not properly recording votes, according to an analysis of 1,700 incident reports from the nation's largest voter hotline.
Moreover, the voting machine issues and the confusion they caused among poll workers appear to have compounded the delays faced by untold thousands of voters this fall, a preliminary analysis of 1-800-OUR-VOTE reports by Joseph Lorenzo Hall, a researcher at Princeton University and the University of California, has found...
The Republican IT guru, recently described as a "high tech Forrest Gump" for his proclivity to be "at the scene" of so many troubling elections since 2000, and even at the heart of the "lost" White House email scandal, has been ordered by a federal judge to appear for an under-oath deposition next Monday in Ohio.
The BRAD BLOG has learned that Mike Connell, the Republican IT guru whose company, GovTech Solutions, created Ohio's 2004 election results computer network, appeared in federal court today, as compelled, and has been ordered to appear for his deposition on Monday, November 3, just 24 hours before Election Day 2008.
Though Connell's attorneys have fought to quash the subpoena, recently issued after the judge lifted a stay on the case several weeks ago, it looks like his options to avoid testimony, or at least jail for avoiding it, may have come to an end. The attorneys in the case have said that Connell's testimony may well lead to the subpoenaing and under-oath questioning of Karl Rove, who, they say, would be unable to use Executive Privilege as an excuse to avoid such a subpoena in a civil RICO case...
The film above quickly notes the GOP's nearly identical efforts to swiftboat ACORN in 2000 and 2004, we should point out that today, those same folks are not only doing it again in 2008, they are now sending out private investigators to intimidate voters in NM. And more incredibly, taking the White House politicization of the U.S. DoJ to an unprecedented new level, George W. Bush himself has now asked the DoJ to "investigate" the OH GOP's allegations of some 200,000 voters after the case was recently rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Further, while the piece above is not bad, it looks like they forgot to include John McCain's own statement to ACORN, when he was their keynote speaker at a 2006 rally, and told the assembled volunteers they were "what makes America special." That short video follows below as a reminder...
This week, Broward County, Florida, Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes said, with a straight face, "No one could have anticipated that this election would be so historic and draw as much attention as it has," and defended her choice to oppose expanding early voting hours next week due to "logistical problems."
In addition to the problems in Florida, there are now reports that longtime GOP "voter fraud" hoaxster Pat Rogers (also known for his involvement in the U.S., Attorney Purge Scandal for the bogus "voter fraud" allegations he filed in 2004, and as a board member of the now-defunct and fully-debunked GOP astro-turf group, "American Center for Voting Rights," or ACVR), is apparently using private investigators to intimidate voters in New Mexico.
Details on those stories and many more --- pre-election litigation over polling place photo I.D. restrictions in Georgia and Ohio, absentee military ballots in Virginia, GOP efforts to close early voting polling places in Indiana, GOP calls for the Dept. of Justice to investigate ACORN just days before a federal election --- from across the country, all follow in the detailed round-up below...
Republican Party efforts to stop thousands of voters from casting meaningful ballots in 2008 because their registration information does not match government databases with high error rates was set back by legal rulings in Wisconsin, Ohio and Nevada on Thursday.
In Wisconsin, a judge threw out a lawsuit by the state Attorney General, who also is the McCain campaign co-chair. In Ohio and Nevada, each state's top election official issued an order or opinion rejecting such 'no-match' voter challenges.
While Republican officials criticized these moves, it appears that momentum is building against GOP efforts to use ambiguities in voter registration laws to challenge large numbers of 2008 voters...
The website of the Ohio Secretary of State is being set to "static mode" following a recent series of "security breach" attempts, as well as suspicious packages and a number of death threats sent to the office, according to a press release issued late this afternoon. (Posted in full at end of this article.)
The threats against Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's office come in the wake of a rash of recent burglaries and vandalism at ACORN offices in Massachusetts and Seattle, as well as death threats delivered to a number of their workers following much-hyped media reports of "voter fraud" by the community organization. The attacks against the group escalated following the Republican Presidential nominee John McCain's comments about ACORN "voter fraud" at a recent rally, and his extraordinary allegation that ACORN was "on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy" at last week's Presidential debate.
Notably, there has been no actual evidence of any such "voter fraud" by ACORN, simply allegations by many on the right.
The recent threats against Brunner and her office follow on criticism from state Republicans, who have launched a number of legal suits against her during the final weeks leading up to this November's election...
See below for a rather breathtaking "Round-up of Problems Facing Voters Nationwide", such as registration backlogs, illegal voting roll purges, deceptive practices and dirty tricks, etc., now plaguing American voters across the country with just 17 days left before our country's biggest election ever.
All of that, while Fox "News" (whose asked me to come on live tomorrow, Sunday, at 2:40pm PT, btw, along with my old friend John Fund "for balance") continues to misreport, alarm and deceive their viewers in regard to the GOP's phony ACORN "voter fraud" fraud. Unfortunately, it's not just Fox who is irresponsibly and dangerously misreporting that scam --- though they seem to have made a small cottage industry out of it of late --- CNN and MSNBC have been filed loads of equally inaccurate and misleading reports on it as well.
Fox "News" and its Rupert Murdoch-owned print brethren, the New York Post, continue to bang the GOP's phony ACORN "voter fraud" drum, but as far as I can tell, they've failed to come up with a single incident of any actual voter fraud committed by the dastardly "left-wing extremists."
Yes, Ann Coulter has committed felony voter fraud, but neither of the Murdoch outfits has yet to note that point, even while they go wall-to-wall with misleading reports claiming that ACORN is committing massive "voter fraud" on behalf of the Democrats.
Those who wish to believe in the hoax, however, attempt to link to article after article about allegations of voter fraud carried out by ACORN. And yet, the articles themselves --- if one bothers to actually read them --- reveal that either 1) They describe allegations and investigations brought by Republican agents, with little or no evidence of any wrong doing, and certainly no "voter fraud," 2) Where voter registration fraud has occurred it has been by rogue ACORN employees, originally reported to authorities by ACORN themselves (who are the actual victims of any such fraud by their employees), or 3) Smoke and mirrors are used to cloud the fact that not a single fraudulent vote has actually been cast by anyone.
Let's take a look at just two recent, oft-linked, oft-quoted New York Post articles from today and last week to give you an idea of how the scam works, and how the rightwing suckers fall for it. Every time...
The GOP's October "Surprise" continues...Even as it's no surprise at all that they are hoping to cause absolute bedlam at the polls. They are off to a good start, as the Democrats seem to be caught flat-footed, despite years of warnings about all of this.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Law enforcement officials in southwest Ohio are seeking information on hundreds of voters who registered and voted during Ohio's weeklong same-day voting window.
Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer and representatives of County Prosecutor Stephen Haller have contacted the local Board of Elections asking for the voter registration cards of everyone who voted during the six-day window, which ended Monday.
Haller is the former law partner of Mike DeWine, the former Republican senator who is chairing presidential nominee John McCain's Ohio campaign.
[Update: In an updated version of the AP report quoted above, it's noted that Sheriff Fisher is "a Republican," that Green County is "rich with Democrat-leaning college students," and that Fisher requested the voter information after "he had been inundated with phone calls from people concerned about possible fraud." In other words, no actual evidence of anything, just angry Republicans, fired up by chasing their own tails after Fox/RNC told them too. Smelling the rats here, yet?]
Of course, the GOP's ACORN "Voter Fraud" Scam was picked up today by John McCain on the stump (and, mercilessly, on Fox "News" all morning, naturally). Here's McCain putting the scare tactics first, and democracy and country second, if even that high on his list. Here's the shameful video...
We've been reporting on the GOP's October "Surprise" over the last few days (challenges to Democratic voter registrations in a number of states, and, perhaps more notably, their bogus PR campaign to charge that ACORN, a community organization that heroically registers millions of low-income voters who nobody else bothers to, is committing "voter fraud." See here, here and here, for example.)
But the November Surprise, as we've been trying to warn for many months (if not years), will undoubtedly be the thousands who show up to the polls to vote on November 4th, only to find out that they have somehow "fallen off" the voter rolls.
We've urged folks to check their registrations, even if they recently voted in a primary election, to make sure they haven't been purged (info on how to do that quickly in all 50 states, right here).
Today, the New York Times has published a scathing report, based on a detailed investigation revealing that "Tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least six swing states have been removed from the rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear to violate federal law."
The RNC isn't even trying to pretend like they are independent from their media arm, Fox "News", anymore, apparently.
Here's today's RNC press release. It's, quite literally, a transcript of this morning's Fox & Friends, wherein the FNC/RNC clowns "report" on yesterday's PR stunt/raid on a Las Vegas ACORN office and then, for good measure, prime the pump for yet another similar raid in Missouri (another swing state, go figure.) Needless to say, it's utter stuff and nonsense, with zero evidence of "criminality" by ACORN --- as explained in our coverage yesterday, all civic organizations are required by law to turn over ANY signed voter registration applications even when they are known to have problems -- and includes plenty of unsubstantiated hearsay and garbage, as if it were actually fact. So, naturally, it's been released as a press release by the RNC, as is.
Unless they find that yesterday's PR stunt in NV has blown up on them (and it might, as folks, even some in the corporate media, are beginning to understand what a desperate scam this GOP "voter fraud" hoax really is) we'll expect a similar stunt or two, akin to the one in Vegas, soon in MO, OH, and anywhere the GOP feels they need a phony reason to challenge elections, intimidate voters, and otherwise cause havoc at the polls before, during and even after Election Day.
Earlier today, I was reminded that similar nonsense occurred just days prior to the 2004 Presidential Election, when the wingnuts falsely reported that ACORN had registered a terrorist to vote in Ohio. And, of course, the DoJ famously violated it's own written rules when it brought similar "voter fraud" charges against ACORN workers just days before the '06 election.
Why do these people hate democracy? Oh, yeah, because if legal voters are actually allowed to vote, and to have their vote counted accurately, the Republicans will lose. At least this year. So, let's hear it one more time for modern-day Republican Deity Paul Weyrich who sent out this year's marching orders some 28 years ago (the video is 40 seconds, but it should tell you just about all you need to know)...
It shouldn't be necessary --- at least if we had a corporate media which did their Constitutionally-protected jobs --- but since ACORN doesn't have the budget of FNC/RNC, here's an ACORN press statement, issued late this afternoon, concerning the bogus Vegas raid/PR stunt yesterday...