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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, October 25, 2014
Touch-Screens Flip 'No' to 'Yes' on TN Abortion Measure
After the state GOP repealed the law to move to paper ballots, votes now reportedly flipping again on a controversial Amendment to the state Constitution...
More Trouble With Touch-Screens (2014 Edition)
Votes Flip D to R in Texas, R to D in Illinois - What's happening (again), what it means (again), and what you can do about it (please?)...
Christie: GOP Governors Needs to Control 'Voting Mechanisms' in 2016
NJ Governor and 2016 Presidential hopeful offers interesting reason why Republicans in three key states need to win in 2014...
Justice Ginsburg Republishes TX Photo ID Law Dissent After BRAD BLOG Cites Error
Turns out U.S. Veterans' Affairs ID can be used to vote under new GOP voting restrictions in TX. Official SCOTUS opinion updated...
'Mercy', 'Rehabilitation' and 'Restorative Justice'
Sentencing of South Africa's Oscar Pistorius offers stark reminder of concepts that seem to have gone missing from the justice system in the U.S...
'Green News Report' 10/21/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP candidates still dodging climate Qs; Mountaintop removal coal mining promotes lung cancer; 2014 on track as hottest year on record; PLUS: LEGO breaks up with Shell Oil...
Previous GNRs: 10/14/14 - 10/16/14 - Archives...
Everything Old is Texas Again
On the upside though, even if they successfully violate the Constitution by keeping some 600,000 legally registered, disproportionately minority voters from voting this year, they can save some money on signage...
Congresswoman Sets Impeachment Deadline for Federal Judge Mark Fuller
ALSO: Court unseals divorce docs from first marriage, Fuller attorney dismisses abuse allegations as 'rhetorical questions'...
SCOTUS ALLOWS TEXAS' DISCRIMINATORY GOP PHOTO ID LAW TO USED IN MIDTERMS
Despite uncontested findings striking down the law as a racially-motivated, 'unconstitutional poll tax', it will be implemented this year...
'Dead Heat' and 'Dirty Tricks': The Nightmare Scenario
Maddow warns: 'With this many top of ticket races tied, turnout will be everything...Now we watch for the ways that people will try to stop voters from turning out or from having their votes counted, by hook or by crook'...
Judge Fuller's Attorney Says Wife Beating Thing No Big Deal; 911 AUDIO and Gov. Don Siegelman Disagree
Standalone video of 911 call; First comment on case by imprisoned former AL Gov.; MORE...
Emergency Appeals Filed at SCOTUS to Restore Voting Rights to 600,000 in TX
GOP Photo ID law, which lower court found intentionally discriminatory, is different from recent cases before High Court, say plaintiffs...
'Green News Report' 10/16/14
Ryan backs away (sort of) from climate change denial; NatGas isn't a bridge to lower-emissions; PLUS: Did Lockheed-Martin really invent a compact nuclear fusion reactor?...
Bloomberg on BRAD BLOG on Judge Richard Posner on Photo ID Voting Laws...
'By the sounds of it, the floor that supported voter-ID laws has just given way'...
'BradCast': WI, TX, AR Photo ID Rulings
Trouble keeping up with the on-again/off-again court rulings on GOP voter suppression laws? Brad tries to make sense of it all for ya...
WTF?!: FL Gov. Rick Scott Refuses To Appear at Debate With Gov. Charlie Crist
Watch the video. They're calling it 'FanGate'. We're just calling it Florida...
Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down State GOP's Photo ID Voting Law
Court determines law, passed over Dem Governor's veto, violates explicit right to vote in state Constitution...
5th Circuit Appeals Panel Restores Texas GOP's 'Discriminatory' Photo ID Law
While not contesting law's unconstitutionality, judges cite SCOTUS rule on last minute voting changes...
'Green News Report' 10/14/14
Coal wins U.S. Senate debate in KY!; Pentagon: climate change threat to NatSec; Wind power cheapest source of energy; PLUS: September 2014 was hottest ever...
Repub Judge Who Approved Nation's 1st Photo ID Law in 2008 Writes Devastating Dissent Against Them
Reagan-appointed Richard Posner pens best case ever against Photo ID voting restrictions...
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
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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...


From DREs to the ACVR to the DOJ, The Republican Alphabet Soup Blueprint for Disenfranchisement and Miscounting in Next Year's Election Has Been a Well-Crafted and Well-Funded Work, Long in the Planning...
By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman on 10/21/2007 5:04pm PT  

Special to The BRAD BLOG by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman of The Columbus Free Press

ED NOTE: The following feature was originally published in the Autumn '07 print version of the Columbus Free Press. The comprehensive aerial overview --- connecting dots from 2000 to 2004 to the outlook for 2008, as based on a wide body of years-long investigative reportage and exposés as collected from a variety of sources, including The BRAD BLOG and many others --- offers such a useful round-up of "our story until now" that we thought running the piece in its entirety here would be a very good idea. We hope you agree.

With record low approval ratings for the Bush/Cheney regime and the albatross of an unpopular war hanging from the GOP's neck, do you think that a Democratic presidential candidate will win the White House, get us out of Iraq, and end our long national nightmare?

Think again – the mighty election theft machine Karl Rove used to steal the US presidency in 2000 and 2004 may be under attack, but it is still in place for the upcoming 2008 election.

With his usual devious mastery, Rove has seized upon the national outrage sparked by his electoral larceny and used it as smokescreen while he makes the American electoral system even MORE unfair, and even EASIER to rig. Thus the administration has fired federal attorneys when they would not participate in a nationwide campaign to deny minorities and the poor their access to the polls. It has spent millions of taxpayer dollars to install electronic voting machines that can be "flipped" with a few keystrokes. And under the guise of "reforming" our busted electoral system, it is setting us up for another presidential theft in 2008.

Thus it should come as no surprise that our exclusive investigations into the firings of eight federal prosecutors who refused to execute Rove’s plans for massive disenfranchisement of Democratic voters reveal a pattern of illegalities and fraud aimed at reducing the number of minority, poor and young voters at the core of Democratic support. In the wake of major news breaks, two felony convictions have come from the rigging of the illegal Ohio 2004 vote count and recount that gave George W. Bush a second illegitimate term. Stunning new admissions from county election boards that illegally destroyed voter records will almost certainly lead to new convictions. And the multi-million-dollar electronic voting machine scam that made possible the biggest electoral frauds in US history is under massive new attack, with key states moving to scrap the machines altogether in a desperate attempt to restore American democracy – but with the job far from done.

Rove, Ney and the Undead

Indeed, the Rovian theft engine is far from dead. The media groundwork has already been laid out for the Republicans to claim that hordes of illegal aliens have registered to vote. The Bush administration has been caught ordering public agencies – possibly in violation of the law – to cease registering voters. In an April, 2006 speech to the Republican National Lawyers Association, Rove openly alluded to the strategy of demanding photo ID and purging voter roles of poor, minority voters just as had been done in 2000 and 2004. And, as always with Bush/Rove, there is much more beneath the surface.

All that has happened to challenge the GOP death grip on the American vote count has been reported in the pages of Hustler and on the internet at FreePress.org, The BRAD BLOG and elsewhere, and is being seized upon by a national grassroots movement determined to restore American democracy next year.

Nowhere has that movement been more in evidence than with the high profile firestorm surrounding Bush administration Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ firing of eight federal prosecutors without legitimate cause.

Evidence continues to surface from throughout the United States about this blatant Bush abuse of executive power. But we have traced the roots of the firings to an obscure Congressional hearing held at the statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, on March 21, 2005, and to a shadowy GOP operative named Mark F. "Thor" Hearne.

The hearing was conducted by none other than former US Rep. Bob Ney (R-18th OH). The once-powerful Ohio Congressman (who is now behind bars) was the godfather of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), the national boondoggle that mandated electronic voting machines for the American electoral process.

That the machines would cost taxpayers billions was a big plus for Ney. They would come from Diebold and other companies that poured money into Republican coffers. Thanks largely to the manipulations of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, these e-voting machine companies would help guarantee the GOP’s ability to steal elections.

Ney’s hearing featured a marquee appearance by J. Kenneth Blackwell, the Secretary of State responsible for delivering Ohio’s decisive 2004 electoral votes to Bush. Blackwell was a key operative for the Bush election campaign in Florida in 2000 and co-chaired the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign in Ohio...

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

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Second Attempt Was Successful for the AUSA From Florida Who Flew to Detroit to Have Sex With 5-Year Old
PLUS: A Note on Our Reporting on the Political Affiliation of Atchison...
By Brad Friedman on 10/6/2007 6:15pm PT  

To close a loop (something we don't often get to do) on a story we picked up on a few weeks ago, the Assistant U.S. Attorney from northern Florida, John David R. Atchison, who was arrested in a sting in September for attempting to have sex with a 5-year old girl, has committed suicide in federal prison.

Atchison had previously tried to kill himself just days after being arrested at the Detroit airport where he had flown to a federal agent he had believed to be the little girl's mother.

"Just gotta go slow and very easy. I've done it plenty," Atchison reportedly told the "mother" before he left Florida, after the agent in the string operation had expressed concerns to Atchison about injury to the little girl.

In AP's report on the AUSA's death, they described him as a family man, whose attorney hopes he'll be remembered for "a lot of good in his life"...

Atchison, a married father of three, was an assistant U.S. attorney in northern Florida, based in Pensacola. Gulf Breeze, Fla., residents have described him as a respected figure who coached girls' softball and basketball in a park a few blocks from his home.

A statement released Friday by his lawyer, James Thomas, said Atchison had "done a lot of good in his life."

"Unfortunately, he is going to be judged by his most recent charges and what we have read in the media, and not by the goodness, hard work or by the love of his family," the statement read.

ED NOTE about the sub-headline, from our initial quick coverage of the arrest last month, intimating that Atchison was a Republican...

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

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Report Released Today Says More Testing Needed of ES&S Voting Machines to Determine Cause of Massive, Still Unexplained Undervote
One Year Later and Republican in Disputed Election Still Sitting, Voting in Congress...
By Brad Friedman on 10/2/2007 7:36pm PT  

As we near the one year mark since some 18,000 votes inexplicably disappeared in Sarasota County, Florida, on the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) touch-screen voting machines used in the U.S. House Election for the state's 13th Congressional District, more study is still needed to determine whether or not the voting machines were at fault, according to the report released today by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Even with the additional testing, the GAO admits, it will be impossible to determine for certain whether the touch-screen machines caused the extraordinarily high undervote race in the election.

The GAO's report [PDF] was presented to a Congressional task force investigating the challenge brought by Democratic candidate Christine Jennings, under the Federal Contested Elections Act, after the certified tally between her and her Republican opponent, Vern Buchanan, was reported by the state to be a slim 369 vote margin.

No reasonable explanation for the massive undervote --- found only in that particular contest, only in the Sarasota portion of the race, and only on the touch-screen ballots there (as opposed to the paper-based absentee ballots) --- has yet been proven by anyone.

The GAO has asked the task force to allow them to conduct further testing of the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen machines, in three specific areas, though they admit while "the proposed tests could help provide increased assurance, they would not provide absolute assurance that the iVotronic DREs did not cause the large undervote in Sarasota County."

Determining for certain whether the machines caused the problem would be "impossible," according to the GAO analysis, because they are "unable to recreate the conditions of the election in which the undervote occurred." Ah, the trouble with touch-screens.

As well, the report determined that "some of the prior tests and reviews conducted by the State of Florida and Sarasota County provide assurance that certain components of the voting systems in Sarasota County functioned correctly, but they are not enough to provide reasonable assurance that the iVotronic DREs did not contribute to the undervote."

While the Congressional task force has given permission for the GAO to proceed with their additional testing of the DREs, Jennings has already announced her intentions to run again in 2008 and Buchanan has voted for almost a full year with the Republican House caucus. And Democrats in the House prepare to vote on legislation which would allow the same faulty technology to be used in further elections.

QUESTIONS ABOUT ES&S CONTINUE

Among the unanswered questions in any of the FL-13 reports so far, is whether or not the source code reviewed in previous studies was the same as the code actually in use in the machines on Election Day. Recent news out of California demonstrates that ES&S has a prior history of playing fast and loose with different versions of hardware and software used on their machines in elections.

As well, reading past the summary section of the GAO report reveals another troubling disclosure by the nation's largest voting machine vendor...

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

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PLUS: Guest Hosting Tomorrow on San Francisco's Green 960am...
By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2007 2:26pm PT  

Whatever they have to do to win. And given the odds against them in '08, expect them to pull out every stop imaginable between now and the election in order to "win."

Add this to our "DoJ is the New ACVR" article last week, describing how the DoJ has now institutionalized "vote caging" at the federal level via, among other things, a recent letter sent to 10 states ordering them to purge their voter rolls. While Thor Hearne's ACVR is no more (at least officially) and the RNC is barred from minority-targeted caging by a court-ordered consent decree, state parties can do whatever the hell they damn well please, according to our friend Greg Gordon at McClatchy today...

WASHINGTON — Ohio and Florida, which provided the decisive electoral votes for President Bush's two razor-thin national election triumphs, have enacted laws that election experts say will help Republicans impede Democratic-leaning minorities from voting in 2008.

Backers of the new laws say they're aimed at curbing vote fraud. But the statutes also could facilitate a controversial Republican tactic known as "vote caging," which the GOP attempted in Ohio and Florida in 2004 before public disclosures foiled the efforts, said Joseph Rich, a former Justice Department voting rights chief in the Bush administration who's now with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.

Caging, used in the past to target poor minorities in heavily Democratic precincts, entails sending mass mailings to certain voters and then using the undelivered letters to compile lists of voters for eligibility challenges.
...
Asked whether they might employ vote caging in 2008, Executive Director Jason Mauk of the Ohio Republican Party and spokeswoman Erin Van Sickle of the Florida Republican Party said they couldn't discuss election strategy.

See Gordon's complete report for more details.

As well, we'll have more on all of this Thursday and Friday while Guest Hosting for "Progressive News with John Scott" on San Francisco's Air America affiliate Green 960am (formerly "The Quake"), where we'll be bringing these issues to drive-time listeners (4p-6p PT) in the Bay Area! Hope you'll tune in! (See "Media Appearances" box at top-right for more details.)

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Andrew Meyer Currently 'On Ice,' According to Investigate Journalist/NYTimes Best Selling Author of 'Mysterious Yellow Book'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/20/2007 2:58pm PT  

We just spoke with Greg Palast, whose Armed Madhouse paperback (or "mysterious 'yellow book,'" as lazy Washington Post blogger, Emil Steiner "reported" it), was being waved and alluded to by University of Florida student Andrew Meyer just prior to his being Tasered by UF cops earlier this week.

Palast says he is offering the journalism student a job as a paid intern. Meyer had described Palast, in his question to Sen. John Kerry, asking why he conceded the 2004 Presidential Election so early, as "the top investigate journalist in America."

"Did you notice he never let the book touch the ground?" an impressed Palast wryly noted.

Meyers was Tasered by the authorities as the majority of the students in the crowd sat passively during their fellow student's pleas for help and shrieks of pain. He was then arrested and charged with a felony for "inciting a riot and disrupting a school function." (Police report here [PDF])

"His attorneys seem to be keeping him on ice," Palast told us, when we asked if he'd been able to officially offer the gig to Meyer.

Indeed, our note to Meyer sent Tuesday, inviting him to Guest Blog his experience here at The BRAD BLOG, has so far similarly gone unanswered.

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The Pacification of America...
By Brad Friedman on 9/20/2007 11:58am PT  

And thus, Stephen Colbert hits on precisely the most alarming issue at the heart of the Tasering incident: The students (and Kerry) stood by. Did nothing. America pacified...

As we wrote to some folks in a discussion list yesterday:

I should also add that, according to the Police Report [PDF], Meyer was arrested on an absurd felony charge of "inciting a riot and disrupting a school function."

If that was "inciting a riot" worthy of Tasering, I can only shudder at what the authorities' reaction would have been to someone who was actually inciting a riot.

And I believe my shudder is ultimately, and exactly, the point of such displays by the authorities.

As Naomi Wolf pointed out, such tactics have worked very effectively in the past.

Eternal Vigilance: More Than Just a Swell Bumpersticker Catch-Phrase.

Our initial coverage, and early thoughts on the incident, are posted here...

Related: Wheelchair Bound Woman Tasered to Death

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The BRAD BLOG Congratulates the Not-Yet-Indicted Florida Republican on His Latest Impressive Accomplishment!
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2007 2:34pm PT  

Congratulations to Florida's U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney (24th District) for being named one of Congress's "Most Corrupt Members" for the third consecutive year! The latest round of notables was posted today by the watchdogs at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

Attaboy, Tom!

And all while staying out of jail --- so far --- for improprieties associated with disgraced GOP über lobbyist Jack Abramoff; being disgraced Tom Delay's #1 supporter in Congress; well-documented allegations of vote-rigging in 2000; all even while continuing to protect your enduring friendship with Communist China-associated, illegal-immigrant employing spies, business partners, and benefactors!

No easy feat, that! Especially since just staying alive while hanging around you has gotten so difficult for so many over the years!

We'd list more of your considerable accomplishments here, but we seem to have made a career of it already. So we continue to invite readers to peruse your impressive record on their own! Here's the short version, for those in a hurry.

Keep up the bad work, Tom!

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'In this book, it says five million votes were supressed. Didn't you want to be President?' Asks 21-Year-Old Prior to be Dragged Off by Security
'Kerry, true to character, stood immobile,' Notes the New York Times Best-Selling Author in Response...
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2007 1:10pm PT  


Fortunately, it happened at a John Kerry event. So we'll likely hear a whole lot about this incident. Had it happened at a Republican event, Fox "News" and the rest of the news channels that receive their assignments from them would have made this a one-day story at best.

The blurry-ish video version of the incident seen at right shows the entire statement and questions asked by University of Florida student Andrew Meyer. He was waving the recently released paperback version of investigative journalist Greg Palast's Armed Madhouse and recommended the book to Kerry before asking him about his early concession to the 2004 Presidential Election.

"He says you won the 2004 Election, isn't that amazing?" proclaimed Meyer, referring to Palast's claims in the book. The 21-year-old student continued on to speak about "multiple reports of disenfranchisement of black voters in Florida and Ohio on the day of the election" and "electronic voting machines in Volusia County, Florida, that counted backwards."

"So amidst all of these reports of phony, bogus stuff going on, how could you concede the election on the day?" he asked as security guards surrounded him. "How could you concede the 2004 election on the day? In this book, it says there were five million votes that were suppressed. Didn't you want to be President?!"

Kerry is heard earlier in Meyer's statement acknowledging that he has the book and that he's "already read it." Though we've seen the incident now on all of the cable news channels, several times, we've not seen any of them show the actual statement and questions being asked by Meyer.

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

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What is It About Florida Republicans and Sex With Children?
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2007 4:30pm PT  

Unbelievable...

DETROIT --- A U.S. Justice Department official has been arrested on suspicion of traveling to Detroit over the weekend to have sex with a minor.

John David R. Atchison, 53, an assistant U.S. attorney from the northern district of Florida, was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Detroit Monday afternoon.

An undercover officer posed as a mother offering her child to Atchison for sex, according to police.

Prosecutors said Atchison flew from Pensacola, Fla., to Detroit on Sunday intending to have sex with the 5-year-old girl.
...
The undercover detective asked how Atchison can be certain of no injury. He responded, "Just gotta go slow and very easy. I've done it plenty," according to detectives.

Atchison, a member of the Florida bar association since 1984, lives in Gulf Breeze, Fla., near Pensacola.

He is president of the Gulf Breeze Sports Association, a youth athletics organization.

He described himself online as a family man.

UPDATE 10/6/07: On his second attempt, Atchison succeeded in killing himself in federal prison. Details on that, and our inference on his being a Republican right here...

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Three Smart Editorials Today Calling the Bad Guys Out and Demanding Accountability! Finally!
UPDATED: One More Smart Editorial Today Added, Calls Tom Feeney 'Shameless'!
By Brad Friedman on 8/30/2007 9:18am PT  

Blogged by Brad from Boulder, CO...

Must get off the grid today very shortly (and will be gone until after Labor Day), so not much time for comment here. Rather, I'll give you quick pointers to three superb editorials in today's papers as the voices of the good guys return to counter the charlatans and propagandists who've been dominating the media pages for far too long.

Please read on, for some heroic cries for accountability --- finally --- from the hopelessly compromised U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), Election Officials in general, and Sequoia Voting Systems in particular, all found in the op/ed pages today from Coast-to-Coast!...

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

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ALSO: More Feeney Lies, Ethical Problems Revealed as Florida 'Vote-Rigging' Software Firm Owner Contributes $5000 to the Corrupt Congressman's Abramoff Legal Defense Fund...
By Brad Friedman on 8/28/2007 8:05am PT  

By Brad Friedman from on the road in Burlington, CO...

The recent Dan Rather report (complete video here) on the gaming of the paper punchcard ballots by Sequoia Voting Systems in Florida, just prior to the 2000 election, plugs up at least one important "hole" in the Clint Curtis story. We first broke Curtis's story back in late 2004 and have been reporting on it ever since.

You'll recall that Curtis alleged --- in sworn affidavit [PDF], live video-taped testimony before a U.S. House Judiciary delegation, and via polygraph test --- that he was asked by Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) to create a touch-screen vote-rigging prototype program, just months prior to the 2000 election when they both worked at the same Florida software firm.

One of the main criticisms of Curtis's striking allegations at the time was that "nobody was even thinking about touch-screen voting systems in Florida prior to the 2000 Presidential Election debacle."

Dan Rather's remarkable investigative report, however, would seem to indicate otherwise: seven Sequoia company whistleblowers reveal on camera that, despite their objections, they were forced to use poor quality paper for the punchcards to be used in Florida in 2000. They also revealed that they had been instructed to deliberately misalign the chads for ballots going to Palm Beach County, FL, only.

Back in 2004, just after The BRAD BLOG broke the original story of Curtis' allegations, some in the media were skeptical. On 12/13/04, Kim Zetter picked up on the story for WIRED and wrote...

Some details of Curtis' statements don't check out. West Palm Beach city didn't use touch-screen machines in 2000, something Curtis didn't know when Wired News spoke to him. It was the pregnant chad controversy in that year's presidential election that led Palm Beach county, where West Palm Beach resides, to replace its much-maligned punch-card system with touch-screen machines made by Sequoia Voting Systems in December 2001.

Unknown to the dubious Zetter at the time, was that someone at Sequoia, as the Rather report now reveals, seems to have known what they were doing when they gamed those paper ballots in Florida in 2000, since the company had already had touch-screen voting machines in the pipe-line, and indeed, already in use since as early as 1999 in California. If someone at Sequoia was pushing towards a change to touch-screen voting for Florida in 2000, the charges that Feeney might well have been aware, and supporting such a move is not quite as absurd as Zetter seemed to suggest in her article.

As well, another recent revelation puts the lie to Feeney's claim, made years ago, that he no longer had anything to do with the owners of the Oviedo, Florida, firm where he was the general counsel and registered lobbyist in 2000 (even as he served as Speaker of the FL House at the same time). Curtis was employed as a computer programmer for the company, which had multi-million dollar contracts with both the state and NASA, where Feeney's wife has worked for several years.

New information reveals that the owners of the company remain personal friends with Feeney, and continue to funnel money to him even while they hope for further contracts from the U.S. House Subcommittee on Space & Aeronautics, in which Feeney has recently been promoted to ranking member.

TOUCH-SCREEN VOTING SYSTEMS AND PRE-2000 FLORIDA

Connecting a few dots here... Sequoia had already deployed its new touch-screen voting systems in several precincts in Riverside County, CA, back in 1999. In 2000 the systems were to be used county-wide for the first time. Sequoia knew damned well that they stood to make millions from the use of touch-screen voting systems long before the 2000 election, even as their paper ballot shop was preparing the flawed paper ballots for use in Florida's election that same year.

As reported by Rather, the company made just pennies per ballot on the punchcards and only a few hundred dollars on punchcard counting machines. But millions stood to be made on their newer technology, which sold for thousands of dollars per touch-screen machine. The stunning on-camera testimony from the seven company whistleblowers suggests that the company --- and/or someone else --- may have had a plan in place to speed the transition to touch-screens prior to the 2000 election in Florida. That, of course, is precisely the same moment in time that Curtis alleges Feeney asked him to create touch-screen vote-rigging software, when they both worked for Yang Enterprises, Inc....

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

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Papers Released by the Company Prove Nothing, May Be from 2000 Primary Election in Florida Instead of General Election Where Malfeasance Has Been Alleged...
By John Gideon on 8/28/2007 5:35am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.Org, with additional reporting by Brad Friedman

The latest set of documents released by Sequoia Voting Systems, in an attempt to clear its name after a recent damning news report, fail to answer any of the questions that the company had claimed that they would. Worse still, The BRAD BLOG has learned that the documents proffered by Sequoia may not even refer to the specific election about which new and alarming questions have been recently raised.

The day after damaging revelations about several touch-screen voting machine manufacturers was aired in a remarkable exposé on Dan Rather Reports, the Vice-President and lead spokeswoman for Sequoia Voting Systems, Michele Shafer, responded in a press release to the charges made, on camera, by seven company whistleblowers featured in the broadcast.

The charges included claims that the workers at Sequoia's paper punchcard ballot plant had been forced to use inferior paper stock for ballots that were created for the 2000 general election in Florida and, as well, they were instructed to misalign the chads for punchcards made specifically for Palm Beach County.

Nobody at Sequoia was willing to take credit for the use of the bad paper, even as the seven workers had, time and again, refused to accept delivery for the inferior stock which was ultimately used anyway. The company failed to provide documents to Rather's team, showing who it was who finally signed off on the delivery. And when pressed, Sequoia had given questionable "received" documents for the paper which didn't have anyone's signature, as the Sequoia Quality Control specialist interviewed said she would have expected.

Shafer responded in her statement by promising to deliver exculpatory documents to prove that Rather's report was all wrong. The documents finally produced late last week, do nothing of the kind...

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...And Plan to Defeat Him Once and For All...
By Clint Curtis on 8/26/2007 2:49pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Clint Curtis

My name is Clint Curtis, and I am running for Congress in Florida’s 24th District because I am fed up with the corruption and incompetence that continues to plague us in Washington. I'm running because the people of this country deserve honest representation and strong leadership that reflects the true will of the people.

As long-time BRAD BLOG readers may remember, I have dedicated myself to the cause of election integrity ever since a corrupt congressman asked me to create a prototype vote-rigging software program while we were both working for the same Florida software company back in 2000.

Since then, I have stepped into the sunshine to tell the story, and have become one of the nation's leading advocates for election reform. Working with non-partisan election integrity groups across the nation, I have fought hard for legislation that mandates the use of paper ballots. The state of Florida just passed such legislation earlier this year --- an enormous victory for proponents of election reform and a great win, finaly, for the voters of Florida.

My district is bordered by Cocoa Beach, Kennedy Space Center, Daytona Beach and Orlando. It is a district of stark contrast between the haves and the have nots. Million dollar beachfront palaces sit just a scant few miles away from thousands who subsist in grinding poverty, bereft of hope. This is Florida’s Space Coast, a region of stunning beauty and spectacular innovation, but we have the misfortune to be represented by one of the most corrupt Republicans in Congress, the very same congressman who asked me to create that vote-rigging program: Tom Feeney.

Tom Feeney is the latest Republican congressman to fall under the shadow of the Jack Abramoff bribery and corruption scandal. Feeney is now under investigation by the FBI for his dealings with Abramoff. The writing is on the wall, making Florida’s 24th District one of the top three targeted races in the country.

But I will need your help in running against Feeney, and more importantly for the moment, helping the Democratic power structure in Washington D.C. understand we are ready, willing and able to take this seat and remove Tom Feeney once and for all.

For those of you who are new to The BRAD BLOG and may not be familiar with my story, up until just a few years ago I was a stereotypical, mild-mannered software engineer who would have never in a million years considered running for public office. As I said in a post last week, introducing myself to readers at Daily Kos, I’m just a ‘regular guy,’ a middle class citizen, working hard to make ends meet, like so many of you. And sad to say, for too many years, I bought into the myth that people like us can’t really make much a difference.

I've been a programmer since 1985. I've worked on projects as diverse as NASA to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Department. Although I was always an independently inclined voter, for years I identified more with Republicans than Democrats. I thought they shared my values of integrity, ethics, and honesty. I believe many of them still do. But that trust was shattered when I came to discover what shameless depths bad apple Republican politicians have now sunk to...

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Ralph Gonzalez, Whose Firm Created 'CrazyClintCurtis.com' Smear Website, Apparently Murdered
Gonzalez's Strategum Group consulted for Feeney, Worked with Ralph Reed, GA Rep. Tom Price [Updated Several Times With Add'l Details]
By Steve Huff on 8/23/2007 7:28pm PT  

Guest blogged by Steve Huff, with additional updates by Brad Friedman.

NOTE: The original version of this blog entry was published here. This version has been updated several times, specifically for The BRAD BLOG. See updates at end of article...

Police are investigating a possible double murder and suicide in an Orlando, Florida, residence owned by the former Executive Director of the Georgia Republican Party.

The Orange County Sheriff was called to 2420 Hickory Oak Blvd. in Orlando early Thursday. There they found three dead white men and two live dogs. The men may have been dead since Tuesday.

The home where they were found dead was owned by a political consultant/strategist of Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), the one who worked on the Congressman's smear campaign against vote-rigging whistleblower Clint Curtis last year. More details on that campaign below.

Feeney describes Gonzalez as "a born political consultant." On commenting on the news, Feeney said of Gonzalez, "He was an adviser and strategist for me and became a very good friend."

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We're Happy to Correct Our Error Publicly, Will They Correct Their Multiple Ones in Turn?
UPDATE: Sequoia's Attempt to Fool America Continues, Company Scrubs Website, Rewrites History!
By John Gideon on 8/17/2007 2:28pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org

ED NOTE: ARTICLE UPDATED TO REFLECT SEQUOIA AND MICHELLE SHAFER'S SHAMELESSLY SCRUBBED, DOCTORED, BACKDATED DOCUMENT. SEE EXPLANATION MID-ARTICLE. - BF

This morning I woke up to an email from Michelle Shafer, Vice President of Communications and External Affairs for Sequoia Voting Systems. Shafer wanted to point out that I had misstated the facts in yesterday's "Daily Voting News" when I asked, "And what about the sale of Sequoia? Smartmatic has been looking for a buyer for Sequoia for over a year now."

Shafer pointed me to a Sequoia press release, from December 22, 2006, in which they say, "The company also today announced its intent to seek an acquirer for Oakland-based Sequoia Voting Systems, a leading provider of voting technology in the United States that Smartmatic has owned since March 2005."

In other words, they've been seeking a buyer for 8 months, not a full year as I'd reported. I responded to let her know I'd be more than happy to issue a correction in today's DVN, as well note the error in the DVN posting here at The BRAD BLOG.

We are interested in being as factual as possible, and regret any error made, no matter how small. When we find one, we try to correct it immediately and transparently.

And, because our email discussion concerned being factual, I pointed out to Shafer that the press release she pointed me to had a number of wholly incorrect facts that she needed to clear up. Her press release from last December, incorrectly states:

"The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has not raised any issues about Sequoia's equipment in the 2006 elections, and the EAC requires that all voting systems receive extensive federal and state testing. Specifically, significant federal, state and local electoral safeguards were in place during the 2006 elections, and even more robust federal safeguards will come into effect in 2007. Sequoia takes these requirements very seriously and has complied with all applicable federal and state requirements."

She is flat out wrong. On a number of counts. Which I pointed out to her in my response. Her response to that was...we'll call it...a bit surprising...

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