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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, October 1, 2014
GOP Outraged After AR Attorney General Candidate Removed from Voting Roll
Found to have voted in AR after registering in D.C., she's now removed from rolls and maybe ballot. GOP attorneys (ironically) furious...
Facebook Rightwinger Has 'Questions' for 'American Leftists' on 'Voter ID'
We can't speak for 'American Leftists', but we're happy to answer this terribly disinformed dude's 'questions'...
'Green News Report' 9/30/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Obama creates world's largest marine sanc- tuary; Humans wiped out 1/2 of world wildlife; Also to blame for AUS' hottest year ever; PLUS: Oil co. joins Google to dump ALEC...
Previous GNRs: 9/25/14 - 9/23/14 - Archives...
'BRAD BLOG May Be Sued for Telling the Truth About GOP Operative': Hartmann TV
Brad discusses bizarre threat of legal action by longtime Republican voter registration schemer Nathan Sproul...
BREAKING: 5-4 SCOTUS Ruling Restores GOP Restrictions on Early Voting in OH
Bad news for voters. Good news for Republicans who like to win elections by trying to limit voters' ability to cast their vote...
7th Circuit Deadlock Means WI Photo ID Law Still in Place
Longtime court vacancy likely made difference in 5-5 tie; Scott Walker, GOP rejoice as 'electoral choas' reigns in 'toss up' re-election race; SCOTUS likely next stop for plaintiffs...
Too Much Voting Going On!: GA County Repubs Block Early Sunday Voting
Board of Elections votes against 'partisan' proposal to make voting more convenient, even though County already funded it...
Stewart Explodes Over GOP Climate Science Deniers on House SCIENCE Committee
And who can blame him? As White House Science Advisor forced to 'push a million pounds of idiot up a mountain'...
Federal Court Panel Denies OH Attempt to Avoid Restoration of Early Voting
State Republicans keep trying and trying to make voting harder (for some). Courts keep denying and denying their attempts...
'Green News Report' 9/25/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate Week Special Coverage continues: China will cut emissions; Experts say we're not doing enough; Admin makes econ case for action; PLUS: Corporate titans step up...
Previous GNRs: 9/23/14 - 9/18/14 - Archives...
GOP Values: Beating Wives, Suppressing Votes, Threatening Journalists - KPFK 'BradCast'
Latest on cases of GOP wife-beating judge Fuller; GOP voter operative Sproul; MORE...
Sproul Threatens BRAD BLOG With Legal Action After FL Confirms Our 2012 Reporting
GOP operative linked to years of registration fraud allegations sends bizarre email after yet another arrest of one of his workers...
'Green News Report' 9/23/14
GNR Special Coverage: Climate Week 2014 -- Climate March (largest in history), Wall Street protests (can ya hear us now?), special U.N. Climate Summit...
Report Cites Armed Walker Supporters Plotting to Target Democratic Voters in WI
'We can get our agents to watch polling location, identify the individual, and follow them to their residence'...
Resignation or Impeachment Would Be a Gift for Wife-Beating Judge Mark Fuller
2012 docs suggest domestic abuse of two wives and children by federal judge w/ lifetime appointment...
ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
Seeks full 7th Circuit hearing after three-GOP judge ruling reinstates Photo ID law just weeks before election...
'Green News Report' 9/18/14
DiCaprio's UN climate role; Jindal plays dumb; Fracking confirmed (again) to contaminate; Black lung coal disease on rise; PLUS: Polluter front groups newest attack...
Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
Chris Hayes plays horrifying audio from wife-beating incident by U.S. District Court Judge; ALSO: Calls for accountability from two Alabama U.S. Congresswoman...
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...


Director James Knodell, Under Intense Questioning, Can't Explain Why There Was Never an Investigation by White House
Victoria Toensing, in Third Panel, Also Subjected to Intense Scrutiny on Previous 'Plame Wasn't Covert' Statements, Seems Shaken, Offers Much Conflicting Info, Explanations...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2007 9:22am PT  

In the second panel in the House Oversight Committee hearings this morning, following the testimony of Valerie Plame-Wilson, the Director of the White House Security Office, James Knodell, has stunned the Congress members by disclosing that no investigation into the leaking of Plame-Wilson's covert identity as a CIA operative was ever conducted by his office!

The members are flabbergasted. The questioning is intense. My live-blogging notes are posted, and updated live, below...

Also, the third panel, featuring Victoria Toensing, apologist for White House leaks, was fascinating, as her previous claims that "Plame was not covert" and that "she didn't serve overseas within five years prior to the leak" had been demolished by Plame-Wilson's earlier testimony. She attempted to mitigate the situation throughout her testimony by claiming that Plame-Wilson was not covert "under the provisions of the statute." Many more details below...

(Live blogging of Valerie Plame-Wilson's testimony is back here...)

UPDATE: Video of complete hearing and related documents now online at House Oversight Committee website right here...

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

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Testifies She Had Nothing to do With Sending Husband to Niger, Blows Out Every Claim by Republicans, Novak, Toensing, etc. That She Wasn't Covert
LIVE-BLOGGING HOUSE OVERSIGHT HEARINGS...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2007 7:42am PT  

Absolutely riveting, historic, under-oath testimony by Valerie Plame-Wilson in the House Oversight Committee on-going right now. Recurring theme over and over again: She was covert, covert, covert when her identity was outed and her cover was blown --- for the first time in history by her own government.

Every wingnut argument to the contrary, and concerning her case has been utterly destroyed. The Republican questioning of Plame-Wilson has come up with absolutely nothing to counter and it's been confirmed that CIA Director Gen. Hayden has also confirmed her covert status and that she we worked overseas (as per the Intelligence Identity Protections Act) in the last five years.

Hearings were covered for first 15 minutes or so on all three cable news nets. Now only LIVE currently on C-SPAN.

AP just filed this short initial item:

WASHINGTON - Valerie Plame, the CIA operative at the heart of a political scandal, told Congress Friday that senior officials at the White House and State Department "carelessly and recklessly" blew her cover to discredit her diplomat-husband.

Plame, whose 2003 outing triggered a federal investigation, said she always knew her identity could be discovered by foreign governments.

"It was a terrible irony that administration officials were the ones who destroyed my cover," she told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

RAW STORY currently has details on her opening testimony.

Live blogging notes on the testimony below follow below...

(NOTE: Second and Third panels now live blogged here. Includes details on stunning admission from White House Security Director that no investigation was ever made into the leak by his office!)

UPDATE: Video of complete hearing and related documents now online at House Oversight Committee website right here...

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

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Two Different Statements from Civil Rights Leaders Call for Discontinuation of Unsecure, Unverifiable, Disenfranchising DRE/Touch-Screen Voting Technology
Both Destroy Myth of Need to Sacrifice Verifed Ballots for Accessibility...
By Brad Friedman on 3/14/2007 1:56pm PT  

Hallelujah!

Voters with disabilities are finally beginning to speak out against the use of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, often known as "touch-screen") voting systems!

After years of DRE supporters, and indeed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, using the canard that blind and disabled voters must use DREs to vote privately and independently, a number of leaders in the disabilities community are speaking out against their having been used as a wedge to force the nationwide implementation of such disenfranchising, dangerous voting systems.

Two different landmark statements on the issue have now been released, The BRAD BLOG has learned. One statement [PDF] released last week by the Disability Law Center and the ACLU speaks in support of the decision by the Massachusetts Secretary of State to approve the use of ballot marking devices, as opposed to DREs, for use by the state's disabled voters.

The second, released today to The BRAD BLOG in advance of Congressional subcommittee hearings tomorrow, is signed so far by more than 20 leaders of the blind and disabled communities and calls for "an immediate ban" on DRE voting systems. Like the release from the Disability Law Center, the newly released statement crushes the long-overused myth that such unsecure, disenfranchising, failed technology is required for disabled access to private, independent voting. (The complete statement is posted at the end of this item.)

"Providing secure voting machines for voters with disabilities is part and parcel of protecting [disabilities voters'] rights to equal access to the ballot and to having their votes reliably counted," said Stanley J. Eicher, Executive Director of the Disability Law Center in their March 5th statement.

"The decision by the Secretary shows that it is both possible and essential to build common ground between the disability rights community and the growing number of citizens who are concerned that many of the proposed new technologies are subject to tampering and error," said Eichner, adding notably, "We must debunk the myth that we have to choose between accessible voting and verifiable voting. Democracy requires that we have both."

The brief but no-uncertain-terms statement today from the disabilities advocates calls for a nationwide ban on the use of DRE technology.

"Electronic ballot systems such as the direct record electronic (DRE) machines...now in use," the statement reads, "have quickly proven to be neither fully accessible to all voters nor secure and accurate methods of recording, tallying, and reporting votes. While the goal of private voting has been achieved by some voters, this has often been without meaningful assurance that our votes have been counted as cast."

The disabilities leaders go on to point out that verification of ballots and the accuracy of their tabulation need not be sacrificed for accessibility or privacy. A similar point was at the heart of a report recently released by one of the letter's authors, blind technology expert Noel H. Runyan. His report, published simultaneously by both Demos and VoterAction.org, concerns the failure of DRE systems to meet both HAVA requirements and the accessibility and verification needs of disabled voters.

The statement further describes DRE electronic balloting systems as "inappropriate for use" and calls on "all disability rights groups, other civil rights groups, election protection groups, and elected officials to recognize the necessity for an immediate ban" on such dangerous, unreliable, and unsecure technology:

It is now clear that in order to guarantee reliability and security in our elections, it is necessary for the voter to be able to truly verify the accuracy of his or her ballot--the ballot that will actually be counted. The only voting systems that permit truly accessible verification of the paper ballot are ballot marking devices. These non-tabulating devices, either electronic or non-electronic, assist the voter in marking and verifying votes on paper ballots that can either be optically scanned or hand-counted."
...
We leaders and members of the disability rights community assert that neither accessibility for all voters nor the security of the vote can be sacrificed for the sake of the other. Fortunately, true accessibility and election security can both be achieved; there is no inherent incompatibility between voting system accessibility and security.

We recognize that electronic ballot systems are inappropriate for use, because these systems make it impossible for voters to verify that their votes will be counted as cast. We call upon all disability rights groups, other civil rights groups, election protection groups, and elected officials to recognize the necessity for an immediate ban on any voting system that fails to meet the twin requirements of full accessibility and election security.

This new and most welcome statement from this particular community is in stark contrast to the only other major voices previously allowed to testify before Congress on such matters, such as the National Federal for the Blind (NFB) and Jim Dickson of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).

Despite both of those groups having received large donations from voting machine companies such as Diebold, Inc., both have been granted extraordinary access to Congress and have leveraged that access to call for the use of DRE systems for their communities (and even paperless ones at that).

The NFB received $1 million from Diebold, and Jim Dickson's group, although he lied to The BRAD BLOG about it previously, received at least $16,000 from the voting machine vendors, according to the New York Times.

We are happy to see new, uncompromised voices from this important community finally speaking up and adding their concerns to others such as Johns Hopkins computer scientist Avi Rubin, who testified last week that DRE systems, with or without a so-called "voter verified paper audit trail," are "not a reasonable voting system."

It would be nice if Runyan and some of the other signatories were invited to testify before Congress as well, and equally nice if Congress held hearings devoted to the issue of the safety, accuracy and accessibility of DRE systems before moving forward on Election Reform bills such as Rep. Rush Holt's HR811, which unfortunately falls short of banning DRE technology in American democracy.

NOTE: We will be Guest Hosting Cynthia Black's Action Point this Sunday 3/18/07 @ 3pm ET (12noon PT) on Phoenix's Air America/NovaM affiliate 1480 KPHX. We hope to have Runyan as one of our featured guests.

UPDATE: Here is my interview on on Action Point with Noel Runyan. MP3 appx. 30 minutes

The complete statement from the disabilities leaders, including Runyan and many others, follow in full below...

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

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'Gagged-Ordered' FBI Whistleblower Calls on BRAD BLOG Readers to 'Demand, Beg and Implore' Congressional Dems to Announce Public Hearings
'State Secrets Act' Still Used by DoJ to Prevent the Fired Translator from Testifying on 9/11, Corruption by Hastert, Perle, Feith...
By Luke Ryland on 3/14/2007 9:19am PT  

Guest Blogged by Luke Ryland

Last week, more than thirty 'good government' groups including the ACLU, POGO, CREW, Liberty Coalition, and September 11th Advocates called on Henry Waxman's Committee "to hold public hearings into the case of FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, and the erroneous use of the State Secrets Privilege to shut down all court proceedings in her case."

Sibel Edmonds says: "Thanks to Brad and Bradblog readers. Exactly twelve months ago, Bradblog helped launch this petition and we had a great response. Fifteen thousand people signed the petition and we have delivered it to Congress. Now we'd like to ask for your help again."

We've had solid indications that Waxman is ready and willing to hold public, open hearings into Sibel's case. We need to give Waxman a final push and get him to commit to a date, in May or June, and that's where you come in. We want you to call the offices of Congressmen Henry Waxman, John Conyers, Patrick Leahy, and Charles Grassley and demand, beg, and implore them to publicly announce that they will have hearings.

Sibel has already told her story in classified briefings to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, Henry Waxman's staff, and the 911 Commission, and her case has been investigated by the Department of Justice Inspector General. All of them have verified Sibel's claims. As Republican Senator Charles Grassley said (YouTube) on 60 Minutes in 2002: "Absolutely, she's credible. And the reason I feel she's very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story." ...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/10/2007 1:33pm PT  

I'll be on Bobby Kennedy Jr. and Mike Papantonio's Ring of Fire today (Saturday) on Air America. We did a pre-recorded interview earlier this week, discussing Rush Holt's Election Reform bill (HR 811) and the Democrats and their public-advocacy group supporters who have failed to ensure that the bill will ban dangerous, disenfranchising DRE/touch-screen voting systems. I believe it'll be a very good interview if the bulk of what we talked about makes the edit.

Tune in to the live stream at 5pm ET (2pm PT) or check your local listings for when RoF airs in your hood.

Otherwise, I'll try to capture it and update this item with an .MP3 afterwards.

UPDATE 3/11/07: I was able to listen to part of the pre-taped interview on RoF yesterday, and noted that they had to cut out some of the good stuff for time. I've requested a copy of the full un-edited interview from the producers, and have been told they'll likely be able to send it to me on Monday. I'll post that version of the interview here as soon as I get it from them.

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Johns Hopkins Professor, E-Voting Security Expert Goes on Record Against Electronic Ballots at Congressional Hearings on Election Integrity...
By Brad Friedman on 3/9/2007 9:35am PT  

E-Voting expert, Johns Hopkins computer science and security professor, Avi Rubin, once again stated for the record, this time in his testimony before a House subcommittee hearing on "Ensuring the Integrity of Elections", that Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems --- with or without a paper trail --- are "not reasonable" for use in a democracy.

Period.

From his blog item Wednesday discussing his testimony (which also includes a link to his complete formal statement):

Finally, I was asked if I thought that a DRE with a paper trail was an adequate voting system. I replied that when I first studied the Diebold DRE in 2003, I felt that a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) provided enough assurance. But, I continued, after four years of studying the issue, I now believe that a DRE with a VVPAT is not a reasonable voting system. The only system that I know of that achieves software independence as defined by NIST, is economically viable and readily available is paper ballots with ballot marking machines for accessibility and precinct optical scanners for counting - coupled with random audits. That is how we should be conducting elections in the US, in my opinion.

So between Rubin's beliefs, and those of most every other computer scientist I've heard from, why do we (meaning Congress and their public-advocacy group supporters such as PFAW, Common Cause, MoveOn, VoteTrustUSA and others) continue to play this DRE game???

It's madness...

Take action to amend the Holt Election Reform Bill!
DEMAND A BAN ON DRE/TOUCH-SCREEN VOTING!
- Email Congress!
- Call your representatives!
See www.BradBlog.com/Holt for more details, coverage, talking points & information on all of the above!
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Role of Cheney and Bush in CIA Leak Scandal to be Probed in Hearings...
By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2007 9:15pm PT  

Impeachment, it seems to us, gets closer to "the table" every day now. From Truthout:

Congressman Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Thursday he wants Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to testify before his committee about his investigation into the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson's identity. Plame-Wilson, Waxman's office said, has agreed to testify before Congress on March 16.

The announcement comes on the heels of a story first reported by Truthout on Wednesday, which stated that some members of Congress were engaged in discussions Tuesday about the possibility of holding immediate hearings and asking Fitzgerald to provide evidence he obtained during the course of his three-year investigation about the roles Vice President Dick Cheney and other White House officials played in the Plame leak.
...
Waxman's letter [to Fitzgerald] states..."As a result of your investigation, you have a singular understanding of the facts and their implications that bear directly on the issues before Congress.... Your investigation had a narrow legal focus: Were any federal criminal statutes violated by White House officials?"
...
Waxman said the Libby trial raised important questions about whether "senior White House officials, including the vice president and senior adviser to the president Karl Rove, complied with the requirements governing the handling of classified information" related to Plame's classified status within the CIA.

Lest anyone think the buck stops in the Office of the Vice-President, however, it looks as if the not-insignificant evidentiary revelation concerning Cheney's hand-written note referring to "this Pres." may also be revisited by Congress.

Those two words were scratched out on Cheney's note, but were still clearly visible and discussed during trial testimony. Had they not been scratched out, Cheney's note would have read: "not going to protect one staffer & sacrifice the guy this Pres. asked to stick his head in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others."

To be honest, we're amazed that detail was overlooked as much as it was when it originally appeared. According to Truthout:

The revelation that Bush may have known all along that there was an effort by members of his office to discredit the former ambassador raises the question: Was the president also aware that senior members of his administration compromised Valerie Plame's undercover role with the CIA? That is a question that very well may be answered if and when Fitzgerald testifies before Congress.
...
If Bush did indeed play an active role in encouraging Libby to take the fall to protect Karl Rove, as Libby's lawyers articulated in their opening statements, then that could be viewed as criminal involvement by Bush.

See the complete Truthout report for much more detail...

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Chairman Henry Waxman Lets the Sunshine In
Bills the GOP Tried to Pass Against Clinton Now Resurrected With Bipartisan Support...
By Margie Burns on 3/8/2007 2:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by BRAD BLOG's D.C. correspondent Margie Burns

Four good bills were reported out to the full U.S. House today by the Oversight and Reform Committee. Each has an excellent chance of being passed in the House, where some of the legislation has been passed before, and a pretty good chance of passing the Senate. The four bills share the aim of letting sunshine in on the workings of government.

I sat in on this morning's mark-up session in the House, and the results, so far, are very encouraging...

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

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CONYERS: 'It is time to rein in this President and his Administration'
SÁNCHEZ: 'DoJ acted behind closed doors to intimidate appointees...Had no effective oversight during previous majority'
By Brad Friedman on 3/6/2007 5:15pm PT  

Sent to The BRAD BLOG by the House Judiciary Democrats concerning this morning's oversight hearings on the U.S. Attorney firings (full statement posted at end of this article):

"Our country decided after the Watergate scandal that ideological partisanship has no place in our system of justice," said Chairwoman Sánchez. "Unfortunately, the firings of these attorneys indicate that the Bush Administration has once again acted in the interest of its political party instead of the good of the nation."
...
"Today's testimony signals that it is time to rein in this President and his Administration before they do any further damage to our democracy," said Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers. "Today, we received strong evidence that the firing of these U.S. Attorneys was politically motivated, and we clearly need to follow up on these developments with further investigations."
...
David Iglesias, former U.S. Attorney from New Mexico, testified that U.S. Senator Pete Domenici and U.S. Representative Heather Wilson called him in the days before the close 2006 elections to discuss issuing an indictment against a local Democratic official. Mr. Iglesias said that after Senator Domenici abruptly hung up the phone, "I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Six weeks later I got the call that I had to move on."

H.E. "Bud" Cummins III, a former U.S. Attorney from Arkansas, testified that Michael Elston, Chief of Staff to Deputy U.S. Attorney General Paul McNulty, called him with a warning that any of the fired prosecutors who publicly discussed their cases would be targeted by negative information campaigns.
...
"The Department of Justice, which had no effective oversight during the previous majority, has been acting behind closed doors to empower political cronies and intimidate its own appointees," said Chairwoman Sánchez. "This thuggish behavior is beneath our democracy and underscores the importance of Congressional oversight, a function that Chairman Conyers and I are committed to continue."

In regard to the alleged threats of retaliation against the attorneys for speaking out on this, an email from Cummins, published by Sacramento Bee, gives contemporaneous specifics. According to SacBee...

Former U.S. attorney Bud Cummins, who resigned in December and was replaced by Karl Rove assistant Timothy Griffin, sent this Feb. 20 e-mail to five other fired U.S. attorneys after receiving a phone call from the Justice Department following comments he made to The Washington Post for an article published Feb. 18.

Of course, Gonzales today said none of it ever happened, these aren't the droids you're looking for.

The complete statement issued by the Judiciary Committee Democrats follows below...

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

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The Whistleblower Turned U.S. House Candidate Continues His for Fight for Election Integrity and His Federal Challenge to his 2006 Race with the Corrupt Tom Feeney
By Jim Cirile on 3/4/2007 6:20pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** By Guest Blogger Jim Cirile

Clint Curtis just won’t roll over. And that, fellow Americans, is a very good thing.

Curtis came to prominence a few years back when The BRAD BLOG broke the story of his blowing the whistle on Republican congressman Tom Feeney (FL-24) who, as Curtis alleged in a sworn affidavit, asked him to write an election-rigging software prototype when both men worked at the same Oviedo, FL, software firm in 2000. Curtis was a programmer, Feeney was then Speaker of the Florida House as well as the general counsel and registered lobbyist for the company, Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI)

A lifelong Republican, Curtis did as asked, believing the program was meant to be used to prevent election tampering by Democrats. When he learned the true purpose was to manipulate the vote in South Florida, Curtis went to the authorities and finally to the public. The BRAD BLOG has been following his story closely ever since.

Last year Curtis, who switched to the Democratic party in the wake of his experience and others like it with Feeney and YEI, challenged the powerful Feeney on his own turf --- he ran against him for the U.S. House seat in Florida’s 24th district, where Feeney had ascended in 2002.. Feeney's campaign against Curtis was as slimy as expected, with the powerful Republican friend of DeLay, Abramoff, and the whole bunch spending big bucks on a smear campaign in hopes of painting Curtis as a wacko conspiracy theorist, despite years of evidence shoring up Curtis’s original claims – including his successful passing of a polygraph test – and one report after another revealing massive holes in the claims of innocence by both Feeney and YEI.

Despite pre-election polls, including one from Zogby International, Inc., just prior to the election, showing the two men to be in a statistical dead heat, Feeney defeated Curtis 58% to 42% according to Florida’s officially certified election results.

But Curtis smelled a rat. Backed up by polling and his remarkable online vote verification tool, VoteNow 2006, he refused to concede. His race is now one of five challenges (four of them from the state of Florida, including the well-known FL-13 Jennings/Buchanan contest) currently pending in the U.S. Congress as having been filed under the Federal Contested Elections Act.

We spoke with Curtis late last week about what’s going on with those challenges, about his ongoing efforts to lobby Congress to finally bring reform to our broken election system, his experience with the Democrats "50 State Strategy," and whether he plans to run against Feeney again in 2008.

Suffice to say, like those three gals from Texas, Clint Curtis isn't "ready to make nice" either…

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

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Presidential Candidate Becomes First to Join Growing Movement When Queried About Issue at Campaign Event in California
Edwards Becomes Second Politician in a Week to Announce Support for the Election Integrity Movement After Being Asked About it at Public Event
By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2007 11:05pm PT  

While it's unlikely to get as much attention as Ann Coulter calling him a "faggot" during her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last night, The BRAD BLOG has learned that John Edwards is the first Presidential Candidate to announce his support for a growing movement calling for a ban on the use of all Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems in American elections.

The BRAD BLOG was contacted late last night by Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) Board Chair Mimi Kennedy with the news that during a campaign event in Los Angeles Edwards agreed to join her organization in calling for an end to electronic ballots in American elections.

PDA has been one of many groups calling for the ban and other important amendments to Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) new Election Reform bill (HR 811), recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Kennedy, an activist and actress well known for her role as Dharma's mother on ABC's Dharma and Greg, told The BRAD BLOG that during a Q & A period following his address last night, she asked Edwards whether he would join PDA in their campaign calling for "the complete removal of all Touch-Screen Direct Record Electronic voting machines from U.S. elections, with or without a paper trail."

Drawing an "X" in the air as the question was being asked, Edwards --- who was reportedly upset at Sen. John Kerry's decision not to contest the 2004 Presidential Election count, or lack thereof, in Ohio --- answered with a definitive "Yes!"

"Yes!" echoed Kennedy in response as the audience reportedly cheered and applauded.

Edwards's public support for a ban on DRE voting systems follows just over a week after Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) was asked a related question by an Election Integrity advocate at a public event at the University of California/Santa Cruz. Waters announced, in response to the query, that she would be withdrawing her co-sponsorship of the Holt bill in the wake of the growing concerns about several troubling shortcomings in the proposed legislation.

Kennedy attended the event, sponsored by the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club, with friend and former TAXI co-star Rhea Perlman, who unsuccessfully tried to video tape the Q & A session on her cell phone. The BRAD BLOG is attempting to locate a complete video of the event and we'll update this item if and when we do.

Before an audience estimated at 400, Kennedy rose and said to the former Vice-Presidential candidate...

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

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First Subpoenas Issued by Dems Since Taking Control of Congress...
By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2007 3:51pm PT  

As The BRAD BLOG reported yesterday would happen today, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Administrative Law has today voted to issue subpoenas in the matter of the forced firing of U.S. Attorneys at the Dept. of Justice after pressure from higher-ups.

According to a statement just received by The BRAD BLOG (full statement posted below), the subcommittee voted to issue subpoenas requiring former U.S. Attorneys David C. Iglesias, Carol Lam, H.E. Cummins, III, and John McKay to appear at a hearing next Tuesday.

"The former U.S. Attorneys are alleging very serious charges against the Administration and we need to hear from them," Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) says in his statement. "We want to hear their stories and we want the Administration to address the charges head on so that we can get to the bottom of this."

The subpoenas, issued as a "last resort" according to subcommittee Chairwoman, Linda Sánchez (D-CA), are the first to be issued by the Democrats since taking control of Congress.

We must run, so we'll refer you to the full statement below for more details for the moment...

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

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Common Cause Election Issue Rep Relies on Same Old Discredited Talking Point Chestnuts to Avoid Calling for Ban of DRE/Touch-Screen Voting Machines
Link to Complete Text-Transcript, Audio...
By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2007 3:38pm PT  

Last Friday, during my regular weekly appearance on The Peter B. Collins Show, Susannah Goodman of Common Cause was invited to join us for a discussion of the Holt Election Reform Bill (HR811).

Common Cause is one of the groups which currently supports the bill as is, and doesn't believe it's necessary to amend it to require a full ban on DRE (Direct Recording Electronic, usually touch-screen) voting systems. As we've discussed here in some detail, a number of these large public advocacy groups, such as Common Cause, People for the American Way (PFAW), MoveOn, and VoteTrustUSA have been not only supporting the Holt bill, but using disingenuous and/or very weak and/or very naive talking points to back up their support for the bill.

Susannah used most of those talking points in our discussion/debate from last Friday. I take no particular joy in pointing this out, or the similar behavior of the other groups, or Holt's office themselves, in regard to all of this. I believe them to essentially be "good guys" on these matters, but on this point, they are dangerously and irresponsibly wrong, in my opinion. Heading into another Presidential Election, still using disenfranchising DRE systems is a recipe for potential disaster that America simply cannot afford after two previously questionable (putting it kindly) elections.

The entire text transcript may be read online, along with the full audio, posted here...

Here's a quick sampling of our discussion...

BRAD: Susannah suggested that someone here is calling for a hand count [of paper ballots]. I’m not. I know that there’s a lot of folks who are and that’s fine by me. There are some places that do do hand counting – up in New Hampshire, I believe, they do some hand counting. But the point is, she had mentioned going back and counting 3% of the ballots in an audit later on. My question is why Susannah, or anyone else, wouldn’t be in favor of counting 100% of the ballots in the first place, using those optical scan machines or a hand count, either one. … Why wouldn’t we just count these ballots, these paper ballots, in the first place on Election Day? That’s what we need. That’s what Americans need…

PBC: And Susannah, in an ideal world I imagine you’d support elimination of the DREs. But do you think that’s an achievable goal in the near term, either by ’08 or 2010?

GOODMAN: Well, I actually think it’s a bit of a red herring. I mean, I think that, as Brad was saying, you know, you could take 100% of those ballots and you still scan them through an optical scanner. That’s still electronic.

BRAD: No problem. That’s great.

GOODMAN: It’s - the counting piece of this is electronic and it’s, it will absolutely, 100%, there will be a time when it absolutely fails, because it’s a machine and machines break.

BRAD: Well, that’s right, but we’ll have a paper ballot that’s been marked by the voter that they’ll be able to then go back and check, by any means necessary. We will not have that with the touch-screen system. And I’d be interested in - Peter said that you assumed that she’d be, Susannah would be in favor of banning those DREs. I’d like to actually know where Common Cause and Susannah is – would you guys be in favor of a ban on touch-screen voting machines?

GOODMAN: I, that’s not where we are, and the reason is that, I really see this bill as, I mean, what you have in, for example in New Mexico, is there are people that can mark a ballot by hand, but there are people that cannot mark a ballot by hand, because they have a vision impairment, or they’re blind, or they don’t have use of their hands, and…

Full transcript here...

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Tavis Smiley Asks Rep. Waxman Who Is To Blame For Missing Billions In Iraq
By Alan Breslauer on 3/1/2007 12:23pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

California Representative (and mine) Henry Waxman, the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, answers questions about Iraq last night with Tavis Smiley on PBS. After Waxman explains how at least $12 billion allocated for Iraqi reconstruction went missing, an incredulous Smiley states:

Can I ask a real simple question? Who would be in our government, so stuck on stupid, such an idiot, as to fly $12 billion in cash into a war zone.

Waxman lays most of the blame on the Republican-led Congress which failed in its oversight responsibilities. Similarly deplorable is what the reconstruction effort accomplished, considering Iraq's billions and our own additional $20 billion. According to Waxman:

The oil production is behind prewar levels. The electricity doesn't even last eight hours in Baghdad. In some places they have no electricity at all. And electricity is below prewar levels. Even drinking water is not available, and if you are going to measure it, it is not as good as it was before the war.

But while "Iraqis and the American people are not better off" for the war, Waxman does identify one group that has made out extraordinarily well:

But the ones who are really better off are all these contractors. Haliburton, Bechtel, all these different big contractors. They got mega mega monopoly contracts. They subcontracted and the subcontractors subcontracted and there are layers of costs on top of layers of costs. A lot of people made money out this who were the contractors.
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AlterNet Runs a Freshened-Up Version of BRAD BLOG's Story From Last Week
PLUS: New Holt Election Reform Bill 'Special Coverage' Page Now Live at BRAD BLOG...
By Brad Friedman on 2/28/2007 8:42pm PT  

AlterNet's front page today is featuring a fresh version of my story from last week on the false dichotomies being forwarded by Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and the supporters of his Election Reform bill, HR 811 [PDF], as written. It outlines the unsupported talking points and disingenuous arguments being made to prop up the failings of the bill (most notably, its failure to ban DREs) by Holt's office as well as his public-advocacy group supporters like PFAW, Common Cause, MoveOn, VoteTrustUSA, etc...

The original BRAD BLOG version was here. The updated Alternet version (including a bit more background on the brouhaha for newbies is here: "False Choices in the Debate on Voting Technology"

I've also now set up a new "Special Coverage" page for the Holt Bill Debate here: www.BradBlog.com/Holt. It includes the most notable BRAD BLOG stories since the bill dropped, as well as essential articles and calls to action elsewhere. I hope it'll be a useful source. It's also always available from the red "Special Coverage" box in the right sidebar.

Also related...A new "Anti-DRE Talking Points" document from VotersUnite.org (HTML version with links & grafs..., 2-Page PDF version...) features simple bullet-points on why DRE/touch-screen voting systems must be banned and the urgent need to reform the Holt bill to ensure it. Both versions of that doc are also linked from the new Holt Special Coverage page.

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