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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, October 20, 2014
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
  w/ Brad & Desi
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?...
Previous GNRs: 10/14/14 - 10/9/14 - Archives...
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': Special Coverage of 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 lower court's finding of law's unconstitutionality, judges cite SCOTUS precedent on last minute voting changes...
'Green News Report' 10/14/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
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...
Previous GNRs: 10/9/14 - 10/7/14 - Archives...
Strange But True: Minority Ruled in WI Photo ID Case
A bizarre sidebar to the federal court's ruling in WI, thanks to a quirk in the law and Dems' inability to fill a vacant seat on the 7th Circuit...
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...
Liar, Liar: Father and Son Reps Duncan Hunter Just Make Shit Up
Son claims ISIS agents nabbed at Mexican border! Father, as BRAD BLOG reported in 2007, said non-citizens 'rounded up' and 'herded' to vote in CA!...
SCOTUS BLOCKS WI PHOTO ID VOTING LAW
Bad news for GOP and Gov. Scott Walker, good news for voters, as U.S. Supreme Court restores demoracy at last minute to the Badger State...
FEDERAL JUDGE STRIKES DOWN TX GOP'S 'UNCONSTITUTIONAL, DISCRIMINATORY' PHOTO ID VOTING LAW
U.S. District Court judge permanently enjoins GOP law, finds it discriminates, amounts to a poll tax...
ACLU on 'Photo ID Needed to Fly' Canard
They nailed federal Judge Easterbrook's lies about WI's Photo ID voting restriction much more succinctly than we did: 'Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again'...
'Green News Report' 10/9/14
McConnell & other GOP candidates dodge and retreat from climate denial; U.S. auto fleet achieves record fuel efficiency; PLUS: 'Clean Coal' in Canada?...
Non-KPFK 'BradCast': Special Election Coverage/Primal Scream Edition
This year's elections may be decided by the courts even before Election Day: A BradCast special...
SCOTUS Overturns 4th Circ, Allows NC to End Same-Day Registration, Counting of 'Wrong Precinct' Ballots
100s already disenfranchised; Nation's worst suppression law to have full trial next year...
GAO: Republican Photo ID Voting Restriction Laws Lowered Turnout in KS, TN
Dems tout non-partisan government report to underscore need to fix Voting Rights Act, but there's more to story they aren't mentioning...
Federal Court Tosses VA's Ridiculously Gerrymandered Congressional Map
Ruling by GW Bush appointee is too late for 2014 election, but redrawn map could result in 2 to 3 new Dem U.S. House seats in 2016...
'Green News Report' 10/7/14
LED inventors win Nobel Prize; EPA regs slashed cancer risk 65% in CA; L.A. builds all-electric highway; PLUS: SCOTUS upholds (GW Bush's) EPA ozone regulations...
7th Circuit Offers Blatant FALSEHOODS in Ruling on WI Photo ID Voting Law
No, Photo ID is NOT required for boarding an airplane, no matter how many times wingnuts make the claim to influence a SCOTUS ruling...
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...


New Charges Harken Back to February BRAD BLOG EXCLUSIVE with Details from FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds on Additional Hastert Bribery Allegations...
By Brad Friedman on 5/24/2006 8:44pm PT  

As controversy swirls again around House Speaker Dennis Hastert and whether he is or isn't under investigation by the DoJ on bribery related charges as ABC News is reporting (and standing by), now might be a good time to remind of you this earlier exclusive which The BRAD BLOG reported in February concerning FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds' charges that Hastert may be involved with yet another bribery scandal.

In light of today's new story, it may well be worth taking a look back at that previous piece including a detailed statement from Edmonds wherein she calls on Hastert to "come clean" in regard to $500k in un-itemized campaign donations and his relationships with various Turkish interest groups.

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WaPo Reports Supreme Court Justice Tells Hapless, Desperate, Corrupt, 'Conservative' Congressman to Knock it Off...
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2006 5:36pm PT  

Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) has made such a jackass of himself, so frequently of late, in his desperate bid to save himself from a challenge to his U.S. House Seat in Florida's 24th district this fall, that we can't help but begin a new feature we'll call "Feeney Watch" for a while here at BRAD BLOG.

Feeney's emerging strategy: Act like he's an actual conservative again, distance himself from Bush for the first time ever, and otherwise do anything he can to get his name in the paper for anything other than the mounting corruption charges against and around him.

Here's his latest jackassery, for which he recieved a spanking from none other than his idol Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia --- from today's WaPo (We'll try to get caught up with some previous Feeney Foolishness in the days and week's ahead)...

Scalia Tells Congress to Mind Its Own Business

Justice Antonin Scalia rebuked fellow conservatives on Capitol Hill yesterday, saying they have gone too far in trying to prevent the Supreme Court from using foreign law in its constitutional rulings.
...
"It's none of your business," he said, referring to Congress. "No one is more opposed to the use of foreign law than I am, but I'm darned if I think it's up to Congress to direct the court how to make its decisions."
...
Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.), who has co-sponsored a nonbinding resolution against the use of foreign law, said that Scalia's comments were "like being told your favorite baseball player disagrees with your approach to hitting."

Scalia's "brilliance," Feeney said, "has not convinced a majority of the court. He needs our help, even if he doesn't want it."

Feeney said that Scalia's remarks may have damaged chances for his resolution's passage, since they will probably be quoted by its opponents.

Of course, Feeney is running against vote-rigging whistleblower Clint Curtis this year, whose story we originally broke here at BRAD BLOG in December of 2004. Curtis has alleged --- amongst other "Tom"-foolery --- that Feeney asked him to create a vote-rigging software prototype when they both worked for Yang Enterprises Inc. (YEI) in Florida in 2000. In addition to being YEI's general counsel and registered lobbyist, Feeney just also happened to be the Speaker of the FL House at the time.

No conflict of interest there, of course, just because YEI had millions of dollars in state contracts.

Speaking of millions of dollars, Feeney's got 'em, as he's one of the top-tier money-collectors in the Tom DeLay/Jack Abramoff Big-Buy GOP network.

Curtis, on the other hand, is raising his money the old fashioned way: By earning it. From regular old citizens. Please feel free to help him do so. He needs it!

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
- Curtis is now running for U.S. Congress against Feeney.
To support or for more info, see: www.ClintCurtis.com
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(And Reminds Us Why We Love Conyers!)
By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2006 11:25pm PT  

John Conyers op/eds in tomorrow's WaPo on Impeachment. Or a lack thereof. Or otherwise responds to the strawman nonsense from the Republicans of late running on the notion that a vote for Dems this fall is a vote for impeachment of Bush by the incoming Judiciary Committee Chair, John Conyers.

While it may ultimately turn out to be a vote for impeachment, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney will have only themselves to blame. Not John Conyers.

And, as one might expect, his response in WaPo to those sad charges and transparently desperate attempts to scare America, displays his usual grace, dignity and old-style statesmanship...in stark contrast to the nattering nabobs of fear-mongering that are today's disgraceful Congressional Republicans.

Not to give anything away, since we hope you'll read the whole thing, but the last line underscores why John Conyers is a hero for all times...

Most important, before we have another presidential election, I believe we need to pass laws protecting the integrity of our electoral system --- the very foundation of our democracy.

Bravo. And thank you, sir.

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Also: Prosecutors Considering Indictment for Bob Ney
By David Edwards on 5/9/2006 7:10am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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MSNBC's David Shuster has followed the Plame leak case as closely as any reporter working for the corporate media. Last night on MSNBC's Countdown, Shuster reported on the possible indictment of Karl Rove.

Lawyers familiar with the case say that Rove would have been notified that he was no longer a subject of the investigation if Fitzgerald were not pursuing an indictment. Fitzgerald referred to Karl Rove as "official A" in the indictment of Scooter Libby. Shuster reports that in every case where Fitzgerald has referred to a person as "official A", that person was eventually indicted...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2006 3:45pm PT  

David Edwards picked up on these over the weekend, but didn't have the chance to get them all posted here.

A full frontal coordinated attack on John Conyers was launched over the weekend by the GOP as their newest last-ditch attempt to save their asses this November. The tactic has now come down to the rather sad: "Vote for us or we might lose!"

Apparently the GOP's pliant cohorts in the media, including Russert, Stephanopolis, Matthews, the front page of the New York Times and, of course Fox, were all too happy to lend a hand to their efforts. Here's a round-up of a few of the most obvious efforts...

Russert and Stephanopolis do GOP Duty...


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Chris Matthews Takes His Turn...


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Fox, Reliably, Brings up the Rear...


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UPDATE: David Swanson has a few choice words on the organized Conyers attacks.

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...As Ney Chief of Staff Becomes Latest GOP Player to Cop a Plea Today
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2006 2:38pm PT  

Over the weekend, AP reported that email from Tom DeLay's (R-TX) office to Jack Abramoff's office reveals that the indicted former-majority leader was quite aware of who was paying for his $75,000 trip to St. Andrews, Scotland to play golf in 2000.

All of which makes it likely that Bob Ney (R-OH) was similarly aware of who was paying for the lobbyist funded vacation to St. Andrews when he took a similar trip with Abramoff in 2002.

All of which makes it likely that Tom Feeney (R-FL), the third Republican Congressman to take the trip to hit the links in Scotland with Abramoff, he in 2003, was also aware of who was paying for it.

Feeney has done a fine job of flying under the radar on this matter up until now. But with DeLay now down and out, and Ney's chief-of-staff, Neil Volz, copping a guilty plea today --- making him the fourth such criminal to implicate Ney in the vast Right Wing Conspiracy --- we'd think it only a matter of time before the media start noticing Feeney's conspiratorial involvement as well.

Along those lines, a couple of notable pieces from from the Volz plea (courtesy of Paul Kiel over at Muckraker)...

[W]e learn about a new, particularly shameless perk: Abramoff helped pay for a two-night vacation of Ney's, without even bothering to funnel the money through one of his nonprofits. "In or about August 2003," the plea reads, "defendant VOLZ paid for part of a two-night trip to the Sagamore Resort at Lake George, New York, for Representative #1 and members of his staff. Defendant VOLZ assured Representative #1 that defendant VOLZ would be reimbursed for his payments by Abramoff." Apparently Ney didn't want his old chief of staff laying out the bribe - he preffered to get it from a familiar source.

That point may be useful as investigators and/or media take a closer look at Feeney and his other questionable trips, several of which are described here as part of CREW's "13 Most Corrupt" in Congress.

Secondly, Kiel reminds us about Ney's use of his pet bill, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, to help a few of his closest "friends":

We learned from prior plea agreements that Ney agreed to insert a line into the Help America Vote Act that would lift the Texas gaming ban on an Abramoff client, the Tigua tribe.

We've discussed how Ney used his authorship of HAVA and control of the House Administration Committee --- which he chaired until being forced to step down because of all of this --- in the past (almost one full year ago today, as a matter of fact).

More pointedly, however, we've reported on the roll Abramoff and Diebold played along with another former Ney chief-of-staff, David Distefano, in both passing HAVA in the first place, and ensuring it stayed intact as Diebold needed it to.

That story, in which funds were apparently funnelled through to Ney from both Diebold and Abramoff's firm Greenburg Traurig, has also been overlooked by the media in general. If they care to pick up that ball now, they can find a lot of still-uninvestigated open ends in our report right here.

Please feel free to let your media contacts know about both the Feeney issue and the Ney/HAVA/Abramoff issue, since both could use much more scrutiny by many more eyeballs.

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By David Edwards on 5/8/2006 7:03am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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We posted this video from ABC's This Week at Crooks and Liars yesterday. If you are a fan of DNC Chairman Howard Dean then you'll enjoy this video. For those that get physically sick at the sight of DeLay, you might want to skip the first 5 minutes.

Outgoing, indicted and disgraced Republican Rep. Tom DeLay spews the same hate-filled attacks on Democrats that we've heard for several years now. DeLay still manages to brandish the freshest Republican talking points.

Most notable was DeLay's attack on John Conyers' concerns that President Bush may have committed impeachable offenses. The Republicans believe that they can motivate their party to get out to the polls in November to save their favorite President from certain doom if the Democrats take control.

Howard Dean largely ignores DeLay's bluster. Chairman Dean has really improved the focus and delivery of his message. Dean doesn't dodge the tough questions. He delivers clear answers, straight talk and real hope the the American people. Having DeLay and Dean on the same segment really exposes the great disparity in the quality of their character.

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(HINT: Blue Dresses...Rented by the Hour)
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2006 11:45am PT  

As the corporate mainstream media shakes their head in clueless wonder about the Porter Goss resignation at CIA, (they're "stunned", "suprised", "can't imagine what else must be going on to have brought this on") the clues have been bubbling for the last week or so on the Internet.

We associate ourselves with Josh Marshall's initial take...

Here at TPM HQ we were listening to the president's announcement. And the talking heads on CNN were speculating whether Goss's departure might be part of Josh Bolten's 'new blood' shake up in the Bush administration. I don't suppose it anything to do with the fact that Goss is neck deep in the Wilkes-Corruption-and-Hookers story that's been burbling in the background all week. We don't know definitely why Goss pulled the plug yet. But the CIA Director doesn't march over to the White House and resign, effective immediately, unless something very big is up.

(Point of pride ed. note: TPMmuckraker has been on top of this story all week.)

Muckraker has, in fact, been all over various points of the developing scandal for the last week or so. We recommend you keep your eyes over there as things move foward.

Underscoring the bizarre state of our national corporate mainstream media, Josh made a related point earlier today, prior to the Goss announcement. As readers were wondering why TPM and their Muckraker site were giving so much attention to the Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) incident which, readers comments had suggested, just distracts from all of the more important GOP scandals, Josh defended their coverage with this reply...

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

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Embattled Incumbent, HAVA Author, Loses 32% of Vote to No-Show Primary Opponent
'Congressional Quarterly' Says Numbers Predict Trouble
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2006 12:00pm PT  

The soon-to-be-indicted lead pusher of the disastrous Help America Vote Act (HAVA), Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) had his primary race in Ohio's 18th District tonight. While most congressmen named in four different criminal indictments and convictions would usually be toast, this is, after all, Ohio.

That said, Justin Rood over at TPM Muckraker, had this to say earlier this afternoon about the outlook for Ney tonight...

...Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) is expected to win his congressional primary, being held today. His competitor, James Broadbelt Harris, is an unknown who hasn't campaigned --- he hasn't even filed with the FEC, which indicates he has raised less than $5,000, [Congressional Quarterly's] Greg Giroux tells me.

I called Giroux to get his take on the election. While he expects Ney to win, he said, he's curious about what kind of "protest vote" Republicans in the district will cast for Harris, reacting to Ney's ethical troubles.

"I'd be surprised if Harris got more than 20 or 25 percent," Giroux told me. "That would be a sign that there is a chunk of the Republican base that's disenchanted with the incumbent."

"If Ney gets in the 80s --- and he very well may --- that'd show that at least Republican voters are behind him, and they weren't willing to look at this alternative candidate," Giroux said.

100% of the results are now in from all but 1 of the 16 counties which make up Ohio's fightin' 18th. (Belmont County's results have been stuck at 25.3% for the last several hours, about which I suspect we'll hear more tomorrow. Trouble with those pricey new op-scan machines, Belmont?)

As of 2:13am ET, these are the results from the Ohio SoS website:

If Giroux is correct, it looks like Ney may be in for a tough ride this fall...If he makes it that far without ending up in the slammer.

UPDATE 5/3/06: 100% of counties now reporting in full. Ney: 68.38% Harris: 31.62%

UPDATE 5/4/06: As expected, the reasons for the delayed reporting out of Belmont was due to all manners of mess in counting votes off of their new machines. Here's a description of the mess..

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We Have a Suggestion for a Rock the Prosecutors May Wish to Look Under...
By Brad Friedman on 4/29/2006 7:21pm PT  

Washington Post is reporting today...

Federal prosecutors signaled this week that they have decided to pursue a wide range of allegations about dealings between Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) and lobbyist Jack Abramoff, rather than bringing a narrowly focused bribery case against the congressman.

As long as the investigation is widening into Ney's wrongdoing with Abramoff and friends, might we suggest the prosecutors look into this part of it.

Thanks!

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Conyers Sends New Letters to Agencies, Continues to Amend Request by 52 Congressmen, Argues Fees Should be Waived as Agencies Keep Up Stonewall
DoD, State, Question House Members' Ability to 'Disseminate Info to Public'
By Brad Friedman on 4/21/2006 10:31am PT  

Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) is continuing his negotation, on behalf of more than 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, for the release of documents related to the Bush Administration's plans for War in Iraq long prior to the beginning of hostilities, according to new letters written by the ranking member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and obtained exclusively by The BRAD BLOG.

After the revelations in Spring of 2005 from the so-called Downing Street Memo and other related documents --- a series of secret memos created by British officials documenting Bush Administration efforts to "fix" the "intelligence and facts...around the policy" of going to war with Iraq no matter what --- Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests were filed by 52 House Members [PDF], including Conyers, for the release of documentation of Administration Iraq policies going as far back as the day after the 2000 Election.

The original FOIA requests were filed [PDF] with both the Departments of Defense and State, in June of 2005 after the disclosure in May, by Sunday Times of London, of the initial memo. Both federal agencies have largely stonewalled in response to the request. Correspondence from the agencies have claimed that the House Members must first agree to pay large fees for the requested material on the grounds that they do not meet FOIA standards which allow such fees to be waved.

The Dept. of Defense has estimated [PDF] the fees chargeable for answering the FOIA request would be approximately $110,000. The State Department has not yet given a similar estimate, but has also informed the members that they would have to agree in advance to such payment.

FOIA, however, allows such processing and copy fees to be waived in cases where the information provided will be widely circulated to the public and will "contribute significantly to the public understanding of activities or operations of the government."

Several communications from both DoD and State have suggested that since the requests for information did not come formally from a U.S. House Committee, the members' request does not meet the standard required for waiving fees or expediting the release of the information.

Conyers' disagrees...

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

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Head of 'Non-Partisan' Republican Front Group 'American Center for Voting Rights' Singled Out by Rove
By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2006 2:46pm PT  

Working on several items, so we'll defer to RAW STORY's coverage of the story.

Suffice to say, Karl Rove spoke to Republican lawyers this weekend (carried on C-SPAN) and thanked them for their work ensuring "clean elections" in 2000 and 2004.

He singled out Mark F. "Thor" Hearne by name. Hearne was the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. who, along with RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, created the so-called non-partisan "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) just three days before being called to testify before Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) U.S. House Administrative Committee hearing in March of 2005 on the Ohio Election. The front group, which declared tax-exempt 501(c)3 status, has still failed, to our knowledge, to disclose any information of it's funders or proof of their 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan status. They operate out of a PO Box in Houston, TX, though neither of their founders live in Texas.

ACVR was the only "Voting Rights" group called by Ney to testify at the hearings, and identified himself only as a "longtime advocate of voter rights" in his testimony. He failed to mention his connections to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc.

Hearne and ACVR have done little more since they opened shop beyond creating propaganda reports to suggest that their is an epidemic of Democratic voter fraud in the country to encourage state legislatures around the country to implement Democratic voter disenfranchising "Photo ID requirements" at the polls. Their charges of a voter fraud epidemic has been roundly disproven in various court cases around the country. (Though it does appear that at least one voter, Ann Coulter, seems to have engaged in voter fraud lately.)

The "non-partisan" Dyke went on to work for the White House to flak for John Roberts during his Supreme Court nomination, and now works out Dick Cheney's office.

Ney, who pushed the so-called "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA) through Congress in 2002 --- the bill which urges all States and Counties in the country to impliment hackable electronic voting machines by 2006 --- recently stepped down from his chairmanship of the House Admin Committee after being named in the on-going Jack Abramoff investigations. His former chief of staff, David DiStefano is Diebold's main lobbyist in congress, as BRAD BLOG reported in January, and Diebold has made thousands of dollars in so-far unexplained payments to Abramoff's old firm, Greeburg Traurig.

See RAW's story for Rove's comments about Hearne and the other "non-partisan" GOP attorneys over the weekend.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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Priced at $5000 Despite $2100 Campaign Fundraising Limit!
Tom DeLay's #1 Friend in Congress Knows How to Offer Supporters Their Money's Worth!
By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2006 7:14pm PT  

Posting this in full here because Roll Call is subscription only, and I had trouble reading the text due to a funky background at Sunlight Foundation where Paul Blumenthal ran this piece today.

In case you don't finish reading the whole thing, a plug is included right here for Clint Curtis who is running against Tom Feeney (R-FL) for his seat 24th District seat in the U.S. Congress. When you read the story, you'll see why it's important to help Clint Curtis raise money for his run! His website is www.ClintCurtis.com and donations can be made right here.

Feeney learned his lessons well from his #1 supporter (and vice versa) in the U.S. House, the disgraced and indicted Tom Delay.

Curtis is the software programmer who has alleged that Feeney asked him to create electronic vote-rigging software back in 2000. His extraordinary story, including details of the polygraph test that Curtis passed, and video-tape of his sworn testimony before members of Congress is summarized here.

And now, back to Feeney and the big bucks...

Tom Feeney Sells Access for an Entire Season:

Ever wanted to buy a season ticket pass to a sitting congressman. According to Roll Call, Rep. Tom Feeney is offering all-access for only five grand:

Last week, the campaign of Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) invited lobbyists to a Spring Break Bash at the American Legion Hall on Capitol Hill. The price of admission: $49 a person or $500 per political action committee. But for those wishing to dispense with all that messy check-writing for the entire year, how about buying a "season ticket pass" for a cool $5,000?

The invite says: "Get a Season Ticket Pass: $5,000 per calendar year gives you complimentary invitations to all Feeney for Congress events in that year."
?
About that $5,000 for a "calendar year," though, keep in mind that individual contributors can give candidates only $2,100 per election for each two-year election cycle (that is, a total of $4,200 for the primary and general election). PACs are permitted to give a total of $10,000 per election cycle.

Individuals can give $5,000 a year to leadership PACs. Feeney has one called Federalist PAC, but the invitation specifically asks donors to write checks to "Feeney for Congress."

But Roe said the $5,000 refers to PACs. He added that the April 6 Spring Break Bash --- which will feature music from the band Blame It On Jane, whose lead singer is pharmaceutical lobbyist Jane Adams --- is a "laid-back" event the campaign does every year to highlight "the fact that Feeney has one of the nation's premiere spring break destinations in his district, Daytona Beach."

The article leaves it a bit unclear as to whether Feeney is violating campaign laws by instructing season ticket holders to make out $5,000 checks to his campaign committee rather than his PAC. It seems to me that this would be a violation. One thing that is clear: I would be happy to die and never have to hear a band fronted by a pharmaceutical industry lobbyist.

(Thanks to emailer Sharon A. for the heads up!)

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
- Curtis is now running for U.S. Congress against Feeney.
To support or for more info, see: www.ClintCurtis.com
ReddIt this story!



To Drop Out of Upcoming Election and Leave Congress Shortly!
The Exterminator Gets Exterminated...
By Brad Friedman on 4/3/2006 8:06pm PT  

-- TIME Mag covers here...
-- WaPo covers here...
-- MSNBC covers here...
-- CNN covers here...
-- AP covers here...
-- LATE ADDITION: Houston Chronicle offers more details, and DeLay's Political Obit in the early/late web edition (12:44am PT - Hat tip to Pokey A. in Houston)

From TIME...

Rep. Tom DeLay, whose iron hold on the House Republicans melted as a lobbying corruption scandal engulfed the Capitol, told TIME that he will not seek reelection and will leave Congress within months.
...
"I'm going to announce tomorrow that I'm not running for reelection and that I'm going to leave Congress," DeLay, who turns 59 on Saturday, said during a 90-minute interview on Monday.
...
The surprise decision was based on the sort of ruthless calculation that had once given him unchallenged dominance of House Republicans and their wealthy friends in Washington's lobbying community: he realized he might lose in this November's election.
...
Asked if he had done anything illegal or immoral in public office, DeLay replied curtly, "No." Asked if he'd done anything immoral, he said with a laugh, "We're all sinners." Asked what he would do differently, he said, "Nothing."
...
DeLay brushed off the torrent of investigative news articles questioning the funding behind the golf, private planes and resort hotels that marked his travel at home and abroad. He even accepted a plane from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco to go to his arraignment. "There's nothing wrong with it," he said. "They had a plane available. My schedule was such that I couldn't do it commercially --- that I had to get up there and then get back and do my job. And that's the only plane that was available at the time."

"You can't prove to me one thing that I have done for my own personal gain," he added.
...
DeLay said he is likely to leave by the end of May, depending on the Congressional schedule and finishing his work on a couple of issues.

What TIME didn't mention, but WaPo did...And which would seem to explain a lot more about his sudden exit after his bravado of the last six months since his indictment...

The decision came just three days after his former deputy chief of staff, Tony C. Rudy, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and corruption charges, telling federal prosecutors of a criminal enterprise being run out of DeLay's leadership offices.

From CNN...

Last week, a former senior aide to DeLay pleaded guilty in federal court to fraud conspiracy, saying he joined a scheme with lobbyist Jack Abramoff and others to enrich themselves and illegally influence members of Congress.

In a deal with federal prosecutors, Tony Rudy --- DeLay's former deputy chief of staff and press secretary --- pleaded guilty to one count of mail and wire fraud in a conspiracy after he left DeLay's office to become a lobbyist. (Full story)

Says MSNBC...

[Chris] Matthews said that DeLay told him in an interview that "the polling on him in the 22nd District was going down," as a result of his part in a campaign contribution controversy.

And here come the bloggers. First in, from Josh Marshall who tends to know this stuff cold...

I haven't seen anything but the headlines yet. But I think the story here is clear. Prosecutors knocking down one pin at a time. Paul Kiel and I were talking about this before I left the office early this evening: Rudy, to Buckham, to DeLay. They're each going to down. And the road map was clear --- though largely implicit --- in the Rudy plea documents.

DeLay's lawyers must have sat him down over the last 72 hours and explained to him that he needs to focus on not spending most of the rest of his life in prison.

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

ReddIt this story!



Also Mentions Steve Smith Texas Election Challenge
By John Gideon on 3/24/2006 12:28pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Today our friends at Rawstory posted an article about Clint Curtis giving his background and more about his run for the House of Representatives from the Florida.

To Republicans, Clint Curtis is a traitor; a back-stabbing liar with an imagination that rivaled Jack Abramoff's influence over Congress.

To liberal Democrats, Curtis is a hero; a stand up guy who blew the whistle on computer voting fraud, testifying before a group of U.S. House Committee Judiciary Democrats after the 2004 presidential election.

And to the man himself, the Republican-turned-Democrat is nothing but a computer geek who purports to have found himself smack in the middle of a brazen political plot to tamper with elections in Florida, where fact can be stranger than fiction and politics as shady as swampy underbrush.

Also in the article is a bit about Supreme Court candidate Steve Smith of Texas who is considering challenging the election from earlier this month in which some strange numbers were posted. This was covered by BRAD BLOG earlier this week.

In the Texas case, Republican Steve Smith is preparing a challenge after losing in the state's Supreme Court Justice primary election earlier this month. In Winkler County, Texas, where Smith respectively received 74 percent and 65 percent of the votes in the 2002 and 2004 elections, he received zero votes in the recent primary.

And in Smith's home county, Tarrant, where he outperformed statewide results by 13 percent in 2004, he underperformed statewide results by 23 percent earlier this month.

Smiths' opponent, Don Willet, has close ties to President Bush. Willet served as a special assistant to the president in Bush's quest for faith-based initiatives.

Clint is enjoying the help of some avid supporters.

"Karyn Altman, a freelance writer and hospitality marketing professional in Miami, is one of a small, but dedicated team of volunteers throughout the country working to get Curtis on the ballot. Other volunteers are in New Jersey and California.

"Clint needs to raise $10,000 by April 7th so we can get him on the primary ballot," said Altman, who is in the process of organizing fundraisers for Curtis in South Florida.

Like many Democrats, Altman started becoming disillusioned with politics after the 2000 Florida fiasco in which the Supreme Court voted to put Bush in the White House. In 2002, after the computer voting machines were introduced in Florida, she says it took her three attempts for her vote to register for her Democratic candidate.

"When I discovered afterwards that I was not the only one who'd had this experience, I became obsessed with learning about electronic machines and the ways they could be manipulated without detection," she said.

"I find it outrageous that in spite of all of the evidence, the mainstream media refuses to cover this story," she said. "And the Democratic Party refuses to even consider, at least publicly, the possibility that fraud and election rigging could be taking place.""

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.

ReddIt this story!



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