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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, November 28, 2014
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By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2006 8:54pm PT  

Given what we know about Diebold voting machines (both optical-scan and touch-screen), several folks have written to ask: "Are you sure they actually allowed poll workers to take these machines home with them" prior to the Busby/Bilbray U.S. House special election in CA-50th?

Yes. I'm sure. And yes, I confirmed it with someone in the media office at the San Diego County Registrar of Voting before I wrote my initial story on all of this. She asked me to keep her name off record, and so I'm doing so. Feel free to call and ask them yourself however: (858) 565-5800.

While you're talking to them (politely), ask how they intend to prove that the results of the Busby/Bilbray special election are accurate now that the chain of custody for the electronic voting machines --- which have been shown to be exceedingly prone to easy, passwordless tampering --- has been corrupted by sending them home for days and weeks at a time with voluneer poll workers. Also ask them how many absentee and provisional ballots there are in the race. Feel free to report your answers in comments here. If you can get any.

To help confirm the sleepovers of the easily hackable Diebold machines, here's a clip or two from a couple of emails I've received on all of this since posting my original story and this morning's follow up:

I volunteered to be a poll worker in the 49th. I took a short course on Sunday morning, loaded up the machine, and had it Sunday and all day and night Monday. I couldn't believe it! Folks, get in the polling places to watch for funny business.

Terry Olson

Enjoyed reading the Busby/Bilbray article on BradBlog and the questionable election equipment used, since I was working the election as an Assistant Precinct Inspector - Equipment. This is the person responsible for setting up and tearing down the Diebold Touch Screen Voting Stations. I understand that all but 7 CA counties will be using these systems as their main way of voting in November! I don't trust them, and the team that I trained with a week before the election didn't trust them either.

BTW, since I was trained a WEEK before the election, that means I got my two voting stations, 2 printers and cardboard privacy screen right after my training. All this equipment was sitting in my garage for nearly a week, but it was a rule that you couldn't leave the equipment at the poll site if you set up the night before. My neighbors were quite surprised when I showed them one of the touch screen systems from my garage. My Mom was also very surprised that the registrar of voters allowed us to take election equipment home with us.
...
Brian C Baer

And this from Pamela Smith, the Nationwide Coordinator for VerifiedVoting.org and Verified Voting Foundation, who's in San Diego County...

Yes, the machines had sleepovers. I was interviewed on our local news station about it prior to the election.

The procedure is that certain pollworkers are assigned equipment to take home with them upon receiving their training. They then bring it to the polling place on election morning early, and set up. Depending when they have training the machines could be at their homes for more than a week or two.
...
Best,
Pam

Pamela Smith, Nationwide Coordinator
VerifiedVoting.org and Verified Voting Foundation

UPDATE 6/9/06: I just noticed the following comment left on one of my original Busby/Bilbray article, from reader Patti Newton, who reports she had a similar experience as a San Diego County poll worker in Busby's district. Here's part of it:

I was an assistant precinct inspector in charge of equipment during this eleciton (I'm in the 50th). I had my two Diebold machines for seven full days before the election (I was dumbfounded). The chain of custody is abysmal. There is a seal on the machines (which are locked) but I am the one who sets up/breaks down the equipment and breaks the seal at the end of the day. The machines were reserved specifically for disabled voters but could have been used if a voter insisted on using it instead of the scanner. I registered zero votes and assume most if not all of the 1,646 precincts in the county had very little use but don't know for sure. I had no key to unlock the memory card but if I were motivated and had "friends" of like mind it would have been extremely easy.

The November election will use only the touchscreen machines (the scanners will not be used at all). I will encourage voters to look at the paper and make sure their votes are registered properly there but still, what's the guarantee?

I attended a breakfast with Francine and she said if the vote was close she would demand a recount. I'll follow your advice and give her office a call.

UPDATE: 6/9/06: New numbers reported from San Diego county...

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AP, ABC, et al Run Unverifiable Reports on Results of Tuesday's Special Election
There is NO BASIS for Confidence in the Reported Election Results. Period.
By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2006 12:27pm PT  

ABC News is featuring this AP story on their website:

Republican Wins Bellwether House Race

Ex-GOP Congressman Wins California Race for Scandal-Rocked House Seat As 8 States Hold Votes

By ROBERT TANNER - The Associated Press

- A former Republican congressman narrowly beat his Democratic rival early Wednesday for the right to fill the House seat once held by jailed Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a race closely watched as a possible early barometer of next fall's vote.

Republican Brian Bilbray emerged victorious after a costly and contentious special election race against Democrat Francine Busby, a local school board member who ran against Cunningham in 2004.

Okay, AP. Prove it. I dare you. You can't.

Not without a 100% manual, hand-count of all the optically-scanned paper ballots and touch-screen "paper trails" from Tuesday's CA 50th Congressional district race for the U.S. House of representatives. And even then, depending on the margin of difference after the op-scan ballots are hand-counted, you will be unable to prove that the race was decided correctly if it should turn out the number of votes cast on touch-screen machines was more than the margin of difference after the op-scan ballots are actually counted (by hand!)

The deafening, dumbstruck silence after I posted my article yesterday, headlined 'Results of Close Busby/Bilbray U.S. House Special Election in Doubt!,' is deafening.

Yes, I know the headline is unsettling. As are the implications of the piece. I will hope, however, that most of you who know what I report at The BRAD BLOG also know that what I report, I source with independently verifiable information. So you don't need to trust me. And you shouldn't. No more than you should trust the words of San Diego County's Registrar of Voters.

The arguments presented in yesterday's article are airtight. The have been vetted by a number of election experts and computer scientists. So far, not a single human being has presented me with a flaw in my logic or contentions.

Mind you, I have never reported that any election was "stolen." Not even the 2000 Presidential (which wasn't stolen, as much as given away by the Supreme Court), nor the 2004 Presidential Election, which evidence shows would most likely have gone to Kerry had the votes actually been counted. But I have never claimed that election was "stolen" either, because we simply do not know. Until there is evidence, I do not report it as such.

I am not saying, in my article yesterday, that the Busby/Bilbray election was "stolen" either.

Nor have I charged there has been any fraud. This is (for now) about confidence in verifiable results in an American election. So far, there is no basis to have any.

Nor am I one of those who believes that legitimate elections can only be carried out on 100% hand-counted paper ballots.

This one, however, given the specific machines in use, which have been proven to be easilly tamperable and hackable, without a trace being left behind, (and admitted as such by even the company who makes them!) is a different matter. Add to that, security measures were completely compromised by sending the machines home with poll workers, in some cases, for weeks at a time, prior to the election and we've got a no confidence case on our hands.

The burden is now on elections officials --- who we pay to run accurate elections --- to prove the race was counted accurately. Let's see them do it.

I do not champion, nor traffic in, "conspiracy theories," as those of you who know my work likely already understand. What I reported in yesterday's story was not editorial or "conspiracy theory," but plain scientific fact, resting on an enormous body of peer-reviewed, undisputed, scientific evidence. The contention offered in the piece then is summarized thusly --- presuming the integrity of the chain of custody for the paper ballots and the "paper trails" is still demonstrably secured:

Unless every optically-scanned ballot is counted by hand --- and only if the resultant margin after that count is larger than the number of votes cast on the touch-screen systems --- can there be any confidence that the results of the U.S. House race for CA's 50th congressional district are accurate.

I challenge anybody to prove otherwise. Anybody. It cannot be done.

I welcome any and all questions about the logic or accuracy of my contentions. So far, I have received none.

If, after reading yesterday's article in full --- and asking any questions of me concerning the logic or evidence (I will try to keep an eye on comments left here) --- you still do not understand what's going on here, and what's at stake in your elections, then you are simply heading into November while whistling past democracy's graveyard.

That goes for you, AP. (And ABC, since you're running the article on your site and yet have failed to run extremely important stories on American election integrity issues which, unlike AP's story, are demonstrably provable and feature actual evidence.)

Do you both, AP and ABC, stand behind this report? If so, I dare you to prove the contentions made in your article are backed up with any verifiable evidence. You can't. And you won't. The contentions made in my article, however, certainly are. I feel it's my responsibility to be sure of that when I file a report. Why don't you?

Elections should be verifiable and provable. This one, at least as of now, is most decidely not.

UPDATE: SD County Poll workers write in about voting machine sleepovers...

UPDATE: 6/9/06: New numbers reported from San Diego county...

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Race to Replace Randy 'Duke' Cunningham in San Diego Was Run on Hackable Diebold Voting Machines, Kept Unsecured at Poll Worker Houses Overnight Before the Election!
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2006 1:57pm PT  

To be clear, at this hour, we have no evidence to show that Democrat Francine Busby --- running in yesterday's special run-off election in San Diego against Republican Brian Bilbray to replace the disgraced Republican Randy "Duke" Cunningham for the U.S. House (CA-50) race --- actually won it.

Neither do we have evidence to believe that Bilbray actually won it.

We do, however, have copious and documented evidence to suggest there is no reason in the world to have any faith that Bilbray won the race.

The fact that the thin margin between the two at this hour (with "100% of the votes counted", according to the CA Sec. of State's website) is a mere 4,732 votes --- in a race where 125,882 votes were reportedly cast in a county with more than 355,000 voters registered --- is not even the largest question. Neither is the so-far unclear question of how the race will be affected by the 68,500 absentee and provisional ballots still to be counted in San Diego County according to the SD Registrar of Voters website at this hour.

The biggest concern about the race, by far, is that San Diego County uses two types of Diebold voting systems --- optical-scan and touch-screen --- both of which have not only proven to be disastrously unreliable in San Diego County and California in the past, but have also been demonstrated over the last six months to feature dozens of exceedingly well-documented and remarkable security vulnerabilities, making them extremely accessible to tampering. Especially if anyone has unsupervised physical access for more than a minute or two with them.

The voting machines used in Tuesday's election were sent home with volunteer poll workers the night before the election, according to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office today. As well, The BRAD BLOG has received reports that in some cases, poll workers may have had the machines alone at their houses, unsupervised, for a week or even two prior to Tuesday's election....

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

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By David Edwards on 6/1/2006 9:14am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
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Earlier this week, during the trial of David Safavian, photos were released from one of the Abramoff-sponsored golf trips to Scotland. David Safavian is charged with lying to investigators about his relationship with Jack Abramoff.

The photos show Abramoff with some of his "Champions", a term he used to describe people in government who could provide information and assistance to Abramoff's clients. Champions were showered with gifts and trips like the golf trip seen in the released photos.

In the group photo above, Abramoff's Champions are shown prior to boarding the Gulf Stream jet. Neil Volz, pictured on the far left, was chief of staff to Bob Ney. He is considered a star witness for the prosecution. Standing next to Volz is Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition. Congressman Bob Ney is 4th from the left. He is the short guy wearing the grey shirt. Jack Abramoff is on the far right.

This video is from MSNBC's Countdown. David Shuster explains the story behind the photos and the lengths to which Abramoff would go to provide favors for his Champions. Shuster also has an update on the status of the Safavian trial.

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An Exclusive BRAD BLOG Interview with a Democratic Congressional Candidate Who's Not Afraid to Stand up for America, Even if it Means Standing Up Against Another Democrat (and a very powerful one at that!)
By Jim Cirile on 5/31/2006 11:23am PT  

Guest Blogged by Jim Cirile

"No recounts? I mean, why bother even having elections? Bring in these electronic voting machines, hire a few people to flip the votes, outlaw recounts. You'd save a lot of money by outlawing elections!"

"We conducted a mock arrest at the Secretary of State's office. We went over with our 10-foot high arrest warrant for grand voting theft which we issued to McPherson for certifying those evil machines --- the TSx --- with a 30% failure rate and announcing the certification on a holiday weekend when nobody was paying attention."

-- Marcy Winograd, Candidate U.S. House of Representatives, CA 36th District

Marcy Winograd "was tired of our leaders not listening to us." So she decided to run against one of them --- Jane Harman, another Democrat --- who she felt wasn't listening.

You may not have heard of Winograd yet. But it's time you do.

Winograd hopes to represent California's 36th congressional district (West and Southwest Los Angeles). On June 6th she faces off in the California primary election against the powerful incumbent Harman --- a six-term Democratic U.S. Congresswoman who Winograd describes as a "Bush Democrat".

A 12-year board-certified teacher and activist, Winograd received the 2004 Los Angeles Democrat of the Year award. She's been making waves in the progressive community with her grassroots assault on the incredibly well-financed, pro-war Harman, who has a record of voting consistently with the Bush administration.

Drive around the west side of Los Angeles and you'll see plenty of signs for both Harman and Winograd on telephone poles --- but on people's lawns, you only see Winograd signs. She's making waves?and even Harman's beginning to listen.

Winograd is part of the Impeach Team --- three congressional candidates who have made impeaching George W. Bush and Dick Cheney part of their platform.

She's also a staunch defender of election protection issues and has been fighting tooth and nail to prevent the hostile takeover of California's elections by the right. Unlike so many Democrats, she's unafraid to talk about issues of election integrity --- and she's got a plan in case there's any whiff of chicanery at the ballot box. Okay, so now she's got us listening too.

She recently gave The BRAD BLOG at least an hour of her time for an exclusive interview on everything that actually matters to America right now. We thought that was a refreshing change of pace for a Democrat. So we like her. A lot. And think you will too?

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

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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


Video in Streaming Flash format...
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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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