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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, October 25, 2014
Touch-Screens Flip 'No' to 'Yes' on TN Abortion Measure
After the state GOP repealed the law to move to paper ballots, votes now reportedly flipping again on a controversial Amendment to the state Constitution...
More Trouble With Touch-Screens (2014 Edition)
Votes Flip D to R in Texas, R to D in Illinois - What's happening (again), what it means (again), and what you can do about it (please?)...
Christie: GOP Governors Needs to Control 'Voting Mechanisms' in 2016
NJ Governor and 2016 Presidential hopeful offers interesting reason why Republicans in three key states need to win in 2014...
Justice Ginsburg Republishes TX Photo ID Law Dissent After BRAD BLOG Cites Error
Turns out U.S. Veterans' Affairs ID can be used to vote under new GOP voting restrictions in TX. Official SCOTUS opinion updated...
'Mercy', 'Rehabilitation' and 'Restorative Justice'
Sentencing of South Africa's Oscar Pistorius offers stark reminder of concepts that seem to have gone missing from the justice system in the U.S...
'Green News Report' 10/21/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP candidates still dodging climate Qs; Mountaintop removal coal mining promotes lung cancer; 2014 on track as hottest year on record; PLUS: LEGO breaks up with Shell Oil...
Previous GNRs: 10/14/14 - 10/16/14 - Archives...
Everything Old is Texas Again
On the upside though, even if they successfully violate the Constitution by keeping some 600,000 legally registered, disproportionately minority voters from voting this year, they can save some money on signage...
Congresswoman Sets Impeachment Deadline for Federal Judge Mark Fuller
ALSO: Court unseals divorce docs from first marriage, Fuller attorney dismisses abuse allegations as 'rhetorical questions'...
SCOTUS ALLOWS TEXAS' DISCRIMINATORY GOP PHOTO ID LAW TO USED IN MIDTERMS
Despite uncontested findings striking down the law as a racially-motivated, 'unconstitutional poll tax', it will be implemented this year...
'Dead Heat' and 'Dirty Tricks': The Nightmare Scenario
Maddow warns: 'With this many top of ticket races tied, turnout will be everything...Now we watch for the ways that people will try to stop voters from turning out or from having their votes counted, by hook or by crook'...
Judge Fuller's Attorney Says Wife Beating Thing No Big Deal; 911 AUDIO and Gov. Don Siegelman Disagree
Standalone video of 911 call; First comment on case by imprisoned former AL Gov.; MORE...
Emergency Appeals Filed at SCOTUS to Restore Voting Rights to 600,000 in TX
GOP Photo ID law, which lower court found intentionally discriminatory, is different from recent cases before High Court, say plaintiffs...
'Green News Report' 10/16/14
Ryan backs away (sort of) from climate change denial; NatGas isn't a bridge to lower-emissions; PLUS: Did Lockheed-Martin really invent a compact nuclear fusion reactor?...
Bloomberg on BRAD BLOG on Judge Richard Posner on Photo ID Voting Laws...
'By the sounds of it, the floor that supported voter-ID laws has just given way'...
'BradCast': WI, TX, AR Photo ID Rulings
Trouble keeping up with the on-again/off-again court rulings on GOP voter suppression laws? Brad tries to make sense of it all for ya...
WTF?!: FL Gov. Rick Scott Refuses To Appear at Debate With Gov. Charlie Crist
Watch the video. They're calling it 'FanGate'. We're just calling it Florida...
Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down State GOP's Photo ID Voting Law
Court determines law, passed over Dem Governor's veto, violates explicit right to vote in state Constitution...
5th Circuit Appeals Panel Restores Texas GOP's 'Discriminatory' Photo ID Law
While not contesting law's unconstitutionality, judges cite SCOTUS rule on last minute voting changes...
'Green News Report' 10/14/14
Coal wins U.S. Senate debate in KY!; Pentagon: climate change threat to NatSec; Wind power cheapest source of energy; PLUS: September 2014 was hottest ever...
Repub Judge Who Approved Nation's 1st Photo ID Law in 2008 Writes Devastating Dissent Against Them
Reagan-appointed Richard Posner pens best case ever against Photo ID voting restrictions...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(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...


Republican U.S. Congressman, Bush Crony, Attempts to Restore 'Voter Confidence' by Disenfranchising Voters, Offering Misleading Information and Calling for Unconstitutional Measures at Poll
Published Same Day as U.S. Appellate Court Upholds Decision that Georgia's Photo ID Law is Unconstitutional 'Poll Tax'
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2005 2:33pm PT  

Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) wrote an Op/Ed this week in the Orlando Sentinel in hopes of fooling the American public into supporting his atrocious new "Election Reform" bill in the U.S. House. His Op/Ed which supports his bill's call for National Photo ID requirement at the polls, was published the same day that the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a previous decision by a Federal Court that Georgia's recent bill requiring Photo ID amounted to a new "poll tax" and was therefore unconstitutional.

Here's the Counter-Op/Ed I just sent to the Sentinel in reply to Feeney's. I've added links here to the items I mention in the letter and for easy access to just some of the criminal conspiracy allegations made against Feeney as reported since last December by The BRAD BLOG. Contact info for the Sentinel, if you should wish to conatct them or write a letter as well, is at the bottom of this item...

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

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Conyers: GA Legislature Should Have Never Passed 'Modern Day Poll Tax'
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2005 3:11pm PT  

A federal judge has just issued an injunction to keep the new Photo ID requirements at polling places in the state of Georgia from moving forward. As reported many times on The BRAD BLOG, the requirement for photo ID at the polls would disenfranchise anywhere from 10 to 20 million Americans who do not have driver licenses --- mainly the elderly, minorities, the poor and other urban dwellers.

The call for Photo ID at the polling place is the latest attempt by Republicans who hope to further disenfranchise Democratic-leaning voters across the country. The effort has been pushed hard by the self-declared "non-partisan" phony GOP "voting rights" group calling themselves the American Center for Voting Rights and was called for by the shameful Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission, which was led by disenfranchisement expert and Bush family crony James A. Baker along with high-level GOP operatives from the ACVR.

This just in from AP...

ATLANTA (AP) --- A federal court has barred Georgia from enforcing a new state law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

In the ruling issued today, the U.S. District Court in Rome agreed with critics who claimed the law amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax.

The U.S. Justice Department approved the law in August. The department said that while Attorney General Alberto Gonzales did NOT object to the state's voter I-D requirement, the federal agency's approval did NOT preclude lawsuits against it.

The Republican-backed measure sparked racial tension during the state's legislative session last spring. Most of Georgia's black lawmakers walked out at the state Capitol when it was approved.

In a news release just issued to The BRAD BLOG, Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), ranking minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, lauded the decision to stop what he referred to as "a modern day poll tax."

Says Conyers in the release: "Truth be told, the issue should have never reached this point - the Georgia Legislature should never have passed this modern day poll tax, the Governor should not have signed it, and the Justice Department should have intervened to stop it. That is why 21 Members and I asked the Department to prevent this law from taking effect."

The full press release from Conyers office follows...

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

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Little-Known, but Powerful U.S. Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) up to Eyeballs in DeLay, Abramoff, Corruption Probe
Tied to Gambling, Illegal Favors and TeleCom 'Election' Fixing Investigations...
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2005 12:57pm PT  

In an extremely detailed 2891-word page one Washington Post report today by James V. Grimaldi and Susan Schmidt, Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) is tied to at least four different aspects of ongoing probes being carried out by criminal investigators looking into the corruption of GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay --- both of whom have been indicted recently on charges relating to the various investigations.

Ney has not yet been indicted, but the WaPo exposé ties him to several different scandals including the SunCruz casino boat fraud/murder investigation (for which Abramoff has recently been indicted), several illegally funded overseas vacations, support of Indian gaming in apparent trade for favors received in the form of cash contributions and other gifts from Abramoff and --- yes --- the apparent "fixing" of an election administered by Ney of telecommunications companies to determine who would receive a large contract at the U.S. Capital building.

Ney is chairman of the powerful U.S. House Administration Committee. BRAD BLOG readers will remember Ney's committee as holding a "show hearing" earlier this year on "Election Irregularities in Ohio" during the 2004 Presidential Election. That hearing, which attempted to whitewash the thousands of troubling reports calling the Ohio election into question, called just one witness from a "voting rights" group. That witness turned out to be Mark F. "Thor" Hearne of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), self-described "non-partisan" organization which had appeared out of the blue just days prior to the hearing. Hearne, identified himself in the hearings as a "long time voting rights advocate", but failed to mention that he was actually the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. The other "non-partisan" founder of ACVR was Jim Dyke, former RNC Communcations Director, and recently installed White House spokesman for Dick Cheney.

(BRAD BLOG's full special coverage of ACVR, the so-called "non-partisan" GOP front group masquerading as a "voting rights" organization, can be found here.)

The WaPo story reports that Ney is currently "under investigation by Florida federal prosecutors looking into Abramoff's acquisition of SunCruz, according to sources familiar with the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

Excerpts from the full WaPo report follow...

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

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Further Disenfranchises Democratic Voters, Doesn't Guarantee Accuracy of Results...
Clint Curtis: 'Feeney Trying to Protect His Fixed Voting System'
By John Gideon on 10/5/2005 12:09pm PT  

Guest blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.Org

In a move that some people found amazing and others expected, Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) has filed a new elections bill. HR-3910 ? Verifying the Outcome of Tomorrow's Elections Act of 2005 does nothing to verify the outcome of "tomorrow's" elections, but it does further the RNC's wish to keep as many poor, elderly, disabled, and people of color (in other words ? normally Democratic voters) away from the polls as they possibly can.

And who is this Rep. Feeney? If you recall, he was the person alleged to have asked for a programmer to write software to switch the touch-screen votes, undetected, in Florida. Clint Curtis, whose story was originally broken here at BRAD BLOG, was the programmer. When asked about this latest step by Feeney, he responded via email simply: ?Appears that Mr. Feeney is still trying to protect his fixed voting system?.

Around the water coolers on ?The Hill?, there has been talk that Rush Holt's Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (HR 550) would be going to mark-up sometime in October. It is timely that suddenly Rep. Feeney would produce a bill that will now allow the House leaders to blend the two bills and make one bill that represents their view of privatization of elections.

This bill provides for a voter verified paper audit trail but it leaves to the states how that audit trail will be used, if at all. No verification there.

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

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NEW CHARGE COULD BRING LIFE IN PRISON!
Also: Bush's Dept. of Justice Confirms Own DeLay/Abramoff Investigation!
By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2005 12:32pm PT  

Former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was re-indicted today on a second charge related to the $190,000 in corporate money that DeLay is said to have illegally participated in laundering for use in a number of Texas state races from 2002.

Using corporate money to finance campaigns has been illegal in the state of Texas for nearly 100 years. Yet DeLay, who had previously been indicted on criminal conspiracy charges in the scheme, is now being charged with directly laundering the money. All of which, incidentally, Republican apologist Ann Coulter has no problem with.

From this morning's NY Times:

The indictment was announced without warning on Monday in Austin, the state capital, after lawyers for Mr. DeLay went to court earlier in the day to ask that the original conspiracy indictment be dismissed on technical grounds.
...
Within hours, Mr. DeLay and his aides had been indicted on the new money-laundering charges, which can carry a prison sentence of up to life in prison.
...
The new indictment was issued as Bush administration officials confirmed news reports in London that the Justice Department had asked the British police to question former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher about the circumstances of her meeting in 2000 with Mr. DeLay during a trip to Britain organized by the Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The interview request was the first publicly disclosed evidence from the Justice Department that Mr. DeLay was under scrutiny in the department's wide-ranging corruption investigation of Mr. Abramoff.

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By Winter Patriot on 7/9/2005 10:35am PT  

Guest Blogged by Clint Curtis

INTRODUCTION {by Winter Patriot}: We are indeed most fortunate to welcome Clint Curtis, whose "incredible" story turns out to be just a little bit too credible after all. For those not familiar with the story, here's a quick summary:

Vote-Rigging Sofware Fit For A Congressman

by Brad Friedman

In an affidavit and sworn testimony, Florida software programmer Clint Curtis told members of the U.S. House Judiciary committee that U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) asked him to design a "vote-rigging software prototype". This request, according to Curtis, took place in October 2000 during a meeting at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI), a computer consulting firm in Oviedo, Florida.

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

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Unrequested 'Report' Dismisses, Ignores Evidence of Discrimination, Disenfranchisement!
DoJ Report Also Reveals More than 100,000 Voters NEWLY 'Purged' from Rolls in One Ohio County Alone!
By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2005 3:57pm PT  

There is almost no other way to put this, but we are simply floored by the report just released by the Department of Justice concerning the Franklin County, OH elections.

If there ever was a report which could be called a whitewash, this would be the very dictionary definition --- with the emphasis on WHITE.

The DoJ four-page report, based on dodgy figures, uninvestigated charges and undocumented information and details, simply concludes that "Franklin County assigned voting machines in a non-discriminatory manner", that "no violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act" was found and they "are thus closing our file."

In truth, a detailed analysis of the flaws in this report, and an unwaivering condemnation of this reprehensible piece of "official documentation" is needed. But as folks are disappearing for the Holiday Weekend, we're afraid any analysis we took the time to compile right now would likely get lost in the holiday news-hole. So, for the moment, we're gonna dump these documents here and leave the detailed analysis and shouts of outrage and condemnation to BRAD BLOG readers. If we can follow up a bit more after the holiday, we will.

Essentially, John Conyers' office requested a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice investigation back in January on a number of very troubling matters related to Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election on behalf of the minority members of the Judiciary Committee. (Letter requesting a Special Prosecutor from the DoJ is here [PDF]. Coverage of it by RAW STORY is here, and BRAD BLOG's own reporting at the time, which led to one of the complaints in the letter to the DoJ, is here.)

Amongst the items for which Conyers' January 14, 2005 had requested an investigation at the time --- according to the response to the report Conyers sent on Wednesday --- were "serious charges concerning Voter Intimidation and Misinformation; Improper Purging and other Misconduct; Caging of New Minority Voters; Misuse of HAVA Funds; Tampering of Voting Machinery and Records; Perjury by a County Board of Election Official; and the Misuse of the Great Seal of the United States on Secretary of State Blackwell's Personal Campaign Materials."

While no "substantive response to the many instances of voting irregularities and civil rights violations in the state of Ohio" about which Conyers' submitted evidence has been forthcoming by the DoJ since that January letter, apparently someone within the DoJ took it upon themselves to conduct --- and as we've said WHITEWASH --- an investigation concerning what happened in just one county in Ohio.

The DoJ's resulting four-page report, conducted by "The Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division" and sent to Franklin County officials on Wednesday, is a masterwork of obfuscation, disinformation, misinformation, smoke and mirrors and out and out lies. And remember, it comes directly from your Department of Justice.

As we've said, a more detailed point-by-point analysis of the outrage is called for. But for now, we feel it's important to get the information out as is so folks can see with their own eyes what has "flabbergasted" Conyers' as according to the response he sent in reply to the DoJ yesterday.

There is, however, at least one paragraph which jumped out at us, but that Conyers' reply does not deal with directly (understandably, frankly, since there is so much to be "flabbergasted" about in this DoJ report!). We feel this one is important to point out as we find it particularly disconcerting for what the future may hold in Ohio [emphasis added]:

A major complicating factor in the appropriate allocation of voting machines was the artificially inflated voter registration rolls in the county. The 845,720 registered voters in 2004 actually exceeded the 2000 total voting age population of Franklin County (800,657) by 45,063 persons. This unsettling disparity resulted from the loss, during preparation for computer system changes in anticipation of the year 2000, of voter history data necessary for purging the voter rolls of ineligible voters as required by the National Voter Registration Act. The County chose to start fresh with new voter histories, with the result that there had been no voter purge since 1999. The County resumed regular purging of its voter list only after the 2004 election, and on June 20, 2005 removed approximately 114,000 ineligible individuals from its voter registration list. The 2005 purge brings the voter registration total well below the 2000 voting age population in the county.

Yes, you read that right. Franklin County's "bi-partisan" Board of Election has just now "purged" 114,000 voters from the rolls! Tee-ing things up nicely, it would seem, for many more thousands of voters to find themselves suddenly ineligible to vote when they show up at the polling place in 2006!

Over one hundred thousand voters scrubbed from the voting rolls in just one Ohio County alone by their presumably "bi-partisan" BoE. That, while we have learned over the past several months how these Ohio BoE's are certainly not "bi-partisan" as Blackwell and their other defenders continue to maintain since a) There are "Democrats" on these boards who are specifically plants, in other words, "Democrats" in name only and b) All BoE members serve at the partisan pleasure of the distinctly partisan Secretary of State and Bush/Cheney Co-Chair, J. Kenneth Blackwell, who has routinely threatened BoE members with dismissal if and when they refuse to follow his personal partisan edicts.

But that's just one of the outrages. We'll let Conyers' handle a few more. Here is his response to the DoJ report first, followed by the complete report itself by John Tanner, the Chief of the DoJ's Voting Section. Prepare to be appalled...

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

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Republican Chairman Stuns Room by Shutting Down Hearings!
Turns Off Hearing Room Microphones in Middle of Testimony! FURTHER UPDATES...PELOSI DEMANDS APOLOGY!
By Brad Friedman on 6/10/2005 11:19am PT  

As originally reported here yesterday, Democrats on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee invoked a rarely used rule to extend Committee hearings on the renewal of the Patriot Act.

Apparently, they inappropriately called witnesses to testify today from whom the Republicans did not wish to hear. And thus, in what can only be seen as an unprecedented tyrannical abuse of Majority power in the U.S. House of Representatives, Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), suddenly and without warning, gavelled the hearings to a close! Unilaterally, without debate, and in the middle of ongoing testimony!

The extraordinary video clip of Sensenbrenner's appalling display, was captured by C-SPAN. Take a look at the meltdown...

BuzzFlash describes the remarkable incident in some detail as follows...

GOP House Judiciary Chair Uses Pinochet Tactics to Abruptly and Unilaterally Shut Down Hearing Into Abuses of the (Un)Patriot Act, Because He Was Afraid the Truth Would Come Out. America: "IT" is Happening Here. Democracy is Being Dismantled by GOP Thugs.

A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
June 10, 2005
BuzzFlash News Analysis

This morning, House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI) unilaterally and arbitrarily shut down committee hearings on the reauthorization of the Patriot Act without comment or issuing a statement. Sensenbrenner gaveled the committee hearings in the middle of witnesses testifying about human and civil rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay, racial profiling of individuals of Middle Eastern descent, prolonged detentions of Americans after September 11th and other abuses.

The suppression of free speech and testimony in the congressional committee in charge of protecting our civil liberties shows the Republican's power grab has no limits and no decency. The irony was not lost on anyone.

UPDATE: We must go on the air on Tony Trupiano's show in a just a few minutes, so this must be quick for now. (Link to that interview, with a lot more information on my conversation with a Democratic staffer who was in the room, is now below.)

To clarify some confusion on this matter, what had been referred to as "Democratic Hearings" today in some places, actually were not Democratic-only hearings (unlike the hearings that took place in January on Ohio Election Irregularities, and the recent Media Bias forum held by Conyers and other Dems).

Today's hearings were called under the archane provision of House Rule 11, which, we are told, allows the Minority to call for an additional day of hearings and to choose their own witnesses if they are unsatisfied with the hearings as held by the Majority.

The U.S. House Judiciary Democrats have been unable to do that previously on issues like Election 2004 and Media Bias because the Majority hadn't called a hearing at all on those matters, and thus, they were forced to call their own hearings.

We are told by a Democratic Staffer who The BRAD BLOG has just spoken to, and who was present at today's debacle, that the Majority has been quite disturbed by those previous hearings for some time, and, in fact, during the airing of Conyers' Media Bias forum (it ran as taped on C-SPAN at 8:30pm ET a few Saturdays ago), an email was sent to a Judiciary Committee staffer which said, in effect, "I'm watching your forum right now, hope you enjoyed it, it will be your last."

We'll have more detail after we're off the air, but the staffer just explained to us that the Minority was displeased with the witnesses called previously in the Commission hearings on renewal of the Patriot Act, and attempted to work with the Majority to call additional witnesses.

According to the staffer, they were told, "'You're gonna get your hearing, but it's gonna be 8:30am on Friday morning'...Never in the history of the Judiciary Committee have we been able to find a time when a hearing has been scheduled like that. The Congress was not in session today. We've never been able to find an instance when a hearing was called when Congress wasn't in session."

"The irony, when we're debating the Patriot Act," we were told, "of cutting off the debate and acting so anti-democratic when that's going on, is unbelievable!

"In the committee with sole jurisdiction over civil rights and civil liberties, for the chairman to say, I don't want to hear about guys who are getting their testicles shocked, it's breathtaking arrogance, it's testimony to abuse of power and how this place is now run. They've become everything they said they deplored when they took over the house in 1994."

Conversations with the House Democratic leadership on currently ongoing. The BRAD BLOG has learned that they are "very very concerned" about this matter, and that "the issue will be elevated."

"Ms. Pelosi is very concerned about this," said the staffer.

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

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Few House Members, None from Texas Delegation Showed Up Despite Free Tickets!
But Tom Feeney Was There!
By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2005 3:16pm PT  

Featuring actual reporting (as opposed to just rewritten press releases), the Texas Observer actually writes about what happened at Tom DeLay's recent "Conservative Movement Salute" held in D.C. recently to shore up the failing GOP House Leader.

They accomplished this feat by actually attending the event, talking to people who were there, and reporting on what they saw and what they didn't see. Imagine that.

What they didn't see, was the bulk of DeLay's Republican colleagues, nor the many K Street lobbyists with whom DeLay has infamously raised millions...

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

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Encourage C-SPAN to Cover it NOW!
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2005 1:07pm PT  

It's official. Just in from the folks at Conyer's office...Fighting on every front...God bless him...In the DC area next week? Go help 'em make some noise!

Better yet, write to C-SPAN today and ask them to cover this event!!! We spoke with Conyers' office earlier this morning, and they made it clear they would appreciate any help that "6 or 7" of you might be able to provide in encouraging C-SPAN to be there!

...CONTACT...
Suggest Events: Submit a public event that you think C-SPAN should cover
events@c-span.org
Main Number: (202) 737-3220
FROM THE NEWSWEEK CONTROVERSY TO THE DOWNING STREET MEMO, CONYERS HOSTS FORUM: "MEDIA BIAS AND THE FUTURE OF FREEDOM OF THE PRESS"

WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m., Rep. John Conyers, Jr. and other Members will host a forum concerning the state of the freedom of the press in this country.

There are few liberties which are more precious to our citizenry or important to our democracy than a free and independent press. Unfortunately, in the present environment, the fourth estate appears reticent to cover numerous issues of genuine public import, and has frequently retreated in the face of criticism and threats from government officials.

For example, the mainstream media has largely ignored the implications of the "Downing Street Memo," which points to a secret agreement between the Bush and Blair Administration to not only go to war, but create the conditions necessary for the war. Similarly, in the wake of the Newsweek "retraction" of the Koran story, the Administration has sought to mandate that the magazine alter its coverage of our involvement in the Middle East.

Tuesday's Forum will provide a timely opportunity to assess the nature of media bias and the extent that press freedoms are at risk in the post-9/11 world.

WHAT: Forum: "Media Bias and the Future of Freedom of the Press"

PANEL:

  • Al Franken, the Al Franken Show on Air America Radio, author of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right
  • David Brock, founder of Media Matters
  • Randi Rhodes, the Randi Rhodes Show on Air America Radio
  • Joe Madison, The Black Eagle Radio Show
  • Justin Webb, Senior Washington Correspondent of BBC News
  • Eric Alterman, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
  • Steve Rendall, media watchdog group FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
  • John Aravosis, America Blog
  • Mark Lloyd, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
  • WHEN: Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m.

    WHERE: 2226 Rayburn House Office Building

    ReddIt this story!



    Tom DeLay's Biggest Supporter!
    One Good Tom Deserves Another! --- A BRAD BLOG Movement Salute!
    By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2005 7:39pm PT  

    "Tom DeLay is the most effective leader the House has seen in 50 years."

    So said U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) of his very good friend, and mutual backscratcher, Tom DeLay (R-TX) outside of last week's exciting "Conservative Movement Salutes Tom DeLay" event!

    And no wonder! Between all the cold, hold cash money that Feeney's received from DeLay, and all the money and voting support Feeney's given right back in return, it looks like the two Toms are birds of a feather! We certainly hope they're not jailbirds of a feather someday! Yee-Ouch! That certainly wouldn't be very helpful to the "Conservative" movement!

    Feeney's been there for DeLay all along and nothing's gonna stop him now!

    That's why Mr. Feeney was one of the few Congressmen willing to talk to reporters --- outloud, and right there in public yet! --- at the big "Salute to Delay" last week. That's why Feeney was more than happy to go on that important trip to play golf in Scotland with DeLay (apparently paid for by lobbyists)...Hell, they're even champs when it comes to redistricting their own states to help themselves get elected!

    Is there anything these two can't do together when they set their minds to it?!

    And just in case you weren't certain how close the two Toms actually are...The Public Campaign Action Fund was nice enough to recently compile a list of "DeLay Rankings" showing which Congressmen and women are closest to Tom DeLay and deepest inside of his pocket. And guess who came out on top of the entire U.S. House of Representatives?!

    That's right! Our man, Feeney's #1! Waytago Tom! You've done it again!

    (Thanks American Woman, Jaime, and Jesse of Stakeholder for their contributions to this salute!)

    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!



    Ohio Republican Who Ought to Recognize Phony 'Front Groups' Claims to have Been Duped by Phony 'Front Group'
    Blames Abramoff, Indian Tribes and Democrat Christopher Dodd. Another Republican in favor of personal responsibility we guess.
    By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2005 9:37am PT  

    An excellent article just out from June's The American Prospect suggests that Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH), one of the sponsors of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is now under Dept. of Justice investigation for his ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the money received from the Tigua Indian tribe to finance a golf trip, like Tom Delays, to Scotland.

    Our good friend, Tom Feeney, by the way, was also on one of those Scotland Golf Trips. Just thought it worth mentioning.

    The Prospect article outlines in detail in how Ney had used Christopher Dodd (D-CT), without Dodd's knowledge, to suggest that the two of them would be able to add a rider to HAVA which would be favorable to the Tigua Indian tribe. Of course, Dodd never seems to have been a party to any of this.

    Ney, who chairs the House Administration Committee, recently held hearings on the Ohio Election 2004 mess during which --- as originally reported by BRAD BLOG --- he invited friends from the phony GOP front group calling themselves the American Center for Voting Rights to testify, and yet the Prospect article reports that he claims to have been fooled by an Abramoff front group in relation to the trips he was purchased:

    Ney first tested his "innocent victim" line after the Senate hearings on the Tigua fraud. Attacking Abramoff and Scanlon as "nefarious individuals," he proclaimed, "I, like these Indian tribes and other members of Congress, was duped by Jack Abramoff." He explained that the lobbyist had invited him "to go on a trip to Scotland, which Mr. Abramoff said would help support a charitable organization, that he founded, through meetings with Scottish Parliament officials."

    That charitable outfit was the Capital Athletic Foundation, an Abramoff front. Why Ney would have to go golfing in Scotland or visit the Parliament there to assist an American-based charity remains an unsolved mystery --- as does his interest in sponsoring legislation for a Texas tribe far from his rural Ohio district.

    But Abramoff and his associates had raised money for Ney from 2000 through 2003, providing the use of a luxury skybox at Washington's MCI Center to host a fund-raising event. The helpful congressman had also supported Abramoff and Adam Kidan, the lobbyist's business partner, in their effort to buy a Florida gambling cruise line. The sale went through, but the cruise line's original owner was killed gangland-style after fighting with Kidan, who has alleged ties to organized crime. Ney has since claimed that he was misled about Kidan's background, too.

    That "Florida gambling cruise line" which led to an apparent "gangland-style" hit was Suncruz, as reported in excrutiating detail in a Washington Post piece last week.

    As is the norm these days, Ney is attempting to deny knowing who actually paid for the trip, yet the Prospect reports:

    In June, Abramoff wrote to Schwartz again: "Our friend [Ney] asked if we could ? cover a Scotland golf trip for him and some staff ? and members in August," just like the trip DeLay had taken two years earlier.

    And finally --- even after Ney knew full well that Dodd wanted nothing to do with the Indian Tribe legislation --- he invited members of the tribe to the Capitol for a meeting to thank them for the trip, and to act as if he was still hoping to pass their dead-in-the-water legislation:

    Ney went on and on for well over an hour, schmoozing with his guests and praising free enterprise. At the end, he even walked them out so they could use the reserved members' elevator. "That last act sealed the deal," recalls Schwartz. "He was very friendly and won us over." Today, Schwartz says, "To raise the hopes of a tribal people when he knew the deal was dead leaves me no doubt that he is a heartless individual devoid of integrity."

    The hopes of the Tigua evaporated in October 2002, when Abramoff called to say that Dodd had purportedly decided to renege on his support of the tribe's legislation, supposedly out of anger that his own bill to reform Connecticut tribal recognition was defeated in the Senate.

    The Dodd bill provided a perfect cover story --- and in his best David Mamet tough-guy style, Abramoff called Schwartz on his cell phone to complain. "Dodd fucked us!" he said. "Ney is fuming that the bastard went back on his word. We were fucked by a Democrat!"

    Using Dodd as a scapegoat for the legislation would was never to have been placed in HAVA, Ney then claims to have been willing to "let election reform die" in retaliation:

    Dodd's supposed support was always a phony pipe dream that Ney and Abramoff sold to the Indians. At the Senate hearing last year on the Tigua mess, Dodd released a statement explaining that he hadn't even learned about the Tigua proposal until very late in the process. "Congressman Ney's staff," said the senator, "did approach my office during the waning hours of negotiations over the HAVA legislation to inquire whether recognition provisions for the Tigua tribe could be included in the bill. The suggestion was summarily rejected."

    Nevertheless, a few days after the crushing October defeat for the tribe, Abramoff arranged for Ney to speak to the tribal council by conference call to offer his condolences for the legislative failure. Schwartz says that Ney told the council about a supposed conversation with Dodd. "I begged him to put it back in," said Ney. "I'm apologizing for us in Congress, but he went back on his word. I was so disappointed. ? I almost decided to let election reform die."

    How filthy can these guys get? Stay tuned...

    (Hat tip Jesse over at Stakeholder for the link tip!)

    ReddIt this story!



    (Bang, Bang Maxwell's Silver Hammer Came Down Upon His Head!)
    By Brad Friedman on 5/6/2005 12:06pm PT  

    Every now and again we're pleasantly reminded that there are still good folks out there littered amongst the debris that is the American Corporate Media 2005. Or as Murrow presciently predicted, the "vast wasteland".

    We found one of those good folks in Carol Towarnicky of the Philadelphia Daily News (she'll be a guest on this weekend's BRAD SHOW who blasted the MSM for ignoring the Gannon/Guckert scandal. This week, it's kudos to Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel for his piece yesterday on your friend and ours, Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL).

    You didn't think we forgot about you...did ya, Tom?

    It looks like Tom is up to his enchanting old tricks this week as he tries to disentangle himself from the scandals that he's in nearly as deep as Tom DeLay --- he just doesn't happen to be the House Majority Leader (yet), so you may not have heard. (You will in the future...no worries).

    Maxwell tears old Tom (Feeney, that is) a new one in his column, headlined "So sorry --- it's the media's fault" from yesterday:

    Feeney's chief of staff recently penned an apology to North Carolina's Rotterman and Associates, a consulting and lobbying firm that Feeney's office once listed as having paid for one of his many free trips. (Feeney now says that the influential consultants didn't pay for his trip to West Palm Beach. An influential conservative group did.)

    In the letter to Karen Rotterman, Chief of Staff Jason Roe wrote: "I cannot tell you how sorry I am that you were mentioned in the story. As you know, the current environment in Washington is such that reporters are in such a frenzy to write anything about Members' of Congress travel that anything not done absolutely correctly seems newsworthy to them."

    The things that Feeney didn't do absolutely correctly were:

    Take a $5,600 trip to Scotland, which included golfing at the Royal & Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews that Feeney has said was paid for by another lobbyist, which would violate ethics rules.

    Mistakenly report that lobbyists (the Rottermans) paid for another trip, which would have been another violation.

    Still, Roe believes this is all much ado about nothing. "All this is, is media hysteria," he said. "The media think people care about this. They don't."

    We wish the media would become "hysterical"! They look fairly sound asleep on most of this to us. What with Runaway Brides and all to worry with.

    Maxwell closes smartly with this:

    Still, the public scrutiny likely will continue. And to add insult to Feeney's terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad week, Feeney got bumped off a show on Fox News last weekend for another media hot topic: the runaway bride.

    Sounds like somebody needs a vacation.

    :-) We like Maxwell.

    Good to know someone else besides yours truly is on the Feeney beat!

    ...CONTACT...
    Scott Maxwell, Orlando Sentinel

    (Thanks to BRAD BLOG commenter, American Woman --- a big Tom Feeney fan she! --- for the link!)

    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!



    And Around the World!
    ...And the Tribune Syndicate's Bob Koehler does it again!
    By Brad Friedman on 4/22/2005 10:21am PT  

    So while we're on a roll...it seems that Clint Curtis' name and story (even briefly) are popping up in papers all around the country, and even around the world. Good folks (no doubt fine BRAD BLOG readers and patriots all!) seem to be contacting their local papers with letters to the editor to discuss the Election 2004 debacle, and tossing in the relevance of Curtis' story along with it! (See this page for more on Curtis if you need...and if so, where in the hell have you been for the last six months!?! ;-)

    So while we spend some hours working on some important things today, please feel free to take the time to jot a letter or two to your local papers. As we hope you've realized, "6 or 7" letters can make a difference.

    Some recent examples... Chicago's Northwest Herald in a letter headlined "Election thieves":

    Then, there is the complicated story of Florida computer programmer Clint Curtis, who recently passed a lie-detector test on his claim that he was asked by Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla., a Bush family friend, to design an undetectable program for flipping touch-screen votes, which he did.

    From Nashville's City Paper, in a letter headlined "The most important issue":

    Clint Curtis, the Republican whistle-blower who has testified that he was asked by (a current Republican Congressman) Tom Feeney ? who has denied it ? to write a program to hack a vote computer, came and demonstrated to us how it could be done. Curtis also announced that he had passed a lie-detector test about his allegation.

    Then in the Ireland's Irish Times last Saturday earlier this week, they ran an article (paid subscription required) which included the following:

    The arguments have been given a boost by a story in the St Petersburg Times in Florida, which is sceptical of conspiracy claims, but details charges by Clint Curtis, a 46-year-old computer programmer, that he was asked by a Republican Congressman, Tom Feeney, to come up with an undetectable system to fix elections.

    Feeney denied the charge saying: " . . . and I didn't lead the purple Martian invasion of Earth either". But Curtis passed a lie detector test, and the blogs are lighting up again.

    And finally, our new friend, Robert Koehler of the Tribune Syndicate, follows up his courageous and frank "Silent Scream of Numbers" piece --- the first that we know of from the "mainstream" to out and out charge that "Election 2004 was stolen" --- with another triumphant home run in his latest column. Titled, "Democracy's Abu Ghraib" the piece asks "If they can disable an election, what's coming next?" Just one of the many worthwhile money quotes:

    I never doubted, even after moving to Chicago in the mid-'70s, with the old Daley Machine (?vote early and vote often?) still huffing and wheezing, that elections mattered and could alter the balance of power. I never felt disenfranchised. Now that certainty is gone, replaced by dread.

    Read on. Then write on! The march of the "6 or 7" must continue and will prevail! Keep making noise!

    ReddIt this story!



    And More Questions are Raised about Whether Your Vote is Being Counted!
    By Brad Friedman on 4/13/2005 4:42pm PT  

    Must be something afoot...Now it's Madison, Wisconsin's The Capital Times jumping into the Clint Curtis fray as a part of their online Daily Briefing item headlined "Is Your Vote Being Counted?":

    In Florida, a computer programmer named Clint Curtis has made the allegation he was directed to add code to a vote counting program to cause votes to switch from one candidate to another. Here's a link to the story. I'm not making any statement here as to whether his allegations are true or false because the investigation is ongoing. The question is whether this could be true, or if we have controls in place to prevent this. I don't see anything that would prevent this from happening, particularly since voting companies refuse to provide their source code under the guise of "trade secrets".

    The article also hits much of what BRAD BLOG readers have known about for months concerning the evils of the likes of Diebold and ES&S, etc. And granted, they may not be the Miami Herald (who also discussed Clint Curtis earlier today), but hey, the word is getting out! And better late than never! Democracy may be saved after all!

    ReddIt this story!



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