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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Facebook Rightwinger Has 'Questions' for 'American Leftists' on 'Voter ID'
We can't speak for 'American Leftists', but we're happy to answer this terribly disinformed dude's 'questions'...
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Obama creates world's largest marine sanc- tuary; Humans wiped out 1/2 of world wildlife; Also to blame for AUS' hottest year ever; PLUS: Oil co. joins Google to dump ALEC...
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BREAKING: 5-4 SCOTUS Ruling Restores GOP Restrictions on Early Voting in OH
Bad news for voters. Good news for Republicans who like to win elections by trying to limit voters' ability to cast their vote...
7th Circuit Deadlock Means WI Photo ID Law Still in Place
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Board of Elections votes against 'partisan' proposal to make voting more convenient, even though County already funded it...
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Federal Court Panel Denies OH Attempt to Avoid Restoration of Early Voting
State Republicans keep trying and trying to make voting harder (for some). Courts keep denying and denying their attempts...
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  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate Week Special Coverage continues: China will cut emissions; Experts say we're not doing enough; Admin makes econ case for action; PLUS: Corporate titans step up...
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Latest on cases of GOP wife-beating judge Fuller; GOP voter operative Sproul; MORE...
Sproul Threatens BRAD BLOG With Legal Action After FL Confirms Our 2012 Reporting
GOP operative linked to years of registration fraud allegations sends bizarre email after yet another arrest of one of his workers...
'Green News Report' 9/23/14
GNR Special Coverage: Climate Week 2014 -- Climate March (largest in history), Wall Street protests (can ya hear us now?), special U.N. Climate Summit...
Report Cites Armed Walker Supporters Plotting to Target Democratic Voters in WI
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Resignation or Impeachment Would Be a Gift for Wife-Beating Judge Mark Fuller
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ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
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DiCaprio's UN climate role; Jindal plays dumb; Fracking confirmed (again) to contaminate; Black lung coal disease on rise; PLUS: Polluter front groups newest attack...
Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
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NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
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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?...

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DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


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

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    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.
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    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!)

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    (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.
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    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!

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    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!

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    Condemns E-Voting, Outlines a Litany of What Went Wrong in 2004 Election Fiasco!
    By Brad Friedman on 4/13/2005 12:12pm PT  

    The drumbeat of the pro-democracy movement in America (who could have ever imagined there'd be a need for one in this country?!) seems to be growing louder as more and more Mainstream Media folks get into the game!

    Following on the heels of yesterday's Miami Herald piece about Miami-Dade's possible return to paper ballots, Herald columnist, Robert Steinback jumps in with a damning condemnation of Electronic Voting today pointing out that, "Nothing is more important, for the world's pre-eminent democracy, than assuring the sanctity of each vote."

    Steinbeck goes on to say:

    Worst of all, computer voting machines deny critics, reporters, attorneys general and historians the chance to recheck results --- which undermines the confidence any citizen can have in what are billed as free and fair elections.

    Indeed. Clearly there are still a few in the MSM who get it. It may just take them a while to figure it out.

    Moreover, Steinbeck --- for the first time that we know of --- mentions the Clint Curtis / Tom Feeney vote-rigging scandal in the pages of The Herald, along with a litany of reasons for returning to paper ballots [emphasis added]:

    Paper ballots can be forged or lost, for example, but attempting to swing elections using such methods almost surely requires a team of conspirators, and likely would leave a trail of evidence. With computerized voting machines, a hacked line of code can instantly alter thousands of votes.

    We may never find out what Walden O'Dell, CEO of touch-screen voting machine manufacturer Diebold Inc., meant when he told Republicans in a 2003 fund-raising letter that he was ``committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president [Bush] next year.''

    We may never learn the truth behind the affidavit of computer programmer Clinton Curtis alleging then-Florida Rep. Tom Feeney --- now a U.S. congressman --- asked the software company for which he worked in 2000 to design an undetectable computer program for flipping touch-screen machine votes.

    We may never know for sure if Nov. 2 exit polls that projected John Kerry winning several states he ultimately lost were themselves biased --- or whether they were accurate, exposing tampered election results. The victors, after all, never question the score --- or the scoring.

    And tomorrow, The BRAD BLOG has learned, syndicated Tribune Columnist, Robert Koehler will also go on record about the pitfalls of E-Voting, a condemnation of what went wrong in 2004, and some terrific coverage about those of us who are out there trying to fight the good fight to save our endangered democracy...even while the rest of the MSM continues to yawn.

    Perhaps things are changing, however. We'll see. But at The BRAD BLOG, hope always springs eternal. And so we press on...

    ...CONTACT...
    Robert Steinback and the Herald Editors

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 4/12/2005 10:16am PT  

    The title for this item comes from Lucy Morgan's own Jan 8th article in the St. Petersburg Times headlined "Aside from being wrong, AP had Jeb story right" wherein the Pulitzer Prize winner and SP Times Tallahassee Bureau Chief takes the AP to task for getting a single and small point wrong in a story on Jeb Bush's entourage. Also for being less than willing to cop to it.

    Small point or not, we appreciate Morgan's attention to detail, accuracy and potentially misleading information...At least in stories written by others. If only she held herself to the same strict standards.

    In her own now-ironic words of just three months ago...

    Sometimes it's hard to set the record straight.

    That's because it's hard for some people to admit mistakes.
    ...
    In this world of journalism, seems to me we are getting awfully thin of skin when we cannot admit we made a mistake.

    We all make them.

    Indeed. It remains to be seen how thick Ms. Morgan's skin truly is. Though a full read of the article from which we quoted above might come as a stunning surprise to those who read our full piece yesterday on Morgan's reportorial transgressions on her blown Clint Curtis scoop.

    Perhaps, as she mentioned while snipping at us on the phone (see the previous article) she really does have "two heads" after all. One for pondering the sins of others, and one for ignoring her own.

    As well, a BRAD BLOG reader just sent us a link to the SP Times "Standard of Accuracy" page which lists a few interesting thoughts and adds that one should contact Paul Tash, Editor and president at (727) 892-2231 or Timespresident@sptimes.com with any concerns. I will add him, and the corrections address to the Email Contacts in the previous articles.

    Of note from that page [emphasis in original]...

    Standard of Accuracy

    Our standard at the St. Petersburg Times is simple: to get things right the first time. This being a human endeavor, we sometimes fall short.

    When this happens in the news report, our policy is to correct factual errors, promptly and prominently. Readers who spot factual errors are encouraged to contact the news department, by telephone, letter or e-mail, so that we can address the mistake.

    In print, our news sections list their phone numbers and e-mail addresses, either at the top of the section's front page or in a directory on page 2 of the section. Readers may also call our main City Desk at (727) 893-8215 between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m., or send an e-mail to corrections@sptimes.com.

    Readers who wish to comment upon our coverage, rather than to correct some error of fact, are invited to submit letters to the editor. The ?Share your opinions'' passage on our editorial page offers guidance for potential correspondents.

    ...CONTACTS...(Please be clear, but always polite!)
    Send">Timespresident@sptimes.c...adBlog@cville.com\">Send an Email to Lucy Morgan, Paul Tash (President/Editor of SP Times) and the Corrections Desk.
    Send a Letter to the Editor.

    (Hat tip to commenter Bushwh@cker for finding Morgan's Jan 8th article! The BRAD BLOG Purple Martian Avenger Squad salutes you!)

    ReddIt this story!



    BRAD BLOG Responds With Evidence to the Unfortunate Article in The St. Petersburg Times by the Pulitzer Prize Winning Lucy Morgan
    An Object Lesson in the Failures of Today's American Mainstream Media
    By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2005 2:04pm PT  

    For months supporters and critics alike have been requesting that Clint Curtis take a polygraph test to help shore up (or debunk) the veracity of his explosive sworn allegations that then-Florida State Senator (and Speaker of the House) Tom Feeney, now a U.S. Congressman from Florida's 24th District, asked Curtis to create an electronic vote-rigging software prototype back in 2000 when Curtis worked at Yang Enterprises Inc. (YEI) where Feeney was also the corporate counsel and registered lobbyist in his "non-conflicting" day job while working as Florida's Speaker of the House.

    Curtis has now taken --- and passed --- the much requested lie-detector test as discussed here Saturday and as broken in a one-sided, unbalanced and unfortunate story by Lucy Morgan, the Pulitzer Prize winning investigative Tallahassee Bureau Chief for The St. Petersburg Times.

    While Morgan was handed this rather hot and exclusive scoop over a month ago, just after Curtis took and passed the test on March 3rd, her investigative work since then on this admittedly complicated and very broad case --- stretching back through at least four years of public and private paper trails --- resulted in an astonishingly amateurish piece which serves as a fine piece of pro-Feeney propoganda, a smackdown of the courageous and so-far verified claims of Clint Curtis and --- finally, though less importantly --- a slap in the face to the hard work we've toiled at here for over five months.

    Her article, inappropriately and condescendingly headlined "Blogs spin tale of computers, conspiracies" is loaded with countless points of misleading information, crucial omissions and out and out inaccuracies.

    Given our (apparently overly generous) offer to fact-check and/or advise and/or supply Morgan with any and all of the copious documentation and public records and hard evidence we've amassed over our past six months of reporting on this matter coupled with Morgan's impressive credentials and experience, we were somewhat stunned to read the fruits of her efforts on Saturday when the story finally appeared in The SP Times.

    As we are still somewhat at a disadvantage by being on the road for the moment (still in Nashville at the National Election Reform Conference), we'll have to do our best to speak to Morgan's many unfortunate errors and lack of apparent journalistic standards without access to our complete file of evidence. Nonetheless, we'll do our best to point out what we would have pointed out to Morgan had she bothered to run any of this by us before going to press.

    Given also that she found it necessary to include us in the story for inexplicable reasons --- other than perhaps to try and discredit the entire affair as a "conspiracy theory" of some sort --- it seems as though it would have been appropriate to check many of these facts with us and/or at least give us the opportunity to comment on several of the unsupported charges she makes in her piece.

    But alas, that seems to be the way of the Mainstream Media these days; Belittle and discredit the stories that they should have been reporting in the first place by suggesting that a story presented on a web log couldn't possibly hold the veracity of something reported by the MSM.

    On that note, we'll simply mention that after over six months of investigating and reporting on the Clint Curtis story, we've not once had to issue a notable retraction or correction to any of our work. Whereas one single article from Morgan includes enough misinformation for an entire column's worth of retractions, corrections and clarifications.

    We had hoped to extend the courtesy to Morgan that she didn't feel necessary to extend to either Curtis or us in order to give her the opportunity to explain herself and her many omissions, misleads and apparent lack of both "balance" and fact-checking in her story.

    Morgan's response to our invitation to comment today: "I have no interest in commenting on your story, you can publish that I have two heads if you want."

    We have no interest in publishing that Morgan has two heads, since that would be misleading and untruthful as far as we can tell. We do have an interest in publishing facts however, in a fair way, while correcting those who seem to display a problem in doing so themselves.

    So to that end, let's take a look at a few of the most egregious distortions, errors, misleads and omissions in Morgan's unfortunate article...

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

    ReddIt this story!



    Story Broken in Florida's St. Petersburg Times by Pulitzer Prize Winning Reporter!
    Still Manages to Mangle, Misrepresent and Omit Several Key Elements of the Story!
    By Brad Friedman on 4/8/2005 4:13pm PT  

    (NOTE: Blogged by Brad on the road from the National Election Reform Conference in Nashville)

    After many months and many requests and many challenges from both critics and Mainstream Media types, The St. Petersburg Times is reporting --- and The BRAD BLOG can confirm --- that Clint Curtis took a polygraph test on March 3rd...and passed!

    The lie-detector test, administered to Curtis by Tim Robinson, the retired chief polygraph operator for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, found that the Florida whistleblowing software designer who has charged in a sworn affidavit that he was asked by U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) to create an electronic vote-rigging software prototype in 2000, was indeed found to be truthful in all of his responses!

    Curtis' allegations in early December of 2004 when Curtis filed a sworn affidavit which was then followed up several weeks later with sworn testimony under oath to members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. (Video of that testimony is here.)

    The article which breaks the news of Curtis' polygraph test was written by Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter and Times Tallahassee Bureau Chief, Lucy Morgan.

    Despite her impressive credentials, the month-long exclusive access to Curtis' test-results that Morgan was given, and the full cooperation of The BRAD BLOG along with our months of reporting and materials acquired during our continuing investigation, she still managed to publish a number of errors and more than a few key omissions.

    As well, in the name of "balance" (the phoney-baloney concept invented by charlatans to give themselves a chance they don't deserve), Morgan manages to use several derisive quotes from Feeney, but not a single quote from Curtis.

    Granted, the story of this entire sordid affair is a broad one, stretching back at least 4 years with a miles-long paper trail to accompany it. Still, we'd expect a bit more responsibility from a Pulitzer Prize winner. Especially one who has had so much time to work on the story, gather information for it, and enjoy full and unfettered access for interviews with all of the key participants in the story.

    We knew there was trouble afoot from the first beat as the story was headlined "Blogs Spin Tale of Conspiracy, Computers". Which prompts us to wonder what headline The Times might have used when covering Woodward and Bernstein's series of Watergate articles in 1972: "Washington Post Spins Tale of Conspiracy, Cover-up"?

    We're currently at the National Election Reform Conference in Nashville (where folks have been incredibly supportive, including Election Reform All-Stars such as Green Party Candidate David Cobb and Free Press writer/editor and attorney Bob Fritrakis, and the delightful Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney! All have had nothing but tremendous things to say about BRAD BLOG and VELVET REVOLUTION --- and on video tape at that!)Though it makes it difficult for now to respond in full to the errors and omissions in Morgan's story. Or even to get her responses to them.

    We will do so --- with an update --- at the first available opportunity. Given what's going on out here, it may be a day or so...we'll see...

    ...CONTACTS...(Please be clear, but always polite!)
    Send">Timespresident@sptimes.c...adBlog@cville.com\">Send an Email to Lucy Morgan, Paul Tash (President/Editor of SP Times) and the Corrections Desk.
    Send a Letter to the Editor.

    UPDATE 4/11/05:Lucy Morgan responds, and so does BRAD BLOG, in detail, in a follow-up reponse to Morgan's unfortunate article.

    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 other important BRAD BLOG stuff that the American Media continues to yawn at...
    (Though perhaps not for too much longer!)
    By Brad Friedman on 4/7/2005 7:41pm PT  

    (Blogged by Brad in Nashville...)

    One week after the November 2004 election, we blogged an item we called "Why It Matters: The World is Watching". The piece covered the way in which Russia's Pravda wondered aloud, "Did Bush fix the election"?

    Just over two weeks later, Ukraine's own fixed election, and the Bush administration's infuriatingly hypocritical outrage brought more condemnation from Pravda, this time as they chastised the American administration for having the gall to question anyone else's election after our own --- which was even more askew than Ukraine's. Our item headlined "Home to Roost - or, Democracies That Live in Glass Houses" covered the continuing degradation in esteem from our once-promising Russian ally.

    And today, it's The Moscow Times who joins the World's America Hating Party in a damning article suggesting the game is over and the forces of Democracy in the previously-Free World have lost.

    UPDATE: Chris Floyd's column The Big Fix, which was published in The Moscow Times, is now available to subscribers only, but you can read it on Chris' blog. Click here.

    Unlike their compatriots in the American Media, The Times covers the Clint Curtis story in their article by way of referencing much of what The BRAD BLOG has reported on that sorry affair. They've even beaten the American Media at reporting on the latest Baker Commission Blue-Ribbon "Election Reform" fix which America can now look forward to --- even if they're not paying attention --- unless something is done about it.

    The rest of the world recognizes news, and what it may mean for this country and the world. Even if the American Media does not.

    Though that may change a bit over the next few days as a major American Newspaper may indeed be jumping into the Clint Curtis fray. We'll do our best to keep you abreast of those developements even as we're otherwise occupado down here in Nashville...Stay Tuned...

    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!



    By Brad Friedman on 3/28/2005 3:42pm PT  

    The National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc., Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II gave testimony on behalf of his three-day old "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) last Monday at a U.S. Congressional Hearing. He represented the only "Voting Rights" group at the hearing --- called by Republican Bob Ney (R-FL), Chairman of the U.S. House Administration Committee --- purportedly investigating the '04 Ohio Presidential Election mess.

    Hearne didn't bother to mention that he worked for Bush/Cheney '04 as their top attorney in his testimony. We're not positive, but fairly certain that no high-level Kerry/Edwards employees were invited to testify, whether they represented a phony "non-partisan" group like the ACVR or not.

    Despite the claims of tax-exempt non-partisan status by this Talon News-like outta-nowhere GOP front group, the two known ring-leaders (that we've been able to identify so far) of this phony "Voters Rights" organization masquerading as if they are not-an-insult-to-real-Voters-Rights-groups-everwhere, are both currently veryactive partisans.

    Jim Dyke, the group's press spokesman and website administrative and technical contact who, as well as being the 2004 Communications Director for the Republican National Committee, is also a current Fox News GOP Analyst according to Joseph Cannon (though he mentioned to us that, so far, he was unable to confirm that information). He does, however, offer a fine analysis of just one of the likely true missions for this group, and why they have suddenly appeared. And for the record, Cannon made note of this nascient and suspicious ACVR popping up the day before we did!

    Meanwhile, Ron Brynaert, a frequent BRAD BLOG commenter, and editor of Why Are We Back in Iraq? has been digging into more on our friend Thor (here and then here) and has uncovered, amongst other chestnuts, Hearne's featured speaking engagement at the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) shindig down at the Florida Chapter's 2005 kick-off on April 14th!

    According to the Republican Party-sponsored RNLA's website...

    The RNLA is pleased to announce the Florida RNLA Chapter's 2005 Kickoff Reception featuring special guest speaker Thor Hearne, Counsel to Bush Cheney '04 Inc. This Reception will honor the lawyer volunteers who worked diligently in the 2004 elections to ensure that the voters, not the courts decided the election.

    The Coral Gables reception --- where they will no doubt continue the fiction that it was voters not lawyers who who decided the election --- is said to be "free" on the RNLA website! Wanna go and say hello to the non-partisan Thor and his Republican National Lawyers Association friends? The website says, "Please RSVP by emailing despain@republicanlawyer.net or calling 703-719-6335 by April 12th"

    We might suggest you actually call or email prior to April 12th, as we have a feeling this "free" event is about to become a very closed-to-the-public event.

    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.
    ReddIt this story!



    (And they're supposed to be his friends!)
    By Brad Friedman on 3/28/2005 1:17pm PT  

    When even the Wall Street Journal leaves the reservation to call out one of its own, you know there is trouble afoot...

    ...Mr. DeLay, who rode to power in 1994 on a wave of revulsion at the everyday ways of big government, has become the living exemplar of some of its worst habits.
    ...
    Whether Mr. DeLay violated the small print of House Ethics or campaign-finance rules is thus largely beside the point. His real fault lies in betraying the broader set of principles that brought him into office, and which, if he continues as before, sooner or later will sweep him out.

    Jesse at Stakeholder has more...

    Heard Franken mention this morning that the only problem with DeLay's potentially upcoming fall from his many self-inflicted wounds, is that he'll be removed too quickly to take down the entire Republican leadership with him! Oh, well. There's always more Republican Tom's where that one came from.

    ReddIt this story!



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