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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, November 27, 2014
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seemed before this week's show'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in Town of Long Island, reverse results of very close state contest, leaving officials baffled...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Gov. Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank issue's dire warning...
Previous GNRs: 11/20/14 - 11/18/14 - Archives...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting of Michael Brown
A few early thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice on the night of his announcement...
'Recount' Ahead for Oregon's GMO Labeling Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
GOP House Intel Committee Findings Debunk GOP BENGHAZI! 'Scandal'
Final report released quietly before holiday weekend and before eighth Republican BENGHAZI! committee set to convene...
Monster Energy Drink Not Just Crappy, Also the Work of Satan!
The indisputable video proof is now here!...
'Green News Report' 11/20/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record-breaking storm breaks Buffalo; October 2014 hottest October on record; Sorry, Repubs: China to cap coal use by 2020; PLUS: Obama doubles down on climate foreign policy...
Previous GNRs: 11/18/14 - 11/13/14 - Archives...
Extreme Weather? What Extreme Weather?
Yes, scientists have been warning us about this for years. And, yes, the record breaking storm in Buffalo is tied to global warming...
We're #26! Harvard 'Electoral Integrity' Report Dings U.S.
'World's Greatest Democracy' rated worst among Western nations; Ranked just below Micronesia, just above Mexico in overall list...
Gag Order Won't Ensure Impartial Jury in Trial of 'Dark Lord of Coal Country'
WV's criminally indicted coal boss and U.S. Chamber of Comm. director Don Blankeship presents challenge for federal prosecutors...
Oxford English Dictionary's 2014 Word of the Year: 'Vape'
That small point likely underscores some very encouraging news for the health of the world...
'Green News Report' 11/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
US Senate fails to approve Keystone XL; Can Congress override the Prez next year?; Native Americans: KXL is 'an act of war'; PLUS: Accountability for 'The Dark Lord of Coal'...
Previous GNRs: 11/13/14 - 11/11/14 - Archives...
Sanders on Colbert: Midterms a Vote Against Both Parties
For those mad at us for asserting 'not voting IS a vote', look who just said the same thing...
Exclusive: St. Louis County Was Warned Before Election Paper Ballots Would Run Out
Email obtained by BRAD BLOG reveals County's top election official ignored warnings from election experts, leading to shortages...
Not Voting IS a Vote
Stop blaming those who didn't turn out. Americans did vote. By not turning out, they voted against the two major parties and against the system as a whole. It may have been a dumb vote, but it was a landslide...
Stephen Colbert is Really REALLY Funny
This segment makes clear once again that it's very very sad The Colbert Report is soon going away...
'Green News Report' 11/13/14
Historic US-China agreement that GOP said couldn't be done; New hope for int'l treaty; Repub freak out; Scientists say deal not enough, but good start...
Crucial Moment for FCC & 'Net Neutrality'
Will the Democratic majority commissioners support the President's clarion call and thwart GOP opposition to an open Internet?...
Brad on Hartmann TV: Election 2014 Mess
On thousands of 'missing' votes in Wisconsin, on Nate Silver and polls vs. 'results', on Rightwing 'True the Vote' voter fraud fraudsters, and on much more...
'Green News Report' 11/11/14
'Science has spoken': Final UN report - bad, good & room for hope; PLUS: Margaret Thatcher's historic climate change speech - when conservatives accepted science ...
IN MEMORIAM: Tomas Young, 1979-2014
On Veterans Day, America added another casualty from the War on Iraq -- one who, after first meeting and interviewing him in 2005, we will never forget...
Early Data Suggests TX GOP Photo ID Restrictions 'Worked'
Provisional ballots doubled, turnout down by more 1/4 million votes, despite larger population, contested gov's race and increased voter registration...
WI Scanner Fails To Tally Thousands of Votes in 'Citizens United' Referendum
'Programming error' blamed for paper ballot tabulator recording just 16 of 5,350 votes in city of Stoughton, WI...
The Results Were Skewed Toward Republicans: A Response to Nate Silver
The statistics guru unhelpfully explains away mid-term's surprising outcome by presuming pre-election polling was wrong and unverified election results were all correct...
'True the Vote' Group Fails to Find 'Voter Fraud' (Again)
Laughingstock RW org's 'army' of monitors and smart phone app uncover just 18 benign 'irregularities', 0 cases of polling place impersonation...
'Green News Report' 11/6/14
Election 2014-pocalypse: Republican hegemonic hellscape!; Climate deniers now in charge; PLUS: At least one note of very good environmental election news...
About Last Night: KPFK 'BradCast'
Guest Matthew Segal of OurTime.org joins Brad to discuss whether young voters are to blame for Tuesday's election results and, if not them, then who...or what...
Reuters: Voting Probs Around Nation, 2,000 Missing Election Judges in Chicago
Wire service summarizes machine probs, Photo ID vote suppression and a really strange story out of Chicago...
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...


By Brad Friedman on 9/23/2011 5:41pm PT  

There are two important late Friday announcements from the newly revived, post-Bush Voting Unit at U.S. Dept. of Justice's Civil Rights Division this afternoon. In both cases, they've raised serious concerns about discrimination by Republican Presidential front-runner Rick Perry's Texas against Hispanic and African-American voters.

Given the Lone Star State's history of discrimination against racial minorities, new laws and regulations which relate to elections and voting must be pre-cleared by the Dept. of Justice before they can be put into effect, as per Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act.

In one finding, the DoJ sees purposeful discrimination against minorities in the state's redistricting plans [PDF] for apportioning both new statehouse districts, as well as four new U.S. House seats being added in the wake of the 2010 census. The new seats are being added due to an increase in the TX population, thanks in no small part, ironically enough, to huge growth in the state's Hispanic population. The DoJ finds the proposed statehouse plan violates Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, stating that it "was adopted, at least in part, for the purpose of diminishing the ability of citizens of the United States, on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, to elect their preferred candidates of choice to the Texas House of Representatives."

The TX plan for the U.S. House didn't fare much better (see below), with similar findings that minorities are likely to see a "retrogressive effect" in their ability "to elect their preferred candidates of choice to the United States House of Representatives" under Perry's approved scheme.

Moreover, in a letter that echoes questions recently sent by the DoJ to the state of South Carolina about their new polling place Photo ID restrictions, as The BRAD BLOG detailed earlier this month, the DoJ has a series of questions concerning Texas' new, very similar restrictions. As the law mirrors the one in South Carolina --- and in many of the other states where the GOP has been able to ram through similar voter suppression bills over the past year --- many of the questions from the DoJ to TX also ask about the their plans for notification about the law, and issuance of free IDs to the more than 600,000 otherwise-legally qualified voters who don't currently own state-issued ID that would meet the strict new requirements to cast a vote at the polls on Election Day.

In TX, the DoJ voting unit is curious about how many of those residents who don't have such IDs also happen to have Spanish surnames...

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

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Contests 'vague voter intent' determinations, reliance on Diebold op-scan tallies on Constitutional grounds
But GOP candidate's decision to drop contest of Murkowski certification could prove fatal to overall case...
By Brad Friedman on 12/27/2010 6:53pm PT  

[Update 12/28/10: Federal judge dismisses Miller's complaint. Details now here...]

"We want the end result of this legal action to be for the people of Alaska to not only have full faith in the outcome of this race, but a confidence in the manner in which elections will be conducted in our state in the future," Alaska's "Tea Party"-supported, Sarah Palin-endorsed GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, Joe Miller said in a statement today calling for "fairness and transparency" in the election process, issued after filing an amended complaint in federal court. His statement concludes with the simple sentiment: "Election integrity is vital."

Miller has decided to press on in his election contest against the state's Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell and their Division of Elections (DoE), as overseen by Treadwell, by filing a Substitute Amended Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief in U.S. District Court in Alaska today. The filing comes after resounding losses in state court and --- if the state's hand-count of write-in ballots and the Diebold optical-scanner tallies of all the other ballots are to be believed --- to Republican write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski in November's general election for the U.S. Senate. As the unofficial state count now stands, Murkowski reportedly defeated Miller (and Democratic candidate Scott McAdams) by more than 10,000 votes.

In the statement (posted in full at end of this article) Miller explains that his team has decided to forgo challenging Murkowski's official certification as the winner, allowing her to be seated in the U.S. Senate on January 5th.

"The integrity of the election is vital and ultimately the rule of law must be our standard. Nevertheless, I have also decided to withdraw our opposition to the certification of the election, ensuring that Alaska will have its full delegation seated when the 112th Congress convenes next month." he said, "This decision will allow Alaskans to focus on bringing fairness and transparency to our elections process without distraction of the certification issue."

But Miller's decision to drop his challenge to Murkowski's seating may prove to be a fatal blow to his case --- at least if precedent set by Republicans in Congress some years ago, ironically enough, is any indication. But more on that below.

After winning the GOP nomination against Murkowski, and then reportedly losing to her unprecedented write-in bid in November, Miller originally filed his election contest in federal court in November. U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline subsequently responded by sending the case down to state court for initial adjudication on relevant issues of state law. Late last month, Beistline temporarily halted state certification of the race until those issues were decided, and last week the state's Supreme Court rejected Miller's appeal, siding with the state, on all counts.

Beistline had given Miller until today to re-file his amended complaint in federal court. His filing now includes just three counts asserting violations of the U.S. Constitution's "Election Clause" and "Equal Protection Clause" as based on both the DoE's liberal interpretation of state law in counting write-in ballots, as well as the disparate weight the hand-count of those ballots was afforded, versus those tallied by Diebold optical-scanners in the case of "pre-printed" candidates...

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

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Narrowing margin in post-election canvass raises hopes for GOP/Conservatives, but recent Republican-set precedent may well dash that hope...
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2009 12:53am PT  

A potentially interesting situation is underway in New York's 23rd Congressional district where post-election canvassing of the recent Special Election for the U.S. House is still underway.

According to Syracuse's Post-Standard, the post-election canvass shows the race between Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, who conceded on Election Night, and Democratic candidate Bill Owens, who was sworn in as the district's new U.S. Congressman last Friday, to be tightening as results are double-checked, errors are being found, and a few thousand absentee ballots are still uncounted.

The race, regarded by many as a a bellwether contest before next year's full Congressional elections, appeared to have swung in the Democrat's favor on Election Night, following the suspension of the campaign of Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava who threw her support to Owens after she'd dropped out just days prior to the election.

On Election Night, Owens was reported to be the "winner" by just over 5,000 votes, with 93 percent of the votes tallied, leading to Hoffman's concession. Since then, various errors have been discovered in at least two different counties, resulting in a gain of some 2,000 votes for the Conservative Party's Hoffman, bringing the latest tally to 66,698 to 63,672. Closer, now a 3,000 vote margin, but still favoring Rep. Owens.

There were, however, some 10,200 absentee ballots requested and distributed. And, as we understand New York's state election laws, none of them have yet been counted. Many of those ballots were purportedly cast when Scozzafava was still in the race. At that time, according to Hoffman's campaign at least, they might have had an edge in the then-three-way contest. So it's possible, though believed to be a long shot, that Hoffman could gain enough votes in absentees to eclipse Owens.

This scenario --- a Congressional candidate quickly sworn in, based on unofficial results shortly after a bellwether Special Election before all votes have been properly counted --- should be a familiar one to long-time readers of The BRAD BLOG. A very similar situation occurred in the 2006 race to replace the jailed Republican Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham in California's 50th Congressional district.

While Republicans who stood in support of the Conservative Party's Hoffman this year --- he was endorsed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin and the Republican Party itself (only after Scozzafava was pressured to drop out) --- are finding some cause for optimism in the still-narrowing margin. Limbaugh certainly has, at least according to his breathless reporting of the goings-on in NY-23 on his show this morning.

But the legal maneuvering and judicial precedent that the then-Republican-led House pulled in the Summer of 2006, in order to keep votes from being counted in the CA-50 Special Election and, indeed, to keep the voters of California from even being able to contest their own election, should ensure that Hoffman can no longer, legally, take possession of the House seat via any challenge in New York --- even if he's eventually found to have received more votes than Owens!...

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

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Excellent provision in MN law requires election challenges settled before U.S. Congress is given jurisdiction over Senate seat
PLUS: Some free advice for Coleman's election contest court challenge...
By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2009 2:28pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

The state canvassing board in Minnesota has now certified Al Franken (D) as the winner over incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman (R) in the race for the U.S. Senate. Barring a successful legal challenge, which has now been filed by Coleman, Franken will have won the seat by an astoundingly close 225 votes, out of some 2.9 million cast.

But there's still a chance, albeit a slim one, for Coleman to reverse his fate. A very good provision in MN's law --- not found in most other states --- may delay Franken's seating, meaning he will not be sworn in with rest of Congress at the beginning of the new session slated to start tomorrow. Ultimately, however, the provisions should ensure that whoever is eventually sworn in to serve as the state's Senator will not be forced to serve under a cloud.

The voters of MN deserve that much, no matter how long it takes, and thankfully, like its hand-count laws, the state's provision requiring the completion of legal challenges before final certification is sent to Congress by the Sec. of State, is a model for the nation.

Would that all of the other states in the union had such a provision...

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Debra Bowen Says 'Sleepovers Don't Comply With Security Requirements...It's Really Simple'
Reply to BRAD BLOG Question During Conference Call Monday, Most Direct, Definitive Statement on the Controversial Practice Since She's Taken Office...
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2007 4:15am PT  

She's hinted as much previously, and her new security requirements issued in the wake of her landmark "Top-to-Bottom Review" of e-voting systems would seem to preclude them, but CA Secretary of State, Debra Bowen has now given her most direct comment to date on the matter of voting machine "sleepovers".

"Sleepovers don't comply with the security requirements," Bowen said in response to a question we submitted on the matter during a conference call with the Secretary sponsored by the Courage Campaign.

"It's really simple," she added, after a pause following her immediate, direct reply to the question.

She went on to explain how unauthorized access to a single machine, by a single person, could allow an entire county's election to be flipped, putting everyone's election at risk.

The complete question and Bowen's full answer is transcribed at the end of this article.

The matter of voting machine "sleepovers" --- the practice of sending pre-programmed, election-ready voting systems home with pollworkers, often days and weeks prior to elections, for deliver to polls on Election Day --- first became a controversy last year after The BRAD BLOG exposed the issue as it occurred during San Diego's special election to replace disgraced Republican U.S. House Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Our exhaustive coverage (see: Busby/Bilbray category) of the resulting scandal, continued throughout some 100 articles here.

The special election in San Diego was the first federal contest to have taken place after several analysis of Diebold's e-voting system found that the systems utilized undisclosed software code prohibited by federal standards. The particular type of code is banned at the federal level since it can be exploited to flip an election undetectably.

Subsequent studies at Princeton University and elsewhere revealed that inappropriate access by a single person, to a single machine, could virally affect every other machine used across the same county.

The revelations made the notion of voting machine "sleepovers" all the more stunning to those of us who recognized the remarkable threat the practice posed to the security of our elections...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2007 4:32pm PT  

From this week's San Diego Reader...

If you don't understand the above, a) You need to visit The BRAD BLOG more often, b) See this, and then c) See this, and then d) Pray for the good voters of the People's Republic of San Diego.

Thanks to artist Neal Obermeyer for paying attention! More good stuff from his own official site.

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Joins Recently Named Assistant Registrar Michael Vu, Whose Cuyahoga County Elections Led to Criminal Convictions in '04 Presidential Recount and New '06 Criminal Investigations...
By John Gideon on 5/11/2007 4:53pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

It has just been announced by San Diego County that they have hired Deborah Seiler as their new permanent Registrar of Voters. Ms. Seiler joins the county elections office from her job as the Assistant Registrar in Solano County, California.

"Seiler brings unique elections experience from the state, local and private sector that adds valuable perspective at a crucial time," according to a press release (posted in full at the bottom of this article) as issued today by San Diego County.

All of which sounds great, until one does a moment or two of Googling --- particularly on that "private sector" point mentioned --- and Seiler's troubling past is quickly revealed to be yet more bad news for the voters of San Diego, who continue to get the worst of what American democracy is supposed to look like.

Look what we found out about Seiler...

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San Diego County Chief Promotes Hard Rightwing Haas to Top Executive Position in County!
By Brad Friedman on 3/24/2007 2:03pm PT  

From the San Diego Union-Tribune today:

Mikel Haas, a 13-year county employee who oversaw a slew of elections in two stints as registrar of voters, has been promoted to one of the top executive positions in county government.

Haas, 49, will replace Alex Martinez, who retired March 16, as deputy chief administrative officer of the Community Services Group. In the post, Haas will oversee several departments, including the registrar, housing, animal services and general services.

Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard made the decision Thursday after considering several in-house candidates. He called Haas “a top-notch executive” with stellar management experience.
...
Haas earned $145,288 annually as registrar. His new salary has yet to be determined, county spokesman Mike Workman said.

In the North County Times' report on same, which focused on the difficulty the county may have in finding a replacement for Haas, and bothered, (unlike the as-ever rightwing U-T's coverage above) to note just some of the fire that Haas has been under for his horrible performance as head of elections in SD, added:

County Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard...issued a statement through Workman praising Haas, who had been something of a "troubleshooter" for the county during his 13 years.

A "troubleshooter" indeed, for the hard rightwing San Diego County administrators.

A quick review of a just a few BRAD BLOG items concerning Haas will inform the initiated about one of America's worst, most dangerous, partisan Elections Administrators and the disaster that Diebold's man in San Diego has been for the voters of San Diego as he's overseen/mis-managed such elections as the Busby/Bilbray race and many more.

His failures have led both Democrats and Republicans to call for his resignation. Little wonder then, here in Bush's World, that he's now been rewarded for his bad work. Can the Medal of Freedom be far behind?

Heckuva job, San Diego!

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Voters, State Law, Rendered Meaningless, Plaintiffs Likely to Appeal Decision to CA Supreme Court...
By Brad Friedman on 3/22/2007 6:35pm PT  
"We need not (and do not) resolve the question of whether the election contest at issue here fits within the category of election contests that may be entertained without infringing on Congress' authority because the instant dispute can, and should, be resolved on a much narrower ground — mootness."
-- CA Court of Appeals (4th District), Majority Opinion, Jacobson v. Bilbray, 3/20/07

Need more evidence for why election results need to be right on Election Night? Look no further than the now-infamous CA50 Busby/Bilbray Special U.S. House Election to replace Randy "Duke" Cunningham last June.

The latest chapter finds an Appellate Court in California dismissing the case on the grounds that the issue is now "moot" because the six month term for the original election being challenged has now ended. That, despite the defense never even having raised the issue. And thus, the voters' right to even have a proper recount as afforded by state law, in order to find out who had the most votes in an election, is usurped by the U.S. Congress's ultimate Constitutional authority to decide who will be seated in its chambers....

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Guest Blogger Attorney Ken Simpkins Seeks Your Help in Bringing Accountability to One of America's Worst Elections Officials...
By Ken Simpkins on 2/18/2007 4:39pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Ken Simpkins

ED NOTE: Over the last nine months or so, along with attorney Paul Lehto, Carlsbad, CA attorney Simpkins has filed a number of voter lawsuits in San Diego in his continuing attempt to help bring accountability to the unaccountable San Diego County Registrar of Voters, Mikel Haas and his atrocious elections administration. Those suits included complaints and appeals in the now-infamous Busby/Bilbray Special Election as well as voter lawsuits brought both before and after last November's General Election in San Diego.

After being stonewalled by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office on requests for recounts, information regarding the right to vote on paper ballots, and the results of an audit of the November 2006 election, citizens are taking action. Last Thursday, a complaint [PDF] was submitted to the new California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, addressing voters’ concerns. Secretary Bowen was voted into office on the promise of cleaning up elections.

SD County's Registrar of Voters, Mikel Haas, has attracted the attention of The BRAD BLOG for many months as "one of the worst elections officials in the country." His policy of sending pre-programmed, election-ready Diebold voting machines home with poll workers weeks in advance of elections, without any training on security or assurance that the machines would be held in a secure environment, likewise attracted the ire of many San Diego County voters. Those same voters are signing a petition urging the Secretary of State to investigate the allegations in the complaint and report on the findings. I urge you to sign it as well.

The complaint reports on the violations of the certification requirements under state and federal law, the failure to properly test the machines pursuant to official procedures, the policy of undermining the right to vote on paper ballots, and the disregard of basic auditing principles in conducting the required one percent manual tally.

The voting machine "sleepover" policy is one example of the disregard by the Registrar of Voters of the proven vulnerabilities of the Diebold machines, which can be hacked in one minute and made to change the outcome of an election. In defending the sleepover policy, Mr. Haas points to the "tamper-evident" tape used to seal the memory card compartment as sufficient security against fraud. But, when one observer discovered on election day that the tape had been removed from the machines at two precincts, and reported the violation of the certification requirements to Mr. Haas, he refused to take the machines out of service and allowed voters to cast their votes on the then-uncertified machines...

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ADDITIONAL MATERIAL: Details of Attorney Oral Arguments Concerning Whether the U.S. Congress Can Overrule State Election Laws Simply by Swearing Someone In
Also, Updates on Some of the Sad Players...Some Gone, Others (Hopefully) on Their Way Out...
By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2007 11:05am PT  

Yes, like the Energizer Bunny, the case in CA50 (Jacobson v. Bilbray) is still going. The first oral arguments on the appeal took place on Monday.

To recap: the original case was filed last Summer by San Diego voters Gail Jacobson and Lillian Ritt against then-candidate Brian Bilbray and SD County Registrar of Voters/Voter Hater Mikel Haas, after a BRAD BLOG report revealed that pre-programmed, election-ready, hackable-in-60-seconds Diebold voting machines were sent home illegally (in our rarely humble opinion, though one shared in a recent interview by California's new Secretary of State Debra Bowen) with poll workers on overnight "sleepovers" days and weeks before the U.S. House Special Election last July to replace the disgraced Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

There is much more than just the "sleepovers" at question in the case, like the fact that Haas, one of America's worst Elections Officials, arbitrarily and capriciously quoted a legal request by voters for a hand-count in the race at $150,000, effectively stymieing the possibility that such a count would happen at all. Also at issue is the fact that the case was tossed out by a lower court judge after the Bilbray team argued --- with the help of a letter [PDF] from the then-Republican U.S. House Admin Committee in Congress --- that California courts and voters had no say over the issue.

In that letter, the House Admin Committee argued that they, not the California courts or voters, had sole jurisdiction over the case once Bilbray was sworn in. He was sworn in after a fax was sent claiming he was the winner of the election, from the very partisan and now-former CA SoS Bruce McPherson's deputy, Susan Lapsley. Lapsley sent the fax just days after the election, despite the controversy that had erupted over the effectively-decertified voting systems used in the race, the slim reported margin between the two candidates, and the fact that the state hadn't yet actually certified the race, in which tens of thousands of votes in San Diego county had yet to be counted at the time.

Attorney Paul Lehto, working with Carlsbad attorney Ken Simpkins, filed both the original case and the appeal. UPDATE: We've now got a number of accounts of the argument from folks in the courtroom on Monday.

First, Simpkins sends us the following update (which is shorter than our recap) from the first day of hearings last Monday in the appellate case...

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Don Haas, Self-Described 'Hardcore Conservative,' Tells Readers of His Website to Game an Online Poll by a Conservative Radio Host Calling for His Brother to Step Down, Effort Seems to Have Been a Success!
Writes Anonymous Posting Here at BRAD BLOG After Concession of Democratic House Candidate in Brother Mikel's San Diego Election: 'Busby=Loser...Love it When You Uninformed Nutroots Lose'
By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2006 3:14pm PT  

Like brother like brother. Even San Diego County Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas's brother apparently believes it just fine to cheat at the polls.

Online polls in any case.

The BRAD BLOG has learned that Don Haas, the brother of SD County's Registrar, (one of the country's worst, by the way) has apparently been gaming a recent online poll hosted at the website of conservative San Diego radio talkshow host Roger Hedgecock. The right-wing talker has joined the chair of the Democratic County Chair in calling for Mikel Haas's resignation due to his abominable administration of county elections.

A quick investigation by The BRAD BLOG this morning reveals the poll used at the Hedgecock site can easily be gamed by simply deleting "cookies" on users' computers, allowing them to vote as many times as they wish. Don Haas encouraged readers in a posting yesterday at his website to "act like a democrats and vote three times."

As well, brother Don has been posting anonymously here at The BRAD BLOG with the user name "OMSmedia" since November 9th. In a comment this morning, in reply to Democratic U.S. House candidate Francine Busby's concession in the CA-50 race last night, Don describes her as a "loser" and continues by adding "love it when you uninformed nutroots lose."

He has his own website at OMSMedia.com which has a "Hardcore Conservative" graphic logo on the home page. In various postings in the "Live Journal" on the site, Don supports his brother's use of hackable Diebold voting machines, spreads disinformation about them, refers to Democrats as "asses," suggests all "gay representatives" are "pedophiles," and writes that "any [Senatorial] candidate yelling about the President should just resign"....

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By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2006 1:38am PT  

Oh, well. It was nice while it lasted:

Without further ado, Busby's e-mailed concession statement:

Today, I called Mr. Bilbray and congratulated him as the representative of the 50th district. I wished him well in Congress as he works with his colleagues to serve the people of this District and our country in these times when many difficult decisions and challenges lay ahead.

I waited to make this statement out of respect for those who have asked me to wait until all votes were counted, because the last vote cast is as important as the first.

On that last point, approximately 42,000 votes remain to be counted according to the registrar's website.

In addition to the uncounted votes, there's also the matter of Zogby's 'Exit Poll' in CA-50 showing a 6% disparity with the reported results and oh, yes, the hackable-in-sixty-seconds Diebold touch-screen voting machine "sleepovers" --- for a full three weeks with poll workers prior to the election in San Diego --- which may never be fully accounted for.

Oh, well. It's just democracy. How quaint.

Too exhausted to go into more details. (You're welcome.) But if you ever wish to learn more, you can read the entire sordid Busby/Bilbray saga, in reverse order, right here. Even if we have a feeling it's not nearly over. Not by a long shot.

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Legal Resources Being Gathered by National Party to Challenge Close Elections Where Dems Currently Trail
Other Candidates, Citing Concerns About Voting Machine Failures, Also Refusing to Concede Until All Votes Can Be Verified...
By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2006 3:22pm PT  

Just off the phone from a DNC insider --- very much in a position to know --- who says the following races are being considered, as of this afternoon, to still be very much in play by the DNC (* = Incumbent, Results shown latest reported by state websites as available):

NC-8: Larry Kissel (D) 60,016 / Robin Hayes (R)* 60,481
CT-2: Joe Courtney (D) 121,321 / Rob Simmons (R)* 121,151
FL-13: Christine Jennings (D) 118,739 / Vern Buchanan (R) 119,116
NM-1: Patricia A. Madrid (D) 103,376 / Heather Wilson (R)* 104,863
OH-15: Mary Jo Kilroy (D) 98,100 / Deborah Pryce (R)* 101,636
OH-2: Victoria Wulson (D) 112,952 / Jean Schmidt (R)* 115,817

The source believes that all of the above races, each of them currently very, very close, are winnable and the feeling is that they "could easily win three of those six."

In each --- except for CT-2, where Courtney is leading --- the Democratic candidate is currently trailing in the reported results as absentee, provisional, and paper ballots are still be canvassed. As well, challenges and recounts are underway in some of those races (we hope to have more detail shortly here on a couple of those races).

(UPDATE: Several readers have written to ask if other races beyond those mentioned above --- such as the U.S. House race in Washington state's 8th Congressional district between Democrat Darcy Burner and Republican Dave Reichert --- are now off the table as far as the DNC is concerned. The races reported above are the only ones named explicitly to us by the DNC sources. However, two different sources there have confirmed that they are largely driven by the folks on the ground in the states, and would urge that noise be made locally --- and loudly enough that higher-ups might hear it at the DNC --- in order to gain more attention from the national party to other such races still of concern.)

The source also adds that the DNC is considering whether or not to ask for contributions from the public to a legal fund to assure they will have the funds needed to provide full legal resources to thoroughly challenge each of those races.

As well, The BRAD BLOG has also learned the DNC is still keeping their eyes on the Colorado Secretary of State race between Ken Gordon (D) and Mike Coffman (R), given the problems revealed in Colorado's disasterous certification procedures for voting machines prior to the election, and their massive meltdowns on Election Day in Denver and elsewhere which caused thousands of voters to be turned away from the polls due to machine malfunction.

AP is reporting today that Coffman's lead is beginning to look insurmountable, though given the fact that Gordon's numbers in Denver alone outpace Coffman's by some 70 to 30 percent, the fact that Denver voters, specifically, were disenfranchised at such an alarming rate due to equipment failure on Election Day, certainly "exemplifies," as the source put it, the need for Election Reform across the country and the importance of Secretary of State races.

The six U.S. House races named above, of course, are just the federal races that the DNC considers "still in play," but there are innumerable local races and initiatives being challenged around the country, as another DNC source told The BRAD BLOG this morning. As well, there are a number of Congressional races where the candidates have, honorably, refused to concede until every vote is counted and accounted for.

Clint Curtis, the vote-rigging whistleblower who ran against Tom Feeney, the man he claims asked him to create vote-rigging software in 2000 (as The BRAD BLOG originally broke back in 2004 and whose story we've been following closely ever since) has issued a press release this morning saying that he will not concede in the race until every vote is accounted for.

"The right to vote and to have that vote counted accurately is the very foundation of our democracy, and I owe it to the voters in my district and the state of Florida to continue to push for accurate, honest elections," Curtis said in the news release. He points out that as a candidate, he "now has the legal standing to pursue an investigation into the anomalies," which he claims were reported during his race.

"I can accept that the citizens across the state of Florida were out of step with the rest of the country," added Curtis, "as long as we know that this election truly reflects their intent." The Florida Secretary of State's website currently shows Feeney leading Curtis 58 to 42 percent.

In California's 50th Congressional district, Francine Busby (D) has still refused to concede in her race against Brian Bilbray (R) in which she reportedly trails 54 to 43 percent. We applaud Busby's refusal to concede given the outrageously bad administration of the election across the entire San Diego County as overseen by Registrar Mikel Haas, one of the country's worst.

A Zogby poll taken on Election Day (and shortly thereafter) shows an unexplained 6 point disparity with the final results as we reported last week.

As reported earlier today, Haas's resignation was called for on Election Night by San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Jess Durfee after voters were disenfranchised across the county when Diebold touch-screen systems failed to work and not enough paper ballots were made available for voters. Many of those voters ended up voting on Spanish language paper ballots after English ballots had run out by 9am on Election Day; others simply gave up and went home or to work without being able to cast a vote at all.

We echo Durfee's call for Haas to step down immediately. San Diegans deserve honest and accurate elections in which the voters may have confidence in the reported results. Haas has, disgracefully, provided none of the above during his irresponsible tenure.

We originally reported that the Democratic candidate was trailing in the reported results in each of the six DNC-named races. In fact, Democratic candidate Joe Courtney in the CT-2 race is currently ahead in the results as reported so far. We've corrected the original misstatement in the article above. Further, AP is now reporting Courtney as the winner after a final canvassing of the ballots.

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Election Attorney Paul Lehto Blames Registrar Mikel Haas's Administration of Election, Refusal to Properly Count Paper Ballots for Discrepancy
Says, 'Abuse of Discretion' Improperly Delayed Count of Paper Ballots, Creates 'Second Class Ballots, Voters'
By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2006 12:43pm PT  

This just in from attorney Paul Lehto concerning the People's Republic of San Diego, where one of the country's most irresponsible Registrar of Voters, Mikel Haas, defied the California Secretary of State by refusing to count paper ballots as "normal ballots" on Election Night.

Lehto says Exit Polling data commissioned from Zogby International shows a '6-Point Distortion' from the "results" as so far announced by Haas's office in the Francine Busby/Brian Bilbray U.S. House election in California's 50th Congressional district.

The complete results of the Zogby polling is available for download here [PDF].

NOTE: Busby (D) has appropriately refused to concede the race against her opponent Bilbray (R) until all votes have been properly counted. As of this moment, the San Diego County Registrar's website shows "100%" of precincts reporting despite thousands of uncounted paper ballots, absentee ballots and provisional ballots. Those "results" show Bilbray leading Busby 53% to 43%.

In fact, however, given Haas's defiance of the California Secretary of State's order to provide an adequate number of paper ballots for all voters who, in California, may vote by paper for any reason if they wish, coupled with his irresonsible --- and likely illegal --- decision to send all of the county's pre-programmed, election-ready, hackable Diebold touch-screen voting systems home on "sleepovers" with pollworkers for a full three weeks prior to the election, it is literally impossible for there to be any confidence in any of the reported "results" as announced for any election this year in San Diego. The county's elections are now officially and wholly corrupted by Haas's abominable and disgraceful election administration, fed by his apparent loathing of voters and democracy.

ALSO NOTE: The VelvetRevolution.us Election Strike Force, of which The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder, contributed to the funding of this Zogby poll. Please consider donating to VR in support of such efforts!

Lehto's press release follows in full...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - NOVEMBER 10, 2006
Contact: Paul Lehto, Esq., 425.422.1387

CA 50 EXIT POLL ESTIMATES 6-POINT DISTORTION ENABLED BY REGISTRAR’S ABUSE OF DISCRETION

Haas’ Decision To Delay Paper Ballot Count
Artificially Inflates Votes For Republican

November 10, 2006 San Diego, CA – Attorney Paul Lehto, a national expert on election integrity, today released the results of an independent Zogby exit poll of voters in the November 7 election in California’s 50th District. The exit poll shows the race much tighter than the results published by the San Diego Registrar of Voters as of the day after the election, six percentage points closer. Moreover, after adjustment for an oversampling of Bilbray voters, the adjusted poll shows Democrat Francine Busby well within the margin of error, making the race uncertain in actual outcome. Paper based votes yet to be counted favor Francine Busby, such as paper ballots obtained at the polls, which constitute 6.4% of all voters and favor Busby 58% to 39%.

The poll also contains important findings about the relationship between different forms of voting and voter demographics, revealing a tendency for Democrats to use paper ballots versus other forms of voting such as electronic machines. In violation of state and federal law, and despite lawsuits filed to stop the process, San Diego Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas delayed the paper ballot count for paper ballots obtained at the polls by fully qualified voters, preferring to have other forms of ballots have been counted preferentially first, attempting to justify this second class service to paper-based voters by stating “this is an electronic election” when in fact the public is legally allowed a choice of either technology.

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