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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, August 1, 2014
Ladies and Gentleman, Lenar Whitney...
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'Green News Report' 7/24/14
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Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
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Israeli Attack on UN Shelter Kills At Least 15 in Gaza
The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
The Good Fight Continues: KPFK 'BradCast'
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What We Do Now
"It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time"..."Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died"...
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Record wildfires in Pacific NW; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
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'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A RW caller's admission to Brad on NC radio underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal 1960 From Nixon
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CA Ballot Prop to Overturn 'Citizens United'
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Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
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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
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Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
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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...


Takes Constitutional and Jurisdictional Matters Under Advisement
Could Judge Hofmann Be Prying the NeoCon Boot Off His Neck?
By Emily Levy on 8/25/2006 5:52pm PT  

Guest bloged by Emily Levy

Judge Yuri Hofmann announced in his San Diego courtroom today that he will take the constitutional and jurisdictional matters of the CA-50 election challenge case under advisement and issue a ruling next Tuesday, August 29.

The first item up for consideration today in the election contest filed by Attorneys Paul Lehto and Ken Simpkins on behalf of two San Diego voters (and truly on behalf of all of us) was a defense motion for dismissal. Defense claimed that the San Diego court has no jurisdiction in this matter because the Constitution says, “Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members…” (Article I, Section 5). In other words, The House of Representatives gets to pick its members. (Who really needs elections, anyway?)

Lehto, in response, argued--as outlined here--that if the court has no jurisdiction, then Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas also had no jurisdiction to certify the election, given that certification happened after Bilbray was sworn in. (Yes, you heard that right.)

The defendants also argued that the court has no jurisdiction because plaintiffs had abandoned their recount efforts. According to Lehto, the request for a recount was filed properly within five days of certification of the election. Lehto says, "Jurisdiction was created by filing. That's all the statute says. There is no abandonment rule."

The judge is expected to rule on both the constitutional and jurisdictional issues on Tuesday.

From the courthouse by cell phone plaintiff Barbara Gail Jacobsen reported, "Paul Lehto and Ken Simpkins represented us very well today in court. Lehto said it's invading the sovereignty of the State if someone swoops in and swears the person in and then says there’s nothing you can do. I thought he made some very good arguments about upholding checks and balances in our system and standing up for the right of the people to make sure that elections are accountable. We the People of this country decide on who is going to represent us, and it’s through making sure that our elections are sound that we can know for sure that we have elected people that we want to transfer power to. In this particular case what Paul Lehto was trying to say is that the people's right to know if the election was properly carried out is being blindfolded and taken away by the other side."

We can only hope that before Tuesday Judge Hofmann will have the opportunity to read the rest of the Constitution. It could be enlightening.

Donations are still needed for the lawsuit and other efforts in California’s 50th District to fight the illegal June 6 election. For more information, go to nosleepovers.org.

UPDATE: We have another report of the day's proceedings, this one from Judy Hess of CA 50 Action Committee:

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

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Plaintiff in Response: 'Defendant's Argument Means Election Is Uncertified, Never Happened'
UPDATED! NOW WITH A LIVE REPORT FROM THE COURTHOUSE! where Attorney Paul Lehto Claims 'Election Nullification Argument' is Absurd, Power Grab by Speaker of the U.S. House...
By Winter Patriot on 8/24/2006 10:27pm PT  


Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

UPDATE: We have a live update from the courthouse. You can see it at the bottom of this post

We haven't been covering the CA50 Election Mess as often as in the recent past --- while Brad's been on the road and otherwise occupied --- but we have been keeping our ears to the ground, so to speak. (Yes, they get dirty, but so what? We can hear things coming before they happen. It's cool; you should try it.)

My friends, we have been hearing distant rumblings of great power. To get you up to speed quickly...

The CA50 U.S. House special election between Francine Busby and Brian Bilbray was held on June 6, on illegal Diebold voting machines as has been reported here many times. (Click here for a good recent summary of the situation.) On June 13, Bilbray was quickly sworn in to the House of Representatives while thousands of votes were still being counted back in San Diego. (This surprised and angered many voters, especially since a poll taken three weeks before the election showed Busby ahead by 7%.) On June 29, the election was finally certified --- in favor of Bilbray --- by the Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas.

The election was contested on July 29 after Haas refused to allow for a hand count of the ballots, as allowed by California state law. And on August 22, defendants filed a brief in the case to dismiss, stating that because Bilbray has already been sworn in (by the Republican House of Representatives,) the California Court has no jurisdiction whatsoever and the House has exclusive jurisdiction to judge who its members are and the qualifications of those members.

According to an email sent to The BRAD BLOG this evening from attorney Paul Lehto...

The defendants' position is that the court is powerless (i.e. without jurisdiction) to do anything about this election contest, because Bilbray was sworn in only 7 days after the June 6, and long before the election was legally final on or about June 29.

This premature termination of the election in the 50th Congressional District by the swearing in took place while votes were literally still being counted and provisional votes were still being counted, and also this premature swearing-in took place well before the 1% ballot audit required as part of the certification process, and also occurred fully 16 days prior to the official certification of the results.

The defendant's premature swearing-in at the command of Washington DC politicians, if it had any legal effect at all, necessarily means that if there's no power for a Court in San Diego County to protect and review our elections for Congress, there was certainly no power and no jurisdiction for defendant Registrar Haas to certify the results of the election, either.

The swearing in simply terminated the election in mid-count. Consequently, the defendants' arguments about the court's lack of power also mean that this uncertified election does not legally exist, in the legal sense that the election never happened, and this election never became final because it has never been certified at a time when anybody in San Diego had any power to do anything about it.

Because no election is decided or over until it's officially certified, this election was actually decided in Washington DC, and not decided in San Diego's 50th Congressional District.

So there you have it. This is the stick with which Paul Lehto is trying to beat a corrupted electoral machine back into shape.

Here's Lehto's brief responding to the absurd position [PDF] taken by the defendants in this case.

The judge is set to give his decision on the jurisdictional matter Friday, determining whether or not the case will be tossed out based on the argument of the defendants. The court hearing on this matter begins at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time in San Diego.

UPDATE... Michael Collins at Scoop has more. And now, so do we --- below the fold...

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

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Poll Numbers, Statement Officially Released This Afternoon (UPDATE: Zogby Releases More Data --- see below)
Busby/Bilbray Election Contest Attorney Quoted...
By Brad Friedman on 8/23/2006 10:21am PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

As The BRAD BLOG reported two days ago, a new Zogby poll has revealed that a stunning 92% of Americans want their vote counted transparently and not by secret vote counting machines. That overwhelming majority crosses all political, social, religious and economic demographics.

Today, Zogby has released their official statement and numbers from the poll. Their statement quotes attorney Paul Lehto, who is busy fighting the election contest down in San Diego's Busby/Bilbray CA50 challenge in which voting machines, using secret software to count the results of that election, were compromised when they were sent home with poll workers on overnight "sleepovers" for days and weeks prior to the election, as we have been reporting since that special U.S. House election on June 6th.

Here's a quick snippet from Zogby's official release...

Asked whether Americans have the right to view and obtain information about how elections officials count votes, 92% of respondents concurred.

"The 92% support for the public's right to view vote counting and obtain information about it is a very strong political value of transparency and against secret vote counting outside the observation of the public," said Paul Lehto, a lawyer and sponsor of the survey. "To put this figure in context, support for election transparency exceeds the support for tax cuts, exceeds the approval of Pres. Bush immediately after 9-11, and virtually all other political values being measured." Mr. Lehto is counsel in the 50th Congressional District election contest in California.

Most of those surveyed— 80%—said they want votes to be counted in front of observers representing the public, and that elections officials should not rely solely on the proprietary software that operates electronic voting machines that are presently being installed all over the United States.

The survey also says that some 60% of respondents "have heard news reports of flaws in new electronic voting equipment." So I guess someone is doing the job of getting this information out to the American people.

Apparently the news hasn't yet reached the DNC, however. More on that, and my personal experiences addressing folks at the DNC's annual gathering last weekend, in a report to come shortly today...

UPDATE from WP: Zogby has released more data in a PDF format. Just click here. There's a press release for Zogby too, and it's here.

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By Winter Patriot on 8/15/2006 1:45am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot


Ginny Ross, one of our friends from the Election Defense Alliance, has posted the video of the beginning of the press conference from DemocracyFest last month in San Diego as the Busby/Bilbray election challenge (due to voting machine "sleepovers" with pollworkers) was just coming to light. Some of us have been anxious to see this ever since Ginny told us she was working on it. And rightly so. The video is a good one. Just click on the picture to see it.

For more on the press conference, please revisit Brad's post of July 18th.

You're more than welcome to disagree with me on this, but I'd say he did a fine job. Then again, what do I know? I'm partially frozen at the best of times. ;-)

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Staff Writer/Columnist Jim Trageser Flails Against the Wind...and the Facts
By Brad Friedman on 8/11/2006 10:44am PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

UPDATE: Trageser sends us a one line reply to the following article (instead of bothering to return our call): "Thanks for the traffic bump!" was all that he wrote. To which we replied: "Thanks for not giving a damn about your country." We also realize we neglected to post Jim's contacts previously so you can thank him yourself. As posted with his "column", you may contact staff writer Jim at: (760) 631-6628 or jtrageser@nctimes.com. Letters to his editor may be sent to: letters@nctimes.com, though that's likely the same editor who allowed his factually incorrect and evidence-free article to be published in the first place, so who knows how much they actually give a damn about such things at The North County Times.

I've been completely off line for nearly a week, only to return briefly enough to find Jim Trageser's sad attempt at a column from Wednesday in the North County Times wherein he bashes the Busby/Bilbray election contest as nothing more than "a political stunt."

The evidence for his conclusions? Apparently he has none. Other than the "facts" he has simply made up out of whole cloth without, seemingly, bothering to speak to a single source involved in the contest.

Add to that several pieces of out-and-out incorrect information (he says that Bush beat Gore in 2000 and that "every post-election recount...all upheld Bush's narrow win in Florida" --- Here's the actual numbers from the studies you cite, Jim. Don't bother to read them, we'd hate to destroy your rich fantasy life) and you've got the perfect picture of everything that is wrong with today's lazy, faux media.

At one point, Trageser actually has the temerity to hunt and peck the following words out of his keyboard...

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

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They Stand By Their Man (Which Turns Out To Be Their Stated Purpose)
By Emily Levy on 8/7/2006 1:56pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Emily Levy

Claims that electronic voting equipment sleepovers are just peachy sound mighty defensive in an issue paper titled "Voting Equipment 'Sleepover' Practice" issued July 27, 2006 by the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO).

"The California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) recognizes that distributing secured voting equipment to poll workers prior to Election Day is an efficient, accountable, and transparent practice that contributes to the orderly and secure conduct of elections."

It may come as no shock that the president of the CACEO is none other than Conny McCormack, Registrar of Voters from Los Angeles County, pictured here on a Diebold brochure. San Diego RoV Mikel Haas is on the Board of Directors. Despite the CACEO not being a government entity, it has an important job to do. Why, its motto is even "Officium populi, office of the people." But wait! In their bylaws we find, under "Objects and Purposes":

"To Promote Welfare of Members: To promote the welfare of members of the Association and the counties they represent."

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

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Update: More Groups Show Concern For Elections Procedures In San Diego County
By John Gideon on 8/7/2006 12:08pm PT  

Guest Blogged By John Gideon

Just released by the Green Party US is a Press Release from San Diego County, CA that states, in part, "The Green Party of San Diego County does not endorse the protocols used for obtaining and tabulating votes during the June 6 primary and previous elections. As we outline below, the process is fundamentally insecure leading to election results that are neither accurate nor verifiable."

The complete Press Release is below:

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/4/2006 9:03am PT  

Motel Blogged from the road by Brad...

In addition to the previous article mentioned in Florida, more Voting Machine 'Sleepover' coverage today, this time from Marc Songini in ComputerWorld...

A lawsuit has grown out of alleged breaches in security procedures around electronic voting machines in San Diego County after a hotly contested congressional election, throwing a spotlight on the reliability of the machines themselves.

The suit, filed on Monday, requests that a special election on June 6 to fill the 50th Congressional District seat be invalidated. It also seeks a complete hand recount of the paper ballots, said Paul Lehto, an Everett, Wash.-based attorney handling the case. The suit was filed in Superior Court in San Diego and names Mikel Haas, county registrar of voters, and Brian Bilbray, the winner of the seat, as defendants.

San Diego voters used AccuVote optical-scan and TSx touch-screen systems from Diebold Election Systems.

Whatever the specific merits of the suit, it could heighten some citizens' concerns about e-voting technology if critics' claims of the inherent security deficiencies get debated in court during the run-up to the fall elections.

One of the main points raised by the suit is the so-called sleepover policy, under which Haas directed that all the machines be released to poll worker supervisors before the election. These sleepovers lasted from three days to more than a week.

"During these sleepovers, the voting machines were unsecured, subject to access by innumerable neighbors, strangers and family members, and stored without records or proof of actual chain of custody, eliminating the ability of any person to detect whether or not fraud or improper access to the voting machines occurred," according to the lawsuit.

"The sleepover issue is fairly egregious," said Lehto. Tampering with one card in one device conceivably could change race results.
...
This lawsuit is an example of what could happen in upcoming contests, said Brad Friedman, who covers e-voting issues in his blog. "Is this the sort of thing we want to see happen in 435 House races, 33 Senate races and 20-something gubernatorial races around the country on Nov. 7 this year?" said Friedman.

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By Brad Friedman on 8/4/2006 8:36am PT  

Blogged hastily by Brad from the road...(I think I'm in Cedar Rapids, Iowa...though not actually running for anything)...

From an article in today's Daytona Beach News-Journal...

Secure ballots fuel races
...
Verifiable elections also tops the list of issues on the Web site of Titusville Democrat Clint Curtis, who is challenging Oviedo Republican incumbent Tom Feeney for U.S. Congress. Feeney's Web site also touts paper ballot legislation he advanced last year.

Another voting issue making rounds is "sleepovers."

The practice of having precinct clerks store machines just before Election Day is used in Volusia and Flagler counties so the machines can be distributed to polling places in the wee hours before polls open at 7 a.m. The machines are sealed to make sure they're not tampered with, and supervisors say it's safer to have them at a sworn elections worker's home than at a polling place.

The practice is particularly common in large counties where polling places are far from elections offices, said Sterling Ivey, a spokesman for the Florida Department of State.

John Chagnon, a Democrat from St. Augustine who is challenging Winter Park Republican John Mica for his Congressional seat, raised the "sleepovers" issue in a letter to the state Division of Elections last week.

"A lot of people just don't know about this," he said. "When they find out about this, they get upset."

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Sets Up 'Voter Protection Hotline', Calls for Paper 'Trails' and Lawyers in 15 'Key States'...
But We're Gonna Need Much More Than That...
By Brad Friedman on 8/3/2006 10:57am PT  

Blogged by Brad on the long, hot road...

The DNC Media Office released information on their planned "Expanded National Voter Protection Effort" today. I'll avoid my knee-jerk reaction to say "Expanded" from what?! Their full media release is posted below.

As I've got to get in the car and head up to St. Paul for a PBS TV show taping (Mental Engineering) over the weekend, I don't have much time to comment on the strategy and release for now. As you may guess, I have some feelings on both. You'll simply have to guess at those feelings for now. Suffice to say, we need more than paper "trails" and attorneys on Election Day... I applaud the tireless efforts of Greg Moore, heading up the DNC Voting Rights Institute. He "gets it" --- but the rest of the DNC still seems to be burying their head in the sand about the seriousness of the problem.

To that end, and by way of example, we could also use their help in dealing with issues like the Busby/Bilbray U.S. House special election in CA50 now if they are serious about protecting the ballot box in November everwhere! (An essay I posted some weeks ago describing how what happens now in CA50 affects the vote everywhere this November is right here: "A Line in the Sand")

The full release from the DNC as issued within the past hour follows...

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

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Republican Primary Saw Popular Incumbent Nearly Lose, Save for a Hand Count of the Paper Ballots
Unlike San Diego's Busby/Bilbray Race, Iowa Election Officials Took Concerns of Election Accuracy Seriously!
By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2006 12:59pm PT  

"More evidence tonight that the security of our elections, the integrity of our democracy are at risk from electronic voting machines. A county in Iowa has just come close to putting the wrong candidate in office because of a massive programming error."

This Dobbs report underscores the problems in the Busby/Bilbray CA50 election fiasco, as the candidates shown as losing the election based on the optical-scan count in Iowa were later found to be winners --- but only after the ballots were actually counted by hand to determine if they were counted accurately by the machine! They were not.

By way of ironic side note, the Iowa Republican primary election in question, as we've noted here many time before, took place on June 6th --- the same day as the flawed Busby/Bilbray election...in which nobody has yet bothered to count the op-scan votes in order to find out if the results were reported accurately. Election integrity, it seems, is more important in some states than in others, we guess.

Says Dobbs in his closing remarks to Kitty Pilgrim: "If this message is not getting through that's emanating from every corner of the country using these voting machines, I don't know what it will take."


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

(Hat tip David Edwards for the video, John Gideon for the transcript and tracking, etc.)

The complete text transcript of the Lou Dobbs/Kitty Pilgrim report follows...

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

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PLUS: Audio of Attorney Paul Lehto on Ed Schultz Discussing Details of the Case...
ALSO: Tons of Local Media Coverage of the Contest Filing...
By Brad Friedman on 7/31/2006 4:56pm PT  

Blogged by Brad on the road...

The case to challenge the announced results of the Busby/Bilbray election was filed today in San Diego County's California Superior Court as reported earlier this morning in some detail. The case number is: GIC870044 and may be downloaded here...

-- Busby/Bilbray Election Contest complaint, [PDF]

There's some extraordinary and fresh stuff in the suit that you'll want to read, since I'm still on the road and unable to cover as thoroughly as usual.

The local media covered the press conference held and attorney Paul Lehto appeared on Ed Schultz. Coverage of both follows...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 7/31/2006 11:48am PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

I was able to listen in via cell phone to the Press Conference just held outside the San Diego courthouse where Attorney Paul Lehto has filed a lawsuit to contest the results of the Busby/Bilbray election.

I wasn't able to hear everything...but here are a few quotes as transcribed as best as I could from speakers Lehto, Judy Hess, Barbara Gail Jacobson and Mimi Kennedy...

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

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Lehto on San Diego County Registrar's Inability to Deploy Voting Machines Securely: 'If he can’t handle it, he should get a new job.'
ALSO: Lehto Now Scheduled to Appear on Ed Schultz Today at 5:30pm ET (2:30pm PT)
By Brad Friedman on 7/31/2006 10:18am PT  

Blogged by Brad on the road...

RAW STORY's Miriam Raftery offers more details on today's filing of an Election Contest in the Busby/Bilbray race (covered by The BRAD BLOG late last night). Her excellent coverage includes an exclusive interview with attorney Paul Lehto who is speeding to the courthouse in San Diego even as I write this, with a press conference to follow at 10:30am PT as reported previously.

He's also now scheduled to appear on the nationally syndicated Ed Schultz radio program to discuss the lawsuit with Big Ed at 5:30pm ET (2:30pm PT). [UPDATE: Audio from Big Ed appearance now available for download here.]

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Press Conference to be Held on the Court House Steps in San Diego at 10:30am PT Just After Filing...
By Winter Patriot on 7/30/2006 8:58pm PT  


Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

[UPDATE: RAW STORY covers the filing here along with an exclusive interview with attorney Paul Lehto. Details from the press conference held earlier today here. Lehto to appear on Ed Schultz radio show at 2:30pm ET to discuss the case.]

[FURTHER UPDATE: The full complaint is now available to download here.]

For all advocates of election integity, and especially for those in San Diego, Monday is going to be a big day. Attorney Paul Lehto is on the scene and Monday morning he will be filing a contest to the U.S. House special election held on June 6th in California's 50th congressional district to replace disgraced Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

According to a press release issued by a group of Election Integrity advocates organizing themselves as the CA-50 Action Group, a press release will be held on the steps of the Court House in San Diego at 10:30am, just after the filing. (The BRAD BLOG has received an advance copy of the press release. It is posted in full at the bottom of this article.)

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