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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, July 24, 2014
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"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"...
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record wildfires burn the Pacific Northwest; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Previous GNRs: 7/17/14 - 7/15/14 - Archives...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A Rightwing caller's admission in response to Brad on a radio show in NC underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's fake news show Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal the 1960 Election From Nixon
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
CA Adds Call to Overturn 'Citizens United' to Ballot
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama takes action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: California gets tough on water wasters...
Previous GNRs: 7/15/14 - 7/10/14 - Archives...
Koch Brothers' Radical Libertarianism Broke Kansas
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's Democratic opponent after tax cuts for the wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
Killing Zombie Myths Dead: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad takes on a bunch of lies this week that just won't die this week -- from e-cigs to Ann Coulter's voter fraud to 'global cooling' to the death penalty to marriage equality in Mississippi and more...
FEDERAL JUDGE FINDS CA DEATH PENALTY VIOLATES U.S. CONSTITUTION
George W. Bush appointee rules state system violates Constitution's ban of 'cruel and unusual punishments'...
'Green News Report' 7/15/14
Divesting from fossil fuels; Germany gives $1b to climate fund; Australia carbon tax repeal; All-electric Formula E racing revs up; PLUS: Climate denier Murdoch...
MO's Democratic Governor Discourages Quitting Smoking
Jay Nixon vetoes bill that would have exempted non-lethal e-cigs from being taxed like dangerous tobacco...
CNBC's Santelli Gets Schooled on CNBC
Fellow CNBCer slams the 'Tea Party' progenitor during on-air shout-fest in the perfect example of why people watch cable 'news' channels -- and why they don't...
GOP Voter Fraud Queen Ann Coulter Urges MS Senate Candidate McDaniel to NOT Pursue Fraud Concerns
Given her well-documented personal history, perhaps she shoulda stayed out of this one?...
'Green News Report' 7/10/14
Debunking the 70's 'global cooling' myth; Anti-science coal nuts in KY; BP oil in Gulf fish; Canada tar sands linked to cancer; PLUS: Pesticide killing birds & bees...
Challenging 'The Nation's Most Restrictive Voter Suppression Law': KPFK 'BradCast'
Journalist Ari Berman, just out of the federal courtroom in North Carolina, joins Brad to discuss the federal case; Plus MUCH MORE...
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...


Denounces Adminstrative Failures, Irregularities, Security Breaches and Diebold Voting Machine 'Sleepovers' in Bellwether June 6th U.S. House Special Election!
Announcement Comes as DNC Chair Howard Dean Set to Address Activist, Election Integrity Convention in San Diego!
By Brad Friedman on 7/14/2006 11:49am PT  


Filed by Brad Friedman from San Diego...

In a harshly worded statement, the DNC's Voting Rights Institute has issued a statement condemning the administration of the recent U.S. House race between Democrat Francine Busby and Republican Brian Bilbray, joining a growing national outcry in calling for "a swift and verifiable 'manual count' of all 150,000 ballots cast in California's 50th District's 'bellwether' June 6th special election."

"This is no longer about whether or not Busby or Bilbray won the election on June 6th," the just-issued statement reads. "This is about the importance of verifying the facts related to election and voting machine irregularities in this race and the need to ensure an accurate count of all votes cast in this election so that the electorate may have confidence in the announced results in future elections."

The long-awaited announcement of a position on the matter by the DNC comes at the end of more than a month of outrage from both national and state election integrity organizations, many of whom have declared "No Confidence" in the reported results of the race held to replace jailed Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Bilbray declared himself the winner on election night, and was sworn into office several days later, before all votes had been counted, and nearly three weeks prior to the election being certified by either state or county officials.

Massive security breaches were reported the day after the election, in regard to the deployment of the county's Diebold optical-scan and touch-screen voting machines as directed by San Diego County Registrar of Voters, Mikel Haas. The progammed, election-ready voting machines, poll workers have informed The BRAD BLOG, were stored unsecurely in home garages and cars, which Haas has admitted to us would "not be considered secure" in an earlier interview. Due to the presumed-contamination of the extremely hackable voting systems used in the race --- as allowed via the lengthy, unsupervised "sleepovers" in the days and weeks prior to the election --- nobody, even the Registrar's office, has been able to prove the accuracy of the results as announced by Haas.

CNN's Lou Dobbs, CourtTV's Catherine Crier, Tribune Media's Robert Koehler and the far-right conservative Rush Limbaugh fill-in host, Bilbray supporter and San Diego radio personality Rodger Hedgecock have been amongst the mainstream media figures to report on the debacle, decrying the security breaches in the election.

Hedgecock recently excoriated the way in which the electronic voting machines were used in the election, exclaiming on-air: "We now have allowed a system of counting our votes to be presented to us as a system that does it accurately, when it has manifestly been proven that it can be monkeyed with…and the results tampered!"

Today's statement, posted by Greg Moore, Director of the DNC's Voting Rights Institute --- citing "election irregularities" and several points of "new and disturbing information" concerning the mis-administration of the election --- was issued this morning as DNC Chairman Howard Dean heads down to speak at DemocracyFest!, a grassroots activist gathering being held this weekend in San Diego.

'Very Deep Concerns' About Security and the Administration of the Election...

"Very deep concerns" are enumerated in the announcement, describing several of the problems found so far in the special election on which The BRAD BLOG has been reporting almost exclusively since June 6th, when we first revealed that the programmed, election-ready Diebold optical-scan and touch-screen voting systems used in the race were inappropriately sent home with poll workers before the election. The security breaches that occurred during those so-called "sleepovers" were in violation of new state and federal rules, laws and provisions issued in the last few months after recent discoveries confirmed dozens of extreme security flaws in the Diebold voting systems, confirming them to be exceptionally vulnerable to tampering.

Upon violation of the new federal and California state emergency security mitigation requirements, as issued in February and March of this year, the voting machines were effectively and immediately decertified and illegal for use in the election, according to provisions spelled out by both authorities.

The vulnerabilities in the particular Diebold systems used in the election, as referenced in the DNC statement, include: on the touch-screen systems, the ability to completely replace the election and operating system software, as well as the computer firmware in less than two minutes time with no password required or authentication by the system; on the optical-scan systems, the ability to hack the memory cards used to store vote tabulation which may result in a complete reversal of election results, as demonstrated by hackers during a mock-election test held at the end of last year in Leon County, Florida. Such a hack on the optical-scan systems could be accomplished without a trace being left behind, save for a manual count of the paper ballots used in the race.

Indeed, in the recent Iowa primary elections, held on the same day as the California CA-50 election, as many as nine Republican races had their results reversed after a manual hand count of optically-scanned ballots revealed that the original machine count had declared the actual winners to have been losers in their races. Only a hand count would have revealed the erroneous totals.

San Diego County Registrar Haas has stymied the effort by citizen election integrity advocates in San Diego to have the ballots in the Busby/Bilbray race counted by hand.

The election was the first federal race to have been run in the country since the new security mitigation requirements were mandated by the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), the body tasked the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission as the federal voting machine certification body.

'A Single Person Can Reverse the Results of An Election'

Further underscoring the dangers of allowing unsupervised physical access to the systems is a landmark report released just weeks ago by NYU's Brennan Center for Justice, detailing more than 120 security threats to e-voting systems. That study, widely reported by mainstream media outlets, led to a recent Washington Post article headlined "Single Person Could Swing an Election." The Brennan Center study picked up, in turn, on another recent study by computer scientist Harri Hursti and Security Innovation in March, revealing vulnerabilities that have been described by several experts as a "major national security risk" and "the most severe security flaw ever discovered in a voting system." Those discoveries occurred during another landmark analysis of Diebold systems conducted by BlackBoxVoting.org in Emery County, Utah just two months prior to the election.

After the results of that examination were released, one of the leading computer scientists on the California Secretary of State's own voting systems technology advisory board, David Jefferson of Livermore National Laboratories, explained during an interview on the PBS News Hour : "You can affect multiple machines from a single attack. That's what makes it so dangerous." Jefferson was part of the team who advised the CA SoS on the new security mitigation requirements, which were then ignored by Registrar Haas' voting machine "sleepovers".

Demands for a Manual Hand Count Stymied by Registrar

Dozens of election integrity organizations, including California Election Protection Network, Progressive Democrats of America, Election Defense Alliance, the Commonweal Institute, VelvetRevolution.us and many others, along with several candidates and journalists have previously called for a hand count of the paper ballots and "paper trails" in the Busby/Bilbray race to ensure accuracy and accountability in the election.

A request to hand count the ballots was filed by CA-50 voter Barbara Gail Jacobson, but was eventually stonewalled by Haas, who refused to commit to the production of chain of custody documents for ballots and voting machines. Haas also set what appeared to be wholly arbitrary charges for the requested hand count, quoting three different estimates to three different inquiries. His final estimate, as given to the hand-count requester, was for as much as $150,000 to count the election. The price of nearly $1 per vote is in contrast to neighboring Orange County, CA who recently charged just .14 cents per vote to hand count an election. Haas has refused to offer any accounting or explanation for the exorbitant and prohibitive pricing.

A public record request from Jacobson for the results of the state mandated 1% manual audit of ballots has also not been supplied. As of this date, we are unaware of anyone having seen the results of that mandated audit.

The Fight for Accountability Continues...

As citizens organizing to fight for accountability in the race are collecting donations towards the effort at VelvetRevolution.us, they are weighing the legal options in consideration of the next step which will certainly be expensive.

After weeks of frustration, waiting for national organizations such as the DNC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to weigh in on the matter, the DNC's announcement will likely bring encouragement to the election integrity advocates (including The BRAD BLOG. The DCCC, we have learned from several sources, had advised Busby to stay away from discussion of electronic voting machine issues prior to the election, and has still failed to comment publicly on the matter.

This morning's statement by Greg Moore, Director of the DNC's Voting Rights Institute, is posted at the National Democratic Party website, and also posted below in full...

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

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Live Air America Broadcast from Heart of U.S. House Special Election Controversy Interrupted by Shouts, Jeers, Cheers from Audience of Activists in Attendance!
By Brad Friedman on 7/14/2006 11:30am PT  

Filed by Brad Friedman in San Diego...

As I standby in a hotel room in San Diego, near the DemcoracyFest! venue, to hopefully post some big breaking news momentarily, Al Franken is broadcasting his show from the site.

In a discussion moments ago with reporter Ruben Navarette, the previously quiet crowd gathered at the live broadcast broke into boos and disapproving shouts when the interview, led by Franken, implied that "Busby had lost" the recent special U.S. House Election in California's 50th district due to a "gaffe" made prior to the election.

Audience members erupted in applause when it was mentioned that "some believe the election was not run cleanly." Franken and his guest regarded the election as legitimate, which led to boos and protests from the crowd who became unruly during the discussion, rejecting the announced results that "Bilbray won the election."

Navarette was also booed when he implied that George W. Bush "beat" Al Gore in 2000. Event organizers had encouraged Franken to invite me to speak during today's live broadcast, taking place smack dab in the middle of the country's largest election controversy prior to the November general election right here in San Diego. Franken, instead chose to have Navarette to discuss Election Integrity in Mexico and elsewhere, along with a rep from Common Cause New Mexico to discuss other election issues.

UPDATE: As Franken was going off the air, the DNC issued a statement calling for a manual count in the Busby/Bilbray race due to the security breaches via voting machine "sleepovers" and other "election irregularities". That BREAKING STORY IS HERE...

CORRECTION: Franken's guest during the segment described above was apparently Ruben Navarette of the Washington Post/San Diego Tribune, as opposed to a guest from Common Cause New Mexico as we had originally reported. The guest from Common Cause was on the show after Navarette.

UPDATE AND IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION 7/15/06 12:50am PT: ...

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

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Plus Contact Info for Mikel Haas...
By Brad Friedman on 7/13/2006 4:23pm PT  

Barbara Gail Jacobson, the hand count request in the Busby/Bilbray election was on the Thom Hartmann Program this morning, and Thom was kind enough to send us the audio file. She speaks about much of what we discussed in our report earlier today regarding the stonewalling from San Diego County Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas.

As I've got to get outta here and down to San Diego for the DemocracyFest! I don't have time to say much more for now, so please review that article if you have any questions about this.

-- Barbara Gail Jacobson on the Thom Hartman Program, 7/13/06 [MP3, about 5 minutes]

As well, a few folks have asked about contact info for Haas. Here it is:

Mikel Haas, Registrar of Voters
5201 Ruffin Road, Suite I
San Diego, CA 92123
P O Box 85656
San Diego, CA 92186-5656
1-800-696-0136 (858) 565-5800
(858) 694-2955 Fax
Hours 8:00am - 5:00pm
E-mail: rovmail@sdcounty.ca.gov
Website: www.sdvote.com

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Registrar Mikel Haas Refuses to Supply Chain of Custody Docs as Requested by Voter, Fails to Explain $150,000 Cost Estimate, $6000 Deposit Demand, Disparity in Quotes; Runs out Clock...
Hand Count Filer: 'It seems nobody is accountable here, and the voters are just left out to dry.'
By Brad Friedman on 7/13/2006 5:37am PT  

"It seems the Registrar is the judge and juror, the decider and the arbiter and is accountable to no one. Clearly, we've been stonewalled by the Registrar," opined Barbara Gail Jacobson in regard to having little or no legal recourse to challenge the seemingly arbitrary rules set by San Diego County Registrar Mikel Haas concerning her requested hand count of ballots in the special U.S. House election held in California's 50th district on June 6th.

Jacobson's request to hand count paper ballots and "paper trails" in the disputed CA-50 Busby/Bilbray election to replace the jailed Republican Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham looks to have hit a brick wall. The SD Country Registrar of Voters office has refused to provide chain of custody documents sought by Jacobson in relation to her request, filed after the revelation that the election employed Diebold optical-scan and touch-screen voting machines in apparent violation of both state and federal law.

In a letter sent Tuesday by Jacobson to Registrar Haas' office, in reply to an email the office had sent late that day, the San Diego resident requested a written commitment that the requested documents would be provided before a hand count would begin, and prior to the payment of the $6000 as demanded by Haas --- by 3pm Tuesday --- to cover the costs of the first day's counting on Wednesday.

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

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An Incredible Report Tying Together Dozens of Stories We've Been Reporting for Months here at BRAD BLOG!
(Thus exposing our secret news reporting center to the world! Damn her!)
By Brad Friedman on 7/11/2006 7:00pm PT  

Wow...CourtTV's Catherine Crier on Crier Live just covered virtually everything we've ever discussed on this blog in one fell swoop! Had I known it was possible, I would have used five and a half minutes to tell all these stories, instead of the past two years! ;-)

As well, she included several incredibly kind words about both The BRAD BLOG and yours truly (and a picture of me to boot, sorry about that!) generously urging folks to visit this site:

If you want to learn about the state of our election process, I urge you to visit BradBlog.com. Brad Friedman has worked doggedly on this issue, amassing tons of valuable news and information on this subject.

She covered loads of stories that we've been secretly reporting here where the rest of the MSM could never ever notice... From the recent Busby/Bilbray Diebold voting machine "sleepover" fiasco to the Hand Count Fee scam that's followed, to the video-taped testimony of vote-rigging whistleblower Clint Curtis naming Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) as the rigger, to Bush-appointed former EAC commissioner DeForest Soaries' exposure of the cruel federal hoax, to now-disgraced Monterey County, CA Registrar of Voters Tony "Trust Me" Anchundo who faces 43 criminal counts and much more!

I was contacted recently by the show and they informed me they have been BRAD BLOG readers for quite a while. Their report this evening demonstrates that quite clearly. They managed to show, very smartly and in a single report, how all of these items we've been reporting on --- for what seems like forever --- actually all tie together. (What, no Ann Coulter Voter Fraud to boot? Maybe next week...)

I'd pull out some quotes, but it won't do her report justice. See the full video (courtesy of David Edwards, natch) or text transcript which are both available below.

I've been asked to appear on the show next week, and we're trying to work out the dates to see if it's possible, since --- theoretically --- I'm supposed to be hitting the road for a long-planned and much-needed vacation for several weeks after appearing at this weekend's DemocracyFest! in San Diego. But hopefully we'll work something out...


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

Below is the text transcript as forwarded by the good Crier Live folks [and edited slightly for legibility]...

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

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Demands Chain of Custody Docs Be Supplied as Allowed by Law, Time to Review Them; Asks for Accounting for $150,000 Counting Fee and the $6000 Immediate, Up Front Demand by Registrar Mikel Haas...
By Brad Friedman on 7/11/2006 3:42pm PT  

Absolutely zero time at the moment for analysis or commentary. So see these previous stories first if you're not familiar with things up until now...

  • 7/7/06: "EXCLUSIVE: Manual Hand Count Requested in Busby/Bilbray Race! Registrar Quotes Fees for Count as High as $130,000!" FULL STORY...
  • 7/9/06: "Busby/Bilbray Registrar's Office Quotes Three Different Prices for Cost of Hand Count to Voters, Media; No Explanation Given for Disparities! (Fee Estimate Raised to $150,000, though Media Told Number Would be Half That!)" FULL STORY...
  • ...Before reading the following reply from CA50 voter, hand count requester Barbara Gail Jacobson. Her reply submitted this morning follows in full... (If I have a moment to update this item with commentary, analysis, or additional detail, I'll try to do so later.)

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

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    Now-Former Monterey County, CA Registrar of Voters, Tony 'Trust Me' Anchundo, Told Brad on Air that Voters Need to 'Have Trust and Faith' in Election Officials...
    He Now Faces Charges of Forgery, Misapplication of Funds, Embezzlement, Falsification of Accounts and Grand Theft to the Tune of $70,000...
    By Brad Friedman on 7/11/2006 8:05am PT  
    "There is obviously going to have to be some trust and faith in the elections official, or in this case, it's me."
    -- Then Monterey County, CA Registrar of Voters, Tony Anchundo on the Peter B. Collins radio show, 10/24/05

    "Anchundo to face 43 criminal charges
    DA: Ex-registrar spent $70,000 on personal purchases"

    -- Headline of the Salinas Californian, 7/6/06

    The astute BRAD BLOG reader may recall my appearance on the Peter B. Collins show last October when the good Peter B. had invited Monterey County, CA Registrar of Voters Tony Anchundo into the studio to demonstrate the county's brand-spankin' new Sequoia touch-screen voting machines that were slated for first time use in last November's special election.

    That interview, both audio and complete text transcript, is right here...

    After Anchundo's in-studio demo of how the new system is supposed to work, I pressed Anchundo to find out whether or not he actually intended to count the virtually uncountable "toilet-paper roll" voter-verified paper trails created by the Sequoia machines or if he would rely on the machine count. He committed on air that the county had planned to count "100%" of those paper trails.

    Incredulous, but nonethless happy to have that promise on-air and on-the-record, I asked which count would be the official count in the case of a discrepancy; the paper count or the machine count. He said we'd have to trust him to make the best decision at the time. "Faith-based voting," in other words.

    While I was skeptical that he'd even be able to count those paper trails at all --- or even that it could be done in reality, even if they'd wanted to --- he promised to come back to the show after the election to report on how the 100% count went and which count they ended up using.

    Weeks and months went by and Peter B. and his producer attempted to book Anchundo, the 13-year Registrar, for the promised follow-up. It seemed the office was not eager to return calls or book a return appearance.

    Then last April, Anchundo suddenly and mysteriously resigned --- just six weeks before the California primary elections --- leaving county officials "stunned", as the Monterey Herald reported it at the time.

    And then finally, last Friday, a caller to Peter B.'s show, during my regular weekly appearance there, gave us a tip to this report from the Salinas Californian...

    Anchundo to face 43 criminal charges
    DA: Ex-registrar spent $70,000 on personal purchases

    By CHRISTOPHER ORTIZ
    The Salinas Californian

    The Monterey County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday it has filed 43 criminal charges against former Registrar of Voters Tony Anchundo, saying he spent more than $70,000 on personal purchases using county-issued credit cards, then tried to cover his tracks.

    The charges include 25 counts of forgery, 14 counts of misapplication of funds, three counts of embezzlement and falsification of accounts by a public officer and one count of grand theft.

    If found guilty on all charges, Anchundo could face 12 years in jail.

    More details at the Californian, but all I can say is: "Trust and faith in the elections officials,"...indeed, Mr. Anchundo. A picture perfect lesson in why no elections officials should ever be trusted.

    Just ask the heroic and legendary Ion Sancho, Election Director of Leon County, FL who said in a speech last May: "Trust no one. If it can't be verified, it can't be used."

    Or ask the courageous Yolo County, CA Registrar-Clerk, Freddie Oakley, who smartly wrote recently about some of her election official colleagues: "They also argue that, 'We have to trust our poll workers…' To this I can only say…only if they are incorruptible."

    Or finally, ask Oregon Secretary of State, Bill Bradbury, who delivered this knock-out speech last November:

    We cannot simply react and play defense against a rising tide of legitimate public questions and concerns. Elections are the foundation of democracy, and our democracy cannot function without full public confidence in the fairness of elections. We must proactively offer the public an elections system that is clean, transparent, fair, and above reproach. We must be able to prove that all of our claims about elections are true.
    ...
    We cannot ignore our constituents. It's not enough anymore to simply tell them "just trust us."
    ...
    We believe that our elections are accurate, but we need hard evidence to show the public.

    If only San Diego County Registrar Mikel Haas --- who has never heard of an indicted election official, and isn't concerned that a poll worker might try to tamper with a programmed election-ready voting machine when he allows them to keep them in their car, house or garage for weeks before an election --- would care as much about his voters as Sancho, Oakley or Bradbury... Unfortunately, Haas seems to be falling into the Anchundo category instead.

    Trust me.

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    On Busby/Bilbray, Diebold, California and Democrats Fears of Fighting for Electoral Integrity...
    ALSO: Catherine Crier to Cover Busby/Bilbray, Clint Curtis, NH Phone-Jamming Tomorrow Night!
    By Brad Friedman on 7/10/2006 4:24pm PT  


    Not much time for comment, so here's my interview from over the weekend on Air America's Ring of Fire with Robert F. Kennedy & Mike Papantonio. I'm sure you guys will have plenty to comment on. We discussed Busby/Bilbray, Diebold, and the DNC/DCCC fears about jumping into the fight for electoral integrity and taking on these god-forsaken awful e-voting machines.

    More on all soon. Plenty to say and write, but little time to say it or write it for now... :-(

    -- Brad on Ring of Fire, 7/8/06 [MP3, Appx. 15 minutes]

    UPDATE: Forgot to add, reliable sources tell me that Catherine Crier of CourtTV's Crier Live --- who filed an extraordinary video editorial recently on the dangers of E-Voting --- will be covering Busby/Bilbray, Clint Curtis and the NH/White House Phone-Jamming convictions tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 5pm ET/PT!

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    Election Integrity Advocates told Hand Count Fees to be $6000/day, While Media told Fees Would be $2000-3000/day
    ALSO: No Documents for Ballot Chain of Custody, Machine Audit Logs, 1% Random Audit, as Requested by Hand Count Filing, Have Been Produced by San Diego County Registrar's Office Despite Demand for $6000 Payment Due Tuesday...
    By Brad Friedman on 7/9/2006 6:05am PT  

    The San Diego County Registrar's office seems to be playing games with the amount they are attempting to charge for the cost of a manual hand count request as filed for accountability in the June 6th Busby/Bilbray U.S. House special election.

    As well, the office has so far refused to produce any of the documents requested by the voter who filed for the hand count as required by California state law.

    As we reported originally, the SD County Assistant Registrar of Voters, Tim McNamara, had informed an Election Integrity advocate via email that the cost of such a count was estimated to be "in the range of $110,000 to $130,000 and would take approximately 24 to 30 working days." The total estimated cost would be $6000 per day. (Complete email from McNamara at bottom of this article.)

    However, a story from Friday's North County Times in San Diego on the manual hand count request (they, inaccurately, call it a "recount request") quotes an estimate from the RoV's office that is less than half that size:

    Registrar of voters spokesman Mike Workman said that county counsel is now reviewing Jacobson's request for a recount...a process which can cost the requesting party as much as $2,000 to $3,000 a day, Workman said.

    Further, SD County Registrar Mikel Haas has FedExed a letter to Barbara Gail Jacobson, the requester of the manual hand count, informing her that she must pay $6000 by 3pm this Tuesday, July 11th, to begin the count which he estimates in his letter will to be "between $120,000 and $150,000."

    His letter also failed to include responses to numerous documents requested, such as chain of custody logs for ballots and voting machines, any of the audit logs from the machines used on election day, or any of the information requested on precinct voter breakdowns as allowed to the requester by state law (CA Election Code 15630 and other related sections) before such a hand count can begin.

    All three sets of numbers for the fees associated with the count also failed to give any accounting for how the fees to be charged have been set. (Complete letter from Haas is also at the end of this article.)

    "I have received no responses to any of my requests for information," Jacobson told us. "Not even any information on the required 1% manual audit that was supposed to have been done prior to the certification."

    With three different sets of numbers now given from three different RoV sources, the question arises as to how they come up with such numbers in the first place.

    All of the estimates, even the lowest of them, are far higher than similar quotes from other California country Registrars, as we reported previously. The highest of the numbers quoted by Haas come to nearly one dollar per vote, while in Orange County, CA, the registrar is reportedly charging some 14 cents per vote for a similar count.

    Why the disparity in all of these numbers? It would be good to know.

    Election Reform watchdog organization VelvetRevolution.us has taken up a collection for the costs associated with the entire legal battle over the Busby/Bilbray election. Contributions may be made here.

    Meanwhile, Haas seems to be continuing his public misinformation campaign concerning the so-called Diebold voting machine "sleepovers"...

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

    ReddIt this story!



    Quotes Manual Hand Count Costs for Busby/Bilbray at $150,000 --- Third Different Number Quoted, No Explanation or Accounting Given...
    Funds Being Collected for Legal Expenses to Fight Them Here so We Don't Have to Fight Them Everywhere this November!
    By Brad Friedman on 7/8/2006 9:23pm PT  

    Tomorrow in the AM... San Diego County registrar's office quotes three different prices for costs of manual hand count request! Highest quote so far: $150,000 to count all votes in the CA50 Busby/Bilbray election! $6000 due on Tuesday, but no explanation for costs and no requested documents turned over by registrar as required by law.

    Donations for legal fight being collected by VelvetRevolution.us: www.velvetrevolution.us/donate.php

    See BRAD BLOG early Sunday morning for details...

    UPDATE 7/9/06: Complete exclusive story now posted here...

    ReddIt this story!



    A 'Buck a Vote' for Hand Count of Paper Ballots, Trails in U.S. House Election Which Used Uncertified Voting Machines...
    Fees Far Exceed Those Charged by Other Counties, Request Filed by Election Integrity Advocate 'on Behalf of Candidate Brian Bilbray'
    By Brad Friedman on 7/7/2006 6:04am PT  

    Late Wednesday afternoon, a "Manual Hand Count Request under the Election Recount Provision" was filed at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office by CA-50 voter Barbara Gail Jacobson. The request is for a full manual hand count of all paper ballots and paper trails in the recent June 6th Busby/Bilbray special U.S. House election in which programmed, election-ready Diebold voting machines were sent home with poll workers for days prior to the election in apparent violation of new laws and provisions by both state and federal authorities.

    As California state election code requires that a candidate be named on whose behalf such hand count requests are filed, Jacobson named Republican Brian Bilbray in her filing. Bilbray is the candidate who was announced as the winner in the race by SD County Registrar Mikel Haas.

    Jacobson's manual hand count request, as filed, is posted in full here.

    The breaches in security for the exceedingly hackable Diebold voting machines and the subsequent decertified use of such systems in the important "bellwether" election have prompted a number of Election Integrity organizations to declare "No Confidence" in the results of the election as reported by Registrar Haas. Haas himself has even admitted that storage of such machines in poll workers' cars cannot be considered secure as required by state and federal law.

    The fees estimated for the count, to be paid by the requester, have been set at an estimated $110,000 to $130,000 by the Registrar's office. That amount, nearly a dollar per vote, is far in excess of similar counting fees charged by other County Registrars in California.

    Jacobson states in her hand count filing that she "submit[s] this request in the hope that ALL candidates and ALL voters in the United States of America, in the State of California, in the County of San Diego, and in the state's 50th U.S. Congressional District, may have confidence in the accuracy of the election returns as announced by the San Diego Country Registrar of Voters, Mikel Haas."

    Nonetheless, Jacobson stated the request was "being filed on behalf of candidate Brian Bilbray," in accordance with state election law:

    "The rule of law is important," wrote Jacobson, "I'm happy to follow that rule of law and hope that the San Diego County Registrar will now show an interest in same...for the good of our nation."

    The filing includes a request for a number of detailed items --- including chain of custody logs for voting machines and the ballots themselves --- said to be needed before such a count can begin in order to ensure the integrity of that count.

    In the meantime, the registrar's office has answered an inquiry into fees that may be charged for such a manual hand count of all paper ballots and paper trails, estimated to be as high as $130,000 or the equivalent of $6000 per day.

    "Based on previous experience," wrote Tim McNamara, SD County's Assistant Registrar of Voters in reply to a recent emailed request for the costs of such a count, "the estimated cost of recounting ballots cast in this election using, for example, four counting boards would be in the range of $110,000 to $130,000 and would take approximately 24 to 30 working days. It assumes that the four boards in the example, working six hours a day, could hand tally 1,500 ballots each."

    Election integrity advocate Linda Bagneschi Dorrance explained to The BRAD BLOG that estimates for a manual hand count in San Diego are nearly twice the cost for similar requests elsewhere in the state. Apparently California law allows elections officials to set just about any price they wish.

    "The estimates...equate to about $1,083 per day per recount board," Dorrance explained to us. "We just succeeded in reducing Marin County's cost to I believe $500 per recount board per day. Still expensive, but about half the San Diego cost."

    While Haas seems prepared to charge nearly $1 per vote to manually hand count, The BRAD BLOG has learned that other counties around California have charged as little as $0.14 per vote for a similar hand count.

    Election protection organization VelvetRevolution.us has begun to collect donations for the legal fees associated with fighting for accountability in the Busby/Bilbray election, until such time as advocates on the ground in San Diego have created a legal fund for this purpose. Donations may be made here. (DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR.)

    Recent reports from various organizations and media sources have lauded the state of California for requiring paper ballots and paper trails by law for all votes cast. As well, California's mandated 1% manual random audit law has similarly been recognized as an important safeguard for elections held in this state, along with a liberal "recount" provision allowing any affected voter to file for such a hand count when needed.

    However, what isn't as well reported is the fact that there is no actual legal remedy if a variance from the official results are found during 1% hand audits. The audit may reveal the official count to be off by any percentage and there are no legal requirements or clear rules concerning what happens next in such an event. So far, The BRAD BLOG has been unable to obtain information on the 1% manual audit in the Busby/Bilbray election.

    As to the costs for hand counts requested under the recount provisions in state law, it seems that election registrars are free to charge virtually anything they like for such counts. No uniform state standards for such fees seem to exist, which means the prices set for such counts may be set near-randomly --- and even prohibitively --- by elections officials. Such oversights in the law, of course, make accountability in such cases as this, where both state and federal election laws were clearly violated, very difficult to achieve.

    A few of the opening paragraphs of the manual hand count request as filed Wednesday by Barbara Gail Jacobson follow below. The entire three page request can be read in full here...

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

    ReddIt this story!



    Brad Quoted Almost Accurately in Decent Coverage of Woeful Tale...
    By Brad Friedman on 7/5/2006 6:51pm PT  

    Sacramento Bee columnist Peter Schrag runs a decent article on Busby/Bilbray election mess in today's paper.

    I recommend you read it in full, as it's mostly balanced (in the honest way, not the Fox "News" way) and gets most of the elements of the story close enough for government work. In other words, it's a legitimate article, even with a few quibbles I have. But the legit effort is certainly appreciated in contrast with the lazy piece of disinformation disguised as a news article which ran last week in San Diego Union-Tribune on this matter.

    Schrag's focus throughout is largely on the uber-matter in question; The looming threat we face to the legitimacy of American elections across the board. The article starts this way...

    Last month's race in California's 50th Congressional District in San Diego County between Republican Brian Bilbray and Democrat Francine Busby was regarded by many observers as an indicator of whether the Democrats could recapture the House in November.

    But the response to the election may foretell as much or more about the level of confidence Americans will have in the reported results in November as they do about who controls the House in January. If you Google the words Bilbray, Busby and Diebold, you'll get 67,000 hits, most of them casting doubt on whether the reported results --- 78,000 votes (49.5 percent) for Bilbray, 71,000 (45 percent) for Busby, according the San Diego registrar of voters --- could really be trusted. Diebold's electronic voting machines are the X factor.

    Schrag then goes on to slightly misrepresent my comments to him last week when he called, when he writes:

    Even Brad Friedman, the liberal blogger primarily responsible for touching off this new round of doubt, doesn't say the machines were fiddled with or that the election was stolen. But with support from Tribune Media Services columnist Bob Koehler, CNN's Lou Dobbs and some liberal vote-watch groups, neither the doubts nor the doubters are likely to go away.

    The misrepresentation, accidental as I'll presume it to be, is that yes, I've said we currently have no specific evidence that "the machines were fiddled with," as he put it. But we simply cannot know whether they were "fiddled with" or not, given Regisrar Mikel Haas' complete disregard for the new state and federal security mitigation requirements which were invalidated when the voting machines in question were sent home with poll workers for days and weeks prior to the election. In doing so, they were all rendered decertified, and thus illegal for use in the election.

    Where I will take exception to Schrag's article is when he avers that "Bilbray almost certainly won the election."

    Of course, Schrag has absolutely zero evidence with which to back up that assertion, so I really don't know where he gets it, other than by general knee-jerk habit that the media have of simply trusting elections officials and whatever they report to be the "results" of any election. (See Ohio 2004, et al.)

    His closing sentence then, repeats again his earlier unsupported assertion, but closes on the right note:

    The doubters about Bilbray-Busby are probably wrong; the threat to democracy is very real.

    Please read the article in full yourself so you can make up your own mind. He makes several good points worth reading in any case.

    Oh...and one last point. Schrag writes:

    Last week, the doubters held public meetings in Los Angeles and San Diego demanding hand recounts of the results. They're not likely to get them, but that will only reinforce the questions, not necessarily about Bilbray-Busby, but about the results elsewhere if the GOP retains control in Washington in November.

    The last part is true enough --- doubts about election results this November will plague this country no matter who wins or loses (see this earlier article today on that) --- but I'm not sure where he gets the idea that the "doubters" won't get that hand "recount" (of course he means hand count, not recount, since the ballots have not actually been counted) if they want it.

    Those "doubters," however, will likely have to pay for it themselves, unless a judge orders otherwise. And, we're learning that, apparently, the registrar himself gets to determine just about any number he wants to charge for that manual hand count.

    You can contribute to help defray legal costs to fight this battle over at VelvetRevolution.us for the time being. More on all of that tomorrow....

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 7/3/2006 8:23pm PT  

    RAW STORY's Miriam Raftery mercifully (for me) covers some of the proceedings of last Wednesday's Emergency Townhall in San Diego (Oceanside) concerning the questionable results from the Busby/Bilbray election run on effectively illegal/uncertified voting machines --- so I don't have to!

    I've got a few good photos and such, however, which I hope to get posted here soon. Unless they scoop me on those as well... ;-)

    ReddIt this story!



    BRAD BLOG's Poll Worker Sources, Brad Himself, Offer Testimony for New Filing in Previously Filed Case Against CA Sec. of State, County Registrars...
    Sleepovers Show that 'Stop-gap Security Conditions Do Not Solve the Problems,' Says VoterAction.org Press Release
    By Brad Friedman on 7/3/2006 7:24pm PT  

    It's getting very difficult to keep up.

    VoterAction.org, a non-partisan group of voters who recently filed suit against CA Sec. of State Bruce McPherson and 18 county registrars, has submitted new papers in a court filing today in support of their call for an injunction against the use and purchase of touch-screen Diebold voting machines in the state.

    The complaint, filed in March, was originally reported here.

    The latest filing, described in a press release issued earlier today, includes new information based on the recent reports of the San Diego County Diebold voting machine "sleepovers" with poll workers, in the days and weeks prior to the recent U.S. House Special Election in California's 50th congressional district.

    Among the new declarations in the filing today are statements from several poll workers, of whom The BRAD BLOG originally reported as having taken home programmed, election-ready, highly-hackable Diebold voting machines to be stored in their cars and garages in the days preceeding the "bellwether" U.S. House special election.

    One of those poll workers, Patti Newton, is quoted in the press release. She also appeared on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight last week when Dobbs also reported on the "sleepovers."

    I (Brad Friedman) was also asked to submit a declaration for the filing based on my interview with San Diego County Registrar of Voters, Mikel Haas. Haas had admitted to me during that interview that storage of programmed voting machines in poll workers' cars could "not be considered secure." His admission would suggest that the new federal requirements, as issued March 22, 2006 by the National Association of State Elections Directors (NASED), mandating "secure storage" of programmed voting machines were violated.

    "Failure to comply with this addendum negates the voting system's status as a NASED-qualified voting system," the official memorandum clearly states.

    With regard to the demonstrated failure of state Registrars like Haas to comply with the new requirements, and in support of the injunction sought to ban the use of these machines in the state, today's statement says, "Recent experience has shown that stop-gap security conditions imposed by the Secretary of State do not solve the problems."

    Several paragraphs from the VoterAction.org press release, speaking to the concerns highlighted by the voting machines "sleepovers," follow...

    The California voters’ preliminary injunction motion is supported by sworn testimony from volunteer poll workers in San Diego and Modesto Counties regarding serious physical security breaches, including assigned “sleepovers”, or home storage of electronic voting machines and missing security seals over memory card portals.
    ...
    Recent experience has shown that stop-gap security conditions imposed by the Secretary of State do not solve the problems, and use of this system in the upcoming election presents a grave danger of voter disenfranchisement and election result manipulation.
    ...
    In her testimony, Escondido, CA poll volunteer, Patricia Mack Newton, who stored a machine in her Jeep and then garage for a full seven days prior to elections, stated, "I was shocked when we were told we would be taking the machines home, especially since we had received no training on how to secure the machines, or if we were supposed to do so.
    ReddIt this story!



    Election Watchdog Group Says State Officials Haven't Taken Security Warnings Seriously, Release Previously Redacted Information, Photos in Response
    'In a Sane World These Machines Would be Recalled' Says Statement!
    By Brad Friedman on 7/3/2006 6:34pm PT  

    Responding to what they describe as "insufficient action", and the general failure of state elections officials to take recommended security mitigation procedures seriously in light of newly-discovered vulnerabilities in Diebold touch-screen voting systems, election watchdog organization BlackBoxVoting.org (BBV) has issued a scathing report today.

    The group has now released previously redacted information from their landmark Hursti II report [PDF, now unredacted] which documented the newly-discovered security issues found during a March 2006 examination of Diebold touch-screen systems in Emery County, UT. Carried out by Finnish computer scientist Harri Hursti and a security expert from Security Innovation, the information revealed by that security analysis has been described previously by BBV founder Bev Harris as "a major national security risk."

    Since we first broke that story here at The BRAD BLOG, dozens of computer scientists and security experts have concurred with the assessment. The issue was subsequently reported by mainstream media outlets such as New York Times, NEWSWEEK, NPR and others.

    The updated report, issued today, releases information that had previously been kept under wraps due to the severity of the security issues potentially exposed. Describing insufficient reponse and lack of appropriate measures taken by states who had received the full unredacted information, BBV has decided to place the entirety of the information into "the public record."

    A host of previously unreported technical details, methods for possible attack of the Diebold touch-screen system, and a complete failure by federal authorities to oversee crucial aspects of the election system are explained in detail.

    As well, today's report slams elections officials for allowing Diebold voting machine "sleepovers" in San Diego and elsewhere, of the type which The BRAD BLOG has been reporting for the last three weeks in relation to the June 6th special election in San Diego's 50th congressional district, held to replace the now-jailed Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

    The violations to new state and federal laws and provisions written since some of the vulnerabilities have been revealed --- and about which we have been reporting in detail --- occurred when poll workers were allowed unfettered access to election-ready Diebold voting systems for days and weeks prior to the election. The unsecured storage of voting machines in poll workers' cars and garages, so-called overnight "sleepovers", has led The BRAD BLOG and several other election watchdog organizations, candidates and thousands of individuals to declare "NO CONFIDENCE" in the reported results of that "bellwether" federal election.

    The CA-50 election between Francine Busby and Brian Bilbray was the first federal election to be held after the new discoveries, and after state and federal officials instituted new, apparently-ignored security provisions in hopes of mitigating them. A manual hand count of all paper ballots and "paper trails" has been demanded by many of the organizations decrying the administration of that election.

    "In a sane world, these machines would be recalled," wrote BBV...

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

    ReddIt this story!



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